A to Z of Entrepreneurship Part – 5 ( Series of 6 )

In this series of A to Z of Entrepreneurship, I have been sharing thoughts and inputs for wannabe entrepreneurs. So far I have shared 4 blogs on this topic and this is the fifth one. So far I have covered below alphabets in this series.

A- Attitude B- Business Plan C- Capital D- Discipline

E- Enthusiasm F- Failure G- Goals H- Honesty

I- Idea to Execution J- Judicious Decisions K- Knowledge

L- Leadership M – Mentors N- Networking Works

O- Out of the Box P- Profits Q- Quality

In this blog, I will be covering the next 4 alphabets i.e. R, S, T, and U.

YouTube Video on A to Z of Entrepreneurship

R- Return on Investment

Return on investment, or ROI, represents the financial benefit received from a particular business investment. In other words, it measures what you get back compared to what you put in. Return on Investment (ROI) is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. In simple words, we can say that ROI is the profit per year divided by the initial investment.

Let us consider below scenario to explain ROI:

Scenario – 1

Suppose you want to make an investment of Rs.100 Lacs to start a gym and you are expecting a profit of Rs.15 Lacs after all the expenses. In this case, ROI would be 15%.

Scenario – 2

In this case, suppose you want to start a coaching institute with the investment of Rs.100 lacs and you are expecting a profit of 10 lacs after all the expenses. In this case, ROI would be 10%

So comparing ROI in the above scenario, investing in the gym will be an attractive proposition. However, how things can be changed in case the capital is borrowed.

Scenario- 3

We consider the example of gym again but this time capital is borrowed at 18% annual interest rate. Initial capital is 100 lacs and the expected profit is 18 lacs. In this case, Return of Investment will be negative 3% (18 Lacs Interest minus 15 Lacs profit )

Scenario – 4

In the case of a coaching institute, you are getting loan at a subsidized rate of 6%. Initial Investment Rs. 100 Lacs and the expected profit is Rs.10 Lacs. In this case, ROI would be 4% ( 10 Lacs profit- 6 lacs interest )

S- Self Development

Stress has become an inseparable part of our everyday lives. For an entrepreneur, stress and pressure are part of the life and he has to keep is mind focussed and calm under all the circumstances.

Successful entrepreneurs achieve hero status in our culture. We idolize the Mark Zuckerbergs and the Elon Musks. And we celebrate the blazingly fast growth of Oyo or Flipkart or Zomato. But many entrepreneurs before they made it big, they spent sleepless nights in anxiety and despair. It is of utmost importance for entrepreneurs to strike the right balance in work and life. He needs to spend quality time on himself. An entrepreneur may engage in the below activities to relieve stress and anxiety :

Yoga and Meditation :

Without the proper state of mind, it is near impossible to be a captivating leader. Entrepreneurship is all about leading an idea or plan in a projected thought and practice into the real world to create a service and work towards success. But in the same phase, the busy life of being an entrepreneur leaves an individual away from mandatory activities like exercising and health care of self. This is why Yoga and meditation are the best activity one can engage on a regular basis, which not only focuses on good health or healthy body functioning but also leads to inner peace and happiness where this energy helps to optimistic decisions and determination.

Walk and Excercise :

Being an entrepreneur isn’t a cakewalk. Between running a business, juggling personal life, and dealing with unforeseen obstacles that come your way, many entrepreneurs, unfortunately, end up sacrificing their health for business goals and profits. An entrepreneur must understand that exercising, walking, sleeping, and eating healthy is important. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is beneficial for the mental, physical, and emotional health of an entrepreneur.

