Few words of advice from Nikhil Chainani for being a “Successful Entrepreneur”
Interviewee: Nikhil Chainani, CEO, Perpectico
1.How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Perpectico was born out of my placement experience. It is a unique concept where people from the industry address students on 2 key aspects –
(1) What a particular career path entails and
(2) How to clear the interviews of your preferred companies. It has been created after 100s of hours of discussions with students who have made it into the top companies in India and abroad. It is the missing ingredient in placement preparation of almost every student in India.
Perspectico has modules for Finance and Consulting (we are developing modules in Marketing and Technology which will be available soon). We offer introductory and paid sessions which depend on the depth of subject matter covered.
It helps us to see where we fit into the career path from a broader point of view. This is aided by giving honest, raw and first-hand insights by people who are into the sector or have joined the sector recently so that their opinion can be of value to our clients.
The very essence of Perspectico lies in realizing the value of honest perspective, which was the major challenge we faced. Creating awareness about the careers and making students trust us with their problems was initially very hard for us. But we started to tie up with placement cells of colleges (KMC, SSCBS, LSR, Jamia) and started to give free mock sessions. It was an instant hit and now we have to build a community of 50+ ambassadors in colleges and we organize free sessions time and again for them. The most recent one being on CV, SOP, Resume and Cover letter structuring.
2. What is unique about your business?
Unbiased Source of information coupled with the most honest perspective from a relevant network of mentors and experts is what sets us apart
About Team Perspectico
Nikhil Chainani, CEO
Nikhil is the founder of Perspectico. Prior to founding Perspectico, Nikhil was a part of the Investment Banking team at Nomura in Mumbai. He is a graduate of Delhi University.
He has worked in the TMT (Mergers and Acquisitions) team of Nomura and has worked with EMEA regions. He brings significant experience in the education sector, which was one of the sectors focuses on his team. He has previously led a student organization called Contangrow, which was a student platform for conducting career related talks by the industry experts.
He also has been part of organisations such as Duff & Phelps, where he worked on the valuation of early-stage companies. His work has been published in several platforms including Your Story. He has also conducted live projects of real estate advisors such as CBRE.
He holds a BMS (Finance) degree from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business studies. He is also an AFP (Associate financial Planner) certified by FPSB, USA.
Dhruva Acharya, Mentor, and Shareholder
Dhruva has 8 years of experience in Investment Funds, Investment Banking, Equity Research, Private Equity and Venture Capital. His experience covers a diverse range of asset classes including trade finance, public equities, private and proprietary investments and early-stage funding. He has structured and set up investment funds and advisory companies in UAE, Canada, India, and Cayman Islands. Dhruva has worked on several large and successful IPOs and FPOs and has structured private investment deals in technology, fashion infrastructure, and real estate.
Besides finance, he is Director of companies in fashion, education, and technology.
Dhruva has an engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and has done his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
Ishita Verma, Mentor, and Shareholder
Ishita is the founding partner at Nova Growth Partners (novagrowthpartners.com) and an investment banker with expertise across both public and private equity markets. Prior to founding Nova, she headed the financial services sector
practice at Unitus Capital. Unitus Capital is a boutique investment banking firm consistently ranked as #1 investment bank in India by VCCircle and Venture Intelligence in terms of deal volume.
Prior to UC, she was with Kotak’s Institutional Equities arm in Mumbai, advising institutional investors (PIPE funds, mutual funds, hedge funds and prop desks) in India and Asia on implementing their India market investments. She worked on multiple IPOs and QIPs in this role.
She holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and a BA (Honors) in Economics from the Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.
Ojas Vipat, Mentor, and Shareholder
Ojas is a strategy, analytics, and product management professional with expertise in digital consumer products. He has worked extensively in product development, strategy, design, monetization, and analytics.
Prior to founding Nova Growth Partners, he was the Senior Product Manager at Dailyhunt, India’s largest news application. In this role, he launched three strategic product initiatives within 2 years – Buzz (videos), E-books and Exam Prep.
Prior to Dailyhunt, he handled product management and analytics for Kiwi Inc., a San Francisco based mobile gaming startup. He helped launch 3-4 games at Kiwi and worked on those from conception phase to live game operations leading
a team of developers, analysts, QA, designers and community managers.
