Boss Brown Women
Writing Your Own Ending with Vandana Seth of RV Solutions.
March 04, 2020
- Education was always highly valued in her household and she being the eldest went for engineering at Kurukshetra. She breezed through the course, but knew she wanted to do something of her own.
- She got married very early after college, and her first venture was with her husband, where she supported him in back-end jobs. She also tried her hand in the stock market at her husband’s suggestion, but failed miserably at both. These 2 years really took a hit at her self-confidence, with her experiencing true failure for the first time in her life.
- After that period, she restricted herself to the household for a period. However her enterprising nature didn’t let her continue for very long. She decided to make use of all the samples her husband was getting from China to start her own side-business,s and experienced entrepreneurial success for the first time!
- Yet, getting that success “too easily” as she puts it, wasn’t something that fed her drive, and so she went out in search of something more.
- She again joined hands with her husband for a new venture— in the medical transcription business. However, their ideologies didn’t seem to match at any point in how to grow the business. So at long last, Vandana decided to put a pause on her enterprising needs and take a job to rebuild her self-confidence.
- RV Solutions started as the eventual third venture that Vandana started with her husband, identifying an opportunity in the IT sector where there was a lot of government spend.
- Within 2 years, they had 800 people on board and were present in every major city in India.
- They experienced explosive growth, but none of them knew how to handle such growth, and the business had a near-death experience as a result.
- While her husband and co-founder was intent on shutting-shop and moving on, Vandana recognised the responsibility she had to wards her employees, her vendors, and her clients— all people she owed products and money to! She couldn’t contemplate turning her back on them, and having that be the end of her entrepreneurial journey.
- Half of RV offices had to close, had to shut shop and lay off half their payroll, which was one of the hardest thing Vandana had to do.
- The big break for RV came when Vandana recognised a way to truly provide value in an impact. Though her team came down to 150 people from 800 within the span of 6 moths once she took over, it was a loyal and committed 150 that gave their all to the business.
- The way that Vandana works is the team runs the show, she believes she’s just there. This did however lead to difficulty when an employee left the company, poaching 40 people from one of their key team with him!
- This event didn’t change Vandana’s leading style though— she didn’t want to punish all her employees for the mistakes of one who took advantage of her trust. She did however sit up and decide not to be a “chair CEO”, as she likes to call it. Being a PAN-India company, she started visiting various sites, interacting with the employees there, putting a face to “Vandana Seth” in their minds as well.
- Her top lessons in life:
- Nothing beats handwork.
- Be kind to people and open to hearing their ideas.
- Always work on improving yourself.
- “Even a job can be enterprising if YOU are enterprising”
- “When things come easy, I’m not very receptive of that.”
- “I was too busy surviving to care about people not taking me seriously “
- “Starting a business is easy— getting first orders, scaling— but sustaining a business, now that’s a challenge!”
- “The way I work is the team runs the show, I’m just there.”
- “Too much analysis, leads to paralysis.”