Page 1

/Rs 30

JUNE 2010

Vol 3 / Issue 09 / June 10

DL(S)-17/3314/2008-09-2010 DARE

RNI No.DELENG/2007/22197. Posting Date: 5th & 6th of every month. Posted at Lodi Road HPO.


t e N ? l u a o i y c r o fo S Is ing k r o W


Pricing Strategy for Startups

entrepreneur of the month/

10 Rules of Social Media Engagement

Dr. Batra’s Positive Health Clinic

On Roads Less Traveled

investor of the month/

The Hidden Clan of Angels Innovation in Small Organizations

Dr. Mukesh Batra

Rajesh Srivathsa, Ojas Ventures ask the investor/

Pavan Krishnamurthy, Ojas Ventures 84 pages including cover

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BOARD OF ADVISORS N R Narayanamurthy

Chief Mentor, Infosys

Kanwal Rekhi

Chairman, TiE

Romesh Wadhwani Chairman & President, Wadhwani Foundation Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande

34 Is Social Net working for you?

Chairman, Sycamore Networks

Saurabh Srivastava Chairman, Indian Venture Capital Association Kiran Mazumdar Shaw R Gopalakrishnan

Chairman & MD, Biocon Executive Director, Tata Sons

Philip Anderson

Professor of Entrepreneurship, INSEAD

Shyam Malhotra Editor-in-Chief Abraham Mathew President Prashanth Hebbar Senior Editor ANALYSTS Aman Malik Binesh Kutty Nimesh Sharma Shinjini Ganguli Shradha Mohanty Vimarsh Bajpai OPERATIONS Ajay Dhoundiyal Product Manager Prasanna Srivastava Product Manager VIjay Rana Design Anil John Photography SALES & MA Jaideep Mario Gabriel Ankur Kalia Abhinav Trivedi Kingshuk Sircar

MARKETING Associate VP West North North South-East Asia

PRINT & CIRCULATION SERVICES Rachna Garga VP T Srirengan GM, Print Services Sudhir Arora Senior Manager Circulation Pooja Bharadwaj Assistant Manager, Subscriptions Sarita Shridhar Assistant Manager, Reader Service

Printed and published by Pradeep Gupta. Owner, CyberMedia (India) Ltd. Printed at International Print-O-Pack Limited, B-204-206, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase 1, New Delhi-20 Published from D-74, Panchsheel Enclave, New Delhi-17. Editor: Krishna Kumar. Distributors in India: Mirchandani & Co., Mumbai. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without prior written permission. BANGALORE 205, 2nd Floor, # 73, Shree Complex, St.Johns Road, Tel: 43412333 CHENNAI 5B, 6th Floor, Gemini Parsn Apts, 599 Mount Road, Tel: 28221712 KOLKATA 23/54, Gariahat Road, Ground Floor, Near South City College, Tel: 65250117 MUMBAI Road No 16, D 7/1 MIDC, Andheri (East) Tel: 42082222

The growing clout of social networking sites is adding to the number of businesses wanting to leverage this interactive platform for profit. While some businesses have been quick to reap the benefits, patience is the name of the game for many. By Shinjini Ganguli



18 Pricing Strategy for Startups

32 Pavan Krishnamurthy Partner, Ojas Ventures

The startup team got to have a clear idea of the cost incurred while deciding on the price of the offering. Selling lower than the competition may not always be a great strategy By Vimarsh Bajpai ................................ INNOVATION

20 Managing Water Pumps on Phone A Mumbai-based company has developed a device that enables farmers to switch water pumps on or off over a phone call By Shyam PV

22 Rolling on Determination A motorcycle modified into a cost effective plowing machine By Shyam PV

23 Breath of Hope for the Disabled

PUNE Flat No. 9, F Block, Popular Heights 3 Koregaon Park Tel: 65000996

A breath-sensor device to provide communication power to the disabled By Vantika Dixit

SINGAPORE 1, North Bridge Road, # 14-03 High Street Center Tel: +65-63369142 CORPORATE OFFICE Cyber House, B-35, Sec 32, Gurgaon, NCR Delhi-122001 Tel: 0124-4822222, Fax: 2380694

84 pages including cover

16 The Hidden Clan of Angels By Vijay Anand

24 I am bootstrapped! By Anurag Batra

DELHI D-74 Panchsheel Enclave Tel: 41751234

SECUNDERABAD #5,6 1st Floor, Srinath Commercial Complex, SD Road. Tel: 27841970


43 PRO-DUC-TI-VI-TY ! By Rajaram Rajendran

46 From Employee to Entrepreneur By Srikala Bhashyam

64 This Natural Resource now rests in Peace By Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

68 Innovation in Small Organizations By Dr Hrishikesh Damle



Content June10.indd 4

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48 Gujarat's pharmaceutical industry makes a strong comeback

DARE is not an acronym. It represents the daring spirit of the entrepreneur. The pharma SMEs in Gujarat are reaching out to global customers with 22 percent share in India’s drug exports. However, competition from big players and pricing remains a concern By Vimarsh Bajpai ................................ ENTREPRENEUR OF THE MONTH

26 Dr. Mukesh Batra, Dr. Batra’s Positive Health Clinic Speaks to DARE about his journey, values, plans and more.

The red color for the R of DARE represents the fire in the belly of the entrepreneur. You could think of the D representing the face, A representing the chest, R representing the belly and E representing the feet of the human body. Hence the red R.

................................ INVESTOR OF THE MONTH

54 Dr Rajesh Srivathsa, Managing Partner, Ojas Ventures

The entrepreneur dares to do things. (S)he dares to do things differently

Ojas is an India-centric, technology-focused early stage VC firm backed by Nadathur S. Raghavan, co-founder and former MD of Infosys. ................................ OBITUARY

30 Prof. C.K. Prahalad (1941 - 2010)

SMS: “DARE <your comments, questions or suggestions>” to 56677

................................ EVENT

52 Headstart 60 SME Knowledge Forum 62 The Technology and Mentorship Forum ................................

Email: Website:


66 On Roads Less Traveled ................................ OTHERS

08 Feedback 12 Exchange

Follow us at: DARE.CO.IN | CONTENTS | JUNE 2010 5

Content June10.indd 5

5/26/2010 6:02:43 AM

Editor Note June10.indd 6

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From the editor

Can We Make it to 2020 Vision? /Prashanth Hebbar


We are at the threshold of the decade at the end of which we are supposed to be counted amongst the world's superpowers.

rom the outsourcing for cost arbitrage era of 90s to valuebased outsourcing in this decade, we will be stepping into developing products, inventing technologies and putting new concepts into motion. If we play our cards well, we will, in the coming decade, also be the country which will represent its huge middleclass buying power, finally. If Tata's Nano became a global case study in disruptive production processes in building a product for the masses, another technology company Netmagic was invited by the Federal Communication Commission to demonstrate its new concepts of freeing videos on the Internet before it formulated draft broadband policy for United States of America. The world will listen to Indian businesses and court Indian buyers like never before. We are entering a decisive decade which will be characterized by speed and perseverance of execution. In fact, we are at the threshold of the decade at the end of which we are supposed to climb up to be one of the superpowers globally. Remember the vision set out in the Vision 2020 papers by former President APJ Addul Kalam? Upcoming Indian businesses will find themselves in a new business environment where the stakes are high but the rewards will be higher. One alarming trend is that we may make the barrier to entry for

new businesses too high which may hurt the guts of Indian economy. A case in point is the heady 3G auction. How will companies, which will subcontract work from license winners, be able to derive value while not burning themselves up is something to wait and watch. We need to tread these waters carefully and ensure that the democratisation of businesses is not reversed. The next 10 years are going to be crucial in deciding India's place in the economic universe. Emerging Indian businesses will find themselves in the centre of gravity of this activity. Whom we are going to miss is the great business philosopher and guru who nudged the global attention to the power of the masses, Dr CK Prahalad (Dr. Prahalad was part of DARE's advisory board). DARE will dedicate itself, as it did two-and-a-half-years ago, again into playing the evangelist, communicator, community builder, facilitator of knowledge dissemination to the emerging businesses and bring together the fraternity of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs into helping the nation achieve its aspirations. Is social net working for you? The digital divide is witnessing another split. The digital social divide. Those who are active on social networks and those who are happy using email and google.

Social media is changing the world dramatically.

Just as everyone realises the importance of networking in real life but only a few take to it with ease; social networking sites have seen people flocking to it but only a fraction using it. We ran a cover story last July, almost a year back, on how to make social networking work for you. As the year rolled we started hearing views to the contrary and true to the spirits, we ran those views on our blogs and in the magazine. Actually it was time to take a little tour of our own constituency, the entrepreneurial world, and see whether social networking is really being used and whether it is working for companies. In the pages following, you can read our travelogue. DARE.CO.IN | BLOGS | JUNE 2010 7

Editor Note June10.indd 7

5/26/2010 12:09:26 AM | email: | SMS â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;DARE <your msg>â&#x20AC;&#x2122; to 56677


Strategies for a new startup: Simplify, Collaborate, Outsource

schools. I think it must be encour-

I admit Indian entrepreneurs take

they try to do. But if you go through

time to share, let go of control and

the written material regarding affili-

build organisations slowly: Business-

ation you will only think of scratch-

es in India are of two types -

ing your scalp. And the funny part is

aged in our country where government always fails no matter what

First type - market-driven. No

that everything written is just written

uniqueness, regional players, minor

down for the sake of being written.

first-mover advantages, value for

Nothing is followed by the school

money proposition, aggressive de-

business owners. Yes, business own-

liverability, import of commodity (raw

ers is the right word to be used as it

material or finished) for trading.

is the reality. Schools charging up

Second type - Institutional/gov-

to one lakh per child per year in the

ernment business, tenders, licences,

junior section are making a turnover

patents, certificates, bulk orders and

of Rs 200 Cr.

how old the company is in this sec-

Those reading this, I would suggest you not worry about affiliation

tor are important. New entrepreneurs must come

and get started. You will get it, why

into the first type with a mix of ag-

are you worried when people selling

gressiveness, uniqueness in process

sleepers can run schools, you people

to cut across timelines and achieve

can surely do that and are doing, so

success quickly and move onto the

keep it going. ALL IS WELL. Priyanka Dixit

next opportunity. Amit Kumar Rastogi

Ice Cream Industry in India First survive, then thrive: Amit makes

Student soon to be an employee and

a very useful analysis. I would extend

an aspiring entrepreneur: Despite be-

the point he makes by relating to Vi-

ing a profitable business, it is certain-

jay's correct observation about "col-

ly clear that the hold of this market is

laboration". When the startup is in

still limited to tier I, II and to some

phase one, the business development

extent tier III cities. In rural areas or

activity MUST also look at Amit's sec-

in towns and villages, electricity and

ond type using collaboration.

proper cold storage still remains a

Amit is right to a certain extent. I

problem. For a small player it be-

would add however, taking from Vi-

comes rather more difficult to cope

jay's useful point on collaboration,

with these problems besides having

that the first type of startup should

less sales in the beginning.

collaborate with the network market-

Sudhir Choudhary

ing-enablers from the second type from the very start of their business development. Sanjay Dwivedi

Tyre Recycling: The New Business on the Block Your article is very good, I am interested in it and I like it.

Before You Set up a School


Making Money The Easy Way: Its

Rural Business Hub Schem e

good to see more and more peo-

The scheme of rural business hub

ple are trying to get into opening

is being implemented in 35 districts


Feeback June10.indd 8

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JUNE10 advertisement.indd 9

5/26/2010 2:18:10 AM

of India towards developing the po-

come across an Indian post that

per cent of their fossil fuel usage by

tential rural economy of India. I am

doesn't talk about Bollywood which

utilising waste tyre as alternate fuel.

a professional social worker, having

seems to be the only thing that is

I would like to ask all, where do your

an experience of 25 years in the field

booming despite the turbulent econ-

tyres go when you replace them??

of community health and develop-

omy. I am glad that the furniture in-

The fact is that they get burned in

ment. It has been found that very

dustry is picking up as well.

the brick kilns causing environmen-

interesting and important programs

Via Email

and schemes for community devel-

tal damage. So, lets get the identification right and the contributions.

ever, it is very unfortunate to miss

Tyre Recycling : The New Business on the Block

the state of Manipur while selecting

It is really interesting that the experts

Dr. S N Chakravarty,

the districts of several states of In-

have spoken on the status of the in-

I have been following this industry for

dia for implementing such powerful

dustry but are completely disregard-

quite some time now... but could not

schemes. I would like to suggest to

ing the fact that due to no Govt /

find the ways and means wrt detailed

include Manipur as soon as possi-

Municipality guidelines, as is world

technical and feasibility reports in

ble so that it helps in our efforts in

over, the collection of the tyres is not

order to start the same.

the community development in a

even addressed. The production of

Would be greatly indebted if you

very backward and landlocked State

tyres in India going beyond 85 mil-

could help me in this regard as you

which is located in a corner of India.

lion tyres needs to be studied with

seem to have a vast knowledge base

Irengbam Debenkumar Singh

the perspective that the collection

wrt this industry.

opment have been formulated. How-

Svach Desh

& dumping regularisation is the first

Please let me know the process of

Kids' Furniture and furnishings

step and then illegal burning is what

getting the technical and feasibilty re-

needs to be brought under control.

ports from you and other help which

Budding Industry: It is very interest-

Cement industry world wide is con-

you can provide on this front.

ing to note this post. I have never

tributing to the society by curtailing

Varun Jain

SMS: â&#x20AC;&#x153;DARE <your comments, questions or suggestions>â&#x20AC;? to 56677 Email: Website: Follow us at:



Feeback June10.indd 10

5/26/2010 7:36:11 AM

don’t miss the opportunity to advertise in DARE July Issue

Banking Special Funding stages and sources Funding from Banks Governments directives to banks on SME funding Performance of banks in funding SME in last 3 years Who to approach? Key (list) of people to apply to/contact How to apply? 10 things that banks look for Case studies - Three successful businesses that raised money in the last 6 months - Three unsuccessful businesses that couldn’t raise money Ten common mistakes made by businesses

How much to ask for? Application form from five top banks How to stay ahead of repayments? Defaulter scenarios Rural versus urban thrust Focus on women and other sectors How to evaluate between banks? A map of sanctioning authority level at various banks Collateral issues Interviews with chairmen of prominent Banks Listing of Banks and their schemes (Online only)

DARE has over one lakh entrepreneurs as readers, Progressive dynamic people who own and run businesses, or are entrepreneurial CEOs, business heads and senior managers. Each with critical needs, which your services and product can fulfill. Each vying to try new products, adopt innovative solutions and question accepted norms, Can you afford to let your brand to go unnoticed by them?

To book your advertising space in DARE July10 issue, please call : Mumbai / Bangalore / Chennai : Mario Gabriel - 09819815041 | Jaideep Marlur - 09819734353 Delhi : Ankur Kalia - 09910069789 | Abhinav Trivedi - 09911626947 OR Write to Ajay Dhoundiyal : DARE July issue deadlines : Ad closing: 21st June 2010 Ad material deadline: 22nd June’2010.

JUNE10 advertisement.indd 11

5/26/2010 4:24:23 AM

Exchange Submit exchange requests at: website: marketplace.htm OR email: dare@cybermedia. or SMS ‘DARE <your msg>’ to 56677


E-waste recycling plant I am interested in setting up an ewaste recycling plant in India. Interested technology suppliers/project partners may send their details via email. Anshu Tanwar

Support for startup in healthcare We are a group of few like-minded people and want to start our own enterprise in healthcare business. This business is based on trading, we know the regulations but we do not have the idea about registering a firm and the docments required. We would also like to know how much time it takes to register a firm. So we are seeking support and wanted to know if you can provide us this information and what is your fee and whom to contact? So please provide the details. Pradeep Dhingra

Assistance for online marketing firm for Tier II cities We are a handful of entrepreneurs having a concept of starting an online marketing firm for tier II cities. Our concept is different from other online marketing companies. We have conducted surveys to test our idea and have got positive response. Now we are planning to execute our idea by next month. We are looking forward for assistance in funds and proper guidance for our project. Please contact me for the details of the project. Rahul Varshney

Funding for Digital Hindi Movie I have made a digital Hindi movie, 'Checkmate.' The movie is a romantic comedy with its target audience being city youths. We are doing a campaign of the movie through internet and it has gained popularity. But due to lack of funds, I am unable to complete some of the post production work and to release the movie. I am looking for a financial partner or partners who can help me in completing the movie and releasing it. A

partner or partners can invest money directly or get us sponsors to reach our target budget. We would give a good share of the profit and the world rights of the movie to the partner for free. The whole budget would lie between Rs 50-80 lakhs. To view the trailer kindly visit our site www. Nikhil Sablania

Agents required for water bamboo mats We are sincerely seeking for agents for our special water bamboo mat which is not only an excellent mat, but also reprents our Chinese age-old culture. These mats are made of 'mist bamboo' which is very rare. So the total output is less than 6000 sheets in China every year! We sincerely would like to explore the new market in your country. Could you please take time to review our website if you are interested in this? Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Rocky Lee

Food Processing Unit I am a biotechnologist working in agri-business sector and am working on a plan to set up a food processing unit in Hyderabad. If somebody is interested and willing to partner, do contact me. Cell Next

Franchising for Thewa Jewelry We are one of the biggest manufacturers and suppliers of world renowned Thewa jewelry and handicrafts, based in Pune. In order to expand our network in other metro and mini metro cities, we are in the process of appointing franchisee. Any woman entrepreneurs interested may contact us. Kataria Pravita

Funding for food processing plant in Sikkim I apppreciate DARE for offering a platform where entrepreneurs can interact. We are a company on the verge of setting up a food processing plant in


Exchange Jun10.indd 12

5/26/2010 1:56:33 AM

Sikkim. Currently, we are looking for angel project partners for funding and other related consultancy. Persons who are willing to join can get in touch with us. Only genuine persons in capacity of investing Rs 25 lac and above should mail us or call us. D.K. Singh

Assistance offered for waste paper recycling projects We are dealing with waste paper recycling program since last 15 years and have designed a cost-effective model for waste paper recycling, handmade paper-making suitable for NGO, schools and colleges. If anybody wants any assistance with regard to paper recycling equipments, training, installation, etc. kindly contact us. KP Bikal

Want to work with VC Firm or startup I have recently completed PGDMBusiness Entrepreneurship from Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI), Ahmedabad. I have done specialization in Services Management and have bagged silver medal for the same. Having studied entrepreneurship and preparing business plans, I am currently looking for an opportunity to work with either a VC firm or a management consultancy that caters to startups and existing businesses with drafting business plan, formulating business strategies, marketing plan, etc. I am also open to working with startups. Interested parties can contact me on my cell or my email id so that we can take it further. Thanks! Nikhil Talreja

Partnerships for Preengineered building Is any company interested in a joint venture of PEB (Pre-engineered building) business? We are a leading construction company in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Bhupendra Patel

Acton Biotech Hiring Acton Biotech, a laboratory offering genetic tests to predict response is now hiring. We need pathologists, molecular biologists, geneticists, pharmacologists, administration executives and marketing executives. We are looking for people with experience, excellent academic records, positive attitude and willingness to take on challenging assignments. Salaries will be the best in the industry. Acton Biotech is a startup and is operating in an uncharted territory. We are creating the playing field, the rules of the game and even helping competition. We are experimenting everyday. Some experiments work while others fail. We encourage mistakes. The working environment is about innovation and creativity. Interested? Drop us a mail with your area of interest, detailed resume, current and expected salary. Feel free to forward this mail to your friends and relatives who might be interested. Sandeep Saxena

Starting a fortnightly newspaper in Bhopal I wish to start a fortnightly newspaper (12-16 pages) at Bhopal (M.P.). The framework is almost ready and the content would be in both English and Hindi. I have also gone through the details and stipulations of RNI (Registrar of Newspapers of India). The aforesaid mentioned publication would be different in terms of content, layout and I hope would interest readers from all age groups and walks of life. The initial readership is targeted around 3000-4000, locally. If everything works out well, then other cities shall also be targeted. I am looking for someone who can help me out in RNI Work, i.e; registration, permissions, etc. and has previously dealt with similar kind work/agencies and has the know-how of its working. All kinds of help/suggestions/guidance will be more than welcome. You can contact me. Shiladitya Verma

Daring entrepreneur sought to globally expand business Our product is being used since last 40 years yet only two companies, one in Europe and the other in Asia are manufacturing it. This a very closely guarded technology. Application and manufacturing are unknown in the USA, Canada, East Europe, Japan and Brazil,etc. Capi-

tal required is about Rs 15 lakhs for production of 100 tons/year. Highly profitable [min 60 percent]. Transferred technology to one company in Asia, manufacturing since ten years for captive consumption. If any daring entrepreneur willing to convince the users of above-mentioned countries to evaluate the product, please contact me. All the details of possible users and the uses of the product will be supplied. Sanjay Mukherjee

