Friday, 31 August 2012

Sachin Garg- Rawzor- IOS-Android Entrepreneur





"Programming is like composing poetry, its like making music..."- these words perhaps best describe Sachin Garg's passion about building great software. And this is the tagline on his personal website.

My video with Sachin, a young entrepreneur who is a passionate techie and is involved in a bunch of things which you can find out thro' his website- his startup, Rawzor focuses on photography and file compression- he started off creating a Zip for RAW Photography files, and currently builds IOS and Android Apps - which including  Fixphotoblur and FixPhotonoise on the Google Play store which have +200K downloads...


Sachin's Links are:
Linkedin : in.linkedin.com/in/sachingargindia
Twitter : http://twitter.com/sachingargindia
His Personal Website : http://www.sachingarg.com/
His Company Rawzor : http://www.rawzor.com/

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Gurmeet Chopra- Africa Guru- Avasant




"Indians Are Viewed With Respect In Africa"- says Gurmeet, an Africa guru in my video Chat. He has interesting advice for Entrepreneurs considering Africa- Billion + population, $6 Trillion economy- he talks about ICT's proliferation in Africa and how brand India is beneficial in Africa

Gurmeet holds a Master's degree in International Business from Indore University and a degree in General Management. He brings with himself a  unique blend of outsourcing knowledge from both the Captive setups and the pure play third party BPO's. He also brings to the table with his vast exposure a unique blend of client relationship management skills with a deep understanding of domain knowledge. He has successfully managed very large transitions and relationships with the stakeholders across various geographies. He has worked on strategic aspects of Process Identification, Process Migration, Deal Structuring, Business Development & Forging Strategic Alliances. He has worked with the likes of Citibank, Robert Bosch, GTL Limited & Datamatics. Gurmeet has over 12 years of very strong candidature in the BPO & Outsourcing Space. Currently he is a leading the Africa and Middle East relationships and has on ground deep understanding and knowledge.

Avasant is a management consulting firm servicing global blue chip clients across the public and private sectors. Avasant drives customer value through the use of our proprietary consulting and advisory methods, which have been refined over decades of 'real-world' transaction and engagement experience. The combination of our world-class resources allows Avasant to yield superior business outcomes in three primary domains: Strategic Sourcing, Technology Optimization and Globalization Advisory.
Avasant has received several recognitions as a leading globalization, sourcing and IT strategy firm. According to the International Association of Outsourcers (IAOP), Avasant is named among the "World Best Outsourcing Advisors". Further, Avasant holds honored distinctions as the Black Book of Outsourcing's 'Number 1 BPO Advisor' and 'Top 10 Full Service Advisors.

Links:
Linkedin: in.linkedin.com/pub/gurmeet-chopra/2/609/3b3
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gurmeetc
Avasant: http://www.avasant.com/corporate-overview
IAOP: http://www.iaop.org/
IAOP on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IAOP

Pankaj Jain TLabs Startup Accelerator





A very interesting perspective- Pankaj, a native Newyorker who came to India in 2007 and started by banging his head against the BRIC wall, when he started as an entrepreneur. He realized there was no support ecosystem for entrepreneurs, created it through the startupweekend and has now expanded the scope thro' TLabs- his way of giving back to the community.

Pankaj Jain is the Lead Organizer of startupweekend in India. At TLabs, Pankaj looks for promising Internet and Mobile geeks around India to accelerate at the our startup accelerator. Most of his days are spent providing mentorship to these startups in areas ranging from technology, customer validation, online marketplaces to social media analytics and more. He is also a Co-Founder of HeadStart Network Foundation and was lead Organizer of Startup Saturday Delhi from December 2008 till April 2010. Previously he has worked extensively in the financial services from 1992 to 2004 (mostly in hedge fund technology and operations).

TLabs: 
TLabs, a Times Internet Ltd. initiative, aims at nurturing and supporting the ideas and projects of Internet and Mobile entrepreneurs.Key words behind TLabs are – Innovation, Incubation & Investment. At TLabs, they act on the belief that an innovative idea with potential should be nourished at the right time so that it can reach its true potential.

Pankaj's links: 
Youtube channel
Twitter
Linkedin
startupweekend
TLabs:
Headstart:

Monday, 27 August 2012

Saurabh Chandra- Neev Technologies- Entrepreneur




My chat with Saurabh Chandra, Founder, NEEV Technologies, who talks about his passion for products and how thats translated to the business he has been in for 7 years.

In this chat, he talks about the game changing potential of Cloud Computing- whilst the concept of the cloud isnt really new, its only that the reality has caught up with hype- and essentially its about using technology- such as storage, bandwidth, read-writes, databases in a virtualized way without worrying about the underlying hardware, software.

