Entrepreneurship in India – hype or happening ?

Sramana is doing a series on Entrepreneurship – Innovation in India for Forbes and requested my perspective about the same.  I chose to write down my thoughts as a post and seek out your thoughts about it as well.

When it comes to entrepreneurship in India, for the longest time now, it seems that most of us have been rehashing, repeating and regurgitating the same things over and over again:

“Revamp Education system”, “Lack of funding”, “No ecosystem”, “No product companies”, “Indian mindset and culture”, “Bureaucratic red-tape” and many other such reasons.

Its time we really took a deep, hard look at what is the current state of entrepreneurship in India, what is broken and how can we really fix it ?

In all fairness, I am not on ground zero. And so it may seem as inappropriate to many that I speak of entrepreneurship in India while residing in the US.  You might very well diss my opinions expressed below based on the same grounds, and in that case, I welcome your perspective – hopefully we can have a healthy discussion via the comments.  In my defense, even though I’m not at ground zero, I have been closely monitoring the startup and entrepreneurship scene in India over the last couple of years. I’ve talked to lots of Indian entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts and VC’s over this time – enough to form an opinion.

If someone who’s totally ignorant about the Indian market walks up to me and asks me about entrepreneurship in India – my answer to them would be that its more hype than happening.  The awareness about entrepreneurship is definitely increasing incredibly, but not enough converts yet. Lots of wannapreneurs, but few actual entrepreneurs.Again, my goal isnt to ridicule or point fingers, but rather narrow down on what’s broken.

Some of the most commonly attributed reasons for the lack of entrepreneurship in India:

Lack of funding:

Is lack of funding that much of a big deal really ? The cost to do a technology startup has gone down drastically. Reduced hardware costs, bandwidth costs have dropped, cloud computing and open source technologies make it really cheap to launch a technology startup. Unless you are launching a capital intensive business, why should you really need outside funding for doing a startup ?

Look at the Ycombinator model – $5k – $10K per startup, which is literally peanuts if you need to survive in Silicon Valley.  Why cant Indian entrepreneurs be cheap in a similar way ? Why not bootstrap ?

No Ecosystem:

If you would have made this argument 5 years back, I’d probably have agreed. But over the last few years, the startup ecosystem has improved by leaps and bounds. VC’s have entered the Indian market, events and conferences are helping the startup community to network and converge, B-plan competitions on various campuses are raising awareness, an active and vibrant community is forming around entrepreneurship.

Bureaucratic red-tape:

While I agree that some things in this aspect are not as smooth as in other countries. However, most of the entrepreneurs I talked to did not cite this as a major hindrance as part of their entrepreneurial journey. Hire a chartered accountant and he will take care of majority of the initial process of incorporation, taxation and other legalities.

No Product Companies:

I for one dont really buy into this argument. While I agree that product companies may offer long term sustainence value (while current outsourcing focused services companies are simply benefiting from the cost advantage), but then entrepreneurship is still entrepreneurship – be it a services or a product company.

Below are some of the reasons that I personally think have a strong impact on entrepreneurship in India:

Revamping Education:

If you look at the success of Silicon Valley, one of the key factors that was instrumental in shaping it was Stanford & UC Berkeley. Ditto is the case with Israel’s Technion. I strongly believe that education, innovation and entrepreneurship go hand in hand – especially technology innovation. While the IIT’s have immensely successful alumni, the IIT’s have not been able to create a fertile hotbed of innovation & entrepreneurship in their own backyard.

At the same time, we need to encourage out of the box thinking as part of our education system. Rote learning can only get us so far. We need to ramp up coursework so that student skills remain in sync with the rest of the market. When Stanford and other universities are teaching iPhone and Facebook app related courses, teaching Cobol & Fortran to Indian students would be stupid in today’s age. Students should be encouraged to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career option. I believe this to be the single biggest factor that could foster entrepreneurship in India. Young college graduates are at an age when their inherent risk is at the least to becoming an entrepreneur.  Educating them early enough would also give them ample time to shape up their skills and experience that can prepare them for their entrepreneurial journey. We also should make it easy and acceptable for students to take sabbaticals from their degree coursework.  Currently, this if frowned upon in Indian society — we should try to make people more accepting of it.

