What are the trends that will shape the technology industry in the next decade? And what does it mean to India? As an extraordinary player at the epicenter of innovation for the last 30 years, Vinod Khosla will share his views.
How can companies of all sizes best develop growth strategies in today’s business environment of emerging markets and revolutionary technology? Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit, will showcase how focusing on customer insight, building a culture of innovation and balancing key resources can fuel sustained growth in a changing world.
Are you tearing yourself in figuring out whether to launch a feature, product or a company? What should you be doing for validating that your idea actually has legs - should you splurge on a 10K launch budget and months of efforts doing user research, customer discovery, market surveys, focus groups? Will this methodical approach give you the answers you seek, and lay the foundation for building a great product bottoms up.
Or, should you just walk down the street to the ATM at the corner, draw out 100$ with your credit card, geek out, build it and see if they come? You'll only know when the rubber hits the road, so no point in precision zooming to the correct answer, when you can get to something that just works by experimenting on the cheap. The Microsofts, Facebooks, Googles of the world were built this way, so why not you? Product life cycles are short, failure rates are ever so high, so why spend precious cycles on something that may just not work. Also who knows if your big idea is really one, it might just be a small, frivolous feature that your competitors give out for free with their next release.
If this is you, and before you plunk down lots of money, time investment, or quit your day job, you should check out some tips, techniques, tools and best practices to vet your ideas. Take a quick look at what others in the same boat as you have done and learn from their experiences (read failures).
Key takeaways for attendees:
- Tips and best practices for product idea validation
- Learn about tools and techniques: dipstick surveys, panels, focus groups, product demos, A/B tests, on-site experiments (or simulations)
- Minimum Viable Product (MVP): is this the Holy Grail of product development?
- When does a 10K launch budget become inevitable?
- Validation: Should you trust your gut instincts, or look at hard metrics?
- Dissecting the product idea at its core: will it fly?
Amid the buzz about the NEW GLOBAL MARKETPLACE, Africa still is struggling to be heard. The world views Africa as a region marred by conflicts, corruption and health issues.
Over the past couple of years, Africa has been one of the fastest growing markets worldwide in ICT adoption and communication technology and has the potential of becoming one of the most important markets for the Indian IT industry. Africa with its large domestic market, younger demographics, and good multi language capabilities is realigning its focus to address the paradigm shift. Africa's IT market is headed for growth in 2011-12, and market levels are expected to reach $26.53 billion in 2014, setting in motion a number of key trends that will reshape the IT landscape in Africa.
Businesses in Africa today, are finding considerable benefits from leveraging the vast multi-lingual talent pool, competitive cost structures, proximity to European and Middle East markets and the growing domestic markets.
The reforms path adopted by many countries in Africa and addition of significant broadband capacity with installation of undersea cables is unlocking huge demand of ICT services in multiple domains like - Telecom/Mobile telephony; BFSI sector; eGovernance; Education/skill or capacity building; Healthcare. This is the right time to explore Africa when it wants to shift from an Agricultural economy to a Knowledge based economy!!
The session on Africa would provide a sneak preview into an emerging marketplace waiting to be explored.
When emerging companies have to go beyond selling by leveraging the CEO's personal connections, they have multiple questions to address:
a. What mechanisms do we use to get customers to call us instead of us cold-calling customers?
b. What are the most cost effective ways to create a repeatable way to market our solutions to customers?
c. How do we use social media, email newsletters and newer techniques of marketing to get on the top of mind of customers?
Most companies realize the hiring field sales people in various locations is fairly expensive and difficult to manage and train. Instead there are good ways to build a strong inside sales organization to help grow the business with minimal field presence. In this workshop we will focus on answering these questions:
a) How to create the right elevator pitch (call script, email) that gets people's attention?
b) How to help inside sales people research customers and prospects before they call them?
c) How do we create better conversion among the people that we have been able to get initial conversations started?
