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Showing posts from October, 2008

Underdog Advantages - By Sanjay Anandaram

The young CEO of the young company showed me an email from one of his senior team members. The email had a ring of anxiousness around it:
“ With so many big players now entering the market, I don’t know what we can do. All our customers will leave us. The bigger companies have more money, are far better known than us, have a national presence and have so much more experience. I think we should seriously look at an exit”
The company was a little less than two years old, had raised about Rs 2 crore about 18 months ago, the team had an average age of 26 and was one of the first companies in its market segment. I asked the CEO what he thought of the email and whether others in the company too felt the same way. He didn’t tell me what he thought but he was clearly perturbed. Others in the company too felt that it would be an uphill battle for them from now on and becoming martyrs in a battle with the incoming larger corporations didn’t appeal to them. The CEO was undoubtedly disappointed and…

Interview with NEA-IndoUS' Vani Kola

NEA-IndoUS Ventures has had a busy 2008 announcing investments in eight companies across sectors such as publishing outsourcing (PreMedia Global and Pressmart Media), software for educational institutions (Idenizen), online services (Seventymm), Communications Tech (Connectiva Systems and Bay Talkitec), Financial Services outsourcing (Basiz Fund Services) and waste recycling (Attero). Venture Intelligence’s N. Sriram spoke recently to NEA Indo-US Ventures Managing Director Vani Kola to learn more about the firm’s latest investments. The full version of this interview is to appear in the next issue of the India Venture Capital Report.

Venture Intelligence: Tell us more about Attero Recycling. Has this kind of business been VC-funded elsewhere?

Vani Kola: It’s the first of its kind in India for sure. This business is pretty much in existence in many countries in Europe but I cannot confirm whether they have been PE or VC funded. We are excited about this investment as India doesn’t have …

Growing Knowledge - By Sanjay Anandaram

It is fashionably said that we now live in a Knowledge Economy. Where value is created not by gaining access to proprietary information or by political wheeling-dealing but by better utilizing in-depth knowledge of a subject, market and process. Ideas and innovation are key and central elements of this economy.

Now how do ideas and innovation emerge? They emerge from insights and observations. From asking questions and challenging assumptions. From imagining possibilities. Insights generally come from individuals while ideas are developed and shaped by groups. Innovation usually requires an organization of some sort to deliver on ideas. It is therefore critical that each individual learn to be insightful and be able to ideate in groups for innovation to occur. Only a prepared person recognizes when opportunity or serendipity knocks on the door. Preparation, in turn, implies that one must be aware, informed and knowledgeable.

How does then the current financial and economic crisis aroun…

Symbiosis business plan competition

Symbiosis Institute of Business Management is running a business plan competition for working professionals and startups.

This event seeks to provide an opportunity for working professionals/start ups to pitch to venture capiltalists for seed funding. Participants are given an opportunity to present their B-Plans to an eminent panel of venture capitalists for a period of 8 minutes.

The winning teams would get :
- Funding of Rs. 5 crores
- 30 minutes to present before the core team of Seedfund in Mumbai.

Participating Venture Capitalists :

Seedfund | NEA-IndoUS Ventures | IndiaCo Ventures Ltd
Indian Angel Networks | Canaan Partners

For more information Click Here

Understanding the Critical Factors of your Business - By Sanjay Anandaram

In the late 1990s, a large number of internet entrepreneurs emerged in India, spurred no doubt, by the successful acquisition of Indiaworld by Sify. All of these young entrepreneurs were convinced that they had the makings of the next Yahoo or Amazon (Google wasn’t that big then!). With very impressive looking web-sites the only thing missing for success, in their minds, was the money. Almost everyone who started an online business in that period believed that THE critical factor for business success was in building a really good web-site which would generate traffic (eyeballs) which in turn would lead to advertising revenues and then the magical acquisition!

But hardly anyone survived that era. And the very few that did, are doing rather well. All those who’re still around and flourishing realized early on that having a good looking web-site wasn’t the most critical factor for the business since the reality in India was rather different. PC and Internet penetration was very low and br…