Page 1





Entrepreneur of the Month

Dilip Modi Spice Telecom


How to make India a better place








Ms SHAILJA DUTT Stellar Search and Selection 92 pages including cover

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Jan 2011 VOLUME 4 | ISSUE 4

Cover Story: 50 How to make India a better place for entrepreneurs By Prashanth Hebbar As we step into the new decade, we asked a spectrum of entrepreneurs, bankers, VCs and marketing consultants on how they think India can improve its entrepreneurship quotient. Here is a blue print for developing the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and pave way for a brave new world

53 Encourage and nurture young entrepreneurs By R K Garg 54 Public-private partnership is the way to go By Prof M S Rao

55 Create a breeding ground for entrepreneurs By Dr Sriparna Baruah

56 Believe in the power of youth By Pratik Chube

57 Mindsets must change for enterprise to bloom By Vineet Bajpai

50 Journey to the Top 68 NR Narayana Murthy Founder, Infosys Technologies

58 Build entrepreneurship as a culture By Rangarajan Sridhar

59 The importance of good mentoring


By Shirish Deodhar

20 Food Processing, the next biggest industry By Shinjini Ganguli

60 Play it right to reap good By Jayesh Kotak

The sunshine industry is witnessing newer heights. It holds immense potential for small-scale entrepreneurs much more than it does for large corporates

61 Wanted: A “daring” India By Kunal Upadhyay 53



Movers & Shakers 80 Big buck moves By Sharmila Das 56



Find out how Meher Malik has turned belly dancing into a successful business proposition by striking the right chords








Content Jan11.indd 4

12/29/2010 8:34:16 PM

BOARD OF ADVISORS N R Narayanamurthy


Insight 18 Vijay Anand 28 Anurag Batra 34 Rajaram Rajendran 44 Anjana Vivek 74 Vimarsh Bajpai

Chief Mentor, Infosys

Kanwal Rekhi

Chairman, TiE

Romesh Wadhwani

Chairman & President, Wadhwani Foundation

Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande Saurabh Srivastava

Chairman, Sycamore Networks

Chairman, Indian Venture Capital Association

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Chairman & MD, Biocon

R Gopalakrishnan

Executive Director, Tata Sons

Philip Anderson

Professor of Entrepreneurship, INSEAD

Abraham Mathew Prashanth Hebbar

President Senior Editor

ANALYSTS Binesh Kutty Nimesh Sharma Sharmila Das Shinjini Ganguli Shradha Mohanty

Tech Corner

Dilip Modi, Spice Telecom

Entrepreneur of the Month 36 ‘When you trust people, at the end of the day, it comes back’ By Shradha Mohanty Dilip Modi, chairman of Spice Telecom, says there are opportunities galore today for the next generation of mobile digital entrepreneurs

64 10 Tips To Go Green 66 Best Green IT Project: Aircel: Green IT at Aircel

68 Best Green IT Project: State Bank of India: Green IT@SBI

Social Entrepreneur 48 Saviour of the migrants By Shradha Mohanty Aajeevika Bureau helps rural migrants find their feet in the city, providing them IDs and offering them training and counselling

Women of Substance 70 Leader of the talent hunt By Sharmila Das

Life for Shailja Dutt, the MD of Stellar Search and Selection, has been a lot like a rollercoaster ride, full of highs and gut-wrenching lows. But this extraordinary woman simply refused to blink

Others 08 News 10 Feedback 12 Exchange 43 Statistics 79 Innovation 83 Unwindings

Vinay Sanghi tells the tale of his ordeals and successes in bringing Motorexchange to life

I’m New 30 Tuk Tuk takes to road By Shinjini Ganguli

The red-hoods take over the connectivitystarved city

OPERATIONS Ajay Dhoundiyal Product Manager Prasanna Srivastava Product Manager Debabrata T Joshi Manager Events VIjay Rana Design Anil John Photography SALES & MARKETING MA Jaideep Associate VP Ankur Kalia North Manas Mishra South Kingshuk Sircar South-East Asia

PRINT & CIRCULATION SERVICES Rachna Garga VP T Srirengan GM, Print Services Sudhir Arora Senior Manager Circulation 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

Emerging Entrepreneur 76 Half Way Through: Vinay Sanghi By Shinjini Ganguli

COPY EDITORS Shilpi Kumar Sridhar Raman

Event 24 DARE Entrepreneur Week, December 2010

40 TiE Entrepreneurial Summit 2010 46 Headstart: The Bustling Of Ideas On Saturdays 88 NEN: Women of Substance

MUMBAI Road No 16, D 7/1 MIDC, Andheri (East) Tel: 42082222 DELHI D-74 Panchsheel Enclave Tel: 41751234 PUNE Flat No. 9, F Block, Popular Heights 3 Koregaon Park Tel: 65000996 SECUNDERABAD #5,6 1st Floor, Srinath Commercial Complex, SD Road. Tel: 27841970 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

92 pages including cover DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

Content Jan11.indd 5


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from the editor


Be Positive, embrace 2011! By Prashanth Hebbar


few weeks back I met John Kuruvilla of John was explaining to me his vision for Taggle and how group buying is a brand new concept and an unexplored territory in India. Groupon was just in the news with a phenomenal bid from Google. So it did’nt take long for me to see what John was up to. Strangely enough, ten years back, I was sitting across a table with V S Sudhakar who was explaining me how his e-commerce site, Fabmall is an amazing idea and unexplored territory in India. The biggest role model, of course was Amazon. It did not take long for Fabmall to see that e-commerce wasn’t hot in India. Sudhakar and his company had to turn to brick-and-mortar business. His idea was ahead of the market. He had to fallback to a more traditional business. Fabmall went through several changes and today exists as Indiaplaza (www. E-commerce did not take off for a long time in India. Today, though it is fast becoming a standard feature of any service. Thanks to IRCTC, MakeMyTrip and ClearTrip kind of sites online transactions are not dreaded anymore. Yesterday, e-commerce was the holy grail. Today, building businesses around social networking is the rage. Taggle is a very interesting concept. Speaking to John, set me thinking about how new trends emerge. Then I also dwelt upon how the concepts have to go through fire before they get established. Most often in our entrepreneurial journey, we pick up an idea which appears to be a winner but suddenly the world around it appears to crumble. That

Yesterday, e-commerce was the holy grail. Today, building businesses around social networking is the rage

is when not to lose heart. Turn to a more traditional approach but do not give up on your idea. As long as you keep stoking the fire in your idea, the market opens up to it eventually. I do not want to sound like a self help guru. What I can see is that another set of technologies led by the success of social networking is promising to change the world. Don’t lose heart if you do not see any take-off immediately. Dig in your heals and keep your head. For instance, we have been hearing about m-commerce for a long time. Perhaps, its time is now as smartphones are becoming the first screen for information consumption. I am just taking the example of m-commerce. This philosophy holds good for any business.

Building Entrepreneurfriendly Social Infrastructure

What is India’s Entrepreneurship Quotient? We asked people around on how they would give India’s Entrepreneurship Quotient a major fillip. The spectrum of response reads like a blue-print for building an effective ecosystem for enterprise. This is our cover theme in this issue. We thought it’s good to start the year with a little bit of introspection. Evolution As you turn these pages, you will see a few interesting changes in the layout and design of DARE. Small ones. We believe that small tweaks and changes will help us to arrive at an optimum presentation for DARE. We like to hear your feedback. Wishing you all a happy New Year!

Interact with me on Twitter @phebbar DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

From the Editor.indd 7


12/29/2010 8:58:40 PM



national Bar coding in MSME The Ministry of MSME is providing financial assistance for using Bar Code to the Micro and

PM Singh calls for improving ethics

Small Enterprises (MSEs) sector in the country.

The Wall Street

This scheme aims to enhance marketing

Journal reported

competitiveness of MSEs and entails financial

that Prime Minister

assistance towards 75 per cent reimbursement of

Manmohan Singh

(i) one-time registration fees w.e.f. January, 2002

called on corporate

& (ii) annual recurring fees (for first three years)

India to improve its

w.e.f. June, 2007 to eligible MSEs.

ethics, as New Delhi

Financial assistance of Rs.142.69 lakhs has

continues to reel

been provided to 764 MSEs for reimbursement

from the fallout of a

of one-time registration fees and 384 cases

telecom scandal and

of these units for annual recurring fees upto

revelations from the

October, 2010.

leaked telephone conversations of a lobbyist. The newspaper quoted Singh as saying,

Source: PIB

“Recently the business practices of some corporate houses have come under intense public scrutiny for their perceived ethical deficiencies.” Meanwhile, corporate As per information received from Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs the amount remitted to India in the last financial year (2009-10) from the NRIs working abroad was 40810 USD million (Approx.)

India has raised a strong concern over the privacy of businesses.

corporate Café Coffee Day in top gear Business Standard reported that VG Siddhartha of Café Coffee Day (CCD) is preparing to face stiff competition from Starbucks impending entry into India. CCD is opening an outlet every 3 days and this will be ramped up to one-outleta-day soon. 8


News jan11.indd 8

12/29/2010 2:55:35 PM

international China proposes RTA, India cautious

Medvedev comes calling

Close on the heels

The Financial Times reports that India

of US President

completed a diplomatic coup by getting as

Barack Obama,

many as five heads of developed countries

Chinese Premier

in a span of three months. First UK, then

Web Jiabao visited

France followed by US and China. Finally,

India, primarily

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev

to cement greater

visited India with energy and bilateral

economic ties

trade as primary agenda.

between the two

India’s bilateral trade with China is at

countries. Newspapers reported that

a deficit of $19 billion while Russia and

China is more keen to engage India,

India agreed to double their bilateral trade

world’s largest democracy, and Brazil

to $20 billion.

economically in the wake of a downturn in the US and Europe. The Financial Chronicle reported that Jiabo proposed Regional Trade Agreement (RTA) and FDI agreement with India. The latter was cool to the proposal over fears that China may get a far bigger foothold in the Indian market than it has today. China is already world’s second largest economy.

Nokia ties up with IBM in India

Hero Honda to split

Indian newspapers reported that Nokia and

end their joint venture in India.

IBM entered into a business relationship to

This is on anticipated lines. Joint

jointly offer better messaging services on

ventures were the norm in 1980s

smartphones. With this offer, Nokia S60

owing to government regulations.

smartphone users can now access messages

However, international

from IBM’s Domino Servers which basically

companies decided to go it alone the moment the

is the back-end

market opened up. This happened faster in the IT

for popular

industry with IBM, Acer, HP taking the direct plunge


right back in 1990s. In contrast, Suzuki broke up with

platform called

TVS in 2001 and Honda only nine years later, though

Lotus Suite.

they had started direct manufacturing in 2004.

The Hero group and Japanese giant Honda group decided to Hero Honda to split


News jan11.indd 9


12/29/2010 2:55:58 PM



website:, email:, SMS: ‘DARE <your msg>’ to 56677 and

Ice cream Industry in India Despite being a profitable business, it is certainly clear that the hold of this market is still limited to tier-1, 2, and to some extent, tier-3 cities. In rural areas or in towns and villages, electricity and proper cold storage still remain a problem. For a small player it becomes all the more difficult to cope with these problems besides having less sales in the beginning. - Ghanshyam With regards to the story ‘Ice Cream Industry in India’ there are many more details about Cream Bell Ice Cream that is missing in your story. They have launched very good range of ice cream like fantasia premium party packs, all occasion celebration ice cream cakes, and very unique product on stick called sach much aam a mango pulpy bar. - Rajendrasingh Raney

during its initial days of existence. We wish them all the best. - Dr. Mandi

Query Hi Anurag, I read your column “Can Entrepreneurship be Taught in a Classroom?” in DARE magazine. This was a nice one, and I agree with your words. I am also interested in venturing into a business. But the

To The Editor Dear Editor, In reference to “What will you leave for posterity?” (DARE December 2010). As per press, family businesses account for 60% of the GDP of most countries. Yet only 4% survive beyond the third generation. A break in family

Mango Kernel Business

business is inevitable. Sooner or later an

Thanks for writing such a wonderful article (Mango kernel extracts for being beautiful!) and giving us the opportunity to explore this industry. I am planning to start my own business. Your article and the concept both are very interesting. I would definitely love to start the mango kernel business. - Rinaa Jayant

individual has to stand on his feet. Individual identity and ego breaks a family business. The worst competition comes from siblings itself, if both are running the same business. Monetary considerations ruin relations. A good relationship among siblings only happens if they have separate and independent businesses and there is no competition. Wealth

From classroom to corporate The story ‘From classroom to corporate: The rise of a student entrepreneur’ was really a good read. I appreciate Sashank and his venture for their ability to balance education while being an enterprise. It is better for students to launch their enterprises directly related to their main stream subject of study. Thus studies not only economize their time but also mutually benefit for studies and enterprising. For example, civil engineering students can benefit by launching an enterprise related to civil engineering rather than an enterprise with food theme. Similarly, a hotel management student can benefit from a food enterprise. It is great to see the success of Naaboo. We at NITIE were lucky to recognize and reward Naboo with a Best Student Enterprise Award

should be equally divided by parents. Yours faithfully, - M .Kumar

very first question that comes to my mind is what kind of business should I try? I have done BE and MBA in finance from IBS, and I am working in an MNC in Chennai. I am basically from Bangalore. I look forward to your words. Thank you, - Yadunandan Hi Yadu, Thanks for your mail and I am glad you read DARE. My sincere gratitude for your appreciation, and let me try and answer your query by saying that there is no straightforward answer to your query. You have got to do an evaluation on the basis of


Feedback Jan11.indd 10

12/29/2010 2:57:01 PM

the points I am mentioning below: 1. What is your skill set and strengths that you wish to build on and that will come into play in making a business out of what you wish to do? Is it your technological skills, or is it your rolodex, or is it a disruptive idea that you have? You have to try and align this with what you wish to do. Confucius said “make your hobby your profession and you don’t have to work.” You have to figure out what

you like doing. What are you passionate about? Try and align need and skill and then market need. 2. How much money do you need after you have figured out what you wish to do? Do you need to raise it or do you have it and can use it? 3. Do you need more people on the founding team? 4. Look at macro trends and figure need gaps there. 5. You could work with an entrepreneur on a startup venture. Importance should be given to doing something that naturally builds on your skills.

Sir, It is rightly stated that “it doesn’t take an army of MBA-grade to implement a successful world class business model.”(Refer to “From the editor: Startup Koans”- DARE December 2010) An MBA degree isn’t always a passport to a good job. Only

Looking at your profile you could look at: 1. Training businesses 2. Building a community of trainers as a website If you share more, I can share more specific inputs. Regards,

a selected few from top MBA institutes manage to get a good deal. The time has come for the government to formulate a policy to have a common examination for all the recognized MBA institutes of the country. This is the only way to maintain a high standard of examination and knowledge. For example, there is one institute for chartered accountants that control the examinations for its students at an all-India level. This, no doubt, is the reason why CAs score over MBAs in jobs. Yours faithfully, - Mahesh Kapasi

SMS: “DARE <your comments, questions or suggestions>” to 56677 Email: Website: Follow us at: DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

Feedback Jan11.indd 11


12/29/2010 2:57:05 PM

exchange • partners • mentoring • funding • guidance • advice • ideas...

market place Submit exchange requests at: website: marketplace.htm OR email:, OR SMS ‘DARE <your msg>’ to 56677

Want to start Paper Recycling Business

hazard issues concerning agro-

for funds to execute this. - Vellore Srinath

commodities. So my idea is to develop

I am a B.Tech Engineer

Crop Health Management on

working at an IT firm. I want to

Partners Required For Green Revolution

setup a paper recycling unit in

Every time I read DARE, I can feel

management. In the center of it

South 24 Parganas, near Kolkata.

a rush of adrenaline that charges

would be a progressive farmer or

This is my dream and I want to

me up. I have been for long

a rural youth who will be trained

make it a reality. Initially, the unit

contemplating an idea—in fact, to

in basic agronomy and crop

will be a small-scale enterprise

some extent I have experimented

management to act as the first

because of limited investment, but

with its practicality through a few

point of contact from farmers, in

going forward I want to turn it into

beta versions. Now I am looking

the same fashion of a primary

large scale. I’m looking forward

for a mentor and fellow thinker to

health worker. This crop health

for someone to mentor me for

build it up together.

worker would be supported

(Electronics) and currently

the same lines as human health

In brief, this is about Crop

by a network of scientists,

Health Management. In essence,

agronomists, laboratories,

crop health and human or animal

agro-input manufacturers, agro

Providing Educational Business Consultancy

health management principles

machinery manufacturers,

are the same, but unfortunately

etc. The crop health worker

We are a group of professionals

in case of crop health, we are still

would also be connected real

engaged in providing consultancy

following a primitive and largely

time through mobile telephone

in setting up of preschools,

misguided approach. So farmers

network (there have been some

K-12, colleges and franchise.

primarily depend on the advice

development in this recently like

We also help with liaisons from

of their peers and pesticides of

Reuters’ Market Light etc) to and

state, central government,

fertilizer sellers for solving

fro with the farmers and with the

UGC, NAAC, etc for various

their problem.

advisors and suppliers.

this project. - Anupam Das

permissions and affiliations.

On the contrary, India has a

The economic viability would

Other things that we take care of

fairly advanced agriculture science

be coming in the similar way

are in the lines of management

resource base and lot of money

a human health professional

consultancy, accounting, taxation,

has been and is being poured into

start his/her practice. So we

other statutory and regulatory

this sector. Commercially, contract

can think that the crop health

requirements for educational

farming is slowly but steadily

advisor would initially collect

institutions. Anyone who requires

catching up too. Internationally,

some fee from farmers for advice,

professional consultancy in the

more and more countries are now

field visit, lab test etc and then

field of education may write us.

becoming sensitive about the

slowly s/he would scale up by

pesticide residue and other health

selling fertilizers, pesticides

- EduBiz Consultants

Funds Required To Provide Computer Training For Housewives We are running a computer center in Tiruvannamalai (Tamil Nadu) since the past six years. We want to provide computer training for housewives, poor school and college students, students without parents, as well as poor

r Funding Required Fo

Ceramic Manufactu


e nufacturing unit. Th h ceramic product ma tec h hig ry ve a nd ve We ha market dema . umable and has huge ns co al tri us ind an e product is and ensures attractiv good value addition od go ry The product has very ve s ha scale, it t. If produced on large s itie tiv returns on investmen l. To expand ac port market potentia ex as ll we as c sti dome parties may contact. or Angel. Interested we need funding VC e - Satish Sahasrabudh

and needy people. We are looking 12 JANUARY 2011 | DARE.CO.IN

Exchange Jan11.indd 12

12/29/2010 4:23:38 PM

Developing Effective Business Plan

Unique features

Who should attend? Typically, aspirants to existing entrepreneurs who have been running the business for 2-4 years and who,

• An expert VC delivers the webinar and hand-holds you to develop a business plan

• Require assistance to put together a business plan

• Extensive resources online

• Looking to raise money from a bank or a VC Who is organizing? DARE, a magazine for entrepreneurs Who is the Mentor? A recognized business plan expert

• Online, webinar based delivery

• Assured deliverable: You will build a business plan at the of the program • Standard business plan templates

Do not miss the introductory webinar on Jan 20, 2011 4-4.45 pm

An Intensive 3-phase program Phase 1 Introduction to building an effective business plan Entry: Free Phase 2 Hands-on webinar on building an effective business plan Entry: Paid (see website for details) Phase 3 Post planning interaction Entry: For paid participants only.