Content: Current state, challenges in hardware design, ecosystem, approach taken by players and emerging ecosystem for mobile/smartphone/tablet brands
Takeaways: what is happening in the hardware ecosystem especially around mobility what can vas players look for down the road how can cloud/mobility players partner with device oems.
While we applaud successful companies and scramble to distill their winning formulae in books, not enough is said about the tough choices the people behind the scenes have to make in getting there. Sooner or later, it boils down to the character of the people behind the company, the decisions they make, the ethic they instill, that makes all the difference. If you're an entrepreneur or a senior executive grappling with some of these decisions, you should listen to Vinod, who has not only been through it himself but also had a ringside seat in seeing some spectacular successes and more importantly failures in the last 30 years.
Format & Discussions
Just what is your business? What boxes do you fit into? What makes you different and valuable and why should, investors, customers, media, partners and even future employees care? This workshop will be broken into two halves. In the first, American author and startup consultant Shel Israel will discuss what all good pitches must contain and how to make yours special. He will discuss some of the best case studies he has heard over more than 30 years in the business. In the second half, selected participants will get to try out their 5-minute pitches with reviews from attendees as well as Israel.
Anchor : Suresh Sambandam. CEO OrangeScape and Kishore Mandyam, CEO of ImpelCRM
Part 1: On-boarding new age product startups into the SI Ecosystem
by Jayaramakrishnan K - Head Global Alliances, Tata Consultancy Services
Part 2: Open House - Partnerning Challenges with Large SIs
A open round table dialogue between product startup CxOs and Head of alliances from
TCS, Cognizant, Wipro, MSat/TechM, Mindtree, L&T Infotech, 3i Infotech
Part 3: Product Startups - Pitch to SIs
Today the internet/mobile business in India is a lot bigger than it was before. While internet businesses took a while to imitate their Western counterparts, mobile ventures have matured far quicker in India. A venture is declared successful only if it has scaled. Scalability can be in terms of reach and/or monetization.
Companies have different kinds of scalability problems - companies with good reach aren't monetizing enough, companies that are monetizing aren't able to increase their reach.
You may be planning to start a venture or may have one already. Question remains the same: How to scale? And WHAT should we scale? How to take THAT leap?
Internet Choices companies need to make, internet decision points - offline first or online first? Angle funding or VC funding? WAP or Mobile app etc?
So what are the challenges few of our panellists face when it comes to scalability & how did they address it?
Summarizing main points of what I will touch on
Summarizing issues which will be taken up with the panel
(a) What is Decision Sciences and how important is it?
Increasing number of businesses are focusing on analytics driven decision support across all facets of business where experts have to take decisions based on bits of information.... Analytics is now where IT was in the eighties:
Math + Business + Technology + Behavioral Science will let us develop nudges (cognitive repairs) against bias that we as human beings are gifted with
Decision Sciences is a combination of Math + Business + Technology + Behavioral Science to help make data driven decisions.
(b) Key Takeaways for audience
1. Understand what this nascent industry called ‘decision sciences' and the opportunity that lies ahead of us
2. A perspective on the vision for the industry in 2015.
(c) Session Structure: 60 min presentation, with a PPT. No moderator, only introducers (1 min.)
1. Macro trends seen in the industry
2. Why decision sciences?
3. A framework for decision sciences
4. Where do we see this going? A vision for 2015
Presentation points to be covered:
The new data centricity is driving a necessary rethink how we collect, store, manage, analyze and share our data, as all these processes now require limitless resources. Enterprises and startups alike are investing in large scale data analysis to serve their customers better and create a competitive edge for their companies.
From Cloud to Crowds, many new techniques are required to ensure that questions can be answered with high quality in a timely and cost efficient manner.
This talk will focus on the unique challenges of big-data, the changes in infrastructure required to support the new world and how innovations in crowd sourcing and cloud computing are removing barriers for companies to be successful.
