Read the interview of Shaadi.com CEO Anupam Mittal on PaagalGuy and found he has pointed out many key points like:

  1. Importance of a proper revenue model
  2. Knowing about your consumer base
  3. Future of Social networking sites and
  4. VC funding

Some of the excerpts from the interview is given below:

You come from a background in textiles (his family business), how and when did the idea of an online matchmaking portal come to you?
Incidentally at that point(when the internet was not so popular) I met a pundit and got really intrigued by what he did, but soon realized that he could visit only a few people and carry a limited number of biodatas in his bag. Thus the choice for a life partner depended solely on the number of Biodatas he could carry and the number of individuals he would meet. This is when the idea of taking all this and putting it on the Internet came around and we launched Shaadi.com.

Initially what was your revenue model and how have you improvised on it? What was your conviction with respect to Indians paying online? How do you sensitize your consumers in order to build trust and make online payments?
I am aware that there are several Indians living abroad who are disconnected from home and they needed a way to meet like-minded individuals. Hence there is lot of information, experiences and analysis that led us to realize that there is a potential business model.
I agree it is harder to get Indians to pay online but we need to realise that Indians are very value conscious consumers. For example when they go even to a supermarket they deliberate a lot before they make their final purchase. Online one cannot have a sales person thus it is harder to convince them. Hence the way we sensitise them is by providing them a lot of services free, the reason being only when you provide them with a lot of value will they be willing to pay.

How did you spread the word about your brand? What advice would you give to a budding entrepreneur in order to build a brand for his products and services?
Distribution of th brand is very important.
Once the distribution was taken care, the second thing we did was that we went mainstream very quickly. We launched television campaigns in USA and India.According to me what really helps creating and building a brand is consumer experience, which then leads to word of mouth and buzz.

The first time when you received venture capitalist funding how did you plan your spending? And when an entrepreneur gets funding what all should he keep in mind?
According to me VC funding makes you more accountable and it forces you to think about planning, organizing, allocating resources, which are truly very important aspects of managing a business.One needs to think a lot before deciding how much money is required, as a VC will always want to give you more than you need, as that will give them a bigger part of the pie.

Whats your take on the whole debate between web 1.0 and web 2.0?
In my mind there is no debate. According to me all good and successful companies will incorporate new technologies as and when they will feel the need.

If risk taking ability is a given, what according to you are the top prerequisites one should have to be an entrepreneur?
One needs to be persistent as bad things may happen but still one has to continue to strive, work hard and come back into action. An entrepreneur should be prepared to accept failure, get up and take another punch of failure.

What is your take on the Indian entrepreneurial scene? What is it that in your opinion, entrepreneurs from India lack/have? How are they different from the hotbed of entrepreneurship- the bay area!
There are two scenarios in case of the Indian entrepreneurial scene. Firstly there are individuals who have the capital to fund their business plan and secondly there are those who build and work upon their business models with the help of institutions. According to me both are fine because earlier there was hardly any capital available so only individuals who had the fire in the belly, perseverance, determination to go against all odds were the ones who managed to accomplish their goal. Whereas the others are concerned they required money and certain resources without which they could not really do anything much.

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Gandhi-The father of the nationEver since Google acquired YouTube , it has always been in the news , but for the wrong reasons. This time , an NRI named Gautham Prasad who by profession is a clown , Standup comedian and a Yoga teacher posted a video of Mahatma Gandhi(the Father of the Nation) doing pole dancing , stripping , dining with two beautiful women and also fighting.

This video was available on YouTube and also on his own website SkinnyIndian but by the time , I could see the video on YouTube , it had already been offloaded from the site.But I managed to get a look at the comments given for the video and believe me , by the comments I feel that the quality of the video would have been disgusting.

Apparently,it is not only this video,but many other videos like this one which states “GANDHI…A THREAT TO OUR FREEDOM”.