Saurabh believes Cloud is a big boon for India- because it lowers the barriers to entry for product startups. In a Capital strapped nation like India, the ability for startups pay on usage, when they need it in small chunks  is a big boon- and the competence as well as the cost of building technology is drastically reduced.

He opines that new industries, such asEcomm, Storage are doing more with cloud- as compared to traditional industries such as  banking and insurance, where there may be regulatory issues. Cloud is disruptive- so, as new folks adopt and existing have to catch up.

he also talks about Neev and how 30% of Neev's business is from India- and he claims he gets same rates in india as he gets abroad.

His core message : " To Make Profits, Stop Making Losses"- obvious or profound? you decide...

You can find Saurabh on
Twitter
Linkedin
Facebook
and his company is Neev Tech

Indus Khaitan - BitzerMobile- Investor turned Entrepreneur




My video with Indus Khaitan, who has been on all sides of the fence: techie, entrepreneur, investor, angel funder, back to entrepreneur. An interesting mix of stuff.

He talks about his startup Bitzer Mobile, about how he joined Morpheus, why he left  etc. And he has some sage advice for the entrepreneurs- " There is no money like customer money"- if a customer is willing to put $ value to what you deliver, thats something of value and without that, no point in going to become an entrepreneur. "Indian Entrepreneurs build without validation- and are afraid of being laughed at" - to be ready to be called out is something they need to learn.

Before this, Indus was with Morpheus which he joined in May 2009 and has hands-on experience in starting companies, product development, technology evangelism, and marketing & sales. He started Tejit, Inc., a semantic web discovery engine which was later acquired. Prior to Morpheus, Khaitan was the CTO of SezWho Inc., a Los Altos, California, based social media infrastructure tools startup. Indus has held senior management and technology positions at Symantec, Outride (acquired by Google), Guru Worldwide, Mindware/NEC, and VeriFone.

Links to Indus:

His Website
His Blog
On Linkedin
On Twitter
Morpheus
Quitting Morpheus
His Startup Bitzer Mobile

Friday, 24 August 2012

Sanjay Agarwala-MD Eastern Software Systems-Africa Guru




My video chat with Sanjay Agarwala, the cofounder and MD of Eastern Software Systems, an ERP services provider to Middle East and Africa- with a very successful business in Africa.

"In my 50 trips to africa, i can tell you each country is absolutely unique- and i find the markets open, warmhearted and great people to work with..."

"I went to Africa on a lark 13 years ago to Kenya, and both the people we got in touch with gave us business- and Indian IPR, Technology is respected- that was our WOW moment..."

"We have hubs in each part of Africa- East, North, etc... All of Africa is leapfrogging tech- unlike india- which went thro a slow path of - develop and then buy... Africa will buy the latest as long as its suitable for its size and environment- and they are immediately benefiting from the software."

"Africa is growing fast, large countries like China and India are pouring in money there, resources etc - Ghana is growing @20%...a lot of them are unsung stories..."

 Sanjay holds a Masters in Business Administration from The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) which is amongst the top business schools of the World. Sanjay started his career with Escorts Limited where he was involved with Corporate Market Research and Planning.

Subsequently he worked with CMC for five years where he was responsible for marketing of several mega projects including those to the Telecom, Indian Railways, Banking, Aviation, Education and Agriculture sectors. He was given the company's Annual award for innovative marketing and various other awards recognitions for his performance. Sanjay had the distinction of being the youngest manager in CMC at that time and was Regional Marketing Manager for North. In 1990, Sanjay and Anil came together and decided to set up Eastern Software Systems.

In the recent years, Sanjay has been committed to taking ESS to the international markets so the Indian Products can find their place in the sun. Under his guidance ESS's ERP ebizframe has already reached 25+ countries. He and Anil have been instrumental in building ESS from a start-up to a multi-million global corporation.

Sanjay is a member of some of the standing committees in ESC(Electronics and Software Export Promotion Council of India). He is also a guest faculty at some of the Management institutes in India.

Sanjay spends a lot of time nursing his plants and is passionate about his Bonsai collection.

Wikipedia Eastern Software Systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Software_Systems
Eastern Software Systems : http://www.essindia.com/about-us/management-team#Sanjay
Sanjay Linkedin : http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sanjay-agarwala/1/a7a/5b5

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

AlokMittal- Venture Capital-Canaan Partners




My Video Chat with Alok Mittal, who is a Partner at Canaan Partners which has significant investment interests in early-stage investing, particularly in IT and Healthcare.

