Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

Posts Tagged ‘dating

I usually avoid mixing my personal emotions and sentiments into what is supposed to be an alternative lifestyle. But I realize that I am probably avoiding the one topic that comes much closer to home for most entrepreneurs.

As much we do talk about the fact that India is rising, India is racing, or the India which is stuck on the Marathalli bridge, the brutal and honest truth about the topic of entrepreneurship is that, if you are planning to start out, there are two things you might want to do: One, make sure that you already took a loan out to get that two wheeler or that house that you’ve been meaning to buy cause while you are running your own company you will realize that you wont get calls from credit card lenders or loan providers for a really long time. You simply don’t qualify. The next thing you don’t qualify for, is for a bride or for a groom. So If you are starting out, I hope and pray to God that its either one of the two following cases: Either you are already married and your better half is in total agreement with your madness to go chase a dream, or you are ready to swing it, are not married, have no intentions of marriage and do have the total confidence and the focus of a monk to hit a home run.

The one thing that you miss, being an entrepreneur is the social life. Bootstrapping can be a long and painful process and the only thing that will make it much more worse is the realization of the fact that the journey of an entrepreneur is a lonely one. The lines, being alone even when you are in a crowd resonate to be true than ever.

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The “romantic” move of an average indian male seems to be that of him swinging in the foot board of a moving bus (where he is clearly warned not to travel on) and catch the corner of the eye of a girl he’s been tracking, timing and following for days. I somehow think that this mentality somehow has crept into even the mindsets of entrepreneurs, actually altogether the Indian psyche itself.

Let me explain why, and that too with a splendiferous story:

There was once a networking meet and a couple of entrepreneurs got to meet and greet a VC and exchange cards. Knowing that the VC was a friendly one, and that he was interested to “look” at new opportunities, the team took turns to call the investor up so that they could setup a time to do the demo and have an understanding of what they were about. After a meeting or two, the investor went through the profile, and after discussing with the team realized that this was a company that they could look at.

They were duly filed under “prospect #1” and the principal investor noted down under his review meeting notes to annoy the hell out of this partner in every meeting to ask about what was happening next. Little did the poor VC know about it.

The VC conveyed the news to the startup mentioning that they were one of the interesting startups that the firm was looking at, and thats when it all happened. The tables turned, and all communication henceforth was totally obliterated – from the side of the startups.

The Poor VC is now in a pickle. While on one side his boss is nagging him for updates on what happened to that “Prospective” company, the entrepreneurs are pretending as if their phone with the ringtone of a screaming lady, isnt really screaming and they continue to ignore it. The more number of calls that the Poor VC makes, the higher the valuation and demand of the company, imagine the entrepreneurs! I mean if he is really after them, he really must be desperate to not lose out on a great company, right?

A solid month later, they are ready to talk the deal. The entrepreneurs would like to settle at nothing less than a two digit million dollar figure for a minority stake in the company. Actually, the VC is atleast happy that finally this file can be closed under “unreasonable demands” and life could move on.

This was an actual story quoted by a friend who is an investor for a firm. While he was telling me this story, the parallel running in my head was that of a guy trying to woo a pretty girl, and the minute the girl turned around and started showing interest, the guy was nowhere to be found because he is just rethinking the entire strategy and decision all over again. Just so that I don’t get slapped with a gender bias suit, I mean to say that the case could go either way.

But on a more serious note, one has to wonder. This is not the first time that I do hear of issues with “indians and relationship management”. I am told that once we do learn the ropes, we are all subversions of casanovas, but until such time, we are quite horrible at it. And really really horrible at it. Perhaps our culture and society is to be blamed for not allowing social dating to be much more common as it should be – then we’d know exactly what to say, when to act pricey, and when to drop the act and get hitched. Wouldn’t we?

Disclaimer: Meant in a spirit of humor. Read it, laugh it off, and let’s move on! 🙂