Thursday, January 03, 2013

TiE Summit @ Mumbai

Sharing a few thoughts / observations on the TiE Summit held on Dec 20,21 at Goregoan, Mumbai.

Also these are not exactly their words - I am looking at my notes and I only have a few phrases. This is a venkatised version of it - essence is the same.

Kunal Shah of Freecharge : We are all engineers. We are good at solving problems. But where we suck at is defining the problem. Brilliant!

Kunal/Vijayanand of Proto and another Gentleman - didnt note his name : They discussed on traction and finally someone gave a nice sound byte : Traction is when you get customers without spending. That was a superb definition!

Ronnie Screwala, Founder UTV Group : First step to start something is big. But don't sit there basking on it. So many first steps have to be still taken  - getting funded, forming a bigger team.. it never ends. [ Perhaps thats why we call them as a Startup!  ]

He gave more tips

  • Invest in Teams
  • Get a good vision / mission - this gives clarity more than anything else.
  • Timing is important at every step - including Exits
  •  Scale > Control 
  •  1 good trait of an entrepreneur - he is a good listener
  •  Attract good talent - spend time on hiring the right team - even if it takes 6 months and multiple coffee shop visits. [ So true - keep reading about this courting process in Silicon valley ]

Ajay Piramal - has a pharmaceutical company and others - and is one of the top 50 Richest people in India [ ]

  •  Stressed on the importance of Values. He gave a great definition of Integrity - Integrity is the alignment of thought, speech and action. [ Simple and straight. ]
  •  1 good trait of an entrepreneur - courage to take a decision. 
  •   Convert challenges to opportunities
  •   Be passionate but also be dispassionate from results. Focus on action and leave results out. He gave a supporting story on how they dealt with their acquisition.
  •  Associate with people of high value
  • Avoid "slippery slope" - I will do a bit of this small short cut or concession - and this will begin small but will become big in the end.
Ganesh Natarajan, CEO Zansar technologies

  • Innovation is destroying paradigms
  • Dont assume that you have a great solution for today. It will change and your solution will become invalid ( explained how Aptech was no longer relevant when colleges started having IT in their curriculum )
  • Scale quickly - that is what entrepreneurship is all about [ huh.. hate that word scale ]

Alque Padamsee [ ]

He gave the best talk of the entire event.

Leadership through Innovation
  • Innovate
  • Enthuse not enforce
  • Vision Statement

There were 2 more sessions I attended.

One was Mahesh Murthy, Poonam Pandey and Ramesh Srivats - all Twitter superstars.

They brought Poonam Pandey just for the crowd? Boo - the time could have been well spent with another twitter celebrity.
  • Poonam Pandey earns 80,000 per sponsored tweet. She does one such tweet per day - and a 17 member team manages her account - so what did the bunch of hard working entrepreneurs learn from it?
  • All 3 have everything to gain from their twitter presence - so if the other two tried to make you believe that twitter is a good addiction etc.. - don't listen to them.
 There was one more session where Alok Kejriwal, Vishal Gondal, PK Gulati and an IAN member came on stage. It was good - nice sound bytes but I got distracted in an email/sms chat with a customer.

Overall the event was good. Met lot of unsung entrepreneurs - fighting their own battles. I am sure 10 years from now most of these unsung heroes will be on stage - inspiring the next batch of entrepreneurs. 

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