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.

Friday, July 28, 2006

What does it take to be an entrepreneur

I often get asked by potential entrepreneurs, what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I don't claim to be an expert on this, but here's what I think would be necessary components:

  1. Gumption. Spunk. The ability to be knocked down on your knees and get up and brush off the dust and get going all over again.
  2. Optimism. Not blind faith. The hope that things will get better. But not blind faith that they'll get better by themselves. No sir, you'll have to do a lot to help things get better. But they surely will. This also involves faith in yourself.
  3. Integrity. Lots of entrepreneurs think its all about the money. It really isn't. It's really about who you are as a person, and how much conviction you have in yourself, not to take those shortcuts, not to pay those bribes, not to shortchange your customers and your people.
  4. Ideation. Innovation. Ingenuity. Your venture is not just about that one big idea. Heck, I've never had one big idea. It's always about a whole host of ideas. You keep trying as many of them as you can, pursue those that work, and discard those that don't. This also entails the willingness to be a lifelong student. To continuously learn and adapt as you go along.
  5. Mentors. I have been lucky in this regard. But then I've also learnt that finding good mentors is really difficult, and you also don't need someone handholding you for every little problem.
  6. The dream. When the chips are down, sometimes what keeps you going is the dream you behold in your mind's eye. What kind of an office will your people work out of one day? What kind of deals will you be closing some day? Maybe it's childish, but that's the kind of dream that has always kept me going.
  7. Ability to move on. Every time you notch up a success, you need to have the ability to celebrate it, but then move on. Don't rest on those laurels. They no longer count, and you got to set your sights higher now. And every time you fail, learn the lesson and then move on as well.
  8. Consideration. Gratefulness. Humility. You're never going to get ahead without being humble enough about how much you've contributed, and how much others have contributed to your success. So acknowledge that and give people their due. Also, if you only listen, your people will come up with some of the greatest ideas. So give that equal consideration, if not more.
  9. Good communication skills. Both verbal and written. If you can't get your point across in a direct, convincing, non-confrontational manner, then it's going to be an uphill climb. So work on those communication skills. With practice and effort you can get really good at them.

14 comments:

Idea, Execution, Profit! said...

Interpid,

Can you add an India specific list as well? That will be interesting and useful for wannabes.

Anonymous said...

What to do if our area of interest is the one with lotsa competition, where 'getting in' itself is a big thing? Should you try a lil less compatitive field where there is stil some space for you or dreams can take you anywhere?

Intrepid said...

ideaxprofit: I did a post along those lines earlier http://everydayentrepreneurs.blogspot.com/2006/04/starting-your-own-business-in-india.html on the more practical aspects of it.

anonymous: the thing to do would be to really explore this area and determine a niche within it. For instance, even within the information security domain we're exploring specific niche areas to exploit, since everyone seems to be into infosec nowadays! At the same time it would be worth your while to look at other avenues too. You never know what might ignite your passion and generate significant revenues.

sparsh said...

Thanks Intrepid!

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Carey Formula said...

I would have to agree with you Intrepid as an Entrepreneur and inventor myself those are Definite necessary components! These are my secrets to sucess...

Surround yourself with people who can do the things you can’t…
Doing everything and being everything to everyone can become exhausting. Use the people around you for creativity and inspiration. The saying, “Two heads are better than one” is often the best solution to staying positive and creative.

Know your customers intimately…
Do as much research as possible on your target market. Whether you conduct focus groups, send out survey or take polls go the extra mile to get to know who’s buying so you know who to sell to.

Building Relationships…
Not only is the relationship with your consumer market important but so is the relationship with your manufacturer. Do what you say you’re going to do. Follow up and be thorough. They won’t know what you want unless you’re specific. The better relationship you have with your manufacturer the easier and quicker things get done.

Keep it Simple…
Don’t get ahead of yourself you’ll get overwhelmed. Take one step at a time and keep it simple. Start with a simple plan and add to it as you’re ready.

Please also check me out at
http://careyformula.blogspot.com/

Poons 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?
That set me thinking. How easy is it really to step out of the comfort zone and take the plunge? What does it take? Guts. Moolah. Persistence. More importantly, how much of each?
Read more: Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Taking the Plunge

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...

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

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?

Sur Max said...

Hi INTERPID,

A bit disagree here...

How much is it practical to follow "not to pay those bribes" but to say ?

-
sur
http://expressica.com

Anonymous said...

I run a management consultancy and toughest part is marketing. How do you market consultancy? Can you run over how did you get your first five clients. I have come to the conclusion that clients came back only when they need your service. Typical marketing helps only to spread a word and stay on top-of-the-mind. Consultancy marketing really never results into order conversion due to sales pitch. Is there a way to induce client to your consultancy offerings.

I think if you can run a story of how you got your first five clients that wd be big help.

Nandan

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