No matter where you are on this planet, entrepreneurship is always challenging but today I will be giving my view point which is – an Indian’s point of view. How Entrepreneurship Challenges are different in India.
1. Family Challenges
Being in Kolkata (West Bengal) for more than 14 years now I know that Bengali people in general are more focused on doing a job compared to entrepreneurship. When I talk to them about entrepreneurship at time they take me lightly because of the fact that they think – being from non-Bengali and especially Gujarati family means business is in my genes. At times I also get an answer that it is much easier to be an entrepreneur with my background than from a Bengali family background. It may look true from their point of view but let me tell you that it is that much more difficult to become and entrepreneur with business culture around.
For Bengali’s the challenging is convincing your parents – why you are not willing to opt for a job and go for an entrepreneurship but then for Gujarati’s and Marwari’s family it is not only difficult to convince to opt for entrepreneurship but then very much more difficult on an ongoing basis as well.
Convincing to opt for business over job is easy for Gujarati’s but then for business you love is very very difficult. The first thing they will compare is – Will you make more money in business of your choice or as a successor of family business. This is where it becomes almost impossible to convince that you can generate more cash with your passion than doing what your Dad is doing.
The challenges are different but there are challenges. We were not born with silver spoon in our mouth.
2. Social Challenges
Family challenges are always at the top because that is what matter the most but at times social challenges also are very important. Let us say you and your friend graduated at the same time. You opted for entrepreneurship and your friend opted for a job. He now has a flat, car and what not because he could easily get those with a bank loan but you still have nothing to show off and this is where challenge comes.
You should understand is that your friend opted for Udhar Ki Zindagi i.e. life on loan.
3. Technological Challenges
Indian education system lags too much from the Job industry as a whole but then it lags even more when it comes to online entrepreneurship. I am yet to see a course in India which talks about Search Engine Marketing, Affiliate marketing or even Blogging – the sole idea of this blog. What this does is makes entrepreneurs life that much more difficult on technology front – What technology would be ideal and how to use that technology effectively?
4. Financial Challenges
Financial challenges are a lot different in India especially for online entrepreneurs. When you are starting out as an entrepreneur you don’t opt for venture funding but try to go with funding from small to medium business people. Many such non technical business people don’t understand the online business models as a whole and so getting an initial business funding from them becomes challenging.
The other option you can think of is loan but bank loan is not at all an option in India for new online entrepreneurs. The reason I say that is because for software and online business unless you are into business for 5 years you cannot apply for a bank loan.
5. Policy Challenges
Government is never encouraging for SMB’s (Small and Medium Businesses) these days. See this, this, this … I don’t know why Indian Govt is taking so many major steps against small businesses but it looks like Govt don’t believe that small business can change the face of the Indian economy on a large scale which is not at all true.
6. Team-ing Challenges
Indian’s and especially people in Kolkata are more inclined towards job in big companies than towards a partnership or even working in small start-ups. You can have the hardest time finding the right team of people to get yourself moving. I always had (and have) this problem to find the right balance of people to work with me.
7. Motivation and dedication
This is true for any entrepreneur irrespective of geography but I think I should include it in my list of challenges which is to keep yourself motivated for what you enjoy doing. At times we judge entrepreneurs by the amount of money they make and if they don’t make piles of cash people tend to look at them as loser or insanely mad. It is this phase of entrepreneurship which is the toughest time to keep your motivation and dedication going.
When I left my job couple of years ago, I opted for my earnings to go down by almost 5 times. 40k to 8k and now I make tons of more cash (see how much here) than some of my colleagues who are still very close to 40k only.
I have shared my experience of entrepreneurship challenges but I am sure it will be very interesting to know your entrepreneurship challenges. If you have written it somewhere, share the URL in comments below and I will be more than happy to read.