Sunday, December 31, 2006
When I started to dream about entrepreneurship, I always wanted to create something which can improve the Quality of Living of individuals along with making money for myself and others around me. As I started 2006, my dream was coming to reality, we registered our organization and were very strong in our minds that 31 Dec 2006, we would be working for ourselves. As on date (31 Dec 2006) our dreams many not have matured physically as an organization, but sure we have matured as individuals and drawing a blue print for our future.
I was speaking to my cousin couple of days back and discussing aspects of Social Entrepreneurship. He works with a charitable organization and his area of focus is primary education in rural areas of Visakhapatnam District in Andhra Pradesh. When speaking about "Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid", he mentioned that he is not too excited about the idea. I was curious and continued our discussion. He mentioned, "Look, we are speaking about e-Choupals and selling small quantity of branded goods to consumers in the rural areas and there by organizations making a forture, but let me tell you a reality - Will you believe that the cost of a bag of rice has not changed in the last 14 Years!" I was dumb struck. I still cannot believe this, but he said that this is the truth. Cost of seeds, pesticides and rent of land have been increasing with the increase in consumer goods costs, but the farmer is still getting the same price for the bag of rice for last 14 years. As I was on a phone line, I could not get into the statistics and facts, but when I meet him next time I am going to understand more of this and share with you all.
PS: The above context is with respect to Indian and espically local to Andhra Pradesh.
I wish all my readers a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2007. May this year bring in more light to all our lives.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Ashoka supports Social Entrepreneurship in three ways - Supporting Social Entrepreneurs, Promoting Group Entrepreneurship and Building infrastructure for the Sector.
It is a very interesting site and any one who think on these lines should visit.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
The best thing which can happen this morning is that one person from Pittsburg has contacted me mentioning that he has seen my slides on http://slideshare.net (All BarCamp Bangalore 2 presentations can be found under the Tag heading "barcampbangalore2"). I am so very happy this morning to be a part of this exciting camp.
There are quite a good number of interesting sessions today and will try to give my best shot to provide as much information as I can when I attend sessions…
WiMax - Sujai
· According to DoT, there are 1.2 Million Broadband users in India (~1.2% of total population)
· Only 4 Million subscribers can go DSL because of various concerns.
· WiMax makes sense because people can get Wireless without Broadband. This is also inexpensive.
· WiMax is rapidly picking up. There are many organization pitching in for WiMax because of many advantages.
· WiMax comes on a WAN..
Sujai explains few myths about WiMax.
RFID - Short Distance
BlueTooth - Lot of hype, but we realized it fails in many situations.
WiFi - LAN, small area.
MAN - WiMax comes into picture.
GSM - 10-12 KM Radius.
· Sujai has shown a complete detailed slide on various frequencies.
· WiMax comes in various frequencies and various flavors.
· Timelines (A Bit old data)
○ 2006/7 - Deployment of Fixed "Outdoor" Wireless
○ 2008/9 - Fixed WiMax "Indoor"
○ 2009/10 - Mobile WiMax.
· Visit Sujai's presentation (he mentioned that he would put it up there) on http://slideshare.net (under Tag barcampbangalore2) . Its worth a visit.
Commute Easy - Car Pooling in Bangalore
www.CommuteEasy.com - is a website for a social cause. Like Bangalore, many other metros in India and over the world have real traffic problems.
This is a very good site, with a pure social cause and not-for-profit. There are already 2400 registered users and ~200 active car pool's through this site already!
What are you waiting for? Save fuel - Save Environment…..
SlideShare - Jon, CTO, SlideShare
http://slideshare.net - A common place to share and run your presentations online. Example, all the presentations at Bar Camp, Bangalore 2 are available on this site with the tag name
· You cannot currently download the presentations - SS is working on this.
· No Privacy - Do not post private/confidential presentations - SS is working on this.
Microfinance 2.0: How web 2.0 is helping to explore the Fortune at the Bottom - Siva Prasad
· Provided an insight into Dr. CKP's Pyramid.
· Size of a loan ranges from Rs.3000 - Rs.12,000.
· Without MF, clients pay from 50%-100% annualized interest rate (Money lender system)
· MFI's charge 12%-24%
· Repayment rates are above 99%.
