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Chandu Nair

VC, Angel Investing, Entrepreneurship Expert 

55 Answers | 12 Followers

Chandu Nair advises entrepreneurs and enterprises about creating and building their business.
He has direct experience in angel, venture capital and strategic investor funding. Over the last three decades, he has made a name for himself in industry, consultancy, media and information services.
Nair is on the advisory boards of the Chennai-based private equity firm Fulcrum and the social impact fund, Menterra. He's an independent director on the board of India's first retail building products company, Shankara Building Products Limited.
He was the co-founder of Scope e-Knowledge Center, a pioneering knowledge process outsourcing company, as well as the co-founder of a business-to-business e-commerce venture, both of which he successfully exited.... more

Answered on Feb 14, 2024

Answered on Feb 12, 2024

Dear Mr CHandu, I am 53 yrs now and an BE by qualification. I have been working in IT industry (14 yrs) and from 2007 have been working in IT Security profile as GM. In 2015 I left the job over an partnership offer which did not materialized but i lost the job. I started an start-up ecommerce company with a good concept which was liked and appreciated by the franchisees as even today they are running a grocery store which was setup by me, though my business shut down due to non funding and was cheated in the name of funding. After long gap I did join the company but lasted for just 8 months and now again am job less. I have a good start-up idea in healthcare which is workable and have been appreciated by people to whom i have brief though i M yet to launch due to funds issue, Though people are trying to find the funding after hearing the biz idea. My wife is working and have 2 kids in 12th and 10th Std respectively. Pls advice.
Ans: Dear Mr Dinesh,
It looks like you have been through a lot after getting into business on your own. Your children too are at a critical stage in life which requires funds for higher education in the next few years. The first question to ask yourself is - what is the priority in your life? Is it financial stability for the family esp for the kids? Or is it the pursuit of your business? The second question is - what is the current status of your household finances? Is there enough savings to manage the household, upcoming education expenses, other expenses (travel, medical etc)?
If you are shaky, it may be time for you to consider taking an assignment which offers you a fixed remuneration and also flexibility to work on your idea. You say you were in the field of IT security. Can you consider an assignment which might take 2-3 days per week managing and overseeing the IT security for a company which cannot afford a full-time professional?
You may also want to consider getting incubated in a good healthcare incubator in your city and also apply for a start-up funding grant from the government of India and/or local state government programmes.

Answered on Nov 27, 2023

Asked by Anonymous - Nov 27, 2023Hindi
Hello, sir. I founded a home decor brand 2 years ago and we are just starting to gain traction in the market. We sell across multiple channels - B2B, B2C and D2C as well. But as a Founder, one of my weaknesses is the lack of selling skills. Should I focus on building a Business Development team in order to generate consistent sales? Also, how do I get better at selling?
Ans: This is a tough one to answer in brief but I am going to try

Each of these channels- B2B B2C D2C - require different kinds of skills. The customer segments too could be different, perhaps the products/ SKUs too. It is my belief that the founder himself should be a salesperson esp in the initial days(years!). The first key thing is to understand the buyer's key problems and how your product is better at solving it than others in the market including alternatives. While doing this, it is important to understand who exactly is your buyer- in B2B, the buyer may be a hotel or restaurant or an office etc. Which sort of B2B segment are you targeting, how are they currently buying, from who, why, what terms do they purchase, how long is the sales cycle time, typical order value, purchase frequency etc? When it comes to B2C, the game is quite different. Are you selling both offline and online? The methods can change.

It would be useful for you to get a co-founder who has deep sales and marketing experience in this sector or B2C online/ offline. Alternatively, get a consultant who can advise you on the phase wise approach to follow, what metrics to use to track effectiveness, the kind of spend required, and so on.

Pl also reach out to others in the D2C community and understand what is working/ not working for them, the kind of structure they have, the outsourced agencies they use.

It is a process of learning. It would be good for you to get a grasp of it; simultaneously, in order to save on time, energy and money, pl consider a co-founder and /or a suitable consultant to guide you through the process. The appropriate hires can be made as required.

Answered on Nov 14, 2023

Asked by Anonymous - Nov 13, 2023Hindi

Answered on Nov 02, 2023

for past 19 years i am working in a manufacturing company namely Tinplate company of india limited jamshedpur as mechanical engineer i want to do some buniness so that i have some monetory stability and extra income as you know today no one job is fixed forever pl suggest some small business for me so that after i loose my job i can sustain some income
Ans: Mr Azad, you would like to have a side business to generate additional income. You have provided no idea of your skills/expertise/ experience nor of your financial situation (I am guessing that you don't have any surplus to invest in a business).

