Believe in the power of your ideas and give it your all.

EY recently announced the winner of the 18th Entrepreneur of the Year award program and having been a recipient of this award, a few years ago, I had a few reflections which I’d like to share with all current and future entrepreneurs.

I found my calling in renewables as it appalled me that over 250 million people, did not have access to energy in our country. There is a lot that needs to be done, but, I believe energy and clean air are basic rights of all humans and it cannot be denied. Not in India; not anywhere in the world.

And while addressing the greater cause, i.e., creating energy through renewables, I soon realised that we had built a team of almost 9000 people and over the last 22 years, we have created a business opportunity which has attracted over $16 billion and created employment opportunities, both direct and indirect to the tune of 336,000*.

As a businessman, I travel for over 200 days every year and am away from my family. With the larger purpose of providing solutions to provide vital energy to a growing economy, my personal situation always pales in comparison to what my country is going through. I take inspiration from those brave men and women who fought for our freedom, many of whom who died in their early twenties. This is the least that I can do.

Which brings me to the whole purpose of enterprise creation. Any business, if it has the right ingredients of market need, price, location, time, quality leadership and a bit of luck, should work just fine. Then the various theories of 4P’s or 5C’s take over and the business grows in scale and influence. The better the business and management, the higher the opportunities for employment and creating value. The initiatives of the Government such as, ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, etc., have created the right environment for new business ideas to flourish and I hope more and more young students, graduating from colleges are looking to create their own enterprises.

And my advice to all aspiring entrepreneurs is that the heart of the business, should always be in the right place. That is important for all stakeholders and especially your employees, shareholders, investors and society. While the purpose of every enterprise is to create value for its shareholders, if there is a strong connect of serving the community while conducting business, it can truly be worth dedicating a lifetime to.

And, once the value is created, believe in the power of your idea to see it through. I find so many entrepreneurs cashing out or abandoning ship in the face of adversities. The reasons and circumstances notwithstanding, if there is an opportunity to stand tall and face those challenges head-on, while emerging out of those situations, you might just find new opportunities for growth. I am already thinking about the next 100 years for Suzlon.

Another issue that saddens me is that of wasted potential around us.

I find inspiration in Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Narayan Murthy and the like of them. Most, with the exception of Mr. Murthy, went on to create behemoths of an organisation, despite not completing formal education. In India, we have so many young talents, with fire in their belly, squander their lives without giving their dreams a sincere attempt. And they end up living the rest of their life in regret and despair. I urge each one of you to believe in the power of your ideas and give it your all to make it happen. I can tell you with great confidence that the path is not always easy and most likely, it will hurt you in many ways. But, the joy and satisfaction on the other end, I promise you, is like none other.

So, I hope that more and more Indians are able to find opportunities to become entrepreneurs in their own right. Find inspiration to address the issues facing our country and also the whole world. The power of imagination and the spirit of the youth is what will propel the country to greater heights and I am looking for the day when our flag will be flying the highest and there is not a single Indian without energy or without hope.

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…let my country awake” Rabindranath Tagore

(*21 jobs created for every MW installed)