The next big thing

I recently attended a conference in Chennai where the topic of discussion was “what’s going to be the next big thing in the world of business?” It always is an interesting topic to discuss, isn’t it? And, it always does fire up a spirited argument. Several ideas were thrown up. From education to infrastructure almost every sector was discussed and the consensus was there are opportunities for fast-paced growth across the board. Though the discussion was rich in content with numerous ideas on how problems could be solved and what opportunities they presented, the panelists didn’t want to single out any one sector. At The Smart CEO, we decided to go one step further and make a well-analysed prediction. Of course, several other venture capitalists, experts and innovators have made the same prediction in the past – we think the next big revolution over the next three decades is going to be – clean technologies and renewable energy. We call it a revolution simply because it has the potential to unearth groundbreaking products- from electric vehicles to mainstream solar panels to carbon-related financial instruments – that could make the overall business landscape look very different a few decades from now.

Our cover story in this edition unravels the different sub-sectors from the clean and green world. The opportunities in clean technologies (cleantech) springs up because of a fundamental need. The world, especially with the emergence of India and China, needs more energy than ever before and to fulfill this need, just relying on natural fossil fuels is not going to be enough. The obvious next step is to tap into renewable sources and invent solutions that are more energy efficient. We spoke to venture capitalists (Mohanjit Jolly of Draper Fischer Jurvetson India and Manoj Gupta of Nexus Venture Partners), cleantech entrepreneurs (Sam Goldman, CEO, D.Light Design; Ashutosh Pandey, CEO, Emergent Ventures India) and a few other industry experts to analyse what is in store for the cleantech industry in India.

In our section titled Growth Enterprise we tell the story of Miditech India, one of India’s largest production companies founded by the Alva brothers, Nikhil and Niret. They started 17 years back to pursue a passion; quickly consolidated to ensure the venture made business sense and today they are on a solid growth path. Today, they produce more than 1400 hours of programming for several broadcasters, are experimenting with newer concepts adapted from the western world and are foraying into newer areas of business including producing animation films.

The startups we featured in this edition of Starting Up are PayMate, a mobile-payment solutions company and Tag Media, an in-store advertising firm. PayMate founded by serial entrepreneur Ajay Adiseshan is capitalizing on the inroads the telecom sector made in India. The story also talks about how they overcame some of their early challenges, especially convincing some of the larger telecom companies and banks to partner with them. Tag Media pioneered the concept of in-store television advertising by targeting customers at the point-of-sale in organized retail outlets. It’s an interesting concept that many experts believe can influence the consumer’s decision at the final stage.

Our fundamental mission is to give our readers a peek into the latest ideas and innovative concepts from the exciting world of India Inc. As we already know from our experiences, these pioneering ideas lay the platform for growth, and we at The Smart CEO, every single day, strive to ensure the very best of these ideas are researched and written about.

We hope you enjoy reading The Smart CEO.