‘Do not just look for role models, be the one too’ – 65 quotes from Indian startup journeys

From attitude to aspiration, witness the memorable journey of Indian entrepreneurship in these quotes, excerpts and stories!

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 65 gems and insights from the week of March 2-8 with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights. See also our compilation of Top Entrepreneurship Quotes of 2019 here.

No matter what your background is, you have the power to follow your dreams and create a better life for yourself. - Mahalakshmi, Ola

It's not just about feeling passionately about the problem that the other person is facing, but also doing something about it. - Shruti Nair, Youth Years at Ashoka

It is very important to set short term, achievable goals and do everything in your power to achieve them. Each time you do so, you will gain more confidence in yourself. - Priyanka Shetty, Mimmo Organic

Never can enough be said about the importance of evolving. - Ritu Chawla Mathur

Your work has the power to initiate a dialogue, spark a change, and challenge us with reimagined possibilities. - Padmaja Nagarur, ArtFlute

The doors are wide now, but it is up to you to unlock the treasures inside. - Hardik Mehta, Kaamyaab

Nothing is more important than playing responsibly. - Navkiran Singh, Baazi Games

The most important element around holistic development is that the student should learn certain soft skills. - Prateek Shukla, Masai School

Math is the language of everyday thinking and problem-solving. The ability to hold a job in the near future will depend on a person's math ability, making it one of the most valuable skills. - Manan Khurma Cuemath

The reward of the young scientist is the emotional thrill of being the first person in the history of the world to see something or understand something. Nothing can compare with that experience. - Cecilia Payne

In a country struggling to outgrow millennia of entrenched gender hierarchies, being a woman entrepreneur is one of the most challenging career paths a person can take. - Vaibhav Vasa, Biz Analyst

Don’t let bias kick you out of the future. - Jenny Lawton, Techstars

Understanding the need of each women entrepreneur and providing her with the right amount of capital with guidance is key. - Ritesh Jain, FlexiLoans

Education begins at home. If the society has to change then parents must teach boys about mutual respect for all. - Vishal Saurav, Xboom

Women must take the ownership to drive their growth trajectory and make conscious efforts to not shy away from speaking their mind. - Sonali Thite, Flipkart

Right from television to films, media has helped change the outlook of people towards women. - Sonia Huria, Viacom18 Media

The future of the PR industry clearly includes many female leaders, and the forecasted figures only point towards an unprecedented perpetual increase. - Anindita Gupta, Scenic Communication

When one woman helps another, amazing things can happen, and professional careers can leap forward. – Gargi Dasgupta, IBM

Do not just look for role models, be the one too. - Manbir Kaur, ‘Are You The Leader You Want To Be?’

Normalising harassment has a devastating effect on the victims. - Sandeep Patil, Truecaller

While the world has mustered the political will to send many girls to school, it has come up embarrassingly short on equipping them with the skills and support they need not only to shape their own destinies, but to live in safety and dignity. - Henrietta Fore, UNICEF

Never try to be a man in the so-called ‘Man’s World’ of corporate leadership and entrepreneurial journey because it’s a privilege to be a woman. - Swati Biswas, Terrago Logistics

Always playing safe is never a great recipe for success and neither is being reckless - you need to arrive at a middle path. - Jaya Singh, Texas Instruments

In today’s ever-evolving business environment, only companies that are inclusive are set to succeed in the long run. - Apporva Ranjan Sharma, 9Unicorn

Despite the global economic climate, India's startup and VC ecosystems continue to thrive as investors take a long- term view based on the country's growth potential. - Arpan Sheth, Bain & Company

Only concerted efforts by the government and private sector can build a future-ready workforce. - Siddhartha Gupta, Mercer|Mettl

Taxing people before they have made money is a stressful thing. - Deepak Agarwal, Auric

Indian students studying abroad today spend $15 billion annually. - Ashish Agrawal, Sequoia Capital India

The coffee lovers’ landscape has evolved across the globe and the cold brew coffee concept has gradually seeped into the Indian markets as well. - Ajai Thandi, Sleepy Owl

With the increasing presence of local growers and passionate home-brewers taking interest in their morning cuppa, coffee has come a long way from simply being just another drink in a tea-loving nation. - Abhinav Mathur, Kaapi Machines

Healthy food need not be boring. They can be tasty and be equally pleasing in terms of aesthetics. - Sunayana Hiran, Enerjuvate

Despite buses being the most popular means of intercity transport in the country, the market is highly fragmented and non-standardised. - Aloke Bajpai, ixigo

Everyone is finally realising that they have to work with the kiranas instead of trying to replace them. - Prithwi Singh, SuperZop

