Page 1

worldspAce 2.0 pg 48 • RASNA’S tHIrst for sUccess pg 64

REDDY TO HEAL Apollo Hospitals opened the gates for India’s private healthcare boom. It’s now ready for the next level pg 38


The Ultimate How-To Guide pg 117 ( l to r: shobana Kamineni, sangita reddy, suneeta reddy, preetha reddy, dr. prathap c reddy )

april 2013  volume 4  issue 8  `100

contents INSIGHTS

cover STory

IN focuS 48 Tune in Again Bengaluru based Timbre Media has come from the ashes of World Space Radio and has created a company on a similar model

16 How to Train your Employees

By Shonali Advani

Richard Branson encourages you to help your staff grow in their individual careers

50 Sharp Shooters Woodman Labs’s GoPro cameras are becoming a regular companion for the lovers of extreme sports By Margaret Littman

18 No Light at the End of Tunnel Bharat Banka says that the country’s power situation needs attention

19 Second Half of the Chessboard Manish Sabharwal asks entrepreneurs to stay clear of the notion that great companies are built overnight

22 Do Entrepreneurs Need an MBA at all?

Alok Kejriwal tells you to question the innocuous as it can trigger an idea and a business

24 Creation of Introduction Capital

Anurag Batra advices entrepreneurs to value introductions as they can help build your network

98 Budget 2013: Pathway for Entrepreneurs Ranjeet S Mudholkar looks at what Budget 2013 did for Indian MSMEs

102 How Change Affects the Workplace

Ravi Kiran talks about the six key changes that come into the organizational structure during the growth stage

103 The Time is Now! Ganesh Natarajan reads into Budget 2013 and points out that there is good news for those looking to start up

115 Find the Right Investor

Nandini Mansinghka says it may take time and energy but finding the right investor is key to the future of your company 8 Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013

38 Super Healer

Prathap C Reddy's Apollo Hospitals runs 49 hospitals with a total capacity of 8,020 beds. Three decades into his business, he works tirelessly to bring healthcare services to more and more people everyday. By Pranbihanga Borpuzari

obITuAry 52 A Scientist Ahead of His Time K. Anji Reddy of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories passed away on March 15. We revisit the contribution he made to India’s pharmaceuticals industry. By Shonali Advani


SpecIAl feATure

26 ‘Startups live in economies that can have the luxury of creating innovation’

55 Radicals & Visionaries

Dave McClure, Founding Partner, 500 Startups talks about unconventional model of the seed fund and startup accelerator program By Pranbihanga Borpuzari

28 ‘The long-term opportunity in private equity in India remains pretty robust’ Darius Pandole of New Silk Route Advisors talks about the private equity story in India, why it may be a good time to invest in India, NSR’s strategy and more By Sourav Majumdar and Shruti Chakraborty

While creating something new, is it better to start from scratch or work on existing ideas? Find out. By Jennifer Wang

58 The Next Mogul Jeremy Bloom's biggest fear, before he became an entrepreneur, was that he would be worthless to society when he stopped playing sports By John Patrick Pullen

leGAcy 64 More than a Drink

31 Aqua Biz

Rasna, a three-decade-old brand most Indians need no introduction to, is working hard to maintain its market position as a leader

Mahesh Gupta shares his entrepreneurial journey, what got him worried about clean drinking water and propelled him to start Kent RO


My STory

WoMAN eNTrepreNeur

By Shruti Chakraborty

66 Lessons from the big brands Produce marketing content that will captivate audiences. Learn how from some succesful brands

34 Bon Voyage

By Ann Handley

Richa Goyal Sikri has created a niche in the travel representation industry with STIC Travel Group


By Ashna Ambre

SocIAl eNTrepreNeur

68 Guiding Lights Find some honest advice on the nuances of a mentor and protégé relationship and how to make it work By Ross McCammon

36 Hygiene Factor

70 The late, late show

For a country in which more than half the population has no access to toilets, Saraplast has found a solution to provide sanitation facilities for many homeless Indians

Showing up on time to work or for a meeting plays a crucial role in maintaining a good reputation. Read about how the one waiting for you reacts when you’re late

By Shonali Advani

By Ross McCammon

Want to Scale Up? Subscribe to Entrepreneur today to find out how. Vardenchi rides high pg 64 • KeKi Mistry on hdfc’s game plan pg 84

march 2013  volume 4  issue 7  `100

King Cobra: Karan Bilimoria’s India Strategy pg34

DECEMBER 2012  volume 4  issue 4  `100

venugopal dhoot plays a different tune



12 12

pg 124

The ulTimaTe

01 13


Guide pg 106

january 2013  volume 4  issue 5  `100


eyes on the prize

FlighT seth godin:

Top venture capitalists and angel investors pick their hottest sectors for 2013 PG 46

india VC/angel surVey 2013

the ratan tata legacy

The marketing whizkid tells you how to connect with customers the way the corporate guys can’t pg 42

Kanwaljit Singh, Senior Managing Director, Helion Advisors


India VC/Angel Confidence Survey



marketing masterpieces pg 52

Vishwavir Ahuja on rewiring Ratnakar Bank pg 90

So Long, Mr Tata

AMW Trucks hits the high road pg 80

Fixing three common online mistakes pg 60


Rethinking farming with Bhushan Agro

32-P et Budg

So Long, Mr Tata

2013 t The Turnaround Man hands over a formidable legacy to his successor pg44Bu dg


n i . a i d n i r u e n e r p e r t n e .w w w

n i . a i d n i r u e n e r p e r t n e .w w w


watch out for pg 105 5 startups to



masterpieces pg 52 marketing


pg 42

DECEMBER 2012  volume 4  issue 4  `100

whizkid tells The marketing

FlighT seth godin:



