Sunday, December 31, 2006

how to start your own lil venture with me...

Respected Sir,

As salamu alaikum.

First ,let me wish you and your family a happy Eid.

sir, i am looking for persons or companies who is interested to become my franchisee. Sir, the most right thing will be if you form a company yourself with or without partners. Partners are required when the investment is big.But in a scope of work like us, you need not have too much cash in hand.

kindly read my blog for ideas
What is a franchise

now thinking that you will start a company of your own and market the products of envo, how will you market these products without incurring too much expenditure...

this is a to do list for marketing...

1) Contact pollution control board .Give them your company profile(ENVO PROFILE) , your personal biodata personally.You will have to meet them personally.
2) Contact bussiness houses directly by sending Envo Profile through Post or email.Use yellow pages to find out addresses of Industries.
3)Contact Builder groups, Architects,Plumbing Firms by sending Envo Profile through e-mail or Post or personal visit.
4) Activate your own contacts, friends, relatives .

So, the first thing you need for marketing
1) Your visting Card
2) Envo Company Profile (Which is attached alongwith this letter)
3)Initial investement for Posting letters and email.
4)Mobile phone bill

I hope I have given you a fair Idea how to start your own lil venture with me...

Lemme know how can I help you further.

Yours truely

Saleem asraf

Sunday, December 24, 2006

How to get money to fund your idea

How to get money to fund your idea

Barkha Shah | June 09, 2005

The TiE-ISB Connect participation fee is Rs 500. To participate, contact: TiE Hyderabad, B-Block, 3rd Floor, Kanthi Sikhara Building, Somajiguda, Hyderabad - 500082. Tel: 91-40-23416603/05 Fax: 91-40-23416601 Or, ISB, Gachibowli, Hyderabad - 500019. Tel: 91-40-23187008 Fax: 91-40-23007046 Registration form can be downloaded from both these sites.

An innovator's dos & don'ts

Manuel Torres, a pioneering Spanish designer, has spent 30 years solving manufacturing problems for the aeronautics industry, but his latest brainchild is his proudest achievement yet: a desalination plant, powered by wind energy, capable of providing clean water without polluting the environment. He reveals his mantras to Leslie Crawford of Financial Times:

Do invent -- don't copy
Own your technology
Do diversify by adapting the technologies that you have mastered to new industries in order to reduce dependence on just one sector
Don't consider entering a business that is being done well. Look for industries in crisis: they are prime targets for companies that can offer innovative solutions. Remember that renaissance always follows a period of decline
Don't be intimidated by "experts" in an industry. Experts often cannot see the wood for the trees. Success breeds complacency and "closed professional niches", both of which are bad for business. An outsider often sees more clearly what is not working and what can be improved

Lessons from successful entrepreneurs

Lessons from successful entrepreneurs

Manu AB in Mumbai

Must haves for entrepreneurs:

Great idea
Good team
Determination to succeed
A good mentor
Accept failure as the stepping stone to success
Belief in oneself
Passion and commitment

What is a franchise? Written By Rajeev Mathur

What is a franchise?
During the Great Depression, Colonel Harland Sanders started selling fried chicken in the little town of Corbin, Kentucky, on the road to Florida. He is said to have used 11 herbs and spices in a secret recipe that gave the chicken its distinctive taste. Sanders' fare gained fame and Corbin was a routine stop en route to Florida till a new highway bypassed it. That's when the colonel shut shop and tried selling his chicken to restaurant owners.
In 1952, Pete Harman of South Salt Lake, Utah, signed an agreement to sell Sanders' chicken and pay him five cents for each piece sold. The eatery was called Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was the world's first franchise. While Sanders was sharing proprietory knowledge and reputation with Harman for a fee, the latter was running the business on Sanders' behalf. And that is the essence of a franchise even today.
Why a franchise?
The simple answer is to mitigate risk. "The franchiser can expand its reach by investing almost no money and capital, while the franchisee is almost sure of success as he is working in a tested area," says C Y Pal, president, Franchising Association of India, an industry body.
A US Department of Commerce study conducted during 1971 to 1997 showed that less than five per cent of franchises closed down each year. In contrast, a study by the US Small Business Administration found that from 1978 to 1998, 62 per cent of non-franchised businesses could not make it past the sixth year.
But remember that a franchise will never give the returns that a successful own business will.
Some franchises could give you annual returns of 70 per cent, but most will be in the 20-40 per cent range.
On 27 November 2006, retail giant Wal-Mart, with a turnover of $316 billion, announced that it would franchise its Indian operations to Sunil Mittal's Bharti Enterprises. The latter would own and run Wal-Mart retail stores in India. Wal-Mart would also set up a joint venture with Bharti for the supply chain. Thus, systems honed over 46 years would be Bharti's from Day One.
India is now the world's largest franchise market after North America and is growing at about 30 per cent a year, says Tony White, managing director, White Connections, which advises franchise companies.
A cheaper option is a service franchise. Instead of the local guy, more people are getting specialists to, say, find a match, or clean a water tank. For a money-spinner education franchise, "in most cases all you need is a room and the course material", Marya adds.
Which franchise?
While buying a franchise, you have to consider several issues.

