Reading about startups in India is fairly easy, precisely because there arent that many. I read in startups. in that Burrp, a new statup is India’s answer to yelp. Got my attention and then I bumped into Anand Jains blog where he called himself a tinkerer. Anand Jain is one of the persons behind Burrp. A startup that is a one place for knowing everything about eating out, what is important is that its users generate content. Has a sleek design and has become popular quite quickly. Currently its active in Mumbai and Bangalore.
Ujj recently got a chance to interact with him and these are the excerpts. Most of the talk moves around startups in India. Incidentally he has a good post on his blog called failure is an option. Its a good read for all those who think taking risks in India is too damn risky.
Ujj: What all does it take to get together a team for a startup? is there a typical number of members?
AJ: A startup is all about the team. It takes a good team to help realize the vision and bring it to life. For most of the current tech/web startups, the smaller the team size the better. Although, it all depends upon the complexity of idea you are working on, but typically it shouldn’t be a team of more than 4-8 people in the initial stages.
My advice to people out there would be to start out with competent guys who are hungry (see: http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/grad-061505.html ). Don’t just start companies with friends because you know them. Make sure that you have a team in which everyone brings a wide skill set the table.
Ujj: Can collegean coders (next door geeks) open a company?if yes how?
AJ: You don’t need a brilliant idea to start a startup. All you need is to either make something that someone else will be willing to pay for, or figure out a way to make something better and cheaper than the current offering.
IMO, recent graduates (or students in the last few weeks of their gradution) are best to start startups. They aren’t married and don’t have kids. So even if they fail, it is much easier for them to start over. They can work long hours and put in extra effort.
The simplest way to get started is to not worry too much about the company structure. Just start building/executing the idea with your core team. But, if you need to rent out a space and conduct commercial transactions, then even a simple proprietorship firm can suffice. For a more complex corporate structure consider going in for a private limited company. Try to keep it simple.
Ujj: If someones appearing before a venture cap/ angels what things must be there as a part of a plan/presentation that would increase chances of getting a seed.
AJ: Firstly you need to have a truly viable idea and a solid execution plan around it. Investors would ask you for an executive summary, business plan and forecast numbers. Again, try to keep it simple and to the point. Having a strong conviction about your idea definitely helps.
Ujj: How did burrp became what it is today and any plans for the future?
AJ: We at Burrp! still have a long way to go before we call ourselves successful. All the members of the team have put in extra-ordinary efforts to make it what it is today. We work 7 days a week, close to 16-18 hours a day. As Burrp! is a consumer facing website, we have received very encouraging feedback from our user base. People love what we have put up and write in to tell us about it.
There are several reviews of burrp on the web. Like the ones by WATblog and startups.in . The most interesting is the official burrp blog itself. It seems that now burrp has its very own chef. Seems the burrp team is having a good time, thats it isnt it, work is no work without a little fun 🙂