Every scale has an expiry date #PNgrowth 2016

It was all about #GoodScale at #PNGrowth2016 !!

Pitching to Peers in Gurukul Style

I participated as a volunteer this time around and missed the keynote in day one since I was busy in printing #MindFlip worksheets for 50 odd entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs were handpicked by a very credible set of people who knows what #Scale means to B2B products.

Pallav and Shankar Maruwada did the priming by asking all the founders to reflect and redefine themselves within a framework that was designed carefully. Here not only they were asked to redefine who they are but were asked to open their heart and mind to play ping pong shooting game with co-participants sitting next to them. Learning to allow others become your mirror is a great way to identify your mistakes faster. These hard hitting peer challenge just bring the hidden self and does the world of good and the benefits will longer. Once they know who they are, they were told to pitch for a different context and at a different level. Mentors and peers played a critical role here and acted as an investor, prospective employee, customer etc.

When Phani talked about how he was lucky and all that happened around him at RedBus just happened and he just sailed through the wave. With all that humility he then explained if he had to present something like Girish, it will be something. The contrast was visible and it was beautiful as nature painted on a canvas. Girish spoke about #GoodScale he narrated the techniques that helped him to shape up Freshdesk. These techniques are not #GrowthHack these are practices that have been experimented, hammered and perfected. The honesty and ability to open up without ego, self-promotion was incredible to see.

Learning sales funnel from people like Aneesh, Suresh, Girish is like dream come true and Aha moment for many. These are something that can be practiced and implemented the next day !!

Manav re-iterated that it’s all about Sale-Sale-Sale for the founders to win. It truly amazing to listen how he closed big deals or key hires over cup-of-coffee, I personally loved the way Manav has navigated the journey by increasing his target market size with one step at a time. Solving one problem at a time and then moving to adjacent space which made it easier to traverse instead of starting big from day one.

Preparing for Final Pitch Selection within a cohort

The mentors were in no mood to get the feel-good emotion to sync deep inside founders, while some of them were in the go-kill-it mood, Sanjay Anandaram, and Sanjay Deshpande did a Jugalbandi and helped people to come down to earth from cloud 9. While everyone one builds a multi-billion dollar business it is also important to understand what the expiry date for the things that we do and then taking the smaller exit when appropriate does a world of good to the founder and as well as the country.

There were some discussions around “let go” — while good scale requires founders to realise it’s important to let go things and have other participate in growth, however depending comfort one could choose to hands-off-and-eyes-on model. Lots of participants participated in this discussion and shared how this could become the biggest bottleneck to scaling.

Building #ProductionNation is not an individual effort and is no less than #FreeDomFight for a country like India. People compare everything we do with #SiliconVally. However, I can’t imagine whether #PNGrowth is possible in #SiliconVally where successful founders will come and spend 3 days apart from spending days together in preparing the content and structure of the program during the last couple of months. The selfless attitude and ability to open their armouries to a group 70 odd startups are simply amazing to see.

Signature Club Resort at Brigade Orchards was amazing in the evenings. Hanging out with 50+ founders with DJ Music and beer gets even better. Ashish Tulsian and Vinod Muthukrishnan are shining star and we discovered them during last PNGrowth. After the heavy and long day, there is no better way than chilling with them. Their unique ability to hold a large group of people and make them laugh is just unthinkable and you can only relate to it if you have been part of the show before. This time the VC teardown in front of a VC was just the killer effect of the whole event !!

Mentors and Volunteers

Hope this has shaken and woken up some of the founders and they will carry all that they got and move from #HappyConfused state to a 100 Million dollar or more startup in years to come.

I am so fortunate to witness this event. Great learning for me as well even though I was not able to sit through all the sessions. My biggest learning: everything has an expiry date and learning how to map that to what I do is key to success small or big !!