Success is seldom an accident, and usually a product of tireless effort, failures, and learning. Famous entrepreneurs, both in India and overseas, stand and live by this notion. For a young entrepreneur, this mantra, coupled with the zeal to emulate the winning attributes of visionary entrepreneurs of India can be a recipe for success.
Over the decades, the country has produced more than few inspiring transformational business leaders. Doyens of the finance, technology, business, and industry sectors include greats such as Dhirubhai Ambani, J.R.D. Tata, Ghanshyam Das Birla, all of whom have paved the way forward for future generations.
For a glimpse into the beliefs of visionaries that are sure to inspire you to think big, read on.
Deep Kalra, CEO of MakeMyTrip.com
Deep swears by the power of optimism and having a strong inner circle. “Entrepreneurs need a lot of optimism and resilience. Give things time, even if it doesn’t work out at first. It rarely will, and a winning formula might even take four to five years to develop. Do not set the unrealistic expectation that you can germinate a good business plan in just one to two years.”
Deep believes that even in the face of defeat, there are lessons to be learned, especially about those you work with. He recommends working with unofficial advisors, and says, “These are people who want the best for you, your company, and your product.”
Harsh Mariwala, Chairman of Marico Limited
Harsh’s winning mantra is based on the tried-and-tested model of playing to your strengths, but with a twist. “My view is that if you put effort into both your strengths and weaknesses, your chances of success are much higher. I have a 75-25 rule: 75% should go into improving your strengths, and 25% toward nullifying weaknesses.”
To get better insight and constructive criticism, he recommends consulting close peers and well-wishers. “Gather your peers and ask them, ‘What are my gifts, and what are my areas of improvement?’ With inputs from multiple angles, you can identify a common thread.”
Upasana Taku, Co-founder and COO of MobiKwik
Upasana, the first female Indian fintech leader, strongly believes that being a successful entrepreneur is a by-product of being tenacious. Her mantra, “Kick up a storm or die trying,” is clear in every action she has taken to get MobiKwik to where it is today. Her resilience helped her claw through the struggles of gender bias and feature among the changemakers in finance. She believes in having a clear mission and taking the necessary risks to achieve it.
Sunil Lulla, CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India
Sunil, a top business leader in India, is a firm advocate of putting the right team in place and says this is the soul of success. “A team is a navigation light, it brings together multiple skills, resources, and a plurality of views. You need a team that can eat, sleep, and breathes vision. The earlier it’s built, the stronger the chances of success.”
Role models play a defining role in the lives of an entrepreneur. One of the top financial leaders in India, Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman and MD of Bajaj Finserv, sings praises of his late mentor and guide, Nanoo Pamnani. In an interview, Bajaj stated, “Without him [Pamnani], we’d not be anywhere near where we are.” The lesson here is to pick your inspiration wisely, as it could help you feature among the top ranks of business leaders driving India’s digital growth tomorrow.