SMS ENT to 51818

Ratnakar Bank pg 90 on rewiring Vishwavir Ahuja


Helion Advisors Senior Managing Director, Kanwaljit Singh,

PG 46

angel investors pick their Top venture capitalists and




COVER PRICE: ` 2,400 YOU PAY: ` 1,250 Guide YOU SAVE: ` how-to 1,150


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King Cobra: Karan Bilimoria’s India Strategy pg34

the high road pg 80 AMW Trucks hits

prize YEARS on the SUBSCRIPTION eyes


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COVER PRICE: ` 2,400 YOU PAY: ` 1,999 Confidence Survey YOU SAVE: ` 501 India VC/Angel YOU GET: A LAPTOP BAG hottest sectors for 2013 3 102 y eVrus l egna/CV aidni

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Bhushan Agro farming with Rethinking


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5 startups to watch out for pg 105

13ent The Turnaround Man hands over a formidable legacy to his successor pg44su2pp0lem

ulTimaTe The


venugopal dhoot plays a different tune pg 124

march 2013  volume 4  issue 7  `100

Magazine Subscription Made Simple

Vardenchi log rides on high to • KeKi Mistry on hdfc’s game plan pg 64

pg 84

Digital Edition Now Available On

Subscription Department: Network18 Publishing, ‘A’ Wing, 2nd Floor, Ruby House, J K Sawant Marg, Dadar (W), Mumbai - 28 Toll Free : 1800 200 1021 • Call : 022 30034631/33 • Fax : 022 30034499 • Email : Terms & Conditions: Your subscription will start from the next available issue. No cancellation will be entertained after commencement of the subscription. Network18 Media & Investments Limited reserves the right to extend, cancel or discontinue the offer. Though Network18 Media & Investments Limited. will take utmost care to dispatch the copies safely. Network18 Media & Investments Limited does not take the responsibility of any postal delays and damaged copies dispatched. Gifts will be dispatched 6-8 weeks after processing of your subscription. Gifts are subject to availability. Network18 Media & Investments Limited has got rights to change the gifts without prior information. The Image is for representation purposes only. Actual model, colors may vary. For more information contact Network18 Media & Investments Limited subscription department. The company at its absolute discretion and without further notice may discontinue, publication of the magazine and in the event of such discontinuation, we shall refund the subscription amount for the unexpired term only, without any interest, cause and consequence.

contents Tech DeparTmenT 92 Back Berry The Z10 brings a lot to cheer about for the BlackBerry loyalists By Ankush Chibber

hOW TO 118 Assess your Product’s Market Potential

72 Celluloid Weddings

106 Waste Matters

Badal Jain and Raja Jain have a built a business around making weddings look like a film sequence

Lighthouse Management has devised a way to ensure that your car and the roads stay litter-free

By Ashna Ambre

By Shruti Chakraborty

InnOvaTOrS Inc

108 Food From the Gods

Grassroots innovator Makarand Kale has used farm produce to create products that could help the defense sector

E-commerce portal Online Prasad delivers prasad from a number of popular temples to devotees

74 Bulletproof Man

By Shruti Chakraborty

By Avanish Tiwary

Before you launch your product, studying the market is important

SUcceSS Inc.

110 The Secret Shopper

By Shruti Chakraborty

81 Call to Arms

Worried about how your customers are being treated at your retail outlets? Red Quanta allows you to hire a mystery shopper

121 Make the Most of Company Meetings Meetings may not always turn out to be productive. Find ways to keep everyone in the organization interested By Christopher Hann

122 Decode a Term Sheet Make sure you understand the details of an investment deal before signing it By Sushanto Mitra

124 Get Government Contracts The tendering process may seem complex but can be easily mastered.

Security and Intelligence Services or SIS made a few changes early on to write itself a brighter story

112 Can you risk it?

GeTTInG There 84 For the Score CORE Education & Technologies is bringing in technologies used in education systems around the world to Indian education

By Ashna Ambre

BeyOnD The BOarDrOOm

WaTch OUT 87 ‘After-sales service from companies is not as effective’ After-sales service is critical to ensure that you retain your customers and win their trust in the long run. Awaaz Entrepreneur discusses how you can get better at it

Bank chaT

126 Negotiate Real Estate Prices

95 ‘SME financing is a key driver of growth’

Is rent for an office space turning out to be a heavy expense for you? Find ways to cut it down

Managing Director and CEO of ING Vysya Bank Shailendra Bhandari talks about his priorities for the bank and more

128 Fighting Fit Harsh Mariwala enjoys a workout when taking a break from work By Sulekha Nair

SpenD IT 130 To B or Not to B The new B-Class from Mercedes—the Sports Tourer— is hard to ignore By Pranbihanga Borpuzari

By Sourav Majumdar

mOney cOver creDITS

Looking at résumés with tall claims? A number of startups are now offering to verify them for you

By Shruti Chakraborty

By Pranbihanga Borpuzari

By Avanish Tiwary

By Pranbihanga Borpuzari

By Pranbihanga Borpuzari

97 Phone Bank Small businesses today need to start using the digital wallet, but first determine which vendor is best for their bottomline By Mikal E Belicove

100 Diversify assets to grow It is essential to build portfolios across assets for better wealth management

134 Quite a Safe Bet Café Sundance in the heart of Mumbai is a place where youth and age meet over quick meals By Ashna Ambre

Shelf lIfe 135 Don’t just do it Dov Seidman’s How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything is a trove of information on how conduct can work towards the benefit of a company By Ankush Chibber

By Suresh Parthasarathy CovER DESiGN Arko Provo Mukherjee


iMAGiNG Chaitanya Dinesh Surpur

104 Doctor on the Cloud

CovER iMAGE Kiran Kumar, Suresh Vengapally

Managing clinical records is being simplified by the efforts of Bengaluru-based startup Practo

