Continuing with our E-Commerce Series bringing you exclusive interviews from the Los Angeles Tribune with leaders making an impact in our community. We had the pleasure of interviewing Jeet Banerjee , a Serial Entrepreneur and TEDx speaker. Founder of a growing and expanding e-commerce empire, as well as being a man involved with many different ventures – Jeet spoke to us about e-commerce, business and his unique and inspiring story.
What inspired you to jump into e-commerce?
I had just sold my tech company and I really was looking for the next big opportunity. I have a hard time sitting still and quickly began exploring how I could utilize my marketing skills in a new industry. I kept hearing about the growth opportunities in e-commerce, dropshipping and Amazon and immediately fell in love with the challenge of learning something completely new. From there, the rest was history and I’ve never looked back since.
What is your e-commerce model?
I use a model highly popularized known as dropshipping. It’s a fulfillment model where you run a storefront, but work with a third party who does the manufacturing, fulfillment and shipping for you. This was perfect for me since I could focus on marketing, advertising and optimizing my store which are things I am an expert in. Since starting, I have launched dozens of brands which has generated over $30 million in revenue.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your life?
It has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Growing up, I was constantly getting in trouble, misunderstood and was heading down a horrible path. As soon as I found entrepreneurship, I freed myself of all my negative habits and saw myself working around the clock. Since becoming an entrepreneur, I’ve been able to achieve financial freedom for myself, buy my mother her dream car and help thousands of students start their own businesses around the world.
What motivates you?
My motivation is to create a legacy that outlives me. I believe that every human dies twice. Once when they take their last breath and the second time when their name or works are mentioned for the final time. I’m seeing immortality by leaving such a big impact on the world that I will never be forgotten, that is what drives me. The desire for greatness.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m a really big visionary. I constantly come up with ideas and am always seeking new challenges which can be dangerous if you don’t have the right people around you. Thankfully, I have some of the greatest business partners and team members around me that help me execute on my crazy ideas and also keep me grounded when necessary. I am extremely impatient so as soon as I have an idea, I always prefer to find out what happens if I try it instead of wondering what could have happened.
What’s the trend you are most excited about currently?
E-commerce. Here’s the thing, people have been buying products since the very beginning of time. Currencies have changed and retail fronts have changed but the human desire for purchasing has and never will change. The trend that excites me the most is how accessible retail is becoming for sellers. Years ago, you would have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a store front and inventory. Nowadays, anyone can start their own retail front for as little as $250 with just a laptop.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do not be scared of failure. It is inevitable to fail no matter what you do, but the key is to change your mindset on failure. As soon as I treated failure as an event instead of something that would define me forever, everything began to click.
Do you have a favorite quote that you keep close to you that’s helped keep you motivated you as an entrepreneur?
I think Mark Cuban says this, “Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you.” Keeping that mindset has allowed me to stray away from distractions an keep focused no matter how good or bad things might be going.
How do you define success?
Living life on your own terms. I believe there are millions of definitions to success because it’s how each person defines it. However, to me success is being able to do the things I love without anyone telling me how to do it.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Freedom. I love that I can work on my own schedule, build my own ideas and do things on my own terms. I had worked a few jobs before and I couldn’t stand feeling shackled up confined to the terms of others.
What is your big goal in the next couple years?
In the next 12 months, I am working on growing my e-commerce empire to over $100 million in revenue. Within the next 2-3 years, I would like to see my e-commerce empire growing to a billion dollar conglomerate. From there, I want to give back to future entrepreneurs through investments, incubation programs and more.
For the aspiring entrepreneur who may be reading this, what’s your best piece of advice?
If not, now when? If you have a dream to change your life or the lives of others, what are you waiting for? The best advice I can give anyone is that life never gets easier. Stop making excuses and jump into entrepreneurship if you’re serious about it. Your future self will thank you.
What is the one reason why you are so successful?
Because I’m willing to believe in myself and tune out what others have to say. Negativity will always be around you, but you need to remove any form of toxicity immediately. The reason I’m successful today is because I will always bet on myself and I believe in my vision no matter what noise may be present.