Equanimity’s Rajesh Sehgal wants Indian startups to ‘just be original’
Most early stage startups in India are trying to ape the west or China, says Equanimity Investments’ managing partner Rajesh Sehgal
India finds itself at a crossroads today, a juncture from where she can choose the stable, steady, infrastructure rollout growth path or the technology-backed high-growth path. In my opinion, India should co-opt both these paths simultaneously. The first route has India building its brick and mortar infrastructure.
Then there is the other route—the technology enabled one. In today’s world, technology is ubiquitous. There are really two broad categories of business models that start-ups can be classified: Friction Removers and Demand-Supply Matchers.
A simple example of the former is the way we consume media. I recall days when we would have to stand in queues to buy movie tickets for Hollywood flicks that reached Indian cinemas a few months after they had been released in the US.
Now, we mostly buy cinema tickets online and movie releases are usually simultaneous. Better still, we now have access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and the like where we consume media from the luxury of our own homes, at a time of our choosing.
We can think of friction remover models for healthcare bookings, e-commerce that enables online buying, most financial services, etc. A simple example of the latter, Demand-Supply Matchers are the demand aggregators: purchasing goods like mobile phones, books, household items, etc. and services like gym memberships, hotel rooms, all forms of travel, etc.
Take a look around and it is clear that there are enough and more things that need to be addressed in both areas: building infrastructure and providing technology-enabled solutions. The one thing I find missing is innovative, technology-enabled businesses solving India’s own unique issues. Most early stage businesses are trying to ape the west or China. It doesn’t matter whether you are a FinTech, HealthTech, EdTech, RetailTech or any other SectorTech. Just be original.
Reverse Pitch is like a normal investors pitch but the roles are reversed that means the startup doesn’t present their business to investors but investors and companies pitch their business concept, challenges and the like to startups.
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