“Follow people’s beliefs and consumption habits, and you will succeed”-Mr.Vijay Sampath

“Follow people’s beliefs and consumption habits, and you will succeed”-Mr.Vijay Sampath

IIMB is pleased to have hosted Mr. Vijay Sampath, the Chief Incubator, TPN Private Limited and former CEO, Amar Chitra Katha as the guest speaker at Colloquium 2017, the speaker series at IIMB where industry stalwarts and business leaders share their knowledge and opinions on contemporary issues to supplement classroom learning. Having worked for companies such as BlowPlast, ZEE, Times Group, Alia, ACK-Media, he has considerable experience in entrepreneurship, strategy, building leadership teams, innovation and creative direction. He has guided successful startups, business turnarounds, and enabled breakthrough change and innovation. Team Student Media Cell got a chance to have a candid conversation with the ever enthusiastic Mr. Vijay Sampath.

When asked about his vicissitudes in life,

“It has definitely been an exciting journey. I have always wanted to know who I was as an individual, some people realize it early, some in the middle and some towards the end. I have managed to find that somewhere between the middle and the end. I am a “business adventurer,” maybe a business equivalent of a Henry Morton Stanley or a Livingstone exploring unexplored lands with each journey giving me new ideas.”

Taking a nostalgic dip,

“I have been lucky to work with businesses that have been mavericks, path breakers and have managed to create new businesses that never existed. In 1988, I passed out of campus, when moulded suitcases, soft luggage with wheels were all new to the market. Joining Blowplast, VIP was a proud moment for me as it was a prestigious Day -1 offer back then. I then joined Zee TV, which in a short span, created a new industry out of the blue. The media house was rapidly pioneering technological innovation, which was why I felt fortunate enough to be on the cusp of change. Following that, two of my stints included being the co-founder of a company within Zee network and the other, a British NGO which provided technological training for African schools. They were interesting in their own right.”

On giving it back to the fraternity,

“Now that I know that I am a business adventurer, I want to spend the final part of my career playing a new game and not the 2nd innings of an old game. I am currently spreading how much ever of what I imbibed throughout my journey to whoever finds it useful. To faciliatate this attempt, I structured myself around two entities – one being TPN Private Limited, a venture incubator and the other, a leadership clinic which is a force multiplier and helps in understanding how to get about doing business. I also was on the board of India’s only all women venture capitalist fund – Ankur Capital.”

His thoughts on the entrepreneurial landscape in India,

“There is a shortfall of startups that have a uniquely Indian construct. For instance, Zee TV’s Antakshari was very unique to the Indian audience and was succesful in creating history. Also currently, there are so many avenues for collateral. But not to forget, capital in the world is scarce and that should be realized by people on both sides of the table (both entrepreneurs and VCs). A whole lot of money, time and reputation goes into the startup culture. The reason why they shoulder a great responsibility is because a lot of things can be done with the same resources.”

Giving us food for thought,

“Belief creates behaviour, and behaviour creates demand. Follow people’s beliefs and consumption habits, and you will succeed. Also, any business service or product must serve today’s need and disrupt itself to serve tomorrow’s need. It is imperative to stay in touch with what is happening around us. Old people should read the newspaper not just because it gives them information but also because they should know what young people are reading.”

About what fuels his enthusiasm and energy,

“If you like doing what you do you will never feel tired. Survival and existence is a great motivator. I was excited for unknown reasons. All of us will be. If that is the reason, you will follow your passion.”

Signing off on a lighter note, when asked what if not for his MBA, “Considering my passion and the creative guy I was, I would have loved to have become a copyright writer under Mr. R. K. Swamy.”

(Interviewed by Malvigha V, PGP 2016-18)