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Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs by Siddharth Arora

Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs by Siddharth Arora

Entrepreneurship

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

26 Aug 2015, 12:44 — 4 min read

“The ability to overcome problems will define your success as an entrepreneur”: Siddharth Arora, Co-founder ePaisa

Starting a business is no cakewalk. From coming up with a viable idea, to building a team and figuring out how to scale, there is plenty of margin for error. What can make an aspiring entrepreneur’s experience smooth sailing is learning from people who have done it before.

We asked Siddharth Arora, Co-founder & CEO of ePaisa, what advice he had for others looking to take the leap into the startup world and here is what he shared.

At the outset, there are four things that you need to consider:

  1. First and foremost is to determine the competitive advantage of the business that you are going to build. It could be an operational capability or a technological capability but you have to have a core strength that you can fall back on. If you just build everything in general, it will not work. Ask yourself -- can I do the best operations in the competition or can I build the best technology and that becomes your competitive advantage.


  2. When you create your business plan, expect double the expenses and half the revenue and if you are still completely interested and sure that this is a business you want to get into, then you are ready for it.


  3. Carefully bring together the core team which is going to work with you. Business is not a one person show. It is always best to start with people who you have worked with before, and with whom you share a mutual understanding and then build a team around that.


  4. Google keeps talking about the concept of ‘fail fast’. Create a prototype, try it out with some real customers who are willing to pay you for it or use your system and give you real feedback and then you look at getting a commercial launch. Don’t worry about getting a 100% accurate beautiful looking BMW car, start with an automobile which works. See if people have a need for it and then go to building something even more beautiful. If you keep building something over a period of time, somebody else will also come in and do it before you. Also if you have not got real feedback then you risk build something which is perfect in your head but a real customer when he starts using it will want a hundred other things in the solution. So it’s better to know those things before than to actually build something, spend a lot of money and then comeback and restart again.


Keep in mind that technology is evolving very fast, so you need to be flexible and agile in your approach. When we started ePaisa, the technology in the country was about magnetic strip cards (cards which you swipe). We were ready with our product in 3 months time from development and we were all set for launch, when the RBI announced that all cards now need to be chip and pin enabled. This was a major setback for us. We could have decided to shut shop and get out. But we looked for a solution. So while the core application remained the same we found another hardware component and integrated that.

It’s about responding fast to change and that has to be at the core of your development thought process. Because things will change and things will change fast. Look at Paytm. It started off as an online payment gateway, then went and became a wallet, now they are a market place. So if they had thought of themselves as just a payment gateway, they would have not reached where they are today. So that’s a great example of an agile company.

Many wonder if there is an ideal time to start a business. Siddharth believes that there is no right or wrong time to start a business. It’s not about the money you have or don’t have. It’s wise to have a backup plan. If you are passionate, if you believe that you have a core strength or competitive advantage that you can build and you have some people who support you, then nothing can stop you. The ability to overcome problems defines how successful you will be.

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GlobalLinker Staff

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