The winter is just starting off in Srinagar and the valley is seeing the first sights of people pulling out their winter wear for the season. The cold is only going to get severe, but the weather is just lovely during the day now. I had the amazing opportunity to moderate discussion amongst a panel of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs at EDI, Srinagar. It was a great experience.
One of them had risen to an entrepreneurial role within a large corporate house while the other was an example of the start from scratch entrepreneur who had made it big in the valley. While both of them shared a lot of tips for the practice of entrepreneurship to budding and aspiring entrepreneurs from Jammu & Kashmir, they kept harping on the importance of keeping a focus on the needs of the customer. Without needs there cannot be products / services. So true! But many entrepreneurs miss it totally in their love for what they are creating. The panelists also emphasized on importance of acknowledging the fact that many (if not most) customers may not be able to clearly describe the solutions to their wants. But the needs and wants that they have within them are real and almost all of them can clearly articulate it. But to listen to it, the entrepreneur needs to learn the art of listening to both what is stated and unstated.
The clear message to every budding entrepreneur in the room was:
- Always keep an eye on the needs and wants of the customers
- Always ensure your products / services solve one of the above
- Always listen to your customer / market needs
I am sharing this important thought with the larger forum on our blog because the aspect of learning the skill of listening is not something that you hear often. I will share some tips and techniques on how to master the art and science of listening in future blogs. And before we reach there, here is my take on the learning in the form of a short snippet “Listen and you will hear opportunities”