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The Pandemic Has Been A Great Learning Curve For All: Raj Kundra, CEO, Viaan Industries

I am not a believer of any playbook for success in entrepreneurship. There is no fixed formula. You have to do what you are passionate about In a recent exclusive interaction with BW Businessworld as part of its Dialogue on Leadership series, RAJ KUNDRA, CEO, Viaan Industries, talked about online gaming, Covid-19, and key lessons from the pandemic. Exceprts:

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Of all your ventures, which one is the most successful?
Out of all the deals that I have done, Viaan Gaming has been my most passionate venture. We are coming up with a live streaming app, which will have in-built free games. In the last 60 days, online gaming has become significantly popular with people, who have been at home and using their phones a lot. I have enjoyed all the verticals that I have started, but the most exciting has been the phase that I am going through now. From a startup point of view, I am really enjoying this space.

What do you think makes a successful entrepreneurs?

I think a true entrepreneur is one who can fold his arms and get up with the same excitement time and time again. I am not a believer of any playbook for success in entrepreneurship. There is no fixed formula. You have to do what you are passionate about.

Tell us about the challenges of separating one’s personal and professional life, especially when one is an entrepreneur?
In the first two years of launching a startup, an entrepreneur has to focus and put all his energy into it.

The overall pandemic period has been a great learning curve for all of us, and if it happens again in the future, we will be prepared for it. We need to create businesses that are pandemic proof in the future. I have been following a proper routine every day during the lockdown. I wake up at 4:30 am daily and the first hour of the day goes into meditation. Then, I pen down my thoughts and plans, and hit the gym for an hour, before going ahead with my day.

I believe that because there is a lockdown, it does not mean you cannot keep a routine.

What are the key similarities in thought process that you share with your wife?
We, Shilpa and I, are strong believers in the importance of spirituality in our lives. Our shared passion is the spiritual journey that we have both embarked upon. Shilpa is a wonderful person, who has a great instinct for business. She won’t endorse a brand that she doesn’t believe in.

Similarly, if I am going to invest in something and that is not going to add value, I would not do it. I strong believe in astrology, and stress the importance of luck in one’s life, apart from hardwork.

How did How Not To Make Money... come about?

In 2013, I wrote the book How Not to Make Money: A Novel. The book is based on a true story. There was a huge tax crime that happened in the UK and Europe, which cost the government close to £50 billion. When I wrote the book it was purely from my point of being a person, who got hit by the fraud. I also want to write another book on the trials and errors in my life.

This article was first published in the print issue of (26 July - 08 August 2020) BW Businessworld. Click Here to Subscribe to BW Businessworld magazine.

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raj kundra Viaan Industries