Chasing your dreams admits all the challenges, to be faced as a student and a beginner in all aspects is not an easy walk. But the ones determined to get through this phase, achieve this phase soon or later with their constant efforts. And also stand as an inspiration for the rest.
Aditya Arora, CEO of FAAD is one such achiever who is here with us to share all the ups and downs throughout his journey that bought him this far and I am sure his story is going to motivate each one out there reading it.Faad Network Private Limited is a Delhi NCR based accelerator, which synergies’ to deliver a platform where all entrepreneurs can connect with each other seamlessly and create a one-stop destination for all entrepreneurial related needs.
- Hi Aditya, first of all, congratulations on the success you have achieved at this early stage of life and making yourself and your beloved ones proud. So, starting with your journey, towards becoming a CEO, we would like to know your entire journey so far. Could you please share it with us?
Hi Shivani, thank you very much. Starting as an intern for a company and within a leap of 6 months becoming the CEO for the same still feels unbelievable and extremely overwhelming. It all started with the FAAD networks company that I am involved with coming for on-campus recruitment. I approved them with an intention of gaining experience and interning with the company. I faced a long hour of interview and remained quite satisfied and successful in getting through it. Though I was told that my lack of experience as I joined the college just a year back is a matter of concern. Yet I started working as a content writer there. I had to write stories of entrepreneurs which was not an easy task at hand. I spent my initial days reading different stories, trying to get hold of the entrepreneur’s terminology so that my content remains up to the mark. My work and dedication made me spend more hours into it and slowly reached a stage where I could intern people and expand my team. I always try to come up with new ideas in my own ways. One such initiative was the “co-founders match” where profiles of entrepreneurs and start-ups were matched to fit in with each other and the results were appreciable and unprecedented. When I was asked to become the CEO by observing my capabilities and efforts, I was a little hesitant as it was difficult to balance academics and a full-fledged company, but still, I gave a yes to it and look forward to the forthcoming journey full of entertainment and challenges.
- Were you able to manage academics and dreams simultaneously?
Genuinely I would say no to this because till 12th I had only academics in my mind and excelled in it to get into my dream college. But then I thought and also believed that doing something different from others and something that you love matters more. I am completely enjoying my job at the same time maintaining a decent level of grades without backlogs. So such a compromise can grade to some extent which gives a way to focus more on what you want to is acceptable. But I am proud to say that I am against the college drop out that follows once you start something of your own.
- Tell us about the incidents and situations in your life that changed you to the way you are now.
Co-founders match was one such in my life that boosted my confidence levels and made me feel strong about my initiative. Apart from that, I have also started something called “education yatra” wherein you go to villages to teach students there, know the education standards personally and figure out a way to be a change that you want to see in the society. Sitting in our comfort zone, and commenting the world outside makes no sense. So this campaign had one such influence on my life to become what I am. And time constraints right now are not permitting me to spend much time in this but I definitely have plans to extend this.
- So, is there any change in culture that you brought to your workplace?
Yes, usually in start-ups the concept of accountability for consequences among the working staff is quite less. But I am trying to have enough of it at the workplace because that stands in the first place for your to company to overcome ups and downs smoothly and hope for a better outcome for your efforts.
- Also, I have heard you have been to Hyderabad to address students. How did it feel?
I couldn’t address them physically though. I was called for a guest lecture, but yes I addressed them through Skype and it was really a good experience. I would take many such opportunities to reach students and tie up with them in reaching our goal.
- Could you share your experience on being associated with MASH?
MASH is a Mobile Application for Sustainable Habitat. And I was heading team Nexus there. The main objective of this was to extend help to NGOs in need of service at a very reasonable price. For instance, we used to link people who wanted to extend help to NGOs at low returns and NGOs who were in need of such service. Services include website development for NGOs and brochure designing. The idea was simple and I will give you favor in return. Our mission behind this was to make technology available to every hook and corner. By developing websites and giving technology accessible to small organizations will help India grow digitally at a faster rate.
- What motivated you to start Education Yatra?
I always had a passion for education. Students pass out with certificates of no value. Authorities let them move on, teachers give them passing marks and this is completely degrading the quality of our education. So I thought of making my contribution in getting things right with the education system and started education yatra. And this effort of mine has given me more satisfaction than anything else. When I with ‘Pravah’ visited one basti in Nizammudin and a girl comes up to me says “aap wohi ho na jisne hamare bachon ko padaya?” She had tears in her eyes and said “aap ki wajah se pass huyen hai” and that somehow touched me and made me more happy about what I am doing.
- Did you have the motivation to become an entrepreneur or work with the startup right from your schooling?
(laughs) No, I doubt if I really knew the meaning of startup by then. The main reason that motivated me was my attachment with FAAD from the scratch. I have seen FAAD growing from the small room to what it is now. FAAD was a small room the same room for meeting clients, having breakfast, lunch and what so ever. At that time we had many ups and downs, many deals got canceled, but still, I was given my space to focus on other things. The entire team as FAAD was super supportive and to just sum it up I would say I have seen FAAD networks and I grow together. This kind of parallel growth connected me more to FAAD and motivated me to become who I am.
- How can one balance his/her professional and personal life simultaneously? As in, how can one give his maximum at work without losing the essence of personal life?
Okay, 24 hrs a day is same for everyone. It is how one utilizes these hours. As it is rightly said there are few who count minutes and there are the other few who make every second count. So to be in the right category properly allocate your time, set your priorities and work accordingly. Mental peace is something that comes with one’s own actions. So, give yourself ample time to work out, release stress and introspect. When you introspect yourself to figure out your goal, what, when and how to go with the flow, the entire fist of your goal selling and efforts lies within the reason why.
- SUCCESS and Motivation are different for different people. What is your perspective?
Yes, success and motivation are different for different people. Motivation is not something that comes to you just by listening to YouTube videos, it comes from your own thoughts and planning takes you through the right direction. And talking about success it is something about impact. It is never quantitative. Anything that makes you feel happy about yourself and creates an impact is the success of loving what you do. Moreover, Success is all about not giving up, do what you want to do.
- Students these days lack exposure of opening up to different people, but when exposed do not accept it and hesitate/fear more. How can this be overcome?
I have faced this too when you come across someone who looks confident and his/her position is known to you, you have a prejudice for him/her without uttering a word. To overcome hesitation do not feel fallen back from other instead erase the prejudice in your mind and be honest. Slow and effective your genuine ideas to them. Beyond a successful person, there are human beings and will understand your point of view. Explore, open up and talk to different people. Expose yourself to diversity.
- Your view on the list of qualities to become successful?
Apart from success, determination, motivation there is a list of qualities to become successful is more about not going up and learning from constructive criticism without bluntly ignoring.
- Your message to everyone out there reading this.
Nothing in specific. But I would just say when you don’t love what you do, you may be compromising but when you do what you love nothing can push you back. Lastly, before you earn your first 1 Billion dollar impact 1 Million Lives.
Thank you! Aditya wishing you more success ahead.
Interview by Shivani . Drafted by Lavanya
Stanley college of engineering
Elyuxen, a student newspaper where students get to work as well as publish all the news related to colleges in and around Hyderabad. It is the first ever student newspaper in South India which is successfully running. The beauty and the tagline of this newspaper is it is *For the student, by the student, of the student