Startups, learn from MS Dhoni

Startups, learn from MS Dhoni

Last week, India was playing Sri Lanka in the final of the cricket tri-series in West Indies. When the last over came, it was sheer magic on screen. Our cricket team captain, MS Dhoni displayed his expertise — 6, 4, 6 — and the game was over. India won, players jumped with joy but Dhoni just smiled. Here is what startups can learn from him.

Keep smiling

You come across diverse situations, and not all are favourable. Showing negative emotions to partners, competitors or customers can hurt. Make sure to keep smiling.

Be calm

Have you seen Dhoni after winning a match — he collects the stump as a souvenir and is calm about the whole situation. It is the same even when India loses a match. So next time you win or lose a contract, be calm and remember the person who carries the burden of hopes of a billion Indians.

Take calculated risks

An entrepreneur takes as much risks as he or she can, but they are calculated. Dhoni did not take unwanted singles, even when pressure was mounting and the required run rate was climbing. The risk of less balls to score more runs is lower than exposing your team’s 10th and 11th batsmen, who cannot defend their wickets. As a startup, you will face tremendous uncertainty about your decisions, and may not have enough data to base your decisions on. Only your gut feelings and calculated risks can help you move forward.


The first step of doing anything is believing you can do it. In the finals, Dhoni waited till the last over to finish it off, and the look on his face showed he believed he could do it. Do not even once doubt and think you will fail. Being an entrepreneur is like being a captain, you get to play as well as lead!

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About the Author

Amit Grover, founder of, is an IIT Delhi and IIM Indore alumnus, having more than 12 years of industry experience. He started Nurture Talent Academy, and earlier worked with Infosys, Asian Paints, Onida and Mumbai Angels. He regularly blogs on AHA Taxis, his recent venture, offers one way outstation travel across India.

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