Are You an Entrepreneur or a Wantrepreneur? The TradeBriefs Story - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Are You an Entrepreneur or a Wantrepreneur? The TradeBriefs Story

Aug 17, 2017

Are You an Entrepreneur or a Wantrepreneur? The TradeBriefs Story 

I am trying to research everything I can about investing - and I am drowning in rotten information!

In my line of work, I not only need deep knowledge about investing in stocks, I also need to know what other people are writing about it.

Obviously, then, I am reading a whole lot of terrible ideas.

How on earth do I sift through all this noise to get at what's good and valuable?

In fact, how does any professional or business leader stay updated on their sector without wasting a lot of time or losing their mind?

With great relief, I found my answer in TradeBriefs.

Sreevijay Kumar, Managing Director and Founder of TradeBriefs, took his passion for collecting information and sharing knowledge to a whole new level.

Every day, TradeBriefs shares the information they collect with more than 1.3 million subscribers.

If you are a professional or top management and you need to stay on top of your industry - whatever your industry is - you no longer have to spend your weekends poring over newspapers and journals and websites just trying to keep up.

TradeBriefs' newsletters will keep you informed. They present valuable ideas, with the core gist summarised, analysed, and presented in a way that saves you a bucket of time and energy.

Impressed with this simple yet brilliant business idea, I asked Sreevijay how he became so successful. I find the idea of starting a business pretty scary myself, so I asked him... 'Did you do this all by yourself?'

His answer surprised me and gave me hope. And it will do the same for you. Here is Sreevijay's story in his own words...

What inspired you to start TradeBriefs?

Sharing knowledge has always been a passion for me. I like to try and make sense of the world and share it in a way that keeps people informed and knowledgeable. When we had started a retail newsletter as a side project for a previous retail training business, it started becoming popular. Hence the inspiration to do this for all business content, targeting professionals.

What content does TradeBriefs disseminate - how did you choose this subject?

TradeBriefs focuses on the needs of the professional and top management. The subject areas are business verticals like Retail, Telecom, IT, Finance, etc. Overall, we cover 14 industry verticals, as well as management theory and futurism (leading edge tech, AI, etc.)

We use a combination of data and expert editorial insight to ensure we stay interesting to our subscribers. The editors understand what's on the top of the mind of today's CEOs in various sectors. The open and click data tells us what the readers prefer to read. We use a combination of both to keep improving our content offering.

How does a platform like TradeBriefs help entrepreneurs and businessmen?

It is directly relevant to their job and career. For example, someone in the telecom industry needs to know what the competition and government are up to, as well as latest trends from around the world in their industry, in management theory and technology.

Entrepreneurs can stay updated on the latest in their industry, as well as get a bird's eye view of the business scenario in India. They can also get exposed to the latest management practices and trends from around the world - all this in one email every day.

What has the response to TradeBriefs been so far, locally and internationally?

TradeBriefs has 1.3 million daily subscribers. Most of them are from India. 20% are top management (Director, CXO), 25% are owners of small businesses. Our target audience is the HNI audience as well as the top management at companies.

What is TradeBriefs' business model?

The business model is based on niche advertising. Our advertising clients include global names such as IBM, BMW, Standard Chartered, Samsung. We work with brands that are trying to reach top management or HNIs.

So the reader doesn't have to pay to get your emails? That's brilliant. How did you get funding to start, though?

We raised a seed round from 500 Startups, a VC firm in Silicon Valley. Our traction spoke for itself. We also participated in their accelerator program in Mountain View, California, which was immensely beneficial in helping apply global best practices at TradeBriefs.

What have you learned from starting and growing this venture?

Starting up and sustaining oneself is tough. One can have a 'startup' mindset, or a 'dhandha' mindset, having both is extremely difficult. Real innovation needs deep pockets. But one can micro-innovate and keep doing that and build a moat that hopefully helps you sustain and grow your business.

That sounds like great advice for entrepreneurs! What are some trends you see in entrepreneurship in India and the world?

I think the startup hype cycle has died down now, so those remaining should be real entrepreneurs and not wantrepreneurs. Funding is great, but it is important to build a profitability DNA in every company.

Today's entrepreneurs solving Indian problems can leave a mark on society and inspire the next generation to start companies. Entrepreneurs need to be resilient, keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities and build a team that can grow with them.

What is the one thing holding back entrepreneurs in India?

The environment for entrepreneurship in India can be challenging. Small and medium businesses suffer from large customers not paying on time. Understanding government regulations is a challenge for those new to the sector. If an entrepreneur can learn and overcome these certain set of challenges, growth prospects remain tremendous.

I've heard many people complain about a lack of support for entrepreneurs in India? How did you manage completely on your own?

This is where I feel that the ASCENT program provides a strong support network through fellowship and innovation development playing a pivotal role in filling the huge gap. The foundation provides the right environment for entrepreneurs to express themselves and build on ideas.

[ASCENT Foundation is a non-profit support group for entrepreneurs and businessman started by Harsh Mariwala of Marico.]

Do you feel ASCENT helps entrepreneurs achieve scalable and sustainable growth?

The ASCENT group that a member is a part of acts as a pseudo-board. Members can discuss hiring, funding, basically any issue that matters to move the needle. The stepping back and discussing with peers helps in ensuring one is not stuck in a rut. Since members are assigned into groups which ensures there is no direct competitor threat, there is no hesitancy in the exchange of ideas. The platform also helps in engaging entrepreneurs which are at the same stage of growth with respect to scaling.

The platform plays an incredible role for members to get a better understanding into the mindset and concerns of investors which keep changing from time to time.

That is a great tip. Sounds like all entrepreneurs interested in growing should consider reaching out to the ASCENT Foundation. They have TRUST groups in several cities, and membership is completely free if you meet their criteria, funded by Harsh Mariwala since it's his passion project.

Any other advice for our readers who want to take the giant leap into entrepreneurship?

Think before you leap. Do it only if you are passionate about the space in which you are starting the business. That will give you the strength to overcome the day-to-day challenges. Top line is vanity, bottomline is sanity, but only cash flow is reality!


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3 Responses to "Are You an Entrepreneur or a Wantrepreneur? The TradeBriefs Story"

Anil Arora

18 Aug, 2017

Dear Ms. Anisa Virji, Got your mailer after a long time. I deal in Mutual Funds and during my experience, I have observed that usually we are told in life that to make money we have to work very hard. But in Equity MF and even in Equity, I have seen my ignorant investors who kept their investment like long term FDs made a lot of money. One made 98 lac with one time investment of 1lac and one 3.75 Cr with 5 lac. Whereas active traders,which I don't recommend, (one Investor) with around 2cr active investment in trading from 9am to 3 pm every day, with the CAGR of 9-10% (Isolated examples as compared with you, as you have much more exposure to no. of investors). I concluded you have to work really hard to lose money in stocks and equity funds. Let your investment work hard, not you by disturbing it's work. It will create money. You cannot make curd by shaking milkpot every half an hour.

Like (4)


18 Aug, 2017

Wonderful great communication & information  for true dedicated entrepreneurs providing a direction towards success in the present complicated business environment. Regards & Thanks.

Like (6)


18 Aug, 2017

Wonderful great communication & information  for true dedicated entrepreneurs providing a direction towards success in the present complicated business environment. Regards & Thanks.

Like (1)

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