Attention Mobile (or mobeel) founders , app developers and marketers:
NextBigWhat’s upcoming mobile conference, bigMobilityConf is scheduled for Sep 12th (Bangalore) and will bring together 800+ founders / app developers, IoT developers, marketers and investors.
Topics range from app design to product management / app discovery and like always, it’s all experience based insights (sans gyaawn).
The super early bird discount ends this weekend (code : DRIP), i.e. August 9th.
Date: Sep 12th Venue: MLR Convention Center, Bangalore. Apply for launch stage: Apply for the product launch stage, Takeoff. URL: bigMobilityConf.com. Ticketing Details : use the code ‘DRIP’ to grab your super early bird discount (use the widget below)
» Speakers? : We will start sharing speaker details starting next week. Meanwhile, you can apply for the speaking slot as well (details).
We had more than 1200+ people over the two days – coming from different parts of the country.Not just the metros but entrepreneurs from cities like Ranchi/Bhilai/Jamshedpur and investors from Japan / China attended the conference.
There were 2 important firsts to the conference this time. For the first time, we did 2-days conference and for the first time, we were totally sold out 2 days before the conference !
On behalf of the NextBigWhat team, I would like to thank you all for being so awesome !
We would like to thank all our sponsors (Housing.com, Nexus Venture Partners, Microsoft Ventures, IBM Bluemix, Yes Bank, AngelPrime, Accel Partners, Ozonetel, iYogi, Exhibitors(Multi Recruit, Business Setup, Vittbi, Ninjaas and happay) and ticketing partners Explara and MeraEvents for the support.
And importantly the team. Apart from NextBigWhat team, we had several amazing folks volunteering for the conference. In no particular order: Rohitesh Dutta, Ritesh Ranjan, Tamal Das, Kunal kant, Sufiyan – thanks fellas!
And ofcourse, the amazing audience ! You are the reason why we exist and your feedback will push us to do make UnPluggd bigger and better.
We continue to keep upping the bar for tech conferences and look forward to your support.
We will be uploading the pictures, slides and videos pretty soon.
Meanwhile, be the first one to get to know about the next NextBigWhat conferences.
1000+ Founders, Geeks and Investors Are Coming Together For India’s Biggest Startup Conference, UnPluggd.
We are just 2 days away from UnPluggd and the NextBigWhat team is happy to announce the super powerful agenda of the conference.
Date : ProductGeeksConf @June 19th. UnPluggd On June 20th.
The networking evening is on June 19th (Friday, 7 PM). Venue: MLR Convention Center, Bangalore. URL: http://www.nextbigwhat.com/unpluggd / FAQs Ticketing: We will accept on-spot registration, but we’d recommend you to use the online ticketing embedded below.
What’s Happening & When
Building Freecharge : Lessons Learned
Kunal Shah (Freecharge)
Startup Launch & Demo 
Networking : TEA And COFFEE
Rahul Yadav, Housing CEO
IBM and the Startup Ecosystem
Nilkanth Iyer, Country Leader – Cloud Ecosystem India-South Asia
Networking & Lunch
Building An Offline Product Business
Amuleek, Chaipoint Founder
AngelPrime Funding Announcement
Mr. Asit Oberoi, Group President & COO of YES BANK
Panel : Is There An Appetite For More FoodTech Funding In India?
On June 19th, India’s product leaders will come together for ProductGeeksConf, one of its kind conference that brings amazing insights and experience-sharing among the product community (sans gyawn).
Indian startup space is on a roll and while there is a lot of money being invested, we strongly believe that one needs a lot more talks on products – ranging from product management to marketing / growth hacking.
At ProductGeeksConf, you will hear various product leaders share insights/experiences building some of the great products from India.
Anand Chandrasekaran : Snapdeal CPO
Punit Soni [Flipkart CPO]
Shriram B, Head of Product at Housing
Paul Meinshausen, Vice President of Data Science at Housing
Chaitanya C, Chief Innovation Officer at Ozonetel Systems.
