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Aspiring to be an Entrepreneur? #5 Things to Know Before you Start up You may have a sustainable business with a strong USP, but an investor will always ask why you and not someone else

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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


During my graduation years, I would very frequently walk up to my lectures, especially the visiting faculty, to understand journalism beyond books. With time, some of these teachers evolved as mentors while others were fellow colleagues.

But the case is not the same if you aspire to take up entrepreneurship. Your visiting faculty and teachers can help you can understand business dynamics but not how to execute your idea. They cannot always share the joys and pain points of this journey.

To understand the struggle of entrepreneurs, you either speak to men/women in the profession or people who run other people's business for a salary like the CEO or COOs. We at Entrepreneur India spoke to some of the Entrepreneurs and CEOs to understand what it takes to start something of your own.

#Love Thy Idea

Rohit Manglik, Founder & CEO, EduGorilla said, "They should see their ideas as their children, and be careful of its growth just as parents are while raising their children. There is an old saying in business, never partner with someone because it is convenient."

This is not the first time or the last time someone will tell you to love your idea. As loving it will lead to compassion and that is exactly what entrepreneurs need.

"Partner with someone who makes you stronger and respects your idea. So, if an entrepreneur's idea is stronger than his partner's, he/she needs to get rid of his/her partner. Most of start-ups fail due to failed partnerships," he added

#Emotions at Bay

Entrepreneurship first is a very lonely journey and more importantly, frustrating. So learn to keep your ego at bay, as till the time you are not successful people will think you are a fool.

"As of now, though we see a wave of entrepreneurship in India, the thinking towards entrepreneurs hasn't upgraded and hence people look down at them," Indranil Chakraborty, CEO, Big Synergy pointed out. In India, we celebrate only after people are successful.

Take the example of sports players. If you say you are a badminton player, no one will look at you until and unless you perform like P V Sindhu.

"You don't gain respect till you prove your ability and so, people will keep telling you Naukri kar lo, (Get a job) but that doesn't mean you should stop what you are doing," he added.

#One + One

Additionally, Chakraborty said, "Entrepreneurship is a very dangerous journey, especially if you say you will work only on one idea."

As an entrepreneur, you will hit roadblocks and with one idea, you are more likely to be losing your flexibility. He stressed, "For the majority of the entrepreneurs and the research and development people, their by-products have been successful. So, keep a plan B because you never know where the opportunity might pop up."

#Frugality is Good for Business

An entrepreneur should be frugal and learn to optimize his/her resources. Entrepreneurs just don't spend money and want to do all the things by themselves. This is also where corporate falters. This habit might not just help you with instant gratification said, Rishabh Mehta, Founder of What After College. These little saving efforts will create huge results once the business starts to flourish.

#Stay Strong

According to Chakroborthy, three questions one should ask him/herself before taking up their journey as an entrepreneur are

Whether it is a sustainable business - will you make money?

The second question which you need to answer is — What is your USP. "It is important to know whatever you are trying to offer is unique in nature," he said.

And third, which is the last and most important question is — Why do you think you will be successful. "You may have a sustainable business and the USP, but then an investor will always ask you, why you and why not somebody else."

Always remember, the investor is not investing in the idea. He is investing in person, so be ready for a tough fight, he said, adding, "Entrepreneurship is not meant for weak-hearted, emotional and sentimental people."

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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