Learn how some entrepreneurs are successful

What makes an entrepreneur successful? After all, every entrepreneur starts small. They start with a few employees and then go on to become great. They become role models for their family members and even extended family relatives. Some lessons, drawn from Indian case studies, are sought to be discussed in this article.


There is no magic to entrepreneurship. Hard work, planning, and execution are common to all. However, there are many misses at any stage of these three vital variables and the net result is that the individual starts to wonder what happen. Such instances are not rare.

Conversely, there are too many instances where entrepreneurs have done the right thing at the right time and have been hugely successful. An analysis of some examples reveals that a) Entrepreneurs should always be innovative b) Creating unique business models are very essential c) Plans B and C and D are vital d) Learning should be accompanied by viable alternate action and e) Be consistent, reliable, and trustworthy.

Entrepreneurs should be innovative

An entrepreneur with just Rs.18,000 in his hands had just his sacket shampoo to talk about. He made enough of it. And then put on his thinking cap. He went around in a rented vehicle, complete with a loudspeaker, asking housewives to just listen. Hundreds did. He would pick up a small boy and offer to wash his head with the shampoo, free of cost. The amused women would readily agree. A video would be shot on the spot, and shown in the local theaters where the famous M.G. Ramachandran and Rajnikant movies were screened, 35 years ago. He would dump his product in all the local kirana shops, asking them to give him money after the product was sold. There was a freebie. For every empty packet of his shampoo, the customer would get a free packet of shampoo.

Sales zoomed. The entrepreneur expanded his business and today, that very same shampoo, called Chik, is still the largest-selling shampoo in India in the sachet shampoo segment. Its reach in rural India is so good that the entrepreneur, whose name is C.K. Renganathan, and whose company is called Cavinkare, is now a force to reckon with in the entire Indian FMCG market, with so many innovative products like Indica hair dye. The company is close to a 2000 crore turnover now.

Hence, innovation is the new name of the game. Entrepreneurs who understand this logic are always bound to be successful. They might have started new, but the key to success is their innovation.

Creating unique business models

When the business grows, the entrepreneur has to come up with unique business models. He or she cannot have the same business model as others. For example, vegetarian hotels often offer the same stuff. The ones that stand out have some special dish that stands out. If this dish is so tasty, millions of customers will flock to this hotel. This is what happened to the brand of Saravana Bhavan, a famous vegetarian hotel chain from Chennai.

The late entrepreneur made the sambar served in his hotel the biggest talking point. It was provided free initially. However, customers would ask for extra and this became unmanageable. So he started pricing it at Rs.10 for the second serve. Nothing happened. Sales only grew much more than ever before. Customers did not mind paying the extra money to enjoy the sambar. So you can see howw one particular dish can create a big difference. Other examples- Ola cars and autos are highly successful, only because of their ability to delight their customers. Swiggy is a massive success for reasons that are very similar.

Hindustan Unilever is a big business run by managers who act like entrepreneurs. The idea of one very senior manager made ITC innovate a new business model to rope in farmers as customers. Today, the e-choupal online service is an international sensation. Farmers have access to the most advanced technology, but they are also customers within the vast reach of ITC products.

Back-up plans are vital

This is highly important. When plan A fails, the entrepreneur should be ready with Plan B or C, or even D. The pandemic made life for numerous catering establishments really miserable. Employees needed to be paid. Numerous examples of how the homes of entrepreneurs served as kitchens to prepare food and distribute it directly to customers abound. They are on record on YouTube. Entrepreneurs need to understand how such plans can work, for there can be tough times when the business is dull for reasons far beyond the reach of entrepreneurs.

Learning should be accompanied by viable alternate action

When an entrepreneur fails, he or she should not panic. He should look around for new opportunities, more often, with new skill sets. Hundreds of those who do the cell phone business also double up as insurance agents, for example. There are many who specialize in digital marketing but are also experts in graphic design.

The success stories of such entrepreneurs are always available on various social media and we need to understand the various lessons that can be drawn from such experiences.

Be consistent, reliable and trustworthy

The brand value of any business should stay for a very long time. Tata is a brand that has stayed the test of time. Wipro and TVS are other examples of highly ethical brands. While these are the successful big brands, the smaller ones like Jyothi Laboratories, the MTR brand, Everest Masala, and the Aachi brand from the South of India, are very good examples of consistency, reliability, and trustworthiness. We can always learn a lot about these values from such brands when we read the particular case studies of these entrepreneurs and their adherence to noble values.


Some lessons drawn largely from Indian case-studies of entrepreneurship, have been discussed above. Each one of us can learn to become successful entrepreneurs from such examples.


Author: Dr N V Srinivasa Rao24 Feb 2023 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

Identifying an opportunity which is of our interest is the secret for a entrepreneur to be successful. Managing the funds, retaining the customers by meeting their expectations and doing ethical business are the keys for success in our business. We know the famous Haldirams; how it was started and how it is doing as of now. Their continuous hard work for maintaining the quality and reaching the expectations of their customers only made them successful. Making Rs.5/- a packet of snacks brought their products into almost all petty shops and their sales increased. Now their brand is an international brand exporting to other countries also.

I have seen some entrepreneurs who used to plan very nicely when they started their business. But after coming to a certain level they became overconfident and greedy. That made them to lose their business. Sustained hard work, continuous monitoring for the betterment of the quality only will give a long life to an organisation.

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