In the previous post, we discussed the Idea Crucible. In this one, we would assume that an idea has been generated and validated.
The next major skill-set missing from the early-stage venture equation in India is Product Marketing.
India’s stature as the back-end services capital of the world, unfortunately, has left a gaping void in product marketing talent development.
For the success of any significant entrepreneurial venture (perhaps slightly less so in Consumer Internet), the product and strategic marketing skills are critical. Products need to be positioned, markets need to be segmented and sized, specs need to be envisioned and derived out of the critical assumptions.
Indian entrepreneurs, by and large, haven’t been able to do this so far.
In Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs have often come out of the technology side, and allowed innovative technologies to drive company formation. Thus, product marketing has been layered on top of technology solutions to come up with “companies”. This method, which I call “Solutions Looking For a Problem” work well when the technology is sufficiently original, which I’m afraid has not been India’s sweet spot either. (Israel has done better in this mode.)
So, at this point, I would say, let’s design incubators that have strong product marketing built in and leveraged across the companies in the portfolio. It may be difficult if not downright impossible for individual companies to hire great product marketing talent, but an incubator can hire such talent, to amortize over 5-8 portfolio companies.
This segment is a part in the series : Incubator Funds in India