Moving towards an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Taxolawgy Inc on Thursday, February 25, presented a captivating session on ‘Startups: Opportunities in the next decade’. Eminent leaders from the startup world, including CA Farooq Haque, Serial Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO- Taxolawgy Inc, Divya Varma, Co-founder at Taxolawgy Inc, Marketing & Growth Strategist, Anil Chhikara, Founder & CEO, Bluebolt Startup Factory, Amit Agarwal, Author- The Ultimate Sales Accelerator and Sajeev Nair, Serial Entrepreneur, Peak Performance Consultant, joined the panel.

Charting the course for new age entrepreneurship, especially in the new normal, Farooq Haque, Founder & CEO- Taxolawgy Inc, in his opening remarks said, “The new normal is not about changing your destinations, but rather changing your path and changing your journey to reach the same destination.”

Emphasising how the division between taking a job and or starting your own venture has blurred over the years, he added, “When I became a CA more than 25 years back, there weren’t many opportunities out there. Either you went into the job industry or you started your own practice. Then came the startup revolution around 10-12 years back, which gave a new opening for the young entrepreneurs out there, who had the entrepreneurial mind and advantaged from the startup culture, in terms of funds, mentorship and the help they needed. But, the new normal that we are witnessing now, is a complete game-changer. That iron wall that existed earlier between the job industry and the entrepreneurship is now completely broken. I would take this liberty to coin the new definition of freelancing, i.e, ‘Entrepreneurial workforce’. Freelancing is not like a job since you are not in the payroll of the company; you are an entrepreneur developing something of your own in the work domain. This is going to be a game changer in the upcoming decade.”

Speaking about the growth of freelancing and its growth during and after the pandemic, Divya Varma, Co-founder at Taxolawgy Inc, said, “The pandemic has proved to be blessing in disguise for the freelancing industry. As the world went into lockdown, the only thing that survived, or rather thrived, was remote working and freelancing. Employers are re-evaluating budget and opting for more flexible workforce. Even the employees are showing growing interest towards the independent world. Mac Berry, the founder of freelancers.com, has said and I quote, ‘While Covid-19 has been a trigger for upward trending freelancer movement, this exponential growth can also be attributed to the strong demand for individual to finally start their own freelance enterprise, work on their own terms and supplement their income.”

Anil Chhikara, Founder & CEO, Bluebolt Startup Factory and also the founder of Startup India Foundation, highlighted the development of startup eco-system in India in the last decade. He said, “If we put in a time machine and send today’s young entrepreneurs 10 years back, they wouldn’t believe that India was where it was. Things that we almost take for granted, were not there. If you look at Silicon Valley, they have gone through various upturns and downturns. The upturn is more important for an eco-system, because of the downturn and what happens after the downturn. If you look at the history of silicon history, after every massive downturn, much bigger companies have come back aligned to the new realities. The biggest change that happens during this is that the investors, the mentors and everybody that comes in to the ecosystem, are those who have been entrepreneurs before, have made a success and had failures. They have walked the path. I am happy to see in the last 10 years that the big change that has taken place is stakeholders, whether you are talking about accelerators, incubators and even the government, today are running something like Invest India and Startup India, rather than putting ‘babus’ to run it. They are putting really seasoned entrepreneurs who have been there, done that. The biggest example of this is Aadhar and UPI. I believe that the changes that happened in the last one year will outstrip the changes that have taken place in the last ten years.”

When asked about how startups should plan their sales activity at the starting stage, Amit Agarwal, Author- The Ultimate Sales Accelerator, said, “There is a how part of sales and there is 4W part of sales. What I framed is a 4W and H framework of sales. Simply put, it is why are you selling, what are you selling, where are you selling and who are you selling and how are you selling.” In a lot of cases, I have seen that there is a lot of focus on the ‘h’, i.e how part of sales. Startups should change that to focus on the first 4Ws. If startups start addressing these 4Ws, the ‘how’ part will automatically be optimised. There is a lot of literature on the how part and less focus on the 4Ws.”

Elaborating how one can find out the scalability of a startup idea, Sajeev Nair, Serial Entrepreneur and Peak Performance Consultant, said, “We all know that one of the key factors we always count is the scalability of idea or the concept. The question on how do you say whether your idea is scalable or not, is purely based on the idea. Primarily because if you are coming out with an idea, there are many business ideas, which are not scalable. The basic question, which startup entrepreneurs should ask, is what is your idea. If you have to scale something, what is it that you are going to scale! You need to have basic core element, which you can scale up. When we start a business, we should be focusing very clearly on what is that element that can be scalable. There could be one or more elements that can be scalable. First, we should define the purpose, then we design the products that meet the purpose and then we design the process, which can take the products to meet the purpose. We then find the people or the distribution channel through whom we can meet that purpose. When you are scaling up based on a purpose, you can gain success.”

Watch the entire telecast here: