Podcast with Kanwal Rekhi February 2, 2007Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, india, tie.
Kiruba Shankar did a podcast with Kanwal Rekhi at the TiE Con Summit.
For naysayyers kanwal is the father of TiE and inspiration to many indian entrepreneurs.
He was a regular visitor to our college ( IIIT-H ) during 1999.
Along with Kanwal Suhas Patil and Chandrashekhar of Exodus Communications also visited our campus.
Talks given by them are still fresh in my mind. 🙂 Those stories I am keeping for another day. At the moment lets listen to the great Kanwal Rekhi :).
TiE Entrepreneurial Summit December 31, 2006Posted by rajAT in entrepreneurship, india, tie.
1 comment so far
I attended the TiE Summit in Mumbai. There were lots of problems but finally I was able to make it though only for a day. It was really a great experience. Highlight of the event was the meeting with Ashish Gupta, Founder of Junglee.com. We chatted for a very long time and it was truly a great experience. He gave me lots of tips and advice. He is truly an awesome guy. Below I have put some pictures of event which my friend Kiruba has taken.
Looking forward for more similar action.
Day 3: TiE ISB Connect 2006 September 25, 2006Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, media, media2.0, tieisb connect, venture capital, web2.0.
1 comment so far
Day three at the TiE-ISB Connect began with talks by Peter Mukherjea, CEO of Star TV and Sanjeev Kumar, Founder and CTO of Portal Player.
Noted actress Sulekha Naidu chaired the session on New Media and Entertainment. On the panel were Prem Akkaraju (Sanctuary Artist Management), Rajesh Jog (Waygate Capital), Suresh Babu (Suresh Productions), Alok Kejriwal (Contests2win.com), Raj Atluri (DFJ), Rahul Khanna (Clearstone) and Sekhar Kammula (Film director).
Day 2: TiE ISB Connect 2006 September 24, 2006Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, internet, technology, tieisb connect, venture capital.
add a comment
Hitesh Oberoi (COO, Naukri.com) , Sanjay Swami (CEO, mChek), Sandeep Murthy (Sherpalo Ventures), Raghav Kher (Founder, Seventymm.com), Samir Sood (Venture Investments, Google), Probir Roy(Founder Coruscant & Paymate) and Ganesh Rengaswamy (Greylock Partners) joined Ajit Balakrishnan for the panel discussion on Internet technologies, chaired by Krishnan Seshadrinathan of Motive.
Pradeep Gupta (CyberMedia, Band of Angels), Srini Koppulu (VP and MD, Microsoft), Vani Kola (NEA Indo-US), Raj Gollamudi (Bluestream Ventures), Joga Rao (Computer Associates), Ajit Deora (Light Speed Ventures) and Srikanth Sunjararajan (Founder, Persistent) joined Ashok Jhunjunwala for the panel disussion on Technology. The panel discussion was chaired by Sudheer Koneru (Managing Director, SumTotal) and Kalyan Manyam (PhoneLinx).
Day 1: TiE ISB Connect 2006 September 24, 2006Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, hyderabad, tieisb connect, venture capital.
India’s Young Entrepreneurs August 23, 2006Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, india, startup, tye.
TEENAGE TITANS – For the past month or so, BusinessWeek.com has set out to find Asia’s most interesting examples of this new breed. They asked readers to nominate standout young entrepreneurs 25 or under, and narrowed down the impressive list to a group of finalists.
I am listing out the people who made it from India.
All these young folks share an unbridled enthusiasm and a fierce desire to succeed. Will all of them make it? Maybe not. Yet this much is clear: India’s already dynamic future has turned a little bit brighter with the arrival of this bunch.
A graduate with honors from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science in Pilani, Chemalamudi turned down an offer from outsourcing powerhouse Infosys to pursue his passion for entrepreneurship. He co-launched Habits, a creative learning resources company that encourages more creative thinking with the aid of educational materials such as musicals, plays, and interactive games. Habits is also involved with projects in rural India to encourage self-employment.