First and foremost, pl check if your current employer permits moonlighting or having another job even if it is freelance/ gig work. Many companies can take stringent action in this regard.
Second, what skills/expertise/ experience do you have which is distinct from your current job at TCIL? E.g., are you a good writer, or can draw or teach well or translate from one language to another, or cook etc etc. That will help you identify possible alternate income generating possibilities,
Third, how much free time do you have per day? On the weekends? And at what time? That will narrow down the list of ideas.
Fourth, what kind of other infrastructure, manpower support etc is required for the idea? Do you have the ability to get /pay for it? If you don't, you can only do those activities which rely on your time and expertise. You need to be able to give focused attention to it on a sustained business be it tuitions, writing, cooking, generating online content or whatever else you finally choose.
Fifth, do you have access to a set of customers/ buyers who want what you can offer and are willing to pay for it and can you easily reach them?
Once you have gone through these steps, you would have likely identified an idea that can potentially give you an alternate source of income.
Best of luck

Answered on Nov 02, 2023

I am 48 y old I lost my job last 6 month ,I have 18yr experience in korean mnc company in purchase department,now I want to start our bussiness ,pls let me know how to I start bussiness
Ans: First, assess your current situation overall - personal and professional and be sure that own business is the most viable/ sensible option.
Then, make a list of ideas that resonate strongly with you, refine it, do some initial validation and shortlist on the final 1/2 that are most appealing.
Figure out the finances required, personal (for the family) and for the business. Ensure that it will not create issues that can derail you.
Time now for more on the ground market research including prospective users/buyers, assessing competition/ alternatives, checking with suppliers, regulatory environment etc.
Make an initial business plan with key assumptions clearly spelt out and validated as much as possible. Also see if you want to have partners/ co-founders who share this vision and have complementary skills/ experience.
See if you can make an initial prototype of your offering (MVP minimum viable product) and again test it with your potential customers; iterate to see what changes are required including revenue models, go to market approaches etc.
Now is the time to formally register your business - single person company, LLP etc. Get professional expertise as required.
Revisit your Business plan and change as required.
Formally launch, test market, make changes and then go full steam ahead

All the best.

Answered on Aug 09, 2023

Answered on Jul 30, 2023

Asked by Anonymous - Jul 09, 2023Hindi
As I have experince in the field of Safety of metal Industries, i want to start my own business in semi-urban area of Bihar. KIndly advise the nature and type of business, whether opening a wholesale shop of House building materials like cement, tiles, TMTs. In case i start a agro based consumable foods etc. from where can i get govt help to start-up business.
Ans: What kind of help are you looking for to start your own business? It's not clear.
It's preferable to start a business where you have experience, knowledge and connections/ network plus it's a growing,large market. You would need to study the market you plan to operate in, check out who are the competitors, kind of customers, where there are gaps in the market, which suppliers would be the ones to work with etc. That can help you arrive at a few (2-3) viable choices which you need to examine in depth including talking to suppliers, dealers, influencers, buyers etc before you make a final decision. It's possible that such conversations can lead to active business propositions too. Building materials is a large market. It's also competitive and margins widely vary across product categories.
Food processing/agro industries too have opportunities. Government departments such as MSME department of the local State governments plus Ministry of Food Processing, Government of India and others have project and industry reports. Financial assistance schemes too may be available Example https://www.mofpi.gov.in/Schemes/related-schemes-other-agencies

Answered on Jul 18, 2023

Asked by Anonymous - Jul 17, 2023Hindi
dear sir, we’ve based our product startup companies( ie Ltd&LLP all certified with DPIIT…) based on innovations and mostly hardcore inventions, some of which are internationally awarded and patented. almost all of our products carry some or other innovations in true sense not just trendy hype… From medical domain, home furnishings fitments to VVIP security or defence and more, we’ve game changing innovations in most products. sir , before we seek VC,Angels investors, we want to build ready POCs for spinning off, domain specific firms since private investors would want a profitable and viable setup for definite ROIs; ie we wish to have either govt/Philanthropic grants based on innovations and potential future ROI… ( We want to concentrate and rather assert our selves, on real value adding products for benefit of all stakeholders , not just making profits… in one line, we wish to act independently without reporting to investors targeting profits than products value creating innovative checklists… atleast before we come out with sellable MVP on shelf market realities. initial seeding has totally exhausted our savings, assets sold and even working capital. we cant just stick to just 1 product due to the whole ecosystem designed around each and hence interdependent just like links in chain. We’ve huge potential even in space domains where we can even help isro drdo to excel further( although we’ve not dared to do POCs due to obviously resources crunch …) Kindly guide us to get ourselves govt/philanthropical grants of order 45L onwards so that we can switch ON the sales marketing and kickstart the giants propeller engines alike huge ships to start the immense potential voyages , with deserving stakeholders onboard. working capital needs of order of 50xL is of prime importance /criticality. thank you for your time. BR, founders Chandra kpchandra49 at gmail NB kindly share your contact emails or ping us directly referencing this page’s online matter
Ans: The Government of India has certain grant schemes for start-ups. Visit https://www.startupindia.gov.in/ to get details. I think there are over 20 funding schemes. Certain State governments too have innovation voucher or other start-up assistance programmes. See what suits your needs.
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