About Me

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Mumbai, India
I run an IT Security consulting firm based out of India. We started off from scratch in 2001 when I was 21, and have offices in Mumbai, Bahrain, and UAE. The idea behind the blog is to share the stories of how we run the business, the deals we make, the deals that break, the heartburn, and the sheer joy.

The Ultimate Startup Guide

The Ultimate Startup Guide is an e-book that provides answers to all your questions related to starting and growing a business in India. Everything you wanted to know about entrepreneurship in India from ideation to registration to marketing to hiring. The book contains a large number of practical examples, anecdotes, interviews, and motivational material to help you get started, and to grow rapidly in a booming Indian economy. If you've got the idea, this book will help you through with the execution and realize your dreams. Here are some of the key questions you will find answered in this book:
  • When starting a business, what are the legal issues involved?
  • What form of incorporation is better suited to which type of business?
  • What tax issues are involved?
  • How do I start a business and what are the pitfalls?
  • How do I market my business in the absence of significant funding?
  • How do I get funded?
  • What are the basic accounting concepts I should be aware of?
  • What is a business plan and how should I build one?
The brief table of contents of the book is as follows:
  1. Getting started
  2. Ideation
  3. Forms of Enterprises
  4. Funding
  5. Basic Accounting and Taxation
  6. Import and Export Licensing
  7. Trademark and Patenting
  8. Rules for NRIs and Foreigners
  9. Building a Business Plan
  10. Marketing on a Shoestring
  11. Website and Branding
  12. Women Entrepreneurs
  13. Templates
To order the Ultimate Startup Guide - email me at kkmookhey@gmail.com.

Details of the book are:
Title: The Ultimate Startup Guide
Author: Kanwal Mookhey
Pages: 150
Additional: Companion CD contains numerous templates for building your business plan, calculating cashflow, preparing profit and loss, and balance sheets, preparing invoices, your resume and profile, marketing material, websites, contracts, and many other useful and motivational material.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Partnerships

If you're just starting out, or even if you've been in business for quite some time, the value of partnerships cannot be discounted. When we were starting out, we were completely unknown entities, but because we knew our stuff, most of the projects we did were sub-contracted by larger companies. As a consulting firm, we started by working with other slightly larger consulting firms, then biggers ones, until finally we were being sub-contracted work by the Big 4.

Another important use of partnerships is for overseas business. Being based out of India, offers us the cost advantage, so we can talk to overseas partners to get us business, and then outsource it to us. Just that the specific line of consulting we are in, involves senior management, so it's not always easy for an overseas partner to sell Indian consultants. But as the client base expands, and the expertise grows, this becomes much easier.

The first place to look out for partners is among your competition. It doesn't hurt to drop them an email saying they can outsource work to you should they fall short of resources. Next you could look at larger firms who do work in a number of areas, one of which is your niche. They're always ready to outsource work if you can deliver on one or two assignments. Thirdly, you could network in industry associations or meetings. I am terribly bad at doing this. But there was one time I attended a conference, and at tea managed to start talking to someone. Turns out he worked for one of the larger audit firms, and they were interested in our niche services for their clients. What started out with a casual conversation ended up giving us business worth millions of rupees. One of the employees who worked at this audit firm left them and went to work for one of the Big 4 in the Middle East. He then introduced us to the head of practice there, and we got further business from them.

Partnerships save you the trouble of the sales cycle, they save the headache of explaining to a billion-dollar organization how you as a 2-person consulting firm could provide them good service, it keeps the bread on the table, gives you the experience, and helps you build the contacts to get some initial traction going.

9 comments:

jessica said...

Very informative. I am looking forward to learning more.

---------------
if you were to choose, you would rather be:
a. taxicab
b. anything
c. pinoy
d. film reel
e. gossip

Intrepid said...

Thanks! Let me know if there are any specific topics you'd like to see covered.

demented coder said...

If you are a tech consulting company (which it seems you guys are...) another form of a partnership would be as an implementation partner of a software product company. Typically these guys need installations of their product customized for their end users - they don't want to do it themselves and would gladly outsource it to a smaller player. Of course the bigger the installed base the more the competition amongst partners!

Intrepid said...

That's a good one. Actually all it requires is to identify a niche which the bigger players need filled in. So for instance, in our case, we looked at the product companies in our domain, and offered to provide professional services to their client base and it worked out quite well. We didn't get into product customization, but that ought to be something we should look into as well.

Rohit said...

What do you do when the consulting that I want to do is in the form of empowerement consulting and there seems to be no firm doing that, as I know it. How do we start out

Poons said...

Do Indian lack a flair for entrepreneurship? When I first read that question on Trackin’s post I instinctively and vigorously did the Indian thing: shake my head in a strong no-no, that is not what I have uncovered. I think entrepreneurship is alive and kicking in India, but what is lacking is education, role models, access to information, a supportive environment…variables and factors that help nurture entrepreneurship. What are some unique variables that apply to entrepreneurs and startups in India? For instance, the role of parents and the diminishing returns in the marriage market for folks working in startups is a fairly significant factor.
In India there are countless, undocumented and untold stories about entrepreneurship. Some are a single owner business, while others may be a small, family-owned business and some are first time entrepreneurs. But they all do the same thing: take risks and create and operate their business. Read more Do Indians Lack A Flair For Entrepreneurship?

Anonymous said...

Professor V Chandrasekar says entrepreneurs are the same all over the world. He was speaking at the backdrop of TiE-ISB Connect 2007 in an interview wtih Contributing Editor Shobha Warrier.
Chandrasekar has taught at the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, Indian Institute of Science, University of Colorado, University of Denver, the University of Central Florida, Orlando, Queen Margaret College, Scotland, and ESSEC Business School at Cergy, France. He is the executive director of the Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development at the Indian School of Business.
Read more How India can have more entrepreneurs?

Anonymous said...

Isn’t that the toughest part: giving up a cushy job, the security that comes with it to plunge into uncharted waters. As Indians aren’t we doubly conditioned to aim for security above all else? Or … is that mindset about to change?
Read more Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Taking the Plunge

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