Questioner: So, you yourself are an entrepreneur. So, how would you define Entrepreneurship? And what would you define as value creation by an entrepreneur? And subsequently what advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs out here?
Acharya Prashant: See, there is entrepreneurship that is just an extension of what you have been all your life, right? Most people present in this room at this time would have been quite competitive all their life. I too have been that way, I know the campus, I have lived here for a duration longer than you have been here. So, we have chased numbers, we have tried to edge ahead of the next person. Success for us has been something quantitative. The number has to be good enough; the number has to be better than the average. If possible, higher than everybody else, right? So, there are percentages that we chase, then there is CGPA, before that percentile, then CTC.
There is a kind of entrepreneurship that says, “Start the company, see which sectors are hot and booming, and when you reach a certain stage after many rounds of funding, sell it off.” Right? And add a few more zeros to your personal bank balance. That's one kind of entrepreneurship. It makes no real change to who you are, in your own style, in your own primitive way, you have just sung another song, run-of-the-mill. Nothing fresh about it, nothing even melodious about it, right? And then, there is another entrepreneurship, that is an expression of the best within you. That is an expression of your seeking, of your longing for the best. Such entrepreneurship is not an act in ambition; it is rather a love affair. Now you’ll not quit your concern if it fails to turn profitable within a few months, or a few years, right? Now you'll not quickly want to leverage equity so that you can have rapid growth. And obviously, if the cause is worthwhile, if your company, or your organization, your venture, is such that you want to really live with it, then you will not want to sell it off. The growth of your venture will mirror your inner growth. The choice is yours, what kind of entrepreneurship do you want to have? In my case, the choice is obvious. Though in the second kind of entrepreneurship, you'll probably not have as much of material and financial benefit as you could have otherwise had, but then as the topic of today’s talk says, “There is Profit beyond profits.”
Ultimately, we are living beings, ultimately it is not about cash in hand, we have a life to live, right? And, it is the quality of life that matters and it is the quality of life for the sake of which we do everything, including being present at this institution.
You said, “How do I feel when I look at my batch mates?” So, they are all very bright people and they surely are doing well in their respective persuasion. And what I am doing, is something that needed to be done, that ought to be done, in this, I have no choice. When you see something as compelling and as urgent as the situation the world is in today and when you see the beauty that lies in ridding yourself and somebody else, of our self-imposed bondages. Then, the compulsion and the Beauty get together to make you choiceless. There was no way I would not have done what I have done. So, to each his own.