No. I am not talking about connecting startups to angels/VCs/customers etc.
Or. Taking few folks head-on (that’s part of running NextBigWhat).
But a simple request that I receive from a lot of connections.
And that is?
Inquiries about entrepreneurs.
For due diligence.
Due diligence – not by investors, but by parents!!
Parents who are inquiring about a potential candidate for their daughter’s marriage. And most of these requests I receive are from the girl’s brother/cousin who is connected with me on social media channels.
The Big Trend
On the lines of ‘India is a country of snakes and elephants’, there is a favourite topic in the media that entrepreneurs often find it difficult to get married, as parents are most comfortable seeing their daughter marrying a guy who is ‘well settled’ in life.
Ofcourse, this was true for a very very long time. I know of few entrepreneurs who faced major challenges in getting married.
The Good News!
There is a sudden interest among the parents for marrying their daughter(s) to an entrepreneur. And to be fair, there isn’t a massive rise – but harbinger of a happy trend.
2011 – 2013 : I received only 3 such requests.
2014 – So far, I have received 11 such requests!
Another good news? Mostly, parents do not seem to be so hung up on whether the company has raised funding or not. But they are more worried if the entrepreneur is a ‘good guy’ (standarad questions); and whether the company can make it big or not (i.e. the belief is on future than the present status, just like VCs !!).
In fact, somebody asked me if this entrepreneur (whose name also ends with ‘Bansal’) can make it big like the other bansals! 🙂
And a bigger correlation? Parents who have had their sons/daughters/nephews/nieces starting up seem to be most comfortable with this entire plan of getting their daughter married to an entrepreneur.
In a way, it gives them confidence that entrepreneurship is for good fellas as well (once upon a time, perception of entrepreneur used to be somebody who couldn’t get a job!)
How Do I React To These Requests?
It’s tricky. Very tricky!
In most of the cases, I probably interacted with the entrepreneur only once or twice. And importantly, nobody in the world can predict a company’s future. That is, I have ‘NO CLUES’ about this entrepreneur and his venture.
So what do I do? Well, I mostly end up asking a lot of questions to parents (and their proxies) and tell them that they should be comfortable with the startup failure. If the guy is good and has a lot of fire, he will succeed – but don’t judge him just by his current venture.
Ofcourse, I keep it confidential, but maybe I will reach out to these families to figure out a conversion rate.
But for sure, entrepreneurship has gone mainstream and people are more comfortable with ‘startups’ and ‘entrepreneurs’ now than ever.
And for bachelor entrepreneurs out there, there is a hope ! 🙂
[Image credit : shutterstock]