Abilities. This is the time for brutal self-assessment. Rule of thumb: stay off what does not interest you. If you are indifferent to food, stay off restaurants. If kids exasperate you, avoid play schools. But don't lose heart. Your passion for travelling may make you one of the best equipped to plan holidays. Go for that. "I had already done a few beauty courses," says Jaya Patodia, 34, who runs a Lakme Beauty Salon in Delhi.

More likely than not, a good franchiser will check out whether you fit the bill. Shahnaz Hussain, for instance, looks for people who are "passionate about beauty care". Most franchisers will look for specific skills apart from "entrepreneurial attitude and open mind".
Institute of Computer & Finance Executives asks for no less then a chartered accountant, and Spykar Jeans wants a year's experience in franchising.
Since this will be a new business, it will need a lot of hard work to get it running. "The initial one year is very important as this is when you build up a customer base," says Hema Malini, 36, who, along with Ambika Viswanath, 24, run a Ferns 'N' Petals franchise in Chennai.
Most franchisers want the franchisee to be involved personally. Ratan Jalan, CEO, The Apollo Clinic, says: "We need a person who is himself going to run the franchise." But some may let you hire a manager and work at the franchise part-time. Remember, the monthly expense estimate franchisers give you assume that you will work full time.
Costs & finances. The big question is: how much can you invest in a franchise? Some service franchises could cost as little as Rs 20,000. You would need just a room, a table, a couple of chairs and a telephone connection. At the other end are beauty parlours, fine dining restaurants, or retail jewellery outlets. Here, investments could go to a crore or higher.

Now add on recurring costs - royalty (usually a percentage of sales to be paid every week or month). In some cases, Ferns 'N' Petals and Angeos Academy, it is the higher of percentage of net sales or a lumpsum.

There would also be working capital, which would include salary of staff, power bills, rent, and some fixed overheads like ad fees. When a franchiser talks about working capital needs, ask whether it includes rent. If not, this could be a chunky add-on. Check how much you can borrow from banks and at what rate and decide whether you want to do so (see Money Matters).

The amount of capital you can raise will partly determine how long you can wait for the business to pay back. Some franchisers will say that you can start making profits from the first month itself, but it is always wise to give yourself a cushion of at least a few months.

Your reserves or savings will decide how critical immediate cash flow is. Also, ask yourself how much money you can afford to lose. It would be smart to have a contingency fund.

Goals. What do you want your franchise to do for you? Will it be the primary or a supplementary source of income? Are you looking to make any specific amount every year? What is the return you want on your investment? Develop a three-tier strategy for investing, a long-term strategy and an exit strategy.

Ask where you see yourself five to 10 years down the line. Do you intend to make money and shut shop, or do you want to set up more outlets later? Remember, buying a very successful franchise for a high fee makes no sense until your outlet gives returns.

After you apply these filters, your list should get down to at most four or five franchises. But you still need to zero in on one.



History: Established in 2001 By Mr Sunil Uplap.Has more than 150 Franchisees spread across 10 states of India. Amazing thing is they have three franchise in the city of Guwahati,Assam

Concept: Scientific cleaning and disinfection of drinking water tanks promoted as brand.

USP: Complete technical and marketing training provided along with tailor made software to manage the total business.