The NEN Foundation has done a good job at increasing entrepreneurship awareness across various campuses. However, when you take a quick peek at some of the questions that are asked by some of the student participants, it just boggles your mind. Few are requesting ideas, several requesting funding even before doing any analysis of the idea and several others simply leave you in sheer disbelief.  One common aspect across most of the questions is that they are looking for handholding.  And I think that really needs to change. I’m not sure if we’re (including mainstream media that has glamourized stories about entrepreneurship and VC fundings) sending them the wrong signals – but if you think all information, market research and other info will be served to you on a silver platter, then probably being an entrepreneur is not in your best interests.

We missed out on the technology innovation bus, but if we dont really ramp up our education system and associated R&D – innovation, we might end up sitting on the sidelines of the cleantech wagon as well.

Lack of Good Mentors:

India does not have a large pool of successful entrepreneurs who have built global level companies and are keen on mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs. From a lot of entrepreneurs that I’ve talked to — they were more desperately seeking good mentors as opposed to funding.

We probably need someone to lead & pave the way just like what Yossi Vardi did to Israel and what NR Murthy did to the outsourcing market in India.

Lack of M&A activity:

This I say just from the technology market. M&A is just not happening in the Indian market. Consequently, the already existing portals, news sites get a chance to launch their own services without any strong startup getting an opportunity to establish itself.

These are the three things that I think have the biggest impact — but then, there’s a good chance that you might disagree.  This is a highly subjective topic and everyone has their own convictions about it. I think when it comes to technology entrepreneurship, we should try and do a detailed case study of Israel. The country has just  a population of 7 million, hostile neighbors and high taxes. Yet it boasts of the 2nd highest concentration of startups just after the US. They’re definitely doing something right. And that’s what we should try & emulate.

What are your thoughts about the topic ?

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52 comments

  1. Pranav,

    Cannot agree with you more… Bulls-eye on all the points… I would like to add one more point though..

    Family and Society outlook – Here in India it’s considered to be hip to be working for a MNC than to do your own thing.. An entrepreneur is looked upon as somebody who could not find a job and somebody who is just not good enough to be a part of the main-stream society…. this has to change… Maybe if we have the first wave of success stories from India, things may be different….

    - Ganesh

    • ganesh,

      I think family outlook depends a lot on whether your family has a business background.

      what i mean by that is if there’s a history in your family of folks starting their own thing, then its not so much of an issue. for example, a lot of marwari friends that i have are a part of family owned businesses. so, when they decided to do their own thing, it was frowned upon by their family members. in fact, they were encourage to do their own thing actually.

      • Ganesh is right. Even if u come from a family with business background, they prefer a job in MNC.
        Bootstrapping is OK for web startups. But in other cases it’s almost impossible. The supply chain itself makes it impossible to innovate with low cost.

        • Anil,

          that is true. I have a tech background, so I’m more biased towards them.

        • yes, family background matters my friend but it’s an excuse for not having innovativeness….when you think at bigger level you will see what matters more is your will power to do something innovative and challenging not others opinion dear friend!

    • enterpreneurship is definitaley happening in india. I am also an indian teenage enterpreneur and working in a software company along with regular b.tech course

    • We conduct a Seminar ” How to Raise Funds for your Business 210 Different Practical ways”. If you are interested please contact us. All the details are in our website: http://www.schoolforpracticalmba dot com. Very genuine Program.

  2. Pranav,

    I think culture is a big reason which hinders entrepreneurship in India. Other than what schools or colleges have in curriculum – parents and society do not let kids do what they are passionate about, but instead they follow the so called proven path of being an engineer or a doctor.

