Sunday, January 19, 2014


Recently a colleague requested me to provide some talking points for his speech on ENTREPRENEURSHIP, here are the points provided by me, which was widely appreciated:

Above picture from: here.
1)      entrepreneurship is a process of identifying and starting a business venture, sourcing and organizing the required resources and taking both the risks and rewards associated with the venture (from Wikipedia)

2)      An entrepreneurial approach is vital for successful society, because entrepreneurship creates competitiveness, disruptiveness, improvement in living standards, market penetration, jobs, value for society, and goods and services with value addition at competitive pricing

3)      Enhances knowledge oriented attitude in society

4)      Successful entrepreneurship begins by identifying target market and process for delivering value to the target market

5)      For eg., in the case of pharmaceutical and healthcare products, communication through medical representatives is addressed to potential prescribers and pharmacies (the target market)

6)      In case of prescription based products (which may be manufactured under drug license or food license), value should be delivered to the prescribers who will create demand for the promoted product through their prescriptions

7)      All in all, it means roping opinion builders is essential for successful marketing of the entrepreneurial venture/products (in case of intangible products, ensure there are tangible components)

8)      Opinion builders in case of nonprescription oriented products can include housewives, chefs, sportstars, filmstars and other influential people

9)      Blue ocean strategy is ideal in today’s context for entrepreneurial ventures: it essentially means you market unique products or you are a part of uncrowded and unique market segments.  For eg., electrolyte energy fruit drinks (caffeine free) in ready-to-drink, Tetra Pak packaging, for prescriber markets: this is a blue ocean strategy

10)  In case of me-too product markets, price, timely availability of product, and service delivery becomes all important competitive aspect

11)  Providing a compelling unique preposition is vital for a successful business venture

12)  For eg., success of Indian pharmaceutical industry is through arbitrage opportunity: low cost high quality generic drugs for global markets, this was the compelling USP

13)  Successful entrepreneurship requires an open mind and humility for adaptation and learning, particularly by listening to vendors, intermediaries and customers.  Also learn to read with attention business books to soak in business wisdom that will help your entrepreneurial working

14)  Entrepreneurship involves constant improvement to engage prospects and customers successfully

15)  Entrepreneurs should follow the basic rule:

Income or profit = Revenues – Expenses 

Try to improve revenues and keep expenses at minimum comfort level

16)  So keep accurate records of financial transactions (on real time basis, with proper formats), and prepare the financial statements like balance sheets, cash flow and profit and loss statement

17)  Learn to make presentations and improve communication (body language, written and oral)

18)  Make regular presentations to stakeholders on present status of enterprise and future plans/prospects, so that you can obtain inputs from them for improving business results (stakeholders include important customers, financial entities, associates, vendors, intermediaries etc), this is a constant confidence building process: everything is ultimately about confidence or absence of fear.  When you give confidence to customer, he will buy the product, when you give confidence to lender, he will give finance at a low level of interest

19)  Learn to negotiate and establish win-win relationships, so that you get a good deal when transacting

20)  Entrepreneurship is not a rocket science, it is more a matter of discipline, meticulousness and focus on outputs (such as customer satisfaction, sales etc)

21)  Get 360 degree feedback on yourself, employees and the firm so that areas for improvement can be identified

22)  Use the KRA (Key Result Area) approach on a routine basis for focused and progressive working

23)  Essence of entrepreneurship is creating assets through resource mobilization

24)  Successful business ventures follow a simple rule: 

Buy cheap, add value, improve perceived value and SELL DEAR! 

Value addition can come from keeping stock for selling at right time, modification to ingredients, packaging, communication etc. 

25)  Never burn bridges, you never know who will be of help!  Give respect and recognition to people, take respect and recognition in an assertive way

26)  Focus on financial aspects and do not get carried away by emotion, in judging or negotiating or decision making process, consider all alternatives and implications, remember when the chips are down, you are alone!

27)  Always remember entrepreneurship is calculated risk – NOT A GAMBLE.  Take informed decisions, knowledge is vital: bring facts to the table

28)  Analyze each issue with Edward De Bono multi-hat method: black for negative thinking, yellow for positive thinking, white for information oriented thinking, green for creative thinking, red for intuitive thinking and finally blue for organizing the thinking process (either individually or through the team): try to picture both the best case scenario and worst case scenario for taking appropriate decisions

29)  Always have team approach, not a single man show!  Teams give synergistic results.  Build a network of relationships of people who can help: associates, mentors, academic faculty etc

30)  Believe in give and take: this ensures longevity of relationships

31)  Business ventures need not run totally on your money: banks/lenders (such as venture capitalists, private equity investors, trusts etc) provide finance depending on your credibility, persuasive sophisticated communication, tautness of business plan and pleasing behavior

32)  Business plan should be comprehensive, covering target markets, the process for value delivery, invoicing details, payment collection system, etc.  Plan your business work and work your business plan, constantly fine tuning and improving the same (nothing is carved on stone!)

33) Never let your or team's morale down: ups and downs in business are common, focus on being responsible, honest and devoted to your entrepreneurial work, never let your enthusiasm whittle down, everything will pass on!  Learn to expect the unexpected!!

34) Use quantitative planning - analyse each rupee and paisa flow, understand market size and behaviour in both quantitative and qualitative paradigms

35) Learn to build brands and positive imagery (functional value and aspirational aspects of the brand)
36) Entrepreneurship is the positive management of leg-pulling, competitive one - upmanship and cut - throat behavior!  This can be done through self-defensive behavior, negotiating, influence and bargain: win-win relationship.

37)  Remember PQRST rule (given by Mr. Sushil Mantri founder MD of Mantri Developers): punctuality, quality, reliability, speed and transparency

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