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EDITORIAL It’s time to start

as pandemic paves way to a new day, a new year, a new life, a new relationships, a new career, new opportunities and so much more for so many of us. As the first edition of the new year 2021. POWER TALK focuses on sharing all that we need to make a perfect new beginning, plunging into the world of entrepreneurship. The stalwarts from the world of Start-up, Finance, Media and Coaching have penned down their years of experience on reams of paper for us to take a hiccup free flight into the territory of UNICORNS .. turning over a new leaf In this edition we have also soft launched our new publication, POWER KIDS .An e-magazine that celebrates the beautiful relationship and the umbilical chord that children and parents share .The magazine is going to be an essence of learnings and experiences of people who have enjoyed the process of blooming into lovely human beings. It comes with catalytic deliberations from global experts to make the journey for both parents and children a beautiful one. POWER KIDS goes online on 15th March. We seek your blessings and hope you enjoy this adventure with us. I would like to leave you with a beautiful poem on New Beginnings by Julie


The sun is shining, On this amazing day, Of new beginnings, And farewells to say. Our new road is paved, With a new path in sight. It's time to take it, It feels quite right. We will say farewell, To all we've known. The knowledge we will take with us And no longer be attending class. It's time to explore, The world that awaits. Allow yourself too, Embrace your fate -Julie Hebert

Julie is an American writer, director of theatre, film and television Thanks for all your love and support. Love us. Follow us See you in the next edition of POWER TALK in April’21

Corporate Humor Power Talk l Ready to StartUp






Sr. VICE PRESIDENT Times of India Bengaluru, India Dr. ABHA RISHI

33 24 Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

FORMER MD & CEO SBI Life Insurance Mumbai, INDIA







Global Adjustments Foundation Chennai, India




50 40 44 36 Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

8 20000 STARTUPS


14 countries




The shareholders agreement is a very comprehensive document. It may take months to come to a common ground of agreement between the founder and the investor. What would you like to add in support of Early Startups.

The term sheet or the SHA are very important documents and the startups should understand each and every clause of the agreement with great detail. The implications of the same at an early stage start-up for future investments will be very high and hence it is imperative that the co-founders seek out to various platforms/advisors/consultants that can help them sign on something that is right for their start-up. They should also ask the right questions to the investors to better understand why the investor is insisting on a certain clause. The proactive discussion between the two will not only help the start-up, not make a mistake but also help the deal to go through. While understanding and questioning the clause is important, but sometimes too much questioning or doubting will make the deal fall through. So a balance needs to be struck between questioning to learn and improve the term sheet for the start-up and questioning with doubt and fear of the intent of the investor. A quick background check by the start-up of the investor or their fund Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

Not one but many options to choose from. Weigh each one carefully to suit your proposed business model Grants Many state governments or corporates or non-profits do give equity free grant to work with. This is the best thing to get for a start-up to get off and do the prototype and do a proof of concept(POC). The grants are most of the times not loaded with deliverables but at times have certain milestones, checks and measures; which are required so that the same cannot be misused. I would also include prize money at business plan competitions or hackathons in this category. This i.e. the grant or prize money is the safest form of investment and works best at an idea stage, to build a prototype and perhaps a POC too.

Friends or family If a grant is not available or one doesn’t qualify, this is the next best thing that should be done and it can be taken for a very small equity or on interest or on a discounted convertible shares. This also works best to build a prototype or do a POC or to make you angel ready.

Incubators or Accelerators

or network, and their process and policy is also something that the start-up needs to do. A background check and past experience of the other startups that are invested in by an investor or the fund, will help you go ahead with the deal and build confidence and trust. While the investor does a DD on you, with your customers and or suppliers, a start-up should also do the same for the investor.


What are the different types of investments a start-up can avail. Which is the safest and most effective for early stage startups?

Certain incubator’s and accelerator’s in addition to providing you space & mentoring, also give you an investment at a fixed valuation or at a convertible note on future investments that you might get. This is the 3rd best option if the incubator or accelerator is of repute. Being part of an incubation or accelerator program and/or qualifying for the same also makes a difference on the overall valuation of the start-up. Hence it is very critical that you chose the right one and go ahead with some money that you might have to pay, as in the long run the same will be compensated with a better valuation.

Angel Investment This is an equity based investment that an angel would do either individually or collectively through a network or through a fund that they are part of. This is where the right match of the start-up and investor has to be made, due diligence done at both ends, valuation and investment amount agreed upon and www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


lastly term sheets and share holders agreement (SHA) signed his of course is the next best option and works post POC or post revenue stage. The matchmaking as I have said is very important, as this investment at an early stage is not only an investment, but needs a lot of handholding, nurturing & mentoring. This investor paves the way for future investments, the valuation and equity that is agreed upon decides the course of further action for the start-up. And as I have said that earlier, “while we did not have a choice of siblings or parents that we were born with, but we do have a choice by way of choosing the right co-founders as siblings and the first angel investors as the set of parents.” So please take your time, but don’t just go after the money or valuation but get an intelligent investor, a strategic investor, an investor that will complement and add value today and in the future

Crowd Funding This is also done through online platforms and small sum of monies invested by investors can be raised. Not that prevalent in India, but exists in the US and other countries. Sometimes this can work in college communities or cooperatives, especially for impact investments.

Debt funding It normally works for startups that are in revenue and growth stage and have ways and means to repay the debt in a year or two. This again is very important and critical at times, mostly works as a bridge between series A and B or B and C. The legalities and fine print of this is also very important and critical, and having an intelligent investor on board earlier or having a good consultant is needed.

Institutional or VC funding Post one or two rounds of angel investment and having revenues, growth and idea that is scalable, the VC or Institutional funding kicks in at pre-series A or Series A. At this point you are or you should be in safe hands, have your own financial & legal consultants and be able to deal with the negotiation & execution as required. Pretty much similar to Angel investing, except with a far more detailed diligence and post investment compliances are or maybe required. Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

Q Any case study you would like to discuss here to help startups understand where they go wrong that delays the process of finding the right investor They go wrong at multiple levels; the timing of the fund raise, size of the fund required, the valuation that they seek or should get, not doing full due diligence on the investor or their network, not making the right pitch, agreeing or disagreeing by not understanding the TS or SHA. And all of this does delay the fund raiser for the startups. I have had startups pitch to me on a daily basis, who don’t understand the amount that they need or the valuation that they are seeking. They have no idea on cash flow, on burn, on funds needed to scale; basically the how much, when & why of the money needed. They might have great idea’s, great teams, but lack the basic business acumen and experience. They need to work with mentors, networks, incubators etc. and understand all of this before pitching. Once this is sorted, pitching, due diligence and terms on the fund raise all fall into place.


Every startups dreams about mergers and acquisitions. How does TIE help startups in the same. Mergers & Acquisitions happen when the marriage or adoption are a win-win for both the startups or businesses. The business plan, in addition to what one has for a fund raiser at that point, should also say how the merger and acquisition would make the two companies collectively grow multiple times and create a company that the competition can’t

match or catchup to. TiE and its vast network, will help startups to provide opportunity to network and find the right companies to partner and grow. Also the market outreach through TiE and its network can help companies backward or forward integration. Being part of the right network or having the right mentor/investor/consultant on mergers and acquisitions is a must.

Q What is considered to be a error free, fool proof plan to safely launch a start-up? To identify a unique problem and have the right team, that can solve that problem, is the starting point for any start-up. Continue to strengthen the core of the business and staying focused on that is step two. Being focused, passionate, time-bound, agile, nimble, bootstrapped mindset, firm yet flexible, pivot if required, have the right mentors & early stage investors, and the ability to survive despite all odds, and much more, are amongst the steps that one needs to continue to take. And as I said earlier, “the co-founders are your siblings that you chose, the first set of employees is the extended family that you will have, be sure that all of you compliment each other, strengthen the idea execution and most importantly discuss, debate, disagree, disrupt yet execute, execute, execute, execute….”

Q TiE Angels is one of the largest angel groups helping portfolio companies meet the challenges of scaling into successful enterprises. What is your vision for the company ? TiE’s mandate is to educate, mentor, incubate, network and invest in startups and amongst all its members of the ecosystem. It’s also mandated to work at the bottom on the pyramid. So while we



work with schools and colleges through our TYE and TiE University program, through TiE India angels we intend to invest at idea and early stage startups, startups that have brilliant teams and idea’s that are scalable with innovative solutions. The startups that need the right mentoring, strategic investors, help with market outreach, and hand holding until possible institutional or fund investing. The various programs and global business plan competitions that we do also will culminate into a possible investment for the top few. So while we mentor and give Gyan, we put our money where are mouth is and actually impact the entire chain and lifecycle of a start-up and the entire ecosystem From the investors point of view, we also want to expand the investor base not just in India but from outside of India. Many of our TiE members across the globe are in to non-tech businesses and they need to learn the tech domain, co-invest with fellow TIE members and invest in the future of India through scalable startups. The future of the world lies in tech and tech enabled businesses, the governments are enablers and we as successful entrepreneurs have to reinvest in the economies of the world; and what better way to do it than through a community of people that you can trust, who follow a processes and have compliances & governance in place. If we can help many prospective startups raise money; expand the investor base and give a great ROI to everyone in the ecosystem, then we would have achieved what we intend to achieve. www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


Sundar Kondur BRAND & STRATEGY ARCHITECT Senior Vice President Times of India

25 years

One thing startup should keep in mind to be successful

Brand Equity at its best

The need they are proposing to satisfy in their customers is a long term need and not be mistaken for a short term want!

