India has a population where over 50% are below the age of 25, and over 65% are below 35, contributing to a surge in young entrepreneurs in the country. This trend is anticipated to persist in 2024 as India's startup culture flourishes, drawing more resources and support, encouraging a growing influx of youthful individuals into the entrepreneurial arena.
While many businessmen achieve success, embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is no simple task. Despite its many upsides like accomplishments, affluence, and success, this voyage can also lead to isolation, uncertainty, occasional despondency, and financial distress. As the National Youth Day, also known as Vivekananda Jayanti approaches, we spoke with both young and seasoned entrepreneurs to comprehend their aspirations and gather suggestions aimed at assisting India's leaders in attaining success.
Kashvi Jindal, a 17-year-old Entrepreneur and Socialist, who serves as the Co-Founder of The Youth Platform and Founder of Invest The Change, highlighted the potential support seasoned business leaders can offer to the growth and ideas of young entrepreneurs. “Their knowledge and experience can help young entrepreneurs understand challenges, smoothing the learning curve by avoiding commonly made mistakes in their emerging ventures,” she remarked.
“Experienced leaders can cultivate a culture of creativity, inclusivity, and ongoing growth, leaving a lasting positive impact on the future generation of professionals by actively engaging and motivating us. They can empower aspiring individuals through tools like mentorship, internship programs, education, and networking. From learning from their experiences and getting personal feedback to expanding our networks and gaining confidence, the guidance of seasoned professionals can significantly contribute to the success of young entrepreneurs like me,” she added.
Another young entrepreneur, 25-year-old Arpita Katyal, CEO of Roperro, discussed the common struggles of emerging business leaders, including self-doubt and challenging business phases. “The backing and belief of a seasoned leader aren't just a source of support but also emerge as a valuable asset in the business landscape, underscoring the crucial role support plays in sustaining a business,” she highlighted.
“While I endeavour to maintain a calm and composed demeanour, confronting challenges remains an inevitable aspect. The unwavering commitment demanded by quality work is a skill sharpened through challenges or experiences, shedding light on the profound impact of dedication needed for budding entrepreneurs like myself. Moreover, leaders have the chance to impart essential lessons, emphasising the significance of fostering a respectful environment, the transformative influence of genuine effort, and the nurturing support pivotal in propelling aspirations toward actualisation,” she added.
Engaging with aspiring business magnates highlights their eagerness to glean wisdom from seasoned leaders. Conversely, experienced leaders possess a wealth of insights to impart to the emerging generation of trailblazers. Here's a glimpse into the valuable knowledge they have to offer.
Swimming through economic downturns
Getting through a recession isn't a simple feat, especially given the ongoing challenges it poses. Seasoned leaders hold valuable insights, which can guide young entrepreneurs through these tough economic times. Sumit Kumar, Chief Strategy Officer at TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, highlighted the impact of three significant economic downturns in the last two decades that affected businesses profoundly.
According to him, preparation is vital for successfully navigating such periods. "Preparation minimises the blow, requiring an understanding of potential hardships and the risks of failure. Equally crucial is knowing how to prepare to prevent repeating mistakes. Nonetheless, being open to mistakes and failures, provided one learns from them and emerges stronger, is essential. Patience and resilience are key virtues to embrace, while indecisiveness and impatience can be formidable adversaries. Striving for excellence and building a robust foundation pave the way for long-term success," he emphasised.
Offers emotional support
Amid the challenges and uncertainties of entrepreneurship, seasoned leaders can offer guidance, reassurance, and a compassionate ear. Drawing from their experiences navigating the highs and lows of business, they become a source of comfort and wisdom, providing emotional support as crucial as any business advice. This mentorship not only helps tackle professional challenges but also nurtures the mental resilience and fortitude required for success in the entrepreneurial journey," noted Rahul Veerwal, Founder & CEO of GetWork.
"The journey of a startup founder can be quite lonely and stressful. Proper guidance and support from seasoned leaders can significantly help young entrepreneurs navigate this journey smoothly. Alongside guidance, young entrepreneurs can also seek emotional support, motivation, and networking opportunities from these leaders," he added.
Provide networking opportunities
Leveraging their established connections, seasoned entrepreneurs can provide access to valuable networks, key contacts, and industry insights. These networking opportunities serve as a bridge for young entrepreneurs, opening doors to potential partnerships, collaborations, mentorship, and other essential resources necessary for business growth and success. Through these connections, seasoned entrepreneurs empower the next generation of business leaders to expand their horizons and thrive in the competitive entrepreneurial landscape.
“Companies can facilitate connections between young entrepreneurs and industry veterans via meet-ups and seminars, opening doors to opportunities, experiences, and insights. This not only aids the startups but also enriches the corporate sector with fresh perspectives. Lastly, fostering collaboration between corporates and entrepreneurs is vital. Such partnerships create a supportive ecosystem, encouraging innovation and growth. This is especially important in regions with less established entrepreneurial cultures, where collaborative efforts can significantly ease the path to success,” said Shashank Donthi, CEO of Hynetic Electronics.
Encourages in embracing setbacks
Entrepreneurs’ wisdom and mentorship play a pivotal role in nurturing a mindset that perceives setbacks not as failures but as crucial steps toward growth and improvement. According to Neha Bagaria, Founder & CEO, Herkey (formerly JobsForHer), seasoned leaders emphasise the importance of resilience, perseverance, and adaptability—vital traits essential for navigating entrepreneurial challenges.
“The entrepreneurial journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Leaders should inspire young entrepreneurs to see setbacks as opportunities for learning. Equally crucial is cultivating a culture of mentorship. The invaluable guidance I received early in my career from seasoned professionals reinforced the significance of mentorship. Additionally, creating an environment that promotes continuous learning is vital in our ever-evolving business landscape. Staying abreast of new trends and technologies is paramount. Leaders must establish environments where young entrepreneurs feel empowered to learn, experiment, and innovate,” she stated.