Page 1


Dear Readers, Greetings from Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay! Sustaining the growth and development are some of the key challenges which an emerging economy like India faces today.The economic history of developed countries supports the fact that entrepreneurship is the key to a vibrant, high growth economy. The significance of entrepreneurship lies in the creation of constant innovation, more wealth and opportunities. India has one of the most conducive environments for business entrepreneurs and there is no wonder that we have been producing successful entrepreneurs who have made their mark both in the country as well as at the global level. However, the country needs to churn out more entrepreneurs which can help it to return to a high growth path and sustain it. Entrepreneurship is one of the three pillars of SJMSOM and the school, being situated in a technological institute with a strong background in entrepreneurship draws on varied intellectual resources. The unique positioning of the school gives its aspiring entrepreneurs an access to an incubator-SINE. Also, the School has an entrepreneurship club which hosts a number of activities with a mission to ignite the entrepreneurial spark in the student community. The ability to keep on generating new ideas is one of the keys to a successful business and it is the reason that corporates today are focusing on entrepreneurial initiatives. L!VE’, the quarterly magazine of SJMSOM helps students to share their ideas with corporates by acting as an interface between the school and the industry. The magazine invites articles from industry experts, students and budding entrepreneurs to share their views on contemporary issues. It gives me great pleasure to bring forth the latest edition of L!VE with its theme based on ‘Entrepreneurship’. The current edition shares interesting thoughts on entrepreneurship with examples from diverse fields. We thank all of you who contributed in this issue. We hope to receive articles and insights on management issues from industry and academia in future to take L!VE to greater heights. With best wishes, Professor Karuna Jain Head, Shailesh J Mehta School of Management IIT Bombay

L!VE August 2012


From the Editor’s Desk

Dear Readers,

L!VE August 2012 Issue TEAM L!VE Aniket Patankar Ankit Agarwal Atul Ranjan

Greetings from Team L!VE With globalization reshaping the economic landscape across the countries and a greater uncertainty prevailing in the world economy due to the current economic crisis, entrepreneurship has gained significant attention from the policymakers especially in the developing countries. It is being widely viewed as a potent weapon to meet the new economic and social challenges and a key to sustainable economic growth. New dynamic enterprises are an essential ingredient in economic development and transformation. However, given the challenges associated with the journey of an entrepreneur, it is imperative to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship among the youth of our nation and make them better prepared for the odyssey ahead. The current edition of L!VE is based on the theme ‘Entrepreneurship’ with the cover

Debashree Bhattacharya story focusing on the need of an entrepreneurial mindset for the Indian economy. The

story looks at the various aspects in which entrepreneurship can drive the growth of

Sanju Mathew George our economy. We also bring to you ‘Entrepreneur Special’ article where you can read Tanya Kanodia Cover Page Designer Deepankar Boro

about how to strengthen Indian entrepreneurship via a strong risk capital ecosystem. You can read exclusive interviews with Mr. Phanindra Sama, co-founder and CEO at Redbus,Ms Sunita Singh, co-founder and Senior Director at National Entrepreneur Network (NEN) and Mr. Sumit Jain, co-founder and CEO at CommonFloor. Under the Industry Speak section, we bring you the success story of MTML, Mauritius and the associated learning in the words of Mr. Sanjay Garg, CEO of the company. We also revisit the concept of Lean Six Sigma through the eyes of Prof Indrajeet Mukherjee in the Expert Speak Section.This edition also features the two winning articles of L!VE article writing competition. Our Start-up story section features a dynamic technology company ‘Emprenure Labs’ co-founded by an alumnus of SJMSOM, IIT Bombay. Besides, we also bring to you many other interesting articles in the regular sections. We hope you enjoy the current edition and the articles help to identify and stimulate the entrepreneur inside you ! Happy reading! Team L!VE


L!VE August 2012


August 2012 COVER STORY


06 | India’s need for an entrepreneurial mindset

29 | Marketing at the bottom of the pyramid: Serving the untapped mass 31| Indian logistics the way forward:Challenges and opportunities

SPECIAL STORY 09| Strengthening Indian entrepreneurship via a strong risk capital FACE TO FACE

STARTUP SPEAK 34 | Emprenure Labs

12| Phanindra Sama 15| Sunita Singh 18| Sumit Jain




21| Success story of a telecom service provider company

37 | Quetzal



24| Lean Six Sigma: A driving for operations excellence

39 | Who are you? Who am I? 40 | ENTRE(preneur) the Dragon


36 | Built to last


25| The usual grind

42| Harvard US India Initiative 2012 conference



27| Impact of plant breeders’ rights on Indian farmers

44| University of Washington Global class room program 45| MIT AITI India Program 47| Finance Continuum 2012 49|Marketing Continuum 2012

L!VE August 2012


OUR SPONSOR-A SPECIAL FEATURE 3Embed Software Technologies “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Anna Eleanor Roosevelt It was indeed the dream of owning a business and running it on their own terms accompanied by firm faith in their beliefs that drove two young techies working at Accenture to quit their well-paying IT jobs and start ‘3Embed software technologies Ltd’.3Embed is an integrated service and solution provider in the mobility space. In a market marred by high mortality rates for startups,3Embed has not only managed to survive but thrive as well. The company just completed two years, the team of 2 members has of late grown into a team of 9 members (7 part time) comprising of graphic designers a handful of developers. Starting a venture in today’s economy is a dream most of us have. People decide to go to B-schools and Ivy League universities to try and learn Entrepreneurship. 3Embed is a story of how two guys from the run of the mill engineering colleges, modest backgrounds and without a business school degree can still dare to start a business from scratch without funding from anyone just based on HUNGER, DETERMINATION and REBELIION. There has been no looking back since 3 Embed was founded in August, 2011. It all started with a fortunate meeting with Mr.Avinash Mishra, CEO, Endeavour Software Technologies pvt ltd, who loved the energy the founders had and decided to angel invest in them with a Symbian development project. From those small beginnings they have now spawned new verticals, namely iOS, Android, Web and Graphic Design. Their aim is to scale themselves up in the business and become an enterprise mobile service provider.

According to the latest reports by the research firm Gartner Inc, by 2015, applications targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber PC projects by four to one and Smartphones and tablets will represent more than 90 percent of new growth in the world’s device sales. 3Embed aims to tap this huge growth potential for application developers. The company is the service provider behind a lot of interesting mobile apps such as Museum Hunt, Clubsure, Cricwaves, Brunei Times, Delos, Philippines Trivia, Silver lining, CSA, Quiz Wings, Baby Times, Qaboo ,etc which are available either on the Apple app store or the Android Market. Each step in the development of an app, right from the planning, code development, testing, and designing cool, user Interfaces to delivering it to the customer, is done in tandem. 3Embed requires all its employees to have a high level of passion and commitment to their work thus ensuring the timely delivery to the clients without compromising on the quality. “Entrepreneurship is not all about numbers and $’s. It is about people building, giving back to society, making a difference, doing things you may not like doing and a lot of sacrifice”, says Rahul Sharma, Executive Director, 3Embed. He goes on to stress the point that, “One can learn a lot from one’s own startup even if it is not successful. Only after facing failure can an entrepreneur learn and move on to achieve greater heights.” Talking about failures, no one has ever defined it in a better way than Thomas Edison who said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.


L!VE August 2012


India’s Need For an Entrepreneurial Mindset

About the author: Sanjay Anandaram is a passionate advocate of entrepreneurship in India. He brings over two decades of experience as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, venture investor, faculty member, advisor and mentor. He has been involved with Nasscom, TiE and INSEAD business school in driving entrepreneurship. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.The views expressed here are his own. In 1991, the second Independence of India took place – there was an opening up of the economy that led, in its own tortuous Indian way, to the opening up of the minds of a section of the population. The educated middle class that had till then either left the country for greener pastures or taken up jobs in the government or with the few MNCs operating then, started looking around at opportunities that were being created in India. Entrepreneurship still seemed like something only two sections of society ventured into those with family wealth or traditional business backgrounds or those without any other option namely, the roadside food shop, the barber and the small store owner. Very few consciously chose entrepreneurship as an option. Then, towards the end of that decade, a remarkable thing began to happen. Young educated middle class Indians suddenly started taking an interest in entrepreneurship: a host of environmental factors played a catalytic role in this phenomenon: the rise of Indian entrepreneurship in the US, the emergence of 1st generation educated middle class Indian entrepreneurs, the creation of aspirations in a increasingly mobile workforce and the media, increased availability of capital and the like. India started getting noticed in the West and India’s arrival on the global stage started getting reported in breathless hyperbole. However, all this euphoric talk about India’s growth and success hid the fact that crony socialism had quietly given way to crony capitalism which was insidious. Governance and policy making took not just the last rows in the stadium that was cheering “India’s arrival” but were not even in the stadium! The penny naturally dropped on the India story.


L!VE August 2012

Today, we’re confronted by the stark realities of India that the breathless comparisons with China and other countries had somehow managed to paper over. The hubris is slowly and painfully giving away to the realization that the parties celebrating India as a super power had begun too soon. But the fact is there is an enormous amount of work yet to be done. In 2012, as India enters its 66th year, our first prime minister’s rousing speech “Tryst with Destiny” is yet again worth reading. Are we anywhere close to redeeming the pledge made, has the new star of hope provided succour and whether hope still springs in the hearts and minds of all of us? While very impressive strides have been made in many areas, especially given the desperate condition at the start of our country’s birth, it is important that we keep in mind the fact that 15% of the world lives in India and over 68% ie about 700 million of our people live on less than US$ 2 a day.

Over 17 million people are born (equivalent to the population of The Netherlands), an estimated 40 million are unemployed, over 500,000 students graduate each year from various colleges and over 12 million join the workforce each year. The investment required to educate, train, and deploy these large numbers into gainful jobs is in the tens of thousands of crores. And remember, these millions of jobs have to be yet to created! SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

Jobs are created by entrepreneurs. Governments are facilitators and regulators to make sure that everyone’s playing fairly and by the rules that have been created to facilitate the creation of jobs. Wealth is then created by entrepreneurial actions. Only when wealth is created, can there be investments in creating the support infrastructure and services necessary for India to seriously consider redeeming its pledge. And a crucial pre-requisite for this is the need for an entrepreneurial mindset.

demonstrates leadership in creating new resources while marshalling existing resources, energizes people to work collectively to executing the dream, is conscious of the need to be fair, is respectful of the laws of the land, realizes the need to act with speed, engages and responds to feedback with a recalibrated approach, is unapologetic about effecting positive change by challenging a prevailing status quo and works incredibly hard. Possibilities of effecting change and making a difference to oneself and to others as against complaining about constraints (“I have no resources, I don’t know too many people, don’t have the knowledge or experience”) is what distinguishes those with the entrepreneurial mindset from the others. They spend positive energy in figuring out ways to create, seek and aggregate resources (team members, finances, net works) to make the possibilities come true. They are not afraid of failure but instead as Vinod Khosla says, “My fear of failure gives me the ability to succeed”.


Now imagine the public healthcare, water and sanitation, education, travel, housing, electricity, entertainment, banking and financial services that need to be provided to these huge numbers assuming there’re jobs that lead to incomes being generated leading to consumption and investment. Imagine a scenario where tens of millions of young energetic citizens become disillusioned job seekers – the social upheaval possibilities are terribly explosive even to contemplate, particularly in our country. For far too long, we have been plagued by poverty – of ideas, of ideology and of course economically. Misplaced socialistic policies in the early years of India ensured that poverty was distributed while cronyism ensured that a few made unconscionable amounts of money and enjoyed the trappings of power.

What is it that drove Andrew Wiles for 30 long frustrating and difficult years to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem – ever since he first came face to face with it at the age of 10 - that had confounded mathematicians for over 350 years? What is it that makes

“Change in every society, in every age, in every sphere of human endeavor has come about because some people, a minority, decided to put their entrepreneurial mindsets to work.” Change in every society, in every age, in every sphere of human endeavor has come about because some people, a minority, decided to put their entrepreneurial mindsets to work. And they were able to put their entrepreneurial mindsets to work because they were incredibly passionate about what they believed in. This minority is the entrepreneurial community. And while the term “entrepreneur” is generally used in the context of business and startups, it is important to realize that the entrepreneurial mindset has been, is and will be on display all around us.Anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset dreams big, is interested in solving problems, seizes opportunities, is unafraid to experiment with new ways of doing things in order to achieve the dream, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

Reinhold Messner, the greatest mountaineer of all time, climb mountains on every continent, losing several of his fingers and toes and putting himself through extreme life threatening hardships such as climbing Mount Everest without oxygen? Surely, it isn’t the money! What is it that made a significantly deaf, unschooled child grow up to become Thomas Edison, one of the most prolific inventors of all time with over a 1000 patents? Well before IPL, the stuffy establishment of cricket was changed forever in 1978 when Kerry Packer an Australian media baron challenged status quo by signing up 51 of the world’s top cricketers and introduced limited overs cricket under flood lights, with fielding restrictions, with coloured clothing, cheer leaders and the like. L!VE August 2012



How come no one else thought of this before Packer? Would there have been a Nano if not for a RatanTata daring to think of a $2000 car for the middle class Indian? The mightiest empire the world has ever known was shaken to its very foundations by the incredible demonstration of the entrepreneurial mindset by Mahatma Gandhi. For example, he had this to say about Swaraj “we must have a proper picture of what we want before we can have something approaching it”. Landing in India in 1915 as a 46 year old without any real understanding of India and without any mass following, but shaped by his South African experiences on the need for social justice, driven only by a set of passionate beliefs about the need for freedom for India, developed his concept of Satyagraha and energized people through his own unique blend of non-violent politics, lifestyle and use of symbols like the Dandi March.

its tryst with destiny, where jobs create economic security for hundreds of millions, we absolutely cannot ignore the seemingly intractable problems that confront us all as citizens. I have long believed that change in India will gain irreversible momentum when the generation born after 1991 enters the work-force. This is the generation that is confident, knowledgeable, technology savvy, is aware, well traveled and is impatient. Fortunately, India is the home to the largest number of such people anywhere in the world. Resolving these problems requires the energizing of the entrepreneurial mindset that’s latent in each of us. Each of us can make a difference if only we dare to think differently. Changes in the way things are done in government, in politics, in society, in business, in education, healthcare are all eminently possible through entrepreneurial thinking with job creation and facilitation as the important outcome. Here, therefore, is a question for us to ponder over: Is it possible for us to imagine that each of us, in our lifetimes, creates - either directly or indirectly - a 100 jobs? Are there not 100,000 people – educated, experienced, entrepreneurial and energetic – who can each take up this challenge? Ten million jobs can be created by this group, indirectly benefiting 50 million. If it is possible, it is do-able!

