Photograph by Hamin Lee Photograph by Hamin Lee

Age: 27

Company: Kela Medical Inc.

Location: Whitby, Ont.

Full profile of Arjun Kumar

What do you think was the smartest single thing you did to get your business to the point it is at now?

The smartest thing I have done is not give up. Even when it seems like the world is coming down around you, it is how you respond to these situations that really separates success from failure. It sometimes can be hard to see the big picture, especially in a long-term play, so staying focused and motivated is key.

Can you think of something you might have done differently, or a decision you would change, that would have made it easier to get your business to this point?

I don’t think I would change anything. I don’t think the company would survive long-term if I had not made some major mistakes in the initial years. Yes, my life might have been less stressful at times, but at least now when I’m knocked down, I am back up before realizing it. Business is all about experience, and something that cannot be learned by only reading books and obtaining degrees. No MBA in the world will teach you how to survive your first litigation, the first time you have to let an employee go, or even how to take your first success in stride. Mistakes make entrepreneurs stronger.

What do you think is the biggest problem facing your business right now?

We are expanding very fast, but, with start-ups, you not only have to find great employees, they also have to fit the culture that has begun to develop within the company.

Do you think the rewards of being an entrepreneur outweigh the investment you make in time and effort to run your own business? What are those rewards for you?

Entrepreneurs tend to get into the field because of the rewards—social, spiritual or financial—but they stay for the love of it. There are weeks where I will work 60 or 70 hours and it won’t even phase me because I love what I do.

To be honest, the best reward is the recognition you receive through the success of your products or services. There is nothing greater than overhearing people in your industry talk about how great your company is.

Return to “The Next Generation: Canada’s Top Young Entrepreneurs, 2012″

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