September 07, 2012

"Avoid Mind Blocks & Artificial Boundaries" - Pandia Rajan & Latha Rajan of Ma Foi

Cross Posted from the Venture Intelligence Entrevista blog:

Latha Rajan & K. Pandia Rajan of Ma Foi ( Bios)

In conversation with K. Satyanarayan, Co-founder of regional language publishing firm New Horizon Media.
(Recorded on August 15, 2012 in Chennai.)


Takeaways for Other Entrepreneurs: (Click on the links for the video segments)
  • Don't add artificial constraints when it comes to entrepreneurship

    Separating home and work, politics & business - we tend to have many boundaries where none need to exist. These are Western notions and mind blocks that we can revisit.

    Being a Husband-Wife Entrepreneur Combination was never a major hassle for us. In fact, as Latha says often, we would have probably fallen apart but for Ma Foi!

    Latha Rajan: In the early days, he used to travel 25 days a month and I used to travel 10 days a month. But since I was there within the system, I could understand (the pressures and issues). Both of us knew what we were working towards.

    Entrepreneurship has given me a lot of flexibility mentally. I used to take my daughter and son to office if it was required. In fact, the 30th day after my son was born, I was in the office and I took him along.
  • Employees as Members: Everyone who joins Ma Foi is referred to as a "member" (as against an employee).

    Latha Rajan:
    "Employee sounds so transient".

    Even if someone leaves the organization (as an employee), he/she still remains a Ma Foi member (and hence an ambassador for the firm).
  • Innovation in funding: Converted the company into a public limited one very early and raised small amounts from over 275 well wishers, employees & ex-employees and clients. Made sure to pay the shareholders a decent dividend each year. (Ma Foi paid 20% "religiously".)
  • Growth, Diversity, Transparency and Integrity
    Everyone knew how much everyone else was producing
Other Highlights (The Journey & Lighter Moments)
The Full Length Interview Video

Video Of
The Q&A Session

Click Here to Download The Full Interview Audio Podcast - 69 minutes, 32 MB. Use Right Click & Save As to download to your desktop

Click Here to Download the Audio of the Q&A session - 8.54 minutes, 4 MB. Use Right Click & Save As to download to your desktop

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers.