Greetings from entrepreneur café! After busy year end closing time, we are back with a series of workshops, seminars, Webinars for startups and entrepreneurs.
What it takes to make an idea a business; what it takes to sustain and scale; what it takes to make your idea, startup market ready, success ready and investor ready.
These are common questions that most of the startups ponder over. The lack of guidance and support takes their focus off from the core product feature’s development.
A curative workshop on Operations Strategy and Model by Mr Indraneel Mazumdar highlighted some of the most essential advice and learnings that fellow budding entrepreneurs could implement.
He has been instrumental in making more than 25 companies sustainable, scalable and successful and together they are worth more than 10000 crores now. His 29 years of experience and expertise has been effectively utilized by many startups and enterprises for scaling up and growth. He was a consultant and development director for many malls in India such as Phoenix, Inorbit, VR etc.
He had 3 essential key elements to deliver.
Extensive research beyond the world of internet adds significant vigor to an entity’s market analysis and so does it helps in understanding an entity’s market to a much more deeper extent. Google isn’t always a very reliable source when it comes to market research which involves a lot of legit data to be collected. This can be considered as the primary or the thumb rule to starting any business. Extensive research beyond Google is what will give you correct and accurate data.
Where to sell
This is something which most start-ups stumble upon. Identifying key markets and who would actually buy my product is probably the most important aspect of any venture. My research tells me that my product would sell best outside any college which may not be the case. A proper outreach to my target audience would require the knowledge of where I could actually sell my product.
You have got 30 seconds to pitch!
This is something which doesn’t happen overnight. We know our product. We probably understand the workflow of our venture in a cut throat global environment but can we really pitch an overview of our product within 30 seconds? This not only adheres to pitching investors but it could as well create a lot of value for the venture in the form of ideas and any form of expertise which the latter individual possesses. Practice pitching your product to anyone and everyone you know.
It was a pleasure having him with us on the very evening of 14th May with a lot of his expertise and experiences shared with budding entrepreneurs at Goodworks Cowork. An after session interaction with Mr Indraneel rendered a lot of valuable advice and positive vibes into the spirit of entrepreneurship.
Ambition is the steam that drives men forward on the road to success. Only the engine under full steam can make the grade. -- Maxi Foreman
(This blog has been provided by Soumyadip Bhattacharya. He is currently pursuing B.E. in electronics and communication and an active startup enthusiast. He have been associated with several companies and organisations over the last two years in the field of marketing and business development)
Srinagar: Startup Kashmir in its bid to build a start up ecosystem in the state of J&K has launched e-Campus program here at NIT Srinagar and at Islamic University of Science & Technology (IUST). Startup Kashmir is launching various programs designed and fine-tuned for the state of J&K in universities and colleges across the state. These programs will help in capacity building and make universities and colleges a hub of innovation and job creation, said Shahid Ansari – Founder Startup Kashmir. He also spoke on the importance of economical independence that can be achieved by self-driven ventures and entrepreneurship.
“The Better you Program” was launched at both IUST and NIT Srinagar in association with Entrepreneur Café (One of the largest entrepreneur community in the world). The program focuses on bringing back the inner uniqueness in students which due to the current education system is getting unnoticed and on removing the fear of failure from the budding entrepreneurs and students. The program helps students to build on their uniqueness and become a brand by themselves.
Mission of the program is to Bridge the Gap between what they really are, what is taught in colleges and What is required in the world out there said, Anjali Gupta- Global Director, Entrepreneur Cafe Campus, who joined the program from Bangalore through Skype. Sarath Nair, Head Pan India Mentor and Trainer also spoke on the occasion.
Mr. SaadParvez who heads the Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneur Development Center (IIEDC) at NIT Srinagar, spoke about the need of these programs for the students. He spoke about various aspects of the entrepreneurship and how IIEDC center can play a vital role in nurturing and promoting innovative ideas. At the occasion a student cell was formed that will drive the innovation and entrepreneurship at the prestigious institution.
Also at the occasion Mr. Ozzy Aleem, Executive Director WhipSmart Services spoke on why students should focus more on entrepreneurship and startups rather than looking for jobs.
(This article was published in Kashmir Observer. Date: Feb 9 2017)
Union Budget 2017: A push and a shove for Start-ups, Technology and Innovation could have done wonders
Overall I would give a thumbs up for the budget, however, due consideration towards the few ‘missing’ links could have made me happier.
One page tax form, bringing down personal income tax by 5 per cent for a section of salaried class, trimming the corporate tax slab to 25 per cent for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has caught the imagination of a segment of the population in the Union Budget 2017-18 but for the startup and Tech Innovation world it has next to nothing.
Science & Technology, Innovation and Startups are the one who build the ‘future’ of the society. The investment in the mighty three is high and yield slow results, but once the results starts coming the impact is huge. Take an example of investment in space technology program few decades back, now India is among leaders in the world.
If there was a time ever for the startups to be given a push it is now, for one has witnessed a drop in startups, money drying up in venture capital and a few going back to taking up jobs. A clear policy on issues besieging the startup world would have given a spring it its feet as the verve that one witnessed in the startup sphere a few years ago has weaned a bit.
Clarity on three fronts namely; innovation, Science & Technology and startups is lacking in the budget. The trio can create a platform and leapfrog in the future. There is nothing much for the entrepreneurial eco-system in the budget.
What was expected in the budget was a fillip to the start-ups by way of clarity in rules and most importantly how to handle losses. Few start-ups are making profit and the tax holiday is valid to only those start-ups who are recognised by Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP).
That there is a world of talent out there waiting in the wings to fly with ideas is a foregone conclusion. Youngsters in their teens to 25-somethings are raring to go. If only the budget had something on the Angel tax, it could have done a world of good for the start-ups.
The innovation and startup ecosystem needs a push, handholding and direction. The small businesses will become competitive in the global market ie the MSME sector. Similarly, if there was a rethinking on issues plaguing the startup community such as taxes on early stage investment, ease of doing business and a more comprehensive long term plan for the community to grow, the 2017 budget would have boosted the morale.
The entrepreneurial ecosystem badly needs a push and that should precede with a robust long-term policy on innovation, Science & Technology and Startups. It is never too late; a meeting with all the stake holders on envisaging a plan is all that is needed. Anyone ready? I am.
(The article has been written by Nikhil Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, AP Innovation Society, Government of Andhra Pradesh. All the views expressed are personal. This article has been published on Financial Express on February 3rd 2017)
Human capital is a new understanding of human resources in the enterprise. Besides, Human capital management is essential for hiring, managing, training and retraining talented and high performing employees. Because, employers are most interested in hiring, formation and development of human capital with high potential as a decisive factor for business competitiveness.
Entrepreneur Cafe ended the year for startup, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs with successful Annual Global Convention 2017 at Sheraton Grand, Bangalore, which was attended by whose and whose of startup world and we have had lot of takeaways for all of us.
Keeping the promise and the momentum, Entrepreneur cafe started the year with a very special and well curated event on 7th Jan, Saturday. The event attended by more than 100 startups and entrepreneurs. was hosted at a very well done and equipped cowork space The Hive at VR Bengaluru Mall (Part of Virtuous Retail), spread over 60,000 sqft with all modern facilities (More details are given below)
The topic of the event was "what it takes to make your startups and ideas absolutely and more saleable and scalable in the Local and Global market".
Given the percentage of startups failed to take off in 2016, the workshop/event was curated and thought through to precisely address these critical factors for startups.
The event had 2 parts. The first part was dedicated to Design thinking workshop by Subbu Iyer, a renowned design thinking expert with 25 years experience in this space helped many start-ups and innovation. In second part Subranil, Anurag and Nehal from entrepreneur cafe and startupbuilders announced and shared key initiatives that entrepreneur cafe is bringing to the startups and entrepreneurs this year such as FICCI Oxygen (FICCI and Ivynext program for startup curation and development), next 3 months workshops, startup verification and validation platform, innovative approach for startup funding, ecafe campus program and more.
