Growing up, Pranav Ashar would listen with keen interest to dinner table talk about the family business. At 17, the Class XII student of Lakshmipat Singhania Academy is determined to open a start-up of his own soon.
Social entrepreneur Pranav was one of the winners of the Edugraph 18 Under 18 awards.
Motivation towards business
Pranav would look forward to dinner time, when his father and uncles would discuss various aspects of business. “The dinner table conversations between my father and uncles got me interested in business,” Pranav said. “After coming home from office, they would talk about business and how to deal with various aspects of business. That got me interested in the concept of having something to manage of your own, an idea that you have procured from your experiences and work to monetise.”
For Pranav, communication, leadership and sense of purpose are the three pillars of moving ahead in life. “I believe communication includes how you are able to communicate your ideas to clients or how can you internally communicate with your peers. Leadership would include delegation of duties and communication with peers about work. Sense of purpose is really important. If I start a business without any sense of purpose attached to it, I may lose motivation,” he said.
Journey as vice-president, marketing
Pranav shar has been a part of the International Space Settlement Design Competition held virtually in 2021. This industrial simulation competition was conducted by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Space Society of America.
“Around 24 schools are divided into four companies. These schools have passed various rounds previously to qualify for the final competition. What we have to do is fight for the contract. The company which makes the best presentation to win the contract, keeping in mind cost-efficiency and other given parameters, wins the contract,” Pranav explained.
About his own role, Pranav said: “I was selected as the vice-president of marketing in the competition. My job was to make sure that the presentation was done, the internal data collection was done in due time, all submissions were made, delegating work to my peers and setting internal deadlines.’
The 17-year-old says he has learnt a lot from his leadership experiences. “As a leader, you don’t have to be the smartest person or the most talented person in the group. You just have to be the one who knows what everyone is capable of and motivate them to attain efficiency in their field of work,” Pranav said. He went on to add how he values effort more than reward. “Effort can never be undermined by talent. If you are a person with a high sense of motivation, you can’t just sit with it, you will have to work towards it or you will lose it. This motivation has to be based on your effort and not your success rate.’
A keen MUNer
Serving in the topmost post for his school’s Model United Nations team, Pranav has conducted various workshops for juniors. “I introduced special workshops for students of Classes VI-IX, who are just getting into MUNs. These workshops were curated to prepare them for offline MUNs that are tougher than online ones. We covered topics like research, policy, procedure, international relations in general,” he said.
Kolkata and start-up culture
Over the years, Kolkata has produced plenty of start-ups and business models. “I believe Kolkata is full of untapped potential. The city will soon become a hub of start-ups. The city’s student culture will aid start-up growth,” Pranav said. The pandemic has aided the trend of innovation. “The pandemic helped us start our own businesses through the online platform with minimal cost and achieve the same goals that bigger corporations were enjoying,” he said.
Edugraph 18 Under 18 Award
The award has come as a huge motivating factor for Pranav. “If you get results there is a high chance of gaining motivation. If my efforts are not recognised, I might lose my focus after a certain point of time. The Edugraph 18 Under 18 Awards inspired me open a start-up of my own or work in someone else’s start-up at a higher post in the next 10 years,” he said.
Lakshmipat Singhania Academy director Meena Kak is confident of Pranav’s success. “Pranav has great organizational and public speaking skills which he has developed over the years in Model United Nations classes. He is a wonderful sportsperson as well. We feel happy to have groomed such a fine young man,” she said.