Why My MBA Gave Me The Courage To Start My Own Business
Women in Business Interview with Shivangi Garg, Sales Program Manager at Continental AG
It wasn’t long after her graduation from the full-time MBA program that Shivangi Garg noticed an entrepreneurial drive that kept creeping up. She describes it as “HHL’s entrepreneurial spirit kicking in” and it made her think back to her first contact with entrepreneurship in her home country India. She had been part of a team that was developing a social start-up and had loved the work. While the idea ultimately wasn’t pursued, it lit a fire in her.
Building an impact-driven business
That start-up experience became the reason to pursue her higher education at HHL, known for its strong focus on entrepreneurship. Today, she is growing her start-up „TheMedScan“ which is an AI-based web app, focused on intelligent diagnostics for occupational hazards in a B2B environment. It offers on-premises first diagnosis support and expert (virtual) consultation.
Shaping the future of the automotive sector
Shivangi Garg is also the Sales Program Manager at Continental Ag in Hannover, where she works with the car manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche. At Continental, she is in charge of identifying future trends for the automotive sector – from a technical standpoint, as well as from a design perspective. While she consistently keeps an eye on the future, she is also making sure current projects are running smoothly.
We talked to Shivangi as part of our interview series “Women in Business Stories”. Learn more about starting a business after an MBA by watching the full interview on our HHL Youtube Channel.
What do you love about working and having your own business?
As a start-up, I am able to approach a problem in a unique and flexible way, instead of waiting for years for the processes and the work environment to adapt to the changes. I just get to start. No complex approval process needed. I also really love that I get to do impact-driven work.
I think this is what keeps me going. Having the drive to be an entrepreneur and trying to make a better world for the people that live in it. I really want to make an impact. As long as I help a few people in a niche market, I will consider the startup successful.
Watch the full interview with Shivangi
[00:40] You work as Sales Program Manager for Continental. What does your job entail?
[02:59] You are also an entrepreneur. What do you love about working and having your own business?
[04:19] What vision do you have for your own business?
[06:26] What motivates you and helps you stay positive?
[07:38] You mentioned two beautiful metaphors – one of a balloon and one of water. Could you share them with the viewers and tell us why you find them helpful?
[09:40] What advice do you have specifically for women in business?
What advice do you have specifically for women in business?
I have two pieces of advice I would like to share:
#1 Be vulnerable and ask for help.
It is not easy. But what has worked for me in uncertain situations is allowing myself to be vulnerable. It is very scary and no one likes being vulnerable. Generally, one is never really willing to expose oneself. But I believe it shows a lot of courage.
Trust me, I know it is very scary to be vulnerable, but at the same time, it is a very confident act of being authentic. The same goes for asking for help. Reaching out to a friend or a trusted colleague can be the path to a more authentic life. It also encourages you to flex that vulnerability muscle and to make a decision in an environment of ambiguity and uncertainty.
#2 Be bold, take risks and believe in yourself.
Being bold and taking risks is an integral part of being an entrepreneur. These are not just words. Once you start implementing this mindset in your life and start doing things regardless of what other people have told you, it gives you not just confidence, but a lot of times it leads to amazing results.
What are you looking forward to in the future?
I have always had a plan that allows for a lot of flexibility. I think the last year has really taught us to be flexible. Further, I really want my startup to succeed and make an impact. Moreover, I have a deep desire for more stability EVERYWHERE. From my personal life to my home country India.
After so much change, it would be nice to reach a certain level of stability including well-functioning healthcare systems all over the world.
Meet the Women@HHL
Hi, I'm Stefanie. I'm half Swiss, half Brazilian and I've moved around a lot in my life before returning to the fabulous city of Leipzig. So if you are an international student, I know your plight! As Full-time MBA Program Consultant, I have been part of the HHL community since 2018 now and I look forward to guiding you on your way to joining the community as well. I can't wait to get to know you!