In this article, we have speak to Neeraj Jhanji, founder & CEO of Japanese company ImaHima. Here Neeraj shares his thoughts about the company, it’s products as well as his insights into entrepreneurship.
Can you give a brief introduction about yourself  ?
I am an Indian who spent 15 years in Japan and currently living in Sweden. My professional interest is to create innovative web and mobile applications.
What does ImaHima mean  and what is it exactly into  ?
ImaHima in Japanese means “are you free now?” and is the name of a mobile location-based social-networking service created in 1999 by my Japanese company ImaHima. ImaHima pioneered the concept of sharing current status [location, activity, mood] among friends using mobile phones.

Since then,  I have built several other internet services and my latest project is Colabolo, which is a light-weight issue-tracking software for small teams.

Can you give an insight into your flaship product Colabolo  ?
Colabolo grew out of my own needs for a better way to manage the tasks and communication within my company. Email is very flexible tool but lacks organization and sharing. Excel or MS-Project have structure but no communication. Colabolo is a communication & collaboration tool that fits somewhere between email and project management software. It is perfect for simple task delegation and assignment between team members.

Compared to other software in this category, it is much simple to use and integrates with email so it can automatically create tasks from incoming email. It can reduce the volume and clutter of email. You can find a 40-second video demo of Colabolo here

Who are the target customers for Colabolo ?
Colabolo’s current feature set is useful for freelancers and small-medium size teams.  It is ideal for teams that collaborate using computers or mobile phones sharing a large volume of tasks that need to be completed.

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Design has always been one of the key aspects of any product. It is one of the foremost reasons why consumers want to grab a glance of the beautifully designed Apple Products. This also holds true why all of us love Gmail !!!

While reading about Design, I came across an interesting presentation that highlights it’s various aspects which can be split in four stages

  1. Approach
  2. Rapport
  3. Desire
  4. Commitment

I am sure you would really like the presentation just as I did.

It has been almost five months since my last blog post. Lots of things have changed now, the good news is that I am now married to Janukin [engagement news here]
In May 2009, I left the startup I was associated with [updates here] and have now relocated to Bangalore. In order to gain some stability, I have again rejoined Mphasis. The entire post is full of updates i.e Marriage, relocation, job however there is one update which is very important for me[as a blogger and for you as an end-user i.e my loyal readers].

The content of this blog is now moved to my new domain http://blog.himanshusheth.net [which is using WordPress and the theme is developed by V.V.K Chandra [again our contact happened through this blog, not to mention “He has done a phenomenal job to design a simple & sleek theme”]. I am sure, before you move to the new destination; you would want to be connected to this blog, so go ahead and update your feeds:

Subscribe via Reader [Courtesy- Feedburner]

Subscribe via Email/Twitter etc. [Courtesy- Feedblitz]
http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=642472

How many times, we feel like talking to someone but can’t even take the first step. It starts with “How to approach” and once you approach “How you build a meaningful conversation”. If the conversation goes like flowing water, than it is of no worry but if it does not, “the onus lies on the initiator to transform a talk into a conversation”.

I had an interesting experience during my association with a startup where we handed over free gift to each person who helped testing our product. The free gift was definitely priceless for us since it would help us to spread our word [as our name was printed on the gift] but very few people noticed it. That is where each one of us started interacting with every person during the testing process[spending an extra minute or so] to explain about our product and startup through the “name” which was printed on the freebie.

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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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