Want to expand pickle business globally I am running a household pickle business for the past 12 years. Now I want to expand my business globally. Can you kindly tell me the way of approach and the Indian Government rules on exporting food products and countries where demand is high? Bala krishna Reddy

Funds for SSI unit manufacturing industrial mineral I set up an SSI unit manufacturing industrial mineral having demand outstripping production. Need funds for working capital. Vijayalakshmi Tallapaneni

Offering Ideas for educationrelated venture I am an edupreneur and educational consultant and have various educaDARE.CO.IN | EXCHANGE | JUNE 2010 13

Exchange Jun10.indd 13

5/26/2010 1:56:38 AM

tion-related startup ideas. Anyone interested in opening a college or running an education-based business in online (virtual) or real space, can reach me on my email or phone. Prof J.S. Response I would like to connect with Prof JS, who expressed his interest in partnering with edu-preneur in April 2010 issue of DARE magazine. Imran

Guidance for online Pharmacy I am having nine years experience in pharmaceutical product selling. Now I am interested in starting an online Pharmacy. Please guide me on how can I move ahead and what is the SWOT analysis of this project. Avanish Misra

Setting up a plant tissue culture laboratory near Mohali I am Horticulture graduate and I am interested in setting up a plant tissue culture laboratory at Kharar, Near Mohali Distt (Punjab). I want a project report for setting up a lab for Rs 100 Lakh. Subsidy will be provided by NHM 50 percent of the cost. Maximum ceiling of the project value is Rs 100 Lakh. Subsidy will be 50 percent (50 Lakh). I also want to clarify that in this project can I add the value of land? If yes, then how much cost of land building I can include? Please guide me. Rupinder S Saini

Tyre Recycling : The New Business on the Block Because of their bulk, collecting and transporting old tyres for recycling

constitutes a large part of the operating costs. Equipment to shred the tyre at the point of collection will save a lot of cost involved. It will have to be done in the environmentfriendly way. We are willing to start an old tyre collection service on our website, if someone wants to drive that business, please contact me. We have more than 6000 commercial vehicles already registered. Vikram Puri I am starting a tyre retreading plant in my home country and I need help to find used tyres. If anyone can help me that would be perfect. I am also looking for a partner in starting up a tyre manufacturing plant, it will be the first in my home country. Ebrahim Rahim Could you please let me know the tyre waste import possibilities in India? As I enquired, there are some prohibition notifications given to import tyre waste by either MoEF/ Customs/DGFT or other government bodies. I am not clear in this subject. We are actually LAFARGE CEMENTS looking for tyre waste to burn in our cement kilns. The route we are trying is import only; locally it does not seem to be viable. Please advice me. If anyone is able to supply tyre waste to us, please contact. Byrava Moorthi We are looking for a joint venture for tyre recycling unit in India, and have already started the process to set up a pilot project in UP near New Delhi (35 KM). Vipen Parwanda Response I might be interested in joining hands and resources for the tyre recycling

Funding available for Tyre Recycling project Good idea. If any one is interested with viable project report and marketing strategy, seed capital will be arranged but with three conditions. 1) Preference should be given to establishing in Andhra Pradesh. 2) Coming with strong technical credentials, individual or group, about the product portfolio and concrete marketing skills 3) Must prefer to adopt latest technology with minimum investment, commitment from proposer's side. Kindly approach me. Seshachary P


unit. Please forward me more details of the business model (technology, scale, end-products, financials, etc) on my email ID. Ritvik Sethia

Import business from China I am from Delhi and can help set up an import operation from China. Would like to discuss business plan in detail. Please call me or email me with additional details. Amit Gupta Response I have seen the Exchange column in DARE stating that Mr. Amit Gupta can help in an import operation from China. In this connection, I request you to kindly give his email or his address, so that I can contact him. Awaiting an early reply. P. Seshanjaneyulu

Marketers required for Plant Tissue Culturing We are into plant tissue culturing. We have set up a laboratory with the capacity of producing 1.2 million plants annually. We are currently propagating Banana Grade Nine (G9) variety. We are looking for people or companies who would like to market our G9 banana plants. We are also interested in any plant propagation outsourcing opportunity. Arvind Response I am interested in it. I live in Mumbai. Where are you located? Russell

Online optical store I have an optical shop in my city and dream of making it into a retail chain. However, due to lack of funds, I am currently trying to open an online store for my business. Since I have no experience in this, can somebody help me with this? Shahid Ali Response I am a Website developer. I am into this for the past eight years. I can help you create an online store. Please contact me on my email if interested


Exchange Jun10.indd 14

5/26/2010 1:56:42 AM

with more details. Fidelis Response Hello Sir, I am very much interested to support for you, I own a software company called Sagacity Works, basically its a Web applications business and has executed a lot of projects. I hope we can provide you relevant support for this. If you are interested please revert us back. Ragadeepthi Thadakamadla

Any online startups involving electrical engineering? I am the owner of an India-based electric vehicle portal and I am very much interested in online startups. I have a technical background in electrical engineering and I am an electric vehicle enthusiast. I have one more portal, which is active but not being updated, and I am planning to make it an e-portal business for electrical engineering knowledge seekers. Contact me if you are interested. Murali Response I have good experience in implementing the portals. I would like to join you. Previously I have worked with, sonystyle.,, cabelas. com,, and Madusudan Kanikanti

Entrepreneur sought for solar energy startup We are a one-and-a-half-year old company working in the solar energy space. The company has started generating revenues now. We are looking for an enthusiastic entrepreneur to drive it aggressively to the next level. Here are the required qualities: 1. Based out of Bangalore 2. Ability to drive execution by spending full time 3. Electrical (engineering) background and passion in the (solar/ wind) energy business 4. Long-term and high goal commitment 5. Ability to contain costs Raghavendra Ijjada

Mentor sought for starting accounting BPO/ KPO I am a chartered accountant by profession. I want to start a BPO/KPO in my city. Can anybody help me get the required information? Can anybody mentor me for this project? I have a good idea which nobody has yet implemented relating to the CA profession. Please advise. Rajesh Jakhotya Response You should connect with Ghanshyam Gadhvi. Visit Gunjan Chandrayan

Response I am entrepreneur based in Kolkata, looking to set up a venture in Jaipur where I possess a prime industrial land of 5000 sq.m. I am interested in your proposal but I do not possess any mechanical background. I have trusted manpower in Jaipur who is an engineer. Can we work out something and can you give me more details about your proposal? Chokhani Vineet

Have land available for school near Indore I have a land about 2.5 acre near Indore at Dhar road, seven km from Indore and want to start a school. Can you help me? Sudhir Ladda Response I want to connect with Sudhir who owns 2.5 acre land near Indore and wants to set up a school. The request was there in May/April issue. Is this something you can help me with? Gunjan Chandrayan

Startup idea on designer wear and renting marriage/ party dresses I am a working professional aspiring to be an entrepreneur, basically on the lookout for new ideas. Just thought about these two ideas: 1) There are many upper middle class people wanting to wear designer clothes, but canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford them or have to hunt around for a good fashion designer. Was wondering if I could bring a few designers under one roof and provide affordable and customized designer wear for my target customers? Need some

more ideas to refine this business model and some guidance on how I can go about this? 2) People spend exorbitant amount of money on buying dresses and accessories for their marriage, most of which they never use again. Can I bring in a model where I can buy them and rent it out? Is this a viable plan? Unni Vidhya Response 1) Yes it will require a lot of refining and analysis, understanding and research. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a nice concept but again, the most important thing will be maintaining its simplicity, as the idea is a pure and genuine flow of innovation. Practical implementation would hamper its genuineness. This concept can run successfully if we work out on long-term and short-term visions, long-term planning, business strategies and scope. You can contact me on my messenger ID. 2) Its better to discuss about this when we are online or speak to each other or mail it to my email ID. Rituraj Hesi

Bamboo business partnerships sought I am looking for individuals, private or public limited companies, who would like to get involved with us in doing bamboo business on a large scale. I am basically based in London and have access to UK and EU markets. Pranab Debnath Response I am interested in bamboo business. Please share your expectations. Anuj DARE.CO.IN | EXCHANGE | FEBRUARY 2010 15

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/Vijay Anand

The Hidden Clan of Angels Finding a good angel investor can literally add wings to several startups. The key is to look out for the right person with eyes wide open. Read on to find out more.


he venture capital world is evolving and morphing into another form to keep up with the change that is happening with the way companies are built. No longer do companies require enormous amounts of upfront capital to build their base, but can rather start with a prototype, leverage cloud hosting services, outsource development, and make use of the countless performance-based and pay-as-yougo business models that are emerging today. All said, what cannot be undermined is the fact that startups still do require capital, even if it is in small dozes, to be able to achieve the potential they set out to achieve. It is often claimed that India does not have an active angel investment community. The truth couldn't be farther away from it. It is true that we do not have the likes of a Ron Conway to lead the way in angel investments and in making bold moves, but the silent movement continues as it always has been in India. If that is the case and if startups that we know of aren't able to raise capital, then the mistake must be elsewhere.

The Unveiling: If you look at the Indian stock market, the sheer volume of money that 16

is transacted via channels such as mutual funds, and those who are now investing in real estate, not for sentimental reasons, but to gain a profit in the upswing, one thing is obvious: the sentiment to invest in high-risk ventures is not the one that needs major rehabilitation. The boom of the industrial and the IT sector in India, taking along with it the retail and affiliated verticals, has created a new class of affluent people. Look at any of the IT companies and the category of senior managers and you will realize that most of them take home a package that is capable of expenses, savings, investments and some disposable income. There are visible signs of the angel community emerging.

The Wrong Approach: When I first started off as an entrepreneur and started understanding the inner workings of the investment community, I was told about the angel community as those who do not like to be in the spotlight, nor be recognized and yet have the capability to invest in companies. The sad bit about the startup entrepreneurs in India is that they expect someone to walk into a conference wearing a T-shirt saying "Hi, I am an angel investor, would you like

a cheque?" If that is the scenario, you are never going to find the angel you are looking for, unless you are dreaming. Secondly, there is also the notion that angel investors somehow do not care for returns and that they should invest without asking too many questions. Unless we are talking about your mom and dad, that does not fit the description of angel investors. Let us be very clearâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;philanthropists and parents are not to be confused with angel investors. An angel is smart, business-savvy, carries domain expertise with experience, an extensive network, and will make you work for your money. Do your homework, and persuade the investor â&#x20AC;&#x201D; be it an angel, friend, fool or a VC, with the assurance that you have the capability and capacity to build a business, make it profitable and make a return. That's the only pitch that sells.

The Golden Path: If you are a startup entrepreneur, do not shy away from the network of influential people. Organizations such as TiE, NASSCOM, CII, though they do not directly cater to startups, do bring together the right category of folks who do have leftover cash as part of their earnings, the desire to start something, the network to con-


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nect you to and lend credibility, and the experience to guide you. That said, do not walk in asking for money. Walk in to find a mentor who you can trust with your idea, someone you respect and can take his/her word for, and will add value to your thought process. If you impress your mentor with the lucidity of thoughts that you have about your business, would perhaps be the best pitch that you can make. In the real world, that is how angel investments are made; when the mentor offers to put money because he is impressed at what you are building and wants to invest in the venture and almost never by you asking for it.

When To Find a Mentor: It is said that there are two kinds of people in this world--the people that you go to for career advice and the people that you want to work for. You mix these two groups of people and you will realize that you end up in a world of unfulfilled dreams. Tell the person that you want to work for, everything about your thought process and your uncertainties and that almost sends any chance of working for them, out of the window. At the same time, if you want to get anything out of a person you are trying to get career advice from, you have to bare your soul a bit for them to understand what you are passionate about and what leaves you cold. The same rule applies here: Go find a mentor, and a possible future angel, before its time and you will end up with just a mentor, nothing more. If you want to have a chance of going beyond that and getting the mentor vested in you and your company, maybe as an investor, he would want to see clarity in your thought from day one, maybe a working prototype that gets his imagination and thought process going, a possible roadmap of the future ahead and his role in the whole thing.

The sad bit about the entrepreneurs in India is that they expect someone to walk into a conference wearing a T-shirt saying "Hi, I am an angel investor, would you like a cheque?" If that is the scenario, you are never going to find the angel you are looking for, unless you are dreaming.

The key to engage a mentor is to define what you expect from that person. I have borne witness to plenty of entrepreneurs approaching a wellknown entrepreneur in a crowded room and asking them to be his/her mentor. Given the circumstances, neither parties can refuse and it feels like the deal is done, but you realize years down the lane that the mentor was never fully convinced. A mentor who is convinced against his own will is not a mentor at all. Instead try this the next time you approach someone: Do your homework. Get clarity on what you are building, understand the risks, the disadvantages and the weak points; I am sure you will fill in on all the good things in plentiful; shortlist a set of people who are well-known and can genuinely help you, do some background research on them, talk to people who've worked with them and get to know what its like to work with them, and then approach them and give them the pitch that this is what you are doing, this is where you are falling short, and where you'd like the mentor to help. Trust me, that's a pitch that is sure to deliver. And if you keep at it, you would be surprised as to where the angels, that we speak of so often, are really hiding, mostly in our own backyards. R

Vijay Anand is an entrepreneur who has experience starting and building various technology startups, starting at the young age of 16. He is currently the Incubation Manager at RTBI, an incubator in IIT Madras that focuses on building rural-focused businesses. He is also the founder of, Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier technology showcase event and is involved in various initiatives that are shaping up the emerging entrepreneurial scene in India. He blogs as The Startup Guy at and tweets regularly at DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are that of the author and does not represent the magazine's.


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Pricing Strategy The startup team got to have a clear idea of the cost incurred while deciding on the price of the offering. Selling lower than the competition may not always be a great strategy /Vimarsh Bajpai The starting point of the pricing analysis is value. What is the value of the product or the service to the customer? Does it save them money or time? Then look at the competition and decide if they are value-priced or cost-based pricing." â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Gary Ambrosino COO, TimeTrade

"Unless you are the first to market, or adding significant (and easy for the customer to see) value to the product--you will be competing on price alone, whether you want to or not." â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Rob Auer Operations Project Manager at PowerSports Network 18


t is every entrepreneur's dilemma when it comes to deciding the price of his/her product or service. It begins sometimes from the idea stage itself when one compares its own offerings with that already available in the market. But looking at the competition for pricing even before your idea has taken shape may not be the best thing. This is because you could be influenced by what your competition is offering. However, it can help in getting some sense of the cost of development of your product or service. "I suggest you use target cost. First you and your sales and marketing people develop the product features and price that can compete with your rivals, then you determine the margin together, finally the technical and production people study the possibilities to produce this product within the determined cost," says Duke Yang, controller at Hansgrohe in China in a reply to a question on LinkedIn.

Factors Affecting Pricing Strategy Cost It is one of the most important part of determining the cost of your offerings. These would include both fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs would be that of employee salaries, rentals, cost of machinery, taxes, etc. Variable costs are those that fluctuate due to market

forces such as the cost of raw material, wages, etc. Adding your margin to the cost incurred would help determine the price. "Before a product or service reaches the customer, a number of cost accumulating activities have taken place. These have to be calculated and taken into account," Mogens Thomsen, entrepreneurship evangelist in Denmark. But also other pricing factors must be taken into consideration before choosing the optimal sales price, he says. Value As an entrepreneur you should not confuse cost with value because the two could be fairly different. Value is what extra does your product or service offer. "The starting point of this analysis is value. What is the value of the product or service to the customer? Does it save them money or time? Then look at the competition and decide if they are value-priced or costbased pricing," says Gary Ambrosino, COO, TimeTrade. Once you have a clear sense of the value that your product or service offers, you might want to look at the competition to assess their offering. Ambrosino says that often products are under-priced compared to the value. Then look at the competition and decide if its a value-based pricing or cost-based pricing, he adds.


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"In case of the services sector, we are dealing with something that is abstract. So the notional value of the service impacts heavily the price at which it would be sold." â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Anshul Gupta Founder and CEO, SalvageSettlers

"We see the value of our time and then we decide on the price. In some cases, we are on the mercy of the market price. Pricing below the competition is not always a great idea." â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Leonard Fernandes Co-Founder/Director at Dogears Print Media

Market Taking into consideration the market you are operating in would also help in deciding the prices of your offerings. If you are working in a market where the consumer has lower income, you surely cannot launch a luxury product or a service. "In my opinion the development of a pricing structure for a startup's products and/or services is one of the most critical decisions that can be made, says David Casebere, finance expert in Arizona. "Prices (which results in revenue) must cover all your costs and provide the cash that is needed to run the business. You can't make up the loss on the sale of any given item with volume unless it is a loss leader and you will make up the loss on that product with a high margin on another product that is tied to it, adds Casebere. "Unless you are the first to market, or adding significant (and easy for the customer to see) value to the product-you will be competing on price alone, whether you want to or not." says Rob Auer, operations project manager at PowerSports Network.

ume approach may be used for example, even when the startup's pricing is higher than competition, so as to generate "push" through the channel," he says. Conversely, a high-margin low-volume strategy may be decided when the production capacities of the startup are limited, which is often the case. Revenues could thus be built up for expansion into the mass market, he adds. Experts believe that people don't necessarily buy on price alone. "Most buy based on functionality first. Thus when all competitors have the same functionality, then consumers move to reliability. When all have the same reliability, customers look for convenience. When all are the same at this point--then the product is a commodity and that is when price matters," says Joseph Lizio, CEO, Business Money Today. "Try a price point and see what happens. Talk to your customers and see what they say about it, given that they have or are going to buy your product. Based on that information, adjust up or down," says Lizio.

Margin This will effectively add to the price unless you decide to let go of it in the first few months of your startup. Doing that could make your offering price lower but in the long run may not be effective because raising the prices after, say about six months, could make it difficult to be sold off the shelves. "As an assumption, margins on the cost would only be looked into after you make an initial impact (roughly around six months). That is when the product awareness will be created, provided there is a robust marketing strategy in place wherein you can consider taking a risk of increasing the price, says Ram Mohan Katla, a social entrepreneur. Rajesh Narula, chief value creator at believes that margins are decided by the strategy chosen. "A low-margin high-vol-

Pricing Below Competition? Pricing your product or service lower than the competition could be a good strategy to penetrate the market but beyond that it would not sustain if the customers don't find much value in the offerings. "If you want to price lower than competitors to gain some market penetration, then do it through discounting and promotion of a list price that's similar or above the competition. Remember it's always easier to lower your prices, and much harder to convince your customers or prospects why you are raising your prices for a product," says Ambrosino. Agrees Yang. "I do not think low price is a good way to compete in the market. But it's your unique product features and sale points. If you have an advantage in cost over your competitors, then low price is a good tool to use." R DARE.CO.IN | STRATEGY | JUNE 2010 19

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Managing Water Pumps on Phone A Mumbai-based company has developed a device that enables farmers to switch water pumps on or off over a phone call. /Shyam PV


t a time when the government, experts, and various organizations are expressing concern over the depleting water resources because of the vagaries of the monsoon, excessive utilization of groundwater, and improper water management, Micro Technologies India has developed a device that will help farmers reduce water wastage to a great extent. Today, farmers have to make multiple trips to their farms to check if there is adequate electricity to turn on the pump to water their crops. According to Micro Technologies, in India about 87 percent of usable water is used for agriculture compared to the world average of 69 percent. An estimated 213 billion cubic meters (bcm) of 690 bcm of surface water is wasted each month in the country. Water leakage, pilferage, and wastage amounts to 50 percent of the flow. This wastage takes place when industry estimates value of water and wastewater market in India at Rs 62 billion ($1.24 billion). Micro Technologies is an IT-based security solutions developer in Navi Mumbai. The company has recently launched Micro Jai-Kisan, an innovative device for farmers which could help them remotely manage water pumps by using a phone, avoiding


Autoswitch - Users can use either a desk phone, a cell phone, or a public phone, or even send a message to remotely manage waer pumps.

multiple trips to the farm just to check if there is adequate electricity to turn on the pump to water their crop. “When we started developing the project, we kept in mind that the end user is a farmer who might be illiterate. So if we are developing a solution for him, it should be very simple and easy to use,” says CIO of Micro Technologies India Nisha Menon. Developed on the basis of GSM technology, the device comes fitted with a SIM card. It works on dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signaling which is used for telecommunication signaling between telephone handsets and other communications devices and the switching center. Once Micro Jai-Kisan is connected with the pump, irrespective of the distance, the farmer can just dial *1# to switch the water pump on and *0# to switch it off. To know the status the user needs to dial *4#. If the pump is on, the user will hear a continuous beep and if the pump is off the beeps will be heard after certain intervals. To dial these codes, the user can use either a desk phone, a cell phone, or a public phone, or even SMS a message to the code numbers. The device can operate on battery as well as on electricity. The company

has developed two models: one that functions on the basis of SMS and the other that works on the basis of both SMS and call. “Nearly 20 percent farmers are dependent on electric water pumps for irrigation which demand electricity. Around 25 percent Gram Panchayats in India have pump-based drinking or irrigation water supply facilities. This device will help them to reduce water leakage, pilferage and wastage, and that is where our product is going to make an impact. By using our simple yet efficient technology, farmers can save large quantities of water,” says P. Sekhar, chairman and managing director, Micro Technologies. After being tested in the farms in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar, the product is now available in the market at the retail price of Rs 7,000. For easy installation, Micro Technologies will provide an executive to install the device. An instructions manual is also provided with the product to inform users about how to install and operate the device. The device comes with a one year warranty. R This article is sourced from: Technology Review India.


