(Representative image) If an entrepreneur has a business idea but no expertise in technology, Bikhchandani recommends getting a tech mentor or a co-founder with a strong technology background.
Sanjeev Bikhchandani got the Padma Shri in 2021 for his contributions to India’s entrepreneurial sector. He is the founder and executive vice-chairman of Info Edge, which runs naukri.com, jeevansathi.com and 99acres.com. He is also an investor in Zomato, Policybazaar, and various other Indian start-ups. In addition to this, he is the co-founder of Ashoka University.
Jaynti Kanani is the co-founder and CEO of Polygon (formerly Matic Network), a cryptocurrency protocol and framework for building and scaling Ethereum-compatible blockchain. Besides this, Kanani is an active investor in early-age blockchain companies, focusing on infrastructure development for Web 3.0.
On November 30, the Institute for South Asia Studies (ISAI) and Speaker Series: India at Berkeley (SSIB) at the University of California Berkeley, hosted an event titled “Unlocking India’s Entrepreneurial Power” with Sanjeev Bikhchandani and Kanani. The event was co-sponsored by the Stanford India Policy and Economics Club, and Lead India at Princeton University. The audience comprised mainly Indian students pursuing higher education in the United States, and curious about entrepreneurial opportunities in India.
Here are five key takeaways from the conversation:
1. Investors, don’t let your imagination limit you
Bikhchandani said that he prefers to be led by the ideas and insights of the entrepreneurs who approach him for investment. When there is a much wider pool of knowledge to draw from, it would be unwise not to use it. He meets numerous entrepreneurs before zeroing in on a few start-ups to invest in.
2. Entrepreneurs, focus on bringing in money from customers rather than investors
Bikhchandani said when people are willing to pay for a product or service, and pay repeatedly, it means that the business is viable and successful. When customers back a business, investors are more inclined to join in.
3. Plug that gap in tech expertise; learn to formulate tech briefs
If an entrepreneur has a business idea but no expertise in technology, Bikhchandani recommends getting a tech mentor or a co-founder with a strong technology background. The co-founder would ideally be someone that the entrepreneur has grown up with or studied with. It would be helpful to take basic lessons in coding and programming so that the entrepreneur learns how to formulate a good tech brief and evaluate the work produced.
4. Build strong networks; use them
According to Kanani, the real advantage in going to elite engineering colleges and business schools lies in the networks that people get access to. Subject knowledge can be gained from YouTube and other digital platforms. Educational institutions are able to draw in students because they provide an experience, facilitate connections and give young entrepreneurs a chance to get inspired from others, find mentors and their future co-founders.
5. Don’t let national boundaries limit you; seek talent and capital globally
Kanani mentioned that blockchain networks can enable entrepreneurs to raise money from anywhere in the world, regardless of who they are and where they live. They can also choose to be anonymous. They can easily get co-founders and collaborators in other countries, so the biggest advantage here is borderless access to global talent and global venture capitalists.Internet Explorer Channel Network