Billions of entrepreneurs

12 May

Indian youth

Late in night suffering from insomnia unable to find my beloved sleep and missing my best freind Dr Whisky thanks to three dry days for election, I thought of finding companionship in a book “Billions of entrepreneurs” by Tarun Khanna. After reading few pages I could not concentrate on the book because of one question continuously pinching me , as author was emphasizing a lot on entrepreneurship in India for Indian economy to grow but i could not visualize anything significant around me to see thats possible soon. The million dollar question was “Lack of Entrepreneurship in India” hmmmmm So I scuba-dive into the sea of my own question so that i can find pearl of logical answer to my question and this is what I found.

1. Indian Academics = Do what I say

Indian academics by many people around the world is seen as the best , because we have given some of the best Engineers, Doctors, Scientists, Mathematicians and Entrepreneurs. But if you look deeply into the history of these people who have achieved the height of success, credit goes to two things first is our middle class upbringing and other high aspiration to come out of the middle class. Now lets discuss how our academics kills the entrepreneur bug.

According to me entrepreneurship should start from ground level and best source of its origin should be our university but our curriculum and syllabus is outdated at least by couple of decades. There is no focus on latest trend and industry needs and rely on theory many of which are outdated and carry little significance in modern world, even theory of relativity became great theory after it was used to build Atomic-Bomb(though negatively). I tried to analyze the teaching methodology which most of the premier institutes provide. I found that they give very little scope for an individual to do things differently or innovatively or freedom to work which supports creativity. To support my opinion i will cite an example of my final year project during my engg. I presented my synopsis to my professor It was on implementation of supply chain management in Construction Field and the result was –he saw, he tore,he threw it in to the dustbin and told me to start researching on some other topic. You know why? Just because he was not interested at all in things which is not related to curriculum. I was quite hurt not because my month’s work went into drain or i felt disrespected, because he crushed my self-belief, my confidence that i could do something different and he did not even bother to give me reasoning which led my synopsis turn into a piece of bullshit. The only explaination he gave me try doing something in your core engineering field rather than wasting time on this useless management theories(useless?????).

According to me youth is the most priveleged part of a individual’s life where you have got

  • Bundle of energy
  • Strength not only physical most importantly mental
  • Self confidence on your abilities
  • Guts to take risk
  • Self belief to take the world in your stride
  • And most importantly time in your part to learn from your mistakes.

But I see many of those attributes of youngsters getting crushed in some part of indian universities daily which is the first reason towards lack of entrepreneurship or else how can you explain the trend people passing out IIT or other premier institues (BITS,NIT etc)joing stanford and starting up a company in silicon valley which they couldn’t try doing here . All of them though may not be succesful but still they do dare to live their dreams.

2. Social and Cultural burden = Be a Slave

Some where long time back i have heard Human is Social animal. I am not sure about western world but in India “Yes We Are”. In India we follow closed nuclear family system where most individual have lots of responsibilty be it towards parents, towards siblings or towards life partner. Unlike western world where as you grow up you strart becoming a individual entity far from all kind of above metioned responsibility. Though people might not agree to me but this do create a hindrance towards your road to entrepreneurship. Here if you are doing a govt. job and earning 5 or 6 figure salary is considered sucessful than a entrepreneur whose profit might be more than a person who does Naukri. I dont know how ? As the very word of naukri derived from naukar which means servant is better than the feeling of being entrepreneur or malik.

Let me write down of the problem which you will face if you leave your job and start ur own startup

  • You will face problems in marriage.
  • You will be socially cut.
  • You will not get loan from any bank.
  • You will not get credit card.
  • You will be seen as a person who is thrown out of job,means fired.

I beleive 200 years of british raj has affected and hit us much deeper than we can imagine or how else can one justify such demarcation between doing job and being entrepreneur. I thought that society is driven by individuals thinking together but its the society that drives individual. when I saw their views changing like a sine curve with every success and failure I received. All of us enjoy success but when I failed they made me feel like a loser and made me feel like I met a dead end without any u turn which was quite detrimental to my confidence of doing things which dont align to society.

In India we lack “Celebrating Failure.” We need to build a culture where entrepreneur or failed entrepreneur given more respect than people who are doing simple job. Parents and friends should feel proud that we are working to contribute to the society larger than any one else. Every one should understand that entrepreneurs don’t work for money they work because they want to bring change through what they believe in. Let the society understand that if we want to eliminate poverty and unemployment from India it can’t be done by politicians of this country but by Entrepreneurs of India.

3. Lack of role models = Which God to worship

We follow religion why? Because we want to build belief system around the religious belief’s of that religion. In a similar fashion we look for Role Models to give us certain belief in our life that following this person will definitely lead us to that great extent. I have some one to follow to get motivated to. I have a role model to which i can always look up and say if this person has done it means it’s possible to do it.Role models are someone whom you look forward to, who are insipirational, who’s act drive your path towards attaining your goal, but in India if you analyze last two decades you find a handfull of them in a country of over a billion (i am not taking into account the tatas,birlas or ambanis or mallyas they are second or third generation entrepreneurs for whom most of things are in place). To name a few of them Narayan murthy, Captain Gopinath, Sabeer bhatia…. (I am considering only entrepreneur who are indian by birth). Its fine if we dont have lary page and sergi Brin(Co-founder google) atleast we should have a dozen of mark zuckerberg(CEO facebook,is a billionare at a age of 23) in two decades.