Your proudest moment

When my son was born Novel ways to create a personal brand image strategy for 2021

Say what you mean, do what you say and say it in a manner that’s never been said before. Always use your unique secret sauce

One tip to make storytelling captivating and effective Truth well told. Make it real and relatable


I personally don’t hold awards in great esteem

The new world of sketch notes and how they enhance communication Sketch notes brings alive ideas, creativity and makes any communication into a story.Complex data and analysis can be made simple by visual and sketch note storytelling

Your biggest achievement Innovative marketing for 2021 Is yet to come 😊 Brand purpose should be clear and add genuine value to your Team Strength of the collective

customers. Rest will fall in place

Startup Success Mantra

One unified unstoppable force

focus on satisfying a need in customer or have a product that makes the customers life easier and more fulfilling. This will automatically make the start up sustainable, provided all other business imperatives are sorted. Building brand comes later. Brand will get automatically built when the product delivers the promise

2 things you want in your team Self-belief and the power of the collective

Passion for work or experience what is more important in an employee Passion for work(attitude) overtakes everything else

Your unfulfilled dream To be a rock band guitarist

One thing to keep in mind for effective PR Say something in a way it has never been said before

What makes you smile Good news and great food

What makes you smile Good news and great food www.powertalkwitharchanna.com





Execution always trumps novelty of an idea. As an incubator that sees more 60 applications monthly, on an average, and has incubated over 90 startups in the last 3 years, we can say this as a fact, that an idea is only as good as a blank paper, until it is being worked upon in real time. The newness of an idea is not a parameter of its potential success, the efforts being put in by the team to survive in the market ranks much higher. Also, funding should be used as a tool by a venture for its expansion, and not for its existence! Also don’t expect instant returns on your investment. It takes a minimum of 3-5 year for an idea to become a successful venture.

Start-up to UNICORN

Watch Out

Context is very necessary when we talk about scaling a venture. You cannot point towards any one playbook or one treatment, because when you look at the start-ups which have really achieved unicorn status, you will understand that for every insight, there is a flip side also. There are many unicorns who succeeded because they had the first mover advantage, and then there are the stories of those who failed because they were ahead of the market! So which adage do you follow? But having said that, there are a few things which helps in building a sustainable unicorn and here I will emphasize on sustainability because it is important to not only create but also maintain momentum.

This question is a tricky one, as it would be a very difficult to point a single most important thing in a start-up’s journey. What we need to understand, is that every start-up has a unique journey, that depends on things like the sector and industry the idea is based in, to the background of the founders and innumerable factors in between. The fact that you do not get influenced by anybody else’s journey and do not hesitate to take a new road through an uncharted territory while on your journey, would be the most important thing. Equal importance must be given to the intent of the journey and your fellow companions on it. Financial and emotional support plays a major role. Do build up on financial reserves also, as you begin the start-up journey

If you look at it, there are just a few things that most unicorns had in common ▪ The most important, a simple solution to an existing problem, which is felt by many. ▪ A strong value proposition and distinct positioning ▪ A clear roadmap for the future ▪ An easy to use User Interface and a good User Experience Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

Pitch Perfect Know your audience before telling them a story! For an entrepreneur who has worked on his/her idea, day and night, it is at times difficult to choose what to share and how to articulate it. The same idea has to be presented, shared with different people in different capacities, which for an entrepreneur is a normal day at work. This at times, even unknowingly, takes a templated form of a pitch,

which ignores the intent of the audience being addressed. A pitch should be constructed keeping in mind the listener, be it an investor, a jury in competition, a potential customer, followed by your story that connects to them.

Cross Border Ventures India itself is a huge market with a lot of potential! But having said that, there are certain ventures for whom geographical boundaries are not barriers, e.g, Zoom, Airmeets, etc. This is especially true of tech based platform startups and startups catering to niche markets. These niche markets could be homogenous across different countries. The only advice that I would give is to be respectful of the host culture and be flexible.

BIMTECH – An Edge Up! Atal Incubation Centre- BIMTECH has a vision to nurture startups that not only create an economical, but also a social impact on the ecosystem. We run three programs which focus on the different stages of start-up where they need support; Khoj for ideation, Gurukul for early revenue and Udaan for expansion. Each program is carefully customized and tweaked regularly to keep up with the current requirements of the startups. AIC-BIMTECH also offers co-living facility to the incubated startups, which provides them access to the residential infrastructure akin to the students of BIMTECH. Another differentiating factor would be the focus on the partnerships created within the ecosystem. AIC-BIMTECH not only brings aboard partners from all spheres to provide support structure for the incubated startups, but there are many international partners in.

Case Study An interesting case that we came across in 2018 was of Akash Singh, now an Ashoka Young Changemaker and Founder of Energinee Innovation. When we first interacted with him, he was applying for our Khoj (ideation) Program, with a self-power generating stick innovated by him for his grandfather. He wanted to turn that idea into a venture. It was his enthusiasm and drive that showed promise, for which he was selected for the program. Since he was just 19 years at that



Centre of innovation Entrepreneurship Development

particular point in time, it was gently but firmly established, in the first month itself, that his existing product was not marketable. It had a lot of design flaws and low market potential, and he was asked to pivot. This was followed by many interactions with him, while he kept on seeking a different idea that he was equally passionate for, more if not less. Finally after quite a few interactions with our mentors, he moved into the waste management space. As a result, his company is now collecting temple waste like incense stick ash, from temples across Delhi NCR, to convert it into different sculptures moulded with the help of under-trial prison inmates

Work Culture at BIMTECH

OPEN . EXPERIMENTAL . FAMILIAL The environment at AIC-BIMTECH, both for the team and the incubated startups is very friendly and open with a flat reporting structure. It www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


increases the accessibility of everyone, making the discussions and interactions more open and productive. Another focus that the team has is to keep experimenting place for creating a market access network to broaden horizon. We also partner with academic institutes to encourage budding entrepreneurs and equip them with right tools and mindset required for the tedious entrepreneurial journey with the existing processes of doing things, with the intent of refining it further. This practice is also imbibed by the incubated startups which helps them to be fairly flexible and on their toes while sailing their ships in rough weather. AIC-BIMTECH strives to support the startups in every possible way, and this can be achieved only after building a certain level of trust between the incubator and the start-up. It is only after the trust is established that the startups can sincerely listen to the advices and suggestions being made by the incubator and act upon it. The same trust allows the startups to also share critical and constructive feedback for the incubator that helps improve their functionality, enabling us to serve startups better.

Startup Trends 2021 onwards Healthcare and EdTech are two industries that have seen a huge surge due to the impact of COVID pandemic. This surge is here to stay until the ultimate product market fitment emerges between the competition, after the dust settles. The startups enabling the new “work from home” approach of the corporates across globe are also a hot trend that is going to be highly packed. The funding has seen a shift towards more mature sectors in the entrepreneurial ecosystem which have low operational expenditures, but this trend is going to be relative to the impact of COVID.

Impactful Contribution to Society Archanna, where there is a will, there is always a way! I am also the Treasurer for the BIMTECH Foundation. The Institute runs a number of voluntary outreach programmes to create a positive influence in the community and the society at large. I am personally involved in two projects, Project Chiraiya[1] and Project Uthan[2] . Project Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

Chiraiya is run in villages for adolescent girls Project Uthan is for the inmates of 11 prisons across the state. Both the projects are fuelled by more than 10,000 hours of voluntary work by the students, faculty and staff, under the aegis of Dr Chaturvedi, Director BIMTECH and Dr Rishi Tiwari. The biggest and foremost benefit for the girls has been the social acceptance and change in the mind-set of the village community. The understanding that girls can lead developmental change, be able to earn accolades (from people like Sh. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India & other national level dignitaries), be social and health agents and earn a decent livelihood has led to a perceptible change in the social hierarchy of women and girls in the village. In the prison project, the main impact is measured in two areas, viz., the number of suicides being reduced due to the inmates coming regularly to the library and workshops and the number of people who are going in for education certifications like secondary, senior secondary, graduation etc. The main idea is to educate and skill the men and women prison inmates, so that recidivism is reduced. Women, especially, have no recourse to a dignified life of labour and have to either resort to prostitution or revert back to crime to earn a livelihood. By educating and skilling them through various workshops conducted in the libraries, these women can be brought back into the mainstream. Both our projects help in the empowerment of the underprivileged sections of society. Project Chiraiya is completely dedicated to the up-liftment of rural adolescent girls (who are at the most vulnerable age due to social demands of marriage and dropping out of schools). The Prison project gives equal opportunities to female and male inmates to access the libraries and attend workshops, but the focus is on helping the women inmates in creating microenterprise Chiraiya[1 ‘Chiraiya’ means a small female sparrow in Hindi Uthan[2] ‘Uthan’ means regeneration or creating a new devp.

