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.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Us, them and a city

There's us and there's them. And there's Mumbai.

How often do we claim that they encroach on our city. My city? Since when did it become my city? When my grandparents escaped persecution in Pakistan during the Partition and settled in the refugee camps at Kurla. Or when they worked their way up to a comfortable existence in Mulund. Or when my family shifted out to Andheri? Does the journey across three suburbs and three generations make it our city? If this is indeed our city, how many of us speak its language - Marathi.

Then there's them. The millions of them, who escape persecution of a different kind - the abject wretchedness of poverty. Imposed by a social order that promotes centuries of economic imbalances deep in the hinterland and pushes the multitudes to the city. And they build their homes here, and capture their million dreams in them.

Why do we dislike and detest the slums so much? Because they remind us that our city is not Shanghai, that it will never be a Shanghai? Or because it reminds us of another India - an India that our cloistered, middle-class existence does not want to admit. Why would we not admit this reality? Their reality. Why would we not want to accept the slums and the people who inhabit it as having as much of a right to this city as we do?

Because they are filthy? Admittedly there is squalor at the periphery of the slums and on the slivery lanes that penetrate into the hearts of the slums. But step inside one of the fragile universes, and I bet it'll be cleaner and tidier than my room is right now.

Or because of the crime? Poverty breeds crime, yes. But so does a lot else. There is as much crime in the highrises of Andheri's Lokhandwala as there is in the sprawling slums of Dharavi.

And we sit in our air-conditioned cars on Ganesh Chaturthi and we curse the processions that hold up the traffic. And we fail to see that the greatest happiness is on the faces of the poorest slum-dwellers, who for those few hours have forgotten the curse of poverty and persecution and periodic demolishments to dance for a God that has all but forgotten them.

They built the flyovers we drive on. They built the towers we live and work in. They built it with their bare hands, carrying the cement in the unforgiving Mumbai sun. All they ask is to lead their lives with dignity, not on our dole, or our noblesse oblige.

If you are in Mumbai, get to the Gateway of India and take one of the tourist jetties out to the sea. As the wind hits your face, and the strong smell of the sea subsides, don't forget to look to your right. On the far right are the slums, and as your eye moves along the coast you see the buildings of what once used to be Mumbai's central business district. And on the sea are the smaller boats bobbing optimistically with the waves and further out are the large container ships moored concretely. And all of it simply belongs to this city - founded on opium money and built by sheer grit. But if you do this at night when there's a full moon, then you see the stars in the black sea, and the shining lights of the Queen's necklace as it embraces the ocean and holds back the city. And late at night take a drive from the Western suburbs to the highway, and then along the seaface onto Marine Drive, unimpeded by traffic. And that's when you realise why it is possible to actually love a city.

11 comments:

Bombay Addict said...

lovely ! good to meet another Bombay lover.

Rohini said...

Very nice post. I completely agree that the slum dwellers own Mumbai as much (if not more) than us privileged flat-dwelling types.

But I don't feel guilty for my air-conidtioned car on Ganesh Chaturthi and if I do sometimes crib when the processions make my commute a two-hour long one, it's not because I grudge them their right to be on the road but because I have had a long tiring day and all I want is to get back home to my son.

Objectively speaking, their problems are much bigger than mine But when it comes down to it, my problems are bigger simply because they are mine!

Intrepid said...

Rohini, thanks! I agree that irrespective of the situation, being stuck in a traffic jam is very disconcerting. Esp, when your laptop battery life runs out, and there's nothing much to do except listen to FM. One could of course leave early from work on immersion day, though :)

Intrepid said...

bombay addict, and to think that I hated this city when I first came here. And now, I'd rather call it home than any other place in the world.

Anonymous said...

Its quite different from your earlier posts...in a good way.Nice one!

sparsh said...

This is not realted with this post but seeking some help about blogging. I have started blogging recentlly and someone posted my poem on her blog as her own. How do you safeguard your original work from others online?

Intrepid said...

Anonymous, thanks! But for the moment its back to business as far as the posts are concerned :)

Sparsh, good question. Plagiarism seems to have become a painful problem in the blogosphere. You could post a copyright notice on your blog, and then send an email notice to the person who's copied from you. We had a competitor copy content from our website. A strongly worded legal notice did the job.

sparsh said...

Thanks for your help Intrepid!A not-so-strongly worded email did it for me this time. Am gonna be more careful in the future:).

designer said...

Mumbai has its charm inspite of its squalor. Unfortunately the contrasts are too much to bring in any consistency and quality in life of the millions. It always feels that everyone seems to suck the resources to the maximum so that he prospers. It ranges from the poor vendor (squatting on the mainroad) to the powerful builder grabbing reserved land. The authorities are always so poor in their planning and action that in 100 years they will not be able to give the citizen a decent footpath to walk on or the necessary infrastructure to enrich (not monetarily)the young ones who will inherit the city from us.

I am impressed with your posts, please write on.

Intrepid said...

designer, I couldn't agree with you more. There is a long list of things I do not like about the city. Yet I love it. I still hold out hope for the city, and believe that Mumbai's salvation lies in the emergence of secondary townships, that will reduce the influx of people. It will require tremendous political will and initiative, and a very strong people's movement to make a significant difference to our crumbling infrastructure.

Thanks also for the kind words! :)

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