There are innumerable articles and books on ‘How to be a Successful Entrepreneur’. Being an entrepreneur myself, I have read some of them but have realised that the bulk of the emphasis is on two things – one, how to raise funds to start your venture and two, how to get the right networks in place. As such, there is a surge in various funds/ angel investors/ VCs etc looking to invest in high return and scalable business models. Several platforms such as TiE, IAN, NEN etc have come up which help entrepreneurs connect with each other or find partners, mentors etc.
Surprisingly, the most important aspect of entrepreneurship seems to either pass unnoticed or is given least weightage in most such discussions. And that I believe is carrying the right attitude and displaying the right behaviours in a fast-changing entrepreneurial set-up. Most successful entrepreneurs make it big inspite of a lack of funds or great networks simply on the strength of their attitude – be it positivity, perseverance, passion or value consciousness. On the contrary, many well moneyed and well-connected entrepreneurs are unable to see a good business idea through. This fact gets proven everytime you read the journeys of truly successful Indian entrepreneurs, be it Dhirubhai Ambani, Sanjiv Bhikchandani, Subroto Bagchi etc.
At Catalyst, we have tried to bridge this gap in the learning of an entrepreneur by creating a truly unique product – EDGE. EDGE stands for ‘Enabling, Developing and Growing aspiring Entrepreneurs’. EDGE is a developmental tool which helps aspiring entrepreneurs identify their strengths and development needs by comparing them to a set of pre-defined ‘entrepreneurial’ competencies. These competencies have been arrived at after studying the attitudes and behaviours of several successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs in India through in-depth interviews, focused discussions and surveys.
The tool is in the format of a 2 day long Development Center consisting of various kinds of individual and group exercises. Each individual’s performance on these exercises is evaluated by trained assessors. Further, psychometrics are used to strengthen the quality of findings. Basis these inputs, a detailed targeted feedback report and growth plan is created for each and every participant to provide him with a structured development path. I believe an developmental intervention of this kind at an early stage would go a long way in increasing the chances of success for every aspiring entrepreneur.