Deepak Abbot [Growth Hacking @TimesInternet]
Parag [Senior Director @Oracle]
Prateek Sharma, MyGola
Date : June 19th Venue: MLR Convention Center, Bangalore. URL: http://www.nextbigwhat.com/unpluggd/productgeeksconf Ticketing: We will accept on spot registration, but we’d recommend you to use the online ticketing widget below.
[bs_button size=”md” type=”info” value=”Grab 10% Discount (Ends Today) ! Code : UNICORN” href=”http://www.nextbigwhat.com/unpluggd/register/”]
What Indian Product Managers Can Learn From Silicon Valley
Punit Soni, Flipkart CPO
Building a differentiated online marketplace.
Shriram B, Head of Product at Housing
Networking : TEA And COFEE
How Social Media Influences Product Management Decisions
Instamojo founder, Sampad Swain.
Scaling up Product Management Function
Parag Patankar ( Senior Director, Industry Strategy & Insight at Oracle).
12:30 – 1:00
Diary of a wimpy salesman : Selling to businesses in India
Chaitanya C, Chief Innovation Officer at Ozonetel Systems.
Lunch & Networking Session.
Marketing and Tech Hacks For App Developers On Budget
Deepak Abbot, Times Internet
The Experimental Mindset: Integrating Data Science with Product Development
Paul Meinshausen, Vice President of Data Science at Housing.
TEA And COFEE
BUILDING GREAT PRODUCTS – Why Some Stick And Why Some Don’t
Anand Chandrasekaran, Snapdeal CPO
What growth hacks really are? What all can be hacked?
Avlesh, WebEngage Founder.
Productize Everything. Here Is How
Prateek Sharma (MyGola/MakeMyTrip)
Note that ProductGeeksConf is part of UnPluggd, India’s biggest startup conference.Block Your Seat.
Apart from ‘growth hacker’ term, one of the most abused term in startup ecosystem is ‘Serial Entrepreneur‘.
In some cases, these serial entrepreneurs move from one idea to another to another, without even launching or making a serious effort towards a single idea.
But I am not talking about these founders.
I am not even talking about wannapreneurs who read a lot of founder stories and get wet dreams of billion dollars in their bank account.
In India, there is clearly a new breed of entrepreneur which I’d call as :
THE SERIES ENTREPRENEURS
The Series Entrepreneurs are (almost) in the business of raising money after money.
They raise an angel round and the while the term sheet is being signed, the race to raise Series A begins.
They raise Series A and are are approaching investors for Series B.
They jump from one series to another one, very quickly.
Are Series Entrepreneur Right In Running In A Loop?
To a certain extent, yes.
Smart founders (and investors) know that this funding party won’t last forever.
They know these:
 In most consumer businesses, the one who raises the max amount of funding tends to be the winner (defined as a combo of traction / team / revenue).
Funding gives you a lot of spending power. A lot.
The truth is that at the end of the this party, there will be only 2-3 winners per category. Investors are betting on the ones they believe will be among the top ones. In some cases, there are attempts to make 9 women deliver a kid in 1 month – i.e .force a startup to raise the next round and grow FAST.
The Indian startup ecosystem has seen failure of consumer startups who failed to raise a LOT of money and on the other hand, there are very few frugal success stories (in B2C space) to look up to.
[B] The party won’t last forever (everybody says so). But what if it does?
Smart founders are taking an aggressive stance on both the outcomes. If we hit the slump end, let’s stock enough cash to survive.
If the party continues, let’s keep throwing enough money on customer acquisition.
The (expected investment downturn) deadline is ~6 months from now, as being predicted by several investors.
“BUILDING GREAT PRODUCTS – Why Some Stick And Why Some Don’t”
Anand is a proven entrepreneur and product / business leader delivering products and revenue in mobile, search, content and big data. He was Chief Product Officer @ Bharti Airtel, Previously Anand was with Yahoo, where he held roles of Sr. Director of Search Products and member of search leadership as well as Sr. Director for Mobile.
Prior to Yahoo, Anand was Director of Product at Openwave driving product management for the mobile mediation gateway which touched 200M subscribers (through 70 operators) and generated $150M revenue. Previously, he co-founded Aeroprise Inc. Under Anand’s leadership, Aeroprise became the most-deployed solution worldwide for mobile service management.
