INSIGHTS Podcast Series — #7: Anjana Reddy - What's Right About WROGN?INSIGHTS Podcast Series add
“You can’t get bigger than Messi,” Anjana Reddy says. Less than two weeks ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Reddy, founder of Indian fashion company Universal Sportsbiz Private Limited (USPL), reflects on her entrepreneurial journey from a sports e-commerce brand to a national fashion industrialist.
A sports fanatic and forward-looking business mogul, Anjana left her town in Hyderabad to attend university in the US, where she discovered something she had never seen before in the Indian market: Dogs wearing team jerseys at sporting events. Well, everyone wearing team jerseys - and drinking from team-branded beer mugs. At pep rallies, football games, and after-parties, every single attendee had a way to let you know exactly which team they were supporting. That’s when she struck gold and decided to combine her two favourite things.
With India’s craze for the game - whether that’s cricket, football, or entertainment - Anjana decided to bring the business model to India in early 2012 through Collectabillia.com, a celebrity-based e-commerce merchandise and memorabilia brand. For this brand, she signed legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, and Rajnikanth. In 2014, she even managed to sign Lionel Messi right before he played the World Cup (despite a run-in with the Spanish Embassy; you’ll have to hear her story to believe it).
After her initial success, she developed her business even further, scaling it to include women’s fashion and youth-oriented clothing in both online and offline markets with WROGN and Imara. Though she was unfamiliar with the clothing industry, one of the oldest trades in the country, she spent nights studying the entire process from yarn to final product at factories, and analysed the market for years in order to position her brand effectively.
USPL is a lesson in market disruption, customer valuation, and how a little entrepreneurial drive can make a world of difference. Join us as Reddy, now on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list, discusses the importance of market analysis, distribution, and funding. And don’t forget your Accel-themed beer mug. (We’re kidding, but, Anjana, let’s work on that?)
INSIGHTS Podcast Series — #6: Market Opportunities — The TaxiForSure Case StudyINSIGHTS Podcast Series add
Every entrepreneur has gone through the dilemma of quitting a well paying, full-time job and starting up. It is not as easy as it sounds and requires much thought before taking the plunge. In this episode we chat with Raghu, co-founder of TaxiForSure on his journey with TaxiForSure and particularly the early days and how they went about evaluating the market opportunity.
Some Advice For Entrepreneurs
As a successful entrepreneur, who exited his business successfully and now an active Angel investor, Raghu has a few tips for first time founders:
Be Close to the Market: Talk to as many people as possible in the market (actual supply, demand, etc.) to really understand the market
Don’t hire from the industry: Especially if you are trying to disrupt an industry using technology, avoid hiring from the industry (since they might be stuck to the ideas of the incumbent)
Focus is key: Focus on one core problem at the seed stage. During Series A stage, focus on scaling to multiple markets. Only post Series B, when you have established yourself as a brand in the core space, do you look for adjacencies.
Let it Go: As entrepreneurs, one of the most important things is the hard and tough call of letting go of certain people. However, these are the calls they have to take, primarily if it is affecting the business. Another aspect of letting go, is letting go of certain responsibilities to more capable people who you can hire in — the specialists. He added, “You have to become the jockey, not the horse.”
Ability to say no: Learning to say no as an entrepreneur is very key — to employees, to investors, to the Board — are all critical and figuring out what things to say “No” to is essential for the success of a startup
INSIGHTS Podcast Series: #5 Markets Opportunities — Evaluate Wise & Execute NiceINSIGHTS Podcast Series add
Every entrepreneur understands the importance of market evaluation, but not every market is the same and the ever changing dynamics adds to the entrepreneur’s dilemma. Prashanth Prakash, Founding Partner at Accel tell you how to ace the market evaluation, in this podcast with Anand Daniel.
Ideas don’t build a company but converting them to something tangible does. The first step towards this is understanding the market potential of your idea. Every startup knows the importance of market research towards making the product/service successful. But the way you evaluate the market is crucial. If an entrepreneur doesn’t know his market in terms of size, demographics, and the customer’s needs, then it will be difficult for his/her venture to sustain long-term. Also, market evaluation is one of the key factors for any venture capitalist to consider the potential of a startup. Not all markets are created equal, and what works in one geography doesn’t necessarily mean it would work in another. Especially when it comes to Indian markets, the dynamics are different in comparison to global markets.
Prashanth Prakash is one of the founding partners in Accel, who has been investing in ventures like BookMyShow, QuickSilver, RentoMojo, and CleverTab since 2004. In this podcast series, he talks about evaluating markets from an investor as well an entrepreneur’s perspective, especially for the tech sector.
INSIGHTS Podcast Series: #4 Swiggy’s Harsha explains how to be an equitable CEO. (Part 2)INSIGHTS Podcast Series add
In this second part of the podcast, Sriharsha Majety, founder and CEO of Swiggy speaks to Anand Daniel about the challenges of finding the right co-founders and the essential characteristics of a CEO.
INSIGHTS Podcast Series: #3 Swiggy - Taking the Road Less TraveledINSIGHTS Podcast Series add
In this podcast, Sriharsha Majety, founder and CEO of Swiggy speaks to Anand Daniel, Partner at Accel on not finding the beginner's luck and yet becoming successful with his second venture, Swiggy
INSIGHTS Podcast Series - #2: Building BlackBuck, an online marketplace for freight logisticsINSIGHTS Podcast Series add
BlackBuck, a startup focussing on the Full Truck Load (FTL) segment and the B2B space, has been charting new territories for online freight aggregators. Now, a lot goes into getting a startup from its genesis to becoming a successful company. For founders, the journey of their hard work and initial struggle is more than a sense of accomplishment. BlackBuck’s story is no different. So, what led to the initial idea of driving into the fragmented logistics market in India? What were the challenges? How the team grew from 3 founders to over 1200 employees? Joining us is first-time entrepreneur and co-founder Rajesh Yabaji, who will trace his journey to the initial days of conceiving BlackBuck.
INSIGHTS Podcast Series — #1: Key Ingredients for Startup SuccessINSIGHTS Podcast Series add
It takes much more than ideas and passion to build a successful startup. Shekhar Kirani, an entrepreneur turned venture capitalist and Partner at Accel, shares his insights on how to build a successful startup by mixing the right ingredients like having great founders, critical skill sets, right team size, amongst others.
The Podcast is hosted by Anand Daniel, Partner at Accel