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Going Beyond Business – Foundation to Successful Entrepreneurship Part 1.

March9

In over 12 years of experience with start-ups either working directly in one or being part of entrepreneurship accelerator organizations like TiE & Ennovent. I have observed for successful entrepreneurship while the technical elements like business model, market opportunity and product-market fit are important – what essentially does get looked over by most entrepreneurs and founding teams is the behavioral aspects and attitudes of the entrepreneur or the founding team.

With this background I wanted to cover couple of key aspects over a small series from my observations on founding team mindsets, their vision for the enterprise and in turn their behaviors which actually drive the business and leads to scale.

In this post my focus is going to be on the VISION of the enterprise and more importantly of the founding team. My observation on vision is not so much about what the organization or start-up will be and what impact it will have the typical jargon we see on vision statements but more on “WHY DO YOU WANT TO DO THIS” this is a question that the lead entrepreneur and the core team have to ask themselves not only before plunging but also in the journey.

Even sitting on the other side of the table in running an investor group we are now constantly asking entrepreneurs on:-

- What made them take the plunge and start this venture?
- Why they would give up something equally if not more lucrative to plunge towards entrepreneurship?

Typical responses I have seen on why I want to be an entrepreneur range from “I want to be my own Boss” to “I want to make lots of money” or “I want to be famous like Richard Branson”.

Other more mature responses are “I want to create meaning” or “create a large scale impact” or “leave a legacy”. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with these motivations and drivers and has lead to success – for long term success it’s very important for entrepreneurs to be clear as to why they want to do this. I’m not talking of about the vision of the enterprise or the business models or the product/service offering what I’m referring to is more fundamental – WHY SHOULD I START A VENTURE & CAN I SEE MYSELF IN IT FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS?

Entrepreneurship is a marathon and not a sprint before we plunge we should think around:-

FUNDAMENTAL:
- What I’m really passionate about, what turns me on is it temporary or permanent?
- Can I commit between 5-10 years to do this venture day in day out?
- Can I accept failure not just if the venture fails but when thinks don’t work out in day to day operations?
- Will I be fine if things don;t go as planned and more importantly at the necessary speed?
- Can I put skin in the game – capital, resources and whatever else is required to see the venture through? Essentially close my back door?

TACTICAL:
- Is there size able number of customers who would be willing to pay for the solution?
- Do I have the write team/expertise to pull it through?
- Is the market opportunity large enough?
- Is my service/product offering a more of a can have or a must have for the customer?
- Is there a real differential in my offering can it lead to creating of entry barriers.

So before you plunge in or have already plunge in think as to why you started, what was your vision and what changed along the course :)

posted under Entrepreneurial Spirit, Leadership | Comments Off

Creating Shared Value – Building Scalable Competitive Advantage

December27

It’s hard to pick up a newspaper or watch TV, without hearing about the need for inclusive growth. Many business leaders are stressing the need for adoption of a new business model. Understanding the need of the hour, FSG (Social impact Consultants) has created a report titled, ‘Creating Shared Value in India’ that shows various examples of Indian companies that are viewing opportunities and taking a systematic intentional approach to creating economic and social value.

So what is Creating Shared Value (CSV)?

CSV is an intentional, systematic way for companies to create lasting competitive advantage. It entails identifying business constraints that are tied to societal problems, and leveraging the core assets of a business to solve those problems in innovative, sustainable and scalable ways. When companies are able to balance creation of both social and economic value, the social impact grows as the business itself grows, strengthening the cycle of impact and generating lasting competitive advantage.

CSV and CSR

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) often focuses on corporate philanthropy and/or efforts to make businesses more sustainable by mitigating the resources used in operations. It is often supported by a department of talented and dedicated staff, who are not part of daily strategic and operational business decisions. CSR departments play an important role in promoting and contributing to CSV strategies in a company. But CSV must be integrated to a company’s core business to have the most impact.

What is FSG?

FSG is a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in strategy, evaluation and research. Founded in 2000 as Foundation Strategy Group by Mark Kramer and Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School, FSG works across sectors worldwide—partnering with foundations, corporations, nonprofits, and governments to develop effective solutions to the world’s most challenging issues.

In India, FSG hopes to contribute to the dialogue, partner with people passionate about creating real change, and share the knowledge and lessons learnt, to improve the effectiveness to a variety of stakeholders.

Read the complete interview with Veronica Borgonovi, one of the four authors of the FSG report believes that India has tremendous potential for CSV, and vice-versa. She says, “India is a country poised to take CSV by the horns and show the rest of the world how a new form of capitalism can create real, and lasting, competitive advantage and social benefit”. In this interview, Veronica, talks about CSV, CSR and the challenges that companies face while adopting it.

Read the complete interview here and to read the full report ‘Creating Shared Value in India’ please click here.

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First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

April6

Great lessons on leadership and nurturing your FIRST FOLLOWER!!! At the end there is no movement without the first follower…

posted under Leadership | 6 Comments »

This is a forum for entrepreneurs and professionals to connect, learn and grow with each other. The objective of this blog is to give you access to relevant resources, business opportunities and networking opportunities to enhance your entrepreneurial and professional lives.

About Author:

Digbijoy has a wide ranging experience across diverse sectors, initially started his career in education marketing with reputed educational institutes and then subsequently joined the advertising and events industry to execute several projects including a state election campaign for a national party, conceptualizing and running a restaurant chain in Delhi and several other projects.

He joined the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE Delhi), where he worked for over 3 years and drove various key initiatives like mentoring, deal flow, marketing, sponsorships etc and left his last position as Associate Director of the chapter in 2008 to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. He subsequently joined techTribe- India largest Career Networking platform where he served as director strategic relations and drove unique initiatives and partnerships for building and sustaining community engagement. Post techTribe he co founded an online supplemental education start-up – TenMarks Education INC. which was acquired by Amazon.com in October 2013.

Post TenMarks he lead Ennovent India as its country director which is an innovation accelerator. Ennovent provide services to accelerate innovations for sustainability in low-income markets in developing countries. It specializes in helping clients discover enterprises with novel solutions, develop business models to start-up enterprises, provide finance by facilitating early-stage investments and grow operations to scale profit and impact. Since 2008, Ennovent has worked with over 4,800 Network members, 15 Circle members and 10 Solution clients to accelerate over 80 innovations in 10 countries.

Currently Digbijoy Co-leads the Startup Program for Amazon Web Services enabling the best startups leverage the power of AWS infrastructure.

Digbijoy also plays the role of Supporting Evangelist ™ to TiE Delhi-NCR the leading TiE chapter in the world and select startups like Breaking Barriers, Just Rojgaar, One Tree Spaces etc. He also regularly contributes to entrepreneurial blogs and publications and is often quoted by leading publications on impact Investing and social entrepreneurship.

Digbijoy is a B.A. Hons Economics, P.G. Diploma in sales and Management, an MBA from MDI Gurgaon (Executive) and has done a venture capital program in ISB.

Lets Connect:-
Forum: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/NetworktoSucceed-5111392
Email: digbijoy@networktosucceed.in
Linkedin: http://in.linkedin.com/in/digbijoy
Twitter: http://twitter.com/digbijoy

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