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Showing posts from July, 2011

"Startup Financing in India: Then & Now" - Article by Sanjay Anadaram

A sound financial system is the bed rock on which entrepreneurial dreams can be built – within companies as well as without. Access to investment capital and credit financing are critical aspects for any business. Interestingly, in the 100th year of such access in India, it is worth looking back and realizing that it took the efforts of many entrepreneurial, philanthropic and visionary people to achieve all this.

Providing organized professional access to commercial finance in India is at least as old as 21st December 1911 when Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala set up the Central Bank of India which claims to be the first commercial Indian bank completely owned and managed by Indians. The “Cradle of Indian Banking” - Dakshina Kannada and Udipi districts in Karnataka – saw the setting up of Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, Corporation Bank, Vijaya Bank, Karnataka Bank, Vysya Bank, State Bank of Mysore among others, thanks in large part to the Swadeshi movement which aimed to cater to the needs of…

"The Entrepreneurial Journey from Goan Feni to Scotch Whisky" - Article by Sanjay Anandaram

India is the world’s largest whisky (in all its variants) market and it’s fast growing market for alcoholic products is worth in excess of $22billion. About 40 million bottles of Scotch whisky was imported into India from Scotland last year, up by 40% from 2009. Recently, India granted geographical indication of origin (GI) status to Scotch whisky, a legal protection that will help reinforce the authenticity of the product and enhance the market potential. This recognition is “good news for Scotland and great news for one of its most important exports” according to the Scotland Office Minister. Scotland’s whisky producers naturally see India as a priority market and the granting of the GI will ensure that Indian whiskies (99% of the consumption today) will not be able to use the term Scotch whisky on their products.

What was once an unorganized and illegal family activity of distilling is now a global recognized branded product. The Scotch whisky industry is over $6 billion in size (w…

"Startup Employees: The Heroes and Villains" - Article by Sanjay Anandaram

It takes a village to raise a child, says an old African proverb. It takes more than just the founder to raise a startup. It takes people of all types, some who join and stay, some who join and exit rapidly, others who join and after a while move on, and finally those who join, grow and become leaders.

It is the last category that needs to be nurtured by startups. Large companies have elaborate HR plans and policies for identifying, training, nurturing future leaders. In as much as it is a truism that it is more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep and mine existing one, it is also true that growing talent in-house, especially in a startup, is crucial. VC backed startups splurge money on attracting and hiring the “best” and “most experienced” from larger companies but then apart from raising expectations all round (within and without the startup), it is hard to put one’s finger on the real value of such hires. The situation is particularly acute in India because of the over…