My name is Ajay Prasad and when I’m not growing my 2 seven-figure web-based startups, I’m working on replicating that success in my other businesses. Ask Me Anything!

Ajay Prasad
Jul 16, 2018

As a serial-entrepreneur at heart, the success I experienced in the corporate world never totally fulfilled me. After my position as a top marketing executive at a Fortune 500 company suddenly came to an end, I realized I had the opportunity to take control of my future.

In 2004, I founded GMR Web Team, a full-service web development, and digital marketing agency. That same year I moved into an entirely new industry and founded GMR Transcription, a transcription and translation services company. I was able to use my marketing strategies from GMR Web Team, to grow GMRT Transcription into one of its largest clients, effectively ensuring the success and rapid growth of both companies.

Youtube Video: GMR Web Team - About Us

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7H3tGA0aCM#action=share

My next big venture came when GMR Web Team had some trouble improving business for a large healthcare provider, even though the marketing campaigns and business operations were both running very well.  I quickly discovered that a poor online reputation was turning away all of the patients that our proven healthcare marketing strategies were attracting. I then directed my development team to create an automated Online Reputation Management tool that focuses on improving the accuracy of a business’s reputation through positive review acquisition, negative review prevention, and patient satisfaction measurement. Now that it’s developed into its own company, RepuGen, this tool is offered to all of GMR Web Team's clients as well as any healthcare provider in need of a reputation management tool. Both GMR Web Team and RepuGen now exclusively serve the healthcare industry.

Today, I'm far more than just a marketer, I actively collaborate with my management teams and help shape the future of GMR Web Team, GMR Transcription, and RepuGen. I am grateful that I followed my dream so many years ago and I truly enjoy the unique challenges that running each business presents.

If you have any questions about digital marketing, online reputation, healthcare marketing, or building a web-based startup I'd love to hear them! You can also reach out to me anytime at the social links below.

-Ajay Prasad

Twitter: @ajayprasad_

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ajayprasadgmr

Websites Addresses:

     GMR Web Team - www.gmrwebteam.com

     GMR Transcription - www.gmrtranscription.com  

     RepuGen - www.repugen.com


Ajay Prasad says:

This AMA will end Jul 27, 2018 12PM EDT

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What is the first step in the process of consolidating a startup?
Jul 27, 11:18AM EDT0
What are your thoughts on the use of smart-drugs?
Jul 27, 10:47AM EDT1

"Smart Drugs" are dangerous and have side-effects and are often not tested, I would recommend avoiding at all costs. Furthermore, time management and building your skill set are long-term solutions that will reap benefits throughout your whole lifetime. A "smart drug" is a shortcut and depending on shortcuts is a bad business practice. 

Jul 30, 6:54PM EDT0
In your experience, what are the most limiting challenges that startups face nowadays?
Jul 27, 3:39AM EDT0
What options for funding do you recommend for young entrepreneurs that are starting their first business?
Jul 26, 4:34PM EDT0
What are some of the challenges you faced when you were starting out and how did you manage to overcome them?
Jul 26, 5:04AM EDT0
How do you know if a startup has already failed or it only needs more time to take off?
Jul 26, 4:58AM EDT0
What is the most effective way to mediate personal and professional problems between teammates?
Jul 24, 12:19PM EDT0
How do you manage your teams and chose team leaders in your different businesses?
Jul 24, 10:41AM EDT1

I look for self-starters who take their work, any work, seriously. I then groom them to eventually lead a business, and in-time make them a partner.

Jul 31, 8:31PM EDT0
What does it take to have a team work together in achieving the level of success that you have?
Jul 23, 11:57PM EDT0
You mentioned that it is best to concentrate on building one's business until it takes off then one can start to relax and concentrate on balancing life and work. This is a little difficult to do when one has a family. Would you say younger people without families have a better shot at success in their businesses if they really want to succeed?
Jul 23, 9:47AM EDT1

It may seem like that but actually is not true because “work-life balance” means different thing to different people. While I do not consider myself a huge success, so I may not be a good example, but I started my business when my kids were nine and eleven years old. Everything worked out, obviously with HUGE help from my wife. If you have a family, discuss the needs with your spouse and go for it with your eyes open and 100% backing from your significant other.

