Nothing has been cemented so firmly as the reputation of India’s startup ecosystem that has gone from close knit clubs garnering little regards from society to becoming the third largest startup ecosystem in the world.
With more than 60,000 startups and more than 100 unicorns in the country, it is only apt that LetsVenture hosts a fireside chat on building scalable companies at FoundersFirst 2022.
Rohit MA, Managing Partner, Capier Investments, believes the startup ecosystem is a fantastic place to be for all the stakeholders involved considering the huge wave of consumerism and digital adoption giving a lot of tailwinds to many good companies in products and services.
The government has also opened up a lot of avenues of creating frameworks, including Aadhaar, Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), and now the National Health Stack (NHS) that aims to make the health insurance system more transparent and robust. Among other changes, Rohit notes SaaS emerging as a new market and Bharat growing really well as a sector.
In conversation with Jay Magdani, Entrepreneur In Residence at LetsVenture, ahead of the launch of our founder-focused SaaS platform Scalix, Rohit spells out the three Ps that he believes founders must note: People, Process, and Paisa.
In order to scale, founders must ensure they have the right people, the right process, and the right capital and stay diligent towards it. He emphasizes that it is not just just about raising capital but being mindful of spending only when required because “the burn and earn can stay but it cannot be the only means for existence.”
On scaling and Scalix
Rohit buckets the scaling journey into five broad stages: the founder journey where the founder is still figuring things out, followed by product-market fit, the go-to market fit, a growth leader, and a sustainable leader.
Although scaling can mean different things to different stakeholders, he says, “Once there is alignment towards the vision of what the founder team wants to do, what the customer wants to get out of it, and what the investor wants from a returns perspective, I think it fits well together.”
Today, Rohit says technology can offer the rapid ability to scale the way a founder wants but it is important to figure out the inflection points and anticipate them. “Some of these things can just go completely boom or completely bust as well. So how do you kind of prepare for that? I think the only way is to stress test some of your inflection points.
At times, founders whose startups are largely dependent on certain core tech premises get it wrong or overbuild it and many pivot very early and scale rapidly from there on. It is all about staying sharp and focused about what the inflection points are, he asserts.
“I don't know if everyone has seen Scalix already but the vision to actually deliver something about how small things to big things can actually become super useful at one avenue, from concierge services to fundraising kit, and community engagement and what not…It's great to see a good platform coming in together to actually amplify the founders ability to concentrate on his or her specific sort of core area,” he says, adding that one philosophy of tremendous use for him remains realizing the time value of money.
The right culture to scale, blitzscale
Rohit believes, if "culture eats strategy for breakfast, it is true that action eats culture for lunch." And the action cannot be one person’s job, it has something that everybody imbibes.
He urged the audience that as founders, one of the most critical tasks for everyone is to become a storyteller. “Storytell a lot. It's largely underplayed in terms of how to actually imbibe and how to actually demonstrate it,” he adds.
And while one can talk about culture for lengths, Rohit says the importance lies in whether there is bias for action so that there is an outcome that one can point to and say that was the intended outcome of the culture built.
Most important of all, founders should note that culture begins before the first hire, with yourself.
We at LetsVenture would like to thank our sponsors, partners, and the ecosystem at large for their unwavering support to our annual conference. Hope to see you next year.