Be ready for rejection if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur - Hotel Data Cloud's Gregor Amon
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Be ready for rejection if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur – Hotel Data Cloud’s Gregor Amon

Be ready for rejection if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur – Hotel Data Cloud’s Gregor Amon

The UAE-based entrepreneur reveals his tips to set up a successful startup

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Gregor Amon is no stranger to entrepreneurship – he left his financially stable job as a pilot 10 years ago to pursue his ambitions of being his own boss.

Today, multiple businesses later, he’s the co-founder of Hotel Data Cloud (HDC), one of the few travel-tech startups that has prospered during the Covid-19 pandemic and has been recognised by the United Nations and Dubai Tourism as a solution for restarting tourism.

His secret to navigating the pandemic? A successful pivot.

“I think the secret to a successful pivot is to be very agile, you need to be on the tip of your toes, to see where the market is leading”, he says.

But even with a successful pivot there is one major concern that Amon identifies as critical above all else: “Extending the (financial) runway as much as possible. As a startup you always have to be cash richer, [more] than you expect. The runway is always going to last shorter than you hope and anticipate for.”

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With under 50 per cent of startups surviving to their fifth year, the pandemic was the final nail in the coffin for many new ventures, accelerating their demise. Even the existing startups – both big and small – have felt the repercussions of the crisis. But Amon is optimistic about the future, calling 2021 a “year of recovery”.

He does, however, have words of caution for aspiring entrepreneurs, who are thinking of venturing out on their own: “I think you need to be a little bit crazy… If you’re not, then it’s probably better if you stay employed and have a fixed job,” he says.

But more importantly, Amon says it’s the rejection that is the hardest to prepare for: “Be ready for the ‘no’. Be ready for the rejection and don’t be discouraged because people tell you that your idea isn’t valuable. There were a couple of times where we could have given up and I’m very glad that we didn’t. But a new entrepreneur really needs to be prepared to get all those ‘no’s’. Eventually you’ll get one ‘yes’ and that’s the most important one.”

So, if you’re on the fence about going into business for yourself, two critical things you need to ask yourself are, firstly, “Am I a little crazy?” and secondly, “Am I okay getting rejected again and again?”

While Amon’s litmus test may not be the right assessment criteria for all entrepreneurs, speaking from my own personal experience, it’s definitely right up there with having a great business plan.

Zaib Shadani is the MD of Shadani Consulting and host of “The Comms Room” show


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