SV-30-Entrepreneurship in Krishna consciousness with Ajita Prabhu (Avelo Roy)
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In this episode we interview Ajita Prabhu (Avelo Roy) a very successful devotee entrepreneur. He shares his story and the place for entrepreneurship in the Hare Krishna movement.
Correction: Ajita Prabhu is initiated by Romapada Swami
For ideas for how you can generate more income in a way that supports Krishna consciousness go to https://successfulvaisnavas.com/profit.
You can find out more about Ajita Prabhu here:
Article and video on ISKCON News.
Ajita dasa: [00:00:00] And by Krishna’s mercy in the last three and a half years, there’s been 400 plus revenue generating startups. 4500 new jobs created and, around 30 to 40 devotee entrepreneurs have also come out of it.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:00:17]
Episode 30 of Successful Vaisnavas with Avelo Roy, Ajita Prabhu…
Hare Krishna, this is Krsnendu dasa from Successful Vaishnavas and, today I’d like to share with you an interview that I did with Ajita Prabhu, otherwise known as Avelo Roy. He’s a very successful entrepreneur in ISKCON and wonderful devotee. He is a disciple of Romapada Swami. [I mistakenly said he was disciple of His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami in the introduction.]
Now this interview was done before he passed away. So that just gives you a little bit of context, but, it took place during this lockdown corona virus time. So that is still a present situation. And I just thought it was relevant at the moment.
At the moment I’m also promoting a program, which I think is really helpful for devotees Specifically at the moment it’s a program using Amazon where you can sell different products in a way, which I think would be very helpful for the lifestyle that devotees are looking for, where you can earn some money in a way that still gives you plenty of time freedom to practice your sadhana and be Krishna conscious.
So that’s the program I’m promoting at the moment. If you’re interested in checking that out, you can go to https://successfulvaisnavas.com/profit. And if you’re watching this or hearing this at a later date, then that link will take you to something relevant.
Also, if you’re interested in business may not be the exact same offer, but, if you go to that link, you’ll be able to get different resources that may help you. If you’re looking to earn some more income in a way that’s compatible with being a. Krishna conscious devotee.
So I just wanted to share that because Prabhu was talking about some different methods of, making money that can be good for devotees.
Of course the idea that I mostly promote is devotees using their knowledge and sharing their knowledge, in different areas of life and connecting it to Krishna consciousness. So that means either serving devotees through teaching devotees something or it can mean teaching something that appeals to a broader audience and through your teaching, bringing them closer to Krishna consciousness.
So that’s what I generally promote and recommend, but not everyone is a teacher, what feels comfortable, you know, being in front of the screen and, Or in front of an audience, depending on the situation, you know, and teaching people and becoming the leader in that way, others would prefer just to have a very simple business that generates a comfortable income, without taking up too much of your life so that you can, you know, be comfortably situated financially, but you still have the time freedom to practice Krishna consciousness and preach in different ways.
so it probably was talking about drop shipping in the interview that we had. And that’s one strategy it’s not as convenient at the moment with this lock down the difficulties of shopping, especially from China these days, it’s not so easy and the strategy which I’m promoting at the moment, it’s something which.
That’s something that anyone anywhere in the world can, put it into practice. It’s quite a low risk and a lot of people have been very successful, so successful with it. So, yeah, that’s why I’m promoting it. and it works very well in the current environment of the, you know, the slop down that we’re facing.
Naturally more and more people are buying online. So that’s in favor of that. And also, as I mentioned before, that drop shipping as a economic strategy that may not be working so well at the moment, but the strategy, which I’m promoting, something that is working very well. So enough about that. If you’re interested to learn about it more, you can go to https://successfulvaisnavas.com/profit.
And with that said, I’ll transfer over to the interview with Ajita Prabhu and how, entrepreneur-ism can be very helpful in Krishna consciousness. Hare Krishna.
So Hare Krishna, this is Krsnendu from Successful Vaisnavas. And today we’ve got a very special guest on zoom. His Grace Ajita Prabhu, otherwise known as Avelo Roy. I hope I pronounced that correctly. Is that how you say it program?
Ajita dasa: [00:05:01] Avelo
Krsnendu dasa: [00:05:02] Avelo
Ajita dasa: [00:05:03] Avelo Roy. Yeah.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:05:05] Nice. So Prabhu is from Calcutta, but he’s studied in the U S and become an incredibly successful businessmen,uh, in the U S and he’s also become a mentor to many, entrepreneurs, particularly in India. And. I’ve been reading up about your story, Prabhu.
I’m sure you can tell us a bit more about it, but first I’d just like to let everybody know how we met. I’m not sure if you remember. I was just going through my old Facebook messenger records and, but basically it was two and a half years ago, you sent me a message and that message said, “Hare Krishna. All Glories to Guru Maharaja.
Because we were both initiated by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami. Jay! And, you said, it’s interesting. Your website has a very interesting name Successful Vaisnavas. And so I was quite surprised and I thought, who is this person? So I Googled and I was like, wait, that’s what you do. When someone gets in touch with you that you don’t know yet you Google.
And what I found was that you’d actually just. Completed a social media workshop for the devotees at Bhaktivedanta Manor. And when I saw that, I thought, Oh, wow, this is awesome. This is a devotee, that’s really skilled at something. And, you’re really training the devoete is how to put these technologies into practice in Krishna consciousness.
