How I Started a Start-Up at 50

Feb 27, 2017

What comes to your mind first on hearing the term 'start-up'? A young individual who is tech-savvy and has a casual office set-up? This is a common perception.

Anand Tyagi started his own event management agency last year. Within a year, he has gathered some key clients and organised more than 50 events. And no, he is not in his 20s. Anand is a 51-year-old with more than two-and-a-half decades of experience as a marketer. He decided to become an 'olderpreneur' for various reasons. When asked how and why he began a start-up at 50, here is what he had to say:

'I had just 10 years of employment left'

As you start approaching your 50s, you also start worrying about life in your sixties. Having worked all your life, it becomes difficult to imagine life without work. Facing new challenges at work is what excites you and keeps you going. Anand did not want to depend on his job. So, he thought about setting up a business. It is like nurturing a baby. You need to do all it takes to ensure its well-being.

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'I knew what I was good at'

Spending almost half of your life working is enough time to realise what you are good at. By the time you reach your 50s, you have your passion figured out. Tyagi converted his zest for organising events into a business and got a head start.

'I had a large social and professional network'

Being in the corporate world for so long, your phone diary must be flooded with contacts. You have worked with most of those contacts earlier and they know you as a business associate. Some may have just met you at a conference or seminar and are acquainted with your name. All this is enough while looking for business alliances.

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'I got finance easily'

For a start-up, getting a business loan may be a little difficult and time-consuming. Anand took the convenient route and opted for a personal loan. Personal loans offer better interest rates. They are also easier to get for businesses with no or limited history. With minimal documentation, you can conveniently finance your start-up and set the ball rolling.

'I am open to learning new things.'

The business environment is dynamic and requires you to learn new things every day. You may have vast experience in your field already. But as an entrepreneur, you have to be a master of all trades. Anand understood only the planning part of events, thanks to his marketing experience. But organising events requires a lot more. He learnt what was required and continues to do so to stay in the game. As Tyagi puts it, you either develop this quality or perish.

'I had some personal financial objectives.'

As you approach the golden years, you may also have some personal responsibilities. Following retirement, surviving only on your pension is not possible. This is especially true when you have young children. The cost of education and weddings cannot be met on a dwindling income. You also need to build an emergency fund and pay insurance premiums.

Carry out thorough research on what you want to do. After all, your risk appetite in your 50s is not the same as what you had in your 30s. Put all your experience and knowledge to work as you decide to become an 'olderpreneur'.