At just 24 years of age, Pranav Arora already possesses a resume superior to most 40-year-olds. Entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and venture capitalist are just a few of his many titles; he is also chairman for major multinational corporations JMTD Holdings (a firm of financial consultants) and The Just Funky Foundation (a charity organization).
We were lucky enough to have a chat with the busy Pranav to learn more about his journey to the top. Suffice to say, his answers were inspiring!
So Pranav, how did your journey into entrepreneurship begin?
While my education and supportive family environment played a big role, things really took off at age 16. This was back in 2012 when my parents were starting up their own company which quickly developed in the company they have today, Just Funky, a premier manufacturer of all things pop-culture. Being able to assist my parents in growing their business every step of the way has been truly rewarding. While this was going on, I was also starting up my own company, which I’d sold by the time Just Funky took off. It was a wild ride, and I learned a lot incredibly quickly. I have my family to thank for my success – they were incredibly supportive during the entire process.
What are the essential qualities needed for becoming a successful entrepreneur?
First and foremost, passion for the work. Being an entrepreneur is not easy, and if your heart isn’t fully in it you won’t get anywhere. Being an entrepreneur requires long hours, difficult meetings, and plenty of setbacks and mistakes. It’s very stressful, but if you love what you do then you will get through it. And of course, you need to be optimistic – you attract what you focus on, so if you’re pessimistic it’s all too easy for your start-up to go down the drain.
You also need to have great attention to detail, as misinterpreting market trends and changes can end up costing you a lot of time and money. Observance and quickly learning from mistakes are vital. So yes, stay focused on your goals and stay positive!
What would you say is the primary mission behind your work?
Essentially, giving back to the community that gave me these opportunities. Specifically, for Just Funky, it’s a family-owned business so we are extremely passionate about supporting our team. We have over 110 staff in locations all over the world, and we try to make it feel like a family environment. But we are also serious about transformation and innovation – we are always growing and improving.
At JMTD Holdings, which is a private equity firm, we’re really focused on getting the best long-term returns for our shareholders and transforming opportunities into outcomes. This is done using a unique approach involving diversified private and public holdings across sectors such as wealth management, manufacturing and consumer goods. It’s exciting work and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
What do you do to create a positive and enriching workplace?
We really make sure that the work environment is friendly, open, and inclusive. It’s vital to our success as a business that our team feels supported and listened to, and that we are all helping each other out. And of course, good leadership is key, too. It doesn’t end once the business is established, you have to maintain the pressure all the way through. This means holding meetings, creating new goals, and maintaining staff morale. I like to think I do a good job; my staff seem happy!
What recent developments in technology have been made at Just Funky?
Our biggest development is Deciph-AR, a mobile application that uses augmented reality technology to bring pop culture brands and characters to life. We launched it in Las Vegas earlier in the year at the Licensing Expo, which was quite a success. We had a lot of attention from investors and businesses worldwide, as well as fans, which was encouraging.
What else have you been working on recently?
After the success of Just Funky, I started working on a sister company called Stunned Mind, which is an e-commerce business that provides a comprehensive range of pop culture merchandise to passionate collectors through E-commerce. The team members at Stunned Mind are great – they seem very happy with the work-life balance, strong leadership and flexibility I offer them.
Megan DeGrom was born and raised in New Jersey just outside the Pine Barrons. As a journalist, Megan has contributed to many online publications including Rotten Tomatoes and Variety. In regards to academics, Megan earned a degree in business from St. John’s University. Megan covers economy stories here at Clear Publicist.