Financial Expert Kedar Sabne speaks to CEED about the challenges faced by youth entrepreneurs today!
Kedar Sabne is on the Board of Directors at Rubiscape and also has upper management experience at Cybage & Mahindra. He has developed a service called as CaaS (CFO as a service) and through it has been advising young entrepreneurs in creating financial strategy for their businesses. Sabne was invited as a facilitator at the BuildUp- a programme developed by CEED for students to motivate them to develop skills and acumen to become young entrepreneurs. We at CEED had a chance to speak with Sabne about the challenges young entrepreneurs are facing and what could be the right path towards success.
In your experience, what do you think is the biggest challenge that young entrepreneurs are facing?
KS: Well, one of the biggest challenges is that the era of only ‘present your idea’ is over. Now, it is all about ‘Show and Tell’ as in the young entrepreneurs looking for funds, loans have to first start their business on their own and survive in the market. As far as the funding fraternity is concerned, they are more interested in the execution than the idea. Funding agencies bet on the founders, they see if the young entrepreneurs are ready to face the challenges, are futuristic in their mindset and how quickly they can penetrate the market.
Then, what do you think is the best financial strategy for them in the beginning of their business?
KS: I would advise any start up to be bootstrapped till the time they can. If your own money can sustain your business then that is the best way to go. The first investor always becomes a costly affair because the expectations are higher. The best time to go out for funding is when you are surviving on your own money and you reach the stage where you can now expand. If you don’t seek funding for survival, your chances of success increase; co-relate the infusion of funds to your growth story.
We are working to understand the needs and challenges of Nano Entrepreneurs, those who have family businesses, shops etc. How do you think young people should approach such businesses?
KS: Yes, even in my experience, such nano businesses mostly struggle on two levels. One is that the young people who get the business from their families may not have the right mindset and a futuristic vision to scale their business. This acumen and mindset can be developed by acquiring right skills, focus on profit making and a courage to stop doing what is not working out. Even in most of the traditional businesses, it seems like the young generation keeps continuing what the older generation was doing and then we see them scaling down instead of scaling up. If you look at Pune city, we have many examples such as Chitale, PNG, etc. whose younger generation have managed to adapt to the latest requirements of customers and markets and have scaled their businesses. I suggest more students must enrol in programs such as BuildUp to acquire new knowledge and skills.
How do you think Public Policies and Government schemes can help youth entrepreneurs who face these challenges?
KS: India is a consumption story. We are a huge market that easily adapts to digital changes such as UPI. There are policies and schemes that can help entrepreneurs especially if they want to revolutionize the tribal part of any business. For example, agritech business. We have food scarcity, yet we see a lot of food wastage. Several students passing out from agricultural universities or coming from the agri families can make use of it. I suggest the best approach would be to focus on the good side of the story. ■■