He started his career as a management consultant with Deloitte and AT Kearney where he advised large global clients on process improvement, operational efficiency, technology deployment and cost reduction.
He holds a B. Tech in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
Since I have valued their opinion and their perspective, it was very easy to align them with my idea. They understood the gap and agreed to help me with it. the total team size is 10 people: 4 co-founders, and rest employees.
3. What are the difficulties faced by you for the execution of the idea? About the journey?
Being a part of one of the most competitive colleges in Delhi University. Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, I ended up working for the most prestigious company on campus: Nomura. The story of my startup revolves around the struggles I had to face and the challenges that came on the way.
I have studied Bachelors of Management Studies, with specialization in Finance, from SSCBS, DU. in my second year of college I faced a problem, which almost all management students face if I should go for a CAT or a Gmat. I tried talking to a lot of people, but I always got a biased advice. The coaching centers made me believe that not going for my MBA wasn’t even an option. Faced with a problem, I decided to form an organization that helped Students to interact with people from the relevant filed to give them “UNBIASED PERSPECTIVE”. I gathered a group of Corporate, who were willing to test it with me. And so I held my first session under the name of CONTANGROW and called people from the Harvard Business School. Indian School of Business- H and IIM-B to discuss MBA. It turned out to be a huge hit. On the cold winter morning of 21st December 2014, 70 students turned up, with almost no marketing, to attend such a refreshing interaction with relevant people.
I always believed that we shouldn’t take any advise, we should take advice from people who have had the same life that we want or desire to have. there is no point to ask about how to become a good investment banker from someone who has been in the sector for 20-30 years. A right guide can be someone who is new and fresh and has faced the challenges that you might face.
Conatngrow, my first venture, grew from a team of 4 to a team of 50 with c.3000 likes and 60,000 reaches per post on Facebook, in the span of 8 months. We then expanded by launching into schools and holding interviews of our own. At its peak, Contangrow was associated with almost 20 corporate with banking, consulting, marketing and economics background. They belonged to companies like Kotak, The Worldbank Group, etc.
During that time, a very attractive profile of an Investment Banking Analyst came to my campus from Nomura. I wanted to crack the interview and fortunately was guided by industry experts. I got my dream job at the age of 21 and it seemed like I had gotten what I wanted.
Despite having a lifestyle, pay and a job which a 21-year-old can only imagine. I left it after one year. I did very well in my job and was working with TMT sector in EMEA region.
But I realized that there is a very wide gap in the learning and the mindset of students and the companies that come on campus. And hence after quitting my job, I started PERSPECTICO
4. Did you get any funding for your start-up?
We are funded by SSCBS innovation and incubation cell (SIIF) which is an outcome of Incubation Policy from Govt. of NCT, Delhi. Under this policy, initially, 6 institutes from Delhi were selected to develop incubation centre within the institute, with an objective to provide a progressive and comprehensive platform to the entrepreneurs. SIIF has been formed as an independent corporate entity to enable sufficient flexibility and quicker response time, and to bring in best of the professional practices for benefit of upcoming entrepreneurs. Formed as a Section 8 company under the Indian Companies Act 2013, it is completely owned by SSCBS
5. What made you choose this type of business?
I am born to two teachers and come from a family of academicians. Education as a sector attracts me and I would like to bring about a change in the way people view careers.
6. How do you advertise your start-up?
We got a lot of media coverage since this is a unique idea.
7. What’re your company’s goals?
Perspectico is India’s first platform to provide a wholesome experience of gaining relevant insights into hard to get into careers like finance and consultancy – by leveraging first-hand experiences of industry experts who have been career aspirants like many students not so long ago.
This is done through:
i) Podcasts of experts in relevant lines of business on their experience in interviews; tackling flaming questions like, “What did the interviewer ask? What was he expecting from me? How does a stress interview work?”; basically, all questions a student would like to ask a peer who just came out of an interview panel, in a much more organised and detailed fashion.
(ii) in person sessions, offering a spectrum of information on wide-ranging topics in interview training through carefully designed modules targeting a certain type of audience, their needs, strengths, and weaknesses.
(iii) blog posts and content for aspirants.
8. Tell us about the future strategy of the start-up.
We plan to put all this online and make it scale within the next 6 months.
9. Suggestions for the aspiring entrepreneurs and viewers of Woofihub.
Don’t quit. Your success will depend on it.