‘The joy isn’t as a result of they’re marketers however juniors’

Suniel Shetty | The actor, who is also a sports enthusiast and an entrepreneur by passion is known for his work in films like Dilwale, Dhadkan, Main Hoon Na, Border, Hera Pheri, among others. He speaks with SUPRIYA RAMESH about Horses Stable Junior, a platform which allows kids to pitch their start-up ideas like any other adult and instead of direct funding, they will provide grants for their future research, experimentation and entrepreneurial ideas

Horses Stable is a reality show where entrepreneurs meet investors. Could you please elaborate on the process whereby an entrepreneur pitches his business idea to the investor convincing him to invest?

There is Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship initiative to promote innovation and entrepreneurship set up by the NITI Aayog that is helping us curate and find the right talent. We choose the best among them and understand their talent and ideas. We analyze what is right and wrong and later present the ideas to the corporate. That being done, we try to figure out which corporate will work best for what idea. It’s like making sure that we are that matrimonial website that arranges the marriage of the talent and their work in the best possible way.

On what basis are the contestants being selected?

On their ideas, how far they have come with that idea, what stage they are at and what are the kind of ideas they are talking about. Checking the need and potential of growth of an idea and it doesn’t matter whether it’s tech, product-based or others. We examine if the idea has the potential to make it big or to go to the next stage, where can it stagnate or how far can it go.

Are the juniors being trained for the same?

Of course they will be. They will be mentored by all of our team which are a bunch of young entrepreneurs who are involved with Horses Stable.

It is obvious that the rules and regulations of the show will not entirely match those of the one for adults but what are the similarities?

It’s about talent, ideas and innovation.

You have been hosting the show for three seasons now. How has your experience been? What are your expectations from the younger lot?

Fan-tas-tic! Very satisfying. It is a talent platform that gives young talents a great opportunity. Young girls and boys no matter where they come from, all od them get this opportunity. There have been over 2000-3000 success stories. Horses stable is an exciting concept where kids will pitch their start-up ideas like any other adult and instead of direct funding, we will provide grants for their future research, experimentation and entrepreneurial ideas till they become old enough to venture it out on their own . My expectations are huge. Even if we can get one Gates or Musk coming out of India, we can get the Ambanis, the Birlas and the Adanis to get involved too. It’s an icing on the cake.

You yourself are a businessman and if you were to train or guide an aspirant, how would you go about it?

Give it your best and if you fail, understand why you are failing and what is wrong with what you are doing. When I failed as an actor, my film was successful but I was not. That bothered me but I realized that I didn’t learn acting. One opportunity came and I just grabbed it. Until then, I did death defying stunts. By the time I did four to five films I was successful as people saw me. It’s also about how you market yourself. I haven’t done a film in seven-eight years. People should have forgotten but they haven’t. They love me and media has kept me alive and nobody gives me a complex. No super successful actor will make me feel that he is more successful than me. I’ll give him a bigger complex, that’s how confident I am. It’s not about my pride, it’s about what kind of a person I am. What am I doing in the society? What is my reputation? I will outdo all of them together. So, that’s what mentoring is all about, to tell a child what you have is magical. Go there and kill it. You tried while the others haven’t ever.

You have been into acting and equally into sports. What drove you to the business world?

I have passion. I started young with dad. I understood the value of money. I made my own money when I was 15. I did my own things. I bought my own tickets, clothes. That is a matter of pride for me but a bigger pride for my father. He always told people that I didn’t take a single rupee from him. That one thing kept me going. That became part of me. When I was training in martial arts, he told me not to drink or smoke, you will be stronger and I listened to him to only notice that I am actually becoming stronger.

Do you see any similarities in strategizing ideas on the cricket field and in the business arena?

Team work.

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