February 10, 2010
I was recently interviewed by Kelvin Newman @ SiteVisibility.
I was recently interviewed by Kelvin Newman @ SiteVisibility.
I recently delivered a training on SEO content writing to my content team. Here is the presentation for you!
I was recently interviewed by Indian Express group for their publication "Advantage Bengal". Here is a transcript of the interview for my blog readers!
1. As an IT entrepreneur what do you feel are the key strengths of Bengal as an IT investment destination?
Most environmental parameters can be offset using technology, so it is useless to compare any destination based on those parameters. Therefore 'people' become the biggest differential factor for any geography. People are different in different parts of the world and they become the competitive advantage and the differentiating factor. The same goes for West Bengal.
2. Please share with us your experiences in Kolkata as an IT entrepreneur. What are the major advantages & challenges you faced as an IT entrepreneur in Bengal?
I have a mixed bag of experience in West Bengal.
3. Tell us about Indus Net Technologies. When and how it was set up? What is the total strength of the company?
Indus Net Technologies was set up in 1997 as a hobby. In 2002, I decided to build it into an organization and started building a team. We started with web hosting and gradually diversified into web design, web development, Internet marketing and recently into Internet strategy consulting. We did not find big enough local market and therefore pioneered the concept of selling web services through Internet. We generated a very good traction based on our innovative marketing and rock-solid project delivery mechanism. Today we are around 300 people strong and have offices in Kolkata, Chennai and London.
4. Who are the major clients of Indus Net Technologies? How big is the company in revenue terms? What are your targets? Do you have plans to increase the headcount in the coming years?
We have 8000+ SME clients worldwide. Besides them, we also serve (We cannot disclose the name due to privacy reasons).:
Our expected turnover for 2009-2010 on the lower side is Rs. 150 million. We expect this to grow at a pace of 75-110% per year on year for next five years. It is difficult to plan on revenue terms in a dynamic market scenario such as Internet services.
Our headcount will also increase accordingly. However, we are looking at breaking the link between headcount and revenues.
5. 'Seeders', a brain child of yours have been helping 'young brains' to set up IT start-ups. Can you elaborate on the activities of 'Seeders'? What necessitated the setting up of 'Seeders'? How it is helping IT entrepreneurs in 'germinating' their business ideas and plans? Tell us about some of the major projects funded by 'Seeders'? How big is the Corpus Fund?
'Seeders' has been set up as a partnership firm between myself and Pallav Nadhani of Infosoft Global Private Limited. 'Seeders' has been formed to provide the right eco-systems to startups to help them grow from an idea stage to expansion phase. Most startups struggle for the right kind of mentoring, connections, guidance besides infrastructure and capital. 'Seeders' offers the complete package. The entrepreneur needs to walk in with the right attitude and a bright idea.
We are IT entrepreneurs and therefore we can effectively mentor and guide IT related ventures. Considering this, we only entertain business plans and proposals for IT projects. It can be of great help to IT entrepreneurs as they can get the complete eco-system in a single package. It will accelerate their pace and give wings to their ideas.
The corpus fund is of 2 crores to start with. We will continue to add to it with time as situation demands. We have reviewed over 25 business plans so far. We are in advanced level of discussion with 2-3 entrepreneurs and will soon close few investments.
6. How can one avail of the facilities of 'Seeders'?
They simply need to visit http://www.seeders.in and fill in the paper-napkin business plan. We do not want people to create projections and detailed plan for us, unless we believe in the idea and the capability of the entrepreneur. This makes everybody's life a lot simpler.
7. How pro-active is the State IT Department / Webel to the needs of IT entrepreneurs like you?
WEBEL did helped me very proactively when I relocated my business from power starved Dalhousie to Sector V by providing me space in SDF Building. They have always tried their level best to help us in all operational issues which was in their capacity. I will also like to highlight the help extended to us by STPI Kolkata and TiE.
State IT Department has always had the best intentions for us (IT SMEs). However, for some reason we remain deprived. To quote you a simple example – State Government is trying their level best to woo investment from Wipro / Satyam and Infosys by offering them big stretches of prime land at discounted prices. However, local companies do not get the same equal treatment. I am echoing the sentiments of a big segment of IT SMEs in Kolkata as I have interacted extensively with them and they believe it is a lost cause.
