It is a pleasure to bring you another founder perspective, from an entrepreneur, who was one of the few handful of investors in India some years ago. He has shared some key some insights into running a business as an entrepreneur, as opposed to being an investor who is partnering in a venture. This is one that may interest investors as well as entrepreneurs. Who is this entrepreneur… he is K.Ganapathy Subramanian, the founder of MyDuniya Networks, a company that has a vision to facilitate "Beyond Voice" services for the mobile pervasive world. He has been part of the innovation and start-up industry in the technology arena from the mainframe era and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: What inspired / motivated you to become an entrepreneur; particularly when you have been a well known investor in Bangalore circles in the past?
Answer: Like most entrepreneurs are born; the power of the idea/vision is what propels one to get into action. Myduniya was created to make an impact in the mobile pervasive world by enabling beyond voice applications where there is a large gap waiting to be addressed. Working alongside early stage entrepreneurs from the investing side for several years has been a great learning. To be precise, the second innings of my VC career was an entrepreneurial venture by itself…
Question: Has the ecosystem in Bangalore helped you in your entrepreneurial journey?
Answer: Bangalore probably has the best ecosystem in the country for getting off the ground with the initial team and also from a cost perspective. As we are focused on the Indian market and our potential customers and partners such as mobile operators have HQs in Mumbai/Delhi, we need to grow in other cities as well.
Question: Any rude awakenings in this entrepreneurial journey?
Answer: Even though, I was somewhat prepared, hardened by a lot of surrogate experience; experiencing the reality of entrepreneurial hardships as they hit you is simply a different experience. The real rude awakening is that it takes a lot of patience before the business pace becomes predictable.
Question: Has practical entrepreneurship been different from what you expected when you set out? Can you elaborate on this – the difference and your learning’s from this?
Answer: The big learning is that a whole lot of diplomacy is required to build partnerships and business around it. From a role stand point, the nature of involvement transitions from being cerebral to be operationally immersive.
Question: As a VC turned entrepreneur, your experiences may be slightly different from other entrepreneurs. How has being a former risk investor helped you or hindered you in your day to day role as an entrepreneur?
Answer: A crude analogy to my case is that of a referee turning into a player. The field is the same, but the roles are different, the talents required are certainly different. With the benefit of experience, I am hoping to make less mistakes.