The Mavs Business Assist program launched at the start of the 2022-23 basketball season to support 100 diverse entrepreneurs and small business owners who call North Texas home.
The Dallas Mavericks have partnered with The Lonely Entrepreneur to empower those in the program with access to the knowledge, tools, and support they need to succeed as part of the Mavs Business Assist (MBA) program.
Here at the Mavs, we also believe in the power of storytelling, and it’s our honor to showcase various MBA members throughout the year to highlight their extraordinary accomplishments.
Every entrepreneur has a story to tell. This is especially true for minority and women-owned businesses, who often must jump through even more hurdles to see their business succeed. The Dallas Mavs are excited to amplify the voices of various minority entrepreneurs in the inaugural class of the Mavs Business Assist program. This week we introduce you to Sameer Ranjan.
Sameer Ranjan refused to follow the pattern many people in his small hometown set. While most children grew up to work at the local steel plant, Ranjan aimed higher and dared to dream big.
In school, he flourished and fell in love with mathematics and science. That passion was his ticket to see the world, and he later cracked one of the toughest exams in India. This allowed Ranjan to pursue a bachelor’s in technology at the Institute of National Importance (NIT Raipur) in India. From there, he landed in Dallas, where his innovation and entrepreneurial skills got to work. He also became a well-respected speaker and guest lecturer and one of Catenate Corp’s founding members.
Catenate’s fundamental belief centers around this quote: “Human behavior can be manipulated or inspired. It is your choice that you make as a leader.” Catenate’s team has been working on data science, human-centered design, education, psychology, and more.
The cutting-edge company uses AI technology to help to hire managers by “removing any bias on color, caste, creed, or race of the human being…” and individuals are instead “judged for their talents and personalities,” creating an inclusive business environment.
Ranjan is more than an entrepreneur. He’s an innovator, scholar, data scientist, speaker, thought leader, and guest lecturer and serves on various boards. Most of all, he wants to make the world a better place.
He decided to join Mavs Business Assist to increase his product information to a broader net audience and get a chance to score a funding opportunity by pitching his business proposal to investors.
Mavs.com visited Sameer to learn more about his story and background. Parts of the interview have been edited for clarity and brevity.
RANJAN: I grew up in a tiny city in India. Since childhood, I was told that you need to study hard to get a regular job in a steel plant that happened to be the single largest employer in my city.
Since childhood, I was not interested in following the norm but somehow managed to love mathematics and science, which helped me crack one of the toughest exams in India. So I was selected to pursue my bachelor’s in technology at the Institute of National Importance (NIT Raipur) in India. I aced the university and completed my engineering degree with me being the second rank holder in the whole university.
After working for a couple of years in India and founding firms and helping small businesses, I decided to move to the USA to pursue my master’s in Data Science. I graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a master’s degree and hope to continue my entrepreneurial journey as I submitted a proposal to re-open businesses with a plan for those affected by COVID-19. I met like-minded people right after school and started creating products to help human development and here I am, working with my team to create a symbiotic world.
RANJAN:I was actually the first employee and one of the founding members of our business Catenate Corp. The idea was to help students find who they really are with their personality and what career tracks should be aligned with them because we were amazed by the amount of money people spend in doing something they don’t like and later regret all the lost money.
Meanwhile, we figured out, the problem is the same with employees and employers too, both are confused about what is the right fit for them and that is why we have the highest attrition rate in the world right now. We thought of creating a product to help candidates find the right jobs and employers find the right candidates, not just based on resumes, but on employees’ soft skills and personalities too. We succeeded.
I am passionate about helping people get the right education and resources because I am here just because of my education. I believe luck is only generated when you have the intellect to support it. I want to make this world educated and make people more than just their resumes.
RANJAN: Being an entrepreneur sounds cool but there is a huge price that one must pay, that is infinite belief in yourself, pride in your team, and the never-ending pressure of work, being said that the freedom and happiness that you get from your work are not comparable with anything else on this planet. I believe that there are general challenges but for me personally, I don’t think no one has turned me down if I asked for help. So, I guess the biggest challenge is asking for help.
RANJAN: My vision for my business is to scale it and make it accessible to everyone. My system of finding the right people for the right seat changes the world view on how hiring and management of talent works, it has the capability to remove any bias on color, caste, creed, or race of the human being and they are being judged for their talents and personalities rather than any other stuff. It will impact businesses in a very positive way by doing something for inclusivity and not just adding it as an agenda in the business manual.
RANJAN: I am looking for a great funding opportunity and a chance to show businesses what we have developed. I joined Mavs Business Assist in an attempt to increase my product information to a wider net audience and get a chance to score a funding opportunity by pitching my business proposal in front of investors.
RANJAN: I want businesses to at least try my system to manage their talents and hiring needs and help me create a bias-free world or at least try to give my assessment yourself and get to know yourself better.
My system costs less than a cup of coffee for an employee for a month and it can bring radical changes in your organization. I want to get a chance to show my business to investors who are looking for the next big idea that will change the world. I need newspaper and media attention on my product to make it global and help reach my message to the masses as it is a product for mass adoption.