Imagine the scene in the startup sector in a couple of years from now. With the launch of ‘Start up India Stand up India’ program by the Government of India, startups have become the buzzword in the country once again. India has been generating entrepreneurs in this area for at least a decade now. But what was essentially a technology wave has evolved over the last few years with many young entrepreneurs testing out non-tech ideas such as health management, food and grocery aggregator platforms, home maintenance services, property services, and riding the new age e-commerce boom. And with high profile investors such as Ratan Tata and Narayana Murthy stoking up the excitement through their financial backing, startups are now firmly entrenched as the most happening sector in India.
In recent times, I have encountered several startups including compact operations run by college students doing the balancing act with academics. Of particular interest were four cases – two of which were aggregator platforms promoted by existing consulting firms, another the brainchild of a young entrepreneur desiring to offer cutting edge technology products in healthcare, while the fourth was in the food business. Three of these are Bangalore-based while one is in Mumbai.
What I learnt from my interactions with these units:
But what was refreshing was that these promoters were recognizing their shortcomings and willing to seek help. When a new business plays to its strengths, recognizes the gaps, and accepts to address them with help, then its chances to succeed are higher. Provided the core idea is market-worthy.
Great ideas start with completely unrealistic thoughts – so it goes. But a great idea alone is not enough if you wish to make a business out of it. It has to be implementable and make commercial sense. And to ascertain that , plenty of due-diligence is needed before starting up.
But not all young entrepreneurs have access to guidance and know-how on where and how to get started. Here is a practical checklist which spells out the initial do’s and don’ts meant for these entrepreneurs.