Archives: May 2015

Recent Acquisitions in Indian Startup Ecosystem

With startup culture taking a momentum in India Inc., lots of technology aimed ventures are coming up with their unique offerings in the marketplace. Few of them make it to the VC round while the rest of them either cease to exist or get acquired by bigger companies in the industry making little or no money.

In the recent past many tech startups got acquired by their bigger counterparts in the industry & many of them got handsome sum of capital by investors. Here’s a quick look at some of the recent acquisitions & investments made in various Indian startups.

 1) SnapDeal acquires Hyderabad-based mobile technology startup MartMobi

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E-commerce major SnapDeal recently acquired Hyderabad based mobile technology startup ‘MartMobi’ for an undisclosed amount. The move is in line to strengthen their mobility platform for merchants.

SnapDeal co-founder & COO  Rohit Bansal said that the reason behind focusing more on mobile based platform is because of the major orders that are coming from mobile-based devices (i.e upto 75%). ‘MartMobi’ currently serves around 150 clients & have 15 member team.

Founded in 2010, SnapDeal has over 40 million registered users & is a key player in $3 billion Indian e-commerce industry.

2) Digital marketing training company ‘Digital Vidya’ acquires ‘Digital Academy’ India

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The Digital Marketing training industry is growing by leaps & bounds and it is believed that among various ad channels, digital will show the fastest growth of 37%. And the same was reflected in a recent acquisition of ‘Digital Academy’ by ‘Digital Vidya’.

‘Digital Vidya’ was started by Pradeep Chopra (an IIT Delhi Alumni & serial entrepreneur) & Kapil Nakra in 2009 which offers customized in-house digital marketing training programs for corporations and has served over 100 organizations such as Philips, Intuit, GE, Cisco, Times Internet, Citibank, Adobe, etc.

This acquisition will help ‘Digital Vidya’ to expand their reach and further enhance the quality of their digital marketing certification programs for their customers and partners by leveraging the strengths and experience of Digital Academy India.

3) Twitter co-founder Biz Stone invests in India’s Lookup, a chat application for local commerce

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Deepak Ravindran started ‘Lookup’, a chat application meant for local commerce. It is absolutely free for both consumers & business. Listed as an ‘Essential App’ in ‘Google Play’ and as a ‘Top free app’ in the communication category on ‘Google Play’.

The current app downloads stand at over 2,00,000 & the app will be live across 9 cities by end of this year. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has invested an undisclosed amount in the startup and will serve as an advisor to the company, which is a big step forward for Lookup.

4) Livspaces’ second acquisition in two months, Dwll.in now part of the team

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With the aim of creating India’s only end-to-end home design and decor platform, ‘Livspace’ acquired Dwll.in, which is a curated online network of interior designers.

This is the second acquisition by ‘Livespace’ in two months. According to Anuj Srivastava the Co-founder of ‘Livspace’, the home decor and design space in India, and the overall market size is close to USD 30 billion dollars.

‘Livspace’ wishes to create India’s biggest catalogue of designer looks for home owners and the largest curated community marketplace of home designers.

5) HDFC invests in CarDekho.com

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‘CarDekho’ dominates the online car research market with over 17 million visits on its portal every month. Amit Jain, CEO of Jaipur based Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd. which owns ‘CarDekho’ said that their vision is to provide car loan to every car buyer in the country, even before they finalize upon the car. Out of the 80,000 crore Indian car loan market, HDFC Bank is the leader with 35% market share. The investment comes at a time when company is raising a Series B funding round worth $50 million from Hillhouse Capital, Tybourne Capital and existing investor Sequoia.

Do share your views on the mergers & acquisitions trend among tech startups in India & about their future course.

7 Apps That Can Make Things Easier For Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs, by and large, live fast-paced, chaotic lives, where decisions have to be made quickly and inspiration can come in the most unlikely of places. They live and die by their smartphones and tablets, so it helps to have those equipped with apps that can make the most of every minute, in turn helping their businesses grow.