    Schools give out projects (a lot of them are lame) but how many students actually spend time in making those and researching on them? Colleges have internships – how many students actually (a) try to get an internship on the basis of their merit/portfolio (b) how many of the students actually do an internship rather than getting a certificate from an uncle’s company?

    The “lower class” (think of Slumdog Millionaire) is better at entrepreneurship than the regular “English speaking middle class” in India. Its because middle class society does not promote independence and practical knowledge gain for students.

    • that is so true.

      I have been a student in India and the Us as well. And the quality of education, thought process etc. is so vastly different between the two — especially in terms of graduate / undergraduate education.

      We have to start teaching students to think outside the box..and that things are not just black or white.

  3. Pranav,
    I agree with remarks on your Marwari friends. In India, society which looks upon businessmen / entrepreneurs as their role models / heros (even if they don’t have a personal mentor) spawns more entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, the middle class was previously held government service as top most priority & now MNC/high paying jobs/foreign migration as top most priority.
    Having said that, once a entrepreneurial spark has been set in the neighbourhood, people from all communities get inspired & try to change their destiny. Cities like Coimbatore, Tiruppur are examples.

  4. Entreprenuership in India is definitely not hype!! Its a part and parcel of Indian life…infact India has more entreprenuers than employees!

    The statement might be tough to believe but its true…if you consider each and every shop in India as an entreprenurial venture, each street vendor doing his own thing and every farmer cultivating his own land (even if its less than 1 acre in his possession) …the mind boggles!

    Indians prefer to work on their own, especially because they think that someday they will strike it big; (we all are firm believers of luck, aren’t we?) and also because there are not enough jobs otherwise for our billion plus population.

    While we do have strong entreprenurial blood, I think the big IT firms and outsourcing kind of hampered entreprenuership. When I wanted to start mGlitz, an industrialist uncle of mine said something that got me thinking. He said, in his time (read 25 years back), he started companies right after college because there was no money in a job. Today, he says, a fresher ends up making 40K without much trouble. So, why should I start a firm, when I was already making more money as salaries than I would in the first few years of being an entreprenuer……well…I think he neatly summed up why many of us, while still desperately wanting to be entreprenuers, stick to our steady tech jobs! (and his statement stands true till date…I did make less money last year than I did as an employee!! lady luck..hope you are reading this ;-) )

    Now, as far as education is concerned, I think people just dont read books anymore :-( If you have seen “Goodwill hunting” Matt Damon defends a friend of his in a bar when his friend is having a verbal spat with a MIT student showing off his knowledge..stating you have no original ideas, you pay thousands to get a degree when anyone can get the same knowledge by visiting the public library! I believe there is a message in that for everyone… one should try reading more..atleast half an hour a day shouldnt harm anyone’s routine!

    Well..thats enough gyan from me for now..methinks!! tata!

    • Vandana,

      Nice Post & Insight.

      We have heard of Self Help Groups is helping to foster entrepreneurship in people who otherwise don’t have opportunities & resources like funding, ecosystem, education, good mentors etc. But they have plain grit, determination & courage to over come their difficulties together. The success of self help groups made MNCs like HUL & ITCs to look for them for their own business development.

      As you said Indians are very entrepreneurial in nature. In olden days, people used to say that instead of working for government, they will till land or do their own business. The previous attraction for government jobs is safety when they work and pension when they retire.

      Now i can see in few of my friends families that the husband works in a corporate/government job which ensure a steady flow of cash to take care of family needs & wife working on her own entrepreneurial venture. In some cases, the roles are reversed also.

      Basically i feel that one person should have strong survival instinct to be a successful entrepreneur.

      Regarding good mentors, i feel that if one takes part in Rotary / Lions / Round Table kind of club activities, we can get acquaintance of people who have varied experience & backgrounds. Round Table particularly is for entrepreneurs, technocrats & professionals. If some one has more inputs on how these clubs are fostering entrepreneurship, please kindly post their view.

    • @Vandana,

      thanks for the insightful comment.

