“Choose the business for which you are passionate. Once you enjoy what you are doing, rest will fall in place, and work will never be drudgery.”- Ashish Bhatia’s advice for the rising and passionate entrepreneurs. Ashish Bhatia, MSc Tech, ME Systems, and MBA (Strategy & Leadership) by education, is an engineer and a management professional. However, he likes to be known as a successful serial entrepreneur. He co-founded 4 successful businesses in the last 28 years of his career. His mantra of success is, working hard, leading by example, and creating motivated performance-driven teams. He likes to talk numbers with his team, which keeps every employee in his business target focused and customer-centric. American Homesecures, one of his dream companies, is known to be a flagship business that offers state-of-the-art monitored security systems to over 20000 customers around the world. The mission of this company is “Providing Peace of Mind and Saving Lives, One Life at a time”. American Homesecures has 200+ employees and it is still growing. In this interview with Business Upside, Ashish Bhatia discusses his entrepreneurship journey of American Homesecures. He also talks about his business concept, mission, marketing strategies, and advice for young entrepreneurs, lessons learned, challenges faced, satisfying moments, success and future goals, etc. Edited excerpt of the interview: Business Upside : How did you get your idea or concept for the business? Ashish Bhatia : American Homesecures is my flagship business which takes pride in providing state-of-the-art monitored security systems to over 20000 customers. On one of the road trips in Texas, I found that there was a huge market for providing Home security systems to the rural markets, where it was often hard for the law enforcement authorities to intervene in a time of emergency. I built a sales strategy keeping this niche market in mind and used his overseas experience to create a scalable model. : What was your mission at the outset? : We wanted to bring the same level of smart home protection to the rural markets and far-out customers, which our customers in the bigger cities would get. Our, ‘Emergency Assist” device is a unique product that provides elderly customers with “Fall Protection” and has a “GPS locator”, so our aging customers can get help as needed at the time of an emergency. We take pride in our Mission of “Providing Peace of Mind and Saving Lives, One Life at a time” and have a large pool of customers for whom our product is their lifeline and is a part of their lives. : How do you market your business, and which method has been most successful? : Our sales & marketing strategies are unique, as all our inside sales, and social media campaigns are focused on providing information to the potential users of our products. We don’t make any “pushy sales“; our employees take pride in making efforts to understand our customers' specific requirements and then provide a reliable solution to them. : What was your experience in the initial days? : In the Home security business, there are many moving parts. Managing diverse teams in different geographies was a challenge to start with. Since its inception, our leadership team has been passionate about product quality and customer focus. Every department had to ensure meeting service delivery standards. It was like one part failing would fail the whole business. I am glad we failed early on and were agile enough to learn from our initial challenges and build a robust product and service delivery for our customers. : What have been some of the most important lessons that have influenced your work? : We are currently a team of 250+ employees and growing. A few key lessons I have learnt in my entrepreneurial journey are to have a positive mental attitude, which has helped me many times to be resilient when coming across challenges that could break the business. Hard work, for sure, is an essential ingredient. Being an inspiration and having a genuine concern for employees has helped my teams to show “Compassion” and provide exceptional services to our customers. Our employee attrition has been one of the lowest in our industry. : What do you look for in an employee? : Team player, ability to follow directions, and commitment to the organization are a few key attributes our HR team focuses on. Being self-disciplined to ensure the potential employees can adapt to our company’s core values is very important for us. : If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting, what would it be? : Choose the business for which you are passionate. Once you enjoy what you are doing, rest will fall in place, and work will never be drudgery. Any start-up venture would need a lot of hard work and will drain financial and mental resources. Hence one must choose a business for which one is passionate about, as, in times of real crisis, it would be their passion for “not giving up” which will help them sail through. : What were the biggest roadblocks or challenges you had when you first started in the profession, and how did you overcome them? : Home security installation business is controlled and needs licensing. We had to invest a lot of resources to set up our people, and processes, and purchase inventory for the whole nine yards. Still, our first business license took an additional couple of months to arrive, and that created financial stress on the company as we had not budgeted for this delay. Our leadership team worked non-stop during this phase, not taking any pay but ensuring all our employees were still taken care of. The silver lining to this situation was that we were ready to generate revenues the day we received our license, and after that, it was a comfortable ride. : What has been your most satisfying moment in business? : There have been many instances of our customers calling us back with real-life stories as to how one of our systems helped them prevent a burglary or helped them save their lives by dispatching emergency services just when it was needed. The feeling you get when your customers are delighted about your services helps fuel our appetite to grow our business. : How did you plan to provide better results in a crisis? : For us, it has constantly been re-investing in our business. We follow strict financial discipline to ensure that a portion of our budgeted profits go back into our business, be it for employee training, product R&D, trying out new sales strategies, etc. : What is the next goal you wish to accomplish? : American Homesecures is at an exciting stage of its journey where we have a scalable business model. Our goal is to expand into the developing economies and double our revenues every 3 years. Our motivation is to increase our business by extending the reach; we want to ensure that we continue striving toward providing better customer services. As that’s the critical success factor, we have had in our story so far. : How do you define success? : For us, success means the whole nine yards, satisfied customers, high-performing employees who enjoy their work, along with positive cash flows. Essentially being able to satisfy all stakeholders is the key. More Information: Company URL: www.americanhomesecures.com My LinkedIn URL: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashish-bhatia-591a47156 My Designation: Co Founder& CEO, American Homesecures Further Reading \t A Budding Entrepreneur’s Guide To Registration Of Business In Ontario \t Kevin Plank of Under Armour: Exemplary Vision of Entrepreneurship \t How Direct to Customer Approach was Instrumental in Dell’s Success?