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Rupa Ganatra is co-founder of Yes-Sir.com – the multi award winning global online retailer of men’s grooming brands. She is also Co-founder of the disruptive expo Millennial 20 20. The first expo of its kind that brings together the world’s biggest brands and most exciting start-ups to uncover the future of future of ‘nextgen’ commerce, marketing & entrepreneurship.

In 2014 Rupa won the highly coveted 35 under 35 Award by Management Today & Sunday Times

But her list of awards doesn’t stop there.  In 2015 she won a Social Media Maven Award for Yes-Sir.com, Small Online Retailer of the Year for Yes-Sir.com,  she was voted one of the Top 100 Asian Tech Stars by Diversity UK, and was also shortlisted for an AWA Award – in the  Entrepreneur Category.

As you will discover through-out this episode, Rupa walked away from a high flying career in finance; and risked it all to launch herself in to entrepreneurship. And what makes Rupa’s story so unique, is that she jumped in WITHOUT having a set business idea. It’s unorthodox, it’s unusual, but it’s also fascinating – and a real demonstration of how to think differently.

Rupa has set up successful business in media, e-commerce and events. We discuss:

  • How Rupa tests her business ideas and creates a market
  • The first few steps she has taken to get every business off the ground
  • Social media tactics
  • Tips on finding mentors
  • Productivity hacks… and more
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  • Anything is possible
  • You can do what you want, you make anything of something through hard work and dedication
  • Creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship should all be there as a tool kit in education in the same way as you look at medicine as a career
  • Things like my degree have had very little relevance on what I’m doing now, real life experiences are what makes it in entrepreneurship
  • The idea itself is less than 10% of success. Execution is SO important.
  • There’s never been a more exciting time to be a start up in the UK
  • Build your network before you need it
  • Once you understand what your customer is you work backwards
  • When launching a business you need to consider A: how can you raise the barrier to entry so high on your product or what you’re offering B: how can you do something that’s going to make a difference and create value
  • A lot of the big brands and corporates are trying to think like start-ups from within – and when that thought gets to the right level internally it can create some really exciting opportunities   
  • To be an entrepreneur is a way of life, and you have to be prepared to have uncertainty embedded into various areas of your life
  • Part of it is, there’s no real end goal it’s a journey and you really need to make the most of that journey
  • As much as entrepreneurship is not studied enough at a young age, personal development is also not studied enough from a young age
  • At the beginning, any small challenge in your own business can feel personal
  • The will be the great highs and the great lows, and it’s the path of every entrepreneur
  • Everything is not going to be perfect, but we are gonna do the damn best we can to deliver what we want to go out there and deliver
  • Sometimes you can be so tired you don’t even know where that energy comes from, but you find it because you’re so inspired by everything you’re doing and working on
  • When you become your own boss it really is a life changing experience
Links & People
Time Stamped Notes
  • 00:03:48 – Why and how Rupa chose entrepreneurship
  • 00:05:01 – On the values instilled when growing up
  • 00:09:49 – Rupa’s advice to creative entrepreneurs (execution, co-founders, teams and mentors)
  • 00:12:39 – How Rupa has found co-founders (and the importance of co-founders)
  • 00:17:00 – Rupa’s time in investment banking
  • 00:21:54 – Rupa’s jump from banking into entrepreneurship
  • 00:24:10 – How Rupa got into the men’s grooming industry
  • 00:28:56 – How Rupa tested her business hypothesis and created a market
  • 00:31:04 – Social media tactics  
  • 00:38:01 – How small e-commerce start ups compete with the like of Ebay
  • 00:47:36 – What should brands, entrepreneurs and start-ups being doing to adapt to the shift in the millennial driven culture
  • 00:49:23 – On disruption and partnerships
  • 00:50:42 – Challenges of striking a ‘work life balance’
  • 00:52:50 – On meditation and personal development
  • 00:54:51 – The biggest mistake Rupa ever made… ‘Not starting earlier’
  • 00:55:41 – Rupas biggest flaw… ‘being a perfectionist by nature’
  • 00:57:02 – The single most important decision Rupa has ever made
  • 00:58:32 – Rupa’s definition of success
  • 00:59:30 – Productivity hacks
  • 01:05:07 – What Rupa has had to rebel against to get to where she is today
The Rebel Wrap Up Round

If you could go back to any point in your life, and have 1 hour with your past self; what moment would it be and what would you tell yourself?

01:13:12:05 My days at school, and when I used to Rebel against my mother – I’d tell myself that your mother is normally right!

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received, who gave it to you and how has it positively affected your career?

01:13:36:20 My father gave me advice very early on; with hard work and luck on your side as well you can go on to achieve whatever you want to do in life.

Who is the most disruptive, rebellious or revolutionary entrepreneur of the last 2 years?

01:14:08 The founder of Uber (Travis Kalanick)

What is the one generally agreed upon rule, or conventional piece of wisdom that you disagree with?  

01:14:17 People who don’t believe that entrepreneurship should be on the syllabus

If you could change one law what would it be?

01:14:23 The zero tax rate for entrepreneurs

What’s your definition of entrepreneurship?

01:14:34 Being absolutely crazy! Giving up certainty in some areas of your life, to go and try to make a difference in the world itself

What advice would you give to anyone listening to this who wants to become a creator entrepreneur?

01:14:54 Make sure that your product or your offering has the best USP, and raises the barrier to entry for competitors to come in. Secondly, just really believe in what you’re doing, work hard, and be good at execution

Who do you nominate to be a guest on the RebelHead Entrepreneurs podcast?

01:15:16 Viktoria De Chevron Villette, founding partner of Millennial 20-20  

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About The Author

Matt Cheney
Executive Producer

Matt has been in the media industry for 11 years, specialising in audio post production. Matt has created Emmy award-winning music features, BAFTA nominated animations and acclaimed festival documentaries. Max & Matts’ paths merged in 2015 to produce the REBELHEAD podcast; publishing the successful series, telling stories of today’s most disruptive and rebellious entrepreneurs. Matt is currently Head of Audio at Vice Media UK and currently partner in two growing audio production companies. As part of the REBELHEAD Production team; he is ambitiously road-mapping the rise of REBELHEAD via new media and emerging technologies.

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