Announcing the top global CIO’s/CTO’s for InTech50 2015

It only gets better …

We are proud and happy to share the names of the CIO’s and CTO’s – the best that the tech world has to offer – globally.

And we will do it right here, in Bangalore.

In three weeks from now, high on our success from last year, we will again showcase carefully and diligently selected 50 tech companies from India, to a congregation of CIO’s – who have changed the tech scene in their own respective companies. Visionaries and experienced, they will interact and deep dive into what these 50 startups have to offer, thereby creating credibility for these startups through their support and validation.

Through a strict and comprehensive selection process, our eminent jury has already declared the first 20 finalists of InTech50 2015. We will announce the remaining 30 shortly.

Here is whom they can expect to interact and hobnob with during InTech50 2015 –

Encouraged by the overwhelming response from the startup community, we look forward to closely working with them and are committed give India its rightful place under the sun as a ‘product nation.’

Guest Post by Arvind Kochhar, Co-Host, InTech50

Innovation Leaders coming from the US #InTech50

We are a few days away from InTech50 – a very warm welcome to CIOs and technology leaders from all parts the world to Bangalore. These leaders are responsible for bringing about Innovation in their corporate environments and are congregating in Bangalore to see the 50 best Enterprise Indian startups – the InTech50 list!

This gathering is a huge step for the Indian product ecosystem because it brings, for the first time, CIOs and technology leaders to India to see the early stages of broad spread software product innovation. The smartest CIOs already leverage product startups to infuse innovation in their business. I congratulate the top 40 companies who are picked already and look forward to the announcement of the remaining 10.

These have been carefully selected by the Advisory Board from the 200+ Indian Enterprise product companies that applied. Below is a list of luminaries who are going to be present for the occasion. Let’s all welcome them to InTech50:

PATRICK FUNCK SVP, CIO Accretive Health Company Vertical: Hospital & Health Care Company Size: 1001-5000 employees

DAWN PAGE, Managing Director, Citibank Company Vertical: Financial Services Company Size: 10,001+

JAY JAYARAMAN, Vice President, Global Strategic Innovation &Technology Alliances Colgate-Palmolive Company Company Vertical: Consumer Goods Company Size: 10,001+

CHANDRA VENKATARAMANI, Chief Information Officer, Convergys Corporation Company Vertical: Outsourcing/Offshoring. Company Size: 10,001+ Employees.

JACK PRESSMAN, Executive Managing Director, Cyber Innovation Labs, LLC (“CIL”) Company Vertical: Information Technology and Services. Company Size: 51-200 employees.

CHRISTOPHER T. HJELM, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Offier, The Kroger Co. Company Vertical: Retail. Company Size: 10,001+

ANUP NAIR, Senior Vice President and CIO Vantiv Company Vertical: Financial Services. Company Size: 1001-5000 ➢ Damon Frost Director at P&G Company Vertical: Consumer Goods. Company Size: 10001+

KSHITIJ MULAY, India IT Leader (GBS) Procter & Gamble Company Vertical: Consumer Goods. Company Size: 10001+ employees

TARUN SAREEN, Head, EMC IT – APJ COE and APJ Theater Lead EMC Corporation Company Vertical: Information Technology and Services Company Size: 10001+ employees

PARTHA SRINIVASA, SVP and Group CIO, HCC Company Vertical: Insurance. Company Size: 1001-5000 employees ➢ Piyush Singh Sr. VP and Chief Information Officer Location: Cincinnati Area Company Vertical: Insurance. Company Size: 1001-5000 employees

GREG TOEBBE, Sr. Vice President Great American Insurance Company Vertical: Insurance. Company Size: 1001-5000 employees

KETAN MEHTA,  CEO of MajescoMastek Co-founder and Board member of Mastek Company Vertical: Information Technology and Services. Company Size: 1001-5000 employees

STEFAN VAN OVERTVELDT, CTO of MajescoMastek Location: Mumbai Area, India Company Vertical: Information Technology and Services. Company Size: 1001-5000 employees

