How did Day 2 of Nasscom Product Conclave turn out?

In my earlier post, I wrote about the 3 things i loved about day 1 of NPC 2013.   Now I shall write about my experiences of day 2 / 29th October 2013.

Well, since i had registered the previous day itself, I went straight to the Plenary sessions.

The Planery Sessions

1.  NPC 2013 had a novel way of introducing the speakers in the form of building blocks that come from all over the screen and forming captions.  That way we were spared the tedium of listening to “thank him for making time for NPC despite his busy schedule”.  The novelty soon wore off and perhaps NPC 2014 will have a softer less blaring music to accompany the speaker introductions.

2.  Rahul Sood from Microsoft Ventures asked the audience “What motivates you as an entrepreneur?” and implored them to solve big problems in India.

3. Sanjeev Bikchandani of Naukri listed out a few reasons why it is glamorous to be  an entrepreneur now in India given the respectability, social acceptance, a large domestic market and availability of funds in the form of ventures.  Somehow his speech lacked the punch and the fire.

3. Rajan Anandan from Google, as usual threw a lot of figures and stats on the chances of Indian Billion Dollar (by market cap) enterprises.  I heard him recently at the CII Connect at Chennai and was wondering whether he would repeat the same line but fortunately he did not.  He talked about the opportunities available for the Enterprise products sector in terms of a large qualified sales force available with the established services players.  He said “If you have already gained customers in the Indian enterprise sectors, selling to the US CIOs would be a cake walk”. He talked about the huge markets in Advertising Technologies and SaaS.

4. Orna Berry of EMC talked about the Israeli start up culture and the tech ecosystem.  If only she spoke louder and used far less slides, we would have got a lot of value and insights into the Israeli success.

After their individual speeches and few Q&A, these 4 were invited for a panel discussion on the stage with Rangaswami of Sand Hill being the moderator.

To my question on whether we can afford to ignore the huge non-English market in India, Rajan responded by saying that the growth is in vernacular but that is stunted because of lack of online content in other languages as well as the availability of language-specific keyboards.

To another question on “what is the right time to go in for external funding”, Sanjeev shared his early days when was at Rs.18 lakhs turnover but he was approached by an NRI representing a VC offering him $2 Million and the promise of more rounds to eventually list in Nasdaq in a year or so.  He turned it down because he could not fathom the logic behind it but raised money soon to counter a well-funded competitor.

Watch the Plenary panel discussion

Made for India Panel Discussion

Imo, this was a valuable session with entrepreneurs who have “Been there, done that” sharing their learnings with the participants. This session was well moderated by Mukund Mohan.  The panelists were Vijay Sekhar Sharma, Manav Garg, Muthuvel Janakiraman of Bharat Matrimony and Krishnan Ganesh of Tutor Vista.   If you are keen to know some diverse opinions of boot-strapping vs VCs, exiting a business vs a life -style and understand disruption of market places, you must watch this.

While you go through these 2 videos, I will come back with a few more posts!!



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