‘Persistence is crucial, but so is adaptability’: 80 quotes from Indian startup journeys

By Madanmohan Rao
March 23, 2020, Updated on : Thu Apr 22 2021 06:03:35 GMT+0000
‘Persistence is crucial, but so is adaptability’: 80 quotes from Indian startup journeys
From patience to persistence, 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 80 gems and insights from the week of March 16-22 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.


The corona virus has forced us to pause and figure out how we run businesses, how we travel and how we treat each other, and most important of all how we treat the world and the species present in this world. - Shoba Narayan

These are testing times, but we all have to maintain discipline, to prevent the spread of the virus. - PM Narendra Modi

This isn’t business as usual, and it’s a time of great stress and uncertainty. - Jeff Bezos, Amazon

The truth is, we do not operate in a “stay safe” space, and we never did. - Eric Benhamou, BGV

The threats emanating from the outbreak of COVID-19 will soon recede, but it has taught us many lessons. - T N Hari, Fundamentum

This a right time for hard pivots. If your product is not already doing well and you are hitting wall you might as well use this time to pivot completely to another idea. - Mayank Khanduja, SAIF Partners

Treat this crisis as practice for the next crisis. - John Parenti

It’s important to find creative ways to support children during this uncertain and disruptive time. - Meenakshi SKM

The global scale and speed of the current educational disruption is unparalleled and, if prolonged, could threaten the right to education. - Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO

COVID-19 has indeed impacted and will affect the execution of commercial contracts significantly in the near future. - Sonam Chandwani, KS Legal & Associates

The outbreak of COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire across the globe, causing every nation and organisations to go into lockdowns and quarantines to keep themselves safe. - Shihab Muhammed, SurveySparrow

The outbreak of COVID-19 poses a risk of impacting the health and livelihoods of millions across the country. - Anand Subramanian, Ola

We need more Indian innovators to start building such indigenous solutions for potential ventilators shortage and other COVID-19 cures. - Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm

Every country will have to create its own Post VirusWar Marshall plan and take care of those in society who are hit the hardest. - Anand Mahindra


Even if you don't get sick, the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else. - Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO

Building a strong immune system is key to preventing not just COVID-19 but many more conditions. - Anu Acharya, Mapmygenome

Personal hygiene is of prime importance to contain the spread of coronavirus. - Nikhil Sikri, Zolo

It is an important responsibility for each one of us to teach fellow Indians about the importance of personal hygiene as part of daily routine. - Siddharth Pandey, Paytm

Caring for your body, mind, and spirit is your greatest and grandest responsibility. It's about listening to the needs of your soul and then honouring them. – Kristi Ling

When you are fit and healthy, you can help others in a better manner. - Malaika Arora, Diva Yoga

Don’t panic and cause yourself adrenal dysfunction, which can in fact make you more susceptible to COVID-19. - Deepa Kannan, PFNR

While it is challenging to work remotely, this is also an opportunity for you to acquire and hone so many new skills like planning, forward-thinking, coordination in times of distress, and so on. - Sarvesh Agrawal, Internshala


While data can be very effective for your business, it is what you do with those insights that differentiates you from your peers. - Dhimaan Shah, StyleCracker

Training data is the fuel that brings AI models to life. - Ashwin Chalam, Curley Street Media

A robust enterprise-grade data protection system for the cloud-native workload is mandatory. - Tapesh Goyal, Nimesa

Leveraging cloud computing technology to modernise and scale for growth is on the agenda of almost every enterprise CEO and CIO. - Karan Bajwa, Google Cloud

Saving cost is not just a statement in the organisation, it becomes a part of your cloud operations journey. - Harshad Satam, AWS

With over a billion people around the world living with some form of disability, it is critical that we find new ways to use technology to enable everyone to fully participate in the socio-economic environment around us. - Anant Maheshwari, Microsoft India

There is a huge gap right now in the recycling capacity of e-waste. We need better systems to dispose of toxic waste. - Pranshu Singhal, Karo Sambhav

You can only experience the beauty of technology and knowledge when you use it and build something from scratch. - Lalitesh Katragadda, Indihood


From being a neglected system to transforming into an emotive and empathetic sector, the Indian pet care industry is turning into a fast-growing segment. - Anushka Iyer, Wiggles.in

The popularity of online gaming has reached a stage where it is challenging traditional entertainers i.e movies and music for consumer eyeballs. - Pranjal Kumar, Bertelsmann India Investments

There is immense potential for startups to emerge from Tier II and III cities. - Mayank Patel, CrAdLE

After a good start to PE/VC investments in 2020, both investment and exit activity have declined considerably in February 2020. - Vivek Soni, EY India

India has the biggest tech talent pool in the world. - Nischal Shetty, WazirX

There are complexities in EV adoption. The country lacks a charging infrastructure, leading to range anxiety among the drivers and fleet operators. - Bhargava G A, Enercent

With strong policy tailwinds of BS VI regulations and an awaited scrappage policy, there is a growing market for used commercial vehicles to boost last-mile connectivity in India. - Vikram Gandhi, Asha Impact

India is a country of over a billion people, and public transport just hasn’t scaled to the size of the population. It has led people to buy two-wheelers and four-wheelers. - Vivekananda HR, Bounce

The hunger for growth and learning is more in students from small towns. - Sumeet Verma, KopyKitab

