An entrepreneur vis-à-vis a start-up founder

To be an entrepreneur, you don’t need a fancy degree or huge amount of capital. Rather your passion is enough to help you survive and thrive. Two words which are often used synonymously are ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘start-up’ and a question often comes to our mind …is there a difference between the two?

While both an entrepreneur and a start-up founder start a new business, the main difference is in the venture itself. A start-up is innovative and scalable and this combination makes it disruptive. Being disruptive is a hard goal to achieve and hence start-ups have to take up a lot of risk. Even if we look at their orientation, we will find that entrepreneurs want to be their own boss whereas the start-up founders wants to take over the world

Traditional entrepreneurship are mostly small brick and mortar business with medium to high risk and medium to high reward. Start-up entrepreneurship is extremely risky, but the potential returns are extreme. When one decides to become a start-up, major attributes are needed

  • His/her goal should be to become a mover and shaker of society
  • He/she should be obsessed with the business they want to build and the problems that they want to solve.

Start-ups are more about digitisation and disruption. For example

  • Uber, the largest taxi company owns no vehicles
  • Facebook, the world’s most popular digital media owner, owns no content
  • Alibaba, the world’s largest retailer, has no inventory and
  • Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.

There are however certain qualities which are common to both entrepreneurs and start-up founders

  • Ability to embrace change, navigate ambiguity with confidence, visualising the future and practicing gratitude daily
  • He/she should be a person with whom the team would love to work and communicate without any hesitation
  • He/she should not micro manage their juniors
  • Should be able to impart positivity, motivate ones around them and fill the room with zeal.
  • Start-ups and entrepreneurs are characterised by a constantly changing business environment. The founder must have the ability to implement new strategies and quickly cope with change.
  • They should be self-motivated, self-driven and have a higher motive for the job
  • They don’t need to be experts in every field, but they have to be good in prioritising what problem really needs to be solved.
  • Should keep calm and make important decisions in the face of obstacles. They should be able to foresee the future, make statistics and evidence-based decisions and if required challenge the status quo.
  • It is extremely important to think like a visionary and have a mission and a plan to meet the vision which is aligned with the board and the founders.

Start-ups and entrepreneurs need to capitalise on the government of India’s thrust on building a ‘Atmanirbharta’. Atmanirbhar Bharat is not anti-globalisation. It is not about protectionism. It is about enhancing the ability of Indian companies to create world class products, capture the domestic market to penetrate the global market. It’s about being a global champion. Today ‘Atmanirbharta’ has been a recurring theme across sectors and categories, as a new wave of innovators and entrepreneurs are leveraging this spirit in their start-ups.

Demand led innovation is at a all-time high, spurred on by the Pandemic tailwinds and increasing digitization across all sectors. With the right support from the eco-system, growth will happen at an accelerated pace. Conducive policies are confidence boosters for entrepreneurs and start-ups who not only feel emboldened to take risks but are also assured that they have all the right support. Government policies are not just about providing funding to start-ups, but also about non-financial aspects like setting up incubators, encouraging other institutions to be enablers, upgrading infrastructure and reforming redundant policies to keep up with changing times. India is still in the midst of demographic boom and this is swelling the number of young people in their teens, twenties and thirties. If the policy support is not available to start-ups and entrepreneurs, there will be no job creation the demographic dividend will turn to a demographic burden.

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1 Comment

  1. Ajay Kumar Chokhani says:

    Dear Madam,
    Basically what I know entrepreneurs are risk takers ,no risk,no gain,greater the risk,greater the gain whereas start ups are innovative ideas which are commercially viable but it is regretful that many start ups take money from angel investor or Govt funds and disappears soon after they incubate.In present fancy world of start ups public should place their money or invest after due diligence and making informed decisions.Thanks

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