The water resources in the world are fast depleting, and it is time to make the world water positive and renew our groundwater sources. - Navkaran Singh Bagga, AKVO

Collaborate to Create is a requirement in today's times to achieve the goal of sustainable growth and lay the foundation of our future. - PM Narendra Modi

Lack of egalitarian healthcare is a major problem, and the silence of the medical community is unsettling, to say the least. - Savitha Kuttan, Omnicuris

These days private greed seems to be winning over public good. Unfortunately, the former is influencing the government to a large extent. - Harish Kumar, Namma Bengaluru Foundation

Europeans like cooler colours but in India, we like warmer colours. Within India too, there are myriad tastes and preferences. - Madhur Goel, STENNA

Weavers always have a story to tell. Like why he chose a particular colour. Why was a saree not in green or pink but in red or blue? - Nishant Malhotra, WeaverStory.com

Mithila art is unique and the coming generation should also think about keeping it alive. - Godawari Dutta

Public art festivals bring to the fore a collective excitement of reaching out to a much larger audience than the confines of either a museum or an art gallery. - Sumi Gupta, VR Bengaluru

It isn’t about how many hours you code in a day. It is about what you code. - Gunjan Patidar, Zomato

No one questions the value of data – but many companies need to re-invent their approach to data governance, analysis, and decision-making. - Sanjeev Vohra, Accenture

Technology in the construction space has coincided with growing demand for faster construction and world-class quality. - Gurjot Bhatia, CBRE

While innovation has in some way or the other tweaked our clothes and accessories, socks have remained neglected. - Vidushi Kanoria, Soxytoes

Cryptocurrencies have become an asset class of their own. - Krupesh Bhat, LegalDesk.com

As long as crypto firms are maintaining thorough identity checks and performing audits (as they were doing earlier), any company should be allowed to trade. - Arpit Ratan, Signzy

As businesses become increasingly tech-heavy, there is only ever going to be a growing need for no-code platforms to take the burden off of development teams. - Joyeeta Das, Gyana

Telemedicine is indeed a bright spot in the future of healthcare today, and is already playing a significant role in improving the accessibility of healthcare services for remote and under-served populations. - Vikram Thaploo, Apollo Hospitals Group

Space technology and space is going to be the next big thing for the country. - Santhosh Chandrashekar Kurup, Kerala Space Park

The problem for high acquisition costs and high churn is so bad in the restaurant industry because of deep discounting. - Ankita Garg, Enthrall Labs

Voice is just a whole new frontier and there’s no playbook that has been proven anywhere in the world. - Dipa Balakrishnan, Amazon India

Speech is not a privilege, but a right. - Vishal Rao, Innaumation

Startups are a source of creativity, vigour and dynamism. - Chenraj Roychand, Jain University

The companionship of the people who are with the founder or the founding team is very important. It is just like a marriage. - Avnish Bajaj, Matrix Partners India

It is really important that a startup has backing from a VC who has seen enough disaster in his time. - Rahul Chandra, Unitary Helion Ventures

Leadership is the self-confidence of working with people smarter than you. - Azim Premji, Wipro

Making quick decisions and taking risks is an integral part of any business and we cannot afford to shy away from doing either. - Komal Agarwal, Pebble

Sometimes the only kind of innovation comes when you have some solitude; when you step away. - Anand Mahindra

False optimism can easily lead you astray and prevent you from making contingency plans or taking bold action. - Sequoia Capital

One has to be a fighter and not be afraid of taking risks, one needs to constantly innovate and hire a team of trustworthy people. - Harjinder Kaur Talwar, FICCI FLO

A company that looks at problems of other companies and learns from their mistakes is a successful one. - Dilip Shanghvi, Sun Pharmaceuticals

Conscious, systematic marketing is not a distraction from your product. It is your product. - Philip John, ‘Labyrinths’

You have to go way deeper than conventional marketing strategy if you really want to build a brand that customers and employees truly like and respect. - Mohit Jayal, Motherland Strategic Design

Companies squander a third of their customer acquisition costs on preventable lead losses. They also face the unpredictability of sales outcomes and an inability to replicate success at scale. - Surga Thilakan, Salesken.ai

A collaborative approach between corporates is essential to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country by linking talent, technology, capital, and know-how. - James Unterreiner, Shell E4 Startup Hub

Each hardship will make you stronger. Have a clear winning attitude and believe in yourself. You are your biggest supporter. - Julia Carmen Desa, TRES

Failure is inevitable, but so is success, so rebound. - Naveen Tiwari, InMobi

Nobody tells you how hard entrepreneurial journey is as one has to make a lot of sacrifices. It is like going through a sauna, sweating day and night. - Asheesh Mehra, AntWorks Group

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).


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