Renowned authors, CEOs and entrepreneurs met at the Nehru Centre in Mumbai last weekend for India’s first ever festival dedicated to non-fiction. Discussions ranged from the perils of dynastic politics to stand-up comedy and unconventional cinema, centering on the theme of “Be bold, Stay Real”.
If you are a professional and have nurtured aspirations to start your dream venture, here’s some advice from the experiences of people who’ve trodden the path.
Rashesh Shah, co-founder and chairman, Edelweiss
#Constantly adapt. You should always start with a plan but you should be ready to adapt. I think that constant evolution is the only answer. There is no static answer.
# Be financially prudent. Be profitable. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who are very savvy on the product side and the business side, but ignore the financial side of the business.
# Sell your vision to customers, clients, everybody. You have to sell to higher employees. All entrepreneurs have to sell. Their ability, willingness and capability to sell is very important.
Nirmal Jain, founder and chairman, IIFL
# When you try to seek advice from people, they will give you different answers. Your decisions have to come out of your heart and must be based on knowledge and what you have learnt.
# Humility, particularly for people who have good educational qualifications and background.
# Its never a solo performance—only a team performance. You have to understand other people’s problems, aspirations and empathise with them.
Paresh Sukthankar, executive director, HDFC Bank
# If you want to achieve something which takes you to a new level, you have to go out of your comfort zone. An entrepreneur needs an idea which he believes in and actually makes it happen. If you trade your comfort for better things, you achieve much more. It’s like breaking an egg and making an omelette.
# This pertains to failure. Learn to cut your losses. It’s true that you should be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. Entrepreneurs need to figure out that you need to drop out of certain ventures.