Top Startups success tips and ideas from entrepreneur K Ganesh

GrowthStory's founder Krishnan Ganesh
GrowthStory’s founder Krishnan Ganesh

Krishnan Ganesh is a successful serial entrepreneur, startup Incubator cum investor, currently running GrowthStory.in, a Bengaluru-based leading venture builder platform, that builds innovative startups, and provides a platform to incubate new innovative ideas and entrepreneurs.  He has post-graduate from IIM Calcutta (IIMC).

He served in many reputed giants companies in India like, CEO of Wipro/Bharti British Telecom, and he also positioned senior office in HCL Ltd. He was awarded  ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by The Economic Times in 2015 and  “Iconic Entrepreneurs of India” by the National Knowledge Commission, Government of India. K Ganesh served in many institutions as a board of directors and leads innovation and incubation activities.

Ganesh is optimistic on Indian growth story and incubating ideas based on genuine problem-solving of the Indian consumer. He is concentrating on technology and ideas on education, healthcare, B2B solutions, Food and Hygiene, the areas where he observes a huge opportunity and customer base, the main factors of success of any startups.

Ganesh expresses his views frankly on the Indian economy and Indian startups ecosystem.  He is very active on Twitter and posting tips and ideas for startups success. Here are some success tips from him. Here is a list of the views and success tips from Ganesh that come from his interviews and his views on social media.

K Ganesh On Indian growth story

He expressed his views on recent changes that come in the Indian economy, such as increasing smartphone usage, digital payments, Aadhaar-related opportunities and the unified payments interface as a payment platform.

He thinks that these changes are not managed in traditional ways, to fulfill the gap and needs of people and of the government of India, many B2B big companies come in the Indian market to solve and manage these new trends.

Now, the government buying services and products, mostly from the education and healthcare sector, the sectors that are in the focus area of governments. The government also needs e-auctions and platforms, to handle social problems, these all sectors are underestimated and not covered to date. There are tremendous opportunities for Indian startups to cover these areas.

Startups success tips and focus area from K Ganesh

Opportunities always come to the entrepreneur, see them and scale them, and a lucky person can do this on time.

The basic three parameters hard work, intelligence, and a great team, these converted opportunities into success stories.

Luck works if you scale opportunity on time with hard works, hard work and luck always work together and one is incomplete without others.

For a successful startup always look at the large sector and solve everyday pain faced by the people or businesses. Focus on something that is a “must-have” rather than a “nice to have.”

GrowthStory Success Factors

  • K Ganesh select ideas/early-stage companies and mentor them and invest them, to become a successful startup.
  • He picks ideas or companies, provides appropriate mentorship and invests in the startup.
  • He builds a team based on the necessity of ideas and scales the ideas. He invests $8400-170,000 (Rs 5 lakh-2 crore) in each incubatees.

GrowthStory will first identify the opportunity and build a team and make an investment. That means investing in the ideas, not on people. First, create a business model and after that recruit the best team. On this formula most of the successful startups created by GrowthStory and now leaders in the respective sectors.

Challenges Entrepreneurs Face & stress in startups making sense of recent events

  1. Entrepreneurship is hard, fraught with high risk, never a straight line to success, everyday pressures and many times bordering between total failure to huge potential success
  2. The Emotional roller coaster that an entrepreneur goes through can easily take its toll, as often within the same day, they go through huge swings of exhilaration and frustration. This needs a strong mental ability to handle.
  3. It’s very lonely at the top. With a need to project a positive attitude and show strength to all the other stakeholders for the founder to do their job. There is no support or ecosystem that can help each other mutually.
  4. A lot that can be done especially by seasoned – past & present successful entrepreneurs along with TiE, Angel networks, medical community to create a self-help group that can provide the safety net /support group- “Entrepreneurs Anonymous” Mental Health startups.

Handling stress during tough times- some tips for Entrepreneurs

  1. While being passionate, they separate their self-esteem and self-worth from their job or company success/achievement.
  2. Learn from other role models, appreciate the journey and take the gain full perspective.
  3. Have a mentor or advisor they can go to share and discuss. Could even be a good friend.
  4. Take counseling help including seeing psychiatric help when things are becoming difficult. It does need medication in certain situations & nothing wrong with that. Remember tough times pass. You are not alone.

Successful startup ideas –Tips by K Ganesh

  1. Good timings were more than any serious planning.
  2. Ideas is key then, valuation, returns, and scale, we are starting to forget that the first step is an amazing idea.
  3. There is no guarantee of repeated success- A successful entrepreneurial journey is a combination of constant innovation and value addition, right collaborators and partners, and pot loads of luck.
  4. Funding is not everything: Sure, funding fuels growth. But before it happens, what one needs is a good idea and a great execution team. When the two come together, funding and growth follow, even in the hardest of times.
  5. Be prepared for the emotions “You can never be an entrepreneur without passion and emotional attachment.”
  6. Never think about the end result of startups dead, exit or success. Every day of one’s entrepreneurial journey is about passion and emotions
  7. The highs and lows of entrepreneurship are similar – you don’t really ever cut the ties, whether you exit or stay on.
  8. Middle-path-approach to all things entrepreneurship – ideas, money, funding, exits, and more.
  9. Balances out the extremes of emotions and financial returns, luck and deliberate action – and that in itself is an essential lesson, in life as well as in entrepreneurship.
  10. Companies, which have the right genes, can always raise funding, even in a somewhat tight market.
  11. Professionals need to ensure they develop their talent, skills, network that are relevant & contemporary to today’s world. No life long employment concept.

GrowthStory Investments:

Over the last few years, GrowthStory has promoted leading companies like 

  • Bigbasket.com – India’s largest eGrocery company.
  • Portea Medical – India’s largest and fastest growing home healthcare company with 4000+ employees and operations across 16 cities in India.
  • Bluestone.com – a leading online jewellery company.
  • FreshMenu – India’s largest B2C food tech company.
  • HomeLane –  India’s leading end to end, vertically integrated interior design and manufacturing provider.
  • HungerBox – India’s largest B2B foodtech platform serving over 4 lakh orders a day.
  • Verloop.io –  an AI/ML solutions provider and Home Screen Network – a vernacular digital media company.
  • Avagmah: Bengaluru-based edtech startup AEON Learning helps professionals acquire new skills.
  • AcadGild: offer professionals and freshers a platform to develop new, deployable skills in programming, design and analytics.
  • Qtrove is a curated marketplace that exhibits and sells natural & sustainable products from passionate entrepreneurs across the country.
 GrowthStory portfolio startups
GrowthStory portfolio startups

These companies have received external investments of around $1 billion so far, including from marquee investors like Alibaba Group and Sequoia Capital.

Top Exits from K Ganesh:

  • TutorVista: It was acquired by US and UK listed education leader Pearson for $ 213 MM.
  • Marketics: data analytics BPO firm, in March 2007, the company was acquired by NYSE-listed WNS for $ 63 MM. 
  • CustomerAsset: Founded in 2000, and acquired by ICICI Bank and is now publicly listed in India as First Source Solutions.
  • IT&T: Founded in 1990, one of India’s top multi-vendor IT service and support companies, acquired by iGate (a listed company) in 2003.

Ganesh actively mentors, incubates and funds startups of his choice. His angel investments include LittleEyeLabs (acquired by Facebook in 2014), delyver.com (acquired by BigBasket in 2015), Hackerearth, CredR, Pokkt, SilverPush, DogSpot, Vogo, Bolo, etc.

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