From the startup world – June 14

Startups can learn a lot from Superman.

A compilation of important news from the startup world:

What Startups can learn from Superman
Characteristics of Superman created huge impact on target audience and one can learn from him lessons for business and life of an entrepreneur. Superman has drawn his line in the sand and never crosses it. Can you say the same about your start-up? Or, have you succumbed to bottom-line pressures or other factors that have you breaking a personal and professional morale code of conduct? Maybe it’s time to figure out what you stand for – and stick with it. Superman makes sure that he invests his time and resources for improving his strength and activities which will help him continue to scale up the work he intends to do. Superman values the power of appearances, and he keeps those boots shined, the cape ironed and the biceps buffed. Strangers make judgments about you during first meeting based on appearance and Superman knows how to make an entrance. Similarly, a start-up should make sure that entry is impactfull with catchy appearance through their logo, website, handouts, photographs, videos, etc.

India: Poor judgement in hiring led to recklessness, high costs at startups
When funding was easily available last year, several startups in the e-commerce and consumer space, such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Zomato went all out to hire talent at all levels. Many of them — including their best top-level hires — have left this year. Between 2013 and 2015, the Indian startup ecosystem attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, with last year etting a record. Instead of using the money to beef up technology and processes, hiring was done at a rate unheard of before. Unlike the IT and IT-enabled services space —where bench strength and more hiring is seen as a good thing — high hiring levels in startups are usually an indicator of spiraling costs.

DigitalOcean data centre in Bengaluru, making cloud computing simpler for startups
DigitalOcean, a cloud computing platform, brings its first data centre in Bangalore, India. Headquartered in New York City,  DigitalOcean offers simple on demand cloud computing resources to more than 700,000 registered customers across the globe. Bangalore becomes DigitalOcean’s eighth region globally, following New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Singapore, London, Frankfurt, and Toronto. More than 700,000 developers around the world have launched over 14 million cloud servers on Digital Ocean’s platform in just four years. The company that calls itself “the startup for startups” aims to further support the startup ecosystem in India. The major cloud providers have to focus their energy on large enterprise and legacy companies;

Policy changes to bring more startups in medium industry
The government is considering policy changes to broaden and energise one of PM Narendra Modi’s pet initiatives, Startup India, to include a bigger number of startups under the ‘medium industry’ category that would be eligible for public procurement incentive and preferential benefits. Under the public procurement policy, central government department and ministries and its central PSUs have to procure at least 20% of their purchases from micro and small enterprises beginning April 1, 2015. This means that slightly bigger startups may miss out on this benefit that could be their initial survival. Under the action plan, a startup is defined as one having a turnover of more than Rs 25 crore and not be older than five years from incorporation date. In March this year, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Startup India initiative, the MSME ministry issued an order to all ministries and central public sector units to relax conditions related to prior experience and turnover for startups in all public procurements.

Billionaires Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai look to invest in Indian startups: report
Josepth Tsai had launched his family office last year to invest his money, which was created in Alibaba’s $25 billion IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. According to Forbes, Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai are reported to be worth $22.8 billion and $5.1 billion respectively. According to data from YourStory Research, Q1 of 2016 saw about $97.9 million being invested in 236 pre-Series A stage startups. But according to sources, these family offices are not expected to write large cheques, with their investments being mostly financial in nature, unlike strategic investments. Alibaba (through Ant Financial Services Group) had made its investment foray in India last year in February by buying a 25 percent stake and pumping $575 million in Paytm. The e-commerce giant, which is set to launch India operations this year, later also invested in online marketplace Snapdeal.

Why Geospatial Bill is draconian and how it will hurt startups
The Geospatial Bill seeks to make creating, accessing and distribution or sharing of map related information, illegal and that every company will have to take prior permission and license from the government for the same. In case, if the draft gets implemented, many startups will be forced to change the business model and while it will also increase the product delivery time. A group of 15 volunteers created a portal to educate the readers about the draft bill and also give complete information on how the bill have an impact on the citizen and users of certain application.

Startup India: How to hire your first head of sales
If you are a direct sales model tech startup in India, you don’t really have a choice but to look at a pool of candidates from two buckets.  The first is medium-to-large established companies in the target vertical.  The second would be generalist sales talent from well-known sales programmes such as Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and Google.   The former is likely to have a lot more domain knowledge while the latter is probably better at running sales processes in a disciplined manner. The smaller the startup, the higher the desired fixed pay component for candidates in India.  This is counter-intuitive, but a data point on the state of the ecosystem. A typical mix is 50–70 percent base and a 50–30 percent bonus that is linked to targets and equity.

iCliniq – India Based Tele-Health Startup With Patients Across 160 Countries
According to National Health Profile 2015, a report prepared by the Central Bureau for Health Intelligence (CBHI), India has just 7 doctors per 1,000 citizens. There is evidently a huge gap in the healthcare provisions available for the people. While the ratio might be better in the urban areas, it grows wider in the rural areas where a majority of the population resides. iCliniq was launched by Dhruv Suyamprakasam and Dr. Madathupalayam Madhankumar in 2012. Dhruv completed his graduation in Mechanical Engineering in 2010 from Anna University, Chennai. During his graduation itself, he had developed an inclination towards bridging the gap between patients and the required doctors. Under the guidance of Dr. Madan he went ahead to understand in depth on how to resolve this problem and set up a healthcare venture under the name Orane Healthcare. While acting as a co-founder with Dhruv, Dr. Madan also gave the initial capital investment for the company.

9 Top executives who quit startups in 2016
This year, senior managers left high-profile jobs at India’s big startups including e-commerce company Flipkart, Ola and Zomato, raising doubts over sustainability of experienced talent in India’s aggressive startups workplace. Snapdeal’s senior vice president of marketing, Srinivas Murthy is quitting the company and plans to start his own venture. Mukesh Bansal, founder of Myntra, who was recently appointed as Head of Commerce Platform for Flipkart’s core business, had resigned in February 2016. Chief business officer Ankit Nagori had resigned in February 2016. Ankit Nagori, had been associated with Flipkart since 2010 and now plans to start a sports talent development company – a field he is passionate about.

Umesh Sachdev Is Only Indian On Time’s List Of ’10 Millennials Changing The World’
Thirty-year-old Umesh Sachdev, co-founder and CEO of Chennai based Uniphore, is the only Indian in Time Magazine’s list of “10 millennials who are changing the world”. His first attempt as an entrepreneur developing a mobile theft security product soon after college wasn’t a commercial success, but Umesh Sachdev and his friend Ravi Sarogi didn’t give up. Mentored by the incubation centre at IIT Madras, Uniphore took wings. His target is to gain two billion users in two years and to make his products available to more devices beyond mobile phones like smart TV, watches, glasses, etc.

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