Success of startups linked to congenial ecosystem

Though startups have a bright future, the high failure rate is attributed to absence of a congenial ecosystem, says noted consultant on startups S. Shyam Sekar.

A product of Harvard Business School with rich experience in marketing in LG and other companies, Mr. Sekar, now chief mentor and strategist at Chennai-based Startup Xpert and advisor and mentor at Delhi-based SMB Connect, told The Hindu on Wednesday that over 90 per cent of startups in India fail to make any profit and fade into oblivion due to lack of proper guidance.

“There is no ecosystem itself. A system to validate the ideas is missing for want of proper mentorship,” he said.

Admitting that the government was able to create the buzz about startups and their potential to accelerate the nation’s economic growth, he said the need of the hour was to have a large pool of qualified mentors.

Many of the startups do not know how to go ahead with marketing. They don’t know how to have access to funding to realise their dreams. Only domain experts could guide them on how to achieve success, he stated.

Mr. Sekar said the role of marketing consultants should also form part of ecosystem. Mentors should also step in to conduct bootcamps at the campuses of various educational institutions to apprise the youngsters of dos and don’ts of entrepreneurship and how to go ahead with business ventures with out of the box ideas.

Mooting incubator-cum-accelerator setup, he said this could address the gap in the industry. Such system is in existence to some extent in Silicon Valley. He said startups have bright scope in India. “What is happening now is only a tip of the iceberg. Once support ecosystem is developed, sky is the limit for our young entrepreneurs,” he said.

There is no ecosystem itself. A system to validate the ideas is missing for want of proper mentorship

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Mr. Shyam can be contacted at shyam@startupxperts.com.