If there is a wonderland for entrepreneurs, it must be India! Flaunting its massive population and rapid development, India happens to be experiencing a startup boom at the moment. What better place than India for Startup Safari which, as a program, seeks to connect startups in emerging markets to the fastest growing startup eco-systems in the world. In its substantial journey, Startup Safari takes pride in visiting the successful Indian entrepreneurs and change-makers who are constantly making their mark in the Indian, as well as the global market. This time, we had the golden opportunity to gear our journey towards the doorstep of Ankur Warikoo.
In the long list of esteemed entrepreneurs of India, Ankur Warikoo holds a special place. He is the founder and CEO of Nearbuy, previously an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Rocket Internet, Co-Founder at Accentium Web, Management Consultant at A.T. Kearney.
While most of us were content with being able to submit our homeworks on time and pass exams with grace marks, Ankur, at the age of 12, was busy running his little business. He was a WWE and cricket fanatic and had a huge collection of those good old trump cards. So was the case with most of his fellow friends in school. Ankur had a simple plan, though not that simple for his age; he had the product in terms of those cards and at the same time, he had access to a suitable market. He would sell those cards to his schoolmates at a price which would be a little higher than its actual MRP. Every card had its own market value, for instance, Undertaker’s trump card was costlier than Hulk Hogan’s.
Somewhere, Ankur always knew he had commerce in his veins despite being a student of science. He later switched his stream to give more importance to his actual passion – entrepreneurship! He noticed certain loopholes in the Indian education system which ultimately pushed him to go the extra mile. He believes that Indian education system strictly dictates the path to success. Most of the teachers and professors are unwilling to deviate from the syllabus, and even in the work places there are fixed targets in order for you to gain appreciations. Such an environment, nevertheless, helps those, who are willing to do more than what is required of them, to reach great heights.
“Entrepreneurship is a state of mind rather than a profession. The easiest way to stand out is by not following the protocols, by not merely complying with what the world expects of you. Surprise the world with your own revolutionary ideas for the world isn’t a sacred creation of elites, it can be re-designed, should you have the vision and the will.” – Ankur Warikoo
Ankur maintains that the true trait of an entrepreneur is being a problem solver. It is essential to go into the depths of a problem and muster the apt resources to solve it. The moment one starts to analyze the intricacies of an issue, regardless of the fact whether he could ultimately come up with a solution or not, one becomes an entrepreneur. Ankur supports strong global entrepreneurial links, as it would help countries share solutions for similar problems. Moreover, issues could be discussed on a broader platform with the application of entrepreneurial minds from across the world.
He envisions India to be a start-up hub because every problem in India becomes a mega-problem, there are 1.2 billion reasons for it to become a problem along with 1.2 billion opportunities for it to be fixed. Consequently, India witnesses higher levels of innovation. India, due to its demographic transition, is faced with a great opportunity to yield from its demographic dividend.
He supports ventures such as Startup Safari, as it encourages interactions between creative minds seeking to bring in productive change. He sees Startup Safari as a harbinger of a much needed common means through which the world’s entrepreneurial knowledge can be shared amongst the disruptive minds.