[TechSparks 2020] If we can build for our community, we can build for the world, says Ola’s Bhavish Aggarwal

At TechSparks 2020, Ola Co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal says entrepreneurs have the opportunity to create the India they imagined, and that 'if we can build for our community, we can build for the world'.
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Speaking on his biggest learning from building a high impact and enduring business on the last day of TechSparks 2020, Ola Co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said the most under-appreciated value of an entrepreneur was "persistence".

Stating that he felt "boring things were the most valuable", Bhavish said: “If you look at our generation, we have the opportunity to create the India we always imagined. This is the best time as the environment around business and value creation is so positive. We can become producers for a global economy.”

Speaking at the 11th edition of YourStory’s flagship startup-tech conference, he said we need to invest more time and effort in organisations, adding that "if we can build for our community, we can build for the world”.

Ola Co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal in a virtual fireside with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma

Bhavish said entrepreneurship starts with a vision of yourself and what you want to build. “You have to put yourself behind the vision and ambition. It is never easy to go there; you have to work very hard,” he said.

He highlighted the fact that every entrepreneur who has earned his respect is a workaholic. “It's a negative term, but when you are passionate, it doesn’t matter what the world calls you. All we want is to deliver results and build an institution in a profitable,  sustainable way. And, we want to build it fast,” he said.

The CEO of Ola pointed out that the company offers a platform for people to come forward and make an impact.

We want to be the place for ambitious people who want to grow and do their best work. Our ethos is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (meaning the world is one family). That guiding belief is what separates India from Chinese or Western culture. If we can build that ethos into our organisation and businesses, we can let the world see India for its goodness.”

Bhavish said some times an entrepreneur ends up focusing on the business so much that they "ignore the organisation".

“You think people will grow themselves...but we need to invest more time and effort in our organisation. Our culture and our ethos as Indians does reflect in the companies we build; if we can build for our community, we can build for the world.”

Stating that Ola was not in the valuation business, but in the value creation business, he said: "We are focusing on talent growth instead of talent retention. If you are low in capital, look within how you can increase the value proposition for the customer. For a good entrepreneur and team, there will always be capital. Chase the fundamentals and other things come around.”

He also told the virtual audience about his daily routine, stating: “My daily schedule changes with what's happening at work. I try to fit in exercise and yoga; that’s very important. I never compromise with my sleep and spend enough time with the family.”

Edited by Teja Lele