In Brief: Shunya One Ep 14

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This week, Shiladitya and Amit are joined by Miten Sampat, who leads Corporate Development for Times Internet. Miten focuses on growth and opportunities in investment, strategic partnerships, and acquisitions. On episode 14 of Shunya One, they discuss corporate development and its intentionally unstructured line of work, data security for various businesses, the next big sector and India's pathway to being the next China. To begin with, Miten explained how corporate development works and its scope. He said:

It’s actually just a very fluffy word. And it is kind of a catch-all when you want someone to do things which are not very well defined. So the idea is, companies when they get to a certain scale, they need to find unconventional ways to grow which may not be core to the current business which may mean doing unique partnerships with other large other companies, other small companies. It may also mean acquiring companies. Sometimes what do you do is you realize and some smart people realize they are not going to be smart about everything. There is a lot of innovation happening outside the building and how do you tap into that. So acquisition is an approach and another approach is investing. Even beyond that, you want to build a special project and get a small team and explore something. And so all of these things put together, you can’t sort of assign a very clear job because depending on the challenge you have or the aspiration you have, you figure out what tactic to apply.

Shiladitya asked Miten about the comparison in the environment offered to startups in India and Silicon Valley and also how the accessibility to large platforms is vital to a startup functioning out of India.

Being physically closer to where a lot of the action is; I know we live in a world of infinitely accessible communication so and so forth but ultimately you are doing business with people and it matters whether the guy or girl on the other side wants to do business with you, likes you or doesn’t like you, philosophically agrees with you on several different things. So as a startup when you are trying to build something, everything has to go right. Every additional bit of friction can kill you; it can be the smallest bit of friction.

Miten also spoke about a sector he feels could bring in a vast opportunity for growth in the country.

I think the sector that I am very excited about and I don’t know how it pans out but I think India could be a large market for adoption of electric cars. It’s the future. We have a good auto-components base.

Catch the full episode here: