Focusing On Unique Problems Gives an Edge

By Upal Basu , NGP India Advisors ,Managing Director
Focusing On Unique Problems Gives an Edge
Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) is a venture fund that focuses on later stage investments in companies that are disrupting the mobile industry exhibiting high growth potential. NGP manages $600 million for venture investing and is backed by Nokia as its sole LP.
Disruptive shifts in technology are capable of creating lasting impacts and can change the way we lead our lives. We can see a disruptive shift from the traditional agency model to technology-driven programmatic buying of ad spots using artificial intelligence and algorithms. Another significant trend is the growth of location-aware advertising on mobile devices. Being early investors in these trends, we can see several innovative companies such as Vizury (India), RetailNext, Verve mobile, Adknowledge and RocketFuel - which recently had an IPO. Investment in new business models are at the intersection of these trends like Verve Mobile and RetailNext.
We can also witness traditional entertainment businesses that depend on TV, PC, Proprietary Gaming Consoles, and Set top Boxes being rapidly disrupted by cloud companies that deliver highly personalized content to subscribers across their choice of devices.
Another trend on the upward growth is embedded systems scaling beyond mobile devices to a large variety of new form factors (such as Watches, Wearable, Connected Cars, Sensors). Creating the next generation of Internet will require new hardware, software and cloud innovations.
\"Location is to Mobile\" what \"Search is to the Web\", a critical element to the success of mobility. Location is the key enabler of various new forms of collaboration, communication and commerce.

Future of Cloud
There has been a lot of noise in the industry about cloud technologies being the next big thing. However in 2013, out of the annual $600 billion software spending, only $30 billion was in cloud based technologies. We expect a very large number of new mobile applications and business models to emerge to tie offline needs with online convenience and efficiencies. However, there is still a huge opportunity to build new cloud computing innovation to replace traditional on-premise computing.

Overcoming the Challenges
Competition is getting global nowadays. There are several companies competing purely through expensive customer acquisition models. The key to create successful business is to create significantly useful and differentiated customer value, and then being able to reap the rewards over time. While overcoming the challenges, there is also a need of innovation to help the business grow. Although there has been a significant number of companies creating developer tools, we see the most interesting new businesses being created at the intersection of cloud computing and mobility. Being deeply focused on solving unique problems creates sustainable competitive advantage that ultimately leads to big outcomes for business.