November 18, 2013

Entrevista with Palem Srikanth, Founder of logistics software maker Four Soft

Cross Posted from the Entrevista Blog




In this audio interview ("podcast"), Palem Srikanth shares his amazing entrepreneurial journey - from a Stanford educated logistics executive with Hewlett Packard to returning to India and starting a Dosa restaurant chain to the tough lessons from making cross-border acquisitions to the recent sale of the logistics software business (to US Private Equity firm Francisco Partners-backed Kewill) for about Rs.275 crores. 

The Podcast can be downloaded from here.

(Use Right Click > Save As to save the file to your desktop)


Highlights:
  • Importance of Financial Strength in the Enterprise Software space

  • How persistence and investing in technology (to ensure Four Soft's products
     were cutting edge)  provided the maximum return - much more than the expensive acquisitions the company made 

  • Managing the confidentiality of the transaction involving a listed company - so that there is no misuse of insider information to trade in the stock 

  • Tapping of Ex-Colleagues/Bosses for Angel Capital 

  • Advantages of going public 

  • Pitfalls in acquiring an overseas company - how buyers need think through not just "how to bite it, but  also to swallow it and digest it". For example, issues like whether the target company is entrepreneurial enough to meet aggressive growth expectations; the regulatory issues in laying off people; conflicts of interest involved in buying a company (from a financial investor) where the management team aspires to itself own the company, etc. 

As if creating an Enterprise Software Product out of India has not been challenging enough, Srikanth  now has a parallel career in active politics - he is running for Parliament as part of the Telugu Desam Party. You can follow his political career into the 2014 elections and beyond on his web site at http://www.srikanthreddy.com.

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.