4. Proper funding or VC = Please I am not a beggar

A VC to a startup is like a fertilizer for a growing plant because you may have a idea which may be brilliant but it needs to funded in order to transform your idea to an invincible reality. But unfortunately in India the Vc’s mindset are like those of the american ones in 1980’s who are quite circumspect and reserved and weigh too much each idea you go with . They always wants to be doubly sure about the future of your project in terms of profitabilty which is like an hindrance in funding a startup. In India VC’s sees founders as beggar who are dieing for money to survive. So what they do is firstly they will evaluate the startup who is already in a mode of becoming successful very soon and weigh its value so less that in a very less investment they can get larger share and even all the top position’s in the management.

Lets bring VC’s in India who can invest like they want to build this nation with there mentor ship and money.

5. Red-tapism and Lack of facilities from govt.

Needless to say how important are infrastructure in form of roads, airport, electricity, water supply, telecom services for growth of any industry and if they are indequate then they cause major hindrance for the companies. We still have long way to catch compared to developed countries. Moreover there is a lot of red-tapism that goes in govt offices, everyone will agree to it as almost all have faced it at some point or other in order to get what little facilities they provide which further pulls the individuals down. What does that mean for an entrepreneur?

  • It means if a work takes 2 days it will take 2months.
  • If he can start his business in 50K he needs 5Lakh.
  • If he can work with 3 people he needs 10People.
  • If his reach to customer base is 1million it will come down to 1Lakh.

Our government and government employees needs to understand that we are not working for us its for our country. We are not here to make money so that you can share a profit. We are here to create money which would shared among the people.

6. Indian Market and psychology of consumers

Indian customers the safest game player in the world. They hate to take risks, even if some one takes ,he is firstly seen as stupid who doesn’t knows whether the product is good or bad. So how does it effects the entrepreneurship?

  • It takes longer time for people to accept new product.
  • Large money to spend on advertising and brand building.
  • Longer time for break even to come.
  • Even longer time to know that this product will fail or succeed.

Longer time for all above means that your risk to success has gone down million times than if you started the same startup in any other country.


5 Responses to “Billions of entrepreneurs”

  1. punish the dumbasses May 14, 2008 at 12:34 pm #

    Well written article.
    Well,some points..
    *Unfortunately Indian society puts a lot of value on education/achievements which has nothing to do with “anything”.My personal experience is even well educated ‘bastards’ also behave poorly and don’t conduct themselves well.

    *Most of my Indian friends live in hype and get excited about things and the reality is they are “daydreamers”.I pity those assholes.

    *Most of the time one explaining their vision to dumbasses and assholes should be kept away and I am sure all “genuine” entrepeneurial talents in India face this.

    *Most of the time you don’t even get a compatible person for ‘brainstorm’ and for that matter most people obsessed with LAME topics like jobs/salaries and girl friend bitches.I pissed off many times with this kind of attitude of society.

    *Very very rarely you come across a person who is really passionate about what he do.Most people are just followers our society believes in that.Very very very few choose unique path that’s quite different.

    *Most Indians do not believe in ‘live and let live’.They always meddle with you and your personal life and annoy you like anything.

    ps:I born in India,live in India.I have learned that “don’t care anyone and do whatever you want” and btw punish the assholes who meddle with you.

  2. Oz May 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm #

    I totally agree with above comments and the article.Some common bad habits I noticed.

    *Most people spit on the roads(even well dressed and well educated asses also)
    *Most people use public roads as toilets
    *Often violate traffic rules
    *Staring continuously at people as if they took birth for it(this is the worst hobby and one should slap those fuckers)
    *Fighting everywhere including queues at railway stations etc.

    These things seems minor but matters a lot to build a quality society.Ironically, these dumbasses talk like visionaries when they can’t satisfy basic human being rules.

  3. Oz May 19, 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    I totally agree with above comments and the article.Some common bad habits I noticed.

    *Most people spit on the roads(even well dressed and well educated asses also)
    *Most people use public roads as toilets
    *Often violate traffic rules
    *Staring continuously at people as if they took birth for it(this is the worst hobby and one should slap those fuckers)
    *Fighting everywhere including queues at railway stations etc.

    These things seems minor but matters a lot to build a quality society.Ironically, these dumbasses talk like visionaries when they can’t satisfy basic human being rules.

  4. asteeeg September 23, 2008 at 7:49 am #

    Excellent post. From a humble Philippine entrepreneur’s point of view, these are clues why India is developing so much faster than us. Generalizing, the drive and determination of your youth to succeed is more widespread and internalized. Here at the moment, it seems a critical mass of entrepreneurship and a success mentality is yet to come. And those bad habits we are also very familiar with must go. But certainly a movement in this path is picking up as led by a few very determined, and innovative individuals who are refusing to blame Philippine government, religion, institutions, their parents and whatnot for their plight, and they will not ever be satisfied with mediocrity and “how things are”.

  5. ajay November 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    U just nailed it… especially the VC part.. better known as blood suckers!

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