Thursday, 28 August 2014

4 blunders you cannot afford in a venture

There are a seemingly endless number of ways to spend money, and it’s impossible to be wise about all of them. But a few common costly mistakes can sink a bootstrapped business. Here are six pitfalls to look out for, along with expert advice on how to avoid them.

#1 The Wrong Team


Choosing the wrong team is the single costliest error entrepreneurs make, resulting in not only lost income and time but also depleted morale. Choosing who to hire and work with in a startup is like playing cricket in the schoolyard; you can pick your friends and play for them, but if you want to be good and continue to be on the ground, you have to carefully pick your team.
It’s crucial to choose people with varying skill sets. Much like a great sports team, they must also share some common values and the ability to trust each other in tough situations. That’s why past experience working with your co-founders and early employees in stressful times is much more important than being friends.

#2 Bad Pricing


Tobin Booth, CEO of Blue Oak Energy, paid dearly for a pricing mistake. It occurred in 2010 when the California-based company, which engineers and constructs solar photovoltaic power systems, took on a contract to install solar units for a retail chain with stores in eight states. “That was a level of complexity we had zero experience with, in a very competitive market,” he says. “What we didn’t understand across all these states were the tax consequences and how much variation there was in labor rates. Then there were delays because of weather and shipping”. The company, which also hadn’t planned for project delays that led to incurring storage fees.

   
#3 Waiting for Perfect When Good Will do


When you’ve got a killer idea, it’s natural to want to introduce it to the world in a fully formed state. But it doesn’t take a CPA to figure out that the longer you take to launch, the longer you go without money coming in. Many want to build an app and won’t let it go until it’s perfect, but then you take too long and spend too much. Specifically, this error will likely leave you with no “runway”—the cash you’ll need to sustain you as you’re trying to get your product off the ground once it’s ready, but before you have customers. You need to come up with the simplest, basic version of your product that gets the idea across and try to find someone you can sell it to. Find one or two clients, who are willing to do a pilot where you build, test and iterate it. Inevitably, your product will be different than what you expect, and then you build it. If you get a real, live client, you create a better product in a very cost effective way.

#4 Being Cheap about Marketing

People think, everyone else has to market their product or service, but I don’t because this is so good. The related myth is that you can rely on social media to build virality and attract customers for free. Social media is not free. To do it properly takes unbelievable amounts of time, and it’ll typically take six months to a year before you’ve got even slight momentum—it’s not fast.
If you’re not sure how much money to budget for marketing, aim for 10 to 20 percent of your targeted gross revenue. As you become a more established business, that drops to 5 to 10 % of gross revenue, and for the largest businesses it’s typically 5 % or a bit less.

In the end, the best way to avoid costly mistakes is obvious: Save and spend wisely. Keep spending really, really tight. Leverage everything you can and give yourself as long a runway as possible. You’re going to need it.

Swarit Yadav
PGP 1st Year | IIM Raipur














Wednesday, 27 August 2014

M Commerce - Next big business platform for India

Today's time of improvement and development client is demanding quick and creative administrations. In today's rapidly developing economy, individuals do not have schedule made to remain in line and sit tight for different administrations like booking of Air tickets, booking of Rail tickets, booking of Movie tickets, payment of Telephone bills, Electricity bills, installment for Insurance premium and so on. Individuals need predominant administrations in a squint of eye. The creative thought of E-installment is constantly quickly embraced by individuals of our nation. Step by step the utilization of E-business is mounting. The following enormous field of the period is M-business (Mobile-trade) the following venture to E-trade. Individuals are quickly receiving the idea of M-trade. M-trade empowers the client to attempt the transaction in a straightforward and opportune way through the utilization of a cell. M-business the idea of cutting edge is changing the method for transacting. With the developing utilization of M-business the customary (manual) modes of transactions are regulated vanishing. Step by step the client base of M-business is stretching. While transacting through customary means one need to move by the interpersonal channel to empower the business movement, as against under M-trade the transaction in carried on in a basic, safe & financially savvy way. The secured installment instrument of M-business keeps up the security of the transaction. The trademark of M-business is Simple, Safe, secure and helpful.The telecommunication sector in India is quickly developing and is one of the heading divisions. A 500 million or more portable client is a blessing from heaven for Indian telecom industry and that is not the end. The quantity of clients are mounting by to the extent of nearly 3 million a month. The numbers are gigantically for M-trade. At the point when portable innovation was presented in India not by any means, the greatest telecom masters had anticipated the effect of PDAs on the life of Indian individuals. Presently, lion's share of transactions are carried on through the utilization of Cellular administrations. What's to come is here, step by step the techno-situated clients are requesting more up to date and fresher engineering. M-trade is the innovation without bounds. It will change the way the individuals carry on the routine transactions.Ankit Kumar VarsaneyPGP 1st Year | IIM Raipur

Friday, 22 August 2014

Google Hangout with Enactus India Representative

The Consulting and Entrepreneurship Club of IIM Raipur, hosted a Google Hangout by Enactus India Representative Ms Gauri Kamat .