Alok, in this insight heavy discussion (after all, a computer science engg degree from IIT Delhi must mean something!) , talks about the hot investing trends in India, developments in Investing community globally and the relationship between the investor and the entrepreneur- this chap is really something!

With a broad range of hands-on experience founding, funding and supporting early-stage technology companies, Alok joined Canaan India in March 2006.  Alok focuses on investments in digital media and mobile companies, as well as innovators in managed software services and other IT enabled businesses. He regularly speaks at prominent industry events such as TiE, NASSCOM, SiliconIndia, VC Circle, Microsoft BizSpark, Adtech and more. Some of his articles can be found at  @daretoStartup , Economic Times ,  WSJ ...

Prior to joining the venture industry, Alok co-founded JobsAhead.com, a leading web-based recruitment business, which was acquired by Monster.com, the global leader in online recruitment. He also brings strong Telecom experience to Canaan having worked for Hughes Software Systems prior to that.

Alok is a co-founder of Indian Angel Network, on the board of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) in Delhi and an advisor to Adtech India. During the course of his association with Canaan India, he has advised Canaan Partners in their investment in Bharat Matrimony, Equitas, iYogi, Cellcast, UnitedLex and MotorExchange.

Alok earned a BE in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and a MS in computer science from UC Berkeley.

Alok, the Canaan partner can be found on Linkedin and on Twitter...

BirajGanguly-Azure-Ahmedabad




Remember Zoomi? the Video Streaming App that brought us the sporting experiences of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010? That was built by Azure, whose Biraj I interview here.

My video chat with Biraj Ganguly who can be followed on Twitter , of Azure Knowledge Corporation  , who were felicitated at the recently concluded Nasscom Emergeout conference for having made the 50Cr revenue mark. Here he talks about how Azure is making an impact on the Market Research industry globally

Apologies- Though the entire audio interview length is 10:10, the video feed got interrupted, so the video of both of us chatting only starts from 6:30-  sorry about that.

Azure Knowledge Corporation is a leading provider of Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) services with more than twelve years of experience in serving Fortune 500 clients across the globe. Azure is globally recognized and respected for its capabilities and experience in providing outsourcing services related to Market Research, Customer Interaction Services and Transaction Processing.
 
Azure is a preferred service provider to leading companies in Market Research, Telecom, Banking, Insurance, Healthcare, Automotive, Consumer Goods and Retail industry sectors.Azure specializes in providing Market Research, Business Research, Customer Satisfaction Measurement, Mystery Shopping, Customer Support, Helpdesk, Order Processing, Quality Monitoring and Audit, Financial Transaction Processing and platform based outsourcing solutions to clients.

Azure has been the recipient of several international accolades and awards by industry associations as well as clients for performance and service excellence.

Krishna Gopal- Africa Market Guru




My conversation with Emerging Markets Guru (Middle East and Africa)  Krishna Gopal  who gives his inputs on Africa as a market for Indian entrepreneurs and businesses.

Africa is amongst the last big bastions of opportunity- 1.2 billion people, 1 Trillion economy- big market with enormous headroom for growth, as the US and European stories peter out something that has excited Indians.

Africa has 54 countries,  each different from the other in language, currency, political environments etc- he suggests we go with the mentality of small. He also illustrates that 21 countries are 918MM of the 1.2 billion- eg Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa so everyone of them is not the same. So think small and think different markets- For instance in IT, they dont have legacy, so direct jump to cloud, big-data etc...similarly cables dont exist in Telecom etc, agriculture is big as Indians are buying up land.

His one sentence advice, for African entry: Start small, focus, partner, invest and grow.

His take on China's Africa takeover- he sees this as nothing new with the illustration of Jordan's example-  60% of jordan's economy is Aid- and US uses it to subsidise their own companies who are given the contracts on which the Aid is spent.

His conversation is peppered with insights- such as his anecdote of Chinese ships that offload containers which have person who lives inside the container and as the stock gets over, the container leaves along with the guy.

China vs India in Africa? He believe the Chinese have orchestrated themselves very well, but Indians, despite the $5B in aid  India gives, are not organized.....

Not many people merit a byline in a leading business daily when they quit, but Krishna does...
Krishna can be counted amongst the new breed of techno-business professionals who are at ease both on the business and on the technology side...He has a successful track record of incubating new businesses in the emerging markets of Middle East, Africa and India.

At Sify he spearheaded the evangelizing of e-commerce in India during its inception.At Mahindra British Telecom he initially incubated their e-governance initiatives in India during the 1999-2001 period when e-governance was at its inception in India.

Subsequently he incubated their telecom foray into the Middle East and Africa region and grew it to significant revenue levels besides establishing the TechM brand in the local ecosystem as a vendor of choice.

