Rajeev Shah is the co-founder and CEO of Celona, the enterprise 5G company focused on accelerating the adoption of business-critical apps on enterprise wireless and helping organizations implement a new generation of digital business initiatives. Hoping to learn more about his experience as a founder and the advice he would give to the next generation of entrepreneurs, we sat down with Rajeev for a conversation.
What inspired you to start your own company?
Living in Silicon Valley is an inspiration in itself. We're surrounded by examples of the incredible things entrepreneurs achieve by starting companies that transform every aspect of how we live and work. I've been fortunate to experience this firsthand when I was working at my previous company, Aruba.
What is your long-term vision for Celona?
I'm a communications technology geek and genuinely believe that every major upgrade in communications technology transforms our experiences. With 5G, I think the workplace is primed for another such significant disruption. I believe Celona, with its first-mover advantage in enterprise 5G, can be the next major enterprise communications company.
What part of building a successful startup do you think is the most difficult?
Every aspect of building, growing, and motivating a great team! I believe that at its core, a startup is really all about the people. It isn't easy to convince superstars to join your team, motivate them, and help them transform into different roles as startups evolve. The higher the quality of this effort, the more successful a startup is.
As a founder, what question are you asked more than any other?
“How far can you take this company before someone acquires you?”
Honestly, this is also the most irritating question. While it's important to consider, I doubt founders are thinking primarily of exits when we start companies - we are thinking of problems and solutions and the next step in the journey.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Trust your instincts because you know your idea/business better than anyone else.