The Indian business landscape is blossoming with an explosion of startups achieving unicorn status, a term for privately held startup companies valued at over $1 billion. But what comes after this illustrious milestone? Bhavish Aggarwal offers six guiding principles to navigate the complex post-unicorn terrain in India.
Secure Your Safety Pot
Reaching the unicorn milestone is undoubtedly a significant liquidity event for entrepreneurs. According to Aggarwal, "Your first liquidity event is when you must proactively start thinking about your present and future needs." This involves creating a safety pot of capital that caters to financial security, long-term goals, and lifestyle sustenance. Waiting and watching is not the option; immediate planning for future stability is crucial.
Rely on Expert Portfolio Management
Unicorn founders, filled with entrepreneurial zeal, must recognise that the DIY approach doesn't apply to portfolio management. Leveraging professional expertise to build a robust long-term portfolio ensures preservation and growth of wealth. "You will have limited time to manage your money. Thus, it becomes imperative to turn to a trusted advisor," Aggarwal insists.
Explore International Horizons
Growth as an entrepreneur should be mirrored in investment portfolios. This means looking beyond India to international markets that offer unique opportunities. Utilising the Liberalised Remittance Scheme of the Reserve Bank of India, Aggarwal encourages unicorn entrepreneurs to broaden their investment perspectives.
Plan Succession Thoughtfully
Reaching financial success triggers not just immediate needs but future generation considerations. "You must also focus on will and succession planning to ensure that the needs of the future generation are taken care of," suggests Aggarwal. Legacy continuity, especially in self-built businesses, is a pride that requires meticulous planning.
Build and Support Your Tribe
Unicorn success is rarely a solo journey. The support from friends, founders, and experts is vital. Aggarwal emphasises the responsibility to elevate the startup ecosystem and foster networks that can create mutually beneficial relationships. Leading or guiding the next unicorn in the making is an opportunity worth seizing.
Leverage Success to Give Back
The learning curve of achieving unicorn status positions entrepreneurs to associate with social causes using tech-enabled solutions. Initiatives like ACT Grants demonstrate how more than 100 volunteers from startups and VCs came together to address healthcare challenges during the pandemic. Aggarwal believes in using entrepreneurial success to "make a positive impact on the ecosystem around you."
In conclusion, achieving unicorn status is just the beginning of a steep ladder to success. The ongoing journey demands strategy, foresight, and a commitment to growth in various domains, both financial and societal. Aggarwal's insights provide a vital roadmap for India's burgeoning entrepreneur community, poised at the brink of greater triumphs.
(Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)