By, Sayak Karmakar
Trinath Lenka, Director and Co-Founder of Wallet4Wealth
The economy of a country depends on prudent investments made by the people. Trinath Lenka(A successful entrepreneur spawns entrepreneurs) has been advising people for the past two decades to park their earnings in the best possible financial instruments for a secure present and a tomorrow bereft of worries.
In this tete-a-tete with The Interview Times, Lenka(A successful entrepreneur spawns entrepreneurs) waxes eloquent on failures of young entrepreneurs, the importance of investment and financial security, and his journey from a callow student to an adroit finance professional finally morphing into a successful self-made entrepreneur.
Q- When did you first discover the passion for finance & investments?
I had an interest in the field of finance since childhood. At a very early age, I have started operating in the work field to run my livelihood. I lost my parents while I was still studying.
Moreover, I(A successful entrepreneur spawns entrepreneurs) was not from a wealthy family background. Therefore, I had to hunt for some job or the other at a very early age to sustain my livelihood as well as support my education.
Q- Tell us something about your educational and professional experience?
As said earlier, I started earning at a very early age. To be precise from my graduation days, I(A successful entrepreneur spawns entrepreneurs) used to earn and study together. With my petty salary, I passed my graduation and then did my MBA as well.
But what remained constant during all those times was my knack in the field of investment and finance.
After completing my MBA, in 2000, I first ventured into the corporate field. I joined Carle as a sales and research manager. The interesting fact is that, in Carle, every year, I got a promotion.
This is mainly because of my determination to be the best all the time. I always have the philosophy to give my best in whatever work I take up. Then in 2004, I joined Edelweiss as a Branch Manager.
So, you can imagine- in just three years and a half, I got elevated to the designation of the branch manager.
I worked at Edelweiss for nearly 13 years. These 13 years changed my whole professional scenario. I got lots of promotions in Edelweiss as well.
I started with the branch manager, and at the time I decided to quit, I was holding the post of the Deputy Vice President.
Q- When did you decide to start something on your own?
It was towards the beginning of 2016 when I felt it was the right time for me to start something on my own. It took me a bit of time to hand over my position to another person.
After all, I worked in the company for 13 years. So, I(A successful entrepreneur spawns entrepreneurs) have an immense responsibility on my shoulders to give my post to the best person so that my company and its clients won’t suffer a bit.
Q- You worked with a reputed company. What goaded to quit such a lucrative job and start your own venture?
The most significant factor for me venturing into the field of entrepreneurship was my passion for finance. In all my working years, I had taken zero interest in any other field.
My only concentration and efforts were to enhance my knowledge of finance and investment every day. Moreover, I wanted to do something for the citizens of my state.
I(A successful entrepreneur spawns entrepreneurs) wanted to provide services to the people of my state. Unfortunately, the people of Odisha have a very negligible idea about the right way to invest and manage their finances.
So, through my set-up, I wanted to educate people of the state about the importance of financial management in their life.
“Entrepreneurs can never be born; they need to be nurtured by themselves.”
Q- What was the strength of employees of Wallet4Wealth when you started your venture?
Wallet4Wealth started with three employees.
Q- What is the current employee strength?
Answer- Currently, we have around 25 employees and four board of directors (including me), within three years.
Q- What was the initial investment while starting your venture? Currently, what is your turnover?
There was an investment of about Rs 15 to 20 lakhs for starting Wallet4Wealth. Currently, we are proud to carry an asset of Rs 150 crore of our customers.
Q- Did you require any financial backup?
Never! I have always been a self-sustained man from childhood. I use to earn a handsome salary from my previous organizations. So, I had a lot of savings to invest in my firm.
Q- Was creating your own company’s identity a bit difficult in initial years?
Not at all! The most significant advantage of being in the same industry for nearly one and a half-decade is that it creates your brand name. Trinath Lenka was already a brand name when I decided to start Wallet4Wealth. So, this helped me a lot to get going for my company.
“My Passion for life has been Financial Planning.”
Q- What is your word of counsel for a young entrepreneur?
If you start directly, there are 99 percent chances of failure. A young individual needs to understand the dynamics of an organization. How does the organization work?
How does the HR function? How does a boss behave with his/her employees? Then only the individual can learn best and be an entrepreneur.
If my son or daughter wants to be part of my company, he or she first needs to work in another company to get to know the functional and profit aspects of an organization.
Q- What steps do you take to retain the trust and passion of employees for you and your organization?
Excellent question! Employees are the crust of a company. Without them, the company is nothing but a big zero. I always make my employees feel that they are not workers but stakeholders of the organization.
I make them feel that they work for their own company. They also get enough of incentives along with their salary. Moreover, there are enough educational and recreational activities for our employees to learn and educate.
Q- How do you manage your professional and personal life?
I always maintain a schedule in my diary. Neither I am late for my work, nor I like to get late for others. By this, I manage a bit of time for my family members as well.
Q- Any hobbies to ease work stress?
I have a group of friends with whom I chat every day during the early hours when I go for a morning walk. Moreover, I have to travel a lot for work. Those travels also serve as enjoyment and stress buster for me.
Q- Any advice to the young entrepreneur?
Always start from a low amount so that the risk factor is low. My biggest advice to the youths who want to venture into their own business is never to mix your personal and professional expenditure.
Take a portion of the profit margin as your salary and keep the rest part for your company’s growth. Also, share your experience with other entrepreneurs as well. The mingling of young, dynamic minds will result in the formation of creative ideas, which will benefit all.