When Should Entrepreneurs Transition to Next Generation of Leaders

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Entrepreneurship has picked up pace over the years. The concept has been increasingly preferred now. While there is a notion that a considerable amount of exposure and academic qualification is essential to launch your business, the norms have changed now. People now prefer setting up their own businesses rather than working for employers and not having a good pay scale or job satisfaction.

‘Be your own boss’ is the new fad. Passé are the days when being an entrepreneur required a specific skill set or experience. In the present times, entrepreneurship is free from biases of age, gender, right time, educational qualification, practical exposure, etc. If there is an idea that is worthy of being converted into a business venture, people do take risks and launch their start-up.

The beliefs like ‘it is never too old’, ‘too young’, ‘too late’, ‘too early’, ‘not sufficient experience’, ‘not appropriate educational qualification’, etc.  All you need is that one unique idea, the determination to stay focused, the ability to take risks and to be able to deal with uncertainties, leadership, and managerial skills and you are all set to take the first step in the entrepreneurial journey.  

There are various examples of entrepreneurs who have faced all odds, launched their innovations, and eventually became big brands in the market. Be it Ritesh Agarwal of Oyo Rooms, or Ranveer Allahbadia, Monk-E, and owner of BeerBiceps YouTube channel all are a testimony of the fact that entrepreneurship is for anyone and everyone who want to transform their dream into a reality. Entrepreneurs like Harland Sanders who started KFC at age of 62, and RK Swamy founded BBDO when he crossed five decades of life; depict the fact that they aged like fine wine.

Transitioning to the next generation of leaders

While some entrepreneurs manage their businesses for decades, others hand over the reign to the next generation either by selling their entire business or their stakes to investors or other businesses. A notable example of such a case is that of Bill Gates. He handled the brand for various decades before transitioning it to the next generation of leaders.

However, there is no specific answer or set of answers to the question that what is the right time for an entrepreneur to exit or when should they hand over the control to the next generation of leaders. It is dependent on various internal and external factors.


In some cases, the exit is not by will but due to the situation.

An instance of the same is Infosys’ recent announcement of the appointment of a non-founding member as CEO and the policy of no founders in executive positions was indeed a major decision. This is such a situation wherein the founders would face a challenge as to when should they exit and why if they wish to.

Self-realization and actualization

The key reason for any entrepreneur to exit is the feeling of complacency. If they feel that they have done their bit and achieved what they envisioned, then they want to exit and move on. They either want to try their hands at something new or wish to become investors and Sherpa’s for the millennial. This stems from the self-actualization phase of the Maslow Hierarchy Needs model.

The external pressure of board members and investors

There are also cases when the new investors and board members want fresh faces to handle the operations. The prominent example supporting this scenario stands of Steve Jobs. He was earlier kicked out of the company but was later brought back to help stand the brand on its feet.


There also cases when the company’s growth, mission, and vision are not going as per what was initially thought of. There is a divergence in the thought process and various compromises happened which the founders find tough to accommodate with their individual morals, mission, and vision. Hence, they wish to move on.

While in some cases such a move is a planned one. Such instances are indeed rare but do exist. In such scenarios, even the firms are benefitted as there is no hostility or upheaval resulting from corporate battles. 

How entrepreneurship makes individual leaders

Possessing leadership and managerial skills is a pre-requisite for any budding entrepreneur. However, with time, as one dives into the business and starts handling all the tasks and the workforce, leadership and managerial traits are further enhanced. Being a good listener, manager, problem solver, logical thinker, risk-taker, is considerate, communicative, having clarity in his/her thought process and actions, driving the team and the company towards the goals are a few of the characteristics that he/she polishes and/or gathers while working as an entrepreneur.

Summing Up

Entrepreneurship and risk-taking go hand in hand. Now that the industry is free from limitations of age, gender, experience, background, etc. This is the right time to develop your start-up. The pandemic further aided in the growth of the sector and Now that it is in its prime, it will continue to proliferate thereby providing all the more options for the customers to choose from.  

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