Implementing Key Drivers of Growth for Entrepreneur
A Note From The Editor
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‘Start-Up India’, ‘Stand-Up India’, ‘Make In India’, ‘Digital India’ — these are few policy initiatives of the government of India. It is an exciting time to be an entrepreneur. The idea to stand differently and bring about a change in terms of adding values to lives is the key driver that predisposes one to be an entrepreneur.
Being a harbinger of change, the role of an entrepreneur calls for great responsibility. The enthusiasm of being an entrepreneur may hold an extremely exciting charm in itself, but the journey and the execution unveil the real set of challenges.
It is a hardship that not only demands to have thick skin against all adversities that come along the way, but to also a have greater appetite for risks. Hence, entrepreneurship can be very daunting. The first aspect of being an entrepreneur is to spot an opportunity in the form of a kink or a glitch through the course of a certain pattern – i.e. identifying the customers’ pain-point. Thereafter, one needs to think of a viable solution and chart out a sustainable business plan around this key component. Another intimidating task for the entrepreneur is to build a team of passionate and capable people who can contribute with their own ideas and execute agreed upon this plan effectively and efficiently.
The journey of an entrepreneur is a challenging voyage where he/she feels lonely at numerous stages. This loneliness comes in the form of lack of reciprocation, disconnect from people around him towards his ideas and work. It also often brings with it over-weighing expectations from oneself, his peers, team members, family and friends. An entrepreneur is leader of the pack unlike, say, a salaried person, who always has a support-system of professionals (peers/mentors/seniors) to approach during any crisis. The situation is diametrically contrasting in the case of an entrepreneur, where he is the one who has to lead himself as well as the team to cope with any crisis. He is the one to whom every member of the team looks up to for any resolution or critical decision. An entrepreneur therefore generally lacks the support-system and often has to find motivation from within himself. The power of collectivism in the form of a peer-to-peer platform often comes to rescue with people of similar profiles who provide necessary support to each other by sharing experiences and often helping in execution of the business ideas.
Essential Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur
An unwavering passion is the genesis of an entrepreneur, the ability to love and execute your ideas drives a person to be a successful entrepreneur and contribute to societal progress. Their ability to be creative and design solutions, products or processes that addresses the pain points of customers, meet their demands and needs in a more effective way, refurbish existing products to market them differently and to a new industry; differentiates them. Also, an entrepreneur always needs to have a clear set of goals and an approach which is forward looking. This approach and skill-set helps them keep moving ahead and keep evolving their goals and ideas to be able to define sustenance and scalability. It is equally important for an entrepreneur to have a greater risk appetite and be thick-skinned to be able to cope with a VUCA environment (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous). He should know how to leverage the existing trends and resources to remain competitive and delegate processes in the right direction.
In brief, a few essential qualities of a successful entrepreneur are: a sense of purpose – a visionary, data driven, hard-working and diligent – a man of detail. It is often asked whether the skill of planning is more important than the skill of operationalizing or execution for an entrepreneur. I firmly believe that an entrepreneur is incomplete by being strong in only one area and forms a comprehensive whole by combining both skills in equal measure. Both these skills need to be in the right balance, where the skill of planning and envisioning will be the first among equals. It is the entrepreneur’s vision for the future that guides the organization, its strategic and tactical plans. Another most important quality for an entrepreneur is to be self-motivated.
Understanding the Drivers of Sustainable and Scalable Growth
Sustainability is something that helps you innovate and bring about a massive change by aligning your business processes to the existing resources in more efficient and effective ways. Whereas, scalability is simply that makes your business big. But there are numerous challenges that act as barriers to these fundamental factors of growth.
To understand the journey of an entrepreneur and the challenges they face to make their business scalable & sustainable in order to be growth-oriented, ASCENT India Foundation and EY conducted a survey. The report highlights that sustainable and scalable growth requires companies to keep customers at the center of decision making and develop a brisk supply chain and agile operations. The surveyed entrepreneurs believe that the Seven Key Drivers of sustainable & scalable growth are Customer Centricity, Leadership, People Centricity, Operations, Technology, Finance & Transactions and Risk Management.
In the entrepreneurial journey, a peer-to-peer network often plays a very critical role. It helps an entrepreneur to interact with like-minded people, albeit from a variety of ventures and backgrounds. This helps an entrepreneur to learn from others’ experiences – from both,a strategic perspective as well as day-to-day operational viewpoint. Interactions in these peer-to peer-networks help an entrepreneur to take a step back from the daily routine. It is important that an entrepreneur not only keeps an eye on the present but also keeps envisioning the future. A peer-to-peer network is an ideal platform to reflect on same.
Ensuring Your Venture Creates Value to the Society at Large
Some companies of today have originated purely out of passion to serve the financially underserved populace. The aim of companies such as Suvidha is to ensure the greater good to the society through their services which facilitate fulfillment of customer needs through their digital platform.
The venture started with a simple question of why the digitally and financially less-evolved populace needs to always stand in queues to get basic services, as basic as railway ticket reservation. This redressal-oriented question and the passion to reduce the pain-points of such customers, standing tiringly in queues and wasting productive hours of their lives to avail basic services of life, motivated these ventures to optimize the situation and introduce digital transformational processes. This led to the development of a technology-driven platform that can be used by any neighborhood mom-and-pop stores using personal computer and/or mobile and internet connectivity to offer ticket booking service to their customers. As a result, now services like railway ticket-booking, money transfer, utility bill payments etc. are widely accessible and available at almost every nook and corner of the cities across India, providing convenience to people.
This has effectively reduced the long, arduous and painstaking waiting lines at stations, enhanced consumer convenience by saving precious hours through digitization of transactionary activities – and more than anything, has provided immense mental and physical relief to the public by alleviating the stress of a daily-faced nuisance.
This, in my opinion, would be the biggest sign of a success for an entrepreneur. The sense of satisfaction and gratification of your contribution to society, in however a small way, is simply unmatchable and indescribable. At the end of the day, it is this feeling, unattached to any figures, metrics or quantum, that is the real reward that the entrepreneur savors when he hangs his boots.