First focus on the product and service which you are trying to create before worrying about big things such as finance, company registration etc and secondary issues like website, app etc starting a website or app is not a startup or business idea! Startup idea should be to create solid Product or Service! Website or App will come at the end to use internet as an enabling platform to sell your Product or Service… and mostly, website or app may not even be required!
Government of India has set aside `10,000 Crore for Startup India initiative which is strictly going to be utilized only through direct beneficiary support including industry expert mentorship & additional funding support through investors!
Firstly Congratulations to the 7 winners of Kohima Startup Business pitching competition who will compete with the winners from Dimapur at the Grand Finale on Monday!
Startup India is going to support the entrepreneurs with total prize money of Rs.8 lacs+ and incubation with mentorship support from knowledge & industry experts from across the country along with investment opportunities ranging from angel investors to venture capitalists, organised by Startup India with Industry Department Nagaland Startup Cell.
The key difference between winners & others was simply – Effort & Clarity of knowledge in what he/she was talking about:
Winners had clear business ideas where they had actually tried in reality…even with a small testing sample or prototype and even went door to door trying to sell their products!
Non-Winners were mostly talking about vague theories with no practical idea and without putting an effort to try it even in a small way.
Example of difference between a winner and a non winner from today’s business idea/plan pitching competition:
WINNER – One of the winner, Wondanglo from St Joseph used traditional medicinal plants available in our forests abundantly to create products including tea, jam etc
The business plan was crisp which included a very well presented powerpoint with all the cost in detail required to set up a jam manufacturing factory which showed.
A. CAPEX – Capital Expenditure required to clear the forest, plantation cost & yield per acre, equipments & machinery and everything required to set up the business.
B. OPEX – Operational Expenditure required for operating the business including – Salary, Transportation, Light bills, buying raw materials etc
PROFIT = After subtracting all the expenses including paying loan EMI, the profit was calculated and also the loan breakeven(Repaying the entire loan amount)
She clearly knew details of land where she needs to cultivate this, transport and market strategy
She had actually made jams out of the plant & understood the health benefits of it.
Non-Winner – The person had a fantastic business plan with all the cost, marketing strategy etc to start a cafe specializing in coffee such as mocha, cappuccino, Americano etc
When I asked her the question, “Do you know how to make cappuccino?” She said “No”
When we asked about her passion & knowledge about coffee such as varieties and existing competition – She had no idea neither was she passionate about the art of making coffee! While her existing competitors in the market, say Ete Coffee where the founder is an absolute coffee aficionado, and a coffee encyclopedia!
This is why many Naga businesses fail – Know the product or service in & out, at your fingertips for which you are trying to seek investment!!! You should be the MASTER of the product/service which you are creating and a greater advantage if you have already tried it even at home! Without even putting an effort of trying it with their hands first and being passionate, they start a business taking a huge loan with little or no knowledge or experience or passion but based merely on imagination and assumption of the business and then fail.
Another guy came in & said there’s lots of bamboo in their area so he want to open a paper manufacturing mill. (Setting up a paper mill itself will cost around `200-300Crore for your info)
Asked him whether he has knowledge of manufacturing paper or even the basic idea of setting up one with the kind of machinery requirement, production process etc he had absolutely no idea.
First he could’ve done his homework by even googling & reading about it or watched a youtube video to try and manufacture paper at home using DIY (Do It Yourself) technique..then gradually scale up!
There are no shortcuts in life! It takes time & effort!
Bottom line being – learn the trade before you starts the trade, and put an effort to try something in practical instead of only dreaming in theory and talking in the air.
First Start Small… Say if you wish to start a restaurant then try working in a restaurant even as a waiter or cook! Always better to learn the trade before you starts the trade!
Feel free to inbox me for guidance or help link you with experts to build your business ideas for free..It is very important to FIRST seek guidance but more important to put effort to do things with your hands and create prototypes, fail, learn ….then only talk about Lakhs or Crores!
Focus on the product & service first before thinking about big things and secondary issues like website, app, company registration etc
All the best to the winners for Monday & to those who didn’t make it, don’t be disheartened but fire up yourself to learn from the strategy of the winners and put more effort to learn & try!
All of you will definitely shine bright in the future & take our State forward, because it is business and not government that will create employment and money to become a self reliant, progressive and prosperous state!