We recently wrapped up our weeklong Blume Day X celebrations (10th edition of Blume Day), a virtual reinterpretation of our annual Blume Day conference-cum-celebration. COVID forced us to go virtual, and we made it a week-long event, packed with some amazing sessions featuring panelists of global repute.
Here is a recap of all the sessions we had from March 22 – 26.
We kickstarted Blume Day X with this Clubhouse conversation featuring Nandan Nilekani and Balaji Srinivasan. They spoke about the unleashing of entrepreneurial energies, Aadhaar and the India stack, the blockchain, and why they’re unabashedly optimistic on India.
Excerpt from the conversation: “The fact that India is proving to be the vaccine capital of the world is good. The digital infrastructure, CoWin, developed by RS Sharma is amazing. My friend in Seattle got his vaccination certificate scribbled on a piece of paper. My vaccination certificate was digitally sent and was QR coded, I got it on my phone within 2 minutes of my vaccination. All this has given us a big burst of self-confidence.” – Nandan Nilekani.
On Day 2 – we had two sessions. The first one was a deep-dive into the digital transformation of the Indian education system, key themes we are witnessing in the edtech sector post COVID, and more.
Excerpt from the conversation: “Capital is becoming an important weapon. There is a global arms race to collect capital and create a powerful company. I call this – weapons of mass instruction.” – Deborah Quazzo (Managing Partner, GSV Ventures)
The second session decoded our Platform Playbook, why VC firms should double down on Platform as a function, why capital alone does not create success stories, and why it has gone from a “nice to have” to a “need to have”.
Excerpt from the conversation: “The best founders come for the capital and stay for the platform.” – Sanjay Nath (Partner & Co-Founder, Blume Ventures)
On Day 3 – we had two power-packed B2B sessions. The first one looked at how B2B startups can go from 10m to 100m to way beyond, levers and best practices for growth, how to establish winning partnerships and alliances, and more.
Excerpt from the conversation: “Two things Indian B2B companies need for an easier transition to the US market. More proof points of companies that have crossed the chasm. Network of people to help them go global.” – Dharmesh Thakker (General Partner, Battery Ventures)
The second B2B session discussed the India opportunity, the consumerization of the enterprise, product-led growth, open source, and more.
Excerpt from the conversation: “Open source used to be about the Jedi fight against the tyranny of tech giants, but now open source and commercial are two legs of the same person.” – Tony Wang (Co-Founder, Agora)
Day 4 kicked off with a session on crossing the chasm from private to public markets, and what public market investors expect from Indian Tech IPOs.
Day 5 started with a session on emerging B2C playbooks, (consumer) investing post COVID, and more.
Excerpt from the conversation: “The hunger, drive, intelligence and resilience of Indian founders and teams is world-class. The single most important thing founders should focus on is customer love; get a 1000 people to love you rather than a million people to like you.” – Hans Tung (Managing Partner, GGV Capital)
We ended the evening with an AMA (on Clubhouse) featuring Ashish, Sanjay, Karthik on the journey of the last 10 years.
Excerpt from the conversation: “We are mandated to find the best founders in India. Our strength is India. We want to win with the best India pipeline. Philosophically, that’s where we are at. What we understand is India. That’s where we have always played. That’s where we will continue playing.” – Karthik Reddy (Partner & Co-Founder, Blume Ventures)
The larger overarching theme for Blume Day X was “music makers”. Here is an article by Karthik that pays homage to the “music makers” we are fortunate to work with everyday. And explains why we see in our founders – these music makers – who weave melodies from thin air, and craft stories that last a lifetime.
We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
Full poem: Ode by Arthur O’ Shaughnessy