Exclusive: Ashok Soota on 3 Things Which Startups Should Not Forget!

5th Jun 2012
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Ashok Soota, the stalwart of India’s IT industry has done what many would not even think of, especially in our country. At 70, after having established MindTree and taking it to an unprecedented height, Ashok has started up "Happiest Minds" - an IT services company with a focus on happiness for the employees (which is again a first of its kind in India). Ashok spoke briefly at an event in Bangalore recently and provided some very pertinent advice to an audience mainly consisting of entrepreneurs.

Ashok highlighted a key point when he contradicted a cliché and said, “Learn from your successes more than your failures.” On retrospection, this statement seems very true. It doesn’t mean that you keep repeating your mistakes, but the returns from learnings from your successes are much higher.

Ashok suggested 3 things to entrepreneurs starting up based on his learnings:
  • Don’t bet your company: Taking risks is inevitable and following your gut instinct also pays of many a times, but taking risks just because you’re a startup and that is what entrepreneurs are supposed to do, doesn’t make sense. If there is a risk-free path, scout for it and then trod on it.
  • ·Dubious Methods will catch up with you: This is one point which Ashok strongly emphasised in his talk “Employing dubious methods eventually catch up with you from behind,” he says. There will be ample of situations/ roads in your journey where you can break or tweak a law here and there, but it will be best if you remember, dubious methods have an amazing way of catching up and it will never/ever work in the long run!
  •  Be alert with Early Successes : Whenever you’re starting up, you might see a ballistic start. Your product or service may click for some reason but there’s always a possibility of a massive paradigm shift wherein your idea would no longer apply. So, concentrate on Agility, be prepared for everything and remember that early successes should only make you work harder and in on way should you ever get complacent. The journey is long through uneven roads, be prepared, be alert and be humble.

Another key pointer for entrepreneurs which Ashok stressed on was the importance of every member in the Startup Team. Yes, everyone has a sense of ownership uptill a point when the team is 10 to 12 member strong but the key challenge is to ensure the same spirit and team cohesiveness as you expand. How the team spirit spreads out in your startup will be a key determinant deciding your growth.

I came out pretty inspired from Ashok's talk, on the face of it, it may seem as a good advice but if you delve deep, all the points have a wealth of insights and learnings. What are some of your key learnings while starting up, do share it below, eager to here your perspective!

Image Courtesy: ForbesIndia

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