Startup

Ways to build, grow and monetise: key learnings from Tech Sparks Jaipur meetup

Tausif Alam
5th Sep 2016
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A packed hall of audience, enthusiastic speakers to share their experiences and inquisitive budding entrepreneurs. This is how TechSparks kicked off its second meetup in the pink city ‑ Jaipur.

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Sahil Agarwal, Founder, Hippo Cabs

The theme of the meetup was how to grow, build and monetise startups. Besides, it also covered a slew of topics on the entire startup ecosystem. Speakers spoke their heart out and shared their views and takes on entrepreneurship.

Chentan Bakshi, Founder of Startup Oasis, touches the very first aspect of the startup business – a minimum viable product (MVP), which is the smallest prototype you build that delivers the core customer value and captures the maximum amount of learning from the target customer with the least effort.

He says that startup is about innovation and discovering the business model. The process of startup is messy, with multiple failures. These are some of the factors which identify the importance of MVPs for startups.

Talking on the building, growth and monetisation process, Anurag Jain, Co-founder of CarDekho, almost a decade old company, says that the aim of the startup should be to build a sustainable business. “Eight years ago, when my brother Amit Jain and I co-founded the company, it was not for the sake of any startup glory, but to provide genuine solutions which we people needed. The buzz word startup wasn’t even there then. We were building a company not a startup.”

Touching upon the similar line, Anshul Khandelwal, Founder, of Upside9, says that the mobile application is the new fad in the startup ecosystem. She adds that startups should ensure whether their businesses genuinely need mobile applications for the solutions they offer.

She adds if they need, then they must know how to build the mobile strategy – target audience, application design, existing infrastructure and other areas – instead of going blindly about building an application.

After building a startup, another step is achieving growth. Of various factors, standout products and large customers are the two most important factors which help to achieve the growth numbers.

Amit Deep Kumar, Founder of KhanaGaDi, points out that packaging, assortment and delivery are the three important areas which makes his product different from others.

Today, concentrating on the three standout factors, he has been able to achieve the growth he envisioned while launching the company. In 11 months’ time, with tie-ups of more than 300 vendors, the platform has been able to offer services at 220 stations in 21 states across the country.

On monetisation process, Sahil Agarwal of Hippo Cabs shared his experience on the right unit economics model. “When we launched our first product, we tried cab sharing model to provide to and fro services between Jaipur and Delhi. However, this business model wasn’t yielding as much profit as expected. So, we decided to pivot that model to single occupancy cab travel between Jaipur and Delhi.”

He adds that now in the present business model it has both B2B2C element. He has tied up with many corporates in Jaipur and Delhi and offers services to them. Besides, it is also continuing its services to non-business consumers as well.

He says that to maintain that unit economics in the business, he is not thinking of radical expansion of the company.

Talking about the funding rage, he cautioned startups about it. Funding is not the solution. Funding can’t build businesses. The requirement of VCs money comes much later.

Addressing the entrepreneurs, Anurag of CarDekho echoes similar sentiments and says that you are building businesses for yourselves not for VCs. He gave CarDekho’s example when the company raised its first tranche of funding years after founding the company.

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