May - 2015 - issue > CXO View Point

Challenges are there, But Opportunities Galore for Start-ups

By Safir Adeni, President, TiE Hyderabad & Managing Director, Ineda Venture Group
Thursday, May 7, 2015
By Safir Adeni, President, TiE Hyderabad & Managing Director, Ineda Venture Group
Ineda Venture Group vests its focus on early stage entrepreneurial ideas, teams and businesses. The company believes in promoting passionate ideas, teams and start-ups to create scalable and effective solutions that solve today's challenges.

The year 2015 started with a bang for start-ups in India. Flipkart got more than $10 billion in valuation, start-ups like TaxiForSure got acquired for $200 million and Snapdeal is said to be in talks with Alibaba that would value them for more than $5 billion. The bold risks taken by local VCs like Helion Venture, Nexus Venture partners or Kalaari Capital have been quickly rewarded by subsequent investments or acquisitions from the likes of Tiger Global and Softbank. However, all is not rosy for the average start-up in Koramangla in Bangalore, Okhla in Delhi, Powai in Mumbai or Hitec city in Hyderabad. A typical start-up journey is a roller coaster ride and in India, at the moment, there are as many challenges as opportunities to succeed. While the macro economics indicate favourable market for consumer products and services, enterprise and business solutions are a hard sell in the relatively slow moving and conservative businesses. Hence, even VCs favour consumer, retail and B2C e-Commerce start ups. B2B is best left for more mature western markets. Besides the inherent macro advantages, there is definitely availability of a large talent pool; however, the quality in the talent pool is severely lacking.

I feel that below are some of the challenges which start ups come across during their journey.

Attracting Talent

Furthermore, attracting any above average techie or business analyst to a start-up is next to impossible unless you have raised Series A and can afford top dollar (a high price) along with have garnered enough market hype. Not that no students are coming out with a passion for entrepreneurship from the likes of IIT, IIM or ISB. There are dozens of them and in lot more numbers than ever before. However, some are most often fixated to their own ideas and business plans that they don't venture to join someone else's dream. The others lack any sense of ownership and accountably, if at all they do have capability. It suffices to say that the biggest challenge is the "Lack of suitable talent that can be attracted to an early-stage start up".

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