Long time since I interviewed in the entrepreneur spotlight series. Rajesh aka @r113 from Twitter, is a friend of mine. I know how he shifted from his telecom work to start a frozen foods business. Despite starting out in a whole new industry sector he has done very well. I asked him a few questions and here is what he said,

Business: Frozen Foods Supplier, Mumbai

What led you to prefer the idea of starting your own venture as opposed to a job?
The Challenges, the ownership(of the challenges etc) and more importantly enjoying the fruits of success…  While I was studying for my CAT, I heard one of the trainers say that while getting a nice paying job would be nice, the real challenge lay in entrepreneurship…. ofcourse it helped that I belonged to a family of entrepreneurs.

After few years you have changed your field of work. Any particular challenges or experiences you would like to share especially to people considering the same?
Product Life cycles have become shorter than ever before. I started working in the telecom space in 2000 while it was still at a nascent stage. By the time I was done with telecom in 2010, it had gone through a lot of ups and downs and is looking for a new lease of life.
The greatest challenge here was to let go. I was seeing the writing on the wall for about 2 years and was looking for a change but nothing was happening. Finally I decided that I would risk sitting at home, doing nothing, perhaps pursue my passion with Accounting ( I signed for my CA studies just about the same time) but would not be in telecom anymore. That’s when opportunity to work in the frozen food business came my way. But I had to let go of one to be able to see the other.

What would you like to say to anyone who is considering taking the plunge into starting up?
Behave like a frugal person. Try to save as much money as you can in the beginning till you are confident about your venture. Starting up is hard work and demands your full time and energy. But at the end of the tunnel is a sweet bright ray of light waiting for you!

How important is it and how can a startup create a distinct brand?
Find out at first whats a distinguishing factor in your chosen industry. Focus on one aspect. That in turn will help you create a brand along with your own niche! The importance of the brand will of course come in the visibility it provides along highlighting the distinguishing factor that you have chosen to focus on.

Success secrets?
No secrets, just plain old hard work, passion, focus.

So if you are planning to shift to a new work sector, starting up or want to know more about frozen foods industry you can ask questions here in comments or just ping @r113 on Twitter.