Archive for the 'Entrepreneurship India' Category

How to find Business Idea!!!

When a person is about to venture out on journey of establishing a business of his own. Its very important for to carry the right set of tools and information resources to keep brain going in the right direction. These days some people suggest buying “Art of Start” by Guy Kawasaki and some preffer to suggest new book by Mindtree COO ” High Perfomance Entreprenuer”. Though these books surely help one in deciding how to go about venture planning and how to evaluate your business idea they dont help the biggest bottle neck faced by any wannabe entreprenuer which is identifying pain point or business idea.

Though the best business ideas are generated when you experience a business pain point yourself. Example was thought about when standing in line for visa to US at 6 AM in morning. But for others their are potential ways to atleast get your thinking started.

Read business magazines rather than tech magazines. Business Week, Business Today, Business India are couple of them which i stock every month. Others maybe dataquest which has business angle to information technology. The idea is to help you understand what others are doing in market what are their potential goals and plans. Now once you understand in what direction are the organizations moving you can initate your thought process which include thinking patterns based on your domain expertise to analyze potential bottle necks businesses may face and how they can be removed. Once you identified the pain points do your research further to see if their is something available in market or is their something with potential to scale up to solve the problem.  Try this for 1 month i can guarantee it will surely make your brain tickle and think of some business problem which you thought for which solution always exsisted.

Why Do Companies fail in India

Every week you see advertisement in newspaper from some or other bank auctioning assets of organizations ranging from rolling steel mills to bottling plant. If india is roaring and people are ready to ride the boom why are these small and medium size enterprises not able to sustain and survive. Talking to various people on this aspect especially Mayank Saraf and looking at the industry up for auction closely. It was identified the type of companies which are not succeding are

– Companies started by traders who had capability to sell the items but not able to control the cost of manufacturing them . In the end loosing out due to lack of operational experience.
– Family owned enterprises whose main objective of starting the company was providing employment to all family members. Hence lack of financial planning and irregularities in managing companies funds

– Companies unable to scale up to the demand and due to small size not able to win large orders.

– Firms which are unable to play the credit account recievables cycle right. anywhere in world people will take free ride.

These are some few classifications of companies which tend to fail. Idea of doing this post is to make entreprenuers understand they shouldnt fall in any one of the categories. Though these failing companies in booming economy also provide opportunity to people willing to jump in for the first time to help tide around fortunes of a sinking ship. As no person in distress will refuse call for help. If you are one of those people who still havent found an idea, Go find a failing business in your neighbourhood or community you could help turn around.

Advertising Jobs Online vs Print – My Side of story

Please note this is not a post about how their are different job portals and which to select but account of my experience with advertising for finding employees.

During last 12 months i have tried advertising using following mediums and will explain them one by one – Advertised position Graphic Designer and Sales/Business Development Executive

20% resumes recieved for position of graphic designer were relevant to my advertising description/specification. But very very poor result for sales/business development executive position.  This made me think what is important for these portals is to create a tool which help an individual identify what designation is he suitable for. As people are yet to understand difference between Marketing and Sales. Hence a goal oriented tool which analyzes resumes existing subjective description and identify tasks carried against position listed based on suggestive keywords. This will not only help in streamlining job roles and defination industry wide. But help potential employees get in right job brackets and demand right salaries according to their skills instead of their job titles held. – Very effective in generating immediate replies to job posting under same categories as but relevance of resumes low. My Job description specified job require employees to work in Delhi-NCR. Resumes of candidates being sended with preffered work location specified : Bangalore or Chennai.

Classified Newspaper Times of India – Finally some response from potential candidates for sales job in software organization.

Final Verdict : IT – Technology/Development jobs – post online

Sales/Marketing/Management Jobs – post in newspaper

Failure of Offshore Development and R&D Center India

Everyday you pick up business newspaper like economictimes businesss standard etc. Its filled with news of IT companies comming in hoards for setting up offshore development center to take advantage of cheap and knowledgable manpower in india. Though their is very less coverage on fact of downsizing and companies going back or looking at other countries.

Being from the SME sector its very important to emphasize SMB from US and europe had not been effectively take advantage of indian operations. Their are multiple factors responsible for it.

– Lot of expectation in terms of software engineering standards and manpower capability. In terms companies want their development staff to be as software design efficent as coding efficent. As this is what they are use to in US. But india does not have efficent skill set to do multiple hat jobs.

– This brings us to the next task training the employee to work according to company culture. By the time money is spent on employee training and he/she is ready they are ready to leave for company offering then next 2000 INR jump in monthly salary.

