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Panel Discussions

Panel discussions are discussions conducted by Awaremonk

AwareMonk , Official account of AwareMonk Oct, 24 2016

AMA with Shubh Malhotra and Shivakumar Ganesan


AMA with Shubh Malhotra and Shivakumar Ganesha. Shubh is running late thus address your questions to Shivku for the time being

Harish Narang , BITSian for life and beyond. Oct, 25 2016


With Exotel being self sustaining, whats your plan now? Is there another startup in line or will you expand Exotel further and further?


Shivku , A bakra of his own thoughts Oct, 25 2016


Further and further, Until Exotel disrupts enterprise communication in it's totality.


Shalini , Oct, 25 2016


disclaimer: i don't mean to spoil the quality here or go out of context but this is something a lot of us would want.

If we want some sort of a mentorship then what needs to be done? We got to hear about your thoughts on the generic questions here, but what if i want to discuss about my product financial models in mind etc with you, is that feasible? If yes then how?

disclaimer: i don't mean to spoil the quality here or go out of context but this is something a lot of us would want.If we want some sort of a mentorship then what needs to be done? We got to hear about your thoughts on the generic questions here, but what if i want to discuss about my product finan


Shivku , A bakra of his own thoughts Oct, 25 2016


Shalini - Would love to be of help but I am pressed for time. Connect and let's see how it goes.


Mohsin , I am here to engage in meaningful discussions Oct, 27 2016


Given an opportunity, I too, would like to connect and share my ideas to gain some insight.


S. Venkatesh , Student at IIT-D Oct, 25 2016


Shivku What's your take on starting up alone or with friends? I know this is an amateurish question, but I've been grappling with this for some time. Does the work-load create permanent strife or have you not experienced this?


Shivku , A bakra of his own thoughts Oct, 25 2016


S. Venkatesh - That's an excellent question, not amateurish at all!


It probably does not matter.


Usually, people are a bit afraid to startup and they should be, a lot is at stake. During these times, one of the ways to feel confident is to surround yourself with people who would support you through thick and thin. This is where starting up with friends might be a good thing.


However, Friends are friends and they may end up supporting you even if your solution does not solve a real pain point. In fact, they are not even expected to know, they are not experts themselves.

S. Venkatesh - That's an excellent question, not amateurish at all! It probably does not matter. Usually, people are a bit afraid to startup and they should be, a lot is at stake. During these times, one of the ways to feel confident is to surround yourself with people who would support you through


Jayant Singha , Save the planet Oct, 25 2016


Something that everyone wants to know, whats the next big thing? What sector do you think has not flourished but can? While asking i would love to answer my thoughts on the same and know if you agree or not, automotive. There has been no digitalisation, the mechanical work is still mechanical, electronics has barely stepped in and the rest is the same as henry ford built it. I feel data should be an integral part of Automobiles as well
Something that everyone wants to know, whats the next big thing? What sector do you think has not flourished but can? While asking i would love to answer my thoughts on the same and know if you agree or not, automotive. There has been no digitalisation, the mechanical work is still mechanical, elect


Ishita Nangia , Not it. Oct, 25 2016


Shivku This might be a more personal question. Do you ever feel that you would've been better off in a job? If at all that ever happens, what makes you keep going? I see so many of my friends getting lulled into a routine and a hollow sense of achievement while working for big corporate companies.


Shivku , A bakra of his own thoughts Oct, 25 2016


Ishita Nangia - I have felt it several times. But when the company and the vision is larger than yourself, you feel like it is worth spending time to sort your negativity out. Maybe an extreme example would make it clear: Let's say you are working towards empowering Indian women, you are certain to face road blocks, isint? At what point is it appropriate to give up pursuing this dream?


However, I wouldn't call big company achievements as hollow. It is for the individual to decide. You shouldn't expect your friends to lead similar lives as your own.

