Journey With Myself Promotion : Promote to win a top level domains + Hosting!

This is a promotional giveaway where you could win the following prizes: Top Level Domains [Like *.com *.org *.in etc] Premium hosting for 1 year Many domains This promotion will run from Sunday, 12th October’ 2011 to 31st October’ 2011 00:00 hours (mid-night). Result of the promotion will be announced on within a week and prizes will be distributed to all the winners in the next 3 weeks’ time.

Every Day is A New Day

New day.. New office location.. New Seat.. So many new things happened to me before this new year comes. Newness always brings enthusiasm and excitement. Hope this New Year also comes with hand full of surprises as Every Day is a New Day indeed..!!!

12 Most Famous Love Stories of All Time

When: 31 BC Where: Rome and Egypt What’s So Special about Their Love: These two had a love so strong, war was waged against them to break them up. When Mark Antony left his wife, Octavia, for the mesmerizing Cleopatra, Octavia’s brother Octavian brought the army of Rome to destroy them. These two lovers were so entranced with each other that they committed suicide rather than be apart- the ultimate Romeo and Juliet true love story.

Mahatma`s Teachings

I like both the movies MunnaBhai MBBS and Lage Raho MunnaBhai. I dont know about the Gandhi`s political decisions but I believe in his teachings to the nation.

Universal Truth about Boys............lolz!!

Now i truly admit, Google is very very very smart......

Showing posts with label startups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label startups. Show all posts

Monday, October 1, 2012

Project Managers - Don'T Press, Just Impress

You get a genuine prospect, you ask for requirements, tend to believe that you have understood the requirements since you would like to close the deal, you prepare a set of documents under the different names of design plan, development plan, resource plan, timelines plan, implementation plan, deployment plan, testing plan etc; and then you jump into working for the customer.
Few days pass and then the customer starts pushing to add in more features/functionalities as his maturity towards the system enhances. You tend to be polite and accept to incorporate small features that would take about 2-3 hours. Then he requests few more features and then you would assume that it is hopefully not repetitive and then accommodate in order to avoid clashes. When it continues, you start letting customer that it would be difficult to accept new requirements midway. You realize that customer delays the payment so that you would consider including his desired new features. That is when you tend to press the customer to avoid unnecessary changes, add in imaginary features and to make the payments on time. All above scenarios are very common and I guess, are applicable for all projects; regardless of whether you are building the product or providing services, the requirements of which have been hastily agreed to kick-start the project.
There is a scene in one of my favorite movies ‘Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year’. The newly graduated friends would be having late party when the DJ threatens to leave. When everybody gives up convincing him, Ranvir Kapoor walks up to him, talks for couple of mins and does the trick. “Thodisi conversation, thodisi persuasion, thodisi negotiation”. Below are few suggestions for project managers, especially for start-up organizations as they tend to give into the pressure of doing more for small payments –
• Freeze the requirements document: I understand that this is easy said than done; however, you can clearly mention that you would leverage Time and Material costing model if the requirements continue to change. Once the customer understands that he will have to pay for the delay, he will attempt to freeze the requirements.
• Document of Understanding: I agree that it is difficult to get a commitment from the customer as it is very likely that although the requirements are frozen, the customer can always interpret a requirement differently and ask you to deliver more than agreed with either the same or lower cost. Prepare a Document of Understanding and get a sign-off that your understanding of requirements is at par with them. This is one of the most crucial steps. Use your communication skills and convince its importance to the customer how it would avoid last minute unpleasant surprises and costs as well.
• List of deliverables: Ensure that everybody is clear in terms of deliverables and additional deliverables will cost timelines, resources and hence additional payments. Put down the expectations in terms of contents of document.
• Expectations Management: Usually, most of the managers do a good job of expectations management to ensure that customer’s expectations are met. However, good leaders also put down their expectations in terms of payments on time. Let’s accept it that there is no free meal in the world and someone has to pay when work is done. One needs to make it clear that the work would be stopped and resources would be allocated to different projects, if the payments are not done on time. If you do a good job of completing the deliverables as expected, you are entitled to ask for the payments on time.
• Meet decision makers: Often, the deals are lost since you spend all your energy in impressing folks who are not decision makers. Ensure that a budget is available and that decision makers are involved in discussions. Even if you don’t get decision makers to attend meeting in the first place, schedule a meeting to talk to them and explain about your expertise and services. They are the ones who sponsor the projects and approve the payments. The rest of the folks usually work on it to showcase the details for their appraisals or merely because they have been asked to get it done.
• Budget constraints: Sometimes, you get to talk to decision makers and realize that they have genuine constraints on budgets. I would suggest not hanging your boots so soon. Visit them again, check out the reasons, validate their rationale on budget and if you are able to implement it although with smaller margins but having a good long term relationship, I would recommend going with it. It takes a while to know that business is not only about money although it is an important fuel for startups as well as all organizations.
I understand that most of the people would like to make their presence felt, get recognition for their efforts and perhaps it is a human tendency. Sure, Go ahead and impress; however, by doing a great job, not by shining apples for your bosses/customers; by working sincerely and delivering the projects on time, not by stepping on your colleague’s toes; by following ethics, not by stealing somebody’s due recognition.
You’ll have different pressures at different times to deliver the job. The above pointers may help you decide whether to get pressed or leave the bosses/customers impressed.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Indian Startups with Interesting Desi Names