Rama Krishna Gaddipati
Co-founder: Bridle Information & Technology Solutions
Bridle is a mobile applications and services outfit—and that is a good space to occupy given the explosive growth of mobile telephony in India. And Bridle co-founder Gaddipati (the 2001 winner of the Intel CyberFiesta national software development contest) may already have a hit on his hands. The service is called SchoolMATE, and it is a comprehensive student analysis system that allows parents to monitor their child’s progress at school. The service feeds information on conduct, examinations, and report cards to subscribers, and employs technology such as mobile text messaging, the Web, and e-mail. The company has gained about 70,000 subscribers in Hyderabad and Vishakapatnam in India.
Founder & Partner: MobiTrail
The next big platform shift in online gaming will be to mobile handsets, and Kedia thinks his company is positioned to capture that growth. This 25-year-old programmer based in Bombay is founder of MobiTrail, which develops and delivers games to mobile phone users. Its games and applications can run on networks using J2ME, Symbian, and BREW operating systems. The company is developing some hot games of its own and has such clients as Reliant Online Gaming in India and Hong Kong-based Mobile2win, as well as other international customers.
Atul Prakash Khekade
Co-Founder: Innovation Trip
Khekade launched his first business, a Web technology and software applications company, at 17, and has written a book on graphical user interfaces. Now the University of Mumbai-trained engineer and scholarship recipient is trying his hand at the business tourism market. Last year he co-founded Innovation Trip, which sets up U.S.-based workshop-and-trip combos for senior executives in the developing world interested in the latest best-business practices in the States.
Sampat caught the entrepreneurial bug early in life. While still in his teens, he launched his first venture, a streaming online music radio service featuring Indian tunes. His latest venture, launched in 2001, is Convonix. It is an Internet marketing firm with more than 35 employees that helps clients enhance their online traffic and get better placement in search engine results. The company has also developed its own Web analytics and campaign management programs.
Co-Founder, President & Director: Directi Group
Turakhia tried his hand at Internet consulting in high school at age 14 and, two years later, launched Directi Group with $600 borrowed from his parents. In the first month of operations, the business managed to generate enough revenues to return the borrowed amount and get the company rolling. Today, the company is debt-free, has more than 1 million customers for its array of domain name registration, Web hosting, and site building services, and employs more than 250 people. It is one of the fastest-growing domain registration companies in the world. When Turakhia isn’t running the show, he pursues hobbies such as sky diving, paragliding, and flying airplanes.
Indian Tech Tour 2006 July 29, 2006Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, india, tie, tie asia, tie uk, vc, venture capital.
add a comment
The Tech Tour will visit India for the first time and showcase its rich culture of technology and innovation. The Indian Tech Tour is co-organized with TiE UK and TiE Asia. The Indian Tech Tour will highlight this enormous potential and depth during its unique three-day tour across the country.
ETT is a leading non-profit organization of European VCs in the high-technology industry. ETT aims to provide a platform that allows interactions between the entrepreneurial eco-system in Europe with the entrepreneurial eco-system in the visited country eventually leading to facilitating or funding local high technology companies looking to expand internationally.
The delegate profile is top-notch and will comprise of successful entrepreneurs, representatives of national or international research organizations, directors of associations servicing the high-technology industry, partners and senior professionals of leading VC Firms, technology investment managers from development funds, business angels, professional service providers to the technology industry, investment bankers, politicians involved in technology development, global media representatives. Delegates comprising of VCs as well as other business leaders will be evaluating companies not only for investments but also for tie-ups, collaborations, and other strategic business relationships.
Visiting delegates are interested in the following categories.
- New Materials & Processes
- Management & Services
- Software Applications
- Platform & Infrastructure
- Computer-human interface
- Search and navigation
- Content delivery
- Infrastructure management
- OS & Development tools
- Financial Services
- Content Development
- Software Development
- Digital Media
- Consumer Technology and Distribution
- Energy Related Technologies
- NANO Technology
- Retail & Consumer technology
- Semi-conductor technology/Research/Manufacturing
- Media & Entertainment
- Terminals and peripherals
Clayton Christensen @ TiECON EAST 2006 July 27, 2006Posted by rajAT in Clayton Christensen, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, tie, tiecon east.
