Pranav Arora, 24, is a businessman, Philanthropist, Investor, and Venture Capitalist. He is currently serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for JMTD Holdings and Vice President and Chairman of a non-profit organization called “The Just Funky Foundation“. He started his entrepreneurial journey in 2012, at the age of 16 by helping his parents develop their global lifestyle company, Just Funky. In the next few years, he played an important role in making the company a global leader within the international licensing industry. His constant desire to move ahead and limitless passion drew him to singlehandedly establish Stunned Mind, the sister company to Just Company, a thriving eCommerce business that provides fan-driven pop culture merchandise.
Pranav is also involved in a number of different industries from consumer goods to investment management to real-estate and franchise industry. In this exclusive interview, he talks about his entrepreneurial journey and what inspired him to stay persistent amidst all the challenges.
Q: Tell us briefly about your background and educate
A: I grew up in a small town in Ohio called Wooster and it was there that I attended the local high school. During my time in school, I built a reputation for being less than an ideal student. A distinct memory I have from high school is constantly getting detention for my teachers catching me on my laptop buying and selling stocks during class. Though I despised detention it did not deter me from continuing what I was doing. There were even times when I would bring my laptop with me to detention so I could keep building my stock portfolio.
In normal subjects like Math and English, I always found my mind wondering and there was only one class that I truly excelled at. It was a class that focused on all the basics of how to run a business and it was finally something I understood and enjoyed.
After high school graduation, I attended Akron University for half a semester. Though I ultimately ended up dropping out so I could focus all my time and energy on running my first business, Highly Educated.
Q: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
A: I was born to be an entrepreneur. Whether I was selling lemonade at the corner of my neighborhood or braining storming about future company names, I was always trying to run a business.
Growing up, I watched my parents run their own business and were always more than willing to pitch in to help when I could. I saw their passion and determination to make their dreams become a reality and knew that was something I wanted to do one day too.
My first “business” started when I was in middle school. I would buy boxes of gum and pencils to always keep in my locker so I could sell them to my classmates before and after class. From there my business ideas only grew until I was old enough to launch my first real business.
Q: What are the different roles you are playing currently?
A: I have never been the one to settle into one role. Every day brings new tasks and I have always felt it is important to help take on those tasks no matter what. Whether it is helping set up a booth or greeting a client my roles are always changing.
Though currently, my official title is Head of Division at Just Funky where I help run its B2B and B2C marketing and sales. I have been at this position for a few years now and can truly say I love what I do. I also am the CEO of Stunned Mind, Just Funky’s sister company that handles all E-commerce business. In this position, I help spearhead the ever-changing market place that is online and bring Just Funky products to consumers through different E-commerce sites.
Most recently, I have founded a few companies that I am excited to share with consumers. They include Deciph-AR, an Augmented Reality app that can be downloaded on both iPhones as well as Androids and will allow fans to connect with their favorite brands and characters through a whole new way. Narutable, a CBD and hemp-infused beauty product line that will bring the helpful natural benefits of CBD and hemp to everyday consumers. Finally, JMTD Holdings a financial consulting firm.
Q: Tells us something about your company Just Funky
A: Just Funky is a premier manufacturer of all things pop-culture. From eye-catching beverageware to show-stopping home decor Just Funky deliveries high-quality products that fans can use and love every day.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you had to face as an entrepreneur?
A: The two biggest challenges I have faced as an entrepreneur are learning how to excepting failure and not receiving support from others around me.
The road to business is not always the smoothest. During my time as an entrepreneur, I have been faced with a roller coaster of successes as well as failures and I will be honest, overcoming the failures can be challenging. Though it is important to learn that failure is not something that should stop you, but something that should motivate you. When roadblocks emerge, I encourage you to take the detour and never stop pursuing your goals.
I encourage the same advice when it comes to not finding the support you thought you were going to have. Along the way, you might find that there will be people who do not see your vision and will not support your dreams. It is in those moments when you have to decide if this is something you truly want to do. If so, then you must look inside to find that support and go after what you want.
Q: What drives you to keep going amidst the challenging business environment?
A: There are many different factors that drive me to preserver amidst all the challenges, but the one that stands out is fear. I have come a long way since my very first business. During that time, I have learned a lot of valuable lessons and overcome some serious obstacles. To look back at where I started and where I am now is something I am extremely proud of. However, the fear of returning back to those beginning days is ultimately what drives me to keep moving forward.
Q: What message do you have to give to the budding entrepreneurs?
A: Never give up. If you find something you are truly passionate about and believe in than I encourage you to pursue it with everything you got. When starting out, I wish I had someone tell me it was okay to fail but it is not okay to quit.