Press "Enter" to skip to content

The fairway to success

“Try again, fail again, fail better,” these words from the famous playwright Samuel Beckett ruled the fairways and our game at the Noida Golf Course the other day.

It’s interesting to note that the golf course is considered to be one of the toughest courses as told to me by my coach Amit Dube on Professional Golf Tour of India.

And there we were drawing up synergies between a tough golf course and an even tougher world of entrepreneurship with Jasper Reid from United Kingdom who is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in his own right.

We watched out for the laughters behind the nothingness of some bad shots and celebrated and moved on to play better shots on the par 72 course! Strategised, planned. Won some, lost some. And entrepreneurship, according to this ex-investment banker turned IMM founder and executive who brings money into emerging markets, is no different.

We saw the similarity between golf and entrepreneurship. While he felt that the basic elements of entrepreneurship are resilience, courage, perception, precision and action; what distinguished them was their risk appetite, controlled and measured temperament and a need to feel the high’s of various achievements. Such is the game of golf too.

He made his humble beginnings at the age of 9 selling lemonade to an American army base to the US troops. From many such ‘Kool-aid’ stints in his own admission, he realised very early in the day he was an entrepreneur. He went through structured jobs all around the world at the finest companies and asked himself one day – who makes the rules? And that’s when he stepped into the entrepreneur’s shoes. Rules, according to him are an enemy of creativity. He advises young entrepreneurs to start early to get a runway to success when people are more forgiving of you. He insists on failing again and again. And yet again. But fail better each time and you will get rid of your handicap one day to be the pro you want to be.

He has now moved to India with his family to serve greener pastures as the growth opportunity lies in a country like this. Despite demonetization, he feels India and other emerging markets are consumer driven and the developed world is static and saturated. The consumer story in India is now far more exciting than China. In his home country itself, the upside to investments is very different despite the currency war at hand.

And now in India he tells a story of how the opportunities to hit with the clubs outweighs the sand bunkers.

Whether it is labour or cost arbitrage, the changing regime of indirect taxation, opening up of the foreign direct investment norms, the change of guards at the centre to the black money clean up done by the central government, this British man feels India is one of the fastest growing open countries for budding entrepreneurs to walk the fairway on.