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Proto.in and some ground realities

Posted by tggokul on December 10, 2007

Even as we are ready to usher in the next Proto.in ( and trust me, it is one heck of a show), there are some realities that needs attention. I happened to read a very honest post by Sujai Karampuri that pretty much symbolizes where we are.

I covered Sloka in the first edition of Proto and I was very impressed that an Indian company could innovate in the Wi-max space. Here is a real product company and it is disappointing to see this state of affairs.

Vijay and I have had a lot of conversations on the so called Web 2.0 and social networking, mobile gaming facades ( and I am not against you guys). These are imitations at best, not innovations. If I am there at Proto.in, I will be asking these questions. Wasn’t Proto.in supposed to get these startups (Sloka, Unleash Networks etc)¬†closer to the VC community? Are the VCs who attend/present clueless about Telecom? Do the VCs have anything in mind when they come over to Proto.in?

Sometimes the tough questions have to be asked!!!

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2 Responses to “Proto.in and some ground realities”

  1. Vijay said

    Well, We both know that Telecom startups are extremely hard to groom out of India. Very hard to get access into networks, or to set a premium price – which is what most telecom companies thrive on. A telecom company in India has to almost work like a web-solutions company and “not lose a deal on price” – which is very unfortunate.

    As for what Proto does, it’s quite a coincidental timing, because I just started a series outlining some of the updates on the companies that were present at Proto.

    I’d still repeat: “I have always maintained that Proto is not about funding. Well, those with money and those with access to capital do come for the event, but most of them are there to serve other purposes than to pull out their cheque books and start signing them away – that only happens when there is a bubble in the making, and I really hope and pray that these are not such days. I strongly believe that a sign of a healthy ecosystem is when a company can bootstrap and get to a comfortable market valuation without having to raise money from investors – a much better option is when a startup can make revenues to sustain themselves and raise their valuation beforehand. If the ecosystem is rich and is keen on growing startups, then there will be means to grow traction, gain customers and expand your markets without having to blow too much of money for the same. That is the environment that we aim for at Proto.”

    Funding should be an option that should come into the picture when “growth” and scalability are discussed, not when “mere existence” is threatened. That’s a very bad place to be in for any startup.

  2. [...] is perhaps a wee bit of eerie timing, as there are posts by Sujai* and quite a few others circulating around the blogosphere with some very serious questions about the Indian [...]

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