Flat, marriage and family – 3 reasons why young Indians don’t turn entrepreneurs!

If you are from India, have been a part of a regular middle class family and have even thought of starting something of your own, am sure you’d associate with the headline itself! Everything that I’ve mentioned below is based on true incidents. I don’t intend to hurt anyone here, still if you did, sorry about it! Getting to the point, straightaway!

Marriage:

About an year back one of my very close friends told me about a product idea. I liked the idea and told him I could work with him on that if he’s willing to seriously build it. His answer was – “yaar abhi job nahi chhod sakta, 6 mahine mein shaadi hai” [Dude, I can’t quit job right now, getting married in 6 months]. Okay, get married but why do you want give up on an idea you believe in? Your girl will understand, won’t she?

Guess what? Obviously, he never build it and few months back I saw someone (very famous in the startup community) roll exactly that product out and is quite close to getting funded too! Yeah, my friend’s “happily married”, barely at 27!

Update [Oct 19, 2013]: This guy who went ahead and is building this product recently got funded $150,000 and got featured on Techcrunch too!

I know an entrepreneur who literally fights (or used to at some point) with his wife everyday just because she wants another kid and he doesn’t. His company has just come out of startup mode and is heading towards being an SME. “I have a 4 yr old kid and having another one now would take me 4 years back! I have been slowly planning the financials but this would mean I start planning all over again, save even more and take even fewer risks!” is what he said!

Indian entrepreneurs' struggle
Indian entrepreneurs’ struggle

One of my ex girlfriend had started talking about marriage barely when we had graduated. I never denied marrying her but I used to tell her lets first achieve something, I want to do a few things in life, be a successful entrepreneur and all this might take a little time, there’s no point in getting married quickly and then allocating funds to expenses that could have been avoided at that age, but no, she wouldn’t listen! Of course, she’s happily married and I, having failed 2 startups in the past, am still building another startup! (I hope this post reaches you, lady!)

Oh! And that concept of getting your kids married at the right age => guys before 30 and gals by 26-27 max! I’ve always stressed, there’s nothing called such as a “right age” – why not just get married when you are ready – 25 or 32 – how does it matter? I hope you’re not thinking about that old shit about retiring and then marrying your kids before that <- That actually is the root problem!

Family:
Sorry to say, but the uncles and the aunts in our (normal middle class) families are the worst. They will keep asking your salary, some of them every single f***ing month. These relatives are probably the ones whose kids would have done “nothing” in their lives, graduated from some (worthless) A league institution in India and landed a fat paying job. And believe me these are absolutely good for nothing folks. If you are a startup guy, you already know that, don’t you 😉 They would join a company through campus placement and would be too scared/complacent/useless that they would spend their entire life within that single organization – without even doing something innovative! These uncles would be happy to show the entire family that the ad in TOI today was done by their kid while all that ad would have is a bollywood diva holding a soap bar in her hand. THATS IT!?! That’s all you learnt in your fancy B School?

What’s the big deal in it? If I pay TOI that much, they will even publish a horse shit pic, they just want money! But no, these are the ones who are valued in your family! Whatever they say are Golden Diamond words. What’s worse is you are always compared to these dumb folks whenever you go to a family gathering. And most, all of them would look at you as if you are the piece of shit lying on the roadside.

To share another case, one such highly respected family member told me to look for a career in animation, back in 2007-08. Recently, I met him at another family gathering a few months back and he said “tum animation me kuch kyu nahi try karte?” [Why don’t you try something in animation?] I was like…dude? You are still the same! Your thoughts are still stuck where they were 4-5 years back! By the way, this member is probably the highest respected person in my family and heads delivery at a multi billion (yes Billion) dollar enterprise and travels abroad every week. Yeah, (sadly) that’s what puts the stamp on his authority! Am quite sure even Steve Jobs or Bill Gates would have spent more time with their families at his age (and still earned much more if that’s what you want to hear).

More problems we face with family/neighbours in this book.

Flat:

The other fantasy about middle class family people is owning a flat! I never get this point. I, really don’t! Why do they want your kid to buy a flat and then spend the rest of his life paying back the loan? Coming from middle class, we’ve never had loads of money to spend. So the way out always is to pay probably a 10th or even less initially and then take a loan for 60% for the next 15-20 years.

And is duly supported by our Financial system! Go and try to raise money for your startup and the same money for a home, you’ll know what I mean!