Hobbies :

As an entrepreneur, it’s not uncommon to devote every hour of your life to building your business. The idea of taking up activities ‘for fun’ sounds like a waste of time or a luxury that most entrepreneurs cannot afford. However, no downtime can end up draining you both physically and mentally, which can severely impact your productivity and creativity. That’s why you need to pursue a hobby that challenges you, fuels creativity, enriches your life and in turn, helps you become a better entrepreneur. Hobbies improve vital skills such as memory, creative thinking, problem-solving, and productivity. As hobbies are something we enjoy, they are quite rewarding and help us recharge. The new perspectives and experiences that you gain from a hobby enrich your life and help you be a better entrepreneur and a leader.

Technology Upgrade

Remember the “Kodak moment”?

The ability to capture memories into a picture using a personal device was what Kodak gifted to the world. Unfortunately, Kodak decided to cling on to analog cameras far too long, and eventually lost the game.

Nokia too has a similar story.

In 1979, Nokia created the first cellular network in the world. By the 1990s, Nokia was the leader in the realm of mobile phones. When its competitors started focusing on data and the internet, Nokia didn’t care. The company instead continued to focus on its hardware. Nokia did have great hardware. But the smartphones took over the market with better software features.

Generic brand Xerox too failed

Another one of those big business examples of failure is Xerox. Xerox was actually the first to invent the PC and their product was way ahead of its time. Unfortunately, the management thought going digital would be too expensive and they never bothered to exploit the opportunities they had. Xerox failed to understand that you can’t keep perpetually making money on the same technology. Sometimes technology fails too.

As companies turn successful, one or more of the following things can happen
1. The urgency of innovation and Technology up-gradation die.
2. Leadership and the management team go into their comfort zones.
3. Within the company, minds with new ideas are silenced
4. Company starts to view innovation as a threat to the existing system

In this cutting-edge era, an entrepreneur needs to embrace technology very fast and innovate at a rapid speed. If you look at the organizations that truly stand out from the pack today as clear leaders within their industries, it would be clear that all have one common factor: They all are driven by innovation and Technology. Companies like Uber and Amazon disrupted the status quo by changing processes at the core of their industries. Microsoft and Apple, big global brands have been around for decades but owe their continued success to constant reinvention and innovation. An organization cannot expect to maintain a competitive edge if innovation is not part of the overall business strategy.

Robotics, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things ( IoT ), 3D-Printing, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence, etc. will prove to be the game-changer in the future and entrepreneurs will need to keep themselves abreast with changing Technology and Innovation.

Upgrade your Skills

If you are considering becoming an entrepreneur, there can be several essential skill sets that you should develop to increase your entrepreneurial success. Hard skills like technical and financial skills can be extremely important in managing a business. Additionally, soft skills like communication, presentation, and critical thinking skills can also ensure, you develop as an entrepreneur.

Presentation Skills:

The ability to present and persuade is crucial for entrepreneurs to sustain success within their businesses. However, with each presentation, there is a lot at stake. During the startup phase, being capable of attracting potential investors and team members may be crucial, during the growth phase, attracting customers, business partners, vendors may be of prime importance. Having great presentation skills will definitely give an edge to the entrepreneur to send the right message to the target audience.

Communication Skills

For successful entrepreneurs, being able to communicate their ideas and messages in an effective and desirable fashion is key to spreading their knowledge. Communication also helps them develop fruitful relationships with their co-workers, employees, and collaborators. Good communication skills have to be spread across multiple media channels. People who can understand what you try to communicate are more likely to catch your ideas; to be receptive to those. Ensure that you develop sturdy abilities in the following spheres.

·        Written Communication

·        Spoken Communication

·        Listening

    Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking skills, like analytical skills, can be necessary for developing your overall entrepreneurial skills. Being able to look at problems, situations, projects, and operations from different perspectives can help in decision-making and solving problems. Critical thinking skills can also be necessary for strategic planning and evaluating the approaches you are using so you can make changes or improve your business strategies as needed.

This is the last but one blog of my A to Z series on entrepreneurship. If you find it useful please share the link in your network.

