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2009-09-29

Entrepreneurial Stamp

ENTREPRENEURSHIP, they say, is not everyone's cup of tea. Most people envisage their future as ending up in a cushy job and steadily growing in the company hierarchy as they get more experienced.

Quite a number of times in our career path we are tickled by a desire to start our own enterprise. But such instincts are suppressed again and again because of the huge opportunity cost associated with it. Some business ideas are thwarted for want of funds and know-how. Moreover, in a conservative society like ours, families want their children settle down with a job with a good company, rather than starting something risky. So if you are the one who has succumbed to circumstances and are pursuing your nine to five job, whether you like it or not, you are perhaps not cut out to be an entrepreneur. 

True, entrepreneurs are born with certain traits which persuade them to pursue their dream of starting a business, come what may. So, discover your entrepreneurial proclivity by judging yourself on the following meters.

Boundless passion and motivation
The first pre-requisite of an entrepreneur's personality is high level of motivation and enthusiasm. Such a person cannot put up with the monotony of a 9 to 5 routine. He is a go-getter with a self-belief and enthusiasm; he goes ahead to create his own enterprise. When Narayan Murthy, the founder of Infosys told his wife Sudha Murthy about his dream of starting his own software business, he had just Rs 10,000, Sudha's savings. He told her that there would be no returns for at least three years. So, for three years in Bombay, they lived in a small one room accommodation, no servants, no luxuries, lots of savings and lots of hardwork. What sustained this entrepreneur was his exceptionally high level of motivation and enthusiasm. Within two decades Narayan created a worldclass software company.  

He is his own boss
Ask anyone who is an entrepreneur, and he will tell you how he hated taking orders from others. A die-hard entrepreneur wants to take his own decisions even and if something goes wrong, he is ready to take the responsibility for it. As Gaurav Sethi, restaurateur and CEO of Mint Hospitality says, “I always knew I was cut out to be an entrepreneur. I love to take challenges and what is of utmost importance to me is the freedom to take my own decisions.” As Varsha Bhawnani tells us, “My peers always told me that I was cut out to be an entrepreneur. While I was working with a CA firm, I hated listening to my seniors, especially when I didn't really agree with them. Worst of it is, no matter how hard you work, ultimately it is not your baby.” 

Dogged pursuit of plan of action 
Entrepreneurship is all about making a game plan and sticking to it, come what may. Family support, funding, breaking even, the list is endless. So, you must have the tenacity to keep chasing success unless it finally bows down to you. “Many aspiring entrepreneurs give up abruptly without knowing that they would have tasted success if only they had persisted a little longer.” says Varsha Bhawnani, India's only wardrobe consultant and the Proprietor of Vinegar, the chain of high-end embroidered garments. “The 'never give up attitude' is the part and parcel of an entrepreneur's life. I have faced many obstacles, but persistence was what kept me going. I saw a great market for high-end embroidered garments and took the plunge,” she comfortably adds.  

Dares taking risks
Someone who cannot take risks should not be an entrepreneur. So, one should have the knack to face them headon. As Mallika Desai Thakkar of Bliss says, 'The first risk of entrepreneurship comes with having to give up the security of a monthly pay check.' Dr. Rohini Wadhwani, Cosmetologist, worked with Bare Neccessity for five years in London before she came back to India to start Skin Essentials, a skin clinic. When she started off the Indian market was yet not ready enough to accept such products because of lack of awareness. This is where she sensed risk. However, she launched a mass education initiative which could educate people. It worked to mitigate the risk.  

Passion for money
If you have a penchant to make money by doing your job honestly, you may be cut out to be an entrepreneur. Most people give up their jobs and venture out because they feel they are not making enough money. Shree Suneja who founded Plan Money quit her job because she wasn't satisfied with her salary. “I knew with conviction that two years into business, I would be giving the same salary packages to my employees. So, there was no point in staying on with my job.”

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