Arijit Basu 2021- PRESENT SENIOR CONSULTANT AZB PARTNERS 2018-2020 MANAGING DIRECTOR STATE BANK OF INDIA 2014-2018 MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO SBI LIFE INSURANCE India is home to the third largest number of startups in the world, numbering close to 10,000. Innovation is the common thread for all of them. The power that they are demonstrating in making a change to the lives of all Indians, not just in urban India but even in remote parts of the country is remarkable. Farmers are using drones and banking is being done on phones in remote villages. Startups commence with hope and promise and many of them go ahead to fulfil their dreams. As would be expected not all succeed. In a vibrant economy, startups that harness the best ideas and business models would be able to grow and perhaps become Unicorns in future. The challenges that they face in this journey are immense; not only do they have to sell an idea which is new but also overcome a mindset that is resistant to change. Funding is not easy to come by and they have to tread a thin line between investing for expansion and reining in costs. While the Government has attempted to make the journey easier by launching a Startup India Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

Banks look for a past track record and a proven business model both of which the startups would not be able to meet programme, it is not always easy for the companies to reap its benefits. In a way it is like a roller coaster ride for many of them The financial system has a key role to play in nurturing the startup ecosystem. Raising equity from domestic and foreign investors is the starting challenge. In case of debt, while initial venture debt itself may be difficult to access, the problem is compounded because banks look for a past track record and a proven business model, both of which startups would not be able to meet. How do the best startups overcome this riddle? Startups need to be guided and mentored as they progress on their journey. The fact they have developed a good business model is only a starting point. They need to simultaneously focus on ensuring efficient delivery, track and manage their cash flows and liquidity, and look for newer

RBI’s recent move to include loans up to Rs 50 crores as Priority Sector loans competing, wish to offer services to banks like carrying out their digital e KYC, creating algorithms for risk analysis and meet many other needs in an increasingly tech-enabled environment.

opportunities domestically and even overseas. This guidance is provided by the equity or venture funds that have invested in them. Banks can also step in and play a vital role. The ideal situation for both banks and startups would be to develop a symbiotic relationship where they prove beneficial to each other

A closer examination of Startups that operate in the financial technology or Fintech space may yield some pointers. Out of the total 10,000 odd startups in India, around 25% operate in this space. Many of them have been changing the financial landscape of the country Among fintech startups the maximum number deal in the ‘payments’ space followed by online lending, personal finance, insurance technology and others. Many of them have become Unicorns with valuations more than $ 1 billion. The experience that banks have had with many of these companies is interesting. Some of the startups are competing with banks in areas that have traditionally been their bastion like payments, remittances and lending. In response banks have also invested in technology in these areas to take on the challenge. The best banks today have online digital lending products that can appraise, sanction and disburse loans in minutes. Digital applications of banks can transfer money quickly. The path for all this has been shown by startups and many of them continue to be leaders in services that they provide. There are some fintech startups, however, who instead of

Startups needs banks that are agile, responsive and efficient. They not only need funds for capex and working capital but also an efficient mechanism for collection of their receivables and for efficient liquidity management. They also need guidance on how to manage their balance sheet. Banks would be the best placed to take up this role. To achieve this, however, banks would need to be responsive. Many startups with their limited resources can get lost in the maize of the complex organizational structure of a large bank, either to market their service or when looking for financial support and guidance. Good banks have understood the need to become nimbler and have schemes and services that are specifically aimed at startups. They aim to become partners of the startups right from the time they start their journey. Many banks have specifically earmarked funds for investing in startups that could be strategically important for them. The risk in lending to new entities deters banks from providing finance to them. RBI’s recent move to include loans up to Rs 50 crores as Priority Sector loans aims at addressing this problem by encouraging banks to support startups and design appropriate risk systems for the purpose. The adoption of digital technology is set to grow at an exponential rate in the days to come. Concepts like open banking riding on the ‘India Stack’ are going to get traction. Banks have no option but to partner with the best startups to retain their competitive advantage. Startups also need a reliable partner as they come forth with new ideas and services. The synergy between the two can play a transformative role for the Indian economy. Millions of Indians will benefit. www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


#Champion Women


The Driving Factor About 25-years-ago, I met an American Diplomat’s wife who was living in Chennai, at the time we still called it Madras. I realised that they were going to be a lot of foreign direct investments coming into the country and they would have to go to various different places to get answers for living and working in India. The idea of providing an umbrella of services under one roof is how Global Adjustments was born. Even though the entrepreneurship journey seemed difficult, there was no looking back. What my old team was doing along with me was actually building the nation by helping attract foreign direct investments. We aimed to make their stay enjoyable and fall in love with India. We were able to monetize with this venture, as well as help improve the economy of the country. The bigger picture for me was to help the nation grow.

Entrepreneurship Then & NOW I don’t think the concept of entrepreneurship has changed much over the last two decades. However, if the idea is worth exploring there are a number of financial opportunities available today, which have become a big impetus for start-ups. While this is a plus, there are also challenges that come along with it. Negative being the over leveraging and funding through EMI. Learn from entrepreneurs who were aggressive in growth, but cautiously aggressive. When there is a good idea, there will always be money available to back it up. If an idea is not working for the territory, the entrepreneur needs to rethink their strategy.

I would like to give an example from my own life. I started an academy for learning called Global Academy under the Global Adjustments services after we started relocating foreigners who came to India. This initiative was for Indians to understand the world and for the world to understand doing business with Indians. It was a successful department and we got the opportunity to work with many industry leaders including the likes of Jeff Bezos. Before he invested his first billion dollars

into Amazon India, we would work with the middle level managers. We would work with Indian managers who were going to work with Hyundai, Ford, Facebook and more. The entire concept seemed scalable to us and that is when we started a digital platform called Global Indian - a portal where people could not only strengthen their Indian roots but also fly on global wings to advance their careers. The idea was to educate people on how doing business changes with people coming from different nationalities. The approach of doing business with a Korean will differ from that with a German. Adapting to their way of thinking was crucial for doing good business.

All ideas don’t work We would have real life examples with people from different nationalities presenting and co-presenting along with me, and my trainers. We would talk about the actual problem they were facing in their business. The solution would come from themselves when they hear about different values and forces that drive different cultures. They are not just entertaining but also have very practical take away. Nonetheless, when we adapted this concept to an online platform, everything changed. Although it was an interactive and practical platform, it did not get the same response. We were clearly ahead of time. If it had been the time of pandemic like now with Zoom and other platforms, it would have been a welcome change. I had invested substantial amount to get the concept running with a big launch, digitalizing the portal and marketing. We quickly realised it was not going to take-off as we expected. So instead of continuing that and risking more, we brought it to a close and instead increased spend on the person led communication programmes. If an idea doesn’t work, it is alright to accept mistake and move on. If you have both time and money then use it wisely instead of shifting gears and trying to make things work when the situation seems to have laid the breaks on it. www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


DNA of your organization If you pay close attention to an entrepreneur’s mind-set, you will notice that the person may have a little arrogance, a little proud maybe for being able to do everything themselves. While we may be able to do everyone’s job, we need not do it. So my advice for start-ups is to surround yourself with people who are smarter. Partner with people who have complementary skills and let them show the way. When you hire people who are smarter than us in particular areas, encourage them to tell us how to take the business forward efficiently. People come to work for an entrepreneur, at least in many of these service industries, because of their personality. It is your vision that will drive the startup. If you bring in a paid CEO or COO and do not review the way to take the business forward, it won’t work. Your vision will be compromised in this process, after all you are the entrepreneur and not them. So while building your start-up, make sure that there are enough touch points for people to see you, feel you and have your words run through them so it becomes the DNA of the organisation. Today there are no more water cooler conversation, so you have to find and devise ways to conduct regular interacting with your team to bring across their speciality in the particular product or service that you are creating. There has to be constant dissemination not just to your leaderships but even to the levels below. I used to know a very high level managing director of a huge bank who would have monthly review in an open platform for an hour. In fact, Indra Nooyi used to have Indra Hour where anyone could ask her questions.

