We are excited to have met Mahesh Kumar, a Swedish Entrepreneur and the CEO of Result. Result is a growth advisory outfit that helps fast-growing digital businesses internationalize into new markets. Today, we will be sharing the insights gained from our interaction with him. This article will be a two-part series, with the second article here. We caught up with Mahesh at Epicenter in Stockholm.
For an entrepreneur, how important is your idea?
People usually focus on the idea as opposed to the problem. What is more interesting should be how you combine trends with your passion to come up with a solution, and the execution of this solution to solve the problem.
In fact, the existence of an idea might not always be a good thing. This is because it could be a liability when it is building up cognitive friction in your daily life. You keep thinking and thinking about it, and that takes up a lot of brain space, preventing you to have 100% focus on other matters. There is a thin line between hallucination and vision, and the thin line is where you actually make it happen.
Excitement and passion are things that can be easy to get and what is more important is the process of putting in the hard work itself. Perseverance is also key, for there is always a lot of friction when you are starting something new.
In essence, the execution of the idea matters more than the ideation process or the idea itself. Marry the problem, not the idea.
Why do you think start-ups fail?
Start-ups fail because of 3 reasons.
- The team does not work together
- They are building something nobody wants
- The startup has not enough money to sustain the business
The synergy within the team is important, where the complementary skill sets will generate value to propel the company to greater heights. (This is also elaborated in our article: How To Find the Right Team)
More often than not, points 2 and 3 are correlated. When you build something that nobody wants, you don’t get enough customers to pay for them.
Also, be careful of the compounded psychological effect of building a company. Many individuals find it difficult to let go when it is time because they have grown so attached to it throughout this process. This is why we often hear entrepreneurs going into depression after they lose their company.
How is working in Sweden like for you?
Born in India, studied in Singapore and now living in Sweden, one thing that is apparent is the difference in culture. In fact, the Scandinavia culture and its Asian counterparts diametrically oppose one another in so many ways.
For example, the Swedish working culture has very strong links to its Swedish culture – niceness, fairness, and equality for all. Regardless of gender, hierarchy or status, everyone and anyone can have the power to raise up an issue that is important to them. This goes both ways.
On the other hand, hierarchy and systems are still very common in Asia. I urge everyone who needs to, to adapt fast, and do not be afraid to voice out your viewpoint.
Mahesh was an inspiring speaker as he answered our questions with depth and precision. He later also gave us advice for budding entrepreneurs, which can be found in the second part of this series.