‘If you’ve never failed in life, you’ll be a bad entrepreneur’ – 60 quotes from Indian startup journeys

By Madanmohan Rao|10th Jun 2019
From stumbles to successes, witness the memorable journey of Indian entrepreneurship in these quotes, excerpts and stories!
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Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a weekly feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our articles of this past week (see the previous post here). Share these 60 gems and insights from the week of June 3-9 with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights. See also our compilation of Top 50 Quotes from 2018 here.


Recycling and sustainability are the future. The early people understand this fact, the better it will be for the planet. - Megha Mendon

We must get the newly formed government to declare a climate emergency. - Karen Raymond, Fridays for Future

If recycled, plastic can be made to form recycled polyester, which in turn is used to produce a number of things like shoes, T-shirts, bags, etc, thereby causing less strain on natural resources. - Anjana Ghosh, Bisleri International

Most of the sustainability initiatives in beauty and personal care are focused on packaging. - Shankar Prasad, Plum

Organisations, governments and communities who embrace sustainability view waste management and recovery of materials to be critical to achieve their sustainability goals. - Ajay Parekh, Pidilite Industries

On November 1, during Kerala’s foundation day, the state declared its intention of becoming India’s first waste-free state, wherein authorities set a target of making Kerala zero-waste in one year’s time. - Renjith Abraham, Suchitwa Mission

Lab-grown protein is far more effective for the future of mankind and to save the planet. - Kartik Dixit, ClearMeat

Nobody is having a dialogue with farmers. The entire farming sector is being threatened in multiple ways. - Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan


When like-minded people with a bigger intent come together, they can achieve much more and can create wonders. - Sunanda Verma Bhatta, Daftar

People assume that once your business is off the ground, things are easy, but growing is much harder than founding a business. - Kanika Tekriwal, JetSetGo

Transformation is a roller-coaster ride. - Helen Eaton, Settlement Music School

If you have the courage to ask for it, you get it. - Keya Salot, Farm2Fam

The key mantra for accessing funding is ‘preparation’. - Sneha Choudhry, Zolo

Founders need to draw a line between volunteering for a cause and running a profitable business. And it’s difficult. - Rini Dutta, Centric Brand Advisors

If at first, you don’t succeed, find someone to help you to try again! - Corine Ackermann, InsurTech Hub Munich

There is so much space for everyone to perform and chase big, bold targets. - Rohit Kapoor, OYO

In a few years, every white-collar professional will think seriously about how to learn something new and have an edge over others. - Krishna Kumar, Simplilearn


Your prospects won’t trust your brand when there are no reviews. Also, only positive reviews could mean that you have forged them. - Sanjay Shenoy, PixelTrack

Most CX products are either too expensive or complicated, and it takes a lot of effort and cost to understand and deploy the system. - Shin Kasugahara, OrangeOne Corporation

The simplicity of the customer experience belies the complexity of the technology behind it. - Jeff Wilke, Amazon

Between robotics and nanotechnology we could probably clean up the planet significantly, if not entirely, within a decade. - Robert Downey Jr

The big threat for traditional food chains is that they have handed over demand generation to third-party apps like Zomato, Swiggy, and Uber Eats. - Aman Kumar, KalaGato

The daily meal subscription market in India is highly unorganised with multiple tiffin services and home chefs operating independently with the help of local chat groups and word of mouth. - Alok Jain, Swiggy

There are three parts to grocery delivery - planned monthly purchases, regular purchases for last-minute needs, and hyperlocal purchases like bread, eggs, and milk. - Hari Menon, BigBasket

It's the era of gig workers, distributed teams, flexible working models and fishnet organisations with malleable structures. - Sanjay Kapoor, Plural Career

The need of the hour is to improve the employability of our youth and leverage technology to enable them to meet both their potential and aspirations. - Sai Sundaram, SucSEED

Several youngsters across India do not get a chance to work on their vocational skills due to outdated education systems, inaccessibility, poverty, and other external factors. - Namrata Baruah, Mentor Together