MENTORSHIP PROGRAM Phase 1: January 20, 2011 Phase 2: February 9, 2011 Phase 3: February 21, 2011 Mentorship webinar.indd 13

12/30/2010 12:51:22 AM

exchange • partners • mentoring • funding • guidance • advice • ideas...

market place Submit exchange requests at: website: marketplace.htm OR email:, OR SMS ‘DARE <your msg>’ to 56677

etc. The Government can also

so I need the viral seeder to be

Solutions, Custom Solution

use them for communication

extremely good at what he does.

Development, IT Infrastructure &

and implementation of rural

I can promise you that it’s

development projects, while

going to be fun ride with endless

the private sector can use them

destinations! If anyone is

communication on this to explore

to promote their products. They

interested in knowing more about

the possibility of a tie-up. If

can be the facilitator for large

the project, please contact me

interested, you can also send me a

- Swathi Dharini

scale contract farming, organic

IT Roadmap etc. We can have further

brief profile of your company and interests as well.

farming etc.

passion to be the harbinger of

Business Partners for IT Solutions: ERP, CRM, Payroll, POS

Green Revolution, please get

Accusol Technologies is a

in touch with me for further

global enterprise solutions

Mentoring sought for FMCG Goods Manufacturing


company specializing in IT

I am based in Mumbai. I want to

products for Small and Mid-sized

get in to manufacturing of FMCG

Enterprises. Our strength lies

goods like tissue or pen. I have a

I am planning to launch an e-book

in deep industry and domain

capital of about Rs 42 Lakh. I am

in a slightly controversial context.

expertise, strong business and

not looking for any angel funding

The book is for global audiences;

technology insight, our ability to

but looking forward for mentoring

basically anyone interested in

exploit modern technologies to

and guiding me on doubts such as

light-reads and is accustomed to

improve efficiencies and bring

is my capital sufficient, where and

email formats, of course.

in measurable business benefits

how do I get started, etc.?

If anybody finds interest in this concept and shares the same

- Piyush Batra

If a right approach is given to

and improve efficiencies. Our

the launch, the sales of the book

products portfolio includes ERP,

would open up a lot more avenues

CRM, Payroll and Retail Point of

for doing business in the field of

Sale(POS) solutions.

media and publishing.

We are looking for business

The viral seeder I am looking

- Keyur Shah

- Husain Habib

International Expansion of Cottom Niwar Manufacturing

partners for implementing our

We are manufacturers of Cotton

for should be willing to open up

products across Middle East,

Niwar used in tents, bags, beds

his mind to the possibilities of

Africa and Europe. In addition,

(rural areas), adventure industry

the project, impossible as they

we also provide other services

and many other places. We are

might seem, and should have an

and solutions viz. Web application

planning to expand our business

unconventional approach. I need

Development & SEO , Wireless

in developing countries; therefore,

some serious buzz in the online

and Mobile Solutions , Biometric

we seek mentors/partners who

world before I launch the book,

and RFID, Cheque Printing

can help us in treading the path. - Vyom Rastogi

Preschool Franchisee

a rtunity - All over Indi


upcoming preschool is one of the fastest l oo sch Pre s Kid by Lulla sent in franchise Lullaby Kids was pre re. alo ng Ba of t ou d base es of India Group. nchise India and Tim Fra by d ize an org s expo supply all equipments ed preschool. It will nd bra a is s Kid by Lulla ries between Rs 4 l. Franchisee cost va oo sch the run to ed need ion. Our centers are depending on the reg s, kh La 9 Rs d an s Lakh , Chennai, Gurgaon. ai, Hyderabad, Indore mb Mu in ly ort sh ing open y contact. - Sarva Interested people ma

Keen to start a vocational training center for disabled people and exserviceman I have been working in the development sector in the area of sustainable livelihood for the last 15 years in Madhya Pradesh with a long term presence in Mandla (130 villages) and Bhopal


Exchange Jan11.indd 14

12/29/2010 4:23:41 PM

TiE ad.indd 15

12/29/2010 9:53:53 PM

exchange • partners • mentoring • funding • guidance • advice • ideas...

market place Submit exchange requests at: website: marketplace.htm OR email:, OR SMS ‘DARE <your msg>’ to 56677

city slums. We have a federation of 165 NGOs in Madhya Pradesh and have a close network of more than 45 like-minded NGOs. We are keen to set up a vocational training center for people with disabilities and ex-servicemen leading to employment in the corporate sector or self employment. We are looking for experts, partners, ideas, advice and mentors on the subject to proceed further. Krishna Murthy Response

r An Environmental

Equity Fo Investment Against Platform Business

le-up of India’s only can help fund the sca I need investors who on Platform - www.envir truly Environmental related to Air & place to find anything This platform is the Energy, Hazardous ste Water, Renewable d Climate, Water & Wa cling Technology an l Management, Recy me l-ti rea ve ha Waste, Environmenta to anies r. It also allows comp . file pro ir WasteXchange Cente the ck tra d tential customers an ies information about po concept and compan of of siness to pro to d I have brought the bu fun se, need members and adverti are paying to become m. tea g tin rke ma tform and improve on online pla of 15%. y uit 2.5 Cr, against eq - Sandeep Funds Required : Rs

Please contact me, I run a consulting company and work on capacity development with special

intricacies like import duty, etc.

plans to expand these profitable

focus on vocational training. I

Is there anyone who can guide


have handled 35,000 professionals

me through the process?

training through e-learning as

- Atul Baldi

Business associates—investing and non investing are invited, in all the major centers in India,

an entrepreneur. - Dolly Bhasin

Guidance To Start An Argi-tourism Business

including franchisee partners. - Subbarao Mohanram

Import Export Business in Africa

I am into pisiculture business in

I would like to start an import-

Pradesh, with lush green coconut

Mentors needed for Biotech startup

export business in the African

plantations around the fish

I represent a 2-year old Biotech

continent. I have stayed there

tanks. We even have ready guest

Services start up, and am looking

for 26 months and have a good

houses near the ponds. How can

for mentors with experience in

knowledge of the East African

I make it into an agri-tourism

either of the following domains-

region. I have products in mind

destination? Need guidance.

enzyme technology, molecular

that can be exported and would

West Godavari district of Andhra

- Vikas Shah

company is registered with MCA

like to import some handicrafts am looking for some angel funding

Partners for Entrance Test Coaching Centers

and some expert guidance as well.

Synergy, a start-up firm based

and export it all over the world. I

biology, cell culture, etc. The and is ISO 9001-2008 certified. - Rohith, Azyme Bio

grow pan-India with ambitious

Requirement of Garbage Compactors

Guidance For Starting Solar Products Business

plans in Entrance Test coaching

We are one of the leading envi-

such as CAT, GRE and

ronmental companies in India and

I am not a big player in the Indian

others (in Synergy Academy),

engaged in complete integrated

electronics industry to invest in

publishing in industry-specific

municipal waste management/

crores, but I want to start my

publications of magazines like

disposal activities in India. We

own business based on importing

Energy & Power etc. (in Synergy

are looking for Garbage Compac-

solar products from China. I

Publications). Promoters have

tor and other materials handling

have no knowledge in importing

vast industry and entrepreneurial

equipment for MSW projects.

any product and its associated

experience and have ambitious

- Vikas Shah

in Hyderabad, is planning to

- Ram Reddy, Ramky


Exchange Jan11.indd 16

12/29/2010 4:23:45 PM

180 nominees 50 shortlisted entrepreneurs The Jury NR Narayana Murthy Gururaj 'Desh' Deshpande Kanwal Rekhi Saurabh Srivastava Pradeep Gupta

March 2011 Coverage of the 50 shortlisted entrepreneurs in DARE magazine

Felicitation of 10 FINAL WINNERS at a mega award ceremony (5 Entrepreneurs Above Rs. 250 Crore, 5 Entrepreneurs Below Rs. 250 Crore)

Inspiring 50 ad jan11.indd 17

12/30/2010 12:50:19 AM



Enterprises that could shape rural India Though India’s spectacular growth story thus far has been an urban phenomenon, the next chapter of that story could belong to its villages. Here is how to cash in

Vijay Anand

hough I live in a city, my roots are very much rural. It is in a village that my ideologies about life and everything that shapes my world were formed. It's no coincidence, therefore, that nothing satisfies me more than incubating businesses focused on rural India; and this is what I do for a living at the Rural technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) in IIT Madras. “Wealth is created not by employment but by building an enterprise” is a comment that I once overheard. True. But as a rule I try not to react to words and instead prefer being a close observer as this gives me better and more grounded understanding of the landscape. Rural India aspires to be part of what has thus far been a largely urban growth story. Sure, everyone who has participated in the country’s spectacular surge over the last decade or so has benefitted immensely. But the story is still grossly incomplete as


vast masses of the Indian population, the ones living in its countless villages, have not been a part of the script. The question then is quite simple—where do we start? Here are some of my thoughts on what could possibly be the options to spark the entrepreneurial flame in rural India:

Adopt the Franchise Route It is my habit to start by counting the variables when looking at a business. Just thinking of a business in a rural context throws up a clutch of variables. The most important of these are: establishing relationships with customers, focusing on product offerings and marketing costs, contending with the lack of a brand, and understanding the economics of it all. The simplest way of coping with these realities is take the franchise route. Since big brands have


Vijay Anand Column Jan11.indd 18

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literally no presence in rural India, pushing out into these markets with foreign labels using the tried and tested franchise mode might be a highly profitable and successful strategy.

Micro-Enterprises Self help groups are a good way to harness groundlevel workforces. But most of these groups struggle to take their products to market. There are two solutions to the problem—build products specially for local markets or/ and make them as part of a larger production cycle revolving around customer interaction.

Outsource Outsourcing Whatever cost arbitration urban India used to hold, does not exist anymore. But the confidence level that urban India gained by servicing the western world is something that can now be replicated in rural India.

lore has to be a cause of worry. This is because any market that relies upon a single industry (in the case of Bangalore, it is IT) is at the risk of getting wiped out by the slightest turbulence in the environment, like a prolonged spell of recession. As such it is crucial to develop a multi-faceted approach, and not necessarily develop high density clusters.

The essential business The best business pitch I’ve heard till date went something like this ‘Would you like to have mangoes off-season?’ That question cut straight to the chase and got me thinking. If you ever get to sit down and start asking such questions you’ll realize that there is a plethora of businesses that one can get into in the rural markets—all the way from supply chain logistics to cold storage and courier services, on a large scale with a bit of technology support.

Rural India aspires to be part of what has thus far been a largely urban growth story For both economics and nation-building, it makes a great deal of sense to move enterprises that flourished during the high noon of the outsourcing business from large urban bases to to small cities, towns and villages.

Decentralized Units With fuel costs rising and with markets expanding, it makes no sense anymore to focus on a centralized plant for production of goods or materials. It makes quite a bit of sense to build units that could, in a way, outsource production of goods at various key locations making it easier for product companies to optimize their supply chain to their demand markets. This will also extend to industries like the beverage industry, especially in the bottling process.

Develop multi-faceted approach The homogeneity of business in cities like Banga-

Someone once told me that there are two kinds of business you can build: The ones that make you rich and the ones that make you wealthy. The difference between the rich and the wealthy is that the wealthy usually employ the rich. There are plenty of opportunities to make money and become reasonably rich in the developed economies, and the same is true of urban centres. But the real big opportunities for wealth creation are in markets that remain unexplored along roads less travelled. In India the real action is yet to come and most of that could be in its rural sprawls where its people live.

Vijay Anand is a serial entrepreneur, the founder of, and the Vice President (Incubation) at IIT's RTBI. He tweets at @vijayanands. To write to the author, please send an email to with the subject line 'Vijay Anand'. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are that of the author and do not represent the magazine's.


Vijay Anand Column Jan11.indd 19


12/29/2010 2:57:40 PM


food processing

Food Processing, the next biggest industry 20 JANUARY 2011 | DARE.CO.IN

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Indian Food Industry (USD Bn) 345

Q Food Processing Sector Q Food Industry

250 180







Source: MFPI, Technopak Analysis

The sunshine industry, as food processing industry is popularly known as, is witnessing newer heights. It holds immense potential for small-scale entrepreneurs much more than it does for large corporates By Shinjini Ganguli

Growth Drivers of the Sector  Increasing Urbanisation  Increasing Nuclear Families

and Working Women  Increased disposable incomes  Organised Retail and Private

Label Penetration  Demand for Functional Food  Increased spend on health food

ith the shift in consumer needs, a rapid evolution in the global food landscape can be witnessed. Hectic schedules have made ready-tocook (RTC) and ready-to-eat (RTE) food a new favourite among the younger generation. There is an increasing demand for processed and convenience food. However, the supply side has failed to keep up with the demand. The imparity between the current demand and supply offers immense scope for the manufacturers, retailers and suppliers of processed food.


Abounding India India is one of the largest producers of food grains besides being second in the world in the production of fruits and vegetables, and first in milk production and livestock population, which makes this sector further attractive. India is said to have 52 per cent cultivable land as against the world average of 11 per cent. It has 15 major climates of the world and has 46 out of 60 types of soil, making it the number one contender for becoming a global sourcing hub. Currently of the total production, only 2.2 per cent of fruits and vegetables (F&V), 26 per cent of marine, 6 per cent of poultry, 20 per cent of buffalo meat and 35 per cent of milk is processed. This is quite low in comparison to the food processed in developed countries.

While, some part of the produce is consumed raw and unprocessed, a large part rots in the warehouses in absence of proper transporting system, terminal markets, distribution channels, etc. “As much as 30-40 per cent of the total F&V production is wasted every year. The way out is food processing. Increased food processing can lead to minimal wastage,” says K L Radhakrishnan, chief editor, Association of Indian Food Processing Entrepreneurs (AIFPA).

Where we stand India's position in the global export of agricultural food was a distant 21st for the year 2007, with a share of 1.6 per cent. But the figures are transforming substantially as the export of processed food and beverages is growing steadfastly. The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) aims to increase India’s share in the global processed food trade to 3 per cent in the next eight years. As per estimates, the Food Processing Industry (FPI) ranks fifth in size in the country, representing over six percent of GDP. It accounts for around 13 percent of the country’s exports, 6 percent of total industrial investment and approximately 12-15 percent of manufacturing GDP. Currently, the Indian Processed Food market is estimated to be USD 121 billion. And with the market growing at 10 per cent per anDARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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food processing Structure of Indian Food Processing Industry


Organized Organized

42 Unorganized Unorganized


Government Initiatives

Small Small Scale Scale

Source: MFPI, Technopak Analysis

num, it is expected to reach USD 194 billion by 2015.

venience-foods that evolve through value added processing.

Opportunity in FP

Value-added Processing, the new future

The sheer magnitude of the figures indicates the vast opportunity that lies ahead for entrepreneurs in this space. Especially for SME entrepreneurs as organized players remain at the fringe of this market accounting for close to only a third of the country’s total agri-processed products. A large part of the market is dominated by unorganised and small scale sectors. The opportunities are ample in sectors like bakery, convenience food, snack, etc. Rohit Bhattiani, Principal Consultant at TechnoPak Advisors says, “The sector provides a number of opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs that include areas like bakery, convenience foods, snacks and savories etc.” Of the two segments of the Indian food processing industry— commodity-based processing and value-added processing, the former contributes to two thirds of the processed food market. And although the latter comprises a smaller segment of the market, it is experiencing a radical growth. In fact, India is moving towards con-

become more prominent in urban India with an increased demand for value-added products, particularly in dairy, poultry, F&V, etc. As far as the industry prediction goes, the value-added processing segment is expected to grow with a CAGR of 12 per cent. And as projected, the top sectors with a high percentage growth will be RTE/RTC, F&V, non-vegetarian foods etc.

Currently, the demand and consumption of commodity-based processed products is higher. However, this trend is expected to change significantly on account of changing life-styles and increasing income levels. The change will soon

The Government of India is constantly trying to promote this industry as it promises significant employment and trade potential. The MoFPI has introduced several supportive policies and schemes to lure entrepreneurs into entering the areas of processing, supply chain management, financing, cold-storages, retailing and exports. It allows rebates and subsidies for infrastructure development, technology upgradation, quality control and human resource and institutional development in this sector. The Ministry extends financial assistance in the form of grant-inaid at 25 per cent of the cost of plant and machinery and technical civil works subject to a maximum of `50 lakhs in general areas or 33.33 per cent subject to a maximum of `75 lakhs in difficult areas under the scheme of setting up/ modernization/ expansion of food processing industries.

Take the Leap

“The estimated growth figures of the FPI look positive. It is the best time to enter the industry and take India to newer heights in the processing sector.” Shri Subodh Kant Sahai Minister of Food Processing Industries

As the figures indicate, there could never be a better time to take the leap but now. The industry promises exponential growth in the years to come. The Minister of Food Processing Industries Shri Subodh Kant Sahai says “The estimated growth figures of the FPI look positive. It is the best time to enter the industry and take India to newer heights in the processing sector.”


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12/29/2010 2:59:39 PM

Anything is possible. Even those dreams that you may have had as a kid, but decided were too lofty or were unrealistic. With hard work, passion and tenacity, we can create the future we imagine for ourselves.

Entrepreneurs’ Week Jan 10 – Jan 14, 2011 What can you do on Entrepreneurs’ Week? 1. Network With Others. You can connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs between 4pm – 4.45pm (IST) and listen to a prominent entrepreneur who has crossed the Rubicon in a webinar. Visit and register today. 2. Show Your Gratitude. In the past couple of decades, a slew of new and fearless entrepreneurs have emerged and have brought a sea-change in our economy, from a slow-paced to a burgeoning one. If you know any of these path-breakers, thank them. And if you are one of them, take the opportunity of thanking all those who have helped you give shape to your dream. 3. Be A Mentor. Do you recall that one person who constantly pushed you to start your first business or helped you bring your first big idea to life? If you do, join us and return the favour. Find an aspiring entrepreneur, who you can mentor through all times, good or bad. Happy entrepreneurs’ week everyone and do spread the word! Visit to register yourself.