And so we had a brief, a brief exchange, on messenger. And then I was meant to get back in touch with you, but for somehow or other, I got distracted as happens sometimes until this year I was at the ILS, the ISKCON Leadership Sangha, and we actually got to meet in person. And then, and I went to a presentation and it was very inspiring about, Entrepreneur-ism and how it relates with Krishna consciousness, which we’ll be discussing about today and, yeah.
And it was wonderful to meet you in person. I was really happy to see you actually, I think you’re coming with your mother and father, or was it just your mother? And I can’t remember
Ajita dasa: [00:07:10] just my mother.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:07:12] I helped you with your suitcases. And, it was really nice to,
it was so nice to be able to do a little bit of service. So, yeah. You know, that’s, that’s basically, you know, we haven’t had much interaction other than that. but yeah, if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself, you know, what’s your upbringing, how did you become a devotee? How did you become an entrepreneur and , what was that progression for you?
Ajita dasa: [00:07:39] Yeah, sure. So I was a typical Bengali Brahman, family worshiping Khalida, that type of background coming from Ramakrishna mission background. some of my, the involved with there. And then, but I was always looking for what I was searching.
I came to Chicago and Delano and sort of technology, that search continued and I was going to different templates because now I was on my own without family. I was exploring, myself. So entrepreneurship and spirituality always have been my, something I was passionate about wanting to know more about.
And so British chocolatey. so 2005, my first year, August when I came to my university, I. Met with my mentor, who was later on, became the temple president of his Chicago. And that’s where my journey began. He kind of brainwashed away from all the, my lobby and other things, Debbie God, whatever else was there.
And a year later, I actually, so I was, I was running for elections in my, student government at my university, so that I could get to know, you know, how things work and make a difference to my university and process also got to know that there is nothing for you, entrepreneurship. And I always wanted when entrepreneur, there was an entrepreneur club, but nothing was happening there.
So you said it’s the opportunity to kind of make friends who are entrepreneurial nature. And one day I said a flyer that says business idea, challenge. You need a copartner. and you need to answer these 10 questions in one page. Basically, let’s say it’s a good summary. And whoever wins gets first price was two, $250 a subject’s up there, you know, small about somebody, but it was like a start and whoever wins, they also said to start a student project based on your idea and your students do well, this project, like this is great.
I’ve been waiting for this. And actually took the whole flyer, took it to my room. I didn’t want to be. And I emailed some of my, very smart, intelligent friends. and the three of them I wrote to one of them got back. Who’s now a devoted as well. I showed up on Tuesday.
The board at the time said would have nice, but they’re mostly together. So we came up with the idea of the hunt jacket. It’d be one took place. And then there’s a up to this slowly, to the idea, the team of students got the university to give some amount of money, a little bit of lab space. And so we didn’t have the technology to build a hub jacket, a jacket that gives you a sensation of heart and Phillips was already doing it.
University of Singapore had already invested $4 million into it. Four years of research. Undergrad students pretty much teenagers. what can we do? So we took the core value of that and simplify that into a necklace. So that then my space was going down. Facebook was coming up, parents were dead scared about pedophiles and cyberbullies.
So we came up with like Apple watch version of the necklace 10 years before Apple watch, where it’s a smart necklace. You think in the real world become friends online on social media, without any search features. So you don’t get to be friends with unknown strangers, only friends who have the necklace.
Thanks in the real world and you become friends on the social network and that became a hit, went to China, build a product launched in the U S exited the company. By the time it was $20 million company. raised actually venture capital money in a recession. when people who are there was like 10% unemployment to Prabhu nine to 10, 10 Obama just came into power.
but we raised money, you know, and thereafter built multiple businesses. And two times 16 came back to India after eight businesses, three exits, and then 2016 started a company called Kolkata ventures in Kolkata because nothing happens in East India. You know, businesses come to die here. And I was like, that’s opportunity, you know, everybody leaves this part of India.
I’m like great. I’ll you know, there isn’t a competition here, so I’ll just build something and there’s a little market research. Seems like a lot of people are talking about startups. I’ve never built a startup, never built a business. They just read books and give a lot of knowledge, book knowledge. So we’re like, okay, we’ll build a whole group of entrepreneurs from us, India, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
And we did that. And with that, with like education, seed funding and resources, These are the three verticals is how we will grow startups. And by Krishna’s mercy in the last three and a half years, there’s been 400 plus revenue generating startups. 4500 new jobs created and, around 30 to 40 devotee entrepreneurs have also come out of it.
So my goal was to pass a corporate event. This was a for entrepreneurship, but also entrepreneurial people who question status quo. They’re rebellious by nature. They are not going for nine to five jobs. So they might be also a atheistic or a little bit more open minded. Which is great for Krista gods, because if you’re a Hindu licensed, then you know, you’re like stuck in certain Hindu beliefs.
But if you’re just, you know, a free bird. Room for brainwashing.
So we have to help fill out the Friday. So people who are entrepreneurs who get trained by me and others, we bring them the philosophy Friday who are interested in, or at least learning how to be more conscious entrepreneurs, how to apply the Vedic principles. In day to day lives, and that has led to a lot of people chanting Hari Krishna, giving up meat.
Do you think following the principles and being successful entrepreneurs, making substantial amounts of money, transforming their lives. So that’s great. So that’s, that’s what has been, and in the process, there’s a lot of tech talks and TV shows mercy. I was introduced to preaching at an early age. So I can speak a little bit.
