As India’s startup ecosystem ma tures, failures have come to be cel ebrated -the idea being that while failures are inevitable, it is impor tant to fail fast and put lessons from that to good use for another go. India’s most successful online entu res i ncludi ng Snapdea l, ventu res i ncludi ng Snapdea l, Zomato and Flipkart have all burnt money experimenting with various strategies or businesses.
Experts advice use of lean startup principles such as lean user interface design methodology. For instance, rather than building a whole product, a startup should initially build a mock-up to be tested among prospective consumers.
Also, the cliché of failure as a stepping stone holds true.
“It was the failure to raise funds for my online poker startup and another one on virtual money in 2008 that led me to start an investor network to help young companies,“ said Harshad Lahoti, co founder of ah! Ventures. The firm has led investments in dozens of startup ventures including Ketto, IDC, HarnessTouch, Catapoolt and ExpressBikeWash.
Aqua Brim’s Sinha has instituted an innovation lab where people are encouraged to fail. “Mentorship from people who have been there or done that is critical to avoid failure,“ said Sinha.
In India, where failure becomes a social stigma mentors advice to always take the family along. “It’s in your tough times that family support will bring you out of it (but) only if the family has also nurtured the startup all along,“ said Deepak Menaria, cofounder at Lemon School of Entrepreneurship.