Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's raining startups in Bengaluru

It just feels so wonderful to hear about start-ups. To add to this excitement, we attended a startup event on 6th June at the Nimhans Convention Center. This event was organized by one of the largest professional network called as ‘Silicon India’. I sincerely thank them for organizing this event to support and empower the budding entrepreneurs who are trying their best to make a difference.

It all started by reading Hari’s mail about the Silicon India event and without second thought, all of us (Raghu, Sup and I) registered for the same. Even though Hari is in Pune, he also registered for the event to be sure of his seat if in case he is planning to visit Bengaluru. I also invited few of my other friends who were interested in start-ups and perhaps potential entrepreneurs (potential team members).

It was on 5th that we received a formal invitation from Silicon India with the details on the event and the program schedule. We got even more excited as we looked at the list of speakers for the event. Most successful entrepreneurs in India like – Sanjeev, Ajit and Sanjay were the speakers of the event during the morning session. For those who do not know who is who; Sanjeev Bikchandani is the Founder of Naukri, Ajit Balakrishnan is the founder of Rediff and Sanjay Nayak is the founder of Tejas Networks. So after looking at these three names, we could not control our excitement of participating in the event. There were 100+ start-ups who were supposed to present their business plan in front of about 50+ venture capitalists and angel investors. So it was an opportunity for us to meet the legends and work on our ideas having looked at many business plans.

We reported at the venue on time and got into the auditorium for the morning session to begin. As we walked in, we saw the auditorium jam packed with 1000+ entrepreneurs. Wow! It was just inspiring and awesome feeling for us. Any entrepreneur will feel proud and happy to be a part of the entrepreneurs mass.

The most awaited talks started as per the program schedule, one after the other. First Sanjeev took us through his journey of Naukri.com and then Ajit took us through ‘the art of re-inventing’. After a couple of other sessions, it was Sanjay’s talk which gave us the meaning of true entrepreneurial life. I have even made a note of the important points they all shared with us and I will post the same in my next couple of paragraphs. The whole reason of me writing this post is to let everyone know that these three are the legends of Indian industry and they are living their bigger dream in life. There is nothing that is impossible to do and if you dream big, you are big enough to achieve the same. We, being budding entrepreneurs, or perhaps! Starting to experience what exactly entrepreneurship is, found it awful that we are late by a decade. Well… that will be the feeling of all entrepreneurs. Only hope for us is that we have started somewhere and we are now bootstrapping to get whatever we have planned for.

After the inspiring talks during the morning session, there were presentations scheduled for the startups that were looking for the initial and second round of funding. They were all parallel sessions categorized based on the domain and the technology they are operating with. There were categories like, Internet, Mobile technology; Wireless, Embedded, Education, Health etc., and we wanted to attend the presentations of companies which are into the internet domain (www, e-commerce, e-business related). There were about 14 presentations in this category out of which there were about 3-4 companies which were really good. I can name a few which I personally liked, Web Bazaar, Craftmygift.com, web vivah and vidteq.

Summary of Sanjeev’s talk is as under:

He presented on the extremely important traits of an entrepreneur:
1. Know your customer / Speak to your customer often.
2. Are you solving an unsolved problem?
3. Are you a first mover? or at least an early mover?
4. Are you doing real work for real money?
5. Be Frugal – you are only in control of your costs.
6. If you become an entrepreneur primarily to get rich, - QUIT NOW.
7. Most important quality of an entrepreneur is ‘Persistence’.

Ajit’s talk was on ‘The art of periodic re-invention’. The way he explained the concept of it was impressive. He took the example of initial Ford model and described on the rest of the re-invention process. As per him, there should be a re-invention every two years. After listening to it I could relate to the constant changes we used to observe in Rediff.com.

Sanjay Nayak’s talk was the best talk of the event. He took us through his journey of Tejas Networks. We were surprised to know that Sanjay and his team took 3-6 months finalizing on their first product. His talk was focused on opportunities for the startups in the current scenario giving the comparative advantages over the other countries like China. He also spoke about the India advantage: the vibrant domestic market available in India; creation of disruptive business models; scope for R&D in India which has an innovation advantage; Partnership oriented approach one can build with other countries and MNCs. Overall, Sanjay showed us the road ahead for us and highlighted on the challenges one can encounter in the journey.

I sincerely admire at all these legends who have already succeeded in achieving their dream and creating an inspiring future for all the young entrepreneurs. For more report on outcome of the event, please visit

So that was one more story from me. And from the time we have come back from the event, we have been working day and night to get some things done.

Nights are becoming longer, exam tensions, studying, writing, planning, long telephone calls… it’s chaotic! Phew!

But…I’m loving it!

8 comments:

Vaishnavi said...

I have always had some sort of an allergy towards anything related to business. Start-ups, innovation, branding, management, they all make no sense to me. Nevertheless it's always good to hear such success stories and be inspired by them.

Raghu said...

It was really a great evnet. I want to thank Silicon India for organizing such a massive event in Bangalore. It also shows the spirit of Bangaloreans who thronged the auditorium to participate in the event, share their views and learn from others' presentations.

Regarding the blog, thanks Sri for bringing this out to wider audience so that they get the feel of the event.

sajana said...

Again an informative blog from Srikanth...:)
i know you have been striving to start up a business of your own and achieve success and i am sure talks by the young entrepreneurs would have inspired you...and i would like to see you in the same position in the years to come guiding the young entrepreneurs :)

All the Best to you Best friend !

Narasim said...

Thank you for the informative "Minutes of Meeting" style report on the workshop.

It is very nice to learn that many young people are keen on starting up their own businesses instead of joining an existing firm. I wish them all well.

Narasim

Prasad A N said...

Hey!
It must definitely have been a good event. I missed it :(

Prasad
[SP6, SarPass :)]

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