And whenever I introduced pub with data into corporate stuff, that’s a very new kind of content and people love it even because they find that logically appealing that there is something good in the way that system, that they can also take. and, and it’s been by Krishna’s. Mercy has stayed away from controversy.
I continue to do so I can, I want to, I studied the slab. I studied for Saturday. but I stay away from controversy as entrepreneur, but I’m a spy spied entrepreneur.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:14:19] Right. It’s nice. Yeah. I watched your, your Ted talk about the currency of relationships. I think that’s what it’s good. And, in that, when you were presenting about how, you know, you’re not the body.
You know that we’re the essence of the person that’s the essence is different from that body. And then you also were talking about the loving exchanges from the negative instruction. Yeah. It was really good to see how you integrated the Krishna consciousness into that. That was nice. Before we go on through, I just wanted to ask, there’s a lot of trophies behind you there.
Those are some of the competitions that you won when you’re a university, or those are some other kinds of hobbies. Maybe your .
Ajita dasa: [00:14:59] Do you want that also there in some other house? These are basically when I go for speaking engagements and for entrepreneurship creating jobs. So people, you know, yeah.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:15:16] It’s great to see you show off. Right?
Ajita dasa: [00:15:20] Well, you know, I used to have this box in Chicago, right. I would put all my words and seen them up and I realized if you don’t show up, you don’t get seen. And if you don’t get seen, you don’t exist. And, so, even though aspiring to be a devoted, I do show off a little bit.
I do personal branding. I am very, very visible. And what I’ve learned is rather than trying to be falsely humble, anybody I’m proud, Robin falsely tried to be humbled. My desk will show what Chris has given me because when they ask me, what’s your secret, I said, it’s Krishna. Right. And that’s preaching.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:15:57] Yeah. I mean, I say I’m with the Kings in the Vedic times. Yeah. They had to show their opponents. Otherwise people were not going to take it this way. Right. So, and your organization, you know, you need to show your authority and you know, those awards are just one way that helps you to show that isn’t it.
Ajita dasa: [00:16:13] It has happened, even with precinct has helped, like with, like I was preaching for 10 years in Chicago, I came to India and the Indian misconduct workers were like TEDx speaker millionaire, blah, blah, blah. And there’s like a hell of a thousand people, students, youth, you know, ready to listen. I’m like, I didn’t see this before.
Maybe I should talk about, you know, who I am, I’m hiding it. I came back to Chicago and I was like, okay, you know, entrepreneur Devonte and 400% increase in traffic. of all our events and all our festivals and not like, Hey, you know what, if this is what it takes, this is what it is.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:16:52] Yeah.
And I hear the talent and he was famous and he used it in Krishna’s service. So. It’s wonderful to say. So this is just a touching already on one of the elements of entrepreneurship, which is about, you know, reaching a market and so on, but let’s just rewind a little bit and discuss how do you see entrepreneurship and, you know, relating with Krishna and consciousness, particularly divide is today, or as a society, how entrepreneurship can be helpful in Krishna consciousness.
Ajita dasa: [00:17:28] Certainly I’m going to I’ll start to the problem. But, there were many developers who tried to go to the West and, and make much numbers, but Sheila has it been successful and he, of course, he’s empowered subdivision, avatar, pure reality, and all that. But if you look at his style of preaching, his style of preaching out, it’s very entrepreneurial in nature and shut up prophet was an entrepreneur.
And one of the crowning qualities of an entrepreneur is an entrepreneur never takes no for an answer. Then negotiate and make a note to a, maybe to a yes. And we see that, you know, profit does that over and over and over again because that’s your competitive advantage. and one incident. I remember when he started 26 second Avenue, he told ramen on the approval, go out and tell them we shouldn’t pay electricity bill.
We’re doing the highest service demand time. Roman on the Peru was like, no, we can’t do that. That’s not how it works. It’s just go. I’m telling you, he went, he came back empty handed, prop advent. He said, I’ll go myself. And he came back saying, okay, we don’t have to pay the bill. No one knows how he did it, but he did it.
and to me that’s very inspiring. And whatever service has been given to me has been a lot of impossible tasks, which I don’t have the brain for. It. It’s always like Govinder helped me. And it’s also trying to be creative, how to negotiate and get my way through. So why, it’s gone. I would say it’s gone rather than saying the word Krishna’s, but it’s gone as organization needs to have entrepreneurially minded is because we have to keep up with changing times.
Corona is nothing new people have been working, I think from home and for us to already have, I mean, using technology, virtual preaching and all of that has been a team. You know, it’s it’s work. Like you said, my first tech clock, according to relationship, then one tech talk made a whole buck richer from around the world.
People who just appreciated the talk and I brought them to Skype. And you started virtual classes, right? So our precinct has not been affected because of Krone. We are unlocked down and we’re still doing that years after that. 2013? Yeah. Okay. And you’re still continuing. Wow. Okay. So entrepreneurially minded means using everything for Krishna’s service and having the creativity to understand how to utilize.
What for service marketing branding comes on. Entrepreneurship product development comes in entrepreneurship, you know, from to us building our own websites for our temples and knowing what the audience wants and by with, the first thing is. Staying out of habit that doesn’t stop it. That’s right. Take my arm, Jared, in the middle of the two arms.
