How these next generation entrepreneurs plan to innovate and impact their sectors
A strong passion for automobiles, a sense of social consciousness, and a background in technology and entrepreneurship led Shreyas Shibulal, son of Infosys co-founder SD Shibulal and philanthropist Kumari Shibulal, start Micelio, a seed fund focusing solely on clean mobility, and investing in innovative startups in the Electric Vehicle (EV) ecosystem.
Tejas Goenka, son of industrialist Bharat Geonka is the Managing Director of Tally Solutions, a multinational company delivering enterprise resource planning software to small and medium-size businesses. He is passionate about helping MSMEs through innovative ERP tools to help business growth.
The two generation next entrepreneurs spoke to Daily Dispatch’s Priya Sheth on growing a business out of passion and more.
Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs, the duo vouch for the strength and perspective that experiences of different family members bring to the table.
Tejas says that being from a background of business is a good opportunity to learn from the people who have been in the area for a long time. This in turn helps next generation entrepreneurs to build their world view in a stronger way.
“Expectations are always there from family and friends. You just have to zone in when you are failing at what you want out of life, and stay true to that,” says Tejas.
Shreyas mentions that it has always been very important for him to do something with a very strong social conscience. Micelio currently has two ventures on the ecosystem cultivation front namely, the Micelio Fund and the Micelio Discovery Studio. The Micelio Fund is a seed stage fund for the startups in the EV space.
“We really take a long-term view into the industry,” says Shreyas.
Micelio Discovery Studio is essentially a product development facility which is not just open to their portfolio companies but anyone who aspires to use it. The idea behind it was to bring down the barrier of entry into the EV space.
In terms of commercial ventures, Micelio has Lightning Logistics which is pure play EV last mile logistics provider currently operating in three cities in India and still at its pilot stage.
Innovating through hurdles
Tejas shares that over the last few years, Tally Solutions has been pushing international expansion in the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia. The company just crossed a milestone of selling two million licenses. Currently, the target is to scale that figure up to 100 million customers across the world and positively impacting the MSME space. The main idea is to develop applications that will help MSMEs build and grow their business better.
Tally Solutions, Managing Director, Tejas Goenka
According to Tejas, software as a service has gained a lot of importance due to the vast amount of data coming in. When asked about innovation and business models, he said the former depends mostly on the space that the business is in, and entrepreneurs must figure out what works and doesn’t by constantly experimenting.
“On the particular point of business models, I think it really depends on the context in which you’re working,” says Tejas.
Tejas admits the initial entrepreneurial journey saw a lot of arrogance that contributed to many mistakes. However, the important takeaway from this was to never stop making mistakes, as it leads to learnings.
“The moment you stop, and you don’t try, you’re not really going to get to where you want to,” says Tejas.
Relying on experiences to build the future
According to Shreyas, Micelio is currently riding the base of revolution and mobility in terms of innovation. The current focus is on bringing more features, in-house and indigenous, and he adds that he seeks advise from his father when it comes to decision making scenarios
Tejas shares that Tally Solutions serves about 5-6 million business, mainly in the country, but has been pushing their international business as well. The company aims to come up with connected solutions to help customers find more takers, and run their businesses in a better manner. He adds that Tally Prime, which was launched last year, is a stepping stone towards this aim.
“We want to focus on that small entrepreneur who doesn’t have access to expensive tools, and kind of innovate for them,” says Tejas.