Startup City Magazine

Challenges to Solutions - Life of an Indian Entrepreneur

By Aditya Rao, Founder & CEO, LocalOye

Aditya Rao, Founder & CEO, LocalOye

LocalOye is an advanced recommendation engine that connects the customers with high-quality service professionals within a few minutes. Right from finding a plumber to a Yoga teacher, LocalOye provides the users with certified professionals at reasonable rates.

Today, India stands on the brink of a digital evolution. The growth in smartphone infiltration in India reflects the buoyant digitization mood of the country. According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, India will unseat U.S. as the second largest smartphone market within the next two years, with China remaining the clear leader of the pack. By 2017, smartphone market size will be directly correlated with population size – at least when it comes to the top three players in the game. What has been the reason behind this exponential growth is a thought that instantly flashes in front of you. The answer is pretty simple – young Indian entrepreneurs. In recent years, the Indian startup ecosystem has really taken off and come into its own – driven by factors such as massive funding, consolidation activities, evolving technology and a burgeoning domestic market. And it’s going to change the way the markets are working today in India.

However, running a successful startup is easier said than done. Factors such as building a relevant platform, building a credible team, constant innovation in technology, fund raising and such others are some of the serious challenges that founders face on a daily basis:

1. Building a Strong Team
Aptitude and Attitude – A startup needs both the qualities in every employee of the team. Yes, working for a startup is extremely painful and challenging, but then it grooms the employee for every aspect of his professional life. Building a strong and credible team is one of the biggest challenges that an entrepreneur faces. Successful entrepreneurs will always be heard saying, “Surround yourself with people smarter than you”. If entrepreneurs are honest with themselves and actually adhere to that mantra, they will build a strong company, and an equally strong culture of hiring better and hiring smarter.

2. The Art of Learning from Mistakes
Making mistakes is the best way to learn. No matter how hard one tries, there is no way of avoiding setbacks and mistakes. Boldness and courage definitely are commendable traits of successful entrepreneurs, but blunders have a way of sneaking up on even the most prepared individual. Inadequate research leading to bad decisions with drastic cutbacks on funds could inadvertently lead to the loss of time, money and the client’s trust. A resourceful entrepreneur would figure out his/her mistakes, get the help they need to get back on their feet and be prepared for future challenges of similar nature.

3. Scalability
When it comes to scaling the business, the one thing that can hold a startup back is complacency. In the initial stages, entrepreneurs are full of aspirations, innovation and a burning desire to grow at a tremendous pace. However, fighting daily battles to simply survive in this competitive world makes their aggression go to backburner and the business fails to move to the next level. It is, therefore, essential for them to rekindle the fire if they want to rise further. Starting a business is the easier part, accelerating the business is the real challenge.

4. Prioritization of Tasks
An entrepreneur, on an average, has at least 1,000 tasks to complete within a day. Instead of aiming to finish all the tasks in one day and facing a severe burn out, entrepreneurs ideally should prioritize and plan out their tasks. Rate all the activities on the basis of their importance and start ticking them off one by one. Yes, speed is important, but so is efficiency. An entrepreneur needs to realize that prioritizing tasks should be inculcated in the organization as a cultural update to ensure maximum efficiency and growth.

5. Lack of Reliable Mentors
Mentors prepare young entrepreneurs to fight on the edge and also smoothen their trail of navigating through the right network. Successful entrepreneurs who have learnt a great deal from their failures provide proven insights to the budding ones. The human capital required to nurture entrepreneurs are yet to be seasoned in India. Though business networks offer access to some big names, people with specialized skill sets would always add value.

6. Insufficient Capital
Last, but certainly one of the most important challenges an entrepreneur faces – Money. It is by far the most important challenge to overcome. You might have an innovative idea along with a potent execution strategy, however, you need investors to buy your idea and invest in the company. Often, entrepreneurs are too optimistic about when their product is going to be accepted by the market. He/she is busy fighting other fires that he/she simply underestimates how long the cash will last. Finding the right amount and kind of investment in a new sector is an increasing challenge for entrepreneurs.

Bottom line
Entrepreneurship is all about patience. One has to be prepared to hear a ‘NO’ more than a ‘YES’. Entrepreneurship is for those with thick skin, and sheer tenacity to fight with fires almost every hour.


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