21st Century Entrepreneurship – A Student Entrepreneur’s take
Entrepreneurship ! This word has actually created a divide out here in my nation. When people ask me what do I do & I answer, I am an Entrepreneur, their facial expression makes me smile with my mind banging the illogical chains of the society regarding this coveted Passion. Before I explain about who entrepreneurs are or what they do, let me explain of who aren’t entrepreneurs & what do they don’t do.
1. He wakes up early to dress as fast as he can so that he can catch the bus or the train, or the shared taxi, or the auto-rickshaw, or drive his own car to his office & report to his senior effectively, on time. A late entry is a black mark.
2. He works as much as is required, his commitment is at par, not even an ounce more than what he thinks is enough for his work, towards his company.
3. He has completed his studies & has been placed via campus placements.
4. He is married & has children. He earns enough for them.
5. The company’s fortunes don’t matter to him, he just needs to keep his job anyhow.
6. He wants increments every year, he will use up all his leaves, to go on a vacation.
7. He leaves the office at the stroke of 5, vowing not to return to office on that particular date anymore.
8. Watches television at home with his family, has his dinner, goes to sleep.
Game Over. The routine is repeated everyday for the rest of his life. He lives for himself, for his family, and for no one else. The state of the economy doesn’t matter to him. Dollar can do anything with the Rupee, he doesn’t care a bit.
An entrepreneur is completely opposite to this person. Everything an entrepreneur does has a wide impact on not just his life but on a lot of other people’s lives. He lives for everyone. His idea tries to solve problems & issues which the normal man complains about everyday while reading the morning newspaper, with Tea. He lives as if there is no tomorrow. There is no discipline in an entrepreneur’s life. Discipline will kill the the Monster named Creativity which resides in an entrepreneur. Money isn’t the reason these homo sapiens work, they just want their idea to successfully create the value it is supposed to and touch a million lives. They create brands, which live on forever. Their charisma is the essence of their businesses. An entrepreneur is a boon for the economy as well as for the nation.
India is ushering into a new generation which is fearless. A generation which will not depend on corporate to employ them but will create the jobs of the future. As they say, not everyone is programmed to accept paychecks, some are programmed to just give them. They love living life on the edge because that is where the excitement is. They don’t tread the beaten path, they create their paths as they move along. They don’t care about the destination, it’s the journey which has to be lived well. They will fail many times only to stand up stronger every time. Yes. They are the Entrepreneurs.
For fresh, young minds who have that fire in them to start their ventures & create businesses, read the following points carefully. One day or the other, you will relate to this & bless me.
Always eat more than what you can chew. This way you will learn, over time, how to eat the whole thing. Nothing is too big nor too small. One needs to carefully audit his or her idea to understand the feasibility. Remember, ideas which cannot be commercialized should be in the dustbin straightaway. Don’t waste your time pursuing ideas which don’t create any proper value, instead work on other things which can. As Richard Branson says, “ Ideas are like Buses. You miss one & there is another coming.”
Talk about your idea to as many people as you can. The more you discuss your idea, the more inputs you are going to get. I’ve got inputs from people whom I least expected to come up with something. Obviously, don’t talk to just about everyone, but people whom you consider valuable enough to guide you. I am one. You may count me in.
There is God. I don’t intend to hurt any atheist sentiments but God does exists. You will get things happening from nothing. You will come out of situations from where you yourself would want to give up. You will see things happening effectively & will yourself question as to how did all these happen. God exists. God helps. The Almighty helps people who have such an un-breakable bond with Him, that you go about doing whatever you feel like without thinking about the future, resting only on His will. The Almighty loves brave people. Ask me about my experiences, & you’ll be astonished.
Your teachers have a very clear understanding of your abilities & weaknesses. Try to know whether you are equipped with the necessary skills required to tread the rocky path of entrepreneurship. Knowing your abilities best helps you take a proper decision. Don’t go by the sex appeal of entrepreneurs, that is only felt during entrepreneurial events. Normally, on the road, the normal people don’t value anything more than their salary.
Never be afraid of Competition. If you do what you do best, you will be a tough competitor for everyone. India is a developing economy, there is enough space for all kinds of businesses to grow together. Competition should only be based on the Quality of your goods & services. Everyone should aim for Customer Loyalty & Satisfaction. Do what you do so good, that people can’t refrain themselves from talking about you to others. Let there be big players, small start-ups can run beneath their legs & create global companies. Look at Flipkart & Snapdeal.
Remember, life is not short, there is time for everything. Destiny will play its role. Not everything is written on your forehead. Blessings & Hard Work have the power to change the Destiny. Work on your passions. There is no day or night for you all. Get back to me if you need any kind of guidance, except monetary, because I’m looking for it myself.
About the Author
Sadaquat Hossain is the founder of stylishyarn.com, an apparel e-commerce brand. He writes extensively on entrepreneurship in India, with a special focus on Student Entrepreneurship. Works with a plastic manufacturing orthodox business too. You can get in touch with him at hossain.sadaquat AT gmail.com