Professor Clayton Christensen of the Harvard Business School belongs to that breed of management intellectuals which counts amongst its ranks the late Peter Drucker, Tom Peters and Michael Porter.
At a special reception at TiECON East 2006, Prof Christensen spoke about his research and on ‘How to tell if a business idea will succeed or fail’.
In the first part of his talk, Prof Christensen talked of a model he developed as a part of his research, which has two elements; one, any business has a trajectory of improvement and second, that every market has a different trajectory of movement. A company can move up its trajectory with simple year to year improvements and still be of tremendous incremental value to customers. That is, small innovations can bring great satisfaction.
He discovered that the innovation did not have to be groundbreaking but it is enough that there is innovation to ensure that the company stays competitive.
He then went on to describe the theory of what he termed ‘Disruptive Innovation’ This too does not refer to any breakthrough innovation, but simply to innovation which disrupts the trajectory of a firm’s offering to the public. This innovation could even have a negative value for the customer. This is when, he says, companies are caught on the wrong foot and the new comers work fast to muscle in on their territory.
Case Study- Steel Industry
To back this up he delivered an absorbing account of the developments in the Steel industry. The Big Fight between integrated steel companies, and new, quick and compact Mini-mills (operating on electric furnaces.) The small mini-mills kept nipping at the heels of the large, slow integrated steel companies when they first appeared on the scene in the 70s. Now the customer offering trajectory for the Steel industry ranges from re-enforced concrete bars (or ‘Rebars’) at the low end to sheet metal used in auto body manufacture at the high end. Mini-mills automatically gravitated toward the low end product because they could make it easily and cheaper than the integrated steel companies.
Soon, the mini-mills had taken the market from the big, old steel mills (the integrated ones) till they forced the last one out of the Re-bar business in 1979. But oddly enough this did not bother the integrated mills, because re-bars were a low margin product for them and they were glad to have it taken off their plate. But once the mini-mills were the only ones servicing this market now, they no longer had a tangible cost advantage. This happened every decade as the mini-mills moved up the steel product value-chain (they went from re-bar to angle-iron to structural beams to now sheet metal even!) Each time they pushed integrated steel mills out of the next higher-margin category but made life tougher for themselves (each time an integrated mill got out of a product category, the stock of mini-mill companies fell because of heightened competition and loss of competitive advantage).
Today almost all steel behemoths, the integrated steel mills, have shut shop. But the mini-mills are not doing too great either. This is a classic case of ‘Assymetry of Motivation’ as Prof Christensen terms this phenomenon. That is, “A situation where an attacker is keen to get into a market the attackee wants to get out of.” He went on to enumerate other industries where this “small guy gobbling up market share of low value-add product offering” phenomenon held true; the automotive sector (the Japanese ate American share, the Koreans are baffling the Japanese, the Chinese trouble the Koreans and soon the Tatas will offer the world the 100,000-rupee car), the airline sector (long haul routes versus, short/local routes), banks and even countries (like Japan).
The lesson he left us with at the end of the case study was “As a newcomer, you don’t always have to have a better product, you just need to create a situation where the current market leader is motivated to flee the battlefield.” His advice for the incumbent biggies his lesson was “Set up an autonomous subsidiary to compete with the newcomers and allow it to cannibalize the parent-leader” because out of the ashes something new and powerful can be reborn.
He also cited the case of Compaq and Flextronics to give us the next lesson on how to ensure a business succeeds. Flextronics started as a supplier and ended up as a competitor to Compaq because of the modular nature of Compaq’s offering. This was an important lesson in when and how much to forward or backward integrate.
He spoke next of Segmentation. He told all present not to segment only on the basis of the product or the customer category. He suggests instead that, as each product or service is employed by a customer to perform a ‘job’ for him/her, the company should segment based on what ‘job’ a particular product does. Therefore the ‘job’ is the fundamental unit of segmentation.
