April 24, 2013

ESOPs vs Sweat Equity vs Equity for Services

The folks at NovoJuris have an
article on the tax impact (salary and capital gains) and the implementation of each of these. Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers. Includes the Free Deal Digest Weekly Newsletter: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

April 22, 2013

"Don't Delay Layoffs; but go the extra mile with outplacement help"

Mukund Mohan  of Microsoft Accelerator (emphasis mine):
There may be tons of reasons, which are all very valid and humane, for you not to take any painful measures. Your first commitment should be towards your people – so do what it takes to help them land on their feet someplace else, but take the necessary actions to ensure that your business will live to fight another day. You owe it to your dream, your passion and your family to give your startup a fighting chance and keep it surviving as long as you can.
...I have been in this situation two times just in the past 3 years. At both times, revenues from a customer suddenly were in jeopardy and I had to take corrective action very quickly. The day we got to know about it, we had to let go of 4 folks in a very close knit team of 7 and the second time let go of 3 people in a smaller team of 6 people.
I had to be ruthless about the business since I wanted the company to survive. Without those cuts, the business would have folded and the folks would have been out of a job in 3-6 months anyway. I thought it would be more appropriate to be proactive. I also had to be compassionate as a leader so I took great pains to call at least 50+ friends to find a position that paid better and was more stable for most of my colleagues.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers. Includes the Free Deal Digest Weekly Newsletter: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

April 17, 2013

Getting the Balance Right Between Bramha, Vishnu & Shiva/Mahesh in Business

Uday Kotak in Outlook Business (emphasis mine):
In my 25 years of building this business, I have learnt that embracing change is about creative death. In every organisation you need Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh -  the creator, preserver and destroyer. Most of the time when you start getting successful there are too many Vishnu’s and you will not find as many Mahesh’s. But to continue to be successful in a changing world you need all three. Getting this combination right is crucial and also contextual. At a particular time, you may need more of Mahesh, at another time you may need more of Brahma and some other time, more of Vishnu. It is not one fixed formula, but that is what management and leadership is about. For example, we had an investment in a company called Matrix that was a fascinating idea, but it came to a point where it was not working. We decided to exit, took the pain and moved on. As a firm grows and becomes more successful, exiting becomes more difficult; however, if you don’t cannibalise your own products, someone else will.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers. Includes the Free Deal Digest Weekly Newsletter: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

April 02, 2013

A VC is a boss you hire; but can't fire

From an Inc. summary of panel discussion involving women entrepreneurs:
Eight weeks after emerging from the Tech Stars accelerator, Fitton's company, OneForty, closed a $2 million venture round. It happened fast--too fast, said Fitton. The company wasn't ready for it. "Our burn rate went way up and we became much more expensive," she said.

That happened before OneForty had quite settled on a direction. Taking venture capital means "hiring a boss you can't fire," she added.
Ferraro's venture investors insisted she relinquish several projects that mattered to her, including work in the community, and with the homeless. "I had to do it under the radar and behind their backs," Ferraro said. She advised attendees to consider debt first and "keep your equity in your pocket."
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers. Includes the Free Deal Digest Weekly Newsletter: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.