Once you have a loan on your head, that too a home loan, for not less than 40-50 Lacs, am sure you wouldn’t be willing to take a risk, would you? And that tension of repaying that loan! Anyways, there is very little probability that our kids would stay in that house for long. They’d go places, do stuff in life and make it big themselves! Actually this would connect with Rahul Dewan’s post where he talks how retired people should recede back to smaller towns and do great things. A brilliant thought by the way, go read that!

In another relationship, I told my girl that I don’t earn great right now and that I am trying to build a company and shared the vision. At first she appreciated my honesty but then within a few weeks she asked “Abhinav, hum ghar kab lenge?” [Abhinav, when will we buy a home?] That day itself I knew – she wasn’t the one! No wonder that relationship didn’t last long.(I am quite sure you’re reading this!)

I guess I’ve written, read ranted, too much already or else I won’t be allowed to enter my hometown the next time!

Update: I realized most people, even though agreed to this, say its inconclusive. I must add this: The point is that people who can bear all these pressures and can still build a company, are the ones whom we call SUCCESSFUL!

Update2: Somebody got so inspired that he made a short movie out of this. I got to know from the comments section.

Hi Abhinav

I was inspired by your blog to write and direct a short movie on the topic. It’s now released on YouTube. Thanks for watching and hope you like it!

Here it is:

Update 4 [Oct 23, 2013]: This article has led me to an interview in the prestigious The Week magazine. [Looks like they pulled down the online version of the article, was in their Sept issue]

Update 5: [Apr 19, 2014]: A small section of people thought this blog is sexist, my sincere apologies to you if you think so. However I do not agree with that point and here’s my reply to it: The Flat-Family-Marriage blog raises societal issues and is NOT sexist: Here’s Why

[Update 6: The most important one] The article was published on Feb 13, 2013. On Nov 26, 2014 I got married and I am still an entrepreneur. Maybe a year later I would write how it has been 🙂

263 Replies to “Flat, marriage and family – 3 reasons why young Indians don’t turn entrepreneurs!”

      1. Abhinav,

        read thru ur article and I was like “WTF” did you just read my mind!!!!!!!!!! U r dead on buddy! Just change the gender and everything is applied to my life…at 34 I am still happily single with a successful career but my family does not believe that! They think I need to get married to find true happiness and shit!! Thanks for this article!

      2. Your article actually touches my heart straight away, it actually compels me straight away to log in and write something for it.Thanks 🙂

      3. The above blog writer can very well live his dream of being an entrepreneur! He doesn’t hv to blame his family/gf/relative for his failures or success in his life either. Everything one does in a career is for himself/herself, I have seen 40 yr olds/37 yr olds going for Ph.Ds at US univs as they want to progress in their careers at middle ages. It is all about choices YOU make for your career and are WILLING to make a difference at any point of your life, and not blame your success/failure on any nook/cranny surrounding you! I believe life has its own ups and downs, blaming your failures on them, makes one weak and indolent to work on your strengths and weaknesses and forestalls further attempts in making yourself stronger in your passion (being an entrepreneur/career)!

        1. Well said! The first step of a looser is to look for someone/something to blame. A successful person will be successful in his life no matter what

      4. Hey Abhinav, great article. One piece of criticism though. Don’t you think its a little pompous, perhaps even downright arrogant, to claim that anyone who is not an entrepreneur and working at a conventional job is useless? Other than that, great article and I agree with most of it. I had an idea of my own but I walked away from it for a cushy gig. Not for marriage or anything. The timing wasn’t right and I couldn’t find a CTO. Either ways, more power to you and good luck with your startup.

    1. Great article. You nail the psychology of Indian middle class. But I think you over rated the value of doing a start-up. Working on a start-up is just a choice, like any other choice we make. It’s not the people who are doing a start-up are achieving a lot more or are better than people who are working for MNC’s. It’s just a personal preference. A person can be as happy in corporate as he is in a start-up or even more than that.

      Yes our parents have never seen entrepreneurs in their families hence they are bit repulsive to the idea. It’s not that they think it’s bad to do a start-up its just the frame of reference they have.
      Anyway what I feel is that at the end of the day, what one wants to do in life is highly subjective and we can’t say that doing one thing is better than doing another.

      1. Surely good thoughts went it to your article, but, I completely agree with Nikhil. Working on a start-up is just a choice just like any other. What one person is passionate about depends on him.

        Again success has many definitions
        to some – Happy smiling face itself is success
        to some – Money
        to some – sports
        to some – good parent
        to some – just roaming
        ……
        Should Obama call you stupid/good for nothing guy? Do what you are passionate about – Good for you. Respect other’s passion’s.

      2. Start-up is a big deal and a more honorable thing that working for someone else. Working in MNC (or for that matter working for anyone else) is perfectly understandable if one does not have a dream and if one likes to slave out for an entire life.