TYE- TiE Young Entrepreneurs July 27, 2006Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, tie, tye.
Ziggy Tek: It seems definitely like a sound that would appeal to any baby but when the winning team of Shane Lampert, Jay Mayur, Neil Mayur and Aashish Sharma, appeared on stage to receive their check of $10,000 donated by Microsoft from Ramadorai, CEO, TCS and Chairman of Nasscom, there was tremendous applause from the large audience. The event was held at the TiECON East Banquet dinner at the Copley Marriot Hotel on June 16th 2006. Ziggy Tek, a baby monitoring device that helps alert parents to monitor their child’s fever, was the winning business idea for this year TYE (TiE Young Entrepreneurs), initiative launched in late 2005 from TiE Boston.
The Program geared for young students between the ages of 14 to 18 years is designed for aspiring youngsters who from an early age want to become entrepreneurs. Initially called “How to do a business plan “it soon became TYE (TiE Young Entrepreneurs), a forum of about 30 students trying to understand the nuances of how to formulate a business plan, research industry segments and use methods to approach and analyze business. Spread over a period of 16 weeks, the students were split into 6 teams of 2 to 5 students who met with a mentor and learned skills that would probably be best learnt at a business school. The final result was presented to a panel of 5 judges consisting of two lawyers, two venture capitalists and a charter member who listened and zeroed in on the winner: in this case the Ziggy Tek team who were mentored by Moshe Shavit.
Overall the business ideas of the participants were varied and interesting ranging from maximizing airline trips for travelers, to online tutoring and safer windshields. To all those who were watching especially the younger students it was an inspiring and motivational event to witness and hopefully participate in the future.
TePP – Technopreneur Promotion Programme July 3, 2006Posted by rajAT in dsir, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, india, startup, technology, tepp.
The Technopreneur Promotion Programme(TePP) is a novel programme to extend financial support to individual innovators for converting their innovative ideas into working prototypes/models. Jointly operated by the Department of Scientific & Industrial research(DSIR) and Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council(TIFAC) of the Department of Science & Technology(DST), TePP endeavors to tap the vast innovative potential of the citizens of India.
I met Mr. A.S. Rao at ISB today. He told me TePP is very actively seeking for innovative ideas and is very proactive in their approach. The list of projects that have got funded by TePP are here.
Some of the salient points of TePP are –
Who can apply
Any Indian Citizen with an original idea/invention/know-how to develop working prototype/processes can apply for TePP support. Even, the proposal from the owner of a ‘start-up’ company/industry may be considered for TePP support, if the annual turnover of the company / industry doesn’t exceed Rs. 30.00 lakh per annum.
The maximum TePP support would be up to 90% of the project cost . The remainder part of the cost i.e. 10% amount in the project would be invested by the applicant. The upper limit for TePP support for the proposal at present is Rs. 10.00 lakh.
The ownership of IPR generated through the TePP projects rest with the innovator/applicant. No sharing of IPR by the forwarding/sponsoring agency will be permitted. The Ministry of Science & Technology(MOST) does not own any responsibility for disputes arising out of the IPR issues, however, the rules and regulations of NRDC or PFC of TIFAC will apply for those projects supported for patents applied by DSIR and TIFAC respectively.
Risk Capital in India June 20, 2006Posted by rajAT in bangalore, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, hyderabad, IIIT, iit, india, isb, startup, tie, vc, venture capital.
Rafiq Dossani from Stanford and Asawari Desai from TiE has written a report on what is holding the growth of risk capital in India [Via Venturewoods]. Below are some of excerpts from the report and my supporting thoughts on it.
Over 90% of the money invested by VC firms is in late state ventures. And the remaining More than 90% of the money invested in VC firms in India ventures lie in the category of late stage funding. The rest of the funding also goes into the firms who are replicating proven business models. Hence, the risk capital as such is totally absent in India. There are multiple reasons for such a scenario –
1. Domestic Risk capital providers who are skilled at risk assessment and portfolio diversification lack technical skills and market awareness.
