Krishnan Ganesh: Pioneering the Venture Builder Model in India’s Start-up Ecosystem

Krishnan Ganesh: Pioneering the Venture Builder Model in India's Start-up Ecosystem

Serial entrepreneur Krishnan Ganesh discusses his transition to the venture builder model and the success of GrowthStory.in in incubating and promoting new ventures and entrepreneurs.

Krishnan Ganesh, a renowned entrepreneur from IIM-Calcutta, has made a name for himself in India’s start-up ecosystem with successful ventures like TutorVista, Big Basket, and Bluestone.com. After building four thriving businesses, Ganesh founded GrowthStory.in, a unique venture builder platform. In this two-part interview, Ganesh shares insights into his decision to embrace the venture builder model and his vision for promoting new ventures and entrepreneurs.

From Serial Entrepreneurship to Venture Building:

Ganesh embarked on his entrepreneurial journey in 1990 when the concept of entrepreneurship and venture capital investment was still nascent in India. Having successfully established and exited four ventures, Ganesh found himself pondering his next move at the age of 50. Coincidentally, this was also a time when India’s start-up ecosystem was gaining momentum. Inspired by the opportunity to support and nurture new ventures, Ganesh conceptualized the idea of GrowthStory.in as a venture builder platform.

The Venture Builder Model:

GrowthStory.in follows a parallel entrepreneurship or venture builder model, similar to Germany-based Rocket Internet. Unlike traditional venture capitalists, Ganesh and his team proactively identify emerging opportunities in various fields for the next 5 to 10 years. They conduct thorough research and develop comprehensive business plans. Instead of waiting for entrepreneurs to approach them, Ganesh seeks out founders who will run the businesses. Ganesh acts as the promoter and provides the initial funding, making him an integral part of the venture.

Seeking Out Founders:

GrowthStory.in is open to both fresh talent and established entrepreneurs. Ganesh actively approaches potential founders, presenting them with the business plans and inviting them to join as founders. By offering his own home as the registered office and providing the first round of funding, Ganesh eliminates the need for founders to look for office space and raise initial funds. This approach allows founders to focus on running the business from day one.

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The Success Story of Big Basket:

One of the notable success stories of the venture builder model is Big Basket, India’s leading online grocery platform. Ganesh recognized the potential of e-grocery and approached the founders, who had previously worked with him in Fabmart. Despite initial skepticism from venture capitalists, Ganesh secured funding from Ascent Capital, making it their first e-commerce investment. Big Basket’s success paved the way for other ventures under GrowthStory.in, such as Bluestone.com, Portea Medical, and HomeLane.

The Journey of Failures and Successes:

While GrowthStory.in has witnessed remarkable successes, Ganesh acknowledges that failures are also part of the entrepreneurial journey. The platform has had to shut down six initiatives that didn’t work out as planned. However, these setbacks have only fueled Ganesh’s determination to continue his entrepreneurial endeavors. He finds immense satisfaction in being directly involved in start-ups and relishes the hands-on action that the venture builder model offers.

Conclusion:

Krishnan Ganesh’s transition from serial entrepreneurship to the venture builder model has brought a fresh approach to India’s start-up ecosystem. With GrowthStory.in, Ganesh has created a platform that proactively identifies opportunities, develops business plans, and seeks out founders to bring these ventures to life. The success of Big Basket and other ventures under GrowthStory.in demonstrates the effectiveness of this unique model. As Ganesh continues to nurture and promote new ventures and entrepreneurs, his hands-on approach and passion for entrepreneurship remain unwavering.