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.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Principles of Problem-Solving

Over the years I have developed some simple principles that aid me in solving problems. Often times I myself forget some of these, so it is worthwhile putting them down in an email, and I hope all of you will also benefit from these in the years to come.
Principle #1
There is a solution to every problem
Rarely have we faced a problem where a solution cannot be found. So every problem, customer complaint, technical malfunction, configuration issue, whatever it might be - does have a solution. The trick in achieving the solution first lies in believing that one does exist. Once you begin from that premise, there is a higher likelihood that the problem will indeed be solved. In fact, you'll look at the problem as a challenge, and not as a headache.
Principle #2
There will always be problems
Problems are not to be shied away from or to be thought of as PROBLEMS! In the sense, a positive attitude to any problem is more likely to help you get it resolved, than thinking of it as an encumbrance from the more enjoyable things you could be doing with your time. Also, bear in mind that behind every problem is an excellent lesson to be learnt and an opportunity for you to grow as an individual and as a professional.
Principle #3
Get as much data as you can
Corollary: Depend on as few assumptions as possible
The more data that you can get, the more likely it is that you will be able to resolve the problems quicker and better. Getting to the root of the problem requires you to ask as many questions as you can, even though the answers may not be what you would like to hear - especially with non-technical problems. Your most helpful aids here are the questions - Why, What, Where, How, When and Who.
Principle #4
Break down the problem into components
If the problem is too large or too complicated, try to separate the issues, and try to resolve them one at at time. Also, try to focus on the simplest issues to solve, and then move on to the more complicated parts of the problem. Here I am referring to both technical and non-technical problems.
Principle #5
Some problems are also hurdles
Just as in a hurdle race the runner does not try to disassemble each hurdle, but simply jumps up over them. In the same way, not every problem needs to be solved. Some problems can be side-stepped by thinking out of the box. Again if you make fewer assumptions, you'll be able to arrive at unorthodox solutions, one of which is to simply walk around the problem and continue in your path to achieve your goals. At the same time the approach of sidestepping a problem doesn't serve well in most circumstances - then you're simply stalling facing up to the issue. And unresolved problems simply simmer and blow up in your face at some time.
Principle #6
Learn how to Google well
Yes we all know this, and yet we all don't do it well. Let me give you one example. Recently, we had some issues where a user's existing password, which was working earlier suddenly stopped working. The usual attempt would be to reset the password, or recreate the POP account, or recheck the settings. But searching on Google reveals this very simple solution to a problem different from what was originally imagined.
Principle #7
Sometimes the problem isn't the problem
If you keep an open mind and try to question people and get to the root of the problem - the real cause of it - you will sometimes realize that what was originally stated as the problem statement, isn't the real problem at all. And in fact, the real problem is something else altogether. What you are being told is the problem could quite possibly be the symptoms of the problem or only the apparent problem. The trick to getting to the actual root of the problem is to simply keep asking "Why". Why is this a problem, then take the response, and ask why that is a problem and so forth till you reach the real cause of it.
Principle #8
Be open to inputs and flexible to change
If you're stuck with a problem and can't come up with a solution it is most likely because you're on the wrong track. If you let your mind open up to ideas from other people and suggestions that may seem whacky or illogical or off-center it just might end up leading to a solution. Which is why brainstorming is an excellent way to solve a problem - just let all suggestions be presented and come to the table, without discussing any of them at length. Once all the ideas are on the table, then start discussing the merits-demerits of each.
If you have any of your favorite tricks, add to this list...

16 comments:

Murali sankar.s said...

hi kanwal . i sent you a reply to your email(about the startup guide) . did you get it . could you please reply to that .

Murali sankar.s said...

hi kanwal. very sorry that i could not follow up the last time. is your book and cd still available for purchase ?

can i use DD as mode of payment ?

Sabina said...

Hi Kanwal,
Very nice tips to problem solving, applicable to any area...Thanks for sharing :)
Sabina

Sajid said...

Hello..I find this blog very helpful,informative and inspiring.

Please write more.

Regards,
Sajid

Kung Pao said...

I was actually just given a really cool book called “Young Guns: The Fearless Entrepreneur’s Guide” as a gift. For important business topics like problem solving, I’ve been reading this book and it actually gives you the best and most specific tips for achieving success at a young age.

dwaipayan said...

Hey Buddy precisely pointed out the facts .Hope people like u prosper(Entrepreneurs) more specially INDIANS.

Kushark Jaiswal said...

Hey kanwal,
Thanks for giving out the apt reasons why and how can we solve the problems.
Really excellent work but we Indian Entrepreneurs still face a lot of problems which arise from the fact that these problem answering steps have to be executed well.

Stacey said...

Excellent post. I was checking this blog continuously and I’m impressed! The information is very helpful especially the last part. I am very interested in such info. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck. Android Application Development

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