#IconsAround Interview: Prasenjit Paul – The Guy Who Resigned IBM on His First Day
I told you about #IconsAround project yesterday right? Today I’ll be sharing with you the first inspiring story. A 23 year old guy from Kolkata, West Bengal – Prasenjit Paul, who resigned from IBM on his first day! Why? You’ll be hearing in his own words. Though he is a junior from my college – Bengal Engineering & Science University, Shibpur; but we never met at college. I met him on Facebook one day, and got fascinated when he told me that he too didn’t take job from campus interviews & would rather pursue his career as an Entrepreneur. We became friends & kept exchanging thoughts. I personally wanted to know more about his Stock Advisory Firm PaulAsset.com and his journey as an Entrepreneur. Now with #IconsAround I thought why not tell his story to the world? I requested him for an interview and he agreed! So with great excitement, let me share with you the story of this young Entrepreneur. Keep reading.
Interview with Prasenjit Paul
Q. How did you start www.paulasset.com ?
When I was 18 years old my father introduced me into the world of Stock Market and gifted few stocks of ITC. After that just out of my curiosity I regularly followed the stock price of ITC and also some other companies. I realized that the concept of “Stock Market” is very interesting and it attracts me a lot.
Then I borrowed Rs- 50,000 from my father to invest in stocks. Fortunately I had repaid the entire amount within the next 2 years from the profit I had generated from investing in stocks. In the mean time my attraction towards stock market increased day-by-day and I studied various books written on stock market and investment. Apart from my college studies I had spent a huge amount of time towards Stock Market. Thus my Passion towards Stock Market started growing.
When I was in the 3rd year of my engineering course, I had planned to set-up my own website just to share my own knowledge in Stock Market. Thus www.paulasset.com was born. Few months later I decided to provide stock advisory service, but the first question that stuck into my mind was who would be willing to take Stock Market advisory service from 21 years old guy studying Information Technology? I took courage and started providing service at nominal cost with Free Trial offer. Today, within 18 months from the beginning, my client base has spread across 13 different countries and across all major states of India.
Having said that, the journey was not so easy and smooth. It was very difficult to keep the balance between my engineering studies and my advisory service. Due to my passion towards stock market, I had never been a studious student in my college and also couldn’t become so-called “good student” to my teachers but later all those compensated while one of my own University Professor had subscribed to my Paid service!!
Q. Can you give some book recommendations on Stock and Investing?
Sure why not! Here are some of my most favorite books:
- The intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham Amazon
- Beating the street by Peter Lynch Amazon
- Once Up on a Wall Street by Peter Lynch Flipkart Amazon
- Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by P.Fisher Flipkart Amazon
- Essays of Warren Buffett by Lawrence Cunningham Amazon
- The Little Book that Builds Wealth by Pat Dorsey Amazon
- Financial Statement Analysis by Martin Fridson Amazon
- Financial Shenanigans by Howard Schilit Amazon
- Quality of Earnings by Thornton L. O’glove Amazon
- The Little Book of Valuation by Aswath Damodaran Flipkart Amazon
Q. How did you start getting clients?
When it comes to client acquisition, I believe in two phrases that are, “Quality attracts Quantity” and “Word-of-Mouth advertisement”. Till date I had never spent a single penny on advertisement. From the day one I just focused on putting quality content in my website. I know very well that only quality content can attract visitors to my website.
In online business any marketing gimmicks or huge spend in advertising is worthless. All major search engines automatically fetch quality content in front of visitors. Yes, it is very difficult to get client in initial days. It took around 2 months to get my first client and today (after 2 years) I am getting client in every 2 days. Going forward, I believe my existing clients are more than enough to bring new client (word-of-mouth advertisement).
Yes, it’s very difficult to start any business. You have to be patient, self-confident and focused in your initial days. Once you get momentum it will become very easy. You just have to stick to your path. Always remember 90% start-ups fail in their first 3 years. If you can survive the first 3 years then the maximum probability is that you can successfully continue your business for the next 30 years or more.
Q. What are the steps for company registration, website set up etc. Total capital investment needed?
It’s very easy to set up a website.
- You need to purchase domain name and hosting space to put your website live in front of the entire world.
- It costs around Rs-500/year for domain name.
- Hosting package starts from Rs-1,500 per year.
- Almost all reputed hosting companies provide ample tools at free of cost to build your website at your own.
Registering a Private Limited Company for your business is not a tedious task.
- You have to approach to a good chartered accountant to register your Private Limited Company.
- It costs around Rs- 20,000 (one-time).
- A private limited company is nothing but a few pieces of papers and some important documents.
- In your initial business days if you don’t want to spend Rs-20,000 to register Private Limited Company then you can go for Proprietorship or Partnership firm or Limited Liability partnership.
