"WHERE KNOWLEDGE IS WEALTH"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

YOUTH AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

ABSTRACT

Presently Indian youth have two problems – one is lack of soft skills and second is lack of entrepreneurial skills. The article focuses on the causes for the same and how to develop the skills. The concept of KASH, which is the acronym for Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Habits are highlighted in this context. At the end it called upon the youth to develop both leadership and entrepreneurial skills for the growth of our nation.

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KEY WORDS: Introduction, What is Entrepreneurship? Causes for lack of Entrepreneurial Skills in Youth, Fear of Failure, Other causes, Enhancing Entrepreneurial Skills, Risk vs. Return, KASH is King, Developing Entrepreneurial Skills & Conclusion.

"We can have more than we've got because we can become more than we are." - Jim Rohn.

INTRODUCTION:

Presently Indian youth face two problems – one is lack of soft skills to get placed at the corporate world and the second is the lack of entrepreneurial skills to start own business enterprise. Indian youth are hardworking and talented as it has been proved beyond doubt from their academic achievements. They proved to be good at hard skill but lack in soft skills, which upsets their prospects of getting proper placements.

Students successfully complete their academic studies and apply for jobs and unfortunately they fail to live up to the expectations and aspirations of the employers who look more on soft skills rather than on hard skills. Even if few get recruited with a convincing attitude and approach that they can be molded to the requirements of the employers, subsequently they fail to live up to the required standards and are fired finally for lack of certain skill sets.

Now coming to the second problem of entrepreneurship, the students are ambitious to experiment new things but unfortunately are not encouraged by the parents because parents want their children to play safe. Entrepreneurship is quite challenging and most of the students in that age and stage would like to try but the socio economic conditions do not encourage for the same. What ails in the present system? Before we look at the present system let us know the definition of entrepreneurship.

WHAT IS ENTREPRENEUSHIP?

"Entrepreneurship is an attitude," says Ramalinga Raju of Satyam. "It's for people who are willing to fail."

There are many definitions related to the concept of entrepreneurship. However, The earliest definition of entrepreneurship, dating from the eighteenth century, used it as an economic term describing the process of bearing the risk of buying at certain prices and selling at uncertain prices. And according to Wikipedia,” Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting new organizations or revitalizing mature organizations, particularly new business generally in response to identified opportunities.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines an entrepreneur to be "a person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for business ventures." To put it succintly, entrepreneurship is the ability to take risk with an intention to earn rewards in any commercial or non commercial venture.

CAUSES FOR LACK OF ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS IN YOUTH:

There are no social security measures in India. In the case of developed and advanced countries the citizens are protected by way of social security measures such as old age pension, unemployment allowance, and old age homes and so on. Our country is not in a position to provide the same. As a result, the citizens take care of themselves right from the young age to the old age. In the old age the parents solely depend on their children, as the government is not in a position to support them. Therefore, parents want their children to go for stable employment so that there will not be any problem either for their children or for themselves in future. This prevents the youth from trying and experimenting the unexplored areas of entrepreneurship and their ambitions lie untried and untested.

The present educational system encourages cramming and memory not on creativity and practical application of knowledge. Students are deprived of practical aspects of career and are not taught of corporate culture and other fast changing corporate requirements. The case of engineering and management graduates is still much better than the non-professional graduates. In the case of non-professional graduates the problem is more acute where whatever is taught is to be unlearned and relearned in the corporate world.

The youth are more worried about the fear of failure and fear of criticism. They are
more concerned about their failure rather on their success and it inhibits their entrepreneurial zeal and enthusiasm. They are more concerned about the society rather than on themselves. In this context let us look at failure in detail.

FEAR OF FAILURE:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly” – Robert F Kennedy

Facing failure and criticism is the most challenging task for any human being. Everyone loves success and hates failure. This is inherent in the human nature. Is it possible to achieve success without failure? Of course, it is not possible. By the way shall we define failure?

WHAT IS FAILURE?

It is always the gap between the expectations and the reality. When the outcome is against our predictions despite putting sincere efforts and energies then it is termed as failure. Outcome may be against us either due to internal factors like unknown mistakes or due to external forces, which are beyond human control.

IMPORTANCE OF FAILURE:

Failure brings down excessive ego and makes an individual humble and simple. It also eliminates overconfidence among the individuals. Failure helps in making the individual highly focused on his goals and objectives. Some people feel too big for their shoes. Failure helps them to resize the same. It makes the people more tolerant and they start empathizing with others. Failure makes people flexible, receptive and more accommodative.

TIPS AFTER FACING FAILURE:

“It is important to consistently remind oneself why one has ventured out in the first place. Most importantly, learn to assimilate failure. No failure or disappointment is a closed chapter. It is an invaluable opportunity to rectify errors and move forward,” quoted Capt Gopinath, Deccan Airlines.

· Keep cool and composed. Any extra activities at this juncture result into adding fuel to the fire. When faced with failure, human mind gets tense and does not think logically and analytically. Hence, do not become hasty.

· “Ninety nine per cent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses” said George Washington Carver. Don’t show your anger of your failure on others. When you are responsible for the failure then what is the meaning in transferring your anger on others?

· Don’t blame others for your mistakes. Own responsibility for your failures. And don’t get into depression and never lose your confidence.

· Go by bottom-up-approach by looking at the root of the problem and tackling it accordingly.

· If the root of the problem is big then slice it down into small pieces and analyze the individual slices independently and integrate the same.

· Immediately think how you went wrong and where you went wrong. Thorough analysis helps diagnose the reasons behind the failure and what transpired and prompted failure. This step will help go for introspection and provides remedial action so that the mistakes are not repeated in future.

