Mentorship + Entrepreneurship = Success


For a while it’s been clear that India is making strides to get the internet more openly available to the masses. From Reliance JIo’s initiative to make it more affordable, to Google’s Project Loon, there are many examples of this. Of course, the availability of the internet is the first step but the accessibility is another. That’s why it’s so important to see big players in the mobile and laptop markets taking such an interest in India. For instance, Acer has announced the expansion of its retail presence in India and as the iPhone 7 is officially launched it’s always important to see how a company like Apple addresses  a market like India. Apple has not made a secret of just how important India is for the firm and given the battle between Samsung and Apple in the top end of the market is currently being won by Samsung, Apple had to pull out some stops. The new iPhone will go on sale in India in early October at a cheaper price than iPhone 6s which shows a clear intention for Apple to ensure they continue to make strides in the India market. So important it seems is the Indian market to Apple that it has asked Foxconn to explore making IPhones in India as well as open wholly owned subsidiaries in the country.

Clearly, both high end Samsung phones and certainly the expensive iPhone are considered luxury items in India. However, there are many other luxury goods are coming to the fore within India. For instance, the couture market is one that is seeing a growing consumer appetite for luxury goods. Of course luxury doesn’t come cheap and naturally, higher spending power is needed. On the topic of increased spending, it may be interesting to know that the Indian e-commerce market has the potential to touch $28 billion by the start of the next decade. A big factor in the prominence of e-commerce is of course the willingness to embrace technology. This of course means the digital adoption of India’s youth is so important.

The government must be very pleased to hear that the Indian Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) is so well supported by local companies. The premise of this support is very interestingly down to the desire to promote within India and patriotism seems to be at the centre of this. In turn locally businesses will also be glad to hear that the government is very much pushing to ensure GST (Goods and Services Tax) is implemented on time. Amongst many initiatives the government is pursuing to progress India, the introduction of technology has clearly been at the forefront. None more so than the introduction of high-speed trains.

Entrepreneurs are multi-talented people; however, everyone has areas of development or limitations they need help with. Some believe mentorship is the missing link in India’s start-up culture. This is exactly why I believe an investor who can bring more than just capital to an investment is worth their weight in gold. This is something we pride ourselves on at Earlsfield. Don’t just take my word for it, however. Here are the thoughts of some entrepreneurs who have seen merit from such relationships. And if the entrepreneur gets it right the rewards are potentially great as can be seen from this list of Indian ‘soonicorns’. Then there are those who change the world without a single person taking any notice. The challenge to overcome is as Jeff Bezos once so eloquently put it; “invention requires a long term willingness to be misunderstood”. Just think of these entrepreneurs/innovators who had to wait painstaking amounts of time for recognition let alone reward. The world is a much smaller place thanks to many of those mentioned and as a result is full of mentors who have lived the pain and have also learned from their mentors. Maybe this is why as each year passes it becomes more and more possible to realise the dream of entrepreneurship.

Author: Dishang Pateldish-colour