Annurag is an entrepreneur currently serving as chairman of exchange4media and Business World. He was a management student at MDI Gurgaon, where he received the prestigious “Most Distinguished Alumni of the Decade Award”.
Annurag is known for his creative as well as pragmatic approach and sheer hard work. He recently acquired India’s oldest and premier business magazine Businessworld. Annurag believes that one can never ignore their competitors even for a minute and never stop examining the market. He considers that humility teaches many things to people if they have the right attitude. In his upcoming book “8 Days a week”, he talks about his journey as an entrepreneur.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
I have created a media company from scratch with the help of friends and colleagues. I acquired a media company Businessworld, and in some way transformed it. Primarily, what we have created is a community around exchange4media.com, and Businessworld.in.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Raising capital was challenging when I started exchange4media sixteen years ago. Another big challenge was to scale up my business. But I would say the toughest part is to institutionalise a business.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
I used to work in a company called AMF Bowling. One day, my boss fired me and I had no choice but to become an entrepreneur. One of my friends started a company and he wanted me to become a partner in his company. However, my family didn’t allow me and that company became highly successful. The next opportunity came in form of exchage4media but this time, I went for it.
What is your life mantra?
Make your profession your hobby so that you don’t have to work. While doing anything, you just have to ask yourself two questions:
- Are you learning something new?
- Are you having fun?
I have shared more about my life as an entrepreneur in my upcoming book “8 Days a Week”.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
A friend of mine pumped 70 lacs in exchange4media and after that we never faced shortage of funds. In Businessworld, Mr Rana Kapoor, of Yes Bank invested around $6 million.
How did you overcome those challenges?
I believe every challenge is an opportunity and by facing each challenge, you become stronger. However, challenges never stop knocking at your doorstep and I am still facing challenges. Among several, few important are as follows:
- How do you build young future proof media company?
- How do you lead digital first media company and make sure every part of the business works together?
- How do you make sure that you have enough cash to reinvest in the business?
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
I believe challenges keep you mentally energised and my job involves meeting lot of people. I think that keeps me excited about what I do.
Tell us about your company’s attrition control practices.
Earlier, I use to get upset whenever a person left the company. Now, I believe whatever happens, happens for good. In some way brain drain is good, it gives an opportunity for the new and young to come and old to change. It brings new thinking, ideas, and new concepts.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
- The harder you work the luckier you get.
- Being open to new ideas and concepts.
- If you help other people achieve their dreams, God will help you achieve yours.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
The most important thing is quality of sleep. It makes me most productive and creative.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I am unable to keep up with the overwhelming pace of requests that come to me. I would like to say NO more often.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Being Cocky, I know it all attitude.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
What are your plans for next 3 years?
To build Businessworld as a leading brand.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Israel, Istanbul and a town in Sweden called Gothenburg.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would start as an entrepreneur even earlier.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Luck is when an opportunity meets preparation.”