Comments on Youtube video featuring Mahatma Gandhi

As per the reactions , some people including Tushar Gandhi,the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi has told to Mid-Day that he is tired of all such things and that action should be taken against Gautham Prasad.But being an NRI , Gautham Prasad cannot be given penalty under the Indian law and hence,it is upto the US government to take some action against him.

There are many other videos on YouTube , which are against Mahatma Gandhi and may be all of them would be offloaded after this controversy.

Also,imagine the amount of (UN)popularity he will gain from this particular controversy.The no of hits in his website and also his YouTube account would increase which would be in Gautham Prasad‘s favour!!He would also come on the front page of all the newspapers and also like me many bloggers would have covered this issue.

Now the question remains not only about videos but as I have posted in my earlier article , YouTube should try to monitor the user comments as well to stay away from such controversies!!!

It was just a normal conversation between me and my room partner Ajay Modi.We happened to talk about ‘How over a period of time people change and their dreams die down.’

This made me think not only for some hours , but for a few days after which I decided to write on my blog.It is not only myself or Ajay but everyone might have seen people who are very good in studies but over a period of time their fire power goes down and than finally a stage comes when they are content with their lives.

Ajay mentioned about one of his friend’s who is very much intelligent and can do much more in life than he is doing currently but he hasn’t tried to do something more….He had lots of dreams in college while they were studying together in IIT,Roorkee but now things have changed for his friend. It is not only his friend but in every company,we would find such people for whom technology is just a way of living whereas they could contribute much more by thinking out of the box and doing something innovative.

But the question is “Why do things change?”. The most critical reason for this change is the attitude which we have towards our life . Every individual is like a bird(who can fly freely in the sky) , but when birds fly in a group , than it becomes important with whom they are flying . Similar to birds , in real life , the company(ie colleagues and friends) that we have also matters.So, we should take advice from the right set of people and learn from them(as well as our mistakes) and ignore the LOSER category of people.

As Guy Kawasaki says in his book “Art of the Start”“It is very easy to ignore people who have not achieved anything in life and they are considered as losers”.

Hence, it is important to be in the right company(ie set of friends and colleagues) so that our thoughts get enhanced and this would lead us live a better life and achieve a higher scale of success.

PS:I am just an ordinary guy(or should I say “I am no Guru”, as told by Robin Sharma) but my thoughts encourage me to do something more(and go an extra mile) than what I can do , which extracts the best out of me and gives me immense sense of accomplishment.

PayPal, the online global payment company, announced it will open a new development center in Chennai, India, and plans to hire hundreds of technical positions in 2007.

“The setting up of PayPal’s India Development Center is validation of India’s frontrunner status in the global IT scenario” said Shri Dayanidhi Maran, Hon’ble Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology. “The vast knowledge and expertise of Indian technical professionals will help PayPal expand its business, while continuing to provide secure online payment services for millions of Internet customers.”

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Read this one on Engadget (Technorati’s 2nd ranked blog) and was surprised to see this one on the Guinness Book of World Records.Sometimes, I feel people have ample time to do such crazy things but there is no other way to get into the Guiness Records

A small preview of the story:

The person has sent 6,100 messages/day,253 an hour, 4.2 a minute, or a new one every 14 seconds which amounts to 182,689 SMS messages per month.

Now I really feel that mobiles have become very cheap in India and such a record can be created only when SMS’es are free….The question is who was the service provider for this guy?

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With so many IT services based companies making a mark in India (like Wipro,Infosys,TCS and many more) , there is always a question about the product based companies. But slowly and steadily there are product based companies like Motorola,Oracle,NXP Semiconductors and now should I say that the list goes on and on…

Being associated with the Semiconductors industry , it is very important to see the future and the growth expected in this industry.I came across a very good article which on “Indian Semiconductors Association” and believe me I really felt that the future is good for India in the semiconductors field as well 🙂 See the report below:

http://www.isaonline.org/documents/epresentation_dec_19_06.pdf

With the government also investing in companies like SemIndia , the growth prospects for India in Semiconductors field is definitely good.