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USA India Business Summit (UIBS) 2010


Honorable Suresh Kumar, Asstt. Commerce Secretary and DG, U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, Honorable Sonny Perdue Governor, State of Georgia, Her Excellency Ms. Meera Shankar Ambassador of India to USA

Honorable Ken Stewart, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Honorable Sonny Perdue Governor, State of Georgia, Her Excellency Ms. Meera Shankar Ambassador of India to USA, Mr. Ani Agnihotri, Program Chair, UIBS 2010, Dr. John McIntyre, CIBER, Georgia Tech

he inaugural USA India Business Summit (UIBS) held on May 10-11, 2010, at the Cobb Galleria Center, Atlanta, was a huge success. The opening ceremony was graced by introductory words from the event organizer, Ani Agnihotri and Commissioner Ken Stewart of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, followed by convincing statements made by the Governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue, and the Ambassador of India to USA, Ms. Meera Shankar. The two days of summit were ďŹ lled with a smorgasbord of conferences on technology, agribusiness, renewable energy sources, healthcare, infrastructure, ďŹ nance and real estate. Compelling and thought provoking arguments were presented by a host of dignitaries and business leaders, with a mission of Growing Business and Promoting Entrepreneurship. The conference attendees took home memories of the gala Awards Banquet Dinner that was laced with a fabulous fashion show presented by Ritu Bansal. Packed with business sessions, the summit also brought together passionate visionaries, trailblazing entrepreneurs, committed policymakers and ardent investors. At a meeting of the hearts and minds, new friendships and business relationships were forged.

Honorable Suresh Kumar, Asstt. Commerce Secretary and DG, U.S. Foreign Commercial Service (8th from Left), Honorable Sonny Perdue Governor, State of Georgia (9th from Left), Her Excellency Ms. Meera Shankar Ambassador of India to USA (10th from Left)

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Rolling on Determination A motorcycle modified into a cost effective plowing machine /Shyam PV Innovative Modification - The Royal Enfield Bullet with attachments can be used for filling, weeding and sowing.


ecessity is the mother of invention and it’s no different in the case of Mansukhbhai Jagani, a farmer who hails from Mota Devaliya village in Amreli district of Gujarat. The eldest among four brothers, Jagani enjoyed the moments in classrooms only up to the primary level. Drought and financial instability made living impossible for his family and finally he had to join his father in farming to run home. In three decades since, Jagani now holds a patent for his innovative multi-purpose machine that helps farmers to carry out various operations such as furrow opening, sowing, inter-culturing, and spraying. He is now an inspiration for villagers who fight for a living in bad times. Twenty-five years ago Jagani opened a small workshop in his village, where he still provides services to villagers for repairing diesel engines and farm implements. He also used to manufacture various farm implements such as harrow, plow, seed drill, and grills for doors and windows. Often he used to feel perturbed by the problem farmers faced in the spraying of agrochemicals in the fields. Finally, he decided to develop a sprayer which is efficient and affordable. His attempt and effort soon gave birth to Santi, a diesel Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle complete with attachments for tilling, weeding,


and sowing small farm holdings. Jagani’s machine proves to be cost effective and fuel efficient. It can plow an acre of land in 30 minutes, consuming just two liters of fuel. Santi can weed 10 hectares of land in a day at the cost of Rs 15 per hectare. To accomplish such tasks, Jagani has created an attachment that can be hooked to any 325cc motorcycle by replacing the rear wheel with an assembly unit, also designed and developed by him. He designed the chassis of the machine in ‘U’ shape to avoid welding small C channels to make the frame. He then attached the plow to the chassis so that only one axis takes the load. A triangular frame attached with the hook was developed to carry the plow. He also fitted a platform on the plow providing enough space for the user to stand on it. For lifting the plow, he has provided a pulley near the driver seat, so that by rotating the pulley, the user can raise or lower the plow easily.

Jagani’s machine is smaller than the existing tillers and tractors, but it is stronger than the bullocks/draft animals. According to Jagani, as his system can be dismantled easily, the user can use the motorcycle for regular purposes once the cultivation use is over. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to convert a motorcycle into a poly cultivator. Jagani has priced the system at Rs 40,000, without the motorcycle. “Apart from these, this device has the potential to improve productivity and reduce operating costs for farmers who are currently using bullocks but cannot afford the cost of tractors or power tillers,” explains Jagani. With the help of National Innovation Foundation (NIF), Ahmedabad, Jagani has attained a patent in India and in the US for his innovation. The NIF also promoted him to display Santi in South Africa in an exhibition organized by the Department of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) of the Northern Provinces jointly with the Commonwealth Science Council (CSC), London. With his motorbike-polycultivator, considered a product with global applications, Jagani proves that just highly-qualified people are not the face of emerging India. R

This article is sourced from: Technology Review India.


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Breath of Hope for the Disabled A breath-sensor device to provide communication power to the disabled /Vantika Dixit

Technology Demonstration - Former president of India APJ Abdul Kalam looks at Pattnaik's device demonstration in Ahmedabad


o be physically fit is a boon that not many of us are blessed with. While there is a significant number of people who suffer from different kinds of disabilities, there are hardly any cost effective solutions available to help them communicate with the world. Susant Pattnaik, a 17-year-old student of class 12, has made an effort to address this need of the disabled. Pattnaik, son of a veterinary doctor in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, has created a breath-sensor device for those who use wheelchair. The device could help them do normal chores just by breathing into the sensor. “One day I saw a completely paralyzed person who was unable to see clearly. For a moment I began to think of developing a technology which can allow them to do all types of work just as normal human beings do. I began wondering about the most common aspect between a normal human being and a paralyzed person. The answer was brain and breathing,” says Pattnaik. In 2008, he began working on his concept. After two years and an expense of Rs 2-3 lakh, funded by his parents, he finally created a breathsensor and remote control device that could convert breath into electromagnetic energy.

The wheelchair device has four components: sensor, controller, transmitter, and a receiver. The breath sensor is attached to a headphone-like device. This battery-operated device uses wireless signals to communicate with the wheelchair. The sensor senses the breath and gives signal; the controller has pretimed LED bulbs (each one for specific function) based on which the user breathes into the sensor; the transmitter transfers the signal; and the receiver receives it. When a user breathes into the sensor, a pulse is generated activating the transmitter. The transmitter actuates the receiver which in turn activates a relay. The process triggers the controller to light up the LED bulbs (each LED bulb on the device can remain lit up for two seconds). When a bulb cor-

responding to a particular function lights up, it is a signal to the user to breath into the sensor. When the user breathes into the sensor, the signal gets transmitted and the controller starts performing that particular function, which may signal food, water, washroom, moving the wheelchair, or even to turn on/off an electric switch. According to Pattnaik, if the electronic switch panel is integrated with his system, then it will be possible to use breath to operate the switches wirelessly. Pattnaik says his breath-sensor apparatus technology can even be implemented in a tractor to allow a paralyzed person run the tractor on a field by just breathing. Thus, there are bright prospects of the application of this technology. Pattnaik’s innovative technology is still a prototype and needs further modification to be converted into a product. However, value addition work has already been initiated by National Innovation Foundation (NIF). The foundation has also filed for a patent of the technology in Pattnaik’s name. Once the prototype gets refined into a product, NIF would aid its commercialization. R This article is sourced from: Technology Review India. DARE.CO.IN | INNOVATION | JUNE 2010 23

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/Anurag Batra

I don't need the money now, I am bootstrapped! Bootstrapping is the emerging mantra for entrepreneurs these days. Is it a new alternative to funding? Read on to find out more


rugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. ~Elise Boulding Let's look at the Oxford definition of a bootstrapper: Bootstrap definition A situation in which an entrepreneur starts a company with little capital. An individual is said to be bootstrapping when he or she attempts to found and build a company from personal finances or from the operating revenues of the new company. Investopedia Commentary Compared to using venture capital, bootstrapping can be beneficial as the entrepreneur is able to maintain control over all decisions. On the downside, however, this form of financing may place unnecessary financial risk on the entrepreneur. Furthermore, bootstrapping may not provide enough investment for the company to become successful at a reasonable rate. 24

The budding entrepreneur is putting his or her money where his or her mouth is rather than where his or her conviction is

I have written in the past in this column that entrepreneurs apart from their ideas, passion, and luck, need capital; incubation capital. The new entrepreneurs are bootstrapped. In fact, I would meet more budding entrepreneurs looking for capital than looking at mentoring, linkages and advice two years back. Since the last two years, the scenario has changed; these days I meet more entrepreneurs "who are incubating themselves," isn't that good? Doesn't it show the confidence they have in themselves? As my first Australian boss David Fowler would say "money talks, bullshit walks." The budding entrepreneur is putting his or her money where his mouth is rather where his or her conviction is. Let me give you three recent examples of three varied bootstrappers I encountered , or rather had the good fortune to interact with them, recently. I met Jatin Mahindra who is now incubating multiple related ventures second time around. Jatin is a serial entrepreneur. I like him because he has a similar background as me, has high integrity and never gives up. Jatin has also learnt from his past notso-successful ventures and has polished his execution game. Recently


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he shared all his ventures that are coming up and when I asked who is funding them he said, "I am a bootstrapper. I am doing it with my own money. I am trying to do it with my resources and stretch my money." Jatin believes he can make it happen with his own money and what he needs is mentoring and once his ventures progress, he will get better valuations. Sounds logical to me. Jatin says to me "once I have built it to a level, I will go to an investor." I said to myself that's logical, makes sense. Let me share another case of a first time entrepreneur and bootstrapper Ajay Chaturvedi of HarVa, introduced to me by my longtime friend Sunil Sapra of Astaro (another first generation entrepreneur). HarVa means "green" for the villages. HarVa means Harnessing Value for Rural. Ajay's vision for HarVa: To create economic and social value for business and clients by leveraging labor arbitrage and tapping the value of employing rural youth, while ensuring industry quality and delivery standards. Ajay shared his passion of creating rural BPOs and tapping into the growing rural economy and changing the lives of the rural community and building a business along the way. Ajay's passion came through and no wonder he found his calling in HarVa to quit his blue chip Citi job and a promising international career that a Wharton graduate could hope to have. I asked the same question to Ajay about the source of funding for HarVa, he said "I am doing it with my own money and I will make it work." I loved it as it came with the deep conviction that what he was doing was value-able and he will demonstrate it. It was like someone telling me "I will be my own Godfather." The third bootstrapper is a lady, Mita Patnaik, that my friend Rajesh Lalwani (a first generation social media expert and entrepreneur) in-

Why bootstrap when they could have got angel investments? Because they want to prove the concept, want to make it happen come what may, they want better valuations, and they want their "skin in the game"

troduced. Mita left a career in US in consulting to start a business-tobusiness e-commerce business in the ethical goods domain called Vianza. In Mita's own description, Vianza is a community driven B2B transactional marketplace simplifying sourcing, selling and co-creation of sustainable consumer goods. Vianza lowers barriers to international trade, brings transparency and delivers savings in cost and time, along with lowered risks. I asked Mita how she was funding her own venture and she said she was doing it with her savings and the money she earned. Here she was, Mita, another bootstraper. All three Jatin, Ajay and Mita were doing it with modest resources and with their own money. I asked myself, why these entrepreneurs, who easily could have got monies from angel investors, chose to do it themselves? Why have they chosen to be bootstrappers? The answer is simple, they want to prove the concept, want to make it happen come what may, they want better valuations, and they want their "skin in the game." That's what will make their ventures valuable in the long run. Let me end by saying what two wise oracles said: Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. ~Lao Tzu We don't need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it. ~Donald Horban R

Anurag Batra is real life, first-generation entrepreneur who is Much Below Average (MBA) from the prestigious Management Development Institute, MDI. When he is not busy writing such columns, he can be reached at Anurag is the founder and editor-in-chief of exchange4media group which includes DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are that of the author and does not represent the magazine's.


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entrepreneur of the month

Dr. Mukesh Batra, Dr. Batraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Positive Health Clinic He entered the profession at the time when it was regarded as an ancient art, little better than faith healing, practiced mainly by amateurs and retirees. Dr Batra, armed with little more than a first class professional degree and a fierce determination started Dr. Batra's Positive Health Clinic in the year 1982. Today Dr. Batra's has grown into a corporate chain of over 54 homeopathic clinics across 20 cities in India and abroad. The company has over 250 doctors including 40 MDs and specialists. Dr. Batra speaks to DARE about his journey, values, plans and more.

enesis of Dr. Batra's Positive Health Clinic I belong to a family of doctors and homeopaths. When I became a doctor, I was offered a job of an academician. After this, I moved on to training under a doctor for some time. Back in the 1970s, homeopathy had to still gain social acceptance. It was difficult to establish oneself under those circumstances, but I convinced a polyclinic to give me some space to practice. I practiced there for about two years, until the owner asked me to find some other place as he wanted to utilize that space for something else. I had no option but to setup something of my own. Thankfully, some of my patients helped me locate potential properties that I can go for. I invested in a garage like property, 300 square feet in an area at Chowpatty. When I was setting up this Positive Health Clinic in 1982, I was in need of Rs 1,25,000 to buy a computer. At that



point in time, no bank or institution was willing to fund, as it was widely believed that homeopathy cannot generate substantial revenue. The earning from my clinic, per month, was Rs 25,000 while the breakeven point was at Rs 67,000 per month. I had to borrow money at the interest rate of 3 percent per month (i.e. 26 percent per annum) to set up this small clinic. We ventured into specialty practice around 1996. Because we were looking at only specialty patients, the number of patient visits came down to 3-4 per week, from what used to be 135 per day. Within one year, I made sure that this number increased. However, there were still patients who were in the waiting list for months together. It is at this point that I tried out the approach of multicity practice. This proved to be a huge success, and I was traveling from city to city. The next steps that I took were that of planning out ex-

pansion into more cities, and at the same time make this approach work independent of me. By 2001, I had achieved this and got out of practice and concentrate on building the organization. Today we have grown into a corporate chain of over 54 homeopathic clinics across 20 cities in India and abroad. The company has over 250 doctors including 40 MDs and specialists. How do you ensure that all the doctors you employ follow the same value system? There are two things to this. Firstly, we do not have any franchisees or partners. Secondly, I do not let any agents pick the doctors for my chain of clinics; I handpick them. Just to give you a figure, out of 100 candidates, only 3 doctors bag the job. Besides other things, I pick people who are psychologically strong too â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the ones who are good with people. I interact with these doctors on a regular basis, and


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For the last 5 years, homeopathy has grown 25 percent as opposed to the pharmaceutical industry which is growing at 10 percent. India has the largest number of homeopaths in the world â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 3 Lac homeopathic doctors, and almost 10,000 to 15,000 passing more doctors passing out every year. The future is going to see a lot more acceptance for homeopathy and other alternative therapies. DARE.CO.IN | BIO | JUNE 2010 27

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"I believe day surgeries are about to see a boom in India; whether its Botox, liposuction, hair transplant, etc. We will see a lot of opportunities surfacing in this whole ‘feel good, look good’ industry."

personally train them. I make sure that the values, the passion, and the drive is not diluted. How do you go on about your expansion plan? We have processes set in the organization which helps us in making these decisions. Typically, we would expand more in a year where we have had good business and fewer expansions in a year when we did bad. We do not rely on market research for this purpose. We have a very simple formula. For example, we come to know that X number of patients come from a particular area. The moment this crosses a threshold, we open a clinic in that area. That said, yes, a part of these plans also comes from the heart. It has always been an emotional decision to open new clinics. How do you deal with competition? Well, to retain and expand business, one has to focus on patient satisfaction. One has to evolve with time. For example, we see doctors starting their own clinics based on or around our concept. But what gives us the edge is that we keep innovating from time to time and by the time these doctors catch on with these, we have moved on to more advanced levels. Also, we have never been in the numbers game on number of clinics. Like I have mentioned before, we set our own standards and expand at our own pace. This lets us maintain high quality and low charge. Any insight on opportunities and trends in the near future? In India, the opportunities that lie ahead are huge. For the last 5 years, homeopathy has grown 25 percent as opposed to the pharmaceutical industry which is growing at 10 percent. India has the largest number of homeopaths in the world—3 Lac homeopathic doctors, and almost


10,000 to 15,000 passing more doctors passing out every year. The future is going to see a lot more acceptance for homeopathy and other alternative therapies. Offshoot business opportunities in the ecosystem? We are already trying to tap some such opportunities. For instance, all over the world, people are looking for non-chemical products. I think natural and chemical free products are going to be a good opportunity area to tap into. Homeopathy, of course, is our core business. But we do not want to restrict our revenues to only homeopathy. For instance, we have plastic surgeons who are doing hair transplants—within four hours of walking into our clinic, a person can walkout with all the hair on his head, that stays forever. There are different stages of hair loss and for every stage there is a different treatment for the problem. We are trying to cover all the areas, rather than only treating hair loss at the early stage, which can be done through homeopathy. I believe that these kind of day surgeries are about to see a boom in India; whether its Botox, liposuction, hair transplant, etc. We will see a lot of opportunities surfacing in this whole ‘feel good, look good’ industry. What is the one thing aspiring entrepreneurs should avoid when starting up? Dishonesty. I have always had zero tolerance for dishonesty. Someone who is not honest and truthful to himself cannot be honest and truthful to others; and therefore never be able to set up a value-based organization. Honesty and transparency are very strong values in a corporate company. These are very difficult to stand by in today’s world. If you are able to succeed in maintaining these values, you come out strong—because your fundamentals are right. R


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Email: ______ _ _ _ _ _ ____ DARE ______ _ _ _ _ _ _____ _ ______ ______ _ _ _ _ _ ____ ______ ______ _ _ _ _ _ _____ ______

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Prof. C.K. Prahalad (1941 - 2010) Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad, management consultant, author and the Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Corporate Strategy at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He has authored several international bestsellers, including: "Competing for the Future" (with Gary Hamel), 1994, "The Future of Competition," (with Venkat Ramaswamy), 2004 and "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits," Wharton School Publishing, 2004. 30


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rof. Prahalad was on the advisory board of DARE. We at DARE and CyberMedia deeply mourn his passing away. His thoughts and contribution towards entrepreneurship will always be remembered. Here are the tributes from the world media:

New York Times C. K. Prahalad, proponent of poor as consumers. Executives and scholars say his research helped encourage companies to serve poor customers with products like small-size pouches of shampoo and low-cost cellphone service.

The Economist Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad, universally known as C.K., was the most creative management thinker of his generation. He revolutionised thinking on two big subjects, business strategy and economic development, and made a significant contribution to a third, innovation. His admirers were legion, including bosses of some of the world’s biggest companies, heads of NGOs and founders of scrappy start-ups.

Bloomberg Business Week He was a provocative thinker who regularly came up with startling insights that would send executives scrambling. His dictum that customers want a greater voice in what they consume has gone from cutting-edge to cliché in six years.

project, I like to move on to a new one, and leave it to my collaborators to deal with the legacy of the last one." That kind of energy and breadth inspired me to select C.K. as our pioneer columnist when we introduced opinion pieces in the re-launched HBR magazine in January 2010. No one, we thought, better combined gravitas with a willingness to pursue new ideas. He won the McKinsey Prize four times for the best article in Harvard Business Review and received honorary doctorates in economics (University of London), engineering (Stevens Institute of Technology), and business (Tilberg, The Netherlands and Abertay, Scotland).

halad, also known as CK, was one of the world’s most celebrated management thinkers — and a leading advocate of the economic empowerment, both as consumers and as producers, of billions of the poorest people on Earth.

The Times of India He had a high level of commitment to India and its economic development. His strong belief in good corporate governance and ethical standards was well known. He was honoured with Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour for his contribution in the field of literature and education. He has authored many powerful books combining practical and academic insights.

