This year, one of the biggest incubation centers of Pakistan, launched its cohort especially for corporate employees. The thought behind this program was a very high failure rate of startups launched by youngsters. I think, the step is very much in the right direction and will definitely bring good results.

With more digital inclusion in Pakistan, the country has now created a leash of opportunities for entrepreneurs to start their own business. Technology driven times, where you can carry your work anywhere you want, has made the life of today’s businessman not less than a robot. They are more likely to spend time on work than on friends or family, typically starting off when they woke up till they sleep at night. Since technology has provided a level playing field to everyone, it’s no doubt attracting more individuals from Generation Y (early 1980s – early 2000s) also termed as Millennials.

This tech-savvy generation is more connected through social media and aware of what is happening around them. They are smart, energetic and committed. Their grasp on technology is much more than older generation i.e. Generation X (mid 1960s – early 1980s).

Yet, ,there is something that these youngsters are missing. Experience.

What do experienced professionals bring in the team

You can have industry professionals in your team for various reasons, but in my opinion the following is what you should seek while looking for a team member.

Clarity of thought

To bring clarity to the vision, goals and strategy is the first thing I expect any experienced professional to bring in any startup. When too much is happening and you can do a lot by virtue of being enabled to use technology and other resources, it is easier to get distracted.

Experience of relevant industry

The best thing you can do for your startup is to have someone from the relevant industry. For example, if your startup deals with insurance, someone coming from insurance industry can be proved critical for your success.

Regulatory understanding of the industry helps a big deal in dealing with the authorities. Something that can take you months to figure out can be sorted upfront. Especially, in a  country like pakistan where not everything is well documented and is digitally accessible, the importance of this knowledge cannot be emphasized more.

Right connections

A well connected team member is always welcome in any business. Someone who knows the right people can pull off many strings for you which it’s not possible otherwise. This clearly gets your entry to many places where it would take you very long otherwise.

Mentorship

Startups are tough business. You need to stay focused and persistent for a very long time. There comes times when you are simply lost. Someone who has struggled before can keep the team calm and on track. During these times, he can act as a mentor and a guide rather than just being a team member.

Lastly, having an experienced professional just for the sake of it is not enough. You must have the alignment of goals and stakes in the venture to keep the boat floating.

What if you don’t have a professional in your team

Not every startup can have professional(s) in their team. But, they can always fill the gap by seeking mentorship and guidance provided by incubation centers. There are many incubation and accelerator programs in Pakistan that promise to help startups with right information.  You can find some of them here.

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