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Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts Read More

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Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts Read More

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Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts Read More

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Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts Read More

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Business Idea and trends for Student Entrepreneurs

student

Over less two months, I have visited more than 50 colleges training over 5000 students on generating idea and converting those ideas into business. There are some very interesting statistics that have emerged in that process, and some basic trends that I wish to highlight here:

• 60% students want to start a website related venture With the emergence of Facebook, Google etc. we have seen a lot of interest among students to start a website related business. The idea include plain vanilla ecommerce (selling products and services online), information website for new students coming to city/college, exchange for posting/listing services required for students, online counseling/consulting/training/placement service, and even odd ones like online obituary service. However, the awareness level among most students about what goes at the backend of starting a website or internet venture is very low. They are more aware of the front – end (looks/user interface etc.) but less aware of back end like server side programming, offline processes (vendor/supply issues), marketing of online businesses etc. which are as important. Whether as students or businessmen, we need to understand that the entrepreneur has 2 critical functions – I. create and 2. Sell, and both these functions have to be completed for achieving success in business.

• 20%-25% ideas are related to food/restaurant/hotels/canteens Indian are food lovers. And the same goes for student across all Indian colleges. When we ask them what business you to start, restaurant comes as an idea in almost all the cases. Various of these ideas are doing the rounds – packaged food, cooked magi, juices, night canteen, highway dhaba, rotating restaurant etc. One interesting idea was of a student who wants to start a restaurant in the middle of a lake in Bhopal – a submerged restaurant! Another student from Rohtak wants to have automated restaurants where robots will take orders and do delivery of foods! Very interesting ideas in my opinion, and given the right opportunity, they have the potential to make a mark in the food industry of India and also go global. However, this needs a better understanding of the other aspects that make a restaurant a success – location, ambience, chef, raw material procurement, licenses etc.

• Manufacturing is rare/missing from a students’ radar Students think of businesses that they are either consuming or they can relate to directly. Unfortunately, manufacturing sector is not seen as having opportunity for students to even think of. It can be owing to various stories they have heard or seen on media, or lack of exposure or even the challenge of setting up a physical infrastructure (cost, time, labor) compared to a virtual business like website or mobile applications venture.

• Lack of ideas with global audience One thing that hurts me that most students do not think about global business. They want to do business in their city, for their college or with their friends but do not think about an idea that can have customers all across the world. This may need some exposure, traveling or interaction with international students, which all change their mindset. I wish 1000 student entrepreneurs get born and generate 20000 jobs soon.

 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Trends in Entrepreneurship

Trends in Entrepreneurship 1

Since starting Nurture Talent Academy 2 years back, I have been totally immersed in the entrepreneurial eco-system –involving startups, students, government, incubators, investors, and media. The entrepreneurship wave is picking up momentum. Let us see what kind of trends are emerging in entrepreneurship in India

1. Focus on technology enabled businesses

Out of 100 students I meet , almost 70-80% wish to start a technology business – whether it is a website, mobile app or software development. T he reasons may include ease of starting this kind of business, low capital requirements (compared to manufacturing), knowledge and experience of this sector etc. This trend is going to have a large scale impact on Indian economy and gives way to opportunities as well as challenges.

2. Increase in events

There are many formal and informal forums connecting entrepreneurs that have started in last year that were there earlier. More and more events are happening with increasing frequency.

The interactions among entrepreneurs and investors are no longer an of various stakeholders in these events. Many online events’ have also started via various internet webinars and mobile conferences!

3. Rise of angel investments and venture capital

10 years ago, there were 2 investors groups of angel investors each having 25-50 members –today there

Are 10+ groups each having over 100 members as angel investors. Numerous venture capital investors have also started operations in India, and started looking at early stage entrepreneurs as a viable investment choice. There is need for more awareness about these funding sources for businesses.

4. Incubators growth

If you have an idea but no office and infrastructure. There are various incubators that have started –either supported by government or even private incubators. With increased focus on certain sectors and specialization, they are sure to do well in the future and have more and more companies benefit. Many colleges have also announced plans to set up incubators , which is a differentiator for them to attract more students and also more industry placements .

5. Business Plan events

Every college of good reputation , progressive management and enthusiastic students nowadays organizes an annual business plan event –where they encourage students and professionals to participate with their business plans. IITS even have more than 2 business plan competition and encourage social ventures along with the for –profit ventures. By organizing business plan events , the host college gets good recognition in the industry as well as their students get a first-hand experience of things like marketing, event management, managing logistics etc. Taking part in business plan competitions also helps students to get acquainted with relevant life skills.

Apart from these trends, there are more areas that need a greater participation – like more professional training and mentoring companies, international tie-ups and study tours, which can further support and boost the entrepreneurial eco-system in India and make it the ‘Startup Nation’.

Please review these articles also …

Monday, October 13, 2014

Five best tips to test your business idea

business-ideas

What is an entrepreneur  without his or her business idea?

We can consider among the several issues regarding an entrepreneur faces, today’s in 14th  century  the biggest challenge is to bring an idea to shape – by bringing around consumers, team members, suppliers and financiers together. So what should a person do once he has got a business idea? Let review in brief.

1- Write it down your business idea

A business idea in your mind might be consider like a newbie inside the mother’s womb.  In fact nobody knows about it as nobody can touch it and appreciate its beauty unless it comes out. Here you need to nurture the idea like your unborn baby – give it regular times and proper caring to let it take a good shape. Here I am 100% sure but instead of 9 months, 3 months is a good time for an idea. Always make sure you write it down, and limit your document to 1-2 pages instead of 100 pages of detailed business plans. 100 days is good times – more than this and you can get delayed, and less than this and you can get quick. It is also good sufficient to give notice to your employer and do a handover of your job responsibilities!

2- Get together the customers

If you want to categorize the customer needs, then you have to make him/her your boyfriend/girlfriend! Spending time with your customers, observing their current lifestyles, and generating insights from that is a key entrepreneurial quality. Once you get an idea, take it out in whatever shape and size to potential customers – let them around with the trial product, give their response, speak good or bad things about what you are showcasing.

3- Deal with it to competitors

The best community to tell you if things work or not are your current competitors – and you will be amazed to know how open people are to share their insights. Whether it is due to sense of self or due to modesty, people are happy to treat newcomer with respect and share important input, which may help avoid costly mistakes while doing your business.

4- Select a team leading member

If you can get 1-2 community to partner with you in your own venture for taking your idea well forward, you can easily beat the human race. The first few associates and team members make a company great – glance at examples of Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc. –all of them had great co-founders who came together and wedged together.

5- Always look for a adviser

For easy understanding consider an example, mentoring is like a shri Krishna – Arjun relationship – here Krishna mentors Arjun in Mahabharata and we all know what the final results were. And answer is definitely targeted. It will be good for you to take your idea to mentors and seek their guidance. They will also help you expand or modify ideas based on current market necessities, without changing the core offering – you may also discover a new market or new revenues with the same business idea.

So if you have a business idea, which you have been encouragement and dreaming about for the last few months or years, take the 100 day test and carry it life – you have only I life, so do the best of it and accomplish your dreams.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

BUSINES PLANNING VS BUSINESS PLAN

busniss plane

When a businessman starts a company, he or she wastes hours to get his business plan right.. And them there are several who have made it big without even bothering to write a business plan / here l will like to stress that business planning is essential and business plan is just a outcome The more prepared and planned you are the better chances of success .so let us understand the key ingredients of business planning;

Research

When you want to start a venture, it will be like darkness to a child. You have the fear of the unknown, and uncertainty about what will happen. The best way to overcome this is to do a research on your idea – and the best way to do research is not Google or hiring survey filling agents’ it is best done by spending time with your potential customers, viewing them, interviewing the, speaking to experts and taking notes (on a writing pad or on iPad – does not matter).

