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Why entrepreneurs also need coaches? ICF grooming entrepreneurs through mentoring, training and athletic development.

By Sunil Pol

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Entrepreneur India
Magdalena N Mook, CEO & Executive Director, ICF

Walking on the lines of eastern wisdom and western framework, International Coach Federation (ICF), the global organization for professionally trained coaches groom entrepreneurs through mentoring, training and athletic development.

Increase in number of startups is urging the need of professionally trained coaches guiding individuals in the striding journey of entrepreneurship. Understanding the same, ICF with its army of 26,000 members around the globe and 350 members in India are concentrating on further grooming entrepreneurial qualities.

"There is a great synergy between coaches and entrepreneurs because many coaches are entrepreneurs themselves. They are willing to change career and enter into completely new field, which requires new skills and attitude that transforms coaching in general. Coaching is defined by possibility linked with entrepreneurial spirit," said Magdalena N Mook, CEO & Executive Director, ICF.

"What coaching can offer, it's not telling people what to do, which entrepreneur will listen anyway, it's really being a partner in the process. I think this is exactly what makes coaching even more prompt to be adopted by the entrepreneur. Because it is partnership and not mentorship or consulting, it's helping the entrepreneurs to find responses in their own ways to whatever they want to accomplish", defined Magdalena.

Empowering Coaches

Being the largest community of professionally trained coaches, ICF is currently operating in around 138 countries around the globe. It empowers all members with tools and knowledge to create best coaches. It supports its members with industry research, networking opportunities, educational offerings through webinars, seminars, conferences and special programmes and the only globally recognized coaching credential.

"We provide the basis and the basics of coaching which would be the 11 core competencies and then continuous education on how to maintain and grow the skill and we use the term how to stay fit for purpose. In other words how do you make sure that you have high level skills to offer best to your client", explained, Magdalena N Mook.

In the process the organization also partners with venture capitalists, not for the financial support to entrepreneurs, but for the guidance to its members. It feels that venture capitalists are the ones to whom it matters.

They are the ones who are backing these entrepreneurs. Fund managers are the ones who recognize that such entrepreneurs need to be nurtured or partnered well at this stage not just with the point of financial funding, but with the human capital as well.

Supporting the growth

Since entering Indian market in 2014, ICF is in conversation with its partners to offer some more on the ground support for building of chapters, may be additional series or may be growth in the additional localities and also trying to see a better co-operation between the different chapters within India. It is believed that coaching has a great market and great potential in India.

It offers executive coaching, personal coaching, leadership coaching, relationship coaching and career coaching to name a few. "Also there is growing number of coaches specializing in health and wellness and medical profession, while e-coaching starts becoming more of a trend as well," foresees Magdalena N Mook while mentioning that there is a new area of coaching arising is millenials.

Demographic Dividend

According to ICF, India might be in the special place because of its vastness of land, mass population and the young workforce, which invites more willingness to take risk. Thus, with the aim of maximizing individuals potential, the organization is focusing on women and youth with the perspective of bringing coaching into educational system at a early stage.

"Let the younger generation try first time and if they fails let's not call it a failure, call it an experience." says Magdalena N Mook.

Universally ICF offers masters or bachelors degree programme in coaching and younger individuals engage coaches. It has members between the age group of 30 to 35 till 60-65 years.. Presently ICF has five centers in India and it is planning to have centers in every metro citie, tier I and II cities in India

According to the 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study, there are an estimated 47,500 professional coaches worldwide, responsible for total annual revenues close to $2 bn.

Sunil Pol

Correspondent, Entrepreneur India


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