Indian entrepreneurs should explore multi-lingual opportunities: Eric Schmidt

by Faiz Askari    Mar 22, 2013

Eric Schmidt

As the Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt shepherds a company, which is one of the best examples of entrepreneurship and innovation. While innovation and entrepreneurship were the hallmarks of the Google success story, Schmidt feels that luck also played a key role in the company’s success.

On his recent visit to New Delhi, he talked about entrepreneurship, opportunities and success mantras for aspiring and budding entrepreneurs.

Recollecting his early days in Google, when it was much smaller, he said, “I joined Google with a mind that I wanted to take up a new job in a company that was close to my residence and also had smart people working for it. Honestly speaking, I never thought that it would become so big. Of course, we envisioned some things, but things went in the right direction, and I feel that luck was in our favour.”

Addressing aspiring entrepreneurs, he emphasized on the importance of exploring beyond one’s limits.  “Mistakes do occur. We also made some mistakes, and we made repeated efforts to achieve some good results. Based on my own experience, my advice to budding entrepreneurs is to explore beyond their limits. Everyone has limited vision, but some people extract valuable information from their related ecosystem; these are the people who make successful businesses. Entrepreneurs must learn this art,” he said.

Schmidt attended a NASSCOM-hosted event in New Delhi, in which he had an open discussion with Som Mittal, President, NASSCOM Foundation. While responding to Mittal’s question on opportunities and challenges for Indian entrepreneurs, he said, “India has already made its mark as a global success story in the BPO sector. Now, the biggest opportunity of the Web is yet to be explored. Online commerce in India is becoming vibrant, but has a long way to go. The potential of this market is huge. However, there are a few critical aspects that Indian entrepreneurs must look at as opportunities—for example, multi-lingual capabilities of an online platform are very important. Also, applications will continue to drive business. Overall, applications are all set to become the next wave of success story in India.”

Although many Indian entrepreneurs are talented and smart, there is a huge difference between the start-up cultures of countries like the USA and developing economies like India.  Talking about bridging this cultural gap, he said, “Silicon Valley is considered to be the world’s greatest hub for entrepreneurs and start-ups. Almost 40 per cent of start-ups from Silicon Valley are managed by Indian-origin entrepreneurs. So, there is immense talent among Indian entrepreneurs. The IITs can produce highly successful start-ups, which is what we are expecting out of India. However, the missing gap is the availability of finance. Most venture capitalists are reluctant or hesitant to support start-ups in India. I feel that the Indian government should ensure that there are no more such situations. An innovation-friendly environment should be created. Start-ups bring more job opportunities through innovation, and this culture needs to be nurtured and protected in a vast country like India.”