Catching up with TIESocal President Anshuman Sinha
Continuing our leadership series today we had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing a community leader in the Southern California area: Anshuman Sinha the President of TIESoCal an organization that has grown under his leadership and has been a strong staple in the Southern California business community for nearly 25 years.
For those readers that may have never heard of TIE, what is the organization and what is it’s primary mission?
TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) is a non-profit organization that focuses on generating and enabling the next generation of entrepreneurs. TIE has a fantastic network effect, and it connects the entire entrepreneurship ecosystem from early-stage entrepreneurs, serial entrepreneurs, professionals at leading corporations, venture capital, angel investors, thought leaders, among others. The organization emphasizes the spirit of giving in all aspects of its work.
It was founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region.
The mission of TiE is to foster entrepreneurship globally through the five pillars of TiE: mentoring, networking and education, funding, and incubation.
There are currently 15,000 members (including over 3000 charter members or mentors) in 61 chapters across 14 countries.
About TiE SoCal – https://socal.tie.org/ – Southern California Chapter was founded in 1997 as the first Chapter outside of Silicon Valley. It was founded to inspire, foster and support entrepreneurship in Southern California. Professionals with aspirations to start a business venture, learn from other entrepreneurs, or working with startups or in an entrepreneurial company gain access to invaluable educational, networking and partnership opportunities through TiE.
In what ways has the TiE community contributed to the greater Los Angeles area?
- By holding startup pitching events in Los Angeles county at Santa Monica
- Investing in startups – Silicon Beach has many startups and we have been investing in companies
- Mentorship to budding entrepreneurs – Many startup business owners are getting in touch with us and looking at us to provide them with necessary help, in terms of making the right connections, funding and mentorship
As an organization that relies a lot on events to make an impact how has COVID19 affected the functionality of the community and how have you dealt with it?
In the pre-COVID-19 era, we were doing an event every month with professional speakers. TiE is an excellent place for networking, and we have seen tremendous growth in attendee participation and wealth creation within the group.
COVID 19 has disrupted lives, communities, and businesses worldwide. These are truly unprecedented times.
As an entrepreneur, I believe that while your skills and talents are your most valuable assets, your relationships and contracts are a close second. And I genuinely believe that our connections will be instrumental in getting us all through this current ordeal.
At TiE SoCal, we are trying to reach out and connect with as many members as possible.
Per direction from our parent organization TiE Global, we are holding all our public events via webinars. It’s challenging and also exciting to innovate ways to stay relevant and create value for all our members. As we have now bounced back to the status quo, we are now focusing on creating more value and a more significant societal impact.
We have been making daily community connections called TiE SoCal Connect. These events are trendy among our members and are enthusiastically attended. To make the activities enjoyable, we have Learning Mondays; Innovation Tuesdays; Special Guest Thursdays and Variety Fridays
We continuously get twenty plus attendees, and our social media posts of the recorded video get more than 500 views. This event is moderated by Ravi Kondagunta, TiE SoCal Charter Member, Speaker, and Events Chair and CEO of Traction Labs
Our monthly meetings are also being held online. We are doing webinars every Wednesday on relevant topics with renowned speakers from around the world. So far, we have done events with Attorneys, Bankers, women entrepreneurs, social workers, Physicians, healthcare company, Restaurants service providers. This has got tremendous traction for us. Our webinars are attended by over 150 attendees and we are fielding 20 + questions on an average. To retain our existing Charter Membership and bring value to the community, we have started “TiE SoCal Angels Startup Online Pitching Event”. Our next online pitching event is on Wednesday, May 20th. Four startup companies will be presenting.
Few of the topics of our past webinars are
- May 13th – Entrepreneurship and Company building with VCs & Strategic corporate investors
- May 6th – Living in the time of COVID-19
- April 29th. Startup Virtual Pitch event
- April 22nd. – How Pragmatic and Steady Leadership during Perilous Times Wins The Race”
- April 8th – Raising Capital and Thrive with the Small Business Stimulus Grants
- April 1st. – COVID-19: How to Get SBA Loans for your Business
To retain our existing Charter Membership and bring value to the community, we have started “TiE SoCal Angels Startup Online Pitching Event.”
