Sherpalo Ventures is a 12 year old mentor capital firm that supports the development and commercialization of early-stage disruptive new technologies. Headquartered in MenloPark, C,A some of their prominent investments include Google, Inmobi, Cleartrip and Naukri.com
Crystal balls and Ram Shriram share many similarities, the only difference being that Ram’s auguries on the future of technological trends always come true. Not almost, just always. He was one of the first people to write a check to Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1998. At the golden period of the mobile revolution in India and across the world, he shares his insights on the wide array of opportunities available for Indian entrepreneurs.
Time is Ripe for India:
It is truly India’s turn at the helm of technology. Mobile is now a growing space for opportunities and is truly the elephant in the room. With six billion people estimated to possess phones in the coming few years, irrespective of the access to a roof above the head, it is only common that the potential is highly underrated in the current scenario in India.
An application can be developed on a small mobile phone for a very small market to find restaurants and local events and the same programming languages can be used to build a global scale business such as mobile payments appealing to a much broader audience. This could lead to the birth of the next big major company in India. For instance, looking back at the PC revolution of the 90's, Microsoft became a giant by tapping the potential 100 million user base. Today, the company is a 27 year old giant. The same prospect can be applied in India with users exceeding 20 times the PC revolution potential at its helm.
Requirements for the vision:
The mobile revolution to succeed would require India as a Nation to provide a round the clock power supply to every corner of the country and a reliable last mile bandwidth for faster access. Hopefully that is not a lot to ask the Indian government to do for its people. The private companies have succeeded in ushering in more jobs, applications and more opportunities. India ushered in the outsourcing generation and can boast of giants such as Infosys and Wipro to name a few.
There is a whole new generation of applications being built on a new set of open source technologies. Abridging to build cloud applications at scale, applications on open source text and knowing new programming languages such as objectorial and IOS programming is essential for the new generation.
Many Gold Mines lay Untapped
The mobile based entrepreneurial journey offers virtually no room for large losses. Secondly it’s a pass or fail scenario where within six months you can know whether you are going to make it or break it.
While mobile takes the first place, the second biggest opportunity is in the form of cloud enterprises where companies are moving into cloud based applications across the globe. This important transition presents a new set of opportunities which could eventually turn the young generation of Indian companies into cloud application companies as opposed to cloud consulting firms. So over the next few years, we should usher in the next set of giant companies, maybe the next Google, Apple or Microsoft.
(The article is based on Ram Shriram’s speech during the Nasscom Product Conclave-2012.) By Vignesh Anantharaj