I believe the best way to generate new business is to create something that people will talk about.
Nitin Khanna is the CEO of MergerTech and has done some pretty exceptional things in his life so far. He has used his business astuteness to form a thriving operation that helps companies to capitalize their outcomes by finding an ideal strategic or financial acquirer for them.
Based in Portland, and an alumnus of the Purdue University, Nitin holds a master degree in Industrial engineering. He worked for the industry giants for a few years, and thereafter cofounded his own tech company Saber Corp. in 1998. Nitin grew Saber Corp. to be the largest standalone provider of state government solutions in the US with an employee count of 1200 and a revenue of $120MM. He then sold it to EDS for a revenue four times its worth, $460MM. Being at EDS, Nitin took lead of the government business operations, and helped the company to grow to an employee count of 1500 and a revenue of $300MM.
Being at Saber Corp, Nitin led eight M&A transactions and gained an experience that helped him start his next company MergerTech. Founded in 2009, MergerTech is a boutique technology bank that provides M&A advices. Nitin leads the company’s growth and client development efforts as well as being the lead strategy and negotiation advisor on the company’s largest deals.
Apart from MergerTech, Nitin sits on the boards of Freewire Broadband, Vendscreen, the Classic Wines Auction, TiE Oregon and advises more than half a dozen companies in cloud, social and mobile spaces. In addition to this, Nitin lately got to the grounds of the rapidly legalizing medical and recreational cannabis industry. The cannabis industry is a $100BB industry that is moving from black market to the legal market in the few years. Nitin started Cura Cannabis in 2015 and has already grown it to be the largest cannabis oil provider to both consumers and cannabis edible companies in Oregon.
A believer of living life with passion, Nitin is fond of movies and wines. His interest in wines led him to make his own word class wines named Oregon Pinot Noir and Four Handle. And his interest in movies led him to lead the production of award winning movies “Terms and Conditions May Apply” and “What Lies Upstream.”
Nitin Khanna is constantly making choices that help others grow and make the world a better place for all.
Where did the idea for MergerTech come from?
Being at Saber Corp, I led more than 8 M&A transactions. This excluded Saber’s acquisition by EDS. Selling my own company, at a price four times its revenue is what inspired me to get started with MergerTech.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day revolves around meeting my team and ensuring that I am informed of all important aspects of my organization. The other part of my day involves meeting clients and prospects and doing all the essential work for the ongoing projects. This helps in expanding and nurturing my network of business contacts. To conclude my day, I spend quality time with my family and hence live a very balanced life.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I think bringing ideas to life is important; but, at the same time, I also believe that nurturing a business idea and ensuring its long term growth and stability is equally important. This is an aspect where MergerTech plays an important role by mentoring executive teams and using our global connections to get the right people with the right experience and capabilities to collaborate on the execution side of an idea. We are deeply involved with our clients and work through both the big picture and the minutiae to ensure their ideas are nurtured and sustained.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The power of social media. In today’s age, the social media trend is one such that can make or break a business or an individual.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am investigative by nature and have always understood how to utilize my professional strengths in an ideal manner. Not being a traditionalist, I am been able to see different approaches and perspectives that yield greater results than the so called ‘tried-and-tested practices. I believe that my curiosity and flexibility of approach are my greatest strengths.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self not to be anxious, and be steady and patient; work hard and be fair in all your dealings. Keep your eye on your goals, plan your work and work your plan.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
I believe that there is no such thing as work and life balance. Success doesn’t happen between 9 to5, which means it is impossible to achieve work-life balance as an entrepreneur doing what you love. Your work and business is an extension of who you are, and it comes down to how well you can manage the work-life integration.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Planning things ahead of time can help anyone to be more productive. I have this culture at MergerTech too, where every employee, be it me, the managers or even the admin staff has to make a to-do list at the start of the day and I believe everyone should be doing this.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Honestly, word-of-mouth is the one strategy that has been working really well for us. I believe the best way to generate new business is to create something that people will talk about. I count myself to be fortunate enough to have worked with stellar brands that have grown to be the titans of the industry and have been continuously referring MergerTech ever since. Maintaining strong relationships with the past and present clients is the best way to get your name out there and meet the right people.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There’s no failure we’ve had till now. But something that often happens is when we try planning to pitch in prospective customers for a merger or acquisition, and they are not ready for such an expansion.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’ll do one better! I’ll share my thoughts on a geography, a market where I believe the right sort of idea has the potential to become a runaway success. See, about one-third of the world’s population is in India and China. And these are both stable economies that are on the growth path. So I believe that any business idea that addresses a local problem or local latent demand in these economies, has the potential to be a real winner.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Weekly gifts for my kids which included toys and candies.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
LivePlan! It allows my team to work remotely by developing business plans within a framework that keeps you on track, channeling you the right way.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
‘The Theory of Investment Value’ by John Burr Williams. This book offers some serious insights on the key economic and investment principles.
What is your favorite quote?
“Price is what you pay, Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett
- I believe the best way to generate new business is to create something that people will talk about.
- Planning things ahead of time can help anyone to be more productive.
- I would tell my younger self not to be anxious, and be steady and patient; work hard and be fair in all your dealings.
Email: [email protected]
Nitin Khanna on WikiPedia:
Nitin Khanna on Twitter: @n_khanna
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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.