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Podcast with Kanwal Rekhi February 2, 2007

Posted 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 :).

[podtech content=http://media.podtech.net/media/2007/01/PID_010097/Podtech_KS_kanwalrekhi.mp3&postURL=http://www.podtech.net&totalTime=961000&breadcrumb=3F34K2L1]

TiE Entrepreneurial Summit December 31, 2006

Posted by rajAT in entrepreneurship, india, tie.
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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.

IAMAI E business summit December 6, 2006

Posted by rajAT in iamai, india, internet.

Internet and Mobile Association of India organised e-Business Summit 2006 in Mumbai on 30th November. The event was attended by the captains of indian internet and mobile industry. I went there to get a pulse of them as in what directions these guys are thinking.

I dont expect them to share their next billion dollar idea ( do they have one ? ) in an open forum like this. But if any company is working on the next big revolutionary idea they will talk about it cryptically atleast. Everyone likes to brag a little, isn’t it. 🙂

The flavour of the day was YouTube. I can hear whispers of word YouTube in every corner after every 10 minutes. Some one or the other will utter this word and with such supreme confidence that he is a master of this new game and he totally understand how the value gets created at YouTube. As I am nt able to understand the price tag of $1.65 billion myself. I asked the more enlightened ones. And I got the answer – Video rocks man. That is the future. Do you really want me to write all crap here :).

I caught some investors from valley who were also present there. I asked them how do they compare this event with the big events in valley. What is there impression about the captaions of indian internet industry. The guy looked at me and said this event is BULLSHIT. And then he started talking about O’reilly event and that you attain nirvana when you listen to people over there. Thats exactly what he said. I am not garnishing the words :D.

All in all a great effort by IAMAI. Atleast it brings the internet industry in India under one roof. More coverage of the event can be read here.

Couple of suggestion to them.

They should have a venture show case for us young entrepreneurs so that young entrepreneurs like me can show our stuff to big boys.

There should be a session where really innovative ideas are presented and discussed not the usual commoditized crap that was discussed.

Hope someone is listening.

India Knowledge @ Wharton November 2, 2006

Posted by rajAT in india, isb, wharton.
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Knowledge @ Wharton has launched India Knowlege @ Wharton in assoication with ISB. It can be accessed at http://www.ikw.in.

The new site includes articles that focus on India’s increasing importance to the global economy. The first issue features interviews with Indian finance minister P. Chidambaram and Ronojoy Dutta, former CEO of Air Sahara, in addition to a look at Tata Steel’s Corus takeover and stories on Indian real estate and the country’s burgeoning BPO film industry.

Another small step towards the recognition of emerging India !!

Building the right mobile app November 2, 2006

Posted by rajAT in india, mobile, startup.
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Well the title over promises. I am not going to dole out lot of gyan for building the right app for the mobile. Just narrating some experience that I had in Delhi. One of the mobile enthusiasts there asked me if I can give some feedback on their idea that he and his friend have been mulling over. I was delighted as he thought me worthy enough for the job. We met at PVR Saket. I bet not a great place to meet and discuss mobile VAS. There is so much girls around ‘Value getting created‘ and we are missing all the fun ‘Value not captured‘ :). The idea was interesting and guys have done some homework as in how to build the app. I was impressed at that. But then when I asked some of they important questions as in

a. What is the business model ?

b. How the value is getting created in the value chain ?

c. Are they capable to capture that value for themselves ?

d. What is the USP ?

And numerous others on the same lines. There were no clear answers for any of them. They were mixing the USP with other things and there were whole lot of other issues. Guys took it coolly. Meeting ended.

Today while browsing I found some more interesting tips by Sprint’s Vice President for Partner Development and Product Innovation Paul Reddick. Here they are –

1. Know thyself — consider your scope carefully and be specific of what you do that is better than everything out there.
2. Know if you are a mass market or a niche application — mass market is hard to get right, because it has to be popular to such a wide audience. But also if you’re a niche application don’t expect to be placed on the deck.
3. Educate objectively before selling passionately — carriers see a lot of ideas, don’t oversell it.
4. Admit what you’ve accomplished versus trying to sell what is really a work in progress.
5. Be specific about what you want from the carrier. And know what the carrier has deployed in the market — at CTIA he says he had a guy pitching him an application that they had launched three years ago.
6. Provide differentiation.
7. Adapt to new models — he gives the example of Sprint bundling applications with the handset, which he says is a risky move and a big shift for Sprint.
8. Leverage new capabilties — like WiMAX.
9. Avoid asking him why your application can’t be on the Sprint’s deck — he says he hears a sense of entitlement. Go off deck.
10. His team focuses on finding innovation that can fix technology and service bottlenecks. Keep that in mind.

