May 08, 2015

A Day In The Life of An "Aam Entrepreneur"

From an article in Economic Times by Anuvab Pal:
Judging all Indian businessmen by the top 15 billionaires is like judging every website as if it were Facebook. The bulk of India’s businessmen and entrepreneurs are people you’ve never heard of, are not politically connected, and no one puts them on any magazine cover. They struggle daily just to keep their enterprise open, make about the same as a middle-class employee of a corporation, and often fail. After bank loans, overheads, legal costs and employee salaries, they are often more common than the common man protesting outside his or her office.

Doing business in India is insane. Ask any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you it’s like fighting a small war every day. And that’s just to manage things nothing to do with the business: flip-flopping regulations, needling competitors, litigations, some infrastructure collapse. And then, at some point in the day, maybe the evening, they get to the actual business with its own crises: absent employees, irate customers, some online review with false accusations, stolen money, stolen inventory.

...A small businessman who runs three restaurants explained to me, “Forget a Swiss bank account. I can’t even open an HDFC Bank account. I don’t know who the media thinks we are when they say businessmen are making millions and looting the country. Just today, I had to pay three bribes, solve three internal fights, two cooks resigned, deal with a Neft issue that blocked delivery from our supplier. And it’s just 7:00 am.”

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.