McKinsey Quarterly C.K. famously said, "My focus is on next practices, not best practices. If all of us focused on best practices then we would all gravitate towards mediocrity very soon. Next practice means we have to amplify weak signals."

The Hindustan Times An original thinker, Prahalad was not only able to come up with a new concept but was able to link the dots and justify his theory.

Business World Financial Times The last time CK spoke to the FT he was buzzing with intellectual energy. "Really, in all my career I have been interested in 'next practices', and not merely 'best practices'," he said. He was universally admired in the management guru fraternity. "His upside-down thinking inspired us all, and his friendliness charmed us. He is one of the few whose ideas will long resonate around the world of organisations," said management writer Charles Handy.

With the demise of C.K. Prahalad, the No. 1 spot in the management world and in rankings like the 'Thinkers 50' is vacant. The inspiration for Prahalad's thinking was India's 300 million who lived on less than Rs 50 per day, who could be an audience for everything from consumer goods to healthcare. Even the impact he left on the world of management education, and business in general, is not going to be forgotten anytime soon.

The London Times

Business Today

As a teacher he was an outstanding mentor. One former student recalled that an early chance meeting with Prahalad opened “a lifelong engagement that transformed my life”. Fiercely intelligent, inventive and articulate, yet of a spirit both engaging and generous, Coimbatore Pra-

The father of core competence. The champion of the bottom of the pyramid. The world's hottest teacher of corporate strategy. The foremost preacher of adopting sustainability for business innovation. It is difficult to enumerate the many contributions of C.K. Prahalad to management. R

Harvard Business Review As told by Adi Ignatius, Editor-inChief, HBR C.K. was generous with his time and straightforward with his views, offering praise for HBR where it was due and pointing out what he saw as its shortcomings. I work hard and I work quickly," he said. "But once I'm done with a


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Ask the Investor

Pavan Krishnamurthy Partner, Ojas Ventures Pavan has over 15 years experience across various industries such as early stage investing, consulting, venture advisory, research, etc. In the recent past, he has worked with Nadathur Holdings and Investments, SRW Advisors and Syndicated Research Group. Pavan is a Chartered Accountant by qualification and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Economics and Statistics

ow is venture capital different from other sources of funding? Unlike other sources of finance, venture capital provides risk capital to companies that are either in early stage or developing stage on a long term basis. Most traditional financing sources such as debt require either collateral or history of operating profits and most often are not available to new enterprises. VC investment fills this gap. Also unlike traditional financing sources like banks, VCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s participate actively in building the companies they invest in and share the rewards/risks associated with the business.


VCs get hundreds of business plans every month. How can an entrepreneur ensure that his plan gets noticed by an investor? First point is to make sure that the business idea is fundamentally sound and is solving a real problem felt by a 32

Building an early stage business is subject to lots of uncertainties and challenges and it becomes very critical that the start-up team behind the business idea has the right experience, expertise and the skill sets to deal with these challenges.

large number of customers. Assuming that the business is indeed solving a real business problem, best is to approach the investors through a referral either from a credible lawyer/ audit firm, incubator, existing founders backed by the VC investor or people such as investment bankers who have worked with the particular VC. While some VCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s may accept blind solicitations, most of them would be comfortable if the opportunity came through someone they know. How important is the startup team for an investor? In early stage investments, the startup team is the most important qualifying criteria for an investor. Building an early stage business is subject to lots of uncertainties and challenges and it becomes very critical that the startup team behind the business idea has the right experience, expertise and the skill sets to deal with these challenges.


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Are there some sectors that are alltime favorites for a VC? Sectors of investing interest vary from fund to fund based on the fund size/stage of the fund, etc. In general, sectors which have a large established market (or are expected to see emergence of a large market), sectors which are insulated from adverse economic cycles and sectors which focus on solving a well-defined problem become interesting for investors. Examples of such sectors include healthcare, energy, education and the Web. What is the role of intermediaries in connecting entrepreneurs to investors? A good intermediary is expected to map the needs of the entrepreneurs with the right type of investors. In addition, it is important for the intermediary to understand the business which he is representing as well as the drivers behind business. It is also important for the intermediary to understand the dynamics/return expectations of the investors and help the entrepreneurs to get a fair deal. How does a VC value a business? Early stage VC valuation is more an

Early stage VC valuation is more an art than a science. It is important to realize that investor valuation is not based on a control perspective but is more based on returns perspective.

art than a science. It is important to realize that investor valuation is not based on a “control” perspective but is based more on the “returns" perspective. For an investor, valuation on its own is a not a significant factor and what is important is to understand the return on investment to him at that valuation. Early stage valuation depends on the characteristics of the specific deal such as team, stage, traction, risk profile as perceived by the investors, etc. However, in general, valuation more often than not is a negotiated value and is generally based on factors such as: • Minimal required shareholding for the investor in terms of his funds mandate • Expected target return from the investment at the time of exit/ probability of exit • Expected dilution from follow-on financing rounds • Stake needed/expected for the founders / management team to align the interests of all shareholders.

Please e-mail your questions to dare@ with the subject line 'Ask The Investor'. R DARE.CO.IN | ASK THE INVESTOR | JUNE 2010 33

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Is Social Net working for you?

The growing clout of social networking sites is adding to the number of businesses wanting to leverage this interactive platform for profit. While some businesses have been quick to reap the benefits, patience is the name of the game for many. /Shinjini Ganguli 34


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t is now a popular belief that more people log in to their Facebook accounts than read newspapers. While the jury is out on this one, newspapers have certainly been spending more newsprint writing about the rise of this new democracy. Marketing managers in companies, big and small, have been adding generous sprinkles of social networking in their menus. It is safe to say that in an executive's life in urban India, no day passes without the mention of one of the social networking triumvirate: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The question to ask is: what good has it done to me? We asked a number of practitioners this question and came back with one answer which hung out loud and clear: It is a good brand building tool. Most of them concurred that one would be over optimistic in expecting direct business returns from social networking yet. Some of them even questioned the very mindset of wanting 'everything to be monetized'. All of them said social networking is too important to ignore anymore.

What is it good for? Saying 'good' would perhaps be an understatement. Social networking sites (SNSs) have been like a bubble without an impending possibility of bursting. Amid the ruins of the chaos that is left behind by the US meltdown, businesses have taken to online social media which is as contagious as were the collapsing empires. Though, it has been present for some time, it’s in the recent years that it has wit-

nessed a remarkable rise in its acceptance worldwide. Of course, India is no exception. Trying to make up for the sluggish days, many have joined the bandwagon hoping to make the best of it. “SNSs are basically an opportunity for Indian businesses” says Mahesh Murthy, founder and CEO of Pinstorm. From creating a wider customer base through communication and direct interaction with customers to inexpensive marketing, SNSs have helped companies with much more. And indisputably ‘Brand Building’ is the first one on the list. As Rajesh Lalwani of Blogworks likes to say “Brand building is as good as revenue generation." True as it stands, not many Indian businesses have been able to generate revenue directly from their activities on the SNSs but it definitely has an indirect impact. “They impact intangibles, which in the long run, impact tangibles like revenue, sales, etc.” said Abhishek Rai, founder of Shack Design Co. However, there are a few exceptions that would soon be no more a minority. Some are already at it— making ‘moolah’. “Today, quite a few businesses are getting leads through social networking sites,” tells Gaurav Mishra, CEO of 20:20 Social. And not just retail but all businesses. In fact, much against the popular belief, online social media not only helps retail businesses generate money but manufacturing businesses too can benefit from engaging in activities on sites like Alibaba, etc. Another very important aspect of Web 2.0 is research. Many conduct thorough research; they read people’s DARE.CO.IN | COVER STORY | JUNE 2010 35

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“More people check their Facebook accounts than read newspapers.” — Mahesh Murthy Managing Partner at Seedfund Founder & CEO at Pinstorm Founder & Principal at Passionfund

“Today 71 million people use internet in India of which about 80 percent use social networking sites in some way or the other while about 25 million use internet on mobile.” — Gaurav Mishra CEO at 2020 Social Writer and Speaker at Gauravonomics

“Fund raising has gone up by 400 percent on internet after we joined social networking sites.” — Mathew Cherian CEO of HelpAge India 36

comments, ask for reviews, discuss before buying a product. “People can’t buy a car online, but one can research, consult and discuss online,” says Rajesh Lalwani. This essentially means SNSs have a direct bearing on the customers’ purchase decisions. Looking at it from customers or buyers point of view, businesses which were entirely sales driven are gradually changing their attitude to stay in the race. Customers’ preferences, grievances, likes and dislikes are now the new priorities for companies. Companies have now woken up to the power of SNSs, where undesirable testimonials by unsatisfied customers can make or mar their reputation. With a fan following of 13,751 and thousands of testimonials from them, Subir Malik, manager of the famous Indian band Parikrama says, “Now I know the power of Facebook. It’s brilliant.” Online social media has truly empowered the end users and customers. While demand has always driven supply, irrespective of the existence of SNSs, products never really matched customers’ needs so perfectly until today. Customers now contribute to product creation. This overhauled outlook of companies has not just benefited customers but themselves as well in more ways than one. SNSs help companies reach out to their target customers, understand their psyche and build a bond. And more often than not influence beliefs and notions by engaging and involving them in various activities such as discussions, contests, etc. All for a negligible investment, says Mathew Cherian, CEO of HelpAge. He reiterates that, “Online social media is a fairly reasonable and low-priced medium for connecting with people.”

Dos and Don'ts There are no specific dos and don’ts that could be followed to engineer the absolute set of guidelines that’s a must when it comes to networking

through online social media. However, the most critical thing that one must do is understand the dynamics of this virtual world. And there are no shortcuts to this as it deals with human beings. Therefore, the only way to learn is through trial and error. However, one of the important things businesses, striving to enhance their topline, must stop hoping for is instant returns. As Rahul Razdan, President-Products and Operations at ibibo, puts it, “The mindset that everything needs to be monetized must be dropped.” Companies should look at it purely as a communication or brand building tool and not a moneyspewing one. Customers are no fools. They want value for money. “Blatant marketing only fractures the system,” says Arunava Sinha, Head of and He, in fact, believes that brands on internet don’t work well as “people don’t care where the content comes from.” Therefore, it is important to provide customers with quality products and services. No one buys a sub-standard product no matter how well it has been marketed. Another reason that Pradeep Chopra, founder of DigitalVidya, a digital marketing training organization, says is often responsible for companies failing on this platform is, “lack of clarity in business objectives.” Every business must have its business objectives in place to avoid inconspicuousness alongside other established names. Online social media is a humongous pit, and many who don’t have fixed objectives often end up at the pit-hole. The ones who do, manage to survive. Adding to the reasons that could lead to failure, Dave Evans, Author of 'Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day', said many failed to capitalize on the usefulness of social media as they saw it as another “mouthpiece”. According to him, “on the social web, the fundamental ability to interrupt a viewer does not exist as it does on TV


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“Most of the companies are not responsive except a few like Cleartrip, Kingfisher, etc. Most of them are used to unidirectional communication, and are grappling with the possibility of engagement with their customers.” — Abhishek Rai Founder of Shack Design Co

“SMEs are, only now, beginning to understand the benefit of SNS.” — Rajesh Lalwani Founder & Director at Scenario Consulting - Blogworks; IndiaSocial;, Founder at Blogworks

“People are brands. We build people to curate our brands.” — Arunava Sinha Head of Head of Head of IBN Khabar

The famous Indian band—Parikrama. Subir Malik (first from left).

or in print. These types of efforts are typically ignored by consumers.” Having mentioned a few causes of failure, one thing that has let a few names get fortunate on this platform is their sincerity towards their customers. Instant responses to queries and grievances have earned a good name for companies like Kingfisher, CCD, ClearTrip, etc. Huge fan following of these companies only corroborates the fact. However, to keep the fans engaged and loyal towards the brand, companies must have an active presence in social media. In fact, they have to be on their toes all along, introducing new contests, stirring discussions, updating, and more. Prolonged intervals in interactions may result in thinning interest of the customers. To meet the customers' expectations, many companies are increasingly employing dedicated resources to take care of their various handles across SNSs. However, Arunava Sinha doesn't believe it's a good practice. He says, “SNSs should be like buffet to diners,” a dedicated workforce would only embolden the subtle stress on marketing. And “blatant marketing can kill it all.”

“We never felt the need to join SNSs. But now that we are here, I can clearly say we had simply underestimated the power of Facebook.” — Subir Malik Key Board Player Manager of Parikrama

“People need to be evangelized about Social Networking.” — Rahul Razdan President - Products and Operations at ibibo Web Private Limited


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Sree Sreenivasan Dean of Student Affairs, Columbia Journalism School and contributing editor,

How do you think social media is changing the world we live in? Social media is changing the world dramatically. I am a big believer in the potential of social media and it’s pretty surprising for someone who has been watching the media space for a couple of decades now to see the impact that it has already started having and it is going to have. I believe that rise of social media is one of the most important new developments in technology and communications since the rise of the popular Web. At the same time, I don’t think it has fulfilled its potential yet. I expect to see social media continue to grow in the months and years ahead. The numbers are pretty dramatic worldwide. When we look at it in such a short period of time, the impact it has had if you look at everything from Facebook which has 400 million users and will hit, I believe, 500 million by the end of the year to Twitter which is at 100 million to 160 million. These are all just scratching the surface of 38

possibility. Businesses in America and in other countries are now kind of waking up to the possibilities; at the same time though, there is a lot of hype and a lot of skepticism because there are issues ranging from privacy to how the information is communicated, that needs to be addressed and that will evolve in the weeks and months ahead. Are there some areas where social media or social networking does not work or is not working at all may be? You know, there are some geographic places where it may not be working and, as I said, you got to be very careful about overhyping the potential of it. It is the social part of the social media which means that some of the best contact and connections you have are actually in real life and outside of social media. So, social media can facilitate and make these connections better and cheaper; and for businesses especially, you have to be very

careful in which they are so separated from the people and the social part that it turns into something that’s entirely only based on connections online. Things like email and phone are tremendous business tools that sometimes get ignored in the hype. Are the returns from social media from a business point of view, measurable? Well, it depends on what you are talking about. In many ways, they are measurable because there are metrics associated very directly. You can now tell exactly how many people saw a particular café, how many new fans you have received, how many people have liked your content. All that data that wasn’t easily possible before. At the same time, it is hard sometimes to get details but for everyone who is skeptical about returns, it’s like asking what is the return of email, sometimes you can measure it and sometimes you can’t. When we talk about the cost of doing business,


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there is also a cost of not doing business, that is not showing up at particular place at a particular time. Les Hinton who is the publisher of the Wall Street Journal said something to me in a panel one day. He said that the scarcest resource of the 21st century is going to be the human attention and therefore the companies, brands, businesses, media organizations, individuals who know how to capture a sliver of that human attention are going to be successful, they will survive, they will thrive; the one who cannot do that will go out of business. If indeed human attention is the scarcest resource, then businesses need to know how to capture that human attention and you have to be in it; you see the numbers on things like Facebook and other things, you have to say that’s where the conversation is. We are seeing that now. In today's world, people want to promote, share, talk in ways that have not been seen before and it is up to the companies and organizations to participate in the social media stage if you want to stay relevant and it is very easy to imply that this is a waste because it’s not possible to quantify but I think it can be quantified and it should be quantified. How can businesses leverage the use of social media that’s available to them in the best possible way? Well, social media is an entrepreneur’s best friend apart from VCs. It has brought down the cost of getting the word out, dramatically. You don’t have to wait for a big media company to bring you attention. You can bring yourself attention by using social media and using your fans and people who like your work to get the word out about what you are doing. So, it changes the equation in a dramatic way. Could you tell us about the social networking trends around the world? Ah, that’s a big thing. My expertise is really not in many places apart from the United States. I can paint a couple of big pictures though. One is that there were several years in which the way the social media was being seen was in isolated pockets on different networks. So, in America, people were on Facebook, in India a lot of people were on Friendster and Orkut. Brazilians are mostly on Orkut. So, you have to use this but now Facebook has become the place where all of these connections still happen in these other networks. Facebook is the central site where people connect. An example of that is when I talk to my Brazilian

"I believe that rise of social media is one of the most important new developments in technology and communications since the rise of the popular web. At the same time I don’t think it has fulfilled its potential yet." friends, they are all still on Orkut but what they say is Orkut is to talk amongst themselves and Facebook is to talk to the world. I have started to see that in India as well, where friends of mine who were all only on Orkut or Friendsters or one of those things are now also on Facebook and some of them are moving. The other thing that’s happening is going to be very dramatic is the way that the cellphone or smartphone is going to effect all of this. If you look at a continent like Africa where there were five million landlines and in a few years, they will hit 500 million cell phones, you can imagine what it does to politics, governance, business, society, and culture. You all have lived through this in India yourself of connecting, making the cell phone social and it’s going to be fantastic and have a deep impact. How do you think is social media helping entrepreneurs brand themselves? As I said, it is absolutely critical to use social media because you have got only a few opportunities to brand yourself and you have to participate in that and also remember you are being branded by other people all the time – your customers, your business partners, your vendors, are all branding you, writing about you online. So, you need to take charge of that and control of it so that it doesn’t come outside for you. Could you throw some light on how is social media strategy of a large corporation different from that of a small organization? It is all about how and where you participate in this conversation and you should have different strategies about everything from

productivity issues to security issues at big firms that is different from small firms and try to formulate a system that works best for you. You need to evolve and work with the people you have and then go accordingly in your social media. For example, all big Fortune 500 or Fortune 50 companies in the US banned Facebook in offices for technology reasons because they were worried about security holes and things like that, and they recently, after a couple of years, were able to allow the use of Facebook. I don’t know if people with access to Facebook in their offices work more or less ; but it’s certainly the kind of thing that young people, when they go into an office, look for. If, say, Facebook is blocked, it would be equivalent of you not being able to use your phones. Are there any best practices that the small businesses in the US are using in social media which Indian businesses can probably adopt to tread the line of success? No, there are too many things to go into right now, but if you look at Mashable (world’s largest blog focused exclusively on Web 2.0 and social media news) guys, they have some excellent information; and what works by the way in the US may not work in India, what works in India may not work in here. Could you tell us about the psychology of the consumers towards social networking sites? The biggest issue is privacy concern but people also want convenience and ability to share and discuss with their friends and families around the world. To me, social media is where the Web was in 1996, and where the television was in 1950; you know how quickly the world will change and that same change is coming and I have already seen it here in social media. So, I think you should be clear with your audience that we are still in the infant stage and we will see how that goes. How favorably do the businesses see social networking sites as a marketing tool? Well, my problem with businesses is that they think of it only as a marketing tool while it is much more than that - listening tool, connection tool. It serves as a business tool and they need to learn how to do that. Follow Sree on Twitter: @sreenet DARE.CO.IN | COVER STORY | JUNE 2010 39

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Show Me The Money! Trying to keep pace with the prevailing trends, while most entrepreneurs are increasingly using social media, not many have caught a clink of the prized nickles yet. /Shinjini Ganguli


espite all the hoopla, cynical entrepreneurs are not entirely ready to believe in the efficacy of online social networking. Among the hoardes of enthusiasts, the question that they seem to be struggling with isâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Is it really working? Isn't it a party out there where nothing happens except farming and cute messages or one liners from a hyper-active executives? We have been hearing a lot of whispers about people asking each other if this thing called social networking is really that hot. There are instances where people told us how they are disillusioned by all the hype media is creating. Looking at the confusion, we decided to delve deeper and find out what's true and what's not?