GEOFF SMITH, IT Strategy/Leadership CIO Roundtable Company Vertical: Management Consulting

➢ MAHENDRA VORA, Deals and Partnerships Vora Ventures LLC Company Vertical: Management Consulting

ROB HEIMANN, Director River Cities Capital Funds Company Vertical: Venture Capital & Private Equity Company Size: 11-50 employees

RAVI KOKA, Head of Insurance Products Polaris Software Labs Inc. Company Vertical: Management Consulting Company Size: 51-200 employees

PHANENDRA BABU GARIMELLA, VP of Engineering, Aurea Software Company Vertical: Computer Software Company Size: 201-500 employees

KARTHIK SUNDARAM, President & CEO, Purplepatch Services LLC Company Vertical: Marketing and Advertising Company Size: 11-50 employees

MARK A. BUNCH, AVP and Enterprise Architect, Great American Insurance Group Company Vertical: Insurance. Company Size: 1001-5000 employees

We will soon be sharing another list of Innovators who will be participating at InTech50

The trouble of selling to BigB

I was talking to one of the CEOs of an enterprise product company who sells to CIOs of enterprise. The typical industry classification for them would be B2B, a business selling to business.  When you read it that way it seems like a fairly balanced relationship between the two.  However as we discussed his situation further and I learnt about the realities of what he has to go through I realized that it was not just a simple B2B but it was SmallB to BigB. He wanted to target big enterprises with at least 1000+ people, as a result he was selling to IT departments and CIO’s had to sign off on the purchase on business value basis.

In his mind my friend had a innovative product, it would lead to significant business value and cost savings and there should be a desire to make the paradigm shift.  As he explained his value proposition I was convinced of the same and the thought that struck me was that  he must be  very successful and for sure is raking in huge bucks.  To my surprise he hardly had any POC candidates let alone real customers. I was shell-shocked.  After more conversations over a few beers I realized that it doesn’t matter what product or value proposition you are selling to large enterprises when it comes to SmallB selling to BigB is a huge challenge.  The major reasons why it is a challenge (definitely not an exhaustive list) are:

    • Getting to meet CIOs is a herculean task and to be able to navigate the murky waters of the organization before you get to them is very time consuming(and expensive). From an experience basis in most situations getting to meet them at a client’s place for start-up solutions has a 1 in 20 probability.
    • There are not even a handful of events that have Indian CIO’s focused on Innovation, Most of them are very expensive when you calculate the total costs incurred by start-ups. Entry itself is north of Rs 50,000, then to add a stall and have staff there to man it and put up collateral costs upwards of Rupees. If you do not have a stall then one is left chasing people and handing them business cards – that surely does not lead to sale. You add travel and other costs to it, the costs go up so much that it is impossible for a startup like ours to participate (most events happen in Mumbai, Delhi or Goa)
    • There are many other inexpensive smaller events and they promise CIOs as part of their promotion. However the reality is that mostIndian CIOs never turn up for such events and in tune they send their IT folks who generally don’t have the decision making powers.
    • Assume somehow you did make contact to these CIOs and you were able to mention the value proposition and they liked it, you later need to do several trips to their head office to meet several stake holders, get all their approvals and finally get a nod to do a pilot; all such trips add up huge to your expenses
    • Worse inspite of the value propositions you show, remember the tag line – you can never lose your job if you go with IBM. Even when you manage to get through that almost insurmountable barrier the progress of pilots is slow. One ends up making trips to demonstrate commitment and to push for progress on the the Pilot. Unfortunately sometimes the start-ups get play to justify other purchases as they will never pass the smell test of strong financials or references for procurement departments of large enterprises..
    • On the other hand big brands have deep pockets, large sales force, strong reseller base and reach out to these clients easily. The clients find it easier to trust them due to their relationships and safety trumps agility and foundation of innovation of startups.


