Baba Mitra, an energetic entrepreneur with a flamboyant personality started Influidity Solution in 2017 with the vision of creating an efficient, reliable and client-centric consulting brand in India, whilst creating sustainable top-line impact for SME’s especially in Tier II and Tier III cities of Odisha. Influidity Solution with a 20 member team is growing at a CAGR of 100% year on year and is catering to a large section of clients in Odisha and has made quite a name for itself in the last few years.
Baba left a highly successful corporate career in 2017 to pursue his dream of starting his own business. Prior to entrepreneurship, Baba has worked in diverse sectors like Banking, Consulting and FMCG with experience of more than 8 years in Business Development, Strategic Ideation and Management Consulting. He has been instrumental in creating ground-breaking strategies and growth plans for his previous organisations and has worked in cross-geographical capacities.
We had a detailed conversation with Baba Mitra, here are the excerpts,
Q1- What motivates you ?
Motivation for me is an inner drive to be better than what I was yesterday. To constantly evolve, adapt and better yourself in situations is what motivates me. Small progressions of growth each day leads to a complete manifestation of you. A better you, a stronger you,
Let me give you an example, although I passed out from an English medium school, talking in English fluently was quite a challenge for me till I was in my 12th Standard. I was an object of ridicule by my classmates. I decided I would be better with each passing day. In the next three years, read newspapers everyday in front of the mirror, read more than 500 books and made a constant effort to talk in English with my friends and family no matter how bad I sound. I improved each day and at the end of three years, I had developed quite a flair for the language
Another instance I remember is during my school days I was always the shortest kid. When I was in my 10th , my height was 5’1 Feet. I was teased as a short boy. I decided to change it. Took part in sports. Played basketball, football, hanged from tree branches and whatever my innocent younger self heard from peers can increase height. By the time I passed 12th my height was 5’10” Feet. I realized that day that nothing is impossible and being better is the only option.
Q2- Can you name a few people to whom you admire and why?
I really admire people like the Late Mr Dhirubhai Ambani who revolutionized telecom sector in India and I admire him for his vision and tenacity. He started small without even a basic education and today Reliance is one of the most respected brands in the world. It’s his vision towards the future that made it possible.
Closer to home, I really admire my Late Grandfather, Mr Biren Mitra who was the ex-chief minister of Odisha. From what I have heard from my father and in political circles, he was a man who was gutsy and a well-rounded person. I admire him from his stories I have heard about his penchant for striving for justice and the sheer selfness with which he served for the people of Odisha.
Q3- As a start-up founder, what major difficulties did you faced during the initial days?
I left a very lucrative and comfortable corporate career to start my entrepreneurship journey. The pinch in the pay gap was very disheartening. At one time you are earning more than lakh a month and living a lavish life and suddenly when you start your business, you cannot spend, you cannot go out, you cannot hang out with friends because every saving, every cent earned was driven towards the business and I was accountable of what I was spending. Letting go of a certain lifestyle was a huge challenge. I became a recluse. I didn’t travel because I had no money. I couldn’t meet my friends because I cannot contribute for my share while eating out and there were times when I didn’t attend marriages of my friends because I didn’t have money to give them even a small gift.
Moreover hailing from a Bengali family, being in a job is given the highest amount of respect and business is really not considered as a go to career option. Right from my parents to my friends, no one believed in my venture initially. Everyone thought that I was crazy to let go of a good job and start a business. The mental agony when your family and friends do not believe in your dreams and vision is heartbreaking. My relatives said I don’t have the vision for it and my friends said I should visit the psychiatrist for starting a business leaving a comfortable and plush job. Only one thought though kept me going “People crazy enough to think they can change the world are often the ones who do”
Q4- What is your “Success Mantra”?
I remember when I started I was getting affected by what others said about me and it was affecting my work. My wife (then girlfriend) told me a simple sentence but it changed my attitude towards the way I looked at things. She said a simple sentence “Cut out the noise”. That helped me get my perspective back and for me that has become my success mantra.
Q5- What advise would you like to give to the youngsters who are passionate to become entrepreneurs?
The first thing I would like to tell them is that they should be ready to face disappointments everyday. The media has painted a very nice picture about startup founders who have succeeded however when you see success you fail to see the years of disappointments the founder has overcome all the while maintaining his tenacity and positivity. Creating a startup is not for the faint-hearted. You need nerves of steel to face the disappointments and backlash everyday. There would be more bad days than good days in the beginning but as my mom always said to me “Tough times do not last, tough people do”
Q6- What are your hobbies?
After my business, I rarely find time to indulge in my hobbies but I certainly like to read a book and am a huge fitness nut.
Q7- What are your future plans ?
A recent survey stated that 95% of businesses shut down in the first five years of operation. The main reason of shut down is primarily due to lack of proper models or poor execution of ideas. The idea may be great to begin with but people surely don’t know how to bring a business to a growth traction and profitability.
Keeping this in mind, I want to create 50 business consulting branches in the next 5 years in Tier – II and Tier – III cities of India where small business owners do not know how to run their business. I want to reverse the trend of businesses failing and want to create an ecosystem in where businesses will flourish. I want o hand-hold this businesses till they achieve growth and can stand on their own feet.
Q8- Any message you want to share with our readers?
I want to let you guys know that you can be anything you want to be in the world. You just have to believe in yourself to the point of madness and willing to put in the hard-work required for it. Go for it. The world is waiting for you!