Franchising Facts:

 Investment Required: Rs. 250,000/-
 Area Required: 5 X 5 Sq. Ft. (Only storage space)
 ROI: 76% (minimum)
 Target Cities: Any City/Town/Village across India
 Location Specification: Any Place having drinking water storage tanks
Franchisor Support
 Total technical training
 Total Marketing Training
 Corporate Marketing and Advertising.
 Marketing kit.
 Advertisement worth Rs. 50,000/- to be done by the company in the franchisee area.
 Website support
Benefits of Joining
 A business opportunity that pays every day from day one.
 Service Industry- the current trend.
 Strong Brand Identity
 Additional Business Opportunities for promoting other drinking water related products
 Brand recognition and Brand image.
 Various certifications from reputed Govt and Private Institutions
 Credibility of a reputed Brand.
 National presence.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006



Pollution prevention and treatment of mother liquor


In lactose production the remaining product after separation of the lactose crystals, usually by decanting (see page 279), is called mother liquor. As it usually contains 1/3 protein, 1/3 lactose solution/crystals, and 1/3 salts, it is difficult to dry, as the salts and lactose make it very hygroscopic, and deposits in the chamber are therefore normally seen.
It is, however, possible to apply the same technique as earlier described, introducing warm air at 60ÂșC tangentially into the drying chamber, whereby the mentioned problems can be minimized. The integrated fluid bed dryers will also be advantageous for this product. Fats of various types can also be added to the mother liquor prior to the drying. Cooling of the powder is then performed in a Vibro-Fluidizer into which cold air is applied. Dried mother liquor is used as stock food and is specially suited for animals that cannot utilize the lactose such as poultry.
Special attention should however be paid to the high salt content, which may lead to troublesome digestion for some animals. Another thing is the absence of the aminoacid Methionine which is only present in whey proteins in a limited amount. Synthetic Methionine (or fishmeal or soy proteins) should be added.



1.Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna)
2.Garlic (Allium sativum)
4. Gugglu (commiphora mukul)
5.Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina)
6. Jatamansi ( Nardostachys jatamansi)

PATENTED MEDICINE : (Stress Guard) ----Dose: one capsule, twice daily, with milk / water.

How to reduce heart problem

Arjuna is the drug of choice for the treatment of this disease. This is a big tree and its bark is used as medicine. The powder or decoction of its bark is given to the patient during and even after the attack. The powder is given to the patient in a dose of 1 gm., four times a day. If the heart disease is of vatika type, it is mixed with ghee. If it is of paittika type, then milk is used. In kaphaja type of heart disease it is mixed with honey or pippali powder.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

An Entrepreneur’s Attributes: rajesh jain

An Entrepreneur’s Attributes:
Inspiration – Motivating the Team

The entrepreneur is the number one reason for the team members to join. It is the force of personality, the depth of vision and the belief that one is on a mission to change the world that motivates the team. Individually, everyone may be ordinary, but as a collective, they are capable of doing extraordinary feats – and the entrepreneur is the secret sauce which makes all of this possible. The entrepreneur is the chief inspirer-and-motivator. The passion and commitment of the entrepreneur is what will bring out the best in the team. The team, in effect, will mirror the entrepreneur’s highs and lows. It is therefore very important for the entrepreneur’s enthusiasm to never flag – whatever be the situations. The team sees the entrepreneur as some kind of a superhuman, one with limitless energy – it is something that the entrepreneur must always maintain, whatever be the inner issues that may be going on.

Networking – Meeting Others

It is very important for the entrepreneur to build a network of contacts in the industry. It is not something that comes naturally to everyone, and yet, it is something that has to be done. The entrepreneur is the face of the organisation. As such, it becomes necessary for the entrepreneur to speak at conferences, and in general make presentations whenever the opportunity arises. This helps in getting the message out about the venture to more people. The entrepreneur is in effect the best advertisement that a new venture has.

One thing I have realised over the years is that meetings never do harm. Yes, there is a time investment, but there is always some good that comes out of meeting others. At times, the good may take a long time. It is like a spray-gun approach – one never knows which meetings will hit the target. But as long as one good idea or contact can emerge from a meeting, I feel it has been worth it. And even more to the point, it is upto the entrepreneur to get that value.

Faith In God – A Must

This may seem like a strange attribute in today’s day and age. But I have gone through enough scenarios in my entrepreneurial life to believe that there is a force that guides one along. There have been times when I have found myself caught in situations from where there is seemingly no escape, and yet, I have not only emerged, but done so stronger. There are events which may seem to have little bearing on the venture, but they are like the butterfly which causes the tornado – small things which can make a big difference, amplified by the hidden hand of God. All I can say is that I have learnt to believe that there is always some good which comes out of everything, and it is for us to see that good. It may be hard to see that good when one is going through a difficult patch, but as long as one has faith in God, one will see the light soon enough.