So I can see who I’m fighting with. So audience, knowing your audiences flip for me, we can just support to be 65. Five of them classes and book distribution expect the same way things to work. People don’t look at you, even if you’re wearing saffron clothes and she comes back, we look different, but nobody looks at us.
People look at their phones and, and that’s what they look at this plugged up with their phones. They’re looking at the phones. They don’t care who else exists. So we have to be inside the phone. And for that, we need creativity of all the apps that are out there of all the videos and comedy and magic that’s out there.
How can Krishna conscious be automagical and be funny and be visible and be attractive. Right? So that’s one aspect of why calm needs to have an entrepreneurial mindset. Why do both these need to have an entrepreneurial mindset? The second thing is money. I mean, in India is called, has money in most places, but outside India, if you look at it, it’s gone really struggles with finances.
I mean the program and I went back and forth on this when we were deciding for ILS, because let’s say $60 billion is allocated for the Mormon church, right? $60 billion to a group of people, which is 2% of America. And there are so many companies give X percentage of their, income to the Mormon church.
30 billion comes from those companies. 30 billion comes from stock market that they have invested in. They have young folks who right after education go around the world, preaching their message. They come back, they get priority training priority, please. In those Mormon companies. I have had many Mormon friends in college, but I’ve seen, they don’t drink Coca Cola.
They drink dr. Pepper because dr. Pepper is a mom and company. They support their businesses being 2% of America, whatever support they give, they have become a large power and they’re growing the fastest growing Krishna organization in the world. Even more than the Jesuits love somebody schools and, colleges.
So what are the GBCs budget hundred $30,000 annual budget. How do we expect to fulfill Sheila proper’s dream of being the forefront, religious, spiritual movement in the world when we don’t have money. So, of course one can say, but Krishna is all powerful and Krista has all the money and he’ll give it to us.
But look at the Netflix, right? They follow the similar principle except for the . Those focused on money, all the money guys go after them. They reach out, they have a complete marketing engine and they’re doing fantastically well. They don’t struggle with money. They’re fundraising, everything in such great shape, very entrepreneurial, not glorifying them, you know, but it’s gone as a, as an organization globally.
We struggle. So if the voters. Get out of the day, the most intelligent the voters within this community are in the corporate world, working for Microsoft, Apple, Google, Cisco, you know, all these big companies. They have the brains they’re making other people rich. Now not everybody has entrepreneurial spirit and that’s okay.
Right. But those have to do. Right. Those people who do have the entrepreneurial spirit and wants to make a difference, but Sheila, but for them, that is an opportunity to get out of this rat race and be their own boss. And what it does do is if, if you have Sunday feeds on Sunday, you can make like Wednesday or Friday, your holiday, you can have that flexibility of schedule.
You can spend more time with family. You’re gonna have more time for services and you can scale your business. So you get the same amount input, but your output is far more. That scalability. That’s the business in today’s. Yes, you will have to put 15 hours, 16 hours a day. It’s difficult to get something started, but once you have enough people, once you have the engines rolling, then you can be like me work six hours a day, four hours a day.
And the rest of the time preaching has $160 million business, and he spends 40 hours for GVC strategic planning committee. You have three Ferrari’s. He lives off. King style lifestyle, but he also does 40 hours a week for GBC. So she can afford that luxury because he has built a system that works for itself, the generates money.
Right. And that’s entrepreneurship. Right. You get a started, but eventually it generates on its own. You oversee it. You have good people taking care of it and it works.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:24:47] Yeah. So just to recap what you’re saying there, perverts that, Well, first of all, from what you just spoke about now is that by creating a successful business, it not only provides money for yourself and that you can, you know, supply to the different Krishna conscious projects, but it also buys you the time because a successful business, is one that you have systems set up so that you’re not tied down to everything, but you’ve got people working with you and for you.
So you have the freedom to practice your spiritual life. Engage in projects, you know, that can push on, Krishna consciousness using the same skills, I guess the same business and entrepreneurial skills. So
Ajita dasa: [00:25:29] you gain new skills as you go along.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:25:32] Right, right. Through the business here, develop skills that you can use and Krishna settlers.
And I think, so those are advantages from that point of view. I think also. What you were mentioning earlier on and say entrepreneurship, isn’t just about making money, but it’s the spirit of creativity of kind of looking, looking at a challenge and seeing how can I, do something a bit different here.
To try to solve the problem that we have. So for a diverse audience, how can we preach? How can we reach people? How can we inspire people to take it Krishna and consciousness? Well, what did, and then there are also other problems know that the science society might be having, you know, like just the money problem.
How can we get more money for our temple? How can we, you know, develop our economic base? And so if that spirit of, here’s the challenge, then the entrepreneur will thank now. What can I do? What can I with a few friends achieve rather than thinking, Hmm, the GBC should do something about this.
Ajita dasa: [00:26:32] You know,
Krsnendu dasa: [00:26:34] maybe one day my guru will tell me what I have to do and, you know, I’ll be able to solve this problem, you know, you know, just taking that responsibility and the initiative like proper that.
Ajita dasa: [00:26:46] Yeah,
Krsnendu dasa: [00:26:47] I think, yeah, one of your Ted talks was about, be bold and make a difference. I think it was so that’s the spirit. Yeah, that’s the spirit. So if it, you know, devote, he wants to, take up this entrepreneurial sort of calling. What are the steps that I might take in, particularly at the moment? we divide is a second home.
And then they’re pretty much, limited to the online world at the stage. You know, what would be your advice to advise how they can begin the process?
