The Professional EntrepreneurSeptember, 2011                                © Aventus Human Capital Partners LLP
The Professional Entrepreneur (PE)A decade and a half and ticking in a related professional career in assessing talent, I ...
2. (a.) Engaged in by professionals; as, a professional race; -- opposed to amateur.      3. (n.) A person who prosecutes ...
Understanding the Key drivers of a “Professional Entrepreneur” or ‘PE’?Through experience of closely observing & working w...
It is critical to note that while the Professional Entrepreneur is making his transition, thestakeholders’ role in the org...
Aventus Partners is a Human Capital solutions firm that enables clients Acquire, Develop andManage Professional talent.Rea...
Aventus Partners on Attributes of LeadershipAll information contained in this document is based on information sourced fro...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Aventus knowledge Series -The Professional Entrepreneur

985 views

Published on

A rare but surely growing band of “professional entrepreneurs” is on the rise in corporate India. Groomed and nurtured in top notch organizations they possess a unique set of skills making them the darling of private equity funds and entrepreneur led middle market companies that are scheduled to go through a very high growth phase in the next 2-5 years.

Having had the opportunity of working closely with emerging businesses and advising them on their key talent acquisition needs, crystallized here are some of our learning’s that could be used by Entrepreneurs, Board members , PE fund Partners and Professional Entrepreneurs.

Written in first person by one of our founding partners at Aventus, they summarise our collective wisdom.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
985
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
7
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
6
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Aventus knowledge Series -The Professional Entrepreneur

