Productivity

I'm Arvind Vohra, and This Is How I Work

Surbhi Chawla

There is no dearth of brands vying to make a space for themselves in the Indian smartphone arena. Gionee seems to be a newbie in the space as it has been into business for just over 10 months. However, even in this brief period of time the company has managed to get noticed.

Arvind R Vohra, heads Gionee's smartphone business in India. Vohra gave up a cushy job to get into entrepreneurship way back in 2008. He partnered with Gionee to launch this brand in India in March 2013.

As Gionee is a Chinese brand, Vohra has to make frequent trips to China. In addition, as it is a new business he is also traveling to various parts of the country to establish the sales and after sales business for Gionee. In fact Vohra claims that this year for Gionee will be all about retail.

Location: Delhi NCR

Current gig: Head of Gionee smartphone business in India

Current mobile device: Gionee Elife E7

Current computers: Sony VAIO

One word that best describes how you work:

Passion. I only work with passion. There is a saying by famous philosopher Confucius that goes, "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life". And I have not been working for the past six years in my life, which is when I decided to be an entrepreneur.

What apps/software/tools you can't live without?

Email client and Instant Messengers such as WeChat.

What's your workspace like?

I work out of a couple of locations. One is in the basement of my house, which is very dear to me as I started my entrepreneurship from that place. Now I can work out of anywhere.... At my workplace you will never find even a paper on my desk. It is very clear. Even in my inbox, you will not find any unread mail ever.

What's your best time-saving trick?

I don't waste time. Today you are living in a connected world. As I said, it all boils down to how passionate you are about your work. I start my day at 6:00 AM and by 6:30 I have cleared all my emails. Then I read the newspaper, go to gym. I am very particular about is my fitness. To do a difficult business, you need to be mentally and physically fit. So I have to exercise everyday, six days a week for one and half hours. The only day I take a break from gym is Sunday. Even while I travel I manage to stick to my gym routine.

Also I brace my work with so much of enthusiasm and passion that I don't feel that I am working or that I am spending time on it.

What's your favorite to-do list manager?

I don't have one. I don't like having papers around me and neither do I have an app for that. However, what I do is that when I meet someone for work, my signing off line is, please send me an email so that this is recorded and if they don't send me one, then I do it myself. It is aptitude not applications for me.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without?

Nothing at all. I don't even carry my wallet with me. If I have to buy a pan, I have to ask my driver for the cash. I have only one credit card on my pocket and if that gets blocked, then someone else has to pay for me.

What do you listen to while you work?

No, For me work is music.

What are you currently reading?

I like reading to John Grisham but have not been able to read anything for the past couple of months.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

I am purely an extrovert.

What's your sleep routine like?

I hit the bed by 11 and sleep like a baby and as I shared I am up by 6 AM

Any advice for people that are starting out as an entrepreneurs?

My only advice to them is that the first thing is that you have to forget that you had a stable income. The biggest sacrifice, or let me call the biggest investment that any entrepreneur has to make in his business is losing that monthly pay check.

What's the best advice you've ever received?

My best advice comes from my dad when I started working and I followed it. My dad has always been on the sales side of the business, so he told me that you should be very loyal to your channel. Chances are you will change companies but you will have the same dealers and distributors working with you. Be honest with them, even if you are incurring losses, let them know. So I have been extremely loyal to my channel. Second is that people are most important to me and they supersede even strategy.

In the way we run Gionee, we don't work with people who are big in name, we work with people who have the fire and passion to work. Anybody who has to work with us has to have that burning desire to be an entrepreneur. At this stage, we would want people who are high on passion and not fashion.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Becoming an entrepreneur was the best decision of my life. I wish I could have started a little earlier. If you are a professional taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, you need to keep the weight of the chair that you last sat on at home and then get to do your business. I can tell you, March 31, I had some people sitting outside my office to meet me, April 1, I was sitting outside their office. The biggest setback for any entrepreneur is realizing that his status has gone for a toss. Most entrepreneurs believe that their status will drive business, but it won't. It is their passion and their ability to do which will drive the business.

One thing I keep telling my team is that if you need a different result, then you perhaps need to try a different input. Most of the people will keep saying that they want a different result but will continue to do the same thing that means they are just pushing the efficiency pedal. If you look closely at our business, this is what we have followed. People said launch low-end in the Indian market, we launched high-end devices and so on. People said remove ISP, we went ahead with the same. Success is infectious and if we continue to do good work, we will be able to bring traction.
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