        If you don’t build your dream someone else will hire you to build theirs.

        What one wants in life is highly subjective, but discouraging people who wants something different is worst side of our society and that’s what I think is Abhinav’s point.

    2. ha! I am not the only one out there…. There are people who think exactly the way I do… hence proved…
      All the best for your venture and hope I do the same soon.

      But, if I were you, I would have ignored the suggestions of our kith and kin with a smile and with no regrets. Our previous generation is from an old school of ideas and many of the current generation people are still changing their way of thinking. Constantly being brought up in such an environment, I would expect the thought-change process, at least 4-5 generations from now 🙂 ….

    3. Superb Article. Same shits are true for Bangladesh also. In the big cities like Dhaka owning a flat in a multi-storied building in the jungle of concrete is a matter of STATUS here. People doing mid-category jobs, saving as much as they could, eating less for the rest of their lives, never going out on holidays after the booking of the flat…..still they must buy it. The financial companies have brainwashed people. You are a failed person if you dont have a FLAT here. LOLZ…Never seen these kinda status in the West.

  1. Hi Abhinav,

    Good article. Everything is true.

    However, don’t you think you are thinking too much about yourself? I mean, your ex-girlfriend wants you to get married? You could have… you didn’t. What’s wrong?

    I have seen successful startup owners are married.

    Also, your family ko ghar chahiye. Abhi tab nahi liya?

    Everyone wants to see you “settled.” This startup thing is surely exciting but as long as you are not minting moolahs, you are going nowhere — worse, you are contributing nothing to your family and friends. Forget helping others through your startup.

    Bitter words… had to be said.

    1. Dear Okay,

      Although I don’t answer people who can’t write what they think with their name attached, still, I’ll answer you.

      I believe this entire concept of “settled” is what the basic problem is. I’m not saying people shouldn’t get settled, even I want to settle and live a peaceful life! All I am saying is some people have higher aspirations than the rest and hence they need a little more time than the rest. Is that asking for too much? A little extra support and time is all what I am asking!

      1. Well said man. The problem starts with settling. Even still I try to understand what’s settling means? In Aam aadmi language, getting a own house(even if small – supporting stmt – east or west home is best) and no one cares about investing 50 odd lakhs in a fixed assest which is worth for nothing while lakhs of people don’t even have their next time food. *sigh*

        1. Exactly! What’s with the ‘settling’ nonsense!
          Doesn’t anyone here like adventures? 😛
          And why do relatives have to discourage those who are on a different path??
          Never mind, do what you want to, you will succeed!

      2. Hi Abhinav
        You do think of yourself too much. Yes its good if you want to take risk and start some thing yourself but thats not everything. There are many people who are happy with a job they like and there are no inferior to successful or unsuccessful entrepreneurs. If you have enough courage to start a company taking risk, I am pretty sure you can answer all those uncles and aunts. Its the confidence in yourself which answers all those uncles and aunts and there is nothing great about mocking them or their children who might be working in big MNCs.

        My point is being entrepreneur is nothing to be proud of and having good job can also make you happy. Another point is there is nothing wrong in uncles and aunts asking you to settle. Large percentage of people in twenties wander not knowing what to do in life and makes sense for your uncles and aunts to put you in that portion and ask if you have anything thought about your life. Answering them or anybody with confidence is what life is about.

        Irony is that you seem to care too much about what others think about you. I am myself an entrepreneur and I dont feel any prouder than many of my other friends who are still doing job. We have already reached the stage of SME and this is my 2nd startup. I am doing this because this is my dream. I havent reached the “age of marriage” but what others think of me is least of my worries compared to the business risks I deal with everyday. I have spoken with many successful entrepreneurs and none of them seem to be remotely worrying about what others think about them.

        Buying a house is all about saving money by middle class family and you will soon realise the importance of saving money. Every time you go to a angel investor or VC, you would think that saving little more money would have delayed that process.

        1. Totally agree with Santhosh Kumar. This whole fad about starting to be an entrepreneur is getting way beyond what it deserves!

          Abhinav, do you know what an entrepreneur is? Some of the biggest entrepreneurs in India also took the risk to move ahead with their own ideas instead of answering their folks about flat, marriage and ‘settling down’. Nobody will support you because you are taking a huge risk. Behind every success story are many failures. The best thing about Indian culture is belonging to a family, in the US and other developed countries parents do not support their kids and children do not stay with older parents. So you are all to yourself! This is not a privilege by any means.

          As Santhosh kumar mentioned in the comment above, you cannot expect support for taking huge risks. Not just in India, in any developing or third world country.

