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Equation of Excellence

EP005: Rishabh Jain | CEO & Co-Founder | Fermàt (also my boss 🙃)

The Equation of Excellence welcomes Rishabh Jain, CEO & Co-Founder of Fermàt, to discuss his entrepreneurial journey and the strategic decisions that have shaped his company's growth. From founding his first business during his PhD to navigating the challenges of the solar energy market collapse, Rishabh shares valuable lessons learned along the way. He emphasizes the importance of co-founder relationships, team building, and the evolution of Fermàt's business model from influencer marketing to a comprehensive brand marketing platform. Rishabh also shares his perspective on achieving excellence in business, highlighting the significance of taking calculated risks and knowing when to commit fully to opportunities.

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Rishabh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder of Fermàt, sits down for a candid conversation about his journey into entrepreneurship, the challenges he faced, and the strategic pivots that have shaped his company's trajectory.

Rishabh's Equation of Excellence

Rishabh defines excellence as the ability to take calculated risks and make numerous attempts in pursuit of a larger goal.

"Excellence is a function of the size of the bet that you are taking and the number of swings that you take. The bigger the size of the bet and the bigger the number of swings, that is the only thing that matters. Be at the table and then know when to go heavy and when to go all in."

Early Inspirations and Entry into Entrepreneurship

Rishabh Jain's journey into entrepreneurship began during his PhD studies. Unlike many who start with small ventures in high school or college, his entry was driven by a belief in the power of business to propagate ideas sustainably. He recognized early on that building profitable businesses was the most effective way to distribute ideas widely. Although he did not have the typical entrepreneurial backstory of selling items in school, his academic and intellectual pursuits laid a strong foundation for his future endeavors.

The First Business and Lessons Learned

During his PhD, Rishabh founded his first business—an ambitious solar energy company. This venture was fueled by prize money and government subsidies, capitalizing on the booming interest in solar energy during that time. Despite initial success, the business faced challenges when the solar energy market collapsed in 2012. This experience taught him valuable lessons about resilience, the importance of sustainable business models, and the need to anticipate market shifts.

Choosing Co-Founders and Building the Team

Reflecting on his entrepreneurial journey, Rishabh stresses the critical importance of co-founder relationships. He highlights the rarity of durable co-founder partnerships in the startup world and emphasizes the need for co-founders who are aligned with the company's vision and culture. His approach to team building prioritizes quality over quantity, focusing on hiring high-caliber individuals who can drive the company forward through its various growth stages.

Strategic Pivots and Evolution of FERMÀT

Initially, Fermàt focused on influencer marketing as a core strategy. However, Rishabh realized that to build a sustainable business, they needed a more comprehensive approach. This realization led to a pivot towards building a platform that supports brand marketing across multiple channels. His insights into the evolution of Fermàt underscore the importance of adaptability and the ability to pivot strategies based on market feedback and emerging trends.

Leadership and Company Culture

As CEO, Rishabh faces the challenge of leading Fermàt through strategic pivots while maintaining a strong company culture. He emphasizes the importance of empowering employees and fostering an environment where innovation and adaptability thrive. His leadership style encourages his team to take risks and learn from failures, viewing these experiences as integral to the company's growth and success.

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