Let me begin this blog by asking the question which each and every member wants to know- Was the last session- the so called “Special Startup Saturday” truly special? You bet. It definitely was, let me tell you why and what made it the perfect closure event for Startup Mumbai for 2011
Event began on a special note with Annkur joining the already charming and highly energetic Himanshu on the introduction part with a jhatpat recap of how SS started and why it exists. Once done with the audience introduction which comprised of our standard crowd of engineers/hackers, working professionals across industries, some aspirants who are chasing their big dream and some who have already been walking the entrepreneurial journey from quite some time- the session finally kicked off to an informative session.
As the title promised- sessions did focus on the building blocks of business from the legal aspects to marketing, HR, Sales and other nittiy gritties of the business which were further covered in detail. SSMUM still had the very special Lightning pitches (LP) made by the entrepreneurs which has always been giving them ground to showcase their new ventures.
The Lightening Pitches
Session began with one of the most lucrative offer for all the budding entrepreneurs out there – “ZEPO” by Nitin Purswani offered individuals willing to start something on their own an opportunity to open their online shop. Sharing a successful story of one of their already growing clientele is a 45year old lady who is running her home-made chocolate business using the simple, and easy to use interface designed by ZEPO. The beauty of the idea is in its simplicity and fulfilling the basic need of entrepreneurs which I am sure many more will soon be making use of. [Presentation]
The next LP session became a cherry on the cake by going a step further to the website you get designed for your business idea. Jayesh Sidhwani with his product “InteractEasy” allows your users to have a voice interaction facility with you/your helpdesk by installing an app on your website. This session raised some interesting pointers on the text-chat vs voice-chat in terms of manpower feasibility, concurrency, time efficiency and ultimately cost efficiency for the business owner. But with a free beta version available out there for Start-ups, I would say its worth giving a shot and find out the answers yourself. (Any feedback welcomed) I hope Jayesh did understand the concern people had with regards to scalability of his dream. [Presentation]
The third LP for the day introduced “Tunebasket”, where entrepreneur Mukul Majumdar is proposing to manage your music across different devices where the need for such a product was assessed and several advances were presented to enhance its attractiveness.
Sales: Hands-on experience sharing by Waqar Azmi
The podium was then taken over by an in-depth dive into the topic of “Sales” by Waqar Azmi’s sharing his own experiences on his journey with “Sutra HR Services”. Starting with catchy differential definition of Marketing as paisa kharch and Sales as paisa vasool , the session focused on the elements of Selling and its various concepts applicable in his personal as well as audience-shared experiences.
Ending the session with an ultimate statement of busting the fad of “part-time Entrepreneurship”, Waqar emphasized on the importance of going all the way in and not just partially in order to make things happen for yourself and your business.
How the startup funding game actually works?
The next session provided answers to many queries and shattered several myths that entrepreneurs have about funding and investors. An extended session by Bhavish Agarwal of Ola Cabs, taken over by a joint session of Vikram Vora of “My Dentist” and Mahesh Murthy of “Seedfund” provided some absolutely wonderful insights on the journey of an Investor and Investee and how both sides are faced with their own set of challenges and opportunities to make things happen.
While Bhavish kickstarted by sharing his own learning during the funding course. Vikram and Mahesh together discussed about how they decided to invest, revamp and scale Vikram’s My Dentist. The session gave a clear insight on how the process functions and what to expect at various milestones (which is nowhere covered in any book)
A surprise chuckle for the crowd
After all the serious talk in the first-half, we all were then taken on a humor ride by Vipul Goyal of “Humorously Yours”. A very fine blend of some very interesting stories and jokes that filled the whole room with some good amount of laughing energy and geared them up for the next in line sessions of HR, Marketing and Legal & Accounting aspects of business.
HR fundas for your Startup
Second half started with Deep Gnatra of Web1 sharing his experience on acquiring, managing and retaining talent for your organization. Deep’s experiential sharing triggered many other audience sharing and ended with the note that there is no one-set solution approach to the HR issues in your organization. However, there are certain aspects that cannot be ignored- taken up by Sudhakar from “Husys” providing a very in-depth guideline on the fundamentals of HR aspects for your business starting point. [Presentation]
Digital Marketing for Startups
The next session by Himanshu Mody of “Tekno Point” sharing his 11-years of experience of marketing his business on the model of “word of mouth”, brought the concepts of feedback, recommendations and importance of trust not just within your business but also with the entities related with it. Experiential insights on how he was able to use these elements for his marketing strategy provided a different line-of-thought of “marketing” for one’s business.
So ready to take the plunge ?
And the best was saved for the last with Anshul and Ashish of GlobalEx taking the audience through legalities and process of setting up a company. The session discussed the fundamentals of the business entity with their respective requirements, advantages and disadvantages. Insights on the best practices and most common errors that entrepreneurs make surely provided the much needed understanding of the first steps of becoming an entrepreneur. [Presentation]
So at the end of the day the effort of covering the building blocks of a business was well received. This was all possible because of active contribution by all of you. Please keep the support and feedback coming in to make this journey an exciting one.
Author – Pallavi Pareek is a regular volunteer at Startup saturday Mumbai and has worked hands on with several startups.