Sachin Bhatia, founder of TrulyMadly, one of India’s fastest-growing dating application and co-founder of MakeMyTrip was in a city event on Saturday to talk to young entrepreneurs about the current startup ecosystem and the challenges that come along with it, as part of the first episode of The Velocity series’ Season 2 , an interactive session organized by The Venturator.
At the fireside chat with Abhilasha Dafria, founder of The Venturator, Bhatia, who has also invested in a wide basket of startups like LocalOye, CatchThatBus, Tripoto and many more, said during the event,
“For me to make an investment in a startup, I look at three things, the idea itself, the market opportunity in hand and most importantly, the proof of concept about the product or service.”
A serial entrepreneur, Sachin started off in the industry of working for a bowling alley infrastructure company before joining Deep Kalra’s MakeMyTrip during their early stage in 2000 and as part of their marketing team, he led them to unprecedented success. Quitting just prior to MakeMyTrip getting their own ticker symbol (MMYT) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), he fiddled around a few ideas for a couple of years before finally settling on TrulyMadly as his next brainchild.
We caught up with Sachin after the event for a short chat where he spoke about the scenario and provided some much sought personal tips to succeed and his future plans-
On Keeping Long Term Goals
“A startup owner should not have myopic vision. There are many times we don’t look ten steps ahead because we are caught up in the moment – in our product, or a future investment. The most successful entrepreneurs are always seeing the bigger picture while innovating. Having a short term goal will not keep one prepared when the bigger scenario appears in front of them.”
On Keeping Your Startup Lean
“Stay lean and outsource. When I started out TrulyMadly, only the product and marketing teams were inhouse. Our content, tech and relationship teams were all outsourced till we created a viable product for ourselves. Similarly, focus on the departments you need to keep and outsource the rest. The leaner your startup is, chances are, the better your startup will be.”
On Work Culture
“Work culture at a startup is one of the most important aspects for a successful startup. At TrulyMadly, there are no desk divisions between folks and everyone sits on the perimeter of the same desk. That way the creative team can talk easily with the marketing team. Or the product team can easily interact with the creative team. Growth rate is so high at an early stage that everyone’s potential must be used to the best of the founder’s ability.”
On Sachin’s Near Future Plans
“For now, TrulyMadly has my heart. We have worked hard on finding solutions to the modern problem of dating and the taboos associated with it. Our focus is on creating a product that doesn’t intimidate the Indian woman. All the dating apps in the market right now have a male-female ratio of 80:20. We have just reached the 70:30 mark and are looking to work towards finding a 50:50 ratio in the market. We are also working on a multi-level verification process so that creeps can stay away! So, we have a lot of work to do on our product as well.
As for investing, I have been trodding along, donning the hat of an angel for some products, but it’s still too early to talk about them. I am always looking for interesting opportunities to invest in, but I follow those three rules religiously – it should have a large market opportunity, a foolproof proof of concept and an interesting idea.”