Ishita Nangia - I have felt it several times. But when the company and the vision is larger than yourself, you feel like it is worth spending time to sort your negativity out. Maybe an extreme example would make it clear: Let's say you are working towards empowering Indian women, you are certain to


Varun ravikant , Work in the field of Agriculture and want to Oct, 25 2016


Hey Shivku, We used your product extensively in my previous company. Amazing work! I had a doubt, why is it that no technological product has ever come out of India? Each and everyone of them have firstly a shitty interface and horrible UX yet they manage to raise funds and die. How do we get out of this loop?
Hey Shivku, We used your product extensively in my previous company. Amazing work! I had a doubt, why is it that no technological product has ever come out of India? Each and everyone of them have firstly a shitty interface and horrible UX yet they manage to raise funds and die. How do we get out of


Shivku , A bakra of his own thoughts Oct, 25 2016


Varun ravikant - Thank you for your words of appreciation.


There are technology products that have come out of India. Tally, Freshdesk, Exotel etc. Perhaps you mean that we don't churn out as many brands as the US does. In this sense, this problem may not be just with tech products but with products in general. Paper boat, Amrut etc are fine examples, but the market is loaded with Unilever and Cadbury's. I suppose we are behind the west when it comes to creating large brands and impactful services, but it will happen. Patience.


You are right. Shitty interface and horrible UX seems to be unrelated to people's ability to raise funds. And raising funds, well, that is a pretty large topic for another day.

Varun ravikant - Thank you for your words of appreciation. There are technology products that have come out of India. Tally, Freshdesk, Exotel etc. Perhaps you mean that we don't churn out as many brands as the US does. In this sense, this problem may not be just with tech products but with products


Ishita Nangia , Not it. Oct, 25 2016


I don't think we'll get to talk to you so easily another day :P


Would love to know your thoughts on the practice of raising premature and bloated funds



Akanksha Sharma , Start-up rookie Oct, 25 2016


Shivku In your opinion, SAAS or product startups? Which is the way to go and why?


Shivku , A bakra of his own thoughts Oct, 25 2016


They are not comparable, Akanksha Sharma. SaaS is a delivery model. Usually, SaaS companies are also product companies. Perhaps you mean hardware product vs software product?


SaaS companies are trading weaker in the US public markets than a few years ago. On that basis, we might conclude that the excitement around subscription businesses are waning away. However, it still might be better than on-premise product companies.


Anyway, SaaS or not - we should not start there. We need to start with the pain point and then work everything else from there.

They are not comparable, Akanksha Sharma. SaaS is a delivery model. Usually, SaaS companies are also product companies. Perhaps you mean hardware product vs software product?SaaS companies are trading weaker in the US public markets than a few years ago. On that basis, we might conclude that the ex


Vikram Gupta , Exploring, learning, believing Oct, 25 2016


Shivku Sir, what's your take on the general start-up health of the Indian ecosystem? With never-ending talk of the bubble about to burst, what's really happening, from an insider's vantage point?


Shivku , A bakra of his own thoughts Oct, 25 2016


Based on my limited understanding, it seems like the fundamentals of the economy continue to look strong - So, there should be no bubble. Sometimes, companies and investors get ahead of the market (the reverse also happens - Good ideas don't get funding at the right time) and when they realize it, they try to correct it. This is how any ecosystem is expected to grow. Sometimes it will be bull and in other times, it will be bear.
Based on my limited understanding, it seems like the fundamentals of the economy continue to look strong - So, there should be no bubble. Sometimes, companies and investors get ahead of the market (the reverse also happens - Good ideas don't get funding at the right time) and when they realize it, t


Mohsin , I am here to engage in meaningful discussions Oct, 25 2016


Shivku Congratulations on such phenomenal success of your venture. Lately, "starting-up" has started to be viewed as another viable career option. However, there are still questions and concerns about its lifetime. While many reject this as a fad, the likes of you, have proven it to be otherwise.

A few weeks ago, a leading IT company posed this as the topic of their campus selection GD, to the students:

Is the latest rise in starting up, just a fad or is it here to stay?

What's your take on this?


