The keynote address at Google I/O 2013 was undoubtedly an incredible experience. While Google made some breathtaking announcements about new products and number of users, what remained with me is the talk by Larry Page.
The strongest ecosystems are created by the best people coming together and engaging in dialogue. So YourStory does very focused networking events across various cities to openly share and learn from each other. Chennai holds a special place in our hearts. We’re coming back to meet and greet all you awesome people yet again on Friday, 12th April.
While building a product tech venture in India requires a lot of effort – of course money being one – but more critical to success is building a right team, a great product and market fit, and a culture that thrives on innovation and excellence. We had the good luck of having an inspiring conversation with Sandeep Singhal and learn from the man who can clearly be regarded as one of the sharpest VC in the Indian industry with a knack for constantly funding and building successful product ventures. He’s most well known for being the co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners, a leading investor in the Indian startup eco system. Sandeep has successfully guided several of his investee companies through tremendous growth, and in many cases, successful exits.
Kerala goes by the sobriquet God’s own country and its got all the right reasons for it too — lush greenary, beautiful backwaters, scenic ghats, good food and hospitable people. But today I want to share with you, the story of a new Kerala that I experienced during a recent two-day trip to Kochi. The experience makes me believe that Kerala will soon have a new name – Startups’ Own Country, if you don’t believe me, read on.
If I go into details of my journey of last 4.5 years, you might call me a bit cynical, prone to exaggeration and crazy. So let me not go into that now (though one day the pandora box will open and I will share my story). What I am sharing with you now are some fun experiences of being a woman and an entrepreneur and some questions that stay with me.
In India, clearly one of the biggest pain point for Startups is raising funding, while most of the countries in the world are figuring out a way to support startups, let me share with you a scheme which is meant to give a boost to entrepreneurs in our country.
The Ministry of Finance has come up with a scheme to support innovative/tech based startups. Unlike any other loan scheme where banks ask for collateral, track record, revenue flow to the company, last 3 years balance sheet etc, under this scheme those are not the parameters to analyse a proposal. Under this scheme banks analyse the promoter team, investor’s profile, innovative idea and revenue visibility.
Those weekend trips you made to a hill-station or to your farmhouse cushioned amidst nature, need not be just during the weekends. If Shubhendu Sharma and Afforestt have their way, every backyard in our country will have abundant greenery. Shubhendu’s company grows urban forests that are maintenance-free, natural forests using afforestation methods from Japan and through some research of their own. And all these forests can be grown in just two years time.
India’s e-tailing market in 2011 was about $600 Mn and is expected to touch $9 Bn by 2016 and $70 Bn by 2020 at an estimated CAGR of 61%. According to Forrester, this growth is the fastest within the Asia-Pacific Region and a ComScore “State of eCommerce” report (September 2012) states India adds over 18 million internet users annually growing at a rate of 41%.
Cold Calling can honestly give even the most seasoned sales professional a bit of cold. Especially in our country, where we are used to getting calls for every thing imaginable. As a Startup, more often than not, we have to rely on cold calling to get the deal/assignment or that cherished meeting. How can we excel in this art? I call it an art because it rightfully is and deserves to be given the coveted status… be honest to yourself and you will realise that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Sales is the fundamental requisite for a startup’s success, especially if you are a startup based out of India. You do not have the luxury of being funded just on your idea, so you need to make money from your product or service to sustain till the point an investor finds you attractive enough to put in money. Also, [...] Read More