There was a time in India when being a doctor, lawyer or an engineer was the ultimate career goal. Then there came an era of inventive professions, of doing something out of the league and thus, people starting considering creative professions like writing/journalism, fashion design and culinary arts. And today, millennials are finally exhibiting the will and courage to go after their dreams by starting their own businesses. Traditional 9 to 5 jobs are no longer the ‘obvious option’, young Indians want to be their own boss!
No wonder we see so many startups these days. Today’s generation is more accepting and open to experiments. So if you have a great business idea and the time and money to support it, go for it! You never know, it could be better than any corporate job you’ve ever done. If you’re still in two minds, check out these startup stories for inspiration.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Risks
Natty Ninos is a 3-year-old salon operating in Delhi. Despite being a young business, it has grown from an initial revenue of Rs 5 lakhs to Rs 40 lakhs per annum! It’s a kids-only salon, which gradually set its foot into events as well, in the Delhi-NCR region. Nipun Jain, the millennial mind behind it quotes, “After my unsatisfactory performance in CAT exam, my mom gave me two options–to invest in an MBA course or (to invest in) a startup. I took a risk and chose to start a kids-only salon, a concept which was rather new in Delhi, but with no assurance if it would be accepted by the masses.”
Nipun has been through the ups and downs for his startup when professionals didn’t want to associate with his idea of servicing only kids. Although challenging, he pulled it off and had a growth of 50% each year since it’s inception. He’s targeting 100% growth in the next three years. He adds, “After days and nights of struggle, cash shortage, staff problems, management problems and many other challenges, we are finally a successful business. My advice to millennials is to let the risks take a backseat and your willpower, the front one. Everything involves hard work, be it a job or a business, so why not invest your energies in yourself?”
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Even corporate individuals making good money are yearning to explore. When I first met Pulkit Srivastava, he was a young enthusiastic lad growing rapidly in his career. As he tells us, “I was in my field for over nine years and became very comfortable with my job. But as a young professional ‘getting comfortable’ are the two words you should treat as poison in your career!”
The challenge was missing and the smoothness was bothering him. Pulkit was eager to wear the entrepreneurial hat and well, he did! He is now the founder of Shouut–an app trading free WiFi for brand engagements (which could mean free WiFi and free data for us millennials, yay!). He shares his eureka moment, “At first, I started working on several businesses on the side but none of them really kicked off for me. After three years I realised that the only thing stopping me was myself. You really cannot run a business from the sidelines; its either all in or out. I finally quit my job and took the plunge. It has been two years since we started Shouut and I don’t regret a single second.”
Pulkit got tremendous support from his family especially his wife and considers it as the biggest driving factor for him or for anyone who wants to start something new for that matter.
Startups in India are no more a new thing. Recently in the news, three boys from Jaipur got a contract worth Rs 3 crores to produce flavoured water in Nagpur. Thankfully they didn’t let the tension and expectations of class 10 results bog them down! (Also read – Education In India: A System Driven By Fear)
Driven individuals such as these are truly inspiring and make us wonder, if they can do it, why can’t we?
Startups and entrepreneurship are here to stay. From Facebook to Flipkart, the idea was never to attain financial security but to pursue a passion and work in an exciting and fulfilling environment. You will have to face a hundred challenges and lose before you win, but believe me, it will be totally worth it.
Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar