Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Samir Kumar, Inventus

Samir has been an early stage venture investor in India for the past six years.   Prior to co-founding Inventus, Samir built and led the India venture team for Acer Technology Ventures - a $260 million cross-border venture fund investing in early-stage technology and services companies across India, the U.S. and the Asia Pacific. Samir was an early member of two startups in India, and was part of the early team at Wipro. He helped Wipro grow revenues from ~$4M in 1989 to over $200 million in 1998. Click here to read more about Samir.

Samir spoke about Marketing Strategies for a startup.
  • Think big and execute in small steps
  • It is important to have a good team. Very few VCs will invest in a single individual.
  • Product
    Most important thing the entrepreneur needs to focus on.
    It needs to be thought through very carefully and diligently.
    Think from outside in. Look at it from the view of a customer.
    Important to include customers when conceptualizing the product.
    Understand the competition that has similar products.
  • Price 
    Many startups are afraid to price the product right.
    Do not price the product too low.
    Price higher but give sweet heart deals initially.
  • Placement
    How will the customer buy and pay for the product needs to be thought out?
    Identify your partners and your competitors. Sometimes there is a fine line between them. It may be beneficial at times to partner with a possible competitor in order to penetrate the market.
  • Promotion
    It is not always necessary to spend a great deal of money on media. Many popular brands such as orkut, facebook, gmail have done it without big advertising budgets.
  • Positioning
    Understand how the product will be positioned in the customers mind.

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