What is creativity? Does it have a definition? Where do we look for it? Shailendra believes that every person is creative, and if you search deep within your soul, you will find millions of creative ideas waiting to burst forward at the most unexpected moments. Shailendra found his creative side in technology and Business. Shailendra is an author and a businessman with a technological mindset. In his latest Interview with Storiyaan, he talks about his various ventures and how every idea came up to him and inspired him to do something different at every turn of his life.
Questions and answers
What led to the conception and birth of Design cut?
I conceived the idea of the design cut as a third-year student. I have an eminently clear recollection of the day I attended an aero-modeling workshop by Boeing at my institute. While at the session, interestingly, I learned a technique in which a specific sort of foam is cut to make the craft. In such a technique, we first design the craft on the foam and then cut it in the desired shape. I wished to propagate this idea amongst the student community in the colleges as well. Following the procedure, it dawned on me that it is a designed cut. At that very moment, I settled for and stamped on the name of “DesignCut” for the company.
Could you provide us with an insight into the development of The Engineers Shop?
My academic institute was in the heart of hills. As much as nature and the environment was a blessing, we faced many obstacles procuring electronic and mechanical products. If we imported and obtained them from the bigger cities, the product’s quality turned out to be sub-par. Further, the prices were incredibly high if ordered online. Students would need electronic and mechanical devices for their projects.
To cater to their needs; we decided on opening a shop for the availability of such products for the students. Keeping in mind the surging prices on the internet, we offer economical and reasonable deals for the users, since most of our users are students. We operate locally, within the educational campuses so that the students do not have to travel long ways to the bigger cities to avail themselves of the product or fall into the hassles of online purchases. They can reach out to the nearest “TES: The Engineer Shop” to fulfil their yearly requirements of the electronic and mechanical products.
Your flair for drones led to the launch of Droneyuga. What drew you towards drones in the first place?
In contemporary times, many companies have started using drones for their studies and powerline surveys. However, my motivation to start this venture was not bound by this limitation. We, as a team, were really driven to use technology to help the students inside the campuses to attain electronic and mechanical products. We are in the process of creating a product that assists in transporting medicines and other essential commodities from shops to the customers with drones’ help. These are some ways where we thought of using drones for common purposes. We have delivered about hundred-odd workshops at both school and college level regarding drones and their design.
What kind of research do you do before taking up a new entrepreneurial adventure?
Before stepping into a venture, I always like to dip my hands to test the water. Meaning, that I always first start with analyzing the already established products of the market. I have been inspired by innovation immensely and believe that “change is the only constant.” I like to think out of the box to bring to the locals more innovative and useful products. The traditional way to know about the finances is to know in detail about the market and explore it. The market provides profit and helps generate new ideas for growth.
How did SKM Productions come into being?
Well, to say, I have dreamt of this venture and nurtured it for as long as I can remember. I identify myself as an author and have two publications under my name so far. I have tried to create and give birth to more than just words printed on paper. I explored my potentials and quenched my curiosity of creativity by producing two compositions, namely, “Khwabon ke Parinde” and “Chaandani Raat ka Gulshan.” Both music pieces are up and available on all streaming platforms, including Spotify. I have walked my way in this field and continue to find new muses, interests, passions, and potential. At SKM Productions, we try to keep our content genuine and good for our listeners.
What was the stumbling block that led to the creation of LucknowLive?
They say a lot can happen over coffee, and I stand as a testimony to the statement. While visiting a friend from NIT Jalandhar in Lucknow over coffee, we addressed the evolving nature of Social Media and how Instagram can prove to be a powerful tool in information dispersion along with interaction with our audiences. We came up with the idea of Lucknowlive, which could act as a platform exclusively for the people of Lucknow. Our Instagram based model brought to light the importance of road safety. The suggestions offered by our platform, “LucknowLive” were then received and adopted by the Lucknow Police and was gradually incorporated in the system. This is our achievement so far, and we are hoping to do more similar things in the foreseeable future.
We would like to believe that we have successfully executed the idea, which has started to benefit the residents of Lucknow. We hope to continue the trail of success and initiate more such projects in the foreseeable future.
How did you come up with the idea for your talk-show, Samvaadam?
India has transcended and turned into fertile land for self-entrepreneurship. The Newspapers are full of headlines that reveal the success of some of the other entrepreneurial ventures. We recognized the importance of motivating and inspiring budding entrepreneurs. Hence, initially planned to curate a talk show about emerging, aspiring entrepreneurs. So it all started with a mere interview. As Founders, we staunchly place our belief in the magic of conversations. To know, understand and inspire anyone, it is utterly important to engage in a conversation with them. I also understand that the first step towards learning is questioning. To dissipate the information to our audiences, we engage in questioning the entrepreneur guests. We make it live on YouTube and other social media platforms.
What are your plans concerning the growth of your branches pan-India?
People already know about our businesses and our brand. We plan to expand our market. Our plan for 2021 is to focus on our marketing, growth, and connection with our customers. We are not only doing nation-wide marketing but also international as well.
You operate diverse entrepreneurial projects. How do you keep yourself motivated?
I live by the words and working principles of Steve Jobs. I also look up to Leonardo Da Vinci’s work in widening and liberating my vision and capacity. My mantra of life is my attitude.
Attitude determines our approach towards predicaments and problems, towards their solutions, and life. I consider my life as a living painting. To complete a painting, all, or most palette colors are necessary and not just the ones we relish. I learned my lesson with Shri Gaur Gopal Das at the Juhu Ashram. He always reiterates that you must use the palette colors even if you do not fancy them. Our problems reflect our social reality, and it is on us to find a way out of them.
Our attitude, in that way, becomes the radar of the directionless ship of our life.
What was the driving force behind the creation of Geeta for Business?
I remember absorbing a ray of hope outside a Vrindavan temple in one of the most desolated times of my life. Being rejected by a China-based client merely because I was late to a meeting came as a heart wrenching disappointment.
That deal was, in fact, important for the funding process of my business. The rings of the temple, the fragrance of the incense sticks, the open skies, and the soft breeze filled me with gratitude and spirituality. My body basked in motivation at that moment. I promised to curate the Geeta Business for myself and the other fellow entrepreneurs of the country. I intended to spread the motivation that spirituality can render.
What is the most important thing you want your readers to take away from your book?
There are a lot of lessons in the book, and all fifty-four of them hold equal importance. But one of the most significant section of the book is where Lord Krishna says, “Karmanye vadhikaraste maa falesu kadachan,” (कर्मण्ये वाधिकरस्ते मां फलेसु कदाचन). Our working and functioning body organs are our biggest gift and the greatest blessing. We must put them to use for the welfare of society. We can never know the pain and misery of those who do not have the same blessing and are differently abled in different ways. If we are the chosen ones who can fully contribute to society, we must prove to be an asset to society. There are various forms of yoga described in the Gita. Karma Yoga, in my opinion, is the most competent for entrepreneurs.
What would be your message for those who are planning to start their entrepreneurial careers soon?
I would suggest that one should not blindly involve and invest in the idea of a start-up. One must always assure that their passion, interest, and funding are aligned. The first step should always be to ensure that the start-up idea is unique and gather support in ways more than one. However, I would not suggest that one quit their job before fully assured that the idea will prove successful. One must always have a backup option to rely on in case things go down south.
a. Your favourite band: Euphoria
b. One show that you have binged and never regretted: Mirzapur Season 1
c. When not working, you are :Doodling
d. One key quality that makes a successful entrepreneur: Perseverance
e. A book that has motivated you: Attitude is Everything by Jeff Keller and Geeta