Forbes Column: The Smartest Unknown Indian Entrepreneur

Here’s my latest Forbes Column: The Smartest Unknown Indian Entrepreneur.

What is touching, is that the entrepreneur profiled here is also infinitely humble, embarrassed by this sort of attention from the media. In my private exchange with him, I have expressed my deepest respect, and the reason I want to feature this story repeatedly is that I truly think it is a case study worth emulating.

So Indian entrepreneurs, please pay attention to this story. There are many lessons buried in it.

14 Responses to “Forbes Column: The Smartest Unknown Indian Entrepreneur”

  1. Sanjay says:

    I have not used Zoho but from the article it appears that the traction is substantial.

    What is more interesting to me is the thought of having 8 people in USA and 800 in Chennai and in India hiring people who want to perform and do not have an IIT/IIM label.

    I am from IIT/IIM so I have nothing against IIT/IIM but there are many who do not have the labels who are equally good if not better.

    I would like to see many “world class” companies emerge from India.

  2. ashutosh says:

    not sure why I see sramana’s picture on the link. I thought the article is about Sridhar Vembu? would also like to know more about sridhar’s profile than sramana’s, really..

    “Sramana Mitra is a technology entrepreneur and strategy consultant in Silicon Valley. She has founded three companies and writes a business blog, Sramana Mitra on Strategy. She has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”

  3. Krish says:

    Why don’t we have more product innovations in India…? Here’s my $0.02.

    For innovation to thrive, there has to be a reward in the end. Innovation cannot by itself result in revenues unless supported by scale-up initiatives. We are yet to get our act together in the art of mass production.

    Recognize the power of business models. Flawlessness or elegance of application isn’t just enough; robustness of the business model matters a lot. Windows is the best example of inelegant tech paired with the right business model. Tech history is replete with such examples.

    Bias against R&D. Check out the Research spends of some of our best tech companies. It will look more like a rounding error as a percentage of revenues. For most firms, it is an inconvenient expense head. This has to change and serious money will have to roll down the Research road.

    Not just revenue visibility, but it is its actual incidence that fosters innovation. Swelling mobile subscriber base did bring in tons of enthusiastic developers. But telco carriers doused it all by refusing to play with them and be transparent on revenues. Revenue should happen at the confluence of the developer meeting carrier to have a lasting, meaningful interface with the customer.

  4. virat khutal says:

    Complain complain and more complain about indian or indian way of working……..point is……what you have done personally to improve things?……did u apply a best or innovative practice to employ peon for your office….or forget about peon…..do u have best practice to love your wife.

    see it is easy to complain but hard to innovate or work. simply that guy did what he liked……..he never told people about indian problem……he did what he liked…..why do’nt you people do what you really like to do………if u really like to innovate in chatting….so please do’nt say on this forum that india can’t do that……….they need simply reason to do it………personally i feel….without computers india can work…..but America can’nt work…..that tells whole story……..innovation needs requirement……slaves do’nt have needs or requirement so they do’nt innovate they copy and talk big.

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