The Risk-Averse Indian Entrepreneur

Indian Entrepreneurs are one of the most risk-averse in the world. Well not all, there are truly some fantastic exceptions, but most of the demographic is risk averse. Let me explain:

In the business plan of an entrepreneur they do the math, calculate “their” salaries in, the prototyping costs, marketing costs and will assume that “no revenue” is made, and ask for the entire amount from an investor, who has nothing more than an idea and a team (which still demands a salary) that she supposedly has to back. The best pitch for an investor remains the same, Get on the boat, start rowing, and tell them to come onboard or miss the chance.

A lot of the new breed of Indian entrepreneurs have no clue about cash flow management. Its another symptom of the “Bangalore Flu” (that we have caught from the valley). Here’s an example of cash flow management. Air Deccan was started with 5 Crores (1Mn) in the bank. The cost of a Plane is about 60Mn$. The company went on to build the biggest fleet of low cost carriers in the country.

The Present day entrepreneur wants to plan for a fleet of 500, and the cash for it, upfront, at the best valuation, in the bank, funded by VCs. NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN.

Want to see who is driving the risk averseness in the market that Indians dont make bold bets? Look at the mirror. It starts with (most of) you.

6 Responses to “The Risk-Averse Indian Entrepreneur”

  1. Vijay says:

    Abhinav,

    Its a topic worth a blog post, and I have been mulling over how to put it in a pictorial form. I do believe the first wave will be of entrepreneurs building products and are complete in everyway. The risk appetite from the investors’s perspective (who is just another service provider) and also from the other angles (yes its spelt right) such as legal, finance & accounting, and a host of other services will also come in prefering equity, reducing the burden on cash as well.

    It has to go a few cycles still.

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