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How to write the perfect pitch deck, courtesy Ratan Tata. Entrepreneurs, take note

“I have, with the help of my office, put together a basic entry-level pitch deck," Ratan Tata wrote.

August 17, 2022 / 04:36 PM IST
File image of Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group

File image of Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group

In 2019, Ratan Tata drew from his vast experience of running businesses and funding start-ups to share pointers for creating an eye-catching pitch deck. The chairman emeritus of Tata Sons compiled a broad outline of what goes into making the perfect pitch deck. His “entry-level pitch deck” was specifically aimed at budding entrepreneurs.

“The young debuting entrepreneurs among you are setting out on your exciting startup journeys, but you’ve often asked what the first step might be,” wrote Ratan Tata. “I have, with the help of my office, put together a basic entry-level pitch deck, which if nothing else, might help you collect your thoughts and get started,” he added.

What is a pitch deck?

A pitch deck is simply an overview or brief presentation of a business idea that entrepreneurs present to potential investors. It helps investors get a better idea of the business product, plan and strategy. A good pitch can help an entrepreneur raise funds.

Ratan Tata’s pitch deck template

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These are the elements that go into creating the perfect pitch deck:

Problem

The pitch deck should explain what problem the entrepreneur is trying to solve. “Validate the problem with real life examples,” advises Tata.

Solution

What is your product or service doing to solve the aforementioned problem?

Unique Selling Proposition

The Unique Selling Proposition or the USP of your product will help it stand out in the market. “What characteristics make your solution a “never-before” solution?” reads the template put together by Tata and his team.

Competition and Barrier to Entry

Your pitch deck should also explain how your solution differs from existing solutions. It should expound on:

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?

Revenue Model

Do include points on how you plan to make money with your business – for example, subscription model, direct sales, ad-based.

Your pitch deck should also have three to five year projections.

Also include your top cash burn reasons.

Target Market

The size of the market vs the percentage you are targeting.

A granular profiling of your customer. For example: age, geography, purchase habits, personal traits.

What channels will you use to get to this market?

Your Product/Service

Ideally, everyone reading your pitch deck should understand what your product or service is. Try and explain it in layman terms.

Explain how your product/service adds value.

Milestones

Your pitch deck should mention the milestones that your startup has achieved so far.

If possible, also include what milestones you want to reach in the next few years.

Milestones for what you would do if you got funded

Funding So Far

Mentioning the funding you have received so far helps build credibility and validation, so share details of other investors and soft commitments.

Mention realistic numbers for expected funding, advises Ratan Tata’s pitch deck template.

The Team

Introduce your founding members. Mention their credentials. Exhibit unity in thinking, in strategy.
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