PG Paper celebrates 18 years in business this week. As we countdown to our official anniversary we ask Poonam Gupta, our founder and CEO, what life is like as a serial entrepreneur.
Do you believe there is a pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
For me, there are three important elements to success. Firstly, the ability to spot an opportunity. I did that the day I started PG Paper, realising that I could find emerging, international markets for paper otherwise destined for landfill. Secondly, the ability to troubleshoot and solve problems. I think critical and creative thinking is incredibly important in problem-solving, along with flexibility and of course persistence. Finally, you need to consistently work hard and put in the hours.
You are a serial entrepreneur. How do you generate new ideas?
Find a gap in your market. I founded PG Paper 18 years ago after I found a gap in the paper market. Both I and the wider PG team work hard at keeping up to date with changes within the paper and packaging industry as a whole. PG’s research department produces regular reports and updates on changing market conditions – very useful considering the current market volatility. We share many of these updates via our Fortnightly 5 update to our wider digital audience. I keep myself informed about ways in which the wider world is changing, from the growing importance of sustainability to how our working environments are shifting, these insights help spark new ideas and help me spot opportunity gaps.
I also place value on the importance of talking to people and networking across my various business and charity interests. The lifting of Covid restrictions means I am now getting back out into the wider business community to share ideas and am very much looking forward to meeting up with friends and connections, both old and new again.
Has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
It’s incredibly important to make quality time for each other. Puneet and I work together at PG Paper and our time with our daughters is very precious. The responsibility of running a global company is substantial and I commit myself completely to PG’s continued success but I also make sure I have balance in my life and time to spend with my family. As my daughters reach the stage of deciding on their future careers I hope I have inspired them to follow their own passions and path.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
I particularly enjoy exploring new ideas and new business opportunities, together with leading our ever-growing PG Team.
After 18 years of running my own businesses, I remain driven, focused and passionate about the opportunities that still lie ahead.