The Wolf of Wharf Street
Apart from the fact that Wharf Street Strategies and Wharf Street Studios were established in the short span of a year, mentoring his team simultaneously to imbibe his vision, Venkatesh Krishna Murthy lives his dream every day. He prioritises the transferring of knowledge from the West to the millennials, as he believes this would bring about a change in the Indian mindset.
He has given an interview at the London Stock Exchange where he spoke about Deep technologies and Emerging Marketing Techniques. He has been featured in the Oil Asia Journal and the British Herald. He has even penned down his knowledge for the world to read by authoring a book called ‘Confidence Sponsored by Pain’ with concepts, strategies and theories from his own life.
Let’s take a look into what drives him and all that he has learnt along the way.
Creating a one-stop-shop for client needs
Venkatesh’s year-long internship in London from 2017 to 2018 gave him the opportunity to work with multiple start-ups involved in various domains. Owing to the start-up nature of the internship, he worked in all spectrums of the business – from research, content creation, marketing, technology, operations, finance and almost every possible domain.
His exemplary work during this time got him noticed and clients began approaching him for a variety of services. A quick evaluation of the market made him realise that existing companies only offered specified services and Venkatesh recognised a market need for a one-stop-shop for all the clients’ needs. Clients sought out convenience and were not particularly ecstatic regarding overlap of multiple service providers making it a hassle to coordinate. It was under these circumstances that Wharf Street Strategies was born. He created a proposal and sent it to his university, after which he was sponsored as a Tier-1 Graduate entrepreneur in the UK, for this idea. Wharf Street Strategies, Venkatesh explains, is THAT one-stop-shop which provides services as an end-to-end enterprise solution.
Branching out further into Wharf Street Studios
Over the course of his internship, Venkatesh developed his own game for mythical characters in the East, which set the tone for his new company. Wharf Street Studios, born out of the parent company Wharf Street Strategies, focuses more on technologies like mixed reality and applications in animation, videos, 3D models and game development. Their core competency lies in digital motion comics, animated videos and Mixed Reality for use in applications.
From a younger age, Venkatesh was quite an enthusiastic learner, as is apparent from his dual bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering alongside with Information Technology, from Vellore Institute of Technology. This goes with a humble claim that he did so because he had some time to spare in the evening!
He cracked the CAT exam with a score of 95.52 in 2008 but didn’t join MBA at this point. But, he landed a job as an analyst with TCS in the banking and financial services domain for JPMorgan Chase. This experience gave him an insight into how a project works and taught him the valuable lesson of working as part of a team. He moved on from there as he was inspired to learn about India as he hailed from Oman and spent his childhood there. And so, he tried to crack the UPSC which had subjects like history, geography, public administration and sociology, which were explained in a pragmatic manner. Now he believes this widened his scope of knowledge within the period of eighteen months that he gave to prepare for the exam.
The UPSC preparation brought about a mindset shift for Venkatesh as it opened his mind to implement what he reads and listens thereon. Due to family pressure, he went back to his original plan of pursuing an MBA for finance and operations at Amity University. This led to his placement as an Assistant Process Manager at eClerx, where he worked for the Commodities Settlements team in Morgan Stanley.
In search of a Leader
The finance domain taught him a lot about the field but Venkatesh was in search of a good leader right from his UPSC preparation. He now decided to move abroad and redefine his career. On thorough research, he concluded that the UK market was the most challenging market and so he chose to give it a shot.
He did a course in Supply Chain Management from Anglia Ruskin University in the UK, and got Bloomberg certified in the process as well. He learnt the practicality of delivering end-to-end services and optimising resources, much required to run a company.
Within the span of a year, Venkatesh attended almost 100 events and interacted with 500 odd people, all of which painted a clear picture of the needs of the UK market. He would enthusiastically take up tasks he had no clue of, however, his commitment derived from his hunger for knowledge got him to deliver client needs, accordingly at the end of the show.
It was then that the paradigm shift took place in the case of Venkatesh. He decided to train himself with all the knowledge acquired over the years and came up with new concepts, strategies and exercises sponsored by his belief system, as his next step to a real-time influencer.
Wharf Street Strategies started off as a team of four people and now, a year later, is a team of 18 members with a second company alongside. He scrapped the teams across the world he was working with part-time and found it more feasible to set up full-fledged teams in Mumbai, India. He addresses his people as individual ‘leaders’ instead of ‘employees’, as each has been trained to possess a unique skill set of their own.
While his team seems quite young, Venkatesh believes that this lends them the ability to multitask just like him, owing to their energetic dispositions. They are in tune with his vision and he recognises this as the strength of his team.
Venkatesh has been working hard on his target of adding one new team member along with one new client every month – and so far, things have worked according to the plan. Also, the company Wharf Street Strategies is now valued at £3.3 million, to showcase its worth.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs should believe in themselves, envision their goals and implement their acquired knowledge. Being confident and having a good risk appetite is important when you decide to make a difference. Venkatesh wraps up by urging aspiring entrepreneurs to just take the first step and witness how things fall in place with persistence.
This article has been written by Neha Nambiar.