5 W’s About Entrepreneurship
By Srinivas Savaram, Director- Alcove Partners
What is Entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is “the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit”, as per the dictionary. As an entrepreneur you would be taking the resources available in society, investing your time and money in starting and running a business with the intent of making a profit while being fully aware that there is a risk of failure.
Who can become an entrepreneur?
Business involves risk. 50% of small companies fail within 5 years. Therefore only persons who know the risk and are willing to still start a business should really become entrepreneurs. Other personality traits necessary for becoming an entrepreneur include being organized, driven and passionate about the business. If you have these traits, then read on.
Why should you become an entrepreneur?
Successful entrepreneurs are those who identify a problem that people are facing and provide a solution to that problem. One of the major problems that India is facing is unemployment. Every year, crores of young Indians are graduating from college without enough employment opportunities. By becoming an entrepreneur, you can solve this unemployment problem.
Entrepreneurship also gives you the ability to exhibit your leadership skills. Not only that, you will be contributing to the development of the local economy and contributing to nation building.
Where should you start?
Be where the customer is. For a manufacturing company, you may want to consider starting where your raw material is available or where there are enough facilities. If you are planning to be an online only company, such as an e-commerce player, then where your company is located hardly matters. Although you should be aware of the local laws, the resource availability to run everything online is probably the only major concern.
With Special Economic Zones (SEZ) present all over the country, there is ample opportunity to take advantage of the benefits these zones offer to manufacture in India and export to other nations. The Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone (AMTZ) in Visakhapatnam is one such place where you can start your company. The world class facilities and the pro-active team that is creating and managing them will help make your life a whole lot easier with speedy approvals and even incubation space.
What business should you start?
There is a lot of scope for manufacturing as the Indian government is focusing on “Make in India”. From a pin to an aeroplane there is no end to what can be manufactured. Consumer goods, drugs, vehicles, food, etc., are all possible manufacturing ideas.
One of the latest and exciting manufacturing ideas is nutraceuticals. Wikipedia defines “a nutraceutical as a pharmaceutical and standardized nutrient. In the US, “nutraceuticals” do not exist as a regulatory category; they are regulated as dietary supplements and food additives by the FDA under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” Formed by combining nutrition and pharmaceutical, nutraceuticals blur the gap between food and medicine. The idea of food as medicine is globally considered as traditional knowledge or grandma’s wisdom. Across the world, people are still “treated” using food or food ingredients, for example saffron, garlic, salt or lemon.  So, you could seriously consider starting a nutraceutical manufacturing plant.
You can also start a services company as Indian services economy is still nascent. Just as banking and financial services are trying to hard reach every Indian, you can consider providing IT, HR, IPR, education, medical and innumerable other services.
Is entrepreneurship something that you would like to do?
Now that you have a pretty good idea of who, why, where and what, you have to decide. Is this what you want? Would you be excited about taking risks, leading people, solving problems and contributing to society for the foreseeable future? Does that excite you enough that you think, eat, sleep and dream about your business all the time? If your answer is yes, then great! Time to get started.
How to start your company?
One of the first steps is to consider is the company structure – is it a sole proprietorship, partnership, private and public limited company? You should consult existing entrepreneurs who might be friends or acquaintances to learn more about the pitfalls to avoid and elicit suggestions for success. They might help you figure out what type of a company is appropriate. Otherwise, a Chartered Accountant (CA) can help you there. CA’s can also help you register your company along with providing sound advice on the memorandum of articles for your company.
Now that you have a good idea about entrepreneurship, think hard, think fast and get started. Don’t waste a minute once you have decided to start. To paraphrase Swami Vivekananda, stop not till your goal is reached.