SME'S Rajiv Talreja Talks of Mistakes Made By Todays SME'S


Rajiv Talreja, in his TEDx Talk at Christ University Bangalore, give us a wider perspective about being an entrepreneur in India. Through his business mantras and morals, he closely takes us through the most common mistakes that a business man makes without even noticing it.

He repeatedly talks about the term ‘self-employment’ and tells us how it has been sugar-coated to sound like it is a very good approach in the field of business, but in truth, the reality of it is very different because it would demand one individual to be good at every aspect of the business. Similarly, he articulates several concepts that are misinterpreted or completely false, but never the less, are followed by many of the business individuals even today.

  1. Hopeful Optimism: He tells us that this is the reason many of us ‘believe that one day, everything will work out’, whereas that may not be the reality, unless we work towards it by making the right decisions. Being ‘hopeful’ is the thought process that he calls ‘poisonous’ in a business because it reinforces the fact that settling for less and playing small is alright. In order to achieve growth and progress in a business, entrepreneurs must try to ‘build’ the business rather than trying to make it ‘survive’. He directly blames this prevalent attitude in the present SMEs, for their minimal growth.   
  2. Being the best in the team is the worst for the business: Many persons may find a lot of pride in admitting that they are the best in their team, but Talreja begs to differ, saying that “if you are the best at everything, you are expected to do everything… and if you want to remain the best, you cannot be doing different things simultaneously.” He calls this a cardinal sin in business as it directly results in your business being stuck in the game of survival.
  3. Looking for cheap talent: A grave mistake made by many businessmen now a days is the search for instant gratification. Many entrepreneurs look at hiring as a ‘cost’ and not an ‘investment’. Rather, they settle to search for ‘cheap talents’ (a sort of oxymoron, if you think of it) who can achieve immediate goals and tasks in the firm. But what happens after they have achieved the little they can? Then you are again behind the wheel doing what they don’t know to do, while you still have to pay them. This is eventually a counterproductive cycle. Talreja says, “If you think hiring is a cost, not hiring is costlier!”
  4. Focussing on the customer rather than building the business: Talreja believes that the customer is not necessarily the king when it comes to trying to build a business for you. Again he brings back the ‘self employment’ argument by saying that many SMEs lose their chance to build a business because they give greater focus to what the customer wants, and not what the business wants. “Your wealth comes from your team”, he says, “A successful entrepreneur is more focussed inside rather than outside a business.”

Finally, he tells us that the path to a successful business is never a straight and direct one. Nobody achieves their dreams in an instant. A successful business is always a long and tedious journey that has its own ups and downs that must be experienced in order to grow and mature. Therefore, one must never choose the stagnation and limiting choice of ‘Perfect Mediocrity’, but adopt a sense of ‘Shabby Success’ that may be hard, but gathers results.


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