Monday, January 24, 2011

Future of Online Networking

Facebook is losing its sheen. With about 13 million* users [as of September 2010] in India alone it is not surprising that many of them have started finding it more of a clutter. Users feel it is does not allow enough privacy and gives less control to the users. Similarly it is the case with websites like LinkedIn which is more for professional networking.

It is true that networking sites like Orkut, Facebook and LinkedIn showed the way, taught the power of networking to the masses and brought out the true sense of web on the internet. Now that they have taught users the phenomenon of networking, the need for more meaningful connectivity has risen. The concept of networking itself has reached a new dimension. While social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn will still rule the roost, there is a certain segment of such users who want to build their own social sphere with more meaningful interactions. People are looking for more purposeful connections. The concept which was more of a fad once has become a necessity and has created demands for websites with improved control features.
There are already few sites which offer networking options to a selected group or provide options to customize your online network for specific purpose. Even corporates go for such networking sites which provide better security and can have better qualitative networking among their employees.
Websites like Ning, GoingOn, CrowdVine, KickApps and Haystack are a few such social networking websites which offer different value propositions to the social networking users.
This is just about a segment in one industry of online social networking. There are many segments to be identified in various industries as these indutries evolve. Read my book to understand the importance of segmentation in the complete 3-Step process of launching your entrepreneurial venture. This book will show how segmentation can help you identify opportunities for your start-up!

*Approximate value; data not verified.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Challenges Start-ups Face

Yogesh M.A. of OOH Media graciously approached me to share my opinion on the question asked by him on his blog 'What types of challenges do Start-ups face?'
He states that due to lack of mentorship for promoters/entrepreneurs, it is important that the start-ups have one or many consultants/advisors, have marketing budgets for their products, must have teams for various departments etc.
While this is a whimsical set-up that a start-up can have, the bare truth is that the start-ups are usually not heavily funded. So to have all the above-mentioned things is luxury for most of the start-ups. Even the VC funding comes-in only after certain sustainable revenue targets are in place and the profits are reported. If you expand with all the above-mentioned things, then you are first increasing the overheads without starting revenues, and hence delaying the break-even level. Forget the profits!
So the real challenge is how to do all the above with a lean budget and still bring in the profits to lure external investment? This is the trick that should be mastered.
The good news is that the benefits of all these are still feasible with network marketing and having right spirited human capital who can help keep the structure lean by donning different caps as the need of the start-ups may-be [thereby avoiding big teams and departments]. Many smart start-ups are switching consciously towards Viral Internet marketing and Cloud Computing phenomenon to keep the costs at bay.
In my book WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Role of Women Entrepreneurs Towards more Inclusive Economic Growth, many women have started their ventures with lean budgets and are progressing well with the help of need-basis services, for e.g outsourced CFO services, smaller budgets for online and network marketing and freelancing development work, just to name a few. Book your copy of the book today to know more about the stories of these entrepreneurs – how they overcome many obstacles to realize their start-up dreams.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


As the name suggests, ‘Mompreneurship’ is an off-shoot of entrepreneurship fostered and motivated by Motherhood. Many baby products have been the result of Mompreneurship. This was more of the needs created and/or perceived when moms were either not satisfied with some products or were not able to find that ‘perfect’ stuff for their kids. Such women as entrepreneurs can be said to have a high ‘Entrepreneurial Quotient’. They could map problems with the opportunities, and this, according to me, is a significant measure of the Entrepreneurial Quotient.
Whereas the West is inundated with the stories of Mompreneurs, it is akin to searching a pin in the hay-stack when it comes to India. Apart from promoting Women Entrepreneurship on the whole, it will be important to show way to the Mompreneurship also. It will be an added equity in the entire gamut of investment for the economic growth.
My book explains what Mompreneurship is and narrates three such interesting stories which are truly inspiring. Book your copy today.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Women Entrepreneurship: An Inclusive and Strategic Economic Force

There is a deluge of advice and tips on Entrepreneurship around the world. As Guy Kawasaki [MD, Garage Technology Ventures] said, “A practical problem that entrepreneurs face is too much advice.”* But seldom will you find exclusive discussions on promoting Women Entrepreneurship, when the strategic gurus worldwide understand the growing importance of women in the changing landscape of the world markets. It has been recognized that Women Entrepreneurship is an untapped resource for economic growth whose potential needs to be utilized optimally. This has two-pronged aspects to it – one, the leadership skills and talents of women as labour force is an underutilized resource and second, the role of entrepreneurship itself as a means for robust economic growth.

One of the reasons for relatively lesser attention towards promoting Women Entrepreneurship has been the choice of the industry or the sector that the women make in undertaking an entrepreneurial venture. It is generally perceived as ‘less-important’ a field for economic growth when compared to the mainstream technology and manufacturing ventures per se.

This is one of the reasons that is reflected in my book WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS. It talks about many women entrepreneurs who have ventured into areas that are not highly represented in the business arena. The book also highlights the key reasons on growing importance of Women as Entrepreneurs in the future. My objective is to promote Women Entrepreneurship and my book is the first step towards it. Book your copy today. Your contribution will make the difference.

Bolstering Women Entrepreneurship is for promoting inclusive Entrepreneurship and hence a comprehensive economic growth.

* From Corporate Dossier, The Economic Times, 31st December 2010