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.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Customer service - the best and the worst

Here are two diametrically oppositive views of customer service. During one of my previous trips to the Middle East (Bahrain), I happened to be with a colleague who is equally adventurous about exploring new eating joints as I am. Even when we can't read the menu or pronounce what we want to order. During one of our jaunts we walked into a Turkish restaurant, and essentially pointed to what we wanted to order. They had an oven with freshly baked bread, and pies and other stuff. The food was so good that we didn't notice the really lousy customer service. And when I say lousy, I mean it was really bad. Not once did the waitress or any of the others so much as smile. In fact, all of them had a clear expression of not wanting to serve us, and disliking our presense there. And nothing racial about it at all. This is actually the way they were with everyone. It was as if they simply didn't want us there. But we're made of tougher hide, especially when the food is as good as it was. So we kept going back there 2-3 times during the week and their demeanor never ever changed - the waitresses, the cashier/owner, the baker, the cooks - they all had a really sullen expression on their face. But the place was doing amazingly well. There was tons of competition along that street, but it was simply the food, which was so good that nothing else mattered. So all those gurus of "customer delight" should do a rethink. If your product is god damn amazingly good, then you can probably scrimp on the customer service!

On the other hand, I had a screw come off on my spectacles and walked into what looked like a really nice spectacle shop - again here in the Middle-east (Riyadh). It's called "Magrabi Opticals", and they're a chain of really high-end eyecare shops all over the region. At first, I thought they'd charge me a bomb to replace the screw, but even though he didn't speak much English, and my Arabic sucks, the proprietor smiled, took the glasses, and told me to take a seat and they'd get it done in a jiffy. The place was impressive, it looked more like a jewelry store than an eyewear one. They had some really cool software to calculate the price and the lens quality and the whole nine yards. Their eye testing equipment was absolutely state of the art. I've always wanted to get powered sunglasses, and given their superb customer service, I ended up indulging in a 900 Riyal (USD 300) pair of Armanis. Sheesh! So here's the other perspective - if you're in a highly competitive market such as eyewear, then great service can induce really vain customers into spending hundreds of dollars, when they could've gotten out of there for free!