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Getting bank loan to run business without any collateral is not easy. But Guru Prasad, one of the co-founders of V3 Engineers managed that and much more during his 17 years of his entrepreneurial journey. He spoke to YourStory about his own patented design called Tile Based Insert System in modular furniture and future plans for the company.
Confidence, self-belief and a passion to do something on my own were the prime drivers to start V3. During the last year of engineering, we attended a psychometric test to determine the entrepreneurial instincts of students. I came out in the top 5.
I along with N Vasu and S Sampath Raghvan started V3 engineers on 27th April 1990 from a 500sq ft space in Bangalore. When I started out, 17 years back, the general trend was one of rampant sickness among small scale industries (SSIs). Many industries in several industrial areas, like Peenya and Rajajinagar, had shut down or were sick. The Gulf War created unnecessary panic amongst several industries and we were mostly encouraged to look for a job rather than pursue a passion.
Coming from a working class background, being an entrepreneur itself was a challenge. Getting a financial institution to support my venture, without collateral security, was even more challenging, though I could prevail upon the State Bank of India who continue to support us to this date. Another challenge was the lack of business sense, which I made up with lots of hard work coupled with smart post-work analysis.
The turning point was our patented design, Tile Based Insert System. It took some time for the market to acknowledge the technical and functional superiority of our products. But today, they are well accepted and there have also been attempts to infringe on the intellectual property, which we have successfully defended. Our extensive product port-folio encompasses modular furniture, desking systems, storage and filing, institutional furniture, doors, kitchen fittings and products for interiors.
What drives us is the passion to deliver, besides an ingrained culture of growth. Sound fundamentals in terms of processes and comprehensive solution offerings in all the three verticals have been key to our success. Going forward, I see real estate as a major growth driver along with interiors and products for interiors. My advice to budding entrepreneurs would be what has held me in good stead so far: Pursue a passion and never hesitate to think big.