We all have heard of Amul. It is India’s largest branded impact making organization Amul today impacts over 3 million milk producers and generates over $2 billion in revenues. It is world’s largest vegetarian cheese brand, India’s largest food brand and the largest pouched milk brand. It would be hard to imagine that an Amul could have been created without the entrepreneurial mindset and leadership of Dr Verghese Kurien, who led Amul as it innovated across the value chain. Amul incidentally was founded in 1946 before India’s independence!

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad has this to say:

“You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

From the few less than obvious examples cited above, it is clear that the manifestations of an entrepreneurial mindset are visible across very many areas of human endeavor. As we contemplate an India that can redeem 08

L!VE August 2012


Soumitra Sharma, IDG Ventures India

Strengthening Indian Risk Capital Ecosystem

India’s entrepreneurship landscape has been catalyzed by a combination of vibrant angel investing and presence of a robust Venture Capital (VC) industry. Angel investors fill a vital seed stage financing gap in the venture lifecycle, and provide business guidance, networks and strategic advice that significantly improve the odds of the business scaling up and succeeding. The Indian Angel investing landscape can be broadly classified into three segments – organized angel networks (Indian Angel Network, Mumbai Angels etc.), accomplished individual investors, and institutional seed investors that operate in the Angel investing spectrum (Blume Ventures, Kae Capital etc.). India’s Angel investing landscape is now coming of age, with several successful exits such as InMobi, One97 Communications and JustDial. On the VC front, India witnessed close to US$ 5 Billion VC inflows over more than 941 transactions between 2005 and 2011 . Technology—defined as enterprise software products and services, digital consumer (internet, mobile and new media), engineering and electronics—has been the critical growth engine of Indian venture investing, accounting for over 60% of number of deals done between 2006 and 2011 . Total venture investments in India are expected to be close to US$ 10 Billion between 2010 and 2015, out of which approximately US$ 7.5 Billion will be in technology companies. SJMSOM, IIT Bombay


About the Author: Soumitra is a part of the Investment Team at IDG Ventures India Advisors. IDG Ventures manages over US$6 Billion globally and has a portfolio of over 200 technology companies.Prior to joining IDG Ventures India Advisors, Soumitra has M&A and Corporate Finance Advisory experience at Citigroup Global Markets India and Deloitte India.He has written extensively on prestigious platforms such as TIME, Wall Street Journal, Economic Times etc.,and has been a Guest Lecturer at ISB Hyderabad and IIM Ahmedabad. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-BHU), Varanasi and an MBA from the Indian School of Business,Hyderabad. Technology has also dominated the venture-backed exit landscape in India, both in terms of number of exits and return multiples for investors. Between 2004 and 2011 (Aug-end), there were 152 venturebacked exits in India, with 111 (73% of the total) exits from technology companies . In terms of returns , the average multiple on invested capital for technology exits was about 5.2x, compared to 3.4x for non-technology exits. Venture Capital investors have played critical roles in Indian ventures by scaling their operations, professionalizing their management, helping them access quality follow-on investors, and strengthening corporate governance. Value creation by VC investors in their portfolio companies in turn, positively impacts the SME backbone of the economy, leading to vibrant economic growth and pan-India job creation. Financial investors typically make companies more efficient, reliable and productive, thus improving the overall corporate health in the country, especially with respect to the SME sector. This also leads to increased tax collections for the Government, thus positively impacting its Fiscal situation. Overall, even though India has made great progress in Angel and VC investing evolution in absolute terms, the space still has a long way to go before matching up to global benchmarks such as China and L!VE August 2012



and the US, in terms of entrepreneurship strength and growth. China has exhibited great success in terms of channelizing domestic RMB Capital into indigenous businesses, through steps such as introduction of the ChiNext stock exchange, Government entities directly investing as LPs in VC funds etc. Similarly, the US Government has executed numerous supportive regulations for the Angel and VC investing sector over last three decades, including measures such as giving tax breaks to individual angels, allowing pension funds to invest in VCs and easing the listing process for small businesses. The only sustainable way to strengthen entrepreneurship in India is to catalyze the domestic risk capital eco-system by boosting Angel and VC industry. A few recommendations to achieve this are discussed below. 1.Encouraging simultaneous development of technology domains. Drawing parallels from the Bay Area experience, emphasis should be given to all major technology domains since they tend to have similar eco-system drivers and therefore, grow together. Providing Government incentives related to infrastructure, taxes and other policies will act as a strong driver for this. The establishment of Software Technology Parks was instrumental in the growth of the software industry. Similar technology parks for renewable energy, medical technology and precision engineering would in turn, create large number of high technology ventures, as well as increase employment and innovation in the country.

With the creation of multiple technology hubs across the country, the Government can drive information exchange programs and collaborative innovation initiatives with global institutions. Further, establishing research centers along with corporate industry leaders and academia can lead to path breaking innovation. This ecosystem can increase the effectiveness of Government grants towards technology research as well as establish India as a leading high technology and knowledge center among emerging markets. 2.Encouraging more global VC firms to open offices in India. The Government can achieve this if it proactively reaches out to existing and potential VC General Partners (GPs) across the world, through targeted ‘Outreach programs’ and road-shows, communicating India’s attractiveness as a premier VC destination. In light of global economic cyclicality, capital pools have tightened and management fees of funds across the world are strained. The Government can provide incentives such as office space and infrastructure at preferential rates, to improve economics for funds and attract them to the country. The Government should also strive to create a ‘Sand Hill Road’ parallel in cities such as Bangalore, Delhi NCR and Mumbai, with VC firms located in a concentrated fashion geographically. This allows both entrepreneurs to easily access VCs, as well as makes it easier for VC firms to exchange notes and syndicate deals. 3.Turning India into an Asian financial hub. It’s important that global institutional capital is invited to move to India, similar to other Asian financial centers such as Hong Kong and Singapore. Building an environment conducive to innovation, technology leadership and financial networks can set India apart as the most attractive financial center for technology investments, on par with the above destinations. Most international financial houses choose these alternative regions as their headquarters because of better infrastructure and overall business ecosystem. Building major cities such as Bangalore, Delhi NCR and Mumbai along the lines of these regions will not


L!VE August 2012


only bring in capital flows, but also cement the country’s leadership in advanced technical domains.

Unlocking rupee risk capital is crucial for providing adequate fuel to Indian ventures. There are several ways this can be done. Similar to prevalent policies in several states in the US, Indian High Net-worth Individuals should be allowed tax breaks at the Personal Income Tax level for individual angel investing. In addition, Commercial Banks, Pension Funds and Insurance Funds should be incentivized to invest a small portion of their assets in Indian VC and PE Funds as Limited Partners. While this allocation will be small enough to not have a large negative impact on the Funds, it would still hold potential to generate disproportionately high ‘VC type’ returns for them. Overall, this step will fuel creation of new innovative ventures that create employment and growth for the overall economy. In this context, Corporate Venturing is also critical to boosting the overall VC eco-system in India. As most Indian majors such as Infosys, Wipro, Biocon, Marico etc. are still relatively un-initiated to VC investments, an optimal way for them to venture into this area would be to start by investing in existing venture funds as Limited Partners. These players could then align the investing mandate of investee funds with their corporate strategy. The Government should also give tangible infrastructure and tax incentives to these players, aimed at encouraging Corporate VC activity by them. Once Indian corporates are comfortable with venture investing, they should be then encouraged to establish dedicated VC arms that can align closely with existing VC funds and work with them. For instance, Google Ventures has explicitly aligned itself with Kleiner Perkins and August Capital in the US VC market.

Venture Debt is essentially a collateral-free loan that comes with an interest payment, with the lender also getting a warrant that provides rights to buy equity at a pre-determined time and price. This essentially compensates the lender for higher risk of default in case of entrepreneurial ventures.


4.Unlocking domestic rupee-denominated risk capital

Young companies are usually constrained in terms of providing collaterals, and therefore, venture and growth equity ends up being the only viable option of risk capital in most cases. In order to make it easier for venture-backed companies to raise money through diverse sources, the Government should mandate existing financial institutions such as State and Cooperative banks, as well as Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), to provide venture debt.

6.Imparting stability to VC regulatory regime International capital requires a long-term predictable governance and tax regime. With frequent changes in foreign investment regulations, VC investors are forced to spend inordinate time with intermediaries such as lawyers and accountants, figuring out the regulatory structure, which eats into high quality bandwidth that should ideally be devoted to portfolio companies. It’s recommended that a stable and levelplaying regulatory regime be ensured forVC investors. Given that the VC-PE asset class is inherently risky, financial investors in this space need long term clarity and predictability in policies related to this sector. Implementation of these recommendations will go a long way in ensuring that Indian Angel and VC investing realizes its full potential and becomes a global force to reckon with, in turn boosting the Indian entrepreneurship landscape.

5.Enabling existing financial institutions and NBFCs to provide Venture Debt to startups SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

L!VE August 2012


Interview with Phanindra Sama FACE TO FACE

Co-founder and CEO, RedBus Phanindra Sama is the co-founder and CEO of RedBus, India’s first online bus ticket booking service. Phanindra recieved an Electrical Engineering degree from BITS Pilani and Post- Graduation from Indian Institute of Science. Prior to Redbus, he has worked at ST Electronics and Texas Instruments.

L!VE:What motivated an Electrical & Electronics Engineer from BITS Pilani to start redBus? Was this the outcome of a gradual process or a random change? The idea of RedBus struck when I couldn’t get a bus ticket to return home in 2005. In 2005, during Diwali, when I went to a travel agent to book bus tickets, I noticed that he made a phone call to around 3 to 4 bus operators to find if they had any inventory and finally, he declared that there were no seats. But, just when I was leaving his office, he advised me to check with some other agents saying, “May be they have few seats”. This intrigued me. How would another travel agent be able to get the seats when this travel agent couldn’t get them? Anyways, I went to another travel agent and enquired for the availability of seats. He also made a few phone calls and declared there were no seats available. I went to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th travel agents. But none of them could get me a seat. I ended up being in Bangalore for the entire weekend. The next day, I was upset. I was feeling guilty as there might be a 15th travel agent who could have got the seat by calling the 25th bus operator. And, if indeed, the 25th operator’s bus had a vacant seat that evening, it was a loss to him because he had a vacant seat but didn’t know at which corner of the city, there was a customer in dire need of it. 12

L!VE August 2012

Being an engineer, I thought, about the possibility of having a computer system where all the bus operators would put their inventory and all travel agents would then pick up inventory from there in a first come, first serve basis. This way, the first travel agent whom I went to, would have got the seat for me, if there was any seat available in any corner of the city. As you can see in my case, entrepreneurship happened because of a random change. However, I think I had an internal urge for entrepreneurship all throughout. L!VE:What were the difficulties you faced in the early days of RedBus? How difficult was it for you to quit your job and launch a start up? What was the reaction of your family? The journey was full of challenges. One had to go to the bus operators, who were unorganized and educate them about the importance of getting computerized. As the going got tough, four out of the seven co-founders lost interest in the venture. But, the remaining three continued to pursue and overcame all hardships. Today, the company has three products –, BOSS™ and SeatSeller™., is the consumer facing bus ticketing company. It is one of the highest transacted websites in the country. Also the bus industry was highly fragmented with 65% of the bus operators owning less than 20 buses. Out of the 2000 bus operators, the majority had a fleet of just one or two buses. I hoped to bring all such service operators SJMSOM, IIT Bombay is consumer facing travel agency business. SeatSeller is Agent facing GDS business. BOSS (Bus Operator Software System) is the software given to bus operators as an ERP for bus business. Between these 3 businesses, a nice virtuous cycle is set – with more and more bus operators using BOSS, more and more travel agents starting to use SeatSeller which will in turn get more and more bus operators to use BOSS. Thus a network works in itself.

L!VE:Who are your partners in the business? Do you have a mentor? How does that helps you?


under its network within a couple of years. The biggest challenge was from the government owned state run bus services that were far cheaper and controlled 50% of the market share. The other challenge was to keep the costs low in an industry where the margins were thin. Today, RedBus has 180,000 registered bus services, which are operated by 900 operators across the country. Moreover, regional transports, Goa Kadamb and RSRTC have also come onboard. Quitting job was the next progressive thing to do as the venture was growing. We, the founders had to dive in completely and scale the project further. Our families were supportive and we had promised them that we will go back to our jobs if the project did not work out.

Intially, I worked on the idea of redBus with my peers and flat mates, out of whom only three believed in it till its final inception. The other cofounders are Charan Padmaraju, Head-Engineer and Sudhakar Pasupunuri, Chief Product Officer . When we started working on our inventory, TiE, Bangalore Chapter launched its EAP program. They invited startups who were looking for mentors. We found it to be the right opportunity as we needed mentoring - someone who could help us to get out of their problem of making the first sales. L!VE:How difficult is it to get VC Funding? When did you start seeking external funding? It was quite easy for us to get the VC funding.We raised money within six months into the business. We were selected by TiE for their mentorship program. This selection added to our credibility while raising money. Moreover, about five years back, the scenario was very different. There were very few startups but a good number of VCs. L!VE:Can you share your business model with us? What are your plans ahead? RedBus has a business model which is based on network effect. There are 3 parts to our business – redBus.inTM, SeatSellerTM and BOSSTM.


