Experts throw light on entrepreneurship

Neil Tarallo and Dr Ramakrishna Velampuri
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Neil Tarallo and Dr Ramakrishna Velampuri

Highlights

Speaking about how technology helps in setting up startups, Neil Tarallo told that apps have the biggest impact in beginning a startup.

Speaking about how technology helps in setting up startups, Neil Tarallo told that apps have the biggest impact in beginning a startup. According to him, apps inspire young people to start businesses and are mechanisms that deliver value. It inspires people to begin a business. Neil said, "In my context, using an app is the first step to think about how to kick-start a business."

According to Neil Tarallo, the key aspect for beginning a startup is when entrepreneurs see a problem and solve it immediately. Speaking about startups which have spread their wings around the world, he said, "Every business in the world started as nothing and then grew into a big company. For example, IBM's first business was scales that weigh things. They started by making small scales that people weigh grams of things on."

In terms of time taken to begin a startup, it firstly depends upon the kind of startup. There is technology that takes much longer time sometimes and also service-based entrepreneurship. Another aspect is the environment in which one is trying to start a business. "For example in Germany it is very difficult to start a business but in India it is very easy to begin a business as well as in the United States. The other thing is that when people see it is very easy to start a business in a place, they try to establish a business in that area, which evolves very successful to begin a startup," said Neil Tarallo.

Target audience is very important for startups, which will change gradually in time. The people who are looking for a problem to be solved in the first stages are called early adopters and in time when the audience changes they are called the early majority. "Once the target market changes and it goes a long way, the key is finding a market that can immediately find value in a solution to a problem, so that we can generate cash flow and have time to understand what exactly the bigger market really needs," said Neil Tarallo.

According to Neil Tarallo, most of the startups in the world do not take any kind of investment. Most of the businesses in the world are techno-investment and create most of the jobs in the world. He said, "I feel that specific type of businesses need venture capital or any outside investment. Venture capital is used for companies to grow quickly as fast as they can."

Neil said that technological businesses are the ones that need to grow much fast and need investments. As per him, other businesses can move slowly and one can do that by looking at the resources one has and actually on those resources. Working with people who are interested in your solution, can also provide some resources to a startup. "When students in US approach me to find out about how much money is needed to begin a startup, I think nearly a sum of 50,000 dollars to 1,00,000 dollars are necessary, which amounts to Indian currency of Rs 4,00,000," said Neil Tarallo.

When it comes to paying salaries to employees in a startup, one has to create financial budgets. Those budgets will build into people some level of growth. The most effective way to do is through this budgeting process, in saying as the business grows, one needs to have this much cash for the first employee. The boss takes extra care of their first employee and works much hard to meet the requirements of the employee.

When Neil Tarallo was an entrepreneur, he said that he did not know anything about how to begin a business. "We just did it, we fell down and picked ourselves up, we kept going and lost money and figured out ways to get that money back," said Neil.

He added that with Dr Ramakrishna, who looks at what entrepreneurs do and checks the success of the business, beginning a startup is very easy. "If you have even one course in entrepreneurship, a person is three times much better than the one having nil exposure to entrepreneurship. I feel understanding more about successful entrepreneurship and taking time to know about that is much better. A successful entrepreneur won't say that he/she is going to risk everything they have," said Neil Tarallo. As per Neil Tarallo, there are rules to follow in terms of defining one's success and the achievements made by the company. "For me the number one rule is how do I define my success? Is success for you a giant company that has earned millions of dollars, or is it the way my parents determine success?," said Neil.

While teaching entrepreneurship at Cornell University Neil Tarallo's colleagues at Cornell told that one needs to work under somebody before starting a business. They asserted, "If a student has not travelled very much and is protected they probably need to go around the world to get some experience."

Neil adds on to say that if parents allow them to explore, they should learn through mistakes and even failure. "I had a student who wanted to start a restaurant. The faculty who teach restaurants told that one has to work in a restaurant – one needs to learn, how to run a restaurant," said Neil Tarallo. After proper discussion with the student, she took a piece of paper and noted all the things one needs to know in order to run a restaurant.

According to Neil Tarallo, internships at startup companies are really important. "I have seen students who are much happier when they work at startups, because they get the entrepreneurial experience and it also builds confidence among themselves," said Neil. He added, "I have seen that students start their businesses after 5 to 7 years after they graduate."

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