Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My new venture is born - AHATAXIS.com

Lots of my family, friends and followers were wondering where I was for last few months and what I was doing all this while? No, I did not go to Bangkok for a rejuvenating trip ;-) I was silently working on something. So here is what I wish to share with all of you - my new venture is born! It is called

AHATAXIS.com

Here is a video that explains how it works:



The concept was born last year when I had made a family trip to Bhopal, and the waitlisted train ticket to Delhi got canceled. Flight was expensive, buses not available and taxi guys asked me for return fare, which means I had to pay double if I wanted to book a taxi. Charges of Bhopal to Delhi as well as Delhi to Bhopal will be for me to bear. Well, this is the way it has been happening all across India, ever since we have been traveling on the road. I did not realize it is such a huge problem until it started affecting me personally.

Few more months were spend in talking to more friends, people who travel intercity frequently, many drivers and tour operators. And then we decided to take a plunge. I got Vikas Taneja, my senior from IIT Delhi as a co-founder, and things started to take shape. He is a technology visionary and rapidly put things in place for us to hit the ground in terms of technology readiness. He got us Mohit, a senior techie who is a genius in stitching together front end and back end frameworks, while making sure it is all scalable for the future. We hired a team of web developers, an HR Manager (Meera, ever so diligent and supportive) and took few ups, downs, turns and breaks to finally get the website and mobile app ready.

Some more work had to be done offline, while getting on board reliable driver partners who have an experience of driving long distance, have good knowledge of key routes as well as know how to treat customers well.

Now, we are good to go. We have started with servicing key routes to and from Delhi NCR like Delhi to Jaipur, Delhi to Agra, Delhi to Shimla, and few more including, Manali, Kullu, Nainital. We are quietly working at our AHA Labs to get more awesome things for our consumers, and will keep them delighted.

It is early days, and we will definitely need all the wishes from you. So next time someone wants to travel outstation, please tell them about AHA!

Here are a few links you may share with your network:

Website - www.ahataxis.com

Thanks for being a patient reader, and wish you more awesomeness in life.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Some Memories of Digital Marketing Workshop in Gurgaon

Nurture Talent in association with Computer Society of India did a 2 day digital marketing workshop in G D Goenka University Gurgaon. Here are some memories of the session:












Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scholar or doer - does India have too many digital marketing Gurus?

Every time you log on to linkedin you find even more creative designations - visionary entrepreneur, Think Tank, Growth Strategist, Early Stage Mentor, Digital Ninja and what not! With the expansion of the digital world and more people coming online in the last decade, digital marketing has increased manifolds. But at the same time nobody knows the ins and outs of how to go about doing things on social or search networks.

joker mind loss - Oh you post daily on FB account! You must a Digital Marketing Guru ;-)

This is where I define the so called gurus as SCHOLARS - and it seems there are more scholars in this sector than there are doers! Let me give you a basic comparison of Google search on various keywords below:

Digital Marketing Jobs in India - About 2,98,00,000 results (0.49 seconds)
Digital Marketing Agency in India - About 1,07,00,000 results (0.51 seconds) 
Digital marketing Professionals in India - About 97,10,000 results
Digital marketing Experts in India - About 47,40,000 results
Here are few observations, with obvious disclaimers:
1. There is 1:3 ratio of professionals available to job openings
2. There are more agencies than there are professionals in the sector - God knows who runs these agencies!
3. Experts:Professionals ratio is 1:2, implying every 2nd person is an expert or so he/she claims.
Few years back, I used to think about entrepreneurship as sex - more people talk about it and less people do it, and 
slowly I am starting to form the same opinion about digital marketing :-) Few days back, I read the same thing about Sanskrit - there
are more people who talk about it than people who actually speak it. We do not want the opportunity that digital marketing gives for job to our
youth and the nation to be frittered away. Let us create more doers and have more people actually learn the tips, tricks, hacks of search, social, video, affiliate and 
how it can benefit customers as well as entrepreneurs across the world. Software services sector is at a maturity level, and the next level of IT services in India will 
come from outsourcing services and building products aligned to digital.
Let us truly "Make in India", and not just "Talk in India". Jai Hind!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Why investors give money to Flipkart or Whatsapp even when they are in losses?

Students are now learning more outside classrooms than inside them! In last 5 years, I have seen increased coverage of stories of entrepreneurs in media but the lack of analysis in most of the "news" leaves many questions unanswered. One of the most strange or simply intriguing question that I face in all colleges from young graduates is "Why investors give money to Flipkart or Whatsapp even when they are in losses?"

While I prefer giving answers, in this case I prefer asking a counter-question - "How much money did you make in 1st year of your college?" Answer is usually 0 - except for cases involving scholarship, internship, part-time, prize moneys or merit cum means cases! Now the next question - "How much money did you spend in 1st year of your college?" Taking usual suspects like tuition fees, hostel fees, food charges, travel fees, university fees and some extras like entertainment or boyfriend/girlfriend charges (for few cases this is more than the study expenses ;-), let us say the average comes to 1 lakh a year.

Let us now use what we learnt in our Std V Mathematics classes => SP - CP = P, that is, selling price less cost price equals profit. Which means for 2, 3, or 4 years you will be making a loss in your education. So why should someone invest in your education? And then come the real answers: this money is not an "expense", it is an investment and we will be earning after we pass out.



Lets say you are an engineer with 4 years of degree course - and in 5th year you get a job of 6 lakhs and expenses become 2 lakhs in 5th year. With negative 4 lakhs during studies and 2 lakhs in 5th year you would have made 6 lakhs revenue and 6 lakhs expenses - which means zero profit and zero loss in 5 years. And this is where the game begins - you may get a promotion in 6th year and salary becomes 8 lakhs, though expense may also go up to 4 lakhs - profit = 4 lakhs! 7th year it may be 5 lakhs, 8th year it may be 6 lakhs, and 10th year it may be 10 lakhs, and touch a crore by the team you retire. Let us assume no income tax or other major changes in life - your father (the investor) is set to make many times return on investment.

Of course, this is a purely financial consideration not taking in account the social or emotional factors. While on the same argument, let us answer another important question - how much money you need for starting a venture? If we take example of our degree course, then the answer is obviously 4 lakhs as 5th year you will be having positive cash flows. Now try to draw a parallel between your business plan and your education/career. The money you need from an investor should cover all the negatives you are expected to generate till you start becoming positive and sustainable.

Now you know why investors are putting money behind Flipkart or any other loss making venture? They are giving money for them to complete their education (or customer education) before they get a salary (customer money).

Hope you have a simple answer to a complex question that was troubling you? For more such discussions in future, do visit this blog and share with your friends.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pics of some bright students at NIT Meghalaya in Shillong during entrepreneurship workshop








Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Few memorable moments of college workshop in ICFAI University Tripura by Entrecell IIM Ahmedabad and Nurture Talent












My first entrepreneurship workshop in XLRI Jamshedpur for MBA students, executives and professionals