Get on the Floor; The Business Fix for Millennial Founders

With the stage set for success, there should be no other reason why millennials can't rule the world

learn more about Lubeina Shahpurwala

By Lubeina Shahpurwala


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It's a young person's world. The early birds have been trumped by the millennials, & there has never been a better time to be young, energetic, inspired, proactive, and willing to take risks. Everywhere today, you can see groups of young entrepreneurs trying to make a mark with a dream or a vision. It's a great time to be a part of the entrepreneur ecosystem.

Every young team today has a lot going for them. They are driven and eager to take up challenges and have a vast, similarly wired workforce at their disposal. With technology supporting their efforts, a lot gets streamlined and enables bandwidth across the board.

Working with young teams is a thrill and a pleasure:

You get to learn from their enthusiasm, appetite for innovation, and never-say-die approach. While a lot of young founders know the details of how to build, many may end up missing out on one specific element: Really deep-diving into the cogs of their business. Faced by a need to get on to the floor, rewire their systems, understand every molecule that goes into the product, there is a surprising number who are more comfortable working on an Excel sheet or a balance sheet... A large part of this is a by-product of technology-driven automation.

Make no mistakes, technology should not be left out of business:

Technology and automation, especially in the manufacturing and consumer product category are essential to scaling operations. The key here is to apply technology right and to never let your processes be so automated that the machine knows more about your business than you do. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, these are the new-age inspirations, but ask them to roll up their sleeves and dive into the minutiae of their services and products, and they're all for it.

A lot of the young business owners are looking only at the macro picture:

Their business plans and roadmaps are perfectly thought through and laid out. However, sometimes they may overlook the urgency of being intimately aware of the micro picture. If there's anything that you learn from building a business over three decades, it's this: To last, as a leader of your organization, you cannot replace the domain knowledge that will come from working at every level, every area of the company.

It's simple, really. Your teams are as hungry as you are, to build, win, and make a mark. They look to you for inputs and roadmaps. Without a first-hand awareness of the ins & outs of everything they do, your guidance will begin to lose its value.

Not only this, when market fluctuations hit your business, as they inevitably will, your intuitive knowledge of every single aspect of the business will be what drives you through the storms.

Building a product to sell is what many young founders are doing today, with the eventual goal of an exit or an acquisition. There is nothing wrong with working on those lines, but there is so much more success that awaits you if you are building with a long-term aim. Any buyer or investor checks up on the potential for scale, and if your plan is only taking your company to the next round, or to the merger, you're likely to find it harder to convince them.

It's great to know that there are so many more young people willing to build for passion. The only thing that pulls youthful exuberance down is a lack of attention to detail. Fortunately, that is not something that is unfixable & it is heartening to see that a lot of these young founders do put in the effort to fix what they can once it is pointed out to them.

With the stage set for their success, there should be no other reason why they can't rule the world. All they need to do is roll up their sleeves and hit the factory floor, so to speak.

Lubeina Shahpurwala

Partner At Mustang Socks And Accessories

The author is a Co-Founder of Mustang Socks and Accessories and also the Vice Chairperson, FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO), Mumbai Chapter

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