‘Be rigid about your vision and flexible about your plans’ – 55 quotes from Indian startup journeys

From pivots to persistence, 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 55 gems and insights from the week of July 20-26 with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights. See also our special compilation of quotes related to India’s coronavirus responses here.

"It isn’t about how many hours you work, but what is the output." - Sarbvir Singh, PolicyBazaar

"We may make mistakes, and that's okay — you have to do the right thing at every point, and take the good with the bad, but you don't have to run away from difficult decisions." - Ratan Tata

"No matter how great your wings are — if you had to jump off a mountain to fly, then the wind has to be there." - Jaspreet Singh, Druva

"Things will happen if you keep focused on your goal and are patient. Things do not happen overnight but perseverance pays off!" - Prajakta Koli, ‘Khayali Pulav’

"Whatever you wish for, want, and desire for is all there in the universe. It is upto us to pick them up and how we choose to see them." - Shilpa Agarwalla,  ShilpSutra

"You are not always the smartest person in the room and that is okay. By accepting and acknowledging that, you make it easier for your team members to relate with you." - Sarbvir Singh, PolicyBazaar

"You are in the business to serve your customers, your shareholders, and all your stakeholders. Do it ethically, and do not jeopardise the safety." - Ratan Tata

"The world is full of players. Be a gamechanger." - Chinu Kala, Rubans Accessories

"Unlike your cloud backend, the complexity of an organisation is non-linear, and founders are often faced with a fresh set of ongoing challenges in building this ‘human engine’." - Alok Goyal, Stellaris Venture Partners

"In your 20s, the firm is buying you for your brainpower. As you get into your 30s, the firm is also buying you for many other things such as driving leverage, or driving access to certain networks." - Sajith Pai, Blume Ventures

"Age is not an issue when one is in search of education." - Lahkmen Rymbui, Minister for Education, Meghalaya

"Enhancing performance through the better use of knowledge assets is the ultimate achievement of high-performing organisations." - Arthur Shelley, ‘KNOWledge SUCCESSion’

"Entrepreneurship is not only about how to succeed but also about how one recovers after a failure." - Sajan Pillai, Season Two Ventures

"Product thinking and human-centred design make technologies more approachable for people." - Rahul Karankal, WFHtable.com

"If you build a great product, you get a great community and [if] you are really constantly listening to them, people like to be part of this journey with you." - Abhinav Asthana, Postman

"An ideal client is one who knows that a design solution goes way beyond a product, because in the design thinking and research process lie huge answers, which hold in them the secret to transform a business."  - Neil Foley, Neil Foley Designs

"There is more to business than just presenting the product." - Ashwitha Reddy Chinnamail, LevelApp

"The best way to configure the next set of features is to talk to customers directly, empathise with their problems, and find solutions to fix them." - Vaibhav Khandelwal, Shadowfax

"Over the last two years, India has seen a boom in the number of youngsters pursuing creative careers." - Varun Agarwal, Mento

"The world feels like it’s moving at a slower rate, which gives us all time to go inward, especially as creative people." - Kiran Gandhi

"If you want to write, you have to be a good observer, talk to a lot of people, and get as much exposure as you can. Characters can't be perfect or flat." - Srishti Chaudhary, 'Lallan Sweets'

"Expect to lose a lot of friends and expect to sacrifice your Friday nights out with friends for staying indoors and working on your music." - Arzutra Garielle, Woh Pal

"As human beings, all we want is acceptance, but that acceptance cannot come from the world, unless we accept various facets of ourselves." - Vidya Balan

"Don't be scared to experiment. Out of this, your individual unique style will emerge." - Devika Sathyavelu, 'Incredible Talents 2020'

"Somebody who was good at stitching is now a face mask entrepreneur." - Akshay Krishnaiah, Line

"Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"India is among the countries that have the highest out of pocket healthcare expenditure." - Abhishek Tiwari, iassure.com

"Having a global vision for Indian products is the need of the hour." - Union Minister for MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari

