Interview with Devesh Chawla
Founder and CEO at Chatur Ideas
Innovator, Mentor, Investor, Tedx Speaker
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Q1. Please share your inspirational journey with us?
Before starting Chatur Ideas back in 2019, I was always intrigued by entrepreneurship and always had this unique idea of starting with taxi-hailing service. Although I was quite enthusiastic about the idea that I wanted to execute, I was discouraged by a lot of people around me and asked me to bag a cushy job. While I did the same, in 2013-14 I saw a similar business resonating with my idea was taking up a high flight of success.
Right after this, I gained the confidence to work towards my idea and that made me realize that there were numerous gaps in the ecosystem that were left unnoticed. Although it was a shaky start, I did the possible groundwork which eventually started showing results. I started Chatur Ideas and started to attract the attention of many startups. Today we have achieved overwhelming numbers in helping startups and scaling up their operations for a better Indian ecosystem.
Q2. You are an Engineer and MBA professional then what did attract you to entrepreneurship instead of any corporate job?
When I got into a job in a company, I noticed there were numerous gaps in the ecosystem which can bring innovation in India when filled. Right after realising the same and noticing the problems in businesses, I stepped into the entrepreneurial world with a motive to change the Indian startup ecosystem.
Q3. What is the main idea and motto behind to start “Chatur Ideas”?
Chatur Ideas is a startup enabling platform that helps entrepreneurs execute their ideas and elevate their businesses. We support deserving start-ups to grow by mentoring, raising funds for them, planning their pitch decks and business plan, help them to market their operations and get them acquainted with various networks that can help them in scaling up their operations. Additionally, we have been running entrepreneurship programs across India, where our trainers help entrepreneurs throughout their journey.
We have come a long way to help startups build their dream businesses. From zero to 1050+ startups and having a network of over 1500 investors, acquiring a company which was started by IIT-IIM Alumni where we trained over 34,000 entrepreneurs across 125 + cities in 450 colleges and growing that company rapidly, to bagging multiple awards in India and Internationally, this journey has been an interesting ride for me and my team.
Q4. What are the main key things you see must before investing in any Startup?
Every investor has different requirements and perspectives before investing in a startup. When I talk about myself, I usually invest in the team and planning more than in an idea. When I know the execution is going to be perfectly done, my investments are inclined more towards that team. Additionally, a startup having an unfair advantage has more prospects of thriving in a
competitive market rather than someone with too many competitors. Thus, I generally analyse the unfair advantage of any startup before investing in it.
Q5. What is the main reason behind so many failed startups in the last 10 years?
In my opinion, there can be multiple things that can affect a startup’s growth, but the major ones could be no demand for your product in the market. If your product is not required in the market, then no matter how much you work on it, you won’t be able to reach good profit numbers. Some others could be a startup’s weak team, poor leadership, unready product, poor marketing, lack of business skills and inability to raise capital. After understanding the startup ecosystem and recollecting lessons from my personal experiences, I came up with an 8-Pillar theory which I usually advise all my startups to follow.
Q6. How do you excel Students/Startup founders in your Entrepreneurship program all
across the country?
Entrepreneurship is something that cannot be taught, it is something that comes from within. With our programme, we make an attempt to lay down the right guidelines which an entrepreneur needs to keep in mind to boost their chances of success drastically. As psychology plays an important role in an entrepreneur’s journey, we assist an entrepreneur with a right mindset to execute, provide them with growth hacks to manoeuvre their path in the right way and hand-hold them through the practical journey with the help of our network of investors and mentors who support them till 21 days after they have completed this programme.