In one year of being out of college, I find myself having interned in one of the leading online grocers, having co-founded a mental health startup, employee in a fintech company and today devising content for a startup shaping the product rental industry and booming the growth of the sharing economy in India.
When I first stumbled upon the idea of entrepreneurship as a naive and brash 19-year old who thought he was meant for entrepreneurship just because he was born and brought up in a family of businessmen. Who spent day after day crunching numbers, closing new deals and increasing revenue.
‘How hard could it be?’ I thought and nonchalantly and joined the Entrepreneurship Cell.
In four years of college, it would turn out to be the best decision I made with the worse reasoning anyone could find.
The entrepreneurship cell was just the start of a road filled with unexpected learnings and curious beginnings. A journey that started with ‘Main Apne Papa Se Sikh Ke Aaya Hoon’ would soon pan out to be ‘Yeh Ho Kya Raha Hai B*******d’.
From countless startup meetings to organising two inter-collegiate entrepreneurship events. Somewhere, I realised just how far I had been from the true essence of entrepreneurship. Going by textbook definitions entrepreneurship is defined as an act of operating/running a business. (Well the definitions are just as stupid, I guess!) But, I believe entrepreneurship is not just about setting up a business but to set up a goal and to inspire others around you to believe just as much and work collectively.
In a country like India, the boom of the startup ecosystem was well received but for the wrong reasons by many.
First, It’s not a quick route to making money – your investors that pour in millions would eventually want to exit with more than they came.
And second, it’s not just all chill – yes startups have a non-hierarchical management but that just means more work, tighter deadlines and to be quick on your feet. (And a rich pool of knowledge, if you know where to look.)
If it was just about beds of roses (actually, cash), to be added onto the lineage of entrepreneurs would sound a tad more enticing than grinding it out. (You also get to use ‘Tu janta hai mera baap kaun hai?’)
For me, the startup ecosystem and the path of entrepreneurship are actually an opportunity to find solutions for problems that have plagued our society ever since. An opportunity to unleash ideas that would catapult our nation to a digital era that would drive change. Changes don’t happen overnight it’s a process that has to run its course and the startup ecosystem seems to be the perfect agent.