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Sustainability is the new kid on Start-up Block by Col. Tarun Kumar

The concept of entrepreneurship covers many types of organizational and individual activities, but it takes its most obvious form in the decision by an entrepreneur to start a new business. In recent years, we have all tried answering questions such as: 'What conditions support business start-ups?'; 'Why do individuals decide to become entrepreneurs?'; 'What impacts do start-ups have on the economy?'

Environmental business management is the new mantra for start-ups, as it is a sensible starting point for making an impact. It was no secret that starting a new business venture was considered complex.

Start-up entrepreneurs have to comply with a variety of external demands. Business advisers, funding, and dwelling market conditions often interfere with the pursuit of ecological business practices. The most crucial factor for environmental considerations in the start-up process is the entrepreneur him or herself. It appears that the pandemic has provided a unique opportunity for governments and businesses to refocus on more sustainable ways to achieve economic prosperity.

During my interaction in the ecosystem, one thing that emerged was Sustainability is becoming a priority. Now many factors will motivate a startup to operate in a sustainability zone or address issues related to the reduction of carbon footprints.

Recent research by Gartner showed that 82% of businesses intend to invest in ethical sourcing, as “it is the right thing to do”. It is no surprise that companies that espoused the cause of sustainability were highly motivated intrinsically instead of any external pressures.

Altruistic principles are a critical factor coupled with this, there is a vast amount of data underlining the increasing importance that customers place on sustainability when choosing brands to spend money with, and even the potential to charge a premium for sustainable products.

It is perceived that environmental sustainability will become one of the highest priorities by the customer when choosing products or services in the next five years. Consumers are willing to spend 12-15% more on sustainable items. Today it just isn't the investors, even employees are attracted to businesses with a sustainability commitment.

Millennials have refused to work for companies they felt were harming the world. Another intrinsic aspect of sustainability is cost savings - less waste and more efficiency gains. The fallout of such practices is that they can help startups access finance.

Startups with green credentials are increasingly attractive to investors, with climate impact being an important criterion. There is a huge scope for improvement in the field of sustainability. The benefits are vast and the road to success is paved with obstacles.

The key focus should be on ensuring own survival, innovation, and growth coupled with carbon footprint, sustainability of supply chain, and brand value regarding climate change and how to integrate it in their business plan. Sustainability is a diverse, far-ranging, and rapid-evolving subject. It is asking a lot, therefore to expect any single startup to develop meaningful plans to become sustainable on its own, let alone if the company is running on limited resources, is a big ask.

A collaborative and open approach is necessary. This collaboration can take place within the organization, with other startup companies, or with customers. Each group will have valuable insight into what the business can do better. Not every company, employee, or customer will be a champion for sustainability. However, there will be possibilities that some will have helpful ideas to help a tech Startup develop its green strategy.

The term ‘SMART goals’ (targets that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) has become common parlance in many business circles. Some might dismiss this as management jargon. But certainly, when it comes to sustainability, there is value to this approach. As such, startups should listen, learn and continue to adapt their policies and actions to achieve an effective sustainability strategy in the long term.

Sustainability, climate change, and the environment will remain fundamental issues that businesses of all sizes and across all sectors must address. It is a challenge that business leaders in the tech industry must embrace. Also, by considering some of the options suggested above, they can pave the way for creating the greener businesses of tomorrow.

In becoming more sustainable, not only will startup companies play their part in tackling planetary issues, but they also serve to benefit in various ways. One feature common across most approaches is the need for consistency – improvements can typically only be achieved in the long-term through changes in mindset, behavior, and resourcing, coupled with clear practical steps along the way.

Are you a budding entrepreneur or start-up seeking more guidance and inspiration on growing your business and protecting your business ideas, products, or services? You’re in luck – Tarun Kumar is the Mentor you were seeking.

Click on the links below to book a slot and be successful.

Col Tarun Kumar (Retd)

+91 9100704123


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