Vikram Aggarwal at Munich Business School
How do I become a successful entrepreneur? – a decisive question for many students of Munich Business School (MBS). Who could better answer this question than a person who launched his own start-up already 16 years ago and has developed it into an internationally successful company? That is why MBS lecturer Prof. Dr. Barbara Scheck had invited Vikram Aggarwal, founder and CEO of eat2eat. The Singapore-based company provides the catering and hotel industry with reservation software and is one of the market leaders in Asia and the Middle East.
“We can all be entrepreneurs,” Vikram Aggarwal began his lecture, and he made his students understand that entrepreneurship is possible in different ways. He himself had started his career with the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline before moving to the US bank JPMorgan Chase. “At some point, I asked myself: Do I really have to work as a banker? I came to the conclusion that personal happiness and independence are more important to me than money, quit my banker’s job and founded eat2eat,” Vikram Aggarwal describes the beginnings of his “entrepreneurial journey”. His advice for the students: “If you want to become an entrepreneur, just do it. And do something in a field that you love.” And he added, with a smile: “I for my part love to eat. So I did something connected to food.”
“I don’t use my financial expertise at all”
Following that, Vikram Aggarwal explained the main challenges for an entrepreneur to the students: “It is not the expertise on the financial sector that I have gained during my work as a banker that has been decisive for the success of my company. Instead, I recognized a gap in the market, have always persistently promoted my idea and made the right decisions,” he described his success formula.
As a conclusion of his interesting lecture, Vikram Aggarwal offered some more advice for the students:
- “Start-ups mostly fail for two reasons: due to lack of funding or because they don’t have a functioning team. You have to find the right contributors.”
- “You must raise capital, that is true. But never ever give up control over your company.”
- “Always exercise common sense.”
- “Other people will follow you and join your team if you are a good listener.”
- “A solid reputation (as an entrepreneur) will pay off in the long run.”
Finally, one last question remained: What does Vikram Aggarwal value most in entrepreneurship? His answer: “The biggest advantage certainly is that I am my own boss.”