August 28, 2007

Sanjay Anandaram - No startup can be built in isolation

Mentorship is one of the most widely discussed topics in every Unconference but was extensively discussed in Open Coffee Club (OCC). One attendee in the OCC had 5 years of Entrepreneurial experience but none of his ideas really took off.The reason that he indicated was guidance & lack of proper market study.

He had an excellent suggestion that though his ideas did not really do well, he could still lend a helping hand to the other entrepreneurs by being a mentor & advisor for them(so that they don't commit the same mistakes that he had committed). Also, IMHO even if you have a vague idea of what you wish to do(either part time or full time), the first thing to be done should be to enter the Ecosystem, which helps you network and learn from other Entrepreneurs.These (Ecosystem and Mentorship) were two of most discussed points in an article by Sanjay Anandaram of JumpStartup in "The Financial Times" ; a small excerpt below:
Why we need Mentors ?
Usually, those that do not succeed realise that they have been chasing the wrong opportunity with the wrong business model and wrong team much much later in the game, if at all. What if they had been made aware of the pitfalls and dangers early on and been prepared to deal with them? What if they had had the benefit of experienced counsel from mentors and advisors? While having mentors and advisors is in itself no guarantee of success, having the right mentors can often reduce the agony of late unhappy realisations of the state of the business.

Are Indian entrepreneurs not open ?
Why are Indian entrepreneurs shy about involving advisors? While the entrepreneurial eco-system here is not as mature as in the US and the culture of mentoring is not as widely prevalent, the fact remains that most entrepreneurs are hesitant to have advisors.
Lot of learnings from the article(apart from the small gist given above) so do not miss the complete article here and here

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