Ajita dasa: [00:27:23] Yeah. but first a self assessment of what is it that you want, how much effort do you want to pretend? So one is putting a body and soul together and just having a simple life.
The other one is I want to be really, really successful. I want to make loads of money. So, so depending on the ambition, one can decide. Okay. what route I want to take, I’ll talk about, the easier, the, the more. Mid level, and money making that’s around $3,000 a month is something that one can be potentially comfortable in any country and not have to work a lot.
So that would be, you know, like you said, you’re on the lockdown during the of time. So, devote more than anyone know about life, know about stress, know about, the symptoms as well as the answers. How to solve those things. So what are the easiest and the fastest growing industries in the world? It’s education, online education and education is not just economics, politics and engineering, but education is also about how can live a happier life because people are stressed and depressed and lonely.
Now devotees look at personal consciousness in different, different ways. Some people appreciate it and distribution. Some people love, Philosophy, some people love the counseling. The relationship asking for me relationship is a very, very, vice number care and relationship. That’s what excites me that in this world of senselessness, I can trust that any country I go to, I have relatives.
I have my family, my devotional family. And that means a lot. And I want to create also more of those people who are loving and get it. So the point is we can become a life coach. We can become corporate costs. We can become parenting costs. We can become happiness coach. We can, we can do it better than anyone in the world because we have Sheila pie with them.
We have the data, we have the knowledge that’s proven and tested for hundreds and thousands of years. That’s the one. So create your LinkedIn profile, create a website using WordPress or Wix, which takes two to three hours. If we don’t know, go on YouTube, learn how to do it, and I can promise you within a week, you’ll have a website, right?
Don’t make it too fancy. Just keep it simple. Talk about what you can give, right? This is what I can help you with. You lose things so I can help you with dash. Four deaths using deaths, complete the sentence. You will have a vague, clear marketing message of what service you can provide.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:30:04] So if you could just clarify what you talking about there.
So you’re talking about the service you provide, and when you say four, that means a particular niche or particular type of person, is that what you meant by that? And then the sort of the mechanism or the way that you deliver that?
Ajita dasa: [00:30:21] So let’s put it into the, I help. That’s could be entrepreneurs make,
using technology. Right.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:30:36] You just repeat that Prabhu cause the internet just cut out when you said that part. So if you could just start again that I help entrepreneurs, if you could just repeat it. Yeah.
Ajita dasa: [00:30:44] So I help entrepreneurs grow their business. Using technology, right? So the word entrepreneur, our grow, their business, our technology can be replaced with anything.
Right. So, so that’s the idea. So to come to what you’re really what value you’re providing for your customers, make a sentence like that. I help blur to make blah using blah. Right. That helps you create your cutting message, that this is what you can trust me to do for you. And that becomes the team of field outside social media at lbs and all of that.
And then you stocked with your close circle. You know, whether it’s Devonte is a friends of developed or people you’ve met and start charging in a month. People as demoted, we feel very bad charging people for anything, especially for our services, but it’s completely alright when you take it as a professor.
it’s okay to tell people. This is what, what my time is. And this is what I know what my fees might be, or another way of doing it. This, when you’re starting out, you’re not confident to how much you should charge, but if you charge here, here, or here, so tell them you pay whatever you want. It’s not free, but you pay whatever you want is you think my time has given value to you.
And that does wonders, you know, people spend, but people have a choice that tend to be on the positive side, unless they’re really. Struggling for money or cruel, you know, which most people aren’t. Right. So, so one with the daughters, the Brahman logo with it,
no, the value I’m giving you, you decide what you want to pay here is my digital wallet, PayPal or whatever else. Right. You can pay me whatever, but it’s not free. It’s never free. You have to pay it, but you pay what you want. And eventually you realize people are paying me and I want to be, did my time’s worth.
And this is what I should charge.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:32:43] Yeah, I think that’s really important about people paying. Like we can see with when he distributed the books. He didn’t want them to be given for free because he knew that if people get it for free, they don’t value it. And so I think we can apply that to other things that we’re doing as well.
That people need to see that, okay, this is valuable and I have to sacrifice something. Now we might say like in Krishna consciousness, you don’t have to pay to become a devoted, but well you do, because you sit in sacrifices, you have to make the certain commitments that you make may not be in terms of money, but we have to show a reciprocation for what we’re receiving and then we take it more seriously.
I just thought, right?
Ajita dasa: [00:33:26] Yeah. So, so that’s the one aspect of becoming a coach, becoming a person who’s not a guru, but is a sort of group in a way that can speak the word and help people become happier, more productive. A better parent, better, a husband or wife, et cetera, et cetera, whatever your niche is.
That’s one, another aspect is the concept of South kitchen. Everybody has a kitchen, you can get it approved in whatever the government standards are in your pantry. And you can use food delivery services, which are around the world to, to just promote your food, yoga, friendly, yoga diet, comma free, you know, however you want to call it.
I used to call it a hundred percent vegetarian yoga friendly freshly made. You know, vegetarian meals, crystal lunch when I started in the U S so you can brand it the way you want it to sound. You have a friendly, especially because it’s sapling, but no one knows what Startrek means. When you say yoga friends were like, Oh, it’s good for me.
I’ll pay a little bit more to get good rescue ed, vegetarian, yoga, friendly foods. So, so you promoted that way and you let the delivery companies deliver your food. And, and before you’ll know people will get addicted because if you played the freshman nicely, an operative, nice tea, Krishna’s saliva has a special power.
