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Focus On Needs Not Just Wants

Focus On Needs Not Just Wants
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Reaching Rs 100 crore is the strategic journey to be traversed with building a lifestyle company. It also means focusing on business while solving big pain points, disrupting the status-quo with the help of technology and getting away from the valuation boom. Narrating this strategy briefly Ganesh Krishnan, Serial Entrepreneur and Founder, Portea Medical talks to Entrepreneur.

Should an entrepreneur focus on building a valuation booming or a lifestyle company?

From the point of view of start-ups and entrepreneurs they have two choices: one is to build a company that could go down the path of raising venture capital money, focusing on valuation and then exit or sell it. The second route is to build a lifestyle company. According to me be both are equally good. A lifestyle company may not get written about it on the front page because it does not have value except for its value in terms of struggle, satisfaction and achievement. For valuation booming companies it’s
an entire hype of valuation up and down and funding crunch. Finally an entrepreneur has to decide which
path he wants to go down and what he needs to do.

How can an entrepreneur achieve the 100cr target?

Along with deciding to build a valuation booming or a lifestyle company an entrepreneur, to reach the unicorn club,should focus on big unsolved problems. In India people generally don’t like to pay for things which are good to have but when you are selling need-based things like food, shelter and clothing they will pay. Hence, entrepreneurs should focus on needs not just wants. They should address big pain points or venture into big areas instead of venturing into the small sector, because in small sector it is
very difficult to build a company. 

Can only disrupting the status -quo will lead a company to their destiny?

In the status-quo the chances that new start-ups and new entrepreneurs will enter and do better than existing playersis very rare. So always try and aim to disrupt the status quo. Do something in a new way like we did with Big Basket. We could have started a store like Spencer or Reliance Fresh but there is no way, they are very big players. Therefore, rather than trying to do better thanexisting players one has to come up with a solution, new disruptive way of doing the business so that one can change the
playing field. Whether it’s technology,analytics, delivery at home or hyper local you have a level playing field to compete. 

How can an entrepreneur optimally use technology?

Today, technology has become ubiquitous actually to run the operations. Like Uber and Ola, entrepreneurs should use technology. It creates a level playing field, helps you compete with established players and reach customers directly.

How do you look at entrepreneurship in the age of the valuation bubble?

Entrepreneurship is not only about booming valuation and listing. Entrepreneurship of all kinds is the core. People are born entrepreneurs. In the beginning of civilisation, man use to live in caves. Every morning he would go hunting bringing the food to the cave while ensuring that other people do not enter his cave. Even that was entrepreneurship. From there slowly we have progressed.

Can an entrepreneur control the valuation bubbles?

An entrepreneur cannot control these things, he can only control his actions. Valuation up and down, boom and buzz cycle will always happen and nobody needs to worry about it. Just focus on the business, don’t worry about the competition. In a start-up you have hundred problems of your own. Put your head to the ground, execute at the ground level and everyday improve to the next level. Every
morning you should have your metrics moved at least one bit and again next day you should have done better than the previous day.

At Portea Medical how are you inching towards unicorn club?

At Portea Medical we are focusing on big pain point and putting focus on services. We are building consumer healthcare company outside of the hospitals. We are making it a single point of contact for the non- tertiary healthcare needs of the patient. We are already servicing home healthcare, delivery of medicines, diagnostic, do elder cap packages, deliver medical equipment at home. So, we become a single point of contact for the entire family.

This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (July 2016 Issue).

Edition: December 2016

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