Survival Strategies for Startups Amid Tight Funding
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Deepam Mishra, is the founder and CEO of Venture Factory, that helps accelerate and build startups. While conducting a workshop for budding entrepreneurs at SURGE Conference 2016, Deepam spoke about what he thinks should be the survival strategies for startups amid an anaemic funding environment
Look for real business opportunities
The main thing is to solve a problem which has a real business opportunity rather than which depends on a pure VC or funding to survive. When funding becomes tough, basically what it means is that investors’ appetite for risk has come down. They are looking at businesses which have lower risks. They are still investing, there is no dearth of money, it only means that people are getting tight fisted about money, and they will invest less.
So investors are looking at those businesses that have retired more of the risks. Anybody who is starting new should definitely look at businesses that do not have high risks in the current environment because it will be difficult to raise money.
Domains expected to stand out in 2016
In my opinion, the whole digital economy will continue to grow in India. But the bigger domains will be the ones where the digital economy enables basic everyday necessities rather than luxuries. Whether it is financial intrusions, being able to manage money, pay for services, which allow more and more people to offer services by being paid for which was not possible few years ago. Basically enable services of everyday use like healthcare, education, whatever customers are willing to pay for, those things will probably find more traction.
Quality talent will always be in short supply
Deepam said hiring in the startup space is expected to become better this year. A lot of startups which had raised a huge amount of capital were throwing around money, offering unreasonable amount of salaries to people with limited experience. I think that will correct. You will find quality type of talent to get more highly valued.
Having said that, quality talent is and always will be in short supply in this space. I think it will be slightly better this year. Lesser experienced people were getting very high salaries and startups were finding it difficult to get these people on board. I think that should change slightly. But even then, we have a long way to go in finding right, early stage start-up talent.