Innovation, risk-taking ability and the right kind of leadership are some of the key faculties needed for young entrepreneurs in small and medium enterprises, or SMEs, said senior business professionals attending the “INSIGHT: The DNA of Success" programme.

About 220 participants looking to scale up their businesses are attending the ongoing sixth edition of the annual leadership workshop being conducted by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Foundation at its Coimbatore campus from 23 to 26 November.

Metropolis Healthcare Ltd promoter and managing director Ameera Shah, who built the multinational chain from a single diagnostic lab, said an enterprise needs to be built by consensus and not force, and also that it requires the right leadership to build relationships through an emotional quotient.

“The relation between an entrepreneur and the company needs to change and evolve as the firm grows larger. Innovation, seeking feedback from external investors, getting a professional team on board and the ability to take risks are some of the key things in an entrepreneurial journey," she said.

Hemant Kanoria, chairman and managing director of SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd, said, “One needs to constantly identify opportunities even if they come with certain challenges. As an entrepreneur, when you are entering the industry, you should know when to exit."

“Like we saw a big opportunity in infrastructure, we are now actively looking at taking over stressed assets. Similarly, we decided to sell off our mobile tower business because we thought it was the time to exit," Kanoria added.

Shah and Kanoria are key resource leaders at the event that also features Biocon Ltd chairperson and managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman A.S Kiran Kumar, Shoppers Stop Ltd non-executive vice-chairman B.S. Nagesh, and Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) chief innovation officer Sanjay Jain.

Mint is a partner of the programme.

The 2017 edition of the INSIGHT programme also focuses on the entrepreneurship qualities of the Marwari community and the growth of many entrepreneurs from the community into established business leaders.

Nagesh said small and mid-sized entrepreneurs dream big but some of the key challenges they face are basic ones such as finding the right kind of talent, new regulations and laws, building a brand and internal processes and support systems.

“Innovation is the most important factor that they need to focus on, but that’s only after they have dealt with these basic issues," Nagesh said.

Jeby Cherian, former vice-president and managing partner for IBM Global Business Services-India and South Asia, said the focus of the event was on learning that is facilitated by chief executives of various firms. “The idea is to empower entrepreneurs and help them attain scale," he said.

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