Adding Value

innovate

Recently I visited NSRCEL in IIMB and I got a chance to participate in one of the EPGP classes by Prof Kumar. During the bootcamp, he had conducted an excellent class for us. We were about 6 entrepreneurs who had volunteered to be a part of the Lean Canvas exercise for the class. Luckily, I got an enthusiastic bunch of students to work with. After asking me the right questions, they came up with a Lean Canvas for my venture that pretty much reflected my thoughts and some more. It was actually quite wonderful to see how much they understood about my venture and the challenges I was facing, implicitly. There were parallels drawn between my website and JustDial/ Sulekha/ Craigslist. Yes, there are certain things that are similar. Under some sections, we cover the information well, but in some other areas, the competition does a great job.

The last time I met my mentor Prof Handa, he asked me what impact my website was making. The analytics weren’t very flattering. He then went over each section and asked me what value was I bringing in. I have met other mentors who will half halfheartedly listen to what you have to say and throw some unrelated solutions your way. But the best mentors like Prof Handa will simply ask you questions that will make you think and find answers on your own. Now I regularly ask myself – will I use this, how is this different and how does this add value.

Currently, the impact of belgauminfo.com has been very small, nevertheless it is quite satisfying to know about a few people who found the website beneficial.

  • One person could use our website from USA and reach out to a local bank in a timely manner to get her credit card blocked on fraud detection.
  • A handful of people were able to pay their property taxes early via our links and get the early bird discount.
  • The Events calendar got a great response and helps both organizers reach wider audience, as well as helps many people learn about daily events in the city.

The journey so far, from a simple idea to a full fledged website has been very rewarding. And while I make plans for Phase 2 of my project, there is one question that I will constantly ask myself at every step – how am I innovating and creating value.

Core Values for a Startup

I began my entrepreneurial journey in June 2018 as an Incubatee at NSRCEL in IIM Bangalore. We were the top 100 women selected, from over 6000 applications from all over India as a part of WSP(Women’s Startup Program). We had rigorous boot camps at IIM Bangalore prior to selection where we were given assignments.

One of the tasks was to create a video and speak about the top 3 core values of our startup. When one starts the journey with just an idea in ones mind, it is difficult to think far ahead about values of a startup that is yet to be formed. But I had worked for various organizations over the years and I asked myself, what were the core 3 values that mattered the most?

In this video below, I share my perspective:

Recently I had doubts in my mind while taking a decision for Morai. Then I thought about the 3 core values and the doubts disappeared.

In the rush of building things and finding solutions, we often forget little things that are immensely valuable. Sometimes it is necessary to pause a little and indulge in such exercise, to build strong foundations for our startups.