India has been witnessing the emergence of startups, a relatively new phenomenon, which is bringing a fundamental shift in the economy.
It was in the late 90s that the country started exploring its new interest in entrepreneurship. A decade later, a handful of ventures were established. However, the startup ecosystem in India has come a long way, with a lot of them launching across the country.
In 2016, a study by Nasscom showed that among the global startup ecosystems, India ranked at the third position. With traditional startups launching at a quick pace in India, it is expected that they will grow to more than 11,500 by 2020.
Statistics show that 72 per cent of the founders in India are below 35 years. This trend is initiating a country of the youngest of entrepreneurs in the world. However, youngsters face a lot of challenges when they plan to begin a venture.
Being young, the most common challenge that entrepreneurs experience is lack of experience. Being a fresher in the field, they are quite often unaware of the fundamentals involved in running a business. They may also end up taking longer methods of operations, or may completely go wrong at times.
Besides, most startup ideas find it hard to get funds, as they are unable to gain the trust of investors. Being risk-averse, the Indian investors reject various good ideas. Other than that, a lot of entrepreneurs also fail to allocate the funds prudently. Due to several such challenges, around 40 per cent of Indian startups died during the year 2014 and 2015 in India.
A global non-profit organization, Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is working towards assisting these young entrepreneurs learn and grow worldwide. It was founded in 1987 by 22 young entrepreneurs to provide learning and networking opportunities to its members. Endeavoring to scale its members to new levels of leadership in the business world, the organization facilitates businesspersons to learn from each other’s experience.
At present, the network connects 11,000 leading entrepreneurs, which expand across 157 chapters and 48 countries around the globe. Out of the 157 chapters, the organization has established 19 chapters in India.
Mumbai is one of the cities to give space to most of the startups in India. The Mumbai Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization is providing them the platform to collaborate, learn and share their journeys.
The Mumbai Chapter was founded 10 years after EO was set up, by Prashant Choksey, Neel Raheja and Vikram Shroff. The three local entrepreneurs came together to create an ecosystem for like-minded magnates. Started with a handful of members, the branch now comprises of over 200 leading business owners.
The members of the chapter gain access to a wide range of ideal benefits. They are able to become better leader and grow their business. It designs a forum to meet the unique needs of an individual entrepreneur and inspire them to do something they always wanted to do.
Sharing his experience with the Mumbai Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Mehool Bhuva, a Baroda-based business owner stated, “It was that one phone call from Jai Shroff in 1997 that changed my entire life. I was at my factory in Baroda and he asked me to fly back to Mumbai the next day for an orientation to join an organization called Yeo. The fee then was Rs 25,000 (yes new members I haven’t forgotten the 2 extra zeros).”
“The next day I saw the young and enthusiastic Neel Raheja, Prashant Choksey, and Vikram Shroff planning the nitty-gritties of the launch. I was part of the first 2 forums and have been in the same forum no 2 for last 19 years. It was my forum that helped me sail through the ups and downs, and the challenges in the roller coaster ride called life. Apart from the fact that I am stuck for the rest of my life with my forum buddy Sasha, I have enjoyed the entire journey by learning from events, once in a lifetime experiences at retreats, and the amazing networking with EO members from my chapter and across the whole wide world,” he added.
Offering several resources to help startups reach success and significance, platforms like the Mumbai Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization are becoming an angel in the journey of young entrepreneurs in India.