10 Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013

By Shonali Advani


In Association with

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The New Right and Modi If a Modi-led NDA comes to power, the country will see a clear choice between the Right and the Left [ R Jagannathan ]

IndIa Is unIque among the world’s big economies where there is almost no difference between government and opposition when it comes to economic ideology. Both the main national parties, Congress and BJP, are broadly populist, though some label the Congress as broadly Centre-Left and the BJP as Centre-Right; as for the regional parties, they are even more populist, and have few ideological leanings beyond caste and community. In fact, if there is anything that defines India’s political class, it is the lack of an economic ideology. Despite their differences, both Congress and BJP tend to follow similar policies when in power—they tend to oppose the same policies when out of power. In 1991, Manmohan Singh, under the Prime Ministership of Narasimha Rao, was considered a reformer. Once Congress was out of power, his political rhetoric shifted leftwards. And it continues in this stint as PM. The BJP turned reformist during the NDA regime. It even went ahead and privatized many public sector companies, and opened up many sectors for FDI. In opposition today, it is opposing higher FDI in pensions and retail. This is in contrast to the rest of the world, where usually parties differentiate themselves by situating themselves somewhere on the LeftRight spectrum. In the US, we know that the Republicans stand for less government and the Democrats want a larger role for the state. In Britain, the Conservatives are more openly probusiness than Labour. And so on. In India, there is a marked lack of ideology beyond the obvious politically-correct belief in helping the poor. Both want to spend more on the poor, and neither of them want to champion the cause of labor reform or open trade or markets. Reforms are spoken of in hushed terms, out of earshot of the aam aadmi. 20 Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013

Modi’s brand of economic policy The year 2014 might mark a shift in this state of affairs. The reason is Narendra Modi, who is widely seen as a potential Prime Minister in case the BJP-led NDA gets a majority. There is, of course, no guarantee of that, given Modi’s alleged communal past and the shape of political equations after the elections, but a Modi-led BJP would probably make the first tentative move to place at least one political party distinctly to the Right of the spectrum. A key Modi mantra is ‘less government, more governance’. He talked about it in his talk at the Shri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi last month (February). This is a clear Rightward shift in the economic debate, since so far all political parties have wanted more taxes, more government. Even governments that have carried out reforms have sought a larger role in the allocation of resources instead of letting the market do the job. So what is Modi’s real economic philosophy? In an interview to The Economic Times last year, Modi made many observations that offered clear clues to this thinking. He said, “The government has no business to be in business. It should play the role of a facilitator. In my state, investors don’t have to grease the palm of politicians or bureaucrats. There are well laid-out policies. I believe that the country can progress only if we end red-tapism. No red tape, only red carpet, is my policy towards investors.” What could be clearer than this?

Governance and business When Modi says that ‘government has no business to be in business’, it is practically a Thatcherite statement. The business of government is governance, not business. Few people in the Left understand that the biggest stumbling Photo Joshua Navalkar

block to growth is when the government plays both player and referee. For example, when the government runs Air India, it cannot develop neutral policies for the aviation sector. It has to take Air India’s concerns into account. And when it decides to offer a `30,000 crore bailout to Air India, it is effectively using taxpayers money to tilt the playing field against private players who may not have that kind of resources. The next significant part of the statement is red tape. When Modi says that the ‘country can progress only if we end red-tapism. No red tape, only red carpet, is my policy towards investors’, he is effectively laying the ground for a radical deregulation of the Indian economy, and especially the licence-permit raj. We thought these were removed in 1991, but they persist in other ways.

This is radical for India, where we have an implicit belief in government playing mai-baap to the so-called aam aadmi, by mindless spending in several areas. Economist Bibek Debroy, who has written a book on Modi’s state, says the Gujarat growth model is about “freeing up space for private initiative and enterprise and the creation of an enabling environment by the state. It is one of decentralization of planning and empowering people. It is about targeted public expenditure through specific schemes, supplementing centrally sponsored schemes (CSSs) with statespecific schemes.”

Gujarat model in Kerala

In economic debates between Left and Right, it is often said that the state’s big role in Kerala has given God’s Own Country a head-start in Chidambaram’s tactics human indices. As Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Over the last six months, P Chidambaram as Panagariya point out in their new book, India’s Finance Minister has been lauded for so-called Tryst With Destiny: Debunking Myths that Undermine reforms, but increasing FII Progress and Addressing New Real reforms mean investment limits in debt, or Challenges, “It is ultimately the allowing FDI in retail or avia- freeing businesses from Gujarat model that has delivtion is hardly reform. They are ered in Kerala. Contrary to excessive regulation intended to rescue bankrupt common claims, Kerala has and, as Modi says, airlines and a bankrupt econbeen a rapidly growing state laying out the ‘red omy where the current account in the post-independence era, deficit (the gap between what which is the reason it ranks carpet’ for investors the government earns from fourth among the larger states, exports and remittances according to per-capita gross and what it spends abroad) state domestic product and first is headed for a new record. according to per capita expenWithout these changes, the rupee will crash. So, diture.” According to Bhagwati and Panagariya, these are survival tactics, not reforms. “growth, and not redistribution, largely explains Real reforms mean freeing businesses from low levels of (Kerala’s) poverty.” Poverty is fallexcessive regulation and, as Modi says, laying out ing not because of state spending, but private the ‘red carpet’ for investors. spending—no doubt fed by remittances from the Even more interesting is Modi’s formulation Malayali diaspora. that we need private initiative not only in busiClearly, we are going to hear more about ness, but also in the social sector. He said in the the Gujarat model of Modi in the future, where same interview: “In the new economic scenario, the private sector gets the lead role in developthe government can’t do all that is needed to ment and the government plays enabler and pump up growth. We have to encourage private cheerleader. In the process, Modi may help investment, not just in infrastructure but also in create India’s first Right-wing ideological party. the social sector. We have to open up new investIndians will finally have a choice between ment avenues for people who want to invest.” Right and Left, and not only between Left and Many people say governments should not run More Left. This is something for business, espebusiness, but they also maintain that government cially small business and entrepreneurs, to should focus on investing in social sectors like cheer about. education and health. But Modi is saying that we R Jagannathan is the Editor of need private investment in these sectors too.

