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, July 14, 2011

Mumbai's resilience - what a load of crap!

I think it’s high time someone called off this bullshit concept of Mumbai’s resilience and Mumbai’s spirit. Let’s be honest – we are not resilient, and we wouldn’t recognize our spirit if it came in any form other than a nice shiny bottle of Glenfiddich!

What we are is cynical, apathetic, and very selfish.

Why are we all back to work after the blasts? Because we’re not affected by what happened. Seriously, we’re not! Those folks you see on the news talk-shows, they’re just there for the TRPs. If they dislike the Government’s governance, the security forces’ security apparatus, and our overall intelligence failure – well here’s an easy enough solution for all of it – move to Goa. Yes, Goa has never had bomb blasts and getting stoned there is far easier than Mumbai, and the booze is cheaper! So why don’t we all just up and leave?

Because here’s where we make our money and live our lives, and because we don’t give a damn about pretty much anything else (except IPL and the movies). How does a city get to the stage where it doesn’t give a damn? How do we get so comfortably numb?

Of course, it’s thousands of years of culture seeping the ‘hota hai, chalta hai’ attitude right into our DNA. It is easier to accept horrors like these with the sort of apathy that lies deep within the cells of our bone marrow. And it’s not getting out of there any time soon either.

It’s also because it’s happened a few too many times. When the Mumbai riots happened in 1992, we were all scared shitless! Even my grandparents were horror-struck – and they’d been through 1947 and escaped by the skin of their teeth! Then the serial blasts happened in1993 and it left us all stunned speechless. Then it happened again in 2003 (I’m sure no one even remembers these ones), then the train bombings of 2006, and of course 26/11. After every event, there are the discussions, the politicians expressing condolences (like who gives a fuck!), the talk-show hosts, the industrialists talking about increasing our intelligence apparatus, and the police who promise to look at all angles and give us some concrete news very soon. It’s like a script that Franz Kafka and Stephen King co-wrote during one drunken night! Scarily tragic, yet amazingly surreal in its intensity and regularity.

Even the front-page gore on the Times of India doesn’t really make us flinch anymore. We just take a few more sips of the morning tea and find it mildly amusing that alongside the mauled remains and the blood-splattered streets, we also get to know what our expert numerologist Sanjay Jumani thinks about the date of the event (if this isn’t Kafkaesque, then what is!?)

So we shrug our shoulders, look at the body-count and say, oh more people than this die of malaria, slum landslides, and construction site accidents every monsoon in this city. And by the way, none of those get paid Rs. 5 lakhs per person (sorry, per body).

Now that we’ve shed our sheen of pseudo-resilience, let’s take an equally brutally honest view of what the future holds. 

Here’s how I see it unfolding. We’ll get hit again, for sure. Maybe this year itself, or if we’re lucky not more than once every financial year – around about the same time as filing our tax returns. Bitter irony that – given that we are the financial capital of the country! Or hey maybe if we consult Mr. Jumani, we might even know all the unlucky dates of the year, and then simply stay in the safety of our bunkers.

The same socialites, news anchors, politicians, home ministers, and police officials will come, make their respective angst, opinions, gas, condolences, and more stinking gas known to everyone. Then life will go on.

Oh, but then we have all of these people who say – this is terrible, the system sucks, we want to make a difference! Seriously? The average Mumbaikar has had more than 10 fucking years to make a difference! What have you been waiting for? Armageddon? You and I never did make a difference, and we never will. You think going out and casting a vote is going to make a difference? The hell it will – changes in political parties won’t change the essentially rotten nature of how our shining superpower of a nation functions. Neither will holding candle light vigils. Nor will tut-tutting over single malts.

So we basically have two choices. The same two choices that confront anyone who has not yet become complete inured – fight the system either from the outside or from the inside. The first is anarchy, and I think that deserves a whole different write-up. The second is easier. 

No, no. I am not saying form a political party – you’ll get your ass whipped at the first elections. Simply get 3 friends who want to make shit loads of money in double quick time. Get one of them into the police, one in the main political party, and the third into the opposing political party (it’s called hedging your bets, silly). You then start a security company that supplies the most high-end security apparatus – CCTVs with facial recognition, sniffer dogs that can sniff the RDX from deep inside the bugger’s ass, high-speed patrolling boats with night-vision cameras to patrol our coasts, Tasers, and stuff like that. Take it to the next level – add in some private intelligence folks (since all the police khabris have apparently disappeared), some high-end monitoring software, and real-time communication interception systems.

Then you work out a deal with your two political friends and your senior police officer to begin the necessary lobbying/bribing of the government apparatus to dole out crores of rupees worth of contracts to your firm. Hey, I’ll even help you out with the other 2 competing bids you need to complete the 3-bid system. That’s how all government tenders go out – to the most technically qualified, lowest price bidder, no?

So everyone wins – the system gets the money it needs to function effectively and dole out the contracts, your company wins all the large contracts, and we Mumbaikars actually get some semblance of security! And also, since you said you wanted to make a difference, I’m sure you won’t be supplying sub-standard crap like this.

Otherwise, suck it up, shut up and live with it. Oh, I almost forgot. There is of course a third choice – move to Goa!

48 comments:

Shipra said...

Very well written Kanwal. Its exactly the way we think. Writing about the media was the best thing to do because recently I have developed a big disliking for these news channels!! If they wished they could have done a lot, given the positions they have.
A common man like us can only prepare himself for the next blast and shoot-out, as we know that it is definitely going to happen again and again!!
"Intelligence failure" or "no information" at all, about the incidence, are just BIG terms used by the Police, Media and Politicos!!
So, lets gear us all up for the next BIG event and leave all in God's hands as we are all just too lazy to do something on our own and have worse people leading us, whom the so called 50% population selects!!
And yes, moving to Goa is a great idea. Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

When I read about the latest blasts and all the drama from police to media to political parties, my first reaction was that I am sick of India and am sick of my fellow Indians.

I give up. Sniff. Would be moving out of the country for good shortly.

Anuradha Goyal said...

I agree with you. This whole insensitiveness and zero compassion in the name of Mumbai Spirit is nothing but escaping.

Tell me was even a single party or a bar was closed because of the blast...who cares? that is the spirit of mumbai its people, who know only one thing : I. me myself and my money. They have forgotten to be humans.

In fact I think some day even terrorist will be tired of bombing them as it hardly impacts anyone.

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Fatima said...

Totally agree Kanwal. Somehow I feel like our people, our politicians don't really value the lives of anyone. There were people killed at the CST train station too on 26/11 somehow only the rich guys at the Taj and the Oberoi got all the coverage and got all the sympathy and tears...

We have to go back to work the next day because if you don't do it, someone's gonig to be there undercutting you, trying to take your business away...

Such is life, dog eat dog world..

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