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Entrepreneurship in India - Then and Now

M Suresh Rao

Author: M Suresh Rao

Date: Thu, 2017-05-04 14:39

Start ups cannot operate in a vacuum, they need a supporting eco-system to nurture them. Entrepreneurs have been setting up businesses in India since kingdom come. It is no secret that these entrepreneurs have originated from a dominant caste. How did this community sustain entrepreneurship over the ages? By developing a sustainable eco-system that matched the needs of the traditional businesses.

The core of this eco-system is the incubation facility within the business that enabled the next generation entrepreneur to dabble in incremental innovation, funded by angel funding drawn from the surplus generated by the cash cow of the business. Prototypes were developed and test marketed through access to vendors and distributors and the sales force. Timely customer feedback on the prototype led to building the minimum viable product and the soft market launch. Business mentoring from the experienced elders substituted for any classroom learning. 

The mind-set of the  community was that business was  a ‘dhandha’ , (living), requiring hands-on exposure which was more useful than classroom based ‘Higher Education’, that ‘jugaad’ (improvisation), substituted for frugal innovation, backed up by the belief  that , no matter what business, profits could be extracted by the sleight-of-hand expertise  of the chartered accountant.

Those from non-business communities lacked the vital eco-system for creating a start up. Education, particularly technical education, drew them as a means for joining ‘service’ and pursuing a rising career which they considered superior to dhandha. 

The two professions ran their own divergent paths with their own benchmarks for success. So from the surnames, chances were, you could determine that Birla was, and Bhattacharya was not, in business.

However, the emergence of technology as the key driver of a venture and the consequent necessity of professional education for new venture creation has forever botched up the age old divergence in mindset. Leading the tech charge has been Information Technology which required the founding team to have computer science graduates. Imagine the doyen of IT entrepreneurs, Narayanamurthi laid out on a gaddi peering at the chaupadi to compute the daily P/L for Infosys! Moreover, these technology based new age businesses qualified as ventures and not dhandha in the minds of first generation entrepreneurs from the non-business community and so were acceptable.

Along with technology came the professional network or eco-system – with substantial support from US based NRIs.  Truly, it was the impact of Indians in America that gave the lie to the deeply held belief in traditional India that entrepreneurs were born – in a certain community. Indians in USA, irrespective of their surnames, pursued knowledge based new venture creation with vigour and succeeded with support from the eco-system. Over the past couple of decades an equivalent eco-system has been getting in place in the country for the new age ventures starting with the well intentioned mentor and gradually extending to growth stage investors who are the Venture Capitalists and Private Equity players, and not excluding the markets – from US based customers for the IT ventures right down to Tier 3 city based consumers for the e-commerce ventures!

E-Cells in Engineering colleges have been influential in triggering awareness, interest, desire and action towards entrepreneurship among students from non-business communities. The catalyst for encouraging college managements to set up E-Cells was NEN, the National Entrepreneurship Network, set up by the US based Wadhwani Foundation.  NEN took roots in India through the pioneering role played by the founding members, IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Bombay, SPJIMR, BITS Pilani and IBAB Bengaluru, who designed and delivered courses on New Venture Creation, organised Business Plan Competitions, instituted E-Cells and started Incubation Centers. Over a decade plus years, the seed sown by NEN has blossomed into a nursery of E-Cells engaged in promoting start-ups at the college level. Going beyond E-Cells, IIM A has built a reputed Center for Incubation and SPJIMR conducts public programmes on Start Your Business for aspiring entrepreneurs and Grow Your Business for early growth stage entrepreneurs.

Besides E-Cells, the number of higher education institutions setting up incubation centres is increasing with private players chipping in by rolling out start up accelerators. However, the paucity of experienced mentors and domain experts restricts the effectiveness of these institutions. Entrepreneurship is the youngest academic discipline in India, little more than a decade in existence, leading to a mis-match between the start up entrepreneurs’ need and the availability of faculty and mentor expertise.

Is the government doing anything to promote first generation entrepreneurship? Of course the primary accountability is to considerably enhance the ‘ease of doing business’. That apart, much is expected from the follow up steps to the Start Up India initiative launched on 16th January. In a fundamental way, the vision for Start Up India parallels that of the Green and White Revolutions, which had champions – Dr Swaminathan and Dr Kurian - to both set the vision and execute sustainably at the grass-root level.
 

So now India generates entrepreneurs from all communities, whether first generation entrepreneurs from non-business communities or next generation members from traditional family businesses. Truly a remarkable feat achieved in less than 3 decades! Just as the radically transformed attitude towards new venture creation of an IIT or IIM equipped tambrahm (Tamilian Brahmin) draws appreciation, so does the metamorphosis of a baniya youngster into an IIT and or IIM equipped entrepreneur elicit praise. 

Today’s ‘new economy‘ entrepreneurs and their ventures differ from the ‘old economy’ entrepreneurs and their businesses in several respects.

If asset heavy manufacturing and conventional service businesses characterised by incremental improvements in technology defined the old economy, asset light, online based new service ventures characterised by rapidly changing technology represent the new economy. 

In place of family based management teams, the co-founders of the new ventures are ‘merit’ based, bringing in specific complementary skills. Often, the founding team can be traced to the college dorm where you can assess both competence and compatibility. The skill set required for such ventures are domain and execution-under-pressure skills.Ten per cent annual business growth has been substituted by ten per cent monthly growth.

New generation entrepreneurs do not build ventures for life-long association.  They are reconciled to winding up when the funding dries up and to exiting from their own venture for business and personal reasons. 

The worth of the conventional businesses was based on hard assets, the worth of new age ventures is based on intangible valuation which cannot be mortgaged but can be bartered for equity capital.

Till recently, business operated on the ‘cost plus margin’ business model. This suited manufacturing and trading companies with owned assets generating steady growth that is fundable by customer revenues and bank borrowings. Today’s ventures have innovative business models with radically different pricing strategies for products or services being offered. Business is funded by raising risk capital based on projections of ‘hockey stick’ product/service growth, while piling up huge losses. Such business model innovations aim to jack up volumes to a level that will ensure business viability at scale in the shortest time possible. 

Traditional family business owners accord the highest importance to retaining 100% equity ownership. Loss of ownership is equated with loss of control over the business. The current entrepreneurial generation does not conform to this mind set. Authority is not linked with ownership, effectiveness is the critical factor since rapid growth is the mantra. The founders see themselves as CEO/CXOs accountable to customers and investors who have a significant equity share holding. Besides, they understand that, with valuation inflated through equity dilution, a small chunk of a divested pie is bigger than the ownership of the whole pie.

