Excellent launchpad for Indian StartupsBefore I start,I would say “Three cheers to me!!!!”….Keep on reading to know the reason 🙂 In my previous post, I had mentioned about the contest on Startups.in where the prize is not money but something more than that since, it is a prize that is a boon to all the young entrepreneurs.Let me unfold the secret, the prize is “Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki and whats more is that the winners of the contest would get a personally signed copy by Guy himself.

I was worried that I would miss the 26th January,2007(11:59PM IST) deadline but I was bang on time or should I say ,I was just on time to submit my article.

For me , participation was more important and if I am amongst one of the winners, I would be very happy to get such a memorable prize.

Look forward for your valuable feedback on my article submitted for the contest.
(Negative feedback is also appreciated)

It is almost a week now and still Proto is fresh in my mind.Learnt lots of things from there, met lots of interesting people like Syed, Shiv and many other young entrepreneurs and innovators who are very frequent at such kind of unconferences.But I could not meet my good friend Sunil Gupta from Blog Camp.

After going to Proto,I have got a habit to check Vijay Anand’s blog since, it was a fantastic effort by him(and his other team members) to bring innovation under one roof.The end note by Atul Chitnis-“This is the start of an Innovative India” was absolutely amazing.But still, I missed somethings in Proto eg.I could not blog the event live just as I did in BarCamp and due to tight schedule could not click any photographs 🙂

But,I just got this information from Shiv’s blog that Gokul has blogged the event live and believe me, Gokul has done a fabulous job!!Now for those who have missed the fabulous event, Amit Ranjan has made life easy for them by uploading an excellent presentation of the coverage of the companies on SlideShare. SlideShare is making life easy for eveyone 🙂

Apart from this, the profiles of all the companies showcased in Proto is available here.

Being an Entrepreneur is not an easy job and to identify whether you are an entrepreneur is more tougher job.The topic is covered in three sections listed below:

Important steps towards entrepreneurship:

Are you an Entrepreneur?:
This is the most important question that is to be asked.Being an Entrepreneur is not a fashion label and hence,every person is not an entrepreneur.Hence,you should know whether you are an entrepreneur or not.Entrepreneurs not only make money but they are responsible to create jobs for others as well which would lead to economy boom in the country.

When an Entrepreneur thinks he/she is ready?:
One of the main challenges for any entrepreneur is to know when is the right time for him/her to start.As far as this is concerned, it is the gut feeling that would tell that person about that time.And yes, not to forget there should always be a sense of risk taking ability to start up so, be prepared for the same.

Uniqueness of your idea:
Everyone has ideas but it is important to know whether your idea is unique.So being in the entrepreneurial stage, you should always discuss this with some of your close associates to know whether your idea will work or not.This will give an unbiased opinion for your idea.The main point is “If you cannot convince a single person with your idea, how would you convince the masses about your idea”.Also,”Do not start a company for money.In the entrepreneurial stage,it should only focus on innovation and money would automatically follow inovation at a latter point of time”.

Try to be with the right set of people:
An entrepreneur should be in the right company.What I mean is, for the execution of any idea along with the technical team, you also require good experienced people from HR/management etc.This would complete the full circle for you and your team can focus on different aspects of your company.eg. “Mindtree Consulting” was founded by Ashok Soota and co-founded by Subroto Bagchi , similar is the case with Infosys(Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani & others).

Have a proper business plan:
So once you have a UNIQUE idea and you are with the right set of people, you are ready to fire.Than comes the most important aspect of any startup is having a crystal clear “BUSINESS PLAN”.Have a very precise business plan.Your business plan should cover the following aspects:

  1. Who is you customer?
  2. Who are your competitors(if any)?
  3. Your short term and long term growth plans?
  4. Ways of cost cutting(for eg.in the entrepreneurial stage,it is important to reduce the cost on unwanted things).
  5. Market capitalization.
Brand building:
This is another important step in you product development phase.A successful management team needs support from the technical team and vice-versa.Hence, you should follow stringent steps to make your product a “Brand” since, in todays competitive market only brands can survive and not products.eg. Google is a brand in “Search Engine” market.
One of the simplest and cheapest ways to market your product is through various camps(or should I say unconferences) which happen eg BarCamp,BlogCamp and other shows like Proto.in(which I attended in Chennai recently).

When to approach a Venture Capitalist(VC):
This is also very important stage in the life of a startup company.It is very important to know at what stage of the startup,you want to approach a VC since, the main point is “Once your product has a good market cap, there would be VCs who would be surrouding you”.Also, once you approach a VC,you should know about how much fund you want from the VC,since VCs cannot give you ample amount of fund,without you providing a valid reason.

A general word on marketing:

As I have specified in my “Brand Building” point, different strategies can be followed(in marketing some of which are given below:

  1. Through Ads in newspapers,pamplets etc.
  2. Free distribution of your product(evaluation version),if it is cost effective.
  3. A good way to reach a wide range of audience is through BarCamps,BlogCamps,events like Proro.in(which showcases startup companies).
Motivation towards Entrepreneurship:
Being an Entrepreneur is not a simple job.It is not like working for 8 hours a day.Hence as I had mentioned previously, “Every Techie is not an Entrepreneur”.

Passion towards your goals:
An Entrepreneur is a person who is passionate about what he/she does and goes an extra mile to achieve his/her goal.Hence,”An Entrepreneur is a self-motivated person”.

