Disclaimer: These sample examples have been picked from http://economictimes.indiatimes.com for explaining the business challenges that we face everyday and no other reasons. My apologies if it hurts anyone’s feeling as this is not my intention.
During eCommerce Hay days
During Bad days
- Housing.com sacks 200 as part of business rejig, looks to focus on core
- Expected layoffs at Zomato latest sign of turbulence in food-technology industry
- Pink slips: Startups forced to lose employees to stay afloat
Most of experienced entrepreneurs understand that any business that they start has uncertainty and is full of ups & downs. During bad phase of businesses – cutting down expenses, releasing employees is quite common across the world including India. Many of us are forced to do things (that we don’t like) to survive and grow the company. There are challenges that go out of our hands and sometimes, it also depends on who is the investor and what’s been projected to him to raise money etc. So Investors will drive and influence your decisions as you promised him that you will achieve x% growth every month.
Every year nearly 10% of MSME’s are closed down due to competition, lack of funds and human resources etc and eCommerce companies are not an exception to this phenomenon.
At the same time, I am also sure that some employees who join start-ups know the risk that they take and the reward they would receive, if venture is successful.
But some of the blames for business failures should go to “Excel and PPT Entrepreneurs” who lack real business skills or experience. A sample pitch of many entrepreneurs / Wannabe entrepreneurs is as below (I have heard similar pitches from people with 10+ years of experience)
“<xyz> market is of USD 20 billion worldwide (some document reference or analysts reports)and we will capture min 2% in 5 years. Even worse case scenario, if we capture 0.001%, we would be a multi million dollars company in 5 years. See our projections”.
He opens up an Excel with full of revenue projections with a beautifully designed PPT.
All these projections are made with lot of assumptions and when tyre hits the road, the reality kicks-in. Many of them “HOPE and Pray” that once they begin the business someone would fund them. But it doesn’t work that way.
Only constant is your monthly fixed expenses like Rent, Salary and Office expenses and you have to pay them even though you don’t have one-dollar revenue. (Monthly Salary = One KG of Passion)
Some of these Excel Entrepreneurs are not even aware of how these businesses work, how people could cheat them, how large companies hold back your payments for years and make you starve and suffer etc.
Business doesn’t run on HOPE and PRAYER. It runs on People, Execution and money to run the initial phase.
One of the bosses of a successful VC firm from my alma mater said “Even though your business idea is good and revenue forecasts are excellent, we don’t fund you unless we know you personally very well”.
There may be few exceptions, but this could answer clearly on why every graduate from Ivy leagues / IIM / IIT do not get funding for his/her business venture.
Well, we (AcTouch.com) are not an exception and we too went through this phase. However we were lucky to follow some basic rules that helped us to survive and grow organically.
Today (month on month) we are acquiring new paid customers and money is slowly trickling in. Our product has been accepted in MSMEs (Manufacturing and Traders) and we are getting new business from our customers and their references.
I will explain these basic rules that we follow in my next article.
You can also check the link at LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/excel-ppt-entrepreneurs-nityananda-rao