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To help Indian growth-stage startups expand into international markets, an invite-only two-day residential workshop was recently organized for their founders at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad campus, as part of the Growth Tunes series—an exclusive initiative for promoting high-potential tech startups—that has been designed by Intel India’s Intel Startup Program in collaboration with ISB.
‘Growth Tunes – A Leadership Series’ has previously featured two talk sessions with industry gurus in June and August 2022 respectively. The series will further comprise several more knowledge-driven talks and interactive workshops in collaboration with leading universities.
As the latest addition to Growth Tunes, the exclusive workshop—’Executive Program: Path to Global Entrepreneurship’—took place on 14th and 15th November 2022 and was specially curated by tenured faculty at ISB as well as industry experts and technologists at Intel India. Coinciding with the Global Entrepreneurship Week #GEW (November 14th-20th), it featured live interactions and experiential learning sessions with successful founders, deep-tech investors, industry experts and leading academicians, including Rajendra Srivastava, former dean, ISB; Vijaya Sunder, former head, Business Process Excellence, World Bank Group; and ISB faculty members Anusha Sirigiri and Deepak Jena.
The workshop was aimed specifically at the founders of growth-stage startups in the Intel Startup Program’s portfolio—i.e. revenue-generating companies that have already deployed their products in multiple markets and are now ready to go global. Through collaborative learning and networking, participants gained insights to adapt their business models, reorganize their resources and infrastructure and strategize for expansion to international markets and raise additional funds.
The sessions of this highly curated workshop, conducted over the two-days by five prestigious academicians and renowned professors of ISB, focused on guiding the select startup founders on the nuances of both internal and external factors to overcome the obstacles that these start-ups would face while expanding in international markets.
Professor Rajendra Srivastava explained the importance of value creation through intangibles such as customer service and retention and that of networked markets which can help startups understand customers better. While Professor Anusha Sirigiri focused on how to build a strong business case to expand globally, Professor Deepak Jenna illustrated the need and advantages of value-based growth strategy frameworks for technology startups based on value drivers and metrics.
Professor Ram Nidumolu and Professor Vijaya Sunder delved into two key internal factors in any organization—the need for a growth mindset and robust internal capabilities—to transform, innovate and scale in international markets while being cognizant of customers’ changing preferences. The workshop also included a discussion, which was moderated by Professor Shashwat Alok and partaken into by panellists such as Karthik Reddy, co-founder and managing partner, Blume Ventures; Gokul Dixit, venture partner, Dallas Venture Capital; Sandeep Goel, managing director, Strategy and Operations, Moglix; and Anand Aravind, SVP and GM (core business) and founder, Zenoti, on analyzing and paraphrasing the subtleties of growth financing and valuation strategies for international growth. Reddy and Dixit, in particular, shared the perspective of investors on the subject, citing examples from their own recent investments. The discussion ended with the investors sharing some nifty tips for the startups on what investors, in general, appreciate about their investment.
Being a first-of-its-kind initiative, the workshop received positive feedback from the faculty, who were fascinated with their interactions with young entrepreneurs, as well as the participants, who found it timely as many are currently planning to take their startups global. Moreover, given that the workshop was organised by a management institute which generally works with established, some startup founders were initially apprehensive about the possible positive outcomes for their budding ventures. However, the curated workshop struck a chord with the participants, who reported their satisfaction with important networking opportunities made available over classroom sessions, dinner and sporting activities by ISB.
Sriram Raghavendran, head of innovation at Samunnati, a Chennai-based open agri network for smallholder farmers, stated that the workshop was well-conceived and provided a rich-experience with all participants sharing their growth journey and learning from each other.
Another participant, Joy Basu, CEO, Smart Ship Hub, a startup in the maritime logistics space, noted that the workshop was especially useful for startups aspiring to scale but without a clear plan or direction for the same. The faculties’ insights into forging strong connections with customers, creating differentiation, engendering the right product-market mix, and manufacturing market-leading products would enable Smart Ship Hub to become a major player in maritime logistics, added Basu.
The Growth Tunes series was kicked off on 30th June this year with a live talk session delivered by Vish Krishnan, a professor and endowed chair at the University of California and a professor affiliate at the Harvard University Lab for Innovation Science. Prof. Krishnan shared his insights on ‘Product Management for Growth and Scale’, specifically with regards to the deep-tech ecosystem, with a select virtual audience invited for the session.
Conducted on 18th August 2022, the second session in the Growth Tunes series featured an insightful lecture delivered by Madhu Viswanathan, associate professor, marketing, ISB and research director, ISB Institute of Data Science, aimed at enabling startups to grow their B2B business by leveraging digital marketing effectively. Engaging with an exclusive virtual audience, Professor Viswanathan covered a range of topics: the differences between traditional B2B marketing and digital marketing; the importance of devising customer-centric marketing strategies; the rise of a rapidly changing digital landscape across platforms such as AOL, Google, Facebook (social media) and even newer channels; and so on.
Growth Tunes: Explained
The Intel Startup Program, in collaboration with the Indian School of Business (ISB), under the aegis of the Emerging Technology Centre (ETC), has launched ‘Growth Tunes–A Leadership Series’, an exclusive offering designed for the startup ecosystem and leaders in high-impact startups.
The series, comprising several insightful talks, interactive workshops and more, will encompass many opportunities to engage with an exclusive set of industry ‘gurus’ and academics from leading universities to leverage their insights and build the growth journey and overcome challenges to scale in terms of technology as well as business.
Participation in Growth Tunes is by invitation only for a limited audience of high-potential start-ups and their founders as well as key leaders, faculty members across start-ups affiliated with the Intel Startup Program and ISB.