Hemang Pandeet, MD and CEO, Ganesha Speaks
In a exclusive interview with Yourstory.in, Pandeet speaks about how the stars came to rule his life, providing an insight into the world of astrology, a domain that remained untapped for years and which came to the fore, for the first time as an organised sector, because of his expertise in the corporate arena.
“GaneshaSpeaks is a brand,” said Pandeet, a young entrepreneur who graduated as an engineer not knowing that his destiny had set him on a different path altogether.
“It all started the day I accompanied my friend to an astrologer. At the time, I was working with Hutch and didn’t even have my own kundli prepared. What I saw was nothing short of exploitation of the common man by greedy fortune-tellers who wanted to earn big bucks. People would have unquestioning faith in whatever they prophesised,” Pandeet said, adding that it was the lack of systematic operations in the sphere that inspired him to pursue a career related to astrology and bring order to it.
He decided to undertake the venture to cater to the high demand in the market for an organised entity offering consultancy in the field of astrology. “I found the idea of filling the vacuum created by the lack of such services in the organised sector interesting, and the rest is history,” he said.
Pandeet was not born a businessman, and neither is he from a business background; but he knew all too well that his start-up would not pull through the economic crisis unless backed by a brand name. And what could have been better than having Bejan Daruwalla himself to lend support to the undertaking. “GaneshaSpeaks works under the guidance and on the principles of Bejan Daruwalla. He gave us all the support we needed and even organised a press conference for us to provide the firm the thrust that every start-up requires for a successful beginning,” said Pandeet when asked to share his views about the astrology guru.
Over the years, the firm’s steady growth has helped it expand its reach to a wider audience. It presently serves its customers through three extensions — the dotcom industry (www.ganeshaspeaks.com) that has garnered the company’s website a viewership of more than 24,000 visitors a day; three BPO units, in Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune; and Fortune Mantra. The last mentioned is the newest, well-researched product devised by the company’s team of expert astrologers to minimise customer losses and maximise their gains on the stock markets.
But for Pandeet, life as an entrepreneur hasn’t been all hunky-dory. There were troubles and tribulations and challenges to be dealt with, but none daunting enough to deter him from realising his goals. “I had only Rs2 lakh that I managed to save during my stint as a corporate professional at Hutch. But my start-up called for more. I borrowed another Rs10 lakh thinking we would break even soon. I’m glad I took that decision,” he said.
Considering that astrologers, by dint of their power to foretell, raise curiosity among many, it is not surprising that they often encounter bizarre, unnerving instances. While sharing one such experience, Pandeet said, “Sometime back, a lady called up saying she was committing suicide because she was tired of her life. I rushed to get our head astrologer on line, who managed to convince her not to take the drastic step.”
The company won the 2008 PC World Award for its technical expertise and commendable customer experience. And by 2013, when GaneshaSpeaks will complete 10 years of successful operations, Pandeet envisages the company being the number one astrology portal in World. For aspiring entrepreneurs who wish to follow his footsteps, here’s what he suggests: “Before you even begin to think of an enterprise of your own, make sure you have enough cash for at least the first three years. Leave the rest to your stars; if you are destined for it, success will be yours.”