YEDaily: Raffi Keuhnelian

Raffi Keuhnelian knew the 9-to-5 lifestyle and corporate environment weren’t for him, so he decided to pursue his entrepreneurial side and co-founded digital branding agency iNexxus in 2008. Where does he see himself in another five years? Find out in today’s YEDaily…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I am the Co-Founder of iNexxus, a digital branding agency that was set up in 2008. There are no limits to my daily responsibilities, which is what I love about a start-up. But since I have to define it, I’d say developing strategies, coming up with creative ideas, project management, and new business development.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I always knew the 9-to-5 lifestyle and the corporate environment were not a good match for my personality. That’s basically what pushed me to launch my first start-up business and eventually co-found The potential of the tech world and the possibilities of a young entrepreneur to reach millions of people around the world inspired me to embark in building tech start-ups as a career.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my day is working with the great team I’m surrounded with. For any start-up, synergy is a very important attribute to success –  working with the right team members, who understand their roles and responsibilities, know what they need to bring to the table and are not afraid to express themselves is a daily dose of inspiration and motivation. I wake up every morning knowing I will learn something new from my team. The one challenge is organizing our ideas to make for a solid business model.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
It’s hard to speculate where I will be in five years or what exactly I will be doing. Ideally, I would want to expand my portfolio to include various tech projects and other innovative industries.

What does success look like to you?
Success would be seeing one of my ideas come to life through a finished product and watching it reach new and higher levels. Success can ultimately come in many different forms, but as long as I am able to make something positive and meaningful out of an idea, then success has been achieved. Naturally, any direct benefit that may come from the success of a final product is the fruit of my success.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The most memorable milestone in my career so far was the sale of my first online business at the age of 25. We tend to remember our first experiences and for my part, selling my first business and going through the process of the sale was an important experience. It may not have been a huge deal, but it gave me enough confidence to move to bigger endeavours.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Be prepared. Proper preparation makes all the difference in life, especially if you are a young entrepreneur. Preparation can imply education, mentorship, experience, listening to your peers and accepting advice, but it also entails being ready to face challenges along the road. Most importantly, focus on the goal.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Ever since my internship with Birthright Armenia in 2006, I’ve been a dedicated supporter of the program. Six years after my experience as a volunteer with Birthright Armenia, I now participate and give back as an active member of the Alumni Committee, raising funds and mentoring young adults to become great visionaries, and eventually the backbone of a strong homeland for Armenians.

What to you is notable?
A good parent. Good parents rarely get the acknowledgment they truly deserve. Good parents ensure the right values get passed on to future generations and make for great citizens.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
I use a BlackBerry for work purposes (mostly emails) and an iPhone as my primary mobile phone.