B Gopalakrishnan, Head, Samunnati Startup Initiatives, Samunnati Foundation

B Gopalakrishnan, Head, Samunnati Startup Initiatives, Samunnati Foundation

  • Mr. Gopalakrishnan is the Head of Samunnati Startup Initiatives, which is a part of the Samunnati Foundation.

 

Podcast

Overview

India, as we know, is the land of agriculture. With an increasingly healthy environment provided for the start-up ecosystem, there are a lot of novel ideas springing in the field of agritech startups. Today, we discuss the kind of ideas, investments, and qualities needed for success in this field.

[00:31] – About B Gopalakrishnan

  • Mr. Gopalakrishnan is the Head of Samunnati Startup Initiatives, which is a part of the Samunnati Foundation.
  • He worked in HCL for around 28 years.
  • He shifted to the social sector as he believes if there is energy that can transform into multiple practices, we should give it to the social sector.

[02:07] – Tell me about Samunnati and the work that you are doing.

  • Samunnati has two entities.
  • One is called Samunnati Financial Intermediation and Services Pvt. Ltd. and the other one is Samunnati Agricultural Services.
  • Samunnati Foundation is part of the Samunnati Group. We have fellowship programs, a samaram, a community kitchen, and a center of excellence.
  • I, primarily, work with agritech startups. Samarambh is the platform where we connect with incubators across the country.

[06:16] – What are some challenges that a lot of entrepreneurs face in agriculture that you are supporting and helping them to solve?

  • Entrepreneurs come in different stages from stage 1 to stage 5, for example, from the problem to the idea to the product to the market to the business.
  • For each stage, there is some amount of hand-holding is required. For example, the founder development is one of the key aspect of entire development. We give them specific mentor connections.
  • Another intervention is with respect to market connect because most of the time, if the product is ready, it needs to be curated.
  • We have a large pool of FPOs that consume and validate the product.
  • They also need finance interventions which can be debt, investment or short-term credit.

[08:38] – What are some of the factors you consider before making an investment?

  • We focus on the novelty of the idea.
  • We also focus a lot on team composition to check whether they have vertical knowledge.
  • Furthermore, we also try to gauge if they have the agility to solve the large problem.

[16:12] – When should they start to scale up?

  • For scaling up, we always look for a proof.
  • For instance, at the initial level, we look for proof of the problem, value, and product.
  • The scaling up come sup on the proof of business.
  • For instance, my product is being used by 3 out of 10 customers or 4 out of 10 customers. This proves the traction that is happening.
  • The product market fix is the crucial component for startups to look for and scale up.

RESOURCES:

You can connect with B Gopalakrishnan – LinkedIn

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Profile

  • Mr. Gopalakrishnan is the Head of Samunnati Startup Initiatives, which is a part of the Samunnati Foundation.
  • He worked in HCL for around 28 years.
  • He shifted to the social sector as he believes if there is energy that can transform into multiple practices, we should give it to the social sector.

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