We applied to the program and were selected for their mentorship. In fact, we were amongst the first three companies to be selected. And since then, there was no looking back. Mentors (Sanjay Anandaram, Kiranbir Nag and Ashok Yerneni) helped us in refining our business idea and in solving the real problem which bus operators had in selling bus tickets. With the help of the mentors, the team set out to demonstrate the power of technology in increasing the sales of bus operators. We launched the consumer facing website, Meanwhile, our mentors helped us with the market research in finding out the market size, customer needs, competitive landscape, etc. Later, the mentors also helped us in raising investment, understanding the terminology of investment and all the related activities needed to close the first round of

L!VE August 2012



investment. They also helped in building the confidence of potential investors to invest in the company.

L!VE:What is your advice for the budding entrepreneurs?

L!VE:The bus travel sector is still unorganized especially in tier 2, tier 3 and other small cities. Are you planning to expand in these cities as well? How much time will it take for you to do so?

I would caution the youth to not enter into entrepreneurship fresh out of college. My advice is that they should work for about 3 to 4 years in a company before getting into entrepreneurship.There’s a lot of learning when one works. One learns about various departments in an organization, their roles and responsibilities, people issues and the way they are solved, etc. I would say that entrepreneurship is all about building big companies at a fast pace. And it has nothing to do with when the entrepreneur starts building the company. For instance, Google is considered as a huge success because it crossed $100 billion in turnover in the shortest time period and not because it was started by young guys, just out of college. Business is all about real money and no emotions.

Ecommerce in the travel sector is booming. In US 76 % of the travelers book online, in UK it is 57%. In Asia it is 20% and 25% in India. Given this figures, we can see a huge potential for growth. India is under penetrated and with the internet access reaching deeper into smaller cities and town, we will see a huge growth in terms of online bookings. We see very good traction in tier II / III towns. Our hypothesis is that people in tier II / III towns are used to buying railway tickets online. When the capability to buy bus tickets is introduced, they will just start to use it as well. So, Speaking in terms of expansion plans, tier II/tier III cities provide an excellent opportunity of growth. L!VE:How has been the reaction of the bus operators towards RedBus? Bus operators have great respect for us. They have always been supportive to us. Many of them say that we have brought sanity into the industry. It feels really good to hear it from them. L!VE:Tell us about the other unorganized sectors in our country which according to you need to be addressed? There are a humungous number of unorganized sectors currently present in India. The main challenge lies lies in the intial work where the feasibility has yet to be tested and the path ahead is not very clear. I would recommend one to choose something that excites him.


L!VE August 2012

However, if you believe you can be an entrepreneur, you should give it your 100%. I would tell young students to think big and work hard towards their goal.An MBA helps as you will be familiar with management fundamentals. Other things that worked for us during our initial days was - a good mentor, who we followed blindly and benefitted from their advice. Find a good mentor / teacher, who is experienced, knows his work and can guide your start-up. Be honest with your work, patience and modesty help. Keep updating yourself. We have a lot of information around us, technology is fast changing; if your knowledge is outdated, it can affect your work and company. L!VE: Thank you you englightening our readers with your experience!


Interview with Sunita Singh Senior Director and Co-founder, National Entrepreneurship Network(NEN)

L!VE: Having started your career in the field of Education and Worked for a PR agency, You Co-founded NEN. So, was it in yout mind from the start of your career or it happened just like that? I don’t think there is anything planned about what I am doing today. I am an opportunist in many ways, so when something excessively exciting is before me, and I can contribute significantly to it, I generally take it. In this case, I was charged by the vision of Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, the Chairman of the Wadhwani Foundation, (a parent organization of NEN)and the passion and creative thinking of Laura Parkin, CEO and co-founder of NEN, and here I am. So far this approach has worked for me, we will have to see how it plays out in the future.However, I knew it from early days of working- that I do better in unstructured, flexible atmosphere where there is an opportunity to create new stuff, do something different all the time. My stint at the PR agency was similar in that sense because even there I started by being part of a 2 person team starting from home and setting up the agency’s branch in Mumbai from scratch. SJMSOM, IIT Bombay


Sunita Singh is a Co-Founder & Senior Director of the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), India’s most vibrant entrepreneurial community and a leader in entrepreneurship education supporting the next generation of high growth entrepreneurs. Previously Sunita headed Litmus Mumbai, a PR agency that provided strategic services to several multi-national companies. She is an advisor to the IIT Kanpur’s SIDBI Innovation & Incubation Centre (SIIC) and to DST, Government of India’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development initiative.

L!VE:What was the motivation behind establishing NEN? How successful has it been to achieve its goals? NEN has been setup to help create hundreds of thousands of valuable jobs in India through the establishment of new companies. A basic premise at NEN has been that in India, there are more entrepreneurs those who start companies. This surmises that with the right environment, learning support and inspiration many more professionals are likely to start companies. Right from the beginning we have been clear that we need to fundamentally and systemically change the culture and education support to build an eco-system for new and growing entrepreneurs. There is evidence from our work on academic campuses that this process of enabling more young people to start companies is succeeding. Of course this is a humungous task, but we believe that collectively the network (NEN) is very well poised to achieve its goals. L!VE:Tell us briefly about the various functions of NEN and its business model. NEN is a network organization and we thrive on partnerships. At the center of this network is the NEN L!VE August 2012



Trust bringing together resources that support its network partners. Around it are hundreds of academic partners investing in themselves to build their capacity for entrepreneurial development. As these academic partners become more and more robust in their knowledge and support of entrepreneurship, individuals within and around them get support to start and build new companies. NEN Trust resource is multi-faceted – key among them being consulting and advisory support to build entrepreneurship infrastructure; Content, frameworks, pedagogical tools to facilitate learning; Faculty mentor development training and experience building support; matching expert resource for campus programs; outreach, marketing and collaboration support; reward and recognition support; metrics and best practices and so on. NEN raises financial and other resources from Funders who share NEN’s impact goals – it then matches a bulk of these resources with the most committed academic institutes to help them become strong hubs of entrepreneurship development. We expect this investment to be for a limited period of time, 3-6 years for an institute after which the institute partner could sustain and further its own growth. The idea is to build permanent programmatic, people and network infrastructure that will be ongoing in its impact and self-advancing after the initial support. L!VE: B-Schools all over India are now looking at establishing centers for excellence to facilitate entrepreneurship programs.So, what fuels the growth of such centers for excellence? This is an interesting but expected trend. Ten years ago when we started NEN, the typical response from a Director of a campus was, “Our students get good placement,we don’t need entrepreneurship” or “I will be sending a wrong signal about our ability to place students if I start promoting entrepreneurship”. Over the years the entrepreneurship efforts on campuses fuelled largely by NEN has made entrepreneurship more acceptable and


L!VE August 2012

even desirable amongst students.Now, the management is responding to this growing interest and recognizing it as a way for their students to excel. Additionally, any Director who is aware and progressive understands that the window of opportunity is now: entrepreneurship is the next value proposition and therefore, brand building tool. It is clear that large companies and the government are not creating the new jobs that we need every year – and that the new jobs come and have to come from new entrepreneurial firms. So if we want to see more valuable jobs in the economy, more young people have to be starting companies, which means the institutes have to equip them with the knowledge, exposure, experience and support structure to do so. To support this, government is creating financial & policy support to build knowledge and infrastructure for innovation, entrepreneurship and incubation. Clearly institutes that are taking pioneering steps now to establish themselves in this space will have a strong advantage in the next few years.

L!VE:What according to you are major constraints for Indian Start-ups? What are the major challenges they face today? Constraints for a startup vary from area to area and may even be typical of industries. However, repeatedly we come across 3 commonly articulated challenges: lack of transparency and consistency in the government policies and departments; lack of basic infrastructure including power, roads, quality manpower; and not enough open-minded, exposed and experienced entrepreneurial teams. The latter is a big enough problem that one needs to focus on - a better networked ecosystem, more expert help, training, access to funding could be key for prepared entrepreneurial teams better able to suc-

ceed. SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

L!VE:Do you think having an MBA helps in becoming an Entrepreneur? If yes, how?

E Week India is a national movement. It helps people realize how important entrepreneurs are to any society. E Week is about making more and more people aware, appreciative and supportive of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. Of course it is tough to be an entrepreneur, but that is why it is important to support those that try to be one and even more reason to celebrate them as role models. E Week does this, and over the years it has made a tremendous difference in how we perceive entrepreneurs. The task is far from complete though.

A yes or no answer would be too simplistic and I am not an MBA so wouldn’t know from personal experience either. However, given that our entire focus is on helping young people pick up the right skills and experience to become entrepreneurs, I would say that it may depend upon who you are as an individual – if you can take the exposure to business fundamentals without getting locked in the constraints of what cannot be done or what laws things have to adhere to always – an MBA could be a blessing. As an entrepreneur you typically will need to perform a variety of tasks and at the same time not get locked down in fitting things into existing slots!

We have some heart-warming cases of how E week has changed mindsets. In one instance, a parent with a government service background who was against his son’s work in entrepreneurship, changed his mind completely and pledged to put his retirement funds behind his venture after what he said was his‘eye-opening experience’ during one of the E Weeks. So while I am not advocating recklessness here, I do believe that as a society we have to better appreciate and support a budding entrepreneur’s efforts to build a company! L!VE:Emotionally and mentally, are Social entrepreneurs different from the regular entrepreneurs? I am not sure entrepreneurs whether social or forprofit have an emotional ‘category or kind’. There are all kinds in my brief experience of entrepreneurs and compartmentalizing them does not make sense. Besides, social entrepreneurship and for-profit entrepreneurship are not necessarily divergent from each other either. Having said this, a fundamental difference may lie in the individual entrepreneur’s perspective as s/he creates value day after day and year after year – do they get their kick out of changing big and systemic problems in society even if the financial returns are low or negligible or from solving important problems that also have a strong financial returns?



L!VE:Tell us something about the NEN e-week program. What is it about?

L!VE:What would you advice to the budding entrepreneurs be? I would say if you want to be an entrepreneur, make your choices of where you invest your time right - get an early experience of entrepreneurship. Today you no longer have to wait till you graduate to try things out; try things out early so you begin to understand yourselves better; fail early so you know what not to do; these things will help as you get out into the world and go after bigger entrepreneurial opportunities. The other advice would be to have openness and flexibility of thinking – more often than not; one sees that the entrepreneur him/herself is the biggest barrier to success or growth. L!VE: We thank you on behalf of team L!VE for enlightening our readers and sharing your experience with them!

L!VE August 2012


Interview with Sumit Jain FACE TO FACE

Co-founder and CEO, Sumit Jain is the co-founder and CEO at Commonfloor. com which is India’s first real estate portal dedicated to apartments and gated communities.He is also the cofounder of MaxHeap Technologies.He holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from Indian Institute of technology, Roorkee.Prior to Commonfloor, he has worked at Oracle India. L!VE:Tell us briefly about Commonfloor. What are the services which you provide through this online venture? is an innovative online solution that addresses a person’s complete residential requirements. From searching for an apartment to facilitating interactions within an apartment community on the ‘CommonFloor’ platform and connecting one to relevant service providers, the portal is dedicated to meet all the aspects of consumers’ needs related to their homes. It helps different stakeholders in the real estate market. If one is looking to rent or buy apartments, CommonFloor helps to identify the right apartment to rent or buy, interact with dealers as well as owners and also collect relevant information about a property. On the other hand, CommonFloor also helps apartment owners to connect with co-buyers, residents and respective apartment associations. On the apartment management front, CommonFloor acts as a tool to computerize the community’s management and accounting processes and to leverage the power of Internet in discussing issues and sharing information, thereby enabling more efficiency and transparency in apartment operations. L!VE:How did the idea to start Commonfloor come to your mind? What was the motivation behind it? 18

L!VE August 2012

The idea to start CommonFloor occurred to us when we faced a very common problem that many people living in apartment communities will identify with. Despite living in such communities for long, we realized that there was hardly any interaction among neighbors; some families were not even known to us. At the same time, all the residents faced almost similar problems while living in their apartments. This made us think of a solution that could bring owners, buyers and association committee members together. After some thought, we launched CommonFloor in 2007. The objective that we had in mind was to make an apartment buyer / owner’s life easy, by bringing him and others like him on a common platform for interactions regarding services, issues and their common interests, which would make his life less complicated. Today, CommonFloor has evolved into a complete solution for a person’s real estate / residential needs – from finding / buying / selling / renting a home to managing the one he already owns. The portal is committed to become a one-stop destination for home seekers, residents, association members and service providers that cater to community living. L!VE:What is the business model of Commonfloor. What are the main revenue sources for your company? We generate revenue from advertising and vendor listings.Many well-known players across various SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

verticals like realty and banking services advertise with us to reach out to people who are looking to buy or sell property in a non intrusive and targeted manner. Vendors like interior designers, plumbers, carpenters, etc. also use our platform to advertise their services.

As far as our customer base is concerned, we today connect over a million apartments / house buyers and users who visit our portal every month. Currently present in 120 cities, CommonFloor has over 40,000 communities listed with it, constituting more than 25 Lakh homes. The reaction from all the stakeholders involved, like customers, agents, builders, vendors, etc. has been very favorable and we have seen more and more people joining the CommonFloor platform to satisfy their residential requirements.

