"Be the Cockroach of the Industry Before You Become the Unicorn!"
Accelerator evangelist entrepreneur Vikram Upadhyaya shares his advice for young entrepreneurs
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We had an exclusive chat with Vikram Upadhyaya. Here are the excerpts.
Q. Everyone is moving towards IoT, what's the future of this trend?
A: Not all are shifting to IoT, bunch of them are. Unfortunately the high tech department has still not been explored as much. There are a lot of other spaces that need work. The future is defiantly IoT, but only when someone is trying to build something that reduces the complexity of life. There are several technologies waiting to be adopted, such as a device that automatically scans and figures out the hidden wiring or faults in our grids at home, like a point where you data packets are lost in transit from the communications tower, which even Airtel hasn't fixed yet. Apps which can address the basic necessity in life are needed in our country.
Q: As an investor would you said that technology like Oculus Rift wouldn't work in India right now; do you blame technological slowdown or mindset of audience?
A: We are bundling AI around VR. For example today I'm in Bombay and my friends are in Delhi planning to visit Europe and we don't have time to sit together and browse the same website or keep going back and forth coordinating confusing our thoughts, but with VR we can browse MakeMyTrip together, we can explore the website together and we book! We need this sort of quiet VR in India first, and then devices that are like the Oculus can pave their way.
Q: What's the most rising sector in 2016?
A: We as investors are looking for medical & healthcare, internet enhancement technologies such as the next version of the WiFi, financial technology. These are evergreen sectors, and have not been explored as much by the industry.
Q: Where do incubators come in play?
Incubators like ours mentor as well as provide a safe space to test ideas out with given financial backing to take that risk. We are a launch pad with 360 degree services. We're like a greenhouse to ventures, providing sources at the right time, go to market strategies. For example if you have products that's brilliant but the market's tough, we'd help them analyze their best options. We identify what entrepreneurs require and also help start-ups go international and help target audiences that way.
For example there's a portal we're working with recently that's like the GoDaddy of apps. They're minting out apps for anyone for any requirement, quickly and ridiculously cheap and would be on Google Store less than a day. Now anyone could be able to get an app for their business with minimal investment. Now imagine 3 million smart phones in the country. Such brilliant inventions need good spaces.
Q:Any advice for entrepreneurs out there?
- Don't dream to be a unicorn from day one. Make sure you become a cockroach for the industry first.
- Focus on your team, because the team is the key
- Bottom up approach in terms of growth is ideal. Try to grow you're your venture with your own competenacy rather than the venture capital's growth. It should be an organic growth, such as paid recurring customers.
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