How can a Pune startup sell in the US? POCC event – Nov 7

This Saturday, 7th November, the Pune Open Coffee Club will meet to discuss an important issue facing many of Pune’s small startups. How can a small startup with limited funds sell effectively in the US market? First we’ll start with a couple of early achievers – Pune startups that launched on the world stage, with the entire world watching them: Dubzer, which launched at DEMOFall’09, and which launched at TechCrunch50. We will follow that up with a panel discussion on the details and mechanics and logistics and the strategy and the tactics of enterprise sales in the US – with panelists who have lots of experience in this area. Read on for details. This event is free for all to attend, and there is not registration required. So if you know someone who would benefit by this, please forward this article to them.

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4pm-4:30pm: Dubzer’s experience with DEMOFall’09 AlphaPitch – Santosh Dawara

Dubzer, a SaaS offering that allows publishers to quickly and easily create translated versions of their websites without requiring any technology development or software changes, debuted at the AlphaPitch event at DEMOFall ’09. We have covered details of this here. Santosh will talk about the whole experience, how they got in, how they prepared, the expenses, and the benefits.

4:30pm-5pm:’s experience with TechCrunch50 – Nilesh Diane, another SaaS offering that allows publishers of video content to add tags, notes, tables-of-content, and other rich meta-data to their videos, was selected for the TechCrunch50 DemoPit. We covered the details of that here. Nilesh Diane will talk about their experience, and other Pune startups can get a feel for what they need to do to be in the same situation.

5pm-6:15pm: How to bootstrap enterprise sales in the US Panel Discussion

We have three panelists – Abhijit Athavale, Devendra Deshmukh, and Amit Paranjapeย  – each of whom have over 10 years of experience doing enterprise sales in the US. Each panelist will speak for about 15 minutes about specific topics related to the theme (as given below), and answer questions from the audience. After that we’ll have about 30 minutes of a general Q&A where startups can ask any questions to the panelists.


  • Devendra Deshmukh, will talk about “How to set up a sales channel; How to increase your reach; and also talk about his early experiences in this area while setting up eZest.” Devendra is a founder and executive director of e-Zest Solutions Ltd., e-Zest Inc. & e-Zest (UK) Ltd. He is also a co-founder of Webizus Technologies, the IT (Information Technology) consulting company. He has experience of working with Indian software companies in both the operational and business development functions. For more, see his linked-in profile.
  • Abhijit Athavale will cover: “How to hire a Sales Rep; Why and how much time to spend in the field; The difference in sales and distribution and why it matters.” Abhijit is President and CEO of Markonix, and a high-tech marketing consultant. He has 16+ years of high-technology industry experience. Prior to Markonix, Abhijit spent over 11 years at Xilinx, Inc. in various engineering, applications and marketing roles. In his role as a marketing consultant, he has held executive management positions at Taray, Inc and Sanved DA. He has a masters degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University and a bachelors degree in electrical engineering from University of Pune. He is an accomplished speaker and author of several publications including a book. For more, see his linked-in profile.
  • Amit Paranjape will talk about: “The dynamics of enterprise sales (understanding your customer, his ecosystem, his business) and the kinds of problems you run into if you don’t understand all of this.” Amit has been in senior positions with enterprise product companies for over 12 years, most of it with i2 in Dallas, USA. He has extensive leadership experience across Product Management/Marketing, Strategy, Business Development, Solutions Development, Consulting and Outsourcing. For more, see his linked-in profile.

The panel discussion will be moderated by me (Navin Kabra). If you have any specific questions or areas that that you’d like the panelists to cover, please send them to navin @ punetech, or leave a comment below.

6:15-7pm: General Networking

Practise your startup pitch, bring your business cards, mingle, portray the confidence that you don’t always feel, ask the seniors for free advice, convince the juniors that working nights and evenings for your startup will be the most fun thing they’ve ever done, and feel out your peers for potential co-founders. Ask the panelists questions that you were too shy to ask in public, practise your startup pitch, set-up follow-up meetings with potential advisors, mentors, CAs, HR outsourcers, php coders, facebook app developers, potential angel investors, and people who will help you get in touch with potential angel investors. Or just talk about beer, or Pune’s new microbrewery, or ask around for new and interesting restaurants in town,ย  practise your pitch, and find new and interesting people to be friends with. And, did I mention, practise your pitch? All of this…possible only at a Pune Open Coffee Club meeting. Be there.


What: Pune OpenCoffee Club meeting on How Pune’s startups can sell in the US enterprise market. Featuring presentations by Dubzer &’s recent success at DEMOFall’09 and TechCrunch50, and a panel discussion with Abhijit Athavale, Devendra Deshmukh, and Amit Paranjape
When: Saturday, Nov 7th, 4pm-7pm
Where: Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research, Atur Centre, Model Colony. Map.
Registration and Fees: This event is free for all to attend. No registration required.

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9 thoughts on “How can a Pune startup sell in the US? POCC event – Nov 7

  1. Its late but had 2 questions. Will like to know was their any discussion pertaining to them.

    1) Off Topic : why everything comes down only to US?
    I believe social media domain start ups should focus more on BRIC countries. This was input from my school senior who is Head of India Operations and Head of APAC Busi Dev @ Mig33.

    2) How app stores are bridging the gap?

    With all the fuss about app stores from apple, sun , android , intel , nokia. How does it matter whether you are a US or non-US start up unless one is targetting SMEs in US?


    1. @MS, great questions, both.

      1. No, it does not all come down to US. Europe and BRIC are good markets and startups should focus on those also. And a number of Pune startups are doing exactly that.
      2. We picked “How to sell in the US” because, we had access to experts who know how to sell in the US.
      3. This talk was about “enterprise product sales”, not social media.
      4. App stores: Not really. Some people make some money on app stores, but as far as I know, it is extremely difficult to make non-trivial amounts of money consistently from app-stores. It’s fine for hobbyists, small startups, and maybe a few larger companies. But it is, and will remain a tiny market. And no, enterprise software is not yet being sold in app-stores – that is still being done the old-fashioned way!

  2. @navin,

    I read the title, I thought its generic.

    And since Anthony ( may be Yann too ) so I pitched about BRIC.

    I agree about enterprise+app stores. Useless.

    My view was more mobile/user app centric.

    I take app stores as a great way to gain visibility which otherwise is difficult. Its true earning money is difficult but more visibility can surely help in getting funding.

    Lol, I am noob at this things though. I still working on my product ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ Where and how to sell , follows later on.

  3. Hi, is there a video or audio available for this event? Indian software company selling to US enterprises sounds very interesting and a lot of us will benefit if you share full details.

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