Right Age for Entrepreneurship - Indian Scenario
Age of Successful Entrepreneurs And Reasons
Age, Mark Twain famously said, is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!
" There is no perfect age to start a business"
This line you must have heard numerous times in motivational speeches. But what is the practical ground reality? Which age group of entrepreneurs has less percentage (%) of Startup Failures. Which age group is more likely to turn up the start-up in a successful way?
True, But what is the perfect age to start a successful business?
Well, Its age group 40 to 45...!! SURPRISED??
Well, here we go- Who, Why and How.
In India, we have successful entrepreneurs like Dhirubhai Ambani – The Man Who Made Reliance Industries or Karsanbhai Patel – The Man Behind 'Washing Powder Nirma or Narayan Murthy: The man behind global giant Infosys. These are successful entrepreneurs also from different sectors. In Fact, there are many budding young entrepreneurs too. It’s widely believed that the most successful entrepreneurs are young. Research reveals that the average age of a "successful" startup founder is 40-45 and that the older you get, the higher the success rate.
The great man Mr Azim Premji then shared some tips for success:
• Have the courage to think big; never compromise on fundamental values;
• Build up self-confidence, always look ahead and have the best around you;
• Have an obsessive commitment to quality; play to win; and
• Leave the rest to the force beyond.
Right Age for Entrepreneurship in India
India has, in recent times, seen many startups being founded and led to success by those on the other side of 40. And the ideas aren’t just limited to software, which the world thinks is India’s calling. Anand Kumar founded Bugworks Research Labs with Santanu Datta and V Balasubramanian in 2014, in Bengaluru. Bugworks blends science, software, and a shared vision to take on superbugs or nosocomial infections (commonly known as hospital-acquired infections), which kill millions of people every year. The last drug to take on these superbugs was discovered in the seventies; since then, the bugs have mutated to fight the antibiotic. The three co-founders are very clear about their roles. Santanu and Balasubramanian are the science and product guys; the storytelling and the business roadmap is set by Anand. The Three - all over 50 - share a common vision and age is just a number for them. “I don’t look at age. At any given point of time one has to be articulate and focused on executing the idea,” Anand says. “You always have to get their (VCs’) attention in thirty seconds.” That Bugworks managed to do; the company raised $9 million in Series A funding recently and received a $2.6 million grant in 2017 from CARB-X, a public-private initiative.
Reasons behind 40-45 as a success age for Entrepreneurs
Availability of own seed funds from savings
A business has its own life stages, very similar to that of a plant. Just as a seed needs proper care and watering to sprout into a plant; a startup business needs the nurturing of finance to explore and grow. The funding done at the nascent stage is called seed funding and the capital is known as seed capital.
Technically, seed capital is the initial capital used while starting the business. This capital can come from founders, friends or families. However, many people mistake seed capital to be the fund needed to simply cover your initial office expenses and avoid the use of personal cash. Seed funding has a lot more to it than what meets the eye. It is required for the early expansive market research, product development, and other initial stage operations.
Seed funding allows you to explore the business idea and transform it into a viable product or service that further attracts venture capitalists. It is the groundwork you do for your Series-A funding. A business founder must have an exact map of how to use seed capital in the best way to ensure a smooth transition to the advanced stage of the business.
Entrepreneurs of age group 40-45 normally have some own seed funding from saved some amount. That gives them a head start.
Out of parental influence. So independent thinking.
Independent people naturally tend to be a little more confident about handling issues affecting their lives. This is mainly because they are more prepared to take actions and do things without having to wait for support or permission from someone else. Being independent therefore means that you will be more likely to try out new things that you want, rather than what or how you are expected to. This also means that you will have more experience than a less independent individual. This will in time build up more confidence in you with the knowledge that you can do things on your own. For entrepreneurs, this confidence opens your mind to taking bigger risks and unbeaten paths that eventually returns bigger rewards. Entrepreneurs of age group 40-45 already grown up enough to be out of parental pressure and to take independent decisions.
Experience in profession and expertise comes with age
"Nearly all of the company founders surveyed - 98 per cent - ranked prior work experience as an important success factor, and 58 per cent ranked it as extremely important." This seems obvious, but it's surprising (some might say alarming) how many people start businesses without any relevant prior experience. I have known people who were laid off from their jobs and felt forced into entrepreneurship and then failed because they had no models for success. That doesn't mean people with no applicable experience shouldn't become entrepreneurs.
It just means they need to realize the gap they must fill and that they take their deficiency seriously. Entrepreneurs of age group 40-45 already possess domain expertise and industry insight. That gives them an extra edge.
Contacts, Connections & Trust are built and nurtured with age
Successful entrepreneurs already know that in order to grow they need to grow their network in the industry as well. If you have the right connection and network, it is easy to penetrate the market. That is why, one of the best pieces of advice of Tim Ferriss, New-York Times best-selling author, and investor, to first-time entrepreneurs, is to choose their friends wisely.“You are the average of the five people you associate with most,” said Tim Ferris.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask help from the right people in your network and make sure to nurture these relationships. This is one of the best pieces of advice writer and entrepreneur Chris Winfield gives to first-time entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs of age group 40-45 already possess Contacts and network that gives them immediate jump-start in the venture.
Family responsibility burden is eased out as kids grow young so can focus on business
At the 40s you have grown up kids either busy with their higher studies and along with that you have reduced responsibilities. You have more time to focus on your work. Responsibilities added at this stage could be Continuous improvement of the business model will bring continuous improvement and innovation in your business processes, products, and services. That’s something you want to achieve, and that’s something as your responsibility to initiate.
Maturity comes with age
1.Pioneers really do get better with age. According to the National Academies Press, studies have shown that older workers have advantages over their younger peers. In fact, age is believed to potentially enhance performance at work. You will learn to be professional
2. You will understand how an employee will think and act has been an employee yourself!!
3. You will know how a good boss is a blessing and how a bad boss will make life hell for you - You can decide whether you want to be good boss/bad boss when you become an entrepreneur!!
4. You will know the threshold limit when it comes to taxing your employees- you would have experienced the "this much & no more" syndrome when you were an employee - You can blow hot and blow cool!!
Less distraction so more focus on venture
Aside from money, time is the most critical business resource that entrepreneurs have. If you don’t have time for your business, how will you expect your business to grow? Building and managing a business is a demanding job. If you cannot give your 100 per cent attention and focus, you are bound to fail. That is why most successful entrepreneurs take the risk of leaving their full time and steady jobs just to focus on their business. They understand that if they want to win the business game, they need to be 100 per cent in the game.
Entrepreneurs of age group 40-45 have already gone and passed through the life stage of bachelorhood, Parties, movies, hangouts, etc, So they are less tend to be distracted and can focus more of their entrepreneurial venture. Entrepreneurs who have time for their business can manage their business without difficulty. They have time to think of a business plan, look for clients, talk to a prospect, build a team, create a valuable product, etc.
Better people management skills come with age and experience
The most effective managers are those who help other people do their best work. They tend to have a deep awareness of their employees’ skills, interests, and expectations. One of the tools they rely on is listening carefully and intensely to others. In terms of getting the best out of one’s team, the contrast between older and younger managers was even more pronounced. Delegating decisions and activities to others, often considered by management experts as one of the key skills in managing others, was chosen by 62% of older managers but just 30% of younger managers.
Well, there may not be any right age to start a business. But practically speaking, certainly, there is a right age group (40-45) who can possibly make their venture a successful one with less percentage of failure. How? This is discussed above.
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them" -- Walt Disney