Elmira Bayrasli

Good Startups Have The Basics, Great Ones Have Confidence

This article is written by Clinton James, a Contributor Author at Startup Turkey.

Elmira Bayrasli wrote a book called “From the other side of the world.” It is a research work about extraordinary entrepreneurs from unlikely places. Some of the places covered by this were Turkey which was among the first places, Nigeria, Pakistan, Mexico, India, and China among other two dozen countries.

The stories were about entrepreneurs that combated issues like corruption, poor governance, lack of skilled talent among other challenges. She said that one of the answers she constantly got from all the researched countries were about “CONFIDENCE!” This transformed to purpose and understanding what the purpose was all about. Having asked “why” was to achieve purpose and that purpose was not that of why one is supposed to make money. She went ahead to give examples of people who did not have ordinary mind sets and bringing out the genius in people in reference to Steve Jobs.

She gave a story of an entrepreneur Shaffi Mather, who was a management consultant who worked for top management companies, studied in US and UK. He heard about India becoming an Asian tiger, he wondered if this was true, one day his mother started chocking, did not quite understand the Hemlock Maneuver, so he picked his phone to call for an ambulance but no one picked. He then decided to take the initiative all by himself.

He met all the right government officials in New Delhi, which did not help much. Then planned to take action and start a full ambulance profit business. He and his friend based in the financial sector did not know much about the health sector. So, he spent some time with the ambulance services, raised for equipment among other items and put the ambulance services.

After 3 years of the mother’s incident, he needed to finally have a phone number to call for emergency service. He spent 3 months to find a phone number which he spent meeting with the ministry of communications in New Delhi’s central offices. A bribe was asked from him by the government officials. He was not surprised by this action but was surprised that they hadn’t seen the visionary impact.

This was his AHA moment! He realized that the issue was not because that Indians could not make a functioning ambulance service but it was because that Indians couldn’t complete the process of launching that idea without someone in the government office asking for Chaipani (meant change for tea).

He refused to give a bribe and so the number he got was 1298 which wasn’t memorable nor was it repetitive. He decided that he is to go out there and not talk about creating an ambulance service but about the corrupt system in the government. So now, 1298 has grown in size and is serving the whole of India states, has franchises in Dubai and Singapore.

When you take a look at startups it’s not about the best technologies, the smartest minds in the room, nor the best speakers. Elmira added, “What makes Silicon Valley stand out is that everyone asks the question “WHY” and how I am adding value.”

─ June 2, 2019