The startups found the sessions very relevant, engaging and interactive and looking forward to more such workshops.
The event was concluded with networking over tea and coffee and one on one discussion with the participants, speakers and entrepreneur cafe members.
WE ARE BACK, BIG TIME!
For the 36th time, EntrepreneurCafe kicks off its 3rd year in Casablanca and returns to meet its regulars in the usual friendly format.
On the menu tonight (Thursday, January the 5th, 2017) two start-ups that started from scratch, all the way up to inspirational success; #OutdoorMorocco and #KaizenSoftSkills both led by two managers; the amazing Khouloud Badir and the ardent Yassine Sabir, who decided to leave their comfort zone as workers in conventional jobs and join the entrepreneurship’s path of uncertain outcomes, self-doubt and sleepless nights.
Outdoor Morocco, a company with the sole purpose of trivializing access to a list of some rather expensive hobbies and diversions, offering interesting prices on excursions around the iconic touristic city of Marrakech. It is an event agency specialized in team buildings, professional events (such as meetings, incentives, conferences, conventions and exhibitions). Not only that, the agency also offers consulting in marketing and sports events & adventures. All in a complete pack, following an approach that is quit unheard of on the market nowadays, to say the least!
Kaizen Soft Skills, or simply Kaizen-skills, is a training center that specializes in project management, service management and personal development. The center endeavors in the help of its clients and set them as pioneers in their respective field of expertise, by the acquisition of a solid knowledge in a variety of disciplines related to new technologies.
Every entrepreneurs should know what they want in their life when they start a business. Building a business is not about one day job but efforts may take ages to work things out to the top. Entrepreneurship is a lifetime process. Projection becomes necessary. If you don't have one, let us see three facts how you develop yourself within 5 years from now.
1) 'A Good Leader is A Good Reader':
Ask yourself, what are the latest books you are reading now? And how much time you spend on reading? It is all about the quality content of reading material you read. Books, journals, periodicals or even digital media are sources of reading. Entrepreneurs should have the endless habit of reading. Reading is normally associated with knowledge. What you read is always what shape your mind, self-development and how you plan effectively your future business from the info digested. Reading sparks positive ideas, creativity and solution on business undertakings and forecasting. Doing business these days is a great challenge particularly everything changes rapidly in the market from technology, innovation, trends, economy, demands, concepts, and even the thinking of the world citizen at large. Globalization and business without borders have apparently conquering the way forward and lots of things entrepreneurs need to occupy themselves through info and knowledge. You will be left far behind if you underestimate the power of reading!
2) 'Who you are is whom you surrounded with':
To be successful you need to be in the correct circle of people. Actions are all started from the mind-set. If you are surrounded with the positive mind-set, you will be thinking, talking and taking action like the high achievers. Being with the right circle of individuals or group would assist you to develop on becoming a BETTER YOU whether in communication, values-oriented, self-confidence, knowledge, forte enhancement, personality building, networking etc. In some scenario, don't overdose yourself by being desperately as 'attention-seeker' running after popularity of someone else. That doesn't positively help at all. Develop yourself by being the Original You! Five years from now if you mix with the wrong attitude groupies, you can guess what the outcome would be. Building your positive character and personality are two toughest task if you position yourself in non-supportive environment. So, be wise, choose positive friends, surroundings and amazing people who can bring the best out of YOU!
3) 'Time is too precious':
Proverbs says, 'Time waits for no man'. Can anyone tell me if there is any record stating somebody can turn back the time? The answer is NO. So, check yourself what are you doing from the time you wake up at 6 or 7 o'clock in the morning until going back to sleep at night. What are the activities dominating your time? Playing PSP? Checking Facebook or 'spying' other people's Facebook and other social media, gossiping, non-stop complaining and criticising people the whole day? The majority time you spend is what your future will be. If you spend your time in productive way, you are actually building a blazing future ahead. Complaining unnecessarily doesn't improve you on anything. If you expect to build a business empire within a magical blink of time-span, you may be still 'sleeping' in the dark cave. Do remember ~ Great Wall of China doesn't built in a day to stand gloriously strong thousands of years until now. Spend your time on meaningful activities which can give you more life experience or skill in different aspects which later it benefits you in accelerating your business.