Knowledge, along with Passion, must become the entrepreneur’s greatest strength. Because of the entrepreneur’s personal involvement with customers and most aspects of the business, few will know the business as well as the entrepreneur does. This must show up in meetings and interactions with outsiders – they should realise that the entrepreneur’s knowledge will keep them ahead of the curve if they choose to do business with the entrepreneur’s firm. Knowledge – wide and deep – is the magical key to open up new doors constantly. What the entrepreneur needs to do is to ensure that this is sustained even as the venture grows. This prevents the organisation becoming blind-sided by trends or developments that may not have been foreseen.
The entrepreneur must be able to convince others that the future can be created. The beliefs must be based on a series of logical arguments, and not just a fancy dream.

Having a reasonably clear perspective on where one is headed over the long-term is very important. At the same time, it is not that important to know the detailed roadmap – that will evolve over time. More often than not, people get it wrong – they focus too much on the near-term and not enough on the long-term rationale of why they are in the business.
he must be an experimenter, constantly trying out different things and exploring alternate avenues. Many of the experiments may fail, but out of these will arise learnings. Experimentation is what leads to innovation.

Multitasking is at the heart of an entrepreneur’s day and life. The phone rings and needs to be answered, an urgent email needs a reply, a team member needs a map of the way forward, a customer is unhappy, a sales call needs to be made – all pretty much at the same time. In this scenario, one can throw one’s hands up – or smile, and jump right into it. In doing so, an entrepreneur needs the ability to switch from one context to another rapidly.

This is not as easy as it sounds. An entrepreneur is always in doubt – is this the right thing to do, can there be alternate paths, will this lead in the direction of where one intends to go. At the same time, thinking for too long is also a problem because it can lead to a paralysis of action. The entrepreneur needs to be move – and be able to self-correct if the action doesn’t seem right.

Those working with the entrepreneur may find a confused mind. That is not the case. It is just that an entrepreneur’s mind works faster than things can be done. As a result, even as actions are being done, there is fine-tuning taking place. The thinking is happening online. For those not used to a dynamic environment of action, this can be quite disconcerting!

My Life as an Entrepreneur---- rajesh jain

My Life as an Entrepreneur: Part 1

Based on my experiences, there are three things that I’d like to tell people starting their own businesses:

Dream Big: I think vision is very important. More than anything else, it is the Vision Thing that drives an entrepreneur. Passion comes from the Vision – the ability to see a future that is different from today. It is this future that the entrepreneur seeks to create. This is the higher-level purpose that an entrepreneur has – to build something that does not exist, to explore horizons that others have not. Never be afraid to dream big, but then also take steps to make that dream a reality.

Use Failure as a Teacher: An entrepreneur must be prepared to experience and learn from failure. As an entrepreneur, there will be more “down” days than “up” days. These days and periods test the entrepreneur’s patience. There are times when one may feel like just giving up. But one must persevere. Failure and success are two sides of the same coin. One will come with the other. Success hides the problems, failures magnify them. It is failure that teaches us how to do things right – provided we are prepared to accept failure and learn from it.

Combine Optimism with Realism: Even as entrepreneurs are the ultimate optimists (and they have to be), that has to be tempered with the ability to also confront reality. A balance is needed. In the early stages of a venture, it is only the optimism of the entrepreneur that will help tide over the challenges. But as time goes on, it is also necessary to do course correction based on the reality of the situation. Entrepreneurs have to be careful not to be blind-sided by developments, and for this it is necessary to expose themselves to alternate viewpoints.

What is the hardest part about running a small business?

I think the hardest part about running a small business is the need for constant watchfulness and alertness. In a small business, even a small mistake can prove fatal. So, even as when has to consider many aspects of the situation when making a decision, there is a realisation that not everything can be controlled. As in every business, the entrepreneur has to manage both the short-term and the long-term, and at times making the switch can be difficult.

I currently manage a team of 50 in Netcore. While we are past the early start-up phase, the challenge for us is execution. For me, the hard part now is understanding that I have to work with others to ensure that we can make the dream of Emergic of reality. In IndiaWorld, I was very much hands-on with my wife, since we were a very small team (less than twenty people). But now, to make Emergic happen, it will be a much larger team. Already, this is the biggest group that I am managing in my career – and it will only get bigger!