      When i say entrepreneurship, i’d be biased towards technology entrepreneurship since thats my background. so, probably i should have worded my post to include that.

      about the good will hunting scene — yes, its an all time classic.

      even though you might be earning less money, at least you look forward to your work — so many of us are stuck in the drudgery that just going to work becomes a challenge in itself.
      so you might make less money, but you are doing what you love. and dont worry — as they say – luck favors the brave.

      good luck with mglitz – hope you meet lady luck soon :-) ..if you do, put in a good word for me as well ;-)

  5. Yaa! I think so! Society has to change a lot and I can cite a lot of examples from my own life. When me and my friends decided to start Techseol Websolutions Pvt.Ltd (an SEO/Online Marketing firm) while we were doing 3rd year Engineering, it was fun to see what others speak abt us! Most people,even the faculty (a college which has an Entreprenership Development cell) took it as a “kids” play and many laughed at us. But things changed when they got to know that we are serious and our daring decision to quit offers from Wipro,Cogniznat and Infosys was viewed with excitement by many (including friends). Later we got a decent coverage from local media, which was very helpful in gaining some businesses…I must say MEDIA is always supportive for such new startups. I have seen many other new startups coming then and many of them got covered in media too. Now its about 7 to 8 months after leaving college, we shifted our office to Kerala IT Mission in Cochin, have a handful of satisfied clients and now working to expand more!

    Entrepreneurship is always CHALLENGING & EXCITING!

    • Great to hear that Jojo.

      examples like yours should definitely get more publicity — it will encourage students to take entrepreneurship more seriously and not just as an afterthought.

      Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. looking for more info on guragon

  7. There is a difference between entrepreneur and businessman. An entrepreneur has a “dream” to get his idea works and people appreciate it, but a businessman knows how to make “money” from any idea. That is large gap of thinking if someone can understand it. It is a difficult, but possible, to start thinking like a good businessman, when you are an entrepreneur.

    BTW: We have registered with “The Power of Idea…The Economic Times” but have no reply from them yet. Can anybody tell me what is happening there.? Thanks.

    Regards,
    Rakesh

    • yeah — the difference may be subtle — but lets put it this way. A good entrepreneur must learn how to be become a good businessman ? how does that sound ?

    • about the power of idea, they are still in the idea gathering phase. in case you have questions and need to get in touch with them, I’d suggest trying to email them at the contact link on the power of ideas page.

  8. Hi Pranav,

    I agree with you on ..

    A good entrepreneur must learn how to be become a good businessman ?

    Thanks for your reply on this,

    Regards,
    Rakesh
    MeriCAR.com

  9. Hi Pranav,
    Really nice reading ur articles regarding entrepreneurship.
    I am working with an IT MNC at Noida as Software consultant.
    I want to know that how is the idea of starting a coaching & training company for MBA, IIT-JEE , English Speaking programmes? I being a graduate of a premier Engg. institution and have a very good command over mathematics (class VI to XII). I plan to do an Executive MBA from IIM. Will that really help in long run? Your advice/suggestions required……

    Pranav Gupta

  10. satyarup siddhanta

    Article definitely pin points some facts thats holdng back people from becoming an enterpreneur.

    Everybody has one thoght looming large than any other… how to make quick money.

    While MNCs are paying a lucrative salary… which till now used to be a very safe option for so many… people had the fear to go into the uncertainity… Other countries the people dont have the fear because they know if they dont succeed in what they aim to, they can always find a backup job to support his family… He can work for 40 hours in a bar and get a decent salary… the scenario is not the same here… once you are out of job for few months, the companies tend to reject your profile stating there is a gap … who is to blame?

  11. I noticed an interesting trend while going through TATA NEN.. http://www.nenonline.org/

    All the startups that were submitted were either IT, marketing or e-commerce related. Not even single entry was published under manufacturing.
    Every e-commerce idea was either copied from elsewhere like takeovercode.com from lawyers.com ..etc..
    When will we have true innovation? like google or yahoo??
    Guys!! innovation is true entrepreneurship period
    When was the last time an Indian invented something in India where the world went gaga!!

