‘Are you an Entrepreneur? So…what else do you do?’ was the general feeling about the Indian community. However with the changing times, from a snake charmers land to a body shopping nation, we are evolving to a nation that believes in innovation. No one can take the credit from the Indian Entrepreneur community that took the risks and showed us that Indians can be innovators too. And along with them, NASSCOM has worked hard to build an ecosystem to harness this streak of Entrepreneurship. NASSCOM Product Conclave is one such event that is happening in Bangalore on the 9th and 10th November, 2011. This event will bring the likes of Vivek Paul, Vinod Khosla, Shel Israel, Phani, Pallav Nadhani, Naveen Jain, Mukund Mohan, Kunal Bahl, Guatam Ghosh, etc. as speakers and more than 1200 participants.
We at Lighthouse Insights are delighted to cover this event and hence we’ve started an interview series with the speakers. The idea is to help you to know more about the speakers, their work and the association with this event. To start with, I spoke to Amit Ranjan, Co-Founder and CEO of SlideShare. His thoughts are shared below:
1. Hi Amit, you need no introduction but what’s keeping you busy these days at SlideShare?
Thanks Prasant. Apart from running the company, Slideshare I am trying to make the business model stronger. SlideShare has a very large free user base; the challenge now is to monetize and find better ways to do so. For example, I am thinking how can we bring paid products, etc so that it helps us and make the business grow too.
2. SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations on the web. It is also becoming one of the communities loved by thought leaders and by the B2B social media segment, your thoughts on it?
SlideShare from day one was a content oriented community and will be so. As you said it is true that it is being used by people across all segments whether it is business professional, techies, students, etc. These segments also form the bulk of users for SlideShare. One may debate that there are social networks that also shares content for example Facebook. However I think Facebook does have content but more or less they are personal. SlideShare is more professional content and that’s why it is appreciated by users too.
3. You are a part of two major talks at NASSCOM. What makes you so much excited about NASSCOM?
NASSCOM Product Conclave is by far the largest event in India for entrepreneurs. Personally, I am looking forward to this event as the scope NASSCOM has. The event is solely about Indian products and about the Indian Entrepreneur community. So if you are an Entrepreneur then you shouldn’t be missing this one. Nowadays there is a proliferation of events but none can match NASSCOM event.
4. Amit, the first talk that you are part of is quite an interesting one where you are talking on spending big or experiment on the fly. What stand do you take on this?
I am on the 100 percent side because that is what I have done all my life. On web things start small and then they tend to grow big. However, saying that I would like to add that there may be situations that it may not work as you thought of due to various reasons that have no control of yours. My inclination has been more short and quick things but in the ecosystem both the aspects that we are discussing in this talk has importance. Important questions should be what to explore under the sun and that is the core idea of the discussion with others who are going to join me in this talk. We would be hoping and will try to make it an interactive discussion.
5. The second talk you are part of is on how important is UX strategies for product startups. How critical do you think it is and what are the present challenges for the Indian startups in this area?
On the Internet, things are a click away and readily available to access. However with this, there lies an underline problem. As business you are one click away of losing people if you have a crappy UX design for a product or service. So the biggest challenge today is holding people and how to make their experience simple and enjoyable. This challenge has been noticed by lot of companies and I have seen lot of developments too. However for startups it still remains a challenge especially in India. The problem in India or with Indian startups is that they don’t have stronger design.
6. Finally few words of advice for the Indian entrepreneur community 🙂
Focus on what are you doing and if you are an Entrepreneur then learn to accept failures. Key to success is failure and that is what I have learnt over the years.
Thanks Amit for sharing your thoughts and I am sure the talks that you are part of would be really beneficial for the entrepreneur community in India. So as an entrepreneur or a startup, how much effort are putting to tone your UX strategies. Do you consider it as a challenge?