Winner of the prestigious ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ two years in a row, Ayaan Chawla speaks to Nancy Varghese about his vision, inspiration and what goes into the making of a successful entrepreneurial venture.
1. What does it feel like to receive the title of ‘India’s Youngest CEO With A Heart Of Gold’?
I feel proud & honoured to have received such a title. One of the highlights was also receiving the appreciation letter from the Prime Minister’s office in New Delhi. I always take care of my responsibilities as an entrepreneur and a philanthropist, working for the betterment of humanity and the world. I’ve always been open to advice and assistance in panel discussions, events and lectures at colleges & schools (both private & government).
2. As a 17-year-old, what was it that piqued your interest in entrepreneurial ventures?
My primary reason for becoming an entrepreneur was: freedom of thinking & innovation. For me, technology is a blank canvas and I think the entrepreneur is an artist who has the ability to paint his thoughts & ideas on it to turn them into a reality. So, as an entrepreneur whose interest was piqued through technology, I started my successful ventures one after the other. It started with Asian Fox Developments (Group of Companies – IT, Web & Marketing) and was followed by Global Web Mount (Web – Products & Services), Mind-In Advertising (Marketing – Products & Services), and Group For Buddies (Social Utility)
3. What does a regular day in the life of Ayaan Chawla look like?
Presently in my life, a ‘regular day’ doesn’t exist because of my company’s 24/7 work system. And because of that, I have to travel at a moment’s notice for meetings, conferences, work, events, and social work among several others. I cannot restrict myself to a particular routine, but what I cannot miss is reading The Economic Times every day. Whenever I get time, I enjoy swimming or golf. I also read and research about technology and learn about the industry through books & by surfing online as much as possible. I am still studying & preparing for my 12th exams at NIOS – National Institute of Open Schooling. I was a student at DPS – Delhi Public School, but I had to leave my school to enhance my entrepreneurship skills and give my complete dedication to the industry.
4. Who do you look up to as a role model in your life?
I’ve been always encouraged by all entrepreneurs, leaders &business magnates, as I believe they’re all unique with their individual inspirational qualities. But if I have to mention my role models, then I would name a few like my mom, Kunjam D. Chawla, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mukesh Ambani, Mahatma Gandhi, Barack Obama and many more.
5. Where do you derive ideas for your ventures and how elaborate is the process to see these ideas evolve into a functioning unit in the industry?
My experience began with initial investment of INR 10,000 which was provided by my mother in 2010. I have managed all my capital after that on my own, till date, without any investor. For every entrepreneur it is a long, tough and challenging journey. But the interesting part of entrepreneurship is the compilation of thinking, creating, designing, developing & turning ideas into reality. Ideas take time to initiate but with complete belief, focused aim, ability to manage projects, and having knowledge of the industry, we became one of the best choices in the IT & Marketing Industry.
6. They say an entrepreneur can never rest on his laurels. What have you got planned next?
Yes, it’s true! An entrepreneur can never rest on his laurels. And on that note, I would like to say that at Asian Fox Developments, we are already dealing with customers worldwide. We are planning to extend our business units globally, in the near future. There are several ideas of cloud solutions, web platforms & acquisitions we are working on, to provide the best & core solutions in the industry, all under one roof. This will allow users & consumers to connect with new personas. These products are scheduled to be launched in May or June 2015 and they will be exclusive additions to our portfolio of more than 100 products & services, for global audiences.
7. What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs in the country?
Always be focussed on your aims and ideas. Never consider leaving an entrepreneurship in middle of your idea/venture as it always takes time. Your ideas may be the same as several others, but never ape them. Be original with your own strategies because that marks your own identity and place in the industry.
1. Favorite cuisine
Lebanese & Italian
2. Best vacantion destination
Any where with my mother & sister. More than the destination, it’s the time we spend together that mattes
3. Favourite authors
John Brooks & Thomas Piketty
4. What cheers you up no matter the predicament?
Spending time with family or doing social work being a philanthropist
5. What will be the first senetence in your autobiography?
Ayaan Chawla, a teen who says, believes & proved: “Truly believe in yourself and your dreams. That’s the key to success.”
Volume 4 Issue 11
One of the most inspirational article I’ve read from days. A real self made entrepreneur!