Managing cash, talent a strain: Study

The study found frustration, lack of clarity, tension, feeling of anger and irritability as some of the top mental well-being challenges faced very often by entrepreneurs.

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Of the younger entrepreneurs aged 20-40 years, 64% of those who manage their own business or with partners and 42% of those in a family business worry about financial cash flows, says the study.
MUMBAI: Fear of failure along with managing cash flows as well as the workforce are the top three stress points for entrepreneurs, according to a first of its kind study by Ascent Foundation and Mariwala Health Initiative (MHI).

Of the younger entrepreneurs aged 20-40 years, 64% of those who manage their own business or with partners and 42% of those in a family business worry about financial cash flows.

The study found frustration, lack of clarity, tension, feeling of anger and irritability as some of the top mental well-being challenges faced very often by entrepreneurs.


Frustration as a feeling is predominantly experienced in family-owned businesses among younger (63%) and older (44%) entrepreneurs. More alarming is the revelation of 8% of younger and 6% older entrepreneurs from family run businesses that suicidal thoughts have crossed their minds at some point during their entrepreneurial journey.

Ascent Foundation is a not-for-profit expression of Marico chairman Harsh Mariwala, while MHI is a funding agency for mental health initiatives. The study is based on responses received from 186 entrepreneurs, which is nearly 40% of Ascent’s cohort.

“While entrepreneurs may have their personal and individual ways of managing stress, we need to rewire the ecosystem that links business failures to failure of individuals,” Mariwala said. MHI director Rajvi Mariwala, who is also the daughter of Harsh Mariwala, said in addition to success stories that are often shared, entrepreneurs also need to focus on learning from failures. She said the prevailing economic slowdown would have an impact on mental health of individuals and entrepreneurs.
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The study found male entrepreneurs to be more stressed around cash flow and employee performance, whereas female entrepreneurs (10% of the participants) faced tension around pressure to perform. The subject of mental health of entrepreneurs gained significance after Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha committed suicide four months ago.
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