We Pioneered Omnichannel: Supam Maheshwari, FirstCry

The only way to succeed is to dream big, he believes

Passion can certainly be called the most intrinsic attribute for any entrepreneur. This passion further becomes the juggernaut that encourages him to put in his whole self in achieving a vision, be innovative in his approach, take risks and emerge the victor. It is a common site that entrepreneurs who are driven by a shared vision, often take minuscule steps to eventually win the race. 

One such exemplar is Supam Maheshwari, Cofounder & CEO, FirstCry whose journey is defined by finding his passion in the right purpose. At a recent industry forum, Maheshwari asserts that entrepreneurs are a different breed of people altogether. They are the ones who dare to dream, fail but eventually succeed, come what may. They are the ones who will create the future of India. “That fire in the belly or intense desire to win or overcome all odds is rare to find. We should not put a lid on their ambitions. 

Marrying what you do best with your intense desire, through the help of a core team, creates a beautiful outcome. Passion here comes along, it is a given.”

On Building FirstCry

He further delves into how he had an unclouded vision for FirstCry. “The market was big enough, totally fragmented on both sides and I had a belief that we will execute better than others. We kept identifying opportunities from a passion-fit window- of going omnichannel. No one was thinking of omnichannel in 2011. It is only now that people think of the power of distribution. 

We pioneered omnichannel, I feel. We moved on to aggregational demand and supply. Over time, we acquired Mahindra retail’s business, roped in Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador, raised funds, etc. It has been a journey of small steps that took us to big wins.”

On His Venture Spree

Maheshwari has been a serial entrepreneur, having numerous successful ventures to his name. On being asked what triggers him about ‘what next’, and how he moves to the next venture, he quips, “One builds self-confidence over time. This also comes along with your core team, which you can trust and rely on blindfolded. Most of them are from my first venture. It is the bond you build in the first leg of your journey that takes you a long way because you can build a very telepathic understanding of taking roles and responsibilities and the goal to deliver. You can always relate to this team and you put them in leadership roles. 

When there is comfort, you keep building more such associations and relations, park them in your mind and keep offering opportunities to them at different stages.”

On His Lessons To New-Age Entrepreneurs

Maheshwari, of course, has had plenty of interactions with investors in the past years. When asked about the lessons he would have for the budding entrepreneurs aiming for a level where large firms will invest in them, he admits that the whole industry is going through twists and turns and capital today is easily available than before. “It depends on the dream you have posed out for yourself. It is totally acceptable even if you are on an extreme side. It depends on the goalpost you want to take on. And basis that, you will define what level of homework you want to do. You must worry of everything that goes on to build your dream. And you will also go wrong in between, which is alright. 

You must calibrate your stomach that you can take to the dream you really want to aspire for. That balance must be strived for. 

You must believe in your idea, your team and yourself. Whosoever has told you a no for investing in your company is their problem, not yours. It is their hard luck. Be sure that someone will invest in your idea. I maintain that it is the best time in India to raise and find capital. It will not be an issue for entrepreneurs who have that fire in the belly.”

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