Bangalore > Insights Feed
Attended an event after a looooong looong while.

And it was the Bangalore SaaS meetup by eChai Ventures and Draper Startup House

Learned some good deal of things from
Sai Krishna - Chief Super Officer, Superblog.ai Sai Krishna
around thinking about MVPs and what it took him to build Superblog ai. and also from
Amit Chavan - Co-founder CTO @ Vibtree 
Amit Chavan


The highlights from my notes say:

- B2C is hard. Sigh.
- Build stuff for yourself, solve your own problem.
- Do primary research by looking over trends.
- Consumer behavior change revolves around three axes: Energy, time, and money.
- Your first set of customers will come from your Alpha and beta users.
- Your organic channels could be from either of these:
  - SEO
  - Build in public
  - Word of mouth
- Good PMs follow revenue/business.
- Sales is getting the cheque in hand.

- SEO in the future might take a different form, could evolve into chat engine optimization.

And got connected to a few interesting folks as well.

Looking forward to more such.
"I felt like the Formula 1 car driving in the rain knowing that the guy coming at the back is going to have a great time" shared Mithun Sacheti, Founder of CaratLane - A Tanishq Partnership

In my day's dose of podcasts, it was wonderful to hear an entrepreneur being born out of a family business, one that built in what wasn't a sunrise sector yet still a category creator - jewellery! Mithun not only set the path for start-ups in the space but paved the way for everything operations from negotiating the need for it with courier companies to convince the need for it to the banks and even had to explain the concept of online cross-border buying and selling of jewellery to the government, keeping it all ready for the ones to follow.

Some aspects that stayed with me-

- Relationships and your network: The importance of building relationships leading to mentorship backed by one's capability. He mentioned two core ones with Srinivasa Gopalan and how he got Raakesh Jhunjhunwala to listen to him while he got his numbers up after the insights Raakesh Jhunjhunwala shared (listen for more context- it's worth it)

- Partnerships led growth: Partnering with Cartoon Network to introduce a range of products for the 0-5yrs old and also working closely on introducing products with themes like Doremon and Harry Potter exponentially increased their TAM (total addressable market)

The Titan Company Limited partnership is one that went through its course, it gave both brands enough leverage to grow. #Founders, if you want to hear your heart drop for a few minutes, listen to the Titan-Caratlane story shared in the first 30 minutes of the podcast

- Reverse due diligence: The team travelled across the country and even to the US to understand their potential investors. While VCs have a stringent DD (due diligence) process, the founders knew they had to be aware of who they were getting onboard

- Holocracy: Roles > Titles ( What's in a name right? It's more about what you do) and that's exactly what the CaratLane - A Tanishq Partnership spirit was. Your work defines your role, not your title.

It made me smile to hear this last bit when Mithun Sacheti shared with Karthik B. Reddy that the Power of compounding = Sleep peacefully!

Podcast link
Founders, Investors, Enablers- Who are you listening to?

Over the last few weeks I've been constantly trying to rediscover learning through podcasts and here are some of them that are on my radar-

🎙 Seed to Scale by Accel - A podcast series highlighting the journey of various founders while launching a 2 podcast series with the Accel team from across the globe - Jim Swartz, Anand Daniel, Sameer Gandhi, Harry Nelis, Mahendran Balachandran celebrating their 40 years in the VC industry in 2023

🎙Blume Ventures podcasts - Season 1 on XUnicorns followed by Season 2 focusing on Power of Compounding where Karthik B. Reddy hosts founders like Peyush Bansal, Raamdeo Agrawal who have excelled at compounding from the last decade to almost half a century

🎙Matrix Moments by Matrix Partners India - Highlighting human capital while also discussing trends of 2023 and 2024 hosted by Rupali Sharma ranging to over 180 episodes over different seasons and topics

🎙DesiVC by Akash Bhat - Candid conversations with leading investors from across India with insights from Akash's journey as a founder and investor having spoken to 127+ people. This one has been on my list for over 3 years now

🎙Indian Silicon Valley podcast by Jivraj Singh Sachar- Intricate conversations with founders, investors, and enablers in the Indian start-up ecosystem spanning 161 episodes and more. Jivraj has been closely associated with the start-up and investment ecosystem bringing out his unique perspective through the questions he asks his guests

VCs have extensive insights and access to diverse information. They have access to insights ranging from an industry understanding brought together by cumulative team experiences, in-depth sector focus, and access to real-time information through their portfolio companies. Often these insights stay unshared or when shared, undiscovered by some of us. This year I'm on a mission to uncover some of the most insightful podcasts and will keep sharing as I keep listening.

So what are you listening to, to stay up to date? Drop startup and investing podcast recommendations in the comments. I'm sharing links to the ones I've mentioned above in the comments too.
#Throwback

🚀 Recently, I had the opportunity to join an insightful panel alongside some incredible minds - Vandana Jain from Evident Capital, Priyank Jain, Co-founder of Soup-X, and the insightful moderator, Riten (Fueler).

Initially, I had my reservations, but thanks to Jatin Chaudhary's generosity in extending multiple invites, I decided to dive in. Grateful that I could overcome my inhibitions.

I questioned whether I could bring anything new to the table, considering my previous engagements on similar topics. It felt like everything I could share was already out there, accessible as playbooks or online courses. And as for my own and my brand's journey, well, it's right there on the internet for anyone to read.

But here's what this experience taught me:

1. Sometimes, we underestimate the value of our unique insights and journeys. We might think we've shared enough knowledge already, but there's always a fresh perspective or a new angle to offer. Your experiences are your own, and they can resonate with others on their own entrepreneurial journey.

2. The D2C space in India has indeed seen its fair share of repetition, especially in the post-COVID world. It's easy to fall into the same patterns and practices, but true pioneers stand out through innovation. Let's challenge the status quo and explore ways to set ourselves apart, beyond just products and sales channels.

Speaking at Draper Startup House and eChai Ventures event(s) is always a joy, and this time, it reminded me of the unique energy in Bangalore's startup ecosystem. It's an energy unlike any other, with an audience whose enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge were truly palpable.

And as we navigate the D2C landscape in India, let's remember that innovation, sustainable growth and authenticity are our guiding lights. While fundraising remains crucial, our focus should remain on building robust foundations, delivering exceptional customer experiences, and nurturing our long-term vision.

Here's to more enriching conversations and pushing the boundaries of D2C in Bharat! 🚀🇮🇳

Preferred eChai Business Partners

About eChai Business Partner Program:

eChai Ventures is a friendly global startup network that hosts engaging Startup Growth meetups in 10+ Countries and enables cross-border collaborations.

Key benefits:

  • Engagement at relevant in-person eChai Meetups (~4 meetups/year)
  • Listing on preferred eChai Business Partners page (1 year duration)
  • Feature on eChai.Ventures
You can reach out to Jatin Chaudhary, Co-Founder, eChai Ventures over WhatsApp or over email at [email protected] to explore more about it.