But all salutes to the guys for their passion. I sincerely hope they might be either refining their plans or thinking on new lines.

All luck.

Tie Con Delhi 2006 November 1, 2006

Posted by rajAT in india, startup, tiecon delhi.
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Last weekend I was in Delhi attending TiE Con 2006. The event was action packed. Met lots of interesting people in the conference.

The best part of 2 day session was from Vivek Ranadive. I am reproducing here the post from my friend Nikhil. He invited me for a rock gig but I couldnt make it due to time constraints. So here is the post ..

The Keynote address on Day 2 at TiEcon 2006 was delivered by Vivek Ranadive, Chairman and Founder of TIBCO narrated his story in a wry self deprecating manner, and offered advise to entrepreneurs based on his own experiences. Giving his own example of enterprise, on how he persevered and eventually got some of his (according to him) ‘smarter’ friends to join his business after he received seed funding, his first offering bit of advise: surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. He began his company at a time when there was little funding, but he had an idea of a “software bus” that he wanted to implement. After receiving his funding, he talked his was into the Goldman Sachs office and convinced the newly appointed head to allow him to digitize wall street. He was among the first people to go down on to wall street and talk to the traders on how they actually worked and this helped them plan their implementation better. So – Listen to your customer and really understand how to help them. Forget about the competition, he reiterated – listen to the customer. He joked that Reuters had been a competitor for them, since because of thier digitization, the Reuters business at Wall Street was actually suffering. When Reuters bought TIBCO, he learnt that internally, people at Reuters had referred to TIB in TIBCO as ‘That Indian Bastard’. After Goldman Sachs, their next big deal was with Solomon Brothers who wanted to put the entire bond system on digital. IBM was among their competitors, and he was called for a lunch meeting where the CIO of Solomon Brothers asked him why they should do business with TIBCO? Ranadive repeatedly spoke about his product, his people and the company. When the CIO asked him again about why they should do business with him, Ranadive looked him straight in the eyes and said – “Because we have fire in our eyes”. That later became a joke at Solomon Brothers, but it is important to have passion, he said.

photo courtesy – http://www.amitranjan.com

W3C Workshop on the Mobile Web in Developing Countries October 4, 2006

Posted by rajAT in bangalore, digital divide, india, mobile, w3c.

The “W3C Workshop on the Mobile Web in Developing Countries” aims to understand specific challenges of mobile Web access within Developing Countries, in terms of their needs, blocking factors, and potential usages.The aim of this workshop is to gather experts in Mobile Web technologies and experts in Developing Countries and on the Digital Divide so that challenges and issues are clearly identified and tackled appropriately in a near future with the help of standardization bodies like W3C and its Mobile Web Initiative.

The goal of the workshop is to provide input to the W3C Mobile Web Initiative to identify which areas would be most important to focus on to help bridge the digital divide. The following topics are of particular interest:

  • Analysis of the potential demand for data service / mobile web access in Developing Countries
  • Key applications to leverage the development/use of mobile web in Developing Countries
  • Regional differences in Asia/Africa/Central Europe/Middle East/South America/…
  • Analysis of Mobile Web usage in Developing Countries
  • Real-world projects relying on Mobile Web access in Developing Countries
  • Usage of Mobile Web technologies in emergency responses in rural areas
  • Analysis on the way the Mobile Web could improve people lives in Developing Countries (education, healthcare,…)
  • Challenges to make the Mobile Web really useful (not just usable)
  • Analysis of the main value added of the Mobile Web vs. a mobile phone (voice only) vs. a computer in an Internet cafe? :
    • Are cheap PC a competing platform to web-enabled phones ?
    • can a web-enabled phone play the same role in Developing Countries as the PC at home in Western Countries ?
  • Role of voice and multimodal technologies/applications
  • Technical challenges to have web-enabled phone being the alone/primary way to access the Web
    • Content authoring from a mobile phone ?

