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.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Indian Postal Service - getting a move on?

It seems like the after much noise about the potential for the Indian Postal service to turn itself around into a new age enterprise, there is finally some action happening. According to this report, India Post is going to attempt to launch banking services. Other interesting stuff that you can already do at your neighbourhood post office is file your income tax returns, pay utility bills, fill up various investment and savings forms, and, um...that's about it.

Here's an interesting presentation on leveraging the reach and ubiquity of the postal service. The World Bank organized a seminar on "efficient service delivery (postal, financial, ICT) within the context of a commercially viable postal institution. "

I wonder why all the various attempts at creating e-choupals by ITC and others do not simply leverage the existing infrastructure of the post offices across the country (150,000 of which 1200 are already connected via VSAT). Why reinvent the wheel? I think the postal service should be looked at simply as an existing massive infrastructure, where the actual delivery of mail will continue to be a loss-making enterprise, but something that cannot be done away with obviously. At the same time, you have this huge opportunity to deliver everything else, right from FMCG goods to electrical utilities (Italian Post delivers vacuum cleaners among other things), agricultural produce and most of all information. We love to drop the phrase "reaching out to the farthest corners of the country", well here's how to do it. On the other hand, India Post cannot simply be privatized, since the first thing a private player might do is cut off the loss-making mail delivery service, especially to remote villages.

But what's needed more than anything else is the iron-will, vision, and continuously innovative strategy to turn around a PSU behemoth like this one. What is not needed is retrograde government regulations designed to reduce competition - especially from cheaper, efficient courier services.

I remember during a trip to Italy last year when people spoke in almost revered tones about Corrado Passera who turned around Poste Italiane to a profit-making enterprise. When he was called in to the rescue in 1997, it was a basket case (losing $1 billion annually), and now not only is it profitable, but has ventured into services no one thought could be delivered by a postal service. It has embraced technology, allowing people to write stuff online, which it will then print out and deliver to the remotest villages in the country, and has other cool offerings. And although, its traditional postal service is still loss-making the other unconventional services more than make up for it resulting in annual profits of $400+ million and a valuation of $13 billion with prospective privatization around the corner. Passera of course has moved on now to turn around Banca Intesca along the same lines. It remains to be seen if Jyotsna Diesh and Dayanidhi Maran can pull off a Passera.


apu said...

One of the first things the PO needs to do is to introduce "pick-up" services (for a fee ofcourse) and therefore compete better with couriers, rather than retrogade moves like preventing courier services from offering certain services;

I remember once reaching a PO counter after a long queue wait - at exactly 1.00 om and the chap shut the counter in my face stating that it was his lunchtime; So unless this mentality changes, its difficult for the PO to succeed, forget launching newer services...

Intrepid said...

Apu: You're right. The customer service of the PO is very similar to what VSNL and PSU banks used to have before the age of privatization and competition. This is why I brought up the parallel with Italian Post, cause they were in exactly the same situation in the late 90's, until the top guy started tightening the screws and introducing scary concepts like productivity and accountability!

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