The right app won’t make or break a startup, of course, but it can make the lives of the people behind those businesses a lot easier. Here are 7 apps that might benefit entrepreneurs with productivity and even with growing their businesses:

1 Remember The Milk

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With millions of users worldwide, Remember The Milk is everywhere you are: from mobile to the web to apps including Outlook, iCal, Gmail, Google Calendar, Twitter and more. It can add and complete tasks on the go, great for backing up your tasks and notes, allows you to organize the way you want to with priorities, due dates, time estimates, repeating, lists, tags etc. Moreover, you can search your tasks and notes, and save your favorite searches as Smart Lists. It also gets the user reminded about tasks via email, SMS and instant messenger and keeps the users in sync with their tasks on multiple devices.

2 Evernote

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Evernote is a cloud-based app that lets you sync notes between your phone, tablet, desktop and most other devices; edit; share files as necessary; and always be up to date with the latest version. No matter where you are or what device you’re using, if you have Web access, you can get to and work with your notes. Evernote even plays nice with different browsers, including Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox.  No wonder it’s been a go-to note taking app for years!

3 Producteev

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Producteev, available for iOS and Android, helps you delegate tasks and make sure they get done on time. It’s helpful for any small business owner and features due dates, milestones, and progress tracking to keep your employees motivated. There’s also filtering so you can see how busy each of your employees is before assigning new tasks.

4 MobileDay

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For those frequent occasions when you’re too busy to be sitting in the office, use MobileDay to coordinate all of your in-person and conference call meetings. It scans your calendar and imports all conferencing information. When it’s time for the call, you can join with just one click. And if you need to arrange a group discussion yourself, just tell the app who to invite and it will send the details for you—even setting up the call via its own conference service. Also, with this app, you can email participants and even get directions to your meeting place.

5 Instapaper

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Coming across interesting articles is one of the best parts of the Internet – and one of the worst things for your overall productivity levels when this happens while at work. Instead of reading through new posts whenever you encounter them, save them to your Instapaper account.  Your selected Web pages will be automatically saved for later browsing, when they will  be displayed at a convenient time in a reading-friendly format.

6 HelloSign

Hello Sign

HelloSign is an easy-to-use electronic signature service linked with Evernote. Sign documents yourself or request signatures from up to 20 different people in any order, or all at once. When the document is fully executed, everyone gets a copy delivered to their inbox. See your documents progress with status notifications that keep you in the loop throughout. The greatest advantage of using electronic signatures is that you don’t have to fax or mail documents back and forth and dispels the need to print these documents thereby saving time.

7 Dropbox

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You never know when you’re going to need to access a photo, document or video. Dropbox’s cloud storage is one of the most popular storage apps and it adds mobility to its many features. This app is extremely handy for sharing files with your team, which prevents back-and-forth emailing. Best of all, if you lose your phone, all of your files are still safe, assuming you’ve synced the device to your account.

The best part about these apps? Most of them are free!

Opting out of entrepreneur-centric apps is like turning down an offer of free work from a contractor. You wouldn’t do that, so please make sure you don’t have an empty smartphone desktop. These apps are just a few of our favourites that we think are essential for entreprenenurs.  If you have others that you couldn’t get through the work day without, share your recommendations below!

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An Inspiring Speech By Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Chief Guest For the 16th Convocation of Post Graduate Programmes

2nd May, 2015 marked the convocation of PGDM-BE 2013-15. Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Secretary, Dept. of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India was the Chief Guest of Honour and addressed students on the special occasion.

Here are the inspiring words from Dr. Adhia that motivated budding entrepreneurs on their convocation day:

“It’s my pleasure to address and award the bright and young pillars of the nation, at this 16th convocation of the EDI Post-Graduate Diploma Programmes.  I congratulate the students who have earned this diploma and those who have been awarded special recognition. No accomplishment is achieved alone; it always has support of so many down the lane. And I am sure, in this journey of yours, you had support of your parents and mentors. I congratulate them all. While I have always enjoyed coming to Gujarat, I am particularly excited today because the reason is so pleasant and progressive, to say the least.

