Rajiv Menon, founder of Informulate, is an entrepreneur who never planned to launch his own company. It grew out of some side work to the point that the choice became easy to devote himself full time to Informulate.
"I started in software development 17 years ago and for me, it's always been a journey of understanding the core reason of why certain business decisions are made and why they prove to be right or wrong," he said. "My focus was always on driving bottom line and finding the shortest path to meet that objective. I never had a dream of being an entrepreneur. It's always come to me slowly in a natural progression of the way I ask questions."
Menon rose up the ranks of Fortune 500 companies in the healthcare and financial services spaces. He began consulting on the side in 2007. Thanks to his uncommon blend of technical and business acumen, that business grew steadily so that it employed six consultants by 2012. At that point, Menon left his job to focus on growing Informulate.
"Our differentiator is that we have two complimentary practices," he explained. "Our competitors in the mid-size space generally do not have the capacity for innovation consulting as I call it, which is business consulting plus technical consulting. Typically, there aren't that many business consultants who can do technical consulting and not many technical consultants who can do business consulting. That we can do both helps us to speed up the process."
Menon, who is a mentor at multiple Central Florida accelerators, advises aspiring entrepreneurs to take advantage of this golden age of entrepreneurship and read the Lean Startup by Eric Ries and Customer Development by Steve Blank.
"Make sure your value proposition is thoroughly vetted in terms of who you're trying to serve," he said. "The two biggest questions you have to answer are your value hypothesis and growth hypothesis. Does the math work on your customer acquisition model? Before you go out and build a lot of things, just put something out there and get feedback and be prepared to change your idea significantly in your journey."