1. Anil agarwal, born in patna(24th January 1954) – founder and chairman of Vedanta Resources PLC. He controls Vedanta Resources through Volcan Investments, a holding vehicle with a 100% stake in the business.
2. Ravindra Kumar Sinha, born in Jehanabad,Bihar (1st july 1954)- Ravindra Kumar Sinha is a Padma Shri awarded Indian biologist and environmentalist. Currently, he is Vice-Chancellor of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University and formerly of Nalanda Open University.
3. Ravindra Kishore Sinha, born in Buxar, Bihar(22nd september, 1951)- also known as RK Sinha is an Indian billionaire businessman, politician and journalist. He is the founder of Security and Intelligence Services (SIS), a private security solutions provider in India and Australia. He is also a billionaire and member of Rajya Sabha.
4. Subrata roy, born in Araria, Bihar( 10th june 1948)- is an Indian businessman. He is the Managing Worker and Chairman of Sahara India Pariwar, an Indian conglomerate with diversified businesses and assets including Aamby Valley City, and India’s largest land bank spread in cities across India. Subhrata Roy Sahara founded the company in 1978.
5. Sanjay Kumar Jha, born in Sultanganj (1968)- is the former CEO of GlobalFoundries and former chairman and chief executive officer of Motorola Mobility. Prior to that he was the chief operating officer of Qualcomm. He began his career in 1994 as a senior engineer with the Qualcomm very large scale integration group working on the Globalstar satellite phone, and later on the first 13k vocoder application specific integrated circuit, which was integrated into Qualcomm’s MSM2200 chipset.
Reliance Group Chairman Mukesh Ambani continued to dominate the Indian billionaire sphere with a net worth of $50 billion. A Stanford dropout, Ambani jumped six positions to feature at the 13th spot on the World’s Billionaire list this year. He was ranked 19th last year.
“Ambani chairs and runs $60 billion (revenue) oil and gas giant Reliance Industries, among India’s most valuable companies,” Forbes said. “In 2016, Reliance sparked a price war in India’s hyper-competitive telecom market with the launch of 4G phone service Jio.” Jio, it said, has signed on 280 million customers by offering free domestic voice calls, dirt-cheap data services and virtually free smartphones.
Wipro founder Azim Premji occupied the second spot in India’s richest list for the second year in a row with a net worth of $22.6 bn. Premji has been ranked at 36th place in the Forbes World’s Billionaire’s list this year. Premji’s $8.4 bn (revenue) Wipro is India’s third-largest outsourcer, Forbes stated.
Like Ambani, Premji is a Standford University dropout who gave up studies in 1966 to look after the family’s cooking oil business when his father died, expanding it into software. Wipro has an innovation centre in Silicon Valley, which is focused on developing new technologies and collaborating with startups.
In September 2018, Wipro won a landmark $1.6 billion,10-year contract from Alight Solutions of Illinois, Forbes said.
HCL co-founder Shiv Nadar jumped three places to finish at third on India’s billionaire’s list with a net worth of $14.6 bn. He is ranked at 82nd in the world’s billionaire list this year.
According to Forbes, Nadar chairs HCL Technologies, an $8.2 billion (revenue) company that is India’s fourth-largest software services provider. In December 2018, HCL Technologies agreed to buy some software products from IBM for $1.8 billion.
Nadar is also a philanthropist and donated $662 million to his Shiv Nadar Foundation, which backs education-related causes.
Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, with a net worth of $13.6 bn, slipped one place to fourth on India’s richest list this year. He is ranked 91st in the world rankings.
Mittal merged his company Mittal Steels with France’s Arcelor in 2006, leading to the formation of world’s biggest steelmaker ArcelorMittal. Mittal is the CEO of this joint venture now.
Benefiting from an uptick in steel, the company reported double-digit growth in net profit to $5.1 billion in 2018 on revenue of $76 billion, Forbes said.
In 2018, ArcelorMittal acquired Italy’s loss-making steel group Ilva at $2.1 bn and also made a $5.9 bn bid for bankrupt Essar Steel, which was accepted by Essar’s creditors.
Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Uday Kotak, with a net worth of $11.8 bn, jumped seven places to be ranked at 5th in India’s richest billionaire list this year. He is ranked 114th in the world’s billionaire’s list.
His Kotak Mahindra Bank is now among India’s top four banks in the private sector, boosted by its 2014 acquisition of ING Bank’s Indian operations. Since its March 2017 launch, Kotak’s 811 digital banking app, which offers zero-balance accounts, has expanded the customer base to 16 million, Forbes stated.
KM Birla, Radhakishan Damani & family
Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and investor Radhakishan Damani share the 6th place in India’s richest list this year with a net worth of USD 11.1 bn. They jumped 3 and 5 places respectively from their last year’s ranking.
Birla and Damani are ranked 122nd in the world list.
