CEO and Founder
ASPIRE Human Capital Management
The last day of the Eweek was something different than planned. Amit Bhatia, CEO and Founder, ASPIRE Human Capital Management talked about his venture and used it as a case study to give the audience some gyan!
How he started
Amit started Aspire with the prime intention of providing a smart human talent supply chain to companies like Dell, Accenture, WNS etc. However the recession kicked in and students trained at Aspire failed to get jobs. He suffered sizeable losses and shut down quite a few training centres.
This is where is conceptualized Aspire 2.0 and decided to change his customer from companies to educational institutions. The schools and colleges wanted Aspire to deliver its training to them and Aspire did so on their campus. They waited for the employement market to bounce back and didn't suffer losses.
Further down the line, the company started facing issues with educational entrepreneurs, receiveable pay on time and other such hurdles. So, Amit decided to change his business plan once again by getting his courses certified from Harvard, Carnegie Mellon and Cambridge. This helped him negotiating power and help him get his company consistent pay.
Never raise money too early or from friends and family- Amit raised capital fast from his inner circle and was able to do so quickly because of his previous work experience and reach. This led to people blindly associating with him without knowing the details of his venture or profitable it would be. As Aspire had to undergo changes in business plans two times over and suffer losses, it created a lot of performance pressure on the part of the entrepreneur. Also, having a good track record does not guarantee that the same methods will be successful in his new business.
Always choose profits over scale- Amit stresses on "start small think big" and never let the past get the better of you. Amit scaled up very quickly under his business by going from 200 to 33000 students in a matter of four years. But he stresses on growing slower and conserving equity which is a precious asset.
Develop a thick skin- Although it sounds like a trivial advice, Amit says being a part of the social entreprenrise makes it difficult for him to not get emotional. After all, he is trying to educate and support as many students as he can to bridge the gap. He says it is very important to be a realist. Other than that he also advices to take the help of a professional investor rather than people known to you to scale up in your business.
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