The EMCD strike for the last 10 days has turned East Delhi into a huge garbage dump. Taking Public Private Partnership to a new level, UrbanClap, a marketplace for services, teamed up with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to assist the authorities in cleaning up the mess that had accumulated.
Equipped with 10 dumper trucks, the UrbanClap team was out until 5 am cleaning up Mayur Vihar and Nirman Vihar- the most affected areas.
The initiative had the full co-operation of the MCD and the Mayor, with representatives from multiple civic authorities coordinating the efforts.
A well deserved clap for the team ! Given the business UrbanClap is in (home services), such acts definitely help them create differentiation among the customer mindset.
UrbanClap is a mobile marketplace for services that provides a range of services across 40 categories including photographers, electricians, yoga and guitar teachers.
Meet Rahul Yadav, Housing cofounder and CEO at UnPluggd, India’s biggest startup conference.
At UnPluggd, Rahul will talk about the lessons learned building Housing and of course, the recent controversies that he has involved in.
For sure, you can’t miss this session!
About Rahul Yadav
Rahul Yadav, Co-Founder and CEO Housing.com, is a maverick visionary who along with a few of his friends from IIT-B are credited with building one of India’s largest and most innovative real estate search platform Housing.com. The difficulty in searching for accommodations in a city like Mumbai spurred them on to build this unique platform that lists properties submitted by users, either brokers or owners, on an interactive map.
Rahul spotted and then exploited a huge opportunity in the real estate search portal, which has made Housing.com one of the largest in that bracket. Rahul largely spends time and energy to ensure that his business stays ahead of the trends.
His primary focus is towards the development and execution of the overall strategy that will foster the growth of the company.
He complete attention to detail has helped make their venture a huge success. Rahul’s job responsibility involves close interaction with investors of the company towards fulfilling the company’s vision.
Not many know that Rahul, who hails from Alwar in Rajasthan topped the state in physics-chemistry-math in his 12th standard board exams, based on which he got a 75 percent scholarship for preparing for IIT-JEE.
While he was selected to be the class representative in his second year at IIT Bombay, he later, went on to become the secretary of its student association.
The reason that gave birth to this massive business makes for an interesting read. At IIT, as part of his election manifesto, he had to create a question bank from old exam paper; this is what ignited the technopreneurial bug and helped him build the popular Exambaba.com – a website that would carry scans of exam papers of previous years.
That was just the beginning of his genius entrepreneurial journey, Rahul then, went ahead for a brief internship in Israel and he returned to build apps for Google Chrome before he founded Housing.com.
“If something doesn’t exist, build it yourself, and if it doesn’t work, move on,” an adage Rahul firmly lives by.
Who are the other speakers @UnPluggd? Kunal Shah (Freecharge), Aprameya (TaxiForSure), Abhay Singhal (InMobi), Amiya Pathak (Zipdial) and several others.
Date : June 19th And 20th. Venue: MLR Convention Center (J P Nagar), Bangalore. URL: http://nextbigwhat.com/unpluggd Agenda: http://nextbigwhat.com/unpluggd/agenda
Is there a discount code? Well yes, 10% (code: UNICORN). Tickets are selling fast and the discount code lasts for not more than 2 days.
Date: ProductGeeksConf @June 19th. UnPluggd is on June 20th Venue: MLR Convention Center, J P Nagar, Bangalore. URL: http://nextbigwhat.com/unpluggd BUY tickets from here (ticketing widget is also embedded in the post).
[bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-circle-arrow-right”] Note: The only discount code is UNICORN and offers straightaway 10% discount. There is no other code :)
A bit about one of our partners for UnPluggd : Multi Recruit are pioneers in Fixed Cost Recruitment Services. We work on a very progressive campaign based recruitment model and NOT on percentage-based Commission model nor based on the number of candidates that you hire through us for a specific profile.
This is a fixed fee prepaid service and we welcome any vacancy in any sector and in any location across India. We have 6 Recruitment Plans – Starter, Lite, Lite+, Premium, Premium + and Superb, you can hire multiple candidates from all campaigns.
