Way to be an entrepreneur


BY ELAINE ANG

Rameshwari Ramachandra with her book.

THE Big Jump into Entrepreneurship (Horizon) is an invitation to a journey into entrepreneurship written by a true entrepreneur. 

Since young, Singapore-based author Rameshwari Ramachandra has been known to do “untypical” things and having “great fun” doing them.  

A woman of many talents and experience, Ramesh has had her share of jobs, including being a commodity broker and working in a shipping company, and even at a polytechnic. 

She started her first official business dealing in Internet research (with an Australian partner) from her parents' balcony.  

“It was a pretty successful business. We broke even in 15 months,” Ramesh told StarBiz when she was in Kuala Lumpur recently.  

However, it was the failure of one of her companies that drove Ramesh to write her book. 

“From that experience, I realised that it was okay to talk about failure. I wanted to convert the pain into something useful and teach people to become entrepreneurs,” she said. 

Ramesh then developed a programme on how to start and run a business and she began to run courses, later funded by the Singapore government. 

For Ramesh, teaching was not enough. She wanted to leave behind something beyond training. 

“I was at a stage in life when I wanted to share my experience and make a difference in people's lives. Motivated by my passion to change the world, I sat down to write The Big Jump into Entrepreneurship for two months,” she said.  

In the book, the concept of entrepreneurship is demystified and the reader is taken step-by-step through the process of starting a business – conceiving an idea, testing it and then finally launching it. 

Exercises and activities are used to illustrate key points with games helping readers to brainstorm for business ideas and recognise opportunities.  

The reader is also shown how to evaluate and perform a meticulous feasibility check on the idea as well as how to write a business plan by following a practical outline. Various forms of entrepreneurship like freelancing, self-employment and franchising are examined. 

In the book, Ramesh delves into her own personal experiences and uses real-life situations as examples, making it an easy and interesting read. 

For many, the last few sentences in her book will ring true: “Yes, it will be hard to get your first idea off the ground, but you have to stick up for it and believe it will work. There will be naysayers along the way, so your convictions must be strong enough to enable you to rise above their chorus. 

“You've embarked on a very exciting journey. The challenge now is to stay afloat and survive the choppy waters. In the same way that the ocean is made of little waves, the Big Jump is really a series of small steps.”  

Ramesh, born in Sri Lanka, currently resides in Singapore with her six-year-old daughter. She founded and now runs 3R Holdings Pte Ltd. 

She has a Master of Business Ad- ministration in International Business from the Monash University and the Stern Business School, New York University.  

Ramesh is actively involved in community work, especially the co-operative and women's movement. She is presently a facilitator of training and development programmes for women entrepreneurs organised by the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Malaysia. 

Her advice on how to become a successful entrepreneur: Remember the 3Ps and 3Vs. Have a Passion for what you are doing, Persevere and be Persuasive. 

“You may have the grandest plan but it would get nowhere if you are unable to persuade people on how good it is,” she said, adding that the 3Vs were Verbalise – say what we want, Visualise success and work at achieving it, and create Value. 

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