India being the third most prolific startup environment in the world, our new-age founders are a much talked about lot, with all eyes on them. Today, many known stalwarts from the world of Indian business grew from their entrepreneurial pursuits to create giant corporations which have withstood the test of time.
Reliance Industries, a globally-renowned corporate giant, was the baby of late Dhirubhai Ambani, who is a legend among entrepreneurs. Similarly, Sunil Bharti Mittal of Airtel, who revolutionised the telecom industry in India is still going strong.
The likes of NR Narayana Murthy of Infosys who was the earliest to put India on the world map for its IT prowess, and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon, who saw business potential in Biotech when the country barely knew about it, are inspiring lights for generations of entrepreneurs in our country.
What is notable is that all these successful entrepreneurs have some timeless common qualities which made them brave all odds, sail unchartered waters, spot an opportunity which others didn’t see to achieve success. Five key traits commonly define such successful entrepreneurs and work well in any economic climate.
Creativity and strong visualisation skills
Entrepreneurs are masters of disruption. Their desire for a new product, new idea, a new technology or simply a different way of doing things springs from a deep well of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Such people are never content with the status-quo and are always figuring out ways to push the boundaries, developing new ideas in the process.
So strong is their power of visualisation, that they can foresee in great detail the fruition of their idea, the developmental stages and how it satisfies a need. Apple Founder Steve Jobs was one such entrepreneur who cut through clutter and fancy frills to come up with the simplest and sleekest designs which made the user feel in control of the sophisticated technology they were using. He was a master visualiser who could envision the customer’s needs far beyond what was normal.
Passion and self confidence
The driving force of an entrepreneur to venture into something new with no job security, no steady salary and no previous template to follow is their passion for their vision. This passion will steer them through their journey, in the face of doubt and question. If they didn’t have a passion for their idea, their team wouldn’t follow through the vision with commitment and the investors would not be convinced to place their bets on them.
A successful entrepreneur’s biggest motivation stems from the passion for their work. This conviction and emotional connect with their vision grants such people an innate self confidence. This is why successful entrepreneurs make great leaders.
Successful entrepreneurs possess the quality of perseverance in loads. Navigating new paths in a startup are naturally fraught with hurdles, rough tumbles and failures. However, most of the success stories are marked by a strong determination to “try, and try again”. Truly passionate and motivated entrepreneurs treat failures as stepping stones towards improvement and development. They take learning seriously to evolve newer and improved modules to achieve their vision.
Take the example of Sunil Bharti Mittal, who switched a couple of businesses, from cycle parts and healthcare (which did not do too well) to push-button telephones. It is this new sector which led him to mobile services which created history.
Having a vision, self confidence and passion does not mean that an entrepreneur has to be bound strictly within their confines. The nature of the pursuit demands survival skills of adaptability and agility to find new and more successful ways of doing a business. Sunil Bharti Mittal did not cling to his failing notions of a viable product, rather he switched at the earliest opportunity when he sensed a better business plan. This quality of adaptability to constantly change, and improve keeps the work of these entrepreneurs relevant.
Successful entrepreneurs possess the leadership quality of a high emotional quotient. This not only stokes their passion, but intuitively helps them to understand what their customers want, how to rally people around their objectives, mentor team members for growth, build long lasting networks for future expansion. Right from the start, when their idea is taking off, successful entrepreneurs start making connections which could add value to their endeavours. They constantly seek advice from their mentors, closely guide people within the company, create links within the industry and stay attuned to their client base.
Although not all successful entrepreneurs have a common background, education or area of interest, they have a lot of common characteristics. Some maybe inherent to their nature, and then some are a product of their lessons from life’s experiences. When all these qualities are underlined by consistent hard work, it’s a win-win combination.
The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your article here.