If these are a sample of challenegs that you have to go through to try to get a Pilot then imagine the travails of having international clients take you seriously. Imagine trying to do all of the above for potential Global customers.  Also one of the situations he ran across was people in the Indian IT departments advising him to try and get some global customers for credibility.. It seems contrary to the saying that says win at home first to win outside! –To be able to do the same would require significant funding or leap of faith!  Interestingly some of the VC’s loved his product and were ready to invest but with a caveat – they say can you possibly get some Pilots in US and demonstrate success there –  – WHAT????

Just a return ticket to Mumbai and a couple of days stay costs me more than 25K and these people are talking about attending CIO events in USA and then doing pilots in the US market.  Interestingly attending CIO events in USA is not cheap and most of the big ones there (Evanta, HMS, CIO Summit etc.) require vendors to pay hefty sponsorships (starting at US$20,000 to attend)Does this mean that SmallB with small budgets should just not have the vision to build enterprise products even if they have the ideas to solve some of the pressing problems?

Wish there was a way to enter bigger markets that were more focused on innovation and were willing to try out new ideas to make a big difference. . Wish there was a way to showcase to Global CIOs in a manner that did not mean dipping into all the savings in one trip. Keep wishing…

Thankfully I got to meet another CEO of a successful product company from India who passed this litmus test.   He was a case in point that a SmallB can actually sell to BigB. Today his revenues are upwards of $100M but it takes time, patience & money.  He achieved it by doing services on the side and investing that money into marketing the product. His mantra is, there is no shortcut for a SmallBto sell into BigB.  You have to spend quality time with CIOs who are willing to see the vision of the start-ups and drive decision making to make things happen.  Face time and getting early customers is the trick and he concluded by saying that SmallB selling to BigB is where the real money is 🙂

That’s when I ran into InTech50.  They are bringing  25 Global CIOs and 25 Indian CIOs , Product M&A folks, VC’s and media all under a single roof.  They are also bringing the entourage to Bangalore and will utilize their skills and knowledge to select the 50 that get to be at the event to present to them.  In effect they have already expressed an interest in your company if you are selected to be there.  There is no cost to apply!

I think we – the enterprise product companies from India should grab this opportunity and make every effort so that we make it to the list.

Would love to hear comments form entrepreneurs who are playing in the enterprise product selling into big enterprises.

Presentations to CIOSE and the KUDOS!!!

In our latest blog we had written about CIOSE(CIO Strategy Exchange) and  about the 5 companies that were shortlisted to provide a presentation to Ernest M Von Simson and these five companies were 

  • ArrayShield – “Two-Factor Authentication”
  • C2il – “Asset Life Cycle Management”
  • i7 networks – “Agentless BYOD Discovery & Control”
  • Fieldez – “On Demand mobile workforce management”
  • Kreeo – “Knowledge management”

Everyone who presented to Ernie walked out with a smile, with abundant knowledge on how to pitch for the CIO and also what makes sense in the local market and what might not. Ernie was very happy to be the audience for these presentations and he was all praise for the Indian companies and this is what he had to say:

Though the presentations and dialogues were fairly brief, I was impressed by the sophistication shown by the Indian developers of mobility apps and mobility cyber security. They had learned much from analyses of their American counterparts and developed products that produced similar results with much, much lower TCO. “Less is more” in the words of the famous architect Mies van de Rohe.

Manjunath M Gowda, CEO of i7 Networks who was one of the presenters was very happy with the outcome and was amazed how much he knew of  the space and how laser focus were his feedback and this is what he had to say “He knew the subject very well and he asked me the right questions and his help in how to position was amazing. Looking forward for the next step”.

Pavan who is the CEO of ArrayShield was amazed to know how well it can fit into US enterprises too and he was thrilled and he profusely thanked Product nation for providing this opportunity and he said “The feedback and suggestions shared by Ernie was quite valuable, especially good to know that the market demand for our kind of products in US is high and we are addressing an opportunity which is currently under-served”