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Up Close With K Srikrishna—Serial Entrepreneur

In an interview with K Srikrishna, a serial entrepreneur and an angel investor, he spoke about the various aspects of entrepreneurship. According to him, while tax breaks and money help the entrepreneurs so much, finding the appropriate customers or the target audience is the most difficult part.

The first questions of an entrepreneur

“What is the first question a young startup founder will ask you?” asked K Srikrishna. He then recalled what his friend ShekharKirani of Accel Partners said. The first question that entrepreneurs will ask is whether anyone can give them money. If that does not work out the following question would be that if they cannot be given money, can they be introduced to someone who can give them money Well, the questions do not end with this. If both of these do not seem to be helping, they step down asking whether they can get any customers. And if all these fail, they come up with the last question to tell them in thirty minutes how they can double their web traffic.

Srikrishna criticized the attitude of the young entrepreneurs who are always in a hurry to get things done. For them, they all want it right now. But according to Srikrishna, entrepreneurs who have been in this field at least for five to six years know by now that money which they think is the biggest problem, do not really matter in the initial days, while it is only the third or fourth priority.

What matters the most these days is identifying the right customers, and finding the appropriate access to them. Srikrishna had sold his Bluetooth technology company Impulsesoft for around fifteen million dollars after two years of running the company. Srikrishna has a PhD from the University of California, and later he became an angel investor and founded yet another company called Zebu Games. Srikrishna has also served as Executive Director at National Entrepreneurship Network backed by Wadfhwani Foundation.

Government as the best customer
According to Srikrishna, the government and other public sectors are the biggest customers and has the potential to help Inidan startups to create a large customer base. For example, the company MoveInSync is a startup that helps companies to manage and organize their fleet of cab among the customers. In fact their customers are the large multinational companies that ferry their workers for work every day in the major cities of India.
This is a very efficient way of managing startups as the companies do not have to worry about the headache of the cab system. Now, Srikrishna asks this question, what if HAL was a customer of this startup. Then, the growth would be at a massive scale and the startup would just grow without any limits. That huge potential lies within public sector companies. “Working with the government is not easy in any part of the world, but if you’re going to ask for three years’ P&L, and bank guarantees and so on, no startup will qualify for anything.” said Srikrishna.

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