[TechSparks 2020] Sridhar Vembu, Bhavish Aggarwal, Gaurav Munjal list key entrepreneurship traits for startup founders
“The real way for India to become a superpower is with more entrepreneurs who create more employment.” — Nithin Kamath, Co-founder and CEO, Zerodha
The glory of the Indian startup ecosystem is that it resounds with such powerful voices.
From Flipkart, the poster boy of the ecommerce sector that started ops at the onset of India's digital revolution, to bootstrapped unicorn Zoho, which has now made a mark across the world, the country is witnessing a consistent annual growth of 12-15 percent in the number of startups.
Both corporate and government support are driving the growth of the startup ecosystem. However, the backbone of this boom is the tenacity of Indian founders.
At TechSparks 2020, the 11th edition of YourStory’s annual flagship event held on October 26-30, 2020, YourStory got a chance to speak with more than 300 speakers, with many discussions focused on key entrepreneurship traits that can keep the founders stay afloat even in difficult times and get ahead.
Here are five key traits that can prove to be a game changer for present and future entrepreneurs:
Set iconic goals
Being at the right place at the right time is crucial for the success of a business. However, as a leader, one needs to set high aspirations. For sometimes, the demons we create in our head defeat us before actual downfalls.
“I always believed in the concept of iconic goals. You will never achieve more than what you dream of,” said Gaurav Munjal, Co-founder and CEO, Unacademy.
Believe in your vision
The outcomes can be different for different people; you can't control them. But doing what you love and believing in your vision helps you get success. One needs to learn how to survive in business. If we stay true to ourselves, something good will happen.
“Overnight successes are not predictable. But you can do it in a consistent way with zero expectations,” said Sridhar Vembu, Founder and CEO, Zoho.
Be optimistic during adversity
When you know you can't fail, you end up succeeding. There are times when people will not agree on strategies, but as an entrepreneur, one should always do the right thing, without hiding emotions, and being driven by hope and optimism.
“If you are doing it for the right reasons, you will remain optimistic,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola.
Risks, challenges, failures, and hardships play important roles in shaping entrepreneurs. Instead of shying away from difficult times, one should take these learnings as lessons that only life can teach.
“If you have not faced a good level of adversity, things can be more difficult,” said Shailendra Singh, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital.
Build a great team and culture
Money cannot get entrepreneurs great resources; it's the team that counts. People have to be sold to the vision and idea, not money. Sometimes, entrepreneurs end up focusing on business so much that they ignore the organisation.
“You think that people will grow themselves. We realise that we need to invest more time and effort in the organisation,” Bhavish said.
Also, in the physical world, you can force your personality on someone; everyone needs a purpose.
“You have to be very clear why you are asking them to do something, and how you can cut out the non-essential stuff as a leader,” said Sarbvir Singh, CEO, PolicyBazaar.
Create more leaders
In a world where everyone is trying to make their way, you stand out if you help others. As key leaders of the Indian startup ecosystem believe, entrepreneurs’ biggest responsibility is to help create more leaders and entrepreneurs.
“I predicted this years ago that if we are to be successful, an explosion of companies will come from Zoho,” Sridhar Vembu said.