This morning, I woke to a clutter of news notifications on my cell phone. The one that caught my attention, illustrated the present Indian startup ecosystem scenario.
The piece featured on INC42 and was written by a startup’s co-founder, whom I have known personally. The startup I am talking about is an online e-commerce platform which promotes regional handicrafts and horticultural products of a region, which is famous for its fruits, nuts and condiments.
The Startup is now rapidly growing and has reached a steady revenue stage. The region has provided the startup with products existing offline in the international markets from ages, while the Startup was among the first to capture the opportunity and build an online platform for an already existing market.
Having said that, it wasn’t easy to build and acquire the trust of customers, mostly due to the long political unrest in the region. Despite all the challenges, the startup kept going on with vision and perseverance.
In a startup ecosystem, there are stories of hardships and failures. And out of those evolve the stories of success, which inspire everyone who intends to take the path of entrepreneurship. From the ones who succeeded, we are always curious to know how they did it and seek words of wisdom from the failed ones.
The learning may act as a beacon light for the people in this caravan to keep going on. From quite some time, I have been meaning to pen down the learning and experiences of these humans, who tried to build companies and have either succeeded or failed to do so.
In order to start, I will share some points of conversation with the co-founder of the above-mentioned startup:
- Co-founder compatibility
Whenever you startup with someone, all the entities involved should have a clear understanding on where they see the organisation in the future. All the founders should be in sync with the company’s vision. One should also constantly keep check for any fundamental mismatch. If the objectives are not crystal clear, it will push teams in different directions.
It’s all about the Team. You can execute a 50 people job with just 5 people, who are passionate about their job. Hire and work with resources, that are passionate about the project and who you think can be the leaders of your company tomorrow. It’s more like hiring leaders than hiring workers.
Profitability should be in the DNA of a startup. Every activity and operation taken up should be overlooked from the perspective of ROI.
4.Cash Flow Management
Cash is the King. If the Cash flow is properly managed even a loss-making entity can build a profitable business, as proven by Amazon. The Co-founder suggests getting an experienced financial consultant and executive on board from day 1 does the trick.
He makes a statement, “More than the intelligence, what matters for the success of a startup is perseverance.”
So, I would say, Keep entrepreneuring!
Author: Nisar Malik, Senior Manager – Viridian Accelerator Centre.