NASSCOM Product Conclave 2009
I had the opportunity to attended the NASSCOM Product Conclave on the 27th and 28th of Oct at Bangalore. Although the conclave was supposed to focus on Products, it did seem to me and also to a lot of other delegates that it ended up being more of a startup focused conclave rather than being a product conclave. And I am not complaining. Moreover I think it was good that the focus of the conclave was more startup focused because there is still a lot to be done and a long way to go before we can start claiming that the indian software industry is churning out world class products. We do have some good products that have come out of here, but there is still a lot to be done in this space.
I particularly enjoyed the Keynote and the tweetup sessions with Guy Kawasaki. He has the ability to keep the audience involved and interested. The best part being, he never misses out on an opportunity to sell alltop and keeps creating such opportunities every once in a while.
Some of the other sessions that I found really interesting were :
Business Plan session by Prof. Naeem Zafar. Naeem kept the audience engaged and interested in the two hour long session and gave very interesting insights on writing a Business Plan. He brought out the importance of doing proper market research and also suggested some very nice ways of using google tools to go about it. The importance of having a right team and the composition of the team was also well covered in his talk.
Sessions on developing technologies, products and services for the consumers at the bottom of the pyramid and for the rural areas were very interesting. One of the sessions was moderated by Ramesh Ramanathan of Janagraha fame (he has started a micro finance company Janalakshmi) and the other session was moderated by Prof. Ashvin Mahesh of mapunity. It was very interesting to know how companies like Babajobs, Co-options, ITC (echoupal), M Cril, Janalakshmi etc are doing a great job of helping people and using technology to reach out to areas unexplored.
Some of the unsessions that I got to attend were the Mentoring for startups and the evolution of the startup ecosystem in India. The Mentoring for startups session provided good insight on how to go about finding the right mentor/advisor for the leaders of the company and how best to utilize their time and potential. My key takeaway from the startup ecosystem discussion was that, there is a dire need to focus on the educational institutions and groom students well in advance to prepare them mentally and technically to face the challenges of the startup environments. So that the startup and the student communities can benefit the most from each other.
Overall, it was a good learning experience for me and I had the opportunity of meeting a lot of very nice people.