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July - 2011 - issue > Entrepreneurship
Is Your Kid the next Bill Gates?
Anamika Sahu
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Kids look forward to their parents as role models. They need to be thoughtful in whatever they do and the method that they follow.

16 years old Farshad Acidwalla from Mumbai started his entrepreneurial journey with an investment of $10 from his parents and bought his first domain name and began building a web community devoted to aviation and modeling. Within short period of time, his business took off and he sold it for more than his initial investment. Today he is the CEO and Founder of Rockstarh Media, a cutting-edge company devoted to web development, marketing, and advertisement and branding. Ankur Jain, son of Naveen Jain (the serial entrepreneur who build Infospace and Intellius) started his own venture called Starnium at the age of 12. Later on, along with some of his schoolmates, he started a society of collegiate entrepreneurs, Kairos Society, which in less than a year has gone from nationwide to global. He is also the Chairman of Kairos Society.

Many such kid entrepreneurs are paving their way to success. But there is no solution to the argument that whether such kids are born entrepreneurs or can be made. Educators and entrepreneurs say that the real solution goes much deeper than just asking your kid to be an entrepreneur. They should help their kids develop themselves at every possible opportunity. “If your child is motivated to go above and beyond then they are an entrepreneur. If the child is self-driven and does not need an external incentive to try their best, if they give their all in everything they do, then they are an entrepreneur,” says Naveen Jain, founder and CEO of Intelius, an information commerce company.

The kids with burning passion who will never stop at anything to achieve their goal, for whom ‘No’ means finding different ways to accomplish the goal and if they see only the problems as challenges and challenges as opportunities, then they are walking on the path to become a successful entrepreneur. There should be the zeal in them to realize their goal by giving everything they have to finish what they have started.

Kids look forward to their parents as role models. “I have working parents and I used to follow them for everything they did. Their way of attributing problems has had a great impact on me. Today, I see the same attitude in my daughter. I need to be more thoughtful in whatever I do and the method that I follow,” says Anisha Singh, CEO, mydala, a group buying portal.

They need to be exposed to various possibilities in life to turn any situation into opportunity and leverage on it. A child will never know what the world holds for them and what they can take from it. As a parent, one needs to encourage their ideas and teach them to try new things and go out of their comfort zone. Raised by two committed philanthropists, Ankur Jain followed his parents’ example. “From a young age, Ankur used to accompany me to my meetings just to learn. Later he would come up to me and tell me why I was wrong or how to improve on my ideas. Later he went and started his own company at the age of 11 and the key to his success was his exposure. You need to believe in your child, if you believe in them and encourage them to pursue their dreams, they will believe in themselves further knowing they will always have somebody to fall back on,” says Jain.

Extracurricular activities also play an important role in building an entrepreneur. It makes them learn how to be in and work as a team. Team building games like cricket, basketball and many such games should be promoted in schools and colleges. Sports have been scientifically proven to increase Neurogenesis, essentially generating new neurons in the brain to improve the performance as an entrepreneur. Games such as Chess, Battleship and other such games are brain building exercises. Sports also teach the kids to compromise and work positively as a group and individual.

The path to becoming a professional is more structured than the path to becoming an entrepreneur. Since there are no structured paths to becoming an entrepreneur, it is hard to set your kid on the right path. However, there are qualities and characteristics that a parent can instill in their kid over the course of his or her youth that will help them prepare for the risky, emotionally draining, economically irrational and statistically doomed decision to become an ‘Entrepreneur’.

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