Jaisurya Das (@jaisurya_das) is a media professional, who is considered a marketing guru, especially strategies centred around the concepts of #Neuromarketing (strategies based on market research that study audience behaviour including cognitive and affective response to stimuli). His illustrious media career spanned very successful stints with Bennett Coleman & Company’s #TimesofIndia brand and #TheSakalGroup. In 2003, he founded #XanaduConsulting Group Pvt Ltd (one of the premier media consulting firms in India). In 2016, he co-founded his first media company: #Pune365.
An entrepreneur who is also a mentor to entrepreneurs, an exemplary leader who has established a track record of setting and achieving corporate goals, a media columnist, and an effortlessly inspiring mentor for hundreds of media professionals, Jaisurya Das provides his insights on entrepreneurship in this candid interview.
Why did you start your own business?
To be honest, my provocation was a director of the company I worked for asking me to get his pants altered! Not once, but each time he came to visit the branch. Apparently back in Mumbai it’s tough to get parking near the tailor. What was worse is that he didn’t stop at being taken to a tailor but also ensured I checked measurements and supervised it too!
So, yes this kind of paved the way for some serious thinking considering on the one hand I was presumably a good resource for the company and this was the last thing I imagined as a by product!
That apart, yes the entrepreneurial bug got me too, and I felt it was now or never. I was pretty certain I could manage for at least a year and I remember thinking to myself, that if it still doesn’t take off (after a year), my craft would have found me another job.
What separates an entrepreneur from a business person?
I think it’s about the entrepreneur bringing his USP’s on to the table. He comes with a certain vehemence and passion to succeed with what he terms his great idea. For a business person, it’s pretty much the financial success of his venture and related responsibility that is top of mind. Entrepreneurs bring in their innovative craft and everything revolves around that. Business men bring in acumen!
What differentiates an entrepreneur from an innovative employee?
An innovative employee is pretty much an entrepreneur but without the risk. He thinks different, behaves different, is passionate, wants to succeed and yet holds fear in him. You need to break away from fear and conquer it if you want to graduate to being an entrepreneur – fear holds no place in success anywhere.
What do you feel about the current trend of entrepreneurs cropping up everywhere?
I think some of them are brilliant though the majority seem to be getting carried away by the market and their competitors. Innovation seems to be getting replaced with duplication more than anything else.
I don’t see great differentiators cropping up in most segments. I see very little research on audience behaviour, behavioural economics etc being conducted. This surprises me considering the new breed of audience we are tackling today. I honestly shudder to think of what will happen in a couple of years with accumulated losses in a lot of these ventures.
I would imagine it would be sensible on their part to sit down and rationalise all that they have done so far and follow this through with some fresh cerebral acumen to arrive at a model that makes business sense. A lot of the new businesses don’t!
(The interview was conducted over phone and email)