– Companies here either follow no process or too many processes which slow up the product development or research curve.

– Commitment to work long hours to finish project is often disappearing with shift working becoming the norms

india is all about number game or increasing capacity. If you have a formal process which could be run external to an organization and employing 5 people for 1 thing will also increase efficency and productivity by 500% then only it makes sense to co-locate to india. Otherwise you should consider investing with existing indian IT companies so that risk gets mitigated and local product management techniques in line with corporate objectives are meet timely.

Online Bus Ticket Reservation – Is it a sustainable model

In India we have recently seen advent of online bus ticket reservation model .Companies like which is in incubation with TiE-EAP bangalore are being seen as the next big thing to reveloutionize the industry. As bus is the preffered form of transportation for millions of indians every day. In this post we look at the model and its capability for replication and sustainabilty

–  Biggest thing against Online Bus ticket reservation in india is that buses dont run by timetables. Official every bus has an assigned route and timetable to match but unfortunately this is not the case. Hence taking money for a service which cannot be guaranteed is another issue. Now some of you may compare it to flight delays but then again your plane would not skip the airport. Buses some time dont stop at scheduled stops or may stop at unscheduled one by their own wish.

– Lack of organization form of transporters mainly this domain has been dominated by state transport corporation or small operators with upto 5-10 buses. Again private operators are yet to follow rules and routes and in tend to save road/toll taxes take non pre determined routes.

– Long luxury buses have just entered the market in last 2-3 years. With comming in of VOLVO we have seen bus travel sector compete with railways.

– Ticket prices for buses are very less and loading of service fees/transaction charges makes a big difference on non-luxury bus ticket pricing.

Reservation via call centre and via mobile phone payments. Passenger upto 30 minutes prior to journey can login via mobile phone to see which bus suites his requirement, make payment and is provided PNR# which can be checked at time of boarding the bus. This way instant travellers can benefit from such arrangements otherwise people will only use these services as time table checker and for trip planning instead of reservation.

Should Entreprenuer wait for the right IDEA!!!

This is a debate i have had with most venture capitalist that and generally outcome has been VC’s resoluting that entreprenuers should wait for the right idea before they take the plunge…..i still beg to differ…

Recently was having a conversation with recent proffesional turned entreprenuer and his words are still stuck in my head. “Their are 2 ways to do business one you have a great idea and a dream you follow and try to build the other way is you take the plunge now going with the flow…trying to make money from whatever opportunity which comes your way till the time you are able to find again that great idea and dream you would like to go with 300%.”

Well most of the people may like to conclude that VC’s were rite in first place you need to have great idea…but what part of the statement i didnt agree was taking the plunge once you come accross one.

After talking t him yesterday i was going through my “ARCHIVED collection of Business cards”, it started to hit me that 80% of entreprenuers from the technology industry dont do what they started out with. After couple of phone calls another realization came forward 60% are more sucessful in their new choosen line.  The 60% of them are those entreprenuers which have re-invented their business to always stay ahead of the curve. Some of them went from hardware business to selling Internet connections to IT infrastructure management. Some went from running cyber cafe to running an IT training institute to being successful as Search Optimization Firm. Industry has evolved people have evolved this is a sign of encouragement for entreprenuers. They are not the infosys or TCS of the industry but people who are proud to be in proffesion of running enterprises and taking call to challenges in dynamically changing enviornment.

For them wealth creation is not the only objective for being in business but its about sense of ownership and pride in achieving milestones their own way. In india its often said “those people are successful who dont work for money but make money work for them”  same goes for business just jump in the bandwagon with an opportunity use your entreprenuer skills to make it happen take it to the next level where you can jump boats to other new opportunity. Again remember VC wont think its a bad thing for you to have on your resume : stint of 2 wins and 3 loses. As they invest in people not businesses and from every loss you learn to do 2 things better than with 1 win.

So dont wait for the right idea but jump on board with the right opportunity..the right IDEA will follow its way to you!!!

Indian Online Deal Aggregator – New channel for E-Retailing

In continuation with our effort to bring out advantages of e-retailing. We look at online deal aggregator and how they are different from comparision website and value they can help you derieve.

Worldwide scenario is seeing rise of e-retailing with retailers who had invested in online sales channel comming out of red. This is a sign of encouragement for new breed of organized retailers joining the bandwagon to take the advantage.

Retailers need to maximize their interest by creating online pressence which is compatiable with new channels like comparision shopping websites,online deal aggregation sites etc.

