Thursday, May 03, 2007

India Trip Day 3: Meeting the Indian Entrepreneur(s)

Yesterday we were introduced to the 2 Business Indians (to oversimplify): the one educated and trained inside the country, who launched a business primarily focused on local demand, and the ones educated and trained abroad, coming back to seize opportunities -in our panel they were investors, but lots of them are entrepreneurs too.

The Indian Indian one, on the surface, could appear unassuming. Very modest, yet very accomplished, Satya did not fit our MBA-moulded impressions of the A-class player. That's one major takeaway of BBI: change your mindset when judging people who never had gone out of India. As Satya is a super A+ player, I'm not sure about how he would have fared in front of Western VCs when he was trying to launch his education business.

The investors on the other hand had plenty of savviness. Outgoing, sharp, they definitely were as successful as Satya, and more in line with our internal models.

It's nice to see both worlds. And be aware that Asian conceptions/representations of drive, potential, success, can be totally different. In a way, we learnt more in Satya about Indian style and more with the others about substance.

Tonight, we're meeting 60+ alumni in Bombay. I love this city...

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