I recently read an article that claimed that bad employees could make good entrepreneurs and I found myself wondering- how would a person who cannot even prove him/herself under the guidance of a manager, be his/her own boss? What sort of drive could such a person have to be a successful entrepreneur?
Come to think of it, there are only two main reasons for people to look at entrepreneurship, as an option-it is either a choice they make or it stems out of necessity. Especially in a country like India, the examples of both entrepreneurship by choice and by necessity are found in abundance. Here’s a look at both these drivers.
“I want to!” The trend of being an entrepreneur by choice is on the increase, especially among Gen Y. When a person becomes an entrepreneur by choice, he/she is typically characterized by their willingness to take risks and a motivation to achieve.
These people are passionate enough to drop other very viable sources of income and a comfortable lifestyle, in order to create something of their own. Educated young individuals, who have many other attractive job offers in front of them, go on a make a conscious choice to create thriving start-ups. This choice empowers them to forge ahead come what may.
“I need to…” While on one hand in India, there are an increasing amount of people taking up entrepreneurship by choice but on the other hand, more people also enter it out of sheer necessity. In a time of turbulent economic trends and a decrease in the availability of lucrative jobs, many a time people jump on board the entrepreneurship bandwagon.
Entrepreneurship for some people then becomes about mere income generation and survival. Sometimes, it is even a case of simply following in the footsteps of other family members, without any ideas or growth plans of their own.
A question of growth If you take the most simplistic definition of an entrepreneur, it is defined as someone who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it. Going by this definition, is it alright to assume that a street hawker is an entrepreneur? After all one is his/her own boss, he/she has a certain amount of vested capital, interest and also has assumed risks.
Nowadays what really distinguishes entrepreneurship or a start-up is the aspect of growth. For instance, Henry John Heinz’s first product in 1869 was horseradish. He then moved on to selling pickles, sauerkraut, and vinegar. Heinz used to deliver all his products in horse-drawn wagons to grocers in Pittsburgh.
Heinz continued to grow by developing many of the world’s best-known branded products like tomato ketchup, baked beans, and baby foods. He and the eponymous brand gained worldwide fame. Henry John Heinz moved on from remaining a Pittsburgh localite, who sold horseradish to grocers in the neighborhood in order to make ends meet to a global brand that has withstood the test of time. One should only turn to the domain of social entrepreneurship in India.
This growing sector is characterized by both need and by choice. For a lot of entrepreneurs in this sector, there is an inherent need to solve basic issues of income generation and other very pragmatic details that is necessary for survival. But somewhere along the way, the need for income generation transforms to the want to achieve a lot more! Whether it is a boring job, a choice or necessity that makes one an entrepreneur – it really does not matter. These are but the driving force that makes one start a journey but the success and growth of this start-up comes from other, very different drivers.