By Ratna Mehta
As per a survey done by the CEO World Magazine, India ranks 5th globally as “Most Friendly Startup Country”. The development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem requires an interplay of various factors like:
1. Availability of technical workforce, as technology is an important driver of new-age startups
2. Investment in developing and skilling the workforce, as people can make or break companies
3. Research and development capabilities to drive higher innovation
4. Infrastructure, which is required to take an idea from inception to execution and fruition
5. Policy framework to provide the necessary boost to emerging businesses
India is undoubtedly the R&D hub of the world, and has favourable demographics (a large young population) that can be leveraged. Improving infrastructure and policy intervention can further boost its prospects to nurture startups. Is it little wonder then that India is an emerging mecca for startups.
The ecosystem has so far attracted accelerating funding for startups:
Source: Tracxn; Deals include angels, VC – Series A, B & C
Entrepreneurial mindset – the key to success stories
While the ecosystem is an important determinant of successful entrepreneurs, the key here is the entrepreneurial mindset. What actually constitutes an entrepreneurial mindset? Here are a few pointers –
1. Never say die attitude
A popular saying in entrepreneurial circles is, “An entrepreneur is made overnight in 10 years”. Patience and perseverance are the two pillars of success for an entrepreneur. A lot of things will not go right.
Learnings from mistakes, being patient for results, and pivoting as per the circumstances are some of the hooks that will help an entrepreneur climb the steepest mountain.
2. Equal focus on vision and execution
Vision without execution is a hallucination. Vision is the mother of achievement. Unless we can visualise what we want, and where we want to be, we will be moving around in circles.
Whether its creating a phone with music and camera or sending people to space. All of it required an entrepreneur to think out of the box, at times what others thought was crazy.
Vision is the first step, but it is no good without sound execution. Sound execution requires the right planning, right teams and razor-sharp tracking mechanisms.
When you hit the ground, you realise the real issues and opportunities. Thus execution helps to revalidate the vision regularly, which can propel an entrepreneur in the right direction.
3. Think of the next bounce
Identified trends will crowd in a lot of new ventures. However, what can set aside the boys from men is the ability to think of the next bounce.
Thinking ahead of the curve and visualising customer needs ahead of time, understanding trends and predicting what will be required next is the core to innovation and path-breaking businesses.
Whether it is visualising a phone as a mini-computer or bringing your theatre to your drawing room, the most game-changing and trend setting breakthroughs have been done by entrepreneurs who were able to think of the next bounce.
4. Reinvent your problems
Linear thinking is passe. Identifying new ways to solve problems gets heartily rewarded. When ecommerce was new to India, it faced significant challenges, as customers were not open to buying products without touch and feel. Some of the successful ecommerce companies fixed this by introducing ‘cash on delivery’ and a ‘no questions asked return policy’.
5. Build your networks
Network is your net worth.
Large deals get done over coffee. Whether it is finding new customers, recruiting the right people or tuck-in acquisitions for organic growth, leveraging networks to make connects really helps, as the conversion rate is generally high when things come through a warm connection.
6. Read, read, read
Readers make leaders – something that we all learn as kids. But one common thread which binds most successful people is the art of reading. Scientifically, reading helps the brain to make new connections from which new ideas emerge. And I am sure entrepreneurs could do well with a bunch of fresh ideas!!!
Entrepreneurship is a combo of art and a science that can be inculcated. To summarise, entrepreneurs are not always born but created by inculcating a right mindset supported by a strong infrastructure and policy interventions.