“Luck is definitely one of the ingredients an entrepreneur needs to succeed.”

“Luck is definitely one of the ingredients an entrepreneur needs to succeed.”


Navneet Singh, co-founder, PepperTap, on-demand grocery delivery services company

As the story goes 

Navneet Singh, co-founder, PepperTap

I believe that my meeting with Shailendra Singh of Sequoia India was a matter of sheer luck. I was introduced to him on e-mail but nothing happened for almost a month as he was travelling. Later, when we were going to meet one of the analysts at Sequoia India, incidentally, we also got to meet Singh there. Since that day he’s been PepperTap’s strongest champion. Wherever we are today, a lot of that credit goes to him.

In another instance, we were hunting for a strong technology leader for our startup for almost a year. I had met quite a few good candidates but none would buy into the story. I tried to reach out to Ujjwal Grover (the former senior tech developer for Hike Messenger), our current tech lead, to meet through common friends. He declined, saying that he was happy at Hike. I persisted and met him once. The first conversation led to questions, more meetings and finally, I was able to convince him to join the team. This was a scenario where luck and persistence went hand-in-hand to get results.

How you see it

Luck is definitely one of the ingredients an entrepreneur needs to succeed. Not all need it, but most do. And I would go an extra mile and say that the ones that don’t need it are lucky! When people say they just got lucky, they are either being modest or flippant. Hard work brings luck; but there are certain factors, not in anyone’s control, which could change the direction of a startup completely. You could be lucky in hiring a senior resource, you could be lucky to have not so strong competitors or you could be lucky to be at the right place at the right time. It is not the only factor that helps, but is definitely something which could make things easier for someone.

In a measure

I’d say luck is a minority. There are three other factors – first, execution; second, execution and last, execution. If one executes relentlessly with passion, one is more likely to succeed than by just depending on luck.

What’s your Plan L?

Luck can be planned to a large extent. One could plan the way they attract a potentially stellar employee; one could plan the way they attract investor interest. While it doesn’t always work, to some extent, such things can be planned.

Poornima Kavlekar has been associated with The Smart CEO since the time of launch and is the Consulting Editor of the magazine. She has been writing for almost 20 years on a cross section of topics including stocks and personal finance and now, on entrepreneurship and growth enterprises. She is a trained Yoga Teacher, an avid endurance Cyclist and a Veena player.

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