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Start-up - Vision to Execution

Published on: February 15, 2019        Author: Karunjit Kumar Dhir
Having a vision for what you want is not enough. Vision without execution is hallucination; very well said by Thomas A Edison.

In my earlier articles, you would have read about one of our portfolio start-ups called SCIKEY and how that is on the verge of disrupting the USD600 billion-plus global market in the HR-Tech & Automation space. In the last 15 plus years of fast-paced professional career so far, I have been very fortunate to have worked with the global tech & consulting businesses of all sizes lead by visionary founders who also exhibited extraordinary execution skills. In fact, the best of the exposure I got was by joining and growing with a start-up whose founder scaled it from scratch to become a multi-million dollar enterprise in less than 10 years with business expansion in 20 odd geographies across the globe. Now that is not easy at all. It really takes the vision of the future, a lot of guts (to take the plunge by quitting your fancy CXO job); coupled with the talent for an extraordinary execution in present; to create that kind of an impact. Cut to my current role at the SRKAY Consulting Group that is one of the fastest growing PE(Private Equity) firms backed by a multi-billion dollar enterprise, while I work with all our portfolio companies as well as the other entrepreneurs reaching out to us with a pitch to invest in their ideas and early-stage ventures; there has been a tremendous learning about how the whole start-up eco-system works, how the investors evaluate certain start-ups for potential investments, why do certain start-ups with a great idea not do so well whereas why some of the start-ups with very simple ideas but great “MindMatched” teams & solid capability of execution do much better than the others etc.

The Startup Puzzle | SRKayPerspectives


In fact, Steve Jobs once said – “To me, ideas are worth nothing, unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.” Therefore, if you’re an entrepreneur (or even a wanna be) and looking for that one word “Mantra for success”; I would say “Execution” is the way. Further, when you start pitching your start-up to the Angels, VCs, PEs; the next two most important criteria you get evaluated on will be the Founding Team and the ROI along with Potential for a successful Exit for the investors. Your founding team will need to pass the litmus test of PEAT – Passion, Experience, Adaptability & Talent. How passionate is the founding team about the idea & mission, how connected is the founding team – how do they know each other, why are they together, what would keep them together for a long haul? Do they have relevant Experience in the domain they are trying to build their start-up in? Are they prepared & Flexible to pivot and manoeuvre their original business idea & approach to align with the market needs? And, most importantly do they have enough Talent as a TEAM – mix of Sales, Marketing, Finance, Operations, Technology etc. As soon as you have found your answers to these vital questions you are expected to help the investor understand what will they gain out of investing in your start-up – the ROI, and how will they achieve it – Exit options(IPO, Merger, Sale etc) and in what time frame. And, for this to happen you will need to be extensively prepared to talk about your Product, the Market and the Momentum in the market at that time and the Competitive Advantage that your start-up has. Most of the investors would take the competition positively as that helps them believe that space exists & the money is already being poured in there. Last but not least, you will most certainly meet the investors who do care about a much larger social impact that your start-up will leave on the society. For this you don’t always need to talk about your long-term CSR or plans for charity if you hit the pot of gold, as you could always highlight simple things like how will your start-up help in creating meaningful jobs, how will you create a happy workplace culture, or how will you touch millions of lives in a positive way if you’re operating in a micro-finance, agri-tech, health-tech or any such space where there is a clear direct impact on the society etc. The bottom line is – the story can be any, but it has to be YOURs and it has to be narrated well and backed with REAL numbers that your founding team is truly thorough with.

Hope this helps you chalk out your NEXT WINNING PITCH. Should you need any more help as a Founder, are looking for an audience to pitch your start-up or would love to help young entrepreneurs or the start-up eco-system at large by contributing your time, wisdom, experience or resources; I would love to hear from you at Karun@srkay.com.

Wish you the best – plan your execution and execute your plan. Here is the link to your complimentary copy of Start-up Success Index Report -https://srkay.com/index.htm?q

SRKay & SCIKEY joint research study on ‘Startup Success Index – Improving Startup Success and Sustainability by understanding Human Only Factors’ released at World Investment Forum 2018, United Nations.

About the Author –
Karun is a young, dynamic & seasoned business leader with 15 plus years of diverse global industry experience in start-Up & emerging growth operations in a technology set-up. He is passionate about creating multi-million businesses, creating & leading stellar teams & winning smiles from his clients, teams & stakeholders.