Building Up Trust, Biggest Entrepreneurial Challenge: MYRA Founder Shalini Urs

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Dr. Shalini Urs, Founder and Chairperson, MYRA School of Business says that the biggest challenge that she faced as an entrepreneur was building up trust.

“People inevitably end up mistrusting your intent and passion. It’s hard to believe that sincere educationists would invest their hard earned money in an educational institution to make a difference,” she says in an interview with mastmysore.com as part of the city web portal’s Women’s Day initiative.

She attributes her success to an unwavering focus on excellence and leading by example. “I am a hands–on-leader. I do, deliver, and demand. I overcame the challenges, through dedication, commitment, and transparency and doing my best to convince that we are in this not for short-term gains or profits but for long term vision delivery,” she says.

And I guess my exemplary record of public service helped and will continue to help,” she adds.

Required knowledge, skill sets, and the right attitude are essential. Try and equip yourself continuously with the knowledge and skill sets. Your attitude determines your altitude in your entrepreneurial journey,” she adds.

As  to why she chose the education sector, she says it was primarily for two reasons. “My belief in the power of education: For me, education is a means to an end and an end in itself. Education is an instrument of positive change for personal and societal goals. A truly educated person is empowered to find his/her path to development.

Coming from an educated family, I was educated in the broadest sense of the term and the philosophy of development —“teach fishing than feed fish,” she adds.

My own expertise, experience, and exposure in the field of education including institution building and
management. Having been in the academia for 4 decades with global exposure and international linkages, I was equipped and had the competency along with the required depth and breadth to venture into educational entrepreneurship,” Dr Urs says.

AbDr.ShaliniUrs-Oct2016out the most memorable moment of the entrepreneurship journey so far, she says the one that stands out is the inauguration of the campus in November 2012 by HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh. He honored his commitment to her by chartering a plane to be in Mysore, as there were practical hurdles because of the Cauvery agitation and Bangalore-Mysore road closure.

About Mysuru influencing her growth, she says, “Personally, for me, Mysuru has had a humongous impact in shaping my thoughts and actions. I am a quintessential Mysorean. I always believe that each city is to be positioned with its own USP. We need to create a brand called Mysuru.

I would like to position Mysuru as the Knowledge and Educational hub—the Boston of India. And MYRA is one small step in that direction. Just like Boston in the US is not a metro but is the mecca of education with institutions like Harvard, MIT, U Mass, Boston University and others, we should develop Mysuru as the destination for excellence in education,” she adds.

Though Mysore has many disadvantages for any entrepreneur because of the connectivity and threshold issues, it also has many advantages. First and foremost because it is a royal city having been the capital of erstwhile Mysore Kingdom, its heritage value with its ‘City of Palaces’ tag is very high.

I also count the fact that Mysore having the highest number of 10 GI (Geographical Indicator) tag for a city along with Karnataka having the distinction of highest number of 35 for a state, helps us in building brand Mysuru,” she says.

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I believe that Mysuru offers the best of both worlds. The charm of a small town and the glamor of a metro as Bangalore is only 130 KM away. It is in a way suburb of Bangalore because we are on Bangalore-Ooty; Bangalore—Coorg highway. We can leverage the same,” she adds.

About her advice to aspiring/budding women entrepreneurs, Dr Urs says, For me, man or woman is just a gender. I believe, as Eleanor Roosevelt, the diplomat and former First Lady of the US said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Entrepreneurship is not for the weak hearted—is my key advice,” she adds.

Dr Urs also offered five mantras for success. These are being strong and gutsy to develop a daredevil attitude. “Ensure your life experiences of ‘good and bad’ helps admin-ajaxstrengthen your risk appetite,” she says.

Developing a ‘Never say die’ attitude. Giving up is easy; persistence and perseverance are the hardest. Follow the latter. My formula for success is 5 % inspiration plus 90% sweat plus 5 % luck, she says.

Required knowledge, skill sets, and the right attitude are essential. Try and equip yourself continuously with the knowledge and skill sets. Your attitude determines your altitude in your entrepreneurial journey,” she adds.

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