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Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013 21



Creation of Introduction Capital Introductions help to network in business and should be considered as a blessing [ AnurAg BAtrA ] They say life is karmic and in the case of the business of introductions I have seen life come full circle; I have received it and have paid it. The reason I am writing this piece is that in mid-2012, a business acquaintance introduced me to an individual, who then became a business partner and a collaborator. I wanted to say ‘thank you’ to this friend for the introduction and send her an e-mail and a box of chocolates. However, this friend of mine had lived in Singapore too long and was business-like, punctual, direct and commercial. She believed in my quip: Americans say ‘thank you’ with their check books and ‘sorry’ with their check books. She said to me, “I am expecting a fee for the intro”. I told her seriously that I would be a billionaire if I charged introduction fees. Eventually I did work with this new friend she had introduced me to and also collaborated on a successful initiative. We paid her the introduction fees and it has been a happy party thereafter.

New biz model This set me thinking: Is it the right model, as until now I thought introduction fees were a lesser gain than goodwill? I felt introduction capital led to goodwill capital. I introduced prospective employees to prospective employers, budding founders to co-founders, investee companies to investors, companies and entrepreneurs to clients, budding authors to publishers, promoters to board members, technology-led initiatives to business-driven enterprises. I drew my satisfaction in a genuine ‘thank you’ and in the knowledge of a job well done.

calling me ‘Nawab of the Network’. I saw it as a human connect, an expression of my uniqueness of curating relationships. Curating is an activity that gives joy to the curator and the joy that comes from seeing his curated work is enjoyed by everyone. I was creating introduction capital.

Bad currency I have recently noticed a trend among ambitious young people. Once you introduce them to someone valuable to them, they collaborate with that person, don’t tell the initiator anything and are also uncouth about it. What are they saving—a ‘thank you’, a chocolate box or finder’s fees or introduction fees? They are sometimes so cocky that they give bad currency to introduction capital.

Five steps to introduction capital Here are my five rules on how to thrive on introduction capital:  Think of introductions like ‘blessings’; the reward of pursuit is in the pursuit itself  There is a Punjabi saying vand khaaya te khand khaaya; which means, sharing of good things increases the sweetness or enjoyment (of it).  Keep your initiator in the loop. Make him feel important and never hide information or progress from him or her.  There is a karmic law: What goes around comes around. Become the initiator, help people connect and you will benefit automatically.  It requires effort, discipline, sacrifice and sometimes wisdom to introduce. Learn it from a mentor. AnurAg BAtrA is a first-generation entrepreneur who was Much Below Average (MBA) at the prestigious Management

The curator

Development Institute, MDI. Anurag is the Founder and Editor-

A certain friend who is the most affable CEO in the media industry even started

in-Chief of exchange4media group which includes exchange-

24 Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013 and Co-Founder of Governance Now

cover Story

providing to in s e d a c e d Three lthcare, but a e h y r a ti r te quality is not calling y d d e R C p a Prath is busy taking e h t, c fa In . y a el it a d to the next lev ls a it sp o H o ll Apo a Pranbihang


The 12th floor of Apollo Hospitals’ corporate office in Chennai is generally a quiet place. But today is different. There is quite a hustle about the place, with suits walking in and out of rooms and talking animatedly in the corridors. The reason, we are told, is a meeting on stem cell research and where it stands in the context of combating certain diseases. In the meeting, Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group, is holding fort.

38 Intelligent Entrepreneur ď‚„ April 2013

Reddy, unlike the cinematic portrayal of head honchos sitting behind a desk while issuing diktats, is a man literally on the move. He is navigating deftly across the room, ensuring that he meets everyone present and makes eye contact with them when discussing lightly or even arguing sharply. He tells us later, quite expressively, that most of the discussion was around spinal cord injuries and the use

Leader of a pack of private players that is tackling India’s healthcare issues, Apollo Hospitals today runs 49 hospitals with a total capacity of 8,020 beds

 tHe doctor, tHe entrepreneur prAtHAp c reddy, cHAIrmAn, Apollo Hospitals Group of stem cells to cure paralysis in case of a severe one and there were several point-of-views in the room. In that moment, in the animated and intense way he talks about it, we see the doctor in Reddy, not the head of one of India’s biggest private healthcare providers.

 On adrenalin As leader of a pack of private players that is tackling India’s healthcare issues, Apollo Hospitals today runs 49 hospitals with a total bed capacity of 8,020 beds. Of these, the 36 owned hospitals, including JVs/subsidiaries and associates have 5,982 beds, while 13 managed hospitals have 2,038 beds. While as a group, including its pharmacy and insurance businesses, Apollo is ahead of its competition, it faces a challenge from new hospital chains like Fortis and Max. If one takes purely the number of hospitals Fortis operates, it is close to 75 and about 12,000 beds. To maintain its lead, Apollo is expanding faster than ever before, trying to create five hospitals every 18 months. In the current expansion program of 2,000 beds, about 300 beds have already come up and the next 1,700 beds are coming up in the next 30 months at a cost of about `1,500 crore. Reddy also has plans to build five independent cancer and heart hospitals in the next 18 months. According to him, these ten independent hospitals would cost about an additional `500 crore. Photos Kiran Kumar, Suresh Vengapally

