Empowering entrepreneurs: Insights from Rajasthan Startup Connect 2023
In collaboration with YourStory, iStart Rajasthan organised a transformative event, Rajasthan Startup Connect: Networking for Growth, offering entrepreneurs with a roadmap to navigate challenges, forge connections, and succeed.
Rajasthan Startup Connect 2023, a collaborative effort by iStart Rajasthan and YourStory, featured three illuminating sessions by eminent speakers, delving into the realms of purposeful networking, legal intricacies, and strategic scaling.
iStart is a pioneering initiative by the Department of IT and Communication, Government of Rajasthan. At the forefront of fostering innovation, job creation, and entrepreneurship in the state, iStart provides a robust platform for startups to thrive. Through strategic events like the Rajasthan Startup Connect, iStart aims to catalyse connections, inspire innovation, and empower entrepreneurs.
During this event, the narratives of Siba Panda, Rajneesh Singhvi, and Anil Goyal unravelled the secrets to success, offering a compass through the challenging terrains of entrepreneurship. The sessions also provided entrepreneurs with a roadmap to navigate challenges, forge connections, and ascend to new heights.
Siba Panda: Purposeful networking for sustainable growth
Siba Panda, Founder and Managing Partner of ValuAble, helmed a masterclass on purposeful networking and venture capital dynamics. "It's always about them, not about you," he emphasised, stressing the importance of genuine connections. Panda's journey—from a small-town upbringing to becoming a chartered accountant, company secretary, law graduate, and UCLA alumnus—underscored his diverse expertise.
As the mind behind India's first purpose-led venture debt fund, Panda focused on the shift from growth-centric to sustainable business models. "In this VC landscape, it's no longer just about growth; it's about sustainable and meaningful growth." Panda highlighted the critical shift from quantity to quality in the venture capital space, urging entrepreneurs to manage costs effectively.
The session delved into the art of networking, emphasising personal branding and online presence. Panda cautioned against mere "social working," emphasising, "Networking is not just about transactions; it's about building relationships. It's a two-way street, not a one-way transaction." Addressing market challenges, he championed purpose-driven businesses and urged entrepreneurs to align products with genuine consumer needs.
In the Q&A, Panda elaborated on ValuAble's venture debt fund, foreseeing potential in Bharat tech, solutions tailored for the rural population. "Venture debt is not just about capital; it's about supporting the entrepreneur's vision and enabling them to reach their full potential."
Rajneesh Singhvi: Navigating legal complexities for stable growth
Rajneesh Singhvi, Co-Founder of Aspire Consulting FZE LLC, demystified legal intricacies with clarity. He commenced his session by stating that his was “a very serious topic”. “So either you choose to sleep, or you choose to be very much attentive," he said.
Singhvi's exploration of business entities set the tone, emphasising founders' active participation in legal processes. Drawing inspiration from Bill Gates, he stressed a hands-on understanding of contractual terms. Transitioning to tax compliance, Singhvi urged, "Be transparent. Be tax-compliant from the very beginning."
The discussion delved into GST, regulatory compliance, and financial prudence. Singhvi cautioned against subsidies dependency, advocating financial wisdom. His session also discussed presumptive tax and the importance of maintaining books of accounts.
Singhvi's insights serve as a guiding light for entrepreneurs navigating the legal landscape—vigilance, transparency, and proactivity are key for stable growth.
Anil Goyal: Scaling beyond challenges into entrepreneurial nexus
Anil Goyal, Founder and MD of CapSavvy Consultants Pvt Ltd, offered a beacon for startups in his session, "Entrepreneurial nexus - Overcoming challenges and scaling up".
Goyal's holistic approach to entrepreneurial challenges drew from his 30-year journey. He underscored transparency and tax compliance from a startup's inception, cautioning against subsidies dependency. The heart of his session unveiled the "entrepreneurial nexus"—a collaborative network for entrepreneurs. "You just don't operate in isolation. Collaborate with others instead of creating your own."
He shared insightful case studies, including the story of a failed home-cooked food delivery startup. Addressing challenges in scaling, he advocated a clear business plan, focus on innovation, and adaptability to market dynamics.
Goyal concluded by emphasising sustainability in scaling up—optimising processes, establishing a strong foundation, and refining strategies. His insights provide a comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs navigating the challenging yet rewarding journey of scaling up.
In essence, the Rajasthan Startup Connect: Networking for Growth Event was a resounding success, providing a platform for entrepreneurs to gain valuable insights from industry experts, navigate legal complexities, and strategise for sustainable growth. As the entrepreneurial community in Rajasthan continues to thrive, events like these play a crucial role in fostering innovation, collaboration, and success.