Date – 5/6 December 2006

Venue – Bangalore, India

Should political leaders blog? September 15, 2006

Posted by rajAT in blogcamp, blogcampindia, india, indiablogcamp, political blogging.

That was the question that Veena was trying to ask the audience.

People were having various opinions.

Well I think they should blog.

Indian demographics are going to change increasingly over the next 5 years. We are going to have 60% of young people. Most of these young people will be working out of home. People like me.

Now I dont have any first hand information what the MPs and MLAs are doing in my constituency. How junta is reacting to their policies ? What are the views of opposition parties. So whenever there are general elections in my town, I end up asking my dad whom you want me to vote. As I dont know anybody who is standing in the elections. Its been 8 years now that I am living out of my home.

BJP did use sms to reach the younger audience. But that was broadcasting of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “Main aapka pradhanmantri bol raha hoon“. It failed because they were not able to enage aam aadmi in a conversation.

So if these guys will start blogging and will encourage participation over their blog that will really be helpful for guys like me to make an informed decision :).

Please note that in recent times the difference between the winner and loser in elections has really thinned down. So now every vote counts.

I hope someone is listening.

BlogCamp.in September 8, 2006

Posted by rajAT in blog, bloggers, india, indiablogcamp.
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I will be camping at BlogCamp this weekend. 🙂

Conversations that will keep people chatty at the camp are –

  • Blogging and Governance – How blogs are being used to provide assistance during times of crisis, uncovering potential crimes, activities, taking on the government, etc.
  • Blogging and Entrepreneurship – Many professionals are using blogs to change their world. Here we talk about how blogging can work towards career development and related areas.
  • Corporate Blogging – Many corporates have started blogging, taking them closer to customers. Here, you could share your stories on why you are incorporating blogs in your products and media strategies.
  • Getting Geeky – The Art and Science of Blogging, how to go about it, tips and tricks of trade and taking blogging to the next level.
  • Blogging as New Media – As blogging goes mainstream, it complements journalism. Here we talk about why traditional media should care about blogging as a form of citizen journalism.
  • Blogging as a Hobby – How blogs help you in showcasing your talents and skills, in sharing your deep thoughts.
  • Blogging and Community – As a tool for action, collective or distributed, as a binding force, as a way for individuals to contribute, and to get back something

There is beach party planned on Saturday night. An evening on the lawns, a bonfire, booze, music, swimming pool, good food. Place is a minute’s walk from the beach. We will be crashing the night at the beach house and will be camping out in the lawns. Looking forward for it the most :D.

Going by spicejet 🙂 to make the whole experience spicy. 🙂

School Chale Hum August 25, 2006

Posted by rajAT in children, education, india, school.

The Great Indian Roadtrip August 24, 2006

Posted by rajAT in biking, gir, india, roadtrip, xbhp.
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Why GIR?

Travelers! Destinations are inconsequential. All that matters is the road. When we say travel we mean it in the broadest sense —exploring and discovering new places, rather than merely speeding through them. The ride and the road equally thrill them, but they’re also intrigued by roadside discoveries, off-road meanderings, and the distinct pleasures to be found at the end of the road.

Its about feeling that invisible pat on the back and hearing that soft whisper from god which says ‘you fool, I gave you life on the blue planet so that you could discover the many people and places that I made for you!’

The Great Indian Roadtrip is an expression of freedom and the spirit of exploring the world around us. It is not just about the thrill of travelling around India on motorbikes but about discovering new routes, the surreal experiences, interacting with strangers, and above all appreciating the diversity and beauty of India. This cannot be understood solely through postcards, desktop wallpapers, lonely planet guides or the many books written by the foreigners. The GIR will bring together all this and preserve the memories in the form of thousands of visuals and videos.

We want desktop adventurers to join in and share our trials, treks and triumphs. We want to encourage members of our generation, and those that came before and will follow, to get off the couch and get out there and try the world out for themselves!


Meet the xBHP team who has pulled it all.

Read it all here as the journey progresses.

