12 October 2010

Midnight's Learning - On Entrepreneurship

Continuing from where I left, our discussion moved to entrepreneurship.

On a lazy noon after lunch Mustafa went to have a paan at a paan shop near his office and being an Ayubi, started chatting with the affable bhaiyyaji. Following are the excerpts:

Mustafa(M): How is business bhaiyya-ji?

Paanwaala(P): Business is as usual, nothing great.

M: It's good to have your own business. You are your own boss!

P: You feel so. Maybe. But not for me. I have a family to support in Mumbai. I live hand to mouth. I can't even think of taking a day off, come rain or shine. You know on a box of 20 cigarettes of a Classic Mild I just make 6 rupees! 

(now comes the management lesson from the bhaiyya-ji)

Beta-ji, never get into a business where you are a commission agent. You'll have to rely on volumes to earn big money. If you want to make money,  produce (manufacture or service) something on your own, then you'll keep the cream for yourself! 

And we read management theory from text books and lectured by morose professors to learn it. 

As the night progressed we were discussing about our experiences since we started working. 

I happened to meet an entrepreneur who studied in vernacular medium, migrated from a small town and started his life in Mumbai as a daily wage worker. Today he heads and owns a company whose turnover has exceeded Rs. 1 billion and is a niche player in the market he operates! After a 2 hour meeting with him, I took home only one lesson. There is only one trait, just ONE trait which an entrepreneur needs to startup, RISK TAKING ABILITY. Rest all are crap!

In his words, I'd conclude. 
Aamir life mein sirf daring karne ka, risk lene ka!

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