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Ep06 | Create challenges for yourself

Nishit Jain, Technical Leader at Media magic technologies shares his experience of moving to a startup after working with large companies and why it turned out to be a good decision for him.

Ep05- Be open about your failures

Darryl Zuzarte, a Regional Leader who runs one of the most ambitious startup programs in India shares his insights for entrepreneurs, including the skills, dedication and the resiliency required to succeed with your startup.


Key takeaways from the episode

  1. The successful traits for an entrepreneur is the leadership skills , great team working, product idea and knowledge and a hunger. The hunger is a very important aspect because if that dies over the early stage, that’s the end.
  2. There are almost 200 corporate Accelerators opened up in India putting their money into startups which is a big increase in conventional incubators. So this is the best time to startup in India.
  3. There are many kind of resources available at India startup website and even there is program freely available  for early stage of entrepreneur in association with UpGrad (
  4. Good resources for an entrepreneurs-Peter Thiel’s ‘Zero to one’ and ‘Losing my virginity’ by Richard Branson are must reads.

Some important questions covered in the interview

  • What are the traits of a successful entrepreneur and what kinds of efforts do you need to put to create a successful startup?(02:39)
  • Darryl’s recommendations for entrepreneurs on how to keep going after failures.(05:21)
  • How to plug yourself into the startup ecosystem?(10:45)
  • Useful resources for anyone planning to startup.(14:27)

Here’s the full transcipt

Meetul(00:42): So, in general, you know the podcast series is as I mentioned you know it’s designed you know towards entrepreneurs and helping entrepreneurs in India to help them with this whole journey which you know has lots of ups and downs many time more downs than ups. But somebody such as yourself who actually works with a lot of entrepreneurs I think you’ll be great for our listeners to understand a little bit about your background what you do and then we can carry forward is to know some of the traits of successful entrepreneurs.

Darryl(01:12):Sure.So just to begin, Meetul I have no background or founder and never tried to startup .Maybe that’s something look forward in future good because you work with so many entrepreneur and founders that also think that okay you’ve got something going here . Yeah so I’m more of a business guy. I have done my MBA and I’ve been Nasscom in the last seven years and more overworked a lot with enterprises and in terms of delivering the program to these guys over the last couple of years. When I moved to startups when I say startups I mean in terms of creating programs for startups in Pune. And trying to impact in any form, any measure because of the whole objective is to impact them in terms of connections and terms of customers, in terms of investments. Maybe the help terms of or mentoring workshops anyway possible because of each of these touch points. Yes. Just to give a background that goes out of sight in 2012 with the intention of the big startups because primarily the Nasscom as trade body was so founded for IT companies. Then when the switch happened and everyone started talking about innovation in the way 2010 and 2011. That is like okay now we have created different for startup, that’s how we started with Bangalore and now we have are our centers in association with all the state governments across the country.

Meetul(2:39): So as I mentioned you know somebody works with entrepreneurs in India one thing is amazing where the entrepreneurial spirit is super alive and very very vibrant. Everybody wants to be an entrepreneur. But I think entrepreneurship takes a lot more than just an idea and somebody who works with entrepreneurs on a daily basis as either a mentor as a friend as a customer as an advisor or maybe a shoulder to cry on. What are the successful traits you know of an entrepreneur is that you have seen you know in India or at least what it takes to be successful?

Darryl(03:13): Yeah.So, you are rightly said we have different kinds of a entrepreneur. For example, you know those who experienced going from the industry. And you have a new wave of entrepreneurs coming in from colleges and students. They both have a different set of issues they both are coming with different leadership style is different traits what we notice is that you know while you have entrepreneur with experience and non-experience. They all have similar struggles individually when they have product. We have various stories where our one of startups had a lot of customers for starters but there were no funds in and there was a source for them to actually cater to them. So that is a very different form of a problem to have why the majority of sites are actually looking for a lot of customers. So, VC would kill for, VC will kill for that. And that’s something which the Indian Startup foundership actually look for because in the end that form of leadership And configure it takes for that particular founder to keep cool and loses stuff during that particular situation. Being resilient, while you will not see it is coming with the extremely early stage of entrepreneurs. This is something very important because if you look at everyone starting up right now. And so many startups sort of good jobs as a result of so filling the gaps left by other startups.But at the end of most of it doesn’t work out for some another reason. That’s general statistics even if you look at all the startups are funded probably 7 or 10 still not getting success in the future, right? So, again it needs leadership skills,great team working on it, a great product idea and knowledge. In the end, I think the determination of the hunger, the hunger is a very important aspect because if that dies at the early age, that’s the end.