You get addicted to no, it can open up a whole door for precinct. So your business itself can lead to priests. And that’s the beauty of entrepreneurship for devoting. and that’s why I’m giving you these kind of ideas. But those, if you like love to praise or a devote to anything, entrepreneurship might take me away from my services.
It’s not, it’s going to integrate a beautifully what you preach as well as you earn from it. The other kind of businesses, something that can be very simple as drop shipping. So let’s say, you. Something coming to China. Now isn’t a bad books, but or Taiwan or wherever these places where the mixed up. So you can talk to the manufacturers.
You can have a Amazon seller account and you can have products directly shipped from the manufacturers to the Amazon way houses under your name. And, Amazon, because you right buying in bulk, you’ll get it at the wholesale price. Amazon, you can sell it at a price, a little lesser than what it’s being sold by its competitors.
And it’s an automated process, a system that you can set up, it’s called drop shipping and read up all about a lot of information there, online and Google. So it’s called drop shipping. You set up the system. It takes two, maybe four or five hours a week. We just monitored the data and the numbers, how the sales are going, set up a marketing system through Facebook book a and even Google, if you want to write.
And that’s it. Once you set it up, let it run a hundred stone. You see money can go along into marketing this much. See us this much, your profit does this much. It’s an automated process. You can do your services, spend time with family and automatically you can see sales happening through a funnel and it works so drop shipping as a non well known way of making money while you sleep.
So again, devote can use that, these all are mid level moneymakers anywhere between two to $3,000, maybe $5,000, if you really, into a $10,000 a month. And that’s kind of what to get you started. If you want to build a multimillion dollar business, build a product, a tech product. That’s that’s my, of, I had done to go from manufacturer or traditional businesses.
You build one app that gap app gets used by 10 million people. It’s still one app that you built, but 10 million people are using it on their phones and can lead to who knows what, you know, what, what is a meditation app, whether it’s a dating app, whether it’s a counseling app, whatever else, whatever you feel comfortable building, you know, and you don’t see that as breaking into the regular principles, you want to build a multimillion dollar business.
That’s that course I can go much deeper into it, but I’m not,
Krsnendu dasa: [00:37:24] you know, that’s a good, good overview there. yeah. So, what would you say are the main things that get in the way when the vote is, you know, have the idea of, you know, starting some sort of business, do you think fear,
Ajita dasa: [00:37:36] fear, fear of failure. So one of the things that the fear of failure, the other thing is the fear of what happens to my family and I don’t have enough savings and whatnot.
So, so the way I tell people to address it is you’re already in a fearful situation, especially with Corona, a lot of people are going to lose their jobs. Because companies are struggling that the fact that they’ve not worked for the last 30, 40 days, people are going to struggle. A lot of people are getting fired right now.
So you’re anywhere in a nightmare situation. You don’t realize it, but it is okay. What does a work can do? Go that that could happen if you start your own startup? Okay. You don’t have succeeded for the first year. You struggle along. You’ll make some money, something will work out right. Once you get started, some things will work out.
If you do something like a services business, whether it’s app, counseling and that kind of coaching kind of a business. It does not a lot of investments. If you look at it, but even one client can get, you make your cashflow positive. Now. If you do really well. Let’s think about that. If you do really well, I will.
Life of fulfillment, a life of a feeling that yes, I’m doing something I love to do a life of financial freedom overlaps you now is it rusting the risk for that happy life where you’re free to do what you want to do, but you’re free to retire when you want to retire, but you’re free to go a month off when you want to take a month off.
For a little bit of risk where you might feel fumble fall, but I’ll tell you unless you quit, you don’t fail. My name is . My CARMY name is, or rather my legal name is Roy. And that name is derived from the middle name of Thomas Edison, Thomas Alva, Edison Alva. You know, so Avella Thomas Alva at,
in times to build the light bulb. Not nobody counted, but a lot of times he failed till he came to the perfect light bulb. If he didn’t try out today, we’ll be in a very different situation. Maybe somebody else would have come with the light bulb a hundred years later. But the point is failure is a part of doing anything big.
We’ve tried to walk as a child. We fumbled and fell many times fans and say, Oh, you failed. Sorry, not walk again. So central with business, you will fumble. You will fail. You will get rejected. Your friends will laugh at you. Your family will think you’re crazy to even take this step, but it’s okay.
Something greater awaits you. Most people have not. Experience that greatness. So they don’t know what it feels like. Just like Christina gone. Just, I need your answers. Are you crazy? You’re going to be a, become a vegetarian, you know, all that we are used to ridicule, right? It’s nothing new for them. So let me take the next step in becoming an entrepreneur.
It’s okay. We can take that. But the higher tech is flexibility, freedom, more service or Krishna, and more opportunity for financial freedom. Right? A happier, more comfortable life. That’s important. So the fear is the biggest thing and also the unknown part and lack of knowledge. So again, the vote is like yourself, and I add that we are available to provide that knowledge, which is already proven to work for hundreds and thousands of companies.
So know that the resources that are available, just ask for it. You’ll get just like, again, you reach out to vice numbers for guidance, so same way there are devote is available to help you. and so what’s the fear. What’s the excuse now.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:41:06] All the excuses are squash. Just like Gina sit the cushion, right? Well, yeah. Okay. You’ve smashed all my excuses now. I guess I have to do what you say. I’m sorry,
Prabhu that, that might be a good point. Could you explain a little bit about what you do in your business in terms of the. you know, the startup incubator that you have, cause obviously it’s designed for people that are starting businesses. What sort of things do you do? And is that something that the voters might, connect that with?