So, for me, there is a need to shift focus from vision to execution. I like the strategy and envisioning part, but the need of the hour now is to get the priorities right, get the right people in the right process, and ensure that we can manage the operations right. It is very different from what I have done before. I want to lay the foundation of an organization that is “built to last.” Managing operations and people is not something I have done a lot of in the past. This is going to have to change. And for this, I will have to personally change. So, at this point of time, perhaps the hardest thing for me in my business is the realisation that in order to build the dream business, I will have to transform myself from the manager of a small business to thinking like a CEO of an organisation that is going to transform computing.

Personal Change is perhaps the hardest – I can think of at least twice in my life that I have gone through it. In 1984, when I went to IIT, I underwent a change from a very academically oriented person to one who actively participated in a broad range of cultural activities. Ten years later in 1994, I had to put the failure of my initial venture behind me, and think ahead – building a business by envisioning and placing a bet on what tomorrow would be. Now, I have to go past the vision thing, and put in place people, systems and processes to ensure we can execute on our vision. In 1994, I had to prove that I could be a success. Now, in 2004, I have to prove not to the world but to myself that I can build a great organisation and make a deep impact on the world around.

Let's Build a Business: 1. Healthcare

Let's Build a Business---rajesh jain :

1. Healthcare
From time to time, we get ideas. Ideas to build new businesses, new worlds. Ideas to create breakthrough technologies. Ideas to build tomorrow's blockbusters. In this week's Tech Talk, I will outline a few such ideas that I have been thinking with friends and colleagues, and where we'd like to see entrepreneurial-minded people step up and pick up the gauntlet to build these businesses.

For each of these ideas described, the seed capital to get the business started is available. What we are looking for are people to lead the venture and be part of the senior management team. We believe that each of these ventures has the ability to not only grow big in the years to come, but also transform India. So, if you are interested in any of these ventures, email me at or fill out this feedback form with a brief profile of yourself, your thoughts on the ideas presented, and your thinking about the role that you'd like to play in the venture.

The ideas for the healthcare venture are from Dr. Aniruddha Malpani.

The healthcare industry is ailing.

The commonest complaints patients have today are:

Doctors are too busy – they make me wait too long

I don’t understand what they say – they don’t have time to explain their jargon

They don’t share information or respect my preferences

Care is fragmented amongst specialists

Doctors are not transparent or accountable

How do I know his advise is reliable and trustworthy ?

Doctors are unhappy too.

They are stressed out, because of the large number of patients they need to see, and feel that patients expect too much from them.

The feel that patients unfairly blame doctors for all bad outcomes.

They also feel that many patients waste their valuable time by asking stupid and irrelevant questions; because they are too disorganized; and don’t bother to educate themselves or do their homework.

Today’s problems in healthcare are because:

Everything is doctor-centric - the doctor is the center of the medical care system

Healthcare is therefore fragmented and disorganised

Too many specialists , most of whom have tunnel vision

We need to reform the healthcare ecosystem by putting patients at the center – “ patients are the largest untapped healthcare resource “ !

Patients ( or their relatives and friends) are intelligent and capable; and because they have a lot at stake , they are motivated to get good health care, and will be willing to invest time and energy if given the right tools to ensure a good outcome.

We need to provide the tools directly to patients !

Patient centered healthcare involves:






To the Tax Department, you are your tax return. For the Bank, you are your bank statement. For the Healthcare system, you are your medical record .

At present, this is on paper, fragmented , all over the place (in hospitals and clinics) and incomplete. Today, the modern version is the EMR or electronic medical record). The medical record is a representation of the patient’s story – as seen from a medical perspective. (This is a fallback of the old-fashioned biomedical viewpoint of the medical establishment, which treated all patients as “cases”).

However, ideally the health record should be the patient’s story – from the patient’s point of view! A patient-owned health record. The PHR (Patient Health Record), which includes the patient’s personal views and social background as well, can enable a true partnership and collaboration between patient and doctor.

Unfortunately, for most of us, our financial records are in better shape than our health records! This is a sad state of affairs, and we can correct this by using technology intelligently to help patients to store their medical records on their personal website.

PHR = organised medical information = improved medical care.

Information is shared amongst all the specialists who participate in your care; instantly available on your mobile, wherever you are; available during emergencies; available to your spouse; and always updated. In addition, it ensures you don’t forget allergies and drug reactions; and also provides automated reminders (for example, for checkups ).

Patients will own this information. Part can be secure, private, and confidential; part can be public; and by allowing varying levels of access , portions can be shared with whomever they choose. This will allow patient-to-patient networking, so they can provide support and help to each other.

