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, February 15, 2008

Insights for the day - V. S. S. Mani from JustDial

I just came back from attending a very insightful personal session with V. S. S. Mani the founder of Just Dial, which was organized by TIE.

JustDial was started somewhere in 1995 after a lot of false starts by Mani, who was earlier director at Ask Me services. Started with a capital of Rs. 50,000 it is now a Rs. 100 crore company with a valuation of over Rs. 500 crore. From days when they were selling wedding planners to generate revenue to today where PE's and venture capitalists are being rejected because they simply don't want any more funding. Here were some key takeaways:

  1. When the whole world and its aunt was harping on about the dotcom boom, Mani decided to continue his information services business through the telephone model, and not chuck it all away for an online model. He profited at that stage by selling part of his stake to a US investor, but didn't spend truckloads of cash on building a dotcom and promoting it. He says the Internet infrastructure was so pathetic in 2000-2001, that there was no way that a dotcom business would possibly work well.
  2. The key to a successful business is scalability. If you can tell a story to your employees, your partners, and your investors about how you're going to be scaling up the company, how you're going to grow and expand, then you've got a winner on your hands. If your business doesn't scale, do it differently, or do something different.
  3. If possible do a short course on financial accounting, and learn the basics about accounting, balance sheets, profit and loss, and cashflow. That is essential, because if you take financially bad decisions your business will crumble. It is like a baby that needs proper care and nurturing.
  4. He doesn't stick to any office hours, but does not believe in delegate and forget. He is not operational, but when he delegates, he follows up - every day! He says, in India, your managers and employees will start nodding their heads about how they've understood what needs to be done, but won't do it, or won't do it right, until you follow up and oversee them.
  5. When you are growing your business, don't be pretentious. Don't try and show off that you're doing great. Investors don't necessarily want to see great infrastructure, they want to see the virtual reality world you are going to build and that you are asking them to invest in that world. Not the world you live in today. He started off with a small cubicle in Nariman Point, before moving to a 300 sq. ft. shop in the suburbs, and then adding two more shops of 300 sq. ft. each. And that was his situation even in 2000 when the US investor decided to pump cash into his business.
  6. When asked about the importance of branding, he said the most important branding is excellent executions. Happy customers will build your brand much better and much bigger than anyone amount of advertising or PR will. Word of mouth is the best publicity you'll ever generate.

9 comments:

Anshul Agrawal said...

I had once long back participated in Lucky Referral Contest. I entered my username and password to import my contact list. Since then my contact list is being misused by Just Dial to send email to all my contacts at regular intervals. This is very unprofessional and unethical.

Rudras Breeders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeevs chicks said...

Kanwal, I hope you remember me. I bought your book some two years back. I have started my company then as a unregistered firm. Now I doing great. Thank You! And I paid Rs.15000 to Justdial but they cheated me without any single leads by not providing the right key word to my business.

satish kumar k s
jeevs.cks@gmail.com

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