question hour

HARISH BIJOOR | Updated on January 15, 2018

Get real: Prepare for a lot of hard work, beware of the hype

Startups need to be grounded

If you are young, you must have a startup. You must not work for the old companies. You must belong to the new wave. This is my peer pressure. Is this right?


Rohith, that’s quite a bit of peer pressure, for sure. I work a fair bit with the young and young at heart, and I sense the same.

Young India is the talk of the town. Not yet the toast of the town, though. Our young population and the very apparent fire in its belly is being watched with awe by some and with shock by others.

The entire movement of StartUp India is showcasing the potential and ability of the 63 per cent of India’s population that is below the age of 35. While getting excited about this movement, it is equally important not to build up unrealistic expectations from it all.

Unrealistic expectation and brand hype has the reverse ability to hit negatively when the chips are down.

The StartUp movement of India must base itself solidly on the fundamentals and must prove to the world that young India is capable of not only dreaming, but delivering as well.

Let’s remember, in two years’ time, for every 10 startups we have today we will have nine shutdowns. As we dream of building unicorns, we need to be aware that fundamental business ideas are the ones that will survive, thrive and deliver value. We need to be careful to ensure that the young and nascent startup movement focuses not only on the services sector of the economy, but also on the manufacturing and agriculture segment of the economy as well. To an extent, everything will survive, and hedging one’s bets is an intelligent way to go.

With the Modi government in place, has Brand India turned the corner?

Sanjukta Mehra


Sanjukta, a lot has happened. I see investor sentiment turning. And that, to an extent, is the litmus test of performance.

In the old days, the standard thought was a negative one: “India Happens!” Not any more! Today, we are a “Happening India”, and that’s a big turn in India imagery.

In the beginning they saw us with tinted glasses, and then they saw us for what we were. Today they are looking at us as what we will be in the near future. It is that promise that investors are putting their money behind today. To an extent we were always under the microscope of examination in the past. Today we are getting to be seen in the telescope of the future possibility.

India is still a promise to the overseas investor, but today, we are a more mature promise than ever before.

Harish Bijoor is a brand strategy expert and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. Mail your queries to

Published on November 17, 2016

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