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Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Have a Plan B: N. R. Narayana Murthy


“Entrepreneurs should avoid keeping a Plan B instead of giving their all to their venture,” said visionary business leader Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy. He was speaking at a recent virtual interactive session with business leaders and students organized by SVKM’s NMIMS School of Branding and Advertising.

“Entrepreneurs have a tremendous passion for their idea. They believe in their idea and are willing to work more than 20 hours a day. However, we must remember that luck also plays a very important role in the success of an idea. If luck is not coming your way, you have to analyze dispassionately and close your venture. But when you are running your enterprise, you cannot have a plan B and you cannot be half-hearted about your idea. You have to give your best as if there is no alternative at all. So, till you get a very clear message from the market that your idea is not going to set sail, please do not think of Plan B,” he explained.

Narayana Murthy recalls early times as an entrepreneur with Softronics, the first company he founded and was later forced to close down. He spoke on common mistakes by young entrepreneurs make in their startups.

The most common mistake was not defining how their product or idea added value for the customer in a way better than their competitors. He pointed out that entrepreneurs must distinguish between the value of their product and its price.

Calling himself a compassionate capitalist, he said that India can progress only if entrepreneurs create more quality jobs with better salaries. He urged students and budding entrepreneurs to work towards India’s economic growth by creating quality jobs and businesses that could hold against international competition.

He asked business leaders to build an ecosystem of talent around themselves while ensuring a fair working environment.

“Leaders have to exercise self-restraint in apportioning the benefits from a corporation disproportionately to themselves. In other words, they should not take away the major part of the benefit that accrues from their company. That leader should lead by example in values, excellence, honesty, integrity, transparency, fairness, accountability, openness to ideas, and meritocracy. They have to demonstrate transparency and accountability in apportioning fruits of the hard work of everybody in their company,” he said.

For their own and the nation’s progress, he impelled students to change their mindset to overcome indiscipline, apathy, and dishonesty while putting society’s interests ahead of their own.

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