Great Businesses Don’t Start With a Plan

When I had a vision about IPay I actually thought of writing a big business plan and financial plan and everything. I spent four weeks on this. I tweaked around this and looked at different types of professionals who can help me with Market research and project planning. I also hired IIM guys from Delhi to do a market research. The whole thing totally is different from what you/we do when in a business. I completely understand to start a new kind of business when there is no similar business as this kind. We need to start and evolve, based on that we need to create plans that suit with ground reality. I totally understood that and tried to do that. The plan what I prepared 100 plus pages plus financial projections, it just gives me an idea on how I want things to go and where I want it to go. When I landed in India on June 5th, I set a deadline that we want to start the business before for Oct 24th, 2012, so in this meantime when I saw the reality here, it changes the whole perspective and even changed the market strategy.

Based on my market strategy, I was thinking that we will reach high kind but later I decided to move on with MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to test the product with ground realities. I am doing that as we speak.

I was

talking to one of my friend and said that I kept 24th Oct as a date of launch for IPay services, and what exactly we would be doing and how exactly we will be going into the market. So he looked at me and said, “Are you kidding, are you sure you can do this before that the 24th of Oct!?” I said, “To create a minimum viable product I don’t think it will take a long time, I don’t think so it will take a lot of energy and a lot of money.” When I’m taking a minimum viable product I’m trying to imagine how an individual use a service/product on his day to day, like take for example prepaid recharge service, This service is needed 80% Indian population and have a mass network impact, so I’m trying to look at those products which I have been thinking that with a background of a telecommunication service business in the past. I thought the prepaid industry would be the best. Although I know that I didn’t think of making more money on this or not thinking of making money but at least it gets me straight or gets me going with that plan and it has a mass impact.

Coincidently when I was talking to my friend the same day, I received HBR (Harvard business review)article in an email which stated that ‘GREAT BUSINESSDON’T START WITH A PLAN’.

It struck me immediately, yes, it’s true ‘Great Business don’t start with a Plan’. It made me think, the four weeks of work that I have done sitting alone thinking and brainstorming myself with friends around, so all these had been kept aside right now, so reality on the ground is different from the imagination. I totally agree and learned in business schools that business plans for financial projections are very important but at the same time, I totally believe with the GUT feeling I have. I believe in the gut feeling of creating a business where I think there is a value and that’s what I am working on. Of course I know I am targeting mass market with network effect this means I will have to deal with 2400 problems a day and resolve them and move on to next.B ut While resolving we better find a solution to those problems so that system gets aligned with the process these problems may never come back.

In short, it’s actually Right that Great Business Don’t Start With a Plan, I hope that is true. What are your thoughts on this?
Do you think to start a business we really need a business plan or financial projection if we do then do they really work as expected?

This entry was posted in Personal.


Author: Krishna Lakamsani