Monday, January 28, 2008

Go BUS Go.........

Just imagine what would be the fate of Bangalooru without BMTC !!!! It would be killer traffic. Their are too many articles explaining about traffic in Metros. I don't have write about them.
I just want to say hats off to BMTC and KSRTC for managing it beautifully. These companies were much like Indian railways running under huge losses. Bus service was pathetic in Karanataka. Thankfully someone at BMTC and KSRTC was able to act at right time. Now BMTC alone has made 224.32 crores in year 06-07.
There is one thing they need to adopt yet, CNG. Thanks to these people Bangalooru is still green. This should also help them start trading carbon.
I'm just so happy talking about these people, without them we would be having killer blue line in Bangalooru too. Trust me guys it's horrible to see Blue line driving :)

I came across through Swaroop, I fell in love with the site on the first visit. Simplicity is what I loved. It would be great if they can come with something that will encourage people to use more public transport for daily conveyance. It will help in creating greener Bangalooru.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Choices for a Social entrepreneur

When we came up with the idea of SapGreen, we were in fix. We didn't know if we should start this
as an NGO, in the old fashioned way and people to donate money or to start this a profit making company. After few days of discussion we decided to go with the idea of a company.We had our reasons.

  • Accountability : To make sure our clients trusts us, we had to make sure we were accountable. We were ready to pay tax. We knew tax exemptions given by govt. to NGO/NPOs was a good thing, but it turns out be a play ground for the rich and mighty politicians. Just to narrate an incident, one my ex-colleagues had taken a receipt of 5 lac INR from an NGO to save his tax and the NGO in turn converted it's black money to white. He refused to tell me the name of the NGO.
  • Sustainability: By making a profitable business it not only helps us make sure the trees survive but also to make sure we grow. At the same time we could make sure to replace dead trees and monitor them.
In simple words profitability helps us serve better. Hence we decided to go with a profitable business model. You can actually see how companies like SELCO and TreeFlights are make a difference with a profitable business model.

Friday, January 25, 2008

BOP: Rickshawala

Ever since I read about C K Prahald's concept of BOP, I was looking to find many examples that already existed in India. The selling of smaller shampoo and soap packets was one nice thing. But most of the BOP initiatives were taken by huge companies which could afford. But I was trying to figure out if a small business can make profit by helping the nextbillion.

I have lived in Mysore since my birth, for almost 22 years. I had never been to northern parts of India.I decided to relocate to Noida for a shorter period, just to experience different things. When I first arrived in Delhi and took a cab, I saw a lot of cycle rickshaws. I was just more then shocked to see such public transport system. I had seen tangas in Mysore, they were available for sight seeing only, though are diminishing these days. But seeing so many people taking rickshaws to reach their work places was just surprising.

I got too curious and started doing some research. It was clear, most of the people had moved from villages from UP, selling their lands, just to move the cities. They own nothing. I was confused. Then I came across a Rickshawala who told me how this system worked. Most rickshawala's can't afford to buy a rickshaw and they don't prefer to do so. They just rent it !!!!! At 25 Rs a day it works out pretty fine for them. A single 2Km trip fetched them the investment they had made. They make around 150 to 200Rs ($5 a day).

Plus it's a nice thing

  • Provides affordable service to people
  • They don't cheat like autos in Bangalore or Delhi
  • Creates self employment
  • Thankfully for Delhi it has rickshaws to save them from pollution

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How to Start a company in India ?

When we had our first draft of business plan, we thought it's time to go ahead and register the company. When I visited MCA website, was relieved to see that they have option for doing many process online, which is a rare commodity in websites. After some googling we started and we were able to get our DIN and the process went smooth.
It was time to go for the next step, but we stopped !!!! Reason the process was simply pathetic. The website seem to get worse day by day. We had know way to proceed, until we came across
this DoingBusiness . Just to remind you this data is the ideal case. There's no way you can do it within 89 days.
Here's what we decided ; We went to an auditor. It was tough time to choose an auditor in Mysore, many didn't wanted to take and some said we do only "technology". Finally we got one who understood our idea and he agreed. And latter we cam know why other audiotrs rejected take this up.He said it would cost around 30K INR !!!!!! WOW there goes major chunk of our budget :(.

Now came another tough part, choosing the name, we had to choose four names.... that was OK, but the company name should also tell what your company does. No one knows what a GREEN business suffix should contain. Auditor suggested "SapGreen Marketing and Renewables Pvt. Ltd".

They rejected it saying the name was "too general" and no other information was given !!!! Yes the weasels rejected it saying the same thing three times. The worst part was they took their own time to reject our applications. They things much slower than a koala bear walks, what are they trying to preserve their energy for ? counting bribes I guess. It was so obvivous, they needed money and it was even more obvious we are not ready to give them. They are playing with our dreams. They will do anything for money, they even register companies like "Mintreee Tech" (note the extra 'e', check here) but not "SapGreen Renewables" !!!. (SapGreen here mean yele-hasiru in Kannada which has nothing to with SAP Technologoies). We are now trying with "EnLEn Marketing and Renewables Pvt Ltd". It has already been five months since we started this process :(

They are just killing innvoation. Hats off to all the Indian Entrepreneurs who do end up being successful after such chaotic start. It's a good thing I guess, because if you solve this problem you will have the mental strength to face any challenges :-).

Are you Credible enough to do such a thing !!!???

When I decided to quit my job, there were many type of questions,trying to discourage me, confuse me......... Most funniest of them was "Have you really thought about this ?"
What I'm supposed to say ?

"No man I don't "think", I just listen to my tooth fairy who comes in my dreams every night, she told me to quit the job "

Some of the questions were really annoying, some really crazy..... Then I had to quit answering them. But one question really made me think, "Are you credible enough to such a thing ?"

Now let me define "such" a thing, I want to be greenpreneur in India. No I don't want to be part of NGO. I want to run a business, a green business !!!!!

I thought about being credible enough. I did ask myself a few questions.

Who is the credible person to be a greenpreneur?
"Me and you"
How to become credible?
I just need to work towards it.
Is it impossible to start a business without right qualification?
Is there a right qualification for doing a business?

Now it's not just being greenpreneur, its for every business, every job,to be a father, to be a mother........... you need to be credible. But you will be credible enough only if you jump in and do it. No self made billionaires living today was credible enough when they started. You will never be credible enough to do anything as long as you listen to people who themselves are credible enough to be an Idiot for their lifetime.