Popular Sites Among Indian Startups

Monetary BeneďŹ ts from social networking sites

Is social net working for businesses? After talking to an assorted bunch of people across various sectors and industries (we took a sample size of 25 startups), we can conclude that it is, partially. However, that doesn't mean these companies have witnessed a surge in their revenue curves as a direct impact of social networking sites, except for a few of course. What they meant when they said that "social networking sites are working" is that that "Networking through online social media" is helping them communicate, market, inform, share, publicise, express, engage and thereby have an increased sale. They claim that social networking sites have helped build relationships with customers besides shortening the distance. And giving "a personal touch to marketing," says Sreejith N N, founder of ROPE (Rural Opportunities Production) Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. Among the several others we spoke to, Sumit Jain, co-founder of CommonFloor, said, "To us it stands for easy traction and free publicity," while an emphatic Anil Mathews of Imere said besides contributing in the commonly mentioned ways, "social networking sites are an excellent platform for self-expression." 40

Take on Social Networking Sites


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Popular Indian Brands on Facebook MTV India Fastrack Cafe Coffee Day Ching's Secret

Popular Indian Brands on Twitter MTV India Kingfisher Airlines ICICI Bank MSN India

Top 5 sectors • Aviation • Automotive • Government

• FMCG • Hospitality

Some Active Networkers • Deskaway • Ching's Secret • Fastrack • ClearTrip • Flipkart

Some Successful Campaigns • Jago Re by Tata Tea • Oongli Cricket by Idea Cellular • Save our Tigers by Aircel in collaboration with WWF-India • Sunsilk Gang of Girls • Fastrack

And while Saloni Malhotra of DesiCrew referred to social networking sites as "a brilliant tool", Suresh Narshimha of TeliBramha kept it straight and clear saying, "It's a great tool if you are not trying to sell". While a lot of good was said about social networking sites, mention of monetary benefits was only a rarity. Most companies said though online social media has widened their reach, moolah is eluding. However, some entrepreneurs admitted saying it's not entirely a shortcoming of social networking sites but it's the nature of their business that keeps them from making money online. A couple of entrepreneurs pointed out that perhaps it's more lucrative for retail business and not the manufacturing units. In their view, business with online target customers make a better deal of social networking sites than the ones with offline target customers. "Social networking sites don't suite our products; it's beneficial for IT companies," says Aravind A Narayan founder of PureTech India, a coolant recovery manufacturing company. The other reason for the eluding moolah that Anil Mathews brought to the table, applies not just to specific sectors but all Indian companies. He said, "Online social networking hasn't taken off in India at the same pace as in the US for reasons like — Low penetration of internet and prevalent inhibited culture." Factoring in everything that has been said we can perhaps conclude by saying that though social networking sites are helping bsinesses in more

Top Social Networking Sites in India Domain Name (in K) Audience Unique Users & 17945 16799 3587 3165 2812 SOURCE: Vizisense

(in M) Audience Page Views 2051 1972 121 67.6 62.4

Audience Reach 37% 35% 8% 7% 6%

Facebook has 500

m active users globally. And 12.4 m users in India. Linkedin has 60

m active users globally. And 5 m users in India. Twitter has 100

m active users globally. And 4.2 m users in India. ways than one, it will take some-time before cash starts flowing in. In fact, Gaurav Mishra, of 20:20 Social thinks that "While B2C businesses will continue to look at SNS as a marketing mix, B2B businesses will start generating revenue very soon".

Is social networking hyped? Well, there are a few who are clearly not mesmerised by the hype surrounding social networking sites. Though they give due credit to the benefits of social networking sites that has shrunken the world, they do not subscribe to the talks of social networking sites being a boon to humanity. They emphasize that the benfits are way exaggerated. Abhijit Bhattacharjee of Luna Ergonomics Pvt. Ltd. believes that even today, "Search engines are the most powerful when it comes to leveraging business." Despite the incessant positive spin about social networking sites, many still don't believe in the merits of online social media when it comes to their business. They like to market their products offine. Sreejith N N told us that they market their products through exhibitions, distributing pamphlets, brochures, etc. "We make very little use of social networking sites as we cater to customers like IKEA, Walmart, etc. who needn't be approached online," said he. Some like Anshul Gupta of Salvage Settlers believe in direct interaction as the industry, wherein he operates, is relatively small. He says, "I don't feel the need to be present on SNS actively." However, he would like to join the online social network in future. R DARE.CO.IN | COVER STORY | JUNE 2010 41

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Ten Rules of Social Media Engagement


Temper your expectations according to the audience available.


You need to be active on multiple networks simultaneously that reach your target audience.


Do not expect miracles overnight.


Do not be sporadic.


Do not delegate it to junior employees.


Whatever happens, do not ďŹ ght.


One person cannot represent a brand.


Keep your ears open, not just your mouth.


Cross-link your social media activity.

10. Make it personal.

The content on this page was previously carried in DARE July 2009, authored by Krishna Kumar. These rules still hold valid, and hence is carried again in this issue.



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/Rajaram Rajendran

PRO-DUC-TI-VI-TY ! How to make your employees feel that work is also a cool place to hang out

Scenario 1 : 9 AM to 6 PM office hours. Very strict office hours. Employees (ah, we pay them) have to be in for eight hours every day because we pay them for that. Ordinary work day: One hour lunch break, one hour of Facebook, one hour of chat, one hour of other extremely interesting links plus e-mail. Ten minutes of waiting for files to get attached, ten minutes for attachments to be downloaded, meeting. Yaay! Two hours over important issues and processes. This is fun. Coffee/smoke breaks are just nice, keeps people fresh, you see. And we need people to be fresh. Have to talk to colleagues. We do not hire the socially challenged. Evenings should be spent outside. Next day has to be fresh again. In the time that’s left, we have so much work to finish. Alarm goes off. Urgent meeting. Let us increase productivity. Bam! Goal set. But how? Block all social websites. Hold on, what the heck? Let us just block all the sites. If they have to visit a site, they’ll ask for permission! No personal emails either. Limit attachments to 2 MB. Sad that we can’t take out lunch time. What? Proxies? Block those too. A lot of sites are still accessible. But

how? We really need to put up an elaborate system to block all these and make sure nothing else except work happens on their computers. They don’t like it? Not really our problem. Why are people leaving? Let us work on employee relations. What? Output still hasn’t tripled? Not doubled, even? That is very strange. Something’s wrong somewhere. Definitely.

Scenario 2: We tried something different at 1st December. No office timings, strict or otherwise. Turn up whenever. Leave whenever. We know the amount of work we have, so we judge the time required to finish it ourselves. We are and do hire grown-ups, and an average grown-up should be able to make that judgement. No hierarchies. Only short meetings to set goals for everyone. One common e-mail id. No forwarding, receiving, CC-ing (Bcc-ing either) and no missing out on mails. Everyone knows what’s going on. It is a good thing. Let’s not block any site. There’s too much inspiration, knowledge, help and people online to ignore. This also helps in saving the time spent in communication and waiting for unblocking a blocked site, which was a silly idea in the first place! So along with open Facebook, de-

viantArt and Youtube windows, work happens too. Along with a call, we send mails too. While we are discussing a project, we open up inspirational sites, play loud music, download attachments and maybe have coffee. If we finish work early, we leave early. Or maybe still hangout and watch a movie or check out interesting links. If the week’s work is over in the first four days, we take the fifth day off. When you’re not tied up inside and someone’s not counting your time spent inside, office naturally becomes a better place. Simple as that. Result: We come to work in shorts. We may have a drink at the office in the evening. We play games when we get bugged. Projects happen faster, frustration levels are lesser, work is also a cool place to hang out, and about the so-called productivity, make a guess. This works for us. There are no rights or wrongs. Really. Depending on your organization’s size and nature, there might be something else that works for you. The key is to identify and dare to go that way. R

The writer is an entrepreneur, designer, digital artist, wannabe musician and a jack of all who thinks black & white photography is very cool. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are that of the author and does not represent the magazine's. DARE.CO.IN | COLUMN | JUNE 2010 43

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/Srikala Bhashyam

From Employee to Entrepreneur If you have decided to be an entrepreneur, just go ahead and do it. Try validating your idea with prospective customers rather than successful entrepreneurs


f you want to look out for positives in the recent recessionary trends in the economy, then look for the change in the attitude of the employees. After facing the threat of uncertainties at the workplace, many employees who have been sitting on the fence with their entrepreneurship ideas, actually have begun to think themselves as entrepreneurs. My friend, Mamatha, too was in this frame of mind a few months ago. Having been an employee for nearly two decades, it came as a shock to her when her employer started issuing pink slips to her colleagues. Suddenly, the entrepreneurial streak within her, which hadn’t dared to come out till then, began to get visible. So, she began checking out on the options. Like most employees, Mamatha too decided to check it out with her former colleague who had turned into a successful entrepreneur. I have always wondered why many aspiring entrepreneurs want validation from their former colleagues and friends to start their enterprise. If you have decided to be an entrepreneur, just go ahead and do it. It probably pays to check with prospective buyers than successful entrepreneurs as the latter may not be able to see your dreams.


The first step towards financial freedom is to be a zero debt individual. In this era of loan-foreverything, it may be difficult but if you are cherishing the dream of entrepreneurship, it is sensible to be low on outstanding including a strict no to credit card overdues and personal loans.

To come back to Mamatha’s story, the former colleague didn’t bother to ask her about the business idea or the project she was willing to take up. His simple question was `do you have a corpus of one crore in your bank account?’ Mamatha’s answer was a simple no though in reality she didn’t know what was her actual liquidity (surplus cash). Then her friend told her to work on building the corpus besides chasing the dream of entrepreneurship. Is it really important to be financially comfortable to chase the dream of entrepreneurship when many jump into it with the idea of making more money? The financial comfort for an entrepreneur at the beginning of the venture is important due to a number of factors. To begin with, it puts less pressure on him/her to generate income and helps in achieving the goals for the new business. So what is a comfortable financial position? Is it as big as one crore Rupees for every entrepreneur or does the figure change according to the individual’s needs? Since no two individuals can have similar needs of money, the definition of comfort too changes accordingly. But the yardstick for


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definition can be similar across various individuals. In fact, it is not a bad idea to start the financial preparation for entrepreneurship a couple of years in advance before venturing out. As a practising financial consultant, I often come across many individuals listing out own enterprise as a goal among other things. While it is common among professionals like doctors or management professionals, a large number of mid-managerial professionals are thinking on these lines. So how do such professionals go about the task of preparing financially for entrepreneurship? Reduce liability: The first step towards financial freedom is to be a zero debt individual. In this era of loan-for-everything, it may be difficult but if you are cherishing the dream of entrepreneurship, it is sensible to be low on outstanding including a strict no to credit card overdues and personal loans. Not only do they drain liquidity but also can affect credibility when you knock on the doors of the lenders for your (working) capital needs. Even keep the home loan manageable so that EMI is not a drain on the coffers. Manageable cash flow: The perfect scenario for an entrepreneur is to be less or not dependent on the business in the initial years of starting out. That would mean one should have the funds which can take care of personal needs. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assume that an individual needs Rs 50,000 per month for his living expenses. He should have a corpus or source of income which can generate this money on a regular basis without the new business contributing towards it. Those who plan their entrepreneurial foray a few years in advance can work towards it by building the required corpus. For instance, an allocation in favour of equity (through

Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assume that an individual needs Rs 50,000 per month for his living expenses. He should have a corpus or source of income which can generate this money on a regular basis without the new business contributing towards it.

SIPs), a combination of products which can generate monthly returns can be components of this corpus. For monthly returns, products such as post office MIP and mutual fund MIPs can do the job. But make sure to provide ample financial security to your dependents through life insurance and health insurance policies. A term plan which can take care of future cash flow needs and all liabilities is a must for entrepreneurs. Put pressure on your business: While less dependence on business is an ideal situation for an entrepreneur, no business plan can be complete if it does not have the legs to sustain on its own. Hence, even before number crunching in terms of revenues and profits, push your business to be self-reliant. The new enterprise should have the capabilities to fund its own needs which should also include the compensation of an entrepreneur. While every business has the potential to turn profitable in the long term, it is important for the enterprise to get into the habit of being profitable at an early stage. In fact, give yourself the target for break-even so that you are not forced to dip into personal assets. I would even suggest that treat your enterprise as an employer who is forced to pay your costs. Not only will it push you to be financially prudent but will keep you on your toes to generate revenues. An idea without the ability to generate cash can never be successful and it requires a combination of various components such as discipline, sustenance and smart strategy. R

Srikala Bhashyam is an investment consultant and runs her own consulting firm in Bangalore. She has been a regular columnist for the print and internet media on personal finance. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are that of the author and does not represent the magazine's.


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Gujarat's pharmaceutical industry makes a strong comeback The pharma SMEs in Gujarat are reaching out to global customers with 22 percent share in India’s drug exports. However, competition from big players and pricing remains a concern /Vimarsh Bajpai


“The NPPA considers data provided by large players in the pharmaceutical business to decide the price of the medicines. This is detrimental for small manufacturers for whom the cost of manufacturing can be much higher compared to the big companies.”

he story of India’s pharmaceutical sector has been that of transformation from being an insignificant player to a major destination. There was a time when Indian companies would wait for import of bulk drugs for processing from large pharmaceutical companies abroad. But over the last two decades, India’s pharmaceutical sector has become a force to reckon with, thanks to the growth of number of indigenous companies that have invested heavily in research and development of original formulations. The domestic formulations industry has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 percent between 2002-2007. The introduction of product patent regime has seen a spurt in R&D ac-

tivity. Globally, the pharmaceutical industry has been growing at a CAGR of six to seven percent over the last few years. The US still continues to rule the roost along with Japan and other developed countries in Europe as the major drug manufacturer. According to the industry sources, the global pharmaceutical market is in a state of churn with branded products seeing a decline due to the expiry of a large number of patents, inflow of generic drugs and launch of several new brands. In all this, Indian companies have only gained with the industry turnover pegged at Rs 250 billion. Gujarat in the Pharmaceutical Sector: Being home to around 3,500 drug manufacturing units, Gujarat is one of the country’s most enterpris-

Growth of Gujarat’s Pharma Turnover vis-à-vis India

— Dr R S Joshi Executive Secretary, Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA) Gujarat Board 48


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Vyas has 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector with specialization in marketing, having worked with Novartis for 28 years in the past.

Dhiren Vyas GM – Marketing, Mann Pharmaceuticals

How has the pharmaceutical sector in Gujarat changed over the years? The pharmaceutical industry has undergone a sea change during the last decade. There was turmoil in all the areas of the industry; be it manufacturing, statutory changes, new product launches or marketing, which resulted in a paradigm shift. These changes have created big challenges for small and medium scale pharmaceuticals companies in Gujarat. Small and medium-sized companies were most adversely affected. The impact of this change was so fierce that many units were forced to close down their operations in Gujarat.

What are the challenges with respect to the manufacturing norms? In the case of manufacturing, Gujarat was the first and only state to make Schedule M compulsory. The stringent norms of FDA required huge investments for the companies to upgrade their units. These units were not having that kind of business to afford such investments resulting in their closure. This was a big blow to small and medium-sized units and to the industrial growth of the state. These units were more accepted in the generic market of other states and were catering to the need of the rural areas and dispensing market with quality products. Most of the organized and multinational companies do not have their own manufacturing units; they get their products manufactured in these units but many of them have shifted to Baddi, Solan and Haridwar to get excise benefits. With incentives coming from other states, how is Gujarat holding on to its position in the pharmaceutical sector? There were extra incentives for manufacturing units in H.P., Uttarakhand, J&K, and Chhattisgarh, on excise duty up to 50 percent, so the activity of contract manufacturing was shifted to these states, making the small units redundant and unviable. Big national and multinational companies shifted to these areas giving further blow to the already ailing industry. The contribution came down from 42 percent to 20 percent. This was streamlined later, giving some relief for their survival. It is learnt that now companies are coming home from these SEZs as the tax honeymoon is ending shortly. SEZ is a big attraction for some of the big companies to make a comeback. the Government has moved 85 fixed drug combinations in the category of banned drugs, resulting in severe loss of revenue for many companies as some of these brands could be breadwinners for SMEs. Other brands could not establish in the market so soon.

“It is an uphill task for SMEs to win the marketing battle with giants and survive.” — Dhiren Vyas GM – Marketing, Mann Pharmaceuticals

What are the marketing challenges that pharma SMEs are facing? The marketing scenario is still more challenging as the MNCs and big Indian companies have much stronger marketing muscles, which is difficult for these SME/MSE companies. Sales and marketing orientation has now shifted to a new demanding customer. Earlier it was the product which was made suitable to the customer but now the customer has become more demanding and demands specific product to suit the individuals. There is paucity of good quality of trainable people for marketing activity. Finance and insurance sectors have become more lucrative choice for graduates. Now science and pharmacy graduates are not available and company has to compromise with recruitment of arts and commerce graduates, making the job more difficult for SMEs which do not get the good quality marketing personnel. Adding to the problem is the high attrition rate. Penetration in the rural and tier II and III cities by big companies has made it more difficult for SMEs to even penetrate this market. This is really an uphill task for SMEs to conquer the marketing battle with giants and survive.

DARE.CO.IN | SME | JUNE 2010 49

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Growth of Gujarat’s Pharma Exports vis-à-vis India

Quick Points Gujarat’s Share in India’s Pharma Turnover: 42 per cent Share in India’s Drug Exports: 22

per cent People employed in Gujarat’s pharma units: 52,000 Alembic, one of the oldest pharma companies, was set up in Vadodara in 1907

Growth drivers for SMEs 

Foreign Collaboration

Technology/tie ups

Joint research and development

Buy back arrangements

Advanced stage equipment purchase and technological assistance

Competitive spirit

Willingness to restructure,

Acquisitions and mergers


ing states in the pharmaceutical sector. It boasts of 42 percent share of India’s pharmaceutical turnover and 22 percent share of exports. A major challenge for small pharma manufacturers is pricing, which is decided by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) every 15 days. “Large manufacturers are making five to ten crore tablets while a small manufacturer can make only five to ten lakh tablets. Those who are making tablets in crores can go in for bulk purchase of ingredients and avail discounts. Therefore the cost of manufacturing a tablet for them is much less compared to that of small manufacturers,” say Dr R S Joshi, Executive Secretary, Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA) Gujarat Board. The government fixes price based on the data provided by large companies, thus small companies stand to lose. To tide over the situation, the IDMA has asked the government to collect the price-related data from small manufacturers and then decide on the price of the end product but to no avail. But Gujarat’s position in the pharma sector dwindled when Baddi in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh emerged as a major invest-

ment destination due to a number of tax holidays that were being offered. Among the incentives on offer were 100 percent excise duty exemption for a period of ten years, full income tax exemption for the initial period of five years and then 30 percent for the next five years. Also on offer were capital investment subsidy of 15 percent on plant and machinery. “This led to several units being closed down in Gujarat as many companies moved to Baddi,” says Joshi. “As the incentives of selling to domestic consumers declined, many of the units in Gujarat started to focus on exports, which has now grown in a big way,” he adds. To stop its companies from fleeing to Himachal Pradesh, the Gujarat government started offering incentives by reducing excise duty from eight percent to four percent. This has led to companies again considering Gujarat as a lucrative destination for pharma manufacturing. With the WTO patent protection coming to India, new products have gone up considerably. “By this time most of the molecules, which were not available in India were launched by a number of companies. This has created more number of me-too brands in the market,” says Dhiren Vyas, General Manager – Marketing, Mann Pharmaceuticals. This brought in new challenges on the marketing front and resulted in a virtual price war while causing erosion in the profitability of the company, he adds. The medium and small size companies suffered due to lack of marketing and financial power. Among other challenges faced by pharma SMEs, not enough exposure to international environment and standards of developed market, low capital base and difficulties in raising funds to upgrade their facilities, slackness on R&D activities, and growing competition from other countries are also a cause of concern. R


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5/26/2010 4:28:26 AM

Motivation and Inspiration Guaranteed- That’s SSD! With inspirational stories of Dr. Velumani of Thyrocare, blind masseurs of Metta Foot Spa in Mumbai, heated debates on legal issues and startup rules in Delhi, and parable learnings, customer interaction strategies , and lightning pitches and presentations for a full house in Bangalore, Startup Saturday was quite eventful this time.


Startup Saturday Delhi

Startup Saturday Bangalore

The first speaker for the afternoon was Ankur Singla from Coraza - Legal Advisors. Ankur had left his corporate legal job in London to start on his own. He is based out of Chandigarh. Ankur came with two topics that he wanted to talk about - Shareholdings inside startups and the legal wrangles of a Joint Venture. Ankur's session was very open and he constantly involved the audience by asking them questions, or just putting up a topic hanging in the air - being debated upon by the attendees. On the JV legal wrangles, he divided the hall into 2 sets – one representing the small startup providing the IP, and the rest representing the investor or the bigger fish in the JV. The discussion was heated up at times, but healthy nevertheless. Next up was Mohit Bansal from the L-Pad, a coaching school for entrepreneurs. Mohit started with some rules that could be followed to have higher chances of an idea making it to mainstream consumption. There were heated debates on why those rules apply, where they do and where they don't.

The May edition of Startup Saturday Bangalore saw a full house with around 130 people, one of the highest in all Startup Saturdays ever. With “Marketing” as the theme, we had two special guests who were the main speakers for the day. Rashmi Vallabhajosyula of Altius Consulting engaged the audience with three parables that startups can reflect on and apply in real life and their marketing efforts. Her stories emphasized the importance of competitive advantage, the use of right information at the right time, and establishing coherence between what you do and what you require. The next speaker was Kaushal Sarda, consultant and Bangalore head at 2020 Social, a Social Business Strategy firm. He spoke about the importance of customer interactions and dialog to help create a strong support community online. He also shared tips on utilizing various online platforms that can help companies listen to their customers and help connect with them. This edition also featured the regular lightning pitches, a five minute quick presentation on startups, products/


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services or ideas by new entrepreneurs. It helps them gain valuable feedback from the community and can even act as a sounding board. Two startups, PopABook and Agri Retail, spoke about their ideas. This was followed by a talk on 1M/1M initiative of Sramana Mitra and the Startup Buddies support group that is being formed.

