Wednesday, October 30, 2013

If Startup Is A Tree...

Startup - A Tree

If you are an entrepreneur, Haven’t you wondered ever about the Idea that building a startup is like growing a tree. If you neither have an experience of growing a tree or building a startup, but still you can read this stuff out of curiosity. Analogy looks interesting with lots of characters and processes are similar in start up and tree cultivation.

As tree needs a sapling or a seed to start growing in some land and a caretaker to protect it and give it a necessary nutrients like water, fertilizer to grow. The Startup needs an idea and a capable team to play caretaker role and investors money and team’s blood and sweat acts a fertilizer.As per one’s expectations of fruits or flowers, one would choose seeds. Also one need to have people with right skills who can help in growing a tree or number of trees.

What role customer does fits-in for this analogy?

Imaginatively Customers are like a segment of soil which tree roots clung to. They try to exchange as much nutrient from soil also help soil from heavy rains. Similarly for startup, you need to have customers to grow your business. Roots are like customer relationships, more stable and deeper your relationships, better stability and bigger the tree you would have. Your business can in turn provide customers something valuable which will help them meaningfully in something.

Though Like entrepreneur, a tree owner always want to have big tree, but many times seed doesn’t tell you what the tree it will grow. You can’t guess from its size or color. if you are really expert you will spot the correct seeds. Then you will need to land with correct type of soil, else tree won’t grow. Similarly however good idea you have ifv market is not receptible, your baby may not grow to be a superstar.

Building startup and growing it into stable business machine has similar challenges.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Are CSR groups solving correct problems?

Social corporate responsibility
1) in pune's teschforseva conference , I was amazed to know abt various initiatives taken under CSR. And will to do more work by various CSR reps.

2) I was wondering if it is  real? Is there way to measure how CSR is touching lives of people who are really away from all great things happening in India - supposed shining india?
3) There are still multitudes of social problems to solve. How does CSR of some company identifies correct audience and picks up suitable problem.

4) is there data available to make these choices?
5) how to involve youth into this?
6) can we build an information system to highlight  problems which are being solved and where efforts would be mostly needed?
7) what common problems are need to get solved? What efforts are put up by government to solve them.
8) what are the primary problems solved by these companies?
9) I also wonder various companies, specifically manufacturing, which are doing CSR, are they treating own employees well? Are they properly paid and not to make worked in non-human conditions or even by their vendors.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Onion - price fluctuation analysis - Gujrat Vs Maharashtra - Who are in Better shape

As per 18th April news in ToI & business standards about Onion price rise in Maha & Gujrat. See who use to get more and will get more due to environmental.

In the district APMCs, the average wholesale onion prices, which were in the range of Rs 575 to Rs 801 a quintal on April 10, rose to Rs 750-Rs 1,011 on Thursday. In the retail market, good quality onions were sold in the range of Rs 12 to 15 a kg. 

My Analysis: This means, farmer were getting 5.75 rs to 8 rs per kg. now they will get 7.5 to 10 per kg in Maharashtra

Industry insiders say hailstorm and unseasonal rainfall across many parts of India have damaged significant amount of crop. As a result, prices of best quality onion has risen from Rs 75 -100 per 20 kg to Rs 125-150 per 20 kg at Mahuva market in Gujarat. Average price has stood between Rs 60-120 per 20 kg.

My Analysis: This means, farmer were getting 3.75 rs to 5 rs per kg. now they will get 5.25 to 6 per kg.

Original -

Some facts
1) Onions are the second-most consumed vegetable in India, after potatoes.
2) Onions can be stored for long without much expense.
3)  Maharashtra and Karnataka accounts for the half onion market. e.g. in   2011-12, Out of 15.8 million tons of onion produced in India, 32% came from Maha and 17% from karnataka.
4) In Maharashtra, most of the onion come from the Pune-Nashik belt..
5) Both states harvest onions in Winter, Mandi's in Bangalore get onion between sept and jan while in Maharashtra, between dec and february.
6) Most of the production is done by small farmers.
7) These farmers sell after harvest at low price to traders.
8) Traders sell across india at high price. Referring to point 2 , traders have storages to keep purchases for longer time. (Hoarding)
9) Traders have credit link with Farmers which creates space for exploitation.
10) Trading business has monopolistic tendencies, for historical and financial reasons, large storage capacities for onion have remained with private traders and that too in nashik belt.
11)who are Onion Traders?
    a) Commision agent-cum-wholesalers
    b) forwarders-cum-store owners
    c) transport or railway agent
12) Market is imperfect with very few buyers (traders) and many sellers (farmers)            
13) India exported 3 lakh tonnes of onion this year between January and may.
14) Whats reason behind export: if the country abruptly stops exports, it will not be seen as a reliable supplied in international markets.

1) Other states like Punjab, IP, Assam and Chattisgard should start growing onions.
2) We need to have onion warehouses, who avoids supply-demand manipulations.

Small wonder that the onion prices have been an important political issue: They were the decisive factor in the 1998 state elections in Delhi and Rajasthan, and were responsible for bringing down the central government in 1980.

Reference: Article in Economic Times , Dated 1st Oct 2013

journey - quotes

"I think that wherever your journey takes you, there are new gods waiting there, with divine patience -- and laughter."
--Susan M. Watkins

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

ReInvent the Toilet Challenge - India [RTTC-India]

Here is the list of winner candidates from 2012. Click Here

Republishing this from Announcement from Today's Economic Times
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), A Government of India Enterprise (Section-25, Not-for Profir Company) is announcing the Second Grand Challenges India Funding Opportunity with Support from department of Biotechnology(DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt of India and Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation (MBGF), This collaboration seeks to support the development of innovation sanitation technologies, products and services under the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge India(RTTC-India)

Solving the sanitation challenge in India requires leading edge innovations deployable across diverse landscapes. UNICEF report on India Sanitation showed that poor sanitation is responsible for 62 million children under-5 being stunted and no reaching their full physical or mental potential. Sustainable solutions supporting the entire value chain of sanitation from collection till treatment are important. The overall goal of the RTC-India is to find sustainable sanitation solutions for processing was that include controlling the environmental contaminations, improving users acceptance and experience, ease of maintenance and operation in resource poor settings.

Under the Grand Challenges India Intitiative, we are looking for
  • Conceptualizing novel ways to process human waste, design and field-test prototypes having stand-alone, self-contained practical sanitation modules.
  • Innovative technologies incorporating new system and modification of existing toilet solutions that creat affordable services and have on-site proessing with no further transport requirement
  • Creating completely new systems for train-cars that intake bodily wastes directly and process them onboard with no further transaport of hazardous waste from the train.
  • Neighbourhood level systems that swiftly dispose of bodily wastes and faecal sludge collected from local pot latrines and septic tanks.
  • Preference shall be given to proposals catering for end-end-end approached (prototypes and processing that resposon to all aspects of the challenge

 Who Can Apply
 We seek expression of interest under the RTTC-India from :
  • Indian researchers, Innovators, Entrepreneurs
  • Indian entities such as Academia, Research Institutes, Medical Institutes, Industries, Not-for-profit Organizations
Indian led projects will be supported but we would encourage partnerships with researchers in other countries, especially where the opportunity exists to build on established collaboration or developing consortium 

How to Apply:
Interested applicants can submit a letter of Intent (LoI) online at latest by November 15, 2013. For more details you can contact, Dr. Shilpi Gupta, Manager Technical (Discovery and Product Development) BIRAC
Email: sgupta.birac[at], swarup[at]

Detailed guidelines for RFP, visit