Saturday, September 1, 2012

‘The New Age Entrepreneurs’ – Mint Business Series

Q&A - Manav Garg

"What do you think is a key element for success as an entrepreneur?'

"Most of the time, in a start-up environment, market changes, things keep changing. You have to be able to execute properly. What you need is perseverance, that dogged determination to succeed. Take the product story in India. People are not available, markets are not yet mature. The only way to do it is to stay very focused, say, 'I want to do it and I am sure I will be able to do it,' and then go out there and get it done.'

"What prompted you to undertake this journey, giving up a high-paying job?'

"I wanted to create something, to build something. The only way to do that is to take risks. I could have been a good trader all my life and earned a lot of money. But the fun of crating something is very different.'

"How do you get good ideas, before you can even think about risk taking?'

"The biggest stumbling block is actually taking risks. I have seen good professionals who can turn around businesses, but they don't want to take risks.'

"You have to start thinking that you want to change something. Then you will start seeing everything differently. If you see a product say, you won't say, 'Hey, this is good.' You will think, what does this not have? What can I change? The mindset has to come first. Then you won't focus on buying things, for example, you will think, can I change this totally?'

"What were your initial days like?'

"I quit my job, I had an idea in my mind about what I wanted to do, so I created a prototype, spoke to experts, industry people. I did that for two years. Entrepreneurship works on a problem statement, which has to be validated. Especially in the enterprise space. You have to build something that solves a client's problems, even if they do not know what they actually want.'

"Where do you think the product story out of India will go?'

"The potential is huge. But there has to be a culture of risk taking among all stakeholders. Even VCs (venture capitalists) are not as risk friendly as they should be. As for me, I would rather invest with a new entrepreneur than, say, buy a BMW."

(pp. 59-60, 'The New Age Entrepreneurs' – Mint Business Series - Landmark)

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