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Choosing the right business partner

Let’s face it: in today’s corporate world, getting funds is not really a problem. The Indian market is flooded with money for anyone who comes up with good ideas.

Of course, in the struggling phase, a new businessman may think his idea is not good. However, if he strongly believes in his own concept and continues to put in efforts, the situation will change eventually. He will even get many people who are ready to finance his company.

This is when opportunities crop up for getting a new and financially stronger partner. However, when such offers come flooding in, the challenge is to choose the right partner.

Chanakya advices: “If situated between two stronger kings, he should seek shelter with one capable of protecting him.” (7.2.13)

So when multiple partners arrive with a lot of money and even experience, you should be very alert and cool-headed. After all, a wrong choice can ruin the business that you have created from scratch.

To make the correct choice, one should be able to evaluate strengths and only then tie-up with the one who is strongest. Here are a few tips to determine who would be the right partner.

Check all the credentials with known sources before the partnership becomes an agreement. It may take some more time—but you will be a winner in the long run.


Consider your values

Business is about the values you follow. Each person puts his feelings, hopes, and emotions in building the organisation. When a new partner comes, it is important to consider if your values and his values match. Both parties should have the same wavelength in thinking.

The long-term approach

At times, one may impulsively accept funds when it’s readily available. But consider all possibilities, and have a long term approach before you tie up with anyone. Otherwise, it is like a person who was not getting married for a long time. As soon someone says “YES”, he jumped into the wedlock, only to realise later that it was the greatest blunder of his life! So check all the credentials with known sources before the partnership becomes an agreement. It may take some more time—but you will be a winner in the long run.

It’s not just money

Partnerships are not just about money. It is not just plain give-and-take. In fact, it is about a life-long relationship that needs to be built upon. So, as Stephen Covey says in his book, ‘Seven Habits of highly effective people’, “….you need to develop an emotional bank account”. You will have to spend time with your partners regularly. It is necessary to communicate with them so that the relationship builds beyond just business transactions.

Remember, every business story is a story of teamwork and having the right team with you. No wonder then that choosing the right team members is highly important to win the game.

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.

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