Financial freedom is all about managing money on your own, says Pranay
Working in a startup often comes at the cost of everything else, be it money or inflexible work schedule
Money matters. Or does it really? Outlook Money brings to you this series through which we explored the under 35's take on money matters. Every generation has its share of distinct events that later gets recounted. Those from the early 1990s India had consumer durables as their object of desire. By the end of that decade and turn of the millennium, fancy cars had taken that place. Gen Z has grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a set of priorities and expectations sharply different from previous generations. Demographically speaking, those under 25 comprise 50 million of India’s population. This is more than that of the total population of Brazil, Russia, Germany and Canada combined. Being personal finance specialists, it was only natural that we at Outlook Money got curious to investigate what Gen Z thinks about money.
Perseverance of an entrepreneur
On graduating from Delhi College of Engineering in 2014, Pranay Bhardwaj got a job offer from a leading analytics company. Bhardwaj, on entering the job market, opted to turn down the safety of a big brand for his first job and took the riskier route of becoming an entrepreneur. He worked with two startups, Akosha and Zostel, before finally launching his own in 2016—Trustio, a P2P lending platform for recent graduates, which got acquired by a micro-lending start up, Slicepay. He is a product manager with Slicepay and exploring his options.
Working in a startup or even running your own often comes at the cost of everything else, be it money or inflexible work schedule. “The big idea behind leaving my Business Analyst placement from college and joining Akosha at a lower salary was that I wanted to learn the fundamentals of running a startup. My salary was low, and my hours were skewed,” recounts Bhardwaj. Even during his stint at Zostel, India’s largest branded hostel chain, he learnt the brass tacks of running a startup, execution on lean resources and to analyse an opportunity before taking the plunge. He is a good example of where perseverance can take you.
For 25-year old Delhi based Bhardwaj, financial freedom is all about managing money on his own. Right from his graduation days he avers to have maintained a healthy and positive relationship with money. “I don’t like asking for any favor from my parents. I took an education loan in college to fund my Rs 40,000 annual fees and a laptop of similar worth, because I didn’t want to be a burden on my parents,” adds Bhardwaj. He believes that one should make wise investments so that the money one has saved grows adequately. He made investments in mutual funds and recurring deposits keeping in mind his dream of starting up his own venture.
Having worked with early stage startups, Pranay also understands the importance of savings. Although, he admits that eating out and travelling have been two of his biggest financial sins. “While I was earning, I managed to save around 20-30 percent of my monthly income and invested this money mostly in equities in lure of good returns. However, I have stopped my monthly SIP transactions and have withdrawn money from two funds as I needed money to start Trustio including other routine expenses,” says Bhardwaj. He claims that had he not saved before, he wouldn’t have been able to fund his dream of starting up.
Talking about his financial goals, he said that he has not set unrealistic goals to be achieved in the distant future. He believes in starting with few reachable goals and works hard on them. “I don’t have any long term financial goals as of now besides planning to buy a house which is definitely not a priority right now.” says Bhardwaj. He is thankful that he doesn’t have any financial liabilities right now as his parents are working and are not financially dependent on him and his brother, who just completed his graduation also landed up a job in Gurugram.
He recounts that although it was difficult for him to leave his well paid job and give up life’s luxuries, he is quite satisfied with how things have worked: “I went to start something which got sold. It all happened so fast and in the past two years. Had I been employed conventionally, I would not have experienced what I did with a start-up.”