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Business And EntrepreneurshipCareer DevelopmentStart-ups

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the World of Entrepreneurship

Uncover the essence of entrepreneurship and embark on a transformative journey. This article delves into the two types of people in India, the significance of entrepreneurship throughout history, and the vast opportunities available in the Indian startup ecosystem. Gain insights from successful entrepreneurs and access essential tips to kickstart your entrepreneurial career. Together, let's shape a new India and a new world through entrepreneurship.

There are two kinds of people in this world, and especially in India:

The first are the kind that blame the system, the government, the education process, and everything else for all the problems they face; these people are struggling to find a job, barely making ends meet, they are one among millions applying for a limited number of government jobs.

And the second kind are a breed of people who love solving problems, who create jobs, wealth, and opportunities, people who start something from scratch and turn it into a Unicorn in six months during a global pandemic and lockdown. These people create solutions for themselves, the country, the world, and in some cases for the entire human race.

Are you ready to learn how to become the second kind of person?

If you are still reading then we are all in for a wonderful journey together, let’s take-off!

Entrepreneur: An individual who solves problems and brings resources together to build a company

Entrepreneurship: The journey of an entrepreneur and the process of creating a business

Startup: A new age company which starts with a fundamental approach of solving a problem

Entrepreneurship is not something new, it has definitely not started after the Internet impacted our lives, Entrepreneurship is a phenomenon which has been around for thousands of years.

You can find businessmen and entrepreneurs right from Mohenjo-Daro to Harappa, from Marco Polo to Egyptian civilization to Ibn Battuta. In fact, India was a hub of entrepreneurship right until the time we were colonized. It is only after imperial rule was established that doing a job became more fashionable and respectful in society, a job became a signifier of one having ‘arrived’ in their life.

I am not claiming here that having a job is bad and entrepreneurship is the only good thing, not at all. In India, we have a lot more people working for the government, the private sector, and the informal sector. However, for a country as diverse and as full of opportunity as India, we definitely should have more entrepreneurs and startups.

Let’s look at some important numbers (trust me it’s not boring and makes great sense):

  • India is today the third largest startup ecosystem in the world
  • India has close to 100,000 startups
  • Indian startups received USD 38 Billion just in year 2022 (USD 1 Billion is close to 7,600 crore rupees)
  • In 2021, India had 42 new unicorns and in 2022, just between January and March, we have an additional 13 unicorns.
  • These unicorns combined have a valuation of USD 320 Billion.

Looks amazing right? It is amazing but let’s look at the opportunity which lies ahead of us:

Our counterparts, and the world’s Number 1 and 2 startup countries USA and China have following:

  • USA has 489+ Unicorns followed by China which has around 300+
  • China has 30 million startups (almost equal to the population of Nepal)
  • USA has 300,000+ angel investors, compared to 10,000 in India

There are many more comparisons that can be made, but these are enough to understand that the Indian startup ecosystem is just in its infancy stage, and we have great potential to grow from here.

Next comes the question – as a young person should you choose entrepreneurship as a career option?

ABSOLUTELY – YES.

There are thousands of successful people who started young and are now running some of the most impactful businesses across the world and in India. People such as Ritesh Agarwal (OYO Rooms), Vitalik Buterin (Founder Ethereum), Elon Musk (Tesla), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Blake Ross (Mozilla Firefox), Bill Gates (Microsoft), and many more, started at a young age and today they have literally changed the world.

In fact, college is one of the best and most secure places for a person to build a new startup. WHY?

  • You have very limited financial responsibility
  • You have your friends and classmates who can become your co-founders
  • You can build, launch, and start making money from first year to third year
  • You have teachers and seniors to guide and mentor you
  • You have an ecosystem to support you

And think about it: after everything, if your startup fails in college, trust me your experience is going to help you get a job, and a better one compared to your counterparts who have only studied textbooks and scored good grades.

I hope you enjoyed reading so far, but pay close attention now as I am going to tell you a few very simple but most important tips to get started on this journey called entrepreneurship, which can literally change your life:

  1. Think ahead of time
  2. Build a product which would be great for today but awesome in the future
  3. Build something innovative and unique
  4. Find a good co-founder
  5. Watch movies on entrepreneurship such as: The Social Network, The Founder, Nightcrawler, Wall Street, Pirates of Silicon Valley, Guru, The Big Short, Moneyball, and many more
  6. Read some awesome books like: The Lean Startup, Zero to One, The 4-Hour Work Week, Shoe Dog, Stay Hungry Stay Foolish, and many more
  7. Attend Hackathons
  8. Meet and network at startup events
  9. Build something
  10. Life is too short: startup

There is so much more I would like to share, but I think we’ll leave it for the next time.

And if you think that you can’t do it because you have no money, no expertise, no network, no patience, then let me tell you a quick story:

I was a young boy who was born and raised in India’s highest Naxal affected area, studied in government schools with no infrastructure, no Access to Internet, no library, mentors or experts, I could not afford to go to a good college due to financial constraints, and could not speak English till the time I graduated.

But today, I have worked with some of the biggest companies in the world, advised state and central governments, trained 1,90,000 aspiring entrepreneurs and 10,000 teachers, I am a two-time TEDx speaker, a regular public speaker at innumerable startup events, and much more.

While I am far from being at the pinnacle of success, what I am trying to tell you is that if someone like me, with almost no resources, can achieve so much just through hard work, perseverance, and passion, then just imagine what you can do with access to the fast-growing Indian startup ecosystem, new government policies, and a new India which can help you achieve all your dreams.

I hope you enjoyed reading, and I can’t wait to meet you at the next startup event where you would be seeking or getting an award.

Let’s build a new India, let’s build a new world.

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