Ajita dasa: [00:41:40] So, what we have with the virtual incubation process, which is very helpful now because nothing is virtual. So you can be anywhere in the world. And we have what we call the lean startup methodology, which is the science of building businesses that came out of Stanford university after researching 10,000 services.
so. That is a process. It’s a full business. So definitely we’ll create 400 plus revenue generating startups is because it works. So what we do is we take it from the ideation process. We set milestones, mentors are assigned and they take you through the process of building, testing, learning, and coming to outputs.
And then revenue and then growth, et cetera. So we have to hold process in place. And if funding is required, we do have investor connects where investors come in and put in their money, take a stake in the company, help you grow further for those learnings and multimillion dollar business. And then there’s resources available from digital marketing, legal resources, accounting resources, engine optimization, website development, app development.
So you name it, you have it all under one. So first that education, then there’s funding. And then there is resources available so that you don’t have to go anywhere. If you see this and you you’ll get everything under one face. Now the lawyer accounting, all of that is obviously right now. Only in India focus.
I do have lawyers and accountants in the U S Hong Kong and Singapore, but that’s about it. you know, other countries might have resource, but that’s what we have so far. Does that answer your question?
Krsnendu dasa: [00:43:23] Yeah. What sort of businesses, does your company help? Is it a narrow focus or is there like any kind of business.
Ajita dasa: [00:43:33] so we don’t support companies that a break before regulatory principles with this harming animals or harming are doing alcohol or any of that illicit sex. We don’t support a restaurant businesses, for example, that are selling meat and liquor. So, thanks. So we have a very strong hold on that we don’t do that, but rest of it, as long as they are able to make more money, Most businesses, the most scalable, like I said, one app or one website and millions of people using it.
And you make that much amount of money. So your fixed costs add exponential outcomes. So most business tend to be tech, but there are non tech businesses. Also, there are devoted business also that are incubated by us and we have the growth. We also have the employee to entrepreneur program that we take you from, how you don’t have to quit your job.
Ad you can work an hour or two hours a day and six hours a weekend and you can build a business. And once your revenue is one third is salary. You quit your job and you join your business full time, grow your business and grow the revenue. That’s also there. What are some
Krsnendu dasa: [00:44:42] of the businesses that the devote is?
If you are able to say, you know, you said you’ve got some devoted entrepreneurs, what kind of businesses have they taken up? Is it tech businesses also?
Ajita dasa: [00:44:53] Yes most. Okay. So the one other businesses, for example, they built robots, robots that do various things. They also teach you programming. They go to colleges and teach programming.
They also teach, they do counseling. For students that are struggling with relationships, struggling with, you know, suicidal tendencies and whatnot. So helping counsel them. So they call it the techno spiritual, venture for this technology and the spirituality involved. And they do both because they get in the colleges with the help of robotics and artificial intelligence and buzzwords like that.
It’s the teach. But hand in hand, they also teach how to be a human, how to be happy. and that aspect, the other developers who are doing counseling kind of businesses that are the, what is doing personal branding businesses, where they have a certain talent and they monetize that talent. Using social media.
I also help anathema abou Europe and North America with social media, like you said, with marketing and branding and a lot of people who have the compliance themselves, you know, they’re following helps them to also inspire people to take up devotional
Krsnendu dasa: [00:46:04] life. Right? Yeah. That’s great. Oh, it’s good. Just to hear the variety of, you know, kind of businesses that you deal with.
And it also brings me to the next point that I was wanting to ask you about is. how, how do you see that the entrepreneurial spirit can be used to help spread Krishna consciousness, you know, for preaching or supporting temples? Not so much on the business side of, you know, like a money making venture, but more about how to reach people and
Ajita dasa: [00:46:31] yeah.
So, so the biggest thing about an entrepreneur is a successful entrepreneur, is that you think for a women’s situation, now, one can say to your world, there’s no such thing as an institution, but that is, there haven’t been situations that are possible. And you think from the other person’s benefit, right?
What can I say? That will benefit the other person? and it will also. Help bring this person to Chrisman consciousness. So as an entrepreneur, you’re constantly negotiating with other people you’re selling your marketing, your branding, and me preaching has all of that. You’re selling Krishna you’re marketing crushed.
Now you’re branding Krishna to an audience that might not have ever heard of Krishna . Who are those ladies on the altar? They think Chris does a little bit and rather is also a little bit red. So two people coming from that vantage point, you’re taking them to devotional service. It’s not an easy task.
And again, if you look at Sheila proud, but he made it very splashy, you have an X factor, depression of consciousness. I want to be part of this movement where the funding close. Have Shika, you know, because Hey, 36 feet chariot run, you know, quote by thousands of people. That’s a thing to see it’s called disruption and entrepreneurship, right?
Yup. Seth Gordon has written a book called the purple cow. If there are cows around the road, you don’t look at the house. It is a purple cow. You stop your car. And like, what is that cow? Proper did that with drugs after Papa did that on the streets, but in today’s world, what do we do? How can we do that on the phone?
Because people don’t look around them. I look at the phones. So entrepreneurial mindset is figuring out who is my target audience, what is the need and how can that benefit them and how can I benefit them such that they can receive per kid. And they can also.