  1. 1. The Professional EntrepreneurSeptember, 2011 © Aventus Human Capital Partners LLP
  2. 2. The Professional Entrepreneur (PE)A decade and a half and ticking in a related professional career in assessing talent, I remainfascinated by this entire business of leadership talent spotting and executive search for emergingbusinesses or growth stage companies. No really, I mean it. The need to articulate what comes belowis part to humor oneself (nothing like this to beat stress) and part to mark the rise of a seriousphenomenon. In this case, birth of a new tribe. I like to call them “Professional Entrepreneurs”. Ifind it an endearing oxymoron.By emerging businesses (or growth stage/early stage companies)I am referring here to the middlemarket companies that are either purely entrepreneur led or private equity funded or a mix of both.Executive talent acquisition for growth stage companies is a bit like high-stakes poker. It is also akinto the white blood cells in ones’ body. When they find an organism that doesn’t belong, there arebound to be serious implications. Importantly, the internal turbulence and distractions that anincorrectly fitted incumbent causes within an organization can have seriously damaging impact ongrowth of the company. Especially the ones that are in the emerging phase (as opposed to matureorganizations which can sustain such dents better)The downside to failures of an incorrectly executed leadership search is fairly easy to delineate. Theorganization, entrepreneurs and the stake holders lose precious time in terms of having a significantcommercial impact on the marketplace, important miles stones directly linked to liquidity events getpostponed, market enthusiasm wanes over the same period of time, because a lot of what waspromised has not been delivered and to top it all, in a few extreme situations the business’s ability toattract and retain critical talent becomes questionable. However, it is prudent to mention here thatthere are sufficient cases of emerging businesses successfully growing through attracting andretaining key talent.By “Key Talent”, I am referring to those people who:  Are key to the organizations success  Have the desired industry insights, technical skills, managerial /leadership abilities and  Who wholeheartedly embrace the organization’s visionSo, who does qualify as “key Talent”? Since we have decided to stay with emerging businesses fornow, the question refers to key talent for emerging businesses. This is exactly where what Iendearingly referred to above as “Professional Entrepreneurs” come out to play.The dictionary definition of the word Professional – ‘P’ is: 1. a.) Of or pertaining to a profession, or calling; conforming to the rules or standards of a profession; following a profession; as, professional knowledge; professional conduct. New Delhi | Kochi | Bangalore
  3. 3. 2. (a.) Engaged in by professionals; as, a professional race; -- opposed to amateur. 3. (n.) A person who prosecutes anything professionally, or for a livelihood, and not in the character of an amateur; a professional worker.And the dictionary definition of the word Entrepreneur –‘E’ is: 1. A person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture. (On the lighter side, what ‘P’ thinks of ‘E’ and vice versa is: people who are too naive to see the obstacles that are obvious to others)Now when you take the abilities of the ‘P’ and combine it with the complexity of the ‘E’, you might getyour desired “Professional Entrepreneur” or ‘PE’. God knows, you need a lot of luck (can besubstituted by thorough research) and scientific assessment techniques to identify one.So how does one spot a “Professional Entrepreneur”?‘P’  He demonstrates a high order of functional & technical expertise and backs it up with an exhaustive list of achievements  He displays high standards of professional ethics and behavior whilst carrying out his duties towards enterprise, business, company, or partnership/associate/colleague, etc  He has client interest and insight in mind at all times‘E’  He leads the firm or organization from the front and demonstrates leadership qualities (powered by high emotional intelligence)  He excels in opportunity recognition and exploration. He is characteristically inclined towards innovations, new technologies, increasing efficiency, productivity, or generating new products or servicesIf you have identified the person with combination of the P and E to lead an emerging business (itshould be a reasonable expectation from any executive search firm), you will hopefully not have to doanother Google search on ‘how to retain key talent’ as you would have found your man for the job, asthey famously say. New Delhi | Kochi | Bangalore
  4. 4. Understanding the Key drivers of a “Professional Entrepreneur” or ‘PE’?Through experience of closely observing & working with a mix of entrepreneur led middle marketcompanies as well as private equity funded businesses, the learning has been that the critical factorsmost impacting talent acquisition and talent retention in emerging businesses are similar. Though attimes it is influenced by the shareholding pattern of the business.Professional Entrepreneurs groomed and nurtured in top notch global organizations seek outopportunities in emerging sectors and middle market companies for the lure of a leadership role thatwill enable him to directly impact and influence the organizations’ as well as industries’ future, cuttingacross the proverbial hierarchy and functional silos. The tangible economic benefits (long-term wealthcreation) that such an impact will bring to the leadership team and the shareholders is a given.The “Professional Entrepreneur” on reaching a certain stage in his career feels a strong need toplay to his entrepreneurial instincts, and to prove that he can deliver and make a difference to theorganization’s P&L numbers, ensuring strong capital gains that ensue from the risks that he is willingto undertake. All of this in the absence of security of a big brand, a well structured organization ordiversified business that can be crosses leveraged.What might the Professional Entrepreneur expect from his stakeholders?To continue on the same platform, by stake holder I am referring to any individual or organisation thatis affected by the activities of a business. They may have a direct or indirect interest in the business,and may be in contact with the business on a daily basis, or may just occasionally be involved.This first real test in the relationship between the Professional Entrepreneur and his keystakeholders is at the time of on boarding. Usually during the talent acquisition process there are lotsof strategies, options and plans that set and expectations that are voiced or shared. There is a rolethat is discussed and signed off. There are also overlaps of roles, authorities & responsibilities andhandshake points which are touched upon (which is always a good idea, considering nebulous zonesof overlaps are potential future conflict points)Once the Professional Entrepreneur comes on board, he is directly confronted with theorganization’s day to day challenges. He might be raring to go, mentally prepared to convert thesechallenges to opportunities. However he also feels the presence of the managing stakeholderslooming large.From the stakeholders’ perspective, they want to be sure that the person who has come on board hasthe wherewithal to deliver. They want to be helpful in guiding the incumbent through theorganisational maze (both internal and external). All along, they want to ensure that existingrelationships are not compromised. New Delhi | Kochi | Bangalore
  5. 5. It is critical to note that while the Professional Entrepreneur is making his transition, thestakeholders’ role in the organization also undergoes not so subtle shifts, both on the operational andrelationship front.Here are a few examples of such shifts that the stakeholders need to recognize and prepare for inadvance. These are:  Engaging actively in ‘macro management’ (plan for growth of company, continuing innovation)  Ensuring that arguments and debates at the Board level/ Management committee level to stay unbiased and professional at all times  Striking the right balance between a supervisory and a supportive role ( especially on commercial decisions)  Focusing energies towards anchoring, mentoring, facilitating, advising & reviewing  Distinguishing between Visionary Leadership and Operational Leadership  Believing in the new personNot too much for the Professional Entrepreneur to ask from his stakeholders !Frequently, under prepared organizations usher in heavy hitters, with established track record ofsuccessfully leading and growing businesses independently, yet continue to micromanaging theseindividuals. In such a case, the professionals’ tend to shift focus, from what they perceive as the needof the business, to managing the stakeholders’ expectations, much to the detriment of the business.The above scenario is perhaps likely to play out during the growth stage of any entrepreneur-led orprivate equity funded businesses. The reason being, in both these situations, the stakeholder isintimately and passionately engaged in the business and its operations much before the professionalscome on board. Both want the organization to succeed and the stakes are high. Often making itdifficult for the stakeholders to at times (recognize and) transition through the shifts in role, withcapable hands at the wheels now.“Professional Entrepreneurs” is a growing tribe and the new poster boys of India Inc. The game ofspotting them is interesting. Have you found yours yet?Tania Gooptu, Partner, Aventus Partners. New Delhi | Kochi | Bangalore
  6. 6. Aventus Partners is a Human Capital solutions firm that enables clients Acquire, Develop andManage Professional talent.Reach us at:M P Sriram Tania Gooptu Venkat Iyersriram@aventus.in tania.gooptu@aventus.in venkat.iyer@aventus.in+919895345133 +919810215872 +919810608607Offices:Aventus Human Capital Aventus Human Capital Aventus Human CapitalPartners LLP Partners LLP Partners LLP40/48, Ground Floor, Pocket 10/2, FF, Srinivas Plaza, Personal Chamber,40 Varthur Main Road, Natham’s House,EPDP Road, CR Park, New Tubrahalli, Chittoor Road, Cochin-Delhi-110019 Bangalore- 560 066 682035Phone +91 11 40561242-45 Phone +91 80 Phone: +91 484 3248780Fax +91 11 40561241 417051813089 New Delhi | Kochi | Bangalore
  7. 7. Aventus Partners on Attributes of LeadershipAll information contained in this document is based on information sourced from our clients or other public sources. Itmay include opinions of Aventus Partners and its clients as well. While every effort is made to achieve accuracy in theinformation contained in this document Aventus Partners is not legally responsible for any content of this document orany consequent actions. We advise that all persons reading this document make their own judgments and seek anyinformation desired by them from their own sources© 2011 Aventus PartnersAll Rights Reserved. New Delhi | Kochi | Bangalore

×