So create that time for your team inside your organisation and allow people to ask questions. If the subject is sensitive and the founder is smart enough, take the conversation offline. Being available as the visionary leader is the most important thing for entrepreneurs and start-ups today. Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

Overcoming challenges Right Decisions at the right time Under the umbrella of Global Adjustments, which was primarily a relocations company, I had added Global Adjustments Academy, a Reality division and a Publishing division. Let me tell you two stories that will hopefully give you the window of an entrepreneur challenge and how I faced them.

Being available as the visionary founder is going to be the most important thing for entrepreneurship and startups today

We had a flagship product in the publication division, which was called At A Glance. A magazine that gave a view at a glance of the city when the expats came to live in India. It had everything that would give a clear sketch note to any expat on Indian culture and everything relevant for their stay in India. We were always complimented for the design element, the content, and the interviews it carried of the influential people. It was a time to rebrand the magazine and that’s where as an entrepreneur I think it is important that we always have a kind of openness to learn from others and to do what I call immovation and not innovation. Innovation is the first idea that you can get but immovation is improving on someone else’s idea.

Don't be complacent, seek support of experts and have the presence of mind to change when needed

I had a client Sachi & Sachi, the leading design company in London, who moved to India to live and work here. So, I was able to enlist them to just come and help brainstorm how I could renew my free publication by a few notches. The result was amazing because I did not allow the complacency of entrepreneur to creep in. I had this presence of mind to make this into an opportunity with the help of someone that was already in India and not just understood the ground level realty of India, but also had a global mind-set. Between Richard and me, we were able to come up with a completely new format of At A Glance and my team started the same magazine in a new avatar called Culturama – A magazine that still lives on even after 25 years. CULTURAMA seems to be the right name for the magazine as it has both expat and Indian voices in it. It explains the nuances of life in India that is driven by the value systems and the beliefs that we hold dear. For example, why do Indian managers not disagree with your boss? Everybody seems to be the ‘yes man’ in front of the boss but actually fail to deliver. This question was answered in Culturama. We explained that Indians keep hierarchy at a high pedestal. We rarely disagree with the boss or the founder, especially in a public forum. So, allow platforms where you have one-on-one conversations, smaller team conversations and have an open discussion with the leader.

Have the comfort to disagree and suggest ways to accomplish the tasks in hand. The magazine would come up with solutions like these. The magazine became the talk of town because of the practical solutions it has to offer. Culturama found its place at the British council, cafes and top multinational corporations. I am a leader who believes in making more leaders. About five years ago I started a foundation, Championwoman.org to help women become self-reliant and empower them to become leaders along with taking care of their families. I think my biggest life lesson is don’t be complacent, seek support of experts and have the presence of mind to change when needed. www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


SONAL AGARWAL BALI 2019-PRESENT FOUNDER DILIGENT CONSULTING There are various methods of valuation, like venture capital method, Berkus method, Scorecard valuation method, discounted cash flow method etc. But at an early stage, it becomes difficult to arrive at a perfect valuation. A well-articulated & realistic Business Plan or financial projections helps the startup arrive at a valuation. It is important for the founder to understand the concept of PRE-MONEY and POST MONEY VALUATION Concept to avoid any unnecessary dilution. PRE-MONEY refers to the valuation of the company before it receives the investment such as external funding or financing. The post money valuation of the startup refers to its value immediately after receiving the capital from the round of funding. This determines the equity share that investors are entitled to. Sometimes in a startup since there is no historical data available of the startup, it is advisable to do a peer-to –peer comparison of a company of similar background, offering equivalent products or services and take a peep into their valuation at different stages. Accordingly, their own valuation can be arrived at. There’s a Scorecard Method of valuing an early stage Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

talks only on the basis of EXCEL SHEET NUMBERS. Since there is no validation of numbers, the best method is to build a business plan which is broken into plausible steps or milestones and it is easier to be able to gauge the kind of funds the startup would require for fulfilling each milestone. The Fund requirement should be broken into Working Capital, Manpower, Marketing Branding & Customer Acquisition, Technology or Product, Capex etc. The investors would be happy to fund the entire cost of pick the cost that they want to invest into as per their mandates / investment thesis.

startup. It is the most preferred method used by angel investors. It uses the comparison of the startup with the perception of the other startups suing factors such as Robust Business Idea, Management Team, Market Size, Product/Technology, Funding needs & Scalability etc. It is highly subjective but the main emphasis (20%-30% of weightage) goes to the startup team of Founders. The next can be how unique and disruptive is the business idea. “In building a business, the quality of the team is paramount to success. A great team will fix early product flaws, but the reverse is not true.”

A Good Pitch which showcases the product or the startup with right numbers and valuation makes a lot of impression. It should define the need of the founder to negotiate as to how much fund is required and what is the equity that the startup is agreeing to share with the investor. Even with the best approach, 90% of the startups in India fail to raise the funds. This is because of more than one reason .The metrics show that PRE-REVENUE stage startup don’t get funding easily as compared to the POST–REVENUE stage startups . To combat this it is best to bootstrap the venture till it reaches the revenue stage and the model is proven with a paying customer by its side. So it’s better to bootstrap and also explore all other funding possibilities, generate revenue, stabilize business model and then approach the investors for funding needs. With history of constant revenue generation, the business model is explained better. Surviving the pre-revenue model is enough proof that the startup is on its way to attract customer who are willing to pay for their business idea. Another reason why the startups fail to get the attention of the investor is because of over declaration of the value of their startup. The founder must make a very well calculated and fair estimate of the value of company.The size of the opportunity also is a big deciding factor for the investors. The scalability of the business is an important factor. A business that is very niche means restricted revenue which may sometimes not interest the investor, that is the reason that B2C startups gets better attention from investors. It is important for the founder to show a very clear path of Return on Investment (ROI). It is important to share how the investment will accelerate the revenue, increase margins, reduce the resources used to generate revenue and keep scaling.

The early stage valuations are difficult to make and are hence generally “Guesstimates”. A startup doesn’t have any historical data to show and

Remember it important to secure funds from investors to scale business, build robust technology and not to fund the expenses of the startup. www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


The current pandemic we are experiencing was disruptive for most businesses. It was specifically harsh on start-ups or small businesses delivering them a body blow that was big enough to shake them up. Brutal for these young start-ups since they have limited cash reserves for managing steep slumps such as this. In India, life in the pandemic was even more demanding as the Country experienced the toughest lockdown, compared to anywhere else in the world. The Indian Government did announce an economic package to help businesses to remain standing and to revive the economy. For the young start-ups and SMEs the government announced loan products, right shifting of interest / return of capital, statutory dues, filing of returns, amongst many other relaxations. Government Departments like BIRAC, announced grants for start-ups focussed on innovation to fight the COVID challenge. And to be fair, Industry responded to the Hon Prime Minister Modi’s clarion call to fight the Pandemic. The Indian Venture Capital Funds, Corporates and Foundations all announced grants for young startups innovating for the COVID 19 Pandemic. It was a fight fought together and now we are seeing India Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

starting to emerge out of the COVID tunnel faster than any other country. Interestingly, it is India which is now helping deliver the world the much needed vaccine. The Serum Institute has become the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world. It stands today as an icon for Indian entrepreneurship, its resilience, its risk taking ability and for going global. India is the world’s third-largest start-up ecosystem and it surely is the fastest growing. Companies have grown exponentially not despite, but because of the Pandemic. Quickly adapting to leverage upon the changing consumer behaviour, swivelling to cater to their needs. These companies underlined the fact that focus on the market and the customer ensure that they grow.

DigVijay Singh 2017-Jan 2021 COO INDIA ANGELS NETWORK

Lockdown & social distancing pushed several businesses to shift from the conventional methods to entirely digitally-driven operations, thereby creating better avenues for market forces. Leveraging new-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Data Analytics, Big Data, Robotics etc. They quickly identified the shift and leveraged upon the customer demand for digital which accelerated their growth path.

India is surely in the eyes of the world Large diverse markets, technology innovation, disruptive propositions and extremely high-quality talent are a few factors contributing in the start-up growth story. India has seen innovation and fastgrowing companies across several sectors .Indian Unicorns have emerged from sectors such as Education, Beauty, Delivery, Retail, Fintech, Ecommerce, Mobility, Salon and Spa Management

The new trend that is sure to emerge is the hybrid model of PHYGITAL : a combination of physical and digital Software, Healthcare, Trucking Services, Groceries, Insurance, Food-tech, Analytics, Mobile Ads etc. Both enterprise and consumer focus with different business models : B2B, B2C and B2B2C have delivered high growth companies The trend that emerged during the Pandemic was to “go online” and “anything tech” was slated to grow. With social distancing, it became a need but as we are coming out of the pandemic, going digital is the norm. The world has changed forever : online is here to stay. The technology infrastructure is the fourth utility we will all need alongside water, electricity and clean air. However, interestingly there are already glimpses of the trend changing again. With the cloud of the virus lifting, the human mind is keen to get back to the offline space : in person interactions and offline models will start to pick up. www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


Companies soon realised, during the hardest months of April – June 2020, that ‘Cash is King’. It became imperative that companies right shifted their expenses and left shifted their collections / advances. Hence, the focus on capital efficiency, gross margins, are all key investor trends. Companies with strong revenue projections AND an eye on profitability or, at least an intent to be profitable, did attract stronger interest.

digitisation has become mainstay. And people from rural markets are now compelled to go online. These are completely new virgin markets! They have to get on the online highway but need products / tools to do so. And companies which can cater to these customers as well, will surely witness an accelerated growth

be effective

The pandemic did not halt the investing business It just slowed it down. As young companies took a deep breath, gathered their wits and re architected their models, investors sat down to research and keenly follow the emerging trends. It became apparent that customers had not gone away but their behaviour had changed, customer acquisition was still required, but now companies would need to do it from their laptops, and delivery will need to have a mix of offline and online!

