[YS Lounge] The day matrimonial pages of Indian newspapers would read: “Looking for Founder and CEO”

By Jubin Mehta|23rd Jun 2013
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Do you know the biggest challenge Indian startups are facing? Yes, the social risk for young entrepreneurs and employees. They are having difficulty in getting married! Entrepreneurship has become fashionable in small closed circles that’ve been exposed to the (sometimes) glamorous world of startups but a vast majority still remains in the dark. Anyone starting up is often talked about with questions like-

  • Didn’t he (or she) find a job?
  • Did he lose his job?
  • Has he been under the wrong influence? Has he lost his path?
Raj Koothrapali from the famous US soap "The Big Bang Theory"
Raj Koothrapali with his parents from the famous US soap "The Big Bang Theory"

The entrepreneur community laughs these questions off but it is a huge challenge that would do with a resolution. Yes, there are no quick solutions and things are changing slowly but we need timely triggers. Raman Roy, the king of the BPO industry of India put this beautifully at the recent Microsoft Accelerator Demo Day, “When I started up, there wasn’t even a term called startup! Now atleast something like this exists and I can’t wait for the day when matrimonial pages would read ‘Looking for Founder and CEO’,” he said heartily.

We at YourStory have even ran subtle matrimonial ads for Startup Employees and the whole purpose of this post is for anyone looking to explain to their relatives/friends as to why a startup is a good choice.

First, the perceived problems:

  • There is no security. The company might shut down at any point in time!
  • No Brand Name.
  • Pay is less.
  • A startup person doesn’t have a personal life. Too much work.
  • There is no future.

These are the broad level problems that anyone has with a startup and all explanations have to defend these claims. Yes, a startup person is always on the defensive when tackling such questions. Now, the answer to all these questions lie under 3 buckets which are directed to the doubters:

a)     It’s okay if your kid doesn’t get placed

The most important outcome of a college education is supposed to be the ‘placement’ and this belief is flawed according to me. Once you believe this, you think that placement is security. And once you start thinking this way, you come to believe that one needs to have security in life, there is a mental cage put in place.

Just try and let things be for once. If a person is free, he’ll learn to swim and security is not really necessary because he’ll have the confidence to come out of any situation if he has almost drowned once or twice. So, just relax. Security isn’t why humans took birth on this planet.

b)     Payscale is a relative myth

This explanation will seem a bit philosophical but a startup guy in his place of choice with a lesser pay will be much happier professionally compared to anyone else with a higher pay but ot engaged in his job. And the fact that startups can’t pay is also not entirely true. Some startups might be cash crunched and not pay as much but there are startups that pay much higher than industry standards. ‘Pays’ jump very frequently and as the whole startup roller coaster journey, the ‘pay’ scale curve might follow a similar trajectory but the person will be secured (see point 1).

c)      Relationships are stronger

Startups are hard. Agreed. They take up a lot time, sweat and much more. Agreed. But the relations built alongside building a startup are also stronger because the person knows the value of the time being taken out. He or she will only go ahead with a relationship if they really want to. Read more in depth and see why a person should date an entrepreneur.

But, why all this hurry burry?

All this is fine. But why do all of this? Why look so hassled? Why not just carry on witha job and enjoy life. It again simply comes down to joy of doing things. If a person is allowed to do what s/he wants to do, they’d never ever complaint. Even if they fail. Because they won’t have regrets and killed dreams. They won’t have longing thoughts, “Wish I did that,” or “Wish I had time for this” because they’d have done it. And if not successful, it’d make them stronger. So, just do it!

Hope this helps in pushing the envelope and answers some of the questions people have.

Eagerly waiting for the day when we see matrimonial ads blaring out: “Looking for Founder and CEO!”

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