E-Week ad.indd 23

12/30/2010 1:11:36 AM



DARE Entrepreneur To celebrate and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, DARE introduced Entrepreneur Week (E Week) last month (December). A series of webinars were conducted where industry experts shared their experiences with the audience. Here’s a recap of the sessions


(Dec 13, 2010): Prof Srinivasan talks on “How to Move On To Next Level” — Next level is a highly aspirational level for all the organizations in the world. It can be defined for different organizations in different ways. For some, the trick lies in the skills of human resource, for some it lies in expanding the market, and for others it lies with the information technology used in the organization, etc. R Srinivasan, associate professor, Corporate Strategy & Policy, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, gave a few interesting propositions that companies should follow. One of them was dealing with service support, and the importance of such support for various services like infrastructure for scaling up. Another proposition mentioned was about an organization’s capability acquisition. “Scaling up is not about Prof. R. Srinivasan scaling in volumes or in products. It is scaling up the organization’s capabilities,” said Associate Professor Corporate Strategy Srinivasan. He talked about whether capability acquisition is an art or a science. & Policy IIM, Bangalore


(Dec 14, 2010): The unspoken secrets behind converting small businesses into large companies— Scaling up the business to a bigger enterprise needs infusing innovative ideas, capital, plans, and the like. Every startup struggles to achieve big and is eager to know the trade secrets to do that. Vineet Bajpai, Founder of Magnon Solutions, discussed some exciting aspects of entrepreneurial growth and how to build winning companies. He stressed on having a Vineet Bajpai certain amount of planned approach with disFounder, Magnon Solutions cipline. He said that there are certain tactics, strategies, and certain proven paths that successful entrepreneurs take, but unfortunately few management books are able to whisper the basic secrets to building up companies. He himself learned the tricks through mistakes and through discovering. Vineet also suggested having clarity of vision, mission, an objective, goal, etc. He said that when they were in management schools, they used to consider having a mission and vision as something meaningless, and which did not have any bearing on a company’s functioning. But now he understands that it is crucial to have one. “Smaller companies need to have the vision clearer than bigger companies. They need to have a clear, measurable idea with a plan,” says Vineet. Once Vineet called up his sales team and asked them to sign a paper that had “I promise to make this a $1 million company” written on it. Though the team members laughed then, he proved his mettle by achieving the goal with his team.

Suresh Narasimha Founder, TELiBrahma


(Dec 15, 2010): “Disclosure: I’m not an MBA,” the opening line of our guest speaker, Suresh Narasimha, founder of the Red Herring winner, TeliBrahma, has proved his capabilities far better than those who have attended world-class management schools. Citing the fact that people are mostly averse to turning on their Bluetooth, he states, “No one wants to turn on their Bluetooth or receive messages until I give them a reason to do so.” And this is precisely the reason why he had


DARE Entrepreneur Week December 24 24

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Week, December 2010 DAY 4

(Dec 16, 2010): Sumit Goyal spoke on “Low Cost Marketing” and his tips on low cost marketing turned out to a big hit among the audience, leaving them wanting for more. Goyal, editor of “Food and Nightlife” magazine, shared his personal experience of when he started his website and magazine, and also pointed out several ways in which cost-effective marketing goes unnoticed. He started with explaining how marketing is one of the most crucial aspects of any startup, and low funds and capital would always be a problem for them. He himself started with zero capital and gave examples of a few things that he had done in his business that helped him promote his product. He also told the audience to harness the power of social media and build strong networks on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Sumit Goyal “Starting your own website with a small amount of search engine optimization is the Publisher & Editor in Chief key to fast, easy, and low cost marketing,” says Goyal. Food and Nightlife Magazine Goyal also stressed on the importance of believing in your own brand and how that actually helps in attracting audience to your brand. He added that, "while several companies spend a lot on marketing that promises customer satisfaction, they forget to maintain foolproof operations to provide the same." This is one of the prime reasons for companies for losing out on their customer base. He states that word of mouth is one of the most to create a sustainable value for powerful marketing methods and to do that one needs to ensure that the his target customers. In other customer is fully satisfied. words, he had to create a brand, which is nothing but submission of commitments that an entrepreneur makes and deliveries that customers can witness. And thus by creating a strong value proposition, Suresh instigated people to turn on their Bluetooth, which was his greatest challenge. The results show that today more than 2.5 million people turn on their Bluetooth every month. Drawing from his experience, the speaker said it’s crucial to understand the needs of one’s customers. He says, “The most important thing today isn’t in knowing better than one’s competitors but better than one’s customers. As it’s your customers who can make your revenue multiply.” Apart from identifying the gap, it is important for any entrepreneur to have a purpose behind his enterprise. Suresh stresses on the 3Ps— purpose, proposition, and profits.


(Dec 17, 2010): Mahesh Murthy divulged the “Secrets of Online Marketing” — The session received the highest attendance at DARE’s Eweek. Mahesh Murthy, founder of Pinstorm and Seedfund, is also an angel investor and digital marketing expert. He presented some mind-boggling statistics in favor of online media that could excite any print/ TV/radio fanatic. He exemplified how media numbers have changed in India. The number of people that are reached through ads on mobiles Mahesh Murthy phones is higher than all TV channels comFounder, Pinstorm, Seedfund bined. He showed how media has changed in terms of affordability and accessibility. “The Cost Per Target (CPT) is about the same as TV, but the reach is greater, and your ability to measure your impact is much greater,” said Murthy. He also emphasized on the fact that digital media agencies are valued at 5-8 times their revenue, while traditional media agencies are valued at just 1.2 times their revenue. And even then we invest `24,000 crores in TV, print, and outdoor advertising with almost nothing in digital. Even an optimistic guess of a spend of `1400 crores is just 7 per cent of the traditional media spend.


DARE Entrepreneur Week December 25 25


12/29/2010 3:03:07 PM



E-Week Wall Comment: I would like to thank all my business partners who have been supportive in all the endeavors that we made together. - Sachin Nayak Comment: I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Vineet Bajpai, CEO, Magnon Group. He is a brilliant entrepreneur and author, with profound knowledge in management. He has helped me and my company at every stage, and I am forever grateful. Thank you Vineet. - Prashant Comment: Vineet has been my mentor since I was 17. I am 30 years old now and a senior vice president in the company that he founded. I have had the privilege to work with Vineet very closely since the inception of our company, nearly 11 years back. Some words that I can best use to describe him are leader, visionary, motivator, believer, instinctive,

and overall a very nice human being who has the gift of reading minds of people who are close to him! I am happy to see that he is now sharing his knowledge and experience over such platforms and through his upcoming book! - Vivek Merani Comment: Would like to have more of these sessions every quarter. - Arun Kumar Comment: Hello, I am Manbir, an aspiring enterpreneur. I would like to thank the DARE team and the mentors who participated in the webinar for such an interesting series of webinar discussions. The sessions were quite informative and well arranged. I will expect more sessions from the DARE team in future. Wish you all the best! - Manbir

Mentors Available Vadhiya Jayantkumar N. MD, Trio Healthcare Pvt Ltd (Ahmedabad) Total Experience: More than 10 years Willing to mentor in: Production and Marketing issues

Vaibhav Tewari CEO, O2S360 – Bangalore Total Experience: More than 10 years Willing to mentor in: Ideation, scaling of business, building teams etc.

Dr. Sunil Gupta

Gurjeet Singh Gulati

Head-IT, Economic Research Unit, Ministry of Steel (New Delhi) Total Experience: More than 10 years Willing to mentor in: Information & Communication Technology, Leadership, Management, Motivation

CEO, Netsoft Informatics Pvt Ltd (Chandigarh) Total Experience: More than 10 years Willing to mentor in: Ideation, Funding, Implementation for projects related to IT services & Products, Retail, Logistics.

Jayant Tewari Out-Sourced CFO, Out-Sourced CFO & Business Advisory Services (Bangalore) Total Experience: More than 10 years Willing to mentor in: Financial Strategy and Implementation for Small & Medium Enterprises, preferably in the Technology space. With over USD 82 Million of Equity Funding experience behind me, I believe I have tremendous value to offer !

Wish to become a mentor? Visit to list yourself as one. Want to contact one of the listed mentors? Send us a detailed email at with the subject line ‘Seeking Eweek Mentor’ 26 JANUARY 2011 | DARE.CO.IN

DARE Entrepreneur Week December 26 26

12/29/2010 11:57:32 PM

Anything is possible. Even those dreams that you may have had as a kid, but decided were too lofty or were unrealistic. With hard work, passion and tenacity, we can create the future we imagine for ourselves.

Entrepreneurs’ Week Jan 10 – Jan 14, 2011 What can you do on Entrepreneurs’ Week? 1. Network With Others. You can connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs between 4pm – 4.45pm (IST) and listen to a prominent entrepreneur who has crossed the Rubicon in a webinar. Visit and register today. 2. Show Your Gratitude. In the past couple of decades, a slew of new and fearless entrepreneurs have emerged and have brought a sea-change in our economy, from a slow-paced to a burgeoning one. If you know any of these path-breakers, thank them. And if you are one of them, take the opportunity of thanking all those who have helped you give shape to your dream. 3. Be A Mentor. Do you recall that one person who constantly pushed you to start your first business or helped you bring your first big idea to life? If you do, join us and return the favour. Find an aspiring entrepreneur, who you can mentor through all times, good or bad. Happy entrepreneurs’ week everyone and do spread the word! Visit to register yourself.

E-Week ad.indd 27

12/30/2010 12:50:47 AM



The Gurumantra of Success 2011 At a time when businesses around the country are staring red-faced at a huge crisis of governance, they may do well to read the Gita—to learn how to win the “right” way

Anurag Batra he Bhagwad Gita is the richest resource of knowledge on how to live, lead and win without compromising on your principles that I know of. Management leaders around the world have successfully imbibed the Gita’s invaluable lessons to steer their organizations through increasingly testing marketplaces. Equally, many B-School lessons have been inspired by this ancient treatise on life. Take for example, the three lines that pretty much encapsulate the core concept of leadership enshrined in the tome: “Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwaraha, Guru Saakshat Para Brahma, Tasmai Sree Guruve Namaha” Meaning, “A Guru is verily the representative of Brahma (the creator) Vishnu (the saviour and one who sustains) and Shiva (the destroyer). A guru creates wisdom, sustains knowledge and destroys the weeds of ignorance. I salute such a Guru.” Last week, at the Forbes Person of the Year Awards event I witnessed a discussion between Chanda Kochhar and K V Kamath, the guru and shishya so to speak of India’s largest private bank, ICICI. Kochhar, the articulate and much quoted face of ICICI, opened by recounting how she, a management trainee, had risen up the ranks under the tutelage of Kamath, reaching the very top.


Over years Kamath had trained her, taught her the nuances of the business, lessoned her to differentiate between the good and the bad and trusted her to take decisions independently. This is a quintessential story of a guru-shishya relationship which benefited both the guru and the shishya and consequently ICICI, turning it into one of the most successful private banks in the country and an international brand. The trend these days is to start early. I see many young professionals, starting out on their own immediately after their studies. This is definitely a positive trend but equally there is no substitute to learning from the wisdom of veteran “gurus” to do well in business. You can learn from their conduct, leadership style and also hopefully, mistakes. I was fortunate to have some truly exceptional leaders as my direct bosses, among them Deep Kalra (at AMF Bowling) and Anuj Puri (Chesterton Meghraj) before starting the exchange4media group. Deep Kalra today is the poster boy of the Indian Internet business with setting the benchmark in more ways than one and Anuj Puri is credited with having turned Jones Lang LaSalle into the country’s largest Property Services Company as its Chairman.


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One quality that both these men shared was that they were extremely humble and also very youthful. Deep, in fact, would often say that the day you think you are cool and big, you are finished. Both of them are really down to earth people who understand the meaning of real things in life. Anuj taught me how important it was to communicate the right things at the right time and that communication was critical for survival. I still remember speaking into his dictaphone 13 years back responding to a letter or mail. Anuj believed in letting information travel to the deepest levels of an organization so that everyone understood and was on the same page. He showed that to retain your workforce you needed to give your people a sense of empowerment and ownership. Employees don’t stick to a company just because of financial gains, but also because they want to grow

I remember two things that Deep enforced at AMF as part of our work ethos: One, if you wanted to go for training and the company felt it was relevant than the company picked up a part of the tab and you picked up the rest. And second if you did not send your sales reports on time then you get docked `200 per day. Deep was also a dreamer, he dreamt, executed and turned them into reality. “Everything is possible”, is what I learned from him. Deep has lived and made his dream into reality. Anuj and Deep have rock-solid backgrounds with stable and happy families, kids and a great friend circle. They never ceased to show their genuine warmth when I really needed it. Kumar Mangalam Birla has transformed the Aditya Birla group. On winning the CNN IBN Indian of the year award for Business, he shared that a leader is as good as his team and that the award be-

To retain your workforce you need to give your people a sense of empowerment and ownership with it. Some of the best people in my workforce have stayed with me for many years because they feel like they are a part of the organization. This is where effective communication helps the most. Everyone knows what the dreams and goals of an organization are and strive together to achieve them. Working with Deep was like living with a person who literally ate, slept and breathed his passion and took great interest in whatever he did. The phenomenal success of can be attributed to Deep’s persistence and entrepreneurial passion, which are hard to match. So is his personal charm that has a lot to do with his high energy levels, approachability and informal behavior. He never gave you the feeling that you were talking to a “boss.” Deep once told me to never hire someone who is as smart as you; always hire someone who is smarter and more knowledgeable. What is the point in hiring someone for a task you can do equally well or for which you have as much knowledge? I wonder then how Deep hired someone like me. But I guess everyone makes mistakes.

longed to the entire team, which had worked hard to take the company to this level. The team that works under Birla is indeed fortunate to have a leader like him. Karan broke through the chakravyuh, something no one else could achieve, because he had learnt from Guru Dronacharya to set his eye only on targets. That’s the power of mentoring and learning. Every person has a good and a bad side. It’s what you want to take away! Working under someone can be bliss if you learn the best things. “A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could”. I have because I learned that I could from Anuj and Deep. To me they are the ultimate Guru Preneurs. 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 To write to the author, please send an email to with the subject line 'Anurag Batra'. Disclaimer: The views expressed here are that of the author and do not represent the magazine's.


Anurag Batra Column Jan11f.indd 29


12/29/2010 3:04:42 PM

i'm new

radio tuk tuk

Tuk Tuk takes to road

The red-hoods take over the connectivity-starved city By Shinjini Ganguli tranded in the middle of the road?” Chuck your worries. Little Red-Riding-Hoods are here for help! Led off from a casual chit-chat over coffee, Radio Tuk Tuk, a doorto-door auto-rickshaw service, is literally out to paint the city red. Sulabh Mehra, a hotel management graduate from IIMT, determined to ease off the predicament of those sans the luxury of personal transport, launched Radio Tuk Tuk in Gurgaon on November 22, 2010. Barely a month in run, the service has witnessed an overwhelming response from harried commuters of the industrial and financial capital of Haryana. The only available option for public transportation in Gurgaon is a pitiful number of rundown buses or


autos that charge exorbitantly. The commoners have little choice. However, with the red-hoods zooming across the city, the situation will gradually improve. The 25-year old enthusiastic entrepreneur says, “I started Radio Tuk Tuk to make commuting easy and organise the auto rickshaw industry.” While fixated on the idea, he knew it was crucial to first learn about the various aspects including the myths and secrets of the trade. Eager to learn and kick-start his dream, Sulabh did everything he possibly could to widen his scope of knowledge. He sat down with the local autowalas of the area, spoke to commuters, bankers, and many others before he set sail. Convinced, it was time to make the move, he quit his high-paying job with an IT company and chose

to go ahead with his ambition to serve the society. He bought a fleet of 50 autos from TVS that are fitted with a panic button, mobile charger, Global Positioning System (GPS), current immobilizer and battery back-up for `1,50,000-1,60,000. Additionally, he rented out a room, and installed five to seven workstations and phone connections, from where his 10 member-team works. Based on the successful model of Radio taxi; Tuk Tuk has picked up pace soon. Partly excited and partly worried about the pouring demand, Sulabh says, “The phone just doesn’t stop ringing. We get around 500-600 calls everyday of which we convert more than 50 per cent.” Though the red-hoods are gaining quick acceptance among


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Sulabh Mehra Head Operations Radio Tuk Tuk


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i'm new

radio tuk tuk

Alok Mittal Canaan Partners

Interesting Business

Ownership model – Since Radio Tuk Tuk owns the autos, it will face more challeneges in ensuring the quality in service and also the capex will be quite high unlike in the radio cabs business, which now allows individual drivers to own the vehicle, and charge a subscription fee. In that case, capex gets percolated down, and drivers take better care of vehicles because it's their vehicle. This model allows for faster growth.

Pricing – Seems high. It will be interesting to see how it evolves – taxis are available in Gurgaon at `10/km. Since autos may get used for short distance, the `50 minimum charge might also be a deterrent.

On Call – Most of the phone call behavior currently seems (like in the case of taxis) for longer duration/distance travel. It will be interesting to see how that behavior translates for autos, which is primarily used for short distances. It might be important to provide faster access, when needed perhaps even have them on stands in high traffic areas (this can reduce the importance of centralized entity, however) or promise a 5-minutes to door service.


gs by



 Market attractiveness:  Execution complexity:  Ability to build a large company:  Innovation element:

commuters, the service charges remain a concern among many. The auto-service charges `50 for the first three kilometres and `8 for every km thereafter which is it quite high compared to the prevalent auto fare in Delhi. Autos in Delhi charge `19 for the first two kilometers and `6.50 for every additional kilometre. However, clearly, Sulabh doesn’t consider this to be a challenge that could prove detrimental to his business. He justifies the fare with the increasing cost of CNG, security features and its door-to-door service. “I have fixed up the price taking the market scenario in consideration and the security features embedded in the Tuk Tuk,” says he. According to him, his challenge was basically in convincing the bankers and grooming illiterate auto-drivers, who were picked from the pool of drivers in Gurgaon for a fixed salary every month. “In fact, training drivers was more difficult than convincing bankers,” quips Sulabh. However, the former has always held his interest. He says he enjoyed and continues to enjoy it every bit as his ultimate aim is to organise the auto rickshaw industry. Working towards his vision, Sulabh realises that he should think ‘expansion’ soon, as he is already struggling to meet the current demand with his measly 50 autos. He says, “We are planning to buy more autos to meet the demand, which is much more than the current supply.” However, expansion may result in delay in Tuk Tuk’s break even time, which it expects to reach in around two years time. “We are looking forward to breaking even within two to two and a half years’ time,” says a charged up Sulabh. Hoping it soon comes true; we wish Sulabh all the best in his future endeavours.


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How to talk to your designer Here are a few pointers on how to get the best deliverable from your designer

Rajaram Rajendran

isclaimer : None of this should be taken ‘too’ seriously. These are mostly harmless thoughts that occured to me over the last six years of work, which means these are completely and totally my views on things. (I had to add this as the disclaimer at the bottom isn’t enough.) Alright, so who doesn’t deal with designers and video editors and photographers and other ‘creative’ people on the planet once in a while. Any business comes with its own design needs, and of course, you go to the specialists. Below are a few thoughts that might help improve (or mess up, no guarantees here) the experience. I’ve been on both sides, and trust me, its fun. You know what I mean, right? The simplest way to write is by using the words ‘do’ and ‘don’t’, and hence do not be offended by them.