Like most start-ups, we also had our share of challenges, especially while taking the product out of the garage. As the founding team had experience in building the scalable internet based platform, we could turn the idea into a product pretty fast. The biggest challenge was to convince the apartment association members on how CommonFloor could solve a variety of problems while keeping their privacy undisturbed. The challenge got bigger because we did not have grey hair, our solution was first of its kind because of which there was an adoption curve and we were doing it with almost no funds. Over all, there was an underlying need to educate users about the need to connect with their neighbors and their society as a whole. However, we have always taken these challenges head on and have found a solution to them over the years.


L!VE:What is your customer base? How has been their reaction towards the company?

L!VE:What have been your biggest challenges and learning so far, bringing & running an Internet based service to Indian consumers?

L!VE:Did you receive any VC funding? How difficult is it for a start-up to get VC funding? Yes, we have been funded by Accel India. I believe that once you have a proven business proposition, an operating model and you have shown the desire to completely focus on your venture, investors will take you seriously. Of course, it helps if you have a sizeable customer base and revenues when you approach the investors. The best approach is to focus on your business and not on VCs. Trust me, if you are doing something good, VCs will chase you.

L!VE:Who are your partners in the business? Did you receive any mentorship? Vikas Malpani and Lalit Mangal are the other cofounders of CommonFloor. Vikas currently serves as the Head of Marketing and Communities in the company and Lalit is the Head of Product and Technology in CommonFloor. We received mentorship from Morpheus Venture Partner when we began our journey. Later, our investors, Accel India have also mentored us over the years. SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

L!VE August 2012



L!VE:What are the challenges which a start-up faces in its initial days? How do you perceive the start-up ecosystem in India? Is the current scenario supportive for Indian start-ups? The initial challenges we faced were issues common to most start-ups. It was tough to gain the confidence of various stakeholders like customers, agents, builders and vendors. Another issue was to gather the most relevant and up to date information on realty when we started offering the real estate listings services.We had to reach out to gated communities in person and explain to them the benefits of using CommonFloor. However, gradually we succeeded in building the confidence of all stakeholders in us. Traffic to the site started picking up through word-of-mouth publicity and from then on, there has been no looking back. I feel that the start-up ecosystem in India is quite mature today.We have a good network of angel investors who are willing to take risks on new business ideas as well as VC / PE’s who are open to investing large sums, as start-ups begin to achieve scale.We also have a lot of good talent who want to work with start-ups today, rather than join big companies. I am sure, with time, the system will mature further and we will see many more start-ups with potential to scale up. A little help from the government to promote the ecosystem and an improvement in taxation policies will go a long way in shaping the ecosystem further. L!VE:Currently, Commonfloor has operations in multiple cities in India. Being a start-up, what are the challenges in managing operations across multiple cities and how do you tackle them?

marketing, sales and operations plan. Finding the right talent is one of the biggest challenges which we are facing in running offices across multiple cities. Last but not the least, the cost of making mistakes is multi-folds and one should make sure that the science is proved in one city before multiplying. L!VE:What would your advice be for the budding entrepreneurs who are trying to come up with e-services for Indian customers? In my opinion, the most important thing that an entrepreneur should have is a ‘can do’ attitude.They should be ready to never say ‘no’ and to find solutions to all the hurdles that they come across in their journey. Secondly, as an entrepreneur, everyday one has to deal with all kinds of people for a multitude of reasons. Therefore, it is necessary that an entrepreneur cultivates good people skills. One should be an effective communicator and someone who can be easily approached for solutions by people around him/her. Lastly, business acumen and the knack of identifying relevant opportunities are other important skills that an entrepreneur must possess. For this, it helps to have a good set of partners and advisors. It is imperative to be on top and up-to-date with the operating business environment, industry buzz and competitive intelligence. L!VE:Thank you for sharing your experience with our readers!

Although expansion of one’s business operations to other cities is a healthy sign of growth, it comes with certain challenges. As a start-up, you have to manage your funds in such a way that the growth does not happen at the cost of supporting operations in the existing cities. One has to make a right


L!VE August 2012


Success Story of a Telecom Sevice Provider Company

The presence of an efficient telecommunication network is vital for a economy to push it onto the path of development.Indian telecom sector has been the fastest growing sector in the world and it is one of the major drivers of the growth of the Indian economy. Having said that, the challenges which an operator has to face in this sector are enormous.The success story of Mahanagar Telecom Mauritius LTD, a subsidiary of MTNL India,perfectly depicts all the complexities associated with this sector and offers valuable lessons for an aspiring entrepreneur. LAUNCH OF THE COMPANY Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited is a Telecom Service provider in the island country of Mauritius. Mauritius has a population of 1.2 million, has a per capita income of around 7000 USD and is located in Southern Hemisphere. Tele-density in the country is around 98%. Orange, EMTEL and MTML are the three access providers in Mauritius. Orange (MT) is the incumbent operator, EMTEL the second operator operating since 1990 and MTML being the last entrant in 2006. In accordance with its vision of providing world class Telecommunication Services and to be a global leader, MTNL grabbed the opportunity of invitation from Mauritius to start telecom operations in Mauritius in the end of 2003. MTNL incorporated its 100% subsidiary company MTML (Mahanagar Telephone Mauritius Ltd) on 14th Nov 2003 with authorized capital of SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

MUR 600Million (INR 1000 Million app USD 20M). It was decided to go in for CDMA technology keeping in view the tight timeframe of 18 months given for starting the fixed wire line telecom operations.


About the Author:Sanjay Garg is the CEO of Mahanagar Telecom Mauritius LTD, which is a subsidiary of MTNL India. He belongs to the 1982 batch of Indian Telecom Services (ITS). He has an experience of about twenty eight years in the telecom industry working across places such as Mumbai, Jammu, Srinagar and Mauritius. Sanjay holds a BE and ME degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. The views expressed here are his own.

Contract was awarded to the lowest bidder i.e.M/s Huawei Technologies on 23rd Nov 2004 at an estimated cost of USD 16 Million to survey, design, plan, and supply, Install, test and commission the complete network based on CDMA Technology. To carry our international traffic,Tata Communications Ltd, India was chosen with best market rates with a commitment of inbound traffic to MTML which will give fixed revenue to MTML. THE CDMA JOURNEY The international long distance(ILD) services was launched through Carrier access code (060) on 25th June 2005.This was done with the sole objective of getting a feel of the market and to start earning some revenue. ILD services through pre-paid cards were launched in Dec ‘2005 and the International calling cards got sold like hot cakes in the market. With the network availability in major districts, the Fixed Wireless Phone services were launched on 19th Jan 2006. The internet services were launched in Feb 2007 which was accessible through Fixed Wireless Phone.The complete network was ready by March 2007 and the mobile services were launched in Mar 2007. High speed EVDO Internet services were launched L!VE August 2012



in April 2008 in the main parts of the country and subsequently extended to all parts of the island June 2009.MTML’s International Long Distance Call services became popular among Indian and Bangladeshi expatriates and we could capture more than 80% of the ILD market of the expatriates.All the services were offered at the best competitive prices. The other operators had to follow suit thereby bringing reduction in tariffs, especially in the ILD Services. Lesson1: Service sector especially the Telecom sector operates on lowest of the margins due to intense competition and as such, new startups will not have the luxury of deep pockets. It is therefore imperative for them to be on constant vigil. CDMA sojourn and the new Path of GSM The CDMA services had become popular and the capacity was fully exhausted. But, we observed a dip in revenue as the tariffs were cut down due to Government policies and change in IUC (Interconnection Usage Charges) etc. We could also not enhance the revenue through high end customers as CDMA had some limitations like non-availability of international roaming and value added services. Nonavailability of high end model handsets in the market was also limiting customers from switching to our network. Further, every time, we had to procure the handsets and sell it on subsidy as no mobile vendors in Mauritius were selling CDMA handsets. Our ma-

jor portion of revenue was to be spent on procurement of handsets affecting our cash-flow and also the subsidy thereby reducing our profit. Lesson 2:Take fast decisions, do not worry much. Decisions may go wrong but then they can be corrected. Looking back the decision to select CDMA Technology backfired but then the changes were made later to take care of the lost opportunity. However during CDMA operations we grabbed the opportunity to exploit International call market. Further, with the coming of substitute services like VOIP ILD service, our ILD Segment’s share of revenue kept diminishing day after day. Despite our best efforts to stop the illegal VOIP ILD services by taking it up with relevant authorities the same could not be


L!VE August 2012

stopped. Our revenue of ILD segment took a dip by more than 400%.In order to sustain and enhance the revenue generated, it was planned to expand the exhausted capacity by going for GSM capacity. The challenges were many to accomplish them but MTML’s dedicated team with the support and directions of the Board could make the impossible possible. Lesson 3:Give regular feedback to hierarchy above you to keep them aware of ground realities and update the team below on all necessary parameters to keep on going in the right directions. The first major task was to get the spectrum in 900 MHz band as the same was not available and used by the existing operators. After much persuasion and presentation of our case to the authorities, we could make other 2 operators to release some portion of the 900 MHz band and the ICTA to allot the same to us. Lesson 4: Develop continuous dialogue with all the stakeholders, network with the authorities and be available at all the right places.

It was a challenging task to plan, install and deploy the new GSM Network equipment due to a number of factors.The tender specifications were to be drawn to provide for additional 100K lines of GSM network and also to accommodate the existing CDMA network utilizing the existing resources. The existing equipment supplier could not win the tender and the same was won by M/S ZTE Corporation resulting in the integration and migration of data becoming more complex. The migration of the Live Data was also a tough task as the existing vendor had not given any support. With the MTML’s team dedicated work this was possible in record time. As the CDMA was live, it was ensured that no break in service happens.


Lesson 5:Develop team spirit. Allow everyone to come up with suggestions and ideas. Consider each and select the most appropriate ones.

Lesson 6:Marketing is very important. Do your market analysis, properly segment the market and keep on communicating. Let the potential customer know that you offer specifically for his/her segment. Maintain close dialogue and get regular feedback with the market. WAY FORWARD Plans are made to build a strong customer base of 50K by the end of the fiscal year 2012-13. Strong Marketing campaigns are being worked out to achieve this target.Our project had projected for 3G in the third year of operations i.e. in 2014. The competitors of SJMSOM, IIT Bombay


GSM Launch The first phase of GSM Network with a capacity of 100K with ‘EDGE’ was planned to be launched from Nov 2011 with a total of 110 sites on air to meet the desired planned coverage. With lot of persuasions and liaison with various authorities, we could get 90 sites covering major areas. The new GSM Services were branded as ‘CHILI’ with the tagline: ‘Hot on Technology Cool on Pocket ‘ SIM cards and new recharge cards in easy denominations were brought out. Within two months of launch, we could get 10,000 customers in CHILI. In the GSM, as there was enough scope for revenue from roaming services, intensified dialogues with ‘roaming partners’ all over the world began in July ‘11. Operators in other countries were reluctant to be our ‘roaming partner’ as they had prevailing agreements with our competitors. However, through negotiations and offering better packages, within three months of launch, we could wrap up around 80 operators in major potential countries. Within eight months of operation, owing to the introduction of new customer friendly packages, our customer base rose to 30K and we brought almost almost all countries under roaming agreement thus enhancing our roaming revenue. In collaboration with various VAS providers, we could launch several new value added services. The growth of GSM is going as per the expectations and we are sure that the objectives will be fully met.

MTML have launched 4G in 2012 and it was felt that we should go in for 3G immediately without waiting for two more years. Further, enhancing to 3G network will bring more roaming customers thus increasing our roaming revenue. Hence processes to place order for 3G have been initiated.The African Telecom market is wide open and there is lot of scope for investment, growth and profit making. We are frequently getting many offers from various African countries for joint ventures/sole operations etc. We are examining such offers and depending upon the case, we may go in for such venture. From Dec 2011, the Government has opened the undersea cable to all interested operators (releasing from Orange, the exclusive bandwidth operator so far) to operate in Mauritius. We are having dialogues with potential stake holders in undersea cable to sell their bandwidth to us at better rates and reselling of the same by us to others in collaboration with other companies. On materialization of this, we may get some more additional revenue.MTML today is a fairly successful company and is going to generate steady revenue for a good period without the need to make any new investments. Any startup has the potential to be successful if it takes into account: i)All market conditions including the present competition, ii)The prevalent government policies including future expected changes, iii)The possibility of substitutes coming up, iv) Technological changes likely to happen, v) Present market demand including the present supply and future trends The challenge is more in a pure Government startup. However, the risk can be mitigated if you: 1.Keep a continuous watch on cash flows and monitor ROI on a regular basis. 2.Keep the MIS data ready and monitor it closely to see the progress being made. Any deviation from planned projection will make it necessary to change the strategy. 3.Lastly, record all the details with planned time schedules and actuals achieved. L!VE August 2012



Lean Six Sigma: A Driving Force for Operations Excellence About the author:Prof Indrajit Mukherjee,is an assistant Professor at Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay.He holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, IIT Kharagpur and M.Tech. from Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta. He has also worked as a Senior Engineer in Tata Motors Limited, Pune. His publications have appeared in various leading journals.His areas of research interest include Operations Management , Quality Engineering and Management.

