AAP (Aam Aadmi Party), the political party fueled by Indian youth, clean-swiped the Delhi Assembly with a staggering majority against all biggies and got the nickname of “political startup”. Here are 5 lessons, which every startup should learn from Kejriwal and AAP’s triumph this time around:
“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change” – AAP, a 3 year old party won the Delhi elections capturing 67 of the total 70 seats. Amidst severe competition from the centuries and decade old political parties with veterans wielding all the power to suppress any newbie, AAP struck the chord with the common man by addressing his/her problems, and came up with an agenda that was need of the need of the hour. For startups who plant their feet into a new ecosystem, it will be dominated by biggies both influential and powerful, yet adapting to change, responding to it quickly to address the actual needs of the target audience always pays off.
A strong team is the plinth of strength and success –Kejriwal and AAP wouldn’t have been where they are today without the help of an efficient team who coordinated at each step, right from the policy making, election planning and execution to believing in their leader even in the thickest of the times. As a start-up, even if you have a solid vision but a team, which fails to understand your goals and objectives, and is unable to put your ideas into action, your startup would end in doom. Be very selective about people whom you hire, instill a sense of belongingness and have a shared vision. It’s not just about your startup; it’s about several dreams culminating into one success story.
Believe in the power of PR – This year when the elections turned foul, with parties abusing Kejriwal and his party with profane vocabulary, they simply resorted to talking about the progress they wanted to make and never entered into a nasty dialogue. Audience is never fascinated by obscenities, what they want to listen is how you’ll serve them and solve their problems. In this age of social media the users of a brand play a major role in publicity of a brand, make your customers happy and they will be an advocate of your product.
If people don’t like what you’re offering it’s not failure, rather some short comings in customer delivery – Right from the very start Kejriwal was very clear about his core points – integrity, transparency and honesty - and he conveyed this to the audience very clearly. However, during his first stint of 49 days he wasn’t successful enough and had to back out. Most entrepreneurs don’t succeed in the first attempt this doesn’t mean they’ll be lead to failure. Introspect on the past failures, points that did not resonate with the audience, work on them, come up with a modified offering, and success is all yours.
Start lean and then expand – AAP has had their own share of not-so-well performance in the 2014 elections. In the 2015 elections Kejriwal decided to concentrate all efforts on the Delhi constituency. Many startups in their initial days start doing too many things together and lose their focus. For a new player, it is very important to focus on a specific domain before expanding it to other areas. Follow the lean principle, think big yet start small. I encourage you to take a look at these 5 lessons and apply them to your startup. Anyone have any other lessons that we can imbibe? Let me know in the comments.
About the Author :
Kaartik Iyer is the founder of Infigic – An ecommerce agency focusing on Design, Development & Digital Marketing based out of Ahmedabad.