In no particular order: – Don’t go to the designer to get something ‘you know’ done. Don’t assume that you know the exact output of the process and the designer is

a means to it. When you go to the doctor, you don’t tell him what to do. Same here, when you go to a specialist, listen to what he has to say, before pushing him to get what you want. Not always, but may be you will get something better this way. Since the designers, you select, see and create more designs everyday than you do, they might have something to add to your ‘vision’. The key is, never block a new thought without understanding it completely. Possibilities are—they could prove valuable. – Designers have a strong community online. A lot of them follow others’ work and keep themselves pretty updated. Chances are that sometimes your designer is very much inspired by a new artwork he has seen, and might try to use the style in your design. If you don’t think that suits your brand, tell the designer that in the simplest way possible, from a viewer’s point of view. Not from a ‘I know and you dont’ side’. – Do some research and have an understanding about average timelines for deliverables. That


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way, you don’t push the designer too much, and also you get to understand if the designer is being unreasonable in his timelines. If the designer gets technical and speaks in a language you do not understand, dont hesitate to ask him to explain it in a simpler way. In other words, don’t pretend you understand when you don’t. Most complications arise from simple things like these. – The designer might come up with what you hate. Here’s what you should do—think if its good for the brand. Keep your personal choices out of the process. Say you hate purple shirts, don’t bring that into consideration when you getting your brochure done. If the designer seems to bring his personal tastes to your deliverable without considering the brand, prevent him from doing that.

– It’s not you versus the designer. It’s you WITH the designer. Say that to yourself a hundred times. – Designers like clients who know what they’re talking about. Never say things like ‘even my 10 year old daughter can do that’, ‘it looks like powerpoint’, ‘whats so hard in this, you’ve just changed the colour and re-arranged things’. It’ll only make you look like a top-class fool. Keep in mind that ultimately, your viewer sees a hundred designs a day, and is not really bothered about the arguments you had with your designer to make a line thicker or the logo bigger. – Try not to use words that are vague. For eg: once a client told me he wanted a design that’s youthful, energetic, classy, smooth and flashy and he also showed me the Apple website as a reference.

It's not you versus the designer. It's you WITH the designer

– Design arguments are common. And oh yeah, fun (especially if you’re not involved). Most of these start with assumtions and pre-conceived thoughts that there will be one. Remember, need be not. The argument never brings anything to the output. A discussion, does. But for a discussion, you need to know a little bit of design too, because the designer does as it’s his domain. If you’re truly interested in making the output better, do some research on good brands, good designs, follow a couple of good design houses on twitter, so on and so forth. These will only help when you are trying to get something done for yourself later. – While briefing the designer, be clear of the deliverable. The design thought process for a brochure is different from a hoarding which is different from an e-mailer. Though all may seem static, and may even look alike, good designers know the difference. This is mostly why you hear them crib when you say ‘convert that brochure we made six months ago to a hoarding and send’.

It couldn’t get any more unclear. If you have a particular kind of output in mind, show a reference. If you show multiple references, be clear on which part of what reference you like. The better you explain, the better are your chances of getting the project done efficiently. – Never say ‘I want the same thing as that!’ Good designers will either leave the job, or give you what you want with absolutely no interest in what they do. And you’ll be sitting with a copy, and will have to go for a re-design soooner than you imagine. All the best. Smile.

The writer is an entrepreneur, designer, digital artist, wannabe musician and a jack of all, who thinks black & white photography is very cool. To write to the author, please send an email to with the subject line 'Rajaram Rajendran'. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are that of the author and do not represent the magazine's.


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entrepreneur of the month

‘When you trust people, at the end of the day, it comes back’ Dilip Modi, chairman of Spice Telecom, says there are opportunities galore today for the next generation of mobile digital entrepreneurs

By Shradha Mohanty


an you begin by telling us about your journey at Spice?

How easy or difficult was your transition into the company?

I came to Kolkata in 1996 after completing my graduation at Imperial College, London, and acquired the mobile licence. Among the various portfolio businesses that we had then, this was the newest addition to the portfolio. My father encouraged me to get into this new industry and technology. That is where my journey with the group started – with mobile telephony. I worked very closely with them and built the whole business from scratch and effectively engineered the entry of the group into mobile telephony. After that, we acquired licences and growth followed. This sector has been my focus for the last 14 years.

The good part is that when I joined, the company was just being set up and we had got partners from the Telstra group in Australia. So, it was literally like being a part of the founding team of building the business. To that extent, it was fairly easy to step in as I got involved from day zero of building it and fulfilling my main role in launching the service.

What were the challenges you faced as a second generation entrepreneur and how did you overcome them? When you enter a company, you have to hit the ground running because the business needs to be


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Dilip Modi Spice Telecom


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entrepreneur of the month

Pas Passion, belief and hard work are the three factors that are thr critical to succeed as an entrepreneur

built and all of that. The challenge is more about getting to familiarize yourself with the nuances of the business and the need to understand what all needs to be done quickly. It’s all about learning the business and getting on with it very fast. Our business was new to the country and it was to our benefit that we had partnered with the biggest telecom business in Australia. I spent a lot of time with them and got an opportunity to learn from the experience. Another thing is that when you start a business, you start young and you work with people who are a lot more seasoned than you, so you have to mature very fast because, at the end of the day, you need to become as competent.

What is that one thing that today’s aspiring entrepreneur should avoid when starting up? Negativity. At the end of the day, being an entrepreneur is challenging enough and starting a business is not easy and success will not immediately follow. So you have to be extremely positive and have passion and belief in what you are doing. It is infectious. That way, you attract people to yourself and your ideas. Passion, belief and hard work are the three factors that are critical to succeed as an entrepreneur.

We have noticed that many non-first-generation entrepreneurs work as management trainees at different organizations

before joining their own company formally. What is your reason for doing this? When you join your own business, you kind of walk in as a promoter of the business, so in that sense, you wouldn’t get a very objective environment to function in. Getting exposure in a different environment as a management trainee means you are getting a taste of the professional work culture. So, after that, when you join your own company, it helps you work better.

Do you believe in getting involved in the day to day operations or do you believe in choosing the right people to delegate work to? How do you ensure you get the right set of people and how do you decide on the leeway you will allow them? Personally, I go for the latter. The way that I look at the businesses I’ve built, I have invested in people. My sense has always been about finding the right set of individuals who I can work with and who I can trust absolutely and completely. I am a strong believer in people. My philosophy is that if a person works with integrity, hard work and passion and doesn’t give me a reason to not trust him, I give enough leeway. I truly believe in the human ability to deliver beyond what you have. When you trust people, at the end of the day, it comes back. I always like to surround myself with such people.


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In a company so huge, how do you stay on top of what is happening in the company? There is a good MIS that works. On a daily basis, I know what is happening in terms of how things are moving and about strategic issues that have a significant impact on the running of the business. To me, it is a nice split between operations and strategy, where we’ve got very good professionals handling day to day operations on which I get briefed through daily MISes, and at the same time, I keep an eye out for developing whatever it takes to help grow the business.

How much personal time do you get among all this and how do you spend it? I mostly get just Sundays at a personal level. Today, with the Blackberry, it becomes even more difficult as it has created an expectation where you have to respond irrespective of what time or day it is. That is something you just have to cater to. Irrespective of that, I generally try to avoid meetings on Sundays and spend time with my kids.

What values passed on by your predecessors do you bring to the table? Basically what I’ve learnt from people like my father, who I have worked closely with, is that whatever you do, you should put your heart into it and make sure you do it with integrity, giving all that you have. The

other thing is looking at it from the society point of view. It’s not just about making profit, it is about the impact you are creating on society. You have to look at it in a holistic way. Rather than just creating a product for the consumers, you have to see how it is making a difference to their lives. So, don’t just look at money making. Profit is important because you need resources to invest, but that should not be your mission. Ultimately, it should be about making a difference in people’s lives.

In your opinion, what are the things in this industry that should be happening, but haven’t happened yet? How can aspiring entrepreneurs tap into these opportunities? In the sector where I work, the opportunities are manifold. Today, in India, I would say mobiles are replacing roads. There is no physical infrastructure, but there is mobile infrastructure. Today, people don’t have basic necessities, but they have mobile phones! So, to me, there is so much opportunity to build in this. You don’t have educational facilities, health-care facilities, or even enough bank branches. You can deliver facilities to all of these industries through mobiles. Already in the US, you will see lots of Internet entrepreneurs. To me, there is a great opportunity for a next generation of mobile digital entrepreneurs to emerge. DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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TES 2010

TiE Entrepreneurial Summit 2010


By Nimesh Sharma, Sharmila Das and Shradha Mohanty iE Entrepreneurial Summit 2010 (TES 2010) proved heaven for Indian entrepreneurs yet again this year. Besides the eminent speakers and host of aspiring entrepreneurs, the 3 day mega event witnessed students, media person and many such people who attended to catch the spark of entrepreneurship. The person sitting next to me started conversing, and while I introduced myself as a journalist from DARE, the person introduced himself as a farmer. The sentence that followed this introduction was. “I’m a Harvard University graduate and have returned to India as I possess good ancestral property here.” When I inquired him further he said, “The growth of US economy is stagnant while India is emerging and I perceive India has come to become a much bigger place.” This aspiring entrepreneur now wants to start his own business in Agricultural IT and said he has 8 business ideas with him. He also wants to understand the gap between his perception and the real market dynamics. Such might be the story of many such attendees of the TES event who returned home with a changed perspective and new understanding of their yet to launch or newly launched/established business enterprise. The take away from each session of the


TES 2010 event was rich, useful and would prove helpful for them. The first day of the TES 2010 started with the inaugural program and the first session started with Nobel Laureate Prof. Amartya Sen. His message to the business community in India was, “The business community plays a unique role but they are also part of the society. They should not get into making quick money on the fly. They have to think big; not just in terms of money, but also in terms of remedies for the society.” The next session saw stalwarts from different walks of life coming together to discuss how to make India an innovation nation. Saurabh Srivastava, Chairman Emeritus, TiE Delhi-NCR, initiated the discussion saying, “We have robust growth but half the country lives below the poverty line. How can we use innovation to resolve this with the limited resources we have?” British High Commissioner to India, Sir Richard Stagg highlighted that innovation was the need of the time for India as well as the UK, though for different reasons. “You face challenges related to power, creating urban systems and education. UK has a high cost economy and now needs to find ways to stay competitive when compared to nations like In-


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1 - India leads- a session attended by panelist D. Shivakumar, Shivender Singh and Raman Roy with moderator Shaili Chopra 2 - Noted film maker Shekhar Kapur speaks on bottom of the pyramid. 3 - Nobel Laureate Prof Amartya Sen speaks on Indian Business Community 4 - Mansukhbhai Prajapati with his earthen cooker. 4

dia, China, Malaysia, who are rapidly climbing the value chain. Our governments have been working together to bring innovation at various levels.” Through innovations, scalable social models and sheer grit, successful entrepreneurs show how entrepreneurship is really about having no boundaries. What exactly does ‘no boundaries’ mean in entrepreneurship? At the start of the second day of TES 2010, this was the question that Sridar Iyengar, Chair of the TiE Entrepreneurial Steering Committee put to two seasoned entrepreneurs in the keynote panel. Zohar Zisapel, Chairman, RAD Data Communications, a veteran entrepreneur who has 14 companies under the RAD Group, shared how there are really no limits to starting up. He spoke about starting up a successful company in Israel, and then going on to start several new ones by working on ideas, bringing in great teams to build and running new companies based on the ideas. The session on ‘Ideas that Impact’ brought to the fore some innovations done for the lower income population. Chaired by Pramod Bhasin, President and CEO, Genpact, this session saw a heartwarming talk by Mansukhbhai Prajapati and his inventions related to pottery. Speaking in Hindi, he spoke about

his deep desire to do something more than just being a potter or a mason. He described his journey, his decisions, the failures, and the relentless commitment to produce something new. He talked about his inventions: the Mitticool refrigerator, which uses water for cooling and does not need electricity, the machine that can make a thousand earthen nonstick tawas in a day, an earthen cooker complete with a whistle, and an earthen water filter. Is India really a leader in entrepreneurship? The third day of TES 2010 started with this question being asked to path breakers from various sectors of the Indian industry by Shaili Chopra, Senior Editor of ET Now. Raman Roy, Chairman and MD of Quattro, and pioneer of the Indian BPO industry, answered that it really depends on how you define entrepreneurship. “If entrepreneurship means building great companies, then we are still taking baby steps. If you mean it to be about bringing up new things, new ways just for survival, India is phenomenal. But when it comes to scalability, India does not lead.” D Shivakumar of Nokia, the man who has brought an FMCG perspective to the mobile phone space said, “India is a huge market in itself. If you can get your act right in urban India alone, you would have achieved global scale.” DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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TES 2010


7 5 - Session on Making India an Innovation nation speakers seated left to right-Saurabh Srivastava (chair), Chairman Emeritus TiE, Dr RA Mashelkar, former DG of CSIR, Shekhar Kapur, well known film maker, Pradeep Udhas, ED, KPMG 6 - Saurav Srivastava offering the token of thanks to Shekhar Kapur and to Dr. RA Mashelkar 7 - Raman Roy, Chairman and MD of Quattro and pioneer of the Indian BPO industry speaks on India leads.


The day’s next session was on ‘Creating Value’. Chairing the session, Sunil Munjal, MD and CEO of Hero Corporate Services said that all of us create value everyday of our lives in the various roles we play. While earlier, profit was made out to be the sole motive of the enterprise, things are now more focused on delivering on the triple bottom line of Profit, People and Planet. He urged the audience to reflect and find out the value in what they did. “There are over 250 million people in this country who do not get two square meals a day, and the only way we can solve such problems is by increasing value creation” he said. Parminder Vij, Director, PVL Media Consultants spoke about how she had created value in her line of work being in the UK. By creating documentaries and films that focused on the multiculturalism of UK, she and the people she works with have been able to change the face of UK television, which earlier stuck to ethnic-cleansed stereotyping. Pallav Nadhani, Founder, Fusion Charts, spoke about being able to make pocket money when he was 16, as value creation. He said we looked at how our product was different from others by identify-

ing a need that the customers had, but had not felt. “You also create value as a country. We proudly proclaimed that our product is made in India. We still do. Then we made it commercially open source, and that created a lot of value as well.” The most exciting session of the day was ‘Aspire Young Achievers’ that saw 3 of India’s celebrated sports stars, medal winners in the recent Asian Games as well as Commonwealth Games. This was hosted by Amit Bhatia, Founder & CEO of Aspire, a social enterprise. Deepika Kumari, archer, spoke about having faced many struggles to even get selected for training in archery. The idea was to never give up trying, even if you lose, she said. Gymnast Ashish Kumar said he started training for as long as seven hours daily when he was just four years old. He said it was important for him to enjoy gymnastics to be able to succeed. Para swimming champion, Prashant Karmakar talked of the various techniques that he uses to stay motivated, and overcome fear when competing at international events. Visualization, deep breaths, and activating the body were some of the techniques he mentioned.


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Growth in Employment and Foreign Exchange Due to FDI Cumulative FDI inflows of US $ 1,78,059 million have been received in India between April, 2000 to September, 2010. Details of FDI inflows, calculated as per international best practices, including FDI equity inflows, re-invested earnings and other capital, received between 2005-06 to 2010-11 (up to September, 2010), are as under: (Amount US$ million)




2006-07 2007-08



35,180 37,182

2009-10* 13,508

2010-11 up to Sep, 2010 0


10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000

* Provisional

Source: PIB

% of PE Investments in India Industry

No. of investments 2008


No. of investments 2009


No. of investments 2010






























Healthcare & Life Sciences







Engg. & Construction














*against total number of deals in the year

Source: Venture Intelligence DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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women entrepreneurship

Women storm hi-tech industries The high-tech industries have been witnessing a significant contribution from the fairer sex than ever before, however, they are often deprived of the credit despite their knowledge and hardwork

Anjana Vivek

n the recent past, women have increasingly taken to starting their own venture. Today, we have many qualified women engineers, technologists and scientists, unlike a couple of decades ago. A few of them go on to start their entrepreneurial venture. What could be some of the challenges they face? How do they deal with these issues? Hiring, collaboration and joint ventures: Some persons still question the technical competence of women. Some men, till date, do not accept women bosses in the tech-space. There have been cases when collaborations and partnerships broke off for reasons of disregard towards the expertise and knowledge of the woman entrepreneur. Possible solution: A woman entrepreneur has to prove her capability to command authority among her co-workers. Kalpana Krishnaswami, CEO and co-founder of Metaome Science Informatics, which is incubated at IIMB and has received a grant from the Department of Information Technology, says while she has expertise in one area and her partner in another, many times her partner is treated as the one with technical expertise even in the areas in which she has more knowledge, because he is a man!


Sometimes, it may be best to avoid working with such non-believers. Long term partnerships are only sustainable when there is mutual respect. Venture Capital (VC) Funding: Women entrepreneurs in hi-tech industries sometimes find it difficult to convince VCs about their capability. Manjula Sridhar is a technologist who has been an entrepreneur-in-residence of a well known VC firm as well founder of a VC funded technology start-up. In her view, women generally find it difficult to raise fund because of the general perception that they are weak in business, and not necessarily because the VCs think that women are weak in technology. Possible solution: The women entrepreneur needs to demonstrate that she is an astute businessman and technologically competent too. She needs to demonstrate the capabilities of her management team. Kavitha Iyer Rodrigues is the co-founder of Inbiopro Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a bio-technology venture, which has been VC funded and has recently made a strategic sale to a Pharma company, says that the challenge is to present the balance of the team rather than just the technology. So, the message from these women is that if you are looking for funding, get a good team in place. Sometimes, even


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getting good and well-known advisors can help add to the credibility of the venture. Networking: Many times, networking events happen over dinner parties and on weekends. This is typically the time a working woman likes to devote to her family, particularly when her children are young. While work is seen as essential, networking is often viewed as taking away precious time which might not have any direct or immediate affect. Some women also do not want to move out of their comfort zone to meet people. Vijaya Verma, a serial entrepreneur, says, “In case of women entrepreneurs in hi-tech industries, extensive networking is very important. It helps in creating the market, getting more sales contacts, getting in touch with the right VCs, etc.”

sant with how these can be used or leveraged, do take time out to slowly familiarize yourself with the various options available. Women entrepreneurs from hi-tech industries can also benefit from plugging into womens’ networks. Professor Vasanthi Srinivasan, IIMB, finds womens’ networks to be very helpful. There are many examples of the business benefits from these networks, whether it is the TiE (The Indus Entrepreneur’s) for women group or the IIMB alumni network of women entrepreneurs. As old boys’ networks help men out, womens’ networks too are playing a larger role in the success of women entrepreneurs. In summary: Challenges exist for all entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs in hi-tech industries

Women entrepreneurs in high-tech industries can make a mark for themselves if they avoid getting bogged down by others' perceptions about their capabilities Possible solution: Rather than avoiding networking, one may prioritize and attend some events. Oneon-one meetings could be scheduled, perhaps over breakfast or lunch. Phone conversations and email are other ways to keep in touch. Then we have the powerful tools of today—business and social networks such as Linkedin and Facebook. These tools help us connect at our time and convenience. A word of caution here: Online forums can also have negative fallout, if not dealt with care. If you are not conver-

can make a mark for themselves if they avoid getting bogged down by others’ perceptions about their capabilities. They need to demonstrate business competence in addition to technical knowledge. They need to take time out to network. In the coming years, we will see more competent women technology leaders make their mark in creating valuable companies. Happy 2011! Anjana Vivek is the founder of VentureBean Consulting and a guest faculty at IIM Bangalore.


