How to create the initial team for your startup

 Establishing a startup is not a one day task. It requires a lot of hard work, patience and most importantly, it requires an excellent team to work with you to achieve your goals. And building a winning team that rides your startup to victory is not an easy task. The people you choose have the ability to make or break your business. You need to take a few essential steps at your initial stage to begin your work. 

  • Identify Positions

 If you are not doing a sole proprietorship, you and your co-founder need to know the positives and negatives of each other. You can’t be perfect in every skill, so you both must do a self-evaluation and know what are your strengths and weaknesses. When you know about it then you both can categorize your work according to your skills.

 When things between you and your co-founder are settled, you should start identifying positions to complete your team. Marketing and sales, accounting and finance, research and development are just a handful of examples of positions that you may need in your team.

  • Selecting your team members
  •   The process of hiring of team members should be done very accurately for the firm.
  •  Try to find T- shaped people for the organization. These people are experienced in one specific area but can handle other tasks too. They are quick learners and ready to take new challenges. They will benefit you more as compared to the employees experienced in a specific area. This will also help in recruiting a few numbers of employees in the beginning. 
  • Hire people who understand the importance of customer service.
  • You can appoint advisors to guide on important matters.
  • If your capital is limited, then you can go scouting in different colleges. Choose interns from there. Explain your plan to them and convince them to join you.

When you select your candidates, you must see that they fit in your startup culture, possess the right set of tools for your startup and should be passionate about what they do.

After selecting your candidates, there should be hiring and training. After this, they should be assigned their roles and responsibility. 

Always keep in mind whether you are choosing your 1st or your 100th candidate, you should know about the needs of your company and only then appoint someone who perfectly fits in that role.

  • Important things to keep in mind while building your startup:-
  • Be focused on your plan.
  • Make products keeping in mind what customers will be attracted to.
  •  Customer satisfaction must be a priority list.
  • You need to create a unique brand proposition of your product.
  • You must have good leadership quality.
  • Always communicate with your team members.
  • You must have a proper check on the cash flow of your company.
  • Never ignore or underestimate your competition.
  • Ability to listen and understand your teammates.
  • You should always be willing to learn and adapt to the changes happening around you.

In conclusion, this African proverb sums up beautifully:

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. 

Building your startup is a ride of ups and downs. You need to be calm and positive in the initial period. Thus, if you want to make your startup into the leading company, you need to start by building a winning team that will take you far.

Gandhi preach us more!

Have you at any point longed for world with harmony and thriving for all mankind- a world where we love and care for each other notwithstanding the differences in our way of life, religion and lifestyle?

I frequently feel vulnerable when I see the world in disturbance, an after effect of contrast between our goals. Mahatma Gandhi was the man who inspired the world with Ahimsa, his faith in peace, and non- animosity. His life was a message – a message of harmony overpower, of discovering approaches to accommodate our disparities and of living in amicability with difference and love notwithstanding for our adversary. His message was as clear to his enemies as it was to his followers. He believed we can resolve best our issues if we set out to have a constructive discussion with our enemy. “Be the change you wish to see in the world ” was the statement he gave. We frequently like to complain about the system that we need to follow. But before changing the system it’s significant that we see inside ourselves and try to fix our faults. Self- realization is one of the ways to achieve success. Pour out love and respect for every individual you come across, and don’t form biases based on their background. Each simple act matters. We are responsible for our future, whatever actions we do in present determine our future. Be a life long learner, learn as if you were to live forever.

Gandhi and our nation have suffered a lot under British, but instead of taking up arms against them, he chose the path of non-violence. See how we enjoy our freedom now. He taught us revenge is never a solution, it doesn’t lead to peace or happiness. One needs to learn to forgive.It is important to be true to yourself, no matter whatever the consequences are. Stand up for what you feel is right, even if it displeases a lot of people.

Gandhi’s musings can play a tremendous role in taking the human culture forward, towards the ideal objective. His lessons and analyses are more legitimate today than any time in recent memory, particularly when we are attempting to discover answers for overall greed, corruption, violence, and runaway which are putting a heavy burden on
the world. We as a nation continue to fail him. But like for every other thing, here is also hope. We can bring harmony to our world by spreading love and peace. Although the task is daunting, Gandhi has shown us how a fragile man can achieve incredible magnitude with a staunch belief to practice peace and harmony.
Will you take the pledge to become the change you want to see in the world?

