Though individually many can claim they have seen worse, collectively most of us haven't been through a difficult phase such as this. Business ventures are downing shutters. People are losing jobs, defaulting on loans, and losing their cool. All said and done, adversity is dreaded only till you begin to see it as an opportunity.
I say so because I have faced adversity firsthand. Born in a joint family in post-Independent India, where priority was affording basic necessity, one had to have an individual drive to dream big. Living in a two-bedroom apartment with parents and grandparents, our high-point of the day often was "Chai" with an extra dose of ginger in it.
I was the studious kinds so dedicated most of my time to studies, which meant not much time for sports or other extracurriculars (something I would not recommend missing). But that did help me reach Silicon Valley right before the dot com boom happened.
I established myself as a technocrat of repute in the Atlanta technology circle. But I performed better at marketing and sales. It contributed to the growth of the company I was associated with, and three years later we were able to sell it for hundreds of millions of dollars.
The experience came in handy in setting up my first independent venture iVivity. But there were struggles I had to face to raise funds because the global economy was going through a major recession. However, the decision to launch the venture when the tide was low paid off. A year into existence, iVivity was honored as the 'Top Emerging Private Company' and we managed to raise over $55 million from several investors. The launch time of iVivity had a major role in its success.
When economies are looking south, lending rates generally tend to be lower. Government schemes try to step up the demand for businesses to stay afloat. Good people are looking for work and are readily available to join. There are plenty of smart investors who want to invest during economic downturns. Your overhead costs such as office spaces or office furniture tend to be lower because of a demand-supply mismatch.
The thing with technology is that innovations accord its relevance in good times and bad. People are always looking for technological innovations. There is no recession on that front.
Contrary to propaganda, technology creates more jobs than are lost by the automation of services. Is it not true that the world today has more jobs than it had, say, 200 or 300 years ago or even 20-30 years ago? It is for this reason that investing in technology ventures is always a good business proposition, provided you are abreast of the latest and do not invest in obsolete ideas.
After successfully running iVivity for a few years, I transitioned to another venture, a software company that built information management solutions. I sold this company to a large storage and networking enterprise firm based in California. Since then, I have started a few more technology companies, including MSys.
The growth of MSys has been personally very satisfying. In my current avatar as the Chairman, I was able to create a niche for it and expanded the business through mergers and acquisitions of other businesses such as Clogeny, DigiFutura, and Mobinius Technologies. These acquisitions have helped in strengthening the digital arm.
MSys Training, which I lead as Director, is a part of MSys Group and a globally recognized firm for Enterprise Training Solutions, Professional Certification, and Corporate Programs.
If there is one lesson I want to pass on to the entrepreneurial aspirants of today, it is this: Risks are the genesis of any successful venture. And low tides are easier to rise.
If you have a good idea of technological innovation, do not hold it back for good times to come, push yourself to materialise the idea. There is no better time than doing it now. So, what are you waiting for?