SLP Hyderabad – Class 1 – Business Model Canvas & Lean Startup


SLP – Startup Leadership Program – is a highly selective, 80-hour, 6-month world-class training program and lifetime network for outstanding founders and innovators. And I am proud to be part of SLP Hyderabad, the chapter that had the highest number of applications in India this year, for the class of 2014. Our program team this year has Jai Eapen, Kiran Chowdary and Vamsee Krishna who have been wonderful in putting things in the right perspective so far. Today’s class was all about Business Model Canvas, the essential base for any startup. Our CEO for the day was Shravya Reddy who has done a fabulous job in organising today’s sessions along with the support of Co-CEOs Pramod and Nayan.

So what’s the exact necessity of a business plan? Well, it essentially helps formalise every minute aspect of your startup, right from your problem statement, your key partners, your sales channels and what not. The key goal is to document the aspects of your startup so that it gives a holistic picture of what your idea is, what your needs are, what your solution is and what your revenue model is. The very first step or rather the very basic step to building a business plan is a Business Model Canvas (BMC). The key aspects in BMC are

1. Customer Segments

2. Value Propositions

3. Customer Relationships

4. Channels

5. Key Partners

6. Key Activities

7. Key Resources

8. Cost Structure

9. Revenue Streams

Download a BMC template here (Link). Around 5 teams were formed today to work on their respective BMC’s that will later be evaluate by Mr. Ramesh Loganathan. I was part of Svaad and The Hacking School along with Shravya, Raviteja, Meraj and Vaishali.

My belief is that most startups hardly ever follow their initial business plan. Every startup does go through multitude volatile phases in their journey and will be forced to adapt and morph their idea multiple times, thus changing their initial business plan at multiple levels. In fact, the success of a startup depends on how well they can adapt to changes and survive. The essential use of preparing a business plan is the introspection that goes into building one. The core team has to deeply analyse about their idea to bring clarity to their thought and product that is being built in their startup, this essentially eliminates the initial fuzziness and projects a clear path ahead. At least till the next change in brought in!

We were lucky to be guided by some passionate speakers who shared their experience while building their companies (no longer startups!). And learning from successful entrepreneurs is always a bliss!

1. Flt. Lt. Bipin Pendyala shared his experiences right from his days at Portal Player to his life at Knoah Solution. He helped us realise the value of having a vision in our offerings, maintaing transparency with our clients and importance of maintaing the right transparency with our employees.

2. Mr. Vamshi had a great story and showed us how a person with credibility matters to build a startup. He shared his story of building Apalya, the dominant mobile video delivery platform in India, and the value of establishing credible relations over the past 8 years. Maintaing good and genuine relations with investors and peer group will help in one way or the other at some point of time.

3. Mr. Ramesh Loganathan, as always, was of great help in helping all teams evaluate their BMC. He spent a great deed of time interacting with all the teams who worked on their respective BCM’s and provided valuable feedback to all teams.

4. Mr. Abhishek Nayak shared his experiences around the creation of innovative payment systems right from implementing cash on delivery for digital goods to creating instant money transfer systems in India. His insights and experiences with banks showed how important knowing customer’s needs is. His passion and focus towards creating an impactful product that solves a real issue was quite evident.

In the end, it was a great session conducted by today’s CEO and Co-CEOs. An amazing way to kick-off SLP Hyderabad this year. Looking forward to the next set of classes now!

PS: Special thanks to Knoah Solutions for hosting the classes and Fox Mandal for sponsoring our lunch and the cafeteria at Knoah Solutions for cooking an amazing lunch for us. Being a foodie I throughly enjoyed the lunch break as well!