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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Choosing my problems

One of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur is the fact that in most cases you've got to fight your battles alone. Some of us have mentors, some of us come from a family with a business background, and maybe some of us have an excellent core team. But for a lot of us, the problems that we face in running a small-medium business are more or less entirely ours to face and resolve. Whatever be the case, one has to accept that problems will occur. There is no business, or for that matter no serious activity, which is not beset by its own unique set of problems.

The trick is to accept this fact, and to face most of your problems with as much equanimity, humility, and introspective ability as you can. In most cases, I find I can manage all these virtuous qualities in some measure or the other. Cash-flow issues - we've faced them earlier, and have managed to come through. Plus the receivables list does tend to give one comfort that sooner or later the money is going to come through. Client issues - some clients are generally painful, most others have genuine grievances. Nothing that cannot be resolved by openly asking them what they would like us to do, negotiating the extent to which we'll go, and then delivering on it. As long as they see we are sincere in our commitment, they'll usually stop being adversarial, and start looking at how they can work with us to solve the problems at hand. Lack of a strong pipeline. We've faced that situation earlier as well, and usually the lull lasts for no more than a month or so. A weak pipeline also means people sitting twiddling their thumbs. But constant communication, research projects, and trainings can help keep them productively occupied. Employee performance issues - again set targets, agree on them, measure them, and if they consistently under-perform, ask them to leave.

The one problem where I can simply muster up no equanimity is attrition. And we usually have waves that come in about once a year, when the level of attrition can quite simply be called an exodus. Each time, I try and introspect what we could have done better, and we try and do it. And each time it seems as if we're building a castle right near the shore, and a huge wave comes in and washes it right away. Last time around we introduced incentives and a team structure to help curb attrition. I also reduced my own involvement in project execution. This time it seems we need to dig down deeper to find out what we need to do, to get ahead of the attrition ratios that plague us. What hurts about attrition is the feeling of loss. You spend time building a relationship, investing in people's learning/training, you see them grow in confidence and technical skills, and then one day it's pretty much all over. I can tell you the worst day in office is when an email with the subject-line "Resignation" or "Sign-off" or whatever term is vogue lands up in my inbox.

So if I had to choose my problems - I'd say give me anything except attrition.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi

Really touched by the problems faced but i want to make one thing to your notice, that every individual need to grow and aspire to grow really fast...the way u you want to grow your company big same that individual also wants to grow.
So i think all is not lost relationships are not broken just because they want to go ahead and want to achieve something big, may be this very own people will get some exposure in the outside world and will join u back.

Cheers

Kanwal K Mookhey said...

@Anonymous: Hmm..completely agree with what you say, and of course I understand the personal compulsions of the people who leave. It's just painful all the same...:-|

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.... :)

Cheers

Prasad said...

The "I find my own replacement" dictum can be a good idea: people who leave must find their replacement. While this doesn't reduce the pain of attrition, it does make life a tad easier for the employer -- considering how difficult it is to find the right people.

--Prasad.

Anonymous said...

Hey mukhey,
A really good blog of yours, now i have an solution to your attrition problem, what i think is that you can probably take some lessons from The Google Story and from the work culture of Google.

I sometimes imagine about this problem, when i see it a major hurdle in the progress of my own enterprise in the future and then come with solutions to curb this problem.

So may be u can take a lesson or two from the google work culture. That will definitely help you out.

Thanks

vastu

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