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Entrepreneur 22/08/08

Entrepreneur 22/08/08

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This is the August edition of the Entrepreneur, newsletter of the entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur. It has articles on how to write a B-Plan, innovation speed in startups, the influence of the recession on entrepreneurship among others
This is the August edition of the Entrepreneur, newsletter of the entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur. It has articles on how to write a B-Plan, innovation speed in startups, the influence of the recession on entrepreneurship among others

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Published by: Editor on Sep 19, 2008
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On the 15
of August 2008, for the first timeever, a consul general (Neelam Deo for India)rang the closing bell at the US stock market. Asrecognition of the fast growing Indian economy,the giant billboard overlooking Times Squarealso had the Indian Tricolour being displayedwith the text ‘India Independence Day’. Therecent upheavals in the market notwithstand-ing, it can be clearly seen that the Indian econ-omy has been on a steep rise since the past 5years and is brimming with promise to accom-modate more influx to synergise this growth. Ina country of billion odd people like ours, wheremillions live below the poverty line and millionsmore are unemployed, where do we start tobring about a change so that the country keepssurging ahead? One of the obvious answers isto get more jobs for people. To do this, there isneed for enterprising individuals among us whowill be responsible for generating wealth fromwithin the country. Entrepreneurship is a criticalelement of a growth economy, and many be-lieve India is poised to unlock a Silicon Valleylike entrepreneurial boom through the next 10years. The beginnings are already in place, stepshave been taken in the right direction andchange is afoot.But what about the problems brought about byinflation? India has produced the most impres-sive set of corporate results anywhere in theworld, in the recent past. However governmentpolicies and nature of coalition government,deprive India of more encouraging economic
Volume 2, Issue 3
20 Aug, 2008
Sneak Peak
How to Write a Bplan - Page 2
Innovation Speed in Start-Ups - Page 3
Mr. Shwetang Jain interview - Page 5
   T   h   e   E   n   t   r   e   p   r   e   n   e   u   r
   E   N   T   R   E   P   R   E   N   E   U   R   S   H   I   P    C   E   L   L ,   I   I   T    K   H   A   R   A   G   P   U   R 
policies. So what are the entrepreneurial optionsleft for a young Indian? Going deeper into under-standing the nature of India’s entrepreneurshipand the current economy will give us a betteridea about the future prospects of an aspiringentrepreneur.Mrs. Sramana Mitra, a successful Indian entrepre-neur in the Silicon Valley, believes that the excesscapital chasing Indian start-ups and the lack of fundable deals is clearly manifested in India’sentrepreneurship today. Going by past trends,consumer internet turned out to be a big trendfrom lastyear, for In-dia, whileSramanafeels that non-tech sectorslike retail andreal estateare also bigmoney-making op-portunities in the future.Talk about retail and real estate hogging the lime-light in the future; it seems to be universally ac-cepted. Land has, from ancient times, beendeemed as a symbol of wealth. Even today, itsone of the most orthodox yet sure-fire commodi-ties to invest in. Mr. Michael Sexton, President,Trump University also seems to agree..Continued on page 4
Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap ahabit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character,reap a destiny - Chinese ProverbHave you con-sidered thesepoints while writing a B-plan?- PAGE 2Key factors thatdetermine inno- vation speed inStart-Ups- PAGE 3Recent activitieshave keep spiritof entrepreneur-ship soaring high- PAGE 5 A few of theupcoming eventsto look forwardto- PAGE 4
Writing a business plan is a fundamental step to en-suring your business has every chance of succeeding.Common statistics state that 9 out of 10 businesses fail on the first 5 years of operation, and of the re-maining 10%, 90% fail in the following 5 years
 Why? There may be a number of reasons - from poorcustomer service,inadequate product,poor logistics man-agement and costcontrol. However, thenumber of businessesthat do not definetheir goals and mapout their path tosuccess is phenomenal. Taking thestep to define your business goals,plan where you want to go andwhat you want to achieve will placeyou in an increased position of fu-ture success and realization of yourdreams.Below is a list of the areas you needto consider when writing your busi-ness plan. These steps will helpdefine the business goals, the rea-son for existence (of the business),and define the direction you willtake.
Step 1- Define your vision
You may know inside your headwhy you want to start a business, and what businessit will be. However, your staff will not know this infor-mation, and after a time, you too will also forgetsome of the details. Write down what your mission isyour purpose and vision for the company. This setsthe tone for all business and actions taken on a dailybasis, working toward achieving your mission andpurpose.
Step 2 - Set your goals and objectives for the busi-ness
Think big. Do not let your own limitations impact onwhat you think your business is capable of achieving.Define what you short (less than 12 months), me-dium (1-3 years time frame) and long term goals(usually 3-5 years timeframe) will be. Think of topicssuch as how much revenue do you want to generate?How many outlets will you have? How much passiveincome will it produce for you in the future? How manycustomers on your database will you have? What willbe your geographic area of influence? These goals willbe a combination of your personal goals for your ownlife blended with that of the life of the business.
