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Entrepreneurs yet to tap social networking fully’
Sukanto Mukherjee

‘TREAT your start-up as your own baby and nurture it’ – these were some of the insights shared by city-based entrepreneurs at a panel discussion on ‘Start Ups In Today’s Economy – Employment & Growth Factor’ at the Icfai Business School (IBS). The talk was part of Voyage 2010 — organised by IBS under the aegis of Entrepreneurship Week, India (February 6-13) initiative of National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN). Addressing an eager batch of B-school students and aspiring entrepreneurs were Arijit Bhattacharyya, CEO & founder of Virtual Infocom, and Prabuddha Sankar Raychaudhuri, CEO of SEOguru — both city-based it start-ups.
Besides having a viable business plan and customised marketing strategies, both Mr Bhattacharyya and Mr Raychaudhuri stressed on the power of social networking as a business tool.

“In an era when communication happens with a single mouse click, social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are of immense help to start-up entrepreneurs, especially if they want to reach out to the global markets,” said Mr Bhattacharyya.
On the other hand, ‘the potential of social networking is yet to be tapped fully by entrepreneurs in India’, felt Mr Raychaudhuri. But, as clichéd as it may sound, passion is of utmost importance when starting a business, felt both the entrepreneurs.
“One should be prepared to make long-term sacrifices if he or she wants the business to take off, which is possible only if one has loads of passion and does not run after the money from day one,” Mr Raychaudhuri said.
Adding an anecdote from his personal life, Mr Bhattacharyya said: “I dreamt of being a game developer when I was in school.” Considering that Infosys was started by NR Narayana Murthy and his friends with small capital but big dreams and that it took 13 years to reach where it is today, the role of passion for an entrepreneur has been underscored time and again.
Both the speakers also highlighted the fact that recession is actually a good time to start a business. The downturn can be used to scale up, they remarked. “There is access to capital like skilled manpower at 50-60% lesser cost than in normal situations,” said Mr Raychaudhuri.
At the same time, during the initial stages of a business, the entrepreneur must market the product himself, as he or she cannot afford to hire top-notch managers. Also, there should be sufficient bank balance for at least three-six months to take care of family needs, considering the risks involved, felt both the speakers.
At the same time, ‘money is not the main constraint in an IT business’, said Mr Bhattacharyya.


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2. Millie Wood - June 21, 2010

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