Jul 31, 8:31PM EDT0
Many startups fail in a very short while, what would attribute this to?
Jul 23, 1:56AM EDT2

The biggest reason for a startup failure is over-optimism about how soon the business can start generating profit and underestimation of the time/money needed for success. I started with my goal of replacing my salary within six months of the start of my business. It actually was able to earn enough to match my last salary in my 5th year of business.

Also, remember nothing is wrong with failure! The issue with failure comes when an individual or organization is over-invested in a venture, causing the failure to be a major setback that causes staff to be let go, customers not to be served, or the business to close, instead of being a learning experience that one can grow from.

I would recommend starting small with room to grow and also not being married to any specific aspects of the business. You have to be flexible and open to change. Ideally, you will let the market play a part in determining your business model. 

Last edited @ Jul 31, 8:28PM EDT.
Jul 26, 7:17PM EDT0
Some people know thet should start a business, they just do not know what business. Where do you get your business ideas?
Jul 22, 10:11PM EDT1

With the exception of the first one, all my business ideas have come from my experience of running my businesses. I built my first business around my strengths.

Jul 31, 8:25PM EDT0
How can a company recover from a negative online reputation?
Jul 22, 4:06PM EDT0

By taking the negative comments seriously, rectifying any issues that are true,  and implementing a system like RepuGen that generates honest reviews.

Creating fake reviews or only asking your happiest customers for reviews can actually make your online reputation worse by giving your new customers unrealistic expectations.

Jul 23, 5:51PM EDT0
We are often told to choose one thing and focus on it if we want to succeed in business. You are focusing on many things and still able to make a success of your ventures. What is your secret to success?
Jul 22, 1:07PM EDT1

Each business I own is focused on a narrow niche that we can dominate. So while I have many businesses, I am still following “the one thing” philosophy. I did not start a new business until current one was stable and was mostly run by an associate.

Jul 31, 8:24PM EDT0
How have you navigated your entrepreneurial journey?
Jul 22, 7:32AM EDT1

Made many mistakes in the beginning. Kept on fixing those and eventually stabilized. We still make mistakes, but they are few and far between.

Jul 31, 8:23PM EDT1
How do you keep tabs on the performance of all your businesses?
Jul 22, 12:54AM EDT1

I set goals for all businesses and compare success/failure based on whether the goals were met.

Jul 31, 8:23PM EDT0
What was your original version of success and how has it evolved?
Jul 21, 6:42PM EDT1

Original version of success was my very first sale. This was for a company with a good product, but charged 10X market price because of their customers’ ignorance. Once I resigned that account, I was very particular about only helping businesses who cared for their customers. We now only take healthcare providers as our new clients, and only accept ones who are patient-centric. We are so particular that we have our client-requirements on the website itself.

Jul 31, 8:22PM EDT0
How did you manage the transition between a salary and working full time on your project?
Jul 21, 9:26AM EDT1

I was actually fired from my last job and decided to become an entrepreneur so that I have better control my destiny.

Jul 31, 8:22PM EDT0
Looking back, what was the biggest thing you should have focussed on in the first year?
Jul 21, 9:26AM EDT1

Identifying my “ideal customer” and build my services around them.

Jul 31, 8:21PM EDT0
What is your advice for a person that wants to be in the top 1% of their profession?
Jul 21, 3:34AM EDT1

Start with serious dedication to your profession, meaning lots of hours spent. Getting on top of your profession is no different than how someone becomes a top athlete – start early, practice hard, keep on learning new skills, and apply it to your game.

Jul 31, 8:21PM EDT0
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