FAAD Network Pvt. Ltd., founded in 2015, is an investor organization that connects multiple individual investors and entrepreneurs to fund the early-stage start-ups. This unconventional organization made an unconventional choice while its inception. The co-founders of FAAD decided to place a 20 year old college student as the CEO of the organization who had interned for them. This was actually a risk, but the risk paid off well. Today, we know that 20 year old boy as THE FAAD GUY who is on his way to touch the sky. We will be unveiling the journey of Aditya Arora, the CEO of the FAAD Network, based on our personal encounter with him.
Born May 1, 1997 to a humble Punjabi family in Delhi, who knew that Aditya Arora will become an inspiration. Awarded with multiple awards and even honored with a Padmi Shree nomination, Aditya initially never wanted to be an entrepreneur. He is a very fun loving guy, cracking jokes and impressing everyone with his amazing sense of humor. He had even explored stand-up comedy at a point in time. Arora is just like the boy next door. But what actually distinguishes him is his ability to hustle and an aim to do something valuable. Due to his very personality and sense of humor he is able to easily connect and talk to people. The inquisitive young boy who never took no as an answer for any task, was discovered by the FAAD Network during the second year of his college in 2016. Then there was no stopping.
Aditya’s life took a turn for good. He started interning to gain experience and practical knowledge, where his work was appreciated. They liked him so much that once his internship tenor was exhausted, they hired him part time. He, eventually, started writing blogs, hosting events for FAAD and representing them, gradually becoming the face of FAAD in the industry. That’s when he got his infamous name- THE FAAD GUY.
He knew that he was valuable to the company and they would want him to work with them for a longer time but getting a role of CEO straight after his under graduation was not expected. Being as young as he was then, he was a little unsure and it’s justified because that is the age where you are still exploring your options, but he was offered a responsibility that was a risky decision for him and the co-founders of FAAD. What he experienced was a toll of mixed emotions, happy but confused, because an event like this was not a part of his plan. He discussed it with his parents & close friends and took the leap of faith anyways because that was majorly the time of the company’s inception. But, now, FAAD is gradually establishing its name in the industry.
Entrepreneurial Journey Inception
Aditya Arora is not an accidental entrepreneur through FAAD. But this interest unknowingly began during his school days. He was a founding partner at a company called Moli which was a student housing start-up. Basically, he advised them on funding. Later, that company was acquired in a private deal for 2 million dollars. Through this, he experienced what’s it’s like to have your own company, but he still never planned to get into mainstream start-up business. The turnaround movement happened during his tenure at FAAD when he started interviewing start up founders. These people had best educational background, great experience, and were still pursuing entrepreneurship for passion. He knew that these founders were very much capable of scoring a very well-paying job, but still chose to have a start-up. That was when he released that this is what he wants to do going forward.
Struggles in the Journey
Aditya Arora entered FAAD in 2016 and realised that the most basic struggle he would face was because he did not come from an entrepreneur background. He faced challenges adapting to the ever dynamic industry where you have to adapt quickly in a much formatted way while working live with the company. This was also the time when he was exploring himself and trying out multiple paths that he might choose. He found it hard to manage time with regular college, internship at FAAD, leading a social movement called “Education Yatra” (aimed to educate underprivileged children) and doing stand-up to earn money. At this point in time, he was doing anything and everything that crossed his path. That is why, Aditya’s late teens and early 20s were packed with lots of travelling to attend to each and every commitment made and opportunity tapped.
Another issue that he faced was getting accepted by the society as CEO of an investing firm. He had zero formalised experience before FAAD and gaining trusts of investors with his credentials of an under-grad student was next peculiarly tough. That’s where he had to prove himself and his work for FAAD, fortunately, shined brighter than the judgments of others in industry. Aditya kept his eye on the goal and kept working and didn’t let other’s judgements fog his path.
He did not live, what-we-would-call, a typical teenage life. Aditya focused more on working on himself and building himself rather than going out partying. As Aditya said, he has not really partied, but worked a lot. And, we do believe him. If someone is as hardworking and as occupied as he has stayed for all is life, he probably never had time to party. Aditya Arora says “Mai bahot Ziddi tha, muje sab kuch karna tha”, and that is the reason he worked and hustled at an age where kids are generally going out to chill.
He started out very young which was naturally terrifying for his parents. And coming from a conservative family with no entrepreneurial background, they were very scared at first. They still might be scared a bit even today. But they are happier with what their son has achieved. From his family’s point of view he was giving up his placements, a potentially stable job with any big brand or a master’s degree, but he was gaining what interested him the most.
