Saturday, 17 May 2014

Fail Safe -- Some Lessons for a budding social entrepreneur like me ..

Entrepreneurs are sharing goof-up stories at failure conferences so you can learn from their mistakes.

Article in Mumbai Mirror , Page 29 , 17th May 2014

According to a report in financial market news source Bloomberg, eight out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within the first 18 months. If you do the math, that's 80 per cent that crash and burn. 

In June, entrepreneurs from around the country, including Mumbai, have signed up to meet in Bangalore to discuss their failures in an attempt to learn from each other's experiences. FailCon is a one-day meet-up that'll see top businessmen discuss their set-backs, and how they rose to success. 

Mahesh Murthy, managing partner at venture capital company Seedfund, says India suffers lower rates of failure because "we aren't risk takers". Unlike, the Silicon Valley start-up community that is looking to go big or go home, Murthy measures a 15 per cent failure rate in the portfolio of companies that he has guided. 

In the US, every business wants to see a humongous success or it folds up. In India, success and failure is small because as a people, we make cautious moves. Businesses prefer to scale down losses by moving to backend dealers with a lower chance of failure. 

"In cricket terms, US start-ups are a Virender Sehwag equivalent. He hits a six or gets out. India is a Rahul Dravid, works slow and steady," says Murthy. 

The key problem he sees in Indian entrepreneurs is the unwillingness to accept failure. Top reasons include not dreaming big, lack of self confidence and sticking to traditional marketing strategies. 

"My advice is to fail fast and move on. No college can teach you how to be an entrepreneur, so it's best to learn from experience." 

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