DiscoverMy Worst Investment Ever PodcastSanjeev Chitre – You Need to Pivot Your Business, Not Change the Direction
Sanjeev Chitre – You Need to Pivot Your Business, Not Change the Direction

Sanjeev Chitre – You Need to Pivot Your Business, Not Change the Direction

Update: 2020-12-22
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Description

Sanjeev Chitre is the Managing Partner at U-Group and a four-time successful entrepreneur. Sanjeev has 30+ years of starting, growing, and executing the liquidity of several major small and medium-sized companies.

He brings together an integrated team of industry and growth partners to creatively build value for The U-Group clients. Sanjeev earned his MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US, and a BS in Electronics & Telecommunications from the University of Pune, India.

 

“When you make a mistake, accept that it was not the right thing to do and make an effort never to do it again. That allows the world around you to change.”

Sanjeev Chitre

 

Worst investment ever

Sanjeev’s worst investment ever happened when he was building his first public company. The company had five people only and had less than a million dollars in revenues. The company was in one of the not so desired spaces of the venture capital space, semiconductor and semiconductor chip-making equipment. At the time, the company was worth $25 million.

Growing his portfolio of companies

After taking his first company public, he bought another company that was 30 times bigger than the first one but was illiquid. However, this acquisition made Sanjeev very confident, and he went on to acquire more companies, and now he had five companies in total. Two were performing well, two were average, and one was simply horrible.

Letting his ego beat his business acumen

Even though that one company was a poor performer, Sanjeev went ahead and outbid another buyer for it. He could have paid $12 million, but he paid $30 million for it. Sanjeev’s ego led him to believe that he could pivot the company and make money from him. He had this big plan to reduce the cost of materials by reprocessing them in real-time. This plan, however, was not risk mitigated and was purely led by ego.

Losing the investment

Sanjeev spent the next three years trying to prove that his plan was a good one. He ended up decimating the value of the shareholders and lost over $100 million as he tried to build that investment.

Lessons learned

Mitigate your risk before investing in something

There are so many revolutionary disruptive changes that all entrepreneurs want to make. Do not do it unless you have a risk mitigated path of execution.

Listen to the people you work with

Listen to what the overall team is saying, respect their decisions, and their feedback.

Know the expected outcome first before getting into any business

Don’t get involved in a competitive landscape where you do not know what that outcome is going to be.

Cut your losses as soon as possible

It is vital to cut your losses early enough and move on.

Do not change direction pivot your business instead

There is a difference between changing the entire direction of your business and pivoting it. Pivoting your business involves changing your vision to align with the reality of the marketplace. Changing direction entails exploring an entirely new market with a new product.

Andrew’s takeaways

Take it easy on yourself; mistakes are part of life

Do not beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Remember that you made the best decision at the time, with the knowledge and tools you had.

Diversify your portfolio to manage risk

Have a diversified portfolio to manage your risk. While you will never get all your investments right, at least the good performing ones will cover the poorly performing ones.

Have an exit plan for all your investments

What is your plan for cutting loss? One good exit plan is to have a stop loss for all your investments.

Actionable advice

Look at where solutions exist and bring them into your business to create a much more workable solution. If the model has worked in other industries, it is likely to work in your industry without you having to reinvent a solution.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Sanjeev’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to publish his book on what not to do in entrepreneurship.

Parting words

 

“Keep the entrepreneurial spirit fully engaged. Entrepreneurs are made for passion in life. They are not made for an event.”

Sanjeev Chitre

 

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Sanjeev Chitre – You Need to Pivot Your Business, Not Change the Direction

Sanjeev Chitre – You Need to Pivot Your Business, Not Change the Direction

Dr. Andrew Stotz