· Agency for rating MFI - Example, http://www.m-cril.com/rating-microfinance-rating-methodology.html
Characteristics of Web 2.0
· An architecture of participation and democracy
· Users exercise control over the data
· Network as a platform
· Some social networking aspects
· A rich, interactive, user-friendly interface.
How Web 2.0 is useful for MF?
· Is a bridge for world wide fund investors and the beneficiary.
· Agents like Papal etc will help in mediating the money which is flowing to the MFI.
· The opportunity here is that instead of investing money in banks or financial institutions, Web can play a role in mediating and providing an opportunity for people to invest in Micro financing for better/equivalent returns.
· www.Kiva.org· www.fundable.org
PictureSquare.com - An initiative by 2 IIT Mumbai guys
This is similar to flickr or any other photo storing solutions.
Problem: How to connect back to home (India) with pictures - HardCopy... thats interesting.
USP: You can upload, share and print picutres which can be delivered home.
I think today really added value to my exposure. Definitely made new contacts and am waiting to see if I can be of help to anyone.
BarCamp Bangalore 2.0 is almost closing and am waiting for the BarCamp Bangalore 3.0
Saturday, December 02, 2006
I was trying to go around meet with people and also attend sessions. Here is a summary of the sessions I attended on Day 1 of BarCamp Bangalore 2.
Project Management @ ThoughtsWorks - Marco Jansen
4 Principals binding the Agile Development Methodology
Principal 1: Individuals and Interaction over processes and tools.
Stand up meeting with three questions - What did you do yesterday, what will you do today? And what is stopping your work today.
Principal 2: Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation.
Principal 3: Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
Principal 4: Responding to change over following a plan.
Eye Donation Awareness - Pradeep Sudharshan
Pradeep's vision is to create awareness about eye donation, its advantages and its NEED. You will get all the required information from his website- http://www.giftyoursight.info/.
How corporations emerge from Nature - Sudarshan
Sudarshan explains this concept using Game Theory.
There are four aspects to look at - CC (Cooperating & Cooperating), DC (Defecting &amp; Cooperative), DD (Defecting & Defecting), CD (Cooperating & Defecting).
DC > CC
CC > DD
DD > CD
DC > CC > DD > CD
5 3 1 0
With the game theory graph, Sudarshan shows that:
"Always Cooperative" is slowly diminishing and heading towards being distinct.
"Random" is also slowing diminishing.
"Defector" is slowly growing.
There are permutations and combinations of population distribution. Sudharhan explains various cases when he distributes population percentage between - Always Cooperative, Tit-for-Tat, Always Defective and Random.
New Player - Pavlov - He is always changing his approach based on the situation. He is like a Tit-for-Tat.
Now, we distribute the complete population between the 5 categories (Always Cooperative, Tit-for-Tat, Always Defective, Random and Pavlov). The graph shows that Tit-for-tat, Always Cooperate and Pavlov survive and others become distinct.
Pointers - Prisoner's Dilemma, Author's like Richard Dockins, Steven Wolfram, Roger Penrose, Dainea Dennet.
Mingle Box - Kavitha Iyer
Kavitha says that they have seen a very good growth in the last 3 months of MingleBox's launch. As per the feedback she received from customers (showed on the slide) she feels the key of their success is - easy Navigation and feeling safer to be on MingleBox rather than on Orkut.
Kavitha feels that the audience they are looking is below 25 and currently they have 75% people less than 25 on their site today. MingleBox is currently a 14 Member Team and they are looking for people sharing the same passion who can help the orgnization grow.
Are you tired of tracking where your money is going or are you tired of organizing an event with family or friends, Sidu has a great solution for us.
http://www.rachnabhat.net/activmobs/ - ActiveMobs is a solution, where you can register your mobile number and also your friends/family with a common tag and when you would want to communicate to all, send a SMS to the common number (9844622848) and lo! Your message is sent to all numbers which are registered with the site. Great way to communicate…
http://inactiv.com/ - Track spending your money. Its simple, register yourself and send a SMS to 9844622848. The server remembers all your messages and generates a report as to where you are spending your money….
Yes, it does remember the number of SMS's you sent and the money you spent in tracking your money :)
http://www.genesis.iitm.ac.in/ - Go check it out....
I really appreciate all the efforts of the Organizers - arrangements are too good.
I also would like to thank the sponsors for providing opportunities for people like me to 'connect' and 'innovate'.
More to come as the day goes by...will keep posting....
