Early this month (Nov 4th & 5th), TiE Chennai had organized TiECON Chennai 2016, it’s annual conference for Entrepreneurs. Like in previous years when I had attended in 2015, 2014, 2012 & 2008, this year too TiECon was a grand event attended being held at ITC Grand Chola. TiE Chennai has come a long way from its humble beginnings, it now conducts 52 events a year and this year TiECON has attracted 1400 participants.

The theme for this year was You.Now; it’s about Why not YOU, Why not NOW?. The TiECON theme video song below composed by a 12th student was awesome, Kudos to him.

Ashok Soota, Chairman of Happiest Minds.

He took a quick survey and it showed the following:

  • 20% of the audience are hoping to start a business
  • Those who are entrepreneurs 40-50% have bootstrapped, <10% only got external funding
  • 50% of the audience wanted to be an entrepreneur and then start, thinking of ideas later
  • There is an Entrepreneur boom right now in the country. It is helped by rapid technology changes and adequate funding available

He added:

  • For a startup, the Failure rate is 70-80%; still, people starts businesses.
  • You have risks in everything. In entrepreneurship, you think about minimizing.
  • REMEMBER: Revenue is for your ego, profit is for sustaining the business
  • No differentiator lasts forever. Culture is forever. As Peter Drucker says culture eats strategy for breakfast
  • Funding is very critical, at Mind Tree we got USD 10 million seed funding during the dot-com boom, it helped us to weather the burst

Video of Ashok Soota’s talk is here.

Ambareesh Murthy, Founder of Pepperfry.com

  • PepperFry is India’s largest furniture firm including both offline & online purchases
  • In India today, e-commerce business is a street fight
  • Pepperfry aims to please customers while being profitable
  • They don’t do Cash On Delivery (COD) because they felt for customers buying more than Rs.10,000 products option to pay in installments (EMI) was more relevant. This they had found from the insight they collected by observing and talking to potential customers
  • The name Pepperfry incorporates three values – Indian,  honest and being fun. Pepper is honestly Indian
  • In India, 90% of the purchases of furniture were made from seeing a catalogue even if you visit a store as they may not stock all models.  This you can only observe. When asked customers say they need to touch, feel and buy. That’s not true. They go to a store and get to see only one model but order something from a catalogue.
  • Variety and price are Pepperfry’s real differentiators
He showed a math formula that every entrepreneur should remember, it was to show that profits are vital for any business. The formula can be seen below:
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Dr.A.Velumani, Founder of Thyrocare

Thyrocare is India’s most successful clinical laboratory chain which went public recently setting the Indian stock market on fire. Dr.Velumani had come from humble beginnings, he says he came to Mumbai with Rs.300 and today he runs a business that more than Rs.3000 crore worth. He talked about he benefitting from Luxury of Poverty.

His speech was a passionate and emotional one which you got to see & listen, it’s below.

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Dave McCaughan, Strategy Planning, Australia

  • Aussie meat pie was a success in Los Angeles because he gave something exotic
  • Indoor toilets are the biggest technology invented, 50% child mortality and 90% rape are reduced because of it

Video of Dave’s talk is here.

Sreemathi Ramnath, CEO Coach & immer besser

She talked about cultural differences between countries.

  • Showed a slide that listed the countries on how direct their communication will be. German & Europeans are direct and Asian & Indians were mostly indirect
  • Below slide shows how Indian Communication is trust first, whereas American Communication is task first; (this has been my personal experience too – Venkatarangan)

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Dr. Danfeng Li who Leads the Data Science team at Alibaba Group

He talked on Unlocking Insights from User Behaviour Data:

  • Their data platform server 1 million apps today
  • 5 million websites served reaching a billion cookies served daily
  • 1500 stores served
  • 24 billion events collected on user behaviour
  • 1 billion active users reached

He went on to explain why the data platform is all about the users.

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Video of Danfeng’s talk is here.