Don’t Give Up – Says Sanjeev Bikhchandani

In a conversation with FinancialExpress Sanjeev Bikhchandani founder and CEO of Naukri.com talks about entrepreneurship and shares some of his experiences.

Link to the original article: If you don’t give up, you get lucky.

Here are some key takeaways with few thoughts added by me.

He never once gave up on being an entrepreneur and resorted to a stable job with a predictable monthly paycheck and a less chaotic and secure lifestyle.

As an entrepreneur life is usually chaotic, at least at the beginning stages especially for those who are starting on their own from scratch. The lifestyle may completely change and of course not as secure as getting a predictable monthly paycheck irrespective of the amount of work you do. But one needs to be prepared to cross the initial barrier and as he says one should have a don’t give up attitude to become successful.

Being in enough places at enough times, means that you are bound to get lucky sometime. Also if you don’t give up at trying to be lucky, one day you will. Maybe not now, maybe two years later maybe five or maybe even after ten years. Its all part of being an entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur definitely needs some luck in your favor. I am sure being lucky is not the only contributor to the success. But, you need to try, otherwise there is no way the luck comes to you. This reminds me of the book “Founders at Work“, which I have read recently. This book is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies. To my surprise most of the founders mentioned that they were lucky in some way or the other at some point in their entrepreneurial journey. Luck comes only when you don’t give up. Sabir Bhatia the founder of Hotmail mentions that he was very lucky to be at the right place at the right time. This will only happen only when you are in enough places at enough times.

“We had a group of about five-six who always spoke of entrepreneurship” he says. Many of Sanjeev’s IIM friends have become successful entrepreneurs in their own right today. R Subramaniam of Subhiksha and Nirmal Jain of India Infoline are a few of them.

The line, “We had a group of about five-six who always spoke of entrepreneurship” strikes me a lot. Its all about being with right people at right times.

So what does he think of new entrepreneurs today? “Most of us today are bound by the monthly EMIs and the visiting cards. Once we learn to look beyond them, one can take the leap. You have to be convinced that this is what you want to do and then go for it,” he says.

Thats really true. We are bound by so many factors in daily life. We need to clear the EMIs, pay the credit cards bills and so on. At the beginning your own company’s visiting card may not appeal as good as big MNC’s visiting card to your friends and relatives. But that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about in the initial stages. But you need to be convinced about what you are going to do. Do you know what Hewlett-Packard’s first product was? A bowling foul line indicator. They decided that they were going to be entrepreneurs before they knew exactly what they were going to do. It’s all about being truly convinced about what is that we are going to do.

Bikhchandani holds that his early days as an entrepreneur taught him a lot. “I see huge value in bootstrapping. You learn that it’s hard to make money, so you learn not to spend it foolishly. I struggled but learnt a lot,” he says.

It’s really hard to bootstrap than to start a company with enough funding. We come up with creative ideas when we don’t have enough money. Let me give you a real world example.

The founders of HotOrNot.com started the website as a hobby project and it was mostly done for the sake of fun in the initial stages. Once they started getting huge amount of traffic their server was unable to handle the loads and went out of service some times. At that time they din’t have enough money to buy several servers to handle the incoming traffic. They came up with really some creative ways to handle the incoming traffic. Even after that they see their server is unable to handle the traffic some times. Then they came up with a creative business decision. At that time they were getting lots of media coverage for the website. They went into an agreement with a dedicated server hosting provider where the hosting provider will give them free servers to handle the traffic and HotOrNot will mention the hosting provider in the media coverage. HotOrNot got the infrastructure they want and the hosting provider got the media coverage in return. That was a win-win deal and it really worked for them in the initial stages of sustaining their business. I suggest you take some time to visit James Hong’s blog who is one of the founders of HotOrNot. Believe me they are really making some real big money out of this website now. From the interview by James Hong in the Founders at Work book one could easily make out that they never gave up their idea and were passionate about it even though there wasn’t a clear business model at the very early stages.

So, to wrap up the things, being an entrepreneur is not as easy as doing a 9 to 6 day job. Its very difficult to cross the initial barrier. But all we need is true commitment and don’t give up attitude. As someone perfectly said:

Fortune favors the brave

I have just started on my own and want to become a successful entrepreneur. I really like learning from the established entrepreneurs. I hope I have made some sense here and if you are in the initial stages of your entrepreneurial journey you might also be interested in the following resources as well.

Thank you for reading. Wish you good luck for your entrepreneurial quests.

-Chandra

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6 Comments

  1. Vamsi
    Posted July 18, 2007 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Good Work Chandra…

    Keep Posting Good articles like this !!

  2. Vipul Bhatnagar
    Posted July 29, 2007 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Nice one….motivating stuff…

  3. Posted August 2, 2007 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    v v true words…actually kewl blog for any guy going for entrepreneurship

    Cheers
    ANkIT

  4. Posted August 4, 2007 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    A very commendable job…keep up the good work L:)

    wud invite ur view on these:

    http://www.mobiledom.blogspot.com
    http://www.mobilism.blogspot.com

  5. Praveen
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Gud one ra.. seems u became a matured blogger… jus started readg founders at work… readg makes u feel tht, com out of imagination n see hw d realtors r made… keep posting d updates … gud luk buddy… :)

  6. Naresh
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    good job. i liked it very much. keep on posting the updates

    Naresh

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