[Note: This article is part of The Junction Series, which was held from January 12-14, 2017. Learn more about The Junction here!]
The Junction 2017, held at the Fairmont Jaipur saw a presence of the biggest names of the tech industry. The second day of Inc42’s flagship conference The Junction began with tech enthusiasts, speakers, VCs, angel investors, and international delegates coming together to discuss the important aspect of the startup ecosystem, the first panel highlighted one pertinent question: What happens when an entrepreneur fails, and how do you deal with them.
Moderated by Bikash Barai, co-founder of Cigital India (now a part of Synopsys), the panel consisted of Sandeep Aggarwal, founder ShopClues and Droom and Jitendra Gupta, founder of Citruspay (which was acquired by Naspers) the session was titled From Inception To Endurance And Beyond – Startups Building Businesses.
Bikash initiated the discussion by talking about various highs and lows startup founders face and said, “Each startup faces its very own unique trajectory. The journey is accompanied by learning periods and milestones.”
While embarking on an entrepreneurial journey, it’s very important to have a firmly set out path and a plan in case one is met with failures. For a founder, it is essential to have a dispassionate view on things, so as to weigh everything with a balanced rationale. The founder also needs to have a company-first attitude, so as to ensure that the company has the first position in every founder’s priority list. Sandeep Aggarwal, founder, ShopClues and Droom said,”Do what you believe in rather than being swayed by what market patterns are and what others are doing. I have 37 rejection letters and I think they trained me.”
The panel went on to discuss the importance of learning while forming a startup, from both success and failures. Bikash added, “When you are trying to grow, focus on making things work. Once you understand your own model of success, repeat it and scale.”
Talking further, the panellists highlighted various personal factors that are responsible for defining one’s journey as an entrepreneur. Jitendra Gupta, founder, CitrusPay said,
“Remember who you are and what you stand for. Always have a long term vision and that is what will make you different, and don’t fear facing the competition. When Sequoia funded us, they asked me, what is the vision I have for the company and I said: We’ll exit in five years, and that’s what happened.”
A founder’s journey as an entrepreneur is shaped by their passion, perseverance, energy and their ability to plan. At the same time, if something is not working out, it’s very important for a company’s leader to understand when to walk away and as Jitendra added,”a founder should not worry about the things they cannot control.”
Jitendra went ahead to formulate a successful exit strategy and concluded the session by saying, “Whichever industry you are a part of, and if you are planning to exit, keep in mind who these guys are, and you should be talking to them, always.”