Saturday, 28 January 2012

Nithyanand-DAFFCO-Building One of India's Largest Furniture Plants

In this video- i chat with Nithyanand, the Head and Director of Dark Forest Furniture Company, a leader in the Cafe Coffee Day Group, and discuss his efforts to create one of the largest furniture plants in India.

Coffee Day group is already strongly backward integrated, with the Coffee for the chain being sourced from the group's own plantations, they are the largest producers of Arabica coffee in Asia .

For Cafe Coffee Day, furniture costs are ~ 30% of the Capex in a typical Cafe, hence there is significant savings to be made by backward integration. They are able to save 30-50% of the cost as compared to furniture they used to import from China/ Malaysia, and of course, they are able to customise their production to suit their specific requirements.

But the idea is to think bigger than just supplying to Coffee Day. They have significant timber assets already owing to their plantations, and they have also acquired  significant forest land at Guyana and made scale investments into the furniture factory in Chikmaglur, near Bangalore in India. They intend to to move beyond into the retail space, and more ambitious plans are afoot, where they plan to compete with the global majors...

This is also about Nithyanand's journey- he used to lead Way2Wealth, a financial services company in the group, and found his passion in design and furniture.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

From GUI to NUI- Harish Vaidyanathan, Evangelist @Microsoft

In this video, I chat with Harish Vaidyanathan, Director, Technical Evangelism @ Microsoft. Harish talks about the focus on Experience that Microsoft is working on, and talks about the key platforms- the mobile, the tablet , the desktop and the surface and the Kinect platforms and the cool stuff Microsoft is developing.
From Mango to Metro (win 8), from Pixelsense Surface 2.0 to Kinect- this is your insight into what Microsoft is thinking and doing...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

InMobi- A Global Innovation Coming out of India- AmitGupta-Cofounder

You have perhaps heard of InMobi, a Company that is a poster-child for Indian innovation on the global stage, that is well on its way to become a global giant in the mobile advertising. InMobi has recently been given a turbo boost of $200 Million by Softbank- in this video, i chat with Amit Gupta, co-founder of InMobi.

Amit spearheads InMobi's growth efforts by focusing on strategic alliances as well as managing publisher relationships. He has also played a key role in developing the company's business strategies and entry into various geographies.

Prior to InMobi, Amit founded Analyticsworks, a company focused on business intelligence and which he brought to profitability before starting InMobi.

Amit has also worked in a Bay area startup, Andale, where he successfully contributed in developing the business strategies and processes of the startup. He worked directly with the CEO to help initiate new areas of revenues for the company. Amit also gained deep insight about how to leverage technology to enable business during his early professional years.

Amit completed his undergraduate studies from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT). Amit loves explaining any complicated topic to a novice by articulating relevant real life examples.

The growing usage of mobile phones in the developing markets inspired Amit to co-found InMobi. Amit aspires for InMobi to be one of the globally successful internet product companies emerging out of India.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Putting Design at the Heart of Business- RohitSinghal,CEO,Sourcebits

In this fascinating conversation, I caught up with Dr.Rohit (yes, he is a qualified medical doctor, with an MD in Radiology), CEO, Sourcebits -he describes how he put design at the heart of his business and created a very successful company that has +350 apps in appstores and millions of downloads.

Rohit is the founder and CEO of Sourcebits, Inc, started in April 2006 in a garage on a shoestring budget. Five years later, Sourcebits has revenues running into multi-million dollars ,+ 300 employees and offices in Bangalore's Electronic City as well as the United States. Sourcebits has created +350 applications including Robokill, Knocking Live, Night Stand and Skyfire (a mobile browser for Android, iPhone and iPad). Rohit holds an MBBS in Medicine from Rohtak Medical College and an MD in Radiology.

Sourcebits was recently funded to the tune of 10 MM by Sequoia Capital and IDG.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Wait, you havent seen anything yet - Vaithee-Indiaplaza-CEO on Ecommerce in India

In this video, I catch up with Vaitheeswaran, the CEO of Indiaplaza, the leading e-commerce company in India. Vaithee describes Indiaplaza's business model and also shares his predictions for the future of e-commerce in india, which is, needless to say, very bright.

Indiaplaza is India's first e-commerce company, started in 1999, and offering different products for sale on their website.( They are the pioneers in the online shopping space in India and were formerly known as and later,

Indiaplaza offers nearly 8 million products online including books, CD-ROMs, cameras, mobile phones, apparel, jewelry, flowers, chocolates, watches, and food items, and has nearly 1.5 million customers worldwide.

Mastercard's Chayan Hazra- Mobile payments in India will explode!

I speak to Chayan Hazra, Vice President, Mastercard @ MobileIndia2012 @ Bangalore and get his insights on the status of mobile payments industry in india.
He is responsible MasterCard initiatives for Mobile, UID, Remittance, Processing & Transit in South Asia.
He believes this industry will explode due to three factors, the most interesting of which is the government itself...see the video for more...

Sunder, Infosys- Influencer Marketing, THE cornerstone of B2B marketing- and how to get it right

I speak here to an old friend and colleague from Infosys, Sunder Sarangan, who has spearheaded a very successful influencer relations program @ Infosys marketing and here he gives his insights on what makes for a good influencer program and how it relates to business, sales and the other parts of marketing.

The Indian Telecom Market-Anuraj Gambhir Telecom Guru

I chat with Anuraj about the indian telecom market in this conversation.

Anuraj Gambhir has worked in the mobile telecommunications industry for over two decades across several parts of the mobile value web and devices ecosystem on four continents - Australasia, North America, Europe & Asia. He has worked from hands-on technical roles to senior executive management positions and is regarded by many as an industry visionary. Companies he has worked for include: NASA/JPL, SingTel Optus, Logica/Aethos, T-Mobile, Orange, GSM Association, Sharp, Siemens, BenQ mobile, Spice Corp & currently as Director -- Strategy & Innovation with Ericsson, based in India. He has spearheaded several innovations in the advanced as well as grassroot level mobile domain in mature and emerging markets.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Customer Engagement via Mobile- Capillary Technologies

My chat with Aneesh Reddy, the co-founder and CEO of Capillary Technologies

Capillary is one of the faster growing technology product companies in the custoer engagement solution space, and the largest Retail CRM provider in the country. Established in 2008, Capillary provides next generation customer engagement solutions to retailers and consumer facing businesses.

Capillary currently caters to more than 100 major brands worldwide, reaching over 10 million consumers across 6000+ stores in 500 cities with increased numbers in the offing. The talent pool of 150+ professionals from noted companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Yahoo, dunnhumby, Fair Isaac and best management and engineering institutes in India including IITs and IIMs.

Incubated in IIT Kharagpur, Capillary also focuses on high quality data capture, actionable analytics, instant cross-sell solutions, and instant gratification to generate a far higher ROI on customer engagement for retailers – all delivered through its patent pending cloud + mobile + social platform.

Within a short span of 3 years, Capillary has successfully established a strong presence in the Middle East, United Kingdom, South Africa and Singapore. Capillary’s international operations are run under its subsidiary companies – Capillary Solutions FZ-LLC (Dubai), Capillary Technologies Ltd (UK) and Capillary Technologies SG PTE. LTD. (Singapore).

Capillary is the winner of NASSCOM Emerge 50 – League of Ten 2011, TiE Entrepreneurial Excellence Award 2011 and TechSparks 2011. Capillary was the India Winner of the QPrize 2009, a global business plan contest conducted by Qualcomm Inc., and is a portfolio company of Qualcomm Ventures, with offices in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Dubai and London.