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‘For budding entrepreneurs, a little self-doubt and fear of failure is useful’

Tanuj Khanna, an alumnus of Apeejay Faridabad and Director at Whitebird Logistics and Warehousing Ltd, said when properly managed, self-doubt and fear can help combat complacency and improve our preparation and performance.

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Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Northampton UK, Whitebird Logistics and Warehousing Ltd is a third-party logistics provider. Tanuj said, “We specialise in transportation, warehousing and storage, logistics handling and many other services.” In an off-the-cuff chat, Tanuj explained in detail the challenges to founding a startup and how to overcome them. 

What are the key skills you learned in school?

I believe studying in a good school really helps you in your career. The biggest strength of Apeejay Faridabad is that it focuses on the holistic development of students. The school taught me valuable life-skills such as sportsmanship, teamwork and most importantly, the confidence to speak in public. During my early days in school, I didn’t have the courage to speak in front of an audience. However, my teachers gave me immense confidence and opportunities to speak on stage. I am forever indebted to my school.

You quit a stable job to start your own business. Tell us why?

I worked with Imperial Auto Industries Limited, a sub-vendor of components for two and four-wheeler OEMS (Original equipment manufacturer) in India, for more than 13 years’ before quitting my job and starting my own business. I joined the company as an Engineer and left the company as Senior Manager, Exports. Due to the nature of my job, I got numerous opportunities to travel to various countries such as the US, Germany, UK, Netherlands among others. I learned a lot at my job. After getting the hang of the automotive industry I decided to set my own business in partnership with my late Uncle (Mama ji). I credit my mother and Uncle who gave me confidence to tread the uncharted path. My Uncle had extensive experience in supply chain management and I am a seasoned Marketing professional, so there was no dearth of talent or skills.

What advice will you give to those who want to leave their jobs to start a business?

Many aspiring entrepreneurs want to see amazing results as soon as possible. However, you can’t build a business overnight. Patience is an important virtue for all entrepreneurs. It’s important to keep the big goal in mind and take a step each day towards that goal. Don’t lose focus, and keep moving forward. Talking about myself, the initial period was quite challenging. We faced difficulty in procuring UK visas, then the pandemic hit us and getting accustomed to local rules and regulations was a task in itself. However, we were unfazed by the difficulties and now I am happy that our patience and resilience paid off. In just a year, from one warehouse I now own 3 warehouses. Secondly, don’t break promises made to your customers. In today’s competitive world, this is a must to retain the trust of your customers. Thirdly, do a thorough market analysis before starting a new business.

How can entrepreneurs overcome the fear of failing?

For budding entrepreneurs, a little self-doubt and fear of failure is useful. It can help fight complacency and improve your preparation and performance. It propels us to experiment with new strategies and look at innovative ways to solve problems. Fear will always be there when you are about to embark on a new journey. However, if you get overwhelmed by it then it can derail your thinking and ultimately sabotage your success. As an entrepreneur, get comfortable with taking risks and trying new things.

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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