Pranav Arora

Pranav Arora has been able to accomplish a lot in his young life. With only being 24 years old, Pranav is already viewed as being an influential leader with the world of entrepreneurship. He currently sits as a chairman for several multinational companies and continues to grow his business portfolio with new, innovative market ideas.

At just 16, Pranav assisted his parents in building their current company Just Funky, a premier manufacturer of all things pop-culture. While accomplishing this, Pranav was also involved with building his own successful business

But what does it take to become as great as Pranav? We received the opportunity to speak to him and learn more about his story.

When did your foray into entrepreneurship start and was school a key component of your success?

Like many successful entrepreneurs – Steve Jobs and Richard Branson, to name a couple – I’m one of those classic cases that didn’t get a degree. That’s not to say I didn’t try; after graduating high school I completed a semester of studies at the University of Akron, but I dropped out. It just wasn’t for me. I’m the type of person who learns through observation and practical experience, and so I was lucky that my parents were business-minded and were able to guide me through the process of entrepreneurship.

My career took off in 2012, when I was just 16 years old. My parents were starting up The Just Funky Foundation, and with their support I helped them to develop and grow it into a global organisation. At the same time, I was starting up my own business, Highly Educated, using the knowledge I was acquiring. It was a really exciting time, though it was a steep learning curve!

What are the components required to reach success as an entrepreneur?

I believe the most important trait is passion. Between endless meetings and planning, market research and the practicalities of business, entrepreneurship can be incredibly taxing work. That’s not to say it isn’t rewarding; it just means that if you lack the passion or the drive for what you’re doing, you won’t last long. Passion is the fuel that keeps your motor running, so to speak.

That being said, you need to give yourself down time, too. You don’t want to burn out by staying up late every night and not getting enough rest. You have to take care of yourself. Exercise, spending time with family, eating well – these are all things that can help you stay sharp.

Finally, a positive attitude is my secret to success. While you’ll always have challenges, it’s important to stay focused on your mission and believe that you will succeed in order to do so. Being optimistic, while still being realistic to an extent, is incredibly conducive to success. And don’t be afraid to take calculated risks from time to time.

What do you enjoy most about entrepreneurship?

I actually love the problem solving side of things. Entrepreneurship is about constantly finding efficient solutions to business problems. This of course requires a creative, out-of-the-box approach, which I enjoy. Working at JMTD holdings involves a lot of creative thinking and working in a team. Collaborating with others is enjoyable and exciting for me.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an entrepreneur?

Honestly, finding the best person for a job! Acquiring and keeping talent is a large part of the work I do, and it can be very difficult – mostly because there are so many qualified candidates, but also because great people don’t necessarily make for the right fit in specific roles.

It’s vital to ensure that the people on your team are on the same page regarding your vision for the future of the business. This means they may often need to have similar values to you. And of course, there’s nothing worse than hiring someone who ends up being unmotivated, cynical or negative. We need to work together productively.

Is giving back to the community important to you?

Absolutely. I believe one should never forget where they came from and how they made it to where they are today. Humility is essential – I never would have become so successful if not for my teachers and my incredibly supportive family. Because of this, paying my community back for their good deeds is incredibly important to me, and is a big part of what drives my work. Working as Vice President and chairman of The Just Funky Foundation allows me to give back in a very real way; non-profit charity work is truly rewarding.