Due to Academic curiosity, I have checked textbooks in all languages from 1st to 12th std. and I have found that there are lessons on saints, scientists, political leaders but not a single lesson on an Entrepreneur or Industrialist. I also checked the interview of students who have appeared year after year on the merit list. Most of them show their desire to pursue a carrier in Medicine, Engineering, Chartered Accountancy but hardly any students have shown their interest in wanting to become an Entrepreneur.
In fact, I was in merit list in SCC examination in Goa and even I did not show interest to join my family business after completing my studies. My ambition was to be a mathematician and it was only due to unavoidable circumstances that I was constrained to join my family business after my graduation. That I have become a successful Entrepreneur is altogether a different matter.
I met Ritesh Agarwal, the 21-year-old who founded OYO and he has personally narrated me his story. Ritesh was born to a business family in Orissa. Ritesh moved to Delhi and later joined the University of London’s course at Indian Business School. Every day his father used to call him and ask him “Beta dhanda kab karoge?” “ Beta dhanda kab karoge?” Just after a few days of joining, he was fed up and left his studies and came back to India.
Ritesh then went into the thinking mode and realized, the biggest pain while travelling was to find affordable and available hotels to stay in. But like always, we end up staying in a crappy place. This motivated him to create an online social community, to bring information about all good places together in one platform. As a result, in 2013 he launched OYO Rooms. The name OYO means “On Your Own”. The rest is history.
Ritesh was not only one of the rare persons who only dreamt big but also kept a vision to achieve bigger. His early life is a perfect example of how young minds can dream and make it happen.
MRF is India's No.1 tyre manufacturing company. It was started by K M Mammen Mappillai as a small toy balloon unit. Much later it ventured into the manufacturing of tyres. The company entered into a technical collaboration with Tire & Rubber Company, USA.
On 1st April 1976, in San Francisco, California, Steve Jobs, a college dropout who assembled a computer in a garage became the co-founder of Apple Computers. Under Jobs' guidance, the company pioneered a series of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone and iPad.
When Warren Buffett joined his father, his father told him that they should name the Company: Buffett & Son. Such was the confidence of Warren Buffett. He told his father to let us name the Company Buffett & Father. Entrepreneurs should have super self-confidence like Warren Buffett and should overcome the fear of failure. They should look out for gaps in the market and introduce products with the Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
The conspicuous example is that of Raghunandan Srinivas Kamath, the son of a fruit vendor who founded Natural Ice Creams made with natural fruit pulp which became immensely popular in Mumbai.
Unique Selling Proposition selling for Nirma was its low-cost vis-à-vis other washing powder like Surf. USP for Frooty and Rasna was its convenience for the consumer. Wagh Bakri Tea created a niche market in the regional market in Gujarat with its strong flavour amongst Gujarati community. Lijjat papad and Chitale Bakarwadi became an instant hit in the market.
Other such examples are Thyrocare Technologies Limited, a chain of diagnostic and preventive care laboratories and Narayana Nethralaya Eye Hospitals for cataract surgery, Big Bazaar etc. On the contrary brands such as HMT, Blackberry, Nokia, Kotak, Topaz, and Air India which did not keep pace with time became irrelevant. This is a lesson for Entrepreneurs.
There is a saying in Gujarati “Haveli ki umr sath sal” This proverb is usually referred with reference to family businesses which collapse after the third generation. The span of a generation is considered to be 20 years. The first generation Entrepreneur, who starts the business is very enterprising and hard-working. His son, the second generation carries forward his business empire. However, the grandchildren in the third generation are usually not capable and business goes to the dogs. Therefore it is prudent that in a business family, businesses have to be professionalized at the right time by giving it to professional Managers. It is very rare that Entrepreneurs who have entrepreneurial skills are themselves, professional Managers, as well.