INDIA: This episode of Smart Entrepreneurship Decoded (SED) is a discussion on the SME sector (Small and mid-size enterprises) with Manoj Tandon, a front face in the SME and a leading consultant for companies across the world.
Interviewer Nalin Singh says that nothing frustrates an SME business owner more than the fact that similar companies in the startup world get funded enormous amounts of money, while the SME is always struggling. A lot of SME owners find the startup ecosystem a letdown as they feel like being overtaken in the industry.
Why is it that SMEs have to wade through so many years, while a startup comparatively attracts gigantic money sooner?
Tandon went to IIT and IIM, then stepped into the IT industry during a time when IT was at a very nascent stage in India. Gradually he shifted to consulting in his career, and Dalitso happened. Tandon decided to give back to the business world through SMEs and startups. He pointed out affordable consulting – where he mentors without charging huge amounts. Tandon has been in the consulting sector for around 8 years now.
Mindsets in entrepreneurship – then and now
Youngsters today are more aware of what is happening around the world, courtesy of; internet and globalization. They are more willing to take risks, during our time we stuck to conventional routes, entrepreneurship was never in the picture, said Tandon.
“Today’s generation, compared to us is more dynamic and driven, they only need channelization of their energy and dynamism. I don’t hesitate to say that they are more superior than us,” Tandon told Transcontinental Times.
At the same today there are so many opportunities in the industry, so confusion is likely to happen, unlike previous times when options were limited. In the multitude of opportunities, the youth is not able to judge what suits them, so they might stumble upon wrong decisions or failures frequently. Besides, there is pressure from the outside world.
Flipside of startups wrt SMEs
“I meet so many people with dreams to start something of their own, however, there is a lack of clarity as to why do they want to start on their own. There is a lot of ‘me too’ influence from family or friends, in the sense, because somebody did it they feel the pressure to do the same. So I’d call it ‘me too startups’. Although startups are blooming, there is also this picture where there are no new ideas and a lot of failures. My point is, startups anyway have immense traction and in the midst of this SMEs are looked down upon,” Tandon pointed out.
“In countries like India, the understanding of a customer is very weak. India is a diverse country so customers are dynamic, this also keeps changing with the geography. A lot of people do not understand the market to its depth, so they start a business and don’t know how to expand.”
Watch the whole interview here.