A place for startup entrepreneurs to meet in Pune
Recently we watched the Gully Boy Hindi movie[i] again and couldn’t stop ourselves from comparing it with the first-generation entrepreneurs. This is our attempt in correlating it, if you like the correlation, the credit goes to the movie makers and if you don’t like the correlation, you can debit us :-)
This dialogue means you should know who you are. Many entrepreneurs discuss their business ideas with family, friends & their network before starting their venture. Generally, our observation is that people discourage you from entrepreneurship since it equals hardship.
First generation entrepreneur needs to be cool headed, self-confident and passionate about their work. This is the dialogue that they should always reminded of while maintaining their self-confidence.
When Elon musk was about to start his new company SPACEX, he proposed an idea of mars habitation and space rockets which will be reusable and that can carry normal people in it. Everyone mocked his idea said it is not possible. Everyone tried to discourage him though Musk stood by his idea. Now he is literally able to achieve the dream of reusable rockets.
Starting a business from scratch is always a difficult task, epically when you are used to perks of the salaried job. Many people dram about starting a business though few realize this dream. Only the ones who are confident about idea, passionate about the work and willing to risk everything can choose this path.
Narayan Murthy, co-founder of an Indian IT giant Infosys. Murthy initially started the company called Softronics which failed after one and half years of its existence. Still he believed in his dream and did not give up his dream of being entrepreneur. He learnt from his mistakes and decided to start afresh. In 1981, with six other professionals and with INR 10000, he started Infosys.
There is always a high risk while stating any venture and over a period of time typically the risk will increase. New entrepreneur has to work really hard. They always have to offer something extra to their customers, in-spite of not getting rewarded instantaneously. Their faith in venture may get diluted. This dialogue will remind them to continue working hard and have a faith in getting the rewards.
When Akio Morita and his cofounders started Sony Corporation after world war two, things were not easy around them. Still they persisted and created one of the world’s best electronics company which is still remembered for Sony Walkman. [ii]
Entrepreneurs must be daring in order to achieve audacious goal. They have to risk high and get out of their comfort zone while starting a business. This is the only way they can achieve their goal.
Elon Musk, at his idea of making electric car company successful is mocked at a lot. Yet in a decade Tesla overtook an impenetrable car industry and that is a well-deserved reward of taking risk against all odds.
Tesla’s cybertruck design was not a safe idea, they could have gone with classic pickup truck and found guaranteed successes instead Musk took a risk and proved himself once again. The result is Tesla cybertruck already has 600000 pre-orders and counting.[iii]
There are so many things required while starting a new venture, such as required skill set, expertise you already possess and so on. First generation entrepreneurs have only one thing in their mind and that is starting a business. The dialogue means that you should start your business and put 100 percent of efforts into that.
Steve jobs and Stephan Wozniak worked on their first product restlessly in a garage. Steve jobs even used his calligraphy classes to design Macintosh (Mac), he said that “If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”[iv]
Both of them put in extreme efforts to make their business idea work.[v]
While starting a new business every entrepreneur is having uncertainty in the mind. Can they achieve the dream? Is it worth the risk? Every first-generation entrepreneur must remember that only when you dream, you can do it.
Phil Knight had written a research paper on starting a shoes business. As he had narrated in the paper, he followed path, initially imported shoes from Japan and then started to manufacture the shoes in his company brand “Nike” and rest of the story is history.[vi]
Microsoft is a company that made personal computers mainstream in almost every home and office. It all started with Bill Gates who had a dream of putting one personal computer in every household.[vii] Although this dream may sound simple today though was very difficult to achieve.
When entrepreneur starts the business, put all this effort in his work and prove all those wrong who have raised question on their ability. Maybe that victory is small he has a long way to go but still he started on his own without any help from others. It is his own guts to take the risk and maybe the other people cannot understand that.
Consider the example of Ritesh Agarwal, founder of OYO hotel rooms. He started his first venture under the name of Oraval Stays just to provide breakfast all across India, but that idea failed miserably, then they started OYO on small scale. They tried to tie-up with number of hotels to provide service. Since then, OYO Rooms has gone on to become India’s first technology driven network of standardized branded budget hotels.[viii][ix]
Maybe the current situation of the entrepreneur is not suitable, but to achieve the dream, he must change the situation. He must change his reality to make his dream possible.
The story of Alibaba founder Jack Ma is inspirational, he is one of those self-made billionaires with humble beginning. In his early days he wanted to learn English, so he became tourist guide, giving English tours to foreigners for free. When he decides to start Alibaba, he persuades his 17 friends to join and invest and then company started in his apartment.[x]
That’s the question everyone will ask to entrepreneur when he first decides to start his own venture or when he decides to start something new. When he first decides to risk everything for unknown reward.
Walt Disney in his 50’s proposed an idea of Disneyland. It was a very costly project so his company bord opposed his idea saying that it’s a risky project. The borad could not risk everything on a single project and as a nominal help they had only given him 10000$ but Walt Disney didn’t lose his self-confidence, he didn’t drop his idea. He mortgaged all his property to raise capital and he built his Disneyland. And today after that there are multiple Disneyland’s in all around.[xi]
Authored by: Dr Sachin Bhide, Founder & Strategy Designer and Niranjan Pandhe, Research Assistant at Eha Management Consultancy
[ii] Autobiography of Akio Morita ‘Made in Japan’