 The bOy frOm ChiTTOOr To us, a man holding fort about an issue as complex and scientific as stem cells becomes even more praiseworthy when you consider that he was born in a village in Chittoor—a district in Andhra Pradesh that is one of the most backward regions in India. Schooling, he says, was done in the village till the third standard and then from a private tutor for another two years. “My father was a well-off farmer and we could afford a private tutor. In the two years, we learnt grammar, math, reading and writing in both Telegu and English,” says Reddy. After that period of private tutoring, Reddy applied for admission to the sixth standard in the government school at the district headquarters and managed to get in. This was the first time Reddy would leave his village for a considerable period of time and it is quite evident that he holds his time there close to his heart. “I had good friends there and we enjoyed being children. We did study but I was naughty too,” he says with a chuckle. Reddy was probably less naughty than he would like us to believe because he did do far better than the average Indian academically. Eventually passing out from Christian College in Chennai with a pre-medical degree, Reddy was selected for a medical degree course in 1952 at Stanley Medical College, Chennai. In 1959, Reddy decided to go abroad

To read more, grab the April 2013 issue of Entrepreneur To Subscribe, visit

Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013 39


58 Intelligent Entrepreneur ď‚„ April 2013

Mogul [ winning all the way ]

The Next

Jeremy Bloom has had his ups and downs. A worldchampion skier, he missed his shot at Olympic gold. As an all-American football player, he saw his collegiate career put to a halt by the NCAA; then, sidelined by injuries, he spent a frustratingly brief period with the NFL. He has dabbled in modeling and TV presenting. Now, the golden boy may have finally found his footing, in what once would have seemed an unlikely arena: entrepreneurship John Patrick Pullen

To read more, grab the April 2013 issue of Entrepreneur To Subscribe, visit

Intelligent Entrepreneur ď‚„ April 2013 59

getting there

class act:

Sanjeev Mansotra

[ back to school ]

For the


Technology is the bedrock of CORE Education & Technologies and its commercial endeavor to improve education systems in India and abroad Shruti Chakraborty


hile Indian students were coming up trumps in tests, excelling in classes, and generally wowing the western world, there was one Indian company trying to make western students in the US 84 Intelligent Entrepreneur ď‚„ April 2013

and UK better as well by improving their education systems. Sanjeev Mansotra had been working in the family business of mining and iron ore trading since he was 17. It was in 2003 that he got the

opportunity to buy out a young software company that was creating software for offshore clients. It was this company, along with two others a little later, that would go on to become CORE Education & Photo Joshua Navalkar

Technologies Ltd—a million-dollar end-to-end education services firm that now operates in 15 countries including the US, UK, India and has recently ventured into the Middle East and Africa. It provides end-to-end solutions for the education sector which includes teacher training, technology solutions for assessment and examinations. It also provides consultancy on IT requirements for schools, colleges and for quality of education.

Kick-off “We didn’t have a vision or anything at the time [we started]. We did not plan to enter into the education sector either,” he says. That was by chance, as one of the companies Mansotra bought later was based in the US making software for the education sector. “In the US, we started by helping the government with compliance, which is to say that we had software that could track the utilization of funds allocated to state governments for education. We were measuring the end result in terms of enrollment, dropouts, etc,” he says, adding that this was basically a data management service built for the government. In the UK, the company’s biggest business is teacher training. “There is a big demand in UK for temporary teachers. We provide training to teachers and provide temporary teachers to schools in case of absenteeism,” Mansotra explains. Anshul Sonak, President of the company, adds that “teacher absenteeism is looked at very seriously abroad. Supplying alternate teachers is a big business in the UK and we have a tie-up with Oxford University for the same.” In 2008, an acquisition of the K-12 Division of Princeton Review Inc., a company that is an offshoot of Princeton University, gave CORE its flagship product—of formative assessment for the K-12 segment in the US. Here, students from kindergarten to the 12th grade are assessed


via online programs to see which subjects they are weak in and then provide intervention or specialized attention accordingly. The platform is used by students and teachers but CORE sells the product to governments, both in India and the US, and not directly to schools or colleges.

The desi experience The company entered the Indian market in 2007 with a software project for the Jharkhand government that tracked every child’s enrollment, nearest school, basic data etc. This data was collected on ground by an agency and then made available to the government in the form of a report that could be accessed via CORE’s software platform. CORE also had its eyes on the government of India’s move to allocate a budget for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education, which the firm already had experience in handling in the US and UK. “However, the component of services was lower in what the government was looking for in India and there was a higher demand for hardware, which is why we didn’t bid initially,” Mansotra says. Mansotra’s belief was that the services component would be more in demand soon as providing computers wasn’t going to be enough. Creating a curriculum, managing the training

among others was what interested Mansotra more. “But the government wanted to have something they could see, they wanted companies to set up computer labs,” he says. His gamble proved right. The government’s demand for services on ICT education went up and he was in business. CORE now has 12,000 schools in India where it provides ICT education services— providing content, or training teachers among others. The plan is to grow that business to 20,000 schools by the end of the year. Mansotra was also keen on the government’s introduction of the Model Schools Scheme, wherein it would go the Public-PrivatePartnership way for 2,500 public schools in the first phase of the project. Here, the private sector was to provide for infrastructure as well as manage the schools. CORE has bid for 50 schools under the Model Schools Scheme through the Ministry of Human Resource and Development. But this business is yet to take off for the company. CORE has also moved into the vocational training space in India. “Vocational training had been looked at separately from the formal education space. But there now is a greater demand for integrating employability into the formal education curriculum,” Sonak says. In the US, CORE has a tie up with the East Valley Institute of Technology for vocational training. The company is trying to replicate the vocational training model followed there to suit India. In India, vocational training programs are provided to rural youth through the Ministry of Labor and Employment. The government gives out tenders to companies for the programs and CORE has been working on retail, hospitality, IT or ITES sector contracts here. CORE is also looking at vocational training for students in schools, but Sonak says that is something which has not taken off in India in a big way. Outside of its range of