3 disruptive product start-ups gain an opportunity to make a pitch to 2 Silicon Valley Legends. Watch them demo their products, face a rebuttal from the judges and compete against one another in an event which will be televised on 'Starting Up', India's most watched start-up show which airs on ET NOW every Saturday @ 9 PM and Sunday @ 10 AM'
Our world is changing faster than ever before – politically, socially and economically – and IT is right in the core of this seismic paradigm shift! New and ultra-fast innovation in cloud, big data, social media and consumerization of IT is creating tremendous opportunities and risks for businesses and governments – and most importantly for the citizens, globally. It is the time for India to rise and lead – in a focused, planned, innovative, and pragmatic way – and in a global context. Tarkan is the CEO at Wyse, the leading cloud computing vendor and the industry shaper according to World Economic Forum. He will also give some real life examples about opportunities and risks in redefining, transforming and growing a company and the industry, while (re)defining, influencing and leading the largest IT projects both in private and public sectors globally during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Build a product and Launch it. Customers and the market will tell you whether they like it or not. Thats what is said in theory. But reality is far from it. While building a product is easy, it is oft the effort and perseverence after that, that defines the success of a product. It is said that if your idea is any good, you'll have to shove it down people's throats; markets adopting new products take time as well. If then, how do you know the difference between the market rejecting an offering, versus a slow uptake?
Take-Aways: How to Read a market? What is a Pivot? Repositioning your product? Tiding through the "silent" downtimes.
User Experience Design (UX) is becoming a critical differentiator in software products. Companies ranging from Mint.com (personal finance) to Posterous (blogging) to Instagram (photo sharing) have deployed UX effectively for market differentiation.
However, many technology entrepreneurs are often unaware of how to best implement UX in their startups and how to get the maximum value out of UX. In the Indian software products and platforms space, entrepreneurs face additional challenges: Limited understanding of UX at the ecosystem level, a very small talent pool of digital UX designers, high costs of hiring designers, etc.
This panel discussion will bring forth 3 different UX perspectives from Business Applications, Consumer e-commerce, and Social gaming to help delegates develop their own UX Strategies for success. Panelist details and Twitter IDs are below:
Panel Host: Amit Pande (@amit_pande)
Anila Andrade (@anila_andrade). Associate Producer, 99Games
Shalin Jain (@shalin10). Founder & CEO, Tenmiles
Aloke Bajpai (@alokebajpai), Co-Founder & CEO, IxiGo.com
The 60 minute panel is structured as follows
- Brief introductions by panelists about themselves & their UX history (5 min)
- 1 slide presentations by panelists showing a current design problem & approach from their startups (10-15 min)
- Q&A and discussion with panelists on key UX topics (20 min)
- Open interaction with audience (20 min)
E-commerce seems to be all the rage in India right now. A core part of an e-commerce system is the ability to process a payment end to end. There are a plethora of payment options to consider - from the basic Credit cards, Debit cards, to Net Banking to newer options like Cash-on-Delivery, and other options like multi-currency support, post-paid mobile operator billing, in-app payment, credits on social networking sites, etc. This challenge is further exacerbated by the plethora of touch points that a customer can do business with you. Payments can be a driver for your business not just an enabler.
Further, as is inherent with e-commerce customers can come from all over the world. There are quite a few different suppliers of payment technology to consider, heterogeneous systems on the backend, risk and fraud, compliance and certifications, post-sales issues for refunds, etc.
The challenges you face are different depending on stage of evolution your product is in. The focus areas for if you are doing dozens of transactions per day to 100's of transactions to 1000's of transactions are different. This session will have practitioners from different parts of the ecosystem to share tips, techniques and experiences on how to make payments work in India.
Takeaways (needs to be pruned)
What will we NOT cover?
Background: Product companies have a taste of success by relying on their relationships & technology to differentiate themselves. This however does not necessarily suffice as they start competing on Complex sales opportunities. Complex sales opportunities are typically defined to be high-value, long sales cycle, complex decision making process, multiple competition.
a) Is Technology an adequate differentiator in a Complex sales scenario?
b) Who is the real competition? Should/Can we compete?
c) What are the typical pit-falls to watch out for, as we try to scale into high value selling?
