Neeraj Saxena, Founder and Managing Partner, Xscale Accelerator

Neeraj Saxena, Founder and Managing Partner, Xscale Accelerator

Neeraj Saxena, Founder and Managing Partner, Xscale Accelerator

Neeraj is an Industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in leading Strategy, Sales, and Operations for Fortune-500 companies.

Podcast

Overview

India has an overwhelming population of incredible talent. We excel on technical, managerial, medical, administrative etc. fronts. India is producing unmatched startups and products, but these startups are limited to the boundaries of the country. Many startups do not get the opportunity to showcase their potential. Our guest for today, Mr. Neeraj Saxena, observed this problem and decided to find a solution for this. Neeraj Saxena is the Founder and Managing Partner of Xscale Accelerator. He is associated with NGOs that work in the area of child education and he is an Angel Investor.

Discussion:

Origin and mission of Xscale Accelerator

Xscale Accelerator helps accelerate startups. During the days when Neeraj used to mentor and board different startups, he realized India has some unmatched technical talent that could far outclass the world, but, we certainly lack at selling skills. Secondly, he observed that many startup founders with great products could not sell their products because they did not have connections outside India. He noticed the problems and decided to come up with a solution. Thus, Xscale Accelerator came into existence. 

Xscale Accelerator runs on two basic motives; to take Indian startups to international markets and to accelerate their sales.

India’s image internationally and Neeraj’s efforts to change it

Our host Mr. Ashutosh Garg asks Neeraj about a statement he made that he wants to change the image of India as the exporter of talent, to which Neeraj has a very thought provoking answer. He says that if you ask any foreigner if they know any great Indian corporate leaders, they will have at least five to six names ready, but if you ask them about Indian companies, the majority of them won’t have anything to say. He says that India has always been an exporter of talent to the world. Neeraj wants to change the image of the country from the exporter of talent to creator of world class companies. Neeraj also gives an example of a company to support his point.

How is Xscale different from other accelerators

Neeraj tells us that Xscale Accelerator is unique in its composition. Unlike other accelerators, Xscale works with a maximum of 15 startups a year. All the mentors are highly experienced and 50% of the mentors are settled outside India. The factor that makes Xscale one of its kind and highly reliable is that the mentor has to invest his own money into the startup he has been mentoring.

The acceptance procedure

Neeraj informs us that anyone willing to associate themselves with Xscale could go to their website and apply there. He also tells us that they look for three things before accepting any startup, they are; the idea should have high potential to scale, the founders should have technical and functional skills to execute the idea and in the end the product should be ready.

Solo founder versus co-founders

Discussing the advantages and limitations of having a co-founder, Neeraj says having someone to work with first of all divides the labour, you can brainstorm your idea and they can help you when you are down emotionally.

Common mistakes made by startup founders

Neeraj talks about a common mistake that startup founders make. He says that they do not launch their semi finished products to the market. They wait for it to complete. He suggests that when a product goes into the market, the consumers decide where it lacks and what changes should be made to improve it. Making changes to a finished product can turn out to be extremely expensive. Hence, the founders should launch their semi finished products in the market and finish it according to the customer response.

Profile

Neeraj is an Industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in leading Strategy, Sales, and Operations for Fortune-500 companies.

Currently, he is Managing Partner at Xscale Accelerator. Xscale is a startup accelerator program focusing on driving sales and providing global access to Indian startups. (www.xscaleglobal.com)

As per him – Xscale is not just an Accelerator but a mission to recast India’s image of an exporter of talent to a producer of world-leading companies. 

Before Xscale, he has led $1 Billion+ Global Business Operations covering all Regions – USA, APAC, EMEA, and LATAM. He is an active Investor and Board Advisor in multiple startups; and a well-known speaker at the industry’s leading conferences and summits.

Neeraj has done his MBA (Strategy and Marketing) from IIM – Lucknow. He has also completed Business Strategy from Wharton School of Business and Technology Entrepreneurship from Harvard Business School. He has worked with companies like FIS, SAP, and HCL Tech in the past. 

Neeraj is an avid traveller who has travelled around 30 countries in the last ten years. He carries interests in reading, spirituality, and adventure sports like skydiving, scuba-diving, paragliding. 

For the last many years, Neeraj has been associated with NGOs that work in the area of child education. Neeraj’s goal is to positively impact five million lives through his efforts and through Xscale by creating new job opportunities for the youth. He also plans to launch a program to encourage startups from the disadvantaged sections of society in the near future.

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