Kochi: Success of startup firms depends on not just the brilliance of ideas, but the prudence in their implementation, a conclave of experts has noted. At an advisory meeting which the Kerala Startup Mission organised here, speakers gave realistic tips on starting business ventures, charting ways to success and sustaining the profile in a world marked by increasing competition from bigwigs.

The day-long event named ‘Critical Success Elements for Startups’ was addressed by KSUM’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Saji Gopinath, God’s Own Food Solutions founder-CEO James Joseph, Mentor Guru Professional Services Director S R Nair, KPMG (India) Director Anand Sharma, IIM-Kozhikode Associate Professor (Strategic Management) Rajesh Upadhyayula and SS Consulting CEO Shilen Sugunan. Spread across six sessions, the event also featured a question-answer and interactive segment.

Dr Gopinath, noting that it’s often excellent startup products that eventually fail, cited “pathetic implementation of ideas” as the key reason for the disaster. In a state like Kerala where 80 per cent startups are in infancy, all its entrepreneurs should eye at customers who pay for use of products. They should also be able to bring in buyers who are outside of the expected crowd in the market, he added.

Joseph, as a seller of products from raw jackfruit, said it is sometimes by pleasant accident that one becomes a market leader. “It is important to know the real use of the product. One should have a complete idea of it,” he said, citing his own entrepreneurial experience. “Also, one should be careful in choosing investors. Big investors often tend to slacken the progress of startups.”

Nair said satisfying the traditional customer is vital in the progress of any business. Techies basically zero in on products that are based on technology, but focusing on that aspect alone can prove to be unwise in the long run, he pointed out, quoting examples.

Prof Upadhyayula stressed the need for going for products or services that cannot be easily replicated in the market. Even when a startup goes for acquisition, it should retain the quality of its items, he added.

Sagunan said the administration of a startup is as important as its product. The entrepreneurs should have a clear idea about tax and legal aspects of the venture. It has become common to start a business along with friends, but that should not be at the cost of definite allocation of responsibilities, he added. Sharma spoke on the discipline required in financial deals and administrative conduct.

The Q&A segment saw the experts replying to a flurry of doubts and clarifications from the delegates. To keep track of all Kerala startup activities, register here.

By Manoj

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