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, September 16, 2006

All right, so give me something I can actually buy!

For a car enthusiast and constant traveler, the one thing that hurts me most about India is the sheer lack of variety in the cars that are available for purchase. Add to that the exorbitant prices that most cars are at, especially when compared to the prices the same models command in other countries, and you begin to really feel you've got a bad bargain.

Let's take the Honda Accord for instance. In India, a standard Accord is priced somewhere in the Rs.16-17 lakhs range, approx USD 40,000. If you add in all the options, and road tax and insurance, you end up at a bit under USD 50,000. And suddenly you feel (quite rightly) that you've bought yourself a high-end car. Globally though, the Accord is a mid-range car usually priced at USD 20,000 to USD 25,000. Or the Mitsubishi Lancer, which in India is again somewhere at the upper end of the mid-range cars along with the Corolla - USD 20,000 I think. We were recently looking at a car for our Middle East office, and a brand new Lancer comes in at approx USD 12,000 - that's about Rs. 6 lakhs - almost half what it would cost in India. The same goes for other run-of-the-mill models such as the Skoda Octavia or the Ford Mondeo, which are considered status symbols in India. For God's sake, all the taxis in Dubai are Camry's!

And now comes news that Audi has launched its drool-worthy Q7 priced at a whopping Rs.61 lakhs or USD 140,000! Enough to dry up your throat for a pretty long time.

And that's only the pricing saga. Look at the sheer lack of car models on Indian roads. Where are the cute Peugeot's? Or the Mazda 6? Where're the two-door sports cars? I mean do you expect me to buy sedans, when I should ideally be buying a sleek two-seater coupe?!? Even Hyundai hasn't bothered with its Coupe, and neither have Honda, Ford or Toyota. The least they could have done is offered coupe versions of their already popular models. So one wouldn't have to pay a foot and an arm to guys like Dilip Chabria and look like wannabes in the bargain. Or end up only dreaming of the super-sexy
Mercedes SL-class roadster, which comes in at a cool USD 200,000 only, if you please.


I now live in a constant state of mortal fear that I'll be hitting a mid-life crisis when these models actually become available and affordable! Sigh...just give me a good car, with a price that makes sense. I am already paying a pretty penny for fuel.

PS: I have been informed through reliable sources that Harley Fat Boys will be available within the Rs. 3 lakh price range. Anyone know more on this? Though the cynic in me says that this might be just another case of a multinational dumping obsolete, slightly remodeled, renamed vehicles.

8 comments:

Sarthak said...

I am in love with your blog.. addicted to it. the reasons are many.. One of them being the sheer variety of articles that you keep treating the readers with. Now could I have imagined reading this oh-so-true post about swanky automobiles on your blog? Great read...

Sarthak said...

Inspiring in it's own way.. it did push me to wake those extra three hours to complete that business report ;) Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah right! get a coupe in India, and then think of a place where u wud actually park or drive it! or hit the NH everytime u think of having a car-stroll...in ur dream baby(car):P!

Intrepid said...

Sarthak: Thanks for the really kind words! :) I try to stick to business and entrepreneurship, but every once in a while I indulge myself with a personal post like this one.

Anonymous: Touche! I was just waiting for someone to lament about the sad state of roads. But I think if I did have a Merc Roadster, I'd take her for a spin exactly after 1:00am. I'd be dead should a rickshaw put a scratch on her!

Anonymous said...

Check some more responses at this link : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian-car-scene/17433-article-give-me-something-i-can-actually-buy.html

Intrepid said...

Yup, I did check it out a while ago. It's quite funny actually. Most people I think don't get the point. High prices are due to stupid government duties and not due to low sales volumes or PPP. Also, I don't think they understand the yuppie in me who wants a coupe and not a sedan. I mean, how can a sedan beat a sexy two-door sports coupe?? And what's all the jingoism about? I quoted USD prices because the USD is an accepted standard of currency conversion. Plus, I am very much in India, drive an Indian car, but am struggling to find a decent and appealing upgrade to my current vehicle.

Anonymous said...

I drive a Honda 2006 CIVIC coupe ... I paid around 20000 USD for that. Its definitely not the "THE CAR OF THE YEAR" but it won accolades for its trendy looks. I am not sure whether u guys get CIVICS in India. Next year, I am planning to move back to India and I have already started crying thinking about selling my car here and buying some boring car in India. You are absolutely right, with a decent price tag you cannot get nice car there. Most of the people back home don't get this point. Cars are not just means to commute from point A to point B. They reveal our personalities.

Intrepid said...

Ah, thank God for someone who actually gets the frustration a car-bike-lover can feel in India. I mean forget the quality of the roads, I'll simply drive the car on the Mumbai-Pune expressway, but let me have something decent! The Civics are indeed available now, and it looks like a good upgrade from my current Honda City. You could also look at the CR-V.

But I have half a mind to buy this amazingly sexy Nissan 350Z at our overseas office! And let the City run its course in Mumbai. If only they'd offer 2-door sports cars, or coupes...sigh...