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There are any number of sales pipeline stages you can use: but ideally you shouldn’t have more than six stages. It’s also OK to call them anything you want, as long as you are clear about what each stage represents. We’ll use Leads, 10% Opportunities, 50% Opportunities, 90% Opportunities and Closed Won/Lost. Click here to know how the system works
A sales pipeline that is well managed from beginning to end is critical to the success of any organisation. Management of the long-term sales cycle is called “Pipeline Management” and involves identifying sales stages and what needs to be accomplished in each stage. Read this to manage sales pipeline effectively.
Opportunity based entrepreneurship has been shown to impact the national economic growth far greater than Necessity based entrepreneurship. Ventures that are built on the basis of opportunities often show a very high growth potential even in the face of environmental constraints. Here, in conversation with Prof. K. Kumar of NSRCEL, we have Mr. Manoj Upadhyay, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Acme Telepower Ltd. who was shortlisted for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2006. Mr. Upadhyay speaks about his zeal for doing something new. To create a product that was completely new, coming from an economy which is largely dependent on creating cheaper copies of western products. He also states the importance of doing social good through an entrepreneurial venture and the importance of patenting to protect the product. India as a nation has many indigenous problems which generate a wealth of opportunities for budding entrepreneurs. Mr. Upadhyay explains how he identified such a problem and built a company around it.
To read further, click here.
– Mohan Sundaram
NSRCEL@IIMB were host to iWeekend, an innovative workshop for the first time in India, where 50 entrepreneurs got together to form two working businesses by the end of a week end. The objective of the exercise was to show the start-up community that a business can be started over a week end if the motivation is right. An important learning was that the role of mentors was very important to show right directions from time to time to put the teams on the right track. Below is a brief account of what happened during this event.
Day 1: 12th March 2010 5pm – 10pm
iWeekend was kicked off in earnest in the evening with a fairly large registration of participants taking place. The final tally of registrations was 40 with the last minute walk-ins. The participants, sponsors and mentors convened in C22 in the central pergola.
The first exercise was a brief ½ minute introduction between pairs of participants in a round robin fashion so that every participant has a chance to get to know every other participant. This also broke the ice which facilitated formation of teams the next day. With this quickfire intro round accomplished a tad in excess an hour, the process of the individual presentations was set in motion. 15 entrepreneurs offered to pitch their ideas and the whole process of entrepreneurs decision to pitch their ideas was fascinating. The numbers of entrepreneurs offering to pitch their ideas fluctuated till the last moment and post the rapid round introduction; most of them gathered courage and decided to pitch their ideas. Participants were given 4 minutes to present their idea and face a questions round. On completion, all proposals were put to vote. A three stage process was used to filter proposals – first stage to a cull out a smaller set of 8 and the second to derive the best 4 from these 8 by another round of voting and a final round to select the winning two ideas.
The chosen ideas were:
1. WikiPaisa by Deven Shah
2. Discount Sale Portal by Vinayak
Day 2: 13th March 2010 10am to 9pm
In the first session, Deven and Vinayak presented their ideas again and the group of participants were invited to volunteer themselves to work on any one of the ideas. The group consisted of folks from technology, finance, business, operations etc. The entrepreneurs were also encouraged to woo specific people they would want in their team. This was meant to give them a glimpse of what it takes to build a team with the force of conviction in ones’ own ideas.
Each team had the service of two mentors to tap on demand right through the complete two day process with the onus lying with the entrepreneur.
In the second session, the entrepreneurs were given the task of logically breaking down the process of building out the idea with the team, arrive at a common understanding of the broad business plan/ boundaries.
The third session focussed on laying out the enterprise into functional blocks with an overseer group to stitch these elements together into the business plan. This stage was the one that dealt with allocation of roles and responsibilities, functional deliverables and the implementation plan.
The last session was long, demanding and iterative thro’ the stages of the implementation. The hunt for meaningful data to base business numbers on, validation of various premises that were generated in the second stage, functional interplay were some of they experiences the teams had.