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I compliment EDI and its Governing Board for conducting these crucial programmes. I know this Institute almost since its inception and I am happy to see it having come thus far. EDI’s is a phenomenal journey from training programmes back in the early days, to successfully branching out into the areas of education, research and institution building. It is also the nodal agency for several ministries of the Government.  I am glad that the Institute has succeeded in its mandate of spearheading entrepreneurship development throughout the nation with a belief that entrepreneurs are not just born but can be bred too. And, I am happy to note that it is not just India that has benefitted from EDI’s interventions but several foreign lands such as; Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam have also experienced a boost in their entrepreneurial environment through EDI established Entrepreneurship Centres. That Uzbekistan and  five African countries  are on the anvil brings us more reasons to revel.  I consider this a necessary task amidst a time when globalization and technology are transforming our economy. These critical factors and the interaction between them are exerting inordinate influence on our economy and unless we have innovative and educated entrepreneurs, we cannot turn this situation to our advantage. So, I must say, we all look up to these students to create their own distinct markets and in the process, a huge market for India.

The students of Business Entrepreneurship are aware of the changing economic circumstances arising from the emergence of new products, technologies and competition and, therefore, I advise them to use their knowledge and awareness to concentrate on carefully formulating and executing their business strategies, so that they create a niche for themselves. Traditional entrepreneurial practices and systems are fast getting blurred by new knowledge and understanding, and in that sense you are fortunate to have been educated to pursue entrepreneurship from a guided viewpoint. Let me request the entrepreneurs of tomorrow to explore several upcoming sectors and take a look at the enormous inherent potential before taking the plunge. The course has equipped you well. I understand it is the most appropriate course as its curriculum has been appreciated by several well-meaning organizations besides being recognized by the prestigious United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. My congratulations to the Faculty Group.

The Government at the Centre has taken significant steps towards enhancing the prospects for entrepreneurs. You all must be aware of these policies and schemes. I would also like to mention the setting up of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to iron the creases on the turf of entrepreneurship promotion in the country. The time today is just apt with environment that is receptive, amenable, accessible and friendly.

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Till a few years back it was believed that Indian entrepreneurs can never compete with their foreign counterparts and that technologies come to India much later. But, they have proved their mettle and you all have to carry this legacy forward. India will have to promote innovative, hi-tech enterprises and break free from the traditional models of business if it has to remain on the forefront of global economy.  Towards this I realize that India needs more incubators, considering that countries like; the USA has 1300, China has 800 and a small country like Korea also has close to 400 incubators.  While several Ministries are involved in promoting incubators and innovators. The number of incubators in India hardly touches about 200. Nevertheless incubators that the country houses are adequately equipped to provide an array of useful services and seed funding to start ups. So, you can see that the country is gearing up on not just this front but other fronts as well to promote high technology ventures. Further as a step towards advancing knowledge based economy, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has set up a Rs. 100 crore Innovation Fund. The Government of India has also set up a Rs. 1000 crore start-up fund to further this cause.  The policies and reforms that are coming your way are futuristic and high-tech entrepreneur friendly. So innovate and take advantage of the major economic restructuring that’s happening, to move ahead.’ Make in India’ as our Honorable Prime Minister has envisioned. There are many opportunities, if you are observant, you will convert even waste into wealth. So look around, think and you will succeed.  Match your high competence with hard work and high integrity, and every goal will be within your reach.  My congratulations to you all!!!

The students of Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Development Studies have to play a very critical role in the development. They have set a massive task before them – they are on the task of creating a strong society which is alienated from inequality and deprivation. Let your imagination soar, use your knowledge and also your gut feel to hail major revolutions. Social enterprises, today, are emerging as a trusted tool to address the issues faced by these disadvantaged communities. So, I urge you all to create your innovative social enterprises to address issues being faced by the people at the bottom of the pyramid. You all will also have to understand global trends, check their applicability in the Indian scenario, advocate a convergence, wherever possible, and head towards the most conspicuous benchmarks to get India a first in many developmental areas. My heartiest congratulations.

