What is so difficult about Entrepreneurship?

To understand how difficult entrepreneurship is one has only to understand the root of the word ‘entrepreneur‘. The root is a Sanskrit word ‘anthaprerna‘, which means inspiration from within‘. Incidentally the way ‘entrepreneur’ is pronounced is exactly the same as ‘anthaprerna’.

That might be the reason as to why we often ask, ‘Can we really teach anyone entrepreneurship?’

It is obvious that one can’t teach anyone ‘inspiration from within’. It is intensely personal and can’t be generated through any imposed structured education, routine or plan. This is because ‘inspiration from within’ is not something that can be copied from somewhere. As its name suggest it has to come from within and can’t be brought about by any force. It comes when it comes. But once it comes it keeps coming and the person is well on his/her way to entrepreneurship and beyond.

Such has been the case with Bill Gates, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and a host of other equally inspiring figures. They were all “inspired from within” and such inspirations blossomed into well admired and enviable enterprises.

It is worthwhile to note that they did not start with a business plan or model. They generated their inspiration exactly like great artists and improvised as they followed their inspirations creating wonder and awe in its wake.

So would it be possible for any other potential entrepreneur to copy their methods and techniques and build on them if their methods were taught in colleges as case studies? Daniel Khaneman argues in his famous book “Thinking Fast and Slow” why that is impossible by highlighting Google as case in point.

And why is this so?

Because the entrepreneurs who leave behind a lasting impact on our world don’t go out in search for answers to their questions. They wait for the answers to come to them. They are hardly inspired by what others are doing. They draw out their inspirations from whatever they are engaged in. Then a magic happens. Because every other thing that they need to follow their inspiration follows them.

…… now that is entrepreneurship!




(TINI (The International Nemetics Institute) keeps that in mind while delivering their 3 months certificate course on ‘Emotional Entrepreneurship’.)


Outline of the 1st Week of “Emotional Entrepreneurship”.

Here is a course outline for the 1st week of a 12 week course on “Emotional Entrepreneurship” 

It is all about innovation and entrepreneurship.

12 week course on Emotional Entrepreneurship

The general activities for the first of 12 weeks of ‘Emotional Entrepreneurship’ course by TINI (The International Nemetics Institute) at Kolkata.

Goal: by the end of 12 weeks participants would be able to design and give shape to and channelize their feelings into a small business that enables them to live more happier and contended lives.

The general plan for the first week: 

a) Reflecting NatureLearning to relax and reduce anxiety – dialog, demonstration, workshop, practice, innovation in their design of business. (Addn: notes – health, breathing, thoughts).

Without a relaxed body and mind designing and running an enterprise is an useless thing. Record has it that two out of three business start up fail during the first three years of operation and barely one out of 10 survive the first ten years of operation.

b) Catching the snake – the art of attention — dialog, workshop, practice, innovation in their design of business.

Perception is critical to anything that we do. If we get it wrong it destroys us. It is like catching a poisonous snake. If we catch it by the tail it swings around and bites us to death with its poison (wrong perception).  However, if we are able to catch it by its head (that is get the right perspective) we are safe. It is the same with entrepreneurship. Wrong perceptions lead us to death of any entrepreneur. Fortunately, getting the right perspective is not difficult and is teachable. It is done through the art of ‘attention‘.

c) Listening to flower bloom – the art of listening — dialog, workshop, practice, innovation in their design of business.

Listening is the critical to survive and thrive in a small business. However, it is not easy in a noisy environment that we face. We have to listen to customers and we have to listen to our own voice. The art of listening lies in balancing the two voices and making sense of it.
d) Introduction to social media and its use (part 1) — Gmail, G+, G docs, pages.

Social media is a way to learn, be in contact with mentors and get instant feedback about our activities. It is also about letting the world know about our activities and develop a healthy self-esteem about what we are doing.  All these are important to keep, sustain and direct our efforts in the right direction.

e) Keeping a journal.

Keeping a journal is an introspective tool of what we are doing right or wrong with every passing day. A well recorded journal tells us whether we are progressing or deteriorating as days go by. It is a sort of hard trend of our own happiness, health, inner growth that guides us and provides cues

Stay tuned for the plan for the 2nd week. 

King Queen Marriage Hall

(Author: Sitendu De)

The blocks of rocks that gave my house a shape, cried in pain. The desert heat was unbearable. The air-cooler was panting. The thermostat of the fridge went berserk. Everyone revolted against the heat, except me. I kept my patience. I waited. I patiently waited for the sun to set. The sun ultimately said good-bye for the day. Genteel breeze began. First it was mixed flow of hot and cold. Afterwards a touch of gladness like the meeting of bride and groom on the first night of their conjugal life. I stepped out from my house for my evening walk.

