October 04, 2020

Part 6 of Four years on – Solo or partnership?

A reflection on our entrepreneurial journey as we are about to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Nishe.

“You do exceptionally well when you are fully in charge, but if you are one of the people in charge and your role is not clearly defined, you seem to struggle at times.”


This, or something to this effect, was once told to me during a performance appraisal discussion with a PwC partner I am extremely fond of.

As he spoke these words, it felt to me like a revelation of a mysterious part of me which I vaguely knew existed, which probably baffled me, but I wasn’t clearly aware of. In a flash, I knew why I was comfortable in certain scenarios and uncomfortable in others.

That comment has stayed with me. I have reflected over it extensively – analysing the reasons for why I am that way, the good and the bad of being that way and how can I overcome the bad. That comment has influenced my thoughts, my decisions, my actions. Most importantly, whenever I am in situations where roles and responsibilities are unclear, this self-awareness has ensured that I will strive to bring clarity.

Why I am talking about this? Because this awareness also had an impact on how I structured Nishe.

Many people in my family are into business and so are a lot of my personal connections. Hence, I have been able to observe many business successes (and even more failures) from a close quarter. One major realisation from such observation is how often partnership businesses fail even when the underlying business is good purely because of inter-partner relationship issues.

Before I started up, I had my own ideas of how to run a business, ideas which some may consider (actually did consider) as utopian and impractical. The fierce ‘logician’ in me refuses to accept things just because someone (or the whole world) told me it is so. But I also don’t like to force my unproven ideas on to others.

Besides, unfettered freedom to experiment was, still is, very important for me. I figured early on that it will be easier to do such experimentation if I am the sole decision maker.

Considering all of these factors, and given this “confused when there is a lack of role clarity” part of me which I was acutely conscious of, I decided to go solo when I set up the firm.

So, what about now? Four years of entrepreneurship has taught me a lot more about myself and about business successes and failures. Hence, I am no longer wary of considering partnerships.

As long as it makes sense.

But for now, I stick to being solo. Happily.


[For Part 1, please click Four years on – Part 1]

[For Part 2, please click Four years on – Part 2 : Why did I walk away?]

[For Part 3, please click Four years on – Part 3 : The Idea of Nishe]

[For Part 4, please click Four years on – Part 4 : Early days of Nishe]

[For Part 5, please click Four years on – Part 5 : Entrepreneurship and decision making]

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