Follow-up - Entrepreneur's Mantra for India Market
Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 2:48PM
Mahesh Baxi

It's been few months since I started my own entrepreneurial journey. While I have nothing to complain and my enthusiasm continues to be at the levels where I started - I learned something, which I completely ignored and underestimated. It wouldn't be too far fetched to say that I forgot one of the most important ingredients to be successful in Indian market.

That ingredient is ‘FOLLOW-UP’. Sounds simple? Silly? Rubbish? True but a reality that one must accept to avoid frustrations. Here is a small story:

For my product, I reached out to my friend Raj, a senior operations manager who worked for a multi-national firm in Pune. Raj realized that this product would be invaluable for the company he worked. He happily introduced me to the head of HR, Sameer. After the demonstration of the product, Sameer said he loved the product.

He asked for some time to internalize this with his team in India and US and get back to me. After agreeing to run a no-cost pilot to appraise everyone with the product, I happily waited for some days but no reply.

I started ‘following up’. After few phone calls and messages – I learned that Sameer was out of the office and will get back to me in another week’s time. Another week went by but no news from Sameer. A series of phone calls, messages and emails were of no use. It only helped grow my frustrations and my ‘follow-up’ list every time.

While this should be considered as ‘Unprofessional’ and somewhat linked with difficulties of saying ‘No’ in Indian culture (separate topic by itself), it is important to highlight the fact that this happens with almost 90 percent of the prospects.

As your sales pipeline grows – number of follow-ups goes up. Very rarely in B2B scenario – a long awaited call with come without follow-up.

There have been times where more than 50 percent of the time goes only in follow-ups with prospects. Needless to say that you need really smart ways to remember all the conversations, follow-up dates, email trail and much more.

Over the last few months – ‘Follow-up’ has almost become a skill set, which I try to check in potential business development candidates.

This is one ingredient one must learn to have to be happy and survive in the Indian Entrepreneurial fraternity.

Are you an entrepreneur? What has been your experience?

Article originally appeared on maheshbaxi (
See website for complete article licensing information.