While there are many established companies based in India who have adopted a foreign name to connect to the Indian mindset which aspires of foreign-label, there are a number of startups who believe “The name is built by customers, not by brands.”

Not only the mother tongue “Hindi” but quite a few startups have chosen regional languages to christen their company, right from the ancient Indian language Sanskrit to Telugu, a South Indian language.

Let us have a glimpse of these promising startups with desi names.

1. Kreeda Games

Kreeda Games is a game developer and publisher based in Mumbai. Its primary business is to design and build multiplayer Social games and game for SmartPhones. It was founded in November 2006 by three mavericks in a small garage with very big dreams. Kreeda’s particular expertise is in building games that get players to invite their friends.

Kreeda is a Sanskrit word which in English translates into “Game”.

2. Eka Software

Eka Software Solutions is a leader in technology for organizations that specialize in the buying and selling of physical commodities across world markets. Eka is derived from the word “EKAM”, which means ‘unified’ or ‘integrated’ in Sanskrit. It signifies the organizational intent to provide a single-platform solution for managing trade and risk across commodities, industry verticals and business segments.

3. Gharpay

Gharpay is a doorstep cash payment network. It collects cash from customers at their doorstep in 550 postal codes across 7 cities in India. It is practically the only organized player doing this in a  50000 crore e-commerce market that’s struggling to get people to pay online. Being an exclusive cash payment collection network, it has many advantages over courier companies providing this service.

Hindi word Gharpay translates into English as “At Home”. The second syllable “pay” is also an English word which defines the kind of service the company provides.

4. Sloka Telecom

Sloka is a Sanskrit word which means “Song”. Sloka Telecom is a Radio Access Network (RAN) solution provider. It is a pioneer in designing, developing and selling compact and cost-effective Base Stations and Consumer Premise Equipment (CPE) for new standards- WiMAX and WiFi.

5. Samvedana

Samvedana is a non-profit organization that supports social growth of the underprivileged in slums by providing educational opportunities and healthcare facilities. It achieves this by conducting welfare programmes, outdoor activities and workshops, actively in Ahmedabad. Samvedana is a Gujarati and Hindi word meaning “compassion.”

6. is a Bangalore based start-up founded in February 2008. The company makes publishing accessible to everyone. It offers a print on demand publishing platform which can be used by individuals and organizations for publishing their books in print at very little or no absolutely zero investment. ‘Pothi’ means ‘a book’ in many North Indian languages including Hindi, Punjabi and Bengali.

7.  FoodKhoj

FoodKhoj is an online food delivery portal that allows you to place an order online, for the food of your choice from different restaurants that deliver to your area. FoodKhoj is a Hindi phrase which in English means “Search for Food”. It is a free service which aims to build up long term relationship between restaurants and customers. Customers who use the portal continuously get exclusive access to better deals, discounts and prices.


