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Be the change you want to see: Gandhigiri for Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship in many ways is a personal attitude or a trait nurturing in a person and very rarely a quality that can be inculcated.

By Ankita Tandon

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India is one of the world's most densely inhabited nations and has slowly evolved into a powerhouse over the last few decades influencing the world economy and the innovation sector.

It has also been one of the hottest breeding grounds for entrepreneurial ventures as we have witnessed a plethora of startups mushrooming across industry genres and many of them like the Flipkart, Snapdeal, PayTm, InMobi turning into corporate giants in their respective sectors.

Entrepreneurship in many ways is a personal attitude or a trait nurturing in a person and very rarely a quality that can be inculcated. Our social ecosystem has been traditionally conducive for self-owned business. The breed of entrepreneurs has always existed in the society, mostly in the cottage industries and SME sectors.

However, the winds of change came with the economic liberalization in the 90's that rejuvenated the entrepreneurial spirit and set a pace to a paradigm shift in the business and economy of the country which would then have a ripple effect across the globe.

The key to success lies in having a clear vision and a close ear on the changing needs of the consumer. If we monitor our surroundings and lifestyle, there is a clear affability we have for services/ products, innovations that enhance our living or in some ways address any existing challenge.

So, realizing the current scenario and anticipating an offering that will yield a positive influence, is the core mettle of a successful business. This positive influence could be either in the form of enhancing an existing practice or creating an innovative model in itself.

All successful startups have volleyed around this premise – they have realized a pertinent issue in the ecosystem and offered innovative solutions – want to know the best places to dine, want to know feedback of the place before you book a table, Zomato made it possible! Can't wait for long hours to book tickets or want to check on movie options on the go! Bookmyshow is a solution.

Want to enjoy shopping and also save money the smart way - CouponDunia offers exciting discount coupons to help you shop smarter. Want to be abreast with the latest news and events around you without spending time on reading newspapers – Inshorts offers curated news stories in just 60 words.

Each of these businesses is a representation of many similar startups that are addressing demands of the new age consumer and constantly innovating their offering to stay relevant to them. They realized the changing needs of the consumer and preempted what the consumer will look for in future.

The mantra is to be active today but stay relevant for tomorrow. Consumer sentiments and the society at large, are clear indicators to what the consumer is looking for. One needs to decipher these nuances in the market and be quick to respond with innovative solutions, that is the cornerstone of a successful business idea.

On the dark side, there are many entrepreneurs that lost the plot and if one were to submit a post-mortem report on these failed businesses, the common reasons for death would be impulsive business move, lack of clarity and direction and poor product quality that stems from not understanding the market and consumer needs accurately.

So key pointers to create a successful startup business:

Idea: The starting block for any start up is an Idea. Invest time and resources to create a compelling, creative idea and ensure that it is matching with the core demand of the market

Planning: A well-prepared plan helps to steer the business all along its growth curve. Determine the revenue model, anticipate the challenges and budget judicially for the business

Market Research: The most crucial step when starting a business is to understand the market and answer all the touch points. Identify if your offering matches the core demand of the market? The toughest part is testing the hypothesis—converting your idea into a viable business model, which is not possible unless you have done sufficient market research

Estimate Finances: When planning your costs, don't low-ball the expenses, and remember that they can rise as the business grows. It's easy to overlook costs when you're thinking about the big picture, but you shouldn't guess at your fixed expenses

Product development: Build the actual product or service you plan on taking to market. Always start with a good product and pricing strategy, but more importantly leave scope for scalability

Business agility: The market scenario will never stay the same. Today, the fast paced lifestyle demands innovation to be at the snap of a finger and hence the business should be able to adapt to change and look to add new features and offering rather than being a closed model

Technology has empowered us with the ability to solve issues that cripple mankind, take on challenges that impact our world and to create innovative solutions to solve community problems.

All we need is to take a closer look at our surroundings, be more involved with the community and find synergies among existing avenues to build new models of business or service that will bring a positive influence at large.

The future of startups in India has a promising outlook. According to a report, India is among the top 3 growing economies of the world. Investors see India speeding up pace toward becoming one of the world's top destinations for manufacturing, as well as a regional hub for operations.

They are keen on investing in the ideas that are scalable and companies that are to stay in the ecosystem and bring about a positive change. If you can be the change, then get up and start up!

Ankita Tandon

COO, CouponDunia


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