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The Bustling Of Ideas On Saturdays It has been a thrilling year for HeadStart, filled with challenges, merriment, and unforgettable Startup Saturday events. With New Year just around the corner, HeadStart is already on its way to setting up new targets to achieve in the coming years Startup Saturday, Bangalore The theme of Startup Saturday, Bangalore, was “Scaling a Services Startup.” Ajay Shankar Sharma, the CEO of Srishti Software, was the first speaker. He shared some insights on taking the plunge at the right time and anticipating roadblocks in terms of support and finances. The next talk was by Madhav Raju, the COO of IIHT (Indian Institute of Hardware and Technology). Madhav talked about developing the course

curriculum, the idea of franchising as an effect of people’s queries, and hiring extremely talented people by compensating them extremely well. Lightning pitches: Praveen and Avinash pitched, their crowd-sourcing platform that is a testing solution for projects. Arjun spoke about Taazza, a new location-based discovery and delivery service for India that brings local news and deals to you. Sharath from Ferdinand Wealth Management talked about cash flow and helped us understand the difference between managing money and controlling money. The event ended with a presentation on L-pad, a virtual startup incubator based in Chandigarh that comprises of a group of entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors.

Startup Saturday, Hyderabad Startup Saturday, Hyderabad, was based on the theme “Startup Idea Validation.” The first speaker, Nirmala, spoke about the HydCubator program (similar to iAccelerator) that comes along with an offer of incubation apart from the multifunctional support that is provided during this three month program.


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Murthy and Atul, cofounders of Ozonetel, gave a talk on how they validate and embark on ideas. Ozonetel is a startup building a telephony platform with a lot of interesting cloud-based use cases. Irene K then spoke about the licensing of software products when they use existing open source projects or components. Kiran Kumar and Yashwant, cofounders of an online gaming company, talked about their trials and tribulations while operating in the competitive space of online gaming. The next talk was by Arpita, founder of Buttercups, telling us about how she got into the unlikely space of specialty lingerie and how partnering with two international majors is helping her creates a new label for India. Mustaq and Anupam, founders of Sure Energy Systems, talked about how they developed their idea of alternate low cost photovoltaic cells. The event ended with an inspiring talk by Ewan about Teach for India, and an interesting talk by Farhan about La Makaan, which provides a venue for cultural and social events.

advertising, brand promotion, and photography services. Next was an interesting presentation by, the first ever event aggregator in India. The company already has its presence in Singapore, and now they are planning to launch their services in UK and USA as well. The event ended with a talk by Aninda Das from Nasscom about the upcoming Nasscom EmergeOut Conclave in Kolkata on 21st January, 2011.

Startup Saturday, Kolkata This one kicked off with an initial open house debate on how to find ideal cofounders. Anindita Paul then gave a presentation on “Benefits of usability to businesses.” She spoke about the significance of making products, services, and websites user-friendly. The first presentation was by, a startup that incorporates Limited Liability Partnership, the most recent corporate structure introduced in India. The second presentation was by Ramanuj Mukherjee and Abhyudaya Agarwal from iPleaders, which provides legal risk management services. The next presentation was made by Abhinaba Dey on his venture AVOW Creations, an advertising agency that provides 360 degree solutions for

Startup Saturday, Kolkata, has launched SSgenie, an initiative to connect entrepreneurs, service providers, and experts. Need beta testing? Want an expert to come down and help you review your business model for free? Write to SSgenie on Facebook. Startup Saturday happens at eight cities (Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, and Chandigarh) every second Saturday of the month. Join us if you have the faintest inclination towards starting up your own business (or any business), or if you have already started up. We can assure you that you will meet many of your ilk and will take away loads of inspiring ideas. Signing off folks; let’s create more startups and make existing ones more productive. Join us @ or follow our tweets @ headstarters. Contributed by Ramesh Loganathan, Ramya Rajan, Abhinaba Dey, Swati (editor).


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Saviour of the migrants

Aajeevika Bureau, which recently won the Social Entrepreneur Award for 2010, helps rural migrants find their feet in the city, providing them IDs and offering them training and counselling By Shradha Mohanty ll of us know the importance of having an identity in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world. Such information deďŹ nes who we are and helps us in all kinds of activities, whether booking tickets, opening bank accounts, getting a telephone connection or even making bulk purchases. However, in India, a large section of the population, especially rural labourers, exists without a proper identity and faces tremendous difficulties when migrating from villages to cities in search of jobs and livelihood. Aajee-


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vika Bureau saw this as an issue that needed to be addressed immediately and set to work to provide solutions, services and security to seasonal migrants who work in cities, factories and farms. Ever since it was set up in 2004, Aajeevika Bureau has played an active role in providing IDs to around 50,000 migrants from villages in Gujarat. Not only this, Aajeevika also organises training programmes and counselling sessions to better equip the migrants when they look for jobs. “One major sector we concentrate on is con-

migrants. It has already helped in 400 such legal cases, with settlements totalling Rs 25 lakh. Aajeevika did face some challenges in establishing itself in the initial two years. “When we started, migration was not an easy issue to work on because people thought that it was not a necessary topic. We were always aware of the facts and knew that we should not neglect reality. It was more of a conceptual challenge,” says Rajiv. Funding was another challenge. “For organisations like ours, with new ideas, funding is not very easy

of activity, so they do not have any plans for expansion. On November 13, 2010, the Aajeevika Bureau received the Social Entrepreneur Award for the year. The award was given away by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurships in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation in the presence of Kapil Sibal, minister for human resource development. Rajiv says winning this award has helped in bringing about visibility to the problem at hand, rather than the organisation, and that

because they say it’s not a tested model. It takes a few years to be done,” explains Rajiv. Initially, they did receive some amount of funding from Ashoka Fellows, a group of social entrepreneurs, which recognises innovative solutions to social problems. Most of Aajeevika’s funding comes from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and ICICI. It was able to gather Rs 1.6 crore in the beginning, which took care of the initial expenses. As Aajeevika is a nonprofit organisation, Rajiv says it gets difficult to maintain the flow

was the need of the hour. Regarding future plans, Rajiv says Aajeevika hopes to spread its wings through partnerships. It is not really keen on establishing more bureaus in other states, but hopes that it can implement its work through partnerships with other organisations. Rajiv says that with what Aajeevika is doing, it can only hope to help migrants on a small scale. “It is only through policy changes at the state or national level that we can hope to address the issue on a large scale,” he says.

Aajeevika Bureau’s orientation program

struction. Apart from that, we also train them to become electricians, plumbers, factory workers, etc.,” says Rajiv Khandelwal, one of the founders of Aajeevika Bureau. The migrants are trained by people who are already working in these fields in the cities. Aajeevika also plays an effective role in providing placement to these people. Around 2,500 people have been placed by them with the help of small tie-ups in several places. Aajeevika has also played a major role in fighting corruption by providing legal counselling and aid to


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cover story As we step into the new decade, we asked a spectrum of entrepreneurs, bankers, VCs and marketing consultants on how they think India can improve its entrepreneurship quotient. Here is a blue print for developing the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entrepreneurial ecosystem and pave way for a brave new world By Prashanth Hebbar

How to make India a better place


entrepreneurs 50 JANUARY 2011 | DARE.CO.IN

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The urgent agenda in front of us is to build the right Social Infrastructure for entrepreneurs to thrive

ream, adventure, determination. This sums up the secret trait of a successful entrepreneur. Is there a system which will help nurture this in our young? When we talk of building an entrepreneurial ecosystem, we do not think about this aspect. We talk of building better access to funds and mentors for instance or writing better policies for equal opportunity. But we do not build necessary social infrastructure for people to be adventurous, fail yet not go down. We forget Emerson’s words, “If you can make a bundle of all your successes and throw it behind your back and move on to start anew then you are a man.” Why is it that people who have walked through adversity has a better chance of success? Take the case of K Dinesh, one of the founders of Infosys Technologies. Very little is known about this gentleman. He was a mail sorter in Railway Mail Service (RMS) in Bangalore. He then passed a competitive exam and moved to Department of Posts and Telegraph (then) as a Phone Inspector. He wasn’t happy doing that. He passed the Banking services Recruitment Board (BSRB) exam ad joined Uco Bank. Yet the hunger in him was insatiated. He applied for a job with Patni Computers in Pune, where N.R. Narayana Murthy was incidentally working. His persistence in getting out of a cushy government job and get into a sunrise industry apparently intrigued Murthy. When Murthy decided to set up Infosys, he invited Dinesh to be part of the founding team. Rest is history. We have not institutionalized this ability to walk through adversity or seek deliberately an adventure. This is not about organizing hikes and mountaineering tours, though they teach vital life skills. This is


more deeper than that. This is about setting free our young from our own personal prejudices. As parents are we brave enough to allow our children to pursue their dream irrespective of the result? As angels, are we ready to put good money behind those who demonstrate the three traits of entrepreneurship. As a society, how many of us encourage our children, younger nephews and cousins or friends to take risks in their lives. How many of us look with appreciation when someone comes up with an idea, however crazy it may be, and egg them to go on and implement it. The moment someone brings an idea, we become the wise men from Hammurabi’s court and start sermonizing on why exactly the idea wouldn’t work, or start narrating recycled pieces of history on how Steve Jobs got it right while some other lesser fortunate soul did not. Every entrepreneur has to look at our own version of Richard Branson. Do you recall the mighty effort by a military officer turned farmer in starting an airline which drove an entire industry upside down? Captain Gopinath threw all conventional wisdom to the winds, took his army tent, pitched it in the middle of a barren field belonging to his family and became a farmer. People thought he was mad. However, his army upbringing and his sense of adventure enabled Captain Gopinath to discover new abilities inside him at every point.

The Zen of mentoring What people seek in mentors when they come for advice is not a step-by-step manual on how to startup. They are seeking an approving nod. A little little DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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cover story nudge in the right direction. They don’t want mentors to draw up the whole map nor implement the idea for them. And most of all they don’t want mentors to tell them what to do and what not to do. They want an assurance that when they want support they can fall back on their mentors. Can we be ‘that’ unconditionally and without prejudice. Recently, I happened to witness a session where a mentor was presiding over a presentation made by two students. The moment the students started their presentation, the mentor went on blowing holes. This continued at every level. He severely criticized the students for mistakes they made. The negative barrage went on till the end of the presentation. I could not bear to see the heartbroken presenters; they were a pa-

Every Entrepreneur should study how Captain Gopinath transformed himself from a farmer to starting an airline

thetic sight. The right way for the mentor to handle this could have been to listen to the presentation and point out “corrections” to the presentation where required and pat them on the back and say, “go figure out.” It was a grim reminder of how our society itself is organized: a parochial model. Here elders take a lion’s share in determining how the young live their lives. Even though we have moved away from joint-families to nuclear families, the parochial nature of our society still holds its sway. The young lose the ability to make decisions. They lose the heart to learn from their mistakes. Thus any hopes for entrepreneurship is nipped in its bud. If our mentorship programs fall into the traditional parochial approach then we are not headed

the right way. We aren’t building a program if our mentors do not encourage people to experiment, help their mentees analyse their mistakes and improve the experiments. There is no science here. We are talking about creating an environment, an ecology for entrepreneurs to experiment without fear and grow unbounded.

Playing in a team and winning is a culture In the movie, Extraordinary Measures, John Crowley embarks upon getting a researcher, Robert Stonehill, to cure his children suffering from Pompe, a rare disease. The two end up starting a company to find the miracle medicine. Crowley is a MBA graduate and a marketer who is driven by extremely personal reason and Stonehill is a highly talented reseacher who is passionate about his work. The two join hands to give the medical world a wonder drug. Crowley is a marketing man and Stonehill a researcher. They are very different from each other in thought and in action yet they team up for their dreams. Stonehill realizes that Crowley is the only hope if he has to get his research into field and Crowley is wholly dependent on Stonehill succeeding in his research. How many Crawley’s and Stonehills do we see coming together in India. Our children are taught about individual excellence in sports, in performing arts and in academic exams. However, they are not taught to work in a team early enough. How can we teach our youngsters in India to work in teams? Here is an agenda in front of us: Build the right social infrastructure so that our young can take advantage of the wonderful entrepreneurial ecosystem that is taking shape.


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Encourage and nurture young entrepreneurs he immediate focus should be on enterprises that will boost the economy. Fledgling entrepreneurs should be monitored and helped for longer than the two weeks as offered under current government schemes. In the long term, we need to nurture entrepreneurs from an early age by promoting entrepreneurship as a career choice among school children. Budding entrepreneurs need to be trained and exposed to different industries as part of their summer assignments. This will arm them with firsthand knowledge of the world of business. Alongside, government agencies and financial institutions must facilitate cheap finance to young entrepreneurs with the backward and forward linkages coming from mentoring business houses. There is a need for a substantial scale up of the incentives, support and services provided by government and other sources to young entrepreneurs and far greater awareness of these facilities. The Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises should consider setting up a special fund to provide startup capital at nil or nominal interest rates. To be viable, young entrepreneurs need to start ventures with the right economy of scale. The Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) is playing a stellar role in this respect. As entrepreneurship However, the maximum extent of CGTMSE cover could be enis inherently about hanced to `200 lakh, with 75 per risks, banks must cent cover for the first `100 lakh learn to take failures and 50 per cent cover for the remaining `100 lakh. in their stride and Lastly, as entrepreneurship respond to them with is inherently about risks, banks must learn to take failures in rehabilitation and their stride and respond to them restructuring efforts with rehabilitation and restructuring efforts. Young entrepreneurs need to be groomed, nurtured and mentored to succeed, and as quality entrepreneurship is rare, they need to be treated specially.


R K Garg Chief General Manager, State Bank of India (NE)


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Public-private partnership is the way to go irst, we must recognise that India is a better place than it ever was for ďŹ rst generation entrepreneurs. The non-community ecosystem is fast asserting itself, with both the corporates and consumers adopting the mantra of â&#x20AC;&#x153;faster, better, cheaper.â&#x20AC;? This is good for the creation of new ventures. Organisations like NEN, TiE, HeadStart, MentorEdge and TEPP provide a platform for start ups, mentors and investors to convert ideas into viable businesses. Even banks have started warming up to the idea of non-collateral lending. However, this is essentially a Top Ten City phenomenon. India must now concentrate on expanding the boundaries of this exclusive enclave and equally to make it an even better place for enterprises to thrive. This can be done by strengthening institutions that promote technology innovation, start-up incubation, mentoring and funding. We must work towards creating a dynamic publicprivate partnership that brings together centres of research, technical institutions, management schools and businesses for encouraging enterprise around the country. Such an effort will shift public aspiration in these cities from employability to entrepreneurWe must work ability. towards creating Equally, India must focus a dynamic publicon making the base of the income pyramid a better private partnership place by enabling the growth for encouraging of grass-root level entrepreneurs. A blueprint for this exenterprise around ists in a plan that was crafted the country by George Fernandes during the Janata Party regime called the District Industries Centre master plan. This needs to be revisited, updated and implemented.


Prof M S Rao Chairperson, Center for Entrepreneurship, SPJIMR


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Create a breeding ground for entrepreneurs f we want enterprise to bloom in the country then we must focus on creating an enabling ecosystem for start-ups. This entails the following four steps: • Create the right environment: Entrepreneurs should have easy access to funds through venture capitalists or angel investors. A major challenge for India is to create areas of excellence—a breeding ground where ideas could turn into businesses. • Enable easy access to skill: Most Indian start-up businesses face two skill gaps: Entrepreneurial (how to manage business risk, build a team and identify and get funding) and Functional (product development know-how, marketing skills, etc.). • Ensure access to smart capital: In the recent past, several venture funds have entered the Indian market. However, the country still has very few angel investors— affluent individuals who provide capital to business start-ups before the VCs get involved. • Facilitate networking and exchange: Entrepreneurs learn from experience—theirs and that of others. The rapid pace of globalization and the fast growth of Asian economies present tremendous opportunities as well as challenges for India. The need is to capitalize on the opportunities.


What India lacks

Dr Sriparna B Baruah Head, Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship

It is only through

There is an immediate need to the creation of new chalk out a nation level entrepreneur development policy, which • Support the flow of venture enterprises that it will serve as a framework (direccapital and create a global supis possible to create tion, philosophy and roadmap) port network of angel investors jobs and increase for the future. In this regard, the willing to support young busigovernment needs to: ness. Through planning and fonational output • Encourage the spirit of entercus, India should aspire to create prise by involving universities and a pool of entrepreneurs who will be academic institutions. A good way to world leaders of tomorrow. start would be to modify the curriculum It is necessary for both Central and at universities to fit today’s changing business State governments to provide sustained support landscape, particularly in emerging markets and to new ventures as it is only through the creation of to build centres of entrepreneurial excellence new enterprises that it is possible to create jobs and in institutes. increase national output. DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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Believe in the power of youth



The foremost prerequisite for developing a broader based entrepreneurial DNA in our country is to have an incubator built into our education system. This would form a foundation during children’s formative years and seed in them the restlessness and hunger to be fiercely independent in both economic and thought leadership. Our education system should be more application specific.

Risk averse credit system The second most important aspect of breeding entrepreneurial talent is to provide the required financing options minus the red tape. Financial institutions (FIs) should look at venture capital as part of their aggressive portfolio and should not be risk averse with ‘first to market’ ideas. After all, youth is all about new and innovative ideas and the traditional lending approach would only dampen its ‘fly high’ spirit.

Infrastructure This aspect is the most clichéd part of the Indian story. The great Indian elephant needs much better infrastructure if it is to dance nimbly. Its dragon neighbour (China) could give it a pointer or two in this direction. Infrastructure is not necessarily physical; it includes ‘seamless processes’, which will boost the entrepreneurial spirit and not get bogged down in the agonizThe most ingly painful and slow processes of approvals for new ventures. Speed important ingredient and transparency are the need of in the recipe the hour.