          Abhinav, do remember that a successful entrepreneur is the outcome of somebody’s sacrifice, unless you are already monetarily very safe.

        2. Dead on mate..

          I was thinking something is wrong with this article, but could not put my finger on it. You have caught the idea. I think there is a new wave of entrepreneurs who think that not being one is really waste of life and that is exactly what I did not like about this article. And rest obviously is his personal preference and so I was not going to comment on it.

        3. “Bang on target” reply …. This new found FAD among youth of being entrepreneur is way beyond FAD state now. It is killing out many youth out there who don’t have any good idea neither vision, just some poor copy of any foreign start up or another random “Online Kiryana store”. Till this day only 1 out of 10 start ups fail & living a secure life & not running away from responsibilities is not a bad choice.

          If you don’t have a good idea, the idea which brings something new on platter, I think what you are doing is Business not entrepreneurship. And This kind of people compare themselves with high profile B-School , I would compare them with Fat Punjabi businessmen in late 40s in Delhi because that is what they are doing.

          How many of so called Entrepreneurs actually think of innovation or social entrepreneurship. I bet many of them are planning just another “.com” & calling all those people working in big RnD giants & innovating something as if they are burden on society. I agree Indian society is not very feasible for Start up culture & Yes all three major points are very valid. But entrepreneurs should introspect as well.

          1. @Ravi:

            Hehe. Okay, so the day my product becomes famous and known to the world, then I’ll be allowed to write this 🙂
            (yes, I am working on a 2nd product currently, along with my services company)

          2. @Abhinav – Don’t Take it personally dude. As u expressed your opinion in a generic sense mine was in a generic sense as well. I am sure you are working on something nice & innovative & kudos for that.

            Good luck for your venture.
            !! PEACE !!

          3. Dear Sir,

            Even a small “kirana” store is a symbol of entrepreneurship. And the “fat Punjabi businessmen in their 40s” aren’t to be scoffed at. What’s with this whole story of having to “innovate” every time entrepreneurship is brought up? Entrepreneurship and innovation are two different things and needn’t be mixed up.

            Secondly, why do you think Indian society doesn’t support entrepreneurship? 51% of India is self employed. That says a lot about India being a fertile ground for entrepreneurship, doesn’t it? IMHO, the feeling of India not being suitable for entrepreneurship is more of a perception that’s prevalent among the highly “risk-averse” and so called “progressive” middle classes.

            Also, running a Kirana store is inherently more challenging than working in a white collar job in which a person’s major role is limited to executing orders/vision from above.

            Cheers,

            Jay

        4. @Vangapelli Santhosh Kumar

          Great to know that you’ve not faced any of those problems. In fact personally also quite some entrepreneurs have told me that they couldn’t relate to the problems i wrote since they or their friends have never faced such situations. Those have seen any of those, have agreed to it (see other comments), so much so that one of them has made a short movie out of it.

          Like I wrote earlier, it’s my personal experience, you may or not relate to it.

          Appreciate your time to write a detailed comment. Thanks Santhosh. And a little bit of pun on people known to you is okay, no? 😉

      3. Abhinav,

        I love this word “settled”. Have always been at a loss as to what makes these people think that we are “unsettled” 🙂

      4. Settling is not a bad thing. But u are right some people have high goals to achieve. But Indian people don’t understand it, because they are narow minded. You do what u want…My mother-in-law always demand children from me or gives prefrence to house hold works. But I am always concerned about my studies and career. People have lots of expectations from me, I can’t make everyboby happy. I don’t understand, why people have so many expectations from others. I do what I like. I know my family can’t understand my potential. And best of luck to u…I know u will achieve what u want to..

      5. abhinav,

        u r absolutely right. most of us want to settle down. some settle down at little some want more. if u want more in life then definitely it takes more time. but our society (whose major chunk is our previous generation)is too rigid and try to apply ideas of their period in this time where scenarios change within 2-3 years. if one has to follow his dreams one must be ready to pay the price. so bigger the dream greater is the price.

        all the best for ur start up and u have written a superb article.

  2. I absolutely agree with what you wrote. This is how iditic society we live in. Both me and my husband are startuppers and we have not taken up jobs just because we want to and we will do something great. Something that really irritates me is that people would land up getting thrashed by their bosses but would never start a little shop where they could probably make a fortune of their own. I run a startup portal where I publish startup stories and I am astonished to see how passionate people are outside. Might be that is the reason our nation has not seen some great million dollar stories.

    1. I hope these ideologies will change soon and we will eventually start seeing million dollar companies from India. Thanks for adding to what I felt. Wish you and your husband all the very best!