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Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013 85


‘SME financing is a key driver of growth’ ING Vysya Bank was formed as a result of the 2002 acquisition of an equity stake in the Indian Vysya Bank by the Dutch financial conglomerate ING Group. This merger was the first between between an Indian bank and a foreign bank. Today, ING Vysya has over 532 branches across the country and strong retail, private and wholesale banking portfolios, with over 20 lakh customers. ING Vysya’s Managing Director and CEO Shailendra Bhandari tells Sourav Majumdar what his priorities for the bank are and how the bank’s strategy of focusing on a few key areas is helping growth. Excerpts: Q: You have been credited with scripting a smart turnaround for ING Vysya when it was largely seen as directionless. What are the few key things which led to this? A: Well, while the bank was growing at a somewhat slower pace than competition due largely to consolidation issues, I wouldn’t say this was directionless. Having said that, we have managed to leverage some of the unique advantages that the bank has, in terms of being part of a large international business i.e., the ING Group. We have seen some good synergies, especially on the wholesale banking business. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) financing is another key driver of growth and we have developed a highly successful model in that segment with growth at close to 30 percent per annum, and gross NPA of less than 0.5 percent. Q: You have earlier said you don’t lend to some risky sectors. Could you elaborate on your lending and risk strategy? A: What I meant here was that we do not want to lend to those sectors where we don’t have expertise and without clearly understanding inherent risks that some of these sectors might have; so as an example, we don’t normally do long term project finance, as we feel that we neither have the ability to assess the risk of a ‘greenfield project’, nor the ability to hedge the funding and associated risks. Q: What, in your view, is ING Vysya’s key differentiator Photos Nachiket Gujar

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Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013 95

SHOP SLEUTHS Want to know how your customer is being treated in-store? RedQuanta is here  pg 110

Photo Joshua Navalkar


the way up

The Time is Now! Budget 2013 brings in good news for entrepreneurs who are looking to start up [ Ganesh natarajan ] The annual budgeT presenTed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram may not have set the stock markets on fire but it should have certainly set light bulbs flashing in the minds of wannabe entrepreneurs. Put yourself in the shoes of Vinita Patil, who is in final year engineering in a reputed engineering college in western India. Thanks to the largesse from the FM, Vinita can now conceptualize a great initiative to help farmers in rural India; get her startup created and nurtured by the technology incubator in her university. She can also access angel investing from people newly enthused by the FM’s willingness to give angels VC status and get special privileges from the National Innovation Council since her project enables a truly “inclusive India”. One would assume that Vinita should be laughing all the way to the bank soon.

Ground matters The reality of course is that all is never quite as simple in our country. There are already some issues that angel investors are pointing out, the primary of which is the need to corporatize their entities, which goes against the grain of small investments in multiple startups that defines the startup investor. There are also uncertainties regarding the domestic market, particularly in rural India, where the propensity to pay remains suspect. And last but not the least, every tech investor has dreams of being the next Google or Microsoft; and making a killing in the global markets and domestic startups are seen as not necessarily the best terrain for a starry-eyed entrepreneur to venture into. Such considerations do not deter all. A case in point is the bright and energetic Berkeley graduate Anu Sridharan who has returned to India to set up NextDrop in Hubli. This

company uses the power of mobile messaging to keep communities informed of water availability and planning, to venture into comprehensive information solutions for water agencies, initially in Hubli and then in Bengaluru, other Indian cities and finally the entire developing world. There are a thousand Anus out there who wish to do good for their country and become next generation success stories and their tribe must flourish and multiply for our own dreams of inclusive India to become a reality.

Current state of affairs For entrepreneurs everywhere, the global economies still do not provide too much to be enthusiastic about. The manufacturing and retail industries are still in the doldrums, in India as well as worldwide. Tech spending is coming out of a coma and slowly inching upwards and the big promise in skills and vocational education is yet to translate into serious revenues for any of the players. However, in the utilities and healthcare sectors, opportunities abound, primarily in the US but also in India and all developing parts of the world. A look at the acquisition history of major BPOs like Sutherland and Genpact show that healthcare is very much on their radar and that should encourage many entrepreneur wannabes. For the twenty-something college graduate and the weary corporate executive looking at new opportunities for startups, the time is as ripe as ever. Get your idea hat on, find a team and go forth and conquer! Ganesh natarajan is Vice Chairman and CeO of Zensar, and Chairman of the national Knowledge Committee of the CII

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Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013 103

start ups

Gods [ deity direct ]

Food From


Online Prasad, a web portal, delivers prasad from any temple in the country to devotees AvAnish TiwAry


arly morning on New Year’s Day last year, Goonjan Mall, 24, was on a bus from Gurgaon to Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. He was on his way to Rani Sati Temple to offer sweets (prasad). Later, he would deliver prasad—edibles which devotees offer to their favorite gods—from this temple to his first customer at Online Prasad, his startup venture in the e-commerce sector. On a similar trip to Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan, (the famous rat temple) in September 2011, where Mall waited patiently in the queue to offer prasad to the deity, it struck him that in reality visiting temples is an arduous task for many. He realized that if the process of getting prasad became easier, there would be several takers. Returning home, he talked to his friends about it. The response he got was positive and he decided to start an online business of delivering prasad.