- However, as your business grows it is always advisable to shift to Private Limited Company as it offers various tax advantages.
Q. What is your daily routine as an Entrepreneur?
There’s no such daily routine as an Entrepreneur.
- Only a laptop with internet connection is enough for my business so I can stay most of the time in my home with my family.
- I don’t have any fixed hours to work.
- I concentrate on my business whenever I want, be it morning, after-noon or midnight.
- In my spare time I love to listen music, watching comedy movies, hanging out with friends and reading books.
Q. If anyone wants to earn selling their professional expertise online, what’d be your advice for them?
- First of all discover your passion.
- Don’t jump into the crowd.
- I am successfully providing advisory service via online it does not mean that you should also follow my path.
- Take motivation from others but be yourself.
- Today, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra and other e-commerce sites are highly successful, it does not mean that even if you jump into this field you can also become successful.
- So, do whatever you love. Ignore others, follow your heart.
- Believe me you can build up a successful business based on anything. If you love to spend most of your time in Gym, then set up a website for fitness tips. There are several successful websites that are their providing fitness tips, beauty and make-up tips, cooking tips or even flirting tips. So, there are lots of things to choose just discover yourself.
- Don’t think too much about what others say, don’t try to satisfy others. If you always try to be something what others (parents or relatives) want then you can never get self-satisfaction in your life. So, better is to live your life at your own.
Q. How can a layman who doesn’t know anything about investment, can start their investment portfolio? Basic step by step process?
Investment is all about to save for your future needs.
- First of all set your goal. Write down your financial desires and calculate how much monthly savings is required to reach your goal,
- and then evaluate your risk appetite.
- Based on your risk appetite and goals you can invest in stocks, mutual funds, various debt products or simply in bank deposit.
- It is historically proved that only direct equity investing can beat inflation over long term. So, along with bank deposit you must have to invest a portion of your savings in stocks.
- Now the problem is direct equity investing requires expertise. If you want to earn above average return from stocks then you must to have to follow some reliable adviser.
- Apart from that I am telling you a very simple method of investing in stocks by which you can generate better return than your bank fixed deposit. Simply invest in well known and popular companies and stay invested for minimum 2-3 years. All of you are familiar with the companies like TCS, State Bank of India, ITC, Hindustan Unilever (maker of Lux, Fair&Lovely,Clinic Plus etc ), Bharti Airtel etc. All of us are using various brands in our daily lives. Simply investing in the stocks of such well known companies, you can still earn 10%-15% annual return over long run which is better than your bank deposit. Approach to any reliable stock adviser if you want to earn more than that.
Q. Why join IBM & resign on first day?
I completed my graduation (B.E in Information Technology) from Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur in the year of 2013. I got job offer from TCS and IBM via on-campus selection. I had joined IBM and resigned on the very first day. If I didn’t join IBM then my family, relatives and my neighbors didn’t believe at all that I got job offer from IBM (Typical Bengali mentality). Just to make them believe and also to get a taste of corporate culture I joined.
On the very first day, I realized how life is going inside any corporate office. From outside, all those corporate office looks great and glamours, but the reality is different. I simply don’t want to live life as a corporate employee. As a corporate employee I may earn huge amount of money in future but I am sure I won’t have enough time in my hand to enjoy with that “huge money” So, what will be the point to earn if I can’t enjoy in my life? I resigned so that I can have enough money as well as enough time in my hand and also to make a significant contribution to our society.
Q. How did you get featured on Economics times?
I didn’t put any extra effort to get featured on “The Economic Times”. In today’s world if you do something very good (or even very bad) then you automatically get noticed by the media. I know if I can continue my hard work with dedication and help others then media will automatically follow me.
- So, don’t be focused only to get the attention of media.
- Work hard with 100% dedication, help others and do something for our country, you will be automatically noticed.
- Remember Name, Fame and Money all are by-products. Only concentrate on your work.
- One of the greatest cricketers in our era Sachin Tendulkar was only focused in his Cricket and that’s why Name, Fame and Money automatically followed him.
- So, never run behind those 3 by-products (Name, Fame and Money).
Q. What’s your vision?
My vision is to set-up India’s largest and most trusted Stock Advisory and Asset Management Company with global reach based on my existing website www.paulasset.com to help others in the journey of their wealth creation.
Q. Prasenjit I want to thank you personally and on behalf of readers of my blog. You shared real valuable information. As we are concluding the interview (for now), anything else you want to share?
Yes, I want to share with your readers how I met you for the first time. You mentioned that we met on Facebook, but you know we met earlier, but you didn’t know me back then.