Leadership is related to pursuing a shifting goal post, effective decision making, grasp of domain technology and team building, not with age and past achievements in a slow paced environment. New ventures are built with charged teams working together to create a sustainable venture in the shortest time. Team members remain as long as they perceive the goal is being achieved. Leadership is by consent and through demonstration of competence in action.

Lacunae in the leadership required for steering  expanding-on-steroids, billion dollar valued start ups as dictated by competition and investors, in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environment is the critical failure factor today. Spanning the enterprise life cycle from ‘garage’ to ‘global’ level, or from zero to billions of dollars of GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) in less than a decade bears no comparison to traditional SME growth to under Rs 20 crores in the same time span. The new age entrepreneurs have realised higher valuations in less than a decade than their traditional counterparts whose families have been in business for more than a century! To chase the mirage of valuation or the reality of profits is the existential issue facing today’s entrepreneurs.

As India begins a new year, media coverage of the entrepreneurial eco-system is not all rosy. Entrepreneurs have begun to face the reality of being abandoned by risk funds, of the managerial challenges of scaling up the start up to Business Plan projections, of pursuing growth that enables the venture to capture value over valuation.

Can an entrepreneur whose venture carries a unicorn valuation with negative returns and is owned majorly by foreign investors who are not above (or below?) exiting the founder or themselves from the venture, be the inspiration for our youth to take to new venture creation?  Can the nation evolve an indigenous model of entrepreneurship that combines frugal innovation with customer traction and equity dilution with profitable growth?

Statistics are available on the amount of equity capital invested in new ventures but not on the investment in sunk or failed ventures. Point to ponder if India should evolve a more capital efficient method of creating entrepreneurs.

Originally published at: https://goo.gl/Z5NDeQ

 

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Comments

Dear Sir, This is a great article on Entrepreneurship in India. The evolution of entrepreneurship has been described in a beautiful manner. The startup India plan started by Narendra Modi is a great platform as it provides budding entrepreneurs with all the subsidies they need to start their business in India. Another initiative that is promoting entrepreneurship is “Niti Aayog” which recently announced a two-million-dollar support for those looking to set up and modernize existing start-up incubators across the country. This will give momentum and transform the current eco system to make it more inclusive instead of just one community dominating it. With all the above initiatives, we are looking at a better India moving at a fast pace towards rapid development.

Dear Sir, This is a wonderful article describing the entrepreneurship in India. One aspect I would like to add is now a days entrepreneurship is all about technology and PR. The more people say good things about your product or service, the more successful is the venture. It’s like aligning the people along with your dream and if you change the world, then the venture is meaningful. Secondly, many entrepreneurial ventures are focussing more on the growth model in its early phase rather than operational excellence. As a result, the venture moves into stagnated mode after initial period of growth. Hence, there should be fine balance between operational efficiency and scalable growth. The entrepreneurs should establish processes for efficient operations during the early phase and then grow the business without losing operational excellence. This may be one of the way to increase the financial return on capital employed and thus the capital efficiency.

Dear Sir, It was pleasure going through the article. The way you have connected the past, present and the future of the entrepreneurship in India is admirable. It made me think what could have been the reason why my parents never thought of starting their business and preferred to go into service sector, and I must say, the same has inculcated in me as well. The way I think, it has also something to do with the inclination of the majority of the population towards getting a government job for a secure future. Probably they were looking for a stable source of income and were not very confident of taking the risks that come along with the business line. As you rightly mentioned, there were entrepreneurs who realized the potential and made it large for eg. Dr. Kurian. If we can compare the pre and post of the milk revolution and look at AMUL now, the growth has been marvelous. With the advent of technology and ease of doing business, with government incentives for startups, India is slowly lurking towards the era of entrepreneurship but we still have some way to go. Thanks

Coming from the community that is traditionally associated with business in India, I can relate to the author. However, with due respect, I beg to differ that ‘dhanda’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ are two different things. Though the method of doing business or the people who do business have changed, the core principles for both have not changed. There are more parallels in the traditional way of doing business and entrepreneurship then what looks on the surface. The author mentions about creating an ecosystem for new age businesses but if we look at the traditional business they were nothing short of incubation centres. A person from the community starts his business in one part of the city, calls his friends/relatives for help. These people train under him for some time and slowly they venture out by starting their own business in another part of the city. Another main aspect mentioned is regarding dilution equity for the fear of losing ownership. If we look at 21st century business like facebook, amazon, google (now alphabet) they also have created a system where the owners won't lose controlling stake of the company by creating 2 different class of shares. Isn’t it similar to the traditional business philosophy of maintaining complete control of the business? In my view, we should not look at new business and old business methods as something of competing ideologies. Fusion of the two will create modern enterprises from India which will be leaders in their respective domains. In fact, this will also solve many challenges like lack of mentorship and sustainable business model which are currently hurting the Indian entrepreneurs.

Dear Sir, I completely agree with you that the entrepreneurship scenario is changing in India. In the earlier days there was an ecosystem required for the business people to be successful and it was available only for few privileged people. But nowadays if anyone has a game changing idea and the guts to execute it then he has lot of opportunities to start a new venture. The three reasons which encourage entrepreneurs are the systematic attempts at removal of the red tape and regulatory roadblocks, ease of collateral free funding for entrepreneurs by SME focused banks and the new e-IPOs for equity investments & development of entrepreneurial talent in educational institutions. Educating the graduates about the importance of entrepreneurship is required in the institutions as the economy of our country will not be able to absorb all the graduates passing out, hence leading to an increase in unemployment. But a major obstacle is that most of us think taking a job is better than taking a risk and starting a venture. It requires a lot of commitment and courage to leave the present job and start a company because the revenue and the profits are not guaranteed in the initial years. The entrepreneurial training in India should be improved by the Government and more funding should be provided. Unfortunately, the present entrepreneurial training in India just concentrates on related management courses & lots required to be done by incubators, accelerators, and meet up groups to make entrepreneurship a mass movement. In the future we can hope that there would be many personalities like Steve jobs and Bill gates from India too. Thanks