    Decide yourself whether entrepreneurship in India is hype or happening!!

    • Hi Raj,
      Its not a problem with Indians the problem is with the Environment.A lot of indians have invented great things here in US as an e.g consider Pentium IV, or Google News.

      The environment in India is more towards making quick money rather then creating something very innovative.

      Regards
      Rajat

  12. A lot of young people coming out of college are thinking of startups now.I was working in a team in India when some of the young guns in our team, left and founded commonfloor.com
    I have heard the startup is doing pretty good now.The trend is changing and people are becoming more risk taking specially the younger generation and they are bright as well.Things are changing and becoming more +ve.

  13. Pranav,

    You have made some good observation and points about Indian enterpreneurship ecosystem.

    I keep visiting silicon valley quite often. From many years I keep studying how the startup evolved here, what role stanford played, sandhill road VC etc etc.

    I dont want to talk about all the E-commerce related startups in India. They are do able with minimum funding and infrastructure. Lets talk about high tech manufacturing startups in India which went very big. Are there any such startup with a break through product. The point is in Silcion valley long back during 80′s created that ecosystem, companies like fairchild semiconductor whose offshot started compnies like Intel, AMD, National Semiconductor etc etc, got their ideas while working for such compnies. And phd grads of Sandford, berkley worked on very good ideas and implemented to form companies like google, yahoo, SUN etc etc..

    My study of Bangalore (I am talking about High Tech Manf Product Companies in Bangalore)
    Here in Bangalore if you want to startup any MEMS, Microchip fabrication, Ceramic technology companies, Thin Film Coating, where is the supporting infrastucture?? Only the IIT’s IISE, ISRO, DRDO, HAL, NAL etc etc have quite a good support systems. But did any of their offshot’s started any big companies?? It only companies like Hindhivac, VaccumTech.. etc, who started their own high tech companies.. and that too in 80′s.. But their offshots just did a copy exact and started a herd mentally startup which did not make into big companies..
    The public sector companies do work on some good technology projects. And their are very bright engineers too in those companies. May be the public sector atmosphere does’nt nuture innovative thinking and risk taking ability, who could have taken risk in 90′s and started companies in domain like aerospace research, carbon fiber technology, semiconductor fabrication equipment, biomedical equipment.. etc

    Hopefully now after the BPO, IT, BT boom.. some day we can see high tech startups in Bangalore too.. Then we can see some good brain drain from Silicon valley to India to join these startup..

    DJ
    Bangalore

  14. it is no hype at all and as someone alreday pointed out Indians are by defualt great Entreprenuers. It is matter of time before the The business Process Ecosytem is freed from legacy British Design. Why not Govt. throw open Citizen ID project to Ist generation Entreprenuers
    with startup Seed capital. I am one hundred percent sure
    we will have somehing in hand not only satisfying our needs but a product/service saleble globally

  15. Hi Pranav,

    Nice blog!

    Well, I am in the stage which I am sure most of the commentators above me have gone through – confusion while incorporating a company.

    Mine is going to be a 100% software export oriented unit and I am getting varying responses from different CA’s. Some say I should go for LLP (a new company structure introuduced in 2008 in India), some ask me to go for Pvt Ltd.

    Then being a export oriented unit, I thought of applying to STPI (Software Tech Park of India) for exemption in tax, again there are mixed responses. For some CA’s, my nature of work doesn’t fit in STPI scheme. Even there are varying responses from STPI offices located in 2 different cities, one say it is and another it is not!

    … and we talk about ease of business in India.

  16. Society is changing no doubt, but I wonder its far slow in south down here.

    I am fighting with my family for the past 2 years to leave the job. Yea a Govt Job. Here comes a problem.

    My parents regard job as most respectful job, even though I earn less than 5 % what my grand fa earns in his business… they never wanted me to move into it, the reason is its not dignified. I just wonder how dignified am I working under a brainless boss, who comes to office to escape his wife’s chantings … that’s bit too personal .. forgive.

