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At NASSCOM EmergeOut: Subroto Bagchi, Mindtree: Customers, Products Will Change; 60% Time On Sales

We’re liveblogging the NASSCOM EmergeOut Conclave (as long as the laptop batteries last). Subroto Bagchi, founder of Mindtree Consulting just finished his keynote speech on Entrepreneurship. Some notes:

— Don’t look to change the Survival Rate in the industry, ensure that you’re the one survives
— Don’t be beholden to a single idea. Ideas will go through a spermicidal process (most will die).
— Your customers will probably not be who you think they are. “When we were 500 people as a company, we thought everyone knows us. We landed up in the US, and no one did. But the great thing about being an emerging company is that you don’t know your limitations – you’re like a lion cub, and will charge into a pack of hyenas. So I have a presentation at GM, and I asked a gum chewing guy who was heading the purchase department – ‘what do you think?’ He true cowboy style, he said ‘You are so small that a company like GM could chew you and spit you out.’ The best thing I could do was launch. You need to remember that your customers will not be who you thought they were. GM may have declined us, but that doesn’t mean there are others
— Your products and services are not what you think they are. The world is not waiting to see a movie on a cellphone.
— Business Plans will change: We wrote a business plan, which ran into 29 pages. We raised around $9.5 Million from VCs. I opened that document around 6 months ago, and the 1st page was true – we said that we’d be a $100 million company by 2005, which we were. And the last page was true – we had detailed 22 risks, and ech and every one of them happened. In between the first and the last page, nothing was true.
— Nothing called a saturated market – only saturated people with saturated ideas.
— Importance of Sales: You have to pound the street. A big mistake that owners make is that they do not make enough sales calls. 60 percent of the top management has to make sales calls. At Mindtree, we keep a track of how much we travel. There is no substitute for “Being out there”.
— There’s a thought that a brand is what your agency builds. That’s not true – your brand is what you build. You should be interesting. Make yourself interesting. The marketing budget at Mindtree – out of $181 Million, we didn’t spend 1 percent of marketing. We tend to underestimate the power of the Internet. There is more GE corporate material on YouTube, than on their site. Some day, your customer is going to look for you on YouTube – be interesting

Our coverage of the NASSCOM EmergeOut Conclave

Subroto Bagchi, Mindtree: Customers, Products Will Change; 60% Time On Sales
On Hiring, Planning, Investment, Networking, Pricing, Customers
—  Tips For Before And After Your Funding from Sanjay Anandram, Sanjiv Mittal, Manu Parpia

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