India’s Young Entrepreneurs August 23, 2006

Posted 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.
sasimath.jpgSasikanth Chemalamudi
CEO: Habits

Hyderabad, India
Age: 23

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.

gaddipati.jpgRama Krishna Gaddipati
Co-founder: Bridle Information & Technology Solutions

Tenali, India
Age: 24

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.

vikas-kedia.jpgVikas Kedia
Founder & Partner: MobiTrail

Bombay, India
Age: 25

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-khekkade.jpgAtul Prakash Khekade
Co-Founder: Innovation Trip

Bombay, India
Age: 24

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.

asia-25-under-25-vishal-sam.jpgVishal Sampat
Founder: Convonix

Bombay, India
Age: 24

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.

diyank.jpgDivyank Turakhia
Co-Founder, President & Director: Directi Group

Bombay, India
Age: 24

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.

Zoho from India made it coolest Web2.0 sites August 12, 2006

Posted by rajAT in adventnet, india, innovation, web2.0, zoho.


Full list of best web2.0 sites is below (Compiled by Business 2.0) –

AllPeers (Czech Republic)
Bokee (China)
CoComment (Switzerland)
Cyworld (South Korea)
Dabble DB (Canada)
Douban (China)
Feeds 2.0 (Greece)
Gnoos (Australia)
Habbo Hotel (Finland)
Last.fm (England)
Metacafe (Israel)
Muti (South Africa)
MyHeritage (Israel)
NetVibes (France)
Nooked (Ireland)
OpenBC (Germany)
Plazes (Germany)
Quintura (Russia)
TheAdCloud (Chile)
Toudou (China)
Spurl (Iceland)
Wikio (France)
Zoho Writer (India)

Zoho is an excellent suite of weboffice products, that has been created by an Indian web development company called AdventNet. The company has its HQ in the USA but its entire product development is based out of Chennai. Their products include Zoho Writer (online word processor), Zoho Sheet (online spreadsheet), Zoho Planner (online To-Do list), Zoho Show (online presentations), Zoho Virtual Office, Zoho Creator & Zoho Polls.

It is a great news for Indian Web 2.0 community.

VC funding movies in India August 11, 2006

Posted by rajAT in india, movies, venture capital.

Venture funds are now eyeing Indian movies. Chennai-based Pyramid Saimira Theatre is setting up a $150m fund for production and distribution of regional and Bollywood movies.

Pyramid Film Fund will unveil itself over the next nine months in three avatars of $50m each — based on the level of risk and exposure.

The Pyramid group will sponsor around 25% of the fund, while the remaining is being raised from venture funds and institutional investors. The movies that the fund finances — mostly in the mid-budget range of Rs 5-10 crore — will be distributed and exhibited by Pyramid group through its country-wide theatre chain.

Pyramid group, which is currently focused on exhibition markets in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka with around 120 screens, has chalked out plans for country-wide presence with around 2,000 screens by December ‘07. As part of its foray into north India, the group has tied up with Delhi-based developer Spirit Global for presence in 60 malls across Punjab.

Funds’ first project, Dasavatharam, will be released with over 1,000 prints across the country in April next year, and dubbed in several regional languages, including Hindi and Telugu. Talks are currently on to finance few Bollywood movies, including several regional language ones.

Over the last three-four years several corporates, including the ADAG, Tata and Aditya Birla groups have set aside corpus for financing and distribution of movies.

Indian Tech Tour 2006 July 29, 2006

Posted by rajAT in entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, india, tie, tie asia, tie uk, vc, venture capital.
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techtour.PNG 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
  • Wireless
  • Networking
    • Fixed
    • Management & Services
  • Software Applications
    • Enterprise
    • Consumers
  • Platform & Infrastructure
    • Computer-human interface
    • Search and navigation
    • Content delivery
    • Infrastructure management
    • Middleware
    • OS & Development tools
  • BPO
    • Healthcare
    • Financial Services
    • Content Development
    • Software Development
    • Elearning/Trading
  • Digital Media
  • Consumer Technology and Distribution
  • Energy Related Technologies
  • NANO Technology
  • Retail & Consumer technology
  • Semi-conductor technology/Research/Manufacturing
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Terminals and peripherals