On stage at The Tech Portal’s flagship event Pitch Off Season 4, we’re breezing through the panel discussions one speaker at a time. After speaking about the fin-tech and futuristic tech scenario in the country, we are now swerving into a rather debatable topic. And you’re also free to voice your views – how much importance startups in our nation are placing on technology while building a product.
This panel discussion brought together some of the most prominent startup executives together on one stage to discuss technology. It witnessed Snapdeal’s Category Management Director Brajesh Rawat, Furlenco’s VP(design) Kranti M, MoMagic VP Manish Chitkatra and Rajeev Menon, partner at Anthill Ventures. This exchange was moderated by CommonFloor founder and CEO Sumit Jain.
Flagging off the discussion, Sumit set the stage stating the fact that the modality rate of tech startups in India is very high. Tech startups in India our country are missing upon the recognition they deserve whereas those in the west are gaining all the limelight. The tech is most likely missing and the brands are now facing massive problems, such as management or money issues.
And this was himself answered by Sumit himself, who rightly said that that these company’s started focusing less on tech and cost of running business went too high. Due to the same they started facing challenges in money, idea, and product. Now, the stage is set.
Snapdeal’s Brajesh Rawat chimes in saying that he wouldn’t define these companies as tech startups but as tech-enabled businesses, which work for consumers but sometimes do not work in the their benefit. They tried running after fresh capital and didn’t exactly understand or focus on what the users wanted.
And to rework the same, the panel suggested that one should go after a lean, mean and agile team. It is important to maintain focus on tech. But, the startups are more focused more on building their product
You don’t really need to over-engineer the solution, such that you’re unable to manage the growth.
There is 10 day enthusiasm to scale, to try to grow but at the end one has scaled up so much and the product is not ready yet. They are completely filled with features which the customers do not require, but the passion is now lacking.
Tech enables a lot of things which are not possible, but sometimes startups try to hack their way through the growth stage. You cannot build a technology product at a later stage instead it is required from the beginning itself. One finds it extremely difficult to scale their technology solutions at a later stage, and one with tech from the beginning can offer strong competition.
Furlenco made the same mistake, says Kranti. The company didn’t lay much emphasis on tech but instead planned to invest in other avenues. But they are now trying to catch up on this front, and they regret this decision of theirs. He is of the opinion that technology should have been given its importance from the very start.
MoMagic, with its mobile product, is trying to help businesses grow and Chitkara also recommends that technology should be adopted in stages. You shouldn’t build all features for the product in one go, but take time, understand the users needs and the company needs to make necessary changes and feature additions.
The longevity of technology is also important. We’re building products that are helping us solve short term problems, but for long term ideas we need a robust road map, while also taking competition into consideration. One does not only need to build a tech product but also create value in the process.
Further, the panel also talked about the quality of talent which is being brought into the company. You might’ve notice a phenomenon where the salaries are sky-rocketing but the tech is still stuck in turmoil. People are getting high salaries, 5 to 8 times more, due to the scarcity of good developers. But is this move tangible. The employees should question themselves whether they’ll be able to maintain the quality of work that earns them the hefty check.