Portfolio News

ET High Flier: Serial Entrepreneur Atul Jalan, Manthan Systems

The Economic Times

July 29, 2008

By Priya C Nair

Serial entrepreneurs innovate, take risks, and are driven by the rush that comes with creating one successful enterprise after another. Priya C Nair introduces you to three such mavericks

Dream Merchants

Thinking Big

Manthan Systems is the fourth successful venture of Atul Jalan, managing director & CEO of Manthan Systems who believes that for him entrepreneurship is a way of life. “I need a lot of freedom and space which could not have been possible in a typical job kind of scenario. And also the thrill of taking an idea to reality and creating something made me an entrepreneur.”

MicroTrack, a software design and communications company, which pioneered anti-virus software was the first venture of Jalan. The success of MicroTrack inspired him to start another firm Cybertrek Technologies in 1995, that specialized in the areas of intranet, extranet and digital communications. Later, Jalan also founded Net Kraft, a provider of outsourced software development, systems integration and application maintenance services to businesses across globe.

Jalan says that though being a serial entrepreneur has its own sets of highs and lows, all you need is the ability to deal with ambiguities and should be ready to take risks. “Also, must have a strong belief in the value that one’s business proposition brings to the table,” he adds.

Out of his experience he says that the business assumptions, critical success factors, and other ingredients for success or failure are not easily or completely transferable from one venture to the next. So the primary challenge a serial entrepreneur must face is to grapple with the new reality. “Past successes and learnings seek to increase the comfort zone for the entrepreneur, which affects the entrepreneur’s susceptibility to new ideas, or acceptance of change. The challenge thus is to be adaptable in the new context, whilst still transferring relevant learning from past experience,” adds Jalan.

Even though Jalan says that he never gets enough time to be at peace, the satisfaction of creating and delivering something new and different, and making it work makes his life more exhilarating and meaningful.