Startup Saturday Mumbai May Startup Saturday Mumbai was themed around Social Entrepreneurship. It had showcases and Lightening Pitches from Entrepreneurs who were confident and innovative enough to ensure success not just for their ventures but for the society as a whole. There were lightening pitches by Culture Aangan, Only Gizmos, Zopte and Distribution 2.0. Post the pitches was a session that soon became the highlight of the day. A journey led by Dr Velumani from Thyrocare which made every listener realize that though it is not easy taking the plunge and reaching the stars, it is not impossible either. Velumani has his own style of communication. The zeal with which he conveys can easily make you question yourself whether is he really a 51 year old businessman or is he a college pass-out in an old man’s body. Velumani discussed all the challenges that he faced but he precisely termed them as ‘decisions made’ rather than ‘adjustments done’. His courage to pursue his goals and witty humor to explain how decisions shape your fate was a big take away of the session. He advised entrepreneurs that adjusting for your dreams is an investment and not an adjustment (Don’t put the cart before the horse). At this age too he was motivated to learn, to change and to innovate every day. He described how he pursued his vision to provide best services at costs never thought before. A witty quote he said was “Every entrepreneur should

spend well. I was bound to value money, that’s why they call me Velumani”. Finally one thing that all repeated even post the session (and tweeted about) was his concept of - Plan to Fail, and you will never fail! It was one of those sessions which will keep aspirants motivated for years to come. Hats off to Dr Velumani! Post the ignition from Velumani, was another great session by Jenny from Metta Foot Spa. Where in one session the speech by Velumani shook our souls to get started right there, Jenny’s presentation touched the audience’s heart with her journey into social entrepreneurship. For those who are not aware Jenny (Joanita) is the owner of Meta Foot Spa, a place where you can get affordable massage from visually impaired masseurs. With a long treasured desire to give back to the society, Jenny soon realized that there was an opportunity to empower the blind students to earn their daily bread with pride and self confidence. With this started Metta Foot Spa, where Blind masseurs provide you the best in town foot massage at a price everyone can afford. Jenny discussed the issues she faced in training and operating these employees at the spa and how the blessings of many needy seniors took the Spa to where it has reached today. With that yet another Startup Saturday concluded successfully, but what was more interesting was to realize the change in thought that the audience went through by attending the sessions on Social Entrepreneurship. It is neither about charities, nor about exploiting the down trodden; it’s an innovative business model where business flourishes along with the society. Seems the motto of hosting the event was fulfilled largely. Social Entrepreneurship is still at a nascent stage in India and it definitely holds great opportunity for any one ready to take the plunge. R DARE.CO.IN | EVENT | JUNE 2010 53

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investor of the month

Dr Rajesh Srivathsa, Managing Partner, Ojas Ventures Ojas is an India-centric, technology-focused early stage VC firm backed by Nadathur S. Raghavan, co-founder and former MD of Infosys. Before Ojas, Rajesh was the Business Head, Mobile Terminals Business Unit (MTBU) at Aricent, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Technology, Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka at Suratkal, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign respectively.

or the past few months, Rajesh Srivathsa and his team have been busy vetting business plans to identify some new companies to invest in. The companies need not be technology companies per se but rather use technology as an enabler to cater to a large market. Ever since Ojas Ventures was set up in mid 2007, this early stage venture capital firm has invested in six companies. With no mandate to invest in a certain number of startups every year, Rajesh and his partners – Pavan Krishnamurthy, Gautam Balijepalli and Raghu Batta – are clear that they would back those companies which they unanimously agree upon with respect to its business model, founding team, and ability to scale up fast. “You can say we are slow or you can say we are thoughtful, that’s your choice”, says Srivathsa when asked if Ojas Ventures was a patient investor and would rather wait to come across the right companies to invest in instead of being hasty? Ojas Ventures identifies those companies that have a technology product or solution that



is in its early stage as the first fund is actually a small one with around Rs 150 crore. “By early stage we define a company that has a prototype already developed and pilot customers already engaged. It may or may not have revenue,” says Srivathsa. Thus Ojas Ventures come in at a point when the business needs around a million dollars with the hope that “we can help define business models and validate those business models by engaging those entrepreneurs.” Team Ojas is already considering two plans quite seriously and if talks with the entrepreneurs works out fine, some announcements could follow.

The Entrepreneurial Genome It all started in early 2000 when Nadathur S. Raghavan (NSR), one of the founders of Infosys, felt that the best way to give back to the society was to promote entrepreneurship. What better way than to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams, create wealth and jobs. “When Raghavan retired from Infosys the same year, the question he asked was that is there any

way he could support entrepreneurship which is a nascent ecosystem in India?” says Srivathsa. So Ragahavan began funding companies as an angel investor through Nadathur Holdings and Investments. This continued till about 2006 and by that time he had already funded 17 companies. Around 2006, NSR’s son Anand Nadathur thought of going the venture capital way. Anand, who has had a decade of experience with startups and in the VC industry, thought if ad-hoc investments could nourish entrepreneurship so well, why not formalize it to support the early stage startups? So in late 2006, the brainstorming on setting up a VC firm started with Srivathsa and Pavan, who was working with Nadathur since 2000 and was part of every one of the 17 companies that they had funded in terms of diligence. Raising funds had always been a big challenge for early stage startups but more than that mentoring was something that was missing because many of the startup teams were first-time entrepreneurs and strategic guidance for


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Photo: Grieesh.G.V

them was the need of the hour. “If we could go ahead and try to alleviate that to some extent, we would have done two things: help kickstart the entrepreneurial ecosystem and make money in the process, helping entrepreneurs create wealth and make their dreams come true,” says Srivathsa. By mid-2007, Ojas Ventures was established. “This was conceived as the next step, what I would call seed or Series A type funding,” says Srivathsa. The money came from the Nadathur holdings and Ojas Ventures benefited from the learnings that came from the Nadathur ecosystem.

Investment Strategy It was clear right from the beginning that Ojas Ventures would focus on technology because the founding partners understood the sector quite well and strongly believed that many a business can piggyback on technology to deliver services to the masses. “It was felt that we were comfortable in backing technology companies,”

"We are comfortable with technology, which means from a risk mitigation point of view to a fair extent, we are able to understand such businesses"

says Srivathsa. “We look at technology product or solution which can be delivered though minimal cost through internet or an identified mode through which you can have distributed sale,” he adds. Create once and use multiple times is the name of the game. “We are comfortable with technology, which means from a risk mitigation point of view to a fair extent, we are able to understand such businesses,” adds Srivathsa. “About the stages of a products' company, we have ideation followed by idea validation, which means you have a prototype, pilot customers saying yes we will pay for it, the technology risk is partly mitigated,” he says. So at what point does Ojas put in money? “Then you have to figure out how do I package this and what sort of business models do I engage in so that I can scale it up rapidly and that is the point where our money comes in.” says Srivathsa. Ojas Ventures is looking at those businesses that have a large end market that does not reDARE.CO.IN | BIO | MARCH 2010 55

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"We would not confuse ourselves for an operations person. Entrepreneurs are in charge of their companies. We act as the sounding board and we actively try to bounce off ideas for them to think through."


quire a lot of money to become cashflow positive.

Level of Engagement Around a third of the business plans and potential investee companies come via the Nadathur Holdings route, partly because Ojas is a fairly new entity with little brand recall while the former has been in the thick of entrepreneurship for a decade now. “About a third of our deals come from our own network, and the remaining is through people who call us up, email us or entrepreneurs who we meet at events directly or through intermediaries,” says Srivathsa. Ojas Ventures takes a Board seat in all its portfolio companies but the level of engagement could vary depending upon the experience of the founding team and the assessment of the need for strategic and operational guidance. “It has been a mixed bag. There have been companies where people of the management teams have been entrepreneurs previously and who know how to execute a plan. In those types of companies, we play an advisory role,” says Srivathsa. This means the partners do not involve themselves in business operations. Tyfone is one such company where the founders are seasoned entrepreneurs and have done startups in the past. The other set of companies where entrepreneurs are perhaps first timers, Team Ojas has a larger role to play. Does it mean too much involvement with day-to-day operations? No, says Srivathsa. “We would not confuse ourselves for an operations person. Entrepreneurs are in charge of their companies,” he adds. The first advisory role is strategic. This is mainly about risk mitigation. Srivathsa believes that first-time entrepreneurs typically have passion and focus on narrow execution parameters and because of the nature of not enough prior experience in dealing with the ups and downs, they get too bogged down and slowly they lose focus on the big-

ger picture of the two main things of why a startup exists. “What is the value proposition that they are delivering and how are they delivering,” he adds. “We actually dig down deeper and these things keep changing over the life of the company. We act as the sounding board and we actively try to bounce off ideas for them to think through,” says Srivathsa. In four of its portfolio companies, Ojas Ventures plays a very active role. “We get into operations in certain areas where they are comfortable,” he says. One is in terms of products roadmap and the other is in terms of business development, contract negotiations, etc. “Most entrepreneurs know far more about the former (technology) than we do but there have been instances where there are some benefits that we bring.” In the second part of the operational role, sometimes Srivathsa and his team choose to sit with the entrepreneur across the table. “The reason is that the first-time entrepreneurs in India are technologists. They do not have too much experience in contract negotiations” he says. It means that more often than not, they undersell the product and in a couple of cases, Srivathsa has also seen that they oversell, which means their expectation of what the customer should pay are higher then either what the customer is willing to pay or the value proposition that we can see. This is because they are very passionate about the technology they work on. “So we are able to take an unbiased view. We help with pricing strategy and all the aspects of contract negotiations,” adds Srivathsa. First-time entrepreneurs would vouch that it can get quite difficult to understand the psyche of the potential customer and the price of the product or service accordingly. But Srivathsa is not content with what his team is currently doing for entrepreneurs. “We probably can and should do far more than what we are doing,” he adds. R


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from the Blogs

Cheaper Movie Halls Posted by: Nimesh Sharma in Ideas on May 4, 2010 Tagged in: opportunity, movie halls, cheaper entertainment, ticket price


movie at Satyam Cinema, Nehru Place with an unexpected high ticket price of Rs 250 had an impact on me. I hadn't expected this high a price. The good thing was my girly friend paid for her own ticket. :-) Though at some halls, amenities and comfort offered justify the high ticket price, what about those

people who can't afford the comfort and just want the movie? Where are the good old days when ticket prices started at Rs10? In fact, good single screen halls are a proof that the economics still works without thinking much about the social angle. Someone ought to think about the vanishing economy movie halls

which is causing the working class to shell out more and prohibiting the lower class from even thinking about movie halls. Why don't the biggies like Big Cinemas, who proudly said they want to see a mobile phone in every Indian's hand, (and have done it to some extent), ensure this for entertainment as well?).

Challenges for the differently-abled posed by the corporate rat race Posted by: Nimesh Sharma in ideas on May 9, 2010 Tagged in: challenges, physically disabled, differently abled, corporate rat race, CSR


ome of you must have experienced how difficult it is to get a job. You have to send the resume, then some receptionist interviews you, then you are called for some written test, and then if you are successful, you are called for the pre-final and final interview. Often, you fail to clear one or more stages at different levels, reasons (according to the company) being incompetence or not eligible or lack of some qualification or skill or confidence and on and on. Have you ever tried thinking what would the situation be for those who are physically challenged (we'll use the term differently-abled)? Except those affected mentally, they are like all of us in terms of mental capacity and competence. They also face all those job challenges that we face commonly. However, they often have to suffer from two additional setbacks. First, recruiters view them

as â&#x20AC;&#x153;differently-abledâ&#x20AC;? and because of many of us who don't respect their capabilities and uniqueness, they often lack confidence even for something as simple as living life normally, leave apart a job interview. Why can't we treat them as equal to others when it comes to hiring? I agree that most of the jobs have requirements that require some physical movement or physical interaction with people. However, it's not difficult to carve out few jobs in every 'big enough' organization that can be done by differentlyabled people. There are organizations that have done it. So, there is no point in saying that this is impossible. And I would emphasize that organizations Should Not do it as part of CSR (corporate social responsibility). This will make those employees feel as if charity is being done for them. This should be done on humane grounds as a very normal process.

Although I am sure there are a few placement consultancies who work for differently-abled people, but I guess actively a lot more is required given the fact that there are over 40 million (orthopaedically) differently-abled people in India. It could be done as a business venture or better as a social venture (though latter might again dent their confidence). The problem aggravates for both-those who perform brilliantly and those doing it poorly. While the latter might sustain the job out of the feeling of charity by the employee, the brilliant performer expects a better treatment from employers. However, our corporate perfectionists deliberately or out of ignorance or narrow mindedness, dont think of giving any such treatment to the star performers. At a higher level, this becomes a graver problem. What solutions do you have to offer?



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photoblogsp Attack of the Tiddas


hen was the last time you went to a resort in North India post-monsoon, and did not find hordes of grasshoppers lining the entire place, like a bed of roses? This photo taken at Best Western Country Resort, Manesar (Near Gurgaon, Haryana) shows a small army of grasshoppers on a pole. The pole is situated in the corner of a swimming pool there. And not just this swimming pool support pole, but the whole resort, spread in acres, was infested with grasshoppers. Though they don't bite generally, and don't bug, but reside in their natural surroundings i.e., grass, they are a nuisance. They are scary to look at, they create small panic moments(though often funny as well) and are ugly to look at. They keep sitting on chairs and tables as well as on the grass, wherever you want to sit. Though, Ms Gandhi Jr. might object, I can sense an opportunity. I don't know if this comes under the purview of 'pest controllers'. But, clearing the 'tidda' force on a large scale like this requires strategy and significant resources, and not everyone can do it. So, the one who does it well, can earn very well, I guess. There are hundreds of natural resorts in India, and not just resorts, even farm houses and similar other open places with natural environs would require such a service, and would be happy to pay big for this. So, why not give it a try?

The Great Indian Credit Habit


ee the picture and try to recall when you last used any of these terms while buying any service or product on credit. I'm sure you must have used it while buying something from the local kirana shop, or the local vegetable hawker who comes daily to your street, trying to negotiate the credit terms. This photo taken at a printer's shop in North Campus, Delhi University very aptly captures this Indian habit. Referring to the monetary credit given on micro level, translating in English, they mean: • write down the credit • I'll give (the money) sometime later • Give you in a while • Will just send in • What the heck, (I) will give back your money • Get it from my home • Give you tomorrow • (Will) Give you tomorrow morning • (Will) gve you at dusk. • You don't trust me!? • Don't you recognize me? Do you? • Shall I run away with your money? • On telephone: He's not there/he's busy in meeting/call in sometime 58

Whole businesses in India go bankrupt when people are not able to manage this kind of social credit from neighbours, 'good' friends, and other 'acquaintances'. There's another very popular quote on this: Pyar gaya, paisa gaya, Aur gaya vyapar; Darshan durlabh ho gaye, jab se diya Udhar. Meaning: Lost Friendship, lost money, and lost business Stopped seeing (thy) holy face, since the time, I lent you credit It may not matter so much on a smaller level to take back money after few days. However, for bigger companies, it acquires a very high significance, as the amount is in crores and if they don't follow smart credit management and the policy of "sooner the cash inflow, the better," there's a high risk of money not coming back, as there is no social pressure you can use, like on micro-level. There are those who do their credit management very smartly including in their economics, the interest that they will lose if they give some amount on credit for, say six months. The others outsource their credit management or bad debts/bad assets to the specialized companies. The latter companies buy bad debts from corporations at highly discounted prices and then after deducting all costs, earn a neat margin. Really smart. Ain't it? Do you think, there is a possibility of doing this on a smaller level?


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sphotoblogs Pani pani re


his photo taken by me at the Elephanta Caves, on an island off Mumbai, reminded me of the water issues there. The monkeys there feel a lot thirsty and snatch water bottles from tourists, which they give away generously. Though there were water coolers at two places during the not-so-high descent (if I remember correctly), water was apparently missing at other places. The natives (that's the right word I guess), tried to make it a small business. They offered visitors, water refills from the bottles they had in hand, for Rs 10-15 per bottle. Some innocent folks were even offering it in front of a working water cooler. Oh! what a pity! Then I thought we have this water business in metros. However, buying a new bottle everytime looks costly though water is cheaply available in our country. So, why not a water refill business? Recently, Eureka Forbes has started cashing in on this. It has started refilling water bottles of travellers from the Eureka Forbes water coolers on Mumbai's local railway stations, and in a way is taking away the business from big players like Bisleri and Kinley. Now, if someone already has water bottle, there is no way, (s)he will buy a new bottle for Rs 10-15, if the same water can be had for three rupees for a refill, not from some ABCD co. but Eureka Forbes. The competitors will have no option but to start a similar move. Would you like to become the competition? Probably, you can present a proposal of franchising to Bisleri, kinley, and the likes.

Product Demonstration - Does it increase the chances of a sale?


ow many products do you buy after seeing their demo? Okay, how many have you bought in the last one year? I guess very rarely or none, unless its a durable product of significant value? You buy a water melon, and ask for a demo which the fruit seller reluctantly gives. You buy if you're satisfied with the result of the demo (the taste, in this case). These watch sellers outside New Delhi Railway Station (and at many other places), readily give you demo of their product. These low-end watches are permanently kept in water during the day, in public view, proudly declaring their water-resistance, for which big companies often give TV ads. Yet, it is anyone's guessâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;how many pieces the former sells? So, the question is, does a demo really increase the chances of a product sale? How much? Or is it only a marketing gimmick, which is not worth it? Is it only a cost incurring practice? What other product/service examples do you have?

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Looking Beyond Borders The small enterprises in the gems and jewelry sector of Jaipur and the pharma cluster of Ahmedabad are gearing up to reach out to new customers and launch new products


(L-R) Anurag Kashyap of Cisco; Vivek Kala of Jewellers' Association of Jaipur; Sanjay Jha of ICICI

Panel discussion at the Jaipur event 60

he SME Knowledge Forum organized by DARE in association with ICICI Bank, India’s second largest bank, and technology networking giant Cisco saw passionate debates on issues relating to finance and technology. Indian SMEs are gearing up to make the most of the opportunity but there are many stumbling blocks that are not letting their plans take wings. In Jaipur, it was all about the difficulty in raising loans from banks. Several participants felt that banks were too reluctant to lend them money and high collateral were only an excuse for not lending. Vivek Kala of Jaipur Jewellers’ Association pointed out that many banks were making borrowings difficult for SMEs by keeping rates on the higher side. He also questioned as to why banks were charging “penalty” for early return of loans? Sanjay Jha of ICICI Bank insisted that no “hidden costs” came as part of the loans given out to small businesses. He stressed the need for having a good credit rating to be eligible for loans and its quick disbursal. Many small enterprises cannot afford huge collaterals and seek loans based on their annual financial statements but for banks, it becomes problematic because of the fear of incurring bad debt or re-


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On Roads Less Traveled Bitten by the entrepreneurship bug while in their campus’ Entrepreneurship Cell, India’s newest graduates are discovering different ways to nurture and realize their entrepreneurial ambitions


s thousands of young students graduate to join the great Indian workforce this year, a small, but growing number of them are not giving up their entrepreneurial ambitions for safe, steady jobs. Some are opting out of campus placements to start their own companies, others are juggling their new jobs with their ventures, and a few others are foregoing a six-figure salary and an MNC brand to work in a startup. Bitten by the entrepreneurship bug while in their campus’ Entrepreneurship Cell, these young aspiring entrepreneurs are being driven by the power of their dreams.

Turn on the lights A hefty pay package from Tata Con-

G Ramachandran 66

sultancy Services on one hand and a cash-crunched startup on the other – only diehard entrepreneurs like G Ramachandran of Coimbatore’s PSG Institute of Technology would find the latter tempting. Electronics engineering graduate Ramachandran declined the TCS offer to focus on his floundering solar-lighting venture ‘Lamperz’. Ramachandran turned his project on emergency lamps into a startup when he joined his institute’s E Cell in 2007. However, lack of funds curtailed Lamperz’s growth. Ramchandran is now planning to turn his company around within the next six months with his new business idea – workshops on solar robots for schools and colleges, the proceeds of which will be ploughed into building Lamperz’s new range of products including solar streetlights and solar mobile chargers. Also in the pipeline are skills-building workshops for Government schools, which he plans to deliver in Tamil. “Most of my classmates have either taken up well-paying jobs or are pursuing higher studies. I found it very difficult to do either. In my four years in the E Cell, I have found my calling,” he adds.

