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The next decade belongs to Indian entrepreneurs

Last updated on: July 11, 2012 13:33 IST

The next decade belongs to Indian entrepreneurs

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Shaili Chopra

If optimists have to be believed, the next decade belongs to the Indian entrepreneur.

New and buzzing ideas, an innovation edge, the return of web commerce, a general slowdown, a drop in business sentiment are all driving the boom in individual enterprise.

"We can go back to being 25% of the global economy if we get Indian entrepreneurship right," says Saurabh Srivastava, Chairman of CA Technology who is a serial entrepreneur himself to Shaili Chopra on her show Tee Time on ETNOW.

Why is entrepreneurship the new cornerstone of India's success?

All studies have shown that globally, it is entrepreneurs who create wealth and employment. In the US, startups create 70% of all new employment. In India, over the next ten years we need to create 110 million new jobs to take advantage of the demographic dividend. Only entrepreneurs can do that.

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Image: Saurabh Srivastava.


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The next decade belongs to the Indian entrepreneur

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A billion dollar fund for entrepreneurs and innovators is taking shape. Along with top honchos across India, you are working on a model for funding start-ups with a focus on social betterment?

This can change the face of entrepreneurship in India. Though it is a challenge because you have people who are not even oriented towards profit and loss.

The reason they need to make money is to make social entrepreneurship sustainable.
Being part of the Prime Minister's Council for Innovation- that's where I am focusing a lot these days. The fabric of entrepreneurship has evolved and all roads don't lead to a technology led inception.

In fact, we now have big leaps in social entrepreneurship, renewable energy, interests in technology that can help rural solutions, manufacturing and biotechnology. I see exciting entrepreneurs with world class propositions.

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Image: Shaili Chopra with Saurabh Srivastava.


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But in India we don't seem to have an enabling environment. Why?

The key test is to understand that the industry is going through a paradigm shift and one has to adjust one's strategies accordingly.

A lot of things need to fall in place. We need to create an environment that's accepting of failure. In Silicon Valley investors will fund those who have had failure before than just first timers. I think we are seeing the first signs of this change in mood in India as well.

The needs of consumers, society, industry and governments are changing and there is need to change accordingly, embracing and benefiting from new trends rather than falling prey to them.

What was the one turning point of your career?

Becoming an entrepreneur and doing my first start up.

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What are they key challenges for technology businesses going forward?

The key challenges are to understand that the industry is going through a paradigm shift and one has to adjust one's strategies accordingly.

The needs of consumers, society, industry and governments are changing and we need to change accordingly, embracing and benefiting from new trends rather than falling prey to them

How do you plan to grow the business? Which economic segments will lead your growth?

The biggest growth segment for CA will come through the adoption of the cloud, mobility, managing of increasingly more complex environments and big data

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Image: Shaili Chopra with Saurabh Srivastava.

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How do you use golf in the boardroom?

Golf is the only game where you are playing against yourself so you need to focus on your strategy, your game, not getting distracted from it or from a good or a bad shot and having an even temperament, and focused on doing it right and winning. It is helpful to remember this in the boardroom.

When did you start golfing and who introduced you do the game?

I started a year ago and was introduced to the game by my close friend and business partner, Mohit Goyal.

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What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is about having a clear vision, a well-defined execution plan which takes into account one's strengths and weaknesses, a temperament and focus to stay on course and the ability to take other people along to enable you to execute your vision

How has golf improved your leadership capabilities?

Golf has taught me how to win by being aware of my limitations and playing a game that factors them in, even though someone else may be a better player with more talent whereas playing a standard game would have made me lose.

It has taught me the importance of focus, as without that you are lost. It has taught me the value of having a calm and contemplative temperament, not getting impacted by a reverse here and there but learning from them and staying on track to win.

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