Assistant General Manager ( Sales & Marketing)
Q.1: Please share your educational and professional journey?
After completing my schooling in the remote village of Arnod in Chittorgarh District of Rajasthan, in the year 1990, I took admission in the prestigious MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur in Mining Branch. Though it was a four-year course, our first year was marred because of Mandal and Ram Mandir agitation, and eventually, I completed my Bachelor of Engineering degree in the year 1995 instead of 1994. After doing few summer training in Coal mines (Western Coal Limited, Chandrapur) and Metal Mines ( Hindustan Zinc Limited, ( Zawar Mines) & Hindustan Copper Limited ( Khetri ) during engineering, under severe and trying conditions, I realized that making a career in Mining field will be a difficult proposition for me and for that reason I inclined towards Management studies and did Masters in Management Science (Sales & Marketing) from International Institute of Professional Studies, Devi Ahilya University, Indore in the year 1995- 1997.
As far as my Professional Career is concerned, I started my career from a Jodhpur based Company Rajasthan Udyog as Sales Engineer (Udaipur). Subsequently, I moved to Gates India (Delhi) as Sales officer, Eaton Fluid Power Limited, Pune as Sales Manager and Faster Hydraulics, Pune as National Sales Manager. At present, I’m working with Imperial Auto Industries Limited, Pune as Asst. General Manager (Sales and Marketing). This 50 years old company is involved in manufacturing Hydraulic Hose, Metallic Tubes and molded rubber components for Auto (Car, Bus and Truck), Construction Equipment ( Backhoe and Excavators ), and Engines. In the career, spanning more than 23 years, I got the chance to work closely in a few of the world’s best MNC’s and Indian Companies to get insights about the corporate culture. In my professional journey, I have handled various business functions viz. Distribution Channel, OEM Sales, Institutional Sales, Brand Management, Advertising, New Business Development, Digital Marketing, Communication, etc. in the Sales & Marketing domain. I could able to utilize my Technical and Management Knowledge as fortunately all the companies I worked with had engineering products line. Interestingly, I also took a plunge into entrepreneurship and co-founded Sanskriti Objects d’art with my wife Pravita Kataria as Founder.
Q.2 Tell us something more about your entrepreneurship journey. How is Sanskriti Objects d’art different from other enterprises?
The beautiful state of Rajasthan is known for its rich, colorful, and vibrant culture of romance and Chivalry. Rajasthan produces a wide array of unique and artistic range of handicrafts and jewelry, which are liked by connoisseurs of arts and crafts across the globe. One such famous art form is called Thewa Jewelry. It is 400 years old art in which jewelry is made of fusing 23 K gold work on glass. This secret art is practiced by few artisans of the Rajsoni family of Pratapgarh, who have won several national awards from the president of India. Despite having excellent skills and unique craftsmanship, artisans of this art form were struggling to market their products efficiently. Incidentally, my wife Pravita hails from the same place Pratapgarh and has keen business acumen. So after our marriage, when we were in Delhi, she decided to promote this magnificent artwork in Delhi and Chandigarh. The jewelry was appreciated widely, and gradually she scaled up the business.
In 2011, we thought of adding more products and more artisans on this platform and launched website www.sanskriitiexports.com. This e-commerce platform was created to provide market linkages for the artisans and craftspeople of Rajasthan with the global audience.
A significant factor that differentiates Sanskriti with other enterprises is that it is a mission-based organization with the socio-economic objectives of making money by promoting Rajasthani arts and crafts at the national and international levels. Social goal to not only to encourage creativity and crafts but also helping artisans and craftsmen to find the right market for their products. Apart from Thewa Jewelry, Sanskriti deals in Home décor, Corporate Gifts, Wedding Gifts, and other ethnic products that are sold online.
Q 3. How do you handle stress in this fast and competitive life?
In personal as well as in professional life, I always believe in the phrase “Control the controllable.” There are only to things in the world that we have 100% control over are our efforts and our attitude. Spending our time, focus, and energy on things outside of our control is an unfortunate waste of resources. We have zero control over our boss, colleagues, employees, customers, stakeholders, Spouse, Children, parents, neighbors, etc. In business, we can make an excellent product, but the customers will decide success or failure. Stress is often manifested when we do not get desired success in life, or we compare ourselves with others.
Philosophical lines of famous poet Shri Harivanshrai Bachhan “Jo man ka ho wo achha, jo man ka na ho wo jyada achha” (If you get what you want, it is okay, but if you don’t, then it is even better as you get what God wills) can help us overcome the stress and anxiety. We can see life from different perspectives.
Q 4. What was the role of your family or colleagues in shaping your visions and goals?
Family and friends help in shaping the visions and goals of any individual. In my case also, it is true. My father was a teacher in the same school, where I completed my Higher Secondary. Being a man of principles himself, he always encouraged me to follow the path of honesty, ethics, and moral values in life. Because of him, there was a conducive environment for academics and education in our home. He also believed in maintaining a good relationship with all. By the grace of God, he is still socially active at the age of 82.
Guidance and mentoring of my elder brother Shri Mahesh Kataria (who is also an alumnus of MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur, 1987 batch – Gold Medalist- Mechanical) during my formative years, was crucial for me in cracking entrance exams for Engineering as during 1990 there were only 3 Engineering Colleges in Rajasthan and getting admission was relatively difficult.
Q 5. What do you do in your free time? Do you update yourself in terms of learning?
There is this beautiful quote from American writer Alvin Toffler, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”. Learning is a continuous process, and I also try to learn new things regularly. Though I have been active on social media during the lockdown period, I also explored Blog Writing and YouTube Channel. My YouTube channel, “Management Lessons,” is primarily for budding entrepreneurs and students. I’m sharing videos on Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing, Business Management, E-commerce, Motivation, etc. during my free time. I also love to read books on politics, Business Strategy, and biographies and listening to Hindi songs.
Q 6. What is the meaning of success in your terms?
A journey to success is not a 100-meter sprint. It’s a marathon for which you have to prepare. The preparation continues for days, weeks, and years until you achieve that. And, it does not stop even there. The race remains forever if you want to sustain that success. I feel my life is successful if I can live each day with a positive outlook and have the balance in all the crucial areas of my life and have the time and resources to pursue what I’m passionate about.
Q.7 You are playing a pivotal role in Entrepreneurship and Venture development for the youth. What is your message for budding entrepreneurs?
In the last decade or so, entrepreneurship and start-ups have become the talk of the town. Cities like Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad have developed eco-system, which has been very conductive and favorable for entrepreneurs. I have been mentoring a few of the start-ups in the field of Education and Food domain. In my, YouTube channel, I have released a video series on “A to Z of Entrepreneurship,” which might be very useful for entrepreneurs and students. I’m of the view that Entrepreneurship should be a part of the curriculum at the university level so that students can learn about this critical subject in their formal education.
My message to budding entrepreneurs is simple, always follow your instincts, don’t trap yourself in short term goals, and believe in ethics and honesty.
Read more about Nitesh Kataria @
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS7n6yk4baaF39qYOrL7R3w
Website : http://www.sanskriitiexports.com
6 thoughts on “Entrepreneurship should be a part of the curriculum at the university level so that students can learn about this critical subject in their formal education. – Nitesh Kataria”
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