    1. Our Indian system is too powerful. Never question that.
      People should not curse the environment around. System always gives challenges, if we have stuff and perseverance definitely system is not a barrier at all.
      The moment we start blaming on others (here system) and searching for reasons then that means we are taking a step back.

      1. Never question the system?? Man you think like a slave. You think systems dont change?

        The father of the nation got married at the age of 13 but does anyone do that now?? Sati was part of the system but do we have that now??

  3. Truly picturizes the weird situation of the young guys including me who dream really big to become entrepreneurs, I believe the Indian Social Mentality needs to be changed from producing employees to creating Leaders, Entrepreneurs. Anyways you rightly hit the bulls eye by redefining the Practical SUCCESS
    “The point is that people who can bear all these pressures and can still build a company, are the ones whom we call SUCCESSFUL! ”
    All the best for your Start Up…cheers 🙂

  4. Hi Abhinav,

    Its an awesome post. Sorry if this hurts you, I’m in a public metro and laughing like anything and people watch me as if something got loosened in my top. 😉

    You are excellent in presenting the most sensitive issue of our society in an interesting way. This is all starts from our skooling. Get good marks in board, enter a college like IIT and now then do MBA in IIM and get a fat job in an MNC. So we ultimately end up working for some entrepreneurs who overcame all that u mentioned. Other than skool, our friends, not only our parents and relatives talk about the stuff that u told, its primarily the guys with whom we study and grow. All they know is to see you like a crazy guy and mock at you whatever you. Even I’m tired of that. But whocares. I hope (God’s Grace) I’ll be an entrepreneur one day like you and hoping to hear your speech in a college 🙂

    After many failures in blogging, finally running one successfully now so far. Even paying my hosting charges out of my pocket without any revenue from that. Unlike other parents, my parents are awesome in supporting me. When I quit my first job from an MNC they said okay, and now I’m in notice period in my second (fat) job and now the same reaction from them. This is the hope we need on us from someone.

    PS: Never trust girl friends, they won’t understand what an entrepreneur and his worries. All they want is someone to laugh when they laugh and someone to text to them and someone to take them out.

    Keep going dude! All the best 🙂

    1. Thanks amr. Glad to see you jumping the ship. Good to know that your parents are supportive and I hope this will be a great journey! Do remember to share your experience.
      And as far as GFs are concerned, I believe you need to find the right girl who can understand all this. Don’t put all of them under the same umbrella! 🙂

  5. Mr Sagaai,

    I must say, very deliciously written piece of literature! Delicious, also because its very acceptable to the pseudo ambitious entrepreneurial, dream big to swim like uncle scrooge kind of individual.. Everyone wants to believe that they are capable of greatness, but really may not even have it IN their trousers to take the first step. You may call it the “3 reasons”, but in sales, we call it THE lack of passion. IF you have a dream to make it BIG, armed with your awesome ideas for richness/ community growth/ corporate woohoo or any other et cetra, et cetra side dishes of success, YOU BETTER HAVE the f****n B**L* of PASSION and most importantly ……. patience, to do it.. PERIOD!
    WRT marriage, it should NEVER deter your strong will to follow your dreams. Regardless of the GF or family, true love would understand (if not, do your f****g bit to MAKE them UNDERSTAND , cuz its “true love”! right?) If the GF/agreed fiancée understands and stands by your dream, why not taste the professional hardship & stardom AND cold & warmth of a relationship at the same time?! Sure sounds mixed/messed up, but when you ‘lick’ the huge monster sized success, it all makes it a lot MORE worth it.. Just like travelling 500 kms to ‘taste’ that one half inch-spoon of Mangalore’s Gadbad ice cream (14 contrasting flavours I must add!).
    Summing up, grab the opportunity where the tunnel of success begins.. The light turns out for what seems like forever, but once you reach the spot where the tiny ray starts radiating on THE huge “S Shield” on your chest, you will experience power.. in this case happiness and satisfaction like never before! Ppl like me, who havent found your passion YET, don fret..chill out.. wait for your dream to fist you on your temple!
    Drink to enjoy company of friends, merry to love your close ones, but work to reach nowhere below the sky! … SPACE SUIT AAP.. PLeeeeeezzzzz!
    PEACE!
    SID

    1. Never knew Sid’s vocabulary could be so inspiring, what have you been drinking. I have to agree with him though. It’s that tiny bit of success to lift your spirits up and which can help to not mind the naysayers. I think sometimes you get rebellious and maybe even cynical (of others) while trying to do something on your own.