Besides providing opportunities to students, many insights related to Social Entrepreneurship were given by the speaker. Students had an interactive session with Ms Gauri.



Monday, 18 August 2014

My experience of ‘Aakash’- The entrepreneurs meet


I was late for our 5thAakash meet. With slight hesitation, I entered the auditorium. I had missed the lecture by Mr. Rahul Jain, however, by now Mr.Anand Singhania had already taken the center stage. Mr. Singhania is the MD of Avinash Group and belongs to first generation of entrepreneurs. He is commonly known for his impeccable aura, energy and enthusiasm in the circles and every bit of these qualities were reflected in him that day. There was an eagerness in his eyes to interact with the young minds of IIM Raipur.  Very vividly he touched upon the 10 lessons, which he has learnt over these years. He spoke of how he made the decision to be an entrepreneur and how he took that bold step. He ended with the note ‘follow your passion’, something which he has followed all his life. He then answered questions posted by lot of students and then made way for Mr. Ramesh Agarwal.



Mr. Ramesh Agarwal is the MD of Sambhav group.  There are very few people who remain grounded, in spite of having achieved a lot in life. Mr. Agarwal is definitely one of them. He is synonymous to humbleness and down to earth nature. He started his speech by stating that vision should be followed by perseverance in action. He said that if you really desire something and have faith in your actions and belief then the universe conspires you to achieve it. He showed a number of inspirational videos in his presentation. He explained the various challenges he faced during his initial days and how he overcame those.  He also stressed upon having good human relations and emphasized that employees should be given respect for the contribution they make. He added that the failure or success of a project depends upon the relationship between the owner of the company and the employees. He then answered questions based on attrition and business environment posted by the students.
After the motivational speeches by all the three guests, we had a high-tea event, where we personally interacted with each of the guests. It was interesting to see how each of them answered our questions and provided their valuable insights on infrastructure and power industries in Chhattisgarh. By that time it was already 8pm and it was time we see them off.  Soon arrived a sleek white colored Audi Q7 and a sporty Range Rover Evoque at the entrance of our main building to pick them up!



This is our (Junior CEC Group) first Aakaash meet which had bigwigs from the industry and we now eagerly wait to conduct our next Aakaash meet!

Navodaya J Chourasia
PGP 2014-16, IIM Raipur

Saturday, 16 August 2014

IIM Raipur holds the 5th ‘Aakash’ Entrepreneurs Meet


Indian Institute of Management Raipur organized the 5th Aakash Entrepreneurs meet on 16th August. Conceptualized and executed by the Consulting and Entrepreneurship Club, IIM Raipur, the 5th Aakash meet saw the presence of 3 successful entrepreneurs from Raipur itself. Mr. Anand Singhania, MD, Avinash Group - Builders & Developers, Mr. Ramesh Agrawal, Director, Real Ispat / GK TMT Group and Mr. Rahul Jain, Director, Sambhav Group & President- Rotary Club of Raipur Cosmopolitan were welcomed by Dr. Sanjeev Prashar, Chairman, Consulting and Entrepreneurship Club. The dignitaries addressed and interacted with the gathering of the IIM students and 10 other entrepreneurs from Raipur.
Mr. Rahul Jain highlighted the importance of having belief in your idea and illustrated his point with an impactful video. He shared his experience about his struggle to enter the textile industry and establish a successful business. He further pointed out that Happiness is Success and urged the students and other entrepreneurs to give back to the society in every manner they can.



Mr. Anand Singhania gave some key points necessary to become a successful entrepreneur. He said that entrepreneurs should have the ability to talk to themselves and should try to develop a positive thought process. He emphasized the importance of being a good learner and gave examples from his life where his learnings had helped him grow. He shared with the gathering his original idea which had transformed the way the business was done in malls during the week day. He ended his address with the words learn to love what you do.
Mr. Ramesh Agrawal began his address with an important message that it is the vision followed by the action that changes the world. He used several videos during his address to express his views and thoughts. According to him, when you have faith in something, and want it with all your heart, then you unconsciously take the necessary actions to accomplish it. He further mentioned the challenges that an entrepreneur has to face in business and day to day life and how he overcame those. He specifically emphasized on maintaining good human relations throughout the life.



The event was followed by networking session where the entrepreneurs interacted with each other and took questions from the students. The students raised several pertinent questions about starting and maintaining a new business. The Aakash meet comes as the latest in a long string of achievements by IIM Raipur in recent times.