SmartStateIndia
Interview

GoGroup enabling opportunities for entrepreneurs and engineers

Established in 2019, GoGroup was founded as a “venture studio” where they help build startups from the scratch. GoGroup owns processes of setting up the company, building technology products, and guiding through fundraising and hiring for different departments for the startups they work with. GoGroup has a team of engineers, product managers, digital marketers, designers, venture builders, and several other business executives spread across India, Germany, Nepal, and the UK. SmartStateIndia had the opportunity to interact with Shishir Goel, the Founding Partner at GoGroup, who shared details about the company and how they help in fostering entrepreneurship.

Here’s an excerpt from the interaction.

Tell us about GoGroup, and the people driving it.

GoGroup was founded in 2019 together with my Founding Partners Sascha Weiler and Nico Weiler. Our main goal was to provide diverse opportunities for entrepreneurs and engineers. It has since developed into an innovation engine that enables ambitious entrepreneurs to build new-age economy businesses from scratch.

We partner with founders at the beginning of their journey and help them with building digital capabilities like product management, engineering, design, and marketing. By bringing our experience in building tech companies and global networks to the table, GoGroup is facilitating the growth and development of multiple startups around the globe.

What led you to start this business?

A big drive that led to the creation of GoGroup was an urge to build a profitable and long-term business. The rules of the game are different in VC-backed startups, and we had made our own learnings while building and running multiple companies during the last decade. Having worked together closely as a founding team, we knew we could count on each other and our team to create amazing products.

What was different this time around was that we chose to start something that we could dream of building for decades to come in a more sustainable way. In other words, the focus was to create lasting opportunities for entrepreneurs and engineers.

What difficulties did you face while building the company, and how did you overcome them?

An abundance of opportunities can also mean you have to make hard decisions and know exactly when to say ‘no’. Many business opportunities look very exciting at the first sight. So, deciding which ones to go after for the long term while preserving your core values is difficult. Today, we have structures in place with which we can identify the most promising opportunities.

Another difficult decision that we took was saying “no” to external capital. We were approached by people who wanted to invest money in our business, and it was tempting. To us, raising external capital felt like a shortcut to achieving our vision of building a stable business that succeeds in the long term.

In hindsight, these decisions made us stronger, and we are always motivated to find the right solutions to our problems.

How do you see entrepreneurship now vs. when you started?

Like everything, entrepreneurship has evolved quite a bit. A few years back entrepreneurship appeared exclusive. It was gut-wrenching for people to leave their stable jobs and start up. This has changed rapidly. Now, people are ready, more than ever, to give it a shot even if it brings failure initially. All the mental barriers like the place you live, the university you have studied at, your past work experience, and the language you speak are becoming irrelevant.

Also, now entrepreneurs are leveraging the power of the community more than ever before. Entrepreneurs are very open to learning from each other’s experiences. It is truly heart-warming to see how entrepreneurs from different GoGroup ventures collaborate and learn from each other.

There are several technology businesses and hence massive competition in the market. How is GoGroup uniquely positioned in the ecosystem?

The biggest value which makes us unique is our ability to think like a founder. We partner with new founders very early in their journey and help build companies from ground zero. We understand the business deeply. We are in it together for the long run and are committed to the quality of the product. This builds trust which leads to newer opportunities.

On top of this, we’ve been able to build a very strong network throughout the globe over the last decade. This ensures we have access to industry veterans and thought leaders. Through this, we continuously learn and adapt to the ever-changing technology landscape.

What are the flagship business solutions/offerings where GoGroup stands out?

Our platform is very unique. We bring together entrepreneurs and talented teams from the very beginning. They can find each other and fall in love. This builds deep trust from the start which helps them go far and grow together as a team and as a startup.

What are the key company milestones for the next 6-12 months that need to be achieved?

We are currently in the process of cultivating two to three ventures in the next two quarters, while simultaneously onboarding new partners. This means a lot of growth for us, so our main priority for the next year is to ensure our carefully curated culture is not lost in the process while we scale. This is especially important for GoGroup as we work remotely, and we are constantly finding new ways to foster a great team spirit even though most of us only see each other in person once a year. It’s a challenge, but it wouldn’t be called a milestone if it wasn’t something we have to work hard to achieve.

What kind of impact do you foresee on your business because of the so-called funding winter?

We have been very focused on building a company with a solid foundation from the very beginning. We have a well-diversified revenue stream today and that will help us sail through the funding winter. We also see a silver lining in the current environment. There is a renewed focus on building good and sustainable businesses now. We notice that there is no dearth of capital for the early-stage companies with a great idea, a solid team, and healthy unit economics. We’ll continue building.

What do you love the most about your team?

We are most impressed with the ownership that everyone takes – whether they are team leads or junior developers, we know we can count on our team to get their work done because they really care about the products they are building.

This also feeds into their deep sense of belonging to GoGroup and aligning with the company’s mission and values. We appreciate the camaraderie that they share, and how everyone is dedicated to helping their peers develop, both personally and professionally.

It’s an environment that a founder can only wish for, so we are eternally grateful for how dedicated our team is to GoGroup’s collective successes.

How do you define your company culture? What do you do to improve it on a regular basis?

At GoGroup, we want to make sure that our people can grow professionally and personally. We have different initiatives under “Awesomeness programs” to address this goal. For example, a group of leaders work constantly on providing the right upskilling initiatives for the whole team, depending on who should be learning what in order to excel at their work. We also collaborate with external parties to impart soft skills training to a select group of employees.

We are a remote company based across 5 countries, and this is a huge chance for everyone to learn from different cultures. To ensure that leaves a positive and long-lasting impact on every individual, we organize in-person events – popularly known as GoFests internally – where everyone meets, works, and socializes together. We embrace remote work and continuously find ways for our team members to collaborate across other teams as well.

GoGroup takes pride in being a transparent organization where everyone in the company can approach other team members, including the founding partners, to talk about work, company progress, a life skill, or anything that they need support with. Even though we’re just getting started, we know that the right culture is paramount in building organizations that last.

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