Recently, on a Sunday evening, I was having a casual talk with my friend, when we came to discuss about challenges he is facing with his start up. The story is no different from mine or anyone, because be it a new business or old, the troubles we face are universal. Often we are not able to identify our problems, because of being caught in our own yes and no. But at the same time, it becomes easy for us to find the troubles in the other person’s business and give solutions. Vice-versa we also get the same suggestions, and I am sure we all here have such different experiences. There is nothing wrong in this, as simple corrections are missed upon by an entrepreneur; it is like editing your own article.
The discussion finally came to the initial investments he is making on his marketing and branding activities right now, having no visible results, but all the resources are being spent vaguely following success models of established companies, which actually have different dynamics. Now this is where I feel the dreams of people are getting exploited.
Successful companies established earlier say 3-4 years back or more, grew up in a different business eco-system and today the eco-system is completely different. With changing time, the approach also needs to be different, but in reality this is not happening. There cannot be copycats or imitators. Every new business has to be dealt in a new way with innovations to gain opportunity in the market. Simply following success models would definitely lead to nowhere.
Today, the objective of a start up is not coming out with a successful sustainable business model, and get it run on its own, but rather get an investor on board. All the energies are brought in to convince an Investor, rather than concentrating on real work. This is where we get into a lot of jugaad work. With shortcuts being the mantra for quick results, I consider a ‘convinced investor’ as winning a Lottery, wherein the lucky one gets in, and all others try for another time.
You cannot follow any successful models in establishing a brand, as the objective at each different point of business changes. The real effort is to understand this dynamics, which requires various understanding - about the product/ service offered, market conditions, customer behavior, technological advantages or disadvantages etc. It's easy to make strategies in B2B businesses, but it becomes more complex for B2C products. When geographic regions and customer age groups expand, the money and resources spent need to be high, which will be impossible for a start up to invest heavily. You need to check your strategies effectively and time to time.
For a product to be commercially manufactured, making a prototype and ensuring its feasibility is must, and naturally the same should be applicable for a Start Up. I am always open to explore opportunities around us, and often able to come out with one or the other out of the box thoughts. I would like to hear from you if any of the points I discussed above make some sense, so that we can expand our knowledge base. Do write to me at email@example.com
Hari Shanker, is a Media Entrepreneur and Marketing Communications Specialist and has been in the media industry for the last 21 years. He has extensive experience in the growing manufacturing sector in the country. Starting his career from national capital Delhi, he has travelled and worked across the country, stationed for regular intervals at Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata and is now based in Pune. He founded four companies, four publications and is currently the Publisher of Magazines, Metromart and Martupdate. Recently he has ventured into a startup, The IMPALS, Empowering communications of manufacturing companies. He also visits schools and colleges as a guest lecturer and b