Kanika Tekriwal

Kanika Tekriwal is CEO and co-founder at JetSetGo.

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What Does Freedom Mean to Entrepreneurs?

Complete freedom would mean that the new generation of entrepreneurs can create sustainable ventures in the shortest period of time in their own country.

In India, the rise and fall of entrepreneurs has been nothing short of a natural phenomenon. Earlier, entrepreneurship was restricted to a certain caste of people, who have been able to sustain their traditional forms of businesses by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for the next generation to flourish in.

Hence, young entrepreneurs belonging to business communities were mentored by getting hands-on experience at the family business, which was not the case with those from non-business families. The outcome of such an imbalance is that many still believe that young entrepreneurs, who belong to the business community, have an upper-hand in the Indian market.

Fortunately, technology and professional education have created a much needed sense of freedom from this belief. We are not far from boasting of an educational system, which can facilitate an incubatory ecosystem - second only to being born into a business family. Yet we can further anticipate complete freedom.

Complete freedom would mean that the new generation of entrepreneurs can create sustainable ventures in the shortest period of time in their own country. As of late, the government, too, has risen to the enthusiasm of the youth, and presented policies as a follow-up to the Green and White Revolutions. But, in waiting for this revolution to take steam, many, belonging to the non-business communities, sought inspiration and mentorship overseas.

To be free, in the coming decade, from this “brain drain” would mean creating an equivalent ecosystem in India - not only through the education system, but also by welcoming venture capitalists and private equity players.

Lastly, traditional family business owners give great importance to retaining complete equity ownership of their companies. This is a misconception that the new entrepreneur must not conform to. Since founders and entrepreneurs who see themselves as CEOs, are accountable to their customers and shareholders, are better and truly free leaders.

The media coverage on the recent upsurge of entrepreneurial activity does not throw light on the value of start-up companies, instead young entrepreneurs are castigated for a poor valuation. Many succumb to the risk of being dropped by their investors - who run for cover in fear of becoming media targets. The question that one must ask in such a situation is whether this trend would inspire the youth. If not: Can we as a country free ourselves from this hara-kiri by redefining a new model of entrepreneurship where innovation is given more importance than profiteering.

After all, the cost plus margin business model is better suited for trade and manufacturing companies. Today’s companies are built on a very different outlook: It is hard not to see the importance laid on sustainability. To lead such a company is the finest test of entrepreneurial skills because it requires a grasp of domain technology, adaptability according to shifting goals, and team building in a fast paced, competitive environment.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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