Building a billion-dollar company should not be the only target for Indian startups and entrepreneurs, according to serial entrepreneur K Ganesh.
Talking in a panel session at #WhereDoWeGoNow organised by GSF Accelerator in Bangalore, Ganesh also observed that lack of role models and fear of failure are some of the challenges the startup industry is facing in India.
"There are probably only 30 to 40 companies in Silicon Valley which have billion dollar valuations or revenues. As an entrepreneur or startup, you should create value to your customers rather than focusing on building a billion dollar company. You can still build a global company having $20 or $30 million," he said.
According to Ganesh, the Indian ecosystem doesn't have role models that startups or entrepreneurs can look at, compared with Silicon Valley in the US. "However, that scenario is slowly changing. Now we have Just Dial, which had a successful IPO foray recently, and redBus which was acquired by South African media giant Naspers Group in a multi-million dollar deal, to look at as role models. We have now started seeing Indian companies scripting success stories across the globe," he said.
In another session, Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal said the meaning of marriage has evolved over years, and renewal and disruption are happening in the wedding industry as well. "Marriage was originally conceived for the communal gathering. In the 80s, brides/grooms were looking for innocent partners. This concept has changed over a period of time. Now physical appearance and successful career of partners play an important role."
Impact investment firm Omidyar Network MD Jayant Sinha said social investors always weigh the capability of a company to create social impact rather than looking for good RoI. "Social impact is the bottom-line for impact investors. We are not in a returns business," he said, adding that India is the epicentre of impact ventures in the world and Omidyar sees a lot of potential in the Indian market.
#WhereDoWeGoNow is designed as a 'futuristic' hiatus in the lives of its participants (for recharging and refuelling their bodies, minds and spirits). Its themes included future of design innovation; future shots; future of social entrepreneurship; future of women in tech; future of venture innovations and disruptions; and future of entrepreneurship.
Earlier, GSF conducted '10KM Startup run' programme in the city that saw participation from over 100 investors (VCs and angels) and over 200 founders to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and fitness.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)