"India, having the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, has over 500 startup incubators." - Rahul Bhargava, PurpleCrest

"Evolved fashion in developed country is about ‘stories’ unlike in India where precious metals and stones are important." - Sandhya Purani,  Naturecraft Fashions

"Indian youth have an eye on fashion and trends. Most of them are not loyal to a specific brand, which allows new-age companies to step in." - Mithun Bhardwaj, Zashed Fashiontech

"We expect around 20 percent EV penetration in e-auto category by FY25. We expect this segment to be Rs 40 billion (Rs 4,000 crore) by FY25." - Ankit Singhal, Avendus Capital

"The apple-picking experience is highly popular in developed countries like the US and Europe, but there is little awareness in India." - Chirag Bansal, LivingStone Stays

"The rural, tribal and agri sections of the economy need to be developed on a priority basis...65 percent of our population belongs to these areas." - Union MSME Minister for MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari

"For the steel sector to grow and contribute to the Indian economy, which the government is vouching on, other sectors like cement and automobile also needs to grow." - Rajkumar Goel, SLR Metaliks

"Today, there is global optimism towards India. This is because India offers a perfect combination of openness, opportunities, and options. Let me elaborate. India celebrates openness in people and in governance." - PM Narendra Modi

"Agriculture is one of India’s largest industries, and the lack of organisation in the space clearly outlines the vast opportunity available." - Tarun Davda, Matrix India

"With the ageing population and their evolving preferences, India needs to evolve its way of approaching senior care." - Rajit Mehta, Antara Senior Living

"We all know that future jobs will require a basic understanding of science and math, but the skill scores of our students are lagging behind other developed countries." - Aniket Gupta, Vigyan Manch

"In situations where SMEs may not have dedicated HR teams or budgets to hire recruitment agencies, recruitment platforms provide a cost-effective solution to hiring at scale." - Vikram Ahuja, Talent500

"Whether stakeholders view compliance as a ‘thorn in the flesh, or ‘dagger in the heart,’ it goes without saying that improving ease of doing business will benefit MSMEs immensely." - Manish Sabharwal, TeamLease Services

"One successful woman entrepreneur opens a wide window of opportunities for many." - Vinay Subramanyam, Britannia Industries

"Women communities are safe spaces that make it easier for them to be candid, original and authentic, and where expressions of vulnerability are encouraged." - Vanshika Goenka, Kool Kanya

"Real empowerment comes only when women have financial empowerment and financial independence." - Nisary Mahesh, HerMoneyTalks

"Early-stage female founders pitching for capital on an average receive $1 million less than their male counterparts." - Tamara Steffens, Microsoft M12

"Climate change has affected mostly communities in the last mile. It has impacted life, destroyed homes, caused displacements and impacted livelihood. That’s why we can’t ignore sustainability anymore." - Moirangthem Seth, SNL Energy Solutions

"The electrification of commercial vehicles is bound to have a much larger impact on urban air pollution compared to the electrification of any other mode of transportation." - Nakul Kukar, Cell Propulsion

"Imagine the publicity and resonance among the public when a car company announces that the plastic waste generated from cars is actually converted into diesel through an eco-friendly process." - Vidya Amarnath, Paterson Energy

"Strong partnerships can lower the barriers to green financing." - Sameer Tirkar, responsAbility

"A livelihood is 'sustainable' when it can offer a stable, dignified means of living, even in times of crisis and change, without undermining the natural resource base." - Archana Sinha, Ashoka South Asia

"Nothing tastes as fresh and wonderful as coriander and methi grown at home." - Deepa Kannan, PFNR

"A company is traditionally viewed by the profits it makes, and that covers, shields, protects, and camouflages what's inside the company." - Ratan Tata

"The compliance to your word comes only after you have gained their trust." - Aastha Ritu Garg, Padmashali

"Be rigid about your vision and flexible about your plans." - Amit Somani, Prime Venture Partners

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).

Edited by Kanishk Singh


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