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Expectations From The Young Indian Entrepreneur

A robustness of the organization lies in having a team that does not have overlapping work styles & skill sets

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Though it’s a cliché’ there is no doubt that today’s youth is a far more ambitious, far more exposed, far more technologically advanced and far more loaded with opportunities to make a success of their dreams. Having said that, the journey is certainly not a cakewalk and can be compared to the longest of longest “Hurdle Race” with challenges strewn and appearing from nowhere even if most prepared. I am privileged to have learnt so much from so many exciting youngsters out there and my interactions and engagement with an entrepreneur have given me insights into what probably one “should not” expect from a rising wannabe budding entrepreneur. Here are my top 5 Expectations that I have from Young Indian Entrepreneurs.

Be Aware of yourself – Can you get out of your comfort Zone?

I met this professional executive, working for over 25 years; a master in his subject & sector. He had been nurturing the idea of starting his own business but when confronted by the Angel Investor about running his day to day personal expenses from his savings (after his share of investment in business), he panicked and believed it would help to get a fixed parachute monthly retainer to maintain his lifestyle.

My Expectation: the Young Indian Entrepreneur to be aware and mentally ready to move away from the routine – From the comfort zone.

Do Your Research before taking the Plunge – Have you sized up the fall?

So this gentleman, again a seasoned executive in the Real Estate space decided to start a takeaway restaurant in a Food Court. The motivation was triggered by his brother’s success in a similar sector and in general the visual energy he saw in a typical food court where the food counters were always busy. He invested high capital, started the trade, hired good people, engineered passion amongst his family and friends to help him – Business started well BUT at its peak did not enable the returns he had envisaged because he made one fundamental flaw – He did not do the Math with probability of a fall in sales during holidays. The resultant outcome was to shut the restaurant within 45 days of starting it thereby rendering 7 sudden job losses and a sense of void for all the passionate folks who put their heart into it.

My Expectation:- The Young Indian Entrepreneur should not just take a leap out of pure passion & emotion quotient – A thorough research into the data that drives the market must be done with a question “what if this does not work“.

Learn to Let go as you Scale – Make a distinction between a Promoter Founder & a professional executive

A very bright American IVY Business school educated Indian started a very exciting venture through a crowd-funded capital. The venture started to do well and the scale was inevitable. Managing scale meant bringing on board professional executives who have spent their lives managing mid to large size businesses. Professional Search firms were engaged, good money was spent in bringing on board the right fit but then the oldest problem surfaced – The promoter – CXO disconnects on the execution methodology. The promoter insisted on all decisions converging at his level, the process execution started to slow down, public differences in opinion affected the team morale, delivery got affected, resignations & forced exits went up and the system started to implode.

My Expectation:- Building a business is like a Relay Race – The baton cannot be in one hand – it has to pass on…as the lead runner, stay in the race, watch the proceedings, intervene when required but if the young Indian entrepreneur holds on to the baton forever, the race will never get completed.

Do not be emotionally attached to your business – Be clinical in decision making

Business is done in a market environment. Market environments can change & some unforeseen global events can have a staggering effect on the business that you have set out to do. Read the signs, evaluate the situation with your mind more than your heart. A very distinguished entrepreneur who I have great respect for took a hard call to shut a business foreseeing a business catastrophe in the oncoming 6 months – It took guts to take this call. The inevitable happened, many companies were shunted out over night and left a bad taste – Not this entrepreneur.

My Expectation:- Young Entrepreneurs must distinguish between Passion & Emotion – Passionate fervour is a must to run the business but important decisions when the buck stops with you must be taken clinically after being backed by data & research.

Do not look for yourself while hiring your team – Look for traits that you do not have

This may be confusing to some of you – I am not referring here to diligence, attitude, integrity and similar non-negotiable traits. I am referring to skill sets and workstyle habits. More often than not, one tends to look for a mirror image of thought and action while recruiting talent. That is the last thing a young entrepreneur should do – Bring in diverse skills and ensure that your weakness is your team member’s strength. A robustness of the organization lies in having a team that does not have overlapping work styles & skill sets.

I wish to conclude that the above are only a few examples of what I have picked up in my numerous interactions and associations with many industry experts, professionals and entrepreneurs. There is no better learning than what one gets while on the job and there is no better substitute for hard work & strength of mind. I am signing off with the lines “If not YOU then WHO ….if not NOW then WHEN!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Vinesh Menon

The author is the Chief Executive Officer – Education, Skilling & Consulting Services, Ampersand Group

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