Showing posts with label startup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label startup. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The pursuit of pain

We began our startup inspired by first-hand experience of the pain felt in international business when an export company in Mumbai (then Bombay) tried to market its products to overseas buyers. The quest, ever since, has been to find the best way to find and help others who have been feeling the pain of reaching faraway markets in an affordable manner.

Among the first things that an advisor to our startup told me was to find the pain that an end-user is feeling and then address that pain. Or like someone I know said, you are better off being a pain-killer, than a vitamin.

Ever since, we have been in pursuit of the pain felt and mentioned by our customers and prospective customers. I suppose, we also chance upon new markets based on accidental discoveries by markets feeling the pain and finding out that our product can indeed alleviate their pain.

Often, the ones feeling the pain may not necessarily have the influence or the voice to demand our offerings even if they are aware of its benefits. Perhaps the 'drugstore' or the distribution channel is unwilling to carry our offering because they don't see a justifiable margin to carry it in their inventory. The problem is similar to the one that Dr. Victoria Hale of OneWorld Health is trying to address. There are diseases in the world that giant pharma companies will not address because the markets for them are so specific and scattered that it is does not make economic sense to their shareholders. Incidentally I have had the privilege of being introduced to Dr. Hale during her startup days, so it is a great success story to reference here as an analogy to our startup. OneWorld Health now has the backing of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

I believe that our quest is to find the pain being endured by exhibitors and attendees no matter what kind of business fairs or consumers fairs they prefer. Our quest is to find the best way to reach fellow sufferers. We are in pursuit of that pain. Our quest is to deliver the best product-mix to address that pain.

Along the way we are making possible new channels where none existed before; new ancillary service providers where none existed before (this is already happening on its own), digital producers of content serving a market that did not exist before. We believe we have the means to alleviate the pain of those who have not had the resources to take part in business fairs or consumer fairs. Every time a marketing budget line item is questioned by the accountant, every time a business or any organization tries to grow and get the word out, they feel the pain. Our mission is to track, target and eliminate that pain. However, we will have a flourishing business model only when we pursue, locate and influence large pools of such pain. With the growing reach of the Internet internationally, that goal is now within reach.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Right hat at the right time

The (original) name of the blog (fimarkepreneur) does seem corny but in a way it describes the twists and turns in my life starting as a financial accountant, a cost accountant, a marketer, and an entrepreneur.

Each of these callings are representative of a certain mindset. When the various functions blend within a single role, it is an amalgam of mindsets and behaviors, a multi-faceted attitude and an interesting management style. One learns to appreciate the importance of attention to detail, the joy of seeing perfectly balanced books, the adrenalin rush of releasing a new product or service out into the market and the perpetual curiosity that makes one see opportunities in every problem. The hard part is to know the right time to switch to the right hat - to think like an accountant and count beans, soar like a marketer and spread one's wings, or dream like an entrepreneur and figure out how to make that castle stay up in the air until one is able to make it a reality. Any confusion in the choice of hats could prove counterproductive.