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So you Think you can Start-Up?

January 8, 2015 | Silicon India
Source : http://www.siliconindia.com/magazine-articles-in/So_You_Think_You_Can_StartUp-PDTC849701237.html

Headquartered in Noida, Nucleus Software Exports Limited (BSE: 531209, NSE: NUCLEUSEQ) is a provider of IT products and software solutions to the global BFSI. The company has a current market cap of Rs.686.86 Crore.


Twenty eight years ago, three entrepreneurs got together and founded a start-up which focussed on creating services for the global banking and financial services industry. Very soon, these entrepreneurs shifted their efforts on product innovation, something that was not a trend in India during that time. Thus started the IT Product journey of Nucleus Software, one of the pioneers of the India product story. As someone who was fortunate to witness Nucleus Software's inception and be a part of its growth story, I believe that nurturing a start-up ecosystem requires focus on three important aspects.

It starts with finding your unique position. Customers' demands are increasing every day and it is important to have a unique value that you offer. With everything available at the click of a button, the future of competition is largely based on how startups create a unique strategy, and therefore value, for its customers. This unique strategy is essential to capture the minds of customers who are informed, connected and active. Creating a unique value should not be confused with creating a product only. The consumer's mind is being touched from a number of angles and hence, his/her concept of value is changing. Economic, technological, media and consumerism perspectives are all playing a significant role in shaping the consumers' decision making process. The ever increasing complexity of offerings, as well as the associated risks and rewards, are confusing the customer. Here is where a differentiated value will impact the consumers buying decision.

The second must have for nurturing a startup company is perseverance. Ensuring success for your business requires the energy of a marathon runner. Any start-up ecosystem needs inputs, energy, and direction in order to grow and thrive. In 2014 and beyond, these won't simply self-create, but evolve as a product of identifying a need and building, with purpose and intentionality, from there. This country offers huge opportunities to support the growth of start-up companies. A huge population, young workforce and a booming economy all look promising. With rising competition in this sector, only perseverance can ensure success. One needs a clear strategy to be thought through and followed. There has to be a compelling enough value proposition to cause the buyer to actually commit to purchasing your offering. Timings your product is another extremely important factor for startups, as with any other established organization. Coming up with a product that the market is not yet ready for may result in failure. According to Statistic Brain, 25 percent of startups will fail within the first year. This rate goes up over time, with 71 percent failing by their 10th year. To me, perseverance is a key requirement for startups. Right from strategy formulation to finding market opportunities to product positioning, perseverance is a must.

Start-up productivity is not about coming up with widgets, apps and features every day. It is about aligning efforts with a business and product that are working to create value and drive growth. In other words, a focused perseverance puts us on a path toward growing a sustainable business. Being an entrepreneur is not easy. Any start-up will face its own share of good and bad days; the key to success is to stay strong while facing any hiccups and be a consistent performer.

The last point I want to highlight is customer centricity. Enough has been said about this but its importance does not cease. Focus on creating value for customer can make or break a business. Unless the customer gains from your product/service, your strategy will go nowhere. Selling a product/service OR selling a benefit/value are two different things. A customer centric approach will ensure a positive experience for the customer. It allows the startup to differentiate itself from competitors who do not offer the same experience, therefore generating greater business results, earn more word-of-mouth praise, and bring more innovative products to market. Start-ups that listen to feedback coming from the market and adapt its strategies accordingly are the ones that will experience success in the long term. This approach allows learning from customers' responses and adapts accordingly in order to improve their experience.

Until a few years ago, India was recognized as one of the biggest consumer market. Fast forward to today, it is now being seen as one of the fastest growing start-up economies of the world. This has been made possible due to rise of many start ups that are continuously emerging in diverse industries.

I believe that we are in exciting times of the start-up ecosystem in India. We are witnessing the rise of entrepreneurs who are coming catching the attention of global consumers. There is a sudden interest in Indian startup ecosystem - not just from media, but also from global accelerators and incubators. It is no longer about just about developing alone - there is a lot of product management marketing/messaging that needs to happen.