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Published on: April 10, 2021, 8:04 p.m.
Start-up mantras
  • Majumdar: Businesses need to be nimble to adjust to change

By Suman Tarafdar

Building a start-up is never easy. What would be your top advice for starting one?

Be aware of the pitfalls before you embark on the same. Don’t enter it for the wrong reasons and be taken over by the ‘glamour quotient’ of start-ups.

You mention equanimity as an important attribute for someone in a start-up – in real life what are the ways one could try to achieve that within the start-up scenario?

Not get carried away when you win your initial contracts abs more so, when you get your durst investments. At the same time, not to despair on losing a contract or losing a potential investor. Be at it and not let external circumstances affect your mindset begins a point.

Are there peculiarities of the Indian start up situation that prospective entrepreneurs should keep in mind?

In India, failure still remains a stigma – although it is slowly changing. So, you must bear that in mind and if you fail not get bogged down by what others will say, but believe that the business has failed and not let it affect the ‘entrepreneur’ in you.

Is there a particular mindset that separates successful start-ups, and what can emerging start-ups learn from them?

The founders are focussed towards delivery and execution. They don’t lose track of their strategic vision and focus on the same day in and day out.. The founders build great and motivated teams.

You mention failure and the need to accept it. How crucial is failure to an entrepreneur and what lessons does it impart?

Failures are warp and woof with which the entrepreneurial life is made up of. They need to be able to handle failures and rejections. Learning to take No for an answer and then moving ahead is a must for an entrepreneur.

What steps would you suggest to avoid the ‘Koramangla syndrome’ and how treacherous can it be not to do adequate homework or get the right feedback?

One needs to get out of their comfort zone and ask questions and do market research. Talking to identical people won’t serve a purpose and one needs to talk to different set of potential customers

 Who are some of the Indian entrepreneurs who impressed you most at Unicorn India Ventures?

There are quite a number of them. The founding team of my invested company Open Bank is one that impressed me with their complementarity and their focus towards execution.

What would be your suggestions to get a right partner in a start-up?

It should be one who is not necessarily your best friend, but someone who comes with complementary skill sets in terms of delivery capabilities, as well as mindset.

While being able to pivot and adapt is the theoretical way to go, businesses often find it hard to do so, or predict the market directions. What should they be looking out for to avoid becoming irrelevant?

Market directions, especially in today’s fast paced business world, is difficult to gauge. Businesses need to be nimble to adjust to change. They need to take constant market feedback and adjust their technology, their business model to these changes.

What are the most important steps in the steep learning curve of the entrepreneurial journey?

That as the business grows so must the founder. What is required by the founder in the initial stage is very different from what is required by an entrepreneur in the later stages. As the business grows, the entrepreneur needs to imbibe newer skills and make them contemporary. Otherwise, the business growth will outpace that of the founder and he would need to be replaced to allow the business not to be stymied by his/her limitations.

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