Indian entrepreneurship has got global focus. Funding agencies are willing to fund innovative ideas and start-up firms. Though many Indian start-ups have attained Unicorn status, there are many which fall by the wayside. Some of them have been funded by leading names of the world and some have had a more than decent success before they had to shut shop.
Year 2015 stood out for the increasing number of food start-ups that shut shop. Remember Dazo, Urbanspoon, Spoonjoy, Grubhub, Langhar, and many others. However, 2015 also stood out for the government’s plan to help the start-up eco-system with relaxed policies, funds, etc.
Speaking at the two-day IIT-ESummit at IIT, Mumbai, Harsh Mariwala, Chairman, Marico Ltd., while acknowledging that the momentum of entrepreneurship is increasing in the country because of venture capitalists and the encouragement from the government, also spelt out some caution for the would-be entrepreneurs who want to start-up.
Mariwala shared his mantras on entrepreneurship and what the future entrepreneurs should be careful about:
- Work with a start-up before starting up: Before starting-up, try and gather work experience. To do that, if you choose to work in a big organisation, remember there your learnings will be limited. You will be like the proverbial frog in a pond. It would be a richer experience to work in a start-up. The challenges in a start-up are many and quite different from established organisations. When you work in a start-up, you get a 360 degree view of how to make it work, no matter what the circumstances. The next best place to start work to get experience would be a consulting firm.
- Identify right idea: The biggest challenge for a start-up is to identify the right idea. When you have an idea that you want to launch a start-up with, discuss it first with friends, family and peers. This will help you to refine the idea. Then launch it. Ensure your idea is innovative and has the power of Right-to-Win. Only then will it be able to raise capital and find other resources to get it going.
- Hire right: If your idea is innovative, you will attract talent. Go the extra mile to get the right talent. Importantly, ensure you get value from the talent you hire.
- Have right mindset: As a start-up founder, you should have the right mindset for growth. Organisations have to grow and that is like oxygen which helps sustain life. If the founder and co-founders have the right mindset towards growth, then this will percolate down.
- Governance needed: If you want to attract money from outside sources, then trust is the key. For that, governance is important. As an entrepreneur, you have to do a lot of things yourself. As you grow, your role will shift from doing things to getting things done. When you become larger, the role changes further to influencing others – shareholders, employees. You have to speak to people within the organisation and also outside.
- Risk-taking ability: Do not shy from taking risks. Learn to take risks and also to overcome it.