BTW, here are few pictures before we start - http://www.flickr.com/photos/arunram
Sunday, November 19, 2006
1. What is Social Entrepreneurship?
- Entrepreneurship for a cause, contributing to uplifting standard of living.
It is your regular business model with Profits and Losses - You can be rich and well established too!!!
- Aim is to create a product/service which is 'purely' for social benefit.
2. What are the various areas? (In broad terms, to begin with)
These two are primary requirements of any society. If these are available, then many other aspects can be addressed - Poverty, Quality of life etc.
3. How can individuals come together?
- People with common thoughts and chosen area to establish an organization.
- Commitment to enhance Quality of Life.
4. Is there a difference between Entrepreneurship Vs. Social Entrepreneurship?
- Desire to be an Entrepreneur with a difference while doing your regular work! - You need not give up your regular job, and still be an entrepreneur of your choice marking a difference...
- Changing the way we live...
Saturday, November 18, 2006
As I am from Bangalore, India, I was interested to check out if there is any BarCamp activity here. Fortunately, there is one which was organized in the past and now we are getting together for another BarCamp. Visit BarCamp Bangalore Hompe Page for more details and registration...
I will write more in detail of my experiences after taking part.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Globalization & Economics
* The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas L. Friedman
* The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman
* The Commanding Heights by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw
* Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Ball and Dagger
* The Worldly Philosophers by Robert L Heilbroner
* Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets by John McMillan
* The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto
* Economics by Stanley and Brue
* Macroeconomics by N. Gregory Mankiw
* Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy by Joseph A. Schumpeter
* International Business by Charles W. H. Hill
* Against the Dead Hand by Brink Lindsey
* Zero to One Million by Ryan P. M. Allis
* Zero to IPO by David Smith
* Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
* Rich Dad's Guide to Investing by Robert Kiyosaki
* New Venture Creation by Jeffrey Timmons
* Good to Great by Jim Collins
* The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
* The Young Entrepreneurs'Edge by Jennifer Kushnell
* The Young Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting and Running a Business by Steve Mariotti
* The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship by William D. Bygrave
* Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker
* Good to Great by Jim Collins
* At Work with Thomas Edison by Blain McCormick
* Multiple Streams of Income by Robert G. Allen
* On Entrepreneurship by Harvard Business Review
* Entrepreneurship.com by Tim Burns
* The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
* Fire in the Belly - an exploration of the entrepreneurial spirit by Yanky Fachler
* The Anatomy of Buzz by Emanuel Rosen
* The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
* Obtaining a #1 Ranking in the Search Engines by Ryan Allis
* What Clients Love by Harry Beckwith
* Building Thousands of Links to Your Site by Ryan Allis
* Net Results 2 by Rick E. Bruner
* Protégé Training Program by Jay Abraham
* Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
* Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
* Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson
* Principles of Marketing by Kotler and Armstrong
* Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
* The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey
* Succeed and Grow Rich Through Persuasion by Napoleon Hill
* How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
* The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons by Napoleon Hill
* The Student Success Manifesto by Michael Simmons
* Secrets of the Young & Successful Jennifer Kushnell
* Soul of Money by Lynne Twist
* Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins
* The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Rather thank looking at the article as one of his research findings, I would want to mention that the "BOP" edge to your business model is quite profitable on the long run. BOP formula will/might not fit all businesses too. I would want to make it clear that, my intention of "BOP" edge to a Business Model is not only for monitory benefits but also for the success of the service which you intend to provide.
For having a strong foundation to your business, one should extensively research if the product/service which you intend to bring out in the market is of any use to the end-user. I am quite sure that every individual entrepreneur would do this, but I wanted to ensure I reminded here in my writing. Twisting and tweaking your end product to suit the requirement of the end-user will enable you to build your brand.
As an example to quote here - Mahindra had an initial idea of building India's very own SUV. They researched and build the initial version of Scorpio with their ideas of Engineering. They have taken this engineering to people around and surveyed if they would be buying such a car. They noted each individual's comments and incorporated their comments into their engineering. They went back again and again to the same set of people to check if their taste's were changing or if they were liking the concept. Only after building the vehicle with all meaningful suggestions incorporated, did they launch the vehicle. The success of the SUV says it all. The new version of the same vehicle also comes with all the suggestions of owners coming in. (The only reason I quoted this example, is because I love this car very much).
