Start-ups are the new trend these days. While most start-ups comes to an abrupt end, there are any start-ups which have actually made it big.
While the word seems to be a recent trend in India, it has been in use in USA since the mid-70’s, when a bunch of nerd teenagers went on to create some really valuable hardware and software companies.
But it’s nothing new to Indians. While India has been traditionally dominated by entrepreneurs, they were called baniyas for thousands of years.
Baniyas or business class people in India are always being viewed as greedy and money minded. While it’s true to some extent for a lot of businessman, it’s not an exclusive thought. Many have done really appreciable job for the society at large. Indian business people have traveled the silk route thousands of years ago in search of business. they have reached to the shores of Java, Sumatra, Shanghai and even Mombasa.
Identifying a new opportunity and creating a solution for that opportunity is all about entrepreneurship. When a locality does not have a grocery store, a person opening a grocery store in that area is an entrepreneur. A thelawala opening a gol-gappa stall near a school or college is equally an entrepreneur. One does not have to come up with a once in a million idea to become an entrepreneur.
In fact, to some extent, the Indian pattern of doing business is a better solution for a new comer in this field. The once in a million idea may or may not be accepted in the market, but an Indian baniya will always find a new way to survive. In 2004 when Facebook came in, there were many others also who started social networking sites. Many got good investors also, but unfortunately their idea did not do that well in the market. The result is Facebook is a billion dollar corporation, while others have closed their shops or have focused on any other idea. In this connection it may be mentioned, that many chai thela and gol-gappa thela can do business at the same area giving the same product and also having a loyal customer base.
The Indian way of entrepreneurship have never been publicized, marketed or glorified. In fact, they were something which people have always thought as a secondary or tertiary life. But the fact is that Indian business community have given many a thing to the world economy.
Today, the highly educated techies and MBA guys are coming up with new ideas in Mumbai and Bangalore. People are creating online milk shops, tea stores, bringing even the house brokers under a single roof. This is actually the re-sale of the old wine in new bottle. Tea stores have been present in this country for so many years. Nobody ever thought that it is also a start-up, nobody ever rented a house without a broker, milkman has been supplying milk from times immemorial.
But what the real achievement of these guys is that they have consolidated a a largely dis-organised sector. Where people used to become shopkeepers after successfully running a shop and not trying to expand or diversify, these guys with brilliant ideas have actually done that next to impossible. They have made their online presence felt, opened up new stores and gave it a corporate look and above all glamorized an idea which has been present but never recognized.
It is here where these new age entrepreneurs have left their mark.