His relationships in the IT / telco ecosystem are deep with all key technology partners, product companies and local companies and adds to jumpstarting the business development process.He has consisently displayed a proven ability to be a brand ambassador and represent his organization in the media, industry events and trade shows.

You can find him on Twitter and on Linkedin

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Krishna Kumar-MD & CEO- Mindtree




In this video, I chat with MD &CEO of Mindtree  , KrishnaKumar Natarajan (KK), who has delivered a spectacularly successful earnings season on behalf of Mindtree  in the recent past.

KK talks about the prospects for Indian IT, he highlights the growth of India as a market for IT (24 Million SMBs in India that have < 1% IT penetration, and talks about IT as being a productivity and revenue booster for India Inc that will accelerate the growth of the Indian Economy.

He opines that the "dependence on business from the first world will continue. However the nature of demand is already changing- the first 20 years of IT was driven by cost reduction as the driver to demand. Today however, customers demand expertise- and outcomes that the IT partner can predict/commit to. IT Business model has moved from Talent to Expertise, and the nature of talent required has moved from order taking to order making"

He also unfurls a vision for product companies coming out of India- about how he sees a bright future for product innovation coming out of india- " There will be atleast 5000 product companies in india in the next 5-10 years... Already there are 500-600 product companies with unique products, and coupled with a huge domestic opportunity in the Indian SMB/Consumers, the ability to take it to other developing and developed is huge.

Finally, KK talks about his motivation  and what drives him-" my excitement is in creating something unique and beyond that in creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem- which i see as my way of giving back" Very motivating....

Mindtree's on Twitter where you can follow them.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Aditya Ghosh-Indigo Airlines-President



In this video, I speak to the guy who made Indigo the #1 airline in India- Aditya Ghosh , President, Indigo Airlines.

Indigo is India's most successful airline - they are the largest by market share, whilst being the most profitable... and yet, they don't look like other airlines- they don't have a Customer Loyalty program, for starters. They fly to the least destinations as compared to other airlines, they don't have perks other airlines enjoy @airports-like access to air-bridges, and they don't seem to think that the cheapest fare is the key to success - they don't about the "price sensitivity" conundrum that other airlines face ... And perhaps the kicker- they continue to make profits whatever the price of oil - even @ $150 barrel levels... their tagline says it all "On-time is a Wonderful Thing"

So, what gives?

This is what gives- a Maniacal focus on Team, Quality and On Time- their stats on Ontime are mind-blowing and has earned them best airline in the world on On-time has ensured that they have gotten to the coveted top spot in the hottest airline market in the world-India.

In this video, Aditya talks about how they reached their coveted spot in an industry that is so fraught with peril and bankruptcies, where the price of oil makes or breaks the p/l... One example he mentions of the kind of investments they are making to stay on top- They gave a $15 Billion order to Airbus on the day Airbus LAUNCHED the A-320.

So what? Just this- these new aircraft engines consume 15% lesser fuel- and because they ordered first, they will start getting delivery by 2013 - if you ordered it today, you would have to wait until 2021 to get delivery- an 8 year period when INDIGO enjoys 15% lesser fuel bills...all going straight to the bottom-line.

Other articles on Aditya/ Indigo on Economic Times and the Business Today cover story 

I have long since been a convert and a loyal customer. The one fly in the ointment? I cant have a piece of this pie. They are a privately held company- Rahul Bhatia/ Aditya: when are you going public? You can like them at Facebook

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Venky Mysore-CEO-Kolkata Knight Riders




This is the story of remarkable turnaround from Team KKR who won IPL-4-  "We applied the Moneyball strategy of deep analytics to rebuild our team afresh. Of the 15 players, everyone was surprised when we had used up $ 5.4 MM of our $9M in the first 40 minutes of Day1 in what is a 3 Day auction process, but I only paid a maximum of $500K for any of the other twelve."

My video chat with Venky Mysore, that outlines the fascinating story of the Indian Premier League   (#IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders' turnaround to becoming the winner of IPL4- through the eyes of the man who made it happen- Venky Mysore, the CEO of KKR.

In this video, Venky talks about how he applied the "MoneyBall" strategy- a  Michael Lewis Book  turned hollywood blockbuster  that chronicles how Billy Beane  , the US Major League Baseball (#MLB)  Oakland Athletics's  General Manager , using statistical analytics, built up one of the most successful teams in the MLB.

He also talks about the Business Model for an IPL team KKR is the first team that has broken-even in IPL, and how he sees it moving forward- he also delves into the valuation implications.

Finally, he signs off talking about Shah Rukh Khan  ... Very Exciting stuff.