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Indo-French Start-up Collaboration Touches A New High

The Indo-French Chamber of Commerce organised a conference on the start-up sector in India, the conference was held in Mumbai on 23rd June

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The Indo-French Chamber of Commerce organised a conference on the start-up sector in India, the conference was held in Mumbai on 23rd June.

The event witnessed participation of delegates from France and India and included names such as Ludivine Noirel, CEO, Bridgeeastern, Capital Investment and Strategy Advisory, Marita Maier, Head of French and German Desk, EY, Sylvain Biard, Managing Director, Business France, Karthik Mahalingam, National Practice Head of Venture Capital-Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Murali Vaidhyanathan, EVP Privy Business Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Prakash Agarwal, Founder, Virtual CFO and Amitabh Sinha, Director, SME Chamber of India.

Ludivine Noirel, CEO, Bridgeeastern, Capital Investment and Strategy Advisory said, "Over the years the Indian start-up ecosystem has evolved on many fronts. The ease of doing business has considerably improved, which in turn has given boost to potential entrepreneurs to start new ventures. India's diversity is reflected in its start-up culture too, and as many used to think earlier, the start-ups are not just limited to the technology industry, but cater to a whole range of business requirements and this diversity is helping the Indian start-up ecosystem scale new heights."

The fact that India has the world's second highest number of onliner users, Noirel believes that this will gravitate people further towards the start-up ecosystem. "The pervasive nature of connected technology in the form of smartphones has opened up new possibilities for the Indian entrepreneurs who are now finding it easier to provide innovative business solutions across categories," she added.

Elaborating on the start-up initiative-'French Tech Ticket Program', by the French Government, Sylvain Biard, Managing Director, Business France, highlighted the key aspects of the program that seeks to encourage start-up culture globally. Speaking about the program, Biard said, "The French companies are among the most popular business establishments in Europe and the aim of 'Tech Ticket', which is a one year program by the French government, is to attract gifted and ambitious individuals from all around the world and help them set up and develop their start-up in France. More than just a start-up visa, this 12-month program offers end to end support on the journey from early stage start-up to successful business - from financial support and training to first customer acquisition. Selected entrepreneurs and projects will work closely in one of the 41 top French partner incubators providing among others mentoring, fundraising strategy, expert advice and pitch practice."

Underlining the uniqueness of the Indian entrepreneurs, Biard added, "We have a special affinity for the Indian start-ups since they provide some of the most innovative solutions to pressing business issues and we look forth to some winning entries this year."

Amitabh Sinha, Director, SME Chamber of India spoke on 'What new start-ups can learn from other's business decisions', and explained how the start-up journey can be a real test of talent, patience and financial intelligence.

"Entrepreneurs need to be like sponge, they have to absorb every challenge and every difficult situation in order to succeed. Most would-be entrepreneurs think having a great idea alone is the core of a successful start-up, which actually is not the case. The real learning is to know how to convert the idea into business, and if the so called 'great idea' is not working within 15 days, the best thing to do is to park it," added Sinha.

According to Sinha the other mistake that start-ups make is to wait for a favourable ecosystem which often leads to loss of critical time and market relevance. Elaborating on this, he said, "Having a successful start-up is all about having immense passion and belief in your product, to an extent that it does not let you sleep till the goal is accomplished. For this, money and degrees are not very important; it's about having the requisite drive to make it happen. The other mistake start-ups make is to look for funding without having the ROI in mind; which cuts the success story short, an example of this being the Hosuing.com case."

Highlighting the importance of Legal and Banking perspectives for start-ups, Karthik Mahalingam, National Practice Head of Venture Capital-Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, said, "Today the start up culture has eased more than it used to be. Having said this, however, the regulatory framework for start-ups differs from sector to sector, for example the pharma sector is heavily regulated while the IT sector is least regulated. My point is that start-ups need to focus on completing the legal process much before the actual business takes off so that the entrepreneur has enough time to focus on the growth of his business."

Concluding the session, Prakash Agarwal, Founder, Virtual CFO shared his insights about successful start-ups and said, "The fact is that only a very small percentage of start-ups actually get funded, however, this does not mean that others can't start their business. There are few rules one needs to follow to start a profitable start-up business. One of the foremost things is to keep the cost factor in control, think out-of-the-box, not in terms of products alone, but in the use of resources too, and above all network aggressively; I would say meet 100 new people every month and that will help your start-up venture scale new heights."

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Ruhail Amin

As a media practitioner based in Mumbai, Ruhail Amin writes on start-ups, contemporary business challenges with special focus on advertising and digital marketing

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