    Practical Problems are better faced than discussed :(

    Registering a Business itself is hell of a task. 6 months on it yet no result, may be its very specific to me .. but there’s a problem with this.

    .. more updates as I face them ..

  17. Truly agree with Reddy…I am a 2009 graduate of IIT Delhi and got a job in a PSU….
    I am also fighting with my family over leaving my job and going for a start up …but i dont know what happens to them when i say i will be leaving the job..mom just goes hysterical…its like i m doing some crime..they just cant understand why i am talking abt leaving a GOVT. job (particularly when sixth pay has been implemented–had it not been there i hope my life would have been easy..)

    don’t know when i will be able to gather courage to go against my parents but hope it will be soon..:)

  18. HEY PPL
    WELL FOR THE ENTREPRENEUR ITS AL ABT PROFIT ,STABILITY N SUSTAIANBILITY…
    WEL TALKED ABT LOT

    I HAVE PROBLEM , I JUS PASSED OUT FRM COLLEGE THIS YEAR , I WAS FIGURING OUT WAT TO DO SO I HAD GONE TO MY UNCLE TO DISCUSS ABT MY CAREER GOALS N AL …SPECFICALLY I ASKED HIM ABT BUSINESS NA L

    AND HE TOLD ME TO PUT THE ANCILLARY UNIT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING PARTS HE SAYS THAT THERS S HUGE DEMAND FOR THE THAT ……..

    NOW I ASKED U PPL SHOULD I GO FR TAT OFFER OR SHOULD I WAIT MORE TO GET SOME MORE IDEAS FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP……….

    • Why are the words “start-up” or “entrepreneurship” only talked in the context of technology? There is a shortage of ecosystem, funding etc. for non-tech start-ups?

      Do you know the brightest people from India actually shun away from IT or technology related topics? In many cases, when these people are asked if they work in IT (which is presumed because you are an Indian), they get offended.

  19. hi
    people,
    and all future enterpreners,

    iam glad to write this post, i am 21 years 3 yr engineering degree elctronics and telecom student and i started my own gym business as enterprener after my diploma in engineering and have finished 1 yr and iam curenntly in second yr of my business i have learnt so much in this time that i could not learn in my entire life and my confidence too increased but my first gym failed miserable bcoz of lack of managment skills ,knowledge abt business operations and stupid business partner but now i have learnt my lessons shifted my gym and making decent profits and managing well iam planning now to open chain of gyms in mumbai and i might require some assistance frm bank orvc 4 which iam working on my business plan
    if any one intrested in investing in gym business with me or need help about enterprenership guidance pls free to cont me on email free2call103@yahoo.com
    trust me its is the best expereince to start and manage ur business .
    WARNING -PLS DO LEARN ABT MANAGMENT AND BUSINESS PLANNING THROUGHLY AND DO MARKET RESEARCH ABT UR PRODUCT TO AVIOD FAILURE OF UR BUSINESS.BOZ IT IS THE MOST RISKIEST AND MAD THING TO START UR BUSINESS WITH OUT FIRST KNOWING UR CUSTOMERS AND SELLING TO THEM AND ASKING WHETHER THEY NEED WHAT UR SELLING SO PLS DONT GO BANKRUPT AND THINK 10 TIMES BEFORE STARTING ANYTHING ALL THE BEST TO ALL ENTERPRENERS AND KEEP LEARNING .
    MAZ

  20. Why are the words “start-up” or “entrepreneurship” only talked in the context of technology? There is a shortage of ecosystem, funding etc. for non-tech start-ups?

  21. Hi all,

    I am 45 and decided to quit a cool researcher job after 18 years of working. I amke what is called the EDIBLE CUTLERY, where you can use the cutlery and eat them too. It took me three and half years of real dog labor getting my business up… I would not say it up already, but I overcame several teething problems.

