At the session, the panel comprised eminent names including Mr. Sharad Sharma, Mr. Joseph Fernandes, Mr. Puneet Vatsayan, Mr. Revathy Ashok, Mr. Amitabh Srivastava, Mr. S. Nagarajan, Mr. Subhash Menon, Mr. Harsh Ramesh Angeri and Mr. Sanjay Anandram.
Mr. Pankaj Mishra from The Economic Times kick started the session, quizzing panelists. “Why is the recession the best time to start a business?” Mr. Subash Menon, Founder and Chairman- Subex Systems answered: “All crisis will eventually pass. And whatever happens, happens for the good. After all, an individual willing to face uncertainties makes an entrepreneur. So believe in your idea, ensure it possesses a commercial sense, make sure your customers fall in love with your idea.”
Mr. Sharad Sharma, CEO at Yahoo! India R&D added: “In recessionary times, there are two things that become clearer: if the idea is good and if competition can be tackled.” While Mr. Harsh Ramesh Angeri, Head Strategy & Initiatives- HoneyWell added: Only when a tide is low, can you determine who's without the swimming trunks!”
However, there's nothing quite like a live entrepreneurial example. Mr. Janesh Janardhan, CEO and Co-Founder Robhatah reminisced his own experience whilst stating: “When we started out we presented our idea to a number of investors. The feedback helped us refine our business idea.”
Mr. Puneet Vatsayan, Co-Founder Mobera Systems, went on to add: “A basic mistake start-ups make is investing across parallels at the same time. It's important to phase out your business spends based on its needs.”
Another piece of advice came in from Mr. Menon: “A good idea has three components: What? When? Who? As long as you get these three right, you're on track.”
This knowledge sharing session was followed by a question-answer round thrown open to the audience. Questions included:
What’s the kind of ROI that makes an idea attractive to investors?
It's difficult to put a firm number on the return on investment. The panelist assesses the idea based on how quickly it can be monetized and its scalability.
It's not possible for me to conduct a research to ascertain consumer acceptability of my idea. What should I do?
In such a scenario, base your answers on observations without second guessing.
Are we allowed to extend our Elevator Pitch submissions beyond six slides?
Stick to the preset limit! The shorter your presentation, the more crystallized your idea is likely to be. And, the clearer your proposition!
How important is SWOT vis-a-vis competition?
While answering this question ensure you include how you will tackle competition. Ensure your business story is presented in the most compelling manner.
What is an investors involvement in the company's operations?
Answer:An investor needn't play a passive role and their experience and knowledge can be used to drive the business from time to time.