Investor sentiment did not dissipate during the pandemic It paused and then picked up and how! The Edutech sector is evidence of this! And investors continued to invest though the number of investments reduced. The changed customer behaviour focused on the “basics” food, logistics, education, healthcare, clean energy all enabled by technology – garnered investments. Sectors which have seen innovation and going forward we will see more of are manufacturing, textile, agriculture. Innovation is already starting to happen and new business models enabled by technology are starting to emerge. Strong Founding teams is not the only key. The pandemic did reflect that only those with resilience, imagination and an instinctive DNA could survive the body blow of 2020. It’s even more critical now that founders not only building quickly, but are also able to leverage upon the new opportunities by taking quick decisions. It is not enough to have focus on current customers or look at organic growth, but to be alert for new customer bases and ready to adapt. For instance, with social distancing, Power Talk l Ready to StartUp




Imagine History has shown us that in the worst of times, some of the best companies have emerged : General Motors, General Electric, Disney, IBM, HP, Traders Joe, Microsoft, Uber, Instagram, Whatsapp and many others. When we look back, the Pandemic and global recession of 2020 will also mark the year of some great and successful companies that left a massive impact on the landscape of how businesses are run in future. Clearly, innovation will thrive, start-ups will burgeon, investors will invest and soon valuable companies and investor returns will take shape.

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SUSTAINABLE GROWTH After completion of a taxing year, we have finally arrived into 2021. Are you still alive, is your business still running? That means you have good news in the future. If you can survive the pandemic, you would be able to sustain yourself in the future as well. However, did you do anything different? Did you try new techniques? Did you pivot or change your business model? Often we entrepreneurs are asked a few common questions. What is the real problem which we are solving? And how are we planning to make money? However, mostly the long term innovative approach has kept investors hooked onto disruptive business ideas without thinking much about sustainability or its profitability in the short term. The story of valuations is like a cobweb, once you start building it, it keeps getting bigger and bigger with more complications, and often we forget that one vacuum cleaner can wipe it off in a few seconds. I think 2020 was that vacuum for all of us. Will the cobweb theory still work? As we get into the final phase of pandemic it is clear that the businesses won't be the same, we might be selling the same thing but differently and managing things is also different. In India, the governance and Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

Yatin k.Thakur


compliance structure adds to the streamlining years. Why is that so? Have you ever thought process. It is becoming more and more evident that about why you change your smartphone every we are one of the fastest growing digital economies in second year? Maybe there is some correlation the world. Everything is trackable, which surely may between the two. not be the preferred choice for most but it does add The communication methods are completely to transparency and provides a better structure to changing and the distances surely do not exist any more as this is the new normal. What does that scale and provide access to capital.

mean for us as entrepreneurs? As an entrepreneur I have seen many cycles, right from the 2008 Global Recession to another peak in 2013 followed by a slump in 2014 and another peak in 2018. Usually the life cycle of an economy used to be 10 years before it was refreshed, however over the years we have seen the life cycle reduce to about 4

2014 onwards we started seeing a sudden surge in mobile apps, right from traditional social apps and messaging, there was a gradual shift to entertainment, utilities and financial transactions . Today from your mobility of movement to your daily needs, your health and wellness tracking, billing, accounting and entertainment are all through an app www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


From morning coffee to evening entertainment, everything was happening on this small screen, and hence the screen sizes kept expanding. Ever wondered why Android phones have so large screens? This might be the answer. Surprisingly laptops are also making their screens look like a smartphone. Consumption of content has led to many new business opportunities . Earlier creation of content was considered cool, however today getting traction is the key. We have seen apps and new business models emerge, but one of the biggest concerns for any and every company including a unicorn is traction and engagement. Some manage to do it early, while others ride on the wave. Have you been on “ClubHouse”? That's the perfect example of an early venture with amazing traction. Today every unicorn is trying to figure out their traction and sustainability model as pandemic has taught us one thing very clearing “NOTHING IS PERMANENT ''. While we have seen some of the new industries take up the lead, majorly EdTech, FinTech, HealthTech and of course Entertainment. If I am getting upskilled, I have the potential to make money more efficiently, once I make the money, I need to manage it well and while doing all of it I need to stay sane.


based on the cards which you would have used at any of the Chaayos store in the past. That’s data storage with Machine Learning. I am sure in the future, I wont have to repeat my orders on Chaayos as it would also know what do I usually order. Also, all tea’s are automatically made using Chaayos’ proprietary technology which automatically prepares the tea at a preset temperature for a preset time. No wonder an IITian is leading this company If you are thinking of starting something, it is time for you to think about your daily routine and all the problems which you face throughout the day. If you can pin down possible solutions, it would give you a definite starting point. Next step is to validate your solution. That’s when you have got to start talking. Build an outreach, connect with as many people as possible, share your ideas and take feedback. Eventually ask these people whether they would like to pay for this solution, and if so then how much? Bingo you have your business model ready. That’s the time for you to commercially launch and move towards the next level of your entrepreneurial journey.

Often I am questioned about future trends and the new trend setters. While shared economies was the flavour of the second decade, I think third decade would be the age of digitisation. With remote workforce and globalisation, digitisation compliments this new age economy. Block Chain, AI, ML are the foundational pillars of this new age economy. Let me explain in a simplistic manner. Earlier you would walk Today every VC backed company is also thinking into a Chaayos store, it would ask your phone number about its profitability as capital is precious and and then take your order. I am sure most of you everyone wants to bet on a sustainable venture. experienced that. Over the time, they built a new app in partnership with True Caller, which detects your The companies until 2020 may not be there in the face and checks you in automatically. Fast forward to next 3 years, but the ones adapting to new third quarter of 2020, Chaayos has its own app, you technologies and trends with a solid business model simply login to place and order whether for a dine in or take away. It lets you order, accumulate all points will be taking the lead. But remember it all starts and then quickly make the payment through various with a problem, and your more simplistic solution can be the next unicorn payment options which are saved on your account , Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

Become a POWER TALK AMBASSADOR Contact us on the information given below to know more

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The world is more than ever in an Incredible phase when it comes to the need of Innovation and the talented, highly motivated Start-up founders are putting in enormous effort to take their companies to higher levels of growth. Seize the day and NOW is your time. In this highly competitive global market , we also see failures, Black Swan unpredictable events laying the finest companies low . The harsh fact of high failure rates, not able to sustain the Progress, tough Customer acquisition and high marketing costs are factors to be well aware of for Founders. There will be factors way beyond your control. Do not feel let down and stifle your ability to be creative, Innovate and find ways to survive and Thrive!! There is support, Strategies and frameworks to Pivot, Find new customer segments and unleash the full potential you and your teams have. So what needs to be done? What are the critical factors to always be tracking to stay strong in these challenging times ? A few thoughts and guidelines from the hundreds of conversations, Workshops and Research work that I have been personally involved with. Will look at diverse aspects like Marketing, Personal Branding, Digital Tools, Networking, Skill Building, Communities and Ecosystem Government policies and opportunities. This is not just for large enterprises, even Start-up founders must study about government grants and onboarding as a vendor. Apply for the various Programs. Few of them are listed below KSUM( Kerala), THUB(Telangana),Karnataka Startup Cell( KITS,KTECH,NAIN etc).These two states are just some of the very active states Great resources Invest India, DIPP programs https://startup.karnataka.gov.in/ https://dipp.gov.in/japan-plus/flagshipprogrammes-goi-digital-india



There are many active associations in your state and city, CII ,FICCI, TiE, NASSCOM, ASSOCHAM, Toastmasters, Dev circles etc Seasoned founders are learners and readers. Be a good mentor to younger founders , and remember the digital natives are amazing growth tools Be honest and strive to cut down unnecessary costs, you need a good Runway to stay around for longer terms and achieve your dreams, vision! Invest in Free or Paid CRM, billing marketing, note taking ,blogging tools like Hubspot ,Zoho, Mailchimp, Freshworks, Medium, Asana, Notion The playbooks are out there in the Open. Do your research, apply the vital principles. Some samples for addon reading : https://www.birac.nic.in/big.php



When and why to Pivot

Marketing Collaterals & Digital Assets

Think about how you can get into new customer segments, be profitable and take advantage of schemes, Address the changing needs of consumers, which means a lot of on the ground research, customer conversations, adopting new technologies. Remember the biggest companies changed course and fought many tough battles . See the examples of Amazon, Reliance, Tata Group on how they brought new products/services in very crowded markets and tough business environments

Invest on working with top notch folks both external and internal on having your website, mailers, social media channels like LinkedIn showcase page, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram/ and Youtube channel. Each of these social media handles should look good, stay updated. You must have your customer testimonials highlighted along with product updates, your team and ,industry news. Obviously costs matter, so look at barter tools, upgrading skills for team and yourself. Get interns and value resources by asking other founders for recommendations.