Holy idea “I thought of easing the temple visit experience. I cannot bring a temple to people but I can bring blessings from temples in the form of sweets,” says Mall, Founder, Online Prasad. Since business was just at the initial planning level, he visited a few religious congresses to talk to people about the idea to get a first-hand understanding of people’s willingness and interest to source it online. “People got so excited 108 Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013

Started: January 2012

the prasad through courier after offering it to the deity. Apart from this, at a few temples, they also have a tie-up with priests to offer the sweet to the deity and then send it to the devotee who has placed the order. Online Prasad uses the service of GharPay—another startup, which handles payment collections on behalf of the company they service before delivery of goods—to collect money from customers who confirm orders. “Ghar Pay has a transparent working style and we needed a service like this as many customers were not comfortable paying through debit card,” Mall says. Each delivery of prasad from any temple listed on their website, costs `501 for 500 grams. In the first couple of months, delivering prasad was a challenge for the venture owing to the perishable nature of sweets. “With a little tweaking here and there in the packaging, we manage to keep sweets fresh for a longer time,” Mall explains. Uttam Dadhich, a priest at Balaji Temple in Salasar, Rajasthan and owner of a sweet shop, offers prasad at the temple once he gets an order confirmation from Online Prasad. He says sweets are packaged in a manner that they remain fresh for 15-20 days.

Seed money: `6 lakh

More than divine grace

Break-even expected in: 2015

In August 2012, Online Prasad joined The Morpheus, a Chandigarh-based accelerator that works with startups.

that a few placed orders immediately. The company had not even started. I had not thought about the price points.” In January 2012, he launched Online Prasad, self-funded through personal savings, which he believed would thrive on the back of religious sentiment. All this while Mall still held a job as a senior analyst at Bain & Company which he left in April last year, after starting Online Prasad.

Good deeds When Online Prasad started taking orders, they had one temple (Rani Sati Temple) in their catalog. However, Mall’s frequent visits to temples across India brought four more to his venture by April 2012. “We have a tie-up with sweet vendors at each temple, who offer prasad to the deity and then send it by courier to the client,” Mall explains. Currently they have a network of 16 temples across seven states in their ambit. Online Prasad also has a couple of persons posted at each temple (which are in their catalog) who, when an order is confirmed by the front team, deliver

KEEpinG thE Faith

Photo Bmaximage Imaging Chaitanya Dinesh Surpur

Morpheus infused additional capital of `5 lakh of equity stake in the company. “We joined hands with Goonjan as we liked his idea and realized he was executing his plans well. The business idea made sense for The Morpheus as we thought religion is the most viral business in India,” says Sameer Guglani, Co-Founder, The Morpheus. Guglani says he had advised Mall to go on a pilgrimage and visit as many temples, which he affirms Mall does consistently. “This resulted in gradually expanding his network of temples.” Mall divulges little about his growth plan for Online Prasad. “This is a new business and not many people have done anything like this. So there is no road map yet and we are learning while experimenting,” he confesses. Mall believes plans do not work in a startup and are prone to spontaneous changes given the nature of a nascent company. As of now he is happy with the customer response and the repeat orders he gets. “We are getting known by word of mouth as this is an interesting service we are providing. People love to tell others that they ordered prasad of a particular temple from home.” Sanjay Agarwal, a resident from Bihar,

has ordered prasad from seven to nine temples through Online Prasad. He says that barring the first delivery, his transactions were smooth and satisfactory. “I placed an order after seeing their banner at one of the temples in Kodarma, Jharkhand. The order came in 10 days time but the box was open and it had only two sweets,” Agarwal remembers. However, when he informed them about the delivery, he got another package of sweets, in a couple of days. “I can say it was from the temple I had ordered from as I have been there earlier and the sweets tasted just the same,” says Agarwal.

Growth metrics The website sees daily traffic of 1,500-2,000 unique visitors, says Mall, and this figure goes down on some days. According to web information company

Alexa, a California-based subsidiary of US-based e-commerce giant Amazon, which tracks traffic of websites globally, the portal ranks 222,176 globally and 25,219 in India. Inevitably, the number of orders climb during festivals like Navratri, Janmashtami and New Year. “During Basant Panchami, the number of orders increase from 40 a month to more than 70,” Dadhich says. Mall looks content when he tells us he has delivered prasad to almost all corners of India, except the Andaman and Lakshadweep islands. He has also received orders to gift prasad to relatives of customers living in Dubai and Singapore. “This is a business which will always work in India given the number of temples we have and the opportunity it creates for us,” says Mall. Not surprising, as India is a land of religious fervor.

cyber blessings:

Goonjan Mall

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Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013 109

118 Assess your product’s marketing potential 121 Make the most of company meetings 122 Decode a term sheet 124 Get government contracts 126 Negotiate real estate prices

illustration Chaitanya Dinesh Surpur

how to

Make the Most of Company Meetings Meetings can turn out to be productive or fruitless. Find ways to keep everyone in the organization interested Christopher hann


nyone who has sat (or snoozed) through too many interminable staff meetings might be surprised to hear management consultant Mike Richardson gush on about the value of such gatherings. “Don’t look at meetings as a bad, time-consuming or a work-generating thing,” says Richardson, author of Wheelspin: The Agile Executive’s Manifesto—Accelerate Your Growth, Leverage Your Value, Beat Your Competition. “They can be a good, time-saving and a work-flow thing.” Agile is an important word in Richardson’s vocabulary. The quicksilver business world demands agility in any successful entrepreneur, he says, and often the inspiration for this is an effective meeting. “If the driver of agility is conversation, then meetings are the drivers of conversation,” says Richardson. Richardson cites a client, a $50 million technology company, whose CEO conducts a ‘daily huddle’—a morning meeting of top execs. “They recognized that their number one challenge is to organize chaos,” says Richardson. “That’s why I push the idea of daily huddles.” Richardson offers three points of advice for anyone leading a meeting.

