Duleep Sahadevan, cofounder, Software Associates, says, “Xpress Pitch is a fantastic opportunity to plain speak and showcase innovative products”

By Team YS|31st May 2011
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Xpress Pitch is a novel introduction to NASSCOM EMERGEOUT Conclave (Chennai, June 7, 2011)

Duleep Sahadevan is an entrepreneur with more than two decades of IT experience and is the cofounder of Software Associates and devises strategies for growth and expansion of the company, overseeing marketing and sales for the entire organization. He has a zeal for IT products and has successfully launched more than half a dozen products in the Indian domestic market.

Duleep has done his eEPM and Advanced Marketing Management from Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (IIMK) and PGDSM in systems from NIIT Chennai. He is an active member of the NASSCOM EMERGEOUT community, has presented papers and conducted workshops at various forms such as NITC, School of Management Studies, Malabar Chamber of Commerce and Calicut Management association. He is the founder president of Calicut Forum for IT and a founder member of Calicut IT Initiative.

In the upcoming NASSCOM EMERGEOUT Conclave at Chennai on June 7, 2011, he has initiated a new Xpress Pitch, a Pecha Kutcha style presentation to provide opportunities to present exciting product stories. In an email chat with Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, chief evangelist, he shares with us what is the idea behind Xpress Pitch.

YourStory: The idea of Xpress Pitch seems to be novel in the EMERGE community. How did you hit upon the idea?

Duleep Sahadevan

Duleep Sahadevan: Reasons are many. I have been attending many community networking events around the concept of Pecha Kucha during the last few years and have been awed by many brilliant narrators who script compelling stories around their products to instigate you into buying them, even if you don't need them.A journalist friend of mine from London mentioned about the so called "conception era" where true potential of small companies can be unlocked only through better use of the right side of the brain - the creative aspects.

In the domestic IT sector, I come across companies often pitching against us with great products backed by poor customer stories. Sometimes I wished we had such innovative products to weave convincing user stories around them.

YS: What are the benefits the startups would achieve if they are selected to pitch at Xpress Pitch?

Duleep: The Chennai EMERGEOUT Conclave is expected to see large participation from the end user community from South India and participation in Xpress Pitch is a fantastic opportunity to plain speak and showcase innovative products.

YS: Why is Southern India chosen for this initiative and will this extend to other parts of the country in the coming editions of the Conclave?

Duleep: We are experimenting with this initiative at Chennai conclave to start with and once we gain enough traction, we would like to extend this format to the yearly Product Conclave.

YS: Who will be the jury for the Xpress Pitch?

Duleep: Xpress Pitch is not a competition. Being the first of its kind at EMERGEOUT conclave, we are accepting entries on a first-come, first-serve basis. Qualification however would be on the basis of the well-established Pecha Kucha presentation format. Due handholding is being provided to those who have shown interest to participate in Xpress Pitch.

YS: Your thoughts or advice for startups registering for Xpress Pitch...

Duleep: Worldwide, over 30,000 new products are launched every year, some are truly brilliant but unfortunately few get to see the light of the day and the primary reason for failure is that missing value proposition story to induce business decision makers sign on the dotted line.

With the Indian economy growing at 8 plus percent this decade, and having worked in these markets for over a decade, I am of the strong belief that today there exists a goldmine in every conceivable vertical to become the next ‘Tally’ equivalent. There is so much growth happening in tier 3/4 markets with owner driven businesses in the Rs. 10–100 crore segment, requiring robust IT based business solutions. These vast opportunities can be tapped only if product companies reorient themselves to script compelling user centric stories. Xpress pitch would be that ideal platform for innovative startups to think different on the sales and marketing front.

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