    What I wanted to share here is entreprenuership is like a bungee jump. Remember, initially you fall but at one point of time, you turn around and eventually reach a position much higher than where you started from. The analogy here are the following:

    1. Double check the bungee rope (meaning do your market research thoroughly along with all other issues – sources of funding, sources of technology, etc)
    2. In entreprenuership you will begin with a very steep fall in your finanical resources (no income but more expenses as investments)
    3. Once you have decided to take the jump, at any point of time, do not let go the rope. Have faith and confidence – no matter what your so called well wishers may say

    So late into my career, I have seen becoming an entreprenuer is really tough, if you have done your homework properly and you have the necessary perseverance. All the very best to all of you.

    Narayana

    • Hi Narayana

      It was an insightful analogy.But how many of us are ready to endure the sustained fall for a long time and have the patience to wait foe the rise..there are so many extraneous variables over which we have no control..

  22. Pranav,

    I am in totally agree with you on the certain issues as being…..i have started SSI unit for chemical manufacturing and it was real pain right from buying land in industrial area..water & electricity connections and various formalities……..

  23. If anyone thinks that entrepreneurship in India is mere hype, it is a very pessimistic approach.

    Entrepreneurs are people who are ready to risk it all to navigate into unknown and uncharted waters. It has nothing to do with being from any particular caste, creed, religion or ethnic background. I see repeated comments that Marwaris, Gujratis and Sindhis are business type people and more likely to become entrepreneurs and this is complete BS.

    Being an entrepreneur is like an itch you just have to scratch. And not only that, you have to devote your life towards that goal. There is no promised land for everyone, most will fail and some will prosper.

    India is lagging behind in fostering a environment for entrepreneurs. There is no support, lack of education, lack of resources from Government and also lack of support from families/friends.

    Yet, these are challenges, not barriers for Indian entrepreneurs. I see a bright future for Indian entrepreneurs. We have businessmen who have made their mark globally, there is no doubt on that and millions more will shake the world. Perhaps I am too optimistic.

    Most families are content just having their children getting a 9-5 job.

    Someone commented above about someone in the family saying that nowadays 40k jobs are plenty and hence there is no need to even start a business.

    It is precisely that kind of thinking that strangles entrepreneurship. We need a more aggressive approach. Do we need to be reminded that we are perhaps living in the most exciting time in human history. We are sitting here commenting, collaborating and talking to people thousands of miles away at a click of a mouse?

    Cmon guys, where is the passion, where is the drive to create something and add value. What irks me are people content to create inferior products and focus on making money. Indian entrepreneurs, most who are leaving a 9-5 job to take up a business where they slog to get paid money. Hardly a difference.

    I think it is this micro thinking which is the reason why India is lagging behind. We cannot think beyond next one months salary.

    There are entrepreneurs who will create a ripple and those that will create a Tsunami wave. Where we are lacking is there are numerous entrepreneurs just content on creating ripples.

    I suggest reading Start up Nation : Story of Israels Economic Miracle.

  24. Dear Friends,
    Many of us agree on the fact that entrepreneurship in India is a long dream to achieve. And that the people’s background/education/attitude/governance….and so on are responsible for this. But I reckon these things are not true any more.
    People are thinking out of the box, coming out with small but dynamic ideas. I believe every entrepreneur starts with a small idea, and these ideas have started cropping in young Indians now. I f you have a round into the industrial areas or SEZs, you will come across many such young engineers or technicians who have started developing their ideas into products-products into business- and business into entreprises.
    You talk about passion, you talk about creativity, you talk about infrastructure- here it is. We have it now. And even if we dont have it, we know how to create it.
    Why the world is saying that India is going to be a superpower in 2030-50 ? Why n how do they predict this- on what basis do they say this.
    The basis for these prediction in the growing entrepreneurship in India.
    In terms of Entrpreneruship growth rate–from a scale 1 to 4- India is rated 2.70, China – 2.66, US-2.80, Germany-2.60, France-2.56, UK-2.50.
    Who says we are behind the world.
    Indian youth from no-business background, no-financial background, instead of adhering to a high salaried job, are but getting attracted towards starting their own ventures-trying to mold their ideas.
    I strongly feel, we, so called highly educated people should stop disparaging our country and the people of our country…

    “Dont criticise the system..be a part of it and change it for the betterment of our people.”