Thank you sir for providing such a detailed description about the evolution of entrepreneurship in India and issues currently plaguing entrepreneurship’s growth. However I believe the main issue impacting the growth of entrepreneurship is the lack of innovations and company competing in terms of cost rather than generating values to their customer. Currently all the largest start-ups in India such as Flipkart, Ola have copied their business models from similar company’s operating in foreign soil. Initially these start-ups understood the needs of their customers and accordingly developed solutions such as cash on delivery, 30 days return in order to develop trust. However as the number of competitors increased theses start-ups started providing cost benefits rather than value benefits to retain their customer. Hence there was no loss for customers on switching to different company and we witness cutthroat competition wherein each company was able to entice their rival company’s customer. The Indian start-ups have regularly received funding easily which helped them to expand their operations and stay relevant in the market. But in recent there have been a tightening of budget which has caused many start-ups to stop their operations and remaining to rethink their operations. Hence the only way for these start-ups to compete with their foreign counterparts who have deep pockets is to develop innovative solutions to create value for their customers. Snapdeal has invested heavily in mobile solutions so as to provide the best mobile commerce experience to their customers, Indigo has maintained on time flight model, Oyo hotel chain understood the need of customers to obtain standardised hotel rooms are some of the examples that shows how clients are ready to pay additional if their basic needs are satisfied by the company. Some of these moves may fail such as Myntra move to mobile only platform but these failures should not dissuade the start-ups from investment to develop innovative solutions for their client since it is the only that they can remain relevant in the current scenario.

Dear Sir, this is an interesting article which talks about the evolution of entrepreneurship in our country. As rightly pointed out, technology has been the key lever for this evolution. However, when taken a macro view, it appears that there has been a decline in traditional spirit of entrepreneurship. Today’s popular set-ups are more of some extended replicas of concepts working well in other countries, rather than solving some real problems witnessed around. We are yet to see true product companies emerging out of the country. Moreover, even the large established IT outsourcing companies are largely support providers or back-end office of US majors. Clearly, what’s not the case is that our talent pool is lacking hard work; so, where does the problem lies? A hypothesis which I can think of is the issue of “mindset” which we see around, be it at educational institutions or in the office of India-based venture capitalist. We deeply desire to chalk out bold visions and do exceptionally well, however, we struggle to keep the same attitude when it comes to doing ground work. Our critical thinking needs have more variables, and several perspectives. No wonder that same Indian DNA made big in the US companies, having moved to the nation at an early age. They had the attribute of hard work, and appear to have added other skills on the top of that. It would be interesting to see how the next decade pans out for our country. Would we continue to emulate the technologies of developed nations, and be a follower? Or would we be able to create several more home grown global institutions like Tata’s.

Dear Sir, This article has been beautifully articulated on the entrepreneurship system in India. Coming from the same background, I can relate too many of the things highlighted by you. Start-up culture has been greatly influenced by the western culture and with more number of incubators and E-cells the easy of starting a business has been positively affected. Indian start-up companies are not focusing on the cash follow and rather looking for a short term growth by funding from equity dilution. Businesses are not focusing on profitability. Basic ecosystem along with the fear to lose has led major population to look for safer opportunities. Mentorship of the talent is of utmost importance if we want young Indian entrepreneur to flourish. Many leading B-schools have started bridging the gap. Government initiatives also play a vital role in enhancing the ease of doing the business. We should tap the potential of having youngest population an. Entrepreneurship should be more of the implementation of the idea, learning from the mistakes and not replicating them while expanding. An entrepreneur should also focus on initiatives that look to solve mass problems beyond the profitability. It’s one of the best ways to pay back to the society.

Great read! The blog was a very objective look at the Start-up scene in India. ‘Start-up’ has been the buzz word for the past few years as more and more courageous individuals take that step of ditching their day jobs to pursue their own enterprises. However, on the flipside, for every start up that is declared a success, there are many which failed. The blog identifies some key reasons for this. After all, for how long can you pull off stints at the expense of angel funding and venture capitalists! Some start-ups don’t take off to reach the juncture of issuing initial public offerings, which would offer an opportunity to the private investors to cash in on their investment. This is reflected in the declining investment in the segment. The eco-system is clearly under threat! However, the fact remains that start-ups are required to create jobs for the millions of graduates stepping out of colleges every year. The existing enterprises can’t accommodate all of them and neither can an emerging economy like India afford to lose its crème de la crème to the West (which also looks increasingly difficult in Trump’s USA). ‘Start-up India’ is an excellent platform for budding entrepreneurs to experiment, offering funding options, ease of registration, tax exemptions, etc. But the question remains, how invested is a 20 or 30 year old something in a business without a substantial skin in the game? One is forced to think, may be ‘dhandha’ is best left to the people who have lived and breathed it from day 1 on this planet. Or maybe the whole eco-system needs a little more time to mature to deliver worthwhile results.

Entrepreneurship in India has indeed undergone a major change in the recent past. Businesses are looking to break-even in a few months, a distant dream even for the most viable traditional family businesses that started a few decades ago. The rising population and the increasing desires for a better and luxurious lifestyle have fuelled the demand for Goods and Services. This growing demand has been the inspiration for many startups. Indian Governments flagship program ‘Startup India’ aimed for promoting Entrepreneurship, Tax Sops on new startups, Large companies setting up Incubator Cells, big companies pledging funds for innovative startups have all led to an increase in interest to start new ventures. We witnessed the emergence of Hundreds of Startups in the recent past with innovative solutions for solving day to day problems. The Gen-Y entrepreneurs are very aggressive in their approach to the market. The Gen-Y entrepreneurs have been able to convince venture capitalists to dole out crores of rupees to take their ideas forward. A few startups that did exceptional business in the beginning could not sustain their rate of growth in the later months and had to cease operations. A few startups had to close down as they burned out all the funding they got from the venture capitalists and could not bring in additional capital through further rounds of funding. A few great ideas were replicated by others bringing in fierce competition leading to a price war amongst them and finally leading to huge losses and shutting down. The hit rate of the Gen-Y Startups is much lower compared to the erstwhile traditional family businesses. The major reasons being: a. Very aggressive attitude of the Gen-Y startups and giving importance on Market share rather than overall profits. b. Setting very high expectations and aiming for a very short break-even periods c. Lack of commitment / desire to work harder to become successful has been declining The business potential in India is huge considering the large customer base and a huge chunk of market in the rural India that is yet to be tapped. With rising income values and the advent of technology that has improved the availability of communication facilities in rural India, the market for goods and services in India is set to rise sharply that entrepreneurs can tap. To improve the success rate of the new ventures, the incubator cells set by big Private Companies will go a long way in bringing about a direction to both new generation entrepreneurs and for traditional family businesses that are aiming to make a mark for themselves.

