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Is reporting to someone your ultimate nightmare? Then how about becoming someone else’s boss? Dhawal Shah says Entrepreneurship is the perfect solution.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP is defined as a way of thinking, reasoning and acting. It is opportunity obsessed, holistic in approach and leadership balanced.

Today, entrepreneurship seems ubiquitous. It is difficult to open a newspaper without being bombarded with stories about start up companies and the people who drive them. Simple as it may seem, entrepreneurship is a complex and interesting profession. But it’s not all hunky dory and as an entrepreneur, you must be prepared to endure your share of anxiety, acidity and sleepless nights.

As Daljit Singh, a restaurateur who runs six Smokin Joes outlets in Mumbai, says, "When things were not picking up, there were moments of anxiety and self-introspection. I even contemplated changing my line completely." Ryan Allis, CEO and founder of Broadwick Corp. adds, "Entrepreneurship is not for everybody. But if you manage to find a way of making it work for you, it can be extremely rewarding and satisfying."

WHAT IT TAKES: To be successful in business, you must master a complex set of skills. You need to know about the various functional areas and how they inter-relate. You need to learn organizational, interpersonal and communication skills to effectively manage and facilitate your interaction with others. You also need to learn a variety of technical tools (including information systems) to help monitor activities and ensure that your efforts produce desired results. Most importantly, you must understand how business can be responsive to the needs of the community at large.


Today, plenty of Indian institutes like IIPM and Rai University offer specialization in entrepreneurship along with an MBA and other degrees. To truly win, one needs to pursue a formal course in entrepreneurship.

NMIMS conducts a two-year, full time program on family business management. Student Poonam Shah says, "This course has equipped me with the skills, knowledge and mind set needed to run my family business."

Prof BK Nair, a visiting faculty at NMIMS, points out that most courses cover the legal and managerial aspects of entrepreneurship. But the motivational aspect taught at NMIMS is equally important as it creates an aspiration and improves confidence levels. ISB, Hyderabad , affiliated to non-profit organization Wadhwani Foundation (committed to promoting entrepreneurship), offers entrepreneurial and incubation assistance. ISB is empowered with knowledgeable instructors equipped with business experience.

Globally, over 500 courses on entrepreneurship are available. Harvard Business School ’s three most popular courses are in entrepreneurship while colleges in North America receive millions of dollars in endowments to further expend their entrepreneurial programs.

Babson College is the number 1 rated school in entrepreneurship in North America . Adjunct Prof. Len Green attributes the success of Babson’s entrepreneurial programs to its unique features such as ‘Living the Entrepreneurial Experience.’

According to Prof. Len Green, some aspects of starting a business can be learned in class, while others can only be mastered by working off-campus.

These courses provide a boot-camp service where students can launch their enterprises off-campus and later, develop a tailored business plan. It helps one understand funding better, and also teaches the harsh realities of practicing business in a real environment.

But to be the next Col Sanders (KFC) or Dhirubhai Ambani, qualification is certainly not the only criteria. The difference between managers and entrepreneurs is that managers are resource and entrepreneurs are opportunity driven. So start looking for opportunities around you, and congratulate yourself for taking the first step towards the path of wealth creation.


The entrepreneur’s checklist will help you assess your understanding of what the life of an entrepreneur is like, and whether you have the skills, attitude, mindset and experience to become a successful entrepreneur.


  • As a kid, did you teach computers, sell chocolates or ice cream?
  • Did you always look for other ways of making money?
  • Are you familiar with the basics of business including financing, record keeping, sales and marketing?
  • Do you have personal and business contacts that you can turn to, for advice?
  • Are you well organized and do you manage your time well?


  • Do you see mistakes more as an opportunity than as a failure?
  • Can you work long hours for extended periods of time?
  • Do you thrive on pressure?
  • Are you able to stay calm in a crisis situation?


  • Do you believe in yourself and feel that your performance will determine whether you will succeed or fail?
  • Are you a positive thinker and do you envision your business succeeding?
  • Are you mentally strong and in control?
  • Are you willing to pay the price to control your own destiny?


  • Do you regularly ask people for feedback on how you are performing?
  • Do you communicate well with people and do they believe in what you say?
  • Do you get people to talk, think and do you help motivate them?
  • Are you a good listener and good judge of character?


  • Are you a problem solver, looking for new and innovative ways of doing things?
  • Are you at your best when facing a challenge that requires you to use all of your personal resources?
  • Do you consider change as an opportunity to try new things?
  • Are you dissatisfied with doing something a certain way just because that’s the way it has always been done?


If you have answered most questions with a yes, then you are most likely suited to the life of an entrepreneur. Say hello to the cash!

This Entrepreneurship article was written by Dhawal Shah on 4/9/2005

Dhawal Shah is a start-up enthusiast who firmly believes in entrepreneurship. Based in Mumbai, he regularly studies trends in Business, Franchising and Entrepreneurship. He can be contacted at