Infectious mindset

Pratik Chube GM-Product, Emerson

for a successful entrepreneur is belief in the new generation

The most important ingredient in the recipe for a successful entrepreneur is belief in the new generation. There is no room here for the traditional scepticism. A positive and infectious mindset is essential for encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit. This DNA should be bred, not just in urban India, but in rural India too. Thus, agro-based entrepreneurial avenues should also be encouraged. Growth must be inclusive and include all stakeholders in the country. 56 JANUARY 2011 | DARE.CO.IN

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Mindsets must change for enterprise to bloom ndia is a power-keg of entrepreneurial talent, waiting to explode. This has been repeatedly proved, as much by a spate of start-ups during the early dotcom days as by a number of world-beating IT companies. However, much of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s huge and undeniable savvy for enterprise remains bottled up, largely because of road-blocks ranging from systemic to cultural. For an entrepreneur on the block, the absence of organized venture ďŹ nance is perhaps the single biggest hurdle. While highrisk-high-innovation businesses, which are a very small fraction of the total number of new ventures, do have access to venture capital, this is not the general case. It is virtually impossible for an Indian entrepreneur to raise small capital of say US$ 100,000, unless he is willing to pledge collaterals to a bank or knock on the doors of unpredictable high net worth individuals. Indian banks need to be encouraged to apportion at least a small fraction of their lending towards unsecured investment into entrepreneurial ventures. Then there is the socio-economic aspect to contend with. Unlike in the West, entrepreneurs in India do not command respect from friends, family and the society at large Indian banks need unless they achieve spectacto be encouraged to ular success. apportion at least Indians raise their children with a clear mandate a small fraction of to secure a degree and their lending towards then a salaried job. Seldom do families encourunsecured investment age their young ones to look into entrepreneurial at entrepreneurship as a caventures reer option. They fail to understand that apart from a career option with an infinite growth potential, entrepreneurship is also among the noblest ways to serve the nation.


Vineet Bajpai Founder, Magnon Solutions


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Build entrepreneurship as a culture e need to create an entrepreneurial culture that sustains innovation and equally promotes businesses that have the potential of redefining existing paradigms and creating long-term stakeholder wealth. There is no magic bullet for this, but here are some highlighted key areas that we can work on. First, create a culture of risk taking early on in a student’s formative years. More middle class parents should encourage their kids to take up summer jobs. Apart from pocket money, this provides exposure to the world outside the classroom and leads to the kind of lateral thinking that is absent in traditional curriculum. Second, educational institutions need to have much stronger tie-ups with industry. While some good work is being done by technology institutes in India — a couple of the Indian Institutes of Technology even have active venture incubation centres— we’re yet to see any successful products coming out of these endeavours. Colleges should have more faculty with commercial or industry experience and institutions should build relations with premier companies to enable quality internship opportunities for students. Colleges should Finally, the government’s role in fostering a culture of inhave more faculty novation cannot be overemwith commercial or phasised. With a few notable exceptions, most successful industry experience and industries in various couninstitutions should build tries enjoyed strong governrelations with premier ment support and/or subsidy in the initial days of their companies to enable growth. quality internship Comparisons with China, however, odious, drive home the opportunities point that India is way behind in the innovation game. More needs to be done by way of grants and soft loans. Tax breaks to technology companies that develop products, rather than labour arbitrage based services, should be considered.


Rangarajan Sridhar Associate Director, Deputy Head (South Asia), JAFCO Asia


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The importance of good mentoring his is a great time to be in India, especially if you are a budding entrepreneur. India is the second fastest growing economy in the world. The largest population of youth under 25, some 600 million of them, live here.


Supporting ecosystem Entrepreneurs require a vibrant supporting ecosystem, and it is getting stronger. Angel investment is critical for budding entrepreneurs. In the US, angel funding is almost at par with venture capital. In comparison, Indian entrepreneurs have access to very limited money, mostly from friends and families. Organisations like the Indian Angel Network and Mumbai Angels have emerged, in which a group of individual investors collectively fund selected companies. Many global VC firms have an India office, though their investments have not risen since the peak of 2007 due to the global downturn. Successful Indians like Infosys’ N R Narayana Murthy are stepping in with Indian VC firms like Catamaran to fill the breach. Academic institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad have set up incubation centres that provide space, Shirish Deodhar some seed capital, and a supportive Co-founder, InnovizeTech Software In the US, angel environment with the presence of advisors and access to industry funding is almost at par veterans and investors. with venture capital. A number of institutions and online communities are In comparison, Indian actively engaged in raising entrepreneurs have awareness about entrepreaccess to very limited neurship. One of the oldest and world’s largest non-profit selected start-ups to investors. money, mostly from organisations, The Indus EntreOther professional organisations friends and families active in promoting entrepreneurpreneurs (TiE), offers many innovative programmes and initiatives. ship include NASSCOM, the ComAnother India-specific non-profit puter Society of India, and the alumni organisation called National Entrepreassociations of the IITs and IIMs. neurship Network (NEN) has set itself the goal There are less formal communities like the of launching 2,500 entrepreneurs, who will create OpenCoffee Clubs and HeadStart Network in varia minimum of 500,000 jobs by 2014. is anous cities. They get entrepreneurs, developers and other organisation that has been conducting events investors together in informal meetings to chat, every six months in various cities. It showcases network and grow. DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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Play it right to reap good n the post-liberalisation era people no longer obsess over “permanent” sarkari jobs— secure, stable, boring—the way they used to in the license-permit raj. In other words, they are far more open to the idea of starting their own businesses in a country brimming with opportunities for the enterprising sorts. Only, it needs to be remembered that there is no set formula for success in business. But here is a set of guidelines that should help:


Awareness of Environment Knowing where the best opportunities are is obviously critical for success. One way to do this is to join groups like the Entrepreneur Development Cell, or even smaller exchange communities in academic institutions.

Understanding of Business Process & IT Given how important IT is to running a business and its processes efficiently young entrepreneurs would do well to gain a sound understanding of technology tools, processes and infrastructure.

Make the most of Self Help Platforms Exchanging ideas and sharing experiences within relevant groups and communities can often arm budding businessmen with invaluable learnings and insights. So, sign up with one of the many such groups on the web or even offline to give your ideas that extra edge.

Jayesh Kotak VP-Product Marketing, D-Link (India) Ltd.

Exchanging ideas and sharing experiences within relevant groups can often arm budding businessmen with invaluable learnings and insights

Knowing how to raise cash Today there are several funding options to choose from. Knowing who they are, how they work and how you can make them work for you, would be critical to getting your show on the road.


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Wanted: A “daring” India he “fear of failure” and “pressure to conform” instilled in our youth act as great deterrents to the growth of enterprise in the country. Of course, there are a few bright exceptions who do take the road less travelled despite the negative conditioning and go on to script exemplary success stories. However, a majority of the people who opt for entrepreneurship are those who have no other choice. This means that a country with an estimated 150 million entrepreneurs has very few Google-like stories to talk about. Clearly, more courage is needed from all the stake-holders, the angel-investors, the incubators, the mentors and the VCs, for entrepreneurship to flourish in the country. Here is a prescription of what needs to be done, recommended by a daring optimist in the belief that if even some of these fell into place then we would not have a few but hundreds of Jerry Yangs taking off all over the country... • The best minds must dare to focus on solving India’s problems enKunal Upadhyay CEO, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, IIM Ahmedabad trepreneurially • The incubators should dare to put real resources into accelerating The best minds the ideas must dare to • Rich HNIs must dare to back the entreprefocus on solving neur’s guts without India’s problems thinking of immediate returns entrepreneurially • The mentors should dare to participate in the long term upside of these ventures rather than short term consulting fees • The VCs should dare to put money in pre-revenue deals


Compiled by Sharmila Das, Shinjini Ganguli and Shradha Mohanty


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wishes a very happy and prosperous new year to all its readers and offers a subscription bonanza

DARE is a media platform for the Indian Entrepreneur and the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. DARE is a monthly magazine which has been encouraging and supporting aspiring and existing entrepreneurs across India, since October 2007. DARE provides analysis and presents opportunities, strategies for entrepreneurs. DARE seeks to enable aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own businesses, and enable the established entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level. DARE identifies business opportunities and success mantras for others to follow.

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tech corner

green IT

10 Tips to green Going green is not just for the large enterprises, and these 10 practical tips will tell you how you can help your organization save cost, become more energy efficient, and even earn some carbon credits in the process By Shikhar Mohan Gupta aper, power and travel are the three main areas where organizations can invest their intelligence and gain savings for them and help reduce pressure on the environment. We delve into some tips that can help your organization go green, save and earn brownie points as well.


1. Reduce paper wastage Gartner says that active management of office printing can lead to reduction of 10% to 30% in recurring spending on document output. It also reduces the annual paper costs by at least 30% by selecting duplex printing as the default setting across the output ďŹ&#x201A;eet. As a common practice, most organizations only utilize the single side of paper for printing. Using the reverse side of paper simultaneously is a easy-to-adopt mechanism. It just requires a small tweak in the print preferences dialogue box while printing. In larger

printers, you might have to opt for an auto-duplexing unit. Moreover, paper with single side printing thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no longer relevant can be re-used for printing on the other side. Use printer management software There are plenty of them available, and some of them are even available for free. For instance, a software called Print Censor Professional is one such software that allows easy viewing, controlling and restricting printer usage on a LAN. This can result in getting rid of duplicate, restricted and unauthorized print jobs. For more on this, read this article.

2. Automate workflow Besides using duplex printing and printer management software, organizations can also try and avoid printing unless itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s absolutely necessary. Process


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automation is the key here. In any business process, there are documents that flow across various departments and hierarchies. Try using digital documents as much as possible. Identify what’s the bulk of your printing happening for, and see if it can be avoided as much as possible.

3. Use combination for print and online for surveys, marketing and promotions The Internet has opened up a whole new channel to reach out to a much larger customer base, and switch from many paper based activities. Online survey for instance is one such activity. If you’re doing an an internal survey of your employees or market surveys that don’t require a face to face interaction, simply setup an online survey tool, like SeaMonkey or LimeSurvey, and send them a web link to the survey questionnaire by email. Companies could even consider social and other online media to market their products, and reduce the need to print leaflets, brochures, etc.

4. Switch off PCs remotely As many CIOs would say, it has been observed that most employees do not switch off their PCs at the time of leaving the office. This translates into mounting power costs and CO2 emissions that can be avoided. Since all hardware in an organization is essentially centrally managed, IT managers can use software to switch PCs off remotely at a predefined time. You can use software like the Edison Energy Monitor to choose the level of energy savings you want to achieve. Edison will calculate your estimated savings based on the setting you choose. Scheduling custom settings at any desired time and day of the week is also possible. See how Edison can help you by going onto

5. Replace legacy hardware with power efficient ones Legacy hardware like CRTs and even PCs has essentially been found to be power hungry. If you have a lot of CRT monitors in your organization, it would be a good idea to replace them in phases with LCD/LED monitors, depending upon your budgets. Notebooks and Netbooks have become cheaper, and are more energy efficient than PCs. Evaluate if a larger part of your employee workforce can be given these instead of PCs.

6. Deploy virtualization technology The question today is not whether to use virtualization or not, but when to shift to it. This technology helps consolidate multiple physical servers into fewer physical servers, resulting in both power and space

savings--both of which are prime requirements for going green. Virtualization can also happen for applications, network, and storage, but server virtualization is the most popular, and perhaps the first step to going green. Lesser number of servers not only consumes lesser power, but reduces the amount of air-conditioning required for cooling them.

7. Telecommute Research shows telecommuting or work-from-home makes employees around 20 percent more productive. Apart from all the personal comfort an employee gathers out of telecommuting, organizations can reap tax benefits out of this as well. The technological innovations in the past decades have made working at home easier and more feasible. Reducing travel for maintenance personnel can be achieved by using remote maintenance. Some basic level software can help you achieve that. Remobo is one such free software that helps you to create a VPN instantly and can help in remote maintenance for your system. Learn how to use Remobo at

8. E-training and E-learning Companies can adopt the option of e-learning or etraining. Presentations or video recordings of the training modules can be made available to the employees and can be viewed from the comforts of their location. If a need for personal interaction arises, video conferencing solutions can be made use of. The idea is to keep travel of employees by road, rail, or air to the minimal to save on the carbon footprint, as well as travel costs.

9. Re-use hardware Not all parts of a faulty hardware are faulty; and some of it can be reused or recycled with ease. Companies should make sure that the reusable parts are recycled and utilized to the utmost. And when there is an absolute need for e-waste disposal, only then it should be taken up as an option.

10. Earn carbon credits by e-waste recycling There are organizations coming up which not only buy faulty IT equipment at reasonable prices and help dispose of hardware in an environmental friendly way, they also give the company selling these hardware with carbon credit certificates. Companies earning these certificates can essentially go ahead and label themselves as environmental friendly and ‘green’. Westere. com is one such website that helps you achieve carbon credit certificates while properly disposing off your hardware in an environment friendly format. DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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tech corner

green IT

Best Green IT Project: Aircel: Green IT at Aircel Green IT initiative at Aircel was taken up with the objective of creating a world class Tier-III compliant green data center ircel is a joint venture between Maxis Communications Berhad of Malaysia and Apollo Hospital Enterprise Ltd of India. It started operations in the year 1999. In a short span of 18 months since 2007, Aircel has expanded its reach from 10 telecom circle to 18 circles out of the total 23 circles. Moreover, it has licenses secured for the remaining 5 telecom circles. This quick transformation involved consolidation of Aircel’s 5 separate datacenters into 1 single datacenter to control operations all over Aircel’s network. The Green IT initiatives at Aircel were taken up as separate projects with measurable KPIs. These green initiatives were designed and implemented by Wipro Eco Energy, the clean energy division of Wipro. The automation in IT service manage-


ment and operations process gave immense benefits by measuring the IT service performance with all type of analytics/reporting and approval on Web and mobile. These solutions have reduced the overall carbon footprint of the datacenter by over 400 tons per year. Few of the technologies implemented for green data centre were-- Adaptive Cooling Technology, Geo-thermal exchange, Earth Air tunnel (EAT), lighting solutions, solar thermal solutions, which has contributed to the save earth initiative through effective preservation and reduction in climate control variables. By using these technologies, the datacenter’s cooling system was enhanced, and there was about 20-25% improvement in efficiency of the chillers due to geothermal heat-exchange and Earth Air Tunnel system.

What according to you is the USP of the project? The datacenter helped us in establishing a service oriented architecture (SOA) that in turn has enabled fast roll-outs pan-India without compromising on the flexibility to adapt to the business requirements. In record 59 days, 8 circles were rolled out. What were the key business benefits gained after having deployed this project? These solutions have enabled Aircel reduce the overall carbon footprint of the datacenter by over 400 tons Ravinder Jain per year. Also after having this datacenter, Aircel is CIO Aircel able to handle billions of multiple types of transactions to cater to millions of its customers. This is a great achievement for Aircel as handling huge number of customers is the most taxing task for every telecom industry today. By deploying Adaptive Cooling methods, the wastage of coolant was minimized. Optimal utilization of the cooling plant has been made possible by the Adaptive Cooling, EAT and specific coolant usage that emits less CFCs. Sensor based lighting systems has brought down the power wastage considerably.

Rain water harvesting was implemented, wherein run-off water from the roof was captured and directed toward percolation pits to recharge the ground water. Considering an average rainfall of 511mm, 500 KL water will be charged to the ground Geothermal Exchange. 28 thermal wells drilled around the building and vertical looping system is used to transfer heat from HVAC system to ground. Three 20 tons GSHP are being used, totaling 60 tons for comfort cooling bed. This has replaced conventional cooling system of 72 ton, thereby saving power. In the cooling systems, refrigerant R410A is used instead of R22 or R407 leading to better energy efficiency and lowered costs. Sensor based lighting systems are used which turns on the lights only for the occupied areas. LED lights used in place of 36W CFLs reduced the power consumption by 26 KW/day. Solar energy based heating system is also used to provide 1000 LPD of hot water supply saving on the 12KW of power that a conventional heating system would use. Aircel has migrated all of its OSS/BSS and other systems to this Green data center. Considering the pace of industry growth, Aircel forsees the needs to build three more such data centers of similar or even higher capacity. They also have a roadmap planned for developing a public and private cloud for appropriate applications. This data center is also in the process of getting a LEED’s certification.


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Best Green IT Project: State Bank of India: Green IT@SBI By using eco and power friendly equipment in its 10,000 new ATMs, the banking giant has not only saved power costs and earned carbon credits, but also set the right example for others to follow. TMs, just like any IT equipment, need a dust free environment running at optimal room temperature. ATM centers in India are often over- lit with conventional lights plus have high-capacity ACs running 24x7. In places with power problems, ATMs are run on generators adding to pollution. Sure, someone needs to do something about it. SBI’s Green IT project is doing just that -- apart from savings of recurring costs to the bank, the project helps in reducing the carbon footprints impacting the quality of life of the society at large. Further it supports the cause of the central bank’s objective of spreading retail electronic payment culture and reduced dependence on paper based transactions in the country, through rapid expansion of ATMs and debit cards. SBI undertook a massive rollout of ATMs during 2009-10. With


By using LCDs in lieu of CRTs, LED lighting instead of CFLs, and energy efficient ACs, SBI has dramatically reduced the energy consumption across its 10,000 ATMs.

What sets this project apart from any other in its class? What's the unique selling proposition? The USP of the project is the use of low energy consuming technology. The growth in the number of ATMs during the last year viz., more than 10,000 ATMs is unparalleled in the history of ATM expansion in the country and is among the largest roll-outs in the world. What has been the overall impact of this project? A Krishna Kumar The total energy savings per annum on account of these Dy Managing Director-IT initiatives will be around 48508500 KWH. Assuming an average rate of `5 per unit (for commercial use the rate varies from `5 to `8 in various states), the total energy savings per annum will be of about `24.25 crores. Besides this, the ATM and site preparation specifications adopted and implemented by State Bank have become an industry standard and are being gradually adopted by a number of banks resulting in considerable energy savings for the entire nation. more than 10,000 ATMs installed, SBI was conscious about the total carbon footprint. In all of these ATMs, LCD monitors were deployed in lieu of CRTs. LEDs were used instead of tube lights or CFL (even in signages). 5 star EER 3.1 rated ACs were installed instead of conventional high energy consuming ACs. Aluminum composite panels were put to use instead of wood based materials in the preparation of sites. Apart from these modifications, specially designed ATMs were developed and installed that consumed low energy and require no air conditioning environment. Even solar powered ATMs were developed for rural areas. The key challenges faced in deployment of these energy efficient ATMs include ensuring

compliance with regard to the agreed contractual terms not only with the main vendors but also the outsourced agencies. The SBI IT team worked closely with vendors involved in setting up conventional ATMs. Appropriate measures were required to safeguard against fire hazards in extensive use of composite aluminum materials. The resulting total energy savings per annum will be around 48508500 KWH. Assuming conservatively an average rate of `5 per unit (for commercial use the rate varies from `5 to `8 in various States), the total energy savings per annum will be of about `24.25 Crore. The content for this article is sourced from PCQuest Visit their website:


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journey to the top

Journey To The Top Here is the part II of the Journey To The Top, an occasional series by our sister publication CIOL. We began this series with Infosys Chief Mentor, N.R. Narayanamurthy. Excerpts from the second part Do you believe in role models? If so, who are yours? Yes, I do believe in role models. They are extremely important. They serve as a guide in handling tough situations and resolving dilemmas. I look up to two people as role models - the first person is Mahatma Gandhi because he ‘walked the talk’ and led people by example and the second person is Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore. In my own life time I have seen him taking his country from the third world league to a first world country stature. He led the nation from the very first frontiers.