Entrepreneurship has been a taboo in majority of Indian families until early 2000. Rarely families allowed individuals to pursue ideas as the fear of failure was high. But after 2000 in the millennium there is a spurt in these ventures. Some of them succeeded and are still engaged in business but many couldn’t. What triggered these ventures/startups? Factors such as access to technology, information about the customer needs and market potential, Access to Venture capital and High Risk appetite. India has huge middle class with rising disposable income. This presents a huge market and anyone with a great idea can leverage this. When youngsters(founders) have the Eureka moment and due to easy access to technology they develop the idea do a soft launch quickly. These ventures are predominantly established and run by young people who are good at technology but not so adept at doing business. Venture capital availability has led to many founders aggressively expanding for capturing the market. With many ventures focusing on first mover advantage they built up huge cost barriers in market by selling their service or product at huge discounts. Why don’t they sustain? Many ventures have high competition for same set of customers, their service or product, lack differentiation and lack of knowledge of business cycles. Also many founders focus on ramping up the business quickly in short time and sell out to venture capitalists instead of profits. Does this type of entrepreneurship, asset light and high risk augur well for India? Yes, but we need to focus on the following to ensure many of these ventures or startups sustain rather than fail. Government to frame policies which encourage entrepreneurs to take up ventures as per local needs , Hand holding of ventures by Government backed incubation centers , make changes in academia to foster closer relationship between industry and academics – to enable practical learning of students, easy access to funding for Tier II and Tier III cities. Startup success as well as failures enable India as a country to improve the risk appetite and make an innovation driven economy.

India is young country, our Prime Minister keeps on saying that we have 65% of our population below 35 yrs of age and that’s great opportunity. It is going to be next to impossible challenge for the government to provide good quality jobs for this population in organized or government sector. So if we want to provide employment to all this population, we have to create jobs in self-employment sector, i.e. many entrepreneurs creating jobs for self & others. Government can’t provide jobs to this large population. So entrepreneurship is the need of hour if we want a sustainable society, it is must to have thing rather than nice to have thing. I agree to large extent on what is said by you sir in your blog, there seems to be huge shift in the model of entrepreneurship in India, earlier it was done only by specific cast. I remember a saying in Marathi language “Uttam Sheti, duyyam vyavsay aani kanishth nokari”. It was told to us from our childhood that if you want to be successful in your life, you need to be a best farmer. Buy more & more land & become a effective farmer. Second best option is to do your own business “Dhanda” as that was not the field of successful people from our community and last thing you should do is service or job. When I grew up, I saw complete change in this direction now, there are many examples in our own family who have started their own business and have become very successful. Doing business is seen as the best option to become successful in life. Success here means being able to influence others’ lives by helping them to earn their livelihood. However all businesses I am talking about are small manufacturing units started by my relatives in last 25-30 years. Things are changing very rapidly today, change have become the word of day. Small manufacturing units / service units have limited area to grow & influence. Whereas start-ups today with innovative ideas have ability to grow multifold in years not decades. Technology has fueled this growth in entrepreneurship in India. Five years ago, no one had even imagined stories of Flipkart & Ola. I think as a country we are in right direction, however we need more & more indigenous ideas of businesses to make people’s lives better rather than depending on waiting for some idea being successful in developed country and implement similar idea in India. I am sure Government of India along with various institutes like IIMs, SPJIMR, IITs, Niti Ayog, Start Up India are doing their bit in this direction. These efforts needs to be scaled up now to achieve greater success in shorter timescale

The boom of entrepreneurs, massive funding raised by start-ups and their reported astounding valuations validates that this is probably the best time for the start-up ecosystem in India. The rapid growth of start-ups in India. India is becoming the fastest growing and third largest start-up ecosystem is in the entire world The current scenario is considered to be the most viable for start-ups and why not? The technological advances, more accessible resources, knowledge pool, massive funding, emerging global standards and thriving domestic markets are fuelling start-ups and creating conducive environment for their growth. Indian Entrepreneurship has a rich history. While the current entrepreneur mind-set may differ from what it was in the pre-independence era, the period did see surge of start-ups, of course, at a much slower rate than the present. Let us revisit the evolution of the start-ups in India from the pre-Independence era to the present day. 1. Scenario Before Independence: The colonial era saw entrepreneurship to be confined by the boundaries of social, cultural and religious rigidities. Further, the colonial rule brought in an array of political and economic factors that were non-conducive for entrepreneurship. The volatile political environment, lack of favourable laws, harsh tax policies restricted the surge of entrepreneurship. The education system did nothing to encourage emergence of start-ups during this period. Slowly, the social reforms, rising nationalism and betterment of education brought steady change in the scenario. In spite of these drawbacks, the East India Company, deliberately or accidentally, seems to have played a vital role in the emergence of Indian entrepreneurs. The popularity of swadeshi campaign, a campaign focussed on the use of indigenous goods by locals, is also believed to have played a significant role in the growth of start-ups in the country. The period between the world wars was marked by the visible growth of entrepreneurship in India. The emergence of the Managing Agency System played a significant role in growth of entrepreneurship during this period. The following decades brought many opportunities for business that was effectively capitalised by entrepreneurs. This coupled with the society attitude broadened the vision for the Indian business class. This remained to be the backdrop for the growth of Indian entrepreneurship after Independence. 2. Scenario after Independence: Independence was marked by significant shift in the entrepreneurial sector. With the new found freedom, entrepreneurs gained the confidence and belief to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Need of employment and regional development paved way for start-ups. However, during this period policies were not formulated with any special emphasis on entrepreneurship. Development of industries on large scale was still the focus. The next few decades witnessed significant growth in the entrepreneurial ventures across economic and social sectors. With the changing environment, entrepreneurship gained importance. The last decade has seen noteworthy improvement in the quality of start-ups in India. Institutions have started to take business and academic interest in start-ups. In the last few years, they have exhibited potential and proficiency, which has made the global investors to venture in the Indian start-up ecosystem. The foundation for a sustainable start-up ecosystem has already been laid. What remains to be seen is how we capitalize and develop on it while fighting the logistics, market and funding challenges that come along. While we are all excited about the accelerated growth of Indian start-ups, unfortunately, 80-90% of start-ups fail to succeed. Start-ups must work smarter to reach their goal. Because entrepreneurship is essentially a journey into the unknown, it is upon start-ups to find their own magic way to success. Here are a few reasons how successful start-ups find their way to success. (a) Vision and the art of getting things done - Start-ups thrive on clear, precise vision. It is their anchor that helps them to keep going when everything around is tough. Having a clear plan and monetizing from the very beginning can help you through your long way to success. (b) Tackling risk and challenges with determination - Risks are another part of start-up success. Challenges are part of every start-up; your determination to overcome the challenges even when the ride gets rough is what makes you a successful start-up. Finally, whatever is the challenge, you must work together as a team with tenacity to make things happen. Successful start-ups are the ones that are always on a lookout for opportunity, they are diligent in seizing them and find innovative ways to tackle their challenge learn from mistakes and stay focused on their vision.