I would say, the students of the two programmes complete each other. One makes the task easy for the other. They have to continue building a symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship. In that sense, I congratulate EDI for envisaging the significance of these pillars of society and offering two programmes which complement each other. Also, let me add that EDI is giving you the additional experience of intermingling with students from so many countries who visit its campus as participants of International training programmes. I understand that a group of Chinese Students also here on the campus for learning Business Hindi. Such interactions are a great learning platform and teach life skills that become significant at all important junctures.

My advice to both the groups is –  Be confident but never harbour over confidence, be ambitious but never get into over-ambitious expansions, be aware and be with the times. Create a responsive, lean and competitive organization.

Please learn to compete. Stop blaming the environment and systems. Strive to give your best even if you are performing in a space with lapses.  You will not be able to move ahead if you look forward to being safeguarded at every juncture of your journey.

Despite the glitches that might cross your way, take pride in India’s economic achievements. Make India’s development your stepping stone to greater achievements. I am sure you all would participate actively in the growth of the Indian economy and try to utilise the new opportunities to the best of your abilities.

The challenge today lies in pursuing entrepreneurship which can stand up to global competition.  I am confident that you will seize every opportunity and go on to create great companies.  Your dreams are our command and we will support you in every possible way, so that you make the country achieve. And, lastly an important piece of advice – Put your health first in the list of priorities. It is not for nothing that Yoga has got an international standing today. Please understand its potential, make it a part of your life to achieve health and a peaceful state of mind. Such calmness will also reflect in your critical decisions and everyday work.

So move ahead with a ‘never say die’ spirit and make winning a habit.

I wish you all the best for the future.”

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Eureka Moments Leading to 3 Great Entrepreneurial Ideas

Life can be divided into two periods – before you know why you are alive and after. The two are separated by a single moment – the Aha! moment. That one brainwave turns a person into a person on a mission.

In this blog, we share the examples of  Eureka moments of 3 great personalities that led them to an unmatched success. Sure, for them, it was a process to get to that moment. But it was a catalyst that one day made them say, “Aha!”

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group

Determined to enter business, Jack Ma set up a translation company, but he still had to peddle goods on the street to get by. He traveled to the United States in 1995 as a translator to help a Chinese firm recover a payment. The attempt failed, and the American who owed money pulled a gun on him. But a friend in Seattle showed Ma the Internet, and an idea began brewing.

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He noticed there was not a single online listing for “China” and “beer,” unlike those that popped up for American and German beer. He returned to China and set up a listing site that he later sold to the government. After working in Beijing for an Internet firm under the Ministry of Commerce, he decided to quit his job in 1999 and went back to Hangzhou with his team in order to found Alibaba in his apartment with a group of 17 friends. Alibaba is one of the largets e-commerce sites which currently serves more than 79 million members from more than 240 countries and territories.

Samuel Morse, inventor of Telegraph

It was while working on the portrait of Lafayette that Morse suffered the personal tragedy that changed his life forever. In Washington, D.C., for the commission, Morse received a letter from his father–delivered via the standard, slow-moving horse messengers of the day–that his wife was gravely ill. Morse immediately left the capital and raced to his Connecticut home. By the time he arrived, however, his wife was not only dead—she had already been buried. It is believed that the grief-stricken Morse, devastated that it had taken days for him to receive the initial notification of his wife’s illness, shifted his focus away from his art career and instead dedicated himself to improving the state of long-distance communication. With this dedication, Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code, and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.

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Nick Woodman, founder of GoPro Inc.

GoPro is a camera designed for heavy-duty action, like skydiving and surfing. It goes (and survives) where other cameras can’t.

