Advantage Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is a journey against all odds and learning in a continuous pace. It a process of evaluating the ideas and creation of new ones. An entrepreneur always gives value to his pragmatic ideas and has long-term goals. The market keeps on changing and an entrepreneur posses the excel to fill the vacuum. Every individuals wants to boss of their own, but very few posses the qualities of entrepreneurship. It’s a process of learning, evaluating and a increasingly package of surprises and setbacks. It’s not about running a organization, but continuing valuable relationship with its old-customers, employees and investors.

The major drawbacks of entrepreneurship is the financial security. A good accounting and tabulating team should be there to scale up the financial section. It’s completely depends on the person how’s he runs the business. His decision can lead him to success or to the failure. Some entrepreneurs believe that their only way to success is to pursue some short cuts, and the consequences led them to the debacle of their business. Some entrepreneurs have lesser competitiveness and flexible objectives; filling with incompetent employees diminishes the work culture and the stimulus of the organization.

The constant challenges and setbacks redefine the journey of an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur, a person can enjoy immense benefits.

  1. He is the boss of his own organization.
  2. He can hire other people, or work with other partners, depends on his choice.
  3. In normal job, a person needs to meet targets for incentives and bonuses, but in entrepreneurship he sets his own targets and limits.
  4. He uses his pragmatic ideas without anyone’s permission to scale up the business, increase the turn over and adding new dimensions to his business.
  5. He doesn’t have to work on schedule and time flexibility is always there.
  6. An entrepreneur can change his objectivity according to the market scenario.
  7. An entrepreneur is brand ambassador of his company and has huge responsibility on his shoulder.

In the nascent stage, the entrepreneur needs to be very focused with the objectives as he is the new player in the market. The struggle in the initial stage sets the tone for the character and behavior of entrepreneurs through the life-cycle of their business. Many big MNC tends to ignore the small entrepreneur and that the advantages for the new ones. Once the entrepreneur achieve the credibility from the people, his business becomes much easier. Employees and partners seek to do business with such an entrepreneur who they trust and earn well in a comfortable zone. The entrepreneur should not go off track otherwise it often bring him to collapse drastically. Suffice to say, entrepreneurship is a yardstick to success.

This article was submitted by Moumita Pramanik

First time entrepreneurs – Building businesses in India

Just read the couple of articles written by Paul Graham : Y Combinator (answers what exactly does YC do? or Seedcamp, Techstars, MVP etc ) and Equity (explains why should you give 5-6% equity to a program like YC)

The thoughts expressed got me thinking about how should First Time Entrepreneurs (FTEs) go about building businesses in India. While a lot is in common between the approaches of YC, SC and MVP there are a bunch of things unique to the Indian Ecosystem which FTEs should consider.

Uniqueness of India

First things first, only during the last 10 years India has started seeing bootstrapped or garage startups by talented, educated, experienced and passionate folks who dont have access to a lot of capital but have the skills, will to solve problems and the staying power. The number of successes out of these have been limited and have not been really publicized for folks to get inspired by or learn from.

The VC industry is just about 8-10 years old in India as compared to 50-60 years in US and Europe; among them majority of the funds in India are under 5 years old. VC being a long gestation industry we are a good 5-10 years away from seeing major VC success in India. Most of the firms are focusing on the existing pipeline deals in the market and there are quite of few of these available – companies by serial entrepreneurs, companies started by Executives (CXO, VPs) from large companies, some of FTE companies where the traction is fairly significant, also since PE sector has performed very well and the bigger funds are shifting time and money to PE deals. Clearly all of the above are the right things to do for the Indian VC firms, since the firms need to perform for their investors. None of this directly supports the FTEs, which is where the gap that needs to be filled in. We need to create new pipeline of deals that will become successful startups and will feed into the VC pipeline 1-2 years later. That’s the role folks like MVP, iAccelerator, and others are attempting to play.

Another dimension of difference is IT / internet. The penetration of Internet and PCs in India is quite limited (9 computer for every 1000 people, as compared to 700 for every 1000 in USA). On the other hand the awareness and usage of IT in companies, specially SMEs is limited as well. There are a lot of other fundamental needs to be fulfilled in India (remember we are a developing country).

FTEs in India: What to focus on ?

First thing to ensure is to build a cash flow positive business within the initial capital that you have managed to raise (self, friends, family, fools). Keep lowest possible costs and create early revenues. Expenses should ideally be below 50,000 INR and in no circumstances higher than 1,00,000 INR a month.

Dont think of funding as a validation for your venture. Be prepared to wait longer, to build your business to the 50-100 crore revenues in 7-10 years, with VC funding coming after 2-3 years of being in business or no VC funding at all. If this does not appeal – don’t do a startup.

Internet only business models targetting indian market are not going to viable for atleast 2 years ( or more). View internet as a cheap way to build products and get the initial users with zero marketing budgets. From day one build alternate channels : mobile, call center, SMS, kiosks , shops , sales team into your model. Use technology as a enabler to drive costs down and to drive quaity upwards, but do not depend on customers using it directly via internet.

If your idea only lends itself to internet, think about doing it for developed markets like US and Europe. India still has lower costs and we are very bullish on build here – sell to the developed world model.

So while you take into consideration the universal wisdom of building businesses, paying attention to the uniqueness of India can make an big impact on the outcome of your venture.

This article was originally published on Sameer’s blog.