      True entrepreneurship rebellion perhaps is doing wacky crazed out things that society would term non-conformist even though you keep ‘failing’. I’m sure a lot of the ‘other’ people are stuck to less risky jobs and are not totally happy about it but it probably is working for them to lead mundane lives.

      I know you wanted to highlight the ‘normalcy’ of how marraiages and other extra-curricular influences can pull you down. But i think those are not going away anytime soon. And I don’t think you need to achieve ‘something’ to prove to others. You could be a successful entrepreneur without the big bucks.

      1. Thanks for the motivation Roshan. Will keep in mind, esp the last bit “You could be a successful entrepreneur without the big bucks”

    2. Ha! That’s like a true Sid’s speech esp with all those adjectives 😉

      Agree completely with your statement

      Regardless of the GF or family, true love would understand. If the GF/agreed fiancée understands and stands by your dream, why not taste the professional hardship & stardom AND cold & warmth of a relationship at the same time?!

      I believe if the relationship is real, it will last!
      Thanks macha!

    3. Even though I am not from India (from Bangladesh, proudly) I can relate very much with the second topic. Uncles and Aunts are almost always on the back. I have been managing several businesses for the last 3 years (from 2nd year during my university) and still when they introduce me to someone, they say “He is doing a job/chakri/naukri” which i absolutely hate. As if they are ashamed to admin that I AM a businessman and not a jobholder!

      No offence to the job holders, i respect what they do and they are VERY essential to our community. But this is simply not the lifestyle I desire. Uncle’s and Aunts need to understand that your son might be doing a high paid job, but he is working for a “businessman”.

      Family needs to motivate young aspiring persons so that they can find the courage to take risks in business. I know it is very hard to stand up for your dreams (to quit jobs and start a business). Motivation is a great help in such case.

      Thanks

  6. Have to agree with you word to word.. the things marriage and setting up your own home could kill one’s true aspirations.. Even I have witnessed a good score of people who always dream startups but never dare to make it real because of this marriage and home loan bug.. even Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal have same view on this.. check this.. http://bit.ly/tnvPMu

  7. Mr.Abhinav ,

    your story is true , but today’s young generation thinking that they can live without anyone . They want to achieve by scracificing their lives , fimnal result they dont have relation , affection or achivement . They have not understood the affection to mixing with people . Forget with others new generation dont mix with their own family i.e. father , mother , sister and they dont enjoy home taste . They dont feel their own home when they live with parents without any burdens , then how they can enjoy their own money home where total of burdens . What is business and own enterprise . Think of Ambani family even after having that much they are not able to enjoy the family relation . If they dont enjoy they cannot enjoy with wife and children also . Then what for this money . Pl think coolely and enjoy the life given by the god .

    with love
    Madhu

    1. Thanks Madhu.

      Just to be clear, its not about the money. I think that *this* is another problem, people relate success to money. I would say the same thing, enjoy life. That is a different thing if people like me find enjoyment in work 🙂

  8. Hi Abhinav,

    I do not know you but stumbled across this article through a link in FB.
    Well, it depends totally on what your happiness is based on?
    Objectively, everyone needs money for their basics first.
    Once you have a small assurance of it, you can go after your subjective happiness.
    You cannot starve in the present thinking that you would earn millions of money in future through your achievements.
    I agree, oldies are rigid and dogmatic about life.
    If you have that small assurance for the very basics, you are free to do what you want.
    Plus, you are not alone. You already have your parents as your dependents and you need to make sure you have appropriate medical plans and basics available for them.
    Startups are basically done by kids in the US whose parents have 401k, Social Security , Medical Insurance and are independent from their kids.
    But Indian parents have not been able to plan like that always.
    Indian parents look their children as their strong support in future.
    Hence, they go through the pain of growing kids and paying everything for their kids till college education even though they have just enough income to get by the month.
    You can absolutely stop your marriage etc to give you time to get what you want because it is entirely your choice and no one has yet become a dependent on you. But , parents are not like that. And parents want you to marry so that you shall follow their footsteps in trying to be secure in life. All this is based on fear of future, which I think is perfectly valid while dealing with uncertainty. So, give it a thought.

    1. Startups are basically done by kids in the US whose parents have 401k, Social Security , Medical Insurance and are independent from their kids.

      Hehe! Not sure how many will agree to that. Anyone from the US reading this? Please clarify 🙂

      You say,

      But Indian parents have not been able to plan like that always

      and you even say

      parents are not like that. And parents want you to marry so that you shall follow their footsteps in trying to be secure in life.

      I think the answer is hidden right there!

