March 18, 2013

Right Age for Entrepreneurship?

"Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won't so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't.
But, which 'few years' of your life?

I have a theory that, given the Indian social and economic context (despite early stage funding options getting better in recent years), it would be good for folks in India to turn entrepreneur at either of the following two stages of their lives:  

1. Straight out of bachelor's education - or maybe with 1-2 years of work experience. Especially a good idea if the idea/opportunity you are going after cannot wait (i.e., someone else will end up executing on it to your lifelong regret). Also, at this stage of life, you have nothing very significant to lose by giving it a shot - say for two years. Getting back into the job market before you turn 27 or 28, isn't difficult at all in today's context.

2. After you have saved up enough to put your kids through school/college (Think MindTree). This option has the added advantage of the founder(s) having seen an industry from within; identified gaps and key pain points; and networked with enough folks to be able choose the right co-founders and early employees (again think MindTree).

While there will no doubt be lots of exceptions - of folks who start-up in their late 20s/early 30s - and still pull it off, a recent post in YourStory - by Talvinder Singh, Founder, and also the other young entrepreneurs who have chimed in on the comments - has served to reinforce my theory.  

Update: There now a trending post on The Rodinhoods from another young entrepreneur naming EMI, Matrimony and (of course) Aunty as the Enemies of entrepreneurship.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers. Includes the Free Deal Digest Weekly Newsletter: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.