Kumar Birla is the fourth generation head of the storied, $44.3 billion (revenue) Aditya Birla Group. In August 2018, Birla completed the merger between his Idea Cellular and Vodafone India to form Vodafone Idea, India’s largest telecom firm.
Damani holds stakes in a range of companies, from tobacco firm VST industries to beer maker United Breweries. His property portfolio includes the 156-room Radisson Blu Resort in Alibaug, a popular beach-front getaway close to Mumbai.
Vaccine tycoon Cyrus Poonawalla, with a net worth of $9.5 bn, jumped eight places to 7th in the India’s richest list this year. He is ranked 147th in the world’s richest list.
Poonawalla founded Serum Institute of India in 1966 and built it into one of the world’s largest vaccine makers. Serum produces 1.5 billion doses annually of a range of vaccines, including for measles, polio and flu, Forbes said.
Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani, with a net worth of $8.7 bn, jumped two positions to 8th in India’s richest this year. Adani is ranked 167th in the world’s richest list.
His $12 billion Adani Group spans over power generation and transmission, real estate and commodities. Adani also controls Mundra Port, India’s largest, in his home state of Gujarat.
In August 2018, Adani completed the $2.6 billion acquisition of Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure’s power business in Mumbai. Adani has entered the petrochemicals sector in a $2.6 billion joint venture with Germany’s BASF and has also won bids to run six domestic airports.
Sun Pharma founder Dilip Shanghvi, with a net worth of $7.6 bn, slipped one place to 9th in India’s richest list this year. He is ranked 191st in the world list.
Shanghvi’s Sun Pharma is the world’s fourth-largest speciality generics maker and India’s most valuable pharma outfit with March 2018 revenues of $3.6 billion, Forbes noted.
Wadia Group Chairman Nusli Wadia, with a net worth of $7 bn, jumped eight places to 10th in India’s richest list this year. Wadia is ranked 209th in the world list.
Wadia Group’ group companies include Britannia Industries, home textiles company Bombay Dyeing and budget airline GoAir.
Reason 1: Market Problems
A major reason why companies fail, is that they run into the problem of their being little or no market for the product that they have built. Here are some common symptoms:
• There is not a compelling enough value proposition, or compelling event, to cause the buyer to actually commit to purchasing. Good sales reps will tell you that to get an order in today’s tough conditions, you have to find buyers that have their “hair on fire”, or are “in extreme pain”. You also hear people talking about whether a product is a Vitamin (nice to have), or an Aspirin (must have).
• The market timing is wrong. You could be ahead of your market by a few years, and they are not ready for your particular solution at this stage. For example when EqualLogic first launched their product, iSCSI was still very early, and it needed the arrival of VMWare which required a storage area network to do VMotion to really kick their market into gear. Fortunately they had the funding to last through the early years.
• The market size of people that have pain, and have funds is simply not large enough
Reason 2: Business Model Failure
As outlined in the introduction to Business Models section, after spending time with hundreds of startups, I realized that one of the most common causes of failure in the startup world is that entrepreneurs are too optimistic about how easy it will be to acquire customers. They assume that because they will build an interesting web site, product, or service, that customers will beat a path to their door. That may happen with the first few customers, but after that, it rapidly becomes an expensive task to attract and win customers, and in many cases the cost of acquiring the customer (CAC) is actually higher than the lifetime value of that customer (LTV).
The observation that you have to be able to acquire your customers for less money than they will generate in value of the lifetime of your relationship with them is stunningly obvious. Yet despite that, I see the vast majority of entrepreneurs failing to pay adequate attention to figuring out a realistic cost of customer acquisition. A very large number of the business plans that I see as a venture capitalist have no thought given to this critical number, and as I work through the topic with the entrepreneur, they often begin to realize that their business model may not work because CAC will be greater than LTV.
The Essence of a Business Model
As outlined in the Business Models introduction, a simple way to focus on what matters in your business model is look at these two questions:
• Can you find a scalable way to acquire customers
• Can you then monetize those customers at a significantly higher level than your cost of acquisition
Thinking about things in such simple terms can be very helpful. I have also developed two “rules” around the business model, which are less hard and fast “rules, but more guidelines. These are outlined below:
The CAC / LTV “Rule”
The rule is extremely simple:
• CAC must be less than LTV
CAC = Cost of Acquiring a Customer
LTV = Lifetime Value of a Customer
To compute CAC, you should take the entire cost of your sales and marketing functions, (including salaries, marketing programs, lead generation, travel, etc.) and divide it by the number of customers that you closed during that period of time. So for example, if your total sales and marketing spend in Q1 was $1m, and you closed 1000 customers, then your average cost to acquire a customer (CAC) is $1,000.
To compute LTV, you will want to look at the gross margin associated with the customer (net of all installation, support, and operational expenses) over their lifetime. For businesses with one time fees, this is pretty simple. For businesses that have recurring subscription revenue, this is computed by taking the monthly recurring revenue, and dividing that by the monthly churn rate.