In the context of manufacturing, creating standards, sustaining standards, and resolving any deviation from the standards are the important goals for operations excellence. Combining the concept of lean manufacturing with the Six Sigma methodology can create required standards with minimal deviation from defined targets. In other words, lean manufacturing concepts can create industry standards, and Six Sigma calls for reduced variability around the standards. The concept of ‘Lean Six Sigma’ is all about combining the core concepts of lean philosophy and Six Sigma methodology. However, both these concept were initially popularized by successful implementations at various multinational companies, such as Toyota, Motorola, Dell, Allied Signal, Honeywell, and General Electric. Lean manufacturing (Ross & Associates, 2003) was derived from theToyota Production System (TPS), conceptualized by Taiichi Ohno. Ohno emphasized the links between improved business results with the elimination of waste or non-value added activities. Lean principle focuses on creating a continual improvement culture that engage employees in reducing the lead time, increasing the processing speed, and stream lining the material flow for meeting the customer demand. Lean philosophy also emphasizes on improving product quality, reducing production costs, and responding quickly to customer demands. Primary objective of lean manufacturing is to supply exactly what the customer wants, when the customer wants, without any waste, and through a continual process improvement initiative. Five popular lean principles, as proposed by researcher (Womack et al, 1990), are: (i) specify value, (ii) identify the value stream, (iii) smooth process flow, (iv) production based on pull, and (v) perfection through elimination of waste. The implementation of the lean concepts can lead to improved product design based on the


L!VE August 2012

value centric approach (known as ‘design for lean’). On the contrary, Six Sigma (Breyfogle et al, 2001) is a methodology that focuses primarily on reduction of variability for critical-to-quality (CTQ) characteristics. Any deviation from the desired value(s) of CTQ’s can lead to customer dissatisfaction. Sigma represents the population standard deviation, a unit of measurement that designates the distribution or spread about the mean of the process response. Six Sigma is a philosophy that emphasizes improvement based on hard fact and figures.A process achieves Six Sigma when the outcome or response quality characteristics have only 3.4 defects per million opportunities. The five- phases of implementation of Six Sigma methodology are Define (D), Measure (M), Analyze (A), Improve (I), and Control(C). These phases are also referred to as DMAIC in short form. The core concept of Six Sigma lies in analyzing actual data with statistical techniques for systematic process improvement. Although, Six Sigma has its critics, there is little doubt that it can be a useful roadmap for driving operations excellence, reducing process variability, and improving product quality. Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) plays a critical role in new product development, and optimizing a specific product design. Both Six Sigma and lean addresses specific issues of manufacturing and product development. Lean initiatives are great for boosting productivity, changing work culture in an organization, but rarely will it offer solution to fix unseen quality problems. Thus, certain issue, problems, and objectives are very specific and can be best addressed by any one of these philosophies. Combining both will definitely increase the precision of process and design and create one unified idea of continual improvement. Instigated by the pros and cons of each philosophy, practitioners are emphasizing more on combining lean and Six Sigma. SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

Krishna Prasad, Class of 2011, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

The Usual Grind ALUMNI SPEAK

When I was asked to write something for the magazine, the person who contacted me wanted to know if I write serious content as well. This was because the person had read some of the gibberish that I have written in the past. I was taken aback for two reasons: 1. He actually had the patience to read my articles and even felt they were worthy of appreciation. 2. By asking me to contribute to the magazine, and that too serious stuff, he was taking me too seriously. Somehow I gained composure and assured him that I would contribute something. It was suggested that I write something about my experience at SOM or ‘Life after SOM’. There was nothing extraordinary about my SOM experience. I spent those two years of my life trying to understand the archaeological origins and the symbolic significance of what is called ‘SOM rock’, just like everybody else in my batch. We used to have intellectually stimulating and enriching philosophical discussions - during the class hours - about the likely origin and the possible (f)utility of SOM rock. Every day would end on a disappointing note, without an answer to the most troubling question. Unfortunately, I got a degree before getting an answer. The other major aspect of my SOM life was making the maximum possible use of the reference books, journals, technical reports, theses, academic CDs and other such material from the vast collection of resources in SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

the central library. As you must have guessed by now, I am obviously joking. On a serious note, my days at SOM were among the best days of my life. I always enjoyed being a student. It doesn’t matter how old one is. One’s mischievous instincts come to the fore the moment one sits in a class hearing someone deliver a lecture. At school, we eagerly await college life (in India, all of us await engineering college life) and the associated freedom. During college, we look forward to our first paycheck. As electrical engineers, most of us take the next logical step of joining an IT firm. After a few years in IT, any sane person would start looking for an honourable exit. This is when we start looking for an answer to the million dollar question ‘Why MBA?’. Most of us do not want to know but the b-school interview panelists insist that we give an answer. Finally, even before we get an answer to the question, we get an admission offer. Once we are in a b-school, we are anxious about our summer placements. Thinking about final placements gives us sleepless nights. We are worried about LPA. Quite natural, with a 9 lakh education loan staring at you and the possibility of your girlfriend deserting you if your compensation package falls below a certain threshold. In the end, you get a well paying job and join work. The salary gets credited to L!VE August 2012



your new account at the end of your first month - a blissful feeling to get a credit after two long years. But slowly, the feeling starts to sink in that you are already missing the beautiful campus and more importantly, your wonderful friends, the nautanki and bakwas. You start getting used to the grind. You realise that unlike in the case of your pre-MBA job, this time there is no honourable exit. Some of you may still be looking for an answer to the question - ‘Why MBA?’. You are consumed by a feeling of nostalgia. While you have always been looking forward to something, probably for the first time, you will look back. Student life is wonderful. Make the most of your time at SOM. Enjoy every moment.

the email as a personal invitation. If you have made too many good friends at SOM, you will find yourself travelling across the length and breadth of the country attending weddings. While you go through the usual cycle, do keep a few things in mind - I have to respect the mandate given to me, that is to write something serious on ‘Life after SOM’. I will just restrict myself to the first word - Life. I am sure that you would be smart enough to chart your own professional career. So, let me skip that part. These are not words of advice. I am just using this as an opportunity to remind myself of certain things. Happiness is a state of mind. Your happiness has nothing to do with your job or pay. Never forget to smile.Do not make your happiness contingent on extraneous factors. It is funny that most of us are constantly looking for reasons to be unhappy. The best time to be happy is now.While it is fine to look forward to something, do not lose the beauty of the moment. Do what you love. Love what you do. Live life on your terms. You are not here to prove anything to anyone. While it is alright to be dedicated to your job, do not forget that while the job is for you, you are not for the job. On your deathbed you will never regret spending less time at work. My best wishes to all of you for a great future and a wonderful life.

Of course, we will always have something to look forward to. After a job, it would naturally be marriage. Some of you may have already found your partner.You will see that the final placements season will also mark the beginning of the wedding season (Hand over the offer letter to your girlfriend’s father and seek her hand in marriage phenomenon). People who have been able to skilfully maintain their relationship through the two years of MBA would be the first ones to get married. There will be a couple of SOM couples, same batch or across batches - a few surprises, maybe. Do not rule out any combination. In the first few months after SOM, your inbox will be flooded with wedding invitations with a request to consider 26

L!VE August 2012


Sheetal Menon, 2nd Year Doctoral Student, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

Impact of Plant Breeders’ Rights on Indian Farmers

What impact can strong Intellectual Property (IP) laws have on Indian Agriculture? Very high,I would say, especially at the rate at which the scope of IP has broadened, bringing agriculture within the ambit of IP protection. In the game of bargaining power, politics, and public welfare, it appears fairly certain as to who has the upper hand! The big three i.e. multinational seed companies, agrochemicals, and biotechnology companies, who have made huge investments in developing new plant varieties, better agricultural inputs and technologies, have successfully lobbied their governments to ensure the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement extended IP protection to plant varieties and allowed for patentability of plant genetic material. The big three wanted to be assured of “adequate” financial returns for their research efforts.

There is a similar ban in place on the export of seeds too. Under the 1961 Industrial Policy Act, large Indian firms (more than Rs. 1 billion or US$133 million in assets) and firms that had more than 40% foreign ownership could not enter the seed industry (Pray and Ramaswami, 2001). Seed development and distribution was under government control, the primary agencies being the National Seed Corporation and the State Farm Corporation of India. Indian plant breeding programmes have been amongst the most successful in the world, with rates of return to investment in plant breeding research in India being in excess of 50 percent (Pal and Tripp, 2002).

TRIPS which came into force on 1st January, 1995 was the most controversial international agreements of the WTO, due to its far-reaching and wide-ranging impacts not only for R&D and innovation, but also on the fundamental human rights, including right to health, right to food, rights of farmers, and the protection of traditional knowledge and biodiversity (Plahe, 2009).

However, from the late 1980s, several key changes were made to India’s seed policy. In 1987, government reversed the ban on the entry of large and foreign owned seed and biotechnological companies into the seed sector. In 1988, the government brought about a new policy, “New Seed Industry Development Policy” which reversed the ban on seed imports (Rao, 2004). Additionally, in 1991 government introduced changes to technology transfer and foreign investment regulations, all of which culminated in entry of large Indian companies into seed market, joint ventures as well as technical collaborations between Indian seed companies and foreign companies and establishment of subsidies in India by foreign seed companies.

Let us first get a brief insight into Indian agribusiness prior to TRIPS. In the post-independence period, Indian government tightly controlled the seed sector to ensure that this “genetic software” was not only accessible, but also affordable to farmers (Rangnekar, 2002). There was a ban on commercial import of seeds, and on any agricultural inputs produced in India. Private companies could only import seeds after obtaining special permission from the government. SJMSOM, IIT Bombay


“Our farmers deserve praise, not condemnation; and their efficiency should be cause for gratitude, not something for which they are penalized.” – President John F. Kennedy

It was partly due to the predominant role in plant breeding, that the Indian government did not allow intellectual property rights (IPRs) over plants and plant varieties. Indian government’s strong presence in the seed sector kept seed prices in check.

L!VE August 2012



Association of India (SAI) strongly lobbied the Indian government for extension of IPRs to plant varieties through an instrument known as Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBRs). Though the introduction of PBRs was strongly opposed by NGOs and farmer’s lobby groups (for reasons presented in the later half of this discussion), government succumbed to the pressure from SAI, and the first Bill on PBRs was drafted in 1993-94 by Indian Ministry of Agriculture. The interesting aspect is that pressure for introducing PBRs came from the domestic play of forces such as the expanding private seed industry, following the adoption of New Seed Policy in 1988, and not solely in response to the commitment made by the country as a part of the Agreement on TRIPS. According to TRIPS, WTO member states were obliged to protect plant varieties “either through patents or an effective sui generis system (unique system designed or customized for a particular purpose) or by any combination thereof ”. In addition to TRIPS,western European countries also initiated a process to extend IP protection to plant varieties, which resulted in the adoption of the 1961 International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties Convention (UPOV), which was the only international treaty that regulated plant breeders’ rights, and ensured the rights of commercial breeders’ over new varieties. UPOV was amended in 1972 and 1978, and with final provisions leading to 1991 UPOV Convention.WTO considers UPOV Convention as the standard of what constitutes the “effectiveness” of the sui generis system. India had the option of choosing between TRIPS provision of Plant Patents or a sui generis system of plant varieties protection which adhered to the guidelines of UPOV ’91. The Indian government very diplomatically chose the latter, since it would provide some room for modifications of the law and could be tweaked to suit our country’s need (Dhar and Chaturvedi, 2001). With this, I come to the main point of argument, “What are the implications of all these forms of IP protection on Indian agriculture?”


L!VE August 2012

It is important to remember that UPOV ’61 was developed almost exclusively with a view to protect the interests of the commercial plant breeders of Europe, with PBRs allowing plant breeders to exercise control over the production and marketing of seeds and other propagating material of protected plant varieties. At the same time, UPOV also allowed member states to grant “limited” privileges to farmers regarding reuse of harvested seeds and also exchange of seeds with their farm neighbours. These limited privileges remained as a part of UPOV, until the 1991 Amendment, resulting in the strengthening of rights of plant breeders. The scope of protection expanded to allow plant breeders to lay claims on not only the harvested crops, but also on any other product that used the crops. UPOV ’91 also restricted the ability of farmers to reuse the harvested seeds. In a country such as ours, where agriculture is farmerdominated, it is necessary to recognize the contribution made by the traditional farmers towards the preservation of genetic strains. There must be a legislation that grants economic rewards to not only the modern plant breeders for developing new varieties but also to the contributions of rural tribal families/communities, and farmer-innovators who have remained an integral part of the agricultural system down the millennium (Plahe, 2011). In India, the PBR’s legislation is entitled “The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act” (PPVRFs) which was passed in 2001.Fortunately, government has not strictly adhered to the provisions of UPOV ’91, by including flexibilities such as grant of “compulsory licenses” and “licenses of right”.However, the provisions for farmers’ rights would mostly benefit only affluent farmers. The small farmers would be left out in this PBR system. In fact, statistics also support this point! There has been a drop in the number of applications for registrations from farmers’ groups as the process is both costly and time consuming, and requires farmers to “prove” the eligibility of their plant varieties. Only time will tell what implications will such policy instruments have on our farming communities. Who will emerge victorious- the deserving or the powerful? SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

Ankita Anjushi, UBS Chandigarh

Winning Article

Marketing for the Bottom of the Pyramid Serving the Untapped Mass The tragedy of poverty is still playing havoc in today’s world as it was when the great economist Sir Adam Smith gave this statement a century ago. Human race is marred by the unequal distribution of economic wealth even today. This distribution of wealth and the capacity to generate incomes in the world can be captured in the form of an economic pyramid. On the bottom of this pyramid reside “The 4 billion forgotten men” who are often rural and poorly served.

mean paying more for a large quantity upfront, BOP population tend to buy what they need for short segments of time.These factors result in consumers buying products locally, in small quantity on a daily basis. The reasons that today many businesses are chanting the BOP mantra are the Urban Push and Rural Pull factors. Businesses who so far operated in urban markets now do not find them much attractive due to saturation of demand and ferocity of competition. On the other hand, the rising purchasing power of the poor people, improvement in the infrastructure and the growing awareness among the poor has contributed to the attractiveness of the BOP market. The expenditure as a percentage of income of rural areas of India paints a clear picture of the attractiveness of the BOP.