Validation

In simple words, a business plan is English + Mathematics – you put your strategies in words, and base them on certain numbers. At every step of writing a business plan, you have to take assumptions – because you are predicting the future of your business, so make sure you keep validation those assumptions. For example, if you assume 10 colleges will use your product, then speak to at least 100 principals and try to get a written order from 10of them! The results will help you proceed in the right direction.

Representation

Once you have the basic research and validation done, then it is a matter of converting them into the right representative numbers, words and figures. You can use various templates, ppts, excel software’s etc. Available on internet or also provided by various banks for load applications or venture capitalists as investment applications. Start filling in the details and keep improving continuously. It is like writing movie script or software design document – try to break the big problem into smaller ones; for example, finance plan can be made separately as revenue plan, expenses plan and then integrated.

Summary

Business plan will be a wasteful document if you do not summarize the key action points and next steps. If you are presenting to investors then next steps could be raising finance hiring team, increasing advertising spends , building new product versions etc. And do remember to take a look at the key metrics as per your business plan – these could include sales performance, reduction of bugs in your software etc. Typically, you should not spend more than a month to prepare a basic draft of your business plan , and once ready, take a look at it least once a month to see the areas of improvement. You can take further inputs from your team members and mentors to improve your plans. Finally, there is no better judge for your business than yourself!


Please review these articles also …

Saturday, October 11, 2014

How to Start a social venture

social venture

Here in this social venture article, I am going to discuss some essential steps before preceding a social venture. Social ventures are those businesses where social impact is the right key result, and profits or market share become the secondary objective, so let’s look at the brief steps to start a social venture.

1. Choose a foundation

foundation

Look around yourself and you shall find a number of various causes you can work for and impact lives positively. It can be microfinance like SKS or Svasti, educational trusts (numerous schools/colleges), healthcare like Swasth India or a public sanitation like Sulabh International. The aim is to identify a problem and come up with an innovative solution to the same. The basic principles of a capitalist business can also be applied here, for example keeping costs under control, focus on customer service, keeping your volunteers/employees happy!

2. Finance for social ventures

funding

The world’s richest people are devoted to social causes, and there is more money being invested in social ventures than in capitalist businesses. The names include Bill Gates, Warren Buffett (via Gates Foundation), Michael Dell (via MSDF Foundation) and others. There are other social venture capital funds which have started including Acumen Fund, that look at social impact in addition to financial results. The other ways to raise funds for your social venture could be tap to CSR – corporate social responsibility budgets of large corporate. Various fund-raising events can also be conducted within your community or society to raise funds regularly (remembers how enthusiastically we used to conduct exhibitions in our school days and sold 10 Rs raffle tickets!). But it is important that investors look for sound management, regular reporting and maximum allocation of funds to the cause rather than operational expenses to maintain the organization. So do not make strategies for impacting a poor villager by holding meetings in a 5 star hotel.

3. Legal issues

legal issues

The social ventures can be registered like any other business as a private limited concern, or in other ways as a society, trust or Section 25 organization. Make sure you got all your paper work (PAN, address proof etc.) in Place before applying for registration. The cost is low but it takes patience and multiple visits to local government bodies before you get an approval. Section 80G for income tax exemption can be taken for saving your taxes, which will further enhance our longevity.

4. Marketing

marketing

For a venture with a social cause, traditional marketing techniques like TV, print etc. may not work. It requires a highly involved people to people interaction, education and awareness programs, building relationships with existing partners in the ecosystem (like Gram Panchayats in a village, Rotary Club in cities etc.). You can also be shameless while asking media asking media or corporate to contribute to your cause, but do not be a beggar - sell them the idea and they will respect you! 5. Sustainability Most social ventures or NGOs fail to sustain or scale due to lack of funds, slow response to change from consumers side, mismanagement of operations etc. so try not to fall into these traps. Social ventures need to build sustainability, so ensure events, royalty through research reports, volunteers contribution etc. I believe every venture is a social venture, whether you make profits or not, so try to create as much of social impact and make difference to the society.

Please review these articles also …