8. How you have benefited from your association with IT organizations like TiE?
TiE is a great learning and networking platform. I would say that it is like doing an "Executive MBA" in true sense. There are so many helpful and passionate people around in this wonderful organization, who passionately drive the cause of entrepreneurship. I find like minded people who feel (like me) that entrepreneurship is the only way poverty can be abolished.
9. Future plans??
Indus Net Technologies is looking at a rapid growth trajectory in 2010. We are looking at firming our base in the UK and taking our footprints beyond.
I got a very interesting interview (questionnaire) from TiE Delhi. I think this is smart and I enjoyed answering it. So here it goes:
I had precisely three envelope entrepreneurial ambitions! I call them envelope as each of them encompass several small ambitious projects. All three are aimed to change the world in my small way and make it a better place:
To make sure that my journey at least start off to fulfill all the three ambitions, I (along with my partner Pallav) started up a technology specific angel fund and incubation center called Seeders. This is our attempt to bring finances, infrastructure, resources, connections and mentoring (technical + business) to the aspiring and daring ones.
For the more curious ones 😉 –
We will be investing in technology companies which uses Internet as a strategic enabler. These can be software product companies, SaaS projects as well as niche knowledge services. Any wild idea that makes business sense is also welcome! And yes, the venture must be based out of Kolkata or must be willing to shift its base to Kolkata (at least for incubation phase).
More on this project will be soon posted on http://www.seeders.in
So keep tuned in.
I have always felt that India today stands at the cross road of supremacy and oblivion. The final result may not be as dramatic as the two superlatives I have used, but they will surely have a major impact on the world.
The main reason for this paradoxical feeling is its education system. A proper education system can be the difference between both. The biggest advantage India has its population dividend. This can propel or backfire based on the direction we set. Education and cultural upbringing plays a very important role in setting the right direction. If set wrong, the momentum will be so high that changing the direction will be a monumental job – a project which will be nothing less than the Indian freedom struggle.
This opportunity (or problem) compounds in the global, connected and highly unpredictable world that we live in. Call it World 2.0 if you want! I recently came across a presentation, which explains the world which we live in:
There are many battles to fight, there are many fronts to be won. But, how can we set our aim on something which is constantly moving – so rapidly that it outpace our thought.
Where will we be by 2020? Any idea?
A fortnight back, I was having some communication with Kamanashish Roy (@doubts) and he told me about his interest in organizing a Kolkata Bloggers' Meet. The idea struck a chord in my mind as I always wanted to organize an "Internet Strategy Summit" in Kolkata. So I thought let us start with the Bloggers' Meet and check out if there is sufficient demand for the mega show that I was dreaming of! And I chipped in with the required funds to organize the event.
The discussion started off on twitter and soon the idea picked up steam with a steady flow of people showing interest. The list of attendees kept on growing and soon it crossed 160+ registered blog addicts who showed interest to turn up! The interesting thing was use of twitter for spreading the word and coordinating the entire event. We hardly exchanged emails!
The event was organized at Cafe Coffee Day in Sector V, Salt Lake. 125+ blog enthusiasts turned up to share their passion and ideas about blogging. It had talks by Arun, Saptarshi, Aji, Vikas (via video conferencing) and yours truly.
There was energy in the air as the most vocal and active Kolkata + Web2.0 citizens gathered to learn, make friends and speak up! It started with a cake-cutting ceremony by the youngest blogger who turned up for the event – definitely a great way to encourage someone. Participants were given an opportunity to do a one minute elevator pitch. Very few could actually do a 'real elevator pitch' and hardly anybody maintained the one-minute deadline. But nobody complained. Everyone was enjoying the experience. This was followed by presentation by speakers and ended with product demo of FusionChart (by Sanket Nadhani) and HeadStart (by Mitesh Ashar). Throughout the event, networking was ON.
We all got to taste the de-facto Cafe Coffee Day cold / hot coffees and snacks. When we thought all is over, we were surprised by the dinner (surprised – since we were so engaged in the event, we felt that 'we are full'). This was topped up with t-shirts and an ELearning CD (from Indus Net Academy) as a parting gift.
The success of the event is evident from the fact that even after 10 pm, participants were in no mood to return home 😉
My small presentation was on blog monetization. I tried to cover both the audience – i.e. a blogger who blogs for a company and as an individual. Here are the slides for you!