About Online Deal Aggregators

In the west they are also called the leachers but personally i feel that these sites help consumers reduce time in sniffing through dozens of e-retailer sites for finding deal of the week. Its a newsletter website open for public advantage with link directly to the product page on merchants website. They are not selling things to you their motive is to provide right information at right time

Difference between online deal aggregators and comparision shopping websites

comparision shopping websites need more than 2 merchants offering same product for them to compare online. Now With e-retailing still a niche we dont have smaller merchants playing in this space competing at price factor to catch consumers. Most of them people joining the e-retailing bandwagon at this stage are manufacturers directly.

But Doest, Indiatimes shopping and rediff shopping exist to provide comparision ?

well as an organization foraying into e-retailing one need to understand all of the mentioned providers are e-commerce platforms. They help merchants setup shop and host their catalogue. So same merchant can be hosting his catalog at rediff shopping and indiatimes shopping. This defeats the purpose for comparision shopping websites.

So How to make your Online Shopping cart compatiable for these channels ?

Se for indian retailers cost is a big factor so for now will advice them to look at RSS – catalog syndication this will benefit them in reaching out to a larger audience and be ready portals corping up as new sales channels.

More of this will get answer from this small email interview with Nidhi Modi from which will help you understand the new medium of online deal aggregator and whats in for any e-retailer/merchant.


How does differentiate from other shopping aggregation sites like ULTOP? is primarily focused on serving best deals to its visitors. However ULTOP is a good effort to bring the online comparison shopping in India.

We publish new deals everyday or sometimes even 2-3 times a day to serve the fresh data to the shoppers. Lot of people purchase stuff when they find a good deal on it, whether or not it’s on their immediate shopping list. Users visit our site to check the daily deals and plan to buy a product if they are getting something for really cheap prices. I would like to visit Ultop when I would like do initial research about the product, compare or read reviews but it tedious to visit every product to find the good deals.

With live feeds of catalogue not available how are you managing to keep track of new items being posted?

Currently the process is manual, so we do all the hard work of searching the shopping websites and gathering information. Not getting the live feed catalogs from big online merchant is the main constraint.

We understand that we cannot scale up with the manual process and hence moving towards automation (or better call it semi-automated). We have some 22 sellers/merchants registered with us who provide us their catalog data and the number is growing everyday. These merchant are companies like and sellers on shopping portals like rediff or Indiatimes and provide us the data in our format.

Deals cease to publish on the expiry date mentioned by the merchant. Also our team checks the website to remove any stale deals.

I had a good discussion with the team in Redmond, WA few weeks back regarding the need for automation. You can check the summary of our discussion on

What is current site usage statistics in terms of hits etc. How are you monitoring user click through to other shopping sites?

With online shopping is in nascent stage in India, we have around 1500-1700 page loads everyday with 500-600 unique users. However we are getting word of mouth publicity and visitor trend seems to be good.

Yes, we do register the clicks to analyze the traffic we send to other shopping website. Recently we started sharing this data with registered merchant to show them the value addition we are doing to their business.

What is your basic revenue model and what volumes do you need to generate to become a major force or starting point for Indian shoppers?

We do have a revenue model but still not any significant revenues to mention however we earn some money through Google ads. But Google ads are not our main focus for revenues. We plan to move to CPC model soon and also actively looking for affiliation programs.

We just started our journey and it’s a way to go to become a primary online shopping source for Indian shoppers. But we are running fast!

Your own views on e-retailing scenario in India and is their enough products available in Indian internet online space for an online aggregator to function?

There are 38.5 million Indians online as per the last forecast from IAMAI. The Internet offers an audience that will grow to a 100 million users by 2007-08.

Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) forecasts that e-commerce transactions will cross the Rs 2000 crore mark (2006-2007) which translates into an increase of over 300% from financial year 2004-05.

Great opportunities for merchant and consumer are about to unfold. I agree that e-retailing is still to pick up but it going to explode in a year or so.

e-retailer’s with the advantage of low operating cost with give retailer (only with offline presence) run for their money. Big retailer needs to create an online presence like, the latest offering from Pantaloon Retails.

There may not be sufficient products available online currently but they will be available in very near future. Anyone who wants to play this game should buckle their shoes now!

Startup 101 – Why marketing department is requirement from day 1

You decided not to bring over an experience person to manage marketing infrastructure of your startup. Reasons could be many

– Decided not to loose out on equity for someone you could hire for cash at a later date

– Company doesnt need a big marketing spend at product development stage

their could be many other reasons but its advisable when you start your organization you also setup an marketing department. Advantages

– If marketing people are involved in actual product development it helps them to understand the product better and sell it better.