Key take-away’s: This session will aim to discuss how Product companies can recognize and prepare better for handling Complex sales. Some of the points discussed would touch upon Account Coverage, Identifying the target market, Opportunity Qualification, Political coverage, Leveraging the Partner eco-system, Building a sales team….
Format: Three panelists. An introduction to complex sales followed by a discussion based on their own experiences for the initial 30 minutes. Participants are encouraged to ask questions that are close to their focus areas and make it interactive
Format: Four panelists, two 18-minute sessions; in the first session, the panel takes the position of "No way"; in the second, "Of course". 18 minutes of Q&A and a final Audience Vote.
Panelists: People who sell to SMEs and at least one person who has sold to SMEs AND Enterprise customers.
- Is there even a market that big?
- Can there really be ONE set of products that sells to MULTIPLE SME companies?
- Do they have the money to buy?
- Is the effort worth the results?
- Is there an appreciation of technology at all in this segment?
- Is it not faster/cheaper/better to put people to work than technology?
- Are there incumbents that can grow better than newbies?
- Do foreign providers have a better chance here? Are they even interested?
- Can you get investors interested in this kind of a business?
- How important is Brand in this segment?
1 Key differences between selling to SMEs and to Consumers/Enterprise
2 Challenges in relying on that one space
3 Issues of scale to get to $ 1 BN.
- May be difficult getting panelists who've "been there, done that" in the segment
- Willingness/ability to argue both sides of the coin in an engaging manner may be challenging
- May need more-than-normal initial goal-setting with panel and with audience.
(Un) Conference : Lessons from Lean Startups - Three sessions of 30 minutes each.
a) How to do Customer Development Process? - Startups fail for lack of customers not because of product features so how do you find and validate your customers.
b) How to find your market niche (tools/techniques you can use)? so you can scope and reach out to your target segments.
c) Freemium models for internet products - what works? - Is Freemium a marketing model or early customer acquisition strategy?, how do you acquire free customers and turn them into paid?
Too often skilled software technologists wonder why their carefully crafted, elegant products aren't more of a commercial success. "Why don't enterprises buy a lot of these wonderful products? Why can't we make more money?", they wonder.
Many times the reason sales are lower, slower and less profitable is because too little time, care and attention was spent on pricing. Pricing is often done too late in the development cycle with too much effort spent on setting price levels and not enough effort spent on developing a robust pricing model.
Pricing is not just a matter of finding the right price point. Pricing means doing a good job of licensing, packaging as well as setting price levels. Well crafted products deserve well crafted pricing.
We are pleased to have Jim Geisman of US-based Software Pricing Partners to conduct a special two hour session that will help us use pricing more effectively and more strategically. The impact of pricing is pervasive which is why it is important to understand how to do a better job of pricing.
Attendee delegates will learn...
Discussion Points: The first pitch starts with yourself. Then its your cofounder and spouse and then its the Angel who makes or breaks your dream.
We, are still evolving as an ecosystem in terms of Angels. While the origin of it is in the Movie Industry, the essence of it has been lost in the fast paced technology industry that we come from.
When we take an outside investment, we are selling a part of the company. Its the first sale process, and fortunately or unfortunately this is a sale to someone who will get tagged along till the process is complete. Finding the right partner makes all the difference.
This session covers the entrepreneurs' perspective of what to watch out for, when it comes to angel investments. What are the things you need to keep in mind to validate whether to raise money, how to meet such angels, what the expectations are, and to build the right relationships on get go.
Audience: Startups, Entrepreneurs
Take-Aways: Know about exits. Valuations. Termsheets and conditions when it comes to raising money. Expectations of an Angel. A list of Do nots.
This session will be made of 2-3 segments of 20-30 min each. Each segment would present a case study of one successful expansion if an a small company (ISV in NASSCOM parlance) in global market place.