With increasing digital penetration, a new creed of real estate customers has emerged in India that wants transactions to be convenient and fast. - Mayank Khanduja, SAIF Partners

Over eight lakh newborn babies die in India every year. Many from neonatal jaundice. If they get the right treatment at the right time, they can be saved. - Dr Kiran Kanthi

When the girl in the family is educated, the generations to follow will always be educated. - Sujith Kumar, Maatram Foundation

Low income consumers are underserved when it comes to financial services and pay the higher access cost for basic financial services. - Vikram Vaidyanathan, Matrix India

No longer just disruptors, fintech challengers have grown into sophisticated competitors with an increasingly global reach. - Mahesh Makhija, EY

When you fundamentally move beyond the 40 cities to the 380, you are truly representing India. - Mohit Gupta, Zomato

One of the hallmarks for the future of India will be a strong supply chain across the nation. - Judith McKenna, Walmart International

India thrives when small and medium entrepreneurial ventures succeed. - Nikhil Arora, GoDaddy India

Online and offline experiences are fast coming together and without an omni-channel experience, it will be extremely difficult for a retailer to survive. - Sameer Dhanrajani, Fractal Analytics


The healthcare journey for patients in India involves multiple steps and service providers, which ends up being cumbersome and overwhelming. - Ashish Agrawal, Sequoia

Hope comes before plan. And you can disseminate hope via social media far easier than plans. - Blaze Arizanov, WordSmith Media

Millennials will always choose a smooth product experience over traditional pricing modules. - Satyam Kumar, LoanTap

Millennials are on the move and frequently travel for work and pleasure in search of newer authentic experiences. They are more invested in meeting newer people, building social connections, and creating memories. - Deepak Anand, Housr

Not everyone today invests in precious jewellery very often. But, the inverse is true for fashion jewellery. - Vidya Swaminathan, Mystic Collections

Realising that getting children to school was not enough, policy discourse has finally started moving to quality. But when 50 percent of 10-year-olds still cannot read Class II level books, is this enough? - Soujanya Ganig, WFUNA

It’s not just about keeping the attrition rate down, but helping employees achieve their full potential, which automatically boosts the company’s performance. - Nishith Rastogi, Locus

Although people fear that composting will smell foul and there will be nasty bugs, it's quite a hassle-free process. - Poonam Bir Kasturi, Daily Dump

Tea can be a much more popular beverage if it is offered with the right combination of ambience, service and experience. - Sandeep Kotecha, The Kettlery

The freshly brewed decoction is always the best, as the profile changes within two to three hours. - Harold Pereira, TrueSouth

By adding context not only are you making content useful, you can make it profitable, you can create an impact and maybe, just maybe, make the world a slightly better place to live in. - Sanjay Shenoy, PixelTrack

We cannot solve hunger without active engagement of the private sector. - Davit Kirvalidze, UN FAO

Censorship of any kind is a sign of a weak and scared society. The choice to view something should belong to the consumer. - Novoneel Chakraborty, 'Black Suits You'

By helping seniors gain access to technology, we can empower them to improve their lives. - Aparna Thakker, Empowerji


You just have to stick it out. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. - Shilpa Shetty

Accept the challenges, as everyday is new. Be open to the daily experiences and consider them as lessons for life. - Mariam Mohuideen, Baker's Treat

Though digital tools may help, the artistic journey starts in the head. - Jijo Das, Art of My Optimus

Be original, decide your pace, don’t compare your work to others, be grateful for the little milestones, and take care of your creative health. - Tuheena Raj, WordsofWorth

Be open. Be a sponge and absorb everything. Work hard — and for free if you have to — when following your dreams. Keep at it, don’t let failure stop you. - Bobbi Brown, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

Everybody is born a wonder – whether they love it or hate it is up to them. - Swapnil Tewari, LiveMad

If you’ve never failed in life, you’ll be a bad entrepreneur. - Rajiv Srivatsa, Urban Ladder

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

Also read: The Top 10 Books of 2018 for Entrepreneurs

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