Meet the SHEROES - Prerna Bhutani
An IIML alumnus, Prerna Bhutani is the Chief Marketing Officer of Redquanta. Before she joined Requanta, Prerna founded One Call , a home appliance management services company, that helps people buy new appliances, get good deals, to the maintenance of products and even sell-off old products. Red Quanta is a retail intelligence & analytics industry gives retailers the advantage to see what their consumers are seeing and analytics to take corrective actions. Here is our conversation with Prerna Bhutani-
Tell us about yourself and your journey.
During my MBA days, I participated in a few B-plan competitions (along with Pravin, who is also my husband now), and got excited about bringing an idea to life from scratch. We won a couple of those competitions, and that got us seriously thinking about entrepreneurship. After graduating in 2008, both of us wanted to launch our own venture which we had worked on quite in detail, but did not have enough guts to let go of a lucrative salary. So we both joined our respective jobs. After 1.5 years into my corporate job, the urge to start something of my own had become irresistible and at the same time I was getting very comfortable in my cushy job. I realized that it was the right time to take the plunge. So I quit my job and joined hands with a family friend to launch One Call in 2010, a venture which I built ground-up and managed for almost two years. My husband kept his job to ensure there was money coming into the house :)
How did Redquanta happen?
One Call was a great idea, but perhaps a little ahead of its time, as far as India is concerned - we had to pull the plug knowing well that this idea can again be brought to life a few years from now. However, running my own venture had given me a sense of purpose & tremendous confidence, so I wanted to continue doing that. So when I moved out of One Call, I was looking for an exciting idea to work on which was still niche, but had a tremendous growth potential. That is when I met Anand Lunia from India Quotient (a seed stage fund), who introduced me to Red Quanta, a portfolio company of theirs. Red Quanta was very small at that time, and was looking for a co-founder. In Red Quanta, I found exactly what I was looking for, and decided to join immediately.
What are the challenges you face everyday?
Oh there are numerous challenges! :) The biggest one being extracting the same quality of work from others that you yourself put in. That means you need to have people in your team who are as motivated as you are - and given that we are a start-up, it is much tougher since everything is not as structured as in a large company, and we cannot offer great salaries. Striking that balance between getting good work done, and ensuring that people enjoy it too is what we deal with day in and day out. Ultimately how the company's culture shapes up, depends entirely on us and I take that very seriously. Whatever the situation may be, I try to ensure that I handle people well. I'm lucky to have a great team at Red Quanta, so that helps :)
Message to the SHEROES out there.
Don't wait to pursue what you want to do. At 40, you don't want to look over your shoulder and think, "could I have been...?'" It's feels awesome to experiment, irrespective of the end-result and there is no better time to do it than now.