Sales An important skill even if founders have not done this too often in their previous assignments. I Will stress that you have to build your ability, know your competition and customers very well. Show your sales team how to do it. Please don't leave it to others. Clients want to get the backup from the senior leaders, Founders to build trust in your product or your service. Build that Relationship and Goodwill.

Investor Talks, Embassy Conversation on Global Expansion The Ecosystem is always providing knowledge sessions and Platforms like Power Talk with Archanna ,Yourstory, TiE, GoI are always bringing the info to you , stay tuned through Newsletters, Email and Digital Media.

Referral Marketing The Gig economy has many freelancers, agencies who can get you customers for a success fee; So you do not have to have a huge infrastructure marketing team that sums upto be huge upfront costs that shoot up your budget manifold Tools like the Business Model Canvas, Lean Startup (Al Reis), Flywheel Marketing should be used. These tools are not just concepts. They are frameworks for growth and a dashboard to monitor your organisation. Engage and Delight customers and they will keep buying from you. Customer retention is the key Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

Build your personal brand as a Thought Leader who is keen on adding Value, Knowledge and Ecosystem Building. This entails Hard work , putting aside committed hours and selfless giving, Pay it Forward activities. All this is indeed very much worth it!! How to do this though when there is so much pressure on time, driving sales. Customer interactions is a very valid point and so look at few start points like blogging, being a volunteer with Organisations like TiE, Headstart Network Foundation etc.. Podcasting is a great ide. Contributing simple Articles on LinkedIn. Do it on a regular basis on subjects where you are expert, have insights is much appreciated and valuable.

Digital Tools for Remote sales & Networking Whether you are Providing SaaS services, product company, Hardware/IoT, it is important to stay on top of your game .Its advisable to use tools like Webinars, Skype, ZOOM, G Meet, Slack etc to monitor, connect, seamlessly support your teams and clients. Be part of Groups( Digital, Hybrid, Mentor Circles) to know about your Industry.

Publish well curated, researched videos, white papers that will be of vital use to your customers and their teams; they will love the value and help .This gives a gentle nudge to build trust , retain and get referrals. Attend workshops and industry seminars regularly. Work on the digital networking without being too pushy and self agenda promotion .These meetings

Will set the stage for you This sends out a clear message that you are building rapport and quality connects. Its an added advantage if you can set up roundtables, industry meetups .This turns in your favour to et you the limelight and is definitely the icing on the cake. Research reports, industry statistics , consumer trends are available for reading for free; educate yourself constantly however busy you are. This helps you understand the nerve of the market, better your reasoning ,makes your farsighted, see opportunities, help you collaborate with the right people .In short, it keeps you abreast with your hidden ecosystem.

Where are the opportunities today? A small snapshot.

AgriTech Innovation on reducing consumption of Water, Energy resources. The world is talking about sustainability .These are the shoes we nee t fill in .Go for it .This is the future

The call for Vocal for Local is not a fad Consumers want healthy, Local foods Take advantage of this long term behaviour change. Pandemic has put everyone on their toes. People have realised that health is the real wealth .They are looking for organic , local chemical free food tat helps them with better immunity and nutrition that to the list by all means and is here to stay with no compromise what so ever

FinTech Even the smallest of business operations has seen growth during the pandemic and has given them stability like never before . The answer is ecommerce, digital platforms, Neo banking, Lending, Payments will continue to grow leaps and bounds. New businesses, newer roadblocks and newer solutions and that’s where Fintech will resolve it for the business owner so that their customers get a smooth ride.

Health , MedTech, Nutrition and Mental wellness. Customised services will be the focus .Developing newer ,user friendly, innovative and unique Apps will remain the focus to rope in more ad more customers services. Products and services related to Yoga and Fitness will take a big time plunge. People will look forward to novel ways to staying fit Self reliance in Defence tech and manufacturing means greater participation of the private sector in weapon manufacturing in support of the Indian government Biotech and Pharma is going to see an all time boom because of the vaccines. R & D are focus areas for the government too and is here to stay . Private labelling for generic medicines will be on the rise The use of electrical vehicles is going to rise .This only means that there is gong to be a sudden requirement od charging stations, battery swapping Education for the masses has become the need of the hour . Industries are focusing on the deliverables to make it happen .Crossing the digital divide is on everybody’s mind .This will give birth to many new businesses that will truly have the potential to turn into UNICORNS provided they focus on key essential areas. This in turns shall create many job opportunities for many within the ecosystem. This will also become the reason for vocational skills to take its share of pie Media content market has risen up multi folds ever since the pandemic. However the fun has just begun. A major shift in people preference has been observed during pandemic. Over the top content is on top of its game. The ever green market of video, digital content, animation, movie, television and music production is already creating waves and will continue to create more and more jobs which means its time to take this shot Artificial intelligence based applications across Industries is coming up in a big way in vocational training ad education ,human resources, medical and lot more

Stay Resilient and trust your own worth! www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


Reputation AT STAKE Your reputation is what serves as an anchor when you choose to soar and as a life jacket, if things go south. Invest wisely

Ruby Thapar 2019- PRESENT PRINCIPAL RUBY THAPAR CONSULTING Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

The start-up world for me is a game changer, not only for their ideas; but also for the sheer landscape it provides to play, with no barriers of domain and age. Their vision, gumption, imagination and grit is to be envied. Having said that, Start-ups can at times be inward looking, like the metaphorical hammer for whom every problem is a nail. An idea, funding and an online presence is not enough. Would You Embark on a Sailing Trip Without a Life Jacket?

Business is all about relationships. How well you build them, determines how well they build your business - Brad Sugars

Reputation is not built by what we tell consumers, but by what our stakeholders each other. In that sense, it is intangible and function of the actions and behaviour of company within and without.

our tell is a the

As the new age mediums of communication become our normal, one must take cognizance of the fact, that stories no longer have a definitive shelf life; or are restricted by geographies or limited to only qualified journalists or publishers. Stories can be told by anyone, re-emerge multiple times and be tagged and associated directly or indirectly to any number of themes. The digital medium has vested powers in the hands of many stakeholders beyond the customer, who drive perception and thus our reputation. Reputation management will increasingly have a direct correlation to business, which must be startegistically capitalised. Additionally anticipating and planning for risks and crisis must be integral to any reputation strategy. Let’s use 3 philosophical questions which come up more often than not, to set the context to this conversation on reputation management.

The 1st question asked is: How did you come up with this idea? I like this question. It is an opportunity to tell your story with things material to you and own your reputation. There are so many pegs around which the story of any start-up can be written. Decide on the ‘Hero’ of your enterprise – is it you, the product, the company, all of it or something else. . the narrative you want everyone to carry Craft The 2nd big question asked is: Who are your stakeholders or audience? Take a strategic, structured and timely approach to map, know and communicate with your stakeholders. I like to group stakeholders as ABC:

Allies Actively engaged with you Bystanders Believe in you with a But Critics Hold views contradictory to yours Having said that, also remember that the stakeholder universe is agile today. We may not always be able to map our stakeholders to the tee. Reviewing your stakeholder base at regular intervals will keep you on your game in including and engaging with them .The above two questions is what most start-ups get www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


asked and the 3rd question is what they ask themselves. When should I start investing in reputation management? Whether your offering is in the online space or in the brick or mortar category, it is a good idea to integrate reputation management as one of the building blocks of your business from day zero. We tend to miss this key piece simply because we have not given it enough thought. So look at starting early. Knowing Your Pillars of Reputation Management Helps in Creating Competitive Advantage! For each of these pillars, draw out a strategy and action plan and you will find seamless synergy with your larger business strategy. These pillars eventually speak to the ethos of your enterprise. Refer to ‘FIND’ as you start to create your reputation management tool box. Under each of the pillars, I have shared some indicative measures. This is not by any means an exhaustive list.