“The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations” -Adam Smith

Figure 1: Economic Pyramid Today, many factors have forced the businesses to embark upon the search for the new consumers from the base of this pyramid. This excavation of the forgotten man is being made both due to compulsion Fig 2:Comparison of Rural and Urban Expenditure in India and choice. It is a compulsion as the current markets are saturating at fast pace and choice because of the BOP presents a market of latent demand. Thus, the attractiveness and vibrancy of the BOP market. marketing techniques required for BOP have to be A very pertinent question which rises in the mind is innovative and out of the box. Before a company that how and why the poorest of poor be considered considers entering the rural market, understandas a potential market. Can businesses really gener- ing the types of products and packages that rural ate enough revenues from this marginalised section? population typically use is crucial. Mere transplanThe simple concept of huge volumes of sales convert- tation of the urban marketing strategies to BOP ing low revenues per unit into huge profits gives us will not work. BOP posses a series of challenges for the answer. Rather than buying in bulk, which would the marketer and thus requires special attention. SJMSOM IIT Bombay

L!VE August 2012



The biggest obstacle in BOP marketing is that the BOP required not only for prod uct development for BOP consumer is still evolving. Thus, the marketer has to but also for understanding the needs of the customer. not only ignite the latent demand of this segment, he Companies are typically attuned to creating demand also has to innovate in terms of the product offering, its at the higher end of the market. Disregarding the sopackaging, distribution channels , promotional tech- cio-economic and political fabric of the target BOP niques and most importantly the pricing of the product can be fatal as apparent from the disaster of NIKE or service so as to make footwear in China. Nike his gains in this market. introduced $12 athletic With low disposable inshoes in China. They comes, products need to used their existing stores be affordable to the rural at Shanghai and Beijing consumer, most of who that sold high-end Nike are on daily wages.Godrej products to sell their addressed this problem by low cost shoes as well. introducing three brands Their target customers of Cinthol and Fair Glow never shopped at these soap in 50-gm packs, stores due to their perpriced at Rs. 4-5 for ruception of the brand beral markets. This pricing ing for rich people only. strategy led to an increase As a result, Nike did not in the market share of meet its sales target and Fig. 3 Challenges for the Marketer Godrej at a rate of 20% ultimately they had to from 2007 to 2009. hand over the project to their philanthropic arm. . Companies like Hindustan Lever have addressed the Thus, we can say that 3 Ds- Distance, Diversity challenge of accessing the under developed stretches and Dispersion play a significant role while decidof the BOP markets by building a strong distribution ing about the marketing tools and techniques to be system where stockists use auto rickshaws, bullock- employed for the BOP. Offering the product at the carts and even boats in the backwaters to reach the formal level but which is tailor-made for the BOP customer. Emami Ltd. innovated in this regard by consumer needs like Nokia 1100 is key to success in opting for joint distribution with Post and telegraph BOP marketing. A lot can be done in the BOP segdepartment to place its products across 5000 post of- ment as lots of their basic needs are yet unmet like fifices in Maharashtra. Companies like Coca-Cola have nancial services, mobile phones and communication, gained acceptability for their product by providing housing, water, electricity and basic healthcare. Busilow-cost ice boxes- a tin box for new outlets and nesses can search for innovative ideas and en cash the thermocol box for seasonal outlets to make up for plethora of opportunities available for their benefit as the lack of electricity and refrigerators in the rural well as the benefit of the “Forgotten Man�. areas. Businesses are also employing innovative techniques of below the line marketing to increase awareness of their products. Hindustan Lever relies heavily on its own company-organized media. Philips India uses wall writing and radio advertising to drive its growth in rural areas. Nevertheless, extensive research and development is


L!VE August 2012


Winning Article

Praveen Pandey, NITIE Mumbai

Indian Logistics the Way Forward: Challenges and Opportunities Challenges for Indian logistics sector

Logistics is the lifeline of any growing economy. Council of Logistics Management, USA, has defined logistics as: “the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from point of origin to point of consumption for the purpose.” Logistics Cost in India World Bank, in its Trade Logistics in the Global Economy Report, 2012 has ranked India 46th in global trade logistics performance. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of over US$1.8 trillion, the Indian logistics cost is one of the highest in the world. The logistics cost run up to 14 per cent of GDP whereas in developed world these costs are about 7-9 per cent of GDP. India loses around USD 46 billion each year due to inefficient logistics network.

Fig.1 :Share of logistics cost in total sales for various industries

Fig 2:Logistics cost as a proportion of GDP


Road Network in India


Logistics: Definition & Importance

Source: National Highway Development Authority

Road Infrastructure 1.Capacity Constrains India is having one the largest network of roads in the world, but still only 7000 km are four lane roads as compared to 34000 km in China. This constitutes of 2% of the road network, but carries 40% of the traffic. 2.High fragmentation The sector is highly fragmented as cumulative revenue of top 20 logistics companies is just 2%. Also 74% of truck owners’ are small fleet operators having less than 5 trucks. High competition among them results in low profit margin and hampers the opportunity for them to expand.

Truck Ownership

L!VE August 2012



3.Overloading of trucks It results in shorter life expectancy of the roads and vehicles, higher pollution, increase in number of accidents and overall inefficiency in operation. Also the ageing trucks have very poor fuel efficiency resulting in higher fuel consumption and maintenance cost which increases the cost of transportation leading to price rise.

Marine Infrastructure Some Vital Stats  About 60% of India’s container traffic is handled by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai  It has just 9 berths compared to 40 in the main port of Singapore.  It takes an average of 21 days to clear import cargo in India as compared to just 3 in Singapore.  Cargo handling is projected to grow at 7.7% until 2013-14.  Only 43 of the 187 minor ports can handle cargo  Mundra port alone handles 60% of minor port traffic

1.Saturated Capacity The 12 major ports in India handles about 76% of the traffic. These ports are saturated and do not have much scope to increase their capacity to meet the expected growth in future cargo traffic. Break up of logistics cost in India

Rail Infrastructure 1.Oversaturated rail network Since independence, India has only added 13,000km of route length growing only at a CAGR of 3%, whereas freight and passenger traffic has grown at a CAGR of 54%. This has led to high density oversaturated corridors. The average speed of freight trains is 25 km/hr in India which causes operational inefficiency. 2.High freight rates Indian Railways cross subsidise heavy losses in its passenger segment with extremely high freight rates. The freight charges in India are nearly 4 times that of United States.

2.Below par productivity Indian ports suffer from low productivity and high turnaround time. As per Economic Survey 2009-10, the average turnaround time of major ports in the country was 3.87 days in 2008-09, against 10 hours in Hong Kong. Air Infrastructure 1.High dwell time The dwell time for import and export cargo at Indian Airports is much below world standards. Dwell time is 24 to 36hrs at Indian airports as compared to 12hrs for most international airports. 2.Air Cargo transportation The demand for air cargo transportation has increased in recent years. This is due to shortened product lifecycle. There has been 12.1% and 10.1% growth rate in international and domestic cargo respectively.

Unit revenues from freight vs. passenger 32

L!VE August 2012


Tax Rationalisation Administration costs including insurance and government taxes continue to be very high. Every state has different rates of taxation independent of the make and weight of transportation. Also the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 are out dated and not in line with the demands of the modern transport industry. Former Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee announced in his Union budget 2012-13 speech that GST, India’s most ambitious indirect tax reform, will be operational by August 2012. GST will level the state taxes and obviate the need for multiple warehouses.

Source: KPMG Analysis Warehousing Warehousing is an important part of logistics sector. It accounts for 9% of logistics cost. It has also been forte of small players with low capacities and inadequate handling, stacking and monitoring technologies. Only 8 per cent of India's current 1,800 million sq. ft warehousing space is owned and operated by organised players. SJMSOM IIT Bombay

Opportunities in Indian Logistics Sector 1.Opportunity for integrated service provider India has seen rampant economic growth over the last decade but the inefficient and high cost supply chain remains a bottleneck for the business. This opened up new frontiers for integrated logistics service providers. These service providers can give companies an insight into end-to-end service supply chain. 2.Opportunity for 3PL companies There is a vast scope for the 3PLs if they can provide tailored solutions to the businesses based on their size and needs, in addition to transportation. Country Logistics activities performed by 3PL <10% India, China US,UK 57% Europe 30% to 40% 80% Japan 3.Opportunity in logistics infrastructure There is an opportunity for big ticket investment in the logistics infrastructure. India is lagging behind in terms of transportation links as compared to developed nations. The government is now sanctioning public-private partnership projects for the development of four lane highways, sea port connectivity, dedicated freight corridors and free trade warehousing zones. Many such areas are opening up which offer vast investment potential.


Source: KPMG in Hong Kong Report on Transport in China (2008), Industry discussions

References 1.Developing supply chain excellence - Optimizing inbound & outbound logistics By Deloitte, 2010 2.Logistics in India, KPMG 3.Indian Railways growth, sustenance and the leap forward, IIT Delhi, 2007 4.3PL practices: an Indian perspective, B.S Sahay and Ramneesh Mohan 5.Aqua MCG special report supply chain cost reduction in India

L!VE August 2012



How many of you have been disturbed by the daunting ask of conducting large number of interviews in a short span of timeHow many of you have been unhappy with the effectiveness of the telephonic interviews? Did you ever wish that you could review some of the interviews once again? Undoubetdly , the task of recruiting has become more challenging than what it used to be in the past. Now, an online portal is available which can provide an innovative solution to all these problems!!

About Emprenure Labs Emprenure Labs is a technology company started by SJMSOM IIT Bombay alumni,Sanjoe Jose and Subramanian K from the 2009-11 batch. Interview Master, their flagship product, is an out of the box, ready to use Automated Video Interview Solution in which Interviews can be conducted without the presence of an interviewer and the responses of the candidates can be evaluated by the HR team at their convenience. Using Interview Master one can design, conduct, evaluate, review and manage interviews, from anywhere and at anytime. Invited interviewees can attend the interview according to their convenience and the recorded answers are shared with evaluators, who using customized evaluation parameters defined by the Interviewer complete the evaluation much faster than a regular interview. Automated Video Interviews is a new concept in Asia and it can lead to significant savings in time and cost in conducting the interviews. If effectively used, it can lead to 60% saving in time spent for recruitment and 40% saving in terms of cost. Interview Master addresses problems related to scheduling conflicts, low conversion rates, no ready access to talent or tal 34

L!VE August 2012

ent pipeline and high operational overheads, interview hijacking and fraudulent telephonic interviews. Story behind Interview Master During their stay at IIT Bombay, the founding members of Emprenure Labs used to provide mock interview practice to juniors and students from other departments. Learning from that experience they thought of setting up an online portal which will provide a service that would link up alumni with students to provide career counselling service along with interview practice. Soon they realized that alumni, though very keen to be of any assistance possible for students of their alma-mater, had very tight schedules making it almost impossible for them to conduct mock interviews. That is when it occurred to them that if they can have a platform where they can provide flexibility of schedule and location to alumni-student interaction it will solve a lot of issues. After MBA they took jobs in some of the leading MNCs but they knew that someday they would launch their own venture. Whenever they met they used to discuss the idea and after discussion with more people they realized that the same issue exists in the industry SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

where companies especially those recruiting in masses or from a wide geography are tormented by poor conversion ratios, frequent travels leading to loss of productive employee time, lack of access to experienced candidates due to schedule conflicts and chaotic processes as a result of large number of candidates landing up in their premises. So finally one day they decided that it is time they said bye to their cushy jobs and made recruiting across globe easier. Along with an alumnus of NMIMS and a start-up veteran, they launched ‘Emprenure Labs’ and ‘Interview Master’ was the first product.And according to the team, it was one of the best decisions they had taken in their lives.

as-you-use pricing plans and this according to the team has been a major attraction for prospective clients.

Launch of Interview Master

far as Interview Master is concerned, the team believes that automated video interviews are going to become a part of every mass recruitment process in future.


The product has an exciting product Road-map. Several innovative features are under construction, including Integration with Professional Networks, Automated Telephonic Interview Platform, Mobile application on various platforms, Integration into ERP and HRMS systems and Adaptive AI algorithms that serve questions dynamically based on candidate answers. As


Initially lot of effort was put into introducing the concept to industry and demonstrating the benefits. Since most of the target clients are large businesses, it took considerable efforts even to reach the right people. IIT alumni group has been of considerable help to them in reaching the right person and getting an appointment. The efforts are paying off now; although it’s a new concept it is catching on fast with the corporate due to the benefits it provides. After their launch, the team has come across various uses for the application which they didn’t even think of initially like automated casting videos, video surveys, video testimonials etc. It already counts some of the leading financial institutions, educational institutions and IT companies amongst its clients. As a SaaS product, Interview Master is offered at an attractive pay-

The Road Ahead

Let’s wish them great success in their future endeavors!!!

