Always solicit feedback to course correct along the way.
Neeraj Tewari is a management consultant, living in Potomac, MD and the founder of Taksila, LLC.
Early in life, Neeraj developed a keen interest in modeling natural processes and became fascinated with building technology that emulated human behavior and activities.
As part of his master’s degree, Tewari published papers on vision processing algorithms and built an autonomous land vehicle (ALV) that could navigate its way on a park walkway. He subsequently went on to obtain patents in signal processing and assumed management roles at Hughes Electronics and Infinite Computer Solutions where he ran large global technology programs.
Taksila was incorporated with the idea of developing Artificial Intelligence and machine learning solutions for the industry and to academia, by bringing like, best-in-class minds from around the world using crowdsourcing as the vehicle to access this group of people globally.
Neeraj Tewari has spent the bulk of his life building a powerful understanding of business management. He has developed an extensive resume, working with Fortune 500 companies all over the world from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, Singapore, and Thailand. From startups to large enterprises and everything in between, Neeraj has achieved numerous successes along the way.
As a leader, a manager, and strategist, Neeraj Tewari brings a sturdiness and responsibility to projects and always holds individuals accountable when leading the group. As a result, Tewari has not only helped businesses meet their goals, but exceed them.
Where did the idea for Taksila come from?
I’ve had conversations with scientists and engineers as an avid global traveler. It became clear to me that learning to emulate human behavior and movement is of great interest, and not everyone gets a chance to contribute their thoughts towards an industry application. This may be a result of a lack of an engagement model or opportunity. What these people share is a vision of how technology can be used to take over mundane, repetitive, and hazardous tasks, allowing individuals to focus their time on something more meaningful.
Taksila provides a platform where the buyers and providers can come together globally and collaborate towards meaningful solutions as needed, and as time allows.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day includes understanding where we are as a team, spending time asking and answering questions, challenging people’s thoughts, and removing what prevents them from doing their best work.
My goal is help make our team as productive as possible — that’s what matters. If they are at 110% of where they were yesterday, then I am being productive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Ask meaningful questions. Ask questions without judgment and allow people to express their thoughts. It is amazing how everyone can meaningfully contribute in some manner when they feel like they are being heard.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Combining the internet of things (IOT), data analytics, and machine learning to create solutions.
Automation which improves people’s lives by making the world around them easier, safer, healthier and by giving them more time.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I seek first to understand and then to be understood — that way you can better communicate what you have to say in ways that is actually understood.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Focus on “why” you do what you do, the “how”, and “what” follows. As Simon Sinek says in his TED Talk How Great Leaders Inspire Action, “Communicate from within. The goal is not to be with people who want what you have, but to be with people who believe what you believe. That’s how the Wright brothers, Apple, and Martin Luther king changed the world.”
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
The way we look at the world changes the world. As Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor (161-180) and stoic philosopher said, “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Follow my instincts and do what feels right. Always solicit feedback to course correct along the way.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Data, data, data. Benchmark, benchmark, benchmark. Measure the most economical way to do what you do. Don’t deny the data when it works against you and use it to build transparency within your teams.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I don’t see it as failures. For me it’s about what worked and what lessons have been learned. Semantics, perhaps, but practicing this makes me more effective and mindful of ideas, thoughts and people. Don’t judge and always seek better outcomes along the way.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
With globally aging populations, we need many creative solutions for better health outcomes powered by the internet, file sharing, analytics and IOT. Infinite possibilities.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Donating my gambling winnings to my daughter’s school club that supports victims of domestic abuse. It was joyous to see what she could do with more money for a cause she feels strongly about in downtown Rockville.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
(a) Dropbox – for sharing and tracking personal family videos in a group setting and for
being able to work with business documents and people around the world and
(b) Whatsapp as the “Hey look at this” or “What do you think” tool.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Man’s Search for Meaning – Victor E. Frankl, the Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor.
As entrepreneurs, we have both great days and days where we question and doubt. I am reminded of a quote from Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor — “It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.” “Life ultimately means taking responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks it constantly sets for each individual.”
What is your favorite quote?
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in Harmony” – Mahatma Gandhi
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.