Delicious opportunity Want a fat wallet instead of a fat waist? Don’t eat chocolates, sell them, discovered 24-year-old Sweta Tiwari, a recent MBA graduate from Mumbai’s Thakur Institute of Management Studies. Soon after joining the NEN Entrepreneurship Cell on her campus last year, Sweta attended a chocolate-making workshop. Excited with her learning and exposure to entrepreneurship at her E Cell, Sweta was eager to apply her new chocolate-making skills

Sweta Tiwari


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Bringing Mentoring To SMEs A technological orientation, an innovative mindset and the willingness to learn are the key ingredients in building a long-term and sustainable success /Apurva Narang

(L-R) Rajiv Ahuja, Founder, Anthem Academy; Rajendra Prasad, President & CFO, SRF; David Wittenberg, CEO, Innovation Work Group; Neeraj Sharma, Advisor, Dept. of Science & Technology, Govt. Of India; Prof. J.D.Singh, Director, Jaipuriya Institute of Management; Ramesh Vaswani, Vice Chairman , Intex


oday's knowledge economy offers tremendous opportunity for expansion of intellectual capacity and competence to optimally utilize limited resources. A technological orientation, an innovative mindset and the willingness to learn are the key ingredients in building a long-term and sustainable success. National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science, Government of India and Dell India have come together to bring THE TECHNOLOGY AND MENTORSHIP FORUM [TMF], with Anthem 62

Academy as the knowledge partner for this initiative. UTV Bloomberg and DARE are the media partners for the event. The TMF offers entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to interact with successful business leaders and academic thought leaders, who bring rich experience and deep insight into reallife business situations across industries and functional verticals. The first of the three events took place in New Delhi on April 8th and then on 14th May in Mumbai and 19th May in Chennai. Participants gained immensely from one-to-one mentoring sessions

with panel of experts from a wide range of business and management specializations like strategy, technology, finance, banking, HR, marketing, branding, etc. The mentors offered guidance on how early stage as well as established enterprises can overcome hurdles, achieve growth and broaden vision towards building a promising future. Ravi Bharadwaj, General Manager – SMB, Dell India said, “Sustainable economic growth can be facilitated by promoting the culture of entrepreneurship. By boosting the country’s capacity to deploy technology


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and innovation, there is a need for entrepreneurs to capitalize on several commercial opportunities and realize tangible economic outcomes.” “In order to foster entrepreneurship, it is imperative to create an eco-system that not only supports and nurtures entrepreneurship, but also encourages them to scale up for global competition,” said H.K.Mittal, Head, National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. “This initiative was designed to offer emerging and existing entre-

preneurs an opportunity to build new perspectives of running a business facilitated by technology. Promoting entrepreneurship will not only generate new products, services and markets, responding both to public demand and to the needs of today’s economy, but also serve as a catalyst for job creation.” Said Rajiv Ahuja, Founder Anthem Academy. “The SME sector plays a critical role in helping bridge the gap between India and its major international competitors, ” he added. The participants got one-to-one mentoring on various subjects like

from branding, product launch to finance, renewable energy, HR, etc. The mentoring session saw a enthusiastic participation, with attendees seeking guidance on business issues like scaling up the business, funding challenges, export opportunities, new business ventures, gains from technology, implementation of technology, ERP processes, and HR practices. TMF has established itself as a great platform to foster entrepreneurship and encourage innovation by facilitating learning through mentoring and realizing benefits from leveraging technology across industries. R DARE.CO.IN | EVENT REPORT | JUNE 2010 63

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/Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

This Natural Resource now rests in Peace The Supreme Court ruling has put an end to the row behind the KG Basin and Ambani brothers. Have affluent industrialists learnt a lesson or is India going to be a witness to more such face-offs?


he May 7 decision of the threejudge bench of the Supreme Court in the dispute between Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Reliance Natural Resources Limited (RNRL) has been widely interpreted as a victory for the first company headed by Mukesh Ambani and an ignominious defeat for his younger sibling Anil who leads the second firm. The third party in the dispute relating to the pricing and allocation of natural gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin off the coast of Andhra Pradesh was the Government of India, specifically, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas that had earlier been accused by Anil of having acted in a partisan manner in favour of Mukesh. By implication, Anil also alleged that Union Minister Murli Deora had not been fair to him and his business interests--this was arguably one of the few occasions when a prominent businessman publicly claimed that a Cabinet Minister had been siding in favour of a particular interest group, in this case, a company headed by his elder brother. After the Supreme Court judgment, the Minister contended that the court had vindicated the Government’s position. Deora stated: “The gas belongs to the nation…not to any company or individual. The Supreme Court has upheld our stand." 64

The apex court of the country came to the view that the private agreement between the Ambani brothers and their mother is not legally binding on the government and that the government has the right to determine how natural gas is to be priced and allotted. This is, however, only one side of the story.

True, the apex court of the country came to the view that the private agreement between the Ambani brothers (two of the richest men in India) and their mother is not legally binding on the government and that the government has the right to determine how natural gas (as well as other resources that belong to the people of the nation) is to be priced and allotted. This is, however, only one side of the story. The court judgment that runs into 268 pages is, at the same time, a strong indictment of the government’s policy of privatizing the country’s natural resources. Before elaborating on this aspect of the judgment, the backdrop is delineated. In July 2002, Mukesh and Anil’s father Dhirubhai Ambani (who set up the Reliance group, India’s largest privately-controlled corporate conglomerate from scratch) died intestate or without a will. In October that year, gas was discovered in the Krishna-Godavari basin by RIL. In June 2004, RIL entered into an agreement with the Uttar Pradesh Government to set up India’s – and Asia’s – largest gas-based power plant at Dadri, near Delhi, using gas from the KrishnaGodavari basin. From November 2004 onwards for a period of over six months, the Ambani siblings fought bitterly. In June 2005, the brothers arrived at an uneasy settlement supervised by their mother--RIL


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got the gas extraction business while RNRL acquired control over the power generation business. But these are not personal fiefdoms of Mukesh and Anil. These are two widely-held corporate entities that, between them, have over three million shareholders. The majority judgment of the then Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam said: “It is relevant to note that the Constitution envisages exploration, extraction and supply of gas to be within the domain of government functions. It is the duty of the Union to make sure that these resources are used for the benefit of the citizens of the country. Due to shortage of funds and technical know-how, the government has privatized such activities through the mechanism provided under the PSC (production sharing contract). It would have been ideal for the PSUs (public sector undertakings) to handle such projects exclusively. It is commendable that private entrepreneurial efforts are available, but the nature of the profits gained from such activities can ideally belong to the State which is in a better position to distribute them for the best interests of the people. Nevertheless, even if private parties are employed for such purposes, they must be accountable to the Constitutional set-up.” The minority judgment of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy added: “A small portion of our population, over the past two decades, has been chanting incessantly for increased privatization of the material resources of the community, and some of them even doubt whether the goals of equality and social justice are capable of being addressed directly. They argue that economic growth will eventually trickle down and lift everyone up. For those at the bottom of the economic and social pyramid, it appears that the nation has forsaken those goals as unattainable at best and unworthy at worst. The neo-liberal agenda has increasingly eviscerated the state of stature and power, bringing vast benefits to the few, modest benefits for

The key question that needs answering is whether the government is acting as a genuine custodian of resources that belong to the people of India or whether it is just helping promote the interests of affluent and influential industrialists?

some, while leaving everybody else, the majority, behind…” “We have heard a lot about free markets and freedom to market. We must confess that we were perplexed by the extent to which it was pressed that contractual arrangements between private parties with the State and amongst themselves could displace the obligations of the State to the people…History has repeatedly shown that a culture of uncontained greed along with uncontrolled markets leads to disasters… Historically, and all across the globe, predatory forms of capitalism seem to organize themselves, first and foremost, around the extractive industries that seek to exploit the vast, but exhaustible, natural resources. Water, forests, minerals and oil – they are all being privatized; and not being satisfied, the voices that speak for predatory capitalism seek more…” As for government policy, Justice Sudershan Reddy observed: “Before we part with the case, we consider it appropriate to observe and remind the GoI (Government of India) that it is high time it frames a comprehensive policy/ suitable legislation with regard to (the) energy security of India and supply of natural gas under production sharing contracts.” It is apparent that the gaps that exist in the country’s energy policy framework must be filled up soon. One such glaring gap is the architecture for pricing and allotment of natural gas. The key question that needs answering is whether the government is acting as a genuine custodian of resources that belong to the people of India or whether it is just helping promote the interests of affluent and influential industrialists? The answer to this question would determine if we in India are going through a phase of economic liberalization or crony capitalism. R The writer is an educator and a journalist with 32 years of experience in various media—print, radio, television, the Internet and documentary cinema. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are that of the author and does not represent the magazine's. DARE.CO.IN | COLUMN | JUNE 2010 65

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On Roads Less Traveled Bitten by the entrepreneurship bug while in their campus’ Entrepreneurship Cell, India’s newest graduates are discovering different ways to nurture and realize their entrepreneurial ambitions


s thousands of young students graduate to join the great Indian workforce this year, a small, but growing number of them are not giving up their entrepreneurial ambitions for safe, steady jobs. Some are opting out of campus placements to start their own companies, others are juggling their new jobs with their ventures, and a few others are foregoing a six-figure salary and an MNC brand to work in a startup. Bitten by the entrepreneurship bug while in their campus’ Entrepreneurship Cell, these young aspiring entrepreneurs are being driven by the power of their dreams.

Turn on the lights A hefty pay package from Tata Con-

G Ramachandran 66

sultancy Services on one hand and a cash-crunched startup on the other – only diehard entrepreneurs like G Ramachandran of Coimbatore’s PSG Institute of Technology would find the latter tempting. Electronics engineering graduate Ramachandran declined the TCS offer to focus on his floundering solar-lighting venture ‘Lamperz’. Ramachandran turned his project on emergency lamps into a startup when he joined his institute’s E Cell in 2007. However, lack of funds curtailed Lamperz’s growth. Ramchandran is now planning to turn his company around within the next six months with his new business idea – workshops on solar robots for schools and colleges, the proceeds of which will be ploughed into building Lamperz’s new range of products including solar streetlights and solar mobile chargers. Also in the pipeline are skills-building workshops for Government schools, which he plans to deliver in Tamil. “Most of my classmates have either taken up well-paying jobs or are pursuing higher studies. I found it very difficult to do either. In my four years in the E Cell, I have found my calling,” he adds.

Delicious opportunity Want a fat wallet instead of a fat waist? Don’t eat chocolates, sell them, discovered 24-year-old Sweta Tiwari, a recent MBA graduate from Mumbai’s Thakur Institute of Management Studies. Soon after joining the NEN Entrepreneurship Cell on her campus last year, Sweta attended a chocolate-making workshop. Excited with her learning and exposure to entrepreneurship at her E Cell, Sweta was eager to apply her new chocolate-making skills

Sweta Tiwari


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to ring in money. She founded Choco Desire in 2009, offering ‘designer’ chocolates at affordable prices. With her business steadily growing – she gets an average of 20 orders that brings her over Rs 30,000 in profits a month – Sweta skipped her institute’s placement day. Instead she has hired five people to run operations, and is now raising funds for a manufacturing unit that will produce chocolates on a large scale. “I am busy for the next three months conducting a market survey to evaluate the demand for customized chocolates. Based on the results, I will chart out my expansion plans. With so much going on, I don’t even have the time to write my resume,” she laughs. Founding team of JSM Services

Open on weekends Four MBA students Subhajit Hore, Amit Pandey, Amrit Dutta and Amritesh Ghatak from IFIM, Bangalore launched their event management startup Jai Shree Mataji Services, that offers puja solutions, in September, 2009. Their graduation and placement into IT major Accenture has not disrupted the growth of JSM Services. The four founders work overtime on weekends, catering to 6-7 orders a month.

JSM organizes religious ceremonies, from getting the pandit to performing puja, sourcing puja materials, to providing flower decorations at the venue. “To conduct a simple puja, people end up spending a whole day making arrangements. In busy Bangalore that is in the midst of a housing boom, there is a real need among IT and other professionals, with a premium on their time, for our customized services,” reveals Subhajit. “Balancing two professions is hectic, but we decided to opt for jobs, so that we can finance the initially phase of the venture,” he adds.

Work ex in entrepreneurship

Subhajit Hore

Shivam Agarwal used to find entrepreneurship ‘utterly boring’ and hardly contributed to his family-run business. Then why did he recently skip his campus placement at IBS, Hyderabad, to work in a small startup to explore entrepreneurship? “My two years in the IBS-NEN E Cell, where I headed the club, changed my attitude. Traditional businesses can be staid and boring, but modernday entrepreneurship is definitely not. Working in a startup has turned out

Shivam Agarwal

to be an intense learning experience, and very different from how it would have been in a large multinational,” says Shivam, who is responsible for marketing at Global Takeoff India Pvt Ltd, a three-year old venture that offers web and broadcast services in regional languages. Shivam has also started revamping his family business and making it professional. “My family, of course, is pleasantly surprised with the change in me,” he adds. More articles on Content provided by NEN DARE.CO.IN | NEN | JUNE 2010 67

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/Dr Hrishikesh Damle

Innovation in Small Organizations Since the outcome is what determines whether an innovation is effective, chances are high that small businesses stumble upon it rather than create through an organized effort


ou must have heard this story. In 1967 erstwhile USSR Olympian athelete (won silver and gold in high jump), Valery Brumel’s career came to a grinding halt when he badly hurt his right leg in a motorcycle accident. The handsome athlete was frustrated as his recovery wasn’t in sight even after several surgeries. He then heard of Prof. Ilizarov who practiced surgery in a remote town in Serbia. Dr. Ilizarov fixed his leg and helped him get back on the track. It took Valery’s return to competitive sports, to get Dr. Ilizarov’s amazing feats in medicine come to light. And soon enough it gave way to the birth of the Prof. Ilizarov Scientific Center. So, what did Prof Ilizarov have up his sleeve that other doctors of the mighty Soviet empire didn’t? Let’s take a look. Prof. Ilizarov was a medical doctor who graduated in 1944 behind the iron curtain of Soviet Russia. He was sent to the war torn town of Kurgan in Northern Siberia, without being adequately trained or equipped. During his work, he came across many soldiers who had broken limbs of unequal length, non uniting limbs, whom he had to attend to. So he resorted to solve the problem by drawing an analogy between a bicycle wheel and a human limb. For Prof. Ilizarov, the bones were like the axis of the bicycle and the


wheel and tyre were like flesh and skin. However bizarre it may sound, his concept gave birth to several external fixation devices, which were very successfully used to treat soldiers' broken bones. His unique technique of lengthening shortened bones was also revered. To increase the length of a bone, he would break a bone across the middle and keep the broken pieces apart by a certain distance. He would then use his external fixation device to adjust the distance between the bone pieces to desired length. The gap was then allowed to heal naturally. Prof. Ilizaraov probably was a born genius, whose thought process was not restricted to organized surgical training. He took the liberty to think out of the box, in a specialty like medicine, where adhering to said protocols is a must. This could happen to anyone running a business in which (s)he is not formally trained. You would probably find the author of this essay, attempting to write on a subject like ‘innovation’ without knowing the jargons or the conventional nuances of the subject, taking an unusual route to explain innovation because he is not specifically trained in the subject. It is fascinating to hear about the elaborate methods, techniques and organized attempts at innovation carried out by large corporates. It is,

after all, everyone’s dream to work in a unit, which gives scope for creative thinking. In hindsight, I wonder whether a process-driven approach to be innovative tend to run dry in the medium to long term and eventually lose their sheen. Unfortunately the human mind is wired to get bored of monotony and anticipated result. In fact, out of eight primary feelings of the mind, only two are benevolent, one of them being “pleasant surprise”. Since the outcome is what determines whether an innovation is effective or not, chances are high that small businesses stumble upon it rather than organized effort in a big business. The two subjects of interest to discuss are process of innovative behaviors in small organizations and individuals with innovation wired. By and large, small entrepreneurs, though being ambitious, will have to be contended with mundane day to day operations. In the absence of mammoth financial backings none would dare to take the risk of total recall on existing processes. In all probability the urge for innovative strategy at the start up period is more likely to occur than during the consolidation period. Having said that, none would deny the inclination to look for innovations, when the business is under pressure. “Kuch alag karna padega” is one of the most


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common sentences on the corridors of intense competition. After a recent lecture on why innovation is important and how cooperation by one and all in implementing the new process is the key, one of the participants asked, “What is the difference between innovation and a new idea?” Dumbstruck for a moment though, the presenter recovered well to explain, “Innovation is the badge given to a successful idea.’ For reasons unknown, the acceptance of the terminology, “idea” has been far more than the word “innovation”. It is a must for all companies to be watchful of changing dynamics and trends in the market. It is unlikely that one would survive without constantly innovating or borrowing innovations. Especially in a country like India where the market segmentation according to paying ability is extremely diverse. If an innovator wants to reach out, he has to constantly come up with new ideas. I think small local companies, who understand the pulse of the population do much better than an outsider. In a running business a watchful eye and being data centric can take you miles ahead in innovation. Especially in fields like consumer goods, pharmaceutics etc., which rely on human psyche. Small changes in presentation can make huge difference in sales. As innovation can be attributed to an idea put to action which has created change, such small carefully recorded incidents can be the subject matter for greater application. A thoughtful inquisitive interaction with events at grass root level prove more productive for small firms than programmed efforts. The crux of the matter about innovations is the outcome. Innovations can be many but successful innovations are usually a handful. The market response is highly unpredictable for anything new. For an analogy, if

The crux of the matter about innovations is the outcome. Innovations could be many but successful innovations are usually handful. The market response is highly unpredictable for anything new

we put two of the greatest music directors of bollywood along with one best lyricist and two acclaimed singers in a room and asked them to create a track which would definitely win the national award for the year, what would be the outcome? The resulting outcome may impress the public but still may not impress the jury! I presume an innovative process has similar risk for implementation within the organization and larger response from the market. Are there born innovators? Going by number of patents held by various people it seems so. But the debatable issue again is the outcome of these patents. Patent means nothing for market success. Experts like Edward de Bono argue that we can instill creative thinking in every mind. It is as good as stating that 10,000 hours of practice can turn anybody from being a layman to a master in any field. We know that getting up at five in the morning is the best thing to do first, but how do you prevent me from pressing that snooze button? There are talented, intelligent and bold individuals who dare to make changes, who dare to challenge and who dare to take risk. But for them, world wouldn’t have been what it is today. Let’s not forget that that most of the inventions have come out of small labs and small organizations. Though financial institutions and business structures have evolved, if one dares to invent, one can succeed. R

Dr. Hrishikesh Damle is a first generation entrepreneur. He is CEO of Atrimed, an ayurvedic pharmaceutical company. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are that of the author and do not represent those of the magazine.


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from the Blogs

Wall Stickers Market Posted by: Nimesh Sharma in Ideas on May 17, 2010 Tagged in: opportunity, wallpaper, wall sticker, 3D sticker, posters


ecently, while posting news on DARE website, I saw a news of a brand being launched, of wall stickers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; FuntoSee (.com or something) to be retailed or e-tailed. With users in India developing a fetish for designer walls and homes, wall stickers being retailed in markets is not a distant possibility. One could argue that we already have a lot of free images on the Internet which we can print any time (like we do with movie posters). I agree, completely. But how many of us actually do? In fact, when it comes to wallpapers (the ones on the house walls and not the online ones), we only buy it from brick and

mortar stores. Besides, there are constraints in that. There is cost associated with printing them at home. We don't get the desired quality and we

cannot always get the desired size and shape. And forget 3D images. However, I do see a market for stores that sell big wall stickers (sort of customised wallpapers, of smaller sizes), which are high on quality, very creative in visuals, 3D to look at, and sold at reasonable prices. We already have inspirational and cartoon posters that we put up in homes, doors, classrooms for that visual, rich and cool look and those sell for as little as six rupees per poster. So, a market for better posters (ala stickers) which make the room come alive is very much there. You must check out some samples.

Power Your Way To Opportunities Posted by: Vimarsh Bajpai in in the news on May 17, 2010 Tagged in: power sector, opportunities


hen the Power ministers of various states gathered in New Delhi last month at the conference of the power sector called by Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, it was the issue of capacity addition that came up majorly for discussions. The other issues that were discussed on priority were those relating to unbundling of state electricity boards, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana and energy efficiency, among others. If India has to grow at a fast pace in the next decade, it cannot lag behind in infrastructure development. Other fast developing countries such as Brazil and China are investing huge amounts of money in developing their infrastructure, 70

in particularly the power sector. India has the fifth largest generation capacity in the world, according to KPMG. The installed capacity is 152 GW as on September 30, 2009, which is about four percent of the global power generation. However, the average per capita consumption of power is around 700 kWh, which is much less by global standards, especially when compared to the US and China (approx 15,000 kWh and 1,800 kWh respectively). The government believes that in the 11th Five Year Plan period, around 62,374 MW capacity addition would take place. If it puts its best foot forward, it believes that an additional 12,590 MW is also possible.