A to Z Of Entrepreneurship Part – 1 ( Series of 6 Parts)

In this series of 6 Blogs on “A To Z Of Entrepreneurship” , With the help of alphabets from A to Z, I would be covering various aspects pertaining to Entrepreneurship like Characteristics of an Entrepreneur, How to get success in Entrepreneurship journey ?, What are the traits of a successful entrepreneur? What are the pitfalls of an entrepreneur? etc. This series of blogs may be useful for – Future Entrepreneurs, Existing Entrepreneurs, and Young Students.

A to Z Of Entrepreneurship – Part – 1 By Nitesh Kataria- Video in Hindi

The word “entrepreneur” originates from a thirteenth-century French verb, entreprendre,  meaning “to do something” or “to undertake.” By the sixteenth century, the noun form, Entrepreneur, was being used to refer to someone who undertakes a business venture.So Entrepreneur means a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.Entrepreneurship is the process of setting the business or businesses and Enterprise is outcome of the Entrepreneurship.

Over a period of time, many influential business leaders and entrepreneurs have defined “Entrepreneurship” in different ways.

Entrepreneurship is about creating change , not just companies – Mark Zuckerberg.

Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor a art, It is a practice – Peter Drucker.

Entrepreneurship is not about Ideas, It is about making ideas happen- Scott Belsky .

Entrepreneurship is about being able to face failure,manage failure and succeed after failure – Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.

Ideas, Innovation, Risk-taking ability, and Path breaking approach are few of the terms associated with Entrepreneurs. In the last decade or so India has seen the emergence of some of the finest start-ups and e-commerce ventures which are making like of customers easier and comfortable. While Flipkart has changed the landscape of online retailing, whereas Paytm has given a digital option of making payments. Redbus has transformed the intercity bus industry in India and is working towards doing this in International markets and in other segments. Oyo Hotels & Homes is one of the largest and fastest-growing hospitality chains of leased and franchised hotels, homes and living spaces in India and in 10 years Zomato has grown from a home project to one of the largest food aggregators in the world and Ola is India’s largest mobility platform and one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, serving 250+ cities across India, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

There are many factors that affect the success and failure of an enterprise and one has to plan his or her entrepreneurial journey with utmost caution and vigil.

Being an Entrepreneur is about more than just starting a business or two, it is about having an attitude and the drive to succeed in business. All successful Entrepreneurs have a specific way of thinking and possess certain key personal qualities that make them so successful in business. This series of 6 blogs list all the qualities and insights that Entrepreneurs need to have to establish, succeed, and grow their business in A to Z sequence for ease of use.


Attitude is a very important mindset that all entrepreneurs must-have. Besides having managerial or technical skills, if they do not have a positive attitude, they will not be able to achieve the goals that they want to achieve. Entrepreneurs are full of drive and enthusiasm, at the time when they start their journey, but the real challenges come when they face difficulties or obstacles. Some will eventually lose their drive and enthusiasm as they feel that they have a mistake and they will not be able to recover from it again. This is the moment when having a positive attitude is so important. For people who have a positive attitude, they will know that making mistakes is part and parcel of being an entrepreneur. They will always learn from their mistake and carry on with their life. They will focus a lot of their time on how to find a solution to any obstacles that they face. They will be able to look at things from another point of view and they will be able to find the strength that is within themselves to spur them on. A great entrepreneur is the one who converts obstacles into an opportunity.

One of the most famous motivational stories on the entrepreneurial circuit is that of the two salesmen from competing companies who are sent to a foreign country to assess the market for shoes.

Attitude Matters- Video in Hindi

Salesman One scouts around for a few days and then heads for the telegraph office to contact company headquarters.  He writes:  “Research complete.  Unmitigated disaster. Nobody here wears shoes.”

Likewise, Salesman Two does his research and heads for the same telegraph office. Once there, he composes the following: “Research complete. Glorious opportunity!  Nobody here wears shoes!”

