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Rocket Internet focuses more on execution than idea: Co-founder Oliver Samwer

Berlin-based Rocket Internet GmBH, a startup incubator known for cloning in new markets the successful consumer internet startups set up in the US, is focusing more on execution than ideas, according to its co-founder Oliver Samwer.

In a 'rare' interview with Venture Beat, Samwer also noted that very often, 90 per cent of a company's success depends on execution and it has become quite crucial nowadays.

In March this year, Oliver and his brother Marc have also launched a $194 million VC fund called Global Founders Capital  that focuses on developing nations.

According to Samwer, Rocket Internet is extremely innovative when it comes to execution. He said that the company prefers to be "the silent giant in the background, rather than being the loud player in the front row."

However, Samwer evaded a question on the high attrition rate at Rocket Internet.

Currently, Rocket Internet has 55 ventures; operates in more than 40 countries and supports founders & their companies that employ more than 20,000 people worldwide. The incubator has some 8-10 e-commerce startups under its belt in India. And lifestyle e-commerce firm Jabong.com remains its most serious bet in the country till date.

Founded in 2007 by Samuel and Marc, Rocket Internet typically replicates the online business models of its global ventures. The new companies are sold after some time.

Asked about its hiring-and-firing policy, Samwer said that most of the guys starting at Rocket are in their 20s and they get huge responsibilities from the very beginning. Talented people join the incubator, stay there for some time and ultimately build great companies, he added.

Samwer also said that he meets and speaks to his incubatees on a regular basis. He likes to be a part of the teams and wants to contribute as per his capacity. He doesn't want to be a high-flying bird observing things from above, he said.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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