Monday, December 8, 2008

The mantra of entrepreneurship development

Some people need no introduction in a country. In India, Mr N R Narayana Murthy is one of them. 

He says five important things to development oneself: 

  • “First of all, entrepreneurship is all about converting an idea into wealth, jobs, products and services. Therefore, if an idea has to succeed in the market, the business value of the idea must be expressible in a simple sentence, not a complex or a compound one.
  • In other words, it should do one or more of the following unambiguously: reduce cost; reduce cycle time; improve productivity; enhance customer base; and enhance customer comfort. Unless the idea is able to do any of these better than existing products and services do, it is unlikely to succeed. Of course, once in a while, entrepreneurs come out with an idea that creates discontinuity in the marketplace like automobile, television or computers. But it does not happen very often. Most often, a new entrepreneur improves existing products and services incrementally. 
  • Second, the market must be ready for that idea. No matter how good the idea or the value proposition is, if the market does not perceive value, the idea will fail. There are many such cases. Therefore, the success of an idea depends on how well the value proposition of the idea is accepted by the market. 
  • Third, you need a team of people with mutually exclusive but collectively exhaustive skills, expertise and experience. Many entrepreneurial ventures failed because they brought people with just similar skills — technologists, sales people or finance people together. These days, venture capitalists use the key-employee network to bring in additional expertise for an entrepreneur. It is ideal if an entrepreneur can put together such a team. 
  • Fourth, you need an enduring value system because, in the initial stages, entrepreneurship is all about hard work, courage, deferred gratification and sacrifice. Otherwise, the group will not succeed. In fact, I have seen that the most crucial reason why most start-ups fail, other than the market acceptability, is the incompatible value system among the members of the initial start-up team. 
  • Finally, of course, you need money. Fortunately, that is easier today than when we founded Infosys. Today, there is lot of venture money chasing good ideas”.

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