by Duhita Dey.
In his talk at IIT Ropar our CEO Harit Mohan iterated that Entrepreneurship is a journey of rewards, accompanied by the intonations of brilliant achievements and stumbling challenges. When opportunities cross the way of an inventor, an entrepreneur is born.
“An entrepreneur is no less than a Superman for being the founder, technical worker, marketing person, HR, admin, accountant, lawyers, architect, IT guy as well the office boy.” – Harit Mohan, CEO, Signicent LLP
It’s not about only wearing the cape but carrying tones of cumbersome responsibilities on the shoulders, so are you the one? It all begins with being visionary. The self evaluation should go continuously along with the effort of raising funds, cash flow management, time management and capital management, team building, exhausting working hours, investment risks, unthinkable peer pressure and abandoning other potential career. Before opening a company, both the question or problem and its solution should be ready.
Name your business. The first step, name your business. The establishment of a business begins with naming it after inspecting the domain name, then creating a domain website and professional e-mails. The company name should be catchy, concise and unique, it will help search engines like Google to display the results on the first page. For example our own company name, Signicent, not a dictionary word, made by removing ‘fi’ and replacing the ‘a’ with ‘e’ from the word ‘significant’, thus making it unique and catchy.
Also, you may combine two words or split to create a unique name e.g. AeroEng, made of the combination of ‘aerospace’ and ‘engineering’. Make sure the name is composed of 6 to 8 alphabets and if it’s longer it has to be too cool to catch the attention of people. Create and then register a website with website builder and hosting domains such as GoDaddy which costs mere annual fees of about Rs. 700 for a year the ‘.com’ domain suffix.
The domain name can then be hosted by Amazon, Bluehost, Dreamhost, etc. Platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc which provide attractive templates for free. You must own a professional e-mail. To win the trust of the customer base, show them your commitment and seriousness, owning a professional e-mail instead of g-mail or Yahoo will make you seem more reliable. Don’t forget social media. Check for the availability of your name on social platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, B2B and B2C Marketing, etc.
Incorporate your company. The incorporation involves choosing the best entity and jurisdiction selection, authorization of shares and splitting of the initial equity among the founders which finally ends up with some legal paper works.
For opening employees salary accounts, taxations, and filing returns, you will need to register with the TAN, PAN, and GST. A digital signature is USB e-token with the signature in digital format to validate and verify your entity. This is used for signing official documents online. For all micro, small and medium enterprises, the Indian government has launched a website to register to host all the benefits of subsidies, schemes, and incentives provided by the govt.
Protect the IP. After all the years of these exhaustive efforts, you definitely won’t like it if someone else steals what you have built so far. Remember the imitators and competitors are always on the prowl to feast on unprotected ideas. It is very crucial to protect the technology or idea of your start-up with the patent, trademark, copyright, etc.
Organic & Inorganic funding. The fundraising is a very critical aspect of a startup. Organic funding is bootstrapping and it results from the tight-knit management. The positive aspect of organic funding is that the founder owns all of the money and power. Inorganic funding involves venture capitalists who takes the risk of investing funds in your business but in lieu, grabs substantial shares in the business. This aspect of the business is the Ace of the game in startup. The more funds you take from them, the share you lose to them which might reduce you to a worker only as most of the shares and revenue will be bagged by the investor only. Always be ready with all the field testings to fetch the funds from investors. Along with these circumstances, your manufacturing unit should be capable to meet any surprise gigantic demand for your product. Surprisingly, there are plethora of companies with white label products who paste their label over the products of other brands and sell in the market, e.g. the phone parts of Apple are manufactured by a Chinese company Foxconn. The self-manufactured products have a very high margin thus promises a good turn-over.
Being own boss is classy. After all, no flustered ‘boss’ to deal with, work the way you like and run the business in your style. However, the pride of being a leader comes with pain of working for tremendous hours without salary for months/ years, which gradually distances you from the family. Though with such tremendous devotion and sacrifices, success is hardly guaranteed.
Set up & running cost. From hosting the name of the company to the coffee machine of the office, it costs a great amount to make your dream business to come into existence. The Indian government has launched good schemes and startup incubators which aid in the funding of the startup at a low charge of equity.
Mistakes. Everyone says think different, and it feels classy as well but few reveal that it’s so peril as well. You may be aptly focused on your goals but the obstructions deserve a little of your attention as well. Startups struggle for the mistakes made in raising the fund, financial control, planning, inventory control, etc. These problems aggravate with the dearth of skills and experience which kills most of the startups in their inception period.
SME & IPR. India gained the global attention in the past few years because of its momentum in startup culture. The 5 times improved growth in the startup, third position after Britain and the US among the top startup nations makes. All these make India a favorable economic zone which is further backed by the above 50 schemes from the Indian government. However, on the hind side, the number of Indian startups is mere in number, the improvement of startups seems laggard with only 16% as compared to last year. The dominant patent applicants in India are not Indians but are the international or multinational entities that account for 71% of the total applicants.