Really a good article covering variety of aspects. Few comments and view on the article. Then “ Bharat “ was having most of the factories and business owned and run by “ Bharat Sarkar” and it was actually ‘ Sarkar Raj” , and it took a long time to realize that Government cant be every where, the basic function of Government is control and to make enabling policies for better growth and keep defense department in own control. Never the less better late than never , the government realized the entrepreneurships need to be developed in India , now the changed government has also come up with the very good initiative “ Make in India” which will definitely promote the Indian made products to be used in India. A simple example is of FMCG companies all these foreign FMCG companies are loosing their market share to India origin “ Patanjali “ brand which is totally made in India , though the “Patanjali-trust” might not be making everything in their factory and many products are made through sub contracting but all are made by Indian entrepreneurs . My own brother who did a service for 17 years has turned into as a SME entrepreneur of supply and installation of solar system, the major factors contributing are the government policies which are focusing on non conventional energy sources, subsidies and tax benefits has attracted a working professional towards running a own profitable business. SMEs contributed 45% to country’s GDP , if such a phenomenal contribution is coming the day is not far that youth will aspire to become a entrepreneur. Last year almost each state conducted a Investment summit to attract the small and large entrepreneurs to invest in their states and offering various benefits. Recently Trump’s policy is creating entry barriers to Indian origins to US which is now one way helping the youth to think differently ad find alternatives also and Govt. of India is generating many opportunities for youth to look business as one of the option for service. India is a country of opportunities and Indian youth has a high potential to expand the business and create more entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which typically begins as a small business, such as a startup company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire. The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs. It can be defined as the "capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit". While definitions of entrepreneurship typically focus on the launching and running of businesses, due to the high risks involved in launching a start-up, a significant proportion of businesses have to close, due to "lack of funding, bad business decisions, an economic crisis – or a combination of all of these" or due to lack of market demand. It has basic characteristics of innovation and risk taking. Few decades ago, entrepreneurship was not given that importance. Despite the arrival of independence, the early decade of 1950-60s marked a slow progress from an agrarian economy to an industrialized market. Industry was dominated by textile power looms in and around Bombay, Ahmedabad, Calcutta and Madras. The 1960s saw the rapid expansion in large scale government sponsored heavy industry being set up across the country. Undermining the role that an individual enterprise can play in a country's economic growth, the government went ahead building state owned enterprises dependent on centralized planning. In the 1970s, there was an intensive campaign to promote entrepreneurship among the Indian business community. This was the first effort to promote entrepreneurship in a concentrated manner. It was inspired by the fund raising campaign that happened during the second Indo-Pak War in 1965-66. Public contributed generously for the war fund with their personal savings and family jewellery. However, this entrepreneurship campaign failed to give similar results since the crucial issue of gestation period for a business venture was not considered. The policy implementers did not realize that business development in a region is a long term process and there is a huge need for follow up on each venture. The late 1980s marked the new beginning for the small and medium entrepreneurs in India with the new government choosing to move towards a market oriented economy. The economic crisis of the early 1990s resulted in economic reforms and a deliberate move towards globalization and liberalization of the Indian Economy. This shift brought in huge change in a SME unit's contribution to production and exports reflecting that the small scale industries have undergone substantial technical change in their production process. Soon by the early 2000, it was common to see young professionals preferring to become entrepreneurs and the least preferred career path was a stable government sector job. With the dawn of the new service oriented economy, young professionals will increasingly work in the private sector and later choose to start a business of their own. With technology helping a SME in all possible ways, increasingly we will find professionals venturing into new business opportunities utilizing easily accessible financial help. Recently entrepreneurship has been given prime importance by Govt of India and various schemes have been launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One of the major scheme is Start Up India Scheme, launched in Jan 2016 with aim to provide credit to SC/ST and women entrepreneurs at lower rates. In Apr 2016, Modi Govt. launched Stand Up India Initiative to promote entrepreneurship among the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Women, by facilitating loans in the range of Rs. 10 Lakhs to Rs. 100 Lakhs. We can say that recent time has been a great opportunities for entrepreneurship in India with the support and focus given by Central Govt and which was not available few decades ago. We could see good innovations and creative ideas getting implemented and successful with these endeavors.

Entrepreneurship in India has undergone a tremendous change in the recent times. Especially now days’ young generation businessmen are aggressively looking to expand their business base, giving importance on Market share rather than overall profits, also focusing on achieving break-even in a very short period. Whereas earlier generation businessmen were very traditional in their approach. Their main focus was on having slow but steady and profitable business growth. Although, the rapidly growing population, technological advancements and the increasing desires for a luxurious lifestyle have triggered the good’s demand and very having very high potential in future and this has been the inspiration for many new ventures or startups. So, to improve the success rate of the new start -ups, the new generation entrepreneurs should try to adopt blend of traditional businesses approach along with the modern business skills.

