“Don’t just jump into a business – build self-efficacy first” says author Anwar Jumabhoy

After interviewing Anwar Jumabhoy, one of the authors of the book  ‘9 Entrepreneurisms’, I realised that building self-efficacy and testing the market potential is of utmost importance before starting a venture. You see watch his interview here.


Aditi: What made you write this book?

Authors: We think there is a better way to manage companies. Current management practices date back to the industrial era when scale, compliance, and tight controls were necessary to build scale. That world is fast disappearing. Also, poor management, compounded by dated practices, have ruined too many companies.

We hope readers of this book will learn to recognize the early signs of mistakes by management and strive to put in place a new management infrastructure. It is silly for management to complain about the increasingly difficult and changing business landscape and then to rely on dated and rigid practices for a solution. In today’s competitive and fast changing (VUCA) environment, companies are at risk of failure. The old methods of management don’t work. New startups have been eating away at the traditional companies and these are run by young people with little to no management experience. It’s time traditional companies learn management from these successful entrepreneurial companies. This book lays out a path for Leadership to adopt these practices

Aditi: There are so many books on entrepreneurship – why would the reader want to read your book?

Authors: Well, I haven’t read them all! But I would suggest that most books focus on how to be a better entrepreneur. Unfortunately, “entrepreneurship” has become synonymous with startups. For us, entrepreneurship is a set of behaviours and learned attitudes. We looked at start-ups as well as enterprises and identify the nine specific attributes or what we call Entrepreneurisms they possess. These are; Self-efficacy, Risk-taking, Passion, Innovation, Opportunism, Learning, Realism, Persuasion and Execution. Then we take our readers through a practical method for recovering their Entrepreneurisms.

Aditi:  What is ‘business’ according to you?

Authors: Business is putting together a focused product and service, that delivers value and finds a market willing to pay for it.

Aditi: Which three things, according to you, is mandatory to make a business flourish?

Authors: Having the right Business Frame, which we define as “A broadly defined frame that brings together hitherto unconnected capabilities, talents and opportunities, at the right time, to form the foundation of an enterprise’s exponential growth.” That’s No.1. If I was to pick two others, it would be; No.2 Clear Value Proposition, and No.3 Ability to Sell.

Aditi: Which is the greatest myth that surrounds the rise of a business?
Authors: That it takes connections to build a successful business.

Aditi: Which is the greatest mistake that people make when entrepreneurs start a business?

Authors: There are many actually. But I would say not testing out the product and establishing that you can achieve market penetration and build revenue.

Aditi: With so many startups coming up in various sectors in India – do you think it will do the economy good?

Authors: The numbers of startups are a sign of a growing economy. Startups find opportunities and introduce new products and services. This pushes established companies to compete, which is great for the consumer and the economy.

Aditi: Do you think the way people approach business is different in India v/s the USA?

Authors: The US market is generally more risk-accepting. Companies and consumers are willing to try new products, buy from startup companies with a clear track record. Also money is easier to raise in the US, and that is for two reasons; the market is large and homogenous, so scale is easier to achieve. Secondly, the risk-taking appetite is stronger, so its easier to get early adopters (customers) who are invaluable in providing feedback to build a better product.​

Aditi: Is writing a book tough when two people write it together? What must one take care of while co-partnering a book?

Authors: It’s not easy, but we have the same belief system and find that we can work together quite well. We discuss overall concepts, map out the approach and then we split the writing. While writing this book we used to meet regularly to provide feedback and suggestions, edits, etc. We wanted to make it work and so we did. ​

Aditi: What is going to be your next book? Can you give the readers a sneak-peek into it?

Authors: It’s still in the “thinking” stage. We will share it with you when it crystallises.

Aditi: What is the one thing you would tell those out there who want to start their own business?

Authors: Don’t just jump in with both feet. Get prepared; build the self-efficacy, or competence first.

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