Raising funds vs developing products and services for relevant consumers


Startups with the aim of raising funds vs Product and services for relevant consumers – Lessons learned from Southern Indian film industry on Nominations to the Oscar

 After a gap of close to 1.5 decades, a movie from South India has been nominated for Oscars. The movie is about Interrogation in police station and how a common man can get trapped into the police system. The movie did not do well in commercial terms. The mix of Bollywood, Kollywood and Tollywood (Hindi, Tamil and Telugu) produces highest number of films across the world. As of 2015, India produced more than 2000 films annually. If the limelight and yardstick of the Movie is based on Oscar nominations, Indian Film industry has only 3 movies in nominated list. Some of the interesting insights from Indian movie industry, the selected movie may not be a box office hit. The raving reviews from Art and award nomination experts have an inverse correlation to the box office collection. Is there a gap between, what so called expert thinks and what is being “Wanted or Needed” by the audience.

Let us switch gears to the Startup ecosystem in India. 2014 to now, there has been a tremendous growth in Startup registration. The number of Incubatees tripled in the 2015 to 2016. Credit goes to Startup India and Make in India support by Govt of India.

But, the actual acceptance of the startups in the form of usage of product and services is a mixed bag as compared to the funded initiatives by VC, PE and Angel funders. The support given for Green Initiatives and alternate energy are not paying off as compared to aggregators of cabs, movies and logistics partners. Is there a gap in perceived value in the eyes of investors vs actual patronage (monetized / tangible) by consumers. There seems to be a good correlation between how the investor value company to the “File panelist” value Indian cinema. What has been raved about is not being accepted.

Does the mindset of both consumer and Panelist/Funders needs calibration?

Are the entrepreneurs trying to lure in the Funders/Panelist for short term recognition and losing the acceptance in Market?

I am been invited to be in Panel for the Startup Pitches. Almost 90% of the startups rave about the awards they won across domestic India and acceptance in International pitches. Does this mean, it is going to be accepted by consumer or is that an important factor for the investor to pitch in money? Is the focus going towards developing products for investors and their recognition vs acceptability of the product by consumer, being part of consumer spending pattern and usage lifestyle.

The entrepreneurs should move in towards matching the goal of consumers and strike a balance with awards and recognition.

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