It is the fastest growing property website in India which was established with the mission to connect relevant buyers and sellers of real estate. It helps in making wise and profitable decisions related to buying, selling, renting and leasing of properties in India.

The portal was named as such because “Makaan” is the most commonly used word among the Indian real-estate people. Most Indians also refer to their dream house as “Makaan”, which translates in English into “House”

9. is a portal service that provides a different approach to finding information local to a place. It makes it convenient to use when looking for businesses, public places, etc in your locality. One unique feature about the site is the ability to post messages in your locality for everyone to see and respond to, thus creating a map-based discussion forum.

The word "Sadak" means "a road" in the Indian language "Hindi". Incidentally, it also happens to be the name of a Turkish village.

10. Chitika

Chitika is one of the largest search-targeted advertising networks, currently serving over 600 million search driven impressions per month, and growing. Founded in 2003, the founders sought a name that would suggest the speed with which its customers would be able to put up ads on their Web sites. Chitika, which means “snap of the fingers” in Telugu captured this sentiment and Chitika was born.


MeraEvents which means “MyEvents” in English, is the first Indian web-based portal completely dedicated to all the Events, Conferences, Exhibitions, Seminars, and Trade fairs which offers many unique features. Its aim is to forever change the way events are organized.

12. is a product innovation company which is an event solutions platform offering event discovery to users and event solutions to event organizers. It takes less than 3 minutes to publish an event page and power it with 360 degree event solution online registration apps, event solution and event marketing.

Ayojak in hindi means “organizer”, which is basically what the service is all about.

13. Mauj

Mauj, which in English means “Fun” is a company focused on building great customer destinations on Mobile Internet. Established in 2003, it was formed with a vision to empower consumers by providing entertainment and information via mobile phone and specifically on Mobile Internet platforms.

14. Saavn

Saavn was founded in 2006 by Vin Bhat, Neal Shenoy, and Paramdeep Singh in a partnership between New York based parent company 212 Media, Indian company Hungama, and Schramm Sports & Entertainment. Saavn is a digital distributor of Bollywood and Kollywood music, with rights to over 2 million music tracks. The name Saavn is an acronym for “South Asian Audio Visual Network” and in Hindi;Saavn is the season of Monsoon, which is often associated with music.

15. PaGaLGuY

PaGaLGuY is India’s biggest and most trusted MBA preparatory resources website, used by over 700,000 MBA applicants every month. It was started in 2002 and it follows an online community approach to create smart and useful products to make the lives of MBA applicants easier.

Pagalguy is one of the funniest names for a web portal which means “A mad boy” which refers to those people who are crazy about MBA preparations.


SarkariExam is the first dedicated government job portal in India with an objective of satisfying the demand of every educated individual to get a job position in Indian Government sector. It provides all the vital information that, too with most accurate and precise format so that the information is easily available and grasped by the user.


India has seen a tremendous growth in Web 2.0 technologies. India is a unique market for interesting technological challenges, social networking and mobile devices. Together these factors have created an unseen buzz and flurry of funding into Web 2.0 initiatives. Avashya which means “Necessary” in English is a central destination for news, insights and analysis about India's contributions to Web 2.0 and beyond.


Merinews is India’s largest citizen journalism portal. It is an open platform for every citizen who wishes to share news, views, analysis, pictures etc with people around the world.

The name of the company means “My News”.

17. Apalya Technologies

Apalya, which means `mobility' in Sanskrit, is said to control the biggest share of the Indian mobile TV market, with over 4 million subscribers; the company claims it has a 99% marketshare. It was formed in 2005 to take advantage of the growing demand for Live Television, events and video on demand in the mobile space.

18. NaapTol

Launched in January 2008, Naaptol has grown to become one of India's largest comparison based social shopping portal. It is one-stop destination for shoppers, merchants and market enthusiasts which binds buyers and sellers in a profitable network. Naaptol helps people connect better making the whole experience of buying easier.

Naaptol is a Hindi word which means “To measure”.

19. Vyome Biosciences

Vyome, which means ‘Sky’ or ‘Heaven’, is a biopharmaceutical company leveraging next-generation functional genomics platforms, medicinal and polymer chemistry and nanotechnology to inspire the design and engineering of highly effective best-in-class therapeutics for dermatological indications.