It's true that many have passion to have own businesses where they like to operate their ideas as per flexible terms. Post independence, in 21st Century we Indian got this liberty where your ideas are listen and investor r ready to invest though everyone is not lucky. A new Ecosystem has developed though every venture is not successful. One successful venture completely covering investment in atleast 10 firms. Perhaps it's beginning of golden era of Indian entrepreneur. Traditional business are not growing due to narrow and reserve mindset of its founders who are always insecure in there life. In new digital world order this old traditional business likely to vanish due to various disruption around corner. Being entrepreneur there is need to recognise those changes and need to collaborate with professional who can turn this business to more productive and efficient

It's true that many have passion to have own businesses where they like to operate their ideas as per flexible terms. Post independence, in 21st Century we Indian got this liberty where your ideas are listen and investor r ready to invest though everyone is not lucky. A new Ecosystem has developed though every venture is not successful. One successful venture completely covering investment in atleast 10 firms. Perhaps it's beginning of golden era of Indian entrepreneur. Traditional business are not growing due to narrow and reserve mindset of its founders who are always insecure in there life. In new digital world order this old traditional business likely to vanish due to various disruption around corner. Being entrepreneur there is need to recognise those changes and need to collaborate with professional who can turn this business to more productive and efficient. There is need to bring change in our DNA specially in the matter of Investment traditionally Indian are investing Gold and Real estate to secure their future but we do not have understood power of equity. If we Invest in startup particularly manufacturing than it will create million of Jobs and will give birth to several entrepreneur who has Idea but do not have capital to execute their novel idea. Even there is dilemma at Investor side who is looking always for idea which is unique, new and never ever heard by ignoring existing business models where scalable growth exist. Also I do wonder investor putting million of Dollar on such a business model which is loss making and they are hoping that one day this will become profitable while entrepreneur who are running their business as MSME or SME they are striving to get capital and no one ready to invest despite of their business models are profitable and profits are visible. There is also need to develop leadership training as education not from B School but right from School level by encouraging Sports, Yoga, Music, NCC Training and leadership development programme. This will nurture entrepreneurship ecosystem.

We are living in a young country having 65% population under the age of 35. The Age of earning people is also expected to increase from 40% to 55-60% up to 2020. Providing jobs to the people is a challenge for the government, where literacy ratio is also increasing. So it is necessary to promote entrepreneurs, who will not only get job but will also be capable to contribute to the economy by providing jobs to others. Earlier, it was done by a specific cast and every business took about 20-25 years to establish but now the situation has changed. Today, if you have innovative ideas, assess to technology, information about the customer needs, market potential, assess to Venture Capital and High Risk appetite, you defiantly have the ability to grow multifold. It has all been supported by the technology, funding by the rich for innovative start-ups and you will get first movers advantage. Som years ago, we had never even heard about Flipcart, Ola, AIRBNB etc. All these ventures took a little time to grow rapidly. These are called entrepreneurs and had the capacity to take risks.Many of them were not able to grow because on many constraints like funding, right business decisions, wrong ideas or economic crises, but who understood the market and gave innovative solutions became great businessmen. Recently on 8th August 2017, Health and wellness startup “Cure. Fit” signed the famous Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan as the brand ambassador for 5 years and the amount given to him will be Rs. 100 Cr., which shows the strength of entrepreneurship. Govt is also providing financial help and other benefits to the new entrepreneurs through various schemes like Make in India, Start-up India, Kaushal etc., whereas business schools are teaching how to generate innovative ideas. Central Govt along with many premium business schools is working in this direction. On 15 August 2015, PM announced Stand-up India initiative, to endorse the campaign. “The Cofounder” is the first magazine launched by the start-up in 2016. Make in India is helping a lot to promote the Indian made products to be used in India like “Patanjali”, which is completely made in India, and promoting entrepreneurship too. Stand up India has been launched to promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and women. Under this scheme, loans ranging between 10 to 100 lacs will be given at lower interest rates. Nowadays it has been a great opportunity for the entrepreneurs, which was not available a few years ago. But as the ground is not so green, a few start-ups did great in the beginning but couldn’t sustain and finally went off. They burned the funding which they got from venture capitalist. Reasons were as follows:- 1. Wrong strategy to enter market 2. Wrong commitments 3. Wrong marketing to capture untapped market 4 .Very high expectations 5. Short market gestation and BEP period. However, the fact remains that start-ups are required to create jobs for the new comers. Government and the existing enterprises can’t accommodate all of them. ‘Start-up India’ is an excellent platform bringing entrepreneurs towards experiment, offering funding options, ease of registration, tax exemptions, etc.

Thank sir. Very nice article covering varied aspects of entrepreneurship. While a lot has been written about entrepreneurship in today’s generation, you have taken pain to compare it with traditional business or community driven entrepreneurship. Traditional businessmen and today’s entrepreneurs are as different as the two commonly confused homophones like the words Discreet and Discrete. They just sound similar. I appreciate you, articulating upon how entrepreneurship these days are leadership driven, vision driven etc. Also, the fact, that founders these days see themselves accountable to their customers. There are great examples around us to stress upon these facts. But, I would like to disagree with you these founders represent the changing times. There are very few founders/ startups these days who aim to actually create value for the customers. Most of the entrepreneurs are Janus-faced. While they talk in great length about serving the society, very few of them have this at the core of their business. A good chunk of these founders just want to create these company, work on to create artificial impossible valuations and then exit with a fortune. Traditional businessmen were/are not like this. They have always had long term goals behind their ventures. Their businesses are built and prosper over generations. They plan to see their off springs carry on with their legacies. While, making profit would certainly be the prime motive behind their business, they were aware that without actually serving the customers and the society they wouldn’t last long. So, they did serve the society to their best ability. Which most of today’s founders lack.

India is witnessing a major growth in entrepreneurship mainly because of the need for its citizens to create their own job. With more than 65 percent of the population under 35 years of age, there has been a rising demand for next-generation services with simplified solutions. While India has been seeing this increasing trajectory of entrepreneurs and new start-ups over the last five years, many organizations including government, educational institutions & b-schools, entrepreneurship cells are providing support in sustaining the entrepreneurship zeal in the country. Initiatives such as Make in India and incubation cells in b schools are attracting youth towards creating their own companies and providing them necessary skills to sustain the market ups and downs. This was not the scenario 10 years ago at that point starting an own company is more than a dream and an impossible scenario to achieve it was only limited to the people who are in the business world and have a good financial backup. Fast forwarding 15 years now banks and many angel investors are ready to invest in the idea if they believe that it is going to change the future. With all the opportunities available now the competition is also increasing day to day and this can be considered as good because with competition the end product is of better quality.

