How to Build a Global Tech Business from India


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A Talk given to Wharton Students & Alumni, visiting Bangalore on our journey, the Entrepreneurship ecosystem in India, the challenges, pitfalls and benefits of starting a product business from India.

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How to Build a Global Tech Business from India

  1. 1. How to Build a Global TechBusiness from India?Krishna Mehra@kpowerinfinity21-May-2013
  2. 2. The India Growth Story is QuiteFascinatingWhich is probably why all of you are here…
  3. 3. A Little About Me…• Entrepreneur, co-founder @capillarytech– 5 Year old startup in the Consumer CRM Space– 10,000 Stores, 70M Consumers, 10 Global Offices– $15.5M from Sequoia & Norwest• Earlier Researcher at MSFT, B.Tech from IITKharagpur, Worked at Minekey Inc.• Family into the Book Publishing
  4. 4. How’d all Begin?
  5. 5. Choosing the Space• Mobile & Retail looked like a great opportunity– Easy seed financing from alma-mater– Wanted to do something similar to Groupon… beforeGroupon• Early Challenges– The “Indian Baniya Businessman”– Cost of Data– The Mobile Savvy Indian Customer is probably not so savvy• The Pivot into CRM
  6. 6. Getting Initial Traction“You” are the “Product”
  7. 7. Traction begets Money• Angel Funding Eco-System in India isharder– Real revenuetraction expected• Focus on Business,Funding willhappen
  8. 8. The Team is the Clincher• Hiring ishard!– Money– Equity– Marriage– Distance– Work– PassionPicture taken from
  9. 9. Iterate, Iterate, Iterate
  10. 10. Growing Pains
  11. 11. Selling Software in India• Indians Buy a Phone Number– @mukund,• Nobody wants to be a “SalesGuy”– Sales as a function is not aswell established• Fragmented Channel forSelling Software• The frustrations of GettingPaid for your work
  12. 12. India Runs on SaaS• Op-ex based Pricing & Servicing model better suited to Indian Customers• Fuse Products & Services together• Prevent Piracy
  13. 13. The Product vs Services Debate• Initially, it doesn’t matter– Getting traction is most critical• It’s always going to be both– They can’t exist without each other• It’s where in the continuum you fall – Stronglydefines the growth curve
  14. 14. The Decision to Look Abroad• Is your product sellable in global markets?• Market Size Challenges in Scaling up– Lack of a large local market– The Currency-Conversion Factor• Investor Pressure? Many VCs (at least in India) todayprefer a Global Story• Regulatory Challenges in building a Global Businessfrom India
  15. 15. The Advantages of Jugaad• Frugal Innovation: Indian Customers are moreforgiving to product defects• Talent Availability, and ability to iterate quickly• Capital is Easier than many other parts of theworld
  16. 16. Thank you!@kpowerinfinity