Mentorship is extremely important, even more than funding for start-ups. Lack of experience can only be matched with advice and inspiration from veterans. Advice is free - never take too much but take a handful. And angels treat you as family, take you home and get you dinner. Find people like that within the business you are in.
Mentor: Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder & Executive Co-Chairman, Infosys - Take chances when you're young, tell stories when you're old. Entrepreneurship cannot be taught. The best way is to experiment. No one stops you from doing it. The learning curve is worth more than anything. End of the day, it's your dream - your biggest inspiration.
How it went for me: I have started dreaming big, having realised that our brains, passion and intelligence are second to none in the world. If a Silicon Valley can exist with brains of twenty-somethings creating exciting businesses and Fortune 500 companies, we too can ride a buoyant economy, innovate and create successful brands and businesses.
Mentor: Ramesh C. Dutt, Expert Consultant & Advisor, Technopark - You have to think of ways and means to survive the downturn and emerge a stronger company. Keep expenses at the bare minimum. Also, keeping the team together is a challenge but the core strength lies there.
How it went for me: Our motto was pretty simple: Never try to beat anybody, only try and beat ourselves by innovating all the time. Don't ever listen to what people say to shoot down your ideas. There would be a million times where people tell you that you can't live your dreams - never say never! I would not have been able to drive up Innoz unless we had a strong operational team behind me, working 24x7.
Mentor: Sanjay Vijay Kumar, Founder & CEO, Mobme - Practise storytelling. Entrepreneurs should be good storytellers. When there is a story for the media and people, they will follow you. Go to external fund sources only when necessary. Your clients are your biggest investors.
How it went for me: Innoz became cash-positive and broke even within a few months of starting. It was able to raise a venture capital round of funding with a good valuation, and that too, from the finest venture investors.
| WORDS OF WISDOM: Personal accounts by 50 of India's corporate leaders|
|Schauna Chauhan||Dhruv Shringi|