With social media becoming an indispensable part of people’s lives, there has been a widespread transformation in the way fashion is being consumed in India. - Sabena Puri, Stage 3

Boots are going to be huge in the next three-four years in India. - Abhishek Chopra, Churchill & Company

Just in the top 10 cities of India, the opportunity size for fast-food is approximately Rs 500 crore, and is growing at an estimated rate of 11 percent Y-o-Y. - Aakanksha Chaudhary, Chaat Street

A lot of people think of Ayurveda as a medical stream. But, it is a way of life that helps you gain a deeper understanding of your body, mind, senses, emotions, and soul. - Partap Chauhan, Jiva Ayurveda

There is a lot of subjectivity in both discovery and assessment in the alternative medicine space today. - Gaurav Bhalotia, FindMyHealth


If you can sell your product in a good market and your customers take your word to 10 others, that is product-market fit for you. - Amit Somani, Prime Venture Partners

The best managers figure out how to get great outcomes by setting the appropriate context, rather than by trying to control their people. - Reed Hastings, Netflix

Prepare for growth before growing. - Kainaz Messman Harchandra, Theobroma

Research has proven that accelerators have a positive impact on the growth of companies. - Rohit Dak, Zeolyt

Entrepreneur is not a job title. It is a state of mind of people who want to alter the future. - Guy Kawasaki

Only when you see suffering can you feel it. - Swati Pasari

In a mentally taxing activity like trading, you need to have a calm and peaceful mind. - Nithin Kamath, Zerodha


There are millions who are above the XL (extra-large) size and struggle to find the right size apparel or footwear. - Dhruv Chadha, Jupiter Shop

People are gravitating more towards direct-to-manufacturer approach for obtaining financial products like direct mutual funds and low-cost insurance. - Srikanth Meenakshi, PrimeInvestor.in

Debit cards, because of their ease to use and familiarity, continue to be the first choice of newly banked customers. - TR Ramachandran, Visa

Many people around the world want to get a seat at the table for the next revolution of intangible asset financing, - Linda Portnoff, Riteband

Independent financial entrepreneurs have long been the “bridge of trust” for clients, not only existing, but new savers. - Rajan Pathak, Fintso


While the 3 ‘COs’ of coworking—collaboration, community, and convenience—appeals to millennials, the Generation Z values another CO—consciousness. - Sumit Lakhani, Awfis

Most farmers don’t have a ready buyer when crops are harvested. - Himanshu Agarwal, GreenDesk.

For a consumer, finding the right size for one’s body shape is often challenging, as the retail industry has no set standard sizing system for all brands. - Samiksha Bajaj, Samshék

More and more lenders are creating loans and credit card offerings that are specifically aimed at the woman consumer. - Sujata Ahlawat, TransUnion CIBIL

There is also a need to create greater accessibility to financial services and nurture supportive entrepreneurial conditions for women. - Neha Bagaria, JobsForHer

As we move towards a more progressive society, we need to start looking at diversity and inclusion more holistically and stop compartmentalising each of the issues. - Shilpa Sinha Harsh, Hinduja Global Solutions

By choosing a brand that uses only vegan ingredients, you are contributing to ensure none of the products are tested on animals. - Divya Dinesh, Addvantis Enterprises


Art is about your personal connection to the theme, medium and style. While commercial interests are important, do not forego this connection. - Jayanthi Shegar, Art Houz

Everyone is born very, very, very creative, but at some point, it can be scary to try to do something new, that feels different. - Evan Thomas Spiegel, Snap

The unifying and uplifting messages of Indian classical music and art are more relevant now than ever before. - HN Suresh, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

Every one's journey as a creator is different as everyone is catering to a different audience. - Radhika Bangia

Original content is the cornerstone of creating memorable stories that resonate with the viewer long after the show is over. - Prashanti Malisetti, Pixel Pictures

A bike gives you a sense of freedom, which doesn’t compare to anything else in the world. - Amanda Brown, Wizcraft

Never stop aspiring. Success is for sure a definition of one’s satisfaction, but enjoy every small milestone. - Swaroop V

There are no shortcuts to knowledge, especially knowledge gained from personal experience. - Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz


If what you create does not outlive you, then you have failed. - Uday Kotak

In our country, failure is still not taken well; there is a negative connotation attached to it. - Latha Pandiarajan, Ma Foi

The sign of a good leader is the ability to spot your failures, correct them quickly, and not to repeat them. - Vinita Ananth, Microsoft Azure

Don’t be embarrassed by your failures. Learn from them and start all over again. - Richard Branson, Virgin Group

Never be defeated by mistakes, just learn from them! - Dipali Mathur, Super Smelly

When the challenges come, how you learn from that and how you introspect takes you to another level. Every challenge will take you somewhere. - Kishore Biyani, Future Group

Being emotionally invested in your startup could also lead to insulation and irrationality. - Madhurima Agarwal, NetApp Excellerator

It is important to quickly be able to test out ideas and identify what can create value for customers. - Nitin Gupta, FlytBase

As entrepreneurs you have to be fearless, and go after things that nobody has gone after before. - Tim Draper

Stubbornness will not take the founders and the startups very far, but conviction will. - Rutvik Doshi, Inventus Capital India

Persistence is crucial, but so is adaptability. - Apoorva Ranjan, 9Unicorn

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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