Last week the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) National Entrepreneurship Context Index (NECI) 2022/2023 Report was published. Through a detailed analysis of data collected from entrepreneurs around the globe it emphasises the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship for the overall success and running of a country. Particularly in present times, as policymakers worldwide look to rebuild and drive economic recovery following a series of economical damaging events over the past few years.
You can down the full report here, and I highly encourage you do:-
GEM Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (gemconsortium.org)
As I am currently travelling around India whilst working part-time for Propeller-Tech it jumped out at me that India (a ‘Level C’ country, with the largest reported fall in annual household income since the pandemic, and the world’s most populous country) has been ranked 4th among 51 countries for having a quality entrepreneurship ecosystem! I dug into my own observations a little after learning this.
Everywhere I go in this vast and vibrant land I see entrepreneurship; dreams being born and carved out, and ideas being tried and tested. It is the ‘man on the ground’ as opposed to the one in the ‘ivory tower’ that makes up the heartbeat to this country – of course they must have all started from scratch at some point.
People are willing to seize any opportunity that comes along if it is worthwhile for them! And boy does the average Indian love a negotiation – you almost sense their disappointment when you don’t rise to their bait and accept their first offer, perhaps you’re just too tired or your mental currency exchange calculator just doesn’t see the point. In a country with 1.39 billion people there is always someone willing to do the work and to make an extra buck. Perhaps the driving force for this entrepreneurial spirit is the sheer level of competition.
I’ve seen people making money in all sorts of ways. These jobs aren’t always the most glamorous nor the safest, and some make you seriously question the demand and needs of the consumer, but they are indeed eye-opening.
From parrot fortune-telling to snake-charming, and roadside ear-cleaning to sewage cleaning, and professional-mourning services (Rudaalis in Rajasthan) to corpse photographers, no job is off the table, and everyone is open to a side-hustle.
It seems that everyone in India is encompassed by the ‘entrepreneurial ecosystem’. Although I doubt the GEM NECI report was able to take into consideration the activities of the ‘street entrepreneurs’ I mention above, I imagine the motivations and characteristics are similar regardless of their status or background.
The report which surveyed over 2000 entrepreneurs in India across a variety of sectors mentioned that “The motivation ‘to continue a family tradition’ continues to be an important driver of entrepreneurship in India, with 69% of respondents agreeing to it. Another strong driver has been ‘to make a difference in the world’ at 81 percent.”
But what are the key characteristics that drive this entrepreneurial spirit? From observing and speaking to business owners in India, I have identified these are the core common characteristics:-
- Hard graft
- Optimistic and positive mindset
- Foresight with the ability to adapt
- Perseverance and patience
- Ability to spot and leverage opportunity
- Resourcefulness and problem-solving skills
Of course, these aren’t limited to the Indians, and entrepreneurs around the world have similar characteristics to varying degrees. For some reason in India, it’s more obvious and it is so captivating that I often find myself contemplating a service or purchasing a product that I don’t need just because one of these characteristics has lured me in and won’t let me go.
I love when “heart” and graft are what drives a business forward, which is why I love a start-up and probably what I love most about India.
I hope that countries all over the world consider the outcomes of the GEM NECI report to contemplate what they can be doing to encourage entrepreneurship from all in society.
If you are one of the brave forward-thinking leaders that has launched into the start-up world and are looking to grow your team, we would love to speak with you. Get in touch with us today! We can’t wait to hear your story!