galatime.com - 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.

ARCHIVES

 

Pune

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

Do you need a Business Plan?

(Last revised March-2012, Send comments to galatime@gmail.com)

Of your two sources of cash (investors and customers), neither really cares about your business plan:

"Nothing slows down a VC as much as a comprehensive business plan." - David Cowan

"No business plan survives first contact with a customer." - Steve Blank

"The only thing on which entrepreneurs waste more time than their business plan are business plan competitions." - Anonymous.

Yet, you need to have one. Not a 50-page thesis, but a 4-5 page document or a set of 10-15 slides. Brevity forces clarity of thought, which in turn requires deep understanding of the critical factors for your business. If your business plan is able to concisely convey these, you're well ahead in the game of raising venture capital.

For science/technology entrepreneurs in India, creating a business plan has a side-benefit. Since GoI funding is useful during the early-stages, the effort you put into your plan can be re-used to write funding proposals for various schemes. The trick? Modularize your documents, use appendices liberally, then drag & drop!

Your plan must be frequently revised, as you learn about customers, market segments, product economics, pricing, etc. To handle this uncertainty, use finer (monthly) granularity for the first 12-18 months, but coarser (annual) for 3-5 years out. Use real-time, operational feedback to revise your monthly estimates; and let investors gauge the potential opportunity using the 3-5 year estimates.

Perspectives