Step 3 - Define your USP
In order to stand out form the crowd, it is imperativethat you know and define your USP Unique SellingProposition. What it is that you offer and provide thatis different to other people in the market? It may bethat you offer additional services to your core product;it may be that you have a more personalized customerservice approach; it may be your after sales service andwarrantee on the product. What is it that your cus-tomer will be attracted to above otherbusinesses offering the same serviceor product? Once you know this, thenyou can use it as a focus for your cus-tomers to recognize you and remem-ber you.
Step 4 - Know your market
Have you ever thought up a brilliantidea and began to investigate it, onlyto find out that another business hasalready started with that exact sameidea? This happens daily to many peo-ple, but do not be discouraged. Themarketplace is huge and can support anumber of businesses providing thesame service. Look at petrol stationsand dry cleaners as an example. So, get to know themarket your market. How many competitors are there?What do they offer? What have the trends been in theindustry? What might be the future trends and pre-dicted growth/decline of the industry? Are there anybenchmarks you can base your business performanceon, such as profit margins, expected turnover per busi-ness size, and so on? Once you have a broader pictureof the market you are entering into, you will be betterequipped to handle and maximize your potential busi-ness growth.Contd…
For further reference :http://www.powerhomebiz.com/082005/ businessplan.htm
How to Write a B-Plan
Business planning is a vital component of starting and growing a successful enter- prise. Many different varia-tions of business plans ex-ist, so you must carefully choose the right one that serves your purpose and enterprise.  A well-executed business plan will enhancethe odds that your venturewill take a successful pathand satisfactorily fulfill your goals.
 The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn’t do - Thomas Edison
Research-based start-ups are new businessstart-ups that develop and market new productsbased on proprietary knowledge or skill. Such start-ups form the basis of technopreneurship, which hasreceived a great deal of attention from academics inthe last couple of years. Although considerable re-search has been done in the field of resources, strat-egy and industry environ-ment of new firms, littleattention has been paid tothe factors which control thespeed of innovation in start-ups. Innovation forms theheart of every techno-preneurial venture andhence it is essential to studythe forces which affect it.It is widely acceptedthat tangible assets such asstarting capital and the stage of product develop-ment at founding and intangible assets such as teamtenure, experience of founders, and collaborationswith third parties are important antecedents for in-novation speed in startups. Intuition suggests thatstarting capital and stage of product developmentencourage innovation speed. Moreover, its under-stood that team tenure and experience of founderslead to faster product launch. And of course, allianceswith third parties should also affect innovation speedpositively. But research says otherwise.Now why is innovation speed so important?Innovation speed is directly related to the time re-quired to market or time between firm founding andproduct launch. This might seem strange but it takesmonths to market the product even after productcreation. Especially for new ventures, time to marketis a crucial factor for these reasons (i) gaining earlycash flow for greater financial independence, (ii)gaining early market share, and (iii) to increase thelikelihood of survival. Moreover slow product devel-opment leads to increasing costs and no immediatefinancial returns.There are several ways in which a firm mayobtain the required financial resources, such as self-financing, loans, obtaining angel-investments and ven-ture capital, and of course grants. It is seen that mostfirms which have to expand quickly go for venture capi-tal. However, surveys indicate starting capital has nosignificant affect on innovation speed. This discrepancyis best described by the following reasons, (i) venturecapitalists may push firms to ramp up their commer-cialization efforts, divertingattention and investmentsfrom R&D toward marketingand sales, which may delayproduct completion, and (ii)venture capital and highamounts of initial investmentsmight be associated withmore ambitious projects,which inherently face longerdevelopment times.Higher stage of prod-uct development significantlyreduces the time to market the product but this is trueonly for non-software firms. Surprised? For softwarefirms, it is seen that the launch of a beta version con-siderably delays product launch. This is obvious be-cause customer involvement leads to repetitive modifi-cations to the product which ends up delaying productlaunch. This situation does not apply to non-softwareproducts probably because for such products repetitivemodifications are often impossible or pricey and hencecustomers don't get to dig in their noses too much!Thankfully, team tenure and experience countsand assists innovation as predicted by common sense.A better team shall always lead to more efficient prod-uct development. But alliances with third parties mayhinder innovation speed. Collaborations with privatefirms show no effect on innovation speed. Collabora-tions with universities slow down innovation speed butthis must not be taken as a setback because such col-laborations can be considered a long term investmentand may show profitable results in the long run.
Reference : J PROD INNOV MANAG 2007;24:303–31
Innovation Speed in Start-Ups
Failure defeats losers, failure inspires winners. – Robert T. Kiyosaki

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