– During product development they can help with generating important feedback on features from customers which will help you create a product which has a demand rather than a dream speed buggy.

– Help you create a brand strategy which is essential keeping in mind you will need to pull good talent to work at your organization

Once product is ready how to manage a team of inexperienced marketing people is also a task CEO/management team of a business should know

– Goals/KPI targets should be well defined

– Steps on how to make a pitch and convert into sale should be very clearly defined

– Habit of cold calling and how to efficently use alumni contact or industry directories need to defined.

– Make sure your marketing people should either get use to listerning to a firm yes or a firm no. Whenever they get a no the reason should be well defined and turns out to be a feedback for the product.

– Every 6 months people who had said no to services should be contacted if the product can solve the pain point.

These are some basics which i thought should must share keeping in mind quality of marketing staff available to startups have gone down as candidates are not ready to share the risk with employers.

Internet as a big starting point for startups as it helps you jumpstart with information which wasnt available when i first got into it around 1998. The thing is we should learn from people who worked without the availability of a perfect VC ecosystem or other people funds to create businesses.

Being very honest when i first started writing posts which could help startups was all for a contest which was giving away book by Guy Kawasaki “Art of Start” i have read it before but i had lost my copy.  But now whenever i write a post not only it helps me analyze what i am doing wrong but help create a knowledge reference point for self which would help whenever i venture into something new.

Good site for keeping track on indian startup scene. Startup.IN

Contest Ends on 26th Jan’07. Will keep posting under this category weather i win the book or not!!

Notes from TiE Session with Reggie Aggarwal CEO Cvent

Reggie Aggarwal like great enterprenuer is a good orator and he know how to sell him and his business. Though the idea of the meet was not what Cvent does it was to encourage people to learn from experience of a seasoned entreprenuer. My main purpose of attending the event was he belonged to a non-traditional school of startups. By this i mean everywhere one goes first thing a wannabe entreprenuer is told is find a partner but he is one of the few people who went solo and proved it could be done all by a single decision maker at top.

He gave a very interesting view point in favour of this one man idealogy. He said “Think of a person worth in terms is he so important to business that you give away 50% of equity or instead you pay him his salary for 1 year with just 2% equity”. As a businessman its important for you to look at bigger picture. Generally when a person is throwing out equity to bring people out he is just trying to mitigate risk. This means if you are afraid you are asking people to come aboard a sinking ship willing to make them co-capitan if they can turn around then you might not be best cut to fit the entreprenuer bill.

Another important issue which reggie raised is lack of quality of candidates for sales and marketing. Even though our business schools are churning out graduates in big numbers its not helping the cause as students are not ready to take risk with small companies. In india small companies pay more than big companies which in terms mean companies are paying for risk share of employees. Which is otherway compared to firms in US.

His session has given me good idea on next series of posts i will write to help entreprenuers take the next plunge.

Prediction 2007 – What to look out in Indian Market

As soon as year comes to an end. Its time of the year when everywhere around the blogsphere people are busy making predictions…from personal to industry specific. At Business India 2.0 we decided to make our own set of predictions based on how we feel corporate india will start to use web transforming online industry in India for betterment of all.

Non- Technology Product Blogging : Till now indian startups were busy blogging on their new products being launched as part of PR and brand building excercise. But we will see more non-technology product launches to use blogging as effective marketing and PR brand building tools. Example Car Manufacturer talking about car building and release on blog. Trust me would create more buzz than paying journalist to review them for papers and mags. Beside we bloggers will give fair review for just a sandwich 🙂

HR and Social Networking :Organizations have a good outlet in terms of alumni managment but internal people management is going to be the keys. Social Networking will play an important role for people within an organization to connect with people of same interest and also learn about other domain practises in a firm. Other than this social networking will also help in creating hiring strategy for HR firms to discover new people and monitor existing employees interest to keep their personal goals and ambitions aligned with organizations/project goals.

Game Testing:  Software testing has become a specialized vertical in india with great volume of growth  expected. Secondly thing will be Game usability testing with N! number of hours spent at university labs playing Quake and Counter Strike comming to use as a paid proffesion.

Corporate – University Linkage : More companies will come forward to link up with universities to create technology hotbeds or mini sillicon valley in far fletched places across india.

These are predictions from us at Business India 2.0 Blog. If we dont blog anymore for this year. Please excuse as got a great party to blast!!!!


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August 2020