Archive for August, 2012

Planning Commission report on Entrepreneurship in India

Planning Commission has just released this report – Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in India. I feel privileged to have contributed, and it was a great learning experience to work with participants from many different areas – entrepreneurs, bureaucrats, academia, investors, consultants, and more.

Hopefully, the report is implemented well and sets the road map for putting entrepreneurship on steroids – one of the few routes that I believe can truly propel India forward.

Comments welcome!

Advisors, Mentors or Coach?

We see far too many folks confusing mentors for advisors.

A mentor’s job is to mould you as an entrepreneur and make you successful. For them a business that you do now is just a phase, and are more focused on you as the product. Now, that means, a true mentor will break you, push you and put you back in more ways than one, to sculpt you into something. You need to trust that person absolutely to be able to grant them the time and patience (even if you hate it) to do that.

On the other hand there are business advisors, who are brought in for specific agendas with a specific business. They dont care much for what you as a person are accomplishing, but if the business is doing well. But you have to have specific questions for them – the more specific the better. Then there is such a thing called coach.

It helps to know what you are looking for. Its as different as trying to find a girl to date, vs trying to find a friend :) Remember the success of all these engagements depend on getting expectations right. Know, what you need.

A New Kind of Accelerator Model : The Startup Centre

We’ve always been strong believers that any process, if directly ditto-copied (from the west) will fall flat on its face. The Startup Centre is a model, unique to India, and a pioneer in its own way adapting a very different approach to building kickass startups. We thought it was about time we start explaining what we do and our thought process behind it. Here’s a start.

The Startup Centre in a lot of ways is building a new kind of accelerator model. Not one where you build a startup in a sprint of 90 days, and throw it up in the air and hope it sticks (most of them only freefall from there), but meticulously measuring every step of the way, and building startups that build products that the world needs and is willing to pay for. Building value, means a lot to us. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that building companies riding the hype cycle don’t last and over the next few years, valuations and value will be intertwined more than ever.

Would love to hear your feedback, thoughts and suggestions. We are a startup too, by every measure. We are listening.