Emerging Entrepreneurs

‘Picking the right investor is critical for business’

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 22, 2016

(from left) Rajan Srikanth, Co-President, Keiretsu Forum, Chennai and Singapore; Sanjay Vijayakumar, Co-Founder and CEO, MobMe Wireless Ltd and Chairman, Startup Village, and Hemalaltha Annamalai, CEO, Ampere Vehicles BIJOY GHOSH

An entrepreneur has to ensure that the business is viable, sustainable and scalable to attract investor interest , said Hemalatha Annamalai, CEO, Ampere Vehicles Pvt Ltd.

Passion for business apart, long term growth is a key factor. “While building a company, always follow your heart and mind. If you want to decide, it should come from the gut,” she said at a session on “Start ups in India – Opportunities and Challenges” at a CII Conference on Innovative & Sustainable Entrepreneurship.

Any disruption is not going to be easy because disruptive businesses take a lot of time to build. Picking up the right investor is critical for a business. This is one of the biggest challenges for an entrepreneur. It is worth to spend time on whom to work with, she said.

An entrepreneur should always focus on sales and do systematic review to understand where the business is moving, she said.

According to Rajan Srikanth, co-President, Keiretsu Forum, Chennai & Singapore, ideas to start a company is easy to come but investors look at how effective the person is in executing those ideas. Execution is the biggest challenge in any business.

In a company, the ability to address opportunity changes at each stage. Every company goes through predictable, growth stages

starting with innovation stage during product creation; market penetration; and profit extraction in managing the business efficiently.

The biggest problem in many companies is that business may have changed but several aspects like culture and people may not have. For instance, the company’s founders are the most vulnerable and at risk while going through the three stages because responsibility of the founder changes dramatically at each stage. Often companies fail because they have the wrong leader who does not step aside for somebody else, he said.

At every stage, an investor looks at where the business is and the ability to scale up. The ability to execute cannot be left to chances. It has to be designed and managed , he said.

S Sridharan, Managing Director, S10 Technologies Pvt Ltd, said starting a company is easy and simple. But the challenge is not about starting it but scaling it from a start up. This is the biggest challenge that entrepreneurs face. A number of entrepreneurs say they don’t need money but want advice on how to scale business, he said.

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Published on March 22, 2016
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