This is very true. Most of the HNI (High Networth Individuals) one will find here will be from IT/ ITES industries who will have little or no clue about what is latest in the industry. Some of them who might be able to dish out the names of hottest startups like Riya, Skype (now eBay), Flikr (now Yahoo) etc. but they won't have clear idea as in why they are hot.
2. Early-stage entrepreneurs, though skilled at cost-control and technology, lack market awareness, product development skills, global standards of professional and ethical behavior and team building skills.
a. Some of the entrepreneurs here will simply try to replicate what has been done in US without understanding the whole idea in depth.
b. Early startups will not have discipline which is essential to certain extent.
c. The ideas that they are chasing can get changed very radically because some other quick opportunity will knock their door. Mostly in services side.
3. Inadequate pipeline of angel/university/state funded seed-stage firms.
Univeristy funding or support is happenning at few IITs (Bombay, Chennai) very actively. Now IIIT-H has also started supporting startups. But a wider penetration will take a lot lot more time.
You cannot create a vibrant entrepreneur community in pockets. If Stanford students were crucial in creating Sillicon valley than students from other universities have also played a very important role. All top 100 univs in US have an active Incubation cells. This imbibes a spirit of entrepreneurship in the students right from the beginning.
4. Seed and early-stage entrepreneurs’ professional networks consist primarily of a few strong personal connections and brokers. A wider network of professional associates, incubators and prior-stage financiers, is largely absent.
TiE is the only entrepreneurship network in India. It has chapters all over India, but TiE Bangalore is the most active one. Recently it launched TiE-EAP which is great foot forward. ISB in Hyderabad is also trying to build the same along with TiE Hyderabad and IIIT-H.
At grassroots alot is happenning now days. All Tier 1 IT hubs (Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune) have successfully organized Barcamps which were hugely successful. A small step but can go a long way as it gives a platform to the like minded to come and meet.
5. Underdeveloped equity markets for listing early-stage firms.
All big internet companies in India get themselves listed at NASDAQ or NYSE. This shows that Indian investor is not ready for the new age companies.
6. Shortage of complementary capital, such as debt capital.
Organized debt markets in India doesn't exist. One can get debt from improper channels at very high rate of interest. Mr. Finance minister are you listening.
7. The business environment discourages sophisticated standards of – corporate governance.
8.University-Industry partnership was an alien concept 5 years back. Corporate India is still trying to discover how such alliances can affect its topline.
9.Domestic consumption of IT is not very high. When labor is cheap why bother about IT. This is the mantra at most of the organizations.
10. Bureaucratic, regulatory, legal and tax hurdles affects smallers VC firms and angel investors. Need of the hour is such firms and not big ones. Read my views on it here.
Well this all means we have long way to go. And we will go 🙂 :).
Tips to entrepreneurs from Larry Page June 15, 2006Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, startup, technology.
Larry Page has got some tips (You Tube Video) for the entrepreneurs.
I must say it is a very structured approach for coming up with something innovative.
Two knuggets from his presentation.
1. Understand the world
2. Find things that seem wrong.
A cool advice he gave, in regard to Tesla – find someone who can fund your product if you want to change the world. 🙂
Are books dead? June 3, 2006Posted by rajAT in blog, book, books, digital library, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, media2.0.
[Via J Jarvis] Richard Charkin, head of Macmillan publishers has shared these statistics.
On average across the world people spend 6.5 hours a week reading. The most of amount time spent reading is in India (10.7 hours), the least Korea (3.1 hours). UK is very near the bottom at 5.3 hours, Germany and USA a little higher at 5.7 hours.
The Chinese listen to radio less than any other nation (2.1 hours a week), Argentina the most (20.8 hours).
On average people now spend more time on the Internet for leisure (not work) than reading – 8.9 vs 6.5 hours. Mexico uses the Intenet for leisure least (6.3 hours) and Taiwan the most (12.6 hours).
Internet use reduces the time people have for reading by around 20%.
