SOS – An Entrepreneur’s Cry

“I want to be my own boss”, I don’t want to be a slave”, “I don’t mind 24×7, as long as I work for my own company”, are some of the common statements made by college students these days. In spite of all the social laggers there is a good number of entrepreneurs in India.


For a decade now India has been one of the top ten countries in Entrepreneurial activity. It’s currently at the ninth place on the Global Entrepreneurial Monitor. India’s TEA (Total Entrepreneurial Activity) averages around 12% now. According to a latest survey, at least 60% of Indians employed in a corporate want to be entrepreneurs, and at least 40% have their own entrepreneurial ideas.


With aggressive loans from banks for educated youth, the government is boosting up entrepreneurs. Apart from bank loans, organizations like Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are making financing, the biggest hurdle, in the implementation of an entrepreneurial idea, easy.


The liberalization of 1991 has been one big thing, an important milestone in Indian entrepreneurial history. The IT boom in the late 90’s is one other catalyzing thing. Computers are one field where there is heavy entrepreneurial activity.


In recent times, TEA is decreasing year after year. Many Indians have started firms in USA, Singapore and other such countries, where it is easy and profitable to start a business. In Singapore one can start a business in just 6 days. All the formalities will be over by then, as against it is more than a month in India.


India in general is risk averse. There are many people who apart from going for regular jobs are even trying to get into government jobs that are more secure. In spite of this, when someone breaks all the family hurdles, warning of folks, and fights firmly to start a firm he gets into trouble with the bribery, which can neither be afforded from bank loans, nor from CII funding.


Starting from officials in the licensing office to the corporation or municipality to raise the company-building-bribery has swarmed everywhere. At times when people make profit estimates, the regular bribes to be given to various departments stand higher than the net profit. This leads many to decide on going somewhere where they don’t have to offer bribe amounts while making profit estimations.


Bribery is not the only hurdle. Lack of government support is another big boulder on the path. Funding is the only thing the government has taken some step in, and nothing else. Certainly funds are important, but not the only important thing for a venture.


The lack of infrastructure which is one major challenge and the most important lag behind when compared to China. This not only stops new ventures here, but also makes the foreign investors rub their chins.


Besides all these hurdles, when one starts the venture our people still go for buying imported products rather than encouraging locals.


Because of all these factors the current TEA is lingering around 6% which is less than half that of the TEA average. Save it before it goes much lower. It’s high time we think on the measures to be taken.


Wish the UPA government which has already taken initiative in economic reforms follows suit with developed economies like USA and Singapore, and fills the gap.


Shanketh R

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