Interested in leading or being part of this venture? Email me at or fill out this feedback form with a brief profile of yourself, your thoughts on the ideas presented, and your thinking about the role that you'd like to play in the venture.

Entrepreneurship: Envision the Future

Entrepreneurship: Envision the Future ----rajesh jain
The last year has seen a wave of entrepreneurship unleashed in India. This was fuelled partly by the dotcom frenzy and partly by the dramatic increase in venture capital money available in India (investments up 7 fold to USD 700 million in 2000, expected to at least double this year). Yet, knowledge-driven entrepreneurship is relatively new in India and in its first wave. It is not something may have been through, and there aren't many associations (formal or informal) one can turn to.
Entrepreneurship is a lot more than just getting an idea and starting a company. It is the tougher choice, not the easier one. It requires a great deal of sacrifice. The odds of failure are incredibly high (9 out of 10 startups will fail within the first two years). To succeed, one needs an incredible amount of dedication and a generous degree of luck. But this is one journey where the joy is as much in the ride as in reaching the destination.

In this week's series of TechTalks, I will draw upon my experiences in having been an entrepreneur (more failures than successes!) and present some of my learnings. What is presented here is applicable not just if you are starting or running your own company but also where you are working, so you can make the project you are doing more entrepreneurial to be benefit of yourself and your employer.

Perhaps the most important aspect of being an entrepreneur is developing a vision for the future. You need to build an understanding of the business you are in, a mental map of the players, the companies and the trends in the marketplace. This is not something which will happen overnight, but requires an immense amount of reading and thinking.

Very few people actually take the trouble of understanding the industry they are part of. You need to develop this thinking as if your life depends on it (doesn't it?) so you can place developments as they happen in this map, and even anticipate what is going to happen. This envisioning of the future also lets you paint a picture of tomorrow's world to your employees and customers, and enables you to see trends in the industry faster. Write CK Prahalad and Gary Hamel in "Competing for the Future":

Competition for the future is competition to create and dominate emerging opportunities - to stake out new competitive space. Creating the future is more challenging than playing catch up, in that you have to create your own road map. The goal isto develop an independent point of view about tomorrow's opportunities and how to exploit them. Pathbreaking is a lot more rewarding than benchmarking. One doesn't get to the future first by letting someone else blaze the trail.
There is not one future but hundreds. Getting to the future first is not just about outrunning competitors bent on reaching the same prize. It is also about having one's view of what the prize is. There can be as many prizes as runners; imagination is the only limiting factor.In business, as in art, what distinguishes leaders from laggards, and greatness from mediocrity, is the ability to uniquely imagine what could be.

Other people and companies may have more resources, more money, more everything, but what you have as an entrepreneur is your vision, your imagination, your passion. Define what will be, define tomorrow, envision the future. And then make others play according to the rules you set.

'I have an Idea!'
Once you have a vision of tomorrow's world, the next step is to build a plan to create that future. In doing so, Ideas form a very important part. Ideas are like Lego blocks - they can be assembled in many different ways. At the same time, Ideas are not everything. We get Ideas all the time. The problem is that we all get too fascinated with Ideas. In fact, it should be just the other way around. All Ideas are in general good. Its what you make of these Ideas that separates winners from losers, leaders from laggards.
I tend to view Ideas as commodities, to be shared with everyone. Only if you share will you get new inputs, fresh insights from others who may have a different perspective. This is how Ideas get refined. But too many of us tend to keep our Ideas to ourselves, thinking they are the Ultimate Things. Only if you discuss your Ideas with others, only if you present your Ideas to people different from yourself, will you get viewpoints which can add depth to your thinking and provide varying ways of getting to that future. It is important also to expose yourself to various situations which can stimulate thinking - it could be reading different books, meeting people you've never met before, visiting trade shows and conferences, and just reflecting in a different environment on what you've been thinking.

As you sample through different Ideas, what plays an important role in prioritising Ideas, along with your vision for the future, is your Gut. Many times, it is very hard to explain why you feel in a certain way about something. It's a topic on which little is known, but a recent article in the Harvard Business Review by Alden Hayashi sheds some light:

Over the years, management studies have found that executives routinely rely on their intuitions to solve complex problems when logical methods simply won't do. In fact, the consensus is that the higher up on the corporate ladder people climb, the more they'll need well-honed business instincts. In other words, intuition is one of the X factors separating the men from the boys.
Our emotions and feelings might not only be important in our intuitive ability to make good decisions but may actually be essentialTruly inspired decisions seem to require an ability to see similar patterns across disparate fields. A CEO who possesses that ability can craft a perfect strategy by detecting patterns that others either overlook or mistake for random noise.

