Hurdles For an Aspiring Entrepreneur From an Indian Middle Class Family

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Middle class
Image taken from the movie “Do Dooni Char” depicting a typical middle class family.

Since I decided to take the path of an entrepreneur, I have met a lot of people in the past one year. A lot of them have genuinely asked me this question, “How did you convince you parents?”

Well, I belong to a very typical middle class Indian family. No one in my family has even run a business, no one. In fact most of my family members are in to government jobs. When I told them what I was up to, they thought I had lost my mind. Well, they still think so. And this is not the story just for me. In fact this is a very common occurrence and I am sure a lot of Indian entrepreneurs can relate to this.

So, why do Indian middle class families not encourage entrepreneurship?

1. Fear Of Failure

I think this is the biggest fear holding back Indian middle class families as well as aspiring entrepreneurs belonging to this social segment. Convincing your family about your decision to quit a well paying MNC job or turn down an MNC placement is a huge task indeed. The fear of failure is something which haunts them always. “What will you do if it fails?” is the biggest concern.

2. Loans

Most middle class families have lots of loans over their heads – education loan, car loan and housing loan are very common. In such a situation, they would best want another earning member who can help ease the burden.

3. Lack of respect and difficulty explaining

Here is the thing, even now entrepreneurship is not something which you can flaunt socially. Usually, your parents have a basic reply when someone asks about you, “Kuch toh bhi kar raha hai” meaning “he is up to something, we don’t know”

4. Academics emphasize on jobs

Most of India’s education programs are designed in such a way so as to prepare students for jobs. Teachers and Professors encourage students to secure a well paying job rather than encouraging them to work at a startup or start one themselves.

5. Family Liabilities

Some times it becomes difficult for someone to startup because of family liabilities like an early marriage, or a stay at home spouse, kids, etc. The only thing that comes with all this is lower confidence to take risks.

6. Social Mindsets

Although the phrase, “Failures are the pillars to success” might be cliched, it really doesn’t apply much in our middle class society and definitely not when it comes to entrepreneurship. There is so much to learn in this even if you are not able to start something successful in the first go. But, sadly, society doesn’t really appreciate that.

7. Marriage Woes?

Oh Yes! How can we leave this out. In most cases it comes down to either marriage or startup because potential in-laws often view entrepreneurship as an unstable ship that might sink any moment. In such a case, it becomes necessary to choose one.

I am sure many of you have faced the situations above. I am sure some might have faced even more. Do share with your fellow entrepreneurs and try to change this mindset. After all, it is definitely better if you can create jobs, isn’t it?

  • Parents want a magical life for us, Where we excel in academics. Win the best basketball player award. Write like tagore . DO you masters from the best place in the universe and end up with an obese ( fat is an understatement) paying job and marry some with even more obese package 🙂