Decoding a start-up

Harish Bijoor | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 27, 2015



Decoding a start-up

The new lingo in business is the “start-up”. What is a start-up, really?


Mohita, every business when it starts up first, is a start-up. The first few years of any business is considered to be the start-up phase. In the current lingo, however, the start-up is all about outfits in the space of technology, telecom, e-commerce and apps. Bengaluru is currently the capital of the start-up ecosystem of India. Pune, Noida, Gurgaon, Delhi and Hyderabad are also active participants. Bengaluru alone has a total of 5,400 start-ups spread across 741 sq km of city space. This simply means that every square kilometre has a total of eight start-ups. You throw a stone and you hit a start-up, really.

An exciting start-up for me is essentially all about the idea for a start. How exciting is the idea? How does it leverage and fill in the gaps in the system? Does it depend on a mass-need of high impact and repeat value, or is it just a sexy idea waiting to be buried after initial exploration?

A start-up with potential is all about the monetisation potential of the basic idea. If the idea is exciting, and if the idea can replicate itself all across, there is indeed value. If you don't have money, the money will flow in. Money chases ideas. Good ideas.

The next important thing in a start-up is the passion of its promoters. How passionate are they? How much of their skin have they put into the pit? How much more of their skin are they willing to burn?

For me, the idea and the passion behind the idea is more important than anything else. Everything else is bells and whistles. Everything else is everything that every Tom, Dick and Harish has.

What is the trend in the snack-food market today? I see packs and packs at the super-markets.

New Delhi

Gautam, the snack food market is a big one. This is an impulse-led category that has two dimensions: in-home consumption at one end, and on-the-go consumption at the other. Marketers are aiming to touch both intensively.

The health movement is just about beginning in this space. At times, most of these are ‘relative’ health issues being addressed by brands. My snack is relatively healthier than yours. Get it?

Indians will turn health-conscious later than sooner. However, marketers and QSR brands have to stay one step ahead of the consumer on this count. Therefore the movement and traction in this space.

Companies in the FMCG food and beverage space are getting polarised today. One is the big MNC with the global and clonal product and at the other end is the Indian company with a more traditional offering. The big company is being viewed with suspect lenses. The smaller company is making hay in the bargain. As there is retail distrust building, smaller companies are occupying spaces.

A classic contrast is the snack food offering of a PepsiCo versus possibly the snack food offerings of a Maiyas Beverages and Foods. The latter is talking of a relatively healthy way of snacking. The latter offers ethnic snacks and the former a more contemporary snack-munch at large.

Harish Bijoor is a brand strategy expert and CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. Mail your queries to [email protected]

Published on August 27, 2015
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