But as more and more work is coming to India (and China) , there is worry for other developed(and developing) nations.But Jack Welch was right in his book “Winning – the answers” which stated:

”Rather than getting worried about the outsourcing , whole program could be replaced by a permanent green card system(in the US) that would draw skilled workers into a more positive , long term relationship with the American culture – and build a better economic future for all of us.Hence AMERICA’S CHALLENGE TODAY IS TALENT INSOURCING.”

Source : The Economic Times Network
Dated : 06/01/2007

India may emerge as the global chip design capital, but it is the world that will make the capital. This is because chip fabrication and manufacturing facilities are yet to take off here. Indians are designing chips for MNCs for myriad applications – cars, cell phones, medical devices, set-top boxes (STBs), MP3 players, and so on. Yet, India gets peanuts as the chips and products are manufactured elsewhere.

Sample this: In the past year, 85% of STBs have been designed in India by Broadcomm Corporation, Conexant, ST Microelectronics (STM) and others. The global market for STBs is over $7 billion a year. But India captures less than $40 million of this as it is only involved in design and not manufacturing the chips or STBs. The STB that you installed recently is probably designed in India and made in South Korea, China or Taiwan.

PortalPlayer designed the iPod chip, which has a complex hardware layout and software coding, at Hyderabad and the US, but doesn’t make them in India. “Hence, in an over $4-billion iPod market, India got less than $25 million (this comprises salaries and design services). If the chip and the iPod were made in India (most iPods are made in China), India could have captured at least $2 billion,” says Sandalwood Partners managing partner Bob Kondoomori. Sandalwood is a key investor for SemIndia.

Citing another example, Mr Kondoomori says, “Motorola sells over 2 million Razr phones a month – an over $2.4-billion product line. Part of these are designed in India, for which India got just about $20 million. We lose out because we don’t have fabs. For every design that India gives, China is benefiting more. They are making a killing. When design is happening here in a big way, why do we let manufacturing happen elsewhere.”

STM, the $8.88-billion European chip maker, recently announced a made-in-India chip. The 60-people India team took 160 man-months to do the complete hardware and software design of the chip, but it won’t be manufactured in India. The chip is for a digital set-top box and has several features like enhanced security, usability for pay TV applications and interactivity. Says STM vice-president (emerging market region) and India Design Centre director Vivek Sharma: “India is a growing market, but we have enough manufacturing capacity worldwide for another 4-5 years. However, today anything designed in India does find a market worldwide.”

The India Semiconductor Association (ISA) says India will face a $70-billion worth deficit of computer hardware by 2010. Majority of imports will be from China, thus conceding them a major advantage in the worldwide hardware market. The present demand of $24 billion is met by importing two-thirds from China, South Korea, Taiwan, EU and the US.

Chip inputs are becoming increasingly significant in all devices. For instance, the chip usage in the $90-billion medical equipment industry is worth about $2 billion, growing at 17-20% a year. Says Texas Instruments global manager (medical electronics solutions) Shekar Rao, “Everything from patient monitoring devices to pacemakers and scanning machines are going digital. Design is happening in India and I do see some co-location of design and manufacturing taking place, albeit slowly, in India.”

It’s about time India got a bigger push and more end-product manufacturing. Apart from checking the revenue flight for all the hard work done by Indian engineers in designing chips, manufacturing will create over 9 millions jobs directly in India in the next 10 years, according to the ISA.

Just few days after videos/trailers of some unreleased Hindi movies were found on YouTube , some of the videos were offloaded from YouTube and an error message was displayed saying that “There are some legal issues with the Video”

But,while reading some comments for few videos on YouTube,I certainly feel that YouTube should keep a track on the comments as well.It may happen that just like Orkut,questions might be raised on YouTube as well!!