Forty-plus Startup companies have applied, who are looking for funding. After taking them through the prescreening phase, four startups present in our first-ever online pitching event on April 29th. Two of the companies we founded and ran by women CEO. Two of the companies are now in due diligence phase, and our Charter Members have shown interest in investing in the companies.
Our next online pitching event is on Wednesday, May 20th. Four startup companies will be presenting.
The chair for TiE SoCal Angels is our charter member Shankar Ram if you want to pitch at our event, then please get in touch with [email protected] You can get more information at www.tiesocalangels.com.
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Fear is a loaded term which has a lot of negative connotation. I believe fear is necessary not only in self-preservation but also as an orienting response. Fear can be channeled to spur you in the right direction if you know how to stop it from becoming debilitating and irrational.
Fear also keeps you on your feet. One of my greatest fears is losing relevance in our modern changing times. Entrepreneurship is all about evolving along with the changing times.
I always want to be able to approach my strategies, goals and formulas with an open mind and allow them to adapt to keep my organization relevant and me.
I manage my fear by staying current and always keeping a pulse on the technological and cultural zeitgeist. Reading helps me immensely. I use social media extensively.
I have also started a practice of mindful meditation. I am in the early stages now and haven’t had any breakthroughs, but I am consistent. In the short term, it helps me unwind and reflect on the day. I think it makes a more effective person.
This is a very broad question so I will narrow it down to my spiritual belief system. I believe in a higher power that guides me in my moral life. I believe in the system of karma and in doing good wholeheartedly. I believe that the more good you sow, the more good you reap.
I want to contribute to the world flourishing through my actions because I believe that it is my duty to do so.
What are your ideals?
For me, ideals are your highest personal values in terms of my business, associations, and personal life. I have guiding principles that help me lead my professional and personal life.
Signature – I am proud of my signature. I believe in the fact that it takes a lot of time, actions, and efforts to create a persona, and if it is positive in terms of society, then it becomes your ideals. I take my signature very seriously, and conscious and unconscious mind always acts as a balance in not letting me do any wrong
Timeliness – no matter how rich or poor you are, you can’t buy time. Being cognisant about the value of time
Clarity – of thoughts and actions, rational thinking and listening to your heart is vital to be successful in life
Ethical – Being ethical in running your business goes a long way it pays multifold. One must keep doing ethical analyses of the production, distribution, marketing, sale, and consumption of goods and services. Striving to earn a reputation as an ethical business is noble, but it requires commitment. Most businesses are financially driven, and it is possible to be both ethical and successful.
Transparency – Transparency builds trust, and makes employees feel that they’re working for a company with higher ethical and moral standards. When transparency is added to the corporate culture, employees will be more engaged and committed to the vision of the company. It helps you build your brand internally (employees) and externally (Customers & vendors).
How do you define success?
Success, to me, is when you have control of your time; financial success allows spending, but it might not give you the satisfaction that you are looking for.
Success is when you achieve “True Wealth”. Understand the meaning of true wealth, it is a state when your body is healthy, and your mind is calm.
Success, for me, is to be in a state of happiness for a prolonged passage of time. Objective thinking and being in the present is key to my success
Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful leader?
Well, I believe that there is no readymade formula or pattern that can help you become a successful leader. The mark of a true leader is his/her capacity to learn and innovate. Every moment in business happens only once- the next Bill Gates will not be writing code, the next Elon Musk will not be making space ships. Every successful company and every successful leader solved a unique problem.
Whenever you build a business, you are creating a unique little world where you can set the rules, shape the culture, and have control and real power to make a difference. The mark of a real leader is to recognize this power and channel it to create wealth, prosperity and meaning for himself/herself and the people who look up to him.
Financial success and durability of the company is important too.
Here are some tips that have worked for me very well.
- Build a coterie of trusted and competent peers/team members whose ideas are aligned with you.
- Delegate to the experts
- Motivate and reward your team. People-first!
- Be present for the needs of your team etc.
