December 31, 2004

Is it important for you to own a 51% stake in your company?

Here's what Guy Kawasaki, CEO of Garage Technology Ventures, has to say in his Forbes.com column:

The party that owns 51% of a company does not control it, other than on paper--and, maybe, in their minds. The moment you take $1 from outside investors, you are working for them. At the end of the day, your dream should be to hold 5% to 7% of a huge company, not 51% of a trivial one. To build a huge company, you do what you have to do, including bringing in investors who can help you. These investors will require a larger ownership than your, individual one.

December 28, 2004

Entrepreneurs who excercise do better at business

A survey of 336 entrepreneurs by Ball State University found those who regularly run reported better personal satisfaction, independence and autonomy than their non-excercising counterparts. The study also found that companies managed by runners report better sales results than firms directed by non-runners.

"Good physical condition should contribute to entrepreneur’s success in reaching their personal and financial goals as well," said Mike Goldsby, a Ball State entrepreneurship professor. Entrepreneurs who only weight train should add running to their workouts to increase their effectiveness, Goldsby adds.

Arun Natarajan is the Editor of TSJ Media, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of TSJ Media's Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.

December 16, 2004

Why segmented pricing not such a good idea

Pricing a product is often a very difficult task: there are simply too many variables out there. Joel Spolsky of Fog Creek Software has written a great article on the subject.

Spolsky first illustrates how segmentation - separating your customers into different groups according to how much they are willing to pay - maximes profitability. Theoretically.

He then argues why segmentation does not prove to be such a good idea in the real world:

It pisses the heck off of people. People want to feel they're paying a fair price. They don't want to think they're paying extra just because they're not clever enough to find the magic coupon code. The airline industry got really, really good at segmenting and ended up charging literally a different price to every single person on the plane. As a result most people felt they weren't getting the best deal, and they didn't like the airlines. When a new alternative arose in the form of low cost carriers (Southwest, jetBlue, etc.) customers had no loyalty whatsover to the legacy airlines that had been trying to pick their pockets for all those years.

And God help you if an A-list blogger finds out that your premium printer is identical to the cheap printer, with the speed inhibitor turned off...

...Even assuming you're willing to deal with a long-term erosion of customer goodwill caused by blatant price discrimination, segmentation is just not that easy to pull off...If your customers talk amongst themselves, they're going to find out about the price you're offering the other people, and you'll find yourself forced to match the lowest prices for everyone. Especially the big corporate purchasers who theoretically should have the "maximum willingness to pay" since they represent rich customers. Corporations have full time purchasing departments staffed with people whose entire job is whittling down prices. These people go to conferences where they learn how to get the best price. They practice saying "no. cheaper." all day long in front of mirrors. Your sales guy doesn't stand a snowflake's chance in hell.

Arun Natarajan is the Editor of TSJ Media, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of TSJ Media's Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.

December 15, 2004

Video interview with Guy Kawasaki

Click Here to view an interesting video interview with Guy Kawasaki, Founder & CEO of Garage Technology Ventures and author of some great books on start-ups and entrepreneurship.

December 05, 2004

Why 2 week vacations should be mandatory even for entrepreneurs

As an bootstrapping entrepreneur - and until recently, an one-man show - vacations have been a luxury that I can not afford to even think about.

This blog posting by Terry Gold, Founder, CEO, and President of Gold Systems, has however made me think differently about the need for vacations. It seems as if they are not something meant for "spoilt, no-care-in-the-world employee types" only.

An extract:

If you only take a week at a time, I think you're only getting the mental benefit of about one day off. Think about it - the first three days you're still thinking about work. You get one good day and then spend the next three days thinking about going back to work. I think it takes two weeks at least, consecutive, with little or no thoughts of work to really recharge.

Your employees could probably use the break too, and they get to prove that they can run the business without you. If you must think about work, keep the thoughts big and bring back a good idea or two.


November 28, 2004

Getting VC funding without a MBA

# Unless your best friend in the world -- whom you happen to have embarrassing pictures of -- is a VC partner, please do not contact any VC. It makes no sense.

# Passion, experience, real-world results are not qualifiers for introduction to VCs. An MBA from some elite school with 20 board members who know Jack Welch personally, with an extremely complicated idea that has never been built, are preferred.

-- E-mail from a Dallas-based CEO to Jerry Colonna, a former VC with JPMorgan Chase, Flatiron Partners and CMG@Ventures.

Here's an extract from Colona's response to the e-mail in his column for Inc.com:

Yes, I'll admit, having compromising pictures of a VC may help get a meeting or even a term sheet, but the larger point speaks to the network effect. Implicit in his frustration is a question I often got when I was on the speaking circuit while an active investor: What's the best way to get the attention of a VC?

Unfortunately he's right about the business school mafia that exists out there. Perhaps the single most important reason for getting an MBA is the network of alumni that comes along with it. I detest that fact. As a graduate of a public college in New York City, as someone without an MBA, I sympathize greatly with his frustration.

But he's missing the larger point; the point is that you MUST get connected. You know that business relies on people connecting with other people and that few great ideas are truly great enough to break through and emerge as successful companies without the founder/entrepreneur/CEO going out and pressing the flesh. So you don't have an MBA. So what? Go out and find a network you can join. If there's none in your area, start a chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) or Young Entrepreneurs' Organization (YEO). Go to you nearest university and meet with the professors there.

October 10, 2004

When do you need to write the business plan?

"Business plans should be the last thing you do, not the first. The common wisdom seems to go like this: 'I've got a great idea, so I guess I better write a business plan'. Wrong," says Jeff Cornwall, the Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

According to him, entrepreneurs should get the following elements in place before sitting down to write the biz plan;


Research the market to make sure that there is really a market. Try to figure out what a customer might pay for what you want to sell. And look carefully at all of the competition to see if that market is already being nicely taken care of. And by the way, there is always competition, no matter what you try to tell me to the contrary. If the market potential is marginal, go on to your next idea.

Examine what it will cost to provide the service or make the product. Compare this cost to what you figured out you think you can charge in the previous step. If there is enough profit, keep going forward. Enough can be a difficult standard to nail down. But I like to see at least a 50% profit margin at this early stage. (Of you can't calculate profit margin, take an accounting class somewhere to learn how--you need to know the "language of business"). If there is not enough margin in your idea, give it up and go on to your next one.

Make sure you know what you're getting into. Lifestyle issues matter. Know the hours and the investment a business requires before jumping in. Make sure it is something that builds from your experiences in some way, and is something you can be passionate about. There will be some long days and weeks and even months, so do something that excites you and can carry you through these low points. If your hear can't be in this deal, go on to your next idea.


Click Here to read the full article.

September 23, 2004

The Vinod Khosla difference

Some extracts from Joe Kraus, co-founder of search engine company Excite, recent 2-part blog post -
here and
here - on the importance of persistence gives a good idea about why Vinod Khosla of Kleiner Perkin's is concered "an entrepreneur's dream VC":

While we were still in the garage (literally), we met with at least 15 different venture capital firms. The meetings we're all the same. We showed them our search technology, showed them "concept-based" search, and showed them targeted advertising. To a firm, the first question they asked was a very reasonable one: 'great stuff guys, but what's your business plan? how are you going to make money?' Of course, being 22 years old and fresh out of college we replied, 'we thought you could help us out with that.' Apparently, that's the wrong answer. Who knew?

Rinse, lather, repeat.

Then we met Vinod...

By then, our deal had developed a certain "smell" -- smart guys with interesting technology but an uncertain business plan. The demo to Vinod started off like they all did, but about 10 minutes into the meeting things got very different. He interrupted

"Can the technology scale? can you search a large database?"

Big Pause. It's not the money question. No one has ever asked us this before. Ummm.

"We don't know, we can't afford a hard drive big enough to test."

Then, an amazing thing happened. Ten minutes into this meeting, his first introduction to the company and us, he pulls out his his cell phone, dials his assistant and buys us a $10,000, 10Gb hard drive.


Another instance (post funding):

Back in those days, the Netscape browser had two buttons in the chrome that don't exist today. They were called NetSearch and NetDirectory (NetSearch, of course, became Search but NetDirectory disappeared into the ether). That summer, Netscape let it be known that they were going to put the destinations of those buttons up for bid. Previously they had given, for free, the NetDirectory button to Yahoo and the NetSearch button to Infoseek.

This was the premier beachfront real estate on the web up for bid. We were terrified. We needed to get it...

...We were screwed because we didn't have enough money to compete. How were we going to outbid MCI? A freaking phone company? Infoseek had more money and more users.

We gathered the troops and I distinctly remember sitting on the floor of my office with a big chunk of our small company and Vinod (Arun's emphasis and note: He was there when Excite needed him). And suddenly the right answer appeared.

We were going to bid $3,000,000.

It was Vinod who suggested it. Forced us into really. (Arun's emphasis). We had $1M in the bank and we were bidding $3M. How was that going to fly?

Vinod made a critical point. If we don't get this deal we're nowhere. If we do get the deal, we can probably raise the money on this victory alone.

Strangely enough it felt right. A bit irresponsible perhaps, but in reflection it was truly a bet-the-company moment and we bet big. It was appropriate.


How Vinod Khosla created Sun Microsystems

While I knew the one line description "Vinod Khosla was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems and was earlier part of the founding team at Daisy Systems", I hadn't come across a more detailed version of Khosla's pre-KPCB exploits before Joe Kraus talked about it on his blog.

Here are some extracts from the Harvard Business School case study (by Dr. Amir Bhide) that I found interesting:

How a Stanford secretary "linked up" SUN