Continuous learning:
Enterpreneur is a continous learner.He/she learns from his own mistakes and also tries to learn from the lives of other entrepreneurs.Hence,”Continuous learning is the key to entrepreneurship”.

Right kind of support:
It is very important that you receive the right kind of support from your family,friends and fellow entrepreneurs.Hence, being an entrepreneur is a clear test of risk taking and facing new challenges.Hence, your family should be supportive to help you achieve your goals.

Booming economy in India:
After the dot com burst,many companies suffered a heavy loss and saw the shutters go down for many companies.But now,the time has changed and especially for India,we can say “Every cloud has a silver lining”.There is a huge economy boom in India and there are more and more people leaving their heavy pay-packet jobs to fulfil their dreams.During my visit to Proto.in there was a statement made(by a Tech Evangalist)-“No would have thought that such a show(showcasing 30 startups and 25 VCs) would have happened in India and this is a clear indication of more and more entrepreneurs being born out of India“.
Events like BarCamps, BlogCamps and Proto.in are examples of emerging globalization and entrepreneurship in India.

More information for starting your venture in India : Startup in India

Welcome to CampusChai

During my good old college days,I remember we had Placementpapers where everyone could find the placement papers of many IT companies.But now with the advent of Web 2.0,things have become different and the face of e-recruitment has also changed.Recently,I came across CampusChai blog when I was searching for “recruitment blogs” on Google.

Just like startups.in, CampusChai has a tag line “100% Indian“.Now you may ask me “What is so different in CampusChai?”.These guys have the basics right and this is what matters for the end user of the website.To see the difference,I also created my profile in CampusChai and found many interesting things ,some of which are mentioned below:

Good marketing strategy:
I liked the marketing strategy followed by CampusChai.There is a contest currently running on this site and the winner of the site would get a brand new PS2.So,to win this you need market CampusChai through your Blog, Orkut(Social Networking), Ryze(Business Networking).I dont know how they forgot to mention LinkedIn and TechTribe.Anways, so you earn points when someone clicks on your profile [Believe me I am not in the run for this PS2 :-)] and this could turn out to be one of the most attractive things about CampusChai.

Click to see the contest details on CampusChai

Excellent User interface(thank God..no Ads are there on the site):
CampusChai has a very simple interface and easy to find important things on the site.Also currently,the site does not have any Ads which makes things simple.They dont even have Google Ads on the site.This makes me wonder what could be the revenue model of CampusChai?Any thoughts?

List of upcoming events:
They have a calendar system where anyone can see the recruitment events happening in the city.Again easy and simple to navigate.It is a similar facility like upcoming.org

Excellent resume management:
Last but by no means the least,the resume management is excellent in CampusChai.There is a section called as “Tags” where all the popular tags are listed eg. C,C++,VB 6.0 etc.Hence, if I want to search for candidates who are interested in working on C Language, it just involves a single click which fetches you excellent results.

Excellent Resume Management in CampusChaiCampusChai at Proto.in:

CampusChai was one of the companies which was unfortunately not among the first list of 25 startups to be showcased at Proto.in.But I am sure that with such excellent facilities and enhanced user experience,they would go a long way!!!

This what CampusChai had to say about itself at Proto.in

Campus Chai's services in a Nutshell,Courtesy:Proto.in

Search for “Voice Enabled Search” on Google and you would come across 5,690,000 searches.Just happened to see this one on Silicon.com which has the news of Google registering a new patent for “Voice Enabled Search”[I know it is a pretty old news but since Google is concerned so had to put on my blog 🙂 ].

After Google, TellMe has also launched a mobile voice search engine.

The service is free and it is currently only in the US,under the testing mode.

So how does it work?
On a Java-enabled phone, you hit the “talk” button, and say the name of city and state you are searching in. Then you say the name of the business (or ‘restaurants’ or ‘pizza’), and Tellme will return results on your phone, along with address, map and directions. It is free (though data charges apply according to your wireless plan).

You can read the Complete Article on Venture Beat

Imagine going for some event/conference in a different city where you have very few friends.The first question which comes to your mind is “Where would I stay?”.An initiative has been taken by Kiruba to answer this question and also help the Indian Blogosphere.

The idea born is called ExtraBed.in ,where you can give a helping hand to the other visiting bloggers in your city by giving an extra bed to them.This is not an original idea but an idea born from a Wiki canicrash.org (A blogger community for travellers).

So next time who knows,when I come to your city for an Unconference, I could be staying at your place!!!

Do visit the Wiki ExtraBed.in and help grow the Indian Blogosphere!!!

Ever since,I migrated from the old blogger to the new one , there has been lots of problems.First it was static HTML code that was generated and than some crazy alignment problems.And yes,I did find some problems in Blogger and I have reported them to “Blogger Support Group”.

But one thing which I was missing(in Blogger from the beginning) is the “Tags” section which is available in WordPress.What is the advantage of having Tags? Having “Tags” makes your post grouped under a particular group which helps targetting a particular genre of readers.

But,when I migrated to new blogger,there were “Tags” available but they were called as “Labels” in Blogger.This has raised some confusions in the Blogosphere.

An example of TAGS in Blogger

On googling for “Tags in Blogger”, I came across a blog where this debate is going on-“Labels or Tags” ie “Has Google done the right thing in calling Tags as Labels in Blogger”

A small excerpt from the blog

Tags are one of the defining elements of Web 2.0. When Google started gmail,it used the term label instead of the term tag. When Google developed the new version of Blogger, it also again used the term labels instead of tags.

Do not miss out this Interesting Topic on the Eygpt Software Blog