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(Source: Ron Mader)

We are in an early eco-system here in India for technology startups.  It is hard to find strategic talent or mentors with experience in product management and marketing, as I have mentioned in my previous post on The Silent Killers of Startup Growth in India.

One treasure trove of learning and mentorship exists amongst the current community of practicing founders in India.  We are seeing a lot of grassroots efforts around the country where founders are getting together to talk specifics around areas such as product management, sales, marketing and fundraising.  These include iSpirt’s ProductNation roundtables, organized by Avinash Raghav – some blog posts here on this: sales & marketing, sales & lead gen, positioning & messaging) – as well as others organized by NASSCOM and various incubators/accelerators.

To do our bit, we decided to focus our efforts on bringing together founders in separate closed-door roundtables in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai over the past month. We had about 30 founders participate across all these sessions.

Our focus was on two sets of companies with somewhat different dynamics – enterprise/SMB software and mobile consumer apps.  The challenges for both sets are around finding rich seams of customers in India and/or abroad.

The discussions got tactical, in a very good way. This is where the learnings come from – from anecdotes and data about what has worked and what has not worked.  It felt as if the founders were happy to share learnings and were energized by helping each other out.  No generic platitudes, like we see at many conferences and panels.

I’ll report more on the specific learnings on the mobile apps side and enterprise/SMB software side in posts next week.

I hope more efforts like iSpirt’s roundtables are undertaken around the country.  Our eco-system needs this.

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