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Well, there are a lot of people out there who look up to you in the same awe and respect. What would you advise to all those who consider you as their role model? I have to say I’m flattered. I am grateful to them. I will continue to work hard and smart and live up to their expectations. I will never let them down.

What in your opinion and experience are the main qualities required to manage people; manage company; manage partners and manage customers? Sham In all these areas you need a sense of integrity. Integrity is about doing the right thing. It is about being fair to others, having the courage to tell others not to do wrong things. Integrity is about delivering on promise. It is also about being truthful. I believe integrity is one quality that is the foundation of all relationships whether it is your customer or partner. That said, it does not suffice if you are only an honest person. It is very important for honest people to condemn dishonest people publicly.

There are different leadership styles that a person develops, for example “Directive”, “Expert” or “Consensus”. What is your leadership style? Can you give instances on how you could effectively use that style? Narendra Shikaripur, Chennai— I listen to everyone. I take inputs from everybody. However after taking inputs from everyone, I use those inputs to fine-tune and modify my decision. I welcome participation, but I take the final decision. I also take responsibility for the outcome of that decision. I don’t like a situation, which says “I did not take that decision”.

How is Infosys grooming its next set of leaders? What kind of leaders are required in the contemporary competitive world? No name We need leaders who have high aspirations, who lead by example, and who are courageous to take big and tough decisions. We need leaders who are fair and have integrity, who are firm, and are willing

to take bottom-line responsibility. We need leaders who share the credit with others in the company and who are willing to accept that they are wrong. We need leaders who are human beings. We don’t want Gods or saints.

Do you have any political ambitions? Will Mr Murthy be donning the hat of a Chief Values Officer / Chief Belief Officer for Govt of India ? Aamir Siddiq— I don’t have any political ambition. In 1999 I had an offer to become a cabinet minister at the center but I refused. However, I do want a good political system. For instance, I am on the board of the ‘Jaago Re’ campaign. This forum is about registering voters and improving the quality of candidates. But I do not have any political ambitions.

Can you share your toughest experience about handling a client? How did you convince them? Dilip babu— In 1983, one of the multinational companies was looking for a data center installation. There were a couple of IT companies with state-of-the-art machines who were also in talks to clinch the same deal. I came to know about this just a couple of days before the last date. I went to them to talk about this deal. We had very low financial strength. I also realized that our strength was mainly our technical expertise. The other two companies had money as well as experience. They had worked on such projects earlier. This multinational company was very skeptical about dealing with us. I sat down and created a mathematical model to demonstrate and explain to them how our computing system was so much better than the competing ones. I asked them to give me an hour’s time for the presentation. The meeting went on for four hours. I told them that your strength is financial strength. Your strength is organizational strength. Our strength is our technical expertise and our strength is making sure that you can utilize the time sharing system very effectively. Therefore you should find out from our competitors if they have this kind of strength and you can ask them the questions that I have raised with you. This multinational company was impressed and we won the deal. Source: CIOL (


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women of substance


Leader of the talent hunt

Ms Shailja Dutt Founder & MD, Stellar Search and Selection

Life for Shailja Dutt, the MD of Stellar Search and Selection, has been a lot like a rollercoaster ride, full of highs and gut-wrenching lows. But this extraordinary woman simply refused to blink and today owns a flourishing HR business. We get under the skin By Sharmila Das 70 JANUARY 2011 | DARE.CO.IN

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ur world shines with stellar examples of women who have torn down masculine stereotypes and achieved startling success in domains that were until recently presumed to be strictly for men. There are now women presiding over corporate empires, driving megabuck businesses, setting the pace in research and redefining cutting edge in areas as wide apart as finance and fine art. Our new series entitled “Women of Substance,” is a level-headed toast to such extraordinary women, one of whom quite definitely, is Shailja Dutt, founder and managing director of Stellar Search and Selection. Put simply, Dutt has blazed a fiery trail of achievements and set an example for countless other women. Shailja holds a BA Honours degree in economics from Lady Shri Ram College and an MBA from the International Management Institute in Delhi. She started her career in management consulting, moved to research, and had a brush with academics before moving as a consultant to Amrop, an international search firm. She says she learnt everything about the search to search business from Preety Kumar, her boss there. Shailja informs us, “Amrop was also my window to global search practices, which I learnt and utilised to build Stellar.” Shailja’s entrepreneurial journey began in 1998. “I started Stellar after spending almost three years with Amrop. I had my first baby in 1996. Over 1997, the pressure of travel in my job became too much, which was what prompted me to leave my job – where I was doing exceedingly well – and stay at home. After a couple of months, my husband goaded me into considering becoming an entrepreneur and lent me the `50,000 that I used as a deposit on my first office. I borrowed a computer from my brother, a telephone line from my


neighbour in the office building and Stellar was born. “I was extremely fortunate that my goodwill from my earlier job was tremendous and many erstwhile clients came to Stellar with their talent requirements. We were busy from day one. By our sixth month, we had touched a turnover of `10 lakh and we closed the year with `24 lakh. It was all quite beyond my comprehension. There was just me and a front office assistant and an MBA school part-timer and we had managed to get the company going. (Both these ladies now run successful independent search firms of their own). “In the second year, my brother joined me in the business, and af-

Shailja Dutt with her two sons

ter that, there was no looking back. We grew from strength to strength, using our complementary skills to build the organization. In 2001, we had 40-odd people working with us and were experimenting with a career portal as well. “However, in 2002, my brother and I fell out and we came close to shutting shop, with no money and no people in the company. I was confined to my bed with a very difficult second pregnancy at the time. I came back after Arsh was born to a company with five employees, no billings, low morale and just no money. “I always feel 2003 was the year of rebirth for Stellar. The five of us restarted the business and I paid salaries and bills from credit card withdrawals and personal loans. By July 2003, we were back in the game.” Today, Shailja says she wakes up early in the morning because she loves to watch the sun rise. And she greets the sun with a big beam on her own face. She has good reason to smile. After all, she heads one of the best known human resource search organizations in the country. As with every entrepreneur, Shailja, too, has some regrets. In 1997, her brother and she had started working on a career portal. She wishes now that she had devoted more energy and effort to that venture. “We had the idea before Naukri, TimesJobs and Monster. It’s one of the very few regrets I have about my career,” she says wistfully. She says she believes firmly in the saying, “Pain is temporary, but quitting is forever.” Shailja says the biggest challenge every women entrepreneur faces in her day to day life is finding the right work-life balance. She says, “Being a working mother, I think I have aced that completely and I guess my kids are the best testimonial to my success.” DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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women of substance

startup Ask her for her take on Indian women entrepreneurs and she replies, “I highly recommend a strong mentorship programme for women wanting to take their entrepreneurial venture to the next level.” Remembering the initial challenges she faced in her venture, Shailja reveals, “Challenges have been plenty, from being taken seriously to raising funds, but in hindsight, they just seem incredible learning experiences or op-

deeply satisfying to see my family enjoying a meal I have cooked. Currently, I am experimenting with several ‘clean eating’ recipes.” She is quick to say she could not have achieved all that she has without the support of her family – her husband, Sunir, and her two sons, Ishaan (14) and Arsh (8). She says, “My truly better half, Sunir, has been the wind beneath my wings. I have known Sunir for 19 years now and we have been married for 17 years. We have two brilliant boys,

says with a laugh. She is also a fitness enthusiast and swims and practises Yoga regularly. She is fond of reading too, managing to get through a magazine a day and at least a book in a week. She is an extremely informal person and lives in jeans and T-shirts round the year, but when it comes to work and formal occasions, her dress of choice is the sari. Shailja says she loves wearing a sari. She truly believes that women look their most graceful in a sari.

Shailja Dutt with her team at Stellar Search and Selection

portunities and really don’t seem like challenges at all. Other than that, the usual start-up hiccups of lack of funds and good people to work with you. But it’s really all behind me. Now the challenge is geographical expansion and taking the company to the next level.” While there are many women who find cooking an unwelcome chore, Shailja says, “I find cooking very therapeutic and it is my favourite way to de-stress after a long day at work. I am an eclectic cook and cook and bake often. I find it

Ishaan and Arsh. Both of them are avid soccer players and swimmers. My family lives in Singapore and I shuttle between India and Singapore. I have a very supportive and close-knit maternal family, and my mom and brothers have been a very strong influence in my life.” Shailja loves shopping, whether in malls, high streets, boutiques, flea markets or even weekly street bazaars. “My family will testify that I am a compulsive shopper! China remains my all-time favourite shopping destination,” she

Shailja is a beachaholic when it comes to holidays. Any beach is the perfect vacation spot for her, but she puts Lakshadweep on top of her list because of the fantastic dives it offers. She goes there every year, she says, and adds, “No phones, no Internet, no TV, no radio and no people. Just white beaches and the sea. There are days that go by without me talking to anyone other than the dive team. It’s the perfect way to connect with one’s inner self.” An inspiring woman indeed!


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Choose your investor, carefully With the economy back on track, the matchmaking between entrepreneurs and investors is on the rise. The decision, however, should be an outcome of the meeting of the minds and not a desperate attempt to patch a deal

Vimarsh Bajpai

ave you ever happened to see your prospective investor come for a meeting in his bathroom slippers and give you a lowdown on his previous conquests about investing in startups? If you haven’t met investors of this stripe and color, you are rubbing shoulders with the right people. As you venture out on your entrepreneurial journey and seek both advice and funds, it is quite likely that many good advisors would be all too keen to put their money into your startup. They could be wealthy people with bags of money parked in unproductive financial instruments but not necessarily investors. They are only on the look out for opportunities to multiply their money without having any interest in your dreams. As an entrepreneur, it is better not to give in to such temptations. The relationship between an investor and an entrepreneur is like the bond of matrimony. Just as it is better to stay single than to marry the wrong person and then regret, it is better to use your own


funds than get the wrong investor on board with whom you don’t see eye to eye. Serious investors like angles, VCs and PE firms bring a thoroughly professional approach to investing in businesses and would be wary of putting their money in the sectors they don’t understand. Such investors would insist on some good background work to be done on your part, which involves having a well-prepared business plan and a good startup team in place. Looking for funds doesn’t deprive you of your right to choose a good investor. This is not a decision that you would want to take in a hurry. Depending upon the amount of capital you need, by when and at what stage of your business would have to be clearly thought through. Here are a few points you might want to consider: Fund-raising is a not a part-time job: Money is important for your business and raising it before you run out of working capital is surely necessary. It re-


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quires serious planning, a number of meetings and presentations. So instead of just trying to fit this into your schedule, it would be better to take some time off and focus solely on the exercise of raising capital. Do some good research and read some interviews of top professionals from the investor community to get a sense of the amount of groundwork that you should be doing before making a pitch. Are you prepared to share ownership? Sometimes, all you need is a loan while you go about chasing angels and VCs. Be aware that taking money from the latter would require you to part with your ownership in the startup, and you must be prepared for that. This would also come with certain terms and conditions about the direction the startup would take, some changes in the team, and

important as you knowing your competitors. Most investors look to put their money in the sectors they know inside out or have the teams to give valuable inputs on the goings-on in a particular vertical. There are now sector-specific investors such as those in the education and clean energy space. They would be able to bring in plenty of experience and mentoring to the table along with the money. Only an investor who has interest and understanding of the space you are operating in would be able to share your vision for growing your startup. No big promises, please: Make sure that neither you make big promises nor your investor. Too many promises can result in disappointments later. Some of them talk of getting you a regular stream of business once they are on board but it would be better

Usually intermediaries look at deals that are in the range of $5-10 million but now some are considering lower ticket-sizes as well the broader outlook for growth over the next five to seven years. This is good to the extent that you get professional mentoring that comes with angel and VC funding. You got to be sure that you would be ready to accept this change and not feel claustrophobic about it. Take help from intermediaries: Sometimes it is better to approach investors through intermediaries who could be chartered accountants, lawyers or investment bankers.Usually they look at deals that are in the range of $5-10 million but now some are considering lower ticket-sizes as well. They do add value to your business plan, scan it for loopholes and then help you connect with the right investors. However, going through an intermediary is not a necessity. You could try e-mailing your business plans or making elevator pitches once you meet investors on the sidelines of some events. Look for sector-specific investors: The knowledge of the investor in your area of business is as

to take it with a pinch of salt. The investor’s job is to bring in money and mentoring, not business. If they do help you get new business, great! The devil lies in the detail: Big words such as valuations, ROIs and equity sharing will fly around during several rounds of negotiations but the real devil is in the transaction agreement. Read through it carefully and take help from lawyers before you put your signature. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarifications if you don’t understand certain clauses or are not clear about some technical jargon. Even Richard Branson didn’t know the difference between net profit and gross profit till some years back. In one of his interviews, he shared how a senior member of his team called him out of a board meeting to explain the difference.

Vimarsh Bajpai is a content and communications consultant. As the founder of Samvad Sutra, he works with organizations and individuals to help them communicate better.


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half way through

Half Way Through: Vinay Sanghi Vinay Sanghi has been in the auto business, technically, for almost all his life. Motorexchange, his recent creation, has witnessed a swift growth in a span of just a year. The venture raised its first round of capital even before it started making revenue, and now it plans to go public in another three yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time

By Shinjini Ganguli 76 JANUARY 2011 | DARE.CO.IN

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Forty-one-year-old Vinay Sanghi started his career in the auto industry when he was barely 23. And since then there has been no looking back. He built his first company as a joint venture with the Mahindra Group. Content with all that he had achieved so far, he decided to move on. He created Motorexchange, India’s first B2B-used vehicle exchange, a direct competitor of eBay India in 2009. Later he acquired CarTradeIndia, a meeting place for buyers and sellers of bikes and cars, to leverage his business. His venture raised funds from Canaan Partners while still in pre-revenue stage. Now he has IPO in mind.

was born in Mumbai in a family that has been in the auto business for over half a century. And by virtue of being the progeny of the family that is fascinated by automobiles, I inherited an irreversible passion for the obvious. It didn’t take me long to figure out the answer to the crucial most question of life—What do I want to do? I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to make my mark in the auto industry. Most of my childhood was spent in Mumbai where I did my schooling and college from. I’m an alumnus of the very popular Campion School and Sydenham College; both with a reputation of producing some of the most prominent figures in India. After completing my graduation, I decided to put my ambitions and abilities to test. Gladly, I didn’t cause any disappointments, neither to my family nor to myself. I started my career way back in 1992 with a frontline sales job at my family’s Bajaj dealership in Mumbai. It is here that I learned the early lessons of life from my two uncles—Arun and Ranjan Sanghi. They were the biggest support in my life after my father passed away at a very early age.


My job was gruelling and gratifying at the same time. It shaped the formative years of my life. It instilled an unassailable confidence in me. At work, I learned how to deal with customers, build teams, establish credibility, tackle crisis and much more. But what took quite some time for me to learn was handling senior team members. Young age is often seen as being immature and incapable of taking prudent decisions. I had to prove the notion wrong and establish my credibility before I could prove myself worthy of gaining a say among the seniors. The challenge in my early years was basically my age. Much as enriching a learning experience it was for me, I quit the job in the year 1999 and set out to start Automart, an online platform for selling used vehicles. However, like many other 1999 dotcom businesses, it proved to be too early to build that, and I morphed the business into what is now Mahindra First Choice business with the Mahindra Group. Together we built a company that is today known to be India’s largest multi-branded used car showroom with the widest choice of pre-owned cars. Having thoroughly enjoyed my stint with the company that I had started in 2000, I decided it was DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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half way through time to relinquish the title of chief executive officer and hop on to the next train. I resigned in 2009 and entered my - f i g m e n t - o f - i m a g i n a t i o n turned-reality, Motorexchange. Today, it is India’s leading online auto platform where sellers can dispose inventory to the largest pool of buyers. Started with my childhood friend Ranjan Mehra, former country head of eBay India, in 2009, Motorexchange has completed over a year now. And this

sign up our first few customers. We worked round the clock. Some of our early challenges were convincing the first few shareholders, bringing on the first employees, and building a flawless product. Challenges are just challenges, not dead ends! As Motorexchange was started during the 2009 downturn, it was difficult to arrange for the initial funding. Ranjan and I invested all our life savings to build our dream venture. However, that wasn’t enough, so we got friends, family,

They saw the potential in the business, as I did long before I could even launch the platform. Having spent close to two decades in this sector, it wasn’t difficult to foresee some upcoming trends. With the increase in the number of Indians in the middle-income group who aspire to own cars, the demand for used cars was going to rise steeply. And I knew exactly what was needed to be done to capture the market. While we have established ourselves, there is still a long way to

The demand for used cars was going to rise steeply. And I knew exactly what was needed to be done to capture the market one year has witnessed our growth from just another dotcom business to a wellrecognised name in the market. And with where our current statistics stand today, we expect to auction vehicles worth over Rs 1200 crores this year. However, to be where we stand today has been no cakewalk. It has cost us much hard work. Most of the early days were spent putting together the strategy and product. It had almost drained the last drop of blood from our bodies to

and couple of overseas’ investors to do a seed round. Soon with all the support, we got rolling. And as soon as we gained some ground, we clocked our first round of funding from venture funding firm Canaan Partners at a pre-revenue stage. The VC evaluated the capability of the founders. The entire process took about three months. We made presentations to a general partner of Canaan Partners India and then to the entire international Canaan team over a video conference.

go before all our dreams are consummated. We plan to kick-start our second round of capital raising in 2010. And go public in the next three to four years. My aim is to reach the one and a half billion dollar mark latest by 2015. And with the strong team comprising Jeremy, CFO, Arun Sinha, business head, Akshay Shankar, AVP-Product, and Ravi Mehra, business head for fleets, by my side, I fear nothing. I believe. I achieve.


