Entrepreneurial leap through change

Taking the entrepreneurial leap is not an easy choice but once you have your basics in place and your goals well defined passion and perseverance can lead you to the road to success. Let’s find out in the last few paragraphs of this article.

Today, our youth has a multitude of opportunities through which they can educate themselves and become an informed lot. They also seek to enquire into their future and discover the best possible answers, given the wide range of choices available to them and their peers and competitors. The most frequently asked question before starting an enterprise deals with the financial aspects, specifically, how to raise funds. The second pertains to when they should start their own business. We’ve all heard this particular question – “should I get some work experience or an MBA degree before I can start my own business?” The Indian Youth have immense potential to innovate, manage and to achieve the best use of available resources. Why is it then, that a lot of entrepreneurial plans never achieve fruition?

Director, Dhriiti – The Courage Within, a Delhi based NGO that promotes entrepreneurship explains the reasons that inhibit young people from taking the entrepreneurial leap. There is a deep rooted fear of failure. This may be a result of pressures from outside and social notions of success. Secondly, it becomes even more difficult for a fresh college graduate to begin an enterprise when he sees his peers applying for jobs or preparing for MBA entrance exams. This creates doubt and insecurity. Many youngsters postpone their dreams for a few years and get high paying jobs. As their salary grows, they post pone their business ambitions.

Then there are a few who are sure of what they want and take the plunge. What does it take to build such confidence? Meher, belly dancer founded the Banjara dance company at the age of 20. The culture of entrepreneurship is suppressed by societal attitudes. Overcoming these requires the young entrepreneur to be bold, understand the market and to know exactly how the product is unique. Everyone has ideas. What matters is to know how to package old wine in a new bottle, so to speak. Running a belly dance school isn’t easy. People are always skeptical but you have to be smart and point out things that they may be unaware of. If you are able to influence even five people, the good word will, spread; this is the classic pay it forward theory. A positive attitude towards challenges is very important. Youngsters need to believe in the power of their ideas. Today’s generation needs to find the right balance between work and play. Fear of failure is directly linked to the risk involved in business. Most often, such risk emanates from rapid changes in the business environment. To tackle such situations, youngsters should continuously update themselves and be flexible and adjust to the needs of the market.

TISS organized their Tattva Bodha Business 2009 summit at the Convention Center of its campus recently. The theme for this event was “leading through change” – people, planet and profit.

Experts like Udal Pareek, an organizational guru and Nawshir Mirza (fellow of the Chartered Accountants of India) and students from institutes like Wellingkar’s and TISS were in attendance. The keynote address was delivered by Harsh Mariwalla, MD, Marico Industries. He stated, in no uncertain terms, in light of recent events, the stereo typical views of business must change. The traditional view of business being only for profit and shareholder value must give way to a focus on employees.

This was followed by a leaders’ roundtable session, where an enlightening discussion took place on the changing economic world and the business scenario. The discussion aimed at finding solutions to ways to create and promote a sustainable and environmentally friendly organizational policy and offer a return to not just company share holders but also stakeholders (read: the common man).

Basic social changes needed to take place. The mindset of young students is different we need to recognize that fact. The world has moved from analog to digital and from linear to non-linear thinking. People must not only recycle and reuse, but also refuse. Refuse to consume before you do so, think. Even if you are using something as small as a paper napkin ask your self ‘do I really need it?’ The power to influence and change the world is in the hands of the students. The panel unanimously agreed that if the corporate world was to see a dramatic change in their mindset, then the next generation would have to step up and make the difference. India Inc must be willing to make that change.