      And the thought about being “secure in life” and “dealing with uncertainty” – I just have 1 thing to say which one of my teachers taught me in school –

      “If you are hardworking and sincere, why are you worried about security!?!”

      1. I agree to a certain extent with Ram. Yes parents in the US do not depend on their kids at all because of the things that give them financial security (what Ram mentions), hence they don’t really care as much about what their kids are doing and do not pressurize their children. I am living in the US and I have a lot of American friends – so yes, I do know how it works. Plus here the kids don’t depend on their parents for funding for their own ventures. A lot of people start early out when they are in undergrad and for them marriage is not on cards till they are settled. I mean as long as you do not become a burden on your parents when they are 60 and should not be going through the stress of having to feed a 30 year old man, I think you can do as you wish. End of the day parents just want to see you happy and comfortable. Financial security is not a joke – if you have it figured out, why bother?
        And why care so much about uncles and aunties? They have been talking all this while and they will keep talking. One should know who to ignore!
        And as far as a partner is considered, girls have their own dreams and I think everyone is entitled to live their dreams. So their expectations of their bf/ husband are valid. You too would have some expectations of them right? Just don’t live with a person who does not understand what your goals in life are. Better marry a woman who’s so well settled that she can support you financially and emotionally through your ventures!

    2. Mr Madhu
      The point is not about the family relations and affection.
      Its about satisfaction in what you do in your life. Working for an MNC, or working for someone is not something everyone can come to terms with, when you know you can do things better on your own. Its about enjoying the time your spend at your “workplace”. Some people are just not cut out to be employees. Some people can see opportunities and know how to make the most of it. If everyone thinks the way you said, no new opportunities will be created or innovation will be made and our country will never progress, since we wont have anything to sell to the world. In this economy we will be importing everything from the rest of the world and watch them grow richer at our expense and go back to a situation where we will be begging US for everything like what happened in 1966. What will you do with the family if you don’t have jobs or enough money to pay for their food or even pay the EMI on the “housing loan”. So please do not criticize people who are willing to take the risks to provide opportunities for you and your kids.

  9. Nice blog Abhinav.

    Its the story of almost all the Engineers . . have the innovative minds within them. They have a Zeal to do something or better say they doesn’t find sitting in an organization dumb and ideal promising.

    I even didn’t able to understand the little chit chats of our Uncle and Aunties of our middle class families.
    XYZ ka beta to infosys mein hai . . tum wohan kyun nhi ho ? Even though I am earning much far beyond their imagination. But, the only problem is they never heard the name of the startup to whom I am working with.

    Why to buy the Flat at the age of 30 ?
    I am saying this because even my parents started haunting me . . beta ek flat book kar lo. I don’t know what to answer to them or how to clarify to them that currently I am not in the situation to overburden myself with the loan of 40 lacs overhead. Which is gonna restrict my movements even if I am trying really hard to achieve something.

    This society . . really makes “the innovative minds” dumbshit . . by making the comparison of two people . . or better say . . two objects which are not comparable.

  10. Nicely written Abhinav.
    Mostly if not all of us are stuck in b/n Marriage and Flat and then Kids and replaying of Loans and with all these tensions the original Idea gets lost somewhere.
    This is why India got so less start ups and creative writers or Photographers,

  11. Agree with all the points .. Very well written and espcially its very funny to read too which makes it viral 🙂 .

    I wrote a topic called Does Home Loan kills Enterpreunership ? May be YES – http://www.jagoinvestor.com/2012/03/home-loan-kills-enterpreunership.html . I work with lots of investors and try to show them a path for a “better financial life” and this whole idea is tightly linked to what I do personally with our clients 🙂 .

    Hope to write something on these lines very soon .

    Manish

  12. Nicely written. Agree with your thoughts, but disagree with the one attitude – from your (and a few friends’) experiences you seemed to have generalized the issue to ‘wifes and girl friends hamper a start up’. Did you forget that a woman could be trying the same, and in Indian society could be facing even more hurdles?

    1. No, I don’t mean to generalize, exceptions are always there. I believe I will find someone who understands this life 🙂

      And by no chance I forgot ” that a woman could be trying the same, and in Indian society could be facing even more hurdles?” – I already know this. Working with a few women entrepreneurs I know their plight and that its even more difficult for them. In fact, after reading this article, one of them told me offline how it resonates with her and that women have that added pressure of having kids by 30 too!