The point, of course, is that Salesman Two is the real entrepreneur, the person who sees opportunity where others do not.  This story is designed to motivate all the wannabe entrepreneurs to find their hidden potential, take risks, and turn obstacles into opportunities.

B- Business Plan

A Business plan is the most important document for any entrepreneurs. A Business plan can be defined as “a written document describing the nature of the business, the sales and marketing strategy, and the financial background, and containing a projected profit and loss statement.”

Why you need a business plan ?

– To see if an entrepreneur has a viable business idea.

-To identify the strengths and weaknesses of an entrepreneur and his organization.

-To assess the market potential of the product and services an entrepreneur venturing into.

-To measure the competitor’s activities.

-To determine financial needs.

-To attract Investors.

-To set up milestones and monitor the business.

What is to be included in business plan ?

An entrepreneur needs to include below components in his business plan:

Table of Contents: Table containing all the components

Executive Summary: An executive summary is a brief introduction and summary of you and your business plan. It should describe your business, the problems, that it solves, the USP of business, etc.

Mission and Vision: Here you define the purpose of your business (Mission) and a statement about your perception of the company’s growth and potential (Vision). Include specific goals and objectives of the business.

Business Description: Here you describe Industry, your business, product or services, the present outlook of the industry, future possibilities, etc.

Define your market: Here you describe the industry within which your business will operate, identify your target market, provide a general profile of your targeted clients, and describe what share of the market your currently have and/or anticipate.

Industry Analysis: How is the industry structured, trends and statistics, key players, segmentation, sales and distribution channels, etc.

Products & Services:  Describe all your products and services, explain how your products and services are competitive including unique features, benefits of the product or service, niche served, stage of product/service development, production, future growth.

Pricing: Pricing strategy, policies, price list, break-even analysis, etc.

Competitive Analysis: Major competitors, strengths, and weaknesses, how would you position yourself against the competition, market niche, product/service comparison.

Customers: Who are the potential customers (demographic data), what do they want, customer buying habits, market share/market size, consumer preferences, etc.

Advertising and Promotion: How will you reach out to potential customers? Where do they currently shop for products/services? Where will you advertise and how will you measure the effectiveness of your advertising and promotion efforts?

Location: Where is your business located? (home-based, retail shop, commercial space etc….), is the location of your business important? Any special zoning, land, or building improvements needed to accommodate your operation? If location is important, what are the features of your location?

Organization & Management: Describe how your company is organized including legal structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLP, Limited, etc), identify any special licenses and/or permits your business operates with, provide a brief description of key managers within the company, also include an organization chart if available.

Marketing & Sales Strategy: Identify and describe your market — who are your customers and what’s the demand for your products and services; channels of distribution you will use; your sales strategy specific to pricing, promotion, products, and place, process, people and physical evidence. ( Please watch my below videos for better insights )

7 P’s of Marketing- Part -1 Video in English
7 P’s of Marketing Part- 2 Video In English

Financial Factors: Here you have to provide details about project cost, Working capital requirement, projected sales, Return on investment, etc.

Appendices: This section may include company brochures, resumes of key employees, a list of business equipment, copies of media articles and advertisements (if available), pictures of your business location and products, any other relevant information about your industry and /or products.


Innovative products and business models are the foundations of a promising startup or an enterprise. However, to turn an idea into reality an entrepreneur requires a steady flow of funds. For most of the entrepreneurs getting access to funds is a challenging and onerous task. However, in the last couple of years, we have seen a positive eco-system, where good and scalable ideas are getting funded from different channels from banks to angel investors. Here I have listed down different ways of raising funds for an enterprise.

Banks :

The government of India has started many schemes for funding of start-ups and businesses. Below are two important schemes wherein an entrepreneur can apply for business loans:

Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme: Under this scheme, loans can be availed for manufacturing as well as for the trading and service Industry. The maximum loan that can be availed in the case of manufacturing is Rs. 25 Lacs and in the case of the Service/Trading Industry, it is Rs. 10 Lacs. This scheme is applicable for the new projects. Anyone who is above 18 years of age can avail the loan in this scheme. Availing the loan above 10 lacs ( Manufacturing ) and above 5 lacs ( Trading/Service Industry ), the applicant should be at least 8 th standard pass. Subsidy ranging from 15% to 35% is available under this scheme.

