There is one question that baffles every pundit who keeps a close eye on the performance of emerging startups from all over the world. One wonders why the success rate of startups from the west, silicon valley, in particular, is higher than the success of startups from the subcontinent.
There is no shortage of potential in India and Pakistan. Amazon has opened its largest campus in Hyderabad, India while according to a Payoneer report, Pakistan ranks at number 4th as emerging freelancing market, the highest from Asia.
Both countries have an amazing talent pool yet a big startup doesn’t emerge from these two countries.
What is the reason?
One of the reasons is, in the startup incubators, the budding entrepreneurs are so much quoted inside out with their mentor’s wisdom, experience and direction that the aspiring entrepreneurs can’t unleash their true potential. Also, take a look at the one single reason why startups succeed.
What we don’t do is:
Let them explore the true reality of entrepreneurship. Let them spread and test their wings. Let them take a dive in deep waters. Let them fly high and experience new horizons. Let them test their own strengths. Let them be their own self.
Don’t tell them, they are the best because they ended up being selected and incubating at your place out of hundreds of thousands of applications. Instead, ask them to go out and catch the fish, take their first flight and elevate a deep dive from a height to know their true worth.
You holding their fingers and feeding, installing with your perspective about “how it should be” over they finding out through bitter practical experience “how it is” weighs indifferently. The later could have a better success rate in the long run.
Try this, only guide them about the marketing and outreach and give a layout about how they should go about their operations. Let them come back to you and tell the stumbling blocks, hurdles they are facing and then give them a solution.
But before that, sit back and see what they can do just like an old veteran who trains a champion. Eventually, it’s the champion who has to prove their mettle out there to the world.
No wonder, so far, all successful big ideas in both countries were never incubated nor nurtured by a mentor who sadly (no pun intended) couldn’t do a decent venture themselves, leave alone doing a mega-million dollar scale business.
Another important reason why most startups don’t succeed is because of an alien idea inspired and picked from the west but aimed to succeed in a local market.
Nobody pays heed to the fact that we (the desi) have a different set of problems and solutions should be catered towards our very own “desi” problems.
Copying and pasting a successful idea from Silicon Valley is not going to work in the subcontinent.
That to me is a real problem of these fancy four walls, chilled AC room startups where people converse all day in “yo man” accent as inspired from the west but they want to do business in India and Pakistan and sell to locals.
Think desi, go big and test your wings. You could become the next big idea emerging from your country and become an inspiration for others to follow.