Striking Gold – Uday Disley

How often do you see our country stand up and take notice of champions who were hitherto unknown strugglers tucked away in some remote unheard of place. It happened recently when we all were glued to our TV’s watching a Krishna Poonia and her team create history, many would have felt the sadness to see a Babita Kumari in tears not having won the gold or a felt a lump in the throat when Achinth Sharath Kamal couldn’t control his tears while singing the national anthem after winning the gold. In a symbolic way what it really meant was that these men and women are not champions because they won, but more importantly because of the odds they have had to beat to reach this pinnacle. In a larger sense the point I am trying to drive home, is the potential of the unheard India that all of us in the ‘mainstream’ (whatever it means to whosoever) tend to ignore or overlook. But that should change and rightfully so.

One might ask why the reference to these athletes; firstly, the sheer number of champions that the CWG 2010 has produced who are from the hinterland of the country; secondly, we at Viedea tend to take sports seriously and draw parallels to it in real life (usually with cricket). If one did a quick recollection of the last few conversations with the investor community, you are more likely to have heard the word ‘bottom of the pyramid’ multiple times. While it wouldn’t take a genius of an analyst to quickly unravel the potential in the rural market, it would definitely take something else to identify ‘champions’ who will succeed in these markets. So what’s our take on this? Well simply put we believe that there are many champions out there (in the unheard India) who have not been discovered, the ones who we believe will strike gold at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’.

So how does one go about finding these champions? Frankly speaking we still haven’t figured it out, and don’t think anybody else has either, but fortunately we have met and worked with some entrepreneurs who will humble you with their understanding of the ‘unheard India’, and their sheer ambition to make things work in towns and villages whose names the ‘mainstream’, may have their tongues twisting over. The potential as seen from their eyes is vastly different from how the vast majority of us look at the untapped potential of rural India. Remember these people like the CWG champions have had to break multiple barriers before even getting into competition, and that’s the difference they bring to the table. As much as cricket from being the domain of urban India, has clearly moved to produce legends from Ranchi and Najafgarh, so have successful entrepreneurs started coming from a Kota or a Belgaum. Maybe this is the dawn of the champions of the bottom of the pyramid, and in the true sense ‘Incredible Inclusive India’.

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About Deepak
Venture Capital and M&A advisor, Entrepreneur, Startup enthusiast..

4 Responses to Striking Gold – Uday Disley

  1. Brilliant stuff!

    I think you can draw those parallels in many fields. You will love this annual show on NDTV called “Real Heroes” celebrating the unsung heroes of real life.

  2. Thanks, yes I have seen the show, these are the true heroes of the country.

  3. Mrigank says:

    Check out http://www.jagritiyatra.com – its an initiative where I am personally involved. A unique 18 day train journey across the length and breadth of India – trying to find the ‘Unsung heros’ and getting the youth to understand their journeys / trials / tribulations / aspirations and inspirations.

    If you are really serious about getting associated with the bottom of the pyramid – its a great place to get a real understanding of the same!

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