Loan from Prime Minister Employment Guarantee Programme- Video in Hindi

Prime Minister’s Mudra Yojna: Under the aegis of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), MUDRA has created products/ schemes. The interventions have been named ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’ to signify the stage of growth/development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit/entrepreneur and also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation/growth to look forward to :

Shishu : covering loans upto  50,000/-

Kishor : covering loans above  50,000/- and up to 5 lakh

Tarun : covering loans above  5 lakh and upto 10 lakh

With an objective to promote entrepreneurship among the new generation aspiring youth, it is ensured that more focus is given to Shishu Category Units and then Kishore and Tarun categories.

Seed Investment / Incubators :

The term seed capital refers to the type of funding used in the formation of an enterprise or a start-up. Funding is provided by private investors—usually in exchange for an equity stake in the company or for a share in the profits of a product. A large number of seed investors are available in India who take 5% to 10% of your equity for the 5 lacs to 40 lacs of funding. A good investor, handholds the entrepreneur at the initial stage.

Angel Investment / Accelerator / Pre- Series A :

Angel investment is a form of equity financing where the investor supplies funding in exchange for taking an equity position ( 10% – 25%) in the company. At this stage, your business starts getting traction and reasonably good sales numbers are achieved. There are so many High Net worth Individuals, Business leaders, and MD/CEO of the companies who are investing money as Angel Investors. Ratan Tata, Amitabh Bacchan, Azeem Premji, Kunal Bahal, Sachin Bansal, Kris Gopalkrishnan, Rajan Anandan, Mohandas Pai, Ganesh Krishnan, etc. are the leading Angel Investors in India.

Below are the leading groups which invest in businesses and startups.


Series A/B/C/D So on ( Venture Capital)

If your growth starts happening naturally you have good things to talk about your company and you would soon realize that you need more capital to take this to the next level.  This is where you start reaching out to Series A funding also referred to as institutional funding or Venture Capital. Series A funding can be anywhere for 20%-40% of your company. In a similar way Series B,C, or D funding is done. Please find below a list of few renowned venture capitalists, who are investing a considerable amount of money in businesses in various domains.

What investors look for in the business??

Genuine beliefs and commitments of the founders: Vision and commitment of the founders are the most important factors, on which an investor decides to invest in a start-up or business project.

Traction and Scalability of the project: Business traction is nothing but having the momentum or signs of growing business such as having a measurable customer base, growth in sales, etc. So, the higher the traction, the more investors are attracted to the organization. Scalable business means when a business has the potential to multiply revenue with a minimal incremental cost.

Good Management Team: Efficiency and knowledge of the Management team are important factors for investors.

Size of Target Market: Revenue generation purely depends upon the target market. If your product or service is appealing to a large population, investors would be interested in investing in your idea.

Reasonableness in evaluating your business plan: Be genuine while evaluating your enterprise valuations. It should not be overestimated or underestimated. Proper homework is required to ascertain the fair value of the company.

Viable Exit Options: Investors are patient and willing to invest in the long-term. Though profit is not their main motive, they expect some sort of return on their investment. Therefore it is obvious for them to look for an exit strategy to reap their benefits.

Source : Your Story

This is the first blog of the “A To Z Entrepreneurship” series. You might have found it useful and Knowledgeable. Please share the link with future entrepreneurs, Existing entrepreneurs, and the young students.

About Author: Author Nitesh Kataria is Pune based, Marketing professional having 23 years of experience in Sales & Marketing, Business Development, Distribution Network Management, Digital Marketing, Advertising, and Branding. He can be reached at 9822918211.