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Nikhil Alok is a 20 year old entrepreneur and innovator, currently completing his National Service in the Singapore Armed Forces. At the age of 17, he co-founded his first business in which he helped to both fund-raise and implement projects for multiple start-ups in the Asia Pacific Region. Nikhil attended the Global Young Leaders Conference 2012 in New York and served on the Executive Committee of Colombo Model United Nations 2013, before completing his high school education as a full boarder at Gordonstoun School in Scotland.
City where you’re from: I consider both Singapore And London home.
Hobbies: Adrenaline sports, travel and watching Football
Favorite quote: “Look in the mirror.. that’s your competition.”
What are you working on NIkhil? How did you come up with this idea?
Nikhil Alok: Apart from fund raising for start ups with my first company, i am actively working on a lifestyle tourism venture to help with the branding of a nation in South Asia. There are particular countries that I am in love with and I feel that they have so much to offer but are not fulfilling their potential in terms of tourism and foreign investment. I decided that I needed to help change that.
How is your company different?
Nikhil Alok: Having grown up as a true international citizen and seen how countries and businesses have developed at such a young age, I have been exposed to the patterns for developing successful brands. I feel that a country can have the same model, which can boost tourism, foreign direct investment and its start-up culture. My company is one of the first to be in the business of ‘nation branding’ and we would operate more as ‘brand managers’ for countries. We would be working with businesses and governments to achieve customised goals on a larger scale, which is different to marketing agencies who usually work with individual businesses for the sole purpose of helping them to increase their profit. We have already picked the country that we intend to start in first.
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have
Nikhil Alok: Firstly, it would be to focus more on making an impact rather than making money. Once you make an impact and are adding value, everything else will come to you.
Secondly, it would be to meet as many people as you possibly can. Some of the least expected people that I have met have changed my way of thinking and therefore, changed my life. Also, it’s a numbers game and the more people you meet, the more opportunities will come your way.
Third, before starting your first venture as an entrepreneur, try and experience as many things as possible outside of your comfort zone. Those experiences are what will shape you as a person, making you more self aware and allow you to be the best version of yourself.
What’s something new you’ve learned in the past month?
Nikhil Alok: A 10 minute focused meeting is more powerful than a 1 hour meeting.
What do you think you do better than most people?
Nikhil Alok: That’s a tough question but I would say that I’m a good listener and listening to the successes, advice, failures and regrets of so many people that I’ve met over the years, has allowed me to really think about things on a much deeper level.
Teach us something about finding your passion
Nikhil Alok: It’s actually usually something that has been part of your life for a while, it never left. As you get older, you start to recognise it more and more, especially during tough times when you are doing things you don’t want to do. Its one of those things that can make the rest of the world zone out. The only way to truly find/recognise your passion is to participate in as many things as possible and the one thing that you’re constantly thinking about doing during doing all of that is what you’re passionate about.