- Kaushik Gala

Note: The views & opinions expressed in these essays are strictly my own, and not those of any entity I may be associated with as an employee, consultant, promoter, investor, etc.




Technology Venture Investors in Pune


Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Teams

Entrepreneurial traits

Picking cofounders


Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Generating Revenue

Is your business model well-defined?

Your industry's value chain

What is your value proposition?

Which distribution channels will you use?

Who will drive business development?


Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Raising Capital

Venture capital & venture capitalists (VCs)

Corporate venture capital

Angels & angel networks in India

Government support for Indian startups

Proof-of-concept funding

Do you need a business plan?

How much money should you raise?

Startup valuation

Pitching to investors

Figure out the term sheet

Negotiating with investors

Due diligence - A necessary evil

Time to sign the investment agreements


Equities, ETFs, F&O

› Oct 2011: Equity Risk Premium for India

› Jun 2011: Investing in Indian equities


Technology Enterprises in India

› Nov 2010: Technology investment in India - WATER

› Aug 2010: Technology enterprises in India - 3 avatars


Risk Capital for MSMEs

› Mar 2010: Risk mitigation for investors in MSMEs

› Mar 2010: Why don't (Indian) MSMEs get risk capital?

› Feb 2010: Angel investing - Will it work for Indian MSMEs?

› Feb 2010: What's so special about innovative MSMEs?

› Feb 2010: Where do Indian/NRI (V)HNIs invest?

› Feb 2010: Funding options for innovative MSMEs in India

› Jan 2010: Innovative MSMEs in India

Is your business model well-defined?

(Last revised Apr-2012, Send comments to

What product/service will you sell, to whom, at what price, by what means, at how much profit, in order to fulfill which need? That defines a business model. Too long? Here's a shorter one: How will you make money?

A business model is not the same as a business plan. It is simply a concise set of entrepreneurial assumptions that constantly get/need a reality check.

While there exist a variety of business models in any industry across the world, entrepreneurs in India have more options to choose from. These include:

  • Labor cost arbitrage
  • Western e-commerce models, complemented with offline components
  • Low(er) cost products/services, via frugal engineering
  • BoP models with wafer-thin margins but massive volumes
  • Alignment with large-scale GoI projects, e.g. JNNSM, NRHM, R-APDRP, UID
  • Models that target specific regional needs / languages / cultural attitudes

Also relevant to India is (unstable) government regulation such as our annual budgets, price controls, subsidies, etc. In no time, a viable business model may become worthless, while a new, lucrative one may become feasible. These risks must be identified - and minimized - when designing a technology venture for India.

Entrepreneurs must define their own business model and iteratively revise it, as they learn from, and adapt to, their markets. Spend 2 hours/month with your co-founders, management and advisors to update the assumptions in your model.



  • Sequoia Capital's view on what constitutes a business model:
    1) Revenue model, 2) Pricing, 3) Average account size and/or lifetime value, 4) Sales & distribution model, 5) Customer/pipeline list

  • Steve Blank on how a business model differs from a business plan, how business model design is joined at the hip with Customer Development, and the need to get the model validated before raising (or using up) capital to scale.

  • Paul Graham on why not to worry about the business model, at first.