In the words, of Mr. Narayana Murthy (Infosys), In the current scenario of changing economic trends, in terms of : Technology, Innovation, Capital formation, Global competition, Quality consciousness, Proactive governance, Creative collaborations, Customer reign, Knowledge based working and specialization - Entrepreneurship is the only way of solving economic issues by creating/generating new wealth (legally and ethically).
"Entrepreneur" is a complex and subjective term, which is difficult to be restricted within the parameters of a single definition. Different personalities/groups perceive the term differently, and still manage to cover only a portion of the vastness of this term.
"An Entrepreneur, in a substantially a person advanced economy, is an individual who introduces something new in the economy - which may be, a method of production, not tested by experience in the branch of manufacture concerned, or a product which consumers are not yet familiar with, or a new source of raw material or of new markets and the like"
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Joseph Schumpeter. A.
A lay-man may refer to an entrepreneur, as a founder who sets up a venture or an individual who operates a new enterprise/venture and assumes the accountability for the inherent risks.
Peter Drucker states, that an entrepreneur is the one who, searches for change, responds to it and exploits it by redirecting resources to opportunities.
According to Webster's dictionary, an entrepreneur is an individual, who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. Entrepreneurs live in the future. They have creative personalities, are innovative, and thrive on change.
Britannica defines, entrepreneurs as individuals who bear the risk of opening a business in the face of uncertainties about future conditions.
In economic terms, Entrepreneurs are major contributors in employment generation, national income, dispersal of economic growth, and balanced growth of the Economy.
In marketing terms, entrepreneurs are the ones who innovate, form capital, identify and assemble inputs of land and labour, set an organization into motion, bear the risk involved, and manage processes with appropriate skills and abilities.
In the modern view, entrepreneurs are individuals who undertake the risk involved in setting up and running a business venture and assume responsibility of using the available factors of production efficiently and effectively to increase and stimulate productivity and yields, in the process of identifying opportunities offered by the prevalent market situations and bringing changes pertaining to the opportunities identified.
O'Reilly, Brian. "What it Takes to Start a Startup." Article 4: 26-28
Characteristics of an Entrepreneur :
It is rightly said, that different career streams require different sets of attitudes and skills/attributes to succeed.
For instance, Policemen must possess the basic attributes of good physical fitness and courage of facing danger, whereas, Graphic designers must be original thinkers and creative people with an artistic mind.
Similarly, entrepreneurs, too, must possess the following characteristics/traits to succeed :
Goal directed Opportunism (Jack Dorsey, Twitter)
Drive for Independence and Internal Motivation (M.S. Oberoi, The Oberoi Group)
Commitment and Perseverance (Steve Jobs, Apple)
Confidence and Optimism (Ratan Tata, Tata Motors)
Motivational and Social Skills (Dheerubhai Ambani, Reliance)
Ability to accept change and failures (Henry Ford, Ford Motors)
Risk taking (Larry Paige & Sergey Brin, Google)
Leadership/Managerial Skills (Ray Kroc, McDonalds)
Multi-tasking (Vijay Mallya, United Beverages/Kingfisher)
Courage and Persistent Energy (Azim Premji, Wipro Technologies)
Dingee, Alexander, Brian Haslett and Leonard Smollen. "Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneurial
Management Team." Article 11: 71-75
Resources for Entrepreneurs > Start a Business > Traits of an Entrepreneur> Article "what it takes to become an entrepreneur"
Resources for Entrepreneurs > Start a Business > Traits of an Entrepreneur> Article "characteristics of successful entrepreneurs"
http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-heroes/indian-entrepreneurs.html (>indian entrepreneurs biography)
http://www.financial-inspiration.com/famous-entrepreneurs.html (>financial inspiration cafe-famous entrepreneurs-success stories)
Other character traits important for an individual to be a successful entrepreneur are :
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Fundamental Values - Integrity, Honesty, Respect, Dignity, Reliability.
Decision making and Problem solving ability
Ability of self-analysis
Scope of improvement
Willingness and ability to learn
Emotional Stability/Objective Approach
Dingee, Alexander, Brian Haslett and Leonard Smollen. "Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneurial
Management Team." Article 11: 71-75
Judith L. Glick-Smith, "Successful Entrepreneurs" - reprint from INTERCOM, the magazine of the Society for Technical Communication. Arlington, VA U.S.A.
