Get your cameras and flashlights ready for July 6 & 7. Bollywood and tech superstar, Kunal Kapoor and Mohit Bhatnagar will light the stage with their insights and presence at Tech in Asia’s inaugural conference in Bangalore.
He’s been called India’s Matthew McConaughey, but perhaps Ashton Kutcher is the better match for Kunal Kapoor. Alongside an illustrious Bollywood film career, Kapoor has co-founded Ketto, Asia’s most-visited crowdfunding platform with the largest funding community. Since its start in 2012, Ketto has helped raise more than US$3 million across 10,000 campaigns, with over 100,000 backers.
The startup itself has raised US$700,000 in funding, and won the 2016 Wharton India Startup Competition. It has also joined hands with startups such as Myntra, Oyo Rooms, Viber, and Haptik to support various humanitarian causes.
Kunal’s involvement in the tech startup scene is part of an emerging trend, where an increasing number of Bollywood stars are taking an interest in tech. Last year, Amitabh Bachchan invested in Singapore-based global cloud storage firm Ziddu. Actor Salman Khan invested in online travel firm Yatra, Madhuri Dixit invested in fitness device Goqii, Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgan funded online ticketing site Ticketplease, and Shilpa Shetty invested in home buying site GroupHomeBuyers.
There are synergies between celebrities and startups. While Bollywood stars view these investments as an alternative avenue to park their money, startups are happy to receive their backing, riding on the celebrity’s fan base and connections to increase their brand’s visibility.
But we’re just scraping the surface. As celebrities look to have a slice of the tech startup industry in light of India’s startup boom, what are the deeper issues we should look at, and how can both parties complement each other to make a positive impact on the scene? If you’re thinking of adding Bollywood into your startup success equation, save yourself a seat for Kunal’s session. Who knows, he might just hold the ticket to your startup’s fame.
India is home to 1.2 billion people. While it’s a sizeable market, many Indian startups are looking to go global in pursuit of higher margins and revenue. After all, markets are larger, customers make decisions faster, and are less price-sensitive. Other push factors include friendlier commercial regulations, taxation, and ease of incorporating the business.
If you belong in this category, you’ll want to hear from Mohit Bhatnagar, managing director at Sequoia, as he joins a panel of international investors. On a quest to turn imaginative ideas into enduring companies, Sequoia has placed its bets on close to 100 high growth Indian startups including Micromax, OneAssist, Prizm, Ujjivan, and more. In just 11 months, the prominent VC firm has put US$272 million to work across 54 deals.
More importantly, here’s why you can’t afford to give Mohit’s session a miss: Sequoia has nurtured startups under its wing and helped them soar to greater heights. Indian healthcare app Practo expanded in Asia and beyond, OYO Rooms recently launched in Malaysia, and Zomato entered the US market. These are just a few of the success stories that Sequoia has helped put to reality.
Scaling your startup across borders isn’t an easy feat. But with Mohit’s plethora of knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to face the challenges that lie ahead.
We hope we’ve given you good enough reasons to attend Tech in Asia Bangalore 2016. To top it off, there’s a 25 percent discount off all passes, with local-friendly pricing to boot. A local startup pass costs US$99 before discount, and we dare say your returns on this investment will be more than worth it. Code: tiablr15 (valid till May 27, 2359 IST)
Check out their website here to book your passes.