Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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TECH TALK: Entrepreneurial Learnings: Entrepreneurial Learnings (Part 1)

July 16th, 2001 · 3 Comments

Entrepreneurs do not start to create failures. Yet, only 1 in 100 startups succeeds. If one were to ask entrepreneurs when the start about their chances of success, most would give themselves greater than even odds, even as high as a 60-70% chance of success. The reality though, as we know, is very different. While no one can predict success or failure, it is important to do things right to begin with.

There is no such thing as a good time or bad time to start companies. All times are equally challenging. Opportunities are always going to be there. What is important is the attitude which one takes to entrepreneurship. Nothing in the past that one has done can prepare one for “chucking it all up” and becoming an entrepreneur. No management education or theory can provide answers to the Right Way to build a company from scratch. Many of the best of management thinkers have been found wanting when it came to running their own company.

In this New India that is being created, first-generation entrepreneurship is here to stay. In parallel, we also have Venture Capitalists armed with money who are struggling to determine the right formula to maximise chances of success.
One keeps hearing about the “next hot thing” – whether it is Wireless, BioInformatics or IT-enabled services. That India is being “internationalised” is in little doubt when one does not hear “rupees” as the currency – everything is in “millions of dollars”. The hunt is on to create the next Hotmail – or the next Infosys.

Last Saturday, I gave a talk for TIE on “The New Internet”. The presentation, while showcasing the opportunities for the future, ended with some of the lessons I have learnt in the last 10 years as an entrepreneur.

  • Importance of Vision: Dream the future
  • Think 2-5 years hence; near-term opportunities are gone
  • Best way to raise capital is by being profitable (B-n-B biz)
  • Need to Stay Alive long enough to aim for Gold
  • Our biggest strength is Passion — “infectious enthusiasm”
  • Be prepared to fail – and learn; Experiment and Explore
  • When building, don’t think of exit; Build to Keep
  • Forget the stock markets – they are irrelevant
  • Our First Mistake can be our Last
  • Read-Think-Write
  • Faith in God

    These points are what I am elaborating on this week.

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