Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Tale of Guts & Gumption and Crisis Management Tips for Indian Entrepreneurs

The Incredible Story of R. 'Naru' Narayanan of Big Fun and Dosa King fame

(Video from a Startup Grind Chennai event)


- Develop the skill to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty- Whenever there is a crisis, never display your anger. Keep smiling disarmingly - if you want to get all the information. There is no point finding whose fault is it then and there.

- In India, people give their opinion and then provide the facts. They will bring you a crisis when they know you are pressed for time and therefore they can  push you for an instant decision. They will give you half the information; "We have inventory for 11 Lakhs; I have an offer for 7.5 Lakhs; I think I can negotiate it to 9 Lakhs. What do you say?". They will assess you by the questions you ask. Buy yourself 15 minutes of time, since you don't have enough information and you will tend to be irritable. Then, analyse the situation and the person (based on past behaviour, what kinds of problems he brings to you) and react accordingly. And pray that you have taken the right decision!

- Blowing up the Bubble

The amazing story of how Big Fun bubble gum became a sponsor of the India-South Africa Cricket Series on Star TV - with hardly any money in the bank. And, when the Rs.2 crore bill came due (and there was still no money to pay), how Big Fun convinced Star TV to again allow it to sign up as the sponsor of the forthcoming India-Australia series!

- Amazing (disaster) story of the Dosa King, the maker of the Dosa making machine

- People are Indian Entrepreneurs biggest Weakness (Not Firing the Bad Ones, that is.)

Indian entrepreneurs tend to think they they need some person badly and keep rationalizing that person's mistakes. "Once is an accident; twice is a coincidence; third time it's a pattern - just fire!"

- Write Everything Down. Since you need to keep chasing up everyone. All the time. To get anything done.

In India, you need to chase up people anyways - whether it is employees, vendors, etc. If you pay the vendor well, you still need to follow up to get the job done. If you underpay the vendor, you have to follow up. So, underpay!

Related Links: Business Line interview; Naru's LinkedIn profile

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