Don’t splurge VC funds: Nikesh Arora

Treat Them As Your Own, SoftBank President Tells Entrepreneurs At ET Startup Awards
SoftBank president Nikesh Arora said startup entrepreneurs needed to ensure they focus on the product, and not expect success by using venture capital money for mere marketing.Giving the keynote address at the inaugural edition of Jio Economic Times Startup Awards, Arora said a bad product would not be successful with great marketing. “This is specifically to people who are spending lots of money out there in advertising…treat your funding as a scarce resource and use it sparingly , use it as you would use your own money because eventually you have to give that back to the investors who have shown trust in you. Remember this is not a sprint, it is a marathon,“ he said.

Arora said entrepreneurs needed to make sure they spend time in building a large customer base and large business. “One thing which is unique in the Indian ecosystem is, if you give money away , Indian consumers are very good at finding out you are giving money away and they will flock to collect the money . If you do not have your economics right, you are going to lose money and you are going to go down very quickly ,“ he said.

Congratulating the winners of the awards, Times Group managing director Vineet Jain noted that they may not all be familiar, “but what they have in common, is that they are resh, exciting, and growing at breakneck speed. And they all have the potential to be the unicorns of the future.“ He said hese were people who had ris ked everything to launch something. “We hope that you will be an inspiration to another generation of crazy ones, whether they are business people, or emp loyees, or students dreaming big of creating gamechanging ideas,“ he said.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said building a startup ecosystem for Benga uru was a natural progression since it was the second biggest technology cluster in he world after Silicon Valley .“This has been enabled by the 400 R&D centres in high-tech, along with the number of private and public educational nstitutions,“ he said.

Later, talking about star up valuations at a fireside chat with Arora, Evan Spiegel, co-founder and CEO of photo and video messaging app Snapchat, said investor demand for rapidly growing companies would persist as the growth of mobile phone users and internet penetra tion help them reach new users. “There is a lot of cash in the ecosystem and it’s chasing growth…My job is to make sure that we are always undervalued,“ Spiegel said.

Arora responded saying: “In 10 years you will be valued way more than today , so why worry about what you are valued at today?“ The event also saw a panel discussion, moderated by Sa tyan Gajwani, CEO of Times Internet (TIL), that included Indian startup unicorn founders Kunal Bahl of Snapdeal, Naveen Tewari of InMobi, Pranay Chulet of Quikr and Ankit Bhati of Ola.

Source: The Times of India
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Author:

Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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