A recap of Day 1 at TechSparks 2022

“Sabka time aayega,” it started Your historyThe CEO and founder of Shradha Sharma, inaugurating the 13th edition of Tech sparks 2022adding “no one can take away what is yours” in an inspiring opening note that set the tone for the day.

Since 2010, TechSparks has been the go-to place to discover startups, entrepreneurs, and innovations that will shape the future of everything. This year’s theme is “Building on India’s Tech Agenda,” bringing together architects and pioneers across the country’s innovation ecosystem.

From cutting-edge technologies to bold ideas, from groundbreaking disruptions to deep, human conversations, TechSparks 2022 is the destination to deliberate, deepen and understand the promise of India’s tech agenda.

In the first of many introspective discussions of the day, ZerodhaNithin Kamath talked about money, something he is best known for in the fintech space. Nithin said that while he doesn’t shy away from making money and building wealth, he believes too much money can make things complicated, especially for startups.

Nithin Kamath - TS
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“Taking money from someone to build a business is an obligation, and not money you earned. For us, valuation is just money in the bank.”

He likened outside fundraising to an “obligation,” saying “valuations are ultimately only theoretical.”

Nithin cautioned that it has now become much more difficult for startups to raise money, mainly because private market corrections have set in. However, this is a good fix because it brings resiliency to the ecosystem, she added.

Next, WaveBhavish Aggarwal, who has attended TechSparks five times and calls himself a “TechSparks veteran and fan,” took the stage to speak about his dream of electric vehicles for India, saying that the US no longer sets the agenda for the electric vehicle market. but India has the potential to do so.

Remember that when he set out to build Ola Electric in 2018, many said it was “too early” to do so. Some had also asked him why he was in a hurry to build electric vehicles. But Bhavish being Bhavish didn’t think it was an idea conceived too soon.

Bhavish also spoke about safety at Ola, saying that the company has created a culture of safety at the design, engineering and customer stages, and that the one incident that occurred with one of its scooters was in the spotlight because electric vehicles they are a new phenomenon.

Bhavish Wave
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Co-founder and CEO of MeeshoVidit Aatrey then spoke about the growth of the Bharat-focused e-commerce startup, saying that he now wants to grow the business through ad revenue from small and medium-sized sellers on the platform.

“When we started, we didn’t start as a zero-commission platform,” Vidit said, adding that strategy led to an increasing number of sellers on the platform coming from the highest-margin fashion and accessories category.

“When we met these businesses, they said that the category had enough margin to pay commissions to the platform and bear the cost of shipping. We decided it didn’t work and we eliminated commissions for sellers. That brought a lot of unique little sellers and a lot of unique products to the platform,” added Vidit.

Darpan Sanghvi, Founder and CEO of The Good Glamm Groupdiscussed the challenges of acquiring more than 10 brands between August 2021 and March 2022, including seamless integration.

“Integration is a challenge that we have learned to overcome over time,” said Darpan. It also risks the group losing its core focus: building a great brand with complementary, consumer-focused businesses, he added.

He also pointed out that companies that implement this model must keep in mind the end goal and ensure that each business offers value to other companies.

For The Good Glamm Group, it was “innocent optimism” that helped keep a synergy between different companies under one roof and change the way the beauty business operates in India, Darpan said.

Darpan Sanghvi

Darpan Sanghvi, Group Founder and CEO, Good Glamm Group

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Influencers Bhuvan Bam and Ankur Warikoo then talked about their lives and how social media has evolved since they started.

Bhuvan said he believes today is no longer a creator-based universe, but rather an algorithm-based one. He added that social media is a game of hit or miss, and the only way to stay sane is to do what you want at your own pace.

“The ultimate goal is to stay true to the stories,” he said.

Ankur Warikoo, during his session, confessed that he had made several mistakes during his entrepreneurial journey and got caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all, chasing growth while ignoring profitability, all the while entering his own cocoon.

Recalling his days as the founder of Nearbuy, a hyperlocal experience discovery platform, Ankur shared an anecdote about pocketing a $17 million check from Sequoia. “In my head, it was lower than we should have raised,” he said.

He also pointed out what went wrong with Nearbuy. The venture capitalists will leave the entrepreneurs, he said flatly. “The truth is they’re going to drop out eventually. They (VC) aren’t in the business of building businesses, they’re in the business of getting in and out of businesses.”

In a panel discussion titled “Making the Startup Playing Field a Level One,” Mabel Chacko, Co-Founder and COO of Open Technologies, and Priyanka Gill, Co-Founder of The Good Glamm Group, discussed how to address questions about yourself and your work-life balance. and how to change the equation.

“We keep questioning whether we’re the right people to do (something important),” Mabel said, adding, “It’s encouraging that things have changed in recent years.”

Priyanka said that these issues were systemic and needed to be addressed at the grassroots level.

“If you look at a Class XI classroom, how many girls choose STEM subjects like math or science? That’s where a lot of our tech entrepreneurs come from. Are parents in family businesses talking to their daughters at the dinner table? I think women don’t have the same access to networks that men do,” she said.

A multi-pronged approach must be used to attract more women entrepreneurs, including bringing more women into the fields of science and business. “Signage really matters. Until there is equality, we must make a great effort,” Priyanka said.

Later in the evening, Tony Fadell, co-creator of the iPhone and creator of the iPad, addressed the meeting virtually. On the iconic iPod that was discontinued in May, Tony seemed unfazed: “The iPod, it may be gone, but it will never be forgotten, because Apple… it won’t be the Apple of today without the iPod.”

Tomorrow, we’ll have a heady lineup of who’s who in the startup ecosystem, including edtech founder Byju Raveendran, followed by Dunzo’s Kabeer Biswas and Snapdeal CEO and investor Kunal Bahl.

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