40% of Europeans do not read books.
More people use the Internet for leisure than read books in the developed world.
And people wonder why publishers are spending so much time and effort on digital development.
First of all, it is great to know that we Indians are spending maximum in devouring books. Literacy rate of India is seeing a steady rise over the last decade or so.
The most connected country in the world that is Korea is spending least time reading books. Now there lies the juice. Does this mean that internet is going to kill the books as we know. Has it become an outmoded means of communicating information.
Well Jeff Jarvis thinks so. He has pointed out many problems with the books.
- They are frozen in time without the means of being updated and corrected.
- They have no link to related knowledge, debates, and sources.
- They create, at best, a one-way relationship with a reader.
- They try to teach readers but don’t teach authors.
- They tend to be too damned long because they have to be long enough to be books.
- They are expensive to produce.
- They depend on scarce shelf space.
- They depend on blockbuster economics.
- They can’t afford to serve the real mass of niches.
- They are subject to gatekeepers’ whims.
- They aren’t searchable.
- They aren’t linkable.
- They have no metadata.
- They carry no conversation.
- They are thrown out when there’s no space for them anymore.
In the end – We need to kill the book to save books.
I couldn't agree more.
PS: It is a great opportunity for the entrepreneurs. 🙂
Microsoft: Startup zone June 2, 2006Posted by rajAT in apple, bill gates, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, google, microsoft, startup, technology.
add a comment
Microsoft has marked the categories in which they will like to partnership with the startups .
- Business Intelligence
- Line of Business Applications
They have quite an array of companies working for them. I can only recognize – Newsgator, Akimbo, Sling Media, MobiTV.
Don Dodge heads the Collaboration portfolio. The Collaboration portfolio covers applications that work with Outlook, Office, Sharepoint, Messenger, Live Communications Server, and Exchange. Applications in this space include email add-on tools, document management, content management, file sharing, and other collaboration tools.
He gives reasons for why Microsoft is interested in working with startups –
- Partner products that compliment existing Microsoft products by adding features, filling holes, and leveraging the Microsoft platforms.
- Innovative partner products that take advantage of the latest Microsoft technology encourage our customers to upgrade to the latest release.
- Successful start-ups draw attention to the benefits of building on the Microsoft platform, and the value of partnering with Microsoft.
- Small start-ups often grow into big companies that need lots of software.
- Working with start-ups keeps us close to the cutting edge of technology. A good barometer for what is coming in the next 5 years.
- Start-ups are the best source for new partners, and sometimes lead to acquisitions.
WOW. Microsoft is treating startup as SME where they want to sell them their software or it is like catch them young. They can not attract true startups with this approach. By true startups I mean where a bunch of students are thinking to do the next big thing. They don't have a business plan or ivy league management team but just few ideas.
Now how can they catch such young entrepreneurs. Well for that first and foremost they have to come up with bigger goals and not short ones where they want to push their software to them.
They should sit with student entreprenuers and try to help them in arranging things for them. Any such venture lacks three things – Capital, Advice, Network. Help them in sorting these things out.
Microsoft has missed lots of things in technology, if they don't want to miss the next google they will think on these lines.
After all microsoft was also started by students and so was google, apple. And the next Katrina will also come from there.
Flickrpreneur June 1, 2006Posted by rajAT in advertising, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, fun, marketing, media2.0, web2.0.
[Via Marketallica]Russell Davies have posted the pictures of these books on Flickr. He has come up with an ingenious way of recommending books to users. He uploads the picture of his books and then added some notes to them. This could be a great product placement idea on flickr. Marketallica is very excited about the concept so am I. 🙂
It says for entrepreneur minds, maybe it is inspiring to develop application that makes it easy to add affiliate programs' link on photos. Then, Flickr, you should encourage and constitute flickrpreneur concept and make big money.
This concept can be a key for brands as it can help a product getting snowballed in a community. Viral medium works best online :).Tomi Ahonen has stressed it quite a lot in his award winning book Communities Dominate Brands.
I hope marketing gurus are listening ?