‘I wanted to create my brand’

Santosh Sunar, founder and director of motivational coaching organisation BeTheGuide, wanted to create his own brand instead of working for a brand. After self-introspection, Sunar realised that he had the capability to change lives. So, in 2018, he started the organisation, which is supported by IPE Global, the managing services operating partner of Meghalaya state of Skill Development Society, and MSME-registered. Both Sunar and co-founder and director Kalyan Bhattacharjee were born and brought up in Shillong. Their hard work has been fruitful and the organisation has received accolades not only in the country but abroad too. Sunar speaks to Preetty
Chambugong Marak about his becoming a friend, philosopher and guide to many a stranger. Excerpts:

How did you come up with the concept of this business?
It was not until I worked with HSBC that the idea came to me… I found that I can be a great guide, motivator, an influencer, understanding mentor and a person who is willing to change something. I had struggled to become a motivational speaker and I didn’t want anybody else to struggle.

Who or what do you think is your biggest inspiration?
I always wanted to be the most sought-after motivational speaker, hence, one international motivational speaker Les Browns was the one who really inspired me to embark on this journey. However, the biggest source of inspiration was my dad who helped me in many ways… The other biggest inspiration is the dream to make Meghalaya a hub of employment.

What is the USP of your business?
It’s simple — better quality, affordable, flexible, quick and provides utmost visibility.

Have you experienced failures?
Yes, I have faced setbacks on various fronts. The organisation is a start-up… We struggled to find better candidates and pay house rent. We didn’t have enough visibility during the first few months. We thought of quitting. However, we took a risk of mass hiring, and to our surprise, we got a great response and we hired 25 best candidates… If you are out of sight then you are out of mind, hence we continued promoting without even knowing that whether doing such thing will yield any result. Our psychological marketing helped us to stick during such situation.

Any message for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Whenever you don’t find customers for your wonderful ventures, fine-tune your products or services and readjust towards your customers. Keep on fine-tuning until you find it right but do not give up or shut down your business just because you don’t have the market… If you still don’t find customers, reach out to me for the best practical solution ever.