The traits of entrepreneurship

Having completed writing a book about some of India’s biggest and most successful entrepreneurs, I was asked about what differentiates them from the rest, which isn’t as straight forward to answer as it seems.

However, having attended an event yesterday evening hosted by my friend Deepak Haria at Deloitte for the promotion of  TATA Jagriti, which is an Indian NGO that literally takes a trainload of enterprising Indian youth across India (on a yatra / journey) to expose them to subjects of importance to India’s development and introduces them to entrepreneurial thinking, I’m pleased to say that this question was posed, albeit in a different way, to Mr Gopalakrishnan who is a Board Director of TATA (

He was asked whether the Jagriti Sansthan – the NGO ( – equips the participants in political skills that help them overcome political problems, which the TATA man rebutted by explaining that a programme like the yatra doesn’t aspire in providing such training, as in his mind, entrepreneurs – by definition – find ways, by themselves, to overcome obstacles and achieve success.

Interesting, I thought.

Let me know what you think characterises a successful entrepreneur. Please leave your comments on this post.

  • I think I’d agree with “the TATA man” in that entrepreneurship is an innate skill that is difficult to learn or instil in someone. You either have it, or you don’t 😉

  • You may be right, but we also have to take into account that some cultures out of necessity are more entrepreneurial than others. Take, for example, countries with few resources and no welfare state, in these circumstances, you’re forced to look for any opportunity as a means of lifting yourself out of an unfortunate situation. In this situation, the nature / nurture debate doesn’t really come into play as if you don’t, you’re as good as dead in the water.