Of Unwavering Determination
The single-minded pursuit of making the most of his potential, and to learn as much as he possibly could, led Rajat Gupta to nurture dreams about starting up. After graduating from IIT Delhi, Rajat worked at Bosch for four years, where he felt that his learning goals were being restricted. In his quest to learn and to grow, he joined Harvard Business School’s (HBS) MBA programme. He leveraged his time at HBS by gaining experience in working with startups. After the MBA, Rajat joined Promethean Power Systems as its COO.
After a short stint with this Pune-based startup, Rajat decided to learn more about the Indian entrepreneurship space and joined INFUSE Ventures as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. During this programme, while building the first cleantech accelerator in India, he realised that it was time for him to take the plunge. In 2013, Rajat launched TESSOL, a company that focuses on providing energy efficient and fuel saving refrigeration technologies for cold chain storage and logistics.
Helming TESSOL, Rajat has seen it all — team attrition, drying up of funds, and issues on the product side, but he believes that an entrepreneur does not really have a choice “you cannot just give up, especially when your team is looking up to you”. All along, his family has been a constant source of unwavering support. He consciously keeps them abreast of the developments at TESSOL and draws inspiration from them.
Rajat believes that TESSOL has thrived on customer feedback. He believes that this outside perspective has helped him maintain a balanced view of his organisation’s impact. TESSOL winning the Startup Energy Transition Award in early 2017 was a big achievement for him. That it helped him represent India on a global platform added to his pride.
“When like-minded people join your team early on, it is easier to become bigger and scale faster.”
Having seen it all during the last five years, Rajat is a believer in the importance of having a good team. This hyper-focused entrepreneur had always a deep desire to learn. Setting up an enterprise has enabled him to keep learning and sharpen his skills. He is now more agile and fearless. Trying to gain a strong foothold in a fast-evolving industry with a radical innovation hasn’t been easy. But then, persistence is Rajat’s strong suit. No points for guessing the outcome of his determination.