Industrialist Ratan Tata might be new on Instagram but he sure has quickly learnt ways to reach out to his nearly 700,000 followers through engaging polls and pictures. Now he has gone one step ahead.
On Tuesday, the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons conducted a poll on Instagram and asked "young entrepreneurs setting out on their startup journeys" if they would like him to put together a basic pitch deck template.
A pitch deck is a brief presentation that gives an overview of a business plan. It is used by entrepreneurs during meetings with investors to coax them to part with funds.
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Nearly 24 hours later, 97 percent people wanted Tata to guide them towards the first step of their startup journey.
Tata was game. Within minutes of the expected poll outcome, the 81-year-old investor uploaded a 16-page document on the A, B and C of a Pitch Deck.
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Here are the 10 elements that will constitute a basic pitch deck, according to Ratan Tata.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Validate the problem with real-life examples.
What is your solution to the problem?
3. Unique Selling Proposition
What characteristics make your solution a "never before" solution.
4. Competition and Barrier to Entry
How do the current solutions compare with your solution? How easy is it to replicate your solution? What category of competitors do you belong to?
5. Revenue Model
How do you make money off your solution? Such as subscription model, direct sales, ad-based revenues. What are your 3-5-year projections? What are your top cash burn reasons?
6. Target Market
Focus on the size of the market versus the percentage you are targeting. Do granular profiling of your customer such as age, geography, purchase habits, personal traits. What channels will you use to get to this market?
7. Your Product or Service
Explain how your product or service adds value. Try and explain in layman terms. Ideally, anyone reading the slide should understand it.
List out the milestones you have reached so far such as prototypes, patents, pilots etc. Write about the milestones for the next 1, 3 and 5 years if possible. Mention the milestones for what you would do if you got funded.
9. Funding So Far
Mention funds raised through other investors and soft commitments. It helps to build credibility and validation. Mention realistic numbers for expected funding.
10. The Team
Introduce your founding members. Along with credentials, you can mention why they are involved. Exhibit unity in thinking and strategy.
Other than the 10-point approach to a basic pitch deck, the former chairman of Tata Group gave the entrepreneurs five more tips to make the first step of their startup journey successful.A. Validate every possible slide with data. Numbers don't lie.
B. It is usually not a great idea because you think so, but because your target market said so.
C. Don't be afraid to recognise that it won't work and change direction or drop it completely. The right idea might be the next one.
D. Getting funded does not mean success!
E. Pitch less like a presentation, more like a story!
The Tata Group patriarch has been a serial investor. He has been an early backer of the ride-hailing platform of Ola and Paytm. He has also invested in Snapdeal, CureFit, NestAway, UrbanLadder, CarDekho and Lenskart.
Towards the end of the presentation, Tata has cautioned the young entrepreneurs that the template might not cover everything but the deck should not be made too long."As long as there is that fire in your heart, you will find a way," Tata concluded.