Foster Trust ▪ You are the first and most important ambassador of your start-up. In a new enterprise everyone bets on the founder ▪ Tell stories. Not just of the product, but the vision, people, products, company, challenges, opportunities, magic, coincidences, failures, wins, solutions, issues ▪ Be consistent and proactive with your presence, engagement and communication Invest in Relationships ▪ Strive for win-win solutions to create long term equity ▪ Align and include people around the shared purpose ▪ Identify and navigate to the value your bring

Nurture Networks – the obvious and not so obvious ▪ Look for opportunities to represent the cause your solution is serving ▪ Engage with thought leaders and on their platforms Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

Meaningful relationships and meaningful work are mutually reinforcing, especially when supported by radical truth and radical transparency -Ray Dalio ▪ Be visible as a thought leader

Deliver Customer Value ▪ Ensure constancy of experience ▪ Cherish your referrals – they are lending their credibility to you

▪ Make your customers feel safe and protected Have a strategy to combat key board warriors. Not all battles are to be fought, but how you approach and handle them will be watched Depending on the life cycle or round of funding your start-up is in, keep upgrading your reputation management tool box. You will discover some approaches to be sacrosanct, while others serving a short term or a specific purpose. Building an intangible asset like reputation, requires listening, empathy and care. It requires being authentic about who you are as a company, not once but consistently over and over again and for the long term. I believe, your reputation is what serves as an anchor when you choose to soar and as a life jacket, if things go south. Invest wisely.

Power Talk with Archanna https://www.youtube.com/powertalkwitharchanna

World over, the legal sector has seen the slowest adoption of tech-based solutions. Even within the sector, India is a couple of years behind some other nations. 2020 saw the introduction of virtual courts for the first time in the country. Though the process was catalysed by Covid-19, it , has kick-started a very important conversation - ‘how can the legal industry benefit from the very many pros that emerging tech offer?’ We might be late to the party, but given the importance of the legal sector, the overburdened judiciary and the immense potential that the Indian demographic offers ,we will be booming with legal tech products .So its time for entrepreneurs to start thinking as this is going to be one among trending business going forward Dreaming a business that can turn an idea into a billion dollar worth entity is always very easy. The real pain in the neck starts when startups plan to learn on the way . Legalities can trap your success and clip your wings. However a good understanding can give wings to your ideas, thoughts and allow you to spread young wings as much as you would like given you have all other aspects of business execution in place. This is where LAWYERED comes in. We have a huge platform with more than 20,000 lawyers registered with us and board the band wagon following a very stringent process in line . Till now ,we have catered to 50,000+ Startups. Our research team constantly works on bringing together every documents that can easy of the life of a startups. With over 100+ agreements, we have a rich gallery of agreements, MOU’s, reference sheets and templates ,in short a one stop shop all for startups. This comes with a consultation to support them ,hand hold them to understand what exactly would they require to get the engine running. This comes to them at NO COST.

“Legal Toolkit for Startups & Businesses” Negligence can definitely get startups into trouble and these troubles can easily be avoided. These are processes that are a part of any business launch and come with few legal bindings which must be adhered to. However should not be taken lightly For e.g., it is important to understand the business the startup gets into and incorporate a company to stat with. Speaking in Indian context, the company could either be limited liability partnership in India(LLP) or be incorporated


as a private limited company or registered as a partnership firm .It will be termed as a start-up if Its turnover for any of the financial years since incorporation or registration has not exceeded Rs 100 crore .Its important to understand taxation and accounting laws .Startups need to keep in mind the business licenses they need to apply for and definitely remember to renew them time and again. They must be well aware of the compliances they need to meet for the business they wish to run. Startups are very quick in creating their logo’s, completely unaware of the protection of their intellectual property rights or if they are stepping on someone else's foot. Create a fool proof entity by formalizing business structure and formalising founders agreement. It is also important to understand the liabilities startups move around with on their shoulders and how they can stay stress free if they follow systems and understand the law of the land. There are many implications that comes with a poorly executed idea. Legal hassles are one of them. CONSULT A LAWYER .READ .READ. READ www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


Amod Anand 2018-PRESENT Co-Founder Loom Solar Pvt Ltd Faridabad, India 2014-2017 Sr. Manager Home Shop 18 Noida, India

The startup SOLAR LOOM was launched by Amod Anand and Amol Anand in 2018. The duo was more than busy in their corporate life Before. Amol handled operations at Luminous India. Amod started his career with Reliance as a business analyst. While at Bharti Airtel Ltd as a senior manager, Amod was still thinking about venturing on his own. With 3 years at Home Shop 18 as a senior manager, he was sure he wanted more .The entrepreneurial spirit in the Anand brothers kept surfacing until they both decided to finally start working on it alongside their corporate jobs. The duo investigated several industries and ended up joining the solar power industry. It was the idea of becoming financial independent, while working in corporate jobs. .They were thinking like a true entrepreneur. Minimum investment and maximum returns. After much research they mutually zeroed down their option to Solar energy. As a start up company, the only that really worried them was SURVIVAL. Stories floating in the market about start-up failure gave them sleepless nights. Their focus on profitability and 100% prepaid transactions was their starting point It was difficult to find how to start and from where to start, which product to sell and how to earn profit. Once we were sure of the business we wanted to create a fortune in ,We were a bit relieved . We knew it was solar energy and LOOM SOLAR was born ! Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

THUMB RULE Identifying strengths and weakness Strength: Understanding of Digital Marketing, How to build website, How to transport products, How to Identify supplier for procurement of products.

Weakness: Capital for investment was very low, small office / warehouse, no brand, no customer and no credibility in the market to get the product on credit. All we had were savings and fire in the bely to make it big. We invested our hard earned money on creating a website with all our focus was on digital marketing. In the process, we learnt about everything customer acquisition and strategies to leverage our business. It took us some time as we handle everything. All operations under one roof- our home .It took us time to recruit people as they were not keen on joining us because us the limited space available at our home grown office. This did not affect the energy and passion that drew us towards our goal constantly .We were determined aa a duo and didn’t have time to think about those who didn’t want to join us in this journey To begin with, we started as distributors for companies that were into solar energy like Luminous India. We created a market for ourselves. Gaining the trust of the customer as been the key focus for us from the very beginning .As my brother Anmol had experience in this industry we grew faster than we expected. In October 2018 we launched Monocrystalline panels .This was a big boom for us . We started seeing stability in our business . This as a stepping stone , we launched AC Module in DEC 2019. This came with a partnership with EnPhase . Now our focus grew into making Loom Solar a popular business among customers by constantly working on quality, timely deliveries and ofcourse manufacturing premium quality solar panels with no compromise on quality whatso ever . www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


ONE STEP AT A TIME Anmol and myself along with 10 more people That’s what Loom solar was all about .A company that was multitasking all the time but was full of passion to make it big Now we are a team of 100 people . Our goal is to expand it gradually. Earlier Loom Solar had tie-ups with solar brands with good infrastructure and a network of sales personnel in each state or territory. We aligned their sales employees and distribution channel to Loom Solar for a commission of 15 percent. Now the Loom Solar has approx. 1500 resellers present in across 700 cities who are aligned to sell and distribute. Loom Solar guarantees a three-day delivery period across the country and also provides end-to-end solutions. At the time of market research we discovered that there were many rural areas in India with little access to electricity (especially in Uttar Pradesh).There was a need for more. When we set out to understand the inside story of the industry, we found that three major problems that slowed down the acceptance of solar power: There was inadequate knowledge and understanding of the product . People were not very well versed with the benefits of using solar energy .We also found that there weren’t many suppliers who would reach out in the interiors and also promise good after sales service. Another undeniable fact came to surface . Poor quality of products being manufactured because of use of obsolete technology Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

With in a year of its inception the organization installed 3,500 kW solar panels. A reduction of 99,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equal to planting 1,58,000 trees This lowers emissions and electricity reliance on the national grid. Bootstrapped Loom Solar hosts only luxury brands in the solar industry, but plans to bring more brands on board in the future, including Luminous, Microtek, Okaya, and Schneider Electric. For such brands, it offers solar arrays, screens, inverters, and chargers online.

The company has never sold the products on credit, and is not even planning to do that in future. In order to sustain we should always sell product with profit. Currently valuation of the company is Rs 120 crore

GOLDEN ADVICE My advice to the budding entrepreneur is: Do business with trust and focus on profitability. In the early stage of the business, you have to build trust with customer, supplier, employee and shareholders. Once trust is built, business starts growing and rest of the things can be managed. The next more important thing after that brilliant idea is to look for a great team.

You need a few people who can work like you, who can understand your idea and work on the project day and night just like you do. Once idea is validated with sample customer size then marketing becomes important things to grow the business.

helping our team get certifications during pandemic. Most of our employees from sales and marketing department are solar certified by Udemy . Now we are back to work .

