“The best part of Startup Saturdays, is that they are on a Saturday!! So while we assemble our thoughts from the session we are all-high on Sundays!” – A random response of one of the SS-Delhi volunteers.
A session on building business by bootstrapping, this Saturday at IIT Delhi, instantly tempted around 50 people ranging from students to entrepreneurs. The attraction for every aspiring entrepreneurs apparent as they worry about the sustainability of their business idea.
The current startup financing scenario in India and the fight into an entrepreneur’s business building time came forth as the major reasons people wanted to share lessons on bootstrapping. Startup Saturday Delhi witnessed more than a hum of agreement over this line of thought.
The session started with an account by Atul Bhatia, of nSys Design Systems on Managing expenses when you Startup. Here are brief pointers from his discussion:
i. Planning the expenditures till the next quarter and sticking to them.
ii. A rough planning and vision of up to 1 year helps create a clear roadmap.
While discussing ways to leverage finance, he presented an example of putting 80% of available funds in an FD and getting a loan over it. The emphasis was on leveraging the power of idle funds. Another takeaway was that the emphasis needs to be on the top-line. Break-even should be in sight for proper allocation of available finances. He discussed how thinking of profits at an early stage can be responsible for killing the business.
Next speaker was Ankit Jain, Founder/CEO of VoiceTree Technologies. He discussed his views on Building a great team while bootstrapping. With his first-hand experience at VoiceTree he focus throughout the discussion was on creating a motivated team. While skills can be developed, the attitude of every employee cannot be substituted, he argued. This calls for a dedicated HR person who can take care of the ever running recruitment process.
Ankit Jain discussing on building a great team
Discussing on the issues of handling finances, he shared his successful experience in working from comparatively affordable residential areas and offering ESOPs to employees over time. On maintaining transparency in the functioning of the company, he suggests that the culture will have to start from the leader. Only by offering initial space to grow and innovate and creating a work friendly environment, can one expect the team to reciprocate the sense of belongingness. He attributed the growth of VoiceTree to the idea of Competing with one’s own product and team. That, he summarized, is the best motivation a good team can ever have.
Up next Aditya Mukherjee, a Consultant in Delhi discussed the story and relevance of his book Boomtown.
A tea and interaction saw enthused discussions on feasibility of bootstrapping and proactive experience sharing amongst the participants to understand each-other’s approach better. That, I guess, marks another small feat for Startup Saturday Delhi!