Entrepreneurship is a delightful experience though sustainability is keyMarch 25, 2020
Many doctor-preneurs today fail or face serious challenges in their journey with their passionately started healthcare ventures because they do not often understand other aspects of business. In light of my long professional as well as entrepreneurial journey in the area of healthcare, I’m happy to share some of my suggestions for aspiring professionals-turned-promoters.
One of the most important elements that medico-entrepreneurs, or any other aspiring businessmen coming from a professional background, tend to skip is a critical assessment of the sustainability of their own ideas. A lot of times, when new entrepreneurs plan to get into business, they get completely infatuated with the idea. This makes them oblivious to the sustainability aspects of the same. Therefore, knowing the difference between an idea and an investable idea is very crucial.
The other key factor is building a team of right people around you to plan and execute the idea. You may be great in your thought process. However, it is difficult for you to identify your own strengths and weaknesses. For example; finance is one area that many professionals-turned-entrepreneurs tend to overlook. In such cases, it is very important to put together the right team to cover your weak spots. So it is always good to carry along people who are also great in other ways to bridge your own weaknesses. Similarly, it is also important to remain true to the core of the model that you perceived, even if there is pressure to change the model in the process of scaling up.
A big mistake that business founders often commit on their paths to entrepreneurship — such as setting up a hospital, a lab or a healthcare research or services company — is the tendency is to raise too much capital too early, before the model really starts emerging. Sometimes, it also happens that you fail to raise capital at the right time. Both of these could be detrimental. Hence, it is important to see that the decision for capital raising is always milestone-linked. In the first case, you will end up with tiny equity of your own when the venture becomes successful and you won’t be able to maintain your stake. In the other case, you fail to take the business forward as you become cash-strapped.
Still, I think entrepreneurship is probably the best thing that an individual can do besides pursuing a professional career. It makes you much more rugged as an individual and can be a delightful experience, whether it is going right or wrong, because going through this cycle makes you really mature, irrespective of your age.
— As told to CH Unnikrishnan