Partha Unnava is the CEO of Better Walk, a company focused on developing a new type of crutch that improves the experience of a crutch user. Partha broke his ankle and had to hobble around on crutches for six weeks, he decided to develop a better set of crutches that wouldn’t kill his armpits. I spoke to Partha about his experiences launching the venture and his journey as an entrepreneur.
I’ve faced issues from cofounders leaving the company to fluctuations in funding and flat out denials from investors. I think I’ve been through almost every single up or down you can go through when you start a company, but I learned that the only limiting factor is the information you choose to let slow you down. Every negative along the path is just a piece of information for you to consider, but you ultimately have to trust your gut and the market.
We were all set to start manufacturing and all of a sudden, right after we had wired over money, the manufacturer said the quote was incorrect and they had forgotten to quote us for a pair of crutches and had instead quoted a single crutch. Our manufacturing cost on the revised quote was higher than we could sell for, and I figured we were sunk. Luckily, we hustled and looked all over for a new manufacturer, and found someone far more qualified to make our product who has become a true partner in the business.
I think the ability to adapt to new circumstances is important, but not only adapting, but not being emotionally attached to the previous set of circumstances. Many people end up in a new situation but lament because they miss the old one, but ultimately, you are where you are, and you have to make the most of it. No matter what.
A desire to do something meaningful with my life. When I die, I want to look back and say I did something impactful, and that I actually affected people. In terms of starting my business, the idea came from an ankle injury playing basketball, but at the end of the day, I always knew I was going to do something different, I just didn’t know what.
Lots of working out. I meditate, I do audiobooks now which have been surprisingly relaxing, and I do NOT talk about work if I can avoid it. I love playing sports, I play basketball and golf a lot.
Don’t do it unless you really want to do it, and don’t stop once you start. It might not be a particular company or idea, but you should never quit on your dreams. You have it in you to be great, it’s just not gonna be comfortable on the way there.
Also shared on InTheirShoes.ca.
Hi, my name is Sam Sawchuk and I am currently the co-founder of Sandwich for a Story, an initiative which focuses on using Virtual Reality as a tool to help immerse people coping with homelessness in job interview settings. I am a former TEDx speaker, startup advisor and contributor to multiple publications including the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Influencive and HustleTime.