By Rohit Raul
A growing economy, pro-business policies, digital trade and transactions, and easier access to global markets, have fuelled a start-up revolution in India.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) India Report 2016-17, prepared by Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI) and its associates, 11% of India’s adult population is engaged in ‘total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA)’, which makes them first generation business entrepreneurs. India’s Start-up ecosystem is one of the fastest growing in the world, with over 190 deals worth $4 Billion closed in just Q1 of 2019.
However, despite the potential, the ground challenges can be quite daunting for a first time entrepreneur, with various roles to manage single-handedly.
This often leads to an overwhelming pressure of execution and micro-managing the business.
From managing cash flow constrains and challenges with scalability to internal difficulties with talent, competition, legalities, accounts, and long-term business planning and strategy, one needs to be able to manage everything.
However, not every entrepreneur is equipped to handle these tasks or the pressures that come with it. And thus, despite a brilliant innovation and the right mix of service and solution, most entrepreneurs and start-up have difficulty holding on to the market and eventually fail.
Decoding some key factors that make up a successful new age entrepreneur, can be summarized as under:
As an entrepreneur, passion for business is the first most important factor that can drive success.
From burning the mid-night oil to research markets and product details etc., to putting in extra hours at meeting vendors, networking with potential customers and fine tuning strategies, all requires an immense passion and commitment to success.
This drive for perfection and the ability to put in a 100% in every aspect of the business is the single most differentiating factor that can bring about not success. Like everything precious, businesses too are born out of the labour of love.
While passion can move mountains, it is the larger vision that can ensure the movement is in the right direction! A successful entrepreneur is one that always has one eye on the big picture, while managing the day to day challenges and early hurdles.
With questions like what is the trend in the industry? Where is the future growth potential going to be?
What are the predictive growth drivers and where is the individual challenge? Etc., an entrepreneur with a clear vision will always be able to look further into the future.
It is this ability, of not losing sight of the larger goal/ vision, in spite of overwhelming day to day challenges, that defines a successful entrepreneur.
3. Go Getter:
One thing that is the most indomitable part of entrepreneurship is the ‘go-getter’ attitude. From daring to dream big, creating a disruptive idea, building a business model and then pursuing it with passion, requires a strong persuasiveness.
This also becomes a vital quality to ensure you can get your way in a negotiation or a deal or get an edge when going after a plum assignment.
There will always be times when you are going to need to convince a client, a co-worker, or a partner/ investor to take certain actions, which will be in favour of the business, all of which require a strong self-confidence and a go-getter attitude.
The path to success for an entrepreneur is most challenging, with several roadblocks and hurdles. The one thing that is required to keep going, despite this, is determination and faith in one’s abilities.
A successful entrepreneur never allows defeat to impact him greatly. Instead, he views it as a learning experience and proceeds with a stronger will to succeed. Moreover, a successful entrepreneur is wired to believe that there is nothing that is not possible or cannot be done.
Initiative is the key to not only a successful entrepreneur but to a successful person as well. One who is able to take charge of a situation and is not afraid to get his hands dirty, to get things done.
Every successful entrepreneur knows that if something has to be done, it needs to be done by themselves. With strong work ethics and a commitment to keep going, it is this spirit of initiative that will help ensure the projects with the impossibly tight deadlines are achieved, regardless of situations.
Versatility is the survivor code for any entrepreneur! One needs to be able to adapt to changes – setbacks and failures, almost immediately and work out a way to solve the issues.
This includes going from becoming a boss and CEO to a technical head, or an HR person or an admin and operations guy who can fix a logistic issue as seamlessly as light-bulb!
Apart from the day to day issues, versatility in terms of approach to different segments of clients, being open to re-invent and innovate and exploring collaborative opportunities that add value to business, are all significant factors that bring go a long way when building a business.
This versatile approach in business one help one remain relevant, resourceful and a source of inspiration to the team.
7. Ability to take Risks:
No initiative or growth came without embarking on a risky idea or investment. Without the ability to analyse and being open to calculative risks, one cannot dream of a successful business empire.
Understanding that growth can only come when one is willing to risk the comfort zone, is a primary trait for a successful entrepreneur.
It is one thing to have great ideas and passion and vision. But with a weak decision making power, most growth plans either get shelved or lose their genius. Furthermore, the ability to take a quick decision under pressure, is a vital trait that most successful entrepreneurs practice. It is important to understand here that it is not always about the right or wrong but the fact that a decision was made, which is all that matters.
When you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t have luxury to procrastinate, and the same is true for employees. You have to be able to take quick action, when needed.
9. Strong Work Ethics:
Entrepreneurship is as much a fruit of passion as it is of professional work ethics. From cultivating basic traits like punctuality, discipline, commitment, and respect for partners and employees, entrepreneurs mold themselves for success in a framework that breeds a nurturing ecosystem of professional values and ethics.
Not only does this breed respect and admiration among clients and external stakeholders, it also shapes the brand image and corporate philosophy of the company.
10. Strong People Skills:
Lastly, apart from cultivating key trends for themselves, successful entrepreneurs also motivate and drive people around them. While one may not necessarily be a charismatic leader, being a skilled people’s person, who can motivate and drive people, is vital for success.
From handling internal crisis to managing conflicting expectations, a successful entrepreneur is someone who has excellent communication skills for selling not just his products, and ideas but also to share a vision and inspire a way of business.
Lastly, the ability to learn and grow is one that outshines all of the above traits. Self-improvement is a trait that keeps one going and ensures we can always outperform ourselves.
Learning to imbibe the above traits, with a strong will of self-improvement, is vital for building a successful business.
A first-generation entrepreneur and a personal branding coach, Rohit Raul is President of Matrix Business Solutions & Director at Dreamt Builders and Developers. He has also trained thousands of people the principles of management and leadership in India.