Microsoft Canaan TechSparks 2010: Event that Endeavors to Spot Emerging Eagles in Product Tech
View from the Sidelines by Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, chief evangelist, YourStor
YourStory’s flagship event Microsoft Canaan TechSparks 2010 is quite close. In exactly a week from today, YourStory brings in entrepreneurs and investors together along with a galaxy of CXOs, ecosystem experts, product technology enthusiasts, and students under one roof. Being geeky is a fashion statement in India. If MobME was my first brush with a college startup, CATS Systems captured my imagination to the full. Sanjay of MobME left college to concentrate on the startup. I asked Harish and Bahul, cofounders of CATS in their third year of college, if they intend to quit studies. They answered in the negative. Our interface with entrepreneurs gives us a wide array of possibilities but we, at YourStory, feel that the entrepreneurial spirit is just exploding like never before. Dorai Thodla, veteran of four startups and an eager watcher of the startup scenario, says that parent mindset is only of the crucial reasons why students are able to start on their own at an early age.Vijay Anand, founder of proto.in and the Startup Guy, holds strong views on entrepreneurship. He interacts with startup entrepreneurs with such passion that he is able to read the scenario very quickly. His columns in DARE, our print media partner for TechSparks, give insights into various aspects of entrepreneurship. Vijay, like many others we talked to, finds that the VC ecosystem is just evolving. It is not yet mature. But importantly, he feels that India can set standards for emerging markets when it comes to designing products. The demographic profiles or the customer adoption mindsets in Asia and Africa could be captured through a standard that emerges out of India, which has a huge population. Why is Vijay feeling this way? Because there are more people in India now ready to experiment with products.
Sharad Sharma, in his capacity as chair of the NASSCOM Product Forum, got involved in the ecosystem when he found that he is unable to startup on his return to India in the early 2000s. That led him to interact with the ecosystem and build an ecosystem for product tech companies. Sharad Sharma is one of our jury members to identify the top 5 product tech companies.
There was an interesting story on the Economic Times recently. This piece was based on Browne and Mohan study on product tech companies in India. Although the story seemed to portray product tech in a negative frame, there were interesting facts emerging out of the report. There are companies that are doing well in India -- 34 successful ones against 21 failed ventures studied by T.R. Madhan Mohan of Browne and Mohan. Even in the recessionary global economy, a few Indian companies have bucked the trend and have grown against the tide. This shows that even if the numbers shown in the report convey a negative trend, at the stage when the product tech space is growing, there are bound to be teething problems.
If success is to be believed, Druva, the laptop backup solution provider, is a trail blazer in the product space. Their impressive growth in three years is laudable. OrangeScape, our t-shirt sponsor, is on the world’s top 20 list of SaaS companies. They achieved $1 million in revenues last year, prompting Sramana Mitra, strategy consultant and author of Entrepreneurship Journey series and Vision 2020, to feature them on her Forbes column. Redbus.in, like Tally, has created an online market for bus travel. They are now growing strong with positive outlook in the coming three years. These successes are only an indication of what is possible in product tech space.
The successes give us confidence that the emerging product companies need to be nurtured so that they get all the help needed to grow and scale. Join us on August 13 in our endeavor to provide a launch pad for product tech eagles that want to fly high.
Register here for the event.