- Distribute ideation to your team. People who work in the trenches often have great ideas that can pull everyone up. Listen with attention.
- Be open to criticism and seek feedback instead of waiting for it. You have to have your listening ears open. Listen to the market forces, listen to your team, listen to the business environment
- Hard work – there is no shortcut in becoming successful in anything. You have to work harder and smarter.
- Pivoting – you always have to be ready for change and adapt to new situations. You can expect different results from the same effort.
- Focus on your goal and set up small achievable targets and keep monitoring your results and output
- Step back and think – decisions taken in haste hardly give you favorable results. Always, step back and think before you act
What is your favorite aspect of being a leader?
I find the act of decision making very thrilling.
As a business owner, I have to make a lot of decisions every day ranging from mundane to strategic. Each decision presents its own challenges, and we all have different ways of approaching problems. I enjoy the process of exploring the options available and weighing the pros and cons.
Making a decision is ultimately like placing a bet. You use your past experiences, your hunches and make an educated bet, but at the end of it, luck plays a major as well. I specifically enjoy scenario planning and playing the counterfactual game.
The uncertainty of the outcome of your decisions and the learning it offers are challenging and exciting.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I run an executive Search Firm called Optizm Global, and it provides me immense opportunities to touch the lives of my talent pool and also the people who work under my guidance.
Like most other businesses, we have been impacted by the pandemic. Hiring requirements have been put on hold by our customers and new deals are difficult to come by.
I still decided to give one of my star performers a raise based on her spectacular performance over the past year. It wasn’t difficult because it was well deserved. On the call, she was shocked by the surprise and was very grateful.
Two days later, I get a call from her. She was offering her raise back to me so that I could use the money to run the company. She said it wasn’t gonna hurt her as she had not experienced the new salary, yet.
I found our interaction very touching! Here was an employee who was willing to sacrifice her raise so that the company could go on. I am blessed to have such employees who care for the company as much as I care for them. This was one of my most satisfying moments.
What do you wish for TIE SoCal to accomplish within the next year ?
One thing that I am working towards is to grow the organization in terms of outreach to different ethnic groups and bring entrepreneurs from those groups and expose them with industry leaders and investors.
I would like to work with women-led companies in the startup ecosystem, help them in getting access to investors’ fund. Setup advisory board and introduce them to industry stalwarts
Get to 100 charter members in TiE ecosystem; the Charter Members are selected groups of individuals who are high achievers and successful entrepreneurs. They bring immense value and connection to budding entrepreneurs.
What do you wish TIE SoCal will accomplish within the next five years?
In the next five years, I wish TiE to help create a unicorn ( In the business and financial worlds, a unicorn refers to a startup company with a value of over $1 billion). Help at least twenty-five women-led startups to get funded and become a significant player (as an organization) in helping people create wealth
For the aspiring entrepreneur reading this what advice will you give ?
Entrepreneurship is exciting and rewarding, but it’s not without its difficulties early on in the process. My biggest advice to a budding entrepreneur is that the more time they spend as an entrepreneur, the more natural things will become. Some of the teething troubles will go away; naturally, some of them will become easier to deal with, and the more persistent you are, the more rewards you’ll be able to reap.
Muscle your way through those early stages, and never lose sight of your final goals.
Here are some more tips:
- Manage energy, not time – Your energy limits what you can do with your time, so manage it wisely.
- Believe in yourself & Challenge yourself
- Take the calculated risk
- Believe in yourself
- Take action
- Build a great team – No one succeeds in business alone, and those who try will lose to a great team every time. Build your own great team to bolster your success.
- Hire character – As you build your team, hire for character, attitude and values. You can always train someone on skills, but you can’t make someone’s values fit your company after the fact.
- Plan for raising capital
- Learn from mistakes and never make the same mistake twice
- Know your market and customer
- Deliver more than expected
What final words do you have for all of the supporters?
Work smart, not hard. Planning and networking are critical to success. Always remember you are the average of the company you keep. Join Tie SoCal
Interview conducted by Sara Rothstein – LA Tribune contributor.