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Showing posts from July, 2013

An Idea, a Plan, a Spirit: Your Start-Up Ticks Like You Do

Legally, your organization and you are recognized as separate individuals. But beyond legality, the lines are more often than not very blurred. This is especially true for start-ups and the entrepreneurs with big dreams and ideas. How often have you, as an entrepreneur, found yourself funding that one marketing expense out of your own pocket? That land your factory needs can be your own asset - then the money is all with you right? Wrong – in reality, if a business has to be run like a business it has to be separate from you – so if your business owes you something, it owes you – you cannot write it off saying it’s all mine. Again - that’s the legal stand point. Reality: You are one with your business, so embrace the concept in spirit. The idea for the venture usually is a big dream. And a dream has a fundamental premise. You, as the dreamer, have a certain ideology backing up that dream. The details of the implementation plan will include how you want to fundamentally do busi

Investor, Partner or Direction: Choosing the source of funding and the strings that come attached

Equity is often less daunting than debt – we all know that. However, equity often comes with hidden costs and strings that can be tougher to traverse than debt – especially if you do not understand what kind of investor your company actually needs. Broadly speaking, equity funding is usually divided into two broad areas i.e. strategic funding and pure equity funding. The former is fairly self explanatory – it entails a strategic investment which provides either forward or backward linkages to both entities. A strategic investor by definition will look beyond the numbers – he will look at synergies. Often, the strategic investor will see value in processes, customers, markets, employees or technology. A lot of these will be intangible in nature and will be changed as a result of the strategic tie-up. This sort of investor will inherently be involved in the daily functioning and will want a say in how your business is run- a big say.  More often than not, people issues a

Bringing in the Outsider: Are You Ready For Private Equity?

For a long time now, Private Equity (PE) has been seen as the easiest solution to financing needs. At each stage of business growth, funding needs can be met by simply giving an agreeable stake in your business to someone who brings money (and a lot more) to the table. However, like most things, there is nothing simple about the process. The key question that puts the process in perspective is: Are you really ready for an outsider to be a part of what has been just yours – to have them in your meetings, involve them in strategy, and get clearances from them and to use their inputs for fruitful organizational change. The above may sound overwhelming, but remember – a PE investor brings in lot more than just money. PE capital though expensive, is ‘smart money’ and PE firms, despite being typically minority shareholders, meaningfully contribute towards the growth and success of their investee companies. Success of these investments is dependent on the success of the venture/b