· Look clearly whether the failure is the result of internal factors or external forces which are beyond human control. If the mistake occurred due to external forces then it is futile to think through it. If the mistake occurred due to internal factors then this is the time rectify and take remedial steps.

· Accept the fact that failure is universal. Let us know and accept the fact that small achievers have small failures and big achievers have big failure. It is a well-admitted fact that higher the fall higher the rise. Think your failure is small when compared with others’ as it brings solace to you.

· Take it up as a challenge. Don’t take every problem as a problem; rather treat it as an opportunity. It is only the test of fire that makes a fine steel. An optimist looks for opportunities from problems where as pessimist looks for problems in each opportunity.

· Discuss the failure with your trusted colleagues and friends who can provide right direction and guidance. Discussion generates wider dimensions and helps to get at the broader format for failure.

· “Never, ever, ever, ever give up”, said Winston Churchill. And failure is never final.

SUMMARIZING FAILURE:

Arrogance brings you down and humbleness brings you up. When you get tumble you get humble. Bounce back from failure like a rubber ball. Neither success is eternal nor failure. 'Mistakes are to life what shadows are to light'. Let us learn the fact that failure is only a comma not a full stop.

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats”, B.C.Forbes.

OTHER CAUSES FOR LACK OF THIS SKILL:

Leadership skills and entrepreneurial skills have interconnectivity. Lack of leadership qualities among the youth is the cause for concern in our country. The present scenario does not encourage the students to cultivate leadership qualities, which are the essence for entrepreneurial skills.

The Indian government up to nineties did not encourage free entrepreneurship due to the policy of mixed economy adopted by late Pundit Nehru. Making money was treated not as a healthy trend but as a greedy with negative attitude. Government did not encourage whatever the little entrepreneurial zeal people had. Likewise, there were so many reasons for lack of entrepreneurship.

ENHANCING ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS:

“The key that unlocks energy is desire. It's also the key to a long and interesting life. If we expect to create any drive, any real force within ourselves, we have to get excited. " - Earl Nightingale.

The educational institutions need to encourage entrepreneurial skills right from the curriculum itself. The government should also take initiative to encourage the youth by providing conducive climate for the same. The parents should also encourage their children with the changing industrial climate across the country, which is highly favorable for experimenting entrepreneurial skills. The teachers and faculties should motivate and inspire the students in this area.

The passion to perform must be the bedrock for the youth. They should realize that instead of struggling for employment they should put little more efforts and energies to provide placements for other unemployed youth by setting up their own enterprise.

“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.”
Abraham Lincoln.

The IT revolution has boosted the morale of Indian entrepreneurs across the world where Sabeer Bhatia has created Hotmail and at home mushroomed entrepreneurs like N R Narayana Murthy, Azim Premji, Ramalinga Raju, Shiv Nadar etc., Besides, the New Economic Policy of early nineties has encouraged entrepreneurship in all sectors.

The youth can take a leaf out of such successful entrepreneurs and shed their inhibitions and hesitations, if any.

RISK VS RETURN:

Risk is directly proportional to return. Higher the risk higher the return and lower the risk lower the return. In any business venture every entrepreneur should learn this fact and should plan his resources accordingly.

Again risk is inversely proportional to age. In the young age, there is a possibility of taking higher risk. As the age increases the risk taking capacity among the individuals decreases and gradually the energy and enthusiasm among the individuals fades away.

KASH IS KING:

KASH is the acronym for Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Habits. In life, there are two forces or factors that disturb our plans and they are internal and external factors. In the case of external factors or forces, nothing is in our hands and therefore, it is meaningless to worry for the same. But there are internal factors, which are very much with us and cannot be taken away that are KASH. Everyone faces failure at some point of time in life but what ultimately stands by the individuals is the KASH not cash. The founder of Honda Company was literally in shambles during the Second World War. But he rose like phoenix because of KASH. KASH keeps fuelling the individuals in pursuit of goals. KASH supplements sufficient spark to ignite the passion.
In the business parlance, it is frequently said that cash is king because when goods are sold on cash the risk is eliminated. Great personalities like N R Narayana Murthy and Dirubhai Ambani reached from nowhere to number one position not because of any cash but because of KASH.

DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS:

According to Sean McPheat , Managing Director, MTD Sales Training, there are five top tips to improve your entrepreneurial skills:

1. Have a personal vision and a mission - what do you want to achieve in your role?
2. What sets you apart from the other sales people who are trying to eat your lunch?
3. Innovate - entrepreneurs make up the rules. How can you become more innovative in all that you do?
4. Systems - set up systems to get the best out of your time and efforts
5. Positioning - position yourself as an expert rather than as a sales person - what can you do to become a trusted advisor?

CONCLUSION:

"You don’t concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done."-Chuck Yeager.

Everyone should know that entrepreneurs are not born but made. Entrepreneurship is a skill not a talent. Anything and everything is possible in this world if there is passion and ambition. 50 percent of the Indian population will be below the age of 25 years. The future of our country solely depends on the Indian youth. They should shed their inherent inhibitions and hesitations. They should know that the age and stage will never come back once passed by. Youth should shed cynicism and negativism. They should dare to dream big, think big and achieve big. The first ever-individual gold medallist in Beijing Olympics, Abhinav Bindra has changed the face of the Indian youth. He himself is an entrepreneur and continues to inspire Indian youth forever.

To sum up, there is a need to cultivate leadership qualities and inculcate entrepreneurial skills among the Indian youth so that it helps in the rapid progress of our country. When small countries can create great leaders, imagine India with a population of billion plus should have how many leaders and entrepreneurs at the global level?

T H E E N D

2 comments:

Abhilash Sen said...

Great Article!!

Unknown said...

Really informative article~~