Elmer Dsilva, Founder & CEO, Wrap2earn

Elmer studied his Masters in Finance from the University of New South Wales after which he worked and lead various operations teams at Groupon Australia. After spending seven years in Australia and passionate about creating value, Elmer decided to move back to India to start Wrap2Earn – a disruptive OOH marketplace that benefits both brands and car owners.


With the increasing adoption of new avenues and ideas for conducting even traditional businesses, the time is ripe for budding entrepreneurs to take the proverbial plunge in starting their own venture. However, apart from the necessary skill set and a compelling product pitch, many founders usually flounder in their startup journey by not recognizing important elements that differentiate successful businesses from the obscure ones. Without sounding too preachy, let us look at the startup essentials that are vital in today’s VUCA world to navigate through the set of issues that plague every business during the formative years.

Identify a gap or need and make a start!

Entrepreneurs are usually considered to be passionate individuals with an indomitable spirit to succeed. If you are someone who can relate to this positive attitude, the only thing preventing you from becoming a successful entrepreneur is your indecision in making a start. Start from narrowing down to a few product or service categories that are interlinked with your passion and conduct due research to conclude on the starting point. Once you get past this, all that remains is formally incorporating your company and bringing onboard a core team that share the same values & motivation as you.

Being Persistent with your startup idea

If you need more proof of how important persistence is to taste success, just look around at the established players from any industry. Chances are that these businesses could stand the test of time owing to the sheer persistence displayed by the founders, the core team or even the employees working tirelessly in the face of intense competition. Persistence may not guarantee you success but, if you have done your market research thoroughly and are confident about your product, it can be the most important factor in determining the longevity and success of your currently fledgling business.

Failure is certain only when you quit

Many entrepreneurs employ a strategy of working on multiple ideas and then focus on the more successful ones to build upon. This can often be misconstrued and often leads newbie founders into a feeling of impending doom every time they may fail at something. However, nothing could be further from the truth, as every failure has an important lesson that holds the secret to mastering that very task in your next attempt. The key then is to never quit; instead focus on why you failed and work towards correcting your mistakes with an even stronger zeal than when you began.

Adapt with every mistake

There are many success stories that have risen from the ashes of a failed project or venture. Brands and businesses that have a malleable strategy can often benefit from an inherent agility to react to changing market conditions. The key then is to analyze failures more than enjoying moments of success and incorporating the learnings back into your business, the human capital or even in your own personal self-development journey. Afterall, the entrepreneurs who keep learning are the ones who get closer to achieving ever-lasting glory in the startup world.

Understand the industry and your competition to have a communicative edge

Sometimes, you may have an idea that could potentially revolutionize the industry you plan to set foot in. But if you make the cardinal sin of underestimating your competition, it may just be the case of gifting away your bright idea to a competitor that has the ability to capitalize on it even before you have set sail. Knowing the industry and the market your startup will operate in is probably the ‘ground zero’ task that should be prioritized; even before you decide to kickstart operations. Any lack of understanding will severely compromise your ability to react in moments of crisis or far worse, lead you into one. This requires a keen understanding of your competitors, especially in terms of what makes them loved by their customers.

Keep it simple with a deep focus on your core values

Too many entrepreneurs keep emulating the latest superhero of the startup world and in the process lose a sense of their identity. This can even happen to the industry veterans that are being eulogized currently and usually stems from an absence of a core philosophy and value culture. Try to keep it very simple in your heart and mind, always focusing on this value set to help steer your firm through triumphant times and phases of solemn reflection.

Solve Customer problems and amplify your solution

There are many startups focused on creating a ‘want’ rather than solving a ‘need’ and it is crucial to know the difference between the two. In times of humanitarian crisis, startups focusing on such wants can be seriously exposed to business risks that may even lead to insolvency. Hence, it is highly advisable to focus on products or services that can be worked upon to offer a better value proposition to the end-customer and leverage your marketing skills to amplify the reach of your innovative offering amongst the target audience.

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