6th January 2009 – Quite a few product startups participated in the product forum launched by NASSCOM. Some of the representatives are Sachin Garg (Rawzor), Deepak Bhatia (Newgen), Luv Jain (GeoTrackers), Jaspreet Singh (Druvaa Soft), Arvind Jha (Movicotech), Dinesh Gupta (Busy Infotech), I myself and the elegant facilitators Sucharita Eashwar (Regional Director, NASSCOM) and Avinash Raghava (Manager, Northern region, NASSCOM).
An interesting pattern that emerged out in the panel is the un-conference style of discussion, complete two hours were consumed by the participant’s interesting introductions and the challenges that they are currently facing with their startup which never allowed Avinash or Sucharita to proceed with the presentation that they had. However, everyone including the facilitators seemed to like this unorganized attire and felt contended about it.
Every startup faces some challenges, so did everyone in the forum and shared their stories with all the welcoming gestures. While Rawzor team was confused about why few geographies on the earth gives him higher sales and not others, pricing strategy and making the enterprise consumer understand the merit of the product over others seemed herculean to Geotrackers, whereas scaling and marketing worries have kept RouteGuru team under the sun.
Another interesting point that the discussion revealed was how most entrepreneurs actually lacked strong marketing and perhaps fundamental understanding of marketing itself to reach out to the potential consumer base; hence emerged a need to hold workshops on marketing with the help of NASSCOM.
This is when the words of Mr. Dinesh echoed overwhelming to everyone present about how ‘Busy Infotech’ tackled the problem of increasing sales. While struggling to expand its reach in the SMB segment, Mr. Dinesh (and team) decided not to burn their hard-earned cash on advertising but utilize the benefit of mass gatherings in cities. Targeting the major exhibitions in different cities they occupied a stall to entangle with the consumers in an offline manner directly.
They perhaps understood the Indian psyche well and loudly sold a downgraded version of their software Rs. 99/-(This piece of advice came from the Mentors of the NASSCOM Mentorship Program) which became an instant crowd puller. They for one focused on acquiring these qualified interested user; then perhaps they knew how to turn them to a loyal customer for themselves.
He also shared an interesting insight on the purchasing behavior of consumers in different regions e.g. where Mumbaites invested 100 bucks without a hitch and din’t really care much, people in Kolkata ensured to see the product demo before they invest and even demanded the surplus rupee back. So you got to ensure a working product and even worth their every single penny, it doesn’t matter if you sell it for peanuts.
A few suggestions have been extended to NASSCOM to facilitate the inventors in the NCR region effectively. Looking at the energy of this discussion, seems like NCR innovators definitely have some good reason to make their presence felt at the next product forum meeting.
While every entry added great value to the last meeting, do you think you can add value to it next time?