If a startup needs to succeed, it needs to take along itself a bunch of external entities, and all of them must complement each other to give an integrated solution to the consumer.
This holds true for all stages; right from developing a vendor for your raw material, all the way to developing the right distribution channel.
Finding partners is quite challenging for us, because we are looking to grow. The idea is find someone who is willing to work without qualms at small scale, but should also be able to scale up later. There are experiments and explorations to be undertaken, and it requires patience to see them through.
Let me look at it from three different angles in context of inoho- a vendor, a distributor and a service provider.
From a vendor perspective, we needed to partner with vendors who have the technology and the ability of a large player, but are happy working for small order sizes. A major issue with both large and small players is that they are unwilling to spend time in experimentation. Additionally, a large player would have an atrocious expectation in terms on minimum orders, but a small player would just not have the capability to think through the product, or may not be able to scale up. With persistence, we did find those rare ones, who were willing to develop the required solutions and would be able to grow. Those guys share our vision for the future.
From a distributor perspective, we are exploring and developing and entirely new consumer segment in the market. The smart homes market has been low volume - high margin. However, we believe there is a large, un-served mass market, which no one has tried tapping before. So we have spent a lot of time trying to find channels that are aware of the industry, but also believe in the change that inoho is trying to bring in. These are the partners who are willing to explore new models of doing business.
A win-win is to find a startup to partner with, and this worked for us in the installation and service angle. They have complementary offerings, a capability to grow and expand, and willing to work in the growing market. It’s a perfect match. We are now trying to forge partnerships with more complementary startups.
At the end of the day, a business will work if adds value to the consumer, and makes money to sustain itself and its partners. The challenge is to find the partner who shares your end vision, is willing to go exploring with you, and able to modify itself based on the market response.
Read more: techcircle article
5 Aug 2015