A full-time MBA from the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business helped Basesh Gala make the transition to entrepreneurship
Basesh Gala was working at Lehman Brothers when the financial crisis hit in 2008. With global markets mired in confusion, he sought his MBA at the Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business to change his professional career. After graduating, he returned to his home in Mumbai, eager to explore the opportunities that India had to offer.
Now he established himself as an entrepreneur and founded his own consulting firm, 39 Solutions, in 2014. In the last three and a half years, the company has helped train thousands of entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship is not an easy road, and Basesh has worked hard and learned lessons from failed companies to create a successful business. Above all, he values the knowledge and experience of his Fisher MBA. For Basesh, the comprehensive business knowledge provided by an MBA program is vital in the development of any new company.
How did the idea of 39 Solutions come about?
Initially, after completing my MBA, I worked in the consultancy area on Wall Street. However, it took only a few months to decide that India had many opportunities for tactical growth. With this in mind, I chose to settle in Mumbai.
At the beginning I had three failed startups in education, waste management and real estate. However, after 12 months of struggle, I realized that there were many talented people in the field of consulting, but no organization in the field of strategy for small and medium enterprises. Voila! 39 Solutions was born.
How has your MBA helped you to progress as an entrepreneur?
My MBA experience assured me that I was competent in all areas of business management. I obtained sufficient knowledge and exposure to human resources, marketing, sales, brand development, finance, accounting, operations and data analysis. As an entrepreneur, in the initial stages, you need to do anything to survive.
I was a basic member of Fisher Professional Services (FPS), a Fisher consulting group. FPS gave me the opportunity to present the business to clients, manage a team, make presentations to a client’s top management and execute FPS as a financially viable project. I would rate my participation in FPS as the best training ground for my business ambitions.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at Fisher?
When the financial crisis hit in 2008, I worked for Lehman Brothers and had a great experience in IT and financial risk with experience all over the world. At age 24, he was relatively young, but he believed he had strong technical skills and entrepreneurial understanding to move into leadership and superior management positions. The MBA seemed the best option for professional growth.
I wanted to gain experience in strategy and risk management because, after an MBA, I wanted to venture into business consulting. My research showed that Fisher has one of the best risk management and strategy programs in the world. I spoke with many alumni, and they all supported Fisher for his supportive culture, caring attitude and a truly inclusive learning environment. For me personally, the culture and aura of an organization or institution is very important.
What else stands out about your MBA experience at Fisher?
Fisher’s MBA gave me the opportunity to work with a global and diverse team. My classmates included an American pilot who piloted helicopters in Iraq, a German operational expert and Six Sigma, a conditioning professional similar to a Japanese ninja and an American over 45 who worked in the executive management of a Fortune 1,000 organization.