Becoming an entrepreneur in India

India, as a ground for entrepreneurship, is fast developing, owing to one of the largest youth population in the world. The economic slowdown forced many companies to freeze campus placements, incentivizing entrepreneurship further. A majority of the Indian population today is aggressively exploring options to start something of their own. The downturn has not been able to dampen their spirits. In fact, it has actually proved as a boon for start-ups with the resources being cheaper during such times.

The Indian mindset of being risk averse has long hindered people, especially the youth to start-up. The society, in general, has been apprehensive about those venturing out into an unknown future. Business in the real sense of the word has been grossly misunderstood. In a country where competition is cut-throat, the safety of a secure job has been mostly preferred over taking a huge risk and starting up. However, India boasts of some great success stories like Infosys and HCL and slowly as times are changing, the society is also looking up to start-ups.

Historically, Indians have shown entrepreneurial tendencies in many ways. Even when Indians migrated abroad, they showed an inclination towards starting their own small businesses. Indian women and communities even in the rural areas, have relied largely on self-sufficiency hence entrepreneurship for livelihood generation through small, home-run ventures. Over time, entrepreneurship in India has evolved to a great extent. If there’s ever been the best time to start your own business, it is here and now. With a supportive ecosystem and bodies such as TiE network (The Indus Entrepreneurs) or Wadhwani Foundation, which work in the advancement of entrepreneurship, ideas have plenty of space to germinate. Some other plusses in India’s ecosystem is its evolving mindset, improving legal frameworks and increased digitalization. With the narrowing digital divide, we are fast approaching the developed economies. Ecommerce growth is almost doubling on a year-on-year basis in today’s times. At the same time, India is seeing immense growth in family-run businesses with the younger generation taking up the herculean challenges of reinventing the family business to run it on professional lines, competing with the best players in every industry.

While the opportunity is enormous, there are certain concerns that an entrepreneur in India must address before starting a new venture. A PEST study, covering the Political, Economical, Sociocultural and Technological dimensions of the business can go a long way in planning and executing one’s ideas.

  1. Political Dimension: The political environment of any economy plays a huge role in your business and growth prospects. Is the government policy towards your line of business supportive? Can you anticipate changes in policy that may adversely or positively impact your business? These are some considerations one must take into account, of course along with the tax policies!
  2. Economical Dimension: Macroeconomic factors such as overall GDP, growth rates, industrial expansion, interest rates in case of borrowing, etc must be looked into. As far as possible, predict your financial accounts and cashflows for the first three to five years of business, to have a fair idea.
  3. Sociocultural Dimension: These factors detail the role of culture, major religion, languages, and sensitivity of customers to such factors as well as demographics of a place. In some cultures, roles of men and women are very different. Any business idea or even a part of it, such as an advertisement campaign should not offend the sensitivities of your audience.
  4. Technological Dimension: It is important to not just consider the current available technology and how it can be used to your business advantage the best way, but to also consider any possible advancement that you may benefit from. Can you use technology to create innovation? Does it help you serve your target market better? Can you improve your product quality or cut down your costs by relying on technology? These are some questions a business should answer beforehand.

Under these four categories, a marked improvement has been taking place in terms of both political and economic factors. In technology too, we’re now moving faster towards global standards. The right approach and mindset is the basic necessity for entrepreneurs to start up and succeed.

Unnati NarangAbout me:Unnati is a freelance writer, author and entrepreneur. From her blog to media initiatives like Times Ascent, HT Edge and The Better India, she is always keen on any writing opportunity that may come her way. Her writing bug extends to her venture www.serenewoods.com, a publishing portal she co-founded early 2009, for emerging authors. She is also the author of Drenched Soul (poetry) and If At All (Fiction).

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