Nasscom Product Conclave and Expo 2009- Day 1

The Nasscom Conclave made its curtain call in Bangalore on Tuesday 27th October. The event was a power house packing many firsts including a key note by the inimitable Guy Kawasaki.

Sharad Sharma Product Forum, Nasscom and Som Mittal, President Nasscom at the eventSharad Sharma Product Forum, Nasscom and Som Mittal, President Nasscom at the event

The Lalit Ashok was buzzing with what could only be entrepreneurial energy of course the extremely exciting prospect of networking! Most delegates were there bright and early hoping to get not just a good seats but also make sure they signed up early for mentoring sessions that were to be conducted through the day. Added to this there was palpable excitement at the prospect of hearing not just Som Mittal , president of Nasscom declare the conclave open but the also the opportunity to be audience to Guy Kawasaki who was giving the Key Note address on , “Art of the Start”, guidelines to a start up in today’s market.

Sharad Sharma introduced the theme of the event “Positioning to Win” and then spoke briefly about how Companies are now making the consumer primary in their drive to make a winning product. He called on Som Mittal the President of Nasscom to introduce the event further as he spoke of Nasscom playing the role of a market maker in the Indian arena for Product ecosystems. Mittal in his turn was pleased as punch to see how far India had catapulted in the last 10 years in terms of technology and innovation, and for the first time Indians were actually willing to mentor startup companies. This a far cry from closely guarded expertise that most of us had come to know and take for granted. He said in his opening address, “Economies don’t really need to fully develop for us to actually see the growth”, with respect to the fact that people and individuals should act now in implementing their innovations instead of waiting for thing to change or get better.

“New dynamics are driving us. The dialogue now is about transformation and creating new business models. The companies are not going to be led by recovery but rather by what will make recovery happen,” and new opportunities would be leading up to this according to the Nasscom President. As for technology, he vehemently declared that technology was now infrastructure exhorting people to use it as an amazing facility that was available. Mittal was also sure that “people would come to India because they need to leverage talent wherever it is available and in the next 10-12 years Asia-Pacific economies will overtake Europe.” According to him climate change and health care would be the biggest movers and shakers in emerging and growing markets in the region.

With visions of creating something revolutionary being the whip for most entrepreneurs these days, the Key Note address by Guy Kawasaki addressed what one should be doing if he/she wants to execute a startup. Of course, his previous day’s introduction to Lord Ganesha in Mysore as the “God of startups” propelled guy to have a picture of the deity come up as the first slide of his presentation much to the amusement of the audience. Kawasaki applauded Apple his former employee as a company of ego maniacs who made the world’s best computer and that India was a “truly amazing place and it literally assaults all your senses,” Indian food being something he also had come to enjoy. The management guru spoke gave a 10 slide presentation on things to do and not to with a start-up which made most in the audience ready to run to their drawing boards and draw up their plans as entrepreneurs. The first thing one needed was  to identify a product that people would want to buy, after which came the “easy part”. Kawasaki said in today’s easy availability of tools one should pay “rupees 0 for tools”, “pay rupees 0 for marketing” especially with spaces like Facebook, MySpace, Blogging and of course Twitter which he decelerated as the most powerful marketing tool available today, “the green button is the most powerful button where the product reaches masses fast and you get instant feedback. Twitter is an amazing mechanism for networking. It pushes out information and promotes what you do.”

He then went on to say that even pay “rupees 0 for people”, encouraging startups to use interns and smart people who are looking for the experience and will work for free. And all this free talk and easy startup solutions could then just be put into a cloud for a minimal cost and bang! you are in business! Needless to say there were no unsmiling faces in the audience.

The day was packed with other panel discussions addressing M&A’s in startups space in India, role of mentors in startups, SIs being critical to the success of products, Saas Business Models, the Art of Writing a sure Business Plan by Naeem Zafar, Member of faculty of University of California, Berkely; among others. The evening wound down with the closing key note address by Rajesh Hukku , SVP, GM of Oracle being one of the pioneering members to make iFlex what it is today. He spoke of Building a Successful Made in India Brand.

The informative sessions that went on till 6:00pm was then celebrated with cocktails by the poolside followed by dinner. There was also a stellar performance by Amit Heri group “Centric World Music, with Madhavi on vocals. The band had the audience cheering with the powerful renditions on Flute and the Matka with songs from the movie “Morning Raaga” as well as the groups latest album, “Jhoola.”

The 2 Day conclave will end on the Wednesday 28th October with Kiran Karnik, former Nasscom Chief giving the opening note, and topics like Internet  Age Business Thriving on Change, Ecosystems for product development, Guy Kawasaki Evangelizing on using Twitter to market products. The evening will draw to a close with a highly anticipated debate on VC funding vs. Bootstrapping.
MyBangalore will bring you detailed updates on the Conclave as well as insider details on key tips exciting topics at the conclave.
Tags: Bangalore, 2009, Nasscom, Product Conclave, Expo, Lalit Ashok, Guy Kawasaki, Som Mittal

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