Wednesday 13th December 2017
  • A tête-à-tête with Shahnaz Husain

    Her style of creating a brand without publicity had become a part of Harvard Business School Education programme some time ago and now she herself has become a part of the curriculum at the prestigious Harvard University, US in their "Creating Emerging Markets" project. She has been a pioneer in the herbal beauty and wellness industry in India since nearly five decades now. Shahnaz Husain, Chairperson & Managing Director of the Shahnaz Husain Group of companies, has seen the beauty and wellness business evolve and grow in India virtually from the scratch. Speaking to Debhota Mukherjee of TradeBriefs, Husain delves at length on wide ranging issues- from evolution of wellness business, rise and growth of her brand, challenges faced to way forward, among others. Excerpts...

  • IL&FS Energy shifts focus to renewables, eyes JVs with states to develop solar parks

    IL&FS Energy, after the successful tie-up with the Rajasthan government in the development of solar parks - that led to the discovery of lowest tariff for solar at Bhadla-III project - is eyeing similar joint venture projects in other states that are looking to develop solar parks. Based on the plug and play model, the company helps set up the entire infrastructure, from acquisition of land, building roads and laying of the transmission and evacuation facilities, before the bids are invited for generation of power. It helps save time and improves efficiency in project commissioning as power generators are saved from investing their time in these activities. Read On ..

  • What the government of Maharashtra and CII are doing for SMEs!

    MSMEs were in sharp focus at 3rd edition of the MSME Summit held by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Western Region in Mumbai in partnership the Government of Maharashtra. The Summit aimed at highlighting the role of the Government, private sector and all other shareholders in ensuring robust growth in MSME exports. "MSMEs play a vital role in contribution to the economic growth of the country and job creation, the State Government is fully committed to extending all round support to MSMEs" said Subhash Desai Industries Minister, Maharashtra. Read On ..

  • Here are all the public startup pitchdecks in one place

    Thanks to Joshua Levy and Andy Sparks who put together this list of public fundraising decks that founders can view to build their own. It includes fundraising presentations from the seed rounds of AirBNB, DocSend and Foursquare, as well as the series B fundraising deck of LinkedIn. Here are all the public startup pitch decks in one place

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  • Indian hospitality market waiting to explode (Beijing has more hotels than the whole of India) - Asset light model the way forward

    Asset light model seems to be the order of the day in different sectors. Hotel and hospitality sector is no exception. Be it large international or Indian star category hotel chains or mid-segment luxury or even budget hotels- the trend is to move away from building properties towards managing and operating them. Read On ..

  • Do things that do NOT scale!

    Ok, time for a Paul Graham essay rerun on how it is important (in the initial days of a startup) to do things that do NOT scale - Airbnb now seems like an unstoppable juggernaut, but early on it was so fragile that about 30 days of going out and engaging in person with users made the difference between success and failure. That initial fragility was not a unique feature of Airbnb. Almost all startups are fragile initially. And that's one of the biggest things inexperienced founders and investors (and reporters and know-it-alls on forums) get wrong about them. They unconsciously judge larval startups by the standards of established ones. They're like someone looking at a newborn baby and concluding "there's no way this tiny creature could ever accomplish anything." It's harmless if reporters and know-it-alls dismiss your startup. They always get things wrong. It's even ok if investors dismiss your startup; they'll change their minds when they see growth. The big danger is that you'll dismiss your startup yourself. I've seen it happen. I often have to encourage founders who don't see the full potential of what they're building. Even Bill Gates made that mistake. He returned to Harvard for the fall semester after starting Microsoft. He didn't stay long, but he wouldn't have returned at all if he'd realized Microsoft was going to be even a fraction of the size it turned out to be. Full essay here

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  • What to do if your product isn't growing!

    Many products start out with a bang. Some find product-market fit with sustained growth. A few have gone through spurts of hyper-growth. But more often than not, most of them linger then fizzle. Throughout these experiences, there's a common pattern that almost every startup founder falls into as they begin this journey. Founders launch their product, wonder why it isn't growing like gangbusters and then immediately try to fix their growth problem. They turn to growth tactics like optimizing their on-boarding funnel, SEO or push notifications before really understanding what they are building and who they are building for. This may create an initial burst of short-term growth. But it ultimately leads to high churn of your possible customers, while ignoring problems in the core product. Before trying different growth tactics like throwing spaghetti at a wall, startups need to take a fresh look at their users, evaluate their product end goals and re-define the journey they want their users to take to get there. Here are some tips that can help define a path which will clarify the different steps needed to unlock product growth.

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  • Ports, Shipping & Oil cos losses to mount despite cut in bunker fuel GST to 5%; topline of shipping firms to fall by 2%

    Despite the cut in GST for bunker fuel to 5% from earlier 18%, Indian shipping, oil marketing companies and ports will continue to feel the heat, as the fuel price would still be higher by 2-3% compared with Sri Lanka, Dubai and Singapore. Bunker fuel sales have already dropped by 50-60% for oil marketing companies between July and November, experts said. Shipping companies in India that are already under severe stress of economic meltdown of 2008, that took the Baltic Index and the charter rates to drop to an all time low – and never improved after that – see the 5% GST on bunker fuel as the last nail in the coffin. Read On ..

  • Counterpoint: Founders, companies are sold, not bought!

    You want every acquirer to believe that "companies are bought not sold" but most of you, founders, need to behave as if "companies are sold not bought". Stay with me. You are the genius founder of your company with a soon-to-be massive global audience and innovative tech that's changing the world. You are the BEST. But despite your Fortune 40 under 40 status, the force is stronger in another in one vital area: M&A. In M&A, the corporate development executive reigns supreme over you. This trained professional lives and breathes the art of the deal and is judged not only by bagging you but also by extracting the best possible terms for his employer. So here's how you stay smart!

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  • Govt wants MSMEs to go global

    Not withstanding the plight of small scale entrepreneurs, the government now wants them to look beyond the boundaries of the country. Effort is on to make them financially sound so that they could scale up to meet international quality standards. “There are around 60 million MSMEs in India and they contribute 90% to the industrial sector of the country. It is time for these MSMEs to look beyond the borders and showcase their skills and excellence to the global market,” said Dr. Arun Kumar Panda, Secretary, Ministry of MSME, Government of India, at the first World Trade Expo 2017 in Mumbai. “The integration of India’s khadi and village industries, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the global value chain is important. India’s MSMEs and rural industries are known for ‘frugal innovation’ and they need to scale up their operation to global level,” he added. Read On ..