Anand BhaskarGuest Author

The Indian Entrepreneur

By | Anand Bhaskar | Jt. President & CHRO Adani Airports

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be exploring the thought process of the Indian Entrepreneur, who we fondly refer in India as the “Lalaji”.

It is a universal fact that to be an entrepreneur one needs a lot of conviction in oneself, huge resilience to plough against multiple odds stacked against you, willing to constantly look for motivation within and opportunities outside, willing to fail, learn & relearn through a lot of hit & trial and most importantly be amidst constant flux of change. It takes years of toil for an entrepreneur to build a business. When one starts afresh, there is no brand or ability to pay to lean on. The entrepreneur leans on people who are willing to share his belief (its not a vision yet) and work loyally till the business kind of takes off. These people who are willing to work for this entrepreneur are not necessarily the best of breed in intellect or even execution. Hence, the entrepreneur has to spend humungous effort to literally micro-manage these people by directing them, controlling every step of their decisions & actions; in order to achieve the outcomes he/she has set out to achieve.

One thing you would find common in most entrepreneur driven companies is micro-management. In other words lack of delegation and empowerment down the line. When we look at it from a management lens, it is construed as lack of trust in people hired for the job or inability of the entrepreneur to let go. If one actually steps back and takes a broader view; it isn’t lack of trust or delegation. It is just that the entrepreneur started their journey with a certain kind of people/teams that required micro-management. It has worked for them for years and it’s a proven model. Why should they change a formula that is working? I know there could be many arguments around scalability, more competent talent etc…, but we will explore that subject in the posts that come later.

With no data at my disposal, I dare to say that merely 0.1% of Indian Entrepreneur led companies eventually make it big into INR 4K Cr+ companies. When an entrepreneur gets this far, they have an inherent need to start professionalising their management teams to scale further. Till such time, the command & control model of the entrepreneur works pretty fine. The general view amongst professionals (defined as people who are well qualified to do a job but do not have ownership in the company) is that the entrepreneur should let go and allow professionals to scale the company further.

However, when you look at the 2 largest Indian Conglomerates in this country, it hasn’t happened even after they crossed $ 100b +. It is the entrepreneur who is leading the way and growing the business 2-10X every 5 years with the same command & control model.

Isn’t this intriguing….. What do you think?

PS: If you keen to learn more, stay with this story as it unfolds over the next few weeks.

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