Posted in Entrepreneurship & Startups Articles, Total Reads: 474
As rightly said by Mark Zuckerberg “If you just work on the stuff that you love and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things would play out”. Entrepreneurship gives you the knowledge to work not only in your domain but along the path it teaches you all the aspects and dynamics of a business.
Reasons for writing this article are to reach out to the right people and imparting the same enthusiasm, alleviate the fears of budding entrepreneurs. In the same context I would like to read out my journey of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship to me was not born out of boredom of my work, but for the passion of inventing something new which would not only fill the gaps in the present system but also add value to the society and bring in a change with capitalistic ideology. I started my own venture wherein I manufactured a household supply which has never been made in India. At the time of inception I was faced with lot of negative feedback, which did not deter me as I was committed of doing it and making it big. All ideas now concentric were once eccentric.
Two misconceptions which haunt the minds of young budding businessmen; one is capital intensive nature which means that the dream could be materialised only with the help of funding from an investor, it’s the idea that is important rather than the money to implement that idea. Not always it’s about the money you get from but the source too does hold importance. We have Government organisations lending money and in some cases hand-holding and guiding the great minds of our county, for eg. Technology Development Board (TDB). And the second one is to manufacture you require a plant of yourself, which again is a totally wrong notion. Outsource is the word. Find the companies who are in the similar process but for a different product. Most of the times, it is a boon to not have your own in-house facility, as with the less number of assets the easier it is to exit in case of unfortunate outcome. The other misconception that looms large in the minds of the dreamers is the relevance to their past academic background which is of least importance and time and again almost all the entrepreneurs have shunned by making it big.
With the requisite bare minimum capital out of my past work experience, I took a plunge to start manufacturing of my own product and realised that the product offering of yours can be manufactured in some other plant on job-work basis. In the process I also gained experience of supply chain management – managing the vendors and distributors/end point of the supply chain, quality management, certifications, capital management, cost-effective promotions, last but not the least human resource management. It is the only multi-dimensional job that teaches you everything that is needed to be learnt about the business.
Entrepreneurs should realize the true potential of technology at their disposal. There are many companies which provide web-based office suite providing many applications ranging from e-mails services to invoicing to CRM, with features like procurement, inventory and various features of ERP. These methods are not only cost effective but highly effective. These services provide a strong foundation to your business with minimum capital or at times no capital. Operations and SCM are of prime importance when it concerns lead time or turnaround time. Having a large pool of suppliers not also help in mitigating the cost vagaries but also avoid the Just-in-time (JIT) situations. Problems like these could be totally ironed out with the help of such software.
Quality management is one thing that needs to be looked into carefully. Always know that customer returns to the quality of service and produce, and nothing can substitute it. Never underestimate or ignore the needs or reviews of the customer. Also what is the use of best quality practices followed when not verified and certified by an authorised body? There are many companies providing ISO certifications which lend credence to your processes.
In the era of technological boom you cannot miss out on the benefits of mass outreach through online promotions. Various public forums and social networking sites provide an opportunity to pitch your idea directly to the customer, eliminating the need to employ conventional media to reach the masses. To physically present the product, use the footfall base of their desired segment or community, ideas are numerous.
Remember that not all work is for you, build a team around you, and hire those who share the same passion. There are processes which run simultaneously and have to be carried out with equal importance as any other. For that to happen efficiently a team is needed which is not only intelligent but twice as intelligent as you adding value to your proposition.
Sales & Marketing bear equal importance as your plan, which I learnt during the course of my job which helped me in my stint. With sales come obstacles of trust and money, which a good salesman must be able to handle. Start a team with apprentice later moving on to build a technologically sound group of professionals.
With no prior knowledge of manufacturing I started out figuring the basic requisites of starting a firm. In the process it taught me to deal with modalities which are mandatory paperwork and dealing with Govt. authorities, like patenting and registering the firm/company.
Entrepreneurship is all about being at the right place and at the right time. You will always be faced with hurdles whether be it your venture or not but the constant drive to achieve success will eventually pay in the end. It is a field for the passionate and ones who endure all that comes their way in achieving their dreams.
This article has been authored by Rakshit Joshi from IIM Kashipur
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