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He knew he wanted to build a new company, so he planned a 5 month surfing trip around Australia and Indonesia for inspiration. Woodman needed a camera to document his time there, so he strapped one to his arm with rubber bands. He was hoping to capture quality action photos of his surfing, but because amateur photographers could not get close enough, or obtain quality equipment at reasonable prices, he had an idea which led to the launch of a line of durable cameras that come fitted with mounting gear allowing users to capture images and video of their most active moments. His desire for a camera system that could capture the professional angles inspired the ‘GoPro’ name.

If you are searching for a brilliant business idea, start by looking at the simple problems right in front of you. After all, finding solutions to the problems at their very own finger tips is what inspired Steve Jobs to launch Apple, Donald Fisher to launch Gap, Ingvar Kampard to launch IKEA and Ben Silbermann to launch Pinterest. 🙂

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A Sneak Peek into Students’ Lives at EDI

College life has two sides to it – one that is visible on campus, in the classrooms, in front of the faculty and outsiders. The other, the more realistic one is what happens inside the hostel rooms, in the canteen and in the minds of the students.

In an attempt to have a closer look at the students’ lives at EDI, we had a candid conversation with 2 students from the 16th batch of PGDM-BE.

Priya Dialani is an ambitious girl from Nasik, Maharashtra. Born in a joint family that successfully runs a joint family business, Priya has always been firm about running her own business. Making a smart move, she decided to develop her entrepreneurial skills at EDI before taking a leap into the world of startups. Talking about the contribution of PGDM-BE course in her overall development, she said, “I come from a small city where I didn’t get enough exposure due to which there was a limited growth of my own mindset. PGDM-BE has helped me in all round development as an individual. After joining EDI, I got an idea of how things actually work in the biz world. It has helped me in transforming my theoretical knowledge into practical applications. When I visit Nasik during breaks and meet my friends who are also doing PGDM or MBA in the structured MBA colleges, I feel the difference between the way I talk and the way they talk.”

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Another budding entrepreneur, DivyaShil Jain, won the gold medal for scholastic performance in Family Business Management, PGDM-BE 2013-15. Having completed B.E. from Thapar University (Patiala), DivyaShil joined Essar Power and worked there for 2 years. “I have always wanted to join my family business and take it to a grand level of success. Family Business Management from EDI seemed the first step towards it and so, I joined the PGDM-BE (FBM) in 2013. The programme has groomed me by helping me develop an approach to look at things from various perspectives and an insight has been developed to maintain and respect the cultures across all the verticals,” he told us.

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As a part of the second year syllabus of PGDM-BE, students prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) about the project they plan to work on as an entrepreneur. From their respective DPRs, DivyaShil and Priya had some very interesting insights to share with us. DivyaShil worked on the growth plan of his family business, which is into manufacturing and exports of ferrous and non-ferrous precision machined components for automobiles and industrial machinery parts. Priya, on the other hand, plans to go for a startup offering customized florist services where people can buy, gift or exchange cut, exotic or seasonal flowers.

While life at EDI might sound very exciting, academic rigour and healthy competition share an equal weightage in the overall two years stay at the campus. We asked them what kept them motivated throughout this period, away from their homes. Priya recalled the beautiful days at EDI, “At EDI, one is surrounded by people who think business 24*7. The faculty is the best I have met till date and has always guided me with shrewd business insights. Students of EDI get a family away from their family, we celebrate ALL the festivals together and make friends we can count on.” Divyashil, keeping it crisp and to the point, told us, “The faculty and the guest lectures contributed a lot in developing our skills and a positive attitude. Bonding with close friends kept all of us motivated and never made anyone nostalgic.”

Priya and Divyashil are all set to win the world with their entrepreneurial skills. We wish them all the best with their future endeavours.

For an amazing learning experience and beautiful journey at EDI, apply to our PGDM-BE 2015-17 NOW!

Apply here: http://bit.ly/1zDi5aF | Download brochure: http://bit.ly/1dSP5fT | Visit our website: http://bit.ly/1HJJ43P

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