The climate for startups is propitious in India at this time. The ease of doing business, something that startups look for, has gone up considerably, criticisms and detractions notwithstanding. Moving up 23 places in a year is not a mean achievement by any stretch of imagination.
Agreed, this does not automatically translate to foreign firms packing their bags and taking the next flight to India to set up shop here or Indian startups dotting the business environment all over. What it means is that India has climbed a few notches and is set to be an attractive destination for investment if the trend continues over the next few years.
While these are factors that can make a difference into the overall startup environment, it is worth examining what it takes to be a success as a startup.
Is there any one quality that really makes an entrepreneur who has a startup become successful?
There are many factors that make a startup successful. If you ask me, the ascendancy in the ease of doing business ranks only means that the climate is going to be more conducive for startups. But while these are external factors, what make a startup successful?
In the many years of having spent my time studying startups and having followed their successes and failures, the one thing that struck me about successful and unsuccessful startups is one core quality: self-belief. Yes, unless you have the self-belief needed to start a startup, there is no way you are going to succeed as a startup.
You Get Nowhere Without Self-Belief
Let us state it this way: Virat Kohli is, in the opinion of most people in the cricket community, the world’s best batsman. He had the natural ability, trained day in and day out and climbed his way to the top. All along, all the talent and circumstance notwithstanding, the one quality that made him stand out from the rest was self-belief. If you ask Virat, I don’t think he will have anything to disagree with me about.
Years ago, in fact, decades ago, I remember having read an interview in which an Indian batsman of equal eminence from the previous generations, Sunil Gavaskar, stated that self-belief and self-confidence were what brought him where he was.
I remember the essence, although not the exact words, of what he had said in that interview, which was that while the bowler may be menacing and intimidating, I have a bat in my hand, too. I am there to use my skills in gauging the ball and playing it on merit.
This attitude best sums up the quintessential quality for a startup. Agreed, you are competing among wolves. There are bigger players out there with higher resources. But what keeps you going? It is your unmistakable belief that your idea can make it through these big players. That, I believe, is that self-belief is. You should have the confidence in yourself that you have chosen the right route and the right market. You should have the belief that even if you are small and are going to slug it out with larger than life competitors, there is something about your offering that really stands out from the crowd.
What Gives a Person Self-Belief?
How does self-belief come about? It comes from many factors:
- It can come from your confidence about having achieved something prior to starting your startup
- It could come from your academic credentials
- In the absence of these, it could also come from your gut feel of the market in which you work
- Or, it could also come from your observation of other competing products, which could give you the confidence that your offering is way better than theirs.
It is this self-belief that has made successes out of people who were all but written off. Take the case of many film directors or performers. Many have been through terrible rough patches and even disasters but have bounced back. What is it that gave them the resilience to come back? It was their self-belief. Successful people are confident that there could be temporary slumps, but that they will rise again, when the right time comes.
The same holds true for startups as well. Of course, this should be a feeling of only pride about their offering and confidence, not vainness and overconfidence.
I am Sudheer and working for (SIMPLIV) www.simpliv.com is an online learning and teaching platform. I am passionate to write a content on Education, Technology, Learning, Marketing and more topics.