Mar 10, 2009

Why the slowdown may be good for India

Two blog posts, one at the XLRI blog Student-Entrepreneurs @XLRI and another by Rashmi Bansal suddenly made me see the silver lining to the gloom of the jobs slowdown for the MBAs of the class of 2009.

Yes, these are tough times and the truly talented will do well in these times.

The slowdown with the evaporating international and investment banking jobs would actually get a lot of people to start looking at entrepreneurship as a better option.

Of course, VC money is also not going to be easy. I personally believe easy VC money is a barrier to building a lasting business. The temptation to spend it is much more than when you are bootstrapping your venture.

In a high tide all the ships can set sail. However, in a low tide the sailor who can sail his ship is the one to watch!

As Sanjeev Bikhchandani says on his blog one of the reasons for his batch turning out so many entrepreneurs was

 When the economy began to open up in 1991 many in the class were in the right place at the right time. We had gained some work experience, yet were still green enough to not have mentally committed to a long term career as an employee manager. We were earning relatively low salaries (the average starting salary in our graduating class was Rs. 3800/- per month) and so the opportunity cost of entrepreneurship wasn’t very high – we could take the risk and not lose a very fancy salary.

So timing is everything. For the class of 2009, the opportunity cost of entrepreneurship is also not too high.

And the Indian economy needs such entrepreneurs, who can build the scaffolding on which the nation can grow and stand.

It's time to create a tide and sail out to the blue horizon.