Mihir Kapadia, CEO of Sun Global Investments looks at the seven things he has learned whilst running his business, with the benefit of hindsight.
Without ambition, enterprise is nothing – in order to get what you want, you need to have a drive to succeed which surpasses that of others who want the same things.
I noticed natural entrepreneurial traits in myself at a young age, eventually going on to found two companies and steering them through the financial crisis of 2008. It is thanks to the hunger I possessed that this was all possible.
Prepare for the worst
If the 2008 financial crisis taught me anything, it was that strategy becomes useless at a certain point. Despite this, companies – particularly in financial service – must have systems in place to avert or even prevent a crisis.
My advice to financial companies would be to spend some time analysing the most common crises that affect similar businesses, and prepare short plans for how they can be tackled. This will come in handy when, or if, you ever face corporate obstacles, acting as a guide to speed up the crisis communications process.
Believe in yourself
Surprisingly, one of the core reasons Sun Global Investments survived a financial crisis in the very year of its birth was that we stuck to what we knew best – emerging markets.
Spreading resources thinly is not beneficial to any business – in a crisis it is crucial that an organisation does not panic and try to expand their outreach via new tactics.
Ideas are the fuel that powers every business, keeping it from stagnating and eventually running its course. Subsequently, the secret to competing with peers is taking part in ideas generation – this can be simply using research, brainstorms and weekly meetings to keep abreast of new developments.
Employees are a business’ most valuable asset, and it is important that CEOs capitalise on this.
Travel the world
At the age of 18 I left India to study in New York. It was there, after four years of University, that I decided to set up my first business. Having studied international finance and with a keen interest in Central America and Africa, travelling offered the perfect opening enhance my knowledge in the markets. I have also worked in Turkey, Romania and other parts of Eastern Europe.
Travelling, especially whilst young, not only widens your outlook of the world, but it gives you the chance to evaluate your goals and ambitions.
Give back to society
As a financial services organisation, I feel it is our duty to be charitable and to help those who need it the most. Sun Global Investments supports a variety of organisations and NGOs that provide access to quality education for underprivileged children, such as The Akshaya Patra Foundation – an Indian NGO providing a mid-day meal to 1.4 million Indian school children every day. Having originated from India, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to fostering the minds of young people there, so that they can eventually similar opportunities to what I had.
Make a point of showing your face at industry events that pile up throughout the year – otherwise, you’ll never know how valuable it could prove.