At present, Indian culture and family have a strong role in deciding career moves of the young. I hope the situation gets better in coming years and 20’s or 30’s are allowed to define career path for themselves.

Let me make it clear in the beginning, my parents are supportive to me financially and morally.
I feel pity when some young guns fall short of their biggest support system.

All the bright students are EXPECTED to become Engineers, Doctors, CA.
The number of colleges that come up each year is aligned with this fact.
No wonder India does not shine in sports to the level it can (Not counting Cricket)
For this article, lets not diverge, and keep the focus on startups.

One thing that our education system and society does not focus on is Entrepreneurship.
We are taught that a job is safer than starting up on own.
Partly true because there are no government funds to back the unemployed, and there are few government funds to seed the new ideas.

I would like to share some case studies.

1. My story
When I made up my mind of quitting the high paying glass building software MNC, one month long discussions took place convincing on why this extreme step. I think I could explain well on our vision, game plan, equity story. We had good debate on what could go wrong and situation in worst case.
I did not disclose some of the risks which were upfront we faced over the next years 🙂
In fact we did not even know how its gonna work out, we just took a leap of faith at the beginning

What I could not do is taking unlimited risk. I started working with same employee mindset as a result.

It took 1-2 years to start thinking as an entrepreneur.
Wish I had got the freedom to jump more openly.
But I still consider myself lucky to have got parents support to take calculated risk.

2. Few Angel investors
Some of the bright guys who wanted to invest into us pulled out at last moment.
One thing was found common in most of them: Big money, Big Father.
Wish the rich and smart fathers had not just given money but passed on the knowledge to manage that money also.
Funny, I realize more respected is the father, harder it becomes for son to meet expectations.
No I am not talking of Abhishek Bachhan 🙂

3. Friend’s story
This guy is a good friend for last 18 years.
He did not have much money but invested into us. I am still not sure if he had taken his parents permission before making the move.
I wish he raises his kids with the same vision.

4. Colleague A’s story
His parents tell him equity story is all junk, no use.
This guy is a pure geek and works for himself.
Don’t listen to your parents if they don’t listen to you and do your thing.
Wish his parents will understand the story some day and he gets the due respect.

5. Colleague B’s story
One fine morning, this guy wanted to quit and move to a stable (BIG?) company.
Reason: Parents made him realize on responsibilities he had.
Eventually, he decided to stay with us after listening to our side of story.
Today he creates great products and equity for himself.
Wish his parents talked to the promoters of the company directly 🙂

6. Aspirant X’s story
This guy was well aware of the learning and career benefits one has by working in a small company.
He cleared all our interview process with much enthusiasm.
Unfortunately, his parents did not allow him to join for financial risk he was going to take.
Reasons they quoted:-
– Salary might get delayed sometime
– You should take a loan and support some family cause
– Get married, raise kids, live a normal life in a bigger (stabler??) company
Eventually this guy did not join and someone else took the position we offered to him.
Two months later, that guy realized his mistake and constantly chases us if he can still make it big.
Hopefully sometime in future we will team-up.

Dear parents, we need your support to take the risk and face the challenge.
Please do not load us with the fear of responsibilities. Let us grow and and help grow new startups.
Your children can make big companies, believe in them.
Even if they dont, they will learn to try, think entrepreneurial and learn a lot.

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