‘Family support is crucial for prospective entrepreneurs’

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on March 23, 2013 Published on March 23, 2013

Le Phuoc Vu, Chairman, Hoa Sen Group

C.K. Ranganathan Chairman, CII-Southern Region.

It is easier to take risk (to start a business), when you have nothing. When you have the comfort of a job, risk-taking becomes difficult. - C.K. Ranganathan Chairman, CII-Southern Region. When it is sunny, they (investors) will provide us umbrellas, but when it rains, they withdraw the umbrellas. - Le Phuoc Vu Chairman, Hoa Sen Group

“It is easier to take risk (to start a business), when you have nothing. When you have the comfort of a job, risk taking becomes difficult,” C.K. Ranganathan, Chairman of CII-Southern Region sub-committee on Entrepreneurship, told prospective entrepreneurs.

Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart, feels that one of the biggest challenges prospective entrepreneurs face initially was to convince their parents and family before taking the plunge.

“Support from the family is crucial for a prospective entrepreneur to be successful,” he felt.

Ranganathan and Sachin were part of a six-member panel that discussed issues related to entrepreneurship and participated in an interactive session during the CII conference on Entrepreneurs—Catalysts of Growth here today.

Kris’ insights

The nearly two-hour session, moderated by Kris Gopalakrishnan, President (Designate), CII, provided lively insights into the minds of the award-winning entrepreneurs on how they started their businesses and how they got the required funds, apart from a variety of other related issues.

What emerged out of the session was the message that India provided immense opportunities for new businesses, despite the overhang of global economic slowdown. All that was needed from prospective entrepreneurs was ability to take risk, be different and persistent, apart from a commitment not to cut corners, including in paying of taxes and deserved salary to employees.

Ranganathan said that 90 per cent of those employed did get the thought of starting a business at some point of time in their careers, but only four per cent actually took the plunge. He also sought to debunk the common thinking that if one is good in studies, he should go for a job, but if not good in studies, one should get into business.

How does one get an idea for a business? Phaninder Sama, CEO of bus-ticketing solutions provider, gives his experience. Working for Texas Instrument in Bangalore, he took the bus frequently to visit his parents in Hyderabad. He had no intention of getting into a business until one particular Deepavali, he had to go from one bus operator to other to find out if there were any available seats for Hyderabad.

“It was then I discovered the need for computerised solution that can address this problem,” he says. And that’s how Redbus was flagged off.

All the panel members had their share of problems with regard to funding. Arun Ananth, CEO of Kasturi & Sons, who had earlier mentored entrepreneurs, feels getting investors to fund a start-up could be difficult.

“It is easy to get (a funding of) Rs 100 crore, but difficult to get somebody to invest Rs 1 lakh (in a start-up)”, he points out. His message: create the foundation and some cash flows, before looking for investors.

Le Phuoc Vu, a successful entrepreneur from Vietnam and chairman of Hoa Sen Group, summed up his experience with this quote: “When it is sunny, they (investors) will provide us umbrellas, but when it rains, they withdraw the umbrellas.”

Pay tax and grow more

The panellists also advised entrepreneurship not to cut corners or avoid paying taxes to increase earnings. “Small companies will remain small if they do not pay taxes. You grow faster when you pay taxes,” Ranganathan said.


Published on March 23, 2013
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