He just wanted prove it to the society and his parents that he can do something and make name for them. He didn’t want to back down and, in turn, negotiated a deal with parents. Arora simply asked for a 2 years’ time to explore his future at FAAD, and they agreed to the deal. He wanted this leverage of 2 years to try out . And, wanted to succeed based on his work, otherwise he would choose a career that his parents were comfortable with.
AND guess what happened next?- Journey to success
These two years were 2017 and 2018 and marked 19 to 21 years of his age. His college journey ended in July 2018, but his journey to success had just begun. In these 2 year, he gave in his everything and stood by what he told his parents. The future was no longer foggy, it was brighter than ever. The risk eventually paid off. Within those 2 years, he had already spoken in 100 plus colleges, FAAD had already closed 7 deals out which he brought the first deal and he was in conversation with multiple clients. Microsoft honoured him for his social movement- Education Yatra and he was speaking at TEDx. His life took a turn completely.
He remarks this turn by two incidents he could recall- one that took place with his family and the other that took place with himself which happened during these two years of his rising.
His mother and brother were recognized while travelling in metro by two college going students who told them that Aditya Arora form FAAD is their role model. This is when his mother had an epiphany that what her child is doing is genuinely affecting lives of people.
The other incident happened in the Connaught Place area of Delhi, when Aditya was visiting a friend. A young boy walked up to him and asked for a selfie. Being the homey guy he is, this stardom is, still, very new to him and at times it gets a little overwhelming when he is recognised by the public.
He has a very well established presence on social media platforms as well with his tweets going viral almost every single day. Aditya’s main aim is to educate people more about the start-up industry in India. He releases Instagram reels on weekly basis that cover a glimpse of the basic concepts. To foster a more elaborated conceptual understanding among the youth, he is now starting to create content on YouTube as well.
He just wanted to prove that he took a right decision. He didn’t falter during the struggles when everything seemed like reaching an end and just kept going with it, kept working. Ultimately this patience and consistent hard work paid off. He did loose lot as well, but that’s okay. That’s what struggle is. Every aspect always has two sides, you lose on one end but then you gain on the other end.
The CONS of this
Aditya Arora has always believed in taking action, and has always been so occupied with everything that leads to less introspection of self. His professional schedule is generally jam packed with such a series of events, that at times he doesn’t get time to cherish and celebrate his moments.
If he could go back in time, he would have enjoyed the journey and celebrated it with his close ones. He would have focused more on his mental health. With the type of life style he has lived so far, its natural to feel a little burnout.
Over the years, he has learnt that it’s okay to take breaks. It’s okay to rest for a while to introspect yourself and the path of your life. He, now, mediates to calm himself and release stress. He tries to enjoy his journey and celebrate whenever he gets a chance to.
His beliefs in life
Aditya Arora believes that age is always a just a number. It doesn’t define where we go ahead in life and the connection we are able to make with the people. That fire inside is going to take the journey ahead. The passion and dedication always directs one in the right paths.
So, don’t let age be your barrier. Don’t compromise desires due to this delusional barrier that doesn’t even matter in the real world. The day you demolish this mental block is the day you step out of your comfort zone and make things happen for yourself. You cannot really work to your full potential till you are in that comfort zone.
What does he looks for in a start up?
While evaluating any team of founders he values their passion and vision the most. Their implementation of this vision must be persistent. They must understand the basic of market they are trying to penetrate. Having a blind side can be deadly to both- the founders as well as the investors. Their past experience doesn’t really matter to a large extent provided they have knowledge of the market and have researched about it in depth. But, something that stands non-negotiable are the soft skills of the founders. Ultimately, if the idea and the founders are collaborative, the investors don’t have any point second guessing their decision.
Future Ahead and Lessons Learnt-
The future for such a hard-working person seems very bright. Aditya Arora, professionally, wants to make a fund where he doesn’t syndicate the capital but already has sufficient capital to invest in the budding start-ups. Personally, he just wants to be satisfied with life me and be happy with whatever he takes up in future. He wants to keep hustling, but not pushing himself way too hard.
He has experienced his passion becoming his pressure which ultimately starts deteriorating the health. Arora describes this as a never ending hunger to achieve more and more. And that hunger is not satisfied even when you achieve the milestone you had been working for all together, that hunger routes you to another milestone. As good as it sounds, it still is capable of exhausting you. When you are working towards a goal and achieve it, just halt for a moment and celebrate it. Enjoy the moment and then move to the next adventure. Don’t just keep insanely running after such goals one after the other. Cherish each of these experiences because these experience may not happen again your life. Even if they do, you won’t be able to experience the same level of content you had the first time.
The ultimate goal for him is to happy and professionally well placed. Better individual who is more involved with the people around- family and loved ones. We wish him all the luck for it.
His life can actually be summed by his own quote-
“Age is just a number but what you do with that number is what matters.”