On Marketplaces

While growing up in a small town, we used to have Thursday markets in outskirts. Local sellers as well as sellers from nearby villages would come to sell their stuff – vegetables, groceries, home decor, kitchen utensils and almost everything one needs in a town. Later, I realized that all the towns had dedicated days in a week for setting up markets. ”Setting up markets” is what marketplaces do.

After an unsuccessful attempt at setting up a marketplace (Eduflix) as well as working with a successful marketplace (Flipkart), I have realized that there are three very important things needed to set up marketplaces. Continue reading

Going Global: Delivering 10x Customer Delight

This is the second post in my “Going Global” series for emerging world startups.  The previous article “Go global faster: Building billion dollar tech enterprise from India” can be  read on yourstory.com

Having recently interacted with fair bits of startups building global technology products, one theme that has consistently emerged is that while Indian startups are solving deep problems applicable to customers across the world, the product experience leaves a lot to be desired. In order to succeed amongst world-class competition, we need to do better and I would like to call this building for “10X wow factor”. Continue reading

An affair with GSF

“When an aeroplane is taking off, it has to go against the wind. It takes a while to get off ground but soon it is gliding smoothly to its destination” This is the visual we saw everyday while at One97 office, where GSF accelerator was hosted. We could relate a plane’s takeoff very much to our startup’s journey. While its a joy to watch a plane take-off, we all fail to notice the herculean efforts put up by Airport staff to ensure a successful take-off. From maintaining the runway to synchronising the communications to timing the take-offs & landings, there is plenty of things to be managed. Their job doesn’t end even when the plane takes-off, they still have to guide it. This is exactly how we could relate to GSF accelerator.

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A friend in need …

In the last 6 months, after graduating from GSF, Flinto has shipped its uber-cool monthly discovery kit to thousands of customers in hundreds of cities, not just in India, but also to Singapore and Malaysia.  In a subscription startup such as Flintobox, it’s very important to keep fabulous products coming out month after month; it’s a key part of customer delight.  Relocating our base to Chennai was the best and the most challenging part of this journey.

While the reduced costs and local network boosted our operational efficiency, we made a grave mistake with the timing of the relocation. But for GSF network, I can’t imagine if Flinto would’ve made a smooth landing in Chennai.  Let me tell you how. Continue reading

Why we at Ridingo love being a part of GSF Accelerator

If you are not an experienced entrepreneur or a very senior professional having business development experience, chances are that starting up will be challenging from decision making and expectations setting point of view. I still remember us sharing our revenue projection sheet in early meetings with people, which projected us as a successful national business by now.

Its almost impossible to not get extremely positive about the prospect of our own idea. And its not bad for initial days. But after you have resigned from your day job and built the first MVP, things need to be realigned. Continue reading

Go global faster: Building billion dollar tech from India

This article originally appeared on YourStory

The traditional view on expanding a business with potential in international markets is to first build and capture the local market. This works in large developed markets like the US with deep local customer base, for example, the Enterprise and B2B technology sector. This concept also worked when distributing products globally was a challenge; it was a tough task establishing and managing a distributed workforce in each location.

Billion-Dollar-Tech

However, this thinking doesn’t hold anymore and if a technology product has to succeed globally, especially out of the developing world, it needs to think global from day one for the following reasons: Continue reading

From a High School Rebellion to Startup Frenzy

I still remember the day I received my acceptance email to GSF, as if it was yesterday. It was one of those moments I would remember for life because I felt like I was being rewarded for an entire teenage life’s worth of insanity. From creating doodles in my book to discussing business plans with almost everyone I meet, I was about to meet entrepreneurs I had considered as heroes for a major chunk of my life. It didn’t take much longer for my parents to figure out I had come up with another one of those evil plots that were meant to push myself as an entrepreneur, to a brighter future. I had a hard time explaining what an accelerator and startup was (for most Indians, both accelerator and startup are terms usually used in correlation with a vehicle) and an even harder time convincing them for the need to send me across two continents, alone, to people they knew nothing about. With a reasonable amount of tantrums and cajoling from a high school senior, my school’s assistant vice principal and my parents decided to send me to chase my dreams for once. For all I knew the opportunity that lied ahead of me was unquestionably the biggest I had ever confronted. I had the inherent responsibility of making the very best out of it. Thus the journey began after 3 weeks of waiting, on the 2nd of July with a flight from Muscat (Oman) to Chennai (India). Continue reading

Don’t go to Harvard?

This post is a reply by one of our EiRs Vikul Goyal to an interesting article by Vivek Wadhwa on not going to Harvard if you want to be an entrepreneur.

I’m not sure if I fully understand what the author is trying to communicate here. Is he trying to say – “Do not go to good schools if you want to be successful entrepreneurs” as the title suggests. I don’t want to disregard the findings of the research the author has conducted but my experience at Harvard has led me to believe otherwise. So, I strongly disagree. Continue reading