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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.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What idea?


Often I come across people and situations where budding entrepreneurs are looking out for that grand big idea that will propel them into instant millions and fame. I like to back ideas that are already proven, and strongly recommend that if you're really looking at starting your own venture you don't really need to create something radically new or unique.

For instance, in his book Good to Great, James Collins talks about identifying your sweet spot. The work which is a confluence of the following:
1. Something you love doing
2. Something you're genetically programmed to do
3. Something for which a market exists

I completely agree with #1 and #3, but disagree with #2. I don't think we're genetically programmed for anything specific atleast as far as entrepreneurship is concerned. And I would rather believe that if you do set your mind to it, you can generally accomplish it. For instance, my current profile requires me to interact extensively with people. Five years back, I would've been labelled an introvert and at most parties I'd be the wallflower. I still don't network aggressively, but it is an almost 180 degree turn for me in terms of my interactions with people.

Coming back to the point of waiting for a unique idea. I have seen a lot of people come up with lots of original ideas. But more than likely, the original idea isn't really unique. For instance, we recently thought it would be damn cool to productise one of our consulting offerings. As excited as we were, a search on Google revealed half a dozen other firms already doing the same. Which is not to say we're not going to go ahead with the idea. But it just goes to show that original ideas are rarely unique. The other thing about unique ideas is that if there really are no other players in the market for that idea, then possibly the market itself does not exist. Which means, you now have the humungous task of actually creating a market.

So the point now is what kind of an idea do you begin your business with. Here are some pointers to help you along:
1. Is it something you absolutely love doing? The task you plan to venture on, is it something you would do every day, weekends, even if you didn't get paid for it. Do you thoroughly enjoy doing this core task. Your entire business will be built around the fact that you, and the people you hire must love what they do. Otherwise, you simply won't be able to bring the energy and the passion to the field.
2. Is it something others are already successful at? Look around you. There are hundreds of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs working hard at their ideas. There are lots of businesses that are already very successful. Can you adopt a 'follow-the-leader' attitude and do it successfully enough to get to at least #2 or #3. For instance, I was inspired by a US-based consulting firm, which was highly successful in the same field. And I thought, if those guys can do it, so can we.
3. Is it something you know you can improve? Observe carefully at the establishments you frequent. What is it that they could be doing better? Are their customer service reps unfriendly? Are they not located in your specific part of the city, and people have to end up traveling a long distance to avail of their services (think restaurants)? Are they not catering to a specific market segment? They could be focused on large enterprises for customers, leaving you with the SME's to target. Are there specific technologies that they are not covering? If you can determine a specific differentiator, which your competitors would find difficult to replicate easily, then go after an already-successful idea, and you'll up your chances of success.
4. Is it something that you loved during one of your trips, and sorely lament it not being there where you live? For instance, a nice Italian restaurant! Or a service provider who provided an excellent service during your travels, but no one of that type exists back home.
5. Oh I wish, we had this! Have you faced situations, where you've thought: I wish there was someone who would do X for me. Or I wish there were a software that did X,Y and Z.

And, don't jump at your first idea. Dwell on it, let it play back and forth before you make the plunge. I know I toyed with half a dozen ideas before starting my current venture.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Regarding point(2):'Something you're genetically programmed to do
', rather than looking at it in black/white, I would say that it is obvious that if you have a natural knack for a particular thing, succeeding in such a venture would probably come a tad easier than attempting something you have utterly no skill in- again, the latter is not impossible, just that effort required is comparatively higher.

Intrepid said...

Right, I agree it need not be looked at in black & white. But one also needs to guard against the tendency to readily say, "Oh, but I'm really not good at X". For instance, I'd have said, I'm not really good with people or with negotiations or with financial numbers. Come to think of it, I'd probably have been the first one to admit that I had no clue about many of the things I now need to be good at to get the job done.

At the same time, you definitely got to identify your key advantages and leverage those.

BUSINESS STRATEGY said...

Dear every day entrepreneur,
Your current article is good and interestingly matches with the following business principles.


1.DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
2. LOVE WHAT YOU DO.
3.STICK ON TILL YOU SUCCEED.
4.BUY FROM A PLACE WHERE YOU GET PLENTY AND SELL WHERE YOU DON'T GET.
5.MATCH THE PRODUCT IMAGE WITH THE PERSONAL IMAGE

I do hope that some of my articles will be of much interest to youngsters. please look into:http://members.ezinearticles.com/?type=active&id=39194&pass=xX.VdUYTDtW/M

BUSINESS STRATEGY said...

Dear every day entrepreneur,
Your current article is good and interestingly matches with the following business principles.


1.DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
2. LOVE WHAT YOU DO.
3.STICK ON TILL YOU SUCCEED.
4.BUY FROM A PLACE WHERE YOU GET PLENTY AND SELL WHERE YOU DON'T GET.
5.MATCH THE PRODUCT IMAGE WITH THE PERSONAL IMAGE

I do hope that some of my articles will be of much interest to youngsters. please look into:http://members.ezinearticles.com/?type=active&id=39194&pass=xX.VdUYTDtW/M

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I read this post!
This reflects what I have beleived for some time. I attempted a venture by myself & it was pretty successful. I often think to myself "Should i really be doing this? I didn't get a technical/specialised education to end up doing this surely!"
But I LOVE what I do & that has helped me network, improvise & acheive all those things I really didn't think I was capable of acheiving.
I shall be attending b-school soon. Some have told me that this isn't necessary if i already know what I want to do but I have learnt that there are many short-comings I have identified that may be mitigated by a structured exposure to business principles.

Intrepid said...

Hey Anonymous, it would be great if you could list out which courses you are considering taking, and what benefits you hope to achieve. I am sure this would be of great help to would-be entrepreneurs!

Pranav said...

great to read this. I always think i cannot work under anyone and i need to start something new. but i am not sure of what i want to start.
I have finished my B-Tech and have 2 years exp. Planning to do my MBA. Kindly let me know if this is really neccssary and why?