Also, people believe that funding is the last thing to be considered. In my view, every founder must start business as bootstrap and later on once its validated take help of funding to grow your business multi fold. It gives confidence to business idea and product Business size may be small to begin with but it grows with time provided you don’t loose your focus on quality and customer retention. Solar industry of India is growing by 3 times every year. Our organization growth is growing by 2 times in every aspects. Target to establish your business with in 3 years of its inception. It will start seeing growth with time and demand of the market

EXPERIENCE SPEAKS FEW TIPS ▪ We bootstrapped our company , and also advice others to follow the same, it's your hard-earned money. So we spend it wisely compare to the investors money Awards and recognition: ▪ How to reach to the customers? – Digital Medium ▪ A huge customer base ▪ Why will our customer trust on us? – ▪ A very good team Cutting Edge Technology Products & Simplify ▪ A private limited company with 2 Director . Service Process My brother Anmol Anand and myself ▪ Who will execute all process? – Strong Team ▪ Who will fund to our business? – Customer ▪ Received fastest growing SMB of the year by Amazon Sambhav Year 2020 Funded ▪ Pandemic and black swan events shouldn’t ▪ DIPP Certified Startup India ▪ Golden Bridge Awards 201 dampen your spirits ▪ Featured in various publications like POWER TALK ,SAUR ENERGY, EQ For us pandemic was difficult too but we managed INTERNATIONAL, ENERGETICA, PV to grow our company as Power backup Industry also MAGAZINE, YOURSTORY, BUSINESS grew due to high demand in residential sector. Most STANDARD, ELETIMES, of the people started working from home so they DEVDISCOURSE, ELECTRONICS needed more electricity with power backup, and it BAZAAR helped to grow our business .We concentrated on www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


Shan M Elangovan 2018- PRESENT MANAGING DIRECTOR CEAE United Kingdom 2011- PRESENT Managing Director VEE CEE Ltd United Kingdom Born in a family of entrepreneurs, I took my own path towards self build! Working for other business was essential steps towards bigger goals in life, one is to gain experience and the other is to ensure the ends meet. Sustainability is always been with me, as I believe in that lifestyle and it has got on to me more and more over a period of time. Working for others and for myself, I had a large exposure in to sustainable trends globally. CEAE is a passion to make anything we do 100% sustainable & Circular. Sustainability always doesn’t need to be at an extra cost. I don’t believe in that. It’s lack of information on what sustainable solutions are available out there. When you speak about additional cost, it’s also about the tiniest percentage of margins what you are willing to forego, if there is any. There are several ways to accomplish circularity in your business without additional cost. It’s the mindset which is all important!


A start-up founder at the start of pandemic 2020,what inspired you to plunge into the risky waters of sustainability ? Having worked with international clothing brands all my life, Sustainability & Circularity has always been my passion. I have worked within R&D functions on several circular developments including fabrics, accessories, packaging and several sustainable production process initiatives with these global brands. But there was always a lot of limitations, when it comes to sustainability initiatives, as

Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

Yes we are a pandemic Launch I was involved in the tiniest aspects of the project and it has been a huge learning curve there are so many other factors involved in accepting a change. My passion was always to create a brand that will solely build on sustainability and circularity in mind.


After the launch consistency is very important .What kept you on your toes from day one ?

Finance and the ability to meet demand when you explode, and how you actually manage your cashflow. Again, it was not just 1 thing, it was several different things, to make it all work together flawlessly starting from product design, development, testing, performance, packaging, branding, user experience online, the box opening experience and to be prepared with any objections, questions and customer queries. Every single thing mattered to me. Once you have nailed a product then presenting them to wider audience, distributers, wholesalers in different geographical locations were challenging at the same time

rewarding, when see acceptance on what you have believed in all this while


A pandemic launch, implementation must have been a rocky ride.

More than the problems, it’s all the different steps involved and executing them within the time frame. It was at the peak of lockdowns and the ability to develop a design and go to market. Logistics and continuity of continuity of work force was a greater challenge. When we launched our 100% Organic cotton masks, I wanted it to tick all the boxes of a circular/sustainable product and at the same time to perform better than any other product out there. We had to do a lot of performance testing and choice of material played a significant role. Testing took time and we had to plan production, volumes and availability of stock in different markets and sales channels are all set and ready when the product hits the market. I was involved in the tiniest aspects of the project and it has been a huge learning curve in a such a short time span from initial conceptualisation to market. We in fact submitted patent/trademark for the innovation. I am now proud that our product is available with more than 3000 retailers and look forward to the launch of all future product line. We aspire to be a truly circular lifestyle brand reassuring with accreditations and transparency to all our customers www.powertalkwitharchanna.com



The innovation window of startups needs funds .Your advise to budding entrepreneurs

Yes absolutely! Backed up with sufficient funds to start up and sustain for a period of time. Creating the visibility for the brand through your online sales channels and distribution network. Gaining the acceptance of the product and the trust. Sell, Sustain and build the brand and reinvest all earnings back into products and markets .We have done the initial We have created a channel- retail and wholesale in a short span of time and we need to optimise on the opportunity. Now is the time to continue giving great products to these distributors, wholesalers and retailers and they know the brand and the quality of the products they can expect. It’s a range of products that we need to launch, just not one at a time. It’s about creating an offering to someone’s lifestyles, so funding is super important at this stage or else we will be slow in the game, loose momentum that we have already built. We can still be successful but will be slow and conventional. Funding changes the whole scenario! Power Talk l Ready to StartUp

I am proud that our product is available with 3000 retailers in a such a short time span from initial conceptualisation to market it’s been over 7 months that we launched. Now we are preparing for brand deck/future aspirations so we can present it to possible venture capitalists, I think that’s the key! Self-funding is relevant for a start-up and to sustain for a while. To takes any business to next level, funding is the key, like the stage we are in now. We have huge aspirations, working on our first ever clothing range which is 100% Organic, 100% chemical free, dyes from herbs barks of trees and leaves etc.., 100% water reused/circular,100% biodegradable/ recyclable and with almost 0% carbon emission. We want to reduce our carbon emission during production process rather than emit and offset! We want to accredit & communicate all we do to end consumers. CEAE- Circular Economy Accredited & Ethical


What is the next most important thing after that brilliant idea ?

Its marketing and the sales channels. Precisely the digital marketing partner! I believe the reach to wholesale and distribution comes thru your online presence. The success online hugely depends on the digital marketing and choosing the right ecommerce partners. We have invested a lot on this front and have seen a lot of results, which will help us shape and succeed in all our future product launches. For online retail, digital marketing is expensive but inevitable. You need to look at least 20-25% of the retail price of a product towards the cost of digital marketing/ e-commerce partnerships. Most often this cost is overlooked by start-ups. Unfortunately Great idea/ product wont sell by itself. There are so many other entities within the retail chain for example, fulfilment, digital marketing, e-commerce partner, manufacturing, logistics, agents all have their share of the cake. So it vital to consider every single cost elements before finalising retail prices and wholesale prices.


What was your perfect sustainability business plan ?

With CEAE I always knew what we were going to offer. But the Pandemic, infact gave me a kick start. There was a problem in hand to solve and you have the expertise to leverage. Face masks! We kept the ethos intact about what we want to do and came up with a great product, comfort, performance and sustainability are three key elements we focused on. Huge challenges, starting from prototyping to final product as things weren’t normal in terms of workforce nor the logistics. The production was interrupted several times. When I started this project when pandemic hit, I was based out of USA, product development/ production based out of India and I was setting up retail, distribution/ fulfilment in UK . It was super challenging! I kept at it and we managed to launch a global website, tie up with fulfilment companies, signup with partners in UAE, Canada, South Africa, USA and UK. All our distributers came thru our online presence .We have

about 4 large distributors/ wholesalers in the UK/ Europe, who in turn have over 3000 retailers buy from them. The list is Growing!

Our Focus- 3 key elements comfort, performance and sustainability Future of any business in today’s world, whether its product or services that you offer, they need to be sustainable. What difference are making to anyone’s sustainable lifestyle? Who much is it contributing to global sustainability goals? Carbon emission, are you controlling? Plastics- are you reducing the usage? Are your products circular? Biodegradable/ recyclable? Will it contribute to the over growing pollution in our ocean? It’s about going back in time and fixing things for a better tomorrow and for generations to come. www.powertalkwitharchanna.com



Power Talk is an e-magazine. It is published bi-monthly by Power Talk with Archanna. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into any retrieval system or introduced into any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the copyright owners. Power Talk is also a free publication therefore selling copies is strictly forbidden and can lead to legal action. Although ‘Power Talk with Archanna’ has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this publication neither it nor any contributor can accept any legal responsibilities whatsoever for consequences that may arise from errors or omissions or any opinions or advice given or information provided in this edition is correct at the time of going online. The link of Power Talk e-magazine is available on our website www.powertalkwitharchanna.com and is available to be shared to one and all without sabotaging the content. The content in each of the article published in the magazine are sole views of the author. Views so expressed by each author is completely independent of the companies they currently work for or their companies in the past. The content here by published is in no way a reflection of the vision, mission or goals of the company, the authors ever worked for or is currently working for.


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