With us you can ADVERTISE | SOURCE | RECRUIT | HIRE
As a boy, I had grown used to my dad commenting on my dress sense, or lack thereof. And after I got married, my wife picked up where he left off.
I thought luxury brands and paying more for clothes would be the key to my external transformation but that strategy didn’t seem to help. That’s when I asked myself, “If I don’t need to be a geek to buy a laptop, then why should I know about fashion to buy clothing?”
This was 2013 when a shaky economy and uncertain business outlook made it a less than ideal time to turn entrepreneurial. But that’s when my cofounder Navaneeth and I launched our company, Voonik. The NextBigWhat article about our launch said:
“With fire sales and all the negativity around e-commerce in India, this may not be the best time to start a new online commerce site. But then, the startup world never fails to surprise.”
Navaneeth and I went to college together and have known each other for 15 years. Navaneeth was not new to the startup scene, having been a garage stage engineer at companies such as Zoho, Freshdesk and Aryaka. I was in the US and had spent seven years at Amazon and a year at Visa as a product guy. We first discussed the idea of starting something together over a Facebook chat session. Navaneeth had an idea for a Saas offering based on his experience at Zoho and Freshdesk. I pitched my idea of creating a new way of shopping that enables users to buy what suits their build, lifestyle, and budget. He was convinced. I returned to India in 2013 and Navaneeth quit Freshdesk to jump into our venture.
The first few months were pretty uneventful. We put together a small team and launched a MVP version of the product. I remember the early days with no customers and sales. I will admit it was a daunting period and there was a point when we contemplated pivoting to his Saas idea. But our core belief in this idea was what kept us going. Slowly, traffic built up and sales started happening.
I remember a meeting with Mukesh Bansal, CEO of Myntra, around October 2013. He liked what we are building and mentioned that Myntra would look like Voonik in two years. That meeting boosted our confidence and kept us going. Sure enough, after two years, we are now seeing Myntra moving from a price and selection value prop to a personalization value prop with its app-only move. Mukesh did invest a small amount in Voonik and remains a mentor.
The first big break came in the form of a TV program, ‘The Pitch’, organized by Bloomberg TV. We participated and eventually ended up winning the show. There were many other more seasoned entrepreneurs who participated in the show and we are still not sure how and why we won. In fact, I was eliminated in one of the rounds and later got in as a wild card entry. The winner was eligible to receive seed money from Seedfund. We got 2.5 crores through this route in exchange for 30% of the company.
Following this boost to our morale and finances, we started building the full version of the product and the personal shopping platform. After studying the numbers from the MVP period, we decided to focus on women as our primary target segment. That was the first of the three important decisions we made that ultimately contributed to the success of our venture.
Soon after this, we got an invite from Microsoft Ventures. Given that this was a no-equity program, the decision to participate was easy. In Feb 2014, a week after starting our Microsoft Ventures program, we launched our full version website powered by our own personal shopping platform. We were buoyed and ready for the ride ahead but the initial parts of this were not as smooth as we anticipated.
We had to weather a rough six month period when we would grow one month and retract the next. Thankfully, Bharati Jacob, our board member from Seedfund was patient and allowed us time to figure things out. We had grown by 150% in these six months, but we did not think it was significant given the low base. Bharati believed in our value prop and pushed a second tranche of funds through for us. She counseled us to focus on retention rather than conversion or growth. This turned out to be very sound advice that helped us make the second most important business decision in our journey.
The next turning point was in August 2014, when we launched our Android mobile app. Within weeks of the launch, we realized that it would be difficult to compete as a fashion website given the incumbents in the space but we also realized that the app market in the fashion space was wide open. So we diverted our efforts to building this. That was the third and the most important decision after which there was no looking back.
Before the launch of our app, we had talked to two to three VC firms who liked our idea but sought evidence of more traction. As we launched our app, we started getting inbound calls from various analysts of VC firms. We made sure that we gave them our time and as a result we got through to decision makers in all the leading VC firms. Our talks with various VCs were in different stages when we met Sequoia.