Since the early ages, Indian have been very much involved in the business world. Right from the times of Indus Civilization, we could see the glimpses of businesses. And the trend has continued to even today, people always have a tendency of starting their own business. But as rightly said in the article, this has been limited to few surnames or castes. Maybe that is because we follow or allowed to follow what our elders have done in past. That is what is considered safe. We are born with several expectations and in our society, that depends not just on our sex, parents’ profession but also with our caste. But recently we have seen this trend is changing finally. Due to bold steps in the past few decades our country has seen few great entrepreneurs achieving new heights. This provided the courage to the today’s generation to go ahead and take the risk, because without that risk no one can even dream of starting up a new business. The dedication it requires and the passion needed cannot be matched. If you go to any college placement, at least 10% students do not participate in the process because of their ambition of starting up. Also, the among the visiting companies at least 5-10 companies are usually new startups. Today the investors are also supporting the plans and ideas of the young businessmen. Be it early exiting strategy or fast international growth. If the proposal is backed with proper business model and estimations, investors are ready to pour in millions in exchange of shares. This trend needs to be continued and nurtured more. Today we have 7 unicorns in our country whereas there are 100+ in USA and 36 in China. But we are right behind them in third position. If this trend continues, very soon we will surpass them. Moreover, these startups are increasing our country’s conditions by increasing the living standards for all.

Respected Sir, I would like to thank you for such a beautifully articulated article on Entrepreneurship in India. Entrepreneurship is the most popular trend nowadays. When I was a kid, my friends and I used to dream about becoming doctor, engineer, pilot etc but never an entrepreneur. This thinking has now changed and more youngsters are taking risk to start their own businesses in their interested fields. ‘Be your own boss’, ‘Do what you love to do’ are the new mantras in everyone’s mind. However, I beg to differ with some points you mentioned in the article. Coming from a business class family, I can definitely say, Traditional Businesses are not ‘Dhandhas’ at all. On the contrary, they are more customer friendly and value relationship more than money. I would ask you to think about it, which supermarket such as Big Bazaar, Apna Bazaar etc provides groceries against loan or asks how your folks are doing or delivers those groceries at home? But that local shop owner will do. I do agree that the introduction of IT has helped the people, belonging to non business families, start their own ventures and asset light businesses are trending. Outsourcing is the new norm. But, if you look at the manufacturers, especially Chinese manufacturers, they’re all millionaires. They are successful as well. Many entrepreneurs such as Mr. Lakshmi Mittal didn’t become who he is just because of technology, but, because of his intelligence and being at the right place at right time. Regarding the ownership of business, I have seen many times where the investors cringe upon when the entrepreneurs do not have majority of the shares with them. It simply suggests that the entrepreneurs are not able to control their business and often sells their equity in exchange of capital to sustain their business. The entrepreneurs nowadays see themselves as CXOs of the company, drawing salaries and enjoying their lives even when the company is in losses and the ultimate sufferer is the investor(s) who invested in the company in faith. Is this a fair business? Is this the right norm to follow? At last, I just want to say that though the ease of doing business has grown due to networking and introduction of IT, it still lacks one major thing – conviction in entrepreneurs. Thank you

Thank you very much sir for initiating this topic. After going through your article, I gathered some of my personal views and I would like to add up with your blog. India is comprised of 65% of its population of young innovative minds. The Age of earning people is also expected to increase from 40% to 55-60% up to 2020. So it is necessary to promote entrepreneurs, who will not only get job but will also be capable to contribute to the economy by providing jobs to others. Entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which typically begins as a small business, such as a startup company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire. The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs. Earlier, it was done by a specific cast and every business took about 20-25 years to establish but now the situation has changed. Today, if you have innovative ideas, assess to technology, information about the customer needs, market potential, assess to Venture Capital and High Risk appetite, you defiantly have the ability to grow multifold. Initiatives such as Make in India and incubation cells in b schools are attracting youth towards creating their own companies and providing them necessary skills to sustain the market ups and downs. The Make in India step has been rapidly pacing up and turning out to be helpful in fetching opportunities and competing with other countries in various market. Today the investors are also supporting the plans and ideas of the young businessmen. Be it early exiting strategy or fast international growth. If the proposal is backed with proper business model and estimations, investors are ready to pour in millions in exchange of shares. This trend needs to be continued and nurtured more. Today we have 7 unicorns in our country whereas there are 100+ in USA and 36 in China. But we are right behind them in third position. If this trend continues, very soon we will surpass them. Moreover, these startups are increasing our country’s conditions by increasing the living standards for all.

The journey of the Indian entrepreneurship has been covered very extensively starting from the days of traditional caste based family oriented business environment to present day technology based start-up environment. As truly described in the article, the sustained business can be developed only by creating an ecosystem. The ecosystem in the traditional business was built on the community support and was sufficient for the needs of the day. In the present-day scenario of the business when consumer is the king and innovation is the key for success, the start-ups need good incubation centre to survive and thrive the competitive environment. The article has also brought out the impact of changing social scenario on the Indian entrepreneurship and vice versa. With emergence of the customer centred innovation driven business models, the communities that were considered as service oriented started venturing into entrepreneurship. The new start-up environment which took its roots from Silicon Valley has enabled young Indian professionals to start new business ventures. The businesses became more professional oriented which paved way for competence driven leadership as opposed to the leadership from the promoter family. In the light of difficulties faced by the start-ups evolving into business models, entrepreneurs have tough decision to choose between valuation and capture value. The start-ups with their hockey stick model growth has encouraged the established business houses such as Tata’s to invest in start-ups. However, there are a large number of start-ups which shut down. Few of them due to lack of capital and few due to lack of environment. The so called successful Indian start-ups such as flipkart operate from Singapore or other nations as corporate headquarters. This itself speaks about requirement to develop the start-up incubation and support environment. If we have to make in India, then government has to make business environment start-up friendly and increase ease of doing business. As mentioned in the article, India needs an indigenous entrepreneur friendly capital structure for start-ups.

