October, 20, 2014

The power of observation

I recently attended an entrepreneurship workshop led by Jeff Hoffman, the American serial entrepreneur, mentor and advisory board member at the Kauffman Foundation. Hoffman recommended an idea that he believed every entrepreneur should include into his or her daily routine.

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In coffee, we trust

Tata Starbucks is the coming together of two iconic brands. 34-year-old Avani Saglani Davda, the company’s CEO, explains to us why her game plan for Starbucks in India is to “grow respectfully”.


In balance lies power

When Vellayan Subbiah assumed charge at Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company it was reeling from a split with DBS. He brought the company back on its feet through a balanced approach, that led to the growth of all its stakeholders. Importantly, he made some tough calls on preserving the company’s south-Indian family business ethos while absorbing global best practices

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A taste of mexico

Cornitos MD Vikram Agarwal is convinced that nachos is the second biggest category in the snacking market after potato chips. He’s banking on this trend to scale up to Rs. 100 crore in annual turnover within the next three years

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A beer tale

Rahul Singh, founder of The Beer Café and former executive director of Reebok India, has set out on his entrepreneurial journey with a clear vision: To build the Café Coffee Day of India’s beer market. In May 2013, he raised US $4.5 million from Mayfield Fund to begin the first phase of his grand plan

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The ‘addiction’ to become fit and healthy

Vishal Gondal learnt a thing or two about consumer behavior and addiction through his gaming venture IndiaGames. Now, with GoQii, a new venture in the wearable technology for fitness space, he wants to get his consumers to walk more, eat healthy and even, give back to the society. And he knows it’s not going to be easy

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Growing on partnerships

Venkat Aravamudan, founder-CEO, SmartMegh, has spent over two decades in the IT Services industry at organizations like Satyam and HCL Technologies. Now, in his entrepreneurial avatar, he wants to piggyback on the demand for cloud computing. His key strategy: identify the right set of partners who sell complimentary software products on the cloud and become the sales and implementation partner for them.

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A business model around travel reviews

Hari Nair, founder of HolidayIQ, was a management consultant at KPMG India and Feedback Ventures, prior to entering the consumer Internet space. Though it took a while to find its feet, today, HolidayIQ is gearing up to scale up its traffic rapidly and in the process generate more revenue through lead generation. The Accel Partners and Tiger Global-funded venture is targeting 10 million reviews from users in the next three years

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Strengthening patient-doctor ties

Ventureast Tenet Fund-backed healthcare IT startup, SmartRx, aims to consolidate India operations in the next one year, and raise fresh round of funding by year end to further expand its services into the U.S. market

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Money’s in the details

At FusionCharts, a company that helps visualise data better, there’s always a buzz about what’s next. It is this constant product release churn, based on customer input, which has helped the company grow to a top-line of Rs. 47 crore in the last fiscal

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Building dreams

In August 2014, Shubham Housing Development Finance Company, a home loan provider for people from lower income groups, raised $20 million from Mumbai-based Motilal Oswal Private Equity and existing investors and expects to use this to accelerate lending and increase reach

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Small businesses, Practical innovation

Every day, we come across circumstances where we think, maybe if there were a simple product or a service to address this problem, life would be much easier. For instance, how can a small vendor build an online presence very quickly? Who would you turn to if you need an urgent peon service? Or, as a layman how can you build a prototype for your innovation?

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Overcoming the threat of e-retailers

Kiran Kothekar, the founding director of Vector Consulting Group and a recognised global expert in Theory of Constraints, shares the varied strategies that brands can adopt to avoid being caught between ecommerce and traditional retailers, while addressing the needs of customers both on-ground and online

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Voice your solution

Voice Snap, a company that specialises in asynchronous voice-based technology solutions, aims to add value across enterprise customers by seamlessly fitting into their business process. It aims to achieve an annual turnover of Rs. 25 crore to Rs. 30 crore within the next three years

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(Almost) Everything we think about employee engagement is wrong

Employees and the business outcomes they generate

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Building stronger businesses

The author highlights why companies must move from risk management to resilience thinking

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The entrepreneurial secret sauce for customer service

Certain ingredients that will work in their favour is to provide employees with enough freedom and empowerment to take decisions, make them approachable and ensure that organisation’s values and culture is a part of their DNA

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Is India taking the right steps towards creating a start-up ecosystem?

Ajai Chowdhry, one of the six co-founders of HCL and a Padma Bhushan awardee, recommends that we build an Indian entrepreneurship ecosystem that is more holistic in nature. While we are witnessing several innovative ideas, most of them are in the e-commerce and technology sphere. There is a need to innovate in order to create newer avenues for entrepreneurship. Early-stage investments and investors such as angel investors, venture and seed funds need to be recognised and promoted through development of appropriate measures and incentives

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