22. Vaakya Technologies

Vaakya Technologies is a Bangalore based technology firm focused on fundamental research and development of innovative software infrastructure products.  for development and deployment of distributed software applications.

23. GupShup

GupShup is a social messaging service that enables users to share their short messages, privately with friends, or publicly with all. The service works on every mobile device and can be accessed via SMS, web, wap or mobile apps. It has over 60 million users in India, and expanding internationally.

“GupShup” is a Punjabi term meaning something like the English “chit chat.”


It is the fastest growing company in lifestyle category in India. It had started with the sale of multi brand Footwear online through its website. Enormous success in footwear category inspired the company to expand in other categories like Apparels, Accessories, Bags, Jewellery and Mobiles.

Yebhi is a Hindi phrase which in English means “This Also”.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Does your idea have to be "unique" for your startup to be successful or you can be just "+1" to the market, execute well and still succeed?

You are more likely to fail if you are "unique".  Its safer and easy to clone existing businesses and incrementally improve them.  First movers almost never understand the market as well as their competitors and are usually annihilated by the later competition (which only has to improve their product or exploit a new marketing channel).

Creating a new market and holding it is the most difficult you can do, where as incremental improvement is much easier and has comparable financial advantages.

Google was not the first search engine.  Google did not invent search monetization (Overture did).

Facebook was not the first social network.  It was a clone of HouseSYSTEM and myspace.  Myspace was a friendster clone.

Zynga did not invent Farmville, they copied the game almost to the pixel from Farmtown.  Farmtown was a copy of the Chinese game HappyFarm.

The iPod was not the first mp3 player.

Microsoft Windows was not the first or even the best GUI OS.  In fact it was technically inferior to its competitors, but won the standards war because Microsoft had a better understanding of the market and the nature of computer standards than IBM or Apple.

And so on.  Its rare that the first company into a market is the company that becomes the dominant player in that market.  I have never seen it happen in the absence of a government granted monopoly.

Your product should be designed to satisfy a validated demand that consumers have, but perhaps in a new way, or with a new technology; for instance, people have been watching video since the 1960s, but Youtube enables them to satisfy that need over a new medium (the internet/web-browser).

If there is not a product in a market (or atleast an extreme shitty product), the reason is generally that there is no demand for that product.  However, concepts like tablet computing and Groupon were tried several dozen times and failed before they were successful.

Personally, I am big fan of improving existing services, exploiting superior knowledge about your market (such as using better marketing strategies or distribution methods) and market segmentation.  Market segmentation is great strategy for grabbing your competitor's customers and potentially being able to achieve higher margins

What books are on your "must read" list for web startups?

  1. Startups Open Sourced (Jared Tame- This is a really great collection of interviews and promises to share some insight into some of the most interesting stories you typically won't hear on HN.
  2. The Thank You Economy (Gary Vaynerchuk- This book attest that your relationship with your customers will define your business's success.
  3. Designing for the Web (Mark Boulton- This material was eye opening from a developer's perspective because it helps you understand the designer's process. This is great from a designer's perspective because it covers 80% of the ground that make most web designers great! (Not to mention it's FREE to read online!)
  4. The Four Steps to the Epiphany (Steve Blank)This seems to be the entrepreneur's bible to business development. 
  5. The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to the Four Steps to the Epiphany (Brant Cooper , Patrick Vlaskovits) - I understand that this book really dissects the Customer Development process.
  6. Business Model Development: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers (Yves Pigneur and Alex Osterwalder) - Excellent book which walks you through developing your business model and efficiently pivoting until you achieve product-market fit.
  7. Founders at Work (Jessica Livingston) - Case studies on some of the great businesses and their founders of our day. Fascinating insight from people who have walked the walk.
  8. Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur (Pamela Slim) - I haven't gotten to this book personally, but I'm told there are some great takeaways. I've seen Pam speak on several occasions and have high expectations from her book as well.
  9. My Start-Up Life: What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley (Ben Casnocha) - Another book I haven't gotten to, though the hot spot that is Silicon Valley has been a personal interest for me. I'm expecting a first-hand experience of what a new company in the Valley goes through.