The four people behind the success of this event (in my opinion) are the guys who represent a virtual organization called Webreps.in. In fact I was amused to know that there is no structure, format, legal existence of the organization. But then I realized – who cares! I have myself flouted the 'conventions' so many time. And this is cool. There guys are Anirudh Lohia, Kamanashish Roy, Shimul Aich and Saikat Sengupta.
Photographs of the event are at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/album.php?aid=128692&id=129612851702&ref=nf
Can someone share the video links to all the presentations?
I will be speaking @ Internet World in the Web2.0 theatre on 28th April 2009 from 16:40 hrs on "Three Dimensions of Internet Strategy"
The talk will revolve around an approach that let businesses put together a comprehensive Internet strategy order to optimize their revenues and profitability by connecting – communicating and collaborating more effectively with the stake holders of the business.
The slideshow is attached 🙂
So, do drop in.Â
P.S.: Internet World will take place @ Earls Court in London between 28th-30th April 2009
I will be holding a FREE Website Clinic from 28-30th April at Internet World (Earl's Court, London) at our booth.
I will be helping website owners improve their website one-step-at-a-time by giving them up to five actionable tips specific to their website after analyzing the same and understanding their online business goals.
Website Clinic is absolutely FREE of cost and there are no strings attached to it.
There will be a lot of rush as we have started getting request for booking time slots. So I suggest that you send an email to email@example.com and book your time slot in advance to avoid disappointment.
I recently shared few ideas with fellow IT companies about braving the downturn in a NASSCOM event.
The takeaway from the presentation was –
Stick to fundamentals. Business is simple. If we complicate it for the sake of some buzzwords, we will see more such tough days!
Here is the presentation for you:
Earlier in the day, our Industry stalwart, Mr. B. Hari did a small workshop on Wealth Dynamics (the Roger Hamilton one) and how entrepreneurs / executives should adopt the path of least resistance to succeed.
A great day out!
P.S. A few days back, I shared some random recession strategies. You might like to check them out as well.
P.P.S. Thank you Nasscom, for such a wonderful event.
I recently did a presentation @ CeBIT Offshoring Forum in Hanover as how web design firms can save and scale up their operations and business during the worst financial crisis that our generation has ever seen.
The presentation is here:
If you are interested in availing the service described in the presentation or you know of someone who might be interested, please feel free to refer to http://www.hire-a-designer.com
I recently came across this wonderful compilation of what Matt Cutts has said about search engine optimization in his blog over years.
Jaimie Sirovich of SEO Egghead Inc. has done this compilation and is available on his blog at:
I think this is one of the most trustworthy list of 'tips' that you can find in one place. Some of them may be too naive, but is worth a reminder.
Enjoy and add any recent buzz from the horse's blog 😉
Recently I found out from Galvin's blog (a fellow SEO professional) about porn links coming up for simple Google searches like 'tube' which he keyed in to find out the London tube map.
Out of curiosity I tried the same to see if Google India is repeating the same mistake.
The results were shocking:
The problem persists!
I hope Google takes a note of this and tries to fix it soon.
Over years, we have been subject to several frauds.
It can be a political fraud when someone do horse-trading of members of legislative assembly / parliament to reach the coveted majority mark in the parliament. Or cast their influence to get a contract awarded to his favorite business house.
Then we have been subjected to corporate fraud where Harshad Mehta brings down the market single-handed or highly recognized corporate teams bring down companies like Lehman Brothers, Enron, Worldcom and most recently Satyam.
So what's next?
I can see a high probability of a social media fraud!
This is very much probable due to the volume of social content that is being created and the level at which private data is getting exposed to the public (or is at risk of getting exposed). There are so many companies launching sites which collect and process personal and business information as Web2.0 web services or SaaS systems. Many of them claim to have solid privacy policies and data protection measures. However, I seriously doubt the claims of most websites and waiting for someone to come up and disclose that they have been funding their operations by misusing the copyrights or selling private information in sizable chunks to third parties.
I was just wondering at its probability and the consequences. Any ideas?
There are so many people working to get a new technology out to masses – a new invention to make things better. However, in my experience I firmly believe that:
Technology is as good as its implementation.
Many a time, little imagination is put into implementation of the technology which is existing. If the existing technology is properly explored, understood and implemented in creative and innovative ways, I think it will do a lot of good to the mankind than decades of new inventions. For billions, the usage is falling behind the rate of discovery.
Let us implement the available tools and technologies properly, because poor implementation will not make any difference to the mankind and the guy next door (for the sake of simplicity).
Thoughts are welcome…