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Follow IT Veteran Ashok Soota's #5 Key Tips to Scale Up your Business "Start-ups must look at their competitors' weaknesses and strengths to take a firm yet profitable decision"

By Komal Nathani

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Happiest Minds

Businesses today are embracing technology like never before and transitioning to the digital format to spur growth.

Be it an existing player or a new entrant in the market, the acceptance and adoption of advanced technologies by companies is creating a competitive business environment.

The Internet's rapid transformation from read-only format to 5.0 version and a host of digital technologies like IoT, AI, VR are causing disruption in the business sphere.

From agriculture to finance to education, industries are charting the growth trajectory of Indian economy, with the ideal technological push.

At the biggest entrepreneurship show of India, the 7th Annual Convention, IT industry veteran Ashok Soota of Happiest Minds spoke about how start-ups can scale up and maintain a stable growth with tech innovations in their respective segments.

"It's not technology which is important, but it's about how creative an entrepreneur can be in terms of creating business models and new ways of delivering services," affirmed Soota.

  • Acquire Leadership in One Segment

In today's scenario if a company is focused on one segment, it can become the leader, said Soota. He added, "Nothing can be better than a situation in which a company continues to grow in a segment and acquires a leadership in it." Explaining that such a firm will make profit much faster than the others, Soota cited the example of Mu Sigma, the big data analytics-focused start-up that turned into a unicorn in little time by being a leader in the market.

  • Balance your Partnership

Soota pointed out that companies avoid moving beyond their zones of expertise at the growth stage of their business through partnerships, but partnerships are important. "If another party has a lot more power than you have, then you need to balance the power," he said. Soota cautioned start-ups against giving anybody the exclusivity of their ideas or platforms.

Citing the example of Indian entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani, Soota said Nilekani was actually trying to build a large database. "But, he eventually created Aadhaar card, a platform, and today you see how many businesses have been created around that product."

  • Ensure Your Organizational Capability is Scaled up

Do not allow growth to spin out of control, advised Soota. "Your system and your organization's capability must be scaled up. A company's organizational capabilities must focus on the business's ability to meet customer demand," he said.

Soota referred to the case of Decccan Aviation Limited to explain his point how growth goes out of control. "DA was introduced as a low-fare airline way before Indigo airlines took the market. The former grew exponentially and could not handle its growth. Eventually, the firm was bought over by Vijay Mallya. He never knew to run an airline and it ran into trouble. The timing of any investment should be well-researched. You cannot be too early to the market and you can't be too late as well," he said.

  • Strategies to Compete against Guerrillas

Soota suggested a very easy formula for a start-up to compete with big players in the market. The IT veteran said a company should be rigid when there is need to be and flexible when it is right for the business. The rigidity and flexibility should be maintained to compete with the giants in the market. "Start-ups must look at their competitors' weaknesses and strengths to take a firm yet profitable decision," he advised.

  • Raise Funds and Create the Maximum Value Out of it

Every industry goes into the cycle of undervaluation or overvaluation, and businesses should be insured in terms of managing those crises or uncertain situations, he said.

"It is extremely important to move to profit margins for a start-up. Businesses should raise funds as it is important to grow in the market, but an entrepreneur should know how to make the optimum use of it in the organization," he concluded.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!

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