About this sample
About this sample
Words: 2549 |
13 min read
Published: Oct 11, 2018
Words: 2549|Pages: 6|13 min read
Entrepreneurs are innovators, willing to take risks and generate new ideas to create unique and potentially profitable solutions to modern-day problems. Entrepreneurship is not so much a skill as a habitual state of mind. When entrepreneurship describes activities within a firm or large organization, it is referred to as intrapreneurship and may include corporate venturing, when large entities spin-off organizations. Entrepreneurship employs what Schumpeter called the gale of creative destruction to replace wholly or partly inferior innovations across markets and industries. This destruction simultaneously creates new products and new business models.
Entrepreneurship ranges in scale from solo projects (even involving the part-time entrepreneur) to major undertakings that create many job opportunities. The term is originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to the type of person who is willing to take upon himself a new venture or enterprise and accepts full responsibility for the outcome. Jean-Batiste Say, a French economist, is believed to have coined the word "entrepreneur" first in about 1800. He said an entrepreneur is "one who undertakes an enterprise, especially a contractor, acting as intermediatory between capital and labor.
Born on November 4, 1986, in Bangalore is an Indian entrepreneur. He is the founder, CEO, and Chairman of Globals Inc., an IT multinational company. He took charge as CEO at the age of 17, three years after founding the company, and at the time, was named world's youngest CEO. Eighteen years ago when Suhas Gopinath was 14-year-old he started Globals Inc from a cyber cafe in Bengaluru. At that time Suhas didn't know that he had become the youngest CEO in the world.
Today, Globals is a multi-million dollar company with offices in the United States, India, Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, Singapore and the Middle East and has 100 employees in India and 56 abroad
His childhood & his first business deal
Mr. Suhas Gopinath, born on 4th November 1986, a resident of Bangalore hails from a middle-class family, where his father was a defense scientist. He did his schooling in the Air Force school at Bengaluru.
As a child, he was more interested in animals and veterinary science. But when he saw his friends who had home computers talk about it, he had the urge to learn and talk in their wavelength though didn't have a computer at home as his parents couldn't afford him. So, Suhas located an Internet cafe near his house to know about computers explore the internet. With his modest monthly pocket money of Rupees 15, he couldn't afford to surf the net every day. He noticed that the shop was closed in the afternoon from 1 PM to 4 PM. So, he offered to open the net café for the shop owner after his school hours and take care of the customers. In the bargain, the net cafe owner had let Suhas browse the net for free. That was the first business deal of his life and it turned out to be a successful one.
Once Suhas got the chance to manage the shop and browse the net, he started building websites. It had become his passion in no time. He got hooked to open source technology after he started looking for e-books on how to build websites. They were not available as they were created in propriety sources. So, he started using open source to build websites. He taught himself to make websites with the help of books and made his one as, www.coolhindustan.com
Getting the first contract to build a website
There is a freelance marketplace on the web where a person could register and offer their services to build websites. Suhas registered himself there as a website builder.
The first website that Suhas did was for a company in New York for free of cost as he had no references.
His first income was $100 for building another website. At that time Suhas was just 13 years doing his 9th Standard. He was not excited to get the money because money was not a factor that drew him to it. It was the passion for technology that attracted him. Suhas used to build websites free of cost also.
At the age of 14, Suhas built his own portal called Coolhindustan.com. It was primarily focused on NRIs. It was a portal where he wanted to showcase his skills. Suhas was recognized as the world’s youngest certified Professional Web-developer through his project coolhindustan.com. After that, many companies approached him to be their web designer. His spending hours in the net cafe working on websites did affect his studies. He spent the entire summer vacation after the 9th standard in the cafe.
Buying his first computer
When Suhas was in the 9th standard itself, he had made enough money to buy a computer for him. At that time, his brother was pursuing his engineering and his father thought he would need a computer. In no time, Suhas also bought a computer but he didn't have an internet connection at home.
His spending hours in the net cafe working on websites affected his studies. He spent the entire summer vacation after the 9th standard in the cafe.
Rejecting a job offer from the US
When Suhas was 14, Network Solutions offered him a part-time job in the US and they were ready to sponsor his education in the US. He rejected the offer because that was the time Suhas had read a story about Bill Gates and how he had started Microsoft. So, he was more passionate to own a company.
Many US companies connected his ability with his age and academic qualifications and commented that Suhas is too young and they feel insecure about taking his services. This urged him to start a company very soon and show the world that age and academic qualifications are immaterial. Suhas also decided to recruit only youngsters in his company and would not ask for their academic qualifications and marks cards.
On starting his own company at 14
Soon after his 9th standard summer vacation, Suhas started his dream company, Globals Inc in the year 2000. He wanted the name to be Global or Global Solutions for his company, but both were not available, so he named it “Globals”. He registered his company at San Jose, California US, as the laws in India did not allow him to set up a company in his mother country as he was still minor.
