Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy started the keynote being critical of the Amazon event Smbhav in New Delhi. He said, "we are delayed by more than an hour and a half. I should have finished my talk by 11.45am and it is 11.33am."
He added that he will paraphrase his talk in five minutes. He was supposed to speak for 20 minutes. The reason for his displeasure? "I am not used to delays," he says.
His gesture of defiance was symbolic of the five tenets he urged the entrepreneurs present in the room to follow to build successful and sustainable enterprises.
At Amazon's Smbhav summit, around 3000 small and medium-sized business (SMB) entrepreneurs were present. "The Prime Minister has spoken about the $5 trillion economy and the responsibility of achieving that lies with you people."
- It is important to create a differentiated business value proposition that is better than any of the competitors because only then a firm will be able to attract and retain its customers. Therefore, at all points of time, before making any decision, big or small, think of differentiation. This differentiation will come from innovation, experimentation, level of excellence in execution.
- Innovation comes from human mind and for that it is absolutely essentially that entrepreneurs don't hire in their own image but attract people who are smarter than them and can teach you better things. "Do everything possible to attract the best quality of people, not only in intellect but also values," said Murthy.
- Have a good combination of skills, expertise and experience. Every organization has a diverse set of people in business, technology, sales HR, finance. It is important to bring together these people whose skills are mutually exclusive.
- For any corporation to grow over a sustained period of time, it has to have a durable value system in place. "That is indeed the only way you can success in the long run," he said.
- A firm is a social enterprise and has to ensure its community and country at large becomes better. "Unless India becomes better, you can't become better. Unless your state becomes better, you can't become better.
He concluded by saying that entrepreneurship is not easy and requires a lot of hard work, discipline, commitment, good work ethic and pride in the nation. And, of course, no delays.