Out in the Open

Social media like any other media needs to have some credibility and accountability

learn more about Ritu Marya

By Ritu Marya


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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What happens on social media…stays on social media. Recently, I observed a pattern – globally, there are many startup founders who have been extensively using social media to push their leadership thoughts, and their business ventures in the past few years. It has brought them massive recognition in a short span of time and their businesses have seen a sharp growth.

However, there have been instances where the same business leaders have shared their angst and fury on social media in times of high pressures. The outrageous posts resulted in some getting ousted from their organizations and losing their identity overnight. Travis Kalanick, Elon Musk are classic examples. Closer to home – I see Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Deepinder Goyal doing somewhat the same thing. It is one thing to have an opinion and quite another to wash your dirty laundry in the open. In principle, they live life at extremes and that's a good thing because it gets them the success they had envisioned for themselves. But in the social world it proves much detrimental. It remains unclear, however, how much of it is truth and what part is staged to make the world believe that the founder has been ousted for his erratic behavior.

On a separate note, my understanding of social media is that people at times don't base their opinions on enough facts and are increasingly using it as an outlet to share their frustrations instead of something more meaningful that could help the world change for better. Social media like any other media needs to have some credibility and accountability because unrestricted and unidirectional content consumption is a sheer wastage of time without any meaningful takeaway.

After being part of the recently held Franchise India Show 2018 in New Delhi, the show floor was visible how great is the urge amongst the Indian masses to start a new business and embrace entrepreneurship. They want to grab the opportunity and are eager to be in the midst of the buzzing business environment. These are positive signs and this large Indian contingent can prove to be an asset if one can show it the right direction.

On the other hand, I also felt that at the show startups are today hungry for big growth. Though it is not new, but what has changed is that the mad frenzy of the past few years pertaining to raising funds, big burn and fast growth is now abating and a more meaningful, controllable growth is in place. Founders of startups are now finding business environments that would be right for their businesses to grow, and networks that could propel their businesses forward. I found them actively interacting with large groups and SMEs in similar trade to understand their businesses and what could be a big differential factor in their own startups. The business growth is now moving from being capital-led to industry led and it gives me a great hope. The rising support and newer labs for growth from the mature players will inculcate the newcomers and see them grow. It will also help them find much-needed customers they want, and would lead not only to disruption but also to less failure, as it will make SMEs and startups to come together to participate in the larger growth.

In this issue, we have featured some inspirational stories of people from different walks of life. We caught with Vishwanathan Anand for whom age is no bar — and the king of chess can teach us a lot about entrepreneurship. We also checked out some emerging Indian social media platforms, which are doing great; also why ShareChat has potential to become the Indian Facebook. The Beyond Borders section will take you through opportunities in Asia wherein we also cover why Japan is thriving on its robotics industry. Other stories in this issue feature a new emerging space in content streaming and HR services as a new area for startups.

As entrepreneurs have lives beyond their businesses, from this issue onwards we are bringing forward a larger section of lifestyle stories for you to get a sneak-peek into the lives of star entrepreneurs.

Ritu Marya

Editor-in-Chief, Entrepreneur Media (APAC & India)

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