Interview: Dr Somdutta Singh – Founder-CEO – Assiduus Global
At Sugermint Media, our aim is to bring to our entrepreneurs community some of the inspiring and motivational stories from the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
As part of this endeavour, we invited yet another passionate Women Entrepreneur Dr Somdutta Singh – Founder-CEO – Assiduus Global for an exclusive interview with us. This is the interview of Dr Somdutta Singh – Founder-CEO – Assiduus Global.
Dr Somdutta Singh:
Dr Somdutta Singh is a serial entrepreneur. She is also an angel investor, best-selling author and philanthropist. After capturing two previous successful ventures Assiduus Global is her 3rd venture.
In 2021, she has been bestowed with the coveted Times 40 Under 40 honor in 2021. Even later in 2020, Dr Singh was granted with the coveted Indian Achievers’ Award and featured amongst Fortune India’s 50 most powerful business women.
She is a member of the highly distinguished Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Young Presidents’ Organization.
She has served as the youngest and only elected woman Vice-Chairperson of NASSCOM Product Council. Even she is the first woman of Indian origin on the Board of Philip Kotler’s Kotler Impact.
She has helped the Government of India in building the visionary Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) by NITI Aayog. She has also authored two best-sellers – Decoding Digital: Unlocking Digital Barriers and Stories from New India: Policies, Hope and Change.
Dr Som has been honoured with several prestigious awards that include the Impact Entrepreneur Award for Social Innovation by IEEE & UN Women, London. In 2019, she received Mentor of the Year by the Government of India.
In 2017, she received Digital Leadership Award for Social Innovation by Times of India and during the same year she got Women Leadership Award by Economic Times.
Tell us a little about yourself
Dr Somdutta Singh: I was born in Kolkata, India to doctor parents and am a first-generation entrepreneur in my family.
I finished my Masters in the US and after a string of comfortable corporate jobs, I translated my interests and expertise into my first venture, an ad-tech firm.
Although I was born into an archetypal Bengali family where I would have been expected to follow my doctor parents’ footsteps when it came to choosing a career path,
I chose otherwise. At a very early age, I had decided that this was not the life and future I would want for myself.
I wanted freedom of choice, I wanted to travel the world and have a better work-life balance. I was determined to break tradition and chase my dreams.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey
Dr Somdutta Singh: My journey so far has been phenomenal. When I started out, nobody had told me what direction to take. I had to make my own path.
I truly believe that what matters more than the skills you possess is the attitude, mindset, your fundamentals and ethics with which you build companies and teams.
For starters, like any other person, I wanted to make my family proud, but not by what society thought I should have done, but the way I wanted my life to turn out to be.
Be different, dream big and be the best at what you do, no matter how minuscule the job may look to the world because the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
It gives me great satisfaction to see that mine and my team’s work is enabling the deployment of disruptive innovativeness and fresh ideas of the kind never seen before.
Entrepreneurship doesn’t have an end destination and my mother always told me, “Never settle for less than your best.”
When it comes to problem-solving, my most effective approach is viewing problems through a lens of opportunity. I never view a crisis as a distraction but rather as a strategic enabler for continuous improvement and opportunities previously unseen.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer at Assiduus Global?
Dr Somdutta Singh: Assiduus Global is my third entrepreneurial venture and is the world’s fastest-growing AI-powered cross-border E-commerce accelerator.
Assiduus helps D2C brands launch, scale and grow across global E-commerce marketplaces by enabling their digital commerce through end-to-end distribution and supply chain management.
Assiduus has been helping hundreds of brands scale phenomenally across 12+ global marketplaces powered by our powerful patent-pending technology, highly efficient manpower and state-of-the-art infrastructure.
With 100% client retention since inception, we do not just promise brands safety and scalability, we show it to them in pure growth numbers.
What is unique about your brand?
Dr Somdutta Singh: Unlike other E-commerce companies, Assiduus offers brands with intelligence, analytics and data, keeping them in the drivers’ seat at all times.
Assiduus offers brand protection, better data-backed decision-making capabilities and finally quantifiable, profitable growth.
Assiduus’ patent-pending technology enables brands to decipher analytics and give them insights into launching new brands in new categories and geographies.
Assiduus takes care of end-to-end solutions for brands while they can focus on their core competence of designing, producing and brand building without having to invest in infrastructure or resources.
