Posted by: XL Results Foundation | February 5, 2008

Ideal business model, a good vision, right network pay

4 Feb, 2008, 0527 hrs IST,Arun Iyer, TNN

Many individuals turn entrepreneurs either late in life or are bitten by the business-bug early. Here’s a word of advice for techies who venture into new businesses on the importance of entrepreneurship, value creation and innovation. Hong Kong-born Roger Hamilton is a well-known speaker in wealth creation and is the brain behind XL group, a network of social entrepreneurs. His business interests include finance, franchising, resort management, technology and retail to speak of a few. He shares a few tips with ET .

Roger Hamilton, Chairman XL Results Foundation

Many Indians chose to work for a few years and then turn entrepreneurs. Is this a global trend or do you find it the new trend in the Asia-Pacific region?

It is a global trend. An individual often identifies himself as an entrepreneur very early in life and plans to learn the trade and gain exposure and experience before he gets on with his own business.

Some, while they are employed, realise that they are entrepreneurs and step up to become one. Some are born entrepreneurs…they have an innate business acumen. Many, even though they are entrepreneurs, are stuck in corporate houses because of the illusion of having to deal with limited resources.

Entrepreneurs tend to go slow as the fear of failure looms large. Is failure a good benchmark for entrepreneurs?

Fears arise due to the illusion of limited resources. When they have the clarity of mind to attract the resources needed, there is no fear. An entrepreneur must have a plan to fail. There are two types of failures, failures which will stir and fears which will sink. If failures stir that entrepreneur, then he/she is on the right path of entrepreneurship.

How do you look at an innovation? How critical is innovation for a company’s future growth?

Innovation is the key to growth of an entrepreneur. Man is born to innovate. Innovation means growth.

Do entrepreneurs need to keep a sufficient amount of cash to meet their business requirements early on?

Typically, most depend on family and friends for initial funding. Capital is an important resource for business, just like other resources like manpower, raw materials etc. If you have the right business model, the right team members, an inspiring vision, achievable plan and the right network in place, financial institutions will help with the funding. People have the resources which an entrepreneur needs. So, getting connected to the right network is the most important step an entrepreneur needs to take.

How important is investing for a successful entrepreneur? Very often the biggest investment is the business itself?

The investments one makes are up to the individual entrepreneur. Some are born investors, while some are good in the stock markets, some are good in financing businesses while some are good property investors. It’s a born talent for some and they gain the experience of the trade over the years. There are different paths for wealth creation. The biggest investment for an entrepreneur is their time because once it’s gone, it will never come back.

Do you think entrepreneurs who are in the IT/ITeS sector know finance and investing? Does lack of this knowledge have an impact on entrepreneurship?

Not all entrepreneurs find financing and investing easy. If they are not good at it and they are not interested in finance, a basic knowledge is sufficient because they can always leverage the financing part of the business to someone who is good at it, like a business partner or a team member. Every entrepreneur must identify his/her natural business talents and work on that to become good instead of becoming a superstar in everything or an all-rounder.

For example, Bill Gates’ focus is on creating Microsoft and its products and not running and managing the company. He makes money out of his creativity. Warren Buffet created his wealth just by buying and financing companies. In fact, he never created any company till date.



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