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HPA Talk: CleanTech Mentoring Workshop

Posted by Hemant Puthli on March 19, 2010

[Text of a talk delivered at the ‘CleanTech Mentoring Workshop‘ on March 19, 2010 aimed at introducing HPA and outlining the scope and nature of our advisory services]

Good afternoon!

First, let me thank TiE Mumbai, CII and New Ventures India for hosting this event and for inviting me to talk about who we are and what we do. I shall endeavour to keep this simple and brief, along the lines of an “elevator pitch” as it were, since the time allocated is quite short.

Think of HPA as a network of independent experts — high-content, seasoned industry professionals — brought together by a shared vision and held together by bonds of trust. Trust in each other’s capabilities as well as value systems. Since our associates are based in different geographies across the world, and also travel a lot, we use technology and communications tools to collaborate on projects and work as a virtual team. Quite often, we refer to HPA as an experiment in cooperative consulting, since each of us has their own independent practice as well, but we come together on a common platform to serve clients that need specific competencies that our associates bring. Each of us has had prior work experience of anywhere up to 25 years with some of the biggest global brands in our respective industries. So that’s a one-minute overview of who we are.

Regarding what we do. Simply put, we help businesses perform better through more effective use of technology, and we help technology providers perform better by strengthening their business management capability. Our work centers around the meeting ground of business and technology and we approach this intersection from both sides, assisting buyers as well as sellers through advisory services focused around Strategy and Governance. We weave our advisory services around the theme of sustainability, which we characterize by 3 criteria: social relevance, environmental responsiveness and economic viability. This is conceptually very similar to the “triple-bottom-line” approach or the “3P” model which I’m sure most of you may be familiar with. In this way we distinguish ourselves from traditional management consultants and business advisors with their legacy frameworks and methodologies.

In our experience, we have observed that each technology start-up is born out of a unique combination of two great strengths — technology innovation capability and the spirit of entrepreneurship. However, there is a third ingredient that goes into the secret sauce which makes a start-up successful. It involves depth of management capability and in many cases this is not always abundantly present within the start-up core team.

Let’s be clear about this: things like vision, strategy and risk appetite cannot be outsourced. The start-up already has some kind of a vision and some kind of strategy in mind, and has already placed its bets on its execution capability, else it would not exist. But what start-ups do require is help in the articulation and independent validation and verification of the entrepreneurial vision and strategy. And from that point on, they need help in aligning the various delivery vehicles that will translate ideas into action. That is where we come in — we help social entrepreneurs, including cleantech companies like yours, by offering the depth of our collective mix of management expertise and experience that you can draw on, to do the following things: shape your strategy and develop your business plans, build and enhance your execution capability and help in governing your operations. As a bonus we also sometimes throw in the ability to leverage our collective Rolodex of contacts, where possible.

In a nut-shell, that is what we do, and I would be delighted to meet the cleantech entrepreneurs over lunch, answer questions and explore mutually rewarding opportunities.

Thank you!

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4 Responses to “HPA Talk: CleanTech Mentoring Workshop”

  1. Monisha Advani said

    Very pleased for the increased momentum at HPA. More power… and the green kind! 🙂

  2. Nice! Where did you give this talk?

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