Secrets Behind a Successful Startup

“Entrepreneurship is not a project where you succeed or fail. It’s not a title. It’s not a job. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a game. It’s who you are. Your projects may fail. Your efforts may fail. Your companies may fail. And that’s okay. Entrepreneurs never fail. They are always in the game. Preparing their next move. Till when? Till they die.”

SAM BAISLA, Founder & CEO at NEXEL WORLD

I read the above on the social media timeline of Sam Baisla, the founder & CEO at NEXEL WORLD, VIAASOUL, eAdvertz LLC as well as the Strategist at The Promising Indians Society. He has helped small businesses, startups, and young rntrepreneurs grow their impact across India, Europe and USA using smart social media and leadership strategies. His social media post listed above pushed me to do some running around… to find out what’s the secret behind being a successful entrepreneur… to find out the secrets to launch a successful start-up. 

And my hunt zeroed-in at four leading entrepreneurs who have taken the startup world by storm in the last decade.

Let’s start with Revathi Roy, a serial entrepreneur who pioneered Asia’s first all-women taxi service, Forsche. And recently went on to launch India’s first all-women instant parcel delivery service, Hey Deedee. All in an effort to empower the urban-poor women of India. So what’s the mantra of the success of this woman who began doing this all after she had crossed the age of 45!

Revathi details, “I started FORSCHE purely on an idea, which i thought would make sense some day.  I realise it now that I was way ahead of time in my thought process. The only talent I had was to know how to drive! And I had faith that ‘driving’ at some point of time will be able to employ lots of women since driving was not a profession chosen by women and had lots of scopes. After that, it was Hey Deedee, a last mile delivery platform done by women to address a pain point of e-commerce companies. And if I look back, a successful start-up must be a combination of the following…”

REVATHI ROY’S SUCCESS MANTRA

  • An idea based on your best talent/passion
  • Be a leader
  • Ability to persevere
  • Have a risk appetite
  • Be able to pivot to anything that may work
  • Learn from past mistakes
  • Make new mistakes
  • Learn to fail and then succeed.
  • Success is sweeter after failure
  • Delegate
  • Don’t lose focus
  • Give credit to your team

Not many know that Revathi once drove taxis herself to make ends meet for her three sons after the demise of her husband. And today Revathi is among the top women globally who are an inspiration.

Now let’s turn to Rajneesh Singh, Founder & Managing Partner of SimplyHR Solutions. In 2010 he quit is well paying white-collar job as the HR head of Network18 to launch SimplyHR. A big risk! But then, he says had a very crisp and straightforward formula which made him believe in the idea and also its success. And he is happily sharing the same with us below, since he believes, “The young blood today needs the right mentor. So why keep the mantra a secret, let all be benefited.”

Rajneesh Singh, Founder & Managing Partner, Simply HR Solutions

Thus, he shares “How SimplyHR Became a Success Story”:

1. The most critical aspect is the team at the top. If its a partnership firm, it is very important that they sync up well and have the same value set.  

2. It is very important to do a thorough research about the idea, whether a product or a service. Checking about the market, competition, etc.

3. Draw up a robust Business Plan which has clear overview of how the product or service will pan out and how will the revenues flow.

4. Get the basics in place i.e. brand, website, launch communication, legal formalities, HR framework, etc. This again is a must do at the start-up stage. Do the homework around each stakeholder.

5. Always have a plan B and perhaps a plan C, too. Any initial hiccups should not disrupt the progress.

6. Do continuous and rigorous performance reviews. Both of the business and the team.

7. Keep talking to the customer. This is the most critical voice, which can adversely impact the organisation if ignored.

8. Last but not the least: Take care of your team like you do for your family; it is your asset! 

The above is motivating. However, some can argue that Revathi and Rajneesh come with a vast experience. Since Rajneesh has been in the industry for three decades, while Revathi had a unique idea, so their ventures had to be a success.

To counter that, we knew we had to include two entrepreneurs who are below the age of 30 and taking their respective industry by storm through their start-ups.

First is Shivam Thakral, co-founder & CEO of New Delhi, India-based BuyUcoin. Shivam is under 30 years of age and BuyUCoin is currently successfully serving over 100,000 users in the arena of Blockchain Adopters, Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts and successful Blockchain-based initiatives. 

Shivam gives a smile as bright as Rajneesh Singh, “Mahima, there is nothing like a secret. It is also about managing three things as a team.”

A) Trust the customers and make them happy

Shivam says, “Let me explain citing the example of BuyUcoin, which was founded in July 2016 with very little funding. BuyUcoin is a bootstrapped startup and in the initial period, we used to do all jobs ourselves. As in any start-up from CEO to the janitor, we worked at odd hours to structure and streamline our systems and processes. We innately maintained contact with our customers as their feedback helped us immensely to reframe our product. These initial customers helped us to find the real problem in the product.

After gaining traction of 200,000 customers, we still rely on customers feedback on a daily basis to improve products even further.”

B) Team Building

Shivam adds, “A cohesive team building plays a crucial role in a successful start-up. Initially, the responsibilities were divided and delegated among the three partners of the company. Addition to the headcount of the team started when the company reached  $ 1 million in revenue, when the need to build a bigger team arose. Our hiring revolved on the work ethics and attitude of a candidate. Our company is intellectually rich than rich on headcount. We hire for attitude and invest in training our team. This has eventually led to the success of our start-up.”

C) Technological advancements

Shivam wraps up his mantra by asserting, “Every start-up has to keep pace with the need of the hour and the need of the hour is to keep pace with the technological advancements. The more you are in tune with the technological advancements, the more robust your start-up becomes. And this brings more credibility by improving the sentiment analysis of our customers for us.”

Surbhi Jain, Founder of Digication in Udaipur Rajasthan backs Shivam in his views. 24-year old Surbhi is Computer Science Engineer who’s start-up Digication is empowering underprivileged women of all age groups. And she adds the success of her startup that has made a very good name in the arid state.

Surbhi Jain, Founder of Digication

Surbhi says, “In addition to what all has already been said above, I would like to add just three points. Work stress-free; understand criticism and take it in a positive way; and get talent pool rather than a crowd to be ‘your’ Team. All these three factors might take time in implementation, but these will ensure that the foundation of your startup is a strong one.”

So what more? If you have any queries, do drop us a mail or tweet to us. We will ensure that our experts handle it in a way that helps you. Don’t forget to share this piece, it will go a long way in helping someone who might need this does of mentorship!

 

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Mahima Sharma

A regular columnist at TechThirsty and other reputed webzines, Mahima is a seasoned journalist having worked as News Editor CNN-News18 & ANI (a collaboration with Reuters).

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