Shivku Congratulations on such phenomenal success of your venture. Lately, "starting-up" has started to be viewed as another viable career option. However, there are still questions and concerns about its lifetime. While many reject this as a fad, the likes of you, have proven it to be otherwise.A


Shivku , A bakra of his own thoughts Oct, 25 2016


Mohsin - Thank you for your appreciation.

Starting up is certainly not a viable career option. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to end up broke than to end up with an IPO.


I think it is here to stay. You see, people have always started up. It's just that with technology, it is easier, faster and bigger. The question really is - Is the entrepreneurial spirit of humans a fad or is it here to stay.

Mohsin - Thank you for your appreciation. Starting up is certainly not a viable career option. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to end up broke than to end up with an IPO. I think it is here to stay. You see, people have always started up. It's just that with technology, it is easier, fa


Akhilesh Verma , A BITSian whos been working for 8 years witho Oct, 25 2016


Hi Guys, Firstly, great work you both are doing. Its a real pleasure to tell everyone about being from the same college as you.

So i have been working mindlessly since ling and to be honest even earn well finally, but things keep popping up in the head, which truly excite me, what bothers me is my family. I have a typical middle class family, Dads not there, mom is old and needs medical attention and i am the only one earning. Now everyone says just do it, things will get figured out and also dont expect to raise a penny without an excellent product, but for the product i need to be free in thoughts and mind which i am not. So what do you suggest?

Hi Guys, Firstly, great work you both are doing. Its a real pleasure to tell everyone about being from the same college as you.So i have been working mindlessly since ling and to be honest even earn well finally, but things keep popping up in the head, which truly excite me, what bothers me is my fa


Rajeev Gutpa , BITSian Oct, 25 2016


Shivku In today's scenario, where every hatchling of an entrepreneur takes funding as the metric for success, how do you gauge success? What is your take on funding anyway- leave it for as late as you can, or take it up as early as possible for the best possible PR?


Shivku , A bakra of his own thoughts Oct, 25 2016


Rajeev Gutpa - You are right about people mistaking funding for success. It is one more validation point in your journey towards your vision. Now, because it comes from people who manage lots of money, maybe that validation is more important.


I gauge my success in my ability to be happy and hopefully keep others happy. So, my personal success seems to be unrelated to the company.


Funding - Unfortunately, most people will not have the luxury to decide when they want to take the money. If you are in that position, you are already doing really well :)

Rajeev Gutpa - You are right about people mistaking funding for success. It is one more validation point in your journey towards your vision. Now, because it comes from people who manage lots of money, maybe that validation is more important. I gauge my success in my ability to be happy and hopefull


Nakul Rawat , . Oct, 25 2016


Shivku what is your take on MBA? I see so many of my batchmates aiming for that in 1st year of college itself. Does it lend any added benefits if I wish to be an entrepreneur?


Shivku , A bakra of his own thoughts Oct, 25 2016


Disclaimer: I don't have an MBA, so I am already biased in answering this question. Take this with a pinch of salt:


As an entrepreneur, you are looking for some skills sets that MBA programmes tend to hone, such as: Structured thinking in a high pressure environment, Network of smart chaps, Data interpretation, Logical reasoning etc. MBA is not the only way to acquire these skills.


Nakul Rawat - Usually, people end up with an MBA because they are looking for a high(er) paying job. I see no co-relation between an MBA degree and the ability to successfully create a company.

Disclaimer: I don't have an MBA, so I am already biased in answering this question. Take this with a pinch of salt:As an entrepreneur, you are looking for some skills sets that MBA programmes tend to hone, such as: Structured thinking in a high pressure environment, Network of smart chaps, Data inte


Priya Malhotra , BITSian Oct, 25 2016


Shivku I agree with you, almost. Isn't there a negative correlation though? MBA equals loans which real high EMIs which equal drastically reduced risk taking abilities. Something which an entrepreneur just can't afford.



Conclusion

Shivku , A bakra of his own thoughts Oct, 25 2016


Dear Lovely BITSian Junta - I hope I was of help to a few of you. Wishing the very best for all of you. Signing off with a wireless "Yo" (that used to be popular during our times). Keep that bitsian spirit today and always.