Assiduus Global was recently awarded the accolade for being India’s leading E-commerce accelerator partner for facilitating seamless consumer experiences and E-commerce excellence by IReC 2022, India’s largest new commerce event.
What made you choose this type of business?
Dr Somdutta Singh: In 2018, Assiduus was already owning and managing several domestic brands in the nutraceutical, health, and personal care verticals on Amazon in the US.
I had just sold my second venture, a multi-million-dollar crowd-sourced fashion label and was contemplating infiltrating the global E-commerce turf.
I reflected that if I could witness such massive success with my home-bred brands, I could do the same for partners/clients who were looking to sell on E-commerce marketplaces.
I could take my strengths, i.e., technology, supply chain, logistics, and operations to multiple other brands and advance and expand their businesses across numerous E-commerce marketplaces. This is how Assiduus came into being.
What was your mission and vision at the outset?
Dr Somdutta Singh: Become a billion-dollar revenue-generating E-commerce accelerator partner by 2025.
How many employees in your organization?
Dr Somdutta Singh: 75
What’s your company’s goals?
Dr Somdutta Singh: Our future growth plan with Assiduus Global is to make it a billion-dollar revenue-generating E-commerce accelerator partner by 2025 powered by our technology.
We also want to set an example for Asian-born women-led E-commerce accelerators and become the most preferred partner for digital-first D2C brands, enterprise D2C brands and roll-up brands looking to go global.
What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur
Dr Somdutta Singh: When I founded my first venture, I became a first-generation entrepreneur in my family, setting the benchmark for my young cousins. They are today following suit and pursuing what their hearts desire.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Dr Somdutta Singh: As a woman in a pre-dominant male bastion, I have encountered non-believers and people who thought I was not strong enough.
But, their actions and words gave me more power, resilience, and drive to move toward my goals. The more they judged me, the harder I worked towards achieving my dreams.
My family has been very supportive in everything I have witnessed, the highs, the lows, the success, and the failures.
They have given me confidence and encouraged me not to be afraid of speaking up and be part of important conversations no matter where I have been.
Failures do not exist; challenges do. We all experience moments of challenges and setbacks, but triumphs can only be experienced after overcoming some low moments.
I don’t see how being a woman is a barrier. I rather take it as a compliment. Usually, when we talk about success in terms of how it’s defined and experienced by men versus how it is by women, we call out the differences, which tend to fall along stereotypical gender lines.
I think the best way to taste success is to surround yourself with people who are amazing at life and who will encourage you to be amazing at it, too! I have had such people around me all my life.
Key things to consider before starting a startup
Dr Somdutta Singh: The importance of entrepreneurship goes beyond immediate individual achievement. If a proper supporting environment exists to productively channel the entrepreneurial spirit, such individual efforts add up to systemic impact.
Being an entrepreneur brings its own set of challenges — reaching out to investors and consumers, scaling up, compliances and finding the right talent to make your dream profitable is always a challenge.
The only way for me to overcome such barriers was to follow the rule of two Cs that is conviction and concentration. Conviction, to have faith and believe in my idea; and concentration, to follow the rule of methodological delegation.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Dr Somdutta Singh: Never mix your personal life and business together.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Dr Somdutta Singh: Don’t get sucked into fighting gender biases and stereotypes. Find your niche, set up a solid support system that works for you and let your work do the talking.
Tap into your core strengths, patience, and perseverance and develop a no-nonsense attitude towards biases.
Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs
Dr Somdutta Singh: It’s time to raise your hand and speak up. Take calculated risks. You may not always hit the bullseye; job opportunities or promotions may not work out, but your voice can fuel others and motivate them to work harder to achieve goals.
Tap into your core strengths, patience and perseverance and develop a no-nonsense attitude towards biases.
One of the key attributes of entrepreneurship is the ability to take a risk, not let the fear of the unknown bother you! Entrepreneurship is not about gender equality and leadership skills alone, it’s about the passion, the attitude with which a person pursues the dreams to achieve the unthinkable.
We hope you find the inspiring interview of Dr Somdutta Singh – Founder-CEO – Assiduus Global and Women Entrepreneur, useful and inspiring through your entrepreneurial journey and will keep you inspired.
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