C.R. Venkatesh has earned the label of serial entrepreneur and angel investor in his career as a businessman. He is most recognized for serving as the founder and CEO of Dot Com Infoway, a mobile app development and digital marketing company, since its founding way back in 2000. For his efforts, he was awarded the CEO of the Year Award 2020 by IAF India.
He is also the co-founder of Magzter Inc. and Thooya Innovations and is a dedicated Rotarian. His favorite hobbies are traveling and playing mobile games. All the while, he grabs every opportunity to meet people and build connections.
Q1. Tell us about your journey across various companies you have started?
As a so-called serial entrepreneur, there have been alternate pathways I took, such as when I co-founded Magzter, a digital magazine newsstand. I’m also a co-founder of Thooya Innovations, which will help to provide sustainable toilets for the people.
But most of my efforts have been focused on Dot Com Infoway since the last two decades. My journey building it from the ground up has been immensely fulfilling because I learned a lot and succeeded in overcoming plenty of struggles along the way, especially during its early years.
But the learning experience never really stops because it’s the only way for you to overcome the fresh challenges that you face in an ever-evolving industry like IT. In a way, my efforts to keep Dot Com Infoway growing while addressing people’s problems were what drove my instincts as a serial entrepreneur. Now that I think about it, I guess a big bulk of my journey was also about looking for and converting issues and challenges I faced along the way into new opportunities.
Q2. What prompted you to start Dot Com Infoway?
It’s my brainchild and was born out of my passion for technology. Also, back then, I in a way already saw the huge potential of the internet. The massive excitement for the Internet that was created from the years 1998 to 2000 definitely played a huge role in convincing us to help our countrymen, particularly those living in Madurai, recognize the value of the Internet in making social transformations that are for everyone’s benefit.
Q3. As we know you are an investor, What do you look for while investing?
I have to be 100% certain that both I and the business owner actually believe in the products or services he or she is selling. The more personal the commitment, the better because that has proven to be my own winning formula as an entrepreneur.
Q4. Tell us about the work you do at Dot Com Infoway?
I spend most of my work building connections, setting the culture, and overseeing most of the general operations, much like any CEO. I also always make time to mentor my colleagues should they ask for and need advice.
Q5. What has been the biggest challenge in the market you tackle?
To me, it will always be the competition. Having been in the industry this long, we can say that the competition grew by close to 10x its usual amount. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out, but I’ll always consider that as a good thing since it only means you have to exercise your creativity and thinking power to the fullest.
Q6. As you are a recognized business leader, How does that make you feel? What is your future vision?
Given the accolades, I’ve received and the connections I’ve built, I like to think so. Being able to empower and uplift people always fills me with gratification that I can’t derive elsewhere.
My future vision in my field will always be characterized by wonder and excitement for the novel ideas and innovations that will come to life as brought about by the continuing evolution of the Internet and the IT industry.