What does empowerment/bravery have to do with gender?

Not making women Commandant Officers in the army is simply prejudice and fear of the fraternity of male officers.

The argument made by the Solicitor General in the Supreme Court that women officers of the Indian Army cannot be made as Commandants because male soldiers will not obey their orders is in fact irrational. In 1992, women were first included in the Armed Forces through the Short Service Commission. This service is of 10 years which can be extended up to 14 years.

They train in OTA Chennai and work shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. Their posting takes place at risky, rough and tough areas, whether it borders Kashmir or as a UN Peacekeeper, Libya and Congo. In areas bordering Pakistan and in the North East, there are hardly 4-5 officers and even sometimes just a sole woman officer with her male soldiers.

The question is when the head of NCC battalion of over 800 girls can be a male commandant, then why can’t a woman be the commandant of that battalion? The argument that the physical difference in women makes them less capable of the military is ridiculous. Whether the fighter is at the junior level or senior position.

There is no need for more or less muscle power anywhere. At the senior level, job profile supervision, strategy making and decision making have to be done. An order issued by the Ministry of Defense on 25 February 2019 calls for giving a permanent commission to women in the army from the date of the order. But this leaves off the demand of women who have served the country for 24-25 years and most of them have crossed 40 years of their age.

It is necessary that the policies of the government should be proposed considering those who are currently the officers in the army and should not be made considering the future. Now that the time has come for these high-ranking women officers to be given their right to serve in high positions, the appellant suspects that selective 332 women officers, who are just 4% of their entire capacity, will purloin the vacant positions at a higher level in the military. This is nothing but prejudice and fear of the fraternity of male officers.

The Army considers women officers as an effective workforce for lower-level positions which extends up to 14 years of service and considers them incompetent and unfit for the Commandant level, which is a culmination of hypocrisy. People argue that this battle is parallel to fighting against the government. But they have to understand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it clear that women should be taken for bureaucracy and all senior positions of government. The Prime Minister’s words are political volition.

It should be believed that a person’s rank or role in life should be according to integrity and merits. On the one hand, we send Captain Tanya Shergill in the Republic Day Parade to lead the contingent and on the other hand, we argue in the Supreme Court that she is not entitled to be a commandant in the army. This reflects the military’s dual policy towards its people. The fight is not against the government but against the misconception and mindset of bureaucracy.

Our women officers have suffered sentimental throbs during their 25-year job. To be sidelined despite having the ability, the lack of job security due to the ambiguous cadre status and working below the 6 batch Junior Officer affects the morale of giving 100 per cent for the service. The argument that can be made in favour of these women officers is that the mode of war in the world is changing. The world is evolving in a cyber age and even wars are not left rearwardly. Signal communication has to govern in ever-increasing adverse surroundings.

New technologies and methods of demolition are being prepared every day. And analytical skills are more than the physical ability to deal with them. Women are making missiles in DRDO and Chandrayaan in ISRO, then why can’t they command a battalion? We all know the answers to these questions. This idea needs to attain policies.

Men and women live in the same bunker in the army. Once a woman or a man joins the army, he/she is just a fighter, apart from gender. It is only the qualification that should decide their position in the service. Are women kept in the army only as fancy chunks? So that the army is not labelled as ‘men zone.’

And they only maintain a women-men ratio so that the data can be shown internationally.
How is heroism related to gender? When a woman can handle the election campaign of Srinagar, which is currently the most unstable area in the world, without being in the army, then why can’t women handle the commandant’s charge?

A woman can be second in command but not a commandant because women can perform in the army only as long as they do not hurt the ego and arrogance of men. However, when we look at the other side of the coin, there are some false feminists who have used the card of family and child care responsibility to deny the call of duty. There was a case when a female officer refused to go to Nagpur to court-martial because she had to take care of her newborn. Such excuses should be condemned.

If the Supreme Court and the government feel that women are not competent for combat or defence service because they are women, then their entry into the service should be stopped altogether. But Punita Arora, Padmavati Bandopadhyay, Mitali Madhumita, Priya Jhingan and Tanya Shergill prove all those arguments wrong. High positions are being demanded as rights, not in charity.

