How should I start my entrepreneurial journey? Should I take investment or bootstrap my way into entrepreneurship? Is there anything else that I should keep in mind before starting off?
Entrepreneurship has always had its fair share of myths. Some believe that only rich people can run their own businesses while others say that they don't have the skills required to succeed in running one.
Regardless of these misconceptions, some entrepreneurs choose to build something from nothing. This requires passion, determination, perseverance, and grit. While the path toward becoming an entrepreneur can be long and winding, there are certain things that can help.
In order to create value for themselves, entrepreneurs need to have the right mindset. They need to have the ability to look beyond limitations and accept challenges headlong. The road ahead can get tough and overwhelming, but staying motivated through thick and thin is key to building a successful venture.
Entrepreneurship has always had its roots in India. Indian entrepreneurship is now being seen globally. More than a decade ago, India was known to be a land of startups and entrepreneurs. Today, Indians are the largest number of startup founders and investors worldwide.
In the venture capital industry, the term unicorn refers to any startup that reaches a valuation of $1 billion. To become a unicorn startup, a company is required to reach an investor valuation of $1 billion or more, and there are only 554 unicorns worldwide in India, there are 106 Indian unicorns which have raised beyond $94 Billion in funding and are valued at around $343 Billion combined as of 2022.
The term was first coined by Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy ventures when she referred to the 39 startups that had a valuation of over $1 billion as unicorns. The term was originally used to lay emphasis on the rarity of such startups and the definition of a unicorn startup has remained unchanged since then. However, the number of unicorns has gone up.
The term ‘unicorn’ originally refers to a mythical animal and is used to emphasize the rarity of startups having a $1 billion valuation. Only privately owned startups can become unicorns.
"Reporting by Inc42 shows that four out of the 10 fastest Indian unicorns are from the e-commerce sector. Some of the highest valued e-commerce unicorns are Flipkart, Meesho, Nykaa, and Cars24."
India is developing rapidly because of its large population and huge potential. In addition, India offers great opportunities for entrepreneurship. Many young people who wish to start their own businesses turn towards such countries as China, Brazil, Russia or Indonesia, where the growth rates are higher. These countries also offer favorable conditions for new investments.
There are five important strategies entrepreneur in India apply to become a Unicorn and create a company that impacts millions of lives. Let me give you a brief overview of each strategy and why they matter.
The Features Of Unicorn Startup
The process to be a unicorn is not easy and each and every unicorn has its own story and strategy. All the unicorn companies have a similar set of features that makes them unicorn startups.
1. Innovations for Consumers:
The unicorn companies have brought a disruption in the industry they belong to. They change the way people do things and gradually create a necessity for consumers. They are also known to rapidly innovate and stay ahead of their competitors.
The innovative strategies are what make them a unicorn company. Now let's see an example of Airbnb which is known to have changed the way people planned their way while travelling. Another example you can take is Oyo, Oyo rooms have changed the way people used to book accommodation while travelling.
Paytm, particularly Paytm Wallet changed the way people paid for things offline and online. They all have the vision to become a daily part of consumers' lives.
Innovating for consumers allows a benefit over the competition and helps the firm to become and, consequently, remain, market leaders in which they operate and manage to go through the demanding path that is to rule a new market through their product and service.
2. High Technology:
Most unicorn ventures have a business model which works on a higher level of technology. According to the survey, almost 87% of the unicorn products are software, 7% of them being hardware, while the other 6% of them are based on products and services.
3. Consumer-focused startups:
Its main goal is to simplify and make things easy for consumers and be a part of their day-to-day life. Another main feature is keeping their products and services affordable.
Over 62% of the unicorns are particularly B2C companies.
4. Privately owned:
Nowadays many known unicorn companies are privately owned which gets their valuation bigger when an established venture invests in them. It is because the company's valuation boosts when they receive funding from established investors – both Indian and global. There are more than 361 private ventures around the world valued at over $1 billion. India has 16 of these companies, which are taking up 4% of the overall share.
5 Strategies Entrepreneurs in India do differently
While this unicorn startup strategy doesn’t guarantee that you’ll become a unicorn, it’ll help you to a better understanding of the processes and business strategies that startups utilize to succeed in their markets.
1. Start with growth-driven MVPs
A unicorn begins with building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Identify the consumer's problem and get a solution
Know your potential target market
Create a product or service that’s accessible, user-friendly, and cost-effective.
The purpose of building an MVP is to launch a product or service quickly, based on an idea, with a small budget. MVP development solutions let businesses collect users’ feedback for the primary product and include it in future production. With an MVP, one can find the right audience, pull the ideas based on experience, and save time.
Develop an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) features included
Test the MVP with customers to get feedback.
Make changes to the MVP based on feedback.
Calculate the costs to build the product or the service.
Build and launch your product or service.
2. Determine Your Business Model
Determining Your Business Model will help you to identify that your product solves real problems based on user feedback and develop a strong value proposition that sets you apart from others.
Price your product based on:
The value provides users
Target market demographics
Select sales channels for your product or service
Execute a local or small-scale to validate your business model
Focus on delivering positive customer experiences
Gather customer reviews
Review your business model
3. Secure Funding
Funding in the early stages is perhaps the biggest hurdle you face as a founder. The very first round of funds for a startup in that pursuit of the first $1 billion comes in the form of funding. You have got investors or angel investors who could be friends, family, mentors, or the entrepreneur themselves backing the start-up.
Here are some more examples
Raise venture-backed capital through Series rounds
Prepare a pitch
Pitch to investors
Prepare for due diligence
Negotiate with investors and sign the contract
Launch a crowdfunding campaign
Communicate the benefits of investing in your company
Set a funding goal
Promote your campaign
Take a from Banks
Venture capital firms
Online business loan providers
4. Expand your startup
Great ideas don’t have value until you do something with them. What separates unicorns from the rest of the pack is that they have the right people, skills, tools, and data that can give you a strong base to work from in the rest of your business.
Ensure you have a great product which is market fit
Standardize processes for customer acquisition and sales
Develop advertising and marketing strategies
Expand your business to other locations/markets
Add new features or products to existing offerings
Build a team by hiring new talent
Create new departments according to the need
Attract new investors
5. Goal is essential
If you want to be a unicorn startup, you need to set your goal & work on it like one from the start. Assume that you’ll learn some hard lessons and fail along the way, but you should always manage as if you’re guaranteed success.
That is, any decisions you make or policies you define today should align with your long-term goals. As founders and entrepreneurs need to believe in their vision, goals, service & product, and people so strongly that your default assumption is a success.
Unicorn’s Companies Of 2022
- Games 24×7,
- Physics Wallah,
To become a unicorn startup, a company is required to reach an investor valuation of $1 billion or more, and there are only 554 unicorns worldwide and in India, there are 106 Indian unicorns which have raised more than $94 Billion in funding and are valued at around $343 Billion combined as of 2022.
According to the survey, almost 87% of the unicorn products are software, 7% of them being hardware, while the other 6% of them being based on products and services.
India has created 18 unicorns in the first quarter of 2022.
InMobi is India’s first unicorn startup.