inlingua New Delhi: Does a startup entrepreneur need to speak good English?
Ventures, Investments and English - Weird but potent concoction for a founderRanjeet Wadhwa
Agree with it or not, but we live in an English-centric world. It is the language of the air (all the pilots are required to communicate in English) and the language of the land as well, since more than half a billion people in the world use the language for communication. India being no different from the rest of the world when it comes to the use of the language, courtesy - globalization. The language itself can be considered a status symbol, and an ‘uber cool’ way to communicate. This elite status and wide expanse of English makes it one of the most sought after languages in the world.
Consequently the use of the language to gauge and participate in several industries isn't unheard of. With the Indian government running the ‘Startup India’ drive, people from even the most modest backgrounds are getting the support they need to start their own ventures. However, some people fail to communicate in English - it not being their mother tongue. As budding entrepreneurs and CEOs in making, it becomes even more important for the flag-bearers of industries to bridge the communication gap between them and the rest of the world.
According to linguistic experts at Inlingua New Delhi, fluency in English is not necessary for being a known personality in the business world (your work does that for you). However, being the lingua franca, English always makes its need felt in appropriate and useful communication . Fluency in English assures a budding entrepreneur that he/she will face the least struggle while making his/her voice heard. You wouldn't a lack of words or confidence spoil your investor presentation or product pitch. Speaking in a language that the listener understands well always manages to fetch you some brownie points.
However, fluency in English is one thing, communicating well is another. A perfect mix of both traits makes you a good speaker. Being an entrepreneur, one might frequently be needed to address a group of investors, host customer seminars or explain his/her vision regarding the startup in an interview. Faltering in expressing your vision and opinion might break the deal for you. Fluency falls under the umbrella of communication skills, and it is that that you should aim to master.
“It is the fear of speaking something wrong and the embarrassment that would follow which makes us terrible English speakers,” said an expert at Inlingua New Delhi. A beginner in English learning might find the statement highly relatable. However, one must understand and acknowledge the fact that it is impossible to learn something without making mistakes. To combat the embarrassment you fear the most, confidence is the key. Making mistakes is natural; it is important that you learn from those mistakes.
In a nutshell, learning English might not be everything you’ll need to be a successful entrepreneur, but the fact that English is vastly used all around the world makes learning it highly useful for your venture. While your work is what would be valued the most, you can’t win as an entrepreneur without using your communication abilities. It'd be a cliche to refer some of the greatest orators or industry leaders since they themselves ushered a revolution through their words.
It would be just like building a business from your invention without good business skills. The good news is that fluency in English is learnable. The earlier you start, the better prepared you will be.