Lessons from life of a Samurai

The world of martial arts is truly a thrilling one, isn’t it? Those movies with ninjas, mighty warriors and samurais give me an adrenaline rush. The swordfights are gripping ones. But above all , the Samurais for some inexplicable reason have always fascinated me. No they aren’t mere characters we see on the screen or hear tales of.

They are a jewel in Japan’s glorious history. The real warriors, whose lives had a deeper meaning beyond protection of the royalty. A life built upon the philosophy of Bushido. (Righteousness, couragebenevolence, respect, honesty, honour, and loyalty). Their lives hold the secrets of becoming a real warrior.

Here are major takeaways from the life of a Samurai. 

  • State of staying calm: The Samurais laid emphasis on cultivating a calm mind. A mind, wherein there is no room for anxieties and nor the fear of death.  In the words of samurai Miyamoto Mushashi, “Most important battle is to overcome yourself”. A calm mind is the ultimate weapon against all your enemies. When the Samurais can stay calm in the face of death, then why can’t we in midst of a challenging situation? Controlling your mind is the first step towards becoming a modern day Samurai.
  • Turning obstacles into opportunities: The story of Samurai Minamoto No Tametomo is an inspiring one. Born with a genetic deformity, his arm was 6 inches longer than others. But did that stop him from becoming a Samurai? Absolutely No!! He turned this “perceived” shortcoming into his strength and went on to become one of the finest Samurai archers. So the next time you feel like whining how unfair life is, just shift your focus. Today’s weakness might turn out to be your greatest strength tomorrow. So stop complaining when life hands you lemons, instead focus on the lemonade.
  • Dedication:  The Samurais had an unwavering dedication towards their duty. And mind you, unlike us their dedication wasn’t short lived. They committed their entire lives towards the single purpose of serving Japan.  The legendary Samurai tales are a testimony of how these warriors could pierce an arrow through large rocks with sheer devotion. They were so resolute in their purpose that upon facing defeat they chose to commit Seppuku(die with honour rather than fall into the hands of their enemies). Honour and purpose weighed far more for a Samurai than his own life. Do contemplate when was the last time you were so dedicated towards your life, relationships and self growth? If not, then find your calling and chase it like a Samurai.
  • Growth Mindset: Remember that scene in karate Kid wherein Jackie Chan tells Jaden Smith to pick up his jacket a thousand times over as a part of his martial arts training?

The above picture carries the essence of Kaizen (Japanese philosophy of change for the better” or “continuous improvement.”) The Samurais were masters of the art of repetition. Learning new techniques and practicing them until they attainted perfection. They trained relentlessly, preparing themselves for battles. Even the master Samurais instead of being consumed by pride, always strived for becoming better than the previous day.  And here we are, basking in the false glory of “knowing it all”. Remember, like desires there is no end to learning. So let’s learn, repeat and grow!

  • Comparison with self: Samurai Tshkara Bokuden quoted “My art is different from yours. It consists not so much in defeating others but not being defeated”. These words resonate deeply in the world today wherein we compare ourselves with colleagues, friends and random people on social media robbing our inner peace. We defeat the very meaning of our own existence in the process of comparison. So like Samurais let’s water the garden of our minds instead of letting the weeds of comparison to grow.
  • Acceptance towards life: The Samurais were mindful of their lives and actions. Unlike others, they weren’t caught in the quest for worldly success nor did they fear death. They accepted both happiness and sorrow with equal calm. They sought nothing outside themselves. The Samurais knew that there lies a powerful force inside us and it is the same force that drives our surroundings. Samurai Miyamoto Mushashi quotes “Get beyond love and grief. Exist for the good of humanity”.So instead of chasing material pursuits, let’s take a step towards becoming more accepting of our lives and the self.

As we come to an end, you must be wondering do samurais still exist? Honestly speaking, they don’t. The Meiji Emperor abolished the Samurai system. However, their cultural legacy is eternal and the lessons from the lives of Samurai still hold the same relevance as they did in the medieval times. But these Samurais weren’t born Samurais. They trained hard both physically and mentally to earn that honour.  I believe, we’re all warriors fighting our own battles and we don’t needs armours or swords for that. Let’s simply imbibe these valuable lessons from the Samurais into our lives.

You ,my friend, don’t just be any warrior. Strive to become a “modern day Samurai”.