Author Archive for Shiva Venkatraman

Rajat Gupta’s article: a classic

Dear readers,

This is a nice article written by Rajat Gupta, former MD, McKinsey on “India needs more entrepreneurs”. A classic. Perhaps a little commercial on ISB but good reading:
-Shiva Venkatraman

How do founders meet and decide to “DO A STARTUP”?

Hey readers,

I am always bothered by one question in my mind: How do startup founders “form the initial team” ? For those of you who have read my startup culture report, comparing US, Japan and Indian startup cultures, we touched on some of that. However, I would be very keen on hearing some views from you. To be more specific:
1. If one has an idea, what is the process one follows to find the “right partner” ? Is there such a process?

2. I quizzed about 20 famous, successful, serial entrepreneurs. Most did not have a good answer. The best answer I got is as follows, from the founder of Analog Devices:
a. 2 founders is the best scenario
b. both should complement each other in terms of skillsets.
c. 1 of them should be “technical/scientific” and the other a business guy and the leader.
d. The reponsibilities should be clearly dilineated.

thoughts? I think this is a good research project, which might help first time entrepreneurs…

-Shiva Venkatraman

Startup Culture Report: Emailed to everyone who had asked for it

Hey readers,

I have finally managed to get my hardware issues sorted out and emailed all of you who have requested the report. I am still a low-tech blogger; so I have asked Alok for help in posting this file somewhere on venturewoods. Please write to me individually about your thoughts. This was not a full fledged funded research, albeit it was a class project at MIT.

Shiva Venkatraman

Startup Culture Report – pdf link

Startup Culture Report: Delayed due to laptop crash


I got a good response of people who want my startup culture comparision report: US vs. Japan vs. India. Apologies for the delay in responding and posting it here/replying to your emails. My laptop crashed and I am dealing with IBM support to fix it. Hope to respond to all of you/post it on the site by the weekend.

Apologies again,

Shiva Venkatraman

Research Results: On cultural differences between teams in US, India and Japan

Hi everyone,

I would like to thank all of those who participated in the first phase of my research by answering my survey on cultural differences between US, Japan & Indian startups. For those who participated in the survey and of course, for the general enthusiastic crowd on this blog, I would like to offer to send you the final report as a mark of appreciation for your help. When I am in India next, I will also offer to buy you a drink whenever we meet. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the report, please email me on

Keep the thoughts flowing. I will contact some of you individually soon as you offered to give me a 1: 1 interview. Just been backed up with coursework and an international trip.

-Shiva Venkatraman

Survey for India-based startups

Hi everyone,

I am doing some research on cultural differences in startup organizations across India, Japan and the US. If you have been involved with a startup which was started in India, please take this survey. I really appreciate it.

If you were involved with a startup in the US, you can help me out too. Here is another survey link for that:


Let me know if you face any issues. Thanks in advance.

- Shiva Venkatraman
MIT Sloan Fellow 2006

DealFlow in India: What does it look like ?

Hi everyone,

I am new to this blog. For a quick intro, I am a student pursuing the Sloan Fellows program in Innovation and Global Leadership at MIT ( and was most recently in a startup called AirTight Networks (, venture-backed, HQ-ed in Mtn Vw, CA and incubated entirely from India, where I ran Asia-Pac BD, Mktg Support and Program Mgmt.

I am doing a study on VC and Entrepreneurship in India and was wondering if any of you can point me to some human sources (other than google, venture intelligence India), who can talk authoritatively about the nature of early stage startup dealflow in India. To give you an idea, some questions I have are:
1. Where are most of the startups getting created ? (Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai or Delhi ?)
2. What are the spaces in which these startups are starting up ? (Web 2.0, mobile internet, enterprise sw) ?
3. What is the nature of the founding team (returnees from abroad vs. residents, campus bred (e.g. IIT/IIM) vs. large corporate alumni like Infosys) ?
4. How are they funded ? (self, angel, vc) ?
5. what is their business model ? (services, product, consumer, etc.)
6. how many are in stealth mode ?

You can write to me at or skype me on shivav999 or yahoo me on shivav99.

- Shiva