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Building Businesses On A Shoestring By Internet Players At India Internet Day, 2014

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With the success of past editions of the India Internet Day, TiE Delhi – NCR launched its third edition with the objective to connect various internet players of the industry and providing a platform for discussion on strategies used by the market leaders of this industry.

During this third edition, one very interesting session named, Building Business On A Shoestring was held by the key speakers such as,

  • Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, Co Founder & CMO, Shopclues who is one dedicated professional with 14 years of experience in diverse industry resultant of which, her 2 year old foundation, Shopclues stands tall in Top 5 e-commerce players of the country;
  • Bhanu Chopra, Founder & CEO of Rategain, started his career with Deloitte Consulting; however, he shaped his dream in the form of a self funded venture named, Rategain in the year 2004, which bestows Software as a service (SaaS) solutions to the hospitality and travel industry players and termed to be one of the fastest growing ventures in last 3 years;
  • Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder & Vice Chairman, Naukri.com, an IIMA pass out who is now an entrepreneur since 1990. He founded Info Edge (India) and runs portals like Naukri.com which is one of the top job sites and other portals like Jeevansathi.com, 99acres.com, Brijj.com, Allcheckdeals.com, Naukrigulf.com, Shiksha.com, and Firstnaukri.com;
  • Hari Nair, Founder & CEO, Holiday IQ possess 15 years of experience in management consulting and after taking ample experience, he switched and founded HolidayIQ.com, India’s first travel community which helps travelers to discover vacation choices, plan holiday trips and then post their experiences; and
  • Sachin Bhatia, Vice President, Drishti Soft is one hard core professional who gave his two hundred percent this company called Drishti Soft and successfully made it one of the top companies of the industry.

The experiences and views shared by the prominent speakers of the session on building businesses on a shoestring was refreshing for all the key Internet players and audience available.

Some major take away from the key speakers participated in the session and statements made by the them were:

Sachin Bhatia, Vice President, Drishti Soft:

  • You need cash to run operations that’s why you need to raise the capital
  • I advise to start with a team and a group of people with the same set of mind and goal.
  • Your first customer will buy you and not your product.
  • We made a model called small babies.
  • To start building your team keep chatting with the people around.
  • Meeting people is always a key idea

Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, Co Founder & CMO, Shopclues:

  • When started there was no scope of the managed market place.
  • Currently, we have 40k merchants.
  • Conviction, Strategy, Goal and Vision are key elements for being an entrepreneur.
  • For scalability money is required.
  • We are a technology company so we bring people (merchants) through technology.

Bhanu Chopra, Founder & CEO of Rategain:

  • In 2004, access to capital was not easy as it is today.
  • We will not remain with privately funded.
  • How closely to monitor cash flows and ROI gives us as a team a lot of confidence.
  • When you are going for Shoestring budget, you start sustaining the money and budget.
  • I used a residential apartment as an office due to lack of resources.
  • If you do experimentation it gives you some chance of success.
  • Founder and CEOs are the sales persons.

Hari Nair, Founder & CEO, Holiday IQ:

  • Started this concept of business as I figured that tourism will be a big thing in the future.
  • I couldn’t raise too much money so that was a stage of Shoestring.
  • In bootstrapping days, you are thinking innovatively.
  • Where the revenue is coming and how quickly it will generate revenue that’s the key thing you need to monetize.
  • Budgeting is the best thing you can do
  • We made compromises in selling.
  • I had no idea how much money I needed when started.
  • For example, how do you get the content is one thing we started experimenting with.
  • I started a blog to build a team.
  • Your first customer is your anchor customer and is big customer for you as you know you will be able to validate.

Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder & Vice Chairman, Naukri.com:

  • Truth is you never know how much you will invest
  • Your early team should be the people you know and who believe in you.

Therefore, at the end speakers ended with a couple of advise for upcoming entrepreneurs:

“Dream big and start small” Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder & Vice Chairman, Naukri.com

“Persistant” Hari Nair, Founder & CEO, Holiday IQ & Bhanu Chopra, Founder & CEO of Rategain

“Raise money” Sachin Bhatia, Vice President, Drishti Soft

“Conviction” Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, Co Founder & CMO, Shopclues

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