Friday, August 17, 2012

The next level of Entrepreneurship

At many of the start-up get-togethers, I keep hearing of other "entrepreneurs" talking about their ventures along the lines "We are making the xyz of India" where xyz is a popular/successful venture in the US/Europe, and their business model is to simply imitate the business locally.

The hottest among many "entrepreneurs" is e-commerce. Even for a person watching TV once in a bluemoon, I'm amazed at the new online retailing ads.,,, the list is endless. The speed with which these dot coms are mushroming is scarily reminding me of the late 90s when there was a similar dot com hype followed by a bust. I am not sure if the founders an investors have applied their minds in finding out how they can be really profitable selling stuff at discounts without passing on investor money to customers as discounts. True, not having to spend on retail space will help to an extent, but the moment it becomes hugely popular, one needs to invest in large warehouses - the cost of operations will go high.

In my opinion imitating a business model tried elsewhere is just at the lower level of Entrepreneurship. What we need is the next level where we solve real problems, by using solutions invented here. I think every aspiring entrepreneur should read this article by Mukund Mohan, where he hits the nails by saying:

My humble request to Indian entrepreneurs is ‘Please dont build any more “I’m bored” apps’.
I am not trivializing the need for “fun” apps.
All I am requesting is that the highest IQ folks should be working on the highest impact problem areas to aid most humankind.

We need to look beyond the metropolitan cities and find ways to solve real issues that affect India.

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