Is it ‘The Entrepreneur’ or ‘The Corporate Ladder’ for you?

Like there are two sides of a coin, there are those who want to be entrepreneurs and there are those who want to be salaried employees.


Entrepreneur a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.

A salary employee (also known as a salaried employee) is a worker who is paid a fixed amount of money or compensation (also known as a salary) by an employer.

Today I am prompted to share my views on Entrepreneurship and the Salaried Employee basis the struggles and rewards of young achievers. Of many, two stand out as interesting models in their selection of choices.

Today’s work force, the Millennial and Gen Z, work in/ create an environment where there is a clear mission and transparency, embrace latest technology, get motivated by mentorship and constant feedback, thrive on flexible schedules, expect quick monetary rewards/ recognition, while they seek a balance in work-family time.

With this work culture, the young are either heading to the Corporates or then considering entrepreneurship.

Why the Corporate job?

There are many digital savvy individuals who prefer to enter the corporate world directly through campus instead of dreaming of start-ups. They are driven by data based decisions made in real time with least bureaucracy. They facilitate innovation, have an emotional connect with organization culture, require distinctive role, open to mobility and are not willing wait long for gratification in return of their hard work — Salary, perks and position matter!

Interestingly my friend’s daughter Neha, chose to work for a multinational instead of opting to become an entrepreneur as expected of her by the family patriarchs. Coming from a family of successful entrepreneurs with varied businesses it was almost certain, she’d seamlessly follow with her own start-up. Even taking over the reigns and expanding the business multifold was proposed. Did she lack guts? Did she lack entrepreneurship? Absolutely not! Most likely, her entrepreneurial role to start a new venture/further the existing business was not defined. Her share of responsibility, control and reward was not outlined. Maybe it was the work-style of the family elders, which steered her away from setting up her own entrepreneurial venture? It was simply a matter of choice. This being said she chose the corporate ladder with a clear focus on her career. In a short span of 4 years, today she has been promoted as Head of Department. The Corporate provided her with definate and expected returns!

Why the preference at entry level to become an entrepreneur?

Success stories of entrepreneurs who set up Flipkart, Infosys, Zomato, Snapdeal and further away, the likes of Apple and Alibaba have influenced the minds of many.

Three years ago my nephew Yash wanted to start something on his own, his main reasoning being, he would not have to work under someone and be free to make his own decisions — mistakes or otherwise. His start up, the sports related online company was an extension of his love for sports. Equipped with an MBA and fair knowledge of the digital world, he set up his entrepreneurial venture. In spite of the seed capital it received, it failed to support his dreams. Over 4 years of struggling with the finances and trying to make it work, he finally fell prey to perceptions about his business model not being viable. So what went wrong here? Isn’t entrepreneurship more about an innovative idea? Why did Yash fail as an entrepreneur? Did he consider every aspect required to succeed?

Entrepreneurs today have to realize it’s not fast money but fast and furious efforts that make a start-up work, fulfilling their ambition. In order to succeed, an entrepreneur requires: –

1. Not just the business idea but a medium term business plan, which clearly outlines sales, expenses and profits for at least a three year period. These will give a clear idea on the funds required from time-to-time and the cash flow.

2. Thorough knowledge of the fixed and variable costs of their product/service is essential for making the Business Plan.

3. After arriving at the cash flow deciding where will the funds come from?

4. Will the profits help sustain the product?

5. The product/service will need to have a USP to differentiate it from others and which shouldn’t be easy to copy.

6. Getting competent workforce /building up a team.

7. Holding on to the dream to make it work.

In an emerging economy like India, which has the largest youth populace and a strong Internet culture there is ample opportunity for Entrepreneurs and Salaried Employees to coexist.

DEFINE YOUR GOAL! Have a clear vision. The tools are all there. It is a matter of making the Entrepreneur or the Corporate Ladder work for you. The decision is yours.