Meetul(05:21): So, that’s going to be a very interesting question. Right. I mean in the sense that India, in general, has a culture and its design in such a way that you know you go study the reason you go study because you can get a good job if you get a good job you will make money and hopefully they will help even find your bride and groom. I have had people asking me what is going to be my title. Can you put a manager in my title so I can find a good bride or groom with it? Well, the resiliency that is required to build a successful startup culture much time we know may or may not force foster that right. Have pressures from your relatives or your friends or whoever else to do it. Why are you doing this? And you know even if the first one fails or the second one fails they tend to give up after that. So again coming back to the treats. How would your recommendation to the entrepreneur to make sure that  they can keep going? As opposed to giving up after seeing maybe the first or second failure this is not something for me?

Darryl(06:26): So, that one thing Indian culture is not very used to hearing his failure right? Yes, In our culture we see failure as very bad, there is no way to understand what went wrong? Or what it did not go right? And not everyone is talking about failures.I mean if you, I failed in my startup I will probably talk about it why I failed because I want answers right.A lot of time cultures also play a very important role as you said but that’s changed now because families are realizing that starting over is not going to be the same game. How to study? you have to get job 9 to 6 and you have to work in the industry. Things are changing right now, all this come as a roadblock, I think again you know talking about been open about what went wrong on understanding what went wrong and why you fall along the way any cultural differences I think that should probably take ahead for these guys.

Meetul(08:05): Especially for millennials right there are just getting started that the time is on their side. In addition, I think it is just very important to realize that that age plays a role especially in a startup as far as the millennial are concerned we are coming out and thinking about again building the startups where they may or may not have some of the baggage which others you know that we have her age on their side might have access to resources right. I mean like here accessibility is such a huge area I see that it has not very well known that what another resource that available to startups. What would be your recommendation for these entrepreneurs? Moreover, as far as resources are concerned they can lean on or they can essentially go tap into.

Darryll(08:59): My recommendations for this side that they have to see visible and more explosion to works as an ecosystem.A lot this guy being constrained from their own four walls and at the end didn’t know what’s happening outside in their own mind at space. A lot of the problems that these guys face answers are in ecosystems they should be visible, you need to understand who is contributing to ecosystems in terms of, what are their strong points? I think the stage right now in Pune or particular in India is pretty much we have all the required stakeholders in ecosystem contributing own their equal way. So, even there is a shortage in terms of resources or any form that somebody on other will provide help. For example, if we come across the startup and find ‘hey this guy lacks in design, this guy lack in UI’, we will plug you with somebody who can really help with that.The point is that it’s all available out there it’s just that startup needs to bit more visible, bit more talking, need explore the each and every angle of an ecosystem. Right now it’s right time if, you compare 2018 and 2012 there’s a big difference in terms of support, infrastructure everything. Right now it’s much easier to startup but it’s very difficult to take your product in excel because everyone is doing something very different.

Meetul(10:45): So, somebody such as yourself you know was working with governments trying to help these startups and help them get to the next level or at least figure out the right things how can they plug into your ecosystem where somebody is thinking about it. They are doing a startup. They want essentially to be plugged in into your initiative. How can they do that?

