CEO Lecture Series (19th March, 2016)
A serial entrepreneur who has launched four start-ups with an aggregate capital of 16 million, Mr. Krishnan Ganesh is the epitome of humility in success. Along with his entrepreneur wife Meena Ganesh, K. Ganesh graced the students of IMNU with an inspiring address. Mr. Ganesh shared with us success stories of Big Basket, Tutor Vista, Portea Medical, Blue Stone among other dot-com start-ups explaining his simple yet effective success mantra:
1. Choose a thriving industry
2. Identify a pain point and work on eradicating it
3. Market it extensively
Mr. Ganesh discussed about how effective marketing strategies can be the difference between success and failure for a small business. He made the students understand how if you try to market your start-up to everyone, you might end up wasting both time and money. The key is to identify a target market and go after market share aggressively. The factors based on which you choose your target market can be the market size, purchasing capacity, competition and your product’s value proposition. Yet another fact that cannot be disputed is that the most successful start-up marketing strategies are those that embed marketing into their product. Building virality into a product can ensure that the product markets itself. India’s thriving population and large middle class is the perfect setup for successful start-ups. He busted an important myth about start-ups being fun and glamorous saying they are 1% fun and 99% hard work!
Mr. Ganesh concluded by saying that mobile connectivity has helped boom this business to an even larger size. Social media being the norm of the day, it can play a crucial role in helping to spread word about your business. It is one of the most popular ways to promote your content and reach influencers. Since a great content promotion plan brings potential customers to your website and influencing the influencer can generate thousands of new leads, social media is invaluable to start-ups. In doing so, it is imperative to choose the right social media platforms.
Mrs. Meena Ganesh then talked about her success story and how to strike the perfect work-life balance. Addressing the young women in the audience she said that they are not superwomen. In India, it is mainly a women’s duty to look after the children and other members of the family. Man plays a secondary role only. In case of married women, she has to strike a fine balance between her business and family. Her total involvement in family leaves little or no energy and time to devote for business. Support and approval of the family seem to be a necessary condition for women’s entry into business. Accordingly, the educational level and family background of husbands or fathers positively influence women’s entry into business activities. Mrs. Ganesh explained that the expectations burdened on women of managing their family and social life were unfair; to be successful there is no shame in asking for help from family members. Although compartmentalizing things would be impossible, we could at least start with prioritising goals and staying focused. She emphasised on how the time is nigh for women to come out of their age-old defined roles and start following their dreams.
The inspiring duo ended with a video of their success at TutorVista that sold to Pearson at 100% stake and how it has changed how children learn worldwide.