L!VE August 2012


Aarthi Hariharan, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay


BUILT TO LAST Book Title: Built to Last Publisher: Harperbusiness Published on: 15/01/1997 Classification: Non Fiction 3M, GE, Boeing, Walt Disney, IBM, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson are some of the companies which are well known, admired and respected for the quality of their products and excellence in management. They are the undisputed leaders and industry benchmark in their respective fields. Importantly, these companies have been in existence for a long time of about more than 90 years and have stayed at the top. There is a timelessness, an enduring capacity in these companies. Built to Last, written by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras, is a book dedicated to in-depth analysis of 18 global companies of US origin. Through extensive data gathering and analysis, comparison with well known companies in respective fields, opinion and information gathering from senior industry executives and interviews with current and ex- employees of leader companies, the authors have made the book a very interesting read backed up by facts and figures. By and large, the leader companies have a set of principles/ philosophy elements which are simple and commonly heard of or read about .Some of these are -emphasis on team orientation, innovativeness, quality products, leadership from within etc. Such objectives and philosophy elements are stated in just about every company’s mission statement. However most of the companies do not reach lasting greatness like the leaders. The leader companies exhibit an extraordinarily high degree of translation of such beliefs into action and way of life within the organization. Such beliefs form the core of the leader companies and they practice it with rarely seen passion. There comes out a high level of people oriented emphasis in the leader companies.The authors logically explain that great companies have sound and easy to understand philosophies. The companies are almost mystical but what makes them reach such a pedestal are 36

L!VE August 2012

diligently and consistently practiced fundamental truths. The book dispels many myths. It is common to hear that leaders should lead from front, but in these companies the leaders were facilitators, they motivated their people and created rich environment for them to excel. These companies believe that the leader’s role should be that of a “Clock Builder” rather than “Time Teller”. The Clock Builder concept elevates the strength of the organization and prepares it to achieve great results over a long period of time. Such a leader is more valuable than the one who uses his or her personality and strengths to drive the organization from front during his or her tenure. Profit is invariably stated as a major objective of most companies. But in the leader companies, they do not put profit right on the top. These companies believe that practice of their philosophy will automatically ensure profits. Facts and figures clearly show that the leader companies significantly outperformed their competitors on all financial parameters including profits. Leader stereotyping is a frequently seen practice – strong personality, excellent education, communication skills etc. However leaders of these companies had ordinary and low profile personality but were consumed with an extraordinary belief in what they were doing in and for the organization. Such leader companies have a life of their own, each philosophy element being an artery and all of them functioning consistently to ensure a healthy heart beat. They are inspiring and every student or management professional would gain from the study presented by the authors. In essence, Built to Last presents an analysis of the way a visionary company should operate. It has a lot of business advice which is worth following.


Debashree Bhattacharya and Sibi N Thomas, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

BIZ WITS-QUETZAL 1.Connect the images below.

BIZ WITS 2.Dropped out of school when 12, served in the US Army as mule handler in Cuba at age 15, worked as steamboat pilot, insurance salesman, railroad fireman and farmer, before founding a world famous fast food chain that closely guards their ‘secret recipe’. Identify the person. 3. A wife at 15, a mother at 16, she studied cosmetology in London, New York, Paris and Copenhagen. A Padma Shri, she supported her education by writing for Iran Tribune and now owns over 400 franchise clinics in over 138 countries. Identify her. 4.Find the missing link below. They share more than their initials.


5. Which car company’s name is the Latin for the surname of its founder?


L!VE August 2012



6. Identify the common out of the following.

7. Connect the images below and Identify the 6 letter word which should precede the images.

8. Identify the chain, this ad is for?

9. Connect the images below and identify the person.

10. Connect the two images below to identify the person.What did he introduce in India?

Mail your answers to either (a) This quiz has also been uploaded at our FB page: Anwers will be uploaded on our official FB page. The fastest to send the correct answers would receive a cash prize of Rs. 500 and an e-certificate. 38

L!VE August 2012


Ashwini Rao,SJMSOM,IIT Bombay

Who are you? Who am I?


You are loved,I detest myself! You care,I am just curious! You know your limits, I create my own! You are grounded, I am insatiable with compliments! You are a leader, I can’t be a wrong example! You are what you are, I wear a mask most of the times! Who are you?Who am I?


Who are you?Who am I? You are your parents’ lovely daughter, I am a secretive girl! You obey their commands, I am a rebellious person! You love to give them surprises, I crave a surprise for myself! You are known for socializing, I prefer solitude! You like family get-togethers, I want a night life! You have so many friends, I feel lonely within! Your family comes first, my dreams are left behind! Your image – reflection of upbringing, I want to have my own! You are their future, I have my own goals! You are responsible, I pretend to be so! You are mature, I am a child within! Who are you?Who am I?

Only time will decide, whether it’s Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde!

L!VE August 2012


Mehul Kanodia, MA Social Work, TISS Mumbai



CAT, XAT, MAT, NMAT, JMET, TISS, etc. Yes! We gave them all! We went through all those rubbish gigantic modules, mugged up all those formulas, filled up all those note books - scribbling all the sums we came across, gave as many Mock tests we could. All this for what?To get into one of the premiere institutes of management in India for a safe and secure (read flat on marine drive and chauffeur-driven BMW) future, right? And how exactly do we define “premiere” institutes in our rat-race circle? Easy! Its the one that gives the best placement with the best package! And so we slog through all that dirt, give entrance tests, go wild in group discussions, fake answers in interviews, get into the dream b-school, realise the dream has turned into a nightmare of assignments and tests, copy assignments and submissions, mug up those piles of exclusive “sure-to-come” questions, read all those .pdf files till our eyes pop out, drink (not necessarily what you’re thinking, it could be tea too!) and smoke(can’t cover this one up!) just to maintain a bit of sanity, check mails every damn hour, work till we drop with the laptop on and music still baring, sleep in the class while the professor drones on through that idiotic .ppt presentation over and over again, take part in all those


L!VE August 2012

fancy sounding committees for “building up CV”, eat crappy canteen food, make thousands of plans just to go to marine drive but end up boozing in the nearest bar all over again, fake sick leaves (Can a hangover qualify as sickness?!), get crazy for summers, run for final placements, and die for holidays!! We do all of this, and more! All of this just to sit in that coveted chair at the placement cell, waiting to be interviewed, a file of certificates and a two page CV in hand. Even the starched formals and flat hair can’t make our constipated nervous smile go away, while we try our hardest to give the ‘I am an asset to your company aura’! All the while we are begging the Gods of Green to bless us with a fat package! (Suddenly the context of ‘zero-figure’ and ‘package’ morphs into pay-package and zeros inside that Offer letter!) The trauma has just begun! Its our first day at our dream job, and we have done our homework, not an iota of the company’s history has escaped our eyes, or the ppt presentation nestled safely in our pen drives, we are prepared to impress!And then one peculiar thing catches our eye. The boss, the founder and CEO(all three are the same person in case you are wondering) doesn’t have the slew of fancy degrees you boast of!


Now you, Mr.HR manager have a nice tight job schedule from Monday to Saturday - 9am to 5pm, working your ass off in the office, making presentations at home, gulping down paracetamols due to the issues a certain employee is creating, assessing monthly performances, fighting fist to fist with other managers, and also getting a earfull of colorful profanities from your exasperated spouse!. while our Mr. Entrepreneur is snoring at home, playing golf, walking on Marine Drive, smiling contentedly at the view of his new sea facing flat, sending abusive and castigating mails to you on his chic tablet, and running the show exactly how he wants to.

not of the happy kind! The illiterate owner of this fast food joint apparently earns as much as you do because his brain came up with this small yet clever innovation of offering free unlimited chatni with ‘Ganthiyas’, hence creating a niche for his business and a nice farmhouse to spend time with his family in summers while employees handle business! (A real life example of a famous snacks joint in Ahmedabad city named “Ganthiya Rath” which buys gramflour for 10 rs./kg, fries it and sells it for 100 rs/kg, while a kilometre long line of people await their turn, eager to get their hands on some hot ‘ganthiyas’ ready to shell out their money for it! The owner Mr. Entrepreneur had a humble beginning, toiling on his handcart and now has 10 branches earning greens for him!)


He had probably dropped out half way into graduation, and decided he could do better things with his brains and life. Armed with a bright idea, lots of guts amd a penchant for calculated risk taking, he is now exactly where he wants to be, at the top! As simple as that! No management theories, no graphs, no formulas, no 2kg heavy books and no study of human psychology. Just a simple person with an idea that is brilliant in its simplicity, a generous dash of passion and a hell lot of hard work, building that company brick by brick.

Being a social work student from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, its my responsibility to take up any opportunity to give a boring lecture concerned with societal upliftment and the works. So here it goes; apparently every single entrepreneur in society not just creates employment opportunities and scope for ancillaries, but also uplifts standard of living of the vicinity where the venture operates. Tackling unemployment, health issues, illiteracy, poverty, etc. in just one master blaster shot? Seems a fair deal to me! What about you? Well obviously you’ve got better things to do. Now shut the magazine and better prepare for that upcoming test/assignment! Because after all, Entrepreneur or Intrapreneur(a new fancy title these days) is all nonsense for us right? We’re here to prove our amazing cooperating and coping skills. Guts, initial struggle and all is for people who either couldn’t make it to B-schools, or just wanted their names in some fancy book named Stay Hungry Stay Foolish! How foolish!

All this frustration makes you hungry, and you go to this famous snacks joint with your colleagues to let off some steam and have a moment of realization


L!VE August 2012


Vishal Gohel, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay


Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Bridging the Gap Between Tradition and Modernity


Harvard US-INDIA Initiative (HUII) 2012 Conference

Harvard Business School students led Harvard US-India Initiative (HUII) in association with IIT Bombay conducted an international conference on ‘Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Bridging the Gap Between Tradition and Modernity’. E-cell IIT Bombay coordinated the conference at IIT Bombay from 10th-12th August 2012.

with selected team members to ensure their ideas and solutions are nurtured well. HUII conducted its first International conference at New Delhi in 2011 where around 250 bright students from Indian and American universities participated and the selected team is presently working on their idea which is to clean Yamuna River as a part of the outcome of the conference.

HUII is a student run organization that aims to create dialogue between Indian and American youth to address the most pressing social, economic and environmental issues facing the country today. The theme of the 2012 conference was about bridging the gap between tradition and modernity. The conference aimed to inspire the student community to take up social entrepreneurship by involving them in solving India and US’s most critical problems. The Speakers at the conference adopted a case study approach where students were mentored to solve a particular issue using their skills. A panel of judges consisting of academicians, angel investors and venture capitalists evaluated the innovative solution presented before them by the conference participants. The Selected ideas would be provided with sufficient funds and a support team along with requisite industry contacts as well as infrastructure to bring their solution to reality. In short, the conference aimed to promote an action oriented attitude towards solving social issues. The HUII team, post conference would work closely

The HUII 2012 conference selected participants based on their statement of purpose and their intent for entrepreneurship. The first day of the conference provided the participants a chance to know each other through networking events which was followed by an address by Mr. Mujeeb Khan of Ideal Drama and Entertainment Academy later in the evening. Mr. Khan encouraged participants to look for opportunities in day to day life and to

L!VE August 2012


develop a creative approach towards problem solving. He further stressed on the fact that there is no single perfect solution to any problem.There are always multiple solutions and it is just about whichever clicks to you first.


The Speaker session on the last day started with a talk from Mr. Madhukar Sinha, partner at India Quotient, an Angel Investment Company. He gave the audience a glimpse into how a business plan should look like and what it should ideally contain to make a viable business proposition. The design thinking workshop was conducted by Mr. Prakash Khanzode, co-founder and chief designer at Onio, a design consulting company. He explained the term design thinking and discussed about how his company comes up with innovative designs. Mahesh Murthy, Co-founder and managing partner at SeedFund, a venture capital fund, enlightened the audience with his wisdom and wit when he presided over the pitching workshop. He opined that there canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be a next Facebook, Google and Amazon in India as it is already there. India needs someone who can identify a unique problem related to the masses and provide a solution to it. He quoted examples of successful startups such as redBus and flipkart. He also mentioned the fact that most of the financial projections shown in the business plans are not really true in practical situations and it is an achievement even if a plan delivers half of that.


The Second day of the conference featured an impressive list of speakers from the industry which included Mr. Steven Lurie, General Manager at Zynga, Mr. Sarfaraz Syed of PETA India and Mr. Gaurav Mehta, CEO at Gajam India Pvt. ltd. Mr. Steven Lurie explained the monetizing policies of Zynga and the reasons behind his thoughts that it would work in the virtual world. Mr. Sarfaraz emphasized on the role of government, policies and an efficient organizational structure in order to run a successful start up. Mr. Gaurav Mehta talked about his company and the importance of product innovation as well as process innovation in running a company. The conference participants had a group discussion on perspectives on education in both India and US. The participants were divided into a group on about ten students and they benefitted a lot from this exercise. The evening session also featured few more group discussions on health perspectives and the participants gave social, economical and political analysis of health perspective. The discussions were enlightening and the participants got an initial input about how to approach a problem with a holistic outlook. On the Final day of the conference, all the participants showcased their innovative solutions towards a case study on Cycle Rickshaw given to them by the organizers. The participants were divided into different groups and they were asked to propose a framework to improve the efficiency of the Cycle Rickshaw and offer solutions which can benefit the Cycle Rickshaw puller in terms of money and effort. There were many startling facts shared among the participants such as a typical rickshaw driver at Delhi earns about 150 INR per day out of which he pays about one third to the borrower from whom he got the rickshaw. Also, the design of the rickshaw takes more care of the comforts of a passenger and not its driver. The participants had to come up with solutions which can improve the design as well as generate additional sources of revenue for the rickshaw driver. After a brainstorming session,

the participants were able to come up with innovative solutions and presented it before the organizers.

The conference concluded with a pitch from all the team representatives the results of which would be declared by the panel of judges in few days. It was an enlightening experience to attend the conference and all the participants benefitted immensely from it. L!VE August 2012


Aniket Patankar, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

International Relations@SJMSOM SOMthing SPECIAL

University of Washington(UOW) Global Classroom Program

This July, 25 students of SJMSOM joined students from USA, Romania and Italy at UOW Global Classroom Program, organized by University of Washington, Bothel, USA. International Relations team of SJMSOM coordinated this study tour from our side. With intention of understanding global business culture, this tour comprised study sessions organized at UOW, visits to various companies in Seattle area and various opportunities to get exposed to the American culture. The sessions at Bothel campus covered wide range of subjects, with recurring themes of innovation, process improvements and globalization. Students from different countries and cultures debated on various subjects like “Is Current Management Curriculum in lines for a Sustainable future?”. There were panel discussions about future of management education and management curriculum. The sessions were not limited to management only but covered offbeat subjects like “Stories about Archaeology”.

