Out of India’s 1.2 billion people, 356 million fall between 10 and 24 years. This makes us the world’s largest youth force and hence, the last decade has seen a surge of start-ups by young people. Representative of their age, most of our young people are India’s first generation e-commerce & mobile entrepreneurs. Maithili Modi finds out how, though all these people are driven by passion, backed by that one big idea, being a young boss isn’t half as easy as usually estimated
Problem: While in conversation with Karan Behal, founder and CEO of PrettySecrets.com, it was brought up how due to the existence of certain stereotypes related to young persons, “people mistake self-confidence for arrogance, disruption for lack of experience and passion for eccentricity.”
Solution: In the case of misunderstandings, it is important to read the person and his position. If you are dealing with investors, two key factors must be upheld; first, self-confidence and second, humility. Hence, once you humble yourself, your confidence can never be mistaken for arrogance. However, self-confidence should never be diluted whilst dealing with investors. As, only if you are condent about your business will an external investor be able to place his bet on you.
Conversely, when employees are concerned, there lies a direct correlation between their level of motivation and output. However, it is important to understand that they will not share the same degree of passion as you. en, instead of displaying sheer optimism while trying to motivate them, one must support optimistic targets with statistics and data so as to avoid negative connotations of passion.
Lastly, the most critical and devastating situation any young entrepreneur finds himself/herself in, is dealing with customers in the face of disruption. Damage control is something that usually emanates from experience. But, one may never gain such ‘experience’ if you fail to do it right the first time. However, kinds of ‘disruption’ vary from business to business, and are difficult to anticipate. But, what every entrepreneur (especially the young and new) must do, is have a contingent plan ready. is greatly reduces the time taken for companies to be reactive to any disorder, and helps minimize the impact felt by not only the customer, but also the company.
Problem: An entrepreneur hires employees irrespective of their age, solely based on their ability. However, when you’re a young boss, who has employed people much older than yourself, there are chances that communication and delegation become more complicated tasks.
Solution: In the Indian society, respect is rudimentary. Where we lose the essence of this respect is when in the process of respecting one, we domineer over another. Then usually, a binary opposition is created which is prejudicial to the young. And this is where the problem commences. In such a situation what is important to do is, ‘value intellect, not age,’ as also said by Karan Behal. Once such thinking is inculcated into any society or a workplace (especially where the person at the apex is younger than most others lesser in rank) the problems concerning communication will begin to recede from view.
However, inculcating such a system into an organization can be time taking, if not difficult. While there are multifarious ways in which this can be achieved, here’s one: As the head of the organization, you can start a system that incentivizes accomplishments with no strings attached. Once people sense the importance laid on achievement, trivialities such as age will automatically lose lustre, and thence communication barriers pertaining to age will disappear.
Problem: Be it a young and impassioned candidate, or an old and experienced one, everyone has their apprehensions about joining new firms, let alone those pioneered by young people. Making itself known in the marketplace (and not just the consumer market) is indeed one of the most difficult things a start-up faces.
Solution: The labour market (do not mistake this term for simply unskilled labor) is an embodiment of incentives. Being a new company on the other side of the aisle, one cannot expect to make large monetary offerings due to various financial constraints. And hence, the prevailing skepticism cannot be overcome by such means. Now, however, what you can offer, to entice an employee into working for you, is power. After all, the famous fictional character, Frank Underwood did say, “Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart aer 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries.” Every individual likes holding the baton in his/her hands. And, if they are competent hands, then it is nothing but an advantageous trade.
In conclusion, Karan Behal of PrettySecrets.com exclaimed that “Usually colleagues, juniors and business associates older than you only feel threatened or insecure when they believe that you have the ability to alter the status-quo.” e dynamism of the youth is truly invincible. Hindrances are a part of growth, and no one should be deterred due to such frivolities. We do have the power to overcome and overwhelm, and must exploit every opportunity this age provides us with.
Volume 5 Issue 2