At Rajasthan startup meet, speakers focus on why problem statement, branding, and customers are vital
iStart's Rajasthan Startup Confluence 2023 held at Jaipur featured insightful sessions focused on entrepreneurship, investment, and branding, with Prashant Bhonsle, Harsh Gupta, and Nidhi Banthia Mehta as key speakers
Bhamashah Techno Hub in Jaipur witnessed a confluence of entrepreneurial wisdom as iStart Rajasthan, in collaboration with YourStory, orchestrated the "Rajasthan Startup Confluence: Ignite, Innovate, Inspire 2023."
Held on October 27, 2023, the event offered numerous insights, invaluable networking opportunities, and showcased inspirational journeys. Some of the industry's most distinguished luminaries shared learnings gleaned over the years, inspiring a new batch of entrepreneurs.
Prashant Bhonsle: Navigating the entrepreneurial path
The first masterclass of the day focused on the path of modern entrepreneurship. Prashant Bhonsle, Founder and CEO of, shared knowledge gained after three decades of work in industries spanning BFSI, IT, Telecom, and FMCG.
Bhonsle's words resonated with the audience as he said, "A lot of people have a lot of ideas. Very few people eventually end up starting a company." His counsel transcended the conventional norms of entrepreneurship, by highlighting the need to break free from the constraints of a small-business mindset, challenging each attendee to think big.
He emphasised the importance of recognising one's limitations, asserting, "You won't be able to solve all problems by yourself." His message was clear - collaboration and the power of diverse skills are the stepping stones to success.
Bhonsle reminded the audience that customer-centricity should be at the core of every business endeavour. "As much as you want to fall in love with the product, please do. But do not forget that unless the customer believes your product, it is never going to scale." He concluded by advocating for sustainable growth, guiding startups away from the siren call of rapid but precarious expansion.
Harsh Gupta: Decoding the investment landscape
The event's second chapter focused on securing venture capital funding. The opening remarks of Harsh Gupta, Investment Professional at Flourish Ventures, underscored the significance of a well-defined problem statement, the cornerstone of any pitch.
"Why is this important? Why is this even a problem statement?" Gupta questioned, emphasising the importance of clearly articulating the problem and the entrepreneur's unique position to address it.
Gupta advised startups to keep their initial pitches concise and focus on capturing the investor's attention with the grand vision, recognising that "the smartest people are you guys who have taken that plunge". His masterclass outlined the key components of a compelling pitch deck, dissecting each part's significance in the investor's eyes.
The underlying theme of Gupta's discourse was the crucial role of clarity, vision, and authenticity in securing venture capital. Founders were reminded to remain true to their mission while presenting an appealing investment opportunity.
Nidhi Banthia Mehta: The art of building a brand
Nidhi Banthia Mehta, Founder and CEO of, took the audience on a journey through the realm of marketing and branding. Her opening statement said it all: "Your sales and branding start from day one; it's not something that happens after." Mehta's entrepreneurial saga, spanning over two decades and multiple continents, gave credence to her profound insights.
Throughout her session, Mehta championed the significance of profitability and self-sustainability from day one, steering entrepreneurs away from the obsession with funding. "Your focus has to be how am I going to make money. It's not about where am I going to get funding from," she asserted, accentuating the need for proof of concept and lean resource utilisation.
The mantra of early engagement and customer interaction was another highlight. Mehta's message was clear: Entrepreneurs must maintain an unwavering focus on their customers' needs, preferences, and expectations, even to the extent of building personal relationships with early adopters.
She suggested entrepreneurs should specialise and refine their offerings meticulously. Milestones, not speed, were her mantra for success. She emphasised the critical role of technology, advocating investment in tools and software to optimise efficiency and effectiveness, particularly in resource-constrained startups.
As the event ended, the attendees left with not just newfound knowledge, but with a renewed vigour to embark on their entrepreneurial journeys.