India has the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world. Thousands of entrepreneurs start their journeys every year, while only some make it to the finish line. Even fewer are able to keep the momentum going. To become part of the top 1%, entrepreneurs need to share the mindsets demonstrated by the best business leaders in the world.
Among India’s top business leaders is Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv and a true business enabler. When asked what differentiates his success as a leader, he says, “finding the right people with a hunger for entrepreneurship and empowering them to think like owners. This has been a key differentiator in my own journey and we have tried to replicate this for our people.”
Applying this entrepreneurial mindset is vital to NBFC’s growth strategy. As such, the existence of ideologies and mindsets that distinguish great leaders from good is not an urban myth. How one reacts to influences beyond their control is the best bet in a rapidly changing business landscape.
Here are three mindsets that entrepreneurs can master to stand out as a business leader in 2023 truly.
- There Are No Coincidences, Only Opportunities
Innovative leaders see opportunity everywhere. Attending a clothing store launch? It is an avenue to build beneficial relationships in the textile industry. Unable to find an authentic but popular cuisine eatery? It is a potential restaurant idea.
Every experience and engagement triggers a problem-solving business idea for these entrepreneurs. This mindset leads to being constantly plugged into networking and creative venture building. Many times, the best ideas are born like this.
Take, for example, Swiggy, now India’s largest food delivery service. In 2014, Sriharsha Majety, Nandan Reddy, and Rahul Jaimini decided to pursue the gap in the food delivery market. Initially hyperlocal, they began by delivering food from local restaurants to their friends.
Swiggy was founded, combining the best features of machine learning and customer service. It became a unicorn in 2018. In 2022, a $700 million funding from US-based Invesco took its valuation to $10.7 billion, making it a decacorn. Today, Swiggy has diversified and grown exponentially, thanks to the opportunity identified by its founders.
When it comes to human resources, the case is not that different. The best business leaders have the ability to identify and nurture talent early. This nudges employees to take ownership of their work and leads to the growth of business enablers, which benefits from combining new perspectives and experiences.
- Failure is Not the End, But a Beginning
It is very rare to come across a great business story that does not involve a failure turned into a victory. A proper embodiment of the adage, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, failures have led to the emergence of many famous entrepreneurs.
These entrepreneurs don’t view failures as setbacks. Instead, they examine them to learn what went wrong, why, and how it can be fixed. The aim isn’t just getting back up but proactively investigating ways of recalibration.
A large component of this is knowing when to give up. Identifying when something isn’t working and intentionally changing course is a skill very few entrepreneurs have. Oftentimes, that is what becomes the turning point to success. If that also doesn’t work, it can be treated as a case study providing valuable insights for future projects.
For example, TATA Nano was a failed launch for TATA Motors by all means and measures. Priced at ₹100,000 and marketed as “The People’s Car”, it had all the necessary markings of a good economy car. However, the media coverage of the car bursting into flames and other factors led to a debacle, and TATA soon discontinued the car.
This failure has led carmakers worldwide to try and mimic the model. On a quest to make the “The World’s Cheapest Car”, many saw an opportunity; this is how industries progress. It helped start conversations about improving engineering to avoid Nano’s mistakes.
TATA Motors seems to have learned from this trailblazing experience. Reports suggest that the Nano will soon make a comeback as an EV. (Electric Vehicle) This indicates wonderful leadership from Ratan Tata, who has clearly treated the 2009 launch as a stepping stone.
- Play to Your Strengths
The oldest advice in the book and one many fail to heed. As an entrepreneur, you may do some things better than others. Identifying this and knowing how to serve the company best is of paramount importance.
This emotional intelligence distinguishes great business leaders from the rest. With a vision for their role in the company’s success, these entrepreneurs empower their teams to perform at higher levels. This propels the business forward, arguably its best asset being its leader.
Some famous entrepreneurs are known to be great storytellers. They thrive as brand champions as opposed to technical voices. People flock to these leaders owing to their unique stories and experiential journeys. This is also an apt application of the leader’s best traits contributing to company growth.
One can argue that success can be measured in many ways. However, financial growth is an indisputable indicator of success. While this is the result of a number of factors, this happens only when a great leader is at the helm of the business. Mindset remains a critical differentiator in spotting great leaders.
For entrepreneurs hoping for a seat with the greats, these three mindsets practised by the top 1% are of great value. Finally, while it is most certainly good business advice, the application of these mindsets in life can also play a part in the quest to stand apart from the crowd.