Recently, the Indian start-up industry has, for the major part, been riveted by the spectacle of the chief executive officer of one of its most watched start-ups — Housing-.com’s Rahul Yadav — stumble from one controversy to another. The saga which ended with the ouster of Yadav from his post holds several lessons for young entrepreneurs said Ravi Gururaj, chairman of Nasscom Product Council, and cofounder of the India chapter of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels Association.
Founders who want 100% control should plan to bootstrap themselves to success. The incoming investor will seek a controlling interest in the decision making, the management team, exit decision and timeline. Those unwilling to live with this should think twice before they take funds from external investors.
Managing Your Board:
The founder must learn to “manage his board” effectively — to provide full visibility at all times to any substantive decisions, data and events. Start-ups live in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world building consensus among the stakeholders is a critical responsibility of the founder.
They need to learn to orchestrate a board meeting effectively, take time to pre-brief pro-all members to unearth issues ahead of discussions and to avoid surprises at board meetings.
Disagree but do not turn disagreeable:
Great founders are strong willed, they rarely capitulate on their core vision, and they often seek out constructive debate and disagreement to help refine their thinking. All of that can be achieved without turning disagreeable and airing dirty laundry out in public.