“Failures are part of entrepreneurship. Good entrepreneurs move on rather than engaging in self-pity.”
In an exclusive conversation with TechEela, Suresh Narasimha, Managing Partner, Cocreate Ventures, talks to us about his career, his ideas of entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurs can learn and overcome failures.
Here are some edited excerpts from the insightful conversation:
You began your career as a senior software engineer at a very large tech company. How do you think that helped you in your entrepreneurial career?
Working for large companies can give good exposure to software development discipline & processes. But at entry-level positions, one may not learn business/product/innovation or entrepreneurship. I was lucky that I was part of some strategic initiatives at Siemens that gave a slightly better overview. But my real learning came from a start-up where I was part of post-Siemens. In general, if you want to be an Entrepreneur, it’s not a great idea to start your career in a large setup.
People often say failures teach you. What has failures taught you?
Failures are part of entrepreneurship. Good entrepreneurs take failure as part of the process and move on rather than engaging in self-pity. Failures have taught me to be patient, not to take anything for granted. Each day/ each business/ each new idea is a fresh start and have the same chances of failure as the first idea, if not more.
A good entrepreneur is a good gambler. He keeps wanting to come back, even if he fails. What do you think about it?
Entrepreneurs are not gamblers at all. A purpose beyond quick money drives entrepreneurs. They depend on hard-work, strategy, risk mitigation & not just luck. As an Entrepreneur, you can choose your game & environment. You can keep increasing your chances of a win by improving your game.
Of Course, there are still unknowns, luck/ bad timing, etc. However, one can choose your risk propensity & size. To compare Entrepreneurship to gambling is the single biggest mistake one can make.
If failure is a stepping stone to success, then what is success a steppingstone to?
Hopefully, a bigger success. Success gives you confidence, credibility & resources. All those entrepreneurs need is one success in their life to redefine their charter. For some, it will come early/quickly & many need to slog for it.
What are the three most important things an entrepreneur should do to handle failure and to handle success?
Stay spiritual & always be driven by a purpose.
While failure can take away confidence, success can bring complacency. Failure results in lesser resources, whereas success brings higher expectations. Spirituality can help one navigate through the challenges & find a larger goal for oneself.
How do you maintain work-life balance, considering your heavy workload?
Entrepreneurs should enjoy their business if any time; if one looks at entrepreneurship as a burden, consider quitting the entrepreneurship. While work-life balance is important, In reality, for entrepreneurs, work comes first (just like for someone in border nation comes first & for a doctor, the patient comes first). You may have to sacrifice your anniversary/kids’ PTM or birthday. If you cannot manage & convince your family on your priorities, entrepreneurship is not for you.
I always say this is life beyond Entrepreneurship & most Entrepreneurs are smart enough to figure out and manage.
How important do you think taking risks is for an entrepreneur? And are there things like small risks and big risks?
There are different risk propensities. Each Entrepreneur must identify their risks & options. So, one must choose the risk that they can manage well.