Darryl(11:04): So it’s very simple. You know we have an online application process where they have to plug in but what we trying to capture is what help they require.  what part of the sector they have done you know you know if you reach out to the government or if you need to reach out to the industry or connects with our customers based on that is how we plug these guys you know for example if you want to contrast with transport department, we do have, we are working with transport department I will just give an example of we are doing a hackathon right now with transport department of Maharashtra, With the soul idea of creating awareness on road safety. So, you are running this across India process and these are games are made, even serious game or even you know gamified in learning.So, when we reach out the public like that we take this and we it to government And then, in the end, this becomes something which they work for the startup for.Governments are opening up to Startups you know corporates are opening up for startups if you are looking at the recent statistics there are 200 more corporate Accelerators opened up in India they are now putting their money into startups which are a big increase in conventional incubators like conventional accelerators corporates playing major role So, there is progressive incremental involvement from each and every stakeholder toward startup now and I’m bouncing back to my previous point it’s a much better time to startup because the helping hands extended by each and every, What do you say that’s great. It’s phenomenal.

Meetul(12:43): Are there any resources you would mention. You know I mean like you mentioned like that 200 corporate companies providing insight. There are accelerators such as yourself or incubator such as yourself who are providing help to the startups. If somebody is just starting on the spot or somebody on the journey and trying to figure out where do I start mine I mean are they any place where these resources are available, mention, or they have access to that they can figure out okay. These resources are available to us.

Darryl(13:13): So, just to just to step back a bit if you look at the startup India on the website. The entire list of accelerators and incubators across the country are mentioned there. There is even a program for early-stage entrepreneurs which is free in association of UpGrad in terms of if it’s a student and if doesn’t know about entrepreneurship, maybe he has an idea for that product there is course available for that particular person on website and they can go through it’s not getting into much structure manner. If I was like 2013 still will be confused where to put my hand and what would I grab but right now it’s all structured take-up look at startups India website everything details there comment scheme is put in place funds are put ten in place. Union bank one of the bank which giving away the funds up to like 2-3 CR without any collateral now provided that you have to certified with a TIPP, that is another things. But these are step by step processes you know if one knows about all these would be a much better position to actually what say extract it and make good use of the advantage.

Meetul(14:27): Okay, fantastic. Well, this has been a great insightful interview I am sure we are going to put more information into the blog post regarding you know the discussions that we have. As a parting thought, you know any books, any resource any recommendation you can provide.

Darryl(14:43): Yes, Peter Thiel ‘Zero to one’ and my all-time favorite Richard Branson this is my bit more tradition businessman ‘losing my virginity ‘by Richard Branson the beautiful book.Peter Thiel ‘Zero to one’ even whose aspiring to be an entrepreneur please take a look at ‘Zero to one ‘eye, it just changes the perspective.‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ by Ben Horowitz that’s another great book and resources.

Darryl Zuzarte is managing a Startup Warehouse in Pune which is part of 10000 startups, an initiative of NASSCOM, which is one of India’s most ambitious startup program with Google as prime sponsor. It is aimed at incubating, funding and supporting 10,000 technology startups in India over the next ten years. The program is supported by Google, Microsoft, Intel, Verisign, Kotak Bank and almost every other Accelerator, Incubator, Angel Network, Venture Capital Fund from India and Abroad.

About the podcast

Sunny Side Up is a series of 15-minute podcasts which shares concentrated analysis and advice from startup founders, B2B marketers, sales and product leaders. We welcome your ideas for future topics. If you know someone who would like to be on the show, give us a shout.

Episode 5 | Be open about your failures

Darrly Zuzarte, a Regional Leader who runs one of the most ambitious startup programs in India shares his insights for entrepreneurs, including the skills, dedication and the resiliency required to succeed with your startup.

Ep04 | It’s about people

Amaresh Shirsat, COO at Qualitia Software share his experience of founding startups and what it takes to products that are really useful. He also share his thoughts around building the best teams and the culture from very early on.

Ep03 | Dealing with Bureaucrats

Young founders of, Vijay Chuttani and Ritesh Kothari explain how they recognized a huge gap in market and their experience overcoming the obstacles of dealing with bureaucrats to build a business around a government initiative.

Ep02 | Paying off the tech debt

Mahesh Gawali, the Head of engineering at IntouchApp shares his motivation behind joining a startups and how in order to change something you need to make changes yourself for others to follow.

Ep01 | Fire your relatives

Aquid Shahwar, an Engineer leader with Shoppingpal shares his amazing experience and learning, working with different startups. He talks about choosing the right startup, the mindset and the right culture to achieve success in a startup.