  25. Dear frnds ,
    i need an advice,
    i wanna start on my own, i have ideas n also a huge demand project report i have made, its been 3 yrs i finished my engineering, because of my family force i came to soudi arab for job, i wanted to start after i completed my engineering but i cud’nt because of my family issues,
    now i have decided to return back, i am here from just 6 months, i dnt have much money too in hand.
    Kindly advice should i return now n start or make money for some time here n den return & start.

    please guide me….

  26. dear friends

    i have gone through the entire blog and all the comments by the readers. i too want to be an entrepreneur. food processing industry, alternate energy, biofuels, gobar gas etc are my interests….. all directly or indirectly related to rural india. i want to make a difference, focus on bottom of the pyramid and improve the total socio-economic conditions of rural india.

    but i am struck. i donno how to start or approach. i have finished my engg and have a job in automobile industry. i donno what avenues to explore further. i dont have any mentor who can guide me or steer me through.

    should i do mba and go for institutes like EDII (entrepreneurship development institute of india) ,IRMA (indian rural management ahmedabad). please advice me.

  27. I totally agree with you.. education is a key factor here.i also started a software organization, it is in startup phase.
    and i know that i have good command on web development, android apps development,large it portal, linux etc.. but it all cost only 55% in my b.tech . They din’t teach the new and innovative we were studing 15 years back and when there is campaus in my college they wanted me to study R S agarwal and do some mathmatical calculation .

  28. Hi guys

    I have just come back to south africa from my first of what weil be many trips to india. I loved the country but loved the people I meet even more.

    I think entrepreneurship is thriving in india but the two biggest impediments I noticed as an outsider were government policy and business lifecycle.

    Government policy has held india back until recently. It seems from people I sure with government and the p private sector had pour relationships and government control over the economy restricted entrepreneurial investment. This seems to be changing at snail pace.

    Business development seems to be misunderstood. Many entrepreneurs running their shop selling goods were satisfied that that was what building a business was all about. Very few had an idea to grow 1 shop into 2, 2 into 3 and slowly build a network of shops.

    On thursday night, I am speaking onmy radio show about entrepreneurship in india and I found this great blog.

    Thanks guys

  29. Here is my situation may be related , I am ready to launch a movie database site , may be not a real innovation but i think it has a chance . Indian hosting too costly ,for me. no means of paying for hosting abroad . i’m stuck at this point for more than a month now . My idea is why not someone start a program where you take a look at the idea and provide support if you think its a genuine effort .

  30. Swapnil Kasar

    Hi,
    Nice article pranav.
    Yes it’s true that India has a big number of Entrepreneurs, when it comes to Entrepreneur to job ratio. Always remember, Execution is a thin line between Dreamers and Do’rs. I also want to be an Entrepreneur. But waiting for a good product or opportunity. The truth is, there is no perfect product or something. The thing is, You have to take a product or service and make it perfect. So, for all the chicken Entrepreneurs out there, take a risk and make our dream come true. An Entrepreneur is a backbone of economy.
    Jai hind.

  31. Dear brothers………

    I don’t want to talk a lot about entrepreneurship but I would like to do something in Rural india, Agricultural ecosystem by introducing new Equipments, alternate energy & water which change or support the traditional farming..
    If you have something related to my dream please share.
    Now I works for a MNC in KSA, I want to work at least half of the hours that I spent here, definitely which would develop our nation. I am sure……….

    Thanks & regards,
    Shuaib

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  33. It is a hype. They are nothing more than glorified grocery shops. Study so much and in the end open up a kirana store? Is this education all about? And oh yes, those grocery stores have much better attitude when they deal with the customers.

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