The High Performance Entrepreneur


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Subroto Bagchi's talk at MMA: Madras Management Association

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The High Performance Entrepreneur

  1. 1. Subroto Bagchi August, 2006 The High Performance Entrepreneur
  2. 3. Of all entrepreneurial activity, less than 5% are likely to be high-potential. High-potential companies are called Gazelles. In the 90’s 70% of all US jobs were created by these companies and in Sweden – 7 in 10 of all new jobs are created by them High Performance Entrepreneurship does not happen accidentally. It is designed that way. To begin with, start with the right reason….. All the wrong reasons…
  3. 4. “ We are three good friends and we want to start a company” “ I have this great idea for a new gizmo” “ I hate my company and my boss” “ My time is running out” “ I want to help India” Now, do you have the right profile?
  4. 5. <ul><li>Profile of an Entrepreneur </li></ul><ul><li>Love for money </li></ul><ul><li>Self-confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Hard work & goal orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible, opportunistic and emergent </li></ul><ul><li>Egoless </li></ul>How do entrepreneurs get the right idea?
  5. 6. Sometimes entrepreneurs work future-backwards and sometimes they work in a present forward manner……the MindTree, Café Coffee Day, Deccan Aviation and Biocon stories….. High Performance Entrepreneurs get excited about the big picture, a larger vision and then the pieces begin to fall in place After the right idea, it is time to build the “A” Team
  6. 7. <ul><li>Choosing the “A” Team… </li></ul><ul><li>Look for proven competence, ability to pull weight </li></ul><ul><li>Complimentary in the parts but collectively exhaustive </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to multi-task </li></ul><ul><li>Shared Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Transparent </li></ul>
  7. 8. Choosing the “A” Team <ul><li>Personal integrity & mutual trust </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to question each other and disagree </li></ul><ul><li>Resilience </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of humor </li></ul>The next issue: DNA, Mission, Vision & Values
  8. 9. <ul><li>DNA – It is who you are </li></ul><ul><li>Mission – It is where you are going </li></ul><ul><li>Vision – A set of time-bound and measurable goals </li></ul><ul><li>Values – It is the shared code of conduct </li></ul>Now, how will you be different?
  9. 10. <ul><li>Domain </li></ul><ul><li>Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Quality </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Branding </li></ul>Next Step: Writing the Business Plan
  10. 11. <ul><li>Take the Business Plan seriously….. </li></ul><ul><li>Executive Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Business Context </li></ul><ul><li>Company & its Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Core Values </li></ul><ul><li>Positioning & Business Overview </li></ul>
  11. 12. Now you are ready to seek the investor. Choose the right investor Take the Business Plan seriously….. <ul><li>Sales & Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery & Process </li></ul><ul><li>People & Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Risk Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Financials </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Choose the right investor…. </li></ul><ul><li>Smart vs. Dumb Capital </li></ul><ul><li>Color of money </li></ul><ul><li>The lure of Non-interference </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Family & Friends </li></ul>It is now time to think of attracting and retaining the right talent
  13. 14. <ul><li>Pay attention to the first 40 </li></ul><ul><li>Write the job description </li></ul><ul><li>Sell the job yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the downsides </li></ul><ul><li>Run with defined objectives </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>Have a transparent Compensation and Benefit structure </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in a Performance Management System </li></ul><ul><li>Devote time to talent & leadership development </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate with the 95:95:95 principle </li></ul>It is time to think of building a Process-centric organization
  15. 16. <ul><li>Build a Quality organization from the start </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the People, Process &Technology triad </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a framework but look beyond compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Have a roadmap, be practitioner-led </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to the voice of the customer and involve everyone </li></ul>You are now ready to seek your Customers. But choose Customers right
  16. 17. <ul><li>Angels come through providence </li></ul><ul><li>Build processes to get your early wins </li></ul><ul><li>Choose your customers wisely. Look for reasons such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Techno-managerial value - add </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sense of equality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercially win-win </li></ul></ul>Manage your money wisely
  17. 18. <ul><li>Love money – there is no other reason to get into business </li></ul><ul><li>Be frugal – do not pay yourself out of business </li></ul><ul><li>Install an accounting package from the word go </li></ul><ul><li>Know what to measure and measure it </li></ul><ul><li>Respect the bean counters </li></ul><ul><li>Get the best auditor in town </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Keep overheads low </li></ul><ul><li>Raise money before you need it </li></ul><ul><li>Do not fritter away equity </li></ul><ul><li>Put in place corporate governance from the start </li></ul><ul><li>Report accounts to your investors on time, without window dressing ever </li></ul>Focus on Building your Brand
  19. 20. <ul><li>Brand is the communication of your intrinsic worth </li></ul><ul><li>It must be consistent with your DNA, Mission, Vision and Values </li></ul><ul><li>Choose the name and visual identity right </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the message map, based on the company’s positioning </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>Spend energy on the website and the intranet </li></ul><ul><li>Get a PR agency </li></ul><ul><li>Build affection for content </li></ul><ul><li>Use the workplace as a brand ambassador </li></ul>Lets us now talk about emergence, willingness to change & managing adversity
  21. 22. <ul><li>An enterprise is like a river. Seeing the source, you cannot imagine the confluence </li></ul><ul><li>Be emergent – bend and flow </li></ul><ul><li>There is no one way of solving problems, sometimes it is better to simply stay ahead of problems </li></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>Long-distance runners must bear segmented pain </li></ul><ul><li>In difficulty, be transparent and communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Publish decisional rules to the organization </li></ul>Reasons Start-Ups fail
  23. 24. <ul><li>Founders break-up </li></ul><ul><li>Enterprise runs out of cash </li></ul><ul><li>Deadly embrace of a customer or a product </li></ul><ul><li>Technology/Customer/Geo over-dependence </li></ul><ul><li>Founders do not let go </li></ul>
  24. 25. <ul><li>Poor governance </li></ul><ul><li>Founders get carried away with their image </li></ul><ul><li>Try to be too big, too soon </li></ul><ul><li>Wrong choice of investor </li></ul>Lessons from the Indian IT Industry
  25. 26. <ul><li>To be world-class, begin and end with quality </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on what you know, not who you know </li></ul><ul><li>Build an abundance mindset </li></ul><ul><li>Pay your taxes right </li></ul><ul><li>Be hierarchy-free </li></ul>
  26. 27. <ul><li>Leaders exemplify personal integrity </li></ul><ul><li>Set up hairy, audacious goals </li></ul><ul><li>Build deep inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Organization resources are not my resources </li></ul><ul><li>Austere leadership </li></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>It is about ordinary people delivering extra-ordinary results </li></ul><ul><li>Play it by the book </li></ul>
  28. 29. <ul><li>Thank You </li></ul>