Entrepreneurship is a bug that is biting the youth of today. This bug does not see age, background, culture etc. As rightly put in the article by prof. Suresh Rao, it was traditionally thought of as a “dhandha”. It was thought that these people have the mindset of “jugaad” and have the right connections to succeed. Today, with the growth of technology and ease of access to every kind of resource, it’s easier to be an entrepreneur. As aptly mentioned in the blog about funding and supporting the eco system, the current generation has an added advantage. The incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces help the budding enterpriser to validate an idea, start a startup and grow with it. The youth today want to be their own boss and live the life they want, but they also understand that the road is not all rosy. Not only is there is a huge risk involved, there is a high failure rate which led people in the past to not follow their dream of being an entrepreneur and stick with a steady and safe job. As a statistic tells us, 97 out of 100 startups fail. This number might be alarming to some and disheartening to others, various government initiatives like Startup India and Make in India has made it easier to start off on the right foot. Various accelerator programs in the country have also helped boost the start-up culture. I would also like to comment on the point about the variety of startups we have seen in the past couple of decades. If the enterpriser sees a problem, he has an immediate urge to solve it. As stated in the article about Mr. Narayanamurthi, entrepreneurs today are tackling issues from food delivery to internet security, to boxing excess household items to e-commerce. I think with the talent in India, venture and angel capital pouring in to finance the ideas, the traditional thinking and meaning of entrepreneurship have surely changed.

Dear Sir, at the outset, let me thank you for such an impressive and well-thought out article on Entrepreneurship in India –Then and Now. It is true that India is a land of opportunities and India is witnessing an enormous growth in entrepreneurship because of the need of its citizens to create job for themselves. India is seeing this increasing growth in entrepreneurship and start-ups over the past few years. In the year 2016 our Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Startup India to help prospective entrepreneurs with various schemes and subsidies, for starting their ventures. Niti Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) the government of India's Innovation arm, also announced that there will be support of up to $2 million to those setting up business in India. Entrepreneurship in India also had a historical moment in Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 in Silicon Valley, USA where then President Barack Obama announced India as the next year's destination for the summit. With this growth story we are able to see students, entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers are celebrating and sharing their own start up journey. But we should not forget that much before the present fuss in startups, there were people that decided to turn entrepreneurs such as Birla, Ambani and etc. and they never looked back. There have been many hurdles and challenges over the years. Liberalization and globalization of Indian economy were the main reasons for the Entrepreneurship in India. Liberalization reduced entry barriers for new entrepreneurs and reduced regulatory measures such as industrial licensing. Improvement in financial support from government and private sources have boosted the growth. Ventures such as the National Science and technology Entrepreneurship development board and business incubators in universities also provided growth to this amazing story. With all these initiatives we are awaiting for a better developed India.

Wonderful read sir. Coming from a family of traders and businessmen, I can very well relate to how the family serves as a mini incubation centre. As you have mentioned e-cells have driven awareness at engineering colleges and business schools. Startups have become the new “guitar” in these colleges. But for India to become a startup nation on the lines of Israel, or simply churn out more job creators it needs to do much more. One area where the government can significantly contribute is by facilitating growth of incubators and accelerators. In one of my recent conversation with an SPJIMR alum, Mr Pratik Panda, co-founder of AppKnox, which is a Singapore based mobile security company, he stressed upon how Microsoft Startup accelerator programme contributed to the growth of AppKnox.  Having started a venture myself, I can advocate the benefits a startup accelerators and incubators. The benefits in my opinion are the following: Accessibility: Good startup accelerators and incubators provide you with relationships relevant the startup’s field. First time entrepreneurs don't generally have the business contacts needed to succeed. An incubator has a steady source of contacts and is well immersed in the local business community. They help find strategic partners which can be very useful in the current startup world. Getting Noticed: The hardest part for a new startup is getting noticed. Most startup incubators and accelerators do a good job in promoting their graduates. Even Pratik mentioned about how Microsoft Startup accelerator programme would arrange networking meets and introduce AppKnox in these events. In one of the meets they met their first investor and also found their first client. Gain credibility: Associating with a good I/A helps the startup gain credibility. With abundance of startups coming up, it allows investors differentiate good and serious startups from the not so good ones. Similar to how a SPJIMR/IIM graduate gets perceived differently, graduating from a good startup accelerator or incubator does get perceived differently by venture capitalists. Polishing the Idea and Business model: For first generation entrepreneurs, who do not have an upbringing surrounded by business discussions incubators prove to be very helpful. They can help refine the idea and the business model. They may even help in providing them with a direction on how to go about executing the idea. Access to Infrastructure and resources: Many I/A provide legal guidance, accounting assistance , HR support and shared working spaces. These allow the startup owners to focus on the more productive tasks, leaving the mundane and administrative tasks for the Incubators and accelerators to manage. Today's incubators are similar to the ecosystem that a business family would provide. It can help first generation and first time entrepreneurs build their startups in a more structured manner.

The article is enlightening and I cannot agree more on the plight of today’s Start-up scenario. While I was working on a start-up Idea I experienced some of these issues as well. But I believe that this detour that ‘Entrepreneurship of now’ has taken from ‘Dhandas of older times’, is a necessity. In the earlier days the ecosystem required for the businesses to flourish was rare and available only to few privileged ones. People were conservative and rarely chose business over regular jobs and were largely risk averse. Only the well guided and mentored individuals had the guts to take up such a bold step. People are more aspirational today and are ready to take the leap of faith to reach where they want. Which is why Dhandas has gone beyond caste and communities and is led by empowerment through education. Large corporates and similar start-ups from India or abroad have deeper pockets and in a quest for larger Market share are taking more risk to diversify or target new markets. This makes it crucial for entrepreneurs to have such a ‘Go To Market Strategy’ that it establishes them as a trusted brand even before a bigger player can plan to venture into their domain. This calls for wider campaigns, higher investments and riskier decisions. Technological Advancement is another threat looming over the youth of today which would eat up their jobs and hence we need more of job creators than job seekers. While the intention is right the action is rarely in line. The start-ups today are largely focusing on Brand Creation and Market share than Value creation and differentiation. This has led to higher competition and decreasing margins, with no guarantees of future returns. While start-ups might be successful in setting up a company, any technological change might render them useless. For example, there was a time when Encyclopedias where sold by salesmen travelling across the country selling door to door and significantly low costs in hopes of ever growing sales volume. Then came Google and disrupted that particular market segment. In that case unsustainable business models, as many start-ups have today will only lead to disaster rather than welfare of the society at large. Thus, institutions and government need to work on creating practices for more sustainable growth of start-ups. Moreover, we need more no. of start-ups in Tier II & Tier III cities rather than an ever increasing concentration of start-ups in metros. Otherwise the purpose of job creation will never be served. Mentoring is indeed a greater problem than it seems. We require lot more mentors, incubators, investors and accelerators and that can come not just by increasing the no of mentors but also their reach beyond metros.

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