Ravi Bahethi is the president of Terranet Inc. Maryland-based Terranet has been providing scientific and technical support services for government and industry clients. In a recent conversation, we talked about his venture and entrepreneurship in general.
Ravi, Thank you for talking with us. How and when did you decide to start your own business?
I decided to start my own business after watching friends and acquaintances open businesses of their own and become very successful, particularly in the IT industry. I was doing something similar at my job at the time, so I decided to switch from employee to business owner but remain in the same industry.
How has your experience as an entrepreneur shaped you?
My experience has greatly improved my ability to work with others and manage teams. When I switched from working under others to owning my own business, I had to learn to delegate and build teams. My ability to group talented people together to achieve tasks is a critical part of my company’s success. In order to form positive relationships with employees and promote the success of a business, managers must engage personally with employees and colleagues.
Being a Business owner can be quite stressful at times. What keeps your motivation high?
My work and professional relationships motivate me. My employees count on the success of the company for their livelihood, and my customers rely on the products and services the company provides. I want to be known as a problem-solver and a person who doesn’t give up easily, and I’m motivated to help others and work hard to solve complex issues.
What strategies do you use to develop ideas and bring them to life?
I generally use trial and error to develop and refine my ideas. Through logical analysis, i can think through complex problems and narrow down which ideas are feasible, then develop ways to put these ideas into action.
Tech sector has a lot of competition these days. How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors and how do you stay ahead of them?
Our marketing strategies have helped us stay ahead of the competition. Marketing is critical because it allows your customers to know who you are and what you do, and you can find the best target market this way. Testing different marketing strategies allows you to find your customers’ needs and allows you to tailor your products and services accordingly.
What is your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
I’d advise entrepreneurs to specialize in something with a less competitive market. With a niche market, there will be more opportunities for your new business to expand and target a larger group in the future. When you are established in a specialty, you can build a company and a brand around it and make a name for yourself without worrying about penetrating an already saturated market.
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