Because most businesses have a series of other functions such as G&A, and Product Development that are additional expenses beyond sales and marketing, and delivering the product, for a profitable business, you will want CAC to be less than LTV by some significant multiple. For SaaS businesses, it seems that to break even, that multiple is around three, and that to be really profitable and generate the cash needed to grow, the number may need to be closer to five. But here I am interested in getting feedback from the community on their experiences to test these numbers.
The Capital Efficiency “Rule”
If you would like to have a capital efficient business, I believe it is also important to recover the cost of acquiring your customers in under 12 months. Wireless carriers and banks break this rule, but they have the luxury of access to cheap capital. So stated simply, the “rule” is:
• Recover CAC in less than 12 months
Reason 3: Poor Management Team
An incredibly common problem that causes startups to fail is a weak management team. A good management team will be smart enough to avoid Reasons 2, 4, and 5. Weak management teams make mistakes in multiple areas:
• They are often weak on strategy, building a product that no-one wants to buy as they failed to do enough work to validate the ideas before and during development. This can carry through to poorly thought through go-to-market strategies.
• They are usually poor at execution, which leads to issues with the product not getting built correctly or on time, and the go-to market execution will be poorly implemented.
• They will build weak teams below them. There is the well proven saying: A players hire A players, and B players only get to hire C players (because B players don’t want to work for other B players). So the rest of the company will end up as weak, and poor execution will be rampant.
Reason 4: Running out of Cash
A fourth major reason that startups fail is because they ran out of cash. A key job of the CEO is to understand how much cash is left and whether that will carry the company to a milestone that can lead to a successful financing, or to cash flow positive.
Milestones for Raising Cash
The valuations of a startup don’t change in a linear fashion over time. Simply because it was twelve months since you raised your Series A round, does not mean that you are now worth more money. To reach an increase in valuation, a company must achieve certain key milestones. For a software company, these might look something like the following (these are not hard and fast rules):
• Progress from Seed round valuation: goal is to remove some major element of risk. That could be hiring a key team member, proving that some technical obstacle can be overcome, or building a prototype and getting some customer reaction.
• Product in Beta test, and have customer validation. Note that if the product is finished, but there is not yet any customer validation, valuation will not likely increase much. The customer validation part is far more important.
• Product is shipping, and some early customers have paid for it, and are using it in production, and reporting positive feedback.
• Product/Market fit issues that are normal with a first release (some features are missing that prove to be required in most sales situations, etc.) have been mostly eliminated. There are early indications of the business starting to ramp.
• Business model is proven. It is now known how to acquire customers, and it has been proven that this process can be scaled. The cost of acquiring customers is acceptably low, and it is clear that the business can be profitable, as monetization from each customer exceeds this cost.
• Business has scaled well, but needs additional funding to further accelerate expansion. This capital might be to expand internationally, or to accelerate expansion in a land grab market situation, or could be to fund working capital needs as the business grows.
What goes wrong
What frequently goes wrong, and leads to a company running out of cash, and unable to raise more, is that management failed to achieve the next milestone before cash ran out. Many times it is still possible to raise cash, but the valuation will be significantly lower.
When to hit Accelerator Pedal
One of a CEO’s most important jobs is knowing how to regulate the accelerator pedal. In the early stages of a business, while the product is being developed, and the business model refined, the pedal needs to be set very lightly to conserve cash. There is no point hiring lots of sales and marketing people if the company is still in the process of finishing the product to the point where it really meets the market need. This is a really common mistake, and will just result in a fast burn, and lots of frustration.
However, on the flip side of this coin, there comes a time when it finally becomes apparent that the business model has been proven, and that is the time when the accelerator pedal should be pressed down hard. As hard as the capital resources available to the company permit. By “business model has been proven”, I mean that the data is available that conclusively shows the cost to acquire a customer, (and that this cost can be maintained as you scale), and that you are able to monetize those customers at a rate which is significantly higher than CAC (as a rough starting point, three times higher). And that CAC can be recovered in under 12 months.
For first time CEOs, knowing how to react when they reach this point can be tough. Up until now they have maniacally guarded every penny of the company’s cash, and held back spending. Suddenly they need to throw a switch, and start investing aggressively ahead of revenue. This may involve hiring multiple sales people per month, or spending considerable sums on SEM. That switch can be very counterintuitive.
Reason 5: Product Problems
Another reason that companies fail is because they fail to develop a product that meets the market need. This can either be due to simple execution. Or it can be a far more strategic problem, which is a failure to achieve Product/Market fit.
Most of the time the first product that a startup brings to market won’t meet the market need. In the best cases, it will take a few revisions to get the product/market fit right. In the worst cases, the product will be way off base, and a complete re-think is required. If this happens it is a clear indication of a team that didn’t do the work to get out and validate their ideas with customers before, and during, development.