Set the mood “It’s letting everybody know this is going to be a focused, energetic meeting,” says Richardson. “For me, doing something at the front end of a meeting creates urgency, in that people don’t want to miss the opening of the meeting. I want people to be productively paranoid,” he says. “If you look at Kodak, BlackBerry, all these companies, maybe a little bit more productive paranoia in conversation in the past would have improved cash flow in the present. It’s about never allowing any complacency in your conversation.”

Leverage the wall space Visuals matter. They give you an excuse to get out of your chair. “If we walk into the control room of a nuclear power station or the cockpit of a commercial airliner, there isn’t a square inch of wall space that’s not dedicated to some kind of real time information or planning framework,” says Richardson. “Plus, as a chair of a meeting, to sustain the energy level, I want to be up on my feet.” It’s all about agility, remember? ©Entrepreneur Inc. All rights reserved

Generate input The vice president of marketing has just presented branding strategies for the big trade show. You Illustration Chaitanya Dinesh Surpur

ask if anyone else has any thoughts. Blank stares. Crickets. Instead, Richardson suggests, ask everyone at the table to take a minute to write down ideas. Then ask who wants to go first. This way, he says, “I’m much more able to get a flow of input and sustain the energy level. Covertly, I have set the expectation that everybody will have something.”

CHRISTOPHER HANN is a freelance writer and an adjunct professor of journalism at Rutgers University

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Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013 121

back stage

Are You a Radical Businessperson? Circle the answers that apply, then add up your points to find out if you are a radical thinker Ross Mcc aMMon 1. Describe your current mood. A. Ready to rock the boat! (1) B. Let’s radicalize this business! (1) C. I’m feeling very change-y! (1) D. Listless (-3) 2. What kind of thinker are you? A. Creative (5) B. Unimaginative (-5) C. Thinker? I’m a businessperson. Hello?! (-10) 3. Complete this sentence: A rule is meant to be ______________ . A. Broken (2) B. Bent (1) C. Scoffed at (3) D. Enforced through the docking of pay and other punitive measures (-5) 4. When your retail business is struggling, you tend to: A. Lower prices (-2) B. Explore selling the business (-7) C. Find a consultant (0) D. Weep (-20) E. Throw out your business model and accept Instagram photos of money as payment (10) 5. What’s the best way to handle a problematic business? A. Fiddle with it (-3) B. Tinker with it (-3) C. Examine the problem at its root (3) D. Revolutionize it (10) E. What problem? (-7) 6. Which is the most interesting line? A. (-3) B. (-2) C. (8) 7. The best marketing plans are: A. Expensive (0) B. Cheap (0) C. In tune with the emotions of customers (5) 8. Burger King’s novel 2004 “Subservient Chicken” viral marketing campaign, in which a 136 Intelligent Entrepreneur  April 2013

giant rooster acts on commands typed by users, caused you to: A. Immediately purchase a TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich for reasons unknown to you at the time (0) B. Reconsider the power of fun and simplicity in marketing (7) C. Type “If this is the future of advertising, I think I’m screwed” in the command box (-6) D. See if it would eat a Big Mac (-2)

14. Pick your favorite leader:


10. Your favorite place to hold meetings is: A. Your office, because people come to you (-3) B. The conference room, because an orderly meeting is the best meeting (0) C. Outside, on a beautiful day, because nature is inspiring and corporate structure is constricting (2) D. Outside, on a gloomy day, because nature is punishing, just like business (-4) 11. Does your place of business offer its employees a large rockclimbing wall? A. Yes (0) B. No (0)

19. Harley-Davidson is: A. A motorcycle brand (0) B. A lifestyle brand (3)


9. The first thing you notice about a prospective employee during an interview is: A. Clothes (0) B. Hygiene (-2) C. Attitude (5) D. Willingness to hold up under psychological pressure (7)

—Buckminster Fuller (3) C. “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”—Samuel Adams (7)

20. Chipotle is: A. A chain of burrito places (0) B. A chain of burrito places with, somehow, a soul (3)


21. Describe your current mood now that you’ve taken this quiz: A. Ready to rock the boat! (1) B. Let’s radicalize this business! (1) C. I’m feeling very change-y! (1) D. Still listless like before. Only now I want a burrito (-3)


15. What is your favorite A. The fringe (10) B. The other part (-5)

KEY LESS THAN 0 pOINTS: Change makes you wince. 0 TO 20 pOINTS: The last time you felt “radical” was in the ’80s while skateboarding.


MORE THAN 20 pOINTS: You are currently considering tearing something apart and starting over again … buuuut, now you’re thinking better of it.


MORE THAN 30 pOINTS: You’re so radical, you spell it “radiKul.” Which isn’t all that radical, but still.

16. Pick a car:

MORE THAN 40 pOINTS: Inertia makes you wince.

12. If so, has anyone ever used it? A. Yes (0) B. No (0) C. It’s off-limits—too much of a liability (-5)

17. Pick a font for your logo: A: this one (0) B: This one (2) C: This one (4) D: This one (10)

MORE THAN 50 pOINTS: You ripped this page and fashioned it into a makeshift waterfiltration system for use in underdeveloped nations.

13. Which is your favorite type of spring? A. Balmy (0) B. Nippy (0) C. Arab (5)

18. Pick your favorite e-mail signature: A. “The better part of valor is discretion.” —Shakespeare (-3) B. “Dare to be naive.”

© Entrepreneur Inc. All rights reserved. Ross mccammon is an articles editor at Esquire magazine

Entrepreneur April 2013  

Apollo Hospitals Group is healing lives with its healthcare services.

Entrepreneur April 2013  

Apollo Hospitals Group is healing lives with its healthcare services.