As to conclude, putting the blame on others is not the best policy when you know you are the one managing your life. If you want to excel and become a better person, you need to take control of your life and lead the positive way. Life is all about making choices. Your end result is what you are choosing 5 years from now!
By Sue Kamal
Entrepreneur Café City Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This time topic seems to be very interesting, but it is not about the National Geographic: World of Animal or Safari retreat. I had a great conversation with one of my peers, Allan 'Big Al' Connolly, The City Mayor of Perth Entrepreneur Cafe, Australia when all this idea to write, coming right into me. Indeed, an empowering conversation that sparked and discussed values, ideas, sustainability and potential work to be done.
What is all about the Giraffe talk with Entrepreneurship? A new code? A new Apps? Trend or business venture?
From my entreprenologist's view, Entrepreneurship is an eco-system where entrepreneurs cultivate a positive environment, nurturing great human values, spread positivity and get connected well among other entrepreneurs and the world at large, along the way in making money & creating more job-opportunities. In pursuit of making money and fame in business, one of the greatest challenges is to loose our human values. Nurturing the values takes all of our life, but to loose and 'sell our soul to the Devil', it takes a minute. How ironic life can turn out to be!
It is very important every individual who would like to endeavour themselves in entrepreneurship, to set their intention correct and clear on why they want to be an entrepreneur. That intention is the brightest endless 'bulbing light' to the rest of the journey to the entrepreneur's success. Every entrepreneurs need to comprehend, entrepreneurship without values is like a human without a soul. What will happen to the eco-system when there is no values? Definitely, everything becomes chaotic. Business people are getting greedy, we take what is not belong to us, we consume excessively and go after what we don’t need, we manipulate and oppress others, we always want to be in control without knowing how to share, we get-rid of people who dim our limelight, super pretentious character, 'big fish eats small fish' and so on. Hence, that is why we need to view entrepreneurship seriously not from the angle of profitable stream but different level of global eco-system with profound influence in nurturing human values to world community at large.
Entrepreneurs should create a positive eco-system with the support from other entrepreneurs, clients, followers or even community around who believe the same values and path to build a progressive business circle and environment for a better future. There might be obstacles from time to time like you are not going to be popular to compare to those who believe wearing luxurious cars or branded price-tag handbags are everything, but there will be a group of amazing and successful global citizen out there who would come and support your value cause to become a big next thing in the entire world! You think you are alone in what you believe in when most of the average people are doing, busy pleasing others and chasing the same ordinary way, but you don’t realize that values you hold is shining like a diamond, attracting the same diamond lovers around the globe. This is what we say ' A Giraffe sees another Giraffe above all the trees around'. Be that Giraffe! :-)
If you think you have the great human values, don't hold back to show to the world the difference through what you do in the entrepreneurship. We need more 'humanizing human' to become entrepreneurs than 'money-digger' without a soul. The least, I can assure entrepreneurship will be a better and happy environment to be involved in to each and everyone of you!
Sue Kamal is the Co-Founder of Solution Makers Consultancy (SMC) United Arab Emirates, Award-Winner 2014 Brand Ambassador Alleem Achiever Award UAE & 2014 Special Leadership Award of Alleem Business Congress UAE, 2015 WAVE USA Certified Entreprenologist. An International SME Council Member of ICSB (Washington D.C), ACSB (Asia) & ICSMEE (Malaysia), ‘City Mayor of Entrepreneur Café Kuala Lumpur – World Cities’. An active Entrepreneurship writer for international business magazine and entrepreneurship digital channel. Currently, involved in the international trade particularly encouraging business and trade into Middle East & Africa region. Email: email@example.com
Anand Tomar: (Lecturer, UK College of Business and Computing, London)
The big day is not very far and we are still in a dilemma.
