03 October 2011

Lessons for Entrepreneurs from most Successful Indian Women

Entrepreneurship is now the pulse of the Indian economy. Innovation is another strong reason which drives our economy.Although the number is slowing increasing, the number of confident entrepreneurs in India is remarkable, be it men or women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs are now more aware of their strenghts and weaknesses in the business world and are making the right moves, bringing them to the same level as their male counter parts.


However, we have endless debates that women are not great at busisness, but here are a few women who have battled the toughest business battles and have set the path for the coming next women entrepreneurs. Lessons for entrepreneurs:

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Biocon's chairperson and MD):

1. Innovation helps you to lead not follow:

Bill gates, Michael Dell, Sir Richard Branson, Anita Roddick and many other lesser known people able to see a new perspective in order to rewrite "the way things are supposed to be done." For these organizations innovation is a priority. Each of them strives to create a " innovation centric culture" where everyone is encouraged to take an active role in innovation, where new ideas and approaches are welcomed, where power of technology and branding are branding is well understood.

India was not a country known for its R&D and innovation and most Indian businesses really had no reputation whatsoever in the space of innovation when Kiran kick started way back in the late 70s. Kiran wanted to show the world that it was possible to innovate; it was possible to produce high quality, high technology products from India in a very new sector. And for her innovation became a very important diffrentiator.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw


2. One should be emotional about investing and detached while divesting:

For an entrepreneur, it was a very important lesson to understand that businesses that you should be emotionally driven about investing, but being emotionally detached when it came to divesting, is where you come across a strong learning. Last year, Kiran announced a huge partnership with Pfizer for insulin's biosimilars portfolio. It was described as the mother of all deals in India in the Biotech space. In 2007, Kiran thought that they were losing focus on their historic enzymes business and felt that they were not investing enough and that they had to divest it. It was a very emotional business for Kiran and it was a very difficult decision to arrive at.

Chanda Kochhar (CEO ICICI Bank):

1. For financing a new venture, start with a structure which is very robust:

To establish a strong base you need to have a balance between the debt that you be borrowing from financial institutions and the amount you invest from your pocket. if it is a completely debt oriented company then it becomes very difficult to maintain it in a longer course if things don't go according to you plan. Starting with a little conservative debt equity structure will help you strike a balance and plan for certain incarcerates as well.


Chanda Kochhar (CEO ICICI Bank)


2. Qualities that make you grow from employee to employee entrepreneur:

An entrepreneurial spirit is very important if you are an employee in an organization. Each of us may not be entrepreneurs, working as employees in an organization but we still need to have the entrepreneurial spirit. How do we recognize that we as employees have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?, when we taking up a task and how well we deliver it. Full responsibility and accountability is what makes you an entrepreneur. To start with, your organization will set the goal and vision for you as you still under the organization. The goal, vision and the limited infrastructure will point you in a certain direction which will be the first steps as you as an employee to become an entrepreneur.

Indra Nooyi (Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo):

Indra Nooyi (Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo)


1. On Innovating to succeed and win:

> Innovation is the life blood of any company. We need to constantly renew ourselves and the only way to do it through innovative ideas, innovative product, innovative processes and innovative approaches to looking at problems. whatever has to be done to drive and sustain this innovative spirit has to be done today as without innovation we will not be able to come out of the troubles that we are in today.