When you think about Ideas, do not think in the short-term. Keep a time horizon of a few years in mind. You are not trying to get into a 100-metre race, you are running a marathon. (This is what many of the dotcom entrepreneurs forgot as money was spent freely, businesses had no differentiators and the only goal was to cash out in a few months.) In fact, the lesser the money that you have available, the harder you will think about being different from the others, and the more innovative you will actually be.
Ideas need to get converted into two tangibles: Target Markets/Customers and Products/Services.

Target Markets and Customers
Vision of the Future and Ideas are good. But at some stage, we need to convert that into customers who will pay us money. This constitutes the target market. Two excellent references for thinking about high-tech markets are Geoffrey Moore's "Crossing the Chasm" and "Inside the Tornado."
Let's first begin with Moore's definition of what constitutes a market:

a set of actual or potential customers
for a given set of products or services
who have a common set of needs or wants, and
who reference each other when making a buying decision
The last point above is very important and something we tend to forget. Customers (individuals and corporates) tend to talk to others before making a buying decision. This word-of-mouth element is very critical. It is what helped us at IndiaWorld build the readership for Samachar without ever advertising it! Create something that people like, and they will tell others about it. Advertising can only get people once to a website, it is the quality of the site itself and its attractiveness which will get them back again - and again.

More talks about the Technology Adoption Life Cycle, and the different market segments which exist: Innovators (Tech Enthusiasts), Early Adopters (Visionaries), Early Majority (Pragmatists), Late Majority (Conservatives) and Laggards (Skeptics).

The strategies to be followed to target each of these segments is quite different, and in some cases, the opposite of what was used to target the previous group.
Opportunities and markets do not go away, so it is not critical to necessarily be the first to target specific segments. What is important is to do it right. It is very important to understand the mindset of the customer. Many times, we create things and imagine markets where none exist - because we fall in love with our Idea or technology. One has to be realistic. Inertia is one of the single biggest challenges that you will ever encounter - and it can work both ways: for you if you are the incumbent, and against you if you are trying to wean people away or change their habits.

In the case of IndiaWorld, what made a big difference in our early days was my experience of having been in the US. I had lived as an NRI for 4 years, and NRIs were our initial target market. When I had to make the choice between creating a narrow service (say, focused on business) or a broader news, information and entertainment service, I chose the latter despite advice to the contrary from many people I met. My thinking was that a "thali" approach would work well with NRIs who had no more than 5-minutes for India everyday and we wanted to maximise the portion of that time that was spent with us. Only later did we specialise into verticals.

Products and Services
The make-or-break for an entrepreneur is the actual product/service offering. Here again, the package of offerings and the sequence has to be just right. One way to think about products and services is the disruption they can cause. If there is one word which should define what you do, it is Innovation. A good source for thinking about disruptive technologies is Clayton Christensen's "The Innovator's Dilemma".
Christensen discusses disruptive technologies and their impact on markets and companies. Disruptive technologies are "innovations that result in worse product performance, at least in the near-term, and bring to the market a very different value proposition than had been available previously." He goes on:

First, disruptive technologies are simpler and cheaper; they generally promise lower margins, not greater profits. Second, disruptive technologies typically are first commercialized in emerging or insignificant markets. And third, leading firms' most profitable customers generally don't want, and indeed initially, can't use, products based on disruptive technologies. By and large, a disruptive technology is initially embraced by the least profitable customers in a market.

Innovation and Disruptive technology are what you as an entrepreneur must be thinking of. How can you be innovative in what you are doing: how can you 10-10-10 the market: 10x cheaper, 10x faster and 10x more reliable that whatever exists today.
How can you also work on the fringe markets initially so that you can build a credible customer base to allow you to attack the mass-market? To do so, there has to be something disruptive about your technology; incremental enhancements are what the existing players will be doing anyways so you do not stand a chance against them.
Another important point when thinking abourt products and services is to think of, in the words of Geoffrey Moore, is the "Whole Product." Early adopters may go with part solutions because they want the latest and newest gizmo, but the mass market wants to improve productivity, it wants a complete solution. The whole product is defined as "the minimum set of products and services necessary to ensure that the target customer will achieve his or her compelling reason to buy." This also means that the product must satisfy all the requirements of at least one niche market segment, rather than have everything for nobody.

