The cultural side of Kerala’s startup environment

Entrepreneurship is not a journey. It is an attitude. Most often, a person’s approach to a task is influenced by the expectations or the norms put forth by the society he or she resides in.

While Kerala’s startup ecosystem has paved way for a different league of business activities, there continues to be a sense of fear regarding the steps that one ought to take in the arena. Not only do startup businessmen face many problems related to investments and funding, but they are subject to immense criticism by the public.

Unlike many other business communities, the Kerala business circles are still working towards a widely approved business practice.

According to CEO of the Kerala Start-up Mission, Prof. Saji Gopinath, on Friday (June 15, 2017), the attitudinal changes should be introduced at homes and schools.

Rising up to the challenge one-step at a time

So, how do we change the way in which young business minds are viewed by the public?

Here are a few ways that are likely to ensure the growth and development of technology and various industries in the Kerala:

  1. Firstly, catch them young. The thought of being unique and trying new skills should be encouraged in schools. Students as young as those studying in the sixth grade should be given an opportunity to make something of their own.

2. Secondly, one must consider glamourising the process. The fancier the tales, the higher are their chances of yearning to do something different. An ideal example in this regard would be the manner in which the Startup Village situated in Kerala’s commercial capital, Kochi, was publicised.

3. Popularising the names and achievements of “poster boys and girls” are a way of reaching out to the youth effectively.

4. Parents and teachers should be counselled and educated about the importance of entrepreneurship and the role of a firm support system in the entrepreneurial journey. A task cannot be termed simple or difficult. It is the way in which we view the process that defines us.

5. Mentorship from the industry is crucial in this respect. Most of all, one must learn to capitalise on the various business networks. A few examples in this regard include the MIT Fablab in Kalamassery, projects by the UN that focus on sustainable resource development, etc.

6. Lastly, entrepreneurs and their well-wishers ought to realise that the life of a businessman is unpredictable. Failures are bound to be part of the experience but it does not imply your inability to build an empire of your own.

For more information about the provisions for startups under the Kerala Startup Mission, click here.