This Enterprise Helps Government and Corporates Meet their Innovation Goals
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
In today’s age of disruption, every business ecosystem thrives on partnership. From blue chip companies to new age startups and even the government, all of them have to come together at an intersection point for the larger purpose – making people’s life easy.
One such company that helps these entities bridge their gap to meet at the intersecting point is DCF ventures.
It claims to be India’s first innovation consultant firm which works with government and corporates to meet their innovations goal by identifying new age disruptive technologies not just in India but from the entire ecosystem that is innovating - Israel, South Korea, Germany and the US.
In a conversation with Entrepreneur India, DCF’s CEO Lakshmi Potluri shares her view on the Indian startup ecosystem and why the opportunity here is larger than anticipated.
In the last decade, there was a boon of startups. However, time and again, investors and other stakeholders have agreed that the boon was inflated and has been busted for good.
Potluri couldn’t agree less. She, as an angel investor, has seen startups bust as quickly as they have gone up. Nevertheless, she is glad about the correction that has happened.
She says “The ecosystem is at the cusp of a nice good growth. I think even investors are now looking at real ROI from companies vis-a-vis earlier it was predominately top line driven by valuation.
“Investors are now investing where there is merit, ROI and unit economics makes sense. Even the startups that coming are more matured now - they understand what the journey is going to be like and what they really need to do to innovate and not to just be me too kind of setup,” she commented
Working with Corporates and the Bureaucrats
DCF has two roles to play in the ecosystem – they help the government, such as Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, to set up their own innovation hubs. The company is also in discussion with Rajasthan and Assam on how the state government can build a better ecosystem.
Additionally, state governments can also use DCF as a search tool to find solutions to problems such as pollution or traffic. They also help them run hackathons and design exchange program with the global ecosystem which helps the government nurture market linkage.
On the other side, they also help corporates and startups to develop POCs and other innovation led projects which helps both the parties.
While working with the government is both exciting and challenging in its own way for DCF, Potluri feels corporates need to pull their socks up as gone are the days where companies would set up an R&D team and see what happens. Smart companies are taking the best from everywhere and merging it in their process.
According to Potluri, some companies are progressive and proactive - they seek out and work with startups, while there are others who are still on sidelines as they are unsure how to take initiative forward.
“I feel that the companies in the peripheries now have to come in, take a chance and nurture some of the new ventures by taking them under their wings. This can be a great marriage. There is a lot of innovation and fresh ideas to solutions that can be brought in. It could be beneficial for both entities,” she said.
But for this marriage to work out, the former Managing Director and Co-Founder of Jabong feels – corporates need to start paying startups for the POCs and secondly, they should consider improving decision-making time.
“There are companies who are hesitant when they have to pay the startups - they are looking for free POCs which I personally feel is not fair for the venture as corporates have the bandwidth to do so,” she noted.
While DCF is sector agnostic, the company majorly works with technologies like fintech, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and some bit of defence.
Having said, that Potluri that are yet to disrupted with innovation.
“For example, construction has been a traditional sector which has not been disrupted. Smart Cities in India, we haven't done much smart city-led innovation. So, there is a lot of scope for entities to innovate,” she concluded.