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Why You Need to Push Your Employees to Think Like Entrepreneurs Often people who want to become entrepreneurs start their journey by first working at a start-up

By Sanchita Dash

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


As a start-up is growing, the responsibility of its success doesn't just lie on the founder but also on the employees who are contributing to the growth journey of the company. So, no wonder that employees in a start-up are treated a wee bit differently than those in a corporate.

Employees in a start-up are encouraged to think and innovate like an entrepreneur. In fact, often people who want to become entrepreneurs start their journey by first working at a start-up.

Entrepreneur India spoke to founders about how it is important for them to help their employees think like the boss.

The Founder's Mentality

Not just from the employees' perspective but the entrepreneurs' it is important for employees to think like a founder. This helps them take better decisions and contribute better to the growth of the start-up. Aditi Balbir, Founder & CEO, V Resorts, explains this better by talking about the "Founder's Mentality'. She said that this concept that came to the fore in the 2016 book by Chris Zook and James Allen, essentially talks about every employee acting with the drive and passion of a founder. For a startup looking to disrupt an existing segment at scale, employees need to take the ownership of not just their own functions but also be cognizant about all that can possibly affect the business. "The three elements of the Founder's Mentality, namely Owner's Mindset, Frontline Obsession and Insurgency, are traits that are required across the board if a company wants to sustain its growth," she said.

Making Them Responsible Leaders

By giving the employees authority and allowing them to think like an entrepreneur, founders give them the room to be more responsible. By making sure you are giving your employees an open space, will help them to take responsibility of their own target & assign work, believes Chiranjiv Patel, MD, P C Snehal Group. "Moreover always think for the betterment of the work by innovative ways. That's what an entrepreneur does. This also motivates the peer as well for their own work and provide and healthy environment to company," he said.

Meanwhile, Abhishek Bansal, Co-Founder & CEO Shadowfax believes that employees need to own problems and solve for solutions. "In a young company like ours, solutions need end-to-end ownership and out of the box thinking to bring disruptive innovation. Without an entrepreneurial mindset operating bringing in real value becomes fundamentally difficult," he said.

Ability to Address What's Wrong

Employees can't always fall back on their founder. Many a times, the founder is busy caught up in other tasks, and it's up to the employees to take a quick decision in a matter. Balbir believes that in such cases employees need to step up and think like an entrepreneur. She said that if a company is in the startup or growth phase of its life cycle, it cannot have employees that work simply for the tasks that are outlined. "As a disruptor, vigilance and nimbleness are core elements in a company's nature. This, however, does not take a tangible form without employees acting like entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur, one is almost in a state of perpetual vigilance with all that can affect the firm, but with a founder is no good without a team that compliments that vigilance with their own drive and an obsession to address all that can go wrong," she said.

Give Them the Incentive to Grow

An entrepreneur can't just expect his/her employee to work hard without giving them an aim to work for. Patel added that providing incentive & profit sharing will help them to grow. If they grow 5% or 10 % your company will grow 90%, he believes. "In my company, I have people works with us since last 15 years. Above all associated partnership and project leads helped company to open new six verticals," he said.

Vinay Singhal, Co-Founder & CEO, WittyFeed too agrees. He said that it's a feeling, an emotion, an attachment you need to make your employees feel - for the warmth you have for them, the affection you carry, and of course, an understanding of "You Grow, We Grow!" "Employee Stock Ownership Plan is a pathway which helps you to develop the desired mindset," he said.

When you make your employees feel the authority and the responsibility which comes with their designations; ownership will happen by default. Singhal added that the growth is not just seen in financial terms but they believe in succeeding and not achieving the success - we can never live a stagnant life; there has to be motion.

Employees who tend to think like entrepreneurs tend to have a larger view on the overall macro which helps align to the vision of the founders. "This helps company achieve goals faster and ensure that collaborative growth happens," believes Bansal.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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