By Krishna Yarlagadda, President, Imagination Technologies
According to Yarlagadda, "entrepreneurial life is like a roller coaster ride. You take roller coaster rides because you want to, not because at the end of the ride you're going to pick up a pot of gold." Similarly as an entrepreneur, one should be prepared for a lot of ups and downs and realize that making money personally shouldn't be the deciding factor of how successful a business is. Yarlagadda also adds that not all the companies that make it to the top are the smartest similarly those that don't survive aren't necessarily lacking smarts. He shares an example of his involvement with two companies from his career where "one of the companies had shipped billions of units but had a very small exit, while the other company had no shipment history but ended up with over a billion dollar exit. Value creation is sometimes not proportional to the financial outcome," narrates Yarlagadda.
Yarlagadda points out that the growth of a business depends on basics like planning, fund raising, building a good team etc. While these factors can be partially controlled, there are other intangibles that decide the fate of a company. These factors can make or break the business and entrepreneurs should prepare themselves for it. Some of the factors highlighted by Yarlagadda are "the markets, the ability to raise capital, financial liabilities, having enough time for implementation of an idea and for the technology or product to hit the floor. Often market acceptance of a technology tends to take longer than expected, especially if it's a big idea that requires a lot of ecosystem development." Yarlagadda points out that "for ideas and new use cases to succeed it often takes several attempts to get things right. If you don't hit the right inflection points, you must have staying power."
Running an organization
As an entrepreneur, leadership skills are constantly put to the test and tough decisions have to be made. "One must maintain focus and once a decision is made, it should be communicated to the team, investors and board members," adds Yarlagadda. Apart from that, one also needs to "be open to taking new directions because market demographics are constantly changing, so if you want to hang in there and continue to pursue what you set out to do, you have to be capable of improvising and be flexible enough to make progress," concludes Yarlagadda.