Aarati” (prayers) in the temples had begun. People stood with folded hands in front of the deities. The smell of the incense sticks was soothing and refreshing. The western horizon was still red. Some workers started their work in the “wedding hall” named — “Raja Rani Marriage Hall”. (King Queen Marriage Hall) It was impossible to work at day time so the workers work after sunset.

I looked at the marriage hall. It was being decked with flowers and decoration. I thought of my marriage. Every one has to go through these rituals. Indian parents always love to see their children getting married and “settle” in life. Most Indian parents save a lot of their earnings to be spent on the marriage ceremony of their children. It’s a “crude” display of one’s wealth and fortune.  Getting married is also a symbol that a person is “straight” and not “curved”. The marriage rituals start five days prior to the actual wedding day. Ladies congregate and sing. Pretty ladies dance to the “dolak” (percussion) beats. Houses are cleaned, painted, well lighted for the occasion. New furniture, new clothes for every member of the house are bought. It’s a festive occasion and everyone seems to be happy except for the mother-in-law who sees her daughter-in-law as a potential usurper to her throne of thirty years. A volley of abuses in Bengali startled me and I woke up and linked myself to the present situation. It’s hard to find a Bengali knowing person in these areas so I went inside to find from where it was coming from.

A team of workers were working on a temporary wooden structure or the “stage” where the bride and the groom will sit through out the evening and everyone will come with their “gifts” and bless the newly wed couple.  I saw the workers singing the latest Bollywood Hindi songs and working on a structure.

“Who was abusing in Bengali?”— I asked. Taken aback they stared at me.

“Actually babu (sir) Afzal was not putting the required support so I abused him”
“Babu are you from our West Bengal state?”

I wanted to know their background and sat among them to know more of them. I asked Afzal the youngest of them about what made him take up this profession.

These workers had come from a distance of 2,200 Kms away from a place called Lalgola in Murshidabad District of the state of West Bengal. They are professional decorators who create magic structures and give shapes to any    ideas. They also work at film sets. They are in great demand especially in the wedding seasons when people ask them to create wonders in the form of Hindi cinema sets in which they want to see their children getting married. They are employed by a contractor who hires them to do a certain job. They are paid on a daily basis.

“We had a piece of land near to Ganges river. Every monsoon it was the repeat of the same story. The embankments gave away to the rushing water of the Ganges. The river changed its course and we lost our land to the river. We became landless, no home, no place to live in. The government representatives come and give assurances. The story repeats every year.

We are a family of ten members. Five brothers, three sisters and parents make up our family. My elder brother is in Dubai working as a jewelery craftsman . The second one is a construction worker in Delhi. Third one is a mason. Fourth one is sitting in front of you. My younger brother is an electrician and is working for a builder in Delhi. All the sisters are married. The elder one is “married”  to a Sheik from Saudi Arabia and is very “rich”. She is the thirteenth wife in the Sheik’s harem.  She arranged all the money for my elder brother to go and work in Dubai. Lucky guy.

I left studies quite early. I studied in a local madrassa . It was more of knowing how to pray.  I know how to write my name in Bengali and Urdu and a little bit of working maths. Poverty drove me to learn this profession.   I worked as an apprentice at a local decorator. I got two meals a day as wages.  He gave me no money but was particular to give me  a new set of clothes in Idd festival and a bonus of five hundred rupees in the Durga Puja festival. I picked up  the trade-craft  in the hard way. As we could not earn more than hundred rupees a day in our area and that too not throughout the year I moved out from my native place. I came in contact with a “contractor” from Mumbai and he arranges for our jobs. He pays well.


The Indian wedding industry is of Rs. 40,000 cores business. On an average and Indian spends about 15 to 20 lakhs of rupees on a wedding. This includes, decoration, booking of hotels, buying of furniture and gadgets as gifts, gold, diamonds and silver, travel fare of both the parties, fireworks, the localized music bands, car hiring, beauty salons, religious ceremonies where the priests also get a hefty sum and much more . In short every one gets a slice of the cake be it the petty “pan wallah” or the crafty matchmaker or the travel agent who books the ticket for the couple’s honeymoon travel.

The Indian wedding industry is mostly unorganized. One has to take a month’s leave to arrange all the beads in the thread. It becomes hectic and tiring — leading to loss of libido post wedding.

It is a hopeful tale of diaspora where the poor and the meek (considered by society) travel to different cities to earn their living. In the process they add a huge amount to the economy. For example, in Bangladesh the diaspora contributes to the tune of $11 bn, which is incidentally more than what the Government earns through the year $9 bn. We see the same with Philippine economy which continues to grow strongly in the face of a nagging recession the world over.