To compliment what they have learned in classrooms at their home and at UOW, there were many company visits planned. The students visited companies like: •WinShuttle: Working on SAP and founded by two IIT Alumni Nintendo of America: Makers of Mario and Wii •Zillow: A startup providing real time data of real estate values •Marchex: Provider of call analytics and Digital call marketplace 44

L!VE August 2012

The pinnacle of all these visits was visit to Boeing pro•duction Facility near Seattle. The facility is home of the 747s, 767s, 777s and 787 Dreamliner production lines. During the tour of the world’s largest building by volume (472,000,000 cubic feet or 13,385,378 cubic meters), the students got a chance to see the assembly line and shop floor and understand what goes into making of an airplane. Seattle is home of another giant i.e. Microsoft. SJMSOM students were engaged in talks on subjects like Real Estate management, Supply Chain, Product Development, Windows phone and MBA Hiring. They also visited Bill and Melinda Gates foundation,World’s LARGEST transparently operating private foundation. Apart from studies and sessions, students enjoyed Seattle and did not miss a single chance to explore the place and interact with the local people. They visited places like Aiki Beach, Space Needle, Argosy Cruise, The Museum of Flight, EMP Museum, and Pacific Science Center etc. Besides the management lessons, what student received at the tour is the global exposure and experience of a very different kind of society which they will remember for long time.


Aditya Das, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

MIT AITI INDIA PROGRAM July 02, 2012 to August 09, 2012 students to innovate in the area of information and communication technologies (ICTs).Companies working with AITI as sponsors include Google, TiE Mumbai, Mumbai Angels and Freemont Partners.

Testifying for the above quote, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston launched the MIT Accelerated Information Technology Initiative (AITI) for the first time in India on July 2, 2012 at SJMSOM,IIT Bombay. The program, hosted by IIT Bombay and Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM), IIT Bombay is the first ever India launch of MIT’s mobile technology start-up incubator and was offered to 40 students mix of under-graduate and management students. AITI is a multidisciplinary group of the MIT that promotes development in emerging regions by cultivating young technology entrepreneurs. AITI develops curriculum materials, software technologies, platforms, and networks that enable

AT SJMSOM, the program provided a six week course focusing on entrepreneurship and deployment of mobile phone services and applications like SMS, USSD, Android, and mobile web. The entrepreneurship component focused on idea generation, case studies, market analysis, marketing, pitches, presentations, funding and networking. Hence, forty students were selected out of a pool of several aspirants who finally got the coveted opportunity to explore novel ideas, start businesses, build teams, find customers, and manage cash flows for their mobilebased ventures with guidance from their MIT-affiliated instructors. The workshop was instructed by a team of 4 MIT instructors .


Since its initiation, the program has expanded to top universities in eleven countries with more than 1800 students participating. It had a great success in its recently concluded summer program (June 25, 2012 to August 03, 2012) in Nigeria. MIT AITI develops curriculum, software, platforms, and networks that enable students in emerging regions innovate in the fields of information and communication technologies. The objective of the program is to enable aspiring entrepreneurs to successfully launch startup ventures. The program further seeks to build networks of local individuals that will stimulate student innovation including mentors, seed funders, and technology leaders and has had a very successful track record of programs in East Africa.

L!VE August 2012


“Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service. It is capable of being presented as a discipline, capable of being learned, capable of being practiced. Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation, the changes and their symptoms that indicate opportunities for successful innovation. And they need to know and to apply the principles of successful innovation.”-Peter F. Drucker, “The Father of Modern Management.”



Nine teams were formed out of the selected students and each of the teams worked dedicatedly on their respective mobile based entrepreneurship idea for six weeks to develop it into a viable business.It was really an intensive and enriching experience for them as they identified their respective target market segments, interacted with their prospective customers, inquired about their problems, heard their suggested solutions, conducted market research, conceptualized their products so that they solved their targeted problems, came up with business and revenue models and analyzed the implementation potential of their product as well as the growth potential of their business in real market scenario. During this program, external speakers like Gautam Shewakramani, Hiren Asudani, Ashok Karania and others had also come in from organizations such as GSMA, CoolAge, Mumbai Angels, Flurry India, InfoStretch, Loop Mobile, and there had also been several guest lectures by SJMSOM faculty who shared their knowledge and experience along with their insights on the various challenges and key strategies that the budding entrepreneurs should keep in mind as they trudge the road to realize their entrepreneurship dreams.

Finally, the culminating Startup Showcase was held on August 9th at SJMSOM, IIT Bombay campus. The program started with a welcome address by Prof. Karuna Jain, Head at SJMSOM.Judges representing Mumbai Angels, Freemont Partners, TiE Mumbai, and Google were invited to give feedback to each of the student teams presenting, as well as determine who will receive an incu


L!VE August 2012

bation opportunity and potential seed funding from Freemont Partners. All the nine teams were given five minutes each to present their work which was followed by an intriguing question-answer round by the by the judges as well as by the audience. The ideas were really innovative and the way in which the teams exhibited their skills in developing their business proposal in mobile applications, was really commendable. Moreover, all the teams were ready with their pilot models to test the viability of their business venture in a small scale scenario. After an enthralling and engrossing round of presentations by the teams, it was really a tough job for the judges to decide the winner. Everyone present in the auditorium waited with bated breath for the announcement of the results. The competition was so close that the judges had to eventually decide two winners of the MIT AITI Start-up Showcase, namely YoCoNav and Quickfeeds. Their business ideas were out-of-the-box and thus instantly struck cord with the judges. The winning teams will be engaging with the Mumbai entrepreneurship community for mentorship, feedback, and eventually, funding for implementation of their business venture.They will receive an incubation opportunity and potential seed funding from Freemont Partners which is India’s first Global Incubator and Accelerator, which provides seed funding to entrepreneurs focused on technology driven start-ups. Speaking about the program, Ian Jacobi, Technical Instructor, MIT AITI India Program said: “Some of these students who, before this class, knew practically nothing about developing for mobile devices, have actually gotten to the point where they have developed some nice mock-ups.” Thus, the six week MIT AITI India Program ended successfully and we hope that the association between MIT and SJMSOM, IIT Bombay grows even stronger and such entrepreneurship programs keep occurring in years to come. We wish MIT AITI program all the success in its noble mission to teach development skills in countries where students can create businesses to fill the needs of the local communities.


Archana Choudhary, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

Continuums@SJMSOM Finance Continuum 2012

The event was based on the theme “Financial innovations for sustainable growth” and it was held on 28th July .Embarking on the theme, our honorary Professor, S.V.D Nageswara Rao, shared his words of wisdom with the audience. He talked about how critics across the world blamed innovations in US and other countries for the Global Economic Crisis. He also talked about how the regulatory bodies in India were instrumental in mitigating the impact of the global economic turmoil in India.

need for improving market breadth and the fact that rigid mentality was a great threat to stock markets. Our next dignitary for the day, Mr. G. Chockalingam, Executive Director of Centrum Capital, touched upon various macroeconomic issues through some very interesting facts. He proposed investment in rural, education, research and exploration infrastructure. He stressed the need for ‘unbalanced’ growth. ‘Go investing and growing’was the success mantra he suggested for emerging economies like India. Our third speaker for the day was Mr. Anup Bagchi, MD & CEO, ICICI Securities. He began with the thought that innovation was synonymous with ‘Drug discovery’ and that it had its pros and cons. He proclaimed technical infrastructure and social architecture were the most crucial driving factors of innovation. He also gave us an insight about Risk Management and Risk Products and proposed hedging the risk of commodity prices and many other innovative solutions to most pressing economic concerns.


The Finance Continuum, 2012, a part of the rolling seminar series–Continuums at Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, flagged off on an exultant note. Continuum is the flagship event of the industry interaction sessions at SJMSOM which is held across various domains of management like Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Consulting, Operations and Systems. This event aims to cover the latest trends in management by inviting eminent speakers from industry and academia.

His speech was followed by a talk by the first speaker for the day, Dr. Prabhakar Patil, Joint Director at the Securities and Exchange Board of India. He briefed the aspiring young minds about the ‘Market Micro Structure of Equity Derivatives in India’. He stressed the SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

L!VE August 2012



Panel Discussion on the topic ‘Financial Innovation A double edged sword?’ had the audience engaged as three eminent speakers- Mr Rajesh Mokashi, Deputy Managing Director ,CARE Ratings, Dr Ramachandran, Head, Global Research ,ICICI Bank and Mr Jacob Mathew, MD, MAPE Advisory, moderated by Prof. S.V.D Nageswara Rao dissected their insights and experiences for an enriching discussion. The discussion brought out insights like ‘Innovation is a constant way of life’ and that ramifications of financial innovation have affected the economy as a whole.

Next Speaker for the day, Mr. Manishi Raychaudhuri, Managing Director at BNP Paribas, talked about Indian equity markets and gave reasons as to why why it was at crossroads. He pointed out how the unpredictability of global markets and policy paralysis had almost stalled growth. However, he also brought out the positive signs like declining commodity prices and gold imports in the economy. He also believed that lack of infrastructure was the biggest bottleneck for our economy. Our fifth speaker, Mr. Harsh Nanda, Executive Director at Goldman Sachs, gave us an overview about Private equity and its scope in India. He believed that India was relatively a difficult market to penetrate. He briefed us on various challenges faced during the establishment and expansion of Goldman Sachs Private Equity extension in India. He also discussed the challenges facing the private equity investment and the opportunities lying in the healthcare sector in India.


L!VE August 2012

Our final speaker for the day, Mr Vivek Joshi, Associate Director, Kotak Investment Advisory, talked about Private Equity firms from an Indian firm’sperspective. He discussed about the various types of equity, setting up of Private Equity and Exit options. He also talked about the various roles in PE and the skills required for excelling in the PE domain. He also shared his concerns about the recent downward trend in Private equity deals in India and how it was going to be challenging for the future managers of the country. An eventful day ended with his session and the student community was thrilled to learn so much within a short span of few hours. Finance continuum, 2012, proved to be a great learning experience for all the students of Shailesh J. Mehta school of Management. The perfect blend of Industry and academia made it a huge success and it earned healthy response from both the spheres.



Marketing Continuum 2012

The next session was addressed by Mr. Raghavendra Shenoy, VP Sales & Marketing at J&J Medical India. Mr. Shenoy shared his insights about “Access to Quality Healthcare in India”. The theme is extremely relevant in today’s scenario in India and it became all the more relevant and interesting when a senior marketing professional from the world’s largest healthcare company shared his experiences and insights. The third speaker for the day was Mr. Shailendra Katyal, Director-Marketing at Lenovo, India. He gave an extremely entertaining, and insightful talk on “Ten Myths of Digital Marketing”. This talk was particularly interesting because of the relevance of digital mediain today’s world of marketing. When every SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

The audience were next addressed by Ms. Manmeet Vohra, Marketing Director at Tag Heuer who gave a highly knowledgeable and prudent talk on marketing to the young building blocks of the upcoming business world. Also, she took the through the journey of evolution of Brand Tag Heuer. The next speaker for the day Mr. Pawan Sarda – CMO at Future Group gave the audience a deeper insight into the field of organized retail through his enlightening lecture on the way Future Group and Big Bazaar have evolved over the years to produce a retail behemoth.


The Marketing Continuum 2012 conducted at SJMSOM, IIT Bombay on 29th of July was based on the theme “Evolution in Marketing to Revolutionize Businesses: From Acquisition to Retention”. After the introductory speech by our honorary prof. Atanu Ghosh, the stage was graced by the first speaker for the day Ms. Anuradha Aggarwal, Senior Vice President at Vodafone India Ltd. Very intriguingly structured, the presentation by Ms. Anuradha gave the audience a marketer’s perspective beyond the 4p’s and 6p’s of conventional marketing and a glance into a new world where “likeable is the new logical” and marketing is more a “love affair” with customers than anything else. Using Vodafone’s “ZOOZOO” and “PUG” as examples, Ms Anuradha explained the concept of creating “icons” for enhancing brand recognition rather than using icons as brand ambassadors.

body in the world is talking about Digital Market ing being the next big thing in the marketing domain, it was a stimulating experience to understand the myths of Digital Marketing from an expert in the field.

The Big journey of Big Bazaar was followed by journey of ACG PAM which was narrated by the sixth speaker for the day, Mr. Shankar Gupta, CEO at ACG PAM Pharma Technologies Pvt. Ltd. As a capsule producing major, it faced the issue of market segmentation. Every time the marketers found the problem, the company went to the drawing board, created a revolutionary product and came back with a bang. Its holistic marketing approach where it includes the customer in various processes displays how close the bond between customer and manufacturer has become today. The stage was next graced by Mr. Rohit Parulekar, Director - Sales &Marketing at Schindler India. He explained how leadership is attained through customer service. The company introduced Schindler Loyalty Factor (SLF) to determine how much the customer was satisfied with its service. Dynamic surveys helped the co remain connected with the customers. Each journey above belongs to a different industry, a diverse environment. Yet every marketing initiative revolved around forming a bond with customer. If the customer is not satisfied, one has to thrive to get his confidence back and evolve as a continuously improving brand. The knowledge shared by the speakers enlightened the minds of the future marketers of SJMSOM, IIT Bombay. L!VE August 2012


Supporting Members for this edition: Akanksha Jha Aditya Das Bhuvan Gupta Dushyant Sinha Ranjith Gokul


Shailesh J. Mehta School Of Managemet, Indian Institute Of Technology, Bombay Powai, Mumbai - 400076

Sayan Chakrabarti Saumya Garg Sibi N Thomas Sneha Iyer Vikas Samaria

L!VE August 2012 Edition  

L!VE- The Quarterly Magazine of SJMSOM, IIT Bombay