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Did you know that 90% of all start-ups in India have failed? That’s right, according to the study, “Entrepreneurial India”, done by Oxford Economics and IBM (IBV) which states that even though the Market value for startups has multiplied tenfold in the past half a decade, nearly 90% of them shut down or close operations in less than 5 years. Now we can talk about all the reasons for this trend in failure, which in most cases is subject and argumentative without any solid data to back it up. However, for the keen mind, the modern market presents numerous examples of factors which can influence the success of a start-up.

Here’s my take on “5 things that most successful start ups have in common”



They say ‘timing is everything’ and they are right, at least most of the time. The phrase however is quite significant if one is planning to set up a start-up in the modern Indian market.  An idea may form out of creativity & motivation to achieve a goal , however simply having an idea for a business is no longer the only pre-requisite for an entrepreneur, to know when to act upon the Idea & understand the various implication of the actions are also important. In other words, one must be aware of facts such as, time taken for “customer acquisition”, market trends and competitor’s activity, as the latter two show great potential for viable oppourtinites.  For instance, Uber (yeah, the cab service app..) is planning to hand over all operations to local competitors and exit the entire south East Asian market. This decision was reportedly due to heavy financial losses over the past decade of its attempt to expand in the SEA region. This gave its competitor in India, OLA cabs, the much awaited opportunity for a merger, which is in serious talks, accordingly to Business Standard.


A successful start-up is most often or not the result of team efforts and very seldom, a result of singular driving force. It is not enough to just have people performing different roles working in a group, it is important for these various roles to synergize with each other in the group. To have a successful start-up, one needs to have the best team and it often comprises of members who are complimentary to each other and to the goals of the company, people who are willing struggle together, fight together, work together and collaborate to deliver the results.

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each individual member is the team” – Phil Jackson.

This holds true for start-ups as well, as long as you hire the right people to do the job, people who understand the vision of the entrepreneur and who are able to circum-navigate the business model so nothing misses their radar, half the job is already done. The rest half of the job depends on how long these efforts last.


An idea is the most fundamental aspect of any venture/Start-up. An idea that is executed in a well-timed and innovative manner will have greater impact than what was initially anticipated. However, this core idea must grow and evolve with time & trend. The ideas that are also the elements of your business model which you inscribe, hence it is of utmost importance to research the applications of the idea extensively and to understand how to re-structure a part of the plan if needed.  The founder’s idea may seem as the most novel of ideas and is considered one of the most important factors for the success of the start-up, but in some cases the initial idea may not have been very relevant to the business trends any longer and change must be incorporated.

It is eventuality that something will go wrong. The most thought out plan and a carefully executed system may also deviate or malfunction. The economy has been great the past decade however things may not always stay the same and start-ups may be the first to face the heat, hence it is crucial to have ideas ready for damage control from these external factors.

Business Model

In order to have success in your start-up venture, any great idea needs an equally great business model and contradictory to what most people think, an idea and a business model are not the same thing. It is critical to understand that the customers need to accept your idea for a business venture,  to see the problem that your novel business idea would solve & even if the customers accept your idea and a demand is created, it would still be an extremely difficult job to succeed if one does not have a financially sustainable and scalable business model. A business model mainly includes activitees that involve designing plans or channels to acquire new customers. As customer acquisition is being taken care of, one needs to keep in mind the infrastructural capability of the company, with growing numbers of customers, the company must also grow in terms of infrastructure in order to keep up with the growing market demand and rapid technological changes.  Hence a great idea needs to be backed by foolproof business plan.


Last but not the least, cash flow, obviously, is extremely crucial to the fulfillment of any organization’s short-midterm goals. Early stages of funding may include seed money from friends or family, investments from “angel investors” and capital funding via venture capital investors. As the idea and the business model begin to show potential and possibilities previously undiscovered, more capital investments would start flowing in, however even if your business model, for some reason is not scaling well, it is always important to have an open line of credit and keep a close eye on it so that the cash flow is steady and does not get out of control. It’s as they say, “got to have money to make money”.


Well, there you have it, the most common and important factors for the success of start-up and emerging enterprises. No doubt, with the changing market trend and a dynamic economic environment, there would be many other factors emerging as the reason for an enterprise’s success; however the basic principles remain the same. Feel free to drop in your comments below to share your ideas for the reasons of success in start-up.

About the author

Emmanuel Johnson

Once you get past the banter & jest, I'm just an inspired content writer and a serial thinker. What I want is to deliver quality writing pieces/creative content appealing to any type of audience and to expand my creative spectrum.

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