Looking for the right Mentor?
Jul 19 2012, 14:16 | By SME Mentor
People quit their corporate jobs and start a business because they believe in their idea and/or longing for freedom to what drives them. There is also the added potential to make more money, be one's own boss and go out into the world. But very few truly understand the difficulty and challenges of starting an entrepreneurship business. Everybody needs a guide, a mentor, someone who will help them take the baby steps and get ahead. The mentor could be someone in the family or a person you meet at a conference or event. A person becomes a mentor only when they are willing to share, guide, assist another person, helping them with their business.
How do you choose the right mentor?
Approach and Rapport
There are many who are ready to share information, shell out advice, but very few make a connection. It is these who make a difference and travel with the entrepreneur through their journey. Narayanan, Co-founder at NFN and Founder of Effect Works says "There are quite a few I've met at conferences and events, but only a few have become my mentors. These are people i approach freely, and who are willing to help me out no matter what kind of query or assistance i need. There is no limit to number of mentors, as long as the ideas and thoughts conflict with business objective. Pravin Sekar of Krea, Partharasarthy of Indix, and Dr.Anand Jacob Verghese of Hindustan University are a few who i rely on and who have been there for me at hour of need".
The experience and knowledge the mentor brings to the table is one that will add value to the business. They should have been there and done that, learn from mistakes and look into the future. Anjana Vivek, founder of Venture Bean Consulting says "I was fortunate to have been incubated by Narasu Group, where i learnt everything i could about the business, the market and the industry. When i did start my own company, i continued to be in touch with them, taking advice and guidance wherever required. I also share my learnings with clients and students so they don't make the same mistakes".
Ravi Kikan of Startup Mason shares "I completely believe in the concept of mentoring. The past 3years, I have mentored quite a few, infact lost track of how many start ups i have mentored. I believe in sharing what i have learnt, and giving inputs wherever asked for." The mentor needs to drive the business ahead, giving confidence to the entrepreneur, helping them forge ahead no matter what challenges come their way. Senthil Nayagam of Railsfactory also says "I am all for mentoring other start ups. One of my earlier offices is today home to quite a few start ups. I don't get equity or any reward but the satisfaction that many budding entrepreneurs are thriving. They are free to lean on anyone who gives them guidance; all that matters is that businesses flourish. This is my way of giving back to the society. People like Dorai Thotla are such an anchor to wannabe entrepreneurs".
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