Self Analysis with respect to Entrepreneural Characterictics:
My Strengths :
I am very headstrong. I really like to be challenged in my job, and I just want to learn as much as I can in my position. At the end of the day I need to be able to look back on my day and feel good about the job that I've done. I guess one can call it a sense of self worth. That's why I always put my all into everything I do.
Following are a few of my strengths that I feel strongly about :
(through willingness and ability to learn and adapt with Flexibility and Effective inter-personal communication skills)
This strength helps me grasp new developments quickly and adjust myself to changes and new situations, which are frequent in today's ever changing world of technology enhancement. Also, it helps me work well with all kinds of people and develop a very strong connect with my work alliances and counterparts.
For instance, while working for Zodiac Clothing, my scope of work involved looking into the organization's business in the Northern region of India, which required me to deal with various Branch Managers and Dealers within the region. It was important for me to keep my personal goals aligned with those of my counterparts and the organization. My social skills helped me sail smoothly through this, as I could manage and over-achieve the given targets by approaching my counter parts with a friendly attitude, that helped bending their vision match mine, and brought brilliance of work automatically!
I have always believed that merely communicating, without substance will not help. And this belief of mine, made me study the market/industry, I was operating in, in-depth and gain adequate knowledge, so as to converse in volume and depth about the task at hand, which incredibly helped in aligning the personal and organizational goals, to achieve unity of action in one direction!
The importance of this personality trait/skill can be understood by the live example of "Andrey Ternovskiy" (the 17 year old Founder of the widely popular yet incredibly simple website - "ChatRoulette") who had to convince his family with his people skills to believe in his idea of business, despite his age, and invest in it, to get the project rolling!
Self motivated and determined
This strength keeps me "diligently focused" on my short term as well as long term goals in life/work, and keeps me moving towards my aim.
Being at a responsible position in my previous organization, Team handling and management was an important aspect of my job profile in the marketing arena. Performing well gave me pleasure, and for that I had to be a self motivated team leader for my subordinates, and I did everything it took to get the work done efficiently. My inner motivation to excel in work, made me thoroughly analyze the market and its dynamics, which helped me control my team more effectively. Also, going outbound off the organization work structure, I managed by subordinates and kept them on the go, with a friendly touch of authority, giving them the freedom to perform their way, but show results! Keeping the team motivated for performing well would have been a difficult task in the given business environment, had it not been for my inner motivation to perform under any circumstances. Through this strength, I managed to deliver a profitability hike of 150% to the organization, in a market that had no prospects of letting the brand prosper within itself!
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My strong self-motivation is inspired by "Mark Zuckerburg" (The founder of Facebook) - who was not the sort of person who needed a boss hawling over his shoulder to remain on a task and perform. He was brilliant enough to have conceived the idea of the project while he was still graduating. But, it was his inner motivation that helped him initiate work on the project, while following his stringent schedule as a student at the Harward university. He demonstrated rock solid internal motivation, by not only dealing with the demanding course at the university, but also developing a groundbreaking social platform and making it happen for real!
(>financial inspiration cafe-famous entrepreneurs-success stories > Mark Zuckerberg 5/14/1984-internet-facebook) (http://www.financial-inspiration.com/mark-zuckerberg-biography.html)
Natural Leader/Manager with strong belief in "Team-work"
Abilities to prioritize; plan work, manpower, skills and resources; organize; multitask; assume and distribute duties and responsibilities and learning from past experiences...come naturally to me as personal traits...which help me effectively and efficiently manage teams by respecting the abilities of every individual, understanding that everyone has different perspectives about projects and work tasks, in a respective team!
This strength of mine gave me the maximum support, while I was trying to build up my position in Zodiac Clothing. When I was deployed the northern region of India, U.P. was the most formative market for the industry which was least productive for the brand. To accelerate business in this market, I had to start from scratch, keeping my inner motivation intact for effective functioning of the teams under me, and progress towards brand development in the region. As, my first priority towards the goal, I developed informal ties with my subordinates within the region, so as to understand their individual strengths/skills/capabilities and capitalize on them by distributing smaller regions and tasks to them, to look after, accordingly. I managed putting the right human resource at the right place for the right task at the right time, which, not only helped in giving a boost to the brand from all corners, but also helped me and my team to achieve targets beyond expectations in this region.
My Weaknesses/Areas of Improvement :
Following are some of my weaknesses that I have identified to work on and improve :
Lack of Perseverance
(in terms of High sensitivity to failure - sometimes)
This weakness of mine sometimes reduces my capacity to cope with Failures temporarily but nevertheless, it makes learn from the mistakes made and remember them for future. I am learning to persevere through failures, with the "never, never, never give up" attitude, taking insights from the Live examples of "Henry Ford" and "Steve Jobs", whose efforts demonstrate perseverance far better than any other entrepreneur.
Henry Ford - the Founder of Ford Motor Company - who found the company in 1903 after two failed attempts. Despite losing on two business ventures, Ford managed to start up the automobile venture with 11 investors, which produced the most popular car of America within a decade of its start-up.
(>financial inspiration cafe-famous entrepreneurs-success stories > Henry Ford 7/30/1863-4/7/1947-automotive-ford) (http://www.financial-inspiration.com/Henry-Ford-biography.html)
Steve Jobs - the Founder of Apple - was publically thrown out of his own company at the age of thirty. Fighting his shattered self esteem and thoughts of suicide, Steve regained his composure by treating the problems that came his way as a part of the package and went on to establish 2 other successful companies, "NeXt" and "Pixar", with his will and determination to be successful again. With the success of these ventures, he was requested to get back to Apple and rescue the company from the brink of extinction.
(>financial inspiration cafe-famous entrepreneurs-success stories > Steve Jobs 2/24/1955-computers-apple) (http://www.financial-inspiration.com/Henry-Ford-biography.html)
Lack of Courage
(with respect to affirmatively and assertively stating a point, despite higher weightage to Trial than Success)
This often proves to be a weakness in today's environment of cut throat competition and targets...but my belief that "efforts towards towards the goal must be made, whatever be the result be" stands tall. I consider this belief of mine as a strength that helps me manage my team better, but in the corporate world, it at times lends me criticism and weakens my morale. This criticism leads to discouragement, which often prevents me from pressing forward on my idea/vision on the strength of my determination. I often lack courage to reject social pressure, while trying to build something truly outstanding. To survive, in the business environment, I am trying to overcome this weakness of mine, and look up to "Larry Paige" and "Sergey Brin" and "Azim Premji" for the same.
Larry Paige and Sergey Brin - Founders of Google - took the decision of completely draining out their credit cards and bank accounts, in order to fund the nascent project, when they were beginning work on Google. Their decision attracted a lot of negativity and criticism from the peers and family, but the two showed true courage in seeing the project through to the billion dollar empire it is today.
Azim Premji - Chairman, Wipro Technologies - was called upon to handle the family business, due to the sudden demise of his father, at the age of 21. At the first annual general meeting of the company attended by Azim Premji, a shareholder doubted his ability to handle business at such a young age and publically advised him to sell his shareholding and give it to a more mature management. This spurred Azim Premji and made him all the more determined to make Wipro a success story...which he did, by transforming and diversifying Wipro from a Company dealing with hydrogenated cooking fats to a pioneer in providing integrated business, technology and process solutions on a global delivery platform.
(>indian entrepreneurs biography>Azim Premji)
Low Profiled on Risk taking
I'm a safe player who believes in taking cautious steps towards a particular goal. I prefer taking the route with minimal risk involved, despite the fact, that I know that I might loose on profits by not taking the required risks. The success story of "M.S.Oberoi" instigates me to take risks and earn profits in return, but the right opportunity is still waited by me to take the appropriate risks.
M.S. Oberoi - Founder of the Oberoi group of Hotels - risked all he had to acquire "The Clarkes Hotel" from his mentor Mr. Clarke, by mortgaging his wife's jewellery and all his assets. This deal, for which he risked all he had, fetched him enough business and funds, to take over The Grand Hotel, Calcutta within half a decade and own a substantial number of other properties in less than two decades. He also, took the risk of employing women in the Hospitality industry, when the environmental in the Indian economy was not very Liberal. With his risk taking and risk management abilities, he is rightly called the father of Indian hospitality industry!
(>indian entrepreneurs biography>M.S. Oberoi)