rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » Start-ups: Top 5 tips for campus entrepreneurs

Start-ups: Top 5 tips for campus entrepreneurs

Last updated on: February 16, 2013 18:40 IST

Start-ups: Top 5 tips for campus entrepreneurs

     Next

Next

Saikat Ghosh, founder and CEO of Taskera says young entrepreneurs must be prepared to take risks and carve their own niche.

I spent the second half of 2012 in southern India working with college students trying to build campus start-ups.

It was the extremely exciting six months for me.

I was blown away by the interest brewing about entrepreneurship in college campuses today.

There are E-cells being setup in campuses across the country.

Start-ups are in the wind and it is a very good development.

I've realised just how rich college entrepreneurs in India are in terms of human resources.

If this energy can be channelised in the right direction, awesome things can happen.

Here is what I would like to tell these budding campus entrepreneurs.

How I wish someone had told this to me when I was starting my company.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

Please click NEXT to continue reading...




     Next

2. Know whom to listen to

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Entrepreneurship is about learning by tinkering.

If it could be learned by reading a book, everybody would be doing it.

Do not listen to folks teaching you entrepreneurship. Instead connect with experienced entrepreneurs, successful or not is least important.

Most of them have gone through similar pains and would happily talk to someone trying to walk the same path.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




Prev     Next

2. Failure is part of the game, fail big

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

As a campus entrepreneur, time is your biggest asset.

Use it to iterate as much as possible.

When you are in your twenties you can fail multiple times without effecting your professional life. Use this fact to your advantage.

Aim higher, solve bigger problems, target global markets.

If you have to fail (and you will, more often than not) it is much better to fail at doing something big.

The higher you aim, the sooner you will discover your limit.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




Prev     Next

3. Entrepreneurship is about being brash

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

People tend to over glamorise struggle.

Success has more to do with bold moves than with sustained struggle. Resilience is necessary but not sufficient.

Being an entrepreneur means you will have to decide at the drop of a hat with very little information.

You will screw-up a lot (I know, I do).

Learn from your mistakes and move on.

Follow your gut and others will follow you. You have very little to lose.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




Prev     Next

4. Develop a product mindset

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The Indian technology industry is polluted by service thinking.

There is nothing wrong with service, but the real big opportunities are in product building.

For the simple reason that the marginal cost of a software product is zero.

However, product building is risky, the probability of success is extremely slim.

Product companies succeed or fail spectacularly.

Nevertheless, building intellectual property is the quickest road to solving big problems.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh





Prev     Next

5. Find your own path, experience is overrated

Prev     More
Prev

More

There are no universal rules that works for everyone.

You have to find the path that works best for you. This means listening to everyone and absorbing what is relevant to you.

Entrepreneurship is about breaking the rules, it is more about using the middle finger than about implementing what they teach you in MBA school.

I got an MBA and yet I learned a hundred times more from screwing up my first startup.

Do what feels right and know that experienced people are wrong more often than they care to admit.

Don't do startups because it is cool or fashionable.

Do it because you want to change the world.

In the end, you become an entrepreneur not because you want to, but because you cannot help it.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




Prev     More