Yes, you are right I am talking about the Day of Judgment, when we are going to cast our vote either ‘to Remain’ or ‘to leave’. Please be assured. I am not going to bother you with another debate of ‘in’ or ‘out’. I am just trying to look into the issue from the perspective of a common man (i.e. politically illiterate and concerned for his day to day life)
Believe me or not there are many people in the UK who are not even aware of the fact, that Britain is member of the European Community since 1973 nor the benefits or loses accrued due to such memberships. Thanks to the advanced media of the day and this high tech era that makes everyone talking about it. You will be surprised, if I tell you that even ‘Aryan’, my just nine year old son asked me, ‘Dad what will happen if UK decides to leave?’ So, this is the impact of in or out.
We all have disputes, dislikes, and a chain of differences of opinions coupled with various problems in our day to day life, at our workplace, home and in all sorts of relationships. For example if you don’t like a few things in your partner do you abruptly go for divorce or try to fix such things that were bothering both of you?
Just close your eyes and think what will you do in that situation? I am sure we all want to mend it, and for this we need to be in a marriage because by opting for divorce we are just closing the doors for all the chances of improvement and developing the relationship. The outcome of divorce will certainly be bitter and it is not a fruitful solution. This is the way a common man lead’s his life on a day to day basis, and now for the Country – the question is did we make sufficient efforts and conclude divorce to be the only option? If not, then we need to think.
I do understand and agree with the people’s concerns about the interference of European Union in UK in some areas. There are a few flaws in the EU-UK treaty, which needs to be reviewed for sure, which is assured by Mr. David Cameron. Here I would again like to say, that ‘we need to be in it to win it’.
Mr. David Cameron is asserts to be very much concerned about the future of Britain, that’s why he asked all of us to get ‘registered to vote’, regardless of which side you want to take, because he is very much confident that we will arrive at the right decision with more and more numbers of views from the people of our nation. All of us need to give our say in the referendum. Transparent approach is the best way to resolve difference, and that is exactly what Mr Cameron appears to do.
Not a single person, who is supporting the ‘leave campaign’ comes up with this transparent approach why? Because they themselves are not sure about the benefits of leaving EU.
We should save our relationship with EU which is now more than ‘Four Decades’ old. Both EU and UK developed a lot in these four decades, then why are we suddenly thinking of a divorce? How can we just forget and forego the strengths of such a long relationship without any sufficient reason for it? Believe me it is all politically plotted for some short term and individual gains and the common man is left at cross roads.
For God’s sake don’t get trapped in politically biased views. Politicians are showing us various facts and figures to support the ‘leave campaign’ but we should not blindly believe them. For example we all are aware of the information given to us that EU costs £ 350 million per week to UK (as advertised by leave campaign), but we don’t know how much on what we are getting back as rebate? And the leave campaign is saying that we can use the funds in developing our NHS. But why they are focusing only on NHS? Just to play with our emotions! Unfortunately, statistical information and the various conclusions derived appear to be more oriented towards ones preferences than the facts.
Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Select Committee, was part of the leave campaign but now realise that leaving Europe would damage our economy, resulting in a ‘Brexit Penalty’ four our health service – hitting us and our family. She is now voting to remain.
Even the leaflet which I got in post from ‘leave campaign’ says that ‘There are risks in voting either way’ so what should we do? We should support EU in order to convert the world into a good place to live for every human being. And policy makers should amend the faulty legislation to make the bond stronger.
I think the voters need a complete, valid and reliable information to make an informed decision. Unfortunately, the noises are too many and makes the choice more difficult. However, it is imperative that we need to take a decision. This should not be biased of any misinformation given to us in either way.
Lastly, I want to place a humble request that, whatever you decide, make sure that, ‘this is your own decision’. Your decision should not biased by any political person or view. So, think carefully, scrutinise all the Facts, Figures, analyse Pros and Cons before casting your vote.
TO MAKE YOUR FUTURE BRIGHT PLEASE VOTE FOR SURE.