India, a great country indeed. But the diverse cultural paragons and the underlying commandments are often subject to criticism when it comes to the issue of development and progress. Sadly, Indians constitute the majority of these sceptics. The confounded mind of the common Indian leads to the paradox of what exactly to call ‘right’. We are all helplessly stuck in between the Utopian and the Contemporary. But, how does that affect the life and choices of the Indian Entrepreneur? The straightforward consensus would be that ‘It is difficult to be an entrepreneur in India’. Yes, indeed, it is! Yet, we manage. Let’s see how.
‘What is an Indian Entrepreneur?’ Firstly, the foundations and principles of our forefathers imply an imperative rule of settling down in our mid-20s. This is where the primary obstacle gets implanted. From the birth of the child, every parent/guardian inadvertently fantasizes a well-settled daughter/son, rooting out all the risks and uncertainties. The universal catalyst of the inadvertently patriarchal society is the universal Sharmaji Ka Ladka, who tops his IAS interviews, marries a housewife Miss. India and gives birth to Abraham Khan whose dancing is only amusing for the neighbours till he is 10 and after that, it becomes an academic distraction. Yes, this robotic program-code finds an exemplary position for all genders of the Indian Masses. This instills fear in the Indian mind.
From the beginning, we are provided ultimate security by our parents who make the most ‘convenient’ choices for us. We hardly see struggle, till we are let off for higher studies. Then the real tussle starts. To make choices without a navigating mentor, it is much more difficult than one can imagine. We can basically contrast an Indian Entrepreneur against one from the west in one simple mathematics analogy. A western innovator doesn’t fear the complex mathematical problem. He arrives at the solution and patiently awaits the corroboration. We, on the other hand, prefer the ‘Prove That’ part of the paper. We need answers and directions before we take our first step. Yes, uncertainty is what we fear the most. But, the fear doesn’t stay long. We eventually evolve and that fear formulates the most concrete of all defenses. Caution!!!
It is known to the world, the deft of Indian Cautiousness. One of the few places on Earth where we have to oscillate our necks up, down, left and right before crossing a road. When an Indian stands at the doorstep of innovation, the caution tries to pull him back to the clerical world. But, as soon as he takes that step towards infinity, that caution builds his resolve and bolsters his decisions.
It becomes even more difficult after that first step. ‘What is a start-up?’ is an interrogative which is harder to explain to our financial institutions than our parents. The fear of uncertainty still loiters inside our minds and the very first of noes dishearten us. We can never get used to the Noes. There are no algorithms and cooking guides to being an entrepreneur. We would always hear noes. We would always fail. Some say that the lack of fear in the western counterparts make them the better entrepreneur. No… It isn’t that simple. For the Indian restless mind, which seeks perfection and nothing less, even a half-hearted yes is not a success. That is why there is the phenomenon of negative reinforcement, and we Indians unintentionally exploit it the most. We get a boost from our failures. It carves our success, slowly and slowly. We haven’t taken the first step just like when we had picked up a guitar to be the ‘new cool’. We have given it our all. So when we achieve success, no matter how long it takes, it is impeccable.
So much self-judgement and skepticism; All the fantasies of parents and a probable peaceful life on the line; So much uncertainty, fear and caution; And the insomniac subject trying to defy or exploit all the odds to his own ends- the out-product is not a normal entrepreneur. It is an India Entrepreneur- One made of steel.