Going back to our IndiaWorld example, when we launched as a cricket site in 1997, we made sure it had everything that a cricket fan(atic) would ever want: daily news, live coverage of matches, statistics, scorecards of all Tests and one-day matches, records, interactive queries, and a plethora of cross-links. It ensured that the site was a complete package, a "whole product" - enough to ensure that the visitor would came back for more!

Money and Other Matters
This column is a collection of some random thoughts related to entrepreneurship.
One of the things uppermost in the mind of an entrepreneur is how to raise capital. Luckily, in India today, there is no shortage of capital. The best way to raise capital for your business is by being profitable. Having less money can make you think harder - not just about using the available resources better, but also coming up with out-of-the-box ideas and focusing hard on the things that matter. Also, control your costs from day one. Even if you have raised capital from outside, treat it as if your own hard-earned cash.

As an entrepreneur, what can be your biggest strength (especially in selling) is your "infectious enthusiasm." People need to see your passion for the business: that is what can help you stand apart, and bring it in that extra element of luck which a business needs. For entrepreneurs, there is no separation of personal and business lives. Life is business, and vice-versa. That is the kind of commitment which will needed from you and your team to make the venture successful.

When you are building a business, do not think of exits. You should only be building a business if you believe enough in it to run it for the rest of your life. If an opportunity for an exit comes, "think from the head, and not from the heart." Making money has to be an important objective, but if you run after money, it will not come. Build the business as a labour of love. Make it the best thing you've ever done. No half-measures, no short-cuts. Your passion must reflect in every aspect of the business. And then, leave the rest to God.

What the Nasdaq and BSE Sensex do is irrelevant to your business. Technology makes it so much easy for us to be aware of what is happening worldwide. Awareness is good, and in fact important. But do not become obsessed with the markets. Focus on your business. Even if you want to list on the public markets, it is an event which is likely to three or more years away, and what the market will be then you do not know (or care about) at this point of time.

Make sure you have good legal advice from the start. You will need to sign agreements, do partnerships, and so on. Some of the things you do in the early stages of your business may come back to haunt you at a later point of time. So, be careful and seek good advice at every stage. The investment will be well worth it. In the same vein, stay away from "marriages of convenience" - have confidence in your own abilities: if you cannot make it happen, no one else can.
Take some time off periodically - not necessarily vacation, but some time when you can think on what you are doing. A typical day in the life of an entrepreneur is very reactive: there are so many unplanned things which happen, so many fires to be fought daily. It does not give much time to think about what you are doing. That is why it is important to, firstly, have a deep understanding of the market space in which you are operating so you can make decisions quickly, and, secondly, to take time once in a while to reflect on the changes which are taking place. You can also use this time to expose yourself to different situations, so there is new learning which takes place. Remember: you are the eyes and ears of your company, so everyone looks at you for the vision and direction.

You also need to accept that you cannot do everything. This means being open to ideas and suggestions from others. Listen to people and then make up your mind. Also, make sure you manage the relationships with your employees, customers, partners and vendors well. Being a small company gives you the advantage of adding in that personal touch - which can make all the difference.

In taking risks (and entrepreneurship is about making bets), you should be prepared to fail. Failure is the best teacher, as long as you can learn. Imagine and be aware of the worst case scenario. Know when to call it quits. No one creates a business to fail, but in the event that your business does fail, get ready to start all over again: make a clean break from the past, and focus on the future. There is always some good which comes out of everything.

In today's India, ideas and capital are not in short supply. If there is a shortage of anything, it is innovative, disruptive technologies from people who understand the marketplace and are willing to think deeply about the future. Best of Luck!

India News ( - Tech Samachar

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Refuse-Derived Fuel Processing

Waste to Energy Facilities
Solid Waste Incinerators, Refuse-Derived Fuel Processing and Solid Waste Pyrolysis Units

25 coolest websites of 2006 movie trailers---movie trailers, requires broadband internet connection
3.craiglist---classified ads
4.drudge report----current news political online
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8.lifehacker---computer tips of modern art DVD titles
11.national public radio
12.rotten tomatoes---movie reviews
13.shopzilla---best comparision shopping site
14. the onion---humour
15. technorati---blogfinder
16.television without pity---funny tv
17.the smoking gun
18.internet movie database---movie encyclopedia online
19.wikipedia---encyclopedia online for shoes online