Thought Leadership : Manu Khetan’s Inspiring Story
February 21, 2023 Singapore
Why I decided to make a career switch
My journey began with my arrival in Singapore in 2008. The first four years after graduating from college were devoted primarily to SAP consulting, and working as a consultant made me realise that many clients desired rapid solutions and agile teams. At that time, I learnt I could lead a small team and resolve customer issues. The thought came knocking in with: “I can strike out on my own and start a consulting services company, and then solve these problems that the customers are currently struggling with.”
By 2009, I had started my own company. As an SAP consultant, the number of clients seeking services was substantial. More importantly, they were used to working with big companies. Dealing with big companies means extensive processes, standard protocols, project management, methodologies, product positioning as well as submission sales and presales. So, the initial idea was that a small team could solve a customer’s problem without resorting to complex procedures. In brief, this marked the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.
However, the idea initially came when I was working as a consultant on the Singapore Airlines HRTech project. Over the next couple of years, my team and I completed the first project, a small one with only four team members. Working on it was the right opportunity for me to start. Now, it has been a 12-year journey from one project to two, with the size of the team expanding from one person to 200. Trying to gain customers’ trust proved challenging, so we strove to deliver great work. However, the challenge was made more accessible by conceding that you genuinely and precisely aim to understand what customers are experiencing. With outstanding comprehension comes the opportunity to learn and improve.
Three must-have attributes of an entrepreneur
Entrepreneurial success calls for a rare individual with plenty of grit and determination. You must muster yourcourage and be patient. Again, all of these can be combined in one attribute: bravery. This is because you will see many failures, yet you have to keep doing it. Then success will come. The second one is that you would never have a boss, because of the nature of entrepreneurship. So you need to maintain self-awareness. Without self-awareness, you do not know what mistakes you are making, which will not contribute anything good to your career. You need to check whether what you are doing is correct. Get feedback, and digest it with positivity.
And the last thing is, of course, the large amount of hunger you should have. Hunger becomes your fuel to help you succeed in this career. The fuel must exist. These three things are required to maintain your position in entrepreneurship: bravery, selfawareness and hunger. Acquiring these three attributes will help you become a better entrepreneur, just as they did for me. Indeed, it will not be as easy as it sounds. You are still learning.
My advice for graduates
First, you need to ask yourself, “Why do I want to become an entrepreneur?” If you find a genuine answer, that is the path you should take. For example, if you are engaged in entrepreneurship to earn more money, there are multiple ways. Why entrepreneurship in particular? If you find the answer lies in wanting to work independently and try out something that nobody has done before, that could be one of the reasons.
Entrepreneurship is not everybody’s cup of tea. But if it is yours, you will permanently settle for nothing less than complete contentment. The second you are confident that you are the right person to carry it out, you should. Once you take the entrepreneurship route, you need to be ready to face the world. You need to be on your own; responsible for your choices. Remember to enjoy the journey
About Rolling Arrays
Rolling Arrays has been driving SAP SuccessFactors-led HR Transformation since 2009. The company specialises in SF consulting, implementation, and support and also builds applications to enhance the utility of the SuccessFactors platform. It is committed to designing systems that help its customers to attract, develop and retain talented individuals. In 2021, Rolling Arrays was recognized as one of the top 75 fastest-growing companies in Singapore by The Straits Times & Statista.