Welcome to the second episode of Outliers: Season of Resilience.
For those of you who started listening to the Outliers podcast early on, Manish Sharma, the founder of Printo, isn’t a new name. We started the Outliers podcast with him as our first guest.
But that’s not the only reason why I am going back to Manish for another episode in these challenging times.
Manish is a battle-hardened entrepreneur who has steered his startup Printo through many crises, including the last existential crisis triggered by the Lehman collapse post-2008. In the entrepreneurial ecosystem, he is looked upon as a bold voice of realism and honesty. Not false hope.
“This is worse than what I faced in 2008 because the economy has ground to a halt. I did not have a situation like this where you are zero, literally zero, on revenues. As we speak today, not just mine, but there are a bunch of companies whose revenues were zero yesterday, are zero today, will be zero tomorrow. It’s a pretty dire situation,” Sharma tells me in this episode.
The uncertainty and the threat of extinction are real.
“I don’t even know if Printo will come out of this.”
How do individuals and companies that survive crises come out of it? How does it mould or remould their DNA, their culture?
“When I look back at crises, I’ve always come out very clear about certain things about myself because it’s a self-discovery process. It’s not something which I can say this is how I will be in the crisis, I can’t say I’m going to be calm and collected and truthful and honest, right?”
“When the crisis plays outright, I will look back and say oh I decided to be calm and collected, truthful and honest… well, I was maybe, calm and collected, maybe partially truthful, honest. I’m not sure you know there is, this is what you can judge but it’s not something which you can prejudge maybe you want to just pick one principle.”
Please tune in and listen to this podcast.
You can also download the full, unedited transcript of this podcast below. Credit to Sehar Dabur for transcribing this conversation.