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potential customers and how many came passing by.

s ar W eb

of its website visitors were


company can track how many


Currently there is no way a

Email Campaigns

Know your website visitors

edia al M ns Soci g i a p Cam e gin En s ch ign ar pa Se am C







Now this has been made

leases Press Re

possible by LeadFormix. The company has developed Marketing Automation 2.0 platform that helps identify and create sales opportunities by measuring visitor intent, using a complex algorithm driven data mining engine. The platform features visitor tracking, behavioral tracking and analysis, visitor intent, lead score, and instant opportunity alerts, and lead nurturing among other integrated offerings. Product: Marketing Automation 2.0, Cost: N/A, Availability: Now, Source:, Company: LeadFormix

Multilingual e-Reader EC media International has launched an e-book reader called the Wink XTS, a multifunctional e-reader that uses e-ink technology to display content to readers and supports up to 15 Indian languages. Though designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital books and periodicals, users can also listen to music, check emails, or play games on the Wink XTS. The portable device offers strain-free readability even in bright sunlight. It weighs 260 grams with battery and features 16-level gray scale display with 800 x 600 pixels resolution and six inches screen size. With 2 GB internal storage, the e-reader can support up to 16 GB external storage capacity. The Wink XTS works on a Linux Core with 400 MHz ARM9 processor. It supports TXT, RTF, PDF, DOC, HTML, WOLF, CHM, FB2, DJVU text formats and MP3 and AAC audio formats. Product: Wink XTS, Cost: N/A, Availability: Now Source:, Company: EC Media Internatinal

Content generated from DARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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Big buck moves Find out how Meher Malik, founder of Banjara School of Dance in Delhi, has turned belly dancing into a successful business proposition by striking the right chords By Sharmila Das 80 JANUARY 2011 | DARE.CO.IN

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Salsa India was looking for a belly dancing instructor and I decided to take up the opportunity. They truly appreciated my work and I have not looked back since then

ance is said to be the hidden language of the soul, but now, it’s also a way of earning big bucks! Meher Malik, founder of the Banjara School of Dance in Delhi, says she started learning dance at the age of six. And she loved it so much that she decided to take up her passion as a vocation and start the Banjara School. Her entrepreneurial journey, she says, has been both interesting and rewarding – and filled with challenges, of course. Only people with a true passion for dance can succeed as well as Meher has done. The Banjara School was launched only in 2008, but it is already reporting


an annual turnover of Rs 65 lakh. Of course, the potential in the Indian market has also worked as a great driver for the dancing school business, but Meher’s dedication to dance is truly the trump card she holds. Out of all her achievements, Meher is especially proud that she was the first to bring Egyptian oriental belly dancing to India. She says it was a real challenge to educate Indians about belly dancing, which was commonly thought of as another form of bar dancing. She recalls that her first customer was from an affluent family. Now, she says, she has people even from the lower middle class coming to enrol their children in her dance school. It’s obvious, she says, that Indians are slowly becoming more and more receptive to belly dancing as a dance form. She reveals, “I am still constantly talking to people and explaining the history of belly dancing. Things will change. But it will take its own time, nothing happens before its time. My parents have been a pillar of strength and have supported me all the way. They believe that one may choose to do anything with one’s life, provided

one takes full responsibility for it and possesses the fire to make things happen.” Egyptian oriental belly dancing uses mostly Egyptian music, both classical and modern, and is set to an Arabic rhythm. Meher explains, “Egyptian oriental belly dancing is a classical dance of Egypt. It has various styles and folk dance forms. Today’s modern form is supported by a ballet format. The most interesting thing about belly dancing is that it does not demand a body type like other dance forms do. You could be a Size 0 or a Size 100 and still dance because the movement is all about discipline and control and it could come to anyone.” Meher says she knew dance was what she wanted to pursue. She says, “I have been a dancer since the age of six and have tried various styles of dance, starting with Bharatnatyam and then moving to Bollywood, jazz and hip hop. Having lived in the Middle East, I have always been exposed to belly dancing, but when I had my first real interaction with a belly dancer on the Nile Cruise at the age of 14, I was bedazzled. She asked me to dance with her and I could just imiDARE.CO.IN | JANUARY 2011

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Banjara is not just any dance company – it’s an initiative for women to come out and feel confident and in love with whom and what they are” - Meher Malik Founder & Owner of Banjara School of Dance

tate her moves and my friends were shocked seeing me. It felt so great – a rush I had never felt before. From then on, I started attending Middle Eastern dance programmes so that I could just watch and learn. I bought DVDs and even started lessons in belly dancing. “I moved to India in 2006. Salsa India was looking for a belly dancing instructor and I decided to take up the opportunity. They truly appreciated my work and I have not looked back since then. As I gradually progressed in my work, I realised how India as a nation felt about belly dancing and it made me sad. I decided to promote belly dancing as I see it. It’s a beautiful dance form. Every woman deserves to love her body and that’s what belly dancing can offer. I wanted other women to feel what I feel, so I decided to start a movement. Banjara is not just any dance company – it’s an initiative for women to come out and feel confident and in love with whom and what they are. For me, it’s the path to emancipation, not a business. I want to give it everything I can before leaving the world.” Meher started the Banjara School with an initial investment of Rs 4 lakh, mostly from her fa-

ther. She used her savings for the rest. The money went mainly into setting up the infrastructure and promoting the school. Currently, she owns 13 dance studios in Delhi and the National Capital Region. She operates one of these herself and has franchised out the rest. Talking of the benefits of the franchising business model, she says, “It is very tedious to run so many studios. Franchising is a much better option – it’s a win-win situation for everyone.” Ask her about her competitors and she says, “I don’t have any competition in Delhi, but there are a few in other parts of India like Veve Dance in Mumbai, Diva Belly Dance in Pune and Katie in Goa .However, it does not affect our work as we all have our own contacts and our own projects. The only way of keeping a business a constant success is to provide quality and maintain honest and clean relationships with people. The basic principles and values of entrepreneurship must be held on to. The USP of Banjara is to express and not to impress.” There are opportunities galore in the Indian dance school business. Given the fact that globalisation has broadened the scope for

Indian entrepreneurs, experiments like the Banjara School have a rosy future. The market is constantly growing and adapting to all kinds of different cultures. Meher believes authenticity is the main challenge for dance school entrepreneurs. She feels today’s customer needs are changing and quality is an important determinant of both survival and success. She sounds a warning note: “There is a lot of filth in the industry and we need to get rid of that. Promotion is a hard job in the dance world. You never know what might work and we are very seriously affected by seasonal and festive changes.” The journey that she started at the age of six has taught Meher many lessons, but she is very optimistic about the future of the dance school business in India. She says, “India has a very bright future where dancing is concerned. It’s just getting bigger and better. Once you overcome the initial obstacles, India offers a very conducive environment. The market here is constantly evolving. The interest for the dance form will grow as people’s minds open up further. I would say India is a beautiful place to grow as an artist.”


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the soul On The Bookshelf

By Shradha Mohanty

Hit the Ground Running: A Manual for New Leaders Author: Jason Jennings This book is all about the challenges you face as a young leader and how to address them. It guides you how to quickly assess a situation, pull together a strong team, decide on a strategy, ultimately inspiring everyone to execute it. It is a helpful guide for leaders stepping into new organizations. Jennings has also included insights of America’s best performing new CEOs and what they did to double revenues and net profit margins of their companies!

Publisher: Portfolio Price: 1,230

Corporate Chanakya Author: Radhakrishnan Pillai A fresh and new perspective on Chanakya’s methodologies of identifying leaders and grooming them to govern the country in a better way. The book is divided into three sections and stresses on the following - Leadership, Management and Training. It also includes several tips on various topics like organizing and conducting effective meetings, dealing with tricky situations, managing time, decision making and responsibilities and powers of a leader. The author himself is educated in the field of management and consultancy and has also completed his MA in Sanskrit, obtaining a doctorate degree in the Arthashastra.

Publisher: Jaico Publishing House Price: 275

Innovate! : 90 Days To Transform Your Business Author: Rekha Shetty ‘Practice the steps outlined in Innovate! for 90 days and become an innovation star.’ Is what the book promises. It also promises that should the methodologies of the book be implemented on daily schedule, it would give the implementer step-by-step ideas for himself, his team, his department, and organization as well. Constantly innovating ideas and processes in the organization is the way to profitability, but many organizations do not realize that. This book hopes to bring about a change in perspective.

Publisher: Penguin books India Price: 299


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the soul Upcoming Buzzintown presents the latest in entrepreneurial events, exhibitions, and workshops happening all over the country. Read on to find out what’s in store for the next month Workshop - Decision Making and Taking Ownership Date: Jan 18, 2011 Venue: Jaypee Vasant Continental, Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar, Delhi

major hub of more than 60,000 visitors for small & medium enterprises in the logistics and materials handling sectors. It is organized along with a two day conference and seminar, which in turns unwraps various aspects of the respective industry.

Infomation: In this workshop on decision making, you will gain a valuable behavioral understanding through effective decision-making strategies that will give you the foundation to move forward in your professional life. You will learn how to make the right decisions, persuade others to accept your decisions, and also how to face the consequences of the decisions you have made. The workshop will help

Trade Show – Personal Finance and Investment Show Date: Jan 28 – Jan 30, 2011 Venue: Ravindra Natya Mandir, PL Deshpande Maharashtra Kala Academy, Sayani Road, Prabhadevi, Mumbai

participants understand the entire decision-making

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process from preparation and making the decision,

will feature everything related to money and profit-

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able investments. The exhibition aims at fulfilling

decision they have made. This will significantly help

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improve the quality of their decisions.

correct information. It is an event that presents a comprehensive program of seminars and investment

Workshop - Six Sigma Black Belt Training and Certification Date: Feb 26 - Feb 27, 2011 Venue: Hotel Parkland, A - 2/5, Safdarjung Enclave, Delhi Infomation: eXample Consulting Group is con-

opportunities to an audience of affluent investors looking for alternative and interesting ways of investing their money.

Conference and Convention - Green Building Convention 2011

ducting an immensely practical 5 day “Lean Six

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Sigma Black Belt Training and Certification” public

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workshop. Professionals with 3+ years of work

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fied can enroll and benefit with an option to acquire international certification from eXample USA. SMS examplecg to 56070.

Infomation: Green Building Convention 2011 is an international event focused on sustainable development and eco-friendly construction. The event also proves to be an ideal forum for exploring new busi-

Trade Show - SME Expo Logistics Date: Jan 6 – Jan 8, 2011 Venue: Chennai Convention Centre, Nandambakkam, Chennai Infomation: SME Expo Logistics proves to be a

ness opportunities and for dissemination of knowledge in the quest to deliver sustainable development and green architecture. is a hub for entertainment, lifestyle and leisure and covers 19 cities across India


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The Lounge SME (Success Made Easy) for your SME We are back this month with more from serial entrepreneur Ajay Wahi’s book—'and the award for BEST SME of the year goes to… '. The book focuses on people, productivity, process, positive energy, vibrancy, people’s mindset, attrition, employee development, etc. Here are some excerpts from the book: Ajay Wahi

Chapter 4: TASK THEM AHEAD OF THEIR EXPERIENCE that of employees in larger organizaThis is an action, if done correctly, would earn you the loyalty of your key personnel forever! I seem to keep harping on people retention issues, but you know as CEO, this is one of the most crucial issues, and the biggest threat (besides poor cash flow management) to success that a SME faces. The first step in tasking employees ahead of their experience is to identify and shortlist critical and strategic business roles, practices, models, projects, quality initiatives and so on which are implemented in large organizations by people with 10 to 15 years of experience. Identify such business practices that will help you to deliver better processes/higher productivity/robust product and technical and sales management models/more satisfied customers/enhanced market visibility/reduced expenditure/wider geographical spread/vibrant HR policies/tighter IT security/higher production: any one or more of a set of performance enhancements. The next step would be to identify your key personnel and then map their skill sets with the ones required to execute the identified Performance Enhancement areas. Having done this mapping, choose (based on skill sets) the best employee(s) from these key personnel who could be tasked to deliver on improving performances in the identified areas. The key challenge is that the key personnel in the SME might have only a fraction of the experience

tions. Despite this, entrusting major responsibilities to relatively junior personnel can have untold dividends if done correctly. Do give them that chance even if they have just half the experience required. I contemplated taking this action for months till I concluded that CMMI implementation (Capability Maturity Model Integration: an internationally accepted quality process model being adopted by software companies) would be the right opportunity to implement this idea. I did it, and was floored by the results! CMMI in larger companies is managed by people with rich experience of 10-20 years. My employees, tasked ahead of time with this responsibility, are delighted that I have reposed so much trust in them. They are getting chance to enhance their learning and experience which they would never have got at any other organization! This makes them eager to work and develop new skills, think proactively about other ways that they can contribute to the company, and also remain loyal to the organization. Another example is when two years ago, we decided to evaluate, shortlist, select and implement a Sales Management tool which could help us to track, record and then analyse data across clients/prospects/ products/ offices / status /deal value, etc . The leader we chose for this exercise was a person with only 5 years’ experience. Normally, a person would have at least 8 years’ expe-

rience before being entrusted with the task. Our employee took on the challenge, and from a point where he did not know the ABCs of Sales Management tools, 5 months later he was reasonably well-equipped to perform the evaluations required for selecting the tool! Even today, he is grateful to have been given this rare and wonderful opportunity! How wonderful this sounds! But there is a warning note: you will not see success unless the exercise has your backing as CEO of the company, and your leadership team’s personal backing and involvement. Therefore, tasking people ahead of their experience without your personal involvement runs the risk of failure due to the team’s lower expertise which could lower the confidence of the team, which in turn could de-motivate employees. Given that you know the situation you are faced with at work, you need to decide whether or not to task people ahead of their experience. If you don’t, they may look for greener pastures outside; but if you are willing to take the risk, and can provide that additional support, your experience and guidance along with their eagerness to acquire new skills can make this idea a winner. To write to the author please send an email to dare@ with subject line ‘Ajay Wahi’


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Women of Substance 10 highly passionate women leaders win the CBFW-NEN Fellowship for leading India’s entrepreneurial revolution from the front lines • In India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, where little over 40% of women are literate, Pooja Mishra of IIM Calcutta, has started a secondary school and degree college to provide low cost quality education. Pooja’s Gurukul Mahavidhyalaya, founded in 2008 at Purasi village near Rai Bareilly, has 218 students – a majority of them girls - pursuing undergraduate courses • Reading the morning paper can be made into a lucrative business, proved IBS Mumbai student Manisha Parpiani with her startup ‘InfoSieve’. InfoSieve provides domain specific mobile content to students, derived from daily newspapers and blogs, in areas such as finance, HR and marketing. Launched during placement season, InfoSieve prepared students for interviews with quick news updates • Annapurani Venkatesan became an entrepreneur at 19 with a tutorial centre. Jayanthi Coaching Centre trains students on subjects like Accountancy and Commerce. Of her 23 students, 11 have achieved top grades in their exams. Annapurani is herself a student, pursuing a degree in Commerce at Alpha Arts and Science College, Chennai ooja, Manisha and Annapurani were among the ten outstanding women E Leaders (Entrepreneurship Leaders) selected as Cherie Blair Foundation for Women-National Entrepreneurship Network (CBFW-NEN) Fellows for the year 2010-2011. The Fellowship program, now in its second year, recognizes young women who have used entrepreneurship as a tool to solve problems and affect change in their communities, their academic institutes and their own lives. The Fellows were selected from over 500 NEN member institutes across India, for demonstrating entrepreneurial leadership on their campuses and beyond, by launching campus companies, running startup camps, creating student entrepreneur helplines and establishing networks. As CBFW-NEN Fellows, the young women leaders were felicitated by Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, at the CBFW Women


Mean Business Conference held at Mumbai on December 8, 2010. The young E Leaders also had hour-long one-on-one interactions with Cherie Blair, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director, Biocon; Shailesh Rao, Managing Director, Google India and Dr Sunita Maheshwari, Founder, Teleradiology Solutions. Elaborating on the relevance of the CBFW-NEN Fellowship Program, Cherie Blair said, “The

CBFW-NEN Fellows demonstrate the potential of young women and the important role they can play in the societies in which they live. The CBFW-NEN Fellowships are designed to nurture and strengthen the capacity of these young women to take the next step to successful entrepreneurship, provide practical solutions to problems, grow their businesses and in the process improve the societies in which they live.”

NEN Fellows 2010


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CBFW-NEN Fellows 2010-11 Akshina Gupta, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi - has helped launch eight startups, four of them student-run. Akshina laid the foundation of the Student Entrepreneurship Network at IIT Delhi, and along with it, offered a complete startup toolkit, with an entrepreneurial resource pool, knowledge-sharing workshops and idea exchange portals. Ankita Gupta, Indus World School of Business, Greater Noida – A class-topper, who had played a key role in her institute E Cell. She is also the editor of her institute’s newsletter. For her summer project, Ankita contributed to setting up a business unit in a village in Uttarakhand to manufacture and distribute low-cost sanitary napkins. Annapurani Venkatesan, Alpha Arts and Science College, Chennai - converted her passion for teaching into a profitable business and also integrated E Cells in Chennai. Apurva Jain, Student, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur - designed and led Cleantech Challenge, a unique B Plan competition targeting the clean technology sector. The event witnessed entries not only from colleges across India, but also from USA, China and Denmark. Manisha Parpiani, IBS Mumbai – runs a student startup ‘InfoSieve’ that provides domain specific mobile content to students. Launched four months ago, InfoSieve won 100-plus customers in the first month itself, with a profit margin of 60% per customer. Neha Chahar, Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development, Pune - utilized her academic course content on Competency Mapping to develop an assessment centre for potential student entrepreneurs. She launched a consultancy program which connected students to live startup projects, thereby helping students acquire domain specific skills, while gaining exposure to setting up and running a business. Niveda Krishnamoorthy, PSG College of Technology and Polytechnic, Coimbatore - built an excellent track record of implementing high-impact entrepreneurship programs. She also helped launch PSG Tech’s campus company, ThirstE, a juice shop. Pooja Mishra, Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata – started secondary school and degree college to provide low cost quality education. Pooja’s Gurukul Mahavidhyalaya, founded in 2008 near Rai Bareilly, has 218 students – majority of them girls Sona R, Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Chennai – increased E Cell membership at her institute from 12 to 2,300 with a committed campaign. Sona has worked with, an early-stage web startup, and played a key role in its launch in 2009, supporting its online marketing initiatives Urvashi Agarwal, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon - has been responsible for organizing the largest startup showcase event in the history of IIT Kanpur while working there. While usually showcase opportunities at IIT Kanpur were limited to hosting stalls, Urvashi energized it with a VC Pitch, one-on-one mentoring, and networking sessions. The showcase closed with 12 startups (against five the previous year), six venture capitalists and 150 budding entrepreneurs participating.

For these 10 young entrepreneurs-in-making, the exposure has been a huge learning experience. “Multi-tasking and being enterprising is what the conference and my interactions with some of India’s celebrated leaders taught me,” says Niveda Krishnamoorthy, a CBFW-NEN Fellow from Coimbatore’s PSG Tech, who plans to start an IT-focused research-based venture in future. Laura Parkin, Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship Network(NEN), which came together with the Cherie Blair Foundation to create and manage the awards, believes that the CBFW-NEN Fellowship Program is designed to inspire, equip and enable India’s young women to become entrepreneurs and leaders – a need that has become significant today, considering the yawning gap between men and women in leadership positions. “Only after we started the CBFW-NEN Fellowship Program, did we become acutely conscious that even today, most top leadership positions in the institute E Cells are held by young men. We see that pattern continue across those heading startups. The CBFWNEN Fellowships, and programs like this, are critical to recognizing the achievements of young women, and thereby create role models to inspire many other young women to achieve similarly.” “The knowledge-sharing sessions, speaker interactions and peer-to-peer networking opportunities we had as Fellows have been highly motivating. I am now more resolved to become a successful entrepreneur, tapping the vast opportunities that exist in India today,” says Sona R, a biomedical student at Chennai’s Rajalakshmi Engineering College. More articles on www. Content provided by NEN


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OCT 07 - DEC 10

Please visit to read articles published in these previous issues of DARE For fresh subscriptions or renewals of the magazine, please visit 90 JANUARY 2011 | DARE.CO.IN

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

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#40 - JANUARY 2011