Day 3: 14th March 2010 10am to 8pm
The teams assembled at 10am though quite a few of them had worked late through the previous day and some arriving early to catch up on work and team members. This kind of camaraderie, commitment and energy were reflective of the start up environments and a pleasure for the mentors.
The first session was focussed on fine tuning the business plan, implementation plans, financial numbers and the internet presence strategy. For both the teams this session was the one where frills in plans were trimmed, implementation processes changed to make financial numbers sensible and draw up implementation milestones to track progress of the enterprise.
The second session was aimed at building a prototype of the planned web application by the operations team. The other teams were involved in making the whole pitch to the investors. These two tasks were intense, animated and provoked the teams to think of alternatives to present their idea/ business with impact.
Day 3: Final Shoot out. 8pm to 9pm
The teams were ready and raring to go. The mentors and investors represented by DFJ and Cisco Ventures were tasked with firing questions and providing feedback.
Each team was given 15 minutes to present their idea and have a Q&A session for 15 minutes. The panel asked questions, give pointed feedback and ideas as to how these ideas could be developed to be better for the real world.
Our wholehearted thanks go out to Luv Sayal of iWeekend, our sponsors Qualcomm Ventures, CISCO M&A and Draper Fischer Juverstone and the mentors who made this event lively and real as possible.
Dreamcast, who streamed the whole event on the iWeekend website delivered excellent value for money service.
The teams were so charged that they stayed back, met as groups, wished others well, reminisced the experience and have promised to take their ventures forward. Mailgroups have already been formed by the entrepreneurs to discuss their action plans moving forward.
The centrality of entrepreneurship in the economic growth of nations is increasingly coming into focus in these troubled times. As pointed out in a recent article in The Economist, even as governments are busy trying to save their economies, policy makers are demonstrating a renewed interest in entrepreneurship and innovation. (Read the full article)
Call for entries:
Businessworld is scouting for the hottest young entrepreneurs with energy, enthusiasm and innovative new ideas. The chosen finalists will feature in Businessworld’s Promising Entrepreneurs Issue.
a) are below 35 years of age
b) have a business that is over 2 years and less than 5 years old in a brand new niche, a new business model in an established business or an entirely new business, you are eligible to apply.
Last Date for entries: Extended to 15 December 2009
Villgro presents INNOHUB-The Innovation Fair for business partnerships with 20 Innovators on 11-12 Dec 2009 in CHENNAI
NSRCEL@IIMB is partnering with Ennovent, an international social venture capital firm, in promoting the Global Energy Challenge: â€Advancing Change – Energy for Indiaâ€™s Poorâ€.
Most of Indiaâ€™s population has no access to affordable, let alone clean energy. Help us find in India and around the world proven, for-profit solutions that can meet some of the critical energy needs of Indiaâ€™s poor. Ennovent will invest up to USD 500,000 in the Solver to incubate or scale the winning enterprise in India. Ennovent will also offer a reward of USD 3,000 to the Connector who nominates the winning enterprise.
Inadequate access to energy is part of the poverty trap for the majority of Indiaâ€™s poor. Like anyone else, they need energy for example for cooking, lighting, domestic heating, or power for appliances. Dirty and unsafe energy sources such as kerosene and firewood lead to health hazards and take time away from productive livelihood activities. Earning around USD 3.- or less a day (local PPP), poor people in most cases cannot afford clean and safe sources of energy. Despite massive investment by the Government of India in expanding access to electricity, many communities are still in need of services, especially those in remote areas. The private sector is already playing a key role in helping the government meet its goal to ensure energy for all. Investments into innovations – products, services, processes, and business models – are needed to bring clean, safe and affordable energy services to the Indian BoP market.
The mission is to promote entrepreneurs who advance innovations for sustainability at the base of the economic pyramid. This competition is part of our activities to achieve this mission.
Participate in the Challenge by submitting energy solutions or nominating enterprises online at http://www.ennovent.com. Deadline for submissions is 31 January 2010. For more details of this competiton, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or please follow the URL, http://www.ennovent.com/cms/network/the-challenge/media-r…