When you play the game of Monopoly, your eyes are set on every single property on the board. You count your money, set up houses and hotels, pay rent, but your goal is to establish a monopoly on the board no matter what it takes. You take on the entrepreneurial mindset. Action-oriented and running on the fuel of ambition and unyielding resolve.
We tend to look at entrepreneurs from a standard lens of someone who takes risks, solves problems and rapidly innovates. But the entrepreneurial mindset comes in many shapes and sizes, each one a product of their culture and society.
What, then, makes an Indian entrepreneur stand out?
The Jugaadu Indian
Indians are known for jugaad. Coming up with creative solutions from scarcity. In the entrepreneurial space, the ingenuity of this ‘frugal innovation’ is celebrated and many start-up founders from the West strive to follow that path.
In India, jugaad makes sense. It turns the constraints that come from scarcity into an advantage. The Maangalyan is a perfect example of how the Indian way of frugal innovation can be successful and record-breaking.
Since jugaad involves limited resources, products can reach communities who do not have access to those resources either. The Mitticool refrigerator, for example, was created as a solution to preserve food in rural areas that did not have access to electricity.
Even though jugaad is a trait that is celebrated, it limits innovation and doesn’t ask bold questions that are needed for creative new solutions.
Leaning Towards Risk Aversion
Cultural influences tend to make us risk averse. Though Indian entrepreneurs have an appetite for risk like any other entrepreneur, we also tend to play it safe while making risky decisions. This often means that we limit our exposure to growth by avoiding making big moves.
India holds frugal innovation in a high regard. We have experienced great successes on this path and it has now become a set bar of performance. However, there is a lot of potential to be uncovered in some places and by avoiding investments in utilising available resources in the best way possible, you are limiting opportunities to achieve your best.
So, if you want to grab market opportunities, you need to make the most of your resources. Success doesn’t come without risk, but it is surely worth it when you take the leap.
Even though Indian entrepreneurs lean towards being risk averse, it is time to fight that instinct and move in the direction of thinking big.
It’s time to look at the market as a game of monopoly. Though in a much riskier, much more competitive way. To tap into the potential of Indian entrepreneurs, it’s time to fully embrace the Thinking Big mindset.
While the prospect of setting big goals seems attractive, there is a lingering fear of not reaching them that holds entrepreneurs back. But, when you think small, you aren’t thinking about the far future.
No one looks at a Monopoly board with the ambition of just building hotels on two properties. Instead, you want the entire board, and for that you need to start aiming bolder. In the same way, when furthering your business, don’t hold back by looking at only what you have right now. Look at the future you have envisioned and make a plan to reach that goal. Work backwards. What do you need to get to your ultimate goal and what steps can you take to achieve it?
The key isn’t to wait for growth to happen, but to anticipate growth and take the steps to meet that growth.
So now, ask yourself. When you buy office space, do you buy it for the team you have or the team you want to build?
Do you delay hiring strategic positions in your company because you intend to grow slowly?
If you are only spending on resources that yield immediate results, are you really thinking in the long haul?
In a competitive space, we need people who can come into the field ready to take on the growth that is coming their way. At the same time, we cannot deny that frugal innovation brings adaptability. It makes designs more inclusive, especially considering the communities that entrepreneurs often need to reach in the social space.
So Indian entrepreneurs can truly make a unique mark by mixing the concepts of jugaad and thinking big. Frugal innovation works for inclusivity and adaptability, and taking bold risks shows you aspirations you might have thought unimaginable.
Once you strike that balance, you will find yourself in the real world of Monopoly, strapped in to take a chance and take over the board.