We met Sequoia at NextBigWhat’s mobile conference (bigMobilityConf)* in late 2014. An introduction through this channel led to a 30 minute meeting with Shailendra Singh who was very positive about what we were building at Voonik. He was probably the person who was most bullish about the idea, after Navaneeth and me.
We then presented to the Sequoia board and listened to some concerns that they expressed during this time. These were issues that we also wanted to address and we spent the next few weeks tackling these. Between Sequoia and Seedfund, we raised 34 Crores as part of Series A.
Sequoia moved quickly to close things with a simple and standard term sheet. They wired the first tranche within weeks with minimal due diligence. The second tranche came in less than a month after that.
I am proud to say that today Voonik is the highest rated fashion app in India. We now have more than 1.3 million downloads and were the second most downloaded fashion app in April and May, next only to Myntra. We are looking forward to reaching a $100 million GMV run rate in the next year. We have reached this stage in our journey because of our persistence, a few important business decisions and some very timely funding support.
* Founders : Go ahead and block your seat for the upcoming conference, UnPluggd. At NextBigWhat, we always strive to focus on meaningful conversations and connections (sans noise).
If you’ve been busy building on your cool idea and are now ready to rock the world, we’d like to hear from you. Remember, only 10 startups get a chance to launch at UnPluggd, which has become a successful launchpad for many startups that are now kicking butt!
So far, more than 80 startups haved launched at UnPluggd’s LaunchStage (Takeoff) and more than $400mn has been raised and importantly, amazing things have happened to startups once they launch at UnPluggd.
Needless to say, our demo at the event got us a chance to pitch the company to all the marquee investors in India and helped us raise a round of angel funding from a serial entrepreneur and seasoned angel investor.What surprised us the most was the popularity that NextBigWhat enjoyed even among our potential customers.
We saw 600% growth in traffic after UnPluggd and great interests from potential partners. Some of our early partners came to know about us because of UnPluggd.
Arvind Pani, Reverie
As a demoing company, our objective was to get visibility and potential business opportunities. We have got both in this forum. We have had interest from folks/companies that haven’t attended UnPluggd, yet writing to us about their interest in our products. We also have had interest from investors.
Why Shouldn’t You Launch at UnPluggd
Don’t launch at UnPluggd if:
You don’t need traffic or attention to your site or product.
You don’t need a rocket fuel to takeoff in a big way!
You aren’t looking for business opportunities (i.e. customers) & greater visibility.
You aren’t looking for funding / max traction.
UnPluggd : When & Where
Date : June 19th And 20th. Venue: MLR Convention Center (J P Nagar), Bangalore. URL: http://nextbigwhat.com/unpluggd BUY tickets from here (ticketing widget is also embedded in the post). Takeoff : Launch Application Form link (those who have applied will hear back from us will hear from us today). Agenda: Well, we will share it this week – but here is a quick info on event flow.
The Launch Application Form
Qn: Who Can apply?
Early stage technology product startups. Preference is given to startups who are launching at UnPluggd.
Qn: What is the Nomination Process like?
Once the nomination is closed (deadline is June 8th), 50 companies will be selected in the first round and these companies will be contacted via email. We will schedule meetings/skype conference with the companies in order to understand their business in depth. Out of 50, the final list of presenting startups (10) will be selected.
Qn: Who sees my submission? The NextBigWhat team ( specifcally, Ashish Sinha). At a later stage, we will announce the panel and you can choose not to share details with a panel member, if you aren’t comfortable with the names (for competitive reasons).
If you are selected for further rounds, we will get in touch with you to discuss more details/process.
Qn: I want to launch my product at UnPluggd!
Nothing like launching your product at an event where you can derive maximum eye balls – right from angel investors to VCs, media and most importantly, early adopters. Send in your nomination right away.
Qn: Do presenting companies have to pay? Nothing. Presenting companies DO NOT have to pay to showcase at the event. Having said that, you will have to bear your travel/stay/event entry charges.
Qn: What about Nomination? Is it free?
Yes. Free as in, Free.
