Of late, we’ve been reading a lot about the India growth story. “India seeks title of the world’s fastest growing economy.” “Fueling the growth story.” “India’s race with China.” These are some of the headlines we’ve read in leading newspapers across India. Macroeconomic factors, a stable Congress government, a budget focused on growth are among the several factors being discussed. However, there is one other thing that holds the key to achieving this dream of sustained growth. India’s current generation entrepreneurs have now become role models. Millions of people across the nation are inspired by these success stories and are gearing up towards starting up business ventures of their own. The ecosystem is in place. Angel investors, venture capitalists and experienced mentors are ready to fund and guide these early-stage entrepreneurs. This entrepreneurial drive across the nation is at the helm of defining a whole new India. An India, that’ll thrive on innovation, new ideas and execution.
Hence at The Smart CEO we decided to present a cover story that focuses on some basic guidelines for upcoming entrepreneurs. We spoke to some of India’s leading first-generation entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Raman Roy fondly recognised as the ‘father of India’s BPO industry’ shared with us his experiences from over twenty-five years in the outsourcing industry. Mahesh Murthy of Seedfund and Pinstorm and Alok Mittal of Cannan Partners spoke to us about the importance of evaluating your idea, setting up your team and the process of scaling up your business. In the process we uncovered five guidelines that entrepreneurs must know before taking the plunge.
Also in this edition, we tell our readers the story of several different companies that are in various stages of growth. The story of Chennai-based Consolidated Construction Consortium Limited (CCCL) is featured in our Growth Enterprise section. From humble beginnings in 1997, their turnover today stands at Rs. 1,841 crore and they are working on marquee infrastructure projects including the expansion of Chennai Airport. Our Starting Up section, as always, covers a gamut of early-stage companies across many different sectors. What stands out is the ‘differentiation’ that all these startups brought to the table. Whether its RedBus, the bus ticketing company or Greycaps India, the knowledge services company run by quizmaster Giri Balasubramanium, each of these stories present to other entrepreneurs some lessons that can be learnt.
In our Idea Factory section we feature an innovative payment solutions company Itz Cash that came out of Subash Chandra’s Essel Group. The cash card idea was first conceptualized to solve collection problems at Essel’s flagship company Zee TV. Senior strategists at Essel Group were hunting for a solution when they came up with the idea of a multipurpose pre-paid cash card. They didn’t just implement the solution for their own business. They made it an independent product and floated a whole new venture based on the idea.
In addition to our regular sections, we also introduced Made in Chennai a special section that features the stories of Chennai-based entrepreneurs. In this edition, we go behind the scenes of Hasbro Clothing the company behind the brands Genesis, Basics 029 and Probase. It’s a fascinating story of two brothers who started small with one shop in Chennai and gradually scaled up to fifty Basics Life stores across India, Colombo and Maldives.
We hope you enjoy reading The Smart CEO. Please do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.