I was recently in discussions with my good friends and colleagues at a College. We were all of the opinion that the “Design thinking” and “nurturing star-ups, and Entrepreneurs are an important part of an Engineering college. I believe this is also a mandatory requirement for some of the compliances and ratings of the Institution during inspections.
There are tremendous opportunities for “start-ups”, “good teams”, “good central ideas”. There are many incentives both from central Government and State Governments. India’s Economic engine needs SME’s to Innovate, Startups and early stage Companies to Scale. India and Indian origin scientists and engineers are know to have done pathbreaking work.
One if the suggestions during the discussion was that we introduce a subject for “Entrepreneurship”, as early as the first semester and carry it the subject right through the college.
I have been an Entrepreneur and nobody taught me Entrepreneurship as a subject.
I think it holds good in today’s time also. Entrepreneur is an individual who has many of the following traits “Clarity of mind and thoughts”, “Will be inspired by a certain area to pursue Entrepreneurship: One should do what the person is good at and should find it enjoyable “, A central idea to focus on, not get distracted is also key to Entrepreneurship. The dare to face challenges along the way, and a positive mind that you will win it”. “Building a team that has complementary strengths but not overlapping skills will be constructive at a team-level to”. Entrepreneurship isa way of life, and imbibing he spirit of Entrepreneurship in your teams too.
The wanting to a Entrepreneur should come from the Entrepreneur. It is a state of mind, way of life.
This cannot be taught in classrooms. An Entrepreneur should be mentored by one or more Successful Entrepreneurs.
Th journey of entrepreneurship needs Grit, determination, building strong people relationships, positive energy, and teamwork Public relations, Integrity, some Philanthropy when you can afford. Networking with individuals and Forums where you can Network with fellow professionals and Entrepreneurs.
It needs funding for developing the core Intellectual property, unless it is a pure services company. Funding is required in the form of Capital and working capital. Ideally an Angel Investor cum mentor will handhold them for a couple of years.
The revenues start ticking in, the first target of positive cashflows should accomplished, and shortly afterward a mildly balance sheet, with a clearly growing top line, while you hold your EBIDTA.
This would be a good stage to accelerate your business by bringing in VC’s, PE’s and potentially become a Unicorn. That is the dream of every Entrepreneur. To get to the group at the top, you need to do be perfect in all things I have described.
This means focus, intensity of focus, innovation, understanding the marketplace and competition. After all that you work hard, you need lucky breaks t be successful.
There are contractual angles, legal contracts and negotiations, Marketing and sales, people management, transparency and Integrity. Highly evolved processes(this is a continuum), Public relations.
There is no single formula that can make you an Unicorn Company. “You have to be there at the right place at the right time.
An Entrepreneur is a persona who has self-belief, confidence, can take wins and lose with equanimity, and doesn’t lose focus.
I means can say that if you follow all these steps you will become a Unicorn are wealthy business one day
Many entrepreneurs fail, may be due to business environmental factors. Some may fail die to wrong strategy or wrong execution. Entrepreneurs usually never give up. They are fighters. The need luck once in a while, bit lots of hard work.
There is a lot more I can write about, the intend was to provide a view to the journey of an Entrepreneur.
Public Relations, People Management, Teaching Entrepreneurship in classes over several semesters, may not work. It has to be learned by doing. It is like learning to swim in placid waters, and then surfboard in heavy seas.