Author: Dom Smith

First-Year MBA student, Chandrika Maheshwari discusses her entrepreneurial development within the Martin Trust Center, alongside her professional background, and goals for the future in this interview.

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Chandrika, and I am a First Year MBA at MIT Sloan. I am from India originally, and I had been working in India before going to Sloan. So, this is my first time living in the US. I’m coming from a mixed background. I studied Information Systems for my Undergraduate Degree, and then I moved on to work for a Management Consulting firm. Then, I spent about four years solving all kinds of problems for our clients, and then I focused a lot on the Technology Media and Telecoms practice, and that was the right segue into my next role that was at Google, working as a Product Marketing Manager on YouTube ads marketing before coming to Sloan.

Do you have any projects that you are working on?

Right now, I am exploring a few ideas and talking to a few people, which is why I come here because it’s a great resource. I like spending time here, and meeting people who are working on their own ideas.

What specific areas of interest do you have?

I think that I am pretty industry agnostic at this point, but I really like the idea of marketplaces – I feel like they are disrupting all sorts of industries. Currently, I am figuring out a few area-specific industries that have not yet been disrupted or, can do with a better, more improved marketplace. I want to use these industries to build a business of my own.

Have you always had that entrepreneurial spark?

My dad is an entrepreneur, and he started his own business at age 18, I would say. So, I have been around entrepreneurship since growing up. I did actually start working on a couple of projects while still in my full-time jobs! I have realized that the value of a team is just so high. You need people who are like-minded and equally competent. So, that’s what I’m looking for.

How would you say someone should best use the Trust Center?

It’s a very interesting space just to come and hangout in, even if you don’t have an idea, or interested in entrepreneurship right now. It’s a great place to see what other people are working on, and they are always keen to help others, or get help. It’s so easy to be an accidental entrepreneur at MIT, because there are so many opportunities.

What would be your advice for entrepreneurs?

I cannot emphasize enough how important having a team is. You can have a great idea, but if you don’t have the right team who are equally talented, then it’s going to be a struggle. Even if the original idea isn’t great, but you have a great team, you have a higher chance of success. Really focus on building the right team. Also, don’t be afraid to give up! There are ideas that you start thinking about, and then along the way you naturally realize that the idea isn’t as good as you thought. It’s okay to restart.