It’s not often that you hear of an established entrepreneur born in the mid-1990s. However, that’s exactly what Pranav Arora is. Having been directly involved in several global businesses since his high school days, Pranav has made a name for himself within the business world.
Born in 1995, Pranav was first introduced to the world of entrepreneurship through his parents, who operated a merchandise company called Just Funky. However, it didn’t end there for Pranav. In fact, Pranav has gone on to hold executive positions with a private wealth management firm, called JMTD Holdings, while developing other companies like Stunned Mind and Naturable.
Fortunately, Pranav was able to take some time away from his busy schedule to offer his insights into the world of entrepreneurs and the global market.
Pranav, where did this journey begin for you?
When I was 16, my parents got me involved with Just Funky, which continues to be a family-owned business. Just Funky is a private-label, lifestyle merchandise brand that manufactures deliberately different products for the retail market. In 2011, when I first joined, the business was only just starting out. However, in those short 8 years, we have grown the business exponentially. We now have several teams operating across the world, including locations in India, China, and the United States where our headquarters is in Richfield, Ohio.
However, that wasn’t all I was up to in that time. While still attending high school and helping my parents grow their company, I was developing my own company called “Highly Educated” which I later sold.
How would you describe your education?
The dominant discourse would suggest that school is one of the most important things for all young people hoping to make it big in the world. While I hate to burst the bubble, but for me, school wasn’t the be all or end all. I graduated from Wooster High School in 2013 and then went on to study at the University of Akron. Despite this, I left after only one semester so I could focus on my business endeavours. Everyone’s path to success is different, and mine just happened not to include higher education.
What are the best and worst parts of being an entrepreneur directly involved in business strategy?
For me, the best part is being able to solve business problems. I like being able to design business strategies and evaluating their success/failure over time. As an entrepreneur, I believe you need to be able to tap into your creative juices and think outside of the box. In my work at JMTD, which is a finance firm in Ohio, I’ve learned the importance of adapting your business strategy and techniques to tackle different challenges you might face along the way. At JMDT, we work in intellectual property, patents, E-commerce companies, as well as trademark protection. The diversity of work keeps me from ever getting bored, but also demands more attention to different, creative solutions to a wide variety of issues.
Like every job or career, there are downsides. For me, the toughest thing is acquiring and developing the best talent. There are so many new graduates coming through and it can be hard to discern the best person for a specific role. Because I hold executive positions at several companies, maintaining labour is an important part of what I do (along with strategy). It’s so important that the people you surround yourself with are willing to buy into your mission and values. The work can be tough and there can and should be internal disagreements about strategy. However, at the end of the day, everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to the progression of the business.
What makes a great entrepreneur?
To be a great entrepreneur, you need to be passionate and patient. I started helping my parents with Just Funky when I was just 16 years old, and at that time the business was very small. There were times when we thought the business might not make it. Without patience and a passion to succeed, there is a chance the business might have struggled. Working in a company that you built from the beginning is no easy feat and there will be many times where you doubt your efforts. Despite this, with a high level of passion and commitment, your entrepreneurial endeavours can thrive.
What else do you do to keep yourself busy in the business world?
Charity and generosity are two big parts of my life. The Arora Foundation is an extension of Just Funky and is a non-profit organization devoted to assisting young students across the world achieve their education and business goals. I find this line of work to be my most emotionally rewarding and as the Vice President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the foundation, I find myself incredibly grateful for the opportunity available.
Pranav Arora is a highly-regarded investor and venture capitalist, whose esteem will continue to evolve and develop as he gains further business experience. At just 24 years of age, Pranav’s story is reflective of the fact that you can achieve anything at any age. If you are interested in pop retail merchandise, check out Just Funky today! We’d like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Pranav for answering our questions with such detail and insight.