An year of new opportunities and some tough lessons

The mantra rolling into 2016 – rules must be broken and old business models must be re-visited.

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By Ritu Marya


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

A few years down the line, when we would look at 2015, it will be with mixed emotions. Depending on your perspective, it was a year replete with innovation, creativity and opportunity, but also, it was a year of turbulence, low confidence and a pavement for tighter capital regime to follow in 2016.

As per a wise old saying, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. It is the execution that is worth millions, and it is not foolproof either. I often wondered what went wrong at that had both good idea and execution. We recently caught up with Rahul Yadav and spent over two days with him to understand what really happened.

I realized after hearing him out, that there was no single individual or investor who could be blamed for the downfall, and it also got me contemplating if Indian startup entrepreneurship ecosystem is as developed as we would like it to be.

Startup's journey from a blackboard to an excel sheet is still not mature in India. As an investor, there are two things behind which one puts money – the idea and the entrepreneur. The irony is today has neither of them. Between a maverick entrepreneur and relentless investors, Rs 600 crore has gone to dust. India is not a usual market like that of US or Europe.

New rules have to be developed for this market to make startup entrepreneurship flourish. Both investors and entrepreneurs need to be clear on their strengths and individual roles, and to be more responsible with third party money.

The public outburst by Deepinder at Zomato or the unrest at TinyOwl, Local Banya's shutting shop and pressured e-retailers are some clear early signs of conflict between investors and entrepreneurs over their positions and this could be the beginning of "babudom" in the startup space that needs to be corrected fast.

While startups have been the flavor of the year, we have also seen changing their acts. Whether it is the emergence of the new corporate garage culture in giant organizations or wise entrepreneurs turning investors – there is a remarkably buzzing business climate all around.

As we call it wrap to the year 2015 with this issue – we have done a roundup of the business scene this year. In the ensuing pages, you will find the business trends that ruled the year 2015 and the fast emerging ideas for the year to come, where did the money follow and who got the most of it and what were the big deals of the year.

Globally, Entrepreneur Media has been much more than just a magazine or a digital media. It has been an ecosystem to breed, build and grow business ideas and start-ups.

And in India too, we continue the same philosophy as we present "Entrepreneur Chennai on 11-12 December 2015, to challenge your thinking, get fresh ideas, hands-on tools, powerful insights and strategies that work.

More recently, Entrepreneur Media has also taken a new initiative: "Startup Saturdays" to help startups in the country to share their stories and find mentorship and possibly early capital for their business ideas.

The mantra rolling into 2016 – rules must be broken and old business models must be re-visited. Easy money-kiss that one goodbye – think bootstrapping again, and let's move forward with what we've got and created and execute it in unexpected ways.

Wishing all readers a very Happy New Year!

Ritu Marya

Editor-in-Chief, Entrepreneur Media (APAC & India)

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