  13. To me (personal opinion), this blog seems to be an exhibition of your bragging rights at the fact that you have broken the shackles of traditional stereotypes that bring you down while exploring new ventures. The post has been compiled to good effort about the various hindrances that one might face as a startup, but I’m forced to rethink the actual motive of the blog. If it was about motivating/creating awareness about the obstacles of being an entrepreneur, I’m sure you’d share my opinion of the fact that it could have been written better, If it is a ‘LOOK AT ME, I MADE IT AND YOU NEVER WILL’ statement, then your spot on with the post.

    I’d like to wrap it up by saying, from my personal experience, humility and modesty is as important for a startup entrepreneur as is courage and common sense. Something to think about.

    P.S. I’ve also been self-employed for a while now and gone through the hardships.

    1. That’s your way of looking at things.

      Well, I’ve just written what i have experienced. Most of it is a rant and nothing else. Didn’t have any “motive” behind it.

      I’m sure you’d share my opinion of the fact that it could have been written better, ..

      Sorry but where did I say that I am a great writer? Obviously someone with better writing skills could have done a much better job, even I agree to that.

      If it is a ‘LOOK AT ME, I MADE IT AND YOU NEVER WILL’ statement, then your spot on with the post.

      Haha! Have no idea of where is that coming from. I don’t know why you feel that because I still HAVEN’T made it! So why would I write that? And no where have I talked about others, so its strange. Interestingly, if you’ve noted, most people have said they have experienced the same, so its the story of all of us.

      And that thing about humility, well, lets meet sometime and then you take a call on that.

      All the best and Cheers!

    2. humility and modesty is as important for a startup entrepreneur as is courage and common sense

      I am not able to understand what humility and modesty bring, other than pleasing the people around oneself.

      If I know that I am good, what is wrong in proudly saying that I am? If you (not exactly “you”, but a figurative way of addressing a second person, who is reading this) are better than me, and were offended by my action, challenge me and if you win, I, by all means, will accept that I was not so good and would inturn challenge you at a later time! But, if you just say “Be humble, little boy!”, I am not gonna do that. Because, I find no reason to project a false pretence of my low self worth to the society.

  14. I 100% agree with whatever is stated in this article.

    But if you are passionate about your idea, you can always convince your wife and family but you can never convince the banker from where you’ve taken a home loan. You have to pay a fixed emi to the bank every month.

    So the biggest hurdle in starting up is a home loan. A start up can never pay such big emi every month.

    So think twice before opting for a home loan. In my opinion, it is better to invest a smaller amount rather than investing a larger amount by taking a home loan.

  15. Another problem is that after marriage we abt even devote 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for our start-up.

    The effective no. of hours actually gets halved after marriage which is terrible for the health of your startup

  16. Abhinav,

    I recently started my startup ( ConsultBI ) and guess what I respectfully disagree with you.
    Things are changing very fast in India now.. now spouses or girl friends support big time… getting parents/in-laws agreed is a little bit of an issue but you can convince them … Remember.. if there is a Will ..there is Way… blaming society will not help…
    If you don’t believe me , I can introduce you to at least 10 such startups in Bangalore who are having all odds against them but still burning the fuel ….

    1. Sir, I completely agree that things are changing now. And I hope that this will continue to happen. I personally know more than 10 startup/entrepreneurs that burning the fuel. And so am I. But if you notice the comments there are a lot of people who have faced similar situations. For the same reason I wrote, its my experience and you are free to disagree.

      And BTW, Bangalore is a different culture. Parents are much more open minded there. Ask someone whose parents are still in a UP or Bihar, you will know the reality!

      1. Yes, it was a lovely blog by the way….
        My only take is that if there is a Will then there is a Way.. So you know Dhirubhai happened in Gujraat so many years ago and so Tata, Birla etc… it all started from someone somewhere..
        All the best and keep writing 🙂

        BR
        -Anand

  17. Very interesting writing, and I don’t agree with you at all.. not everyone can be an entrepreneur – either a person has it or he doesn’t – blaming others (people, society, system.. etc.) is just a facade for his/her personal shortcoming. And as one gets older, the excuses starts getting better, sounding more rational in one’s head.

    1. Yes all Truisms are True. Wonder what would have happened to the world if EVERYONE WHO FAILED ONCE DIDN’T TRY AGAIN.

      THIS is India’s biggest problem – Our Fear of Failure and as you can all see, its ingrained so deeply in all of us.

      Sad.

  18. Sir, read your post, it was like my thought process in front me by some other person, even the words you used were same.. I am also in a startup and facing the same family, peer and all kinds of pressures, just want to “Wish You Success” (y)

  19. Dear Abhinav,
    Thanks for your article : Flat, Marriage and Family, I’m an entrepreneur and I can easily relate to all the incidents you have posted above and you are 100% TRUE.

    Regards,
    Girish

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