Finding the Perfect Mentor: 4 Key Considerations to Keep in Mind

Finding the Perfect Mentor: 4 Key Considerations to Keep in Mind
Finding the Perfect Mentor

Finding the right mentor or coach for your small business can almost feel like searching for the right life partner. If you're among the lucky ones to have stumbled upon the right mentor, it can be the start of a beautiful venture; if not, then it can result in a tormenting experience.

A mentor is an expert or seasoned professional who guides and provides valuable insight to a company to reach its goals. Coaching comes at a much later stage and takes a more hands-off, consultative, and introspective approach to business leadership.

Providing the right mentorship to your company can make or break your career. Many young entrepreneurs will vouch for this. A survey conducted by Springboard India in 2020 found that 48% of professionals struggled to find a mentor for their careers. Another survey of over 200 entrepreneurs conducted by the Bangalore Chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) in 2022 showed that 56% of entrepreneurs felt connecting with the right mentor was a major struggle.

StartupTalky lists four important aspects to keep in mind in your search for the right mentor:

Know Your Problem Well
Network Online & Offline
Two-Way Street
Entrepreneurial Platforms

Know Your Problem Well

Knowing the problem areas of the company will help in zeroing down on a mentor faster.

"Ideally, the need should be clear about why one is looking out for a mentor. At times, entrepreneurs think a mentor will not enable them but rather do the execution on their behalf. We try to see what is the long-term value that the mentor will give to the company and what is the expertise that the mentor will get,” said Manas Pal from Pedal Start, a Gurugram-based start-up accelerator.

At times, a company may need the services of more than one mentor. Just like specialist doctors, a business requires different mentors for more perspective on each of its verticals.

“A mentor or a coach will guide the organization to the goal that they are looking at. Mentors need to be able to help the company in two to three aspects of the business,” said Ayush Lohia, founder of Lohia Auto.

Network Online & Offline

Social media has brought the ‘class’ walls crashing down, making business personalities far more accessible to common folk than earlier. Many budding entrepreneurs recognize this and reach out to mentors through social media such as LinkedIn and Instagram.

However, the proof is in the pitch, expert coaches say.

“You just have to look at all possible options, tap into all possibilities, and make the effort to reach the right mentor. It could be on LinkedIn; it could be Google Search. My recommendation is that you prepare a good pitch. Reach out to them; you will be surprised. Some of these celebrity professionals will revert. Many want to help as they want to contribute by giving back to the ecosystem,” said Subash CV, executive leadership coach at Regal Unlimited.

Two-Way Street

Once you’ve managed to connect with the right person to mentor or coach the company, it is important to lay down a formal structure for mentoring.

“If a company does not have the financial capability to pay the fees, then there should be something else in it. If both parties are not gaining, you will never get the best outcome out of it. It could be in the form of a small equity or it could be an arrangement that has financial implications and growth,” said Nasir Shaikh, motivational speaker and life coach.

A number of angel investors in India also provide mentorship while also raising funds for startups, such as Angel Investor India and 100x.VC, to name a few.

Entrepreneurial Platforms

At times, reaching out to a concerned person or authority may prove to be difficult, even on social media. In this case, a number of industry groups and organizations have platforms where they connect startups with industry professionals.

“If they have the appetite to go ahead and move ahead, they should probably seek support from such networks rather than directly reaching out to them. We onboarded a lot of mentors because these industry leaders have so many people reaching out to them on social media, but they are not sure about the company. Or even if they connected, the company couldn't understand the advice that they were giving. So we offered to filter out the right companies,” said Pal from Pedal Start.

The Government of India’s flagship initiative—Startup India—has its own mentoring platform, wherein experts can be reached. A number of state governments, such as Kerala and Telangana, have initiatives to support startups. TiE’s entrepreneurship programs also support and mentor small businesses.


Finding a mentor might become a tad easier once an entrepreneur is aware of the problems plaguing the company. Reaching out to an expert in that field is also easy in a world that is increasingly becoming virtual. It’s best to be informed about the initiatives that various government agencies and industry bodies have to foster mentoring so the startup journey becomes smooth.

The Ultimate Guide To Find The Right Business Mentor | Startup Mentor
n this current century, research has shown that the most powerful weapon in making a successful business is having a good mentor for your business. Finding the right mentor can be difficult.

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