To all the readers: My first meeting with Souravji was a memorable one. Around 4 years back he visited our college campus for an informal 10 minutes training session. I along with my few friends was in the listeners’ seat. Frankly speaking I can’t recall his every words from that meeting, but one thing that I never forget was his self-confidence and attitude. That day I realized whatever be your profession, Attitude and Self-confidence are the only two defining parameters that will separate you from others. After a long gap of around 4 years when he expressed his intension to share my story in his website on #IconsAround section I was more than excited. I am really eager to view my story as well as other real life stories in this section.
Thank you for taking time to know me. I hope I could provide some values to you. I’d love to get connected to you on Facebook or on my website. My best wishes for you and my wish for you is that you live your best life (borrowed Souravji’s tagline).
Wow! Amazing! I don’t know about you but I’m inspired! I’d love to summarize some take away points for you:
- Prasenjit’s father introduced him to the concept of stock at the age of 18 & that seems to be a turning point of his life. Glad he found his Rich Dad (Reference: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki) in his own dad.
- He borrowed Rs. 50,000 from his father & returned it within 2 years. If you are confident about some idea, and dedicated to perform, it’s okay to start with some debt.
- If you don’t like to study, don’t. But don’t waste your time like most college students. Give your attention & effort to something you love. As Prasenjit mentioned, he learned about the world of stock and investment during his college days. I too learned most about Entrepreneurship, Business, Success, Personal Growth, Network Marketing etc during my college days. I stopped studying Electronics & Telecommunication ( as I didn’t have any interest), but I didn’t waste time.
- Share your expertise & knowledge on any topic starting your own website. Starting & running a website is so easy now a days.
- Remember ‘Quality over quantity’. If you are selling some excellent product or service, ‘word-of-mouth’ advertisement will do your publicity for free.
- Starting a business isn’t easy. Running a business isn’t either (specially during initial days). But trust if you don’t give up, it’s the most satisfying experience you can ever experience.
- Setting up website & registering your own company isn’t rocket science.
- With the gift of Internet, today an Entrepreneur can run a business from home just using Laptop and internet connection. You have advantages of more time with family, flexibility etc.
- Be yourself.
- Don’t try to satisfy/ please others.
Now this blog is turning into interesting case studies. Recently I mentioned about my friend Souvick in an article, who fulfilled his dream of working in IBM, and today here is Prasenjit who resigned IBM on his first day! Then why I love & admire both of them? Because both of them followed their heart & now doing what they really wanted to do. That’s important. I hated Electronics & loved Network Marketing; and I love & admire myself for listening to my heart. I pity both the person – an Electronics Engineer who wanted to be something else or a Network Marketer who wanted to be something else. There is nothing right or wrong. You should follow what your heart truly desires.
Now don’t forget to leave comments for Prasenjit. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section. He’ll surely reply.
Do you have an inspiring story to share? Mail me now!
Sir, Mr. Paul mentions in his book how to study company financials but he didn’t tell which ones?
The consolidated or standalone?
Please ask him the question on my behalf!
I would be more than pleased!
Hi Bhav! I’d recommend you to ask him yourself on his own website http://www.paulasset.com 🙂
Interesting read. But you should also mention that you are associated with him in his venture. His website says that you are part of his team.
Hi Pinaki. Glad you liked it. I wrote this post long before I started working with him. I know him as a college junior for long, since we got connected on Facebook. I worked with him for a year improving his Digital presence. Right now we don’t have any professional relationship. That’s why I totally forgot to mention it editing the post. But you are right, I should have mentioned it. Thanks for pointing it out.
Btw what do you do?
Mr. Paul says,”….do whatever you love. Ignore others, follow your heart.” and “Don’t think too much about what others say….”. Again, he joined IBM to make others believe that he had a job offer. What nonsense?
You do have a point. But you are missing the point that he is finally following his heart quitting his job. Isn’t it? You know every person has their own unique way of doing things. I didn’t ever applied/ sat for any type of job interviews/ competitive exams. But for that I had to fight with people I love most for a long time. It wasn’t easy.
And you know even if we become resistant to what other people says, but our parents are more vulnerable to these type of comments. My parents had faced very difficult time mostly because their friends & colleagues kept asking them why didn’t I get any job? They don’t have any idea that ‘self employed’ doesn’t mean ‘un-employed’.
That’s why may be Prasenjit made it easy for his parents to deal with these kind of comments. Now they can proudly say that their son got the job but resigned at his own will.
But if you ask about my personal opinion or suggestion, I’ll never suggest anyone to waste valuable time/ energy in proving yourself in something that doesn’t matter to you. As Robin Sharma says “Run your own race.”
Btw thanks a lot for stopping by my blog & leaving comment. Looking forward to having more interactions.