As I look ahead, for me there are three primary motivations that are central to all that I do (and these have become clearer in the past months):
- Grow Netcore into a global martech company. We have a very good foundation of products and profits. We have done well in India and many of the emerging markets (especially, South-East Asia.) We now need to expand into the developed markets of US and Europe. For this, we will need to build teams and look at acquisitions. We will also need to ensure our products are world-class to compete with the best. It will not be an easy path, but the mountain is there to be climbed.
- Bring a Nayi Disha to India. For long, India’s rulers have tormented the people by denying them economic freedom. This is what I want to change. I failed in 2018 because I made many mistakes. Indians deserve better than the governments we have been voting for. For this, there is a need to change minds and channel votes to create a people’s movement – a revolution that can bring political change as a precursor to the economic transformation that can put Indians on an irreversible path to freedom and prosperity.
- Build Institutions for Freedom and Prosperity. India needs many new institutions that can outlive individuals and change futures. From think tanks to public libraries, from Schools of AI to Economics, from funding moonshot prizes to cutting edge research, from new media platforms to new political platforms, from rethinking education to social infrastructure. The central objective uniting all these institutional ideas is that of changing minds, lives, votes and futures.
In my life so far, I have had 3 successes (IndiaWorld, Niti Digital and Netcore) with dozens of failures across my 28 years as an entrepreneur. The failures have never stopped me from trying new ideas. I am an optimist at heart. If there is one credo that I live by, it is this from Daniel Burnham: “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood…Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.” And my daily life has this feel, as said so beautifully by Dan Bricklin:
Being a successful entrepreneur is tricky. You have to live with having control and not having control at the same time. It’s like this: In big business, when you need to cross a river, you simply design a bridge, build it, and march right across.
But in a small venture, you must climb the rocks. You don’t know where each step will take you, but you do know the general direction you are moving in. If you make a mistake, you get wet. If your calculations are wrong, you have to inch your way back to safety and find a different route.
And, as you jump from rock to slippery rock, you have to like the feeling.
The past six months have made me rediscover the joy of thinking big and entrepreneurship. And as I jump from rock to slippery rock, I do indeed like the feeling.
Tomorrow: Part 5