Earlier on ThoughtsPrevail; we reviewed Sramana Mitra‘s book Entrepreneur Journeys-Volume I here & here, in this article we review her book Entrepreneur Journey’s [BootStrapping : Weapon of Mass Reconstruction]

Like her previous book, Sramana follows the same format where she interviews successful entrepreneurs however this time around they are the ones who have successfully bootstrapped their business. The interviews provide vital answers as to whether a startup really needs VC funding or it can be entirely bootstrapped. It also gives some insights into why mentorship is so important for any startup.

Notably the book includes interviews of the so called sultans of blogosphere-Om Malik of GigaOm and Rafat Ali of paidContent [which was acquired by Guardian for $30M].

Though there are many inspiring interviews, the only downside of the book was that the focus was mainly on US based startups but this does not take away the core message delivered through the book i.e “How to bootstrap a business

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Few days back, I just had a short chat with one of the co-founders of an IIM-A‘s Iaccelerator startup and our conversation diverted to an article that was published in Outlook Business. The article tells about how a simple SMS is helping the Indian farmers plan their farming better and in turn helping them generate more profits.

Just came across a very insightful presentation which talks about why rural India is so important & how one can tap the rural market. The most interesting point from the presentation is the statistics about Rediffmail

Out of 20 million Rediffmail signups, 60% are from small towns. 50% transactions from these towns on Rediff shopping site.

Last week, I was holidaying in my home place – Mumbai and we went out shopping for my marriage which is due on 23rd November, 2009. We were shopping at Bandra which is considered as a very posh place & there we can across a small chat [???] outlet. With the scare of swine flu, customers normally avoid from going to such places and this is where it becomes important for the shop owners to win back the customers confidence.

But what if, we use a household name to brand our small product. This is what MIGHT make the customer to purchase & use the product. And the chat outlet did exactly the same. The brand which was used was none other than Google and the product – Gola [????] was named Gogola, some interesting pictures below:

Considering that Internet explorer is the most widely used browser in India, using it effectively would be considered as “Another feather in their cap”. Just like the glass, the menu card was also shown in a very geeky manner in an IE window [picture below]:

I had a chat with the shop owner and he told that “They came out with this strategy mainly to get customer’s confidence” and as Google & Microsoft are household names[no matter you use them or not, but you definitely know them] using them ignites a spark in the customer’s mind. This trust indirectly builds the Gogola brand.

This is a lesson from a small time shop owner on “How a product can become a brand, sometimes by smartly re-modeling an existing brand“.

In the previous article, we spoke to Amarjit Batra, country manager of OLX India on OLX, Marketing, Online Classifieds etc. In this episode; we speak to him on Web, Startups, Entrepreneurship. Hope you enjoy the interview.

What are some of the Web 2.0 features that OLX promises to it’s users ?


OLX is a Web 2.0 product and users can easily design rich colorful listings with pictures and videos and display their listings on their social networking profile [Facebook, Myspace].Some of the features that make us different from others are:

  • 100% free (forever) even in jobs and real estate
  • Ability to include videos and pictures in listings
  • A city, neighborhood and zip code database so the entire country is covered and not just pre-selected cities
  • Ajax “WYSIWYG” rich-text editor for richer listings
  • Ability to comment on listings to create a stronger community
  • Advanced search functions with sliders allowing searches at variable regional settings
  • A distance field allowing you to see postings near your zip code wherever possible
  • Ability to post listings in any language in any country
  • Ability to view the site in any country in any language
  • Global reach
  • Mobile version: The mobile version http://m.olx.in is unique as one can do everything that can be done on the web

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Online classifieds has been a growing business and is expected to grow 100% YOY. Be it marriage, Real Estate etc, all of use either of these services in day to day life. In this article, we speak to Amarjit Batra, Country manager of OLX,India which is 100% FREE classifieds site.

The interview is divided into two parts, with this one focusing on OLX, Online Classifieds, Marketing etc.

Before starting off, can you give a small pitch about yourself & OLX ?
OLX is a next generation classifieds site present in 90 countries and 39 languages. We are present in India on web http://www.olx.in as well as mobile http://m.olx.in. There is an option to use OLX India site in English as well as Hindi. We are live in most Indian cities and we already have users from 900+ cities in India. OLX is 100% free to search, list and transact. We have all the key classifieds categories like Jobs, Real Estate, Cars, For Sale, Matrimonial, Services, Education and Community. OLX has integrated many Web2.0 features to the product and we aspire to be good in every vertical.

I have been in the internet space in India for the last nine years and am a strong believer in the online marketplace model. India is an important market for OLX, and I hope that we can make a difference to the lives of the Indian populace through our Free Classifieds site. I am delighted to be a part of the OLX Global Classifieds team and join them in this exciting journey.

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There is a general tendency of we humans to compare whatever we can. One thing that gets compared first when someone joins a new company is the “Company Culture“. Culture becomes SO very important especially if you are a startup.

Just came across quite an interesting presentation that describes NetFlix‘s winning culture especially focusing on it’s core points which are listed below:

  • Values are what we value
  • High performance
  • Freedom and responsibility
  • Context, not control
  • Highly aligned, loosely coupled
  • Pay top of market
  • Promotions and Development

As you can see it is more for reading than for presenting; hope you enjoy reading the same.

Thanks to JoeManna for the tweet

As an Engineer, all of us wanted to work in companies like Infosys, Wipro, Satyam Mahindra Satyam & many other so called Indian MNCs. However, times seem to have changed now due to accessibility to lot of resources available on the internet & some credit also goes to the change in our mindset. Startups have really become a buzz word & guys don’t feel shy that they are now working in a startup !!! In fact, many of them even prefer working in startups than working in MNCs.

As per the recent update in my LinkedIn profile, last 2 years provided me with the best learning(s) in my professional career and it was entirely in startups. In fact, I was thinking of an appropriate title for this article and one which struck me was “Why should you AT LEAST ONCE work in a startup“. Each one of us have a reason to do or not to do a thing, so if you are interested to work in startup than the following reasons may help you to decide “Whether you should or should not” ….

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