est salary. I imply where the money is
being invested by the government,
maybe in infrastructure, in building
bridges, roads, in the ports. The business
at such places will take off eventually.
During the current bad economic times,
a lot of MBAs are thinking of entrepreneurship, thinking of starting their own
business. It will, however, be a challenge
for somebody who’s relatively new to
Canada as this person doesn’t necessarily have a network of connections to build
David Dunne: What kind of advice
would you give to South Asian students
or an international student starting their
own business after they have
graduated or while doing their
Aditya Jha: I don’t think
entrepreneurship is a clearer
option. You may like to be
behind an entrepreneur
because that way you will have
that learning experience of what
an entrepreneur goes through.
If I was looking at a crystal ball,
I would say that in a few years
entrepreneurship will not be a
unique thing. It will be main-
stream. Most people will be
entrepreneurs sometime in
their life. So, you guys will be
Bob Dhillon: It is a textbook
case study you have to read any-
way — it is a recession, I am
looking for a job, so, I become
an entrepreneur. What does an
entrepreneur mean? He’s a risk
taker, he’s an action taker and
he’s willing to work 100 hours a
week. If you don’t have these
three things, it is not a god-given thing
that I want to do it. It is not an intellec-
tual capital that you get on the street. It
is not something you will say you are
willing to work for free.
I will give you an example of my publicly traded company Mainstreet Equity
Corporation based in Calgary, Alberta.
For the first 10 years of starting the company, I never drew any salary. I had
resources and so I was fortunate that I
could do it for the first 10 years without
any salary. Now I have a multibillion-dollar company. I have an island in
Belize that I am currently developing.
India Abroad’s Power List calls me ‘ The
Merchant of Belize’. Now I have reached
a stage when I can do whatever I want.
These are some of the things you have to
look into yourself. These are the ingredients you need before you think you can
become an entrepreneur.
Students asked the experts sharp questions, and got sharper answers
Aditya Jha: I would like to add one
thing to Bob’s general notion about risk-taking. We entrepreneurs take larger
risks — much more than an average person who takes risk in his job. So, risk-taking is working double the time and
you don’t known what happens in terms
of managing it and the complexity of it.
But risk is not about risky behavior, but
being prepared to take a larger risk.
Bob Dhillon: I want to add one story to
this. It was my second year in the MBA
class. I took two years of marketing. I
went for a PowerPoint presentation for a
multinational corporation in Louisiana
and discussed the rates about distribu-
Second, please don’t go alone. Try to
find a mentor. Find someone who can
help you along the way. The third, entre-
preneurs have failed along the way.
learnt this that over time there are too
many persons there. You have to zero in
on just one or two persons and that’s it.
That means if I can do that, I have
accomplished more than what I could
have otherwise accomplished.
Joseph Palumbo: When you go to an
event, expect to be curious. Ask some
questions, why you did this, what about
your job, how did you first start business,
etc, and then all these givers of business
cards, if they remember you, they will
call you. Give some information about
yourself, your business, and leave it at
Kasi Rao: My take is based on personal experience. True networking is often
used in a highly transactional way. It is a
long-term thing. I would encourage you
this as an exercise you will undertake for
the rest of your life. If you can follow it as
a matter of outlook — look at advancing