“People say I possessed many gifts and talents, but I didn’t have a clue which one to use to define myself”-A walk of words with Prashant Pednekar, founder Pangea Global Services
Tough to catch (as he is always flying from one spot to another!), Prashant outlaws the routine definition of an entrepreneur. Refused to follow the given pattern, he is the man of his own destiny and words of course! Results driven, growth-oriented, focused professional with over 16 years of a documented record of strong, decisive, Executive Leadership in strategic planning, sales, and marketing/business development, channel management, Prashant has attained comprehensive exposure in establishing as well as stabilizing new business units. Presently, he wore the suit of being the CEO & Founder of Pangea Global Services, which he brewed up in 2012 in Pune catering to accurate Market Research data to new and established businesses, so that they can customize their marketing models and thereby amplify their success rate. After scraping and scouring, I managed to harvest his secrets and discussed with him over a host of issues. I needed to hear it straight from him. Here are the edited excerpts of the same…
Prashant, thanks for your time from the suitcase of your busy schedule!! You have attained comprehensive exposure in establishing as well as stabilizing new business units. I am keen to know the secret ingredient behind your success.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by.” Robert Frost said once. Might be a quotes from others but this single line reflects my whole journey. Entrepreneurial road is topsy-turvy and many times there are not even two roads diverging, instead, you yourself must make a new one. Entrepreneurship is not rocket size. There are times when you just have to trust your instincts and sometimes believe your gut. When you see these successful entrepreneurs what different do they do; they all have their ups and downs but the most important fact is, they are open to taking “RISK”.
Your specialization covers setting operations and heading Business Development for the International Market. Credit goes to you for successfully designing, deploying and implementing the ROCE (retention of the customer through excellence). Share few more moments of your entrepreneurial voyage.
Growing a business is a long, grueling haul. It may be filled with disappointment after disappointment, but when you work hard enough, it can be powered up with pleasant wins in between. Prior to sailing out my entrepreneurial journey, I deliberately thought of every possible outcome to chin up myself for everything and anything. I built 2 companies and sold them successfully in last few years. I sold my last company and that made me self-funded. Market research was just in the early stage and I knew building a new vertical won’t be a piece of cake. But our adherence has brought us here from a 10-employee startup to a family of 180 employees within three years.
What makes your venture, Pangea Global Solutions stand ahead of the crowd?
We are well rounded and know all aspects to provide the tip of the spear Market Research services. Our thorough requirement analysis and attention are focused on client’s business and its objectives. We offer a tailor-made package of services so that high- quality Market Research data can be delivered to get optimum results in their respective businesses. And the pricing model that we follow is one of the most unique in the corporate world; clients have to pay only if they are happy!
What are the core capabilities that your company offers to its customers?
Though the company offers data analytics, lead generation, BPO & KPO services, we have built our forte in Market Research. Being one of the handfuls of MR companies that have invested in technology, Pangea performs online & offline MR methodologies utilizing various tools to understand the pulse of the consumer and endows clients with the transparency to observe daily metrics such as the number of calls taken and agents working on their behalf. We ensure authenticity & transparency in its surveys by drafting questions that are short, crisp, non-ambiguous and close-ended. It further humanizes the survey so that it can pique the interest of the consumers even in the short attention span.
Wise lessons learned as a CEO…
Well, there are plenty of them! As a CEO, one should target his market right. Being new and knocking ever door in the market is worthless. A feasibility check is a must. I have witnessed many companies who are new and follow this wrong path to get the client on board by initially reducing their pricing and later on taking a hit on their overall business model. I have often interviewed people who have not been paid for 2 months or more. These bottlenecks may draw a negative line, hence one need to keep a steady cash flow in kitty considering a new venture and assuming zero revenue for first 6 months, as there will be delays in client payment which happens in the initial stage.
Share your favorite piece of being a leader.
Well, a great leader fine-tunes every character while crafting a nourishing company culture. He helps his people to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible.
And the hardest part…
The most challenging thing for me has been to prioritize every day and get all stakeholders aligned to the startup’s long-term mission. There are always a million things I could be doing as a CEO, including selling, motivating, setting strategy, product, finances. But figuring out what is worth my time and taking that decision not knowing the end outcome is tough. Sometimes you have to convince everybody involved when you ’re not convinced yourself. CEOs don’t have any rules, scripts, or a playbook, which is great but also leads to a lot of frustration, disappointment, irritation, and decision fatigue when things don’t go well,
As the business gets bigger, a CEO needs to make sure that an A player he has hired is hiring an A+ player for the business to remain prosperous.
Give me one word that describes you the best.
What everyone wants to know; what are your plans for the future?
Hailing from a middle-class family, I had varied interest and longed to be a business person right from the school days. My first business proposal was shared with my parents, which was turned down in financial terms. This never broke me, instead of with time my business sense grew much stronger and deeper. I never let my instinct die, I kept meeting influential people, buying time in their office lobby, lift, gym, wherever they could hear me and I sold my vision to them and one day I succeeded. Now, I want to invest my time, resources and efforts in starting a company which will help those creative geeks in bringing the best out of our young entrepreneurs and gives a boost to their ideas. I want to expand this big idea globally facilitating the empowerment of these potential minds everywhere.
Prashant is a Mumbai born, Young Turk’ who is driven by a passion to offer quality-oriented service to his clients, Being an IT and BFSI professional with a global perspective, Prashant carries a rich work experience of more than one and half decades with multinational companies at senior level positions in the US, UK, Asia Pacific as well as the Middle East Region.
Having worked at Senior Management level his professional experience has helped him shape his entrepreneurial vision in form of PGS. Having an insatiable hunger for learning, Prashant has so far earned a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, New York and also a Business degree from Harvard Business School, he specializes in building startups.
Awards & Recognition
· A leading Indian business magazine crowned Pangea as India’s top 10 Market research Firms.
· Inside Success awarded Pangea as top 10 brands in research Industry.
· Prashant was awarded as the Young Achiever of the year by World Leadership Foundation in 2016.
· With one more feather added to his hat, Prashant has bagged the crown of the youngest Vice President to win the CNBC award for achieving 200 million for the Bank on FCNR.