So that’s not the piece, some reciprocation, right. But you have to give first invest first. And then the return on investment comes. Even if it doesn’t come it’s okay. Someday it will come. You sit in the seat of the, this, but at least being an entrepreneur you’re doing this day to day every day, you’re slightly better off understanding people and benefiting them from a vantage point of win-win solutions.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:48:56] No. That’s great. Yeah, I’ve been, I’m inspired by the purpose driven church. I’m not sure if you’ve read that book, but it’s basically the entrepreneurial approach to preaching. I highly recommend giving it a read. It’s basically
Ajita dasa: [00:49:12] that
Krsnendu dasa: [00:49:12] purpose driven church by Rick Warren. Yeah, I did a webinar on it too. I can send you the link, but base.
Yeah. The basic idea of it is that, You know, you need to nurture people at the different stages of their development. So the initial thing is people first just need to know you exist. And then from there you want to bring them in to your world, like come to the Sunday feast and at each stage there’s another step.
There’s always one step, you know, like, like a marketing funnel. So when they come to the Sunday faced and in their case, it would be the church it’s like, all right, well now you’ve come here. The next step is to do the introductory course. So you do that. And then for an introductory course, you become a member and they have a process of training up the next lot of preachers and it becomes a, you know, I I’m sick a circle of, you know, a virtual circle basically.
Anyway. Yeah. I like it because it’s, it’s connecting these principles of entrepreneurship with. Now how we can bring people along into Krishna consciousness and care for them as well. Like that’s another aspect. Sometimes people think that business is all about finding customers and selling them something, but the really successful businesses, when you make a customer and you really care for that person and support them, and then they become dedicated to you.
In businesses like that also, right? It’s not like you just get money from someone and then ran off to the next person, the real successful where you, you know, cultivate a relationship with someone and, you know, they have loyalty
Ajita dasa: [00:50:45] and their
Krsnendu dasa: [00:50:46] trust. Yeah. The trust and care for them. And, you know, show that you like, how what’s his name?
Jay Abraham, Jay Abraham talks about the idea of the, Preeminent the strategy of preeminence, where you become the, how, what was the word he used is a specific word, but basically that you are the person that really cares for that person. That you’ll never suggest anything that’s not in their best interest.
And when people, when people recognize that, then you know, there’s a great deal of trust. And it’s just the win-win, as you say, we’re looking out for the best thing for everyone. Yeah. So anyway, I just thought I’d share about the purpose driven church and that, that connection. So, yeah. So you’ve spoken about how entrepreneurship can help ISKCON you’ve spoken about how devote is, can take the first steps to developing entrepreneurship.
We’ve talked about how we can use the principles in the skills to help with the Krishna consciousness, movement and preaching. Is there anything else that you’d like to add? Or are there any questions that I didn’t ask you that I should have asked you?
Ajita dasa: [00:51:57] I think there is one thing is that when you become an entrepreneur, it’s like you’re in the middle of a storm.
It gets very chaotic. It gets very, very tiring. It’s a lot of effort. It’s not easy. As that the heavily be affected in a champion can take a back seat. And I have gone through that period. personally, once when my mentor was very kind and pointing it out that day, you’re going to walk into the eye of the storm, make sure your chanting doesn’t get affected because of that.
So make sure you find time to change. And I think that’s an important aspect. But don’t forget what this is all for successes. Nice money is nice, but if we lose person and the process, it’s not worth anything. So that should be something I’m sure I’m no one to say that, but that should at least be at the back of our heads, that this is Krishna does a proud, and it shouldn’t take us away from rather, it should bring us closer to that, the movement and proud, but Anna services.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:53:04] Yeah, that’s perfect. And it’s a very good balance. You know, we were speaking about, going out into the world and achieving all these great things, but at the end of the day, it’s all for serving Krishna
Ajita dasa: [00:53:15] and it’s, what’s
Krsnendu dasa: [00:53:17] that famous saying? It says, what does he use to gain the whole world if you lose your eternal spirit?
So if we always remember to keep our sudden the strong keep Krishna in the center now, ultimately that’s the perfection of all of our endeavors.
Ajita dasa: [00:53:33] That’s fair.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:53:35] Any other points that you’d like to add?
Ajita dasa: [00:53:39] If you have any questions I’m happy to get.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:53:41] Yeah, no, I think, I think that’s a wonderful place to end it that we’ve discussed about so many different sort of strategies, but at the end of the day, to remember the main point to dedicate everything to Krishna and that’s ultimately what it’s all about.
Ajita dasa: [00:53:55] Somebody wants to reach out to me. They’re more than welcome to reach out on social media. Just, my name is so unique. It’s easy to find. I’m the only one with that name available, right? It’s this Google me and you’ll find me on Instagram, LinkedIn, anywhere. There are also videos I’ve made on YouTube.
There are 190 videos on spirituality and startups and combining the two also. Oh, that’s the resource right there.
Krsnendu dasa: [00:54:18] Yeah. Yeah. Highly recommend them. I was, I’ve watched a few of them and I always find them, well presented and, you know, really know on point and very entertaining as well as educational. So you’re doing a great service.
So yeah. Thank you so much for, taking the time with us today. I look forward to keeping in touch and I’m hearing more about your continuing success.
Ajita dasa: [00:54:45] Please bless me Hare Krishna