Leadership & Startup Lessons from Indian Elections 2014

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

Recent Indian Elections has been a great watch and it has probably gained the largest attention ever in the media nationally and globally. I attempted to compare the elections with a startup and concluded with few of my personal favorites that I would like to borrow from the Indian Elections:

  • Leadership: Leadership plays a very crucial role. Act like a leader and not a manager. While a leader just pretends to be leading, the real one stands in the front and in the shoes of everyone. People will recognize by your past actions (past actions are not what you boast about but are those that people feel and see) and then, they start listening to you. Modi set an example by being the CM 3 times with good governance. But that did not develop arrogance and attitude in him. With all humility, he traveled the most to every nook and corner of the country in comparison to any of his counterparts and worked like a dog. he left Star, Power & Legacy to work on the ground with ever individual. And these three characteristics one should lose in their true run of Entrepreneurship before it comes back on its own. Startup world is equally full of its share of glamour and star power but the point not to forget is that the real star is your customer. If you give yourself to the Power of terms of circumstances and designations such as CEO, you would lose the battle before it could be fought. Leaders of a startup should be the front-runner of every debacle and stop blaming and act in a manner that others could follow. Not to forget, never ever ignore wise sayings from people. Just like an ant can make an elephant cry, ignoring a wise saying could make the startup die. So, just stick on your words and start delivering on your promise.
  • Understanding Market: None can beat the way Modi and his team went on to understand and connect to the emotions of the people of this country. They hit the final nails in the coffin by hitting bulls eye so preciously. Connect with your customers and understand them. Building your dream company is possible when your team and more importantly, customers resonate to the dream. Focus on what REALLY matters.
  • Team: Most important thing in the game was team. Selecting an A-Team is always a mandatory pre-requisite and understanding the fact that nobody works for free. There are inspirations, motivations behind everyone when they work. Forming a A-Team requires one to accept that one does not have something that can be filled or strengthened further to grow. Its not easy and hard to come by. While forming a team, it is essential not to hire people similar to you. There will be always challenges in hiring people who are different from us but then this is where the trick lies. They would make strong team because they would fill the gaps that we would have.
  • Vision: Ignore people who does not believe in you. Dont expect instant results, have patience else you might end like Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Admi Party (AAP). While it is good to have eye on the vision, its mandatory to have foot on the field. Product plays a critical role. Too fast too early or in other words, trying to scale too early is disastrous.

I do  hope that a lot of startups in this country succeed but one word has to be removed before things start falling in line – “Jugaad”. Good Luck every fellow Entrepreneur. Lets be honest and follow dreams from heart.

To end, I am not sure how many of you have seen the “So Sorry” series and I take this opportunity to present some of my favorite ones:

So Sorry, Rahul

Modi vs Kejriwal

Modi’s Road to PM

Modi’s Winning Song

On a serious note, do not forget to hear the first speech of Modi in the parliament. For the first time, a PM emoted and that too not before he bent and greeted the stairs of house.

Modi’s first speech in the Parliament

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