Suhas became the owner and CEO of the company. His friend, an American who was a university student, became the board member of Globals Inc. Suhas was very excited because that was what he wanted to do. From then Globals Inc has drastically grown as a Multi-national IT consulting company with representation in more than 11 countries. In the first year, the turnover of Globals Inc was Rs 1 lakh (Rs 100,000). The second year, the turnover went up to Rs 5 lakh (Rs 500,000).
Looking at Europe as a market
Till Suhas was 16 or 17, he didn't tell his parents that he had started a company. He kept it a secret because he thought they would object to it. His parents knew that he was only a freelancer.
Globals Inc used to build websites and also offer online shopping and e-commerce solutions. Globals Inc even gave part-time work to a few programmers in the US when it got many projects though it never had an office.
When Suhas was 16, he saw that there were enormous business opportunities in Europe as a majority of the Indian IT companies were working for American companies.
When he contacted a Spanish company, they rejected his offer saying Indians do not know Spanish. As an entrepreneur, Suhas couldn’t accept rejection. He then hired five student interns from some Spanish universities and they would be paid based on their successful sales.
They were the people who met the companies and bagged the projects for Globals Inc. By then, Suhas decided to have a home office in Spain. He replicated the same model in Italy by contacting some Italian university students.
His visit to Germany to give a speech on entrepreneurship
American newspapers were writing a lot about Suhas that he was the world's youngest CEO at 14 from India, from a middle-class background.
It was a good story for the BBC also. Suhas never expected to be in the limelight. For him, starting a company was like realizing a passion.
On seeing these stories, a B-school in Germany invited Suhas to talk to its students about entrepreneurship. He was 17 then. By then, Suhas had completed his 12th standard and had joined Engineering in Bengaluru.
When he was 18, he had set up an office in the European HQ in Bonn. Then, Globals Inc moved to Switzerland. Recently Globals Inc started its operations in Vienna as well.
That is how Suhas spread his operations from a small Internet cafe to become a multinational company with significant operations in Europe, the Middle East, the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, etc.
Registering a company in India at 18
The day Suhas had turned 18, he registered his company in India as Globals and started his company in Bengaluru with four people. His located his company next to the Internet cafe where he started his career.
By then, the shop owner had closed the shop and joined a factory as an employee. Whenever Suhas used to meet him, he used to tell him, ‘you made me an entrepreneur, but you stopped being one’.
Moving to create products
Suhas wanted his company to be a product development company also and his focus was on education, like the software that manages everything about a child while in school starting from admission till he/she leaves school and becomes an alumnus.
It was a nasty software which students were quite unhappy about! This software was aimed only at the Indian market and Suhas want to be the market leader in ICT in education.
The software is being used in more than 100 schools all over India, Singapore, and the Middle East.
Globals Inc is now in the process of raising funds. Once the funds are collected Suhas has the plans to split the company into two business verticals as service and product development.
Being on the board of the World Bank
As per the wishes of his parents, Suhas joined engineering but couldn’t complete his studies. When he was in 5th semester, the World Bank invited Suhas to attend their board meeting where he was the only Indian on the board of World Bank.
The objective was to explore how ICT can improve the quality of education in the emerging economies, by bringing in accountability and transparency in their financial needs.
Robert B. Zoellick, the president of the World Bank, decided that they could not have only Americans on the board and needed people from across the world. As they were focusing on education, they wanted young minds to add value to the work.
He preferred a young mind from an emerging country and that was how Suhas got the invitation in 2005. On high spirits, Suhas said, “Not even in my wildest dreams I did imagine that I would be on the board of the World Bank. And I would say this invitation is the most unforgettable moment in my life”.
Some of the others on the board with Suhas were the CEO of Cisco, the vice president of Microsoft and the CEO of SAP; all Fortune 500 companies and Suhas, the only Indian!
Today, Suhas helps outs the World Bank to set policies on ICT in university education so that employability can be enhanced. His aim is to reduce the number of unemployed eligible youth in the world. Suhas had to discontinue his engineering education at the time he joined the board, as he didn't have enough attendance in college!
Suhas always says that IT is not just technology but a tool that can solve the problems of people. And that is what he wants to do in his company. He wants his company to be a market leader in software solutions concentrating on education.
Suhas Says “When I was younger, I didn't care about money. Now that I am responsible for my employees, I care about what we make. If I am not bothered about money, we cannot scale up our business. When I started my company from a net cafe in Bengaluru, I never ever imagined that one day my company would be a multi-million-dollar company and I would be on the World Bank board as a member. What drives me is my passion and it has been an amazing journey so far”.
Most importantly the mother who wanted his brother to look after him is proud of Gopinath and says “I can’t take care of a maid in my house and he takes care of so many employees in his office, though I was scared of the entrepreneur in the beginning has no one has ever gone for it for our family I am proud of Suhas and what he is doing” despite his huge wealth and global recognition Suhas Gopinath lives a normal life with his family in Bangalore.
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