Qn: We are still developing the product and plan to launch it by June. Are we eligible? In general, we don’t want to showcase just prototypes, but we suggest that you go ahead and nominate your startup. If you have a matured prototype (with thought-thru’ use cases), we would surely love to have you at the event.
Qn: I am a services company. Should I apply? UnPluggd has always been about product startups and that’s where we will focus this time too. Of course the event itself would be a great opportunity to meet potential customers, startups and cool people.
Qn: We haven’t yet started making money. Shall we nominate ourselves? Well, it takes a while for product companies to monetize in India. We respect IP (Intellectual Properties) and would love to have your nomination.
Qn: Who are the VCs attending the event?
Pretty much all the known names. Apart from VC firms, a lot of angel investors will be present at India’s finest Startup event, UnPluggd.
The upcoming ProductGeeksConf by NextBigWhat will see a lot of talks related to product management/growth hacking / marketing / sales and as part of this, we are happy to announce our next speaker : Deepak Abbot.
At ProductGeeksConf, Deepak will talk about Zero Dollar Growth Stack: For 0 To 1mn App Users. Deepak Abbot is a proponent of growth culture . He is a marketing tech specialist and is currently driving growth for Times Internet (Ex-Paytm).
Today is the last day to grab early bird 25% discount for UnPluggd, India’s biggest startup conference AND ProductGeeksConf, a niche conference totally focused on talks related to product management, marketing and growth hacking.
ProductGeeksConf is scheduled for June 19th and will bring India’s best product minds together. UnPluggd is happening on June 20th and in between the two amazing conferences, we have a great networking evening.
We are working hard towards bringing amazing speakers, but here is a WIP version. Be assured that both ProductGeeksConf and UnPluggd will blow away your mind – we focus on deep content that is actionable.
UnPluggd & ProductGeeksConf DETAILS
Date : June 19th And 20th. Venue: MLR Convention Center (J P Nagar), Bangalore. URL: http://nextbigwhat.com/unpluggd BUY tickets from here (ticketing widget is also embedded in the post). Takeoff : Apply for the demo stage (Form link). Those who have applied will hear back from us starting today). Last date to apply is June 6th.
[bs_well size=”md”] Grab 25% discount TODAY ! (Use the code UNICORN). Prices go up from tomorrow ![/bs_well]
At NextBigWhat, we see several great products every day. Not just from India, but from the globe. Fundamentally, one of the things we have always believed is that startup profiling is more about the product and very less about the founders, especially in the early days of the startup. Great startups and products need a lot of feedback and engagement with early adopters of the world; and Takeoff is our attempt to build a platform which brings together early adopters and makers of amazing products. Over the last few months, we have been working on building one such platform that brings the focus on the product. Not much on the back story. Not so much on the founder. But focus on the product alone.
Because your users/customers do not care about anything but a great product that is useful to them. Because great founders know that a great journey starts with an amazing product (nothing else matters).
Meet Takeoff. A brand new way to discover sexy products – a mix of Indian and global ones. Check them out/grab the bragging rights of being the early adopters/ upvote these products and importantly, engage/share feedback with the makers. The Goal : Build an amazing community of DOERs and Makers. If you are a maker/founder, submit your product details here. We start Takeoff from June 3rd (Wednesday). Watch out for interesting products and startups every day – engage with them/discover great products that will help you. Be the early adopter. Meanwhile, you can signup for the weekly newsletter of curated products here:
Expect a lot of experience sharing by Aprameya at UnPluggd building TaxiForSure and selling to the rival, Ola.
In fact, Aprameya has been to UnPluggd earlier and you should watch his session sharing the early days of TaxiForSure (video embedded towards the end of this post).
Date : June 19th And 20th. Venue: MLR Convention Center (J P Nagar), Bangalore. URL: http://nextbigwhat.com/unpluggd BUY tickets from here (ticketing widget is also embedded in the post). Takeoff : Launch Application Form link (those who have applied will hear back from us starting this weekend).
Agenda: Well, we will share it next week – but here is a quick flow of the 2 days (you can also apply for the speaking slot)
[bs_notification type=”info”]Heads up! Grab 20% discount NOW ! (Use the code UNICORN) [/bs_notification]