I am quite sure that each business model will have its own way of reaching people and giving them what they want. But, in today's situation, this takes the front seat. If the end-user does not like your product/service, you are out of the game.
I have another good example for Customer Service - One day I was browsing through www.SeventyMM.com (an online video rental organization). I read about this start-up in Business World and wanted to try it out. I filled in the first page for registration and then it asked for my Credit Card number which I didn’t have ready. So, I simply closed the page. The following day I get a phone call from their Customer Care asking me if I was interested in taking the membership! I was quite impressed. Not only asking me if I was interested, the lady on the other side immediately offered me something which was irresistible. I promptly joined.
Till date I have never had any issue with getting my movies. Job well done. I only hope the same care continues.
Sir Branson's life is a clear example, as to how difficult it is to live life the way you want. But with focus and clarity, you can definitely live the way you want.
As I read through the book, I was amazed with the energy this entrepreneur had. Starting to be on his own at a very early stage in life, Sir Branson had spent most of his 'young' age trying to explore what he could possibly do to the student community which he felt needed something. That was the beginning, and today, we know what he has achieved. 'Sir' in front of his name says it all.
Just wanted to mention that having the desire to achieve is not the only thing, but the passion to perform also counts.
My salute to you Sir.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Is it so very simple? Ofcourse, Yes. But there are parameters for consideration.
E - Energetic
N - Neutral
T - Tough
R - Romantic
E - Elaborative
P - Passionate
R - Researcher
E - Empowered
N - Novice
E - Enterprising
U - Understanding
R - Rich
Energetic - Need to have energy to face failure.
Neutral - Never get carried away, you need to always be on ground to take off.
Tough - When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.
Romatic - Need to Romance with your Passion.
Elaborative - If you cant be straight forward, then the road ahead is bumpy.
Passionate - Eat, Sleep, Drink only your thoughts.
Researcher - Only when you explore, do you succeed.
Empowered - Empower yourself with Passion.
Novice - Because, every day is a new day.
Enterprising - Because, every day you need to be creative.
Understanding - If you cannot understand others, you can never solve their problem.
Rich - Attitude, Passion and Committment to Succeed.
Friday, October 06, 2006
The poorest countries have infant mortality rates above 20%. Two million children die each year of dehydration from diarrhea. Another two million children die annually from pertussis, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, and measles. Three million more children die each year from bacterial pneumonia. Several hundred million children suffer annually from intestinal parasites. And according to the World Human Rights Guide, no country with a Gross Domestic Product in the bottom fifth globally has achieved social and economic equality for women.
Can we as a society do anything for this? I am quite sure, that we might not be able to do anything and everything for all people around the world, but my only thought is that if we could do anything for people around us? I only quoted this para because it matches with our objective taking this society forward.
Any ideas and suggestions as to how we can mark a difference????
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Since the time I started my career, I had one point clear in my mind - I want to do something different. What is 'Different' and how do I understand that this is different?
Day's passed by and a couple of years back, I have decided that I would want to do something different in area which touch's each one's life - HealthCare.
Now that I decided on the area, what to do next is the major question. I had loads of thoughts passing by, but nothing concreate or meaningful.
A year-and-half back, I was reading a book - Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, by Dr.C.K.Prahalad. I have heard about him earlier, but I have not read any of his papers/articles/books. I started reading and to my suprize, I finished the book in a month's time (I understand this is long, but its short for me!). This is quite a different book - a compilation of case studies (probably we can call them short-true stories). These case studies are different. How are they different and what are the case studies are best understood in the book rather than on this blog :)
One of the case studies has given me a pointer to start framing my idea. After about a years work on the key points, Manish (my friend who shares a similar passion) and myself came out with a Business Plan.
In Feb 2006, we registered our Organization.
We took part in in two Business Plan competitions and we did recieve a good rating for our plan, but our implementation model was not well appreciated.
With our implementation model not being practical enough, we have dediced to take things a bit slow. We concentrated on our regular jobs and have been quite busy.
Recently, I came across http://BarCamp.org (Read about this in Oct 2 issue of Business World) and quite impressed. I have decided that we should take our idea to this forum. Am looking forward for the next BarCamp in/around Bangalore.
I will post here my ideas and all kinds of information I find and pointers to people and organizations which share the similar passion.
My sincere request for readers of this blog is - share your information and write to me if I can be of any help to your aspirations.
Probably, if we live near to each other, we can also meet...