This article is reproduced from ISB Alumni Affairs News letter and is written by Vivek pahwa. The article lucidly explains the life on an young entrepreneur. I thought this is worth reproducing.
In this article, Pahwa gives a first hand account about being a young entrepreneur. “A combination of passion, risk taking, and a commitment to build something big and different,” he prescribes.
The Purpose, the Pursuit
Being an entrepreneur is a responsibility – a responsibility to produce superior goods and services for people to consume in an efficient manner, and to put capital, intellect and knowledge to productive use. It means giving up personal interests in the interest of building an enduring company. It means to pursue the journey of building value for your employees, shareholders and customers single mindedly. It often consumes your entire ‘brain space’, and therefore becomes the pursuit of life itself for most entrepreneurs.
The most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur is creating a product or service which benefits people. Use feedback on how they have benefited from the use of our product, not only makes us happy but also motivates us to create an even more rewarding experience for the users.
On the other hand, there are many days where effort goes into things with seemingly no benefit. The results take a long time to show and this can get quite frustrating. Being an entrepreneur means a lot of effort in the initial days, without much feedback.
Real Life Learning
When I graduated from business school, I thought I had the necessary skills, tools and experiences required to become a successful entrepreneur. However, I have learned a great deal more outside the classroom. Practical skills of identifying, attracting and motivating talent and people in your organisation, working and building performance oriented teams, learning how to deal with failure or disappointments, and the ability to overcome challenges to achieve success – these are some of the “real life” management skills that are essential for success.
I believe that there are a few essential traits to become a successful entrepreneur. First, the determination to succeed is very important. It helps in overcoming all the obstacles and challenges that come in the way. Second, enthusiasm and energy are essential to building a successful business. Finally, having a business sense – some people naturally have a keen sense of profiting by doing business, and these people tend to be street-smart, fast and hard negotiators, and tend to get the best out of their employees. This is a very important differentiator.
To be a successful entrepreneur, it is important to be committed to it - be prepared to spend the rest of your life in building the business. Do it because you are passionate about the idea and want to create a change in the world. Have an incessant need to create, build value, and grow the business.
It is beneficial for a young entrepreneur to have a mentor. It can cut down the mistakes you make into half. A mentor can help you choose the right track, make the right ‘big’ decisions and support you when you are discouraged, since he/she probably has been through the same path successfully.
Vivek Pahwa, Class of ‘06 was named Asia’s Best Entrepreneur according to a 2008 poll conducted by Business Week. Post ISB, Pahwa started a social networking site in India called DesiMartini.com., which he later sold. Pahwa then founded the company Accentium Web Pvt. Ltd., which created a niche matrimony site, SecondShaadi.com. The site on date records 150,000 registered users. Accentiums second site, Gaadi.com, an auto research site, is already the number one automobile web site in India. Accentium also runs StudyNation, Taaza.com.com and SitaGita.com.