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April 5, 2016

2 cents from Sant Kabir for today’s Entrepreneurs

Remember Sant Kabir? from your high school hindi textbooks? His witty two liners called “Dohe” that said a lot about life lessons? Well we have now brought his teachings to you in a slightly twisted and modern way, trying to give you some startup advice to help your entrepreneurial journey.


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Many startups forget that even after they have got funding and joined the big leagues, it will all be for nothing if they don’t generate profits and fail to provide customer satisfaction. Take Flipkart for example, even after getting funding every three months and spending crores of rupees on discount coupons and offers; they fail to provide customer satisfaction. On the contrary, Amazon started with 0 reviews on its products and 0 customers, but now rocking its way to the top in Indian E-commerce business.

This is what Sant Kabeer has to say,

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Many startups just look at college degrees and hunt for talent only at very prestigious universities like IITs, BITS, etc. What they don’t see is skills don’t have anything to do with a college degree. Studying in a classroom and getting marks is different from performing effectively and efficiently in a real life situation. The later one is a whole another ball game. Probably, you have never heard of Sridhar Vembu, founder and CEO of Zoho Corporation, a 100% bootstrapped, $40-million-a-year revenue business that sends $1-million to the bank every month in profits. Here is what he has to say,

“We hire young professionals whom others disregard,” Vembu says. “We don’t look at colleges, degrees or grades. Not everyone in India comes from a socio-economic background to get the opportunity to go to a top-ranking engineering school, but many are really smart regardless.

“We even go to poor high schools, and hire those kids who are bright but are not going to college due to pressure to start making money right away,” Vembu continues. “They need to support their families. We train them, and in nine months, they produce at the level of college grads. Their resumes are not as marketable, but I tell you, these kids can code just as well as the rest. Often, better”

Putting it in words of Sant Kabir…

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How many times have you called the customer care and got what you wanted, there are very very few companies, who really look after their customers. It’s not just how to talk to a customer but beyond that, you really get to solve his/her problem in a given time frame. Most of the startups in India after getting funded, goes on a spree to fill their company with overpaid engineers and marketing team. With a loosely coupled business plan, they just start out to hand out free goodies to attract customers, like they are going to take a stand in the upcoming elections and are begging for votes. What they don’t realize is as soon as they run out of cash(which they do, because they are not earning any profits), nobody is going to come back to them because what they were really doing great was distributing free lunch, which I guess doesn’t come in the checklist of building a solid business foundation.

This is what Sant Kabir has to say,

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