Abhinav Jain is the CEO of PowerMarket, an online renewable energy assessment and marketplace. He has an MBA from the Said Business School in Oxford.
Q: What is your background? Why are you doing this?
A: I founded two solar energy companies in India before coming to do my MBA, so decided to work up the idea for PowerMarket as part of the Entrepreneurship project module of the MBA. When I graduated, I was going to do the traditional route of consulting, but actually decided, in an interview, that developing PowerMarket was the way I really wanted to go.
Q: What is your definition of entrepreneurship?
A: It’s all about chasing your ideas or dreams, and doing something you’re really passionate about as a serious thing rather than just a hobby.
Q: What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
A: I wanted to know if my idea would actually be possible, and follow through with it.
Q: So what would you say are the top 3 skills that needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Why?
A: Having the right attitude is very important, as is being slightly naïve and persistent! If you are too pragmatic you probably wouldn’t choose to be an entrepreneur!
Q: What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
A: It’s fun! As you develop your idea, you realize that it looks more and more possible, and that is so satisfying.
Q: What individual, company or organization inspires you most? Why?
A: There isn’t one company that I think is doing it all right, but many different companies are doing good things.
Q: What has been your most satisfying or successful moment in business?
A: The fact that I have kept going and developing the idea when others have said it wouldn’t work, and then been able to prove them wrong! Although we are still in the early stages, it’s great to get some validation that we are on the right track. Google is actually launching something sort of similar as a test, so there is good possibilities there.
Q: What would you say have been some of your mistakes, failures or lessons learned as an entrepreneur?
A: There was too much time spent focusing on one specific idea, without enough verifying of assumptions. I should have talked to more people, and started the marketing a lot sooner!
Q: What is good about being an entrepreneur in Oxfordshire? Bad?
A: Oxford is still small enough that the network is approachable, and you can quickly learn from each other, but it is also not responsive enough, and needs even more sharing.
Q: If a new entrepreneur or startup came to you looking for entrepreneurship information or resources in Oxfordshire, where would you send them?
A: Places like the Launchpad, Isis, the Careers Service, Oxford Entrepreneurs. . . they all can help and provide different interactions.
Q: Any last words of advice?
A: Only do it if you’re passionate about it, and for the right reasons. Otherwise it won't work.