Prateek Srivastava: Creating Social Difference by Stowing Talent Network Perfectly

Prateek Srivastava,FounderAnyone can start a business, but being an entrepreneur is a different story. Only after crossing toilsome barriers and strenuous pitfalls, success reaches the door of these achievers. Ambition, passion and confidence make an entrepreneurial idea tick, but for Prateek Srivastava (CEO, Basil Advisors), focus plays the utmost role in the long run. Amidst the multitude of internal and external variables that affects the business in line, Prateek learned to cut through the noise to make choices that precede other requirements and firmly believes in Jeff Bezos’ idea of relentlessness to keep the action going. “You just go on & never give up that perseverance,” asserts Prateek.

Practicing these moralities from day one, Prateek has successfully expanded the leeway of Basil Advisors in the consumer internet ecosystem, making it the only company providing niche executive search for the digital talent. While crafting the Basil ideas, Prateek also concocted a learning platform – Hau2, which combines the power of content with technological tools to deliver active & effective employee learning.

The Budding Talent in Spotlight
Pretty much like all kids of 90s from working-class background, he had to choose between medicine & engineering, which were deemed as the only safe career options. As Prateek had a bend towards computers since childhood, he pursued computer science engineering from Delhi University. Nevertheless, Prateek took up jobs that were not directly linked with coding, since he didn’t want to confine himself within the small circle of coding, which is just one angle of business. He claims, “I wanted to understand the larger business impact of the code, how was it impacting real life problems, what were the problems it was solving and explore better ways of doing it by listening to the needs of companies”. This curiosity to understand the whole ecosystem propelled him to take sales job in a
startup, an IBM offshoot that
created applications for US companies.

Prateek’s inquisitiveness didn’t end here. Soon he forayed into executive search profession where he met Binny Bansal, Co-founder of Flipkart - a rendezvous that winged his entrepreneurial expedition. “He is my mentor, my first client & the reason why I set up Basil Advisors in 2013,” affirms an enthusiastic Prateek. Addressing the dire need for talented &seasoned leaders in the consumer internet space leveraging his profound knowledge of the ecosystem, empowered Basil to rapidly grow into a 50 people strong organization with numerous clients including Sequoia, Nexus, IDG and Helion. To parlay its success to Bangalore, Prateek acquired an organization in that region.

What I learned from this journey was that to become truly successful,it is important to continuously re-invent to stay relevant, for your customers

Although Basil accounted figures in big digits, the ecosystem dried up abruptly, which led to massive downscale of Basil and closure of the Bangalore branch and the painful exit of the co founding team. Realizing that it was the time for him to be decisive, Prateek placed his priorities on table, made the desired choice and executed the plans without more ado. “When you take tough decisions, you will be questioned, wronged, talked about but you have to ask yourself if you are doing it for the right reasons and if you believe in those reasons, go ahead and do it. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to be true to your vision and belief. The buck stops with you”. As the industry was also recovering, the firm bounced back with vigor. Having emerged into the company of choice in the consumer network eco-system, today Basil is exploring to spread its wings abroad.

From Rags to Riches
An entrepreneur who started his journey from a room with one laptop and less than Rs.2 lakh in his bank account is, today, a self-made CEO, investing in startups as Angel investor and records revenue in millions. “Companies can achieve success. What I learned from this journey was that to become truly
successful it is important to continuously re-invent to stay relevant, for your customers. In this fast & dynamic market, one must be decisive, irrespective of the result. You can’t just sit and wait, History was not made by the people who did nothing” states Prateek. He accepts that finding out a market mix and explaining customers your unique value proposition is a challenging task,but once created this trust and reputation stay along the whole journey.

Prateek, being a liberal entrepreneur, believes in employee empowerment. In times of quandaries, he kindles his team to role play as an entrepreneur and think of innovative solutions considering the company as their own startup. “You can retain people by creating a mini innovation engine inside them. It’s always important to be transparent with your people & work with the whole team as one unit,” suggests Prateek. Considering his astute ideologies, no wonder he frequently gets invited to various business talks and events to edify budding entrepreneurs & startups.

Parenting & Business at Equilibrium
A passionate reader, Prateek follows ‘fast company’ magazine & dotes on Medium with great fervor and suggests the same for budding entrepreneurs to bring in new ideas for business and little variety to self. Being a doting father, he never dodges his parenting responsibilities. Prateek loves to spend time with his daughter and makes time to go on family outings. While his family has been his true support system throughout and the reason for his success, Prateek makes special mention of his friends for being with him through every thick & thin. Belonging to the same eco-system, his friends understand the pains, challenges & emotional turmoil an entrepreneur encounters.

It's probable of entrepreneurs to make profits in figures, but Prateek is a different breed. While he aspires to augment his company's growth, he has also created space in his venture for differently abled people to work; thereby proving natural factors might affect physicality but the intelligence remains unobstructed. “I would increase that number substantially to empower them become very inclusive, independent & achieve greatness in their life. All the ups & downs have taught me to be patient & continue doing what you want to do, what you truly believe in. That’s what truly matters.” concludes Prateek.