The government's optimism comes heavily from the performance it hopes from the private sector. Shinde recently talked of the government's plan to target one lakh MW capacity addition in the 12th Five Year Plan, and the government hopes that 60 percent of that would be added by the private sector. In the last 60 years, 2009-10 has seen the highest capacity addition of 9,585 MW in a single year. The share of the private sector in the total installed capacity has grown from four percent in 1990 to 11 percent in 2006. With so much action ready to unravel in the power sector, it would be a good time for entrepreneurs to look for opportunities in this sector. R


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Back of the Book

On The Bookshelf /Nupur Chaturvedi Connect The Dots Rashmi Bansal’s Connect The Dots says one thing loud and clear—your destiny is in your hands. It is the story of twenty entrepreneurs who have made it big in today’s competitive world, without an MBA degree in hand, without money handed down, equipped with only a dream that turned into a successful venture. Author: Rashmi Bansal Publisher: Eklavya Foundation Price: Rs. 150 The Leader Who Had No Title The latest offering from present-day management guru Robin Sharma promises to divulge the leadership and success secrets of the top CEOs of the world. The book promises to awaken the leader in you, creating successful results at work and in your personal life. Learn the secret behind innovation, building a successful team and seizing opportunities. Author: Robin Sharma Publisher: Free Press Price: Rs. 1078 The Difficulty of Being Good In his first book in seven years, Gurcharan Das examines the Mahabharat to answer the elusive question, “why be good?” Each chapter is the story of a single character from the epic faced with an ethical dilemma, and what the significance of the situation is in our daily lives. The author forces readers to look hard at their lives and confront the many ways in which we are deceiving ourselves and others. Author: Gurcharan Das Publisher: Penguin Books India Price: Rs. 699 Outliers: The Story of Success The best-selling author of Blink and The Tipping Point returns with Outliers: The Story of Success, a book that says that it is not just the person, but his background, culture, family etc that make him successful. Among his investigations are how Bill Gates is similar to the world’s top football players and why Asians are good at Math. Author: Malcolm Gladwell Publisher: Penguin Books Price: Rs. 399 DARE.CO.IN | BACK OF THE BOOK | JUNE 2010 71

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Block Your Calendar What FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum The forum will explore areas where India and Sri Lanka can cooperate, including tourism, entertainment and cricket. Where Colombo, Sri Lanka When June 4, 2010 What Workshop on Sharpening Negotiation Skills Organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the workshop focuses on negotiating faster, better and profitably. Where Mumbai When June 25-26, 2010 What Social Media for Community Building Bootcamp After the Social Media Marketing Bootcamps, Digital Vidya brings the Social Media for Community Building Bootcamp, where entrepreneurs learn the important of social media platforms and how to best utilise them for their business Where Mumbai and Pune When June 4, 2010 (Mumbai)/June 5, 2010 (Pune) What Youth International Economic Forum Two hundred participants between the ages of 18 and 30 will participate in this global event, where they will interact with world-renowned experts to develop recommendations for Russia’s most important modernization projects. Where St. Petersburg, Russia When June 15-17, 2010 What Retail Slugfest 2010 The Retail Slugfest 2010 is an annual retail summit organized by TiE DelhiNCR, where you can interact with the best minds in the business and gain insight into how to create a niche for yourself. Where Delhi When July 9, 2010

Heading Out Bored of the usual holiday destinations? DARE brings you three exotic destinations you may not have thought of... Macau Though a hot gambling destination, Macau offers a culture-packed experience to the initiated. Three things you shouldn’t miss Macau Tower: The Macau Tower offers a splendid view of the city and also houses a theater and several restaurants. Fisherman’s Wharf: Macau’s first theme park, it combines shopping, dining, accommodation, entertainment and also convention facilities. Nam Van Lake Cybernetic Fountain: With 86 spouts and 288 colored spotlights, the fountain is a sight to behold. 72


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Helsinki The capital of Finland, and also the largest city in the country, Helsinki has a brief but pleasant summer. Three things you shouldn’t miss Fortress of Suomenlinna: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Fortress of Suomenlinna is an imposing figure in the Baltic. Korkeasaari Zoo: One of the world’s oldest zoos, Korkeasaari was opened in 1889 and houses plant and animal species from around the world. Temppeliaukio Church: A church built into a rock, the Temppeliaukio Church, also called the Temple Square “Rock” Church, often hosts concerts due to the exceptional acoustics the rock surfaces provides. Prague A magical city, Prague is also called the City of a Hundred Spires, though there is no official count of the city’s many towers. Three things you shouldn’t miss Prague Castle: The world’s largest ancient castle according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Prague Castle dominates the landscape of the city. Dancing House: Nicknamed the Dancing House due to its resemblance to a dancing couple, The Nationale-Nederlanden building in downtown Prague is a one-of-a-kind sight. Astronomical Clock: The Astronomical Clock in the Old Town is renowned for its beauty, as much as for the secrets it is supposed to hold.

Gadget Shop HTC Smart or Not? The new HTC Smart is actually not a smart phone, but a low-budget phone with some smart features. With a Qualcomm Brew MP operating system and HTC’s trademark Sense user interface (UI), the Smart is priced at a little over Rs. 10,000. The HTC Smart comes with a slide-down menu for checking notifications, and a variety of widget options to place on the seven home screens. The QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode and alphanumeric one in portrait mode are easy to use, though a little on the small size. Unfortunately, it doesn’t detect motion, so you have to switch between the two modes manually. The 2.8 inch screen itself is easy to use, with large, user-friendly icons. What works: The Sense UI is the biggest drawing point, kicking other budget touchscreen phones in the right places! What doesn’t: The inability to sync contacts with Facebook, Gmail or your email provider is one big drawback. You can upload and share photos online, but you can’t share videos on YouTube or Facebook. Hot Gadgets 3D TV: Samsung has launched India’s first range of 3D flat panel televisions, to be available on their LED, LCD and Plasma platforms. Talking pedometer: Keep a track of steps taken, calories burnt, total distance covered and have it announced to you as and when you require—automatically or with the touch of a button. A pen or a radio: A retractable ballpoint pen, with a built in auto scan FM radio makes a cool gift for someone or a one-of-a-kind keepsake for you. R DARE.CO.IN | BACK OF THE BOOK | JUNE 2010 73

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Blackberry Storm 9520 (Storm2) smartphone Second coming of the Storm, but this should have been the beginning /Vishal Mathur


lackberry has gotten into the habit of making phones, selling them, and just to annoy those who already bought one, they launch the “2” version. The Storm2 has arrived. Is it any better than the first version? Lets find out.

First Impression The Storm2 looks exactly like the first gen Storm, but is still different. What carries over is the Quad-band GSM capabilities, 3.2 inch screen and the same form factor. But what is different, and most importantly, is the way RIM’s SurePress technology works. What SurePress did was make the entire touchscreen into a clickable button. That did not go well with the users. RIM realized the problem, and the Storm2 gets a different SurePress. This time, the clickable screen sits on 4 buttons, which makes the clicks more precise, and feel more solid. The Storm 9520 has a pretty good build quality. The front is completely black in color with a silver border on both sides. The call/ Menu and Back buttons are placed on the clickable touchscreen, while the left side panel has the MicroUSB port and the right side panel has the 3.5mm jack.

Performance The SurePress update is the most impressive of the lot, because it finally works. The call quality is excellent. The in-ear as well as the hands-free 74

speakers are loud, clear and disturbance free. SPECIFICATIONS The Blackberry OS 5.0 inQuad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE with HSPA support terface on the Storm2 is open 3.25" 65K-color capacitive touchscreen to some customizations on (360 x 480 resolution) the home screen, but is pretty SurePress Touchscreen Technology much locked otherwise. The menu is smooth to operate 3MP camera with LED flash and use, and the phone does BlackBerry OS 5 not freeze up or hang. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth processor is still the 528MHz 2 GB internal storage and microSD card slot one. But RIM doubled the 3.5mm audio jack operating memory (RAM) Preinstalled Office suite from 128MB to 256MB. The battery life of two days is better than expected. Verdict The 3MP camera is decent enough Before you buy the Storm2, try to unfor decent pictures. The media player derstand what you wantis basic as well. 1. You want a Blackberry 2. You want a touchscreen phone Negative points 3. You want a Touchscreen phone First, and most important, the GPRS/ which is a Blackberry EDGE capabilities of your mobile If the answer is 1, then you would connection are completely disabled be better off with the traditional (read unless you have a Blackberry plan ac- QWERTY) Bold2. The Bold2 is lighttivated with your service provider. So, er to use, less flimsy because of the if you are buying a Blackberry phone, smaller screen and more comfortable be ready to pay your mobile service to type on if you will be sending long provider at least Rs 299 per month ex- mails and sms. tra as Blackberry rental. If the answer is 2, then you can look Secondly, if I disable data services at the Bold2 and also the HTC HD2, completely (not linked to the Black- available in a similar price range. berry plan in any way) on the phone, If the answer is 3, then you really even the Wi-Fi does not work! have no option. Third, the web browser is a bit of a mess. It has two separate settings- WiFi browser and Mobile data services browser. Fourth, no FM Radio!


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JUNE10 advertisement.indd 75

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Organizations DARE.CO.IN

covered in this issue, in alphabetic order; first appearance

Accenture ........................................67

Eklavya Foundation .........................71

Mashable .........................................39

Seedfund .........................................36

Agri Retail ........................................53

Eureka Forbes .................................59

McKinsey .........................................31

Shack Design Co. ............................35


Facebook .........................................73

Metta Foot Spa ................................53

SIDBI ...............................................61


Fastrack ...........................................41

Micro Technologies India .................20

SRF .................................................62

Altius Consulting ..............................52

FICCI ...............................................72

micromarketers ................................19

SRW Advisors .................................32

Anthem Academy ............................62

Financial Times................................31

Mogens Thomsen ............................18

Stevens Institute of Technology .......31

Aricent, Inc.......................................54


Mohit Bansal ....................................52

Sunsilk .............................................41

Astaro ..............................................25

Fortune ............................................39

MSN India ........................................41

Supreme Court ................................64

Free Press .......................................71

MTV India ........................................41

Syndicated Research Group ...........32

Friendster ........................................39

Nadathur Holdings and Investments .....................................32

Tata Consultancy Services ..............66

Best Western Country Resort, Manesar...........................................58 Big Cinemas ....................................57 Bisleri ...............................................59

FuntoSee .........................................70 Global Takeoff India .........................67


Hansgrohe .......................................18

Blogworks ........................................35


Bloomberg .......................................31

Harvard Business Review................31

Bloomberg .......................................62

HelpAge India ..................................36

Business Money Today ....................19

HTC .................................................73

Business Today................................31

ibibo .................................................36

Business World ................................31

IBS ...................................................67

Cafe Coffee Day ..............................41

IBS, Hyderabad ...............................67

Ching's Secret .................................41

ICICI Bank .......................................60

Choco Desire ...................................67

Idea Cellular ....................................41

CII ....................................................16


NASSCOM ......................................16 National Innovation Foundation (NIF) ................................................22 National Institute of Technology Karnataka ........................................54 National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority ..........................................50 National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) .......62

Tata Tea ...........................................41 TCS .................................................66 Technology Review India .................23 TeliBramha.......................................41 Thakur Institute of Management Studies.......................66 The Economist.................................31 The Hindustan Times.......................31 The London Times ...........................31

New York Times ...............................31

The Times of India ...........................31

NPPA ...............................................48

Thyrocare ........................................53

Ojas Ventures ..................................32

TiE ...................................................16

Only Gizmos ....................................53 Orkut ................................................39

Tilberg, The Netherlands and Abertay, Scotland .....................31

Parikrama ........................................36


Passionfund .....................................36

TMF .................................................62

Penguin Books India ........................71

Twitter ..............................................35

Pinstorm ..........................................35

Tyfone ..............................................56


IIFA ..................................................72

ClearTrip ..........................................37

IKEA ................................................41

CommonFloor ..................................40

Imere ...............................................40

Commonwealth Science Council (CSC)..................................22

Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association ......................................48

Confederation of Indian Industry .....72

Infosys .............................................54

PopABook ........................................53

University of Illinois ..........................54

Coraza .............................................52

Innovation Work Group ....................62

PowerSports Network ......................18

University of London ........................31

Culture Aangan................................53

Intex .................................................62

PSG Institute of Technology ............66

University of Michigan Ross School of Business ..........................30

CyberMedia .....................................31

Jai Shree Mataji Services ................67

PureTech India.................................41

Delhi University................................58

Jaipur Jewellersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association ...........60

Qualcomm .......................................73

Dell India..........................................62

Jaipuriya Institute of Management;..62

Reliance group ................................64

Dept. of Science & Technology ........62


Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) ....64

DesiCrew .........................................41

Kingfisher Airlines ............................41

Reliance Natural Resources Limited (RNRL) ................................64

Deskaway ........................................41

Kinley ...............................................59

deviantArt ........................................43

L-Pad ...............................................52

Digital Vidya .....................................72



University of Texas ...........................54 UTV .................................................62 Vianza..............................................25 Vizisense .........................................41 Walmart ...........................................41

RIM ..................................................74

way2sms ..........................................41

Ron Conway ....................................16

Wharton ...........................................25

ROPE (Rural Opportunities Production) Enterprises ..............................40


Les Hinton .......................................39

Distribution 2.0.................................53

LinkedIn ...........................................18

SalvageSettlers ...............................19

Youth International Economic Forum .............................72

Dogears Print Media ........................19

Luna Ergonomics.............................41

Samsung .........................................73

YouTube ...........................................73

Dr Batra's Positive Health Clinic ......26

Mann Pharmaceuticals ....................49

Satyam Cinema ...............................57

Zopte ...............................................53



Organizations and people index.i76 76

5/26/2010 6:46:26 AM


covered in this issue, in alphabetic order; first appearance

Abhijit Bhattacharjee........................41

Mansukhbhai Jagani........................22

Abhishek Rai ...................................35

Mathew Cherian ..............................36

Ajay Chaturvedi ...............................25

Mita Patnaik .....................................25

Amit Pandey ....................................67

Mohit Bansal ....................................52

Amrit Dutta.......................................67

Mukesh Ambani ...............................64

Amritesh Ghata................................67

Murli Deora ......................................64

Anil Mathews ...................................40

Nadathur S. Raghavan ....................54

Ankur Singla ....................................52

Neeraj Sharma ................................62

Anshul Gupta ...................................19

Nisha Menon ...................................20

Anurag Kashyap ..............................60

P. Sekhar..........................................20

APJ Abdul Kalam.............................23

Pavan Krishnamurthy ......................54

Aravind A Narayan...........................41

Pavan Krishnamurthy ......................32

Arunava Sinha .................................36

Pradeep Chopra ..............................36

B. Sudershan Reddy........................65

Prof. Ilizarov .....................................68

Bill Gates .........................................71

Prof. J.D. Singh ................................62

C.K. Prahalad...................................30

Raghu Batta.....................................54

Charles Handy .................................31

Rahul Razdan ..................................36

Chetan Sabnis .................................61

Rajendra Prasad..............................62

Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad ....30

Rajesh Lalwani ................................25

David Casebere ...............................19

Rajesh Narula ..................................19

David Fowler ....................................24

Rajesh Srivathsa .............................54

David Wittenberg .............................62

Rajiv Ahuja ......................................62

Devesh Sood ...................................61

Rajiv Gandhi ....................................70

Dhiren Vyas .....................................49

Ramesh Vaswani .............................62

Dhirubhai Ambani ............................64

Rashmi Bansal ................................71

Donald Horban ................................25

Rashmi Vallabhajosyula...................52

Dr Mukesh Batra..............................26

Ravi Bharadwaj................................62

Dr Velumani .....................................53

Rob Auer .........................................18

Duke Yang........................................18

Robin Sharma .................................71

Edward de Bono ..............................69

Ron Conway ....................................16

Elise Boulding ..................................24

Saloni Malhotra................................41

G. Ramachandran ...........................66

Sanjay Jha .......................................60

Gary Ambrosino ..............................18

Shivam Agarwal ...............................67

Gaurav Mishra .................................35

Sramana Mitra .................................53

Gautam Balijepalli............................54

Sree Sreenivasan ............................38

Gurcharan Das ................................71

Sreejith N N .....................................40

H.K. Mittal ........................................63

Subhajit Hore ...................................67

Jatin Mahindra .................................24

Subir Malik .......................................36

Joseph Lizio.....................................19

Sumit Jain ........................................40

Justice P. Sathasivam ......................65

Sunil Sapra ......................................25

K.G. Balakrishnan ............................65

Suresh Narshimha ...........................41

Leonard Fernandes .........................19

Susant Pattnaik,...............................23

Les Hinton .......................................39

Sweta Tiwari ....................................66

Mahesh Murthy ................................35

Valery Brumel ..................................68


Malcolm Gladwell ............................71

Vivek Kala........................................60

DARE is not an acronym. It represents the daring spirit of the entrepreneur. The red color for the R of DARE represents the fire in the belly of the entrepreneur. You could think of the D representing the face, A representing the chest, R representing the belly and E representing the feet of the human body. Hence the red R. The entrepreneur dares to do things. (S)he dares to do things differently

SMS â&#x20AC;&#x153;DARE <your comments, questions or suggestions>â&#x20AC;? to


Organizations and people index.i77 77

5/26/2010 6:46:32 AM

Subscription.indd 78

5/26/2010 2:15:46 AM

Renewal subscription form.indd 79

5/26/2010 2:16:04 AM

Statistics Private Equity /Venture Capital in April 2010

PE investments Year

858 No. of Deals

Amount ($ M) April 2010

April 2010



April 2009






No. of Deals

April 2009

Amount ($ M)

Source: Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database

VC investments* Year

No. of Deals

Amount ($ M)

April 2010



April 2009


* VC investments are a subset of PE

34 32 7


April 2010 April 2009


No. of Deals

Amount ($ M)

Source: Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database

Top PE investments in April 2010 Company



Amount ($ M)

Shriram Capital


TPG Capital


GMR Energy




Lilliput Kidswear

Textiles & Garments

Bain Capital, TPG Growth


Famy Care

Healthcare & Life Sciences

AIF Capital


Jagran Media Network

Media & Entertainment


49 Source: Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database

Top VC investments in April 2010 Company



Amount ($ M)

Tessolve Services


JAFCO Asia, Qualcomm Ventures, Reliance Venture, Applied Ventures




DFJ, Helion Ventures, Nexus Ventures


Husk Power Systems




Famy Care

Healthcare & Life Sciences

AIF Capital


Jagran Media Network

Media & Entertainment


49 Source: Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database



Statistics Jun10.indd 80

5/25/2010 9:39:40 PM


No. of Deals

Value ($ M)
















Healthcare & Life Sciences



Other Services




PE investments by Industry (by Value)

21 593 Source: Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database

VC investments by industry (by Value)


No. of Deals

Value ( $ M )













Other Services






Healthcare & Life Sciences



Shipping & Logistics






Source: Venture Intelligence PE/VC Deal Database


Statistics Jun10.indd 81

5/25/2010 9:39:48 PM

OCT 07 - MAY 10

Please visit to read articles published in these previous issues of DARE For fresh subscriptions or renewals of the magazine, please visit 82


Exit Jun10.indd 82

5/25/2010 11:26:12 AM

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JUNE 2010

Vol 3 / Issue 09 / June 10

DL(S)-17/3314/2008-09-2010 DARE

RNI No.DELENG/2007/22197. Posting Date: 5th & 6th of every month. Posted at Lodi Road HPO.


t e N ? l u a o i y c r o fo S Is ing k r o W


Pricing Strategy for Startups

entrepreneur of the month/

10 Rules of Social Media Engagement

Dr. Batraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Positive Health Clinic

On Roads Less Traveled

investor of the month/

The Hidden Clan of Angels Innovation in Small Organizations

Dr. Mukesh Batra

Rajesh Srivathsa, Ojas Ventures ask the investor/

Pavan Krishnamurthy, Ojas Ventures 84 pages including cover

#33 - JUNE 2010  

entrepreneur of the month / investor of the month / ask the investor / Dr. Mukesh Batra Pavan Krishnamurthy, Ojas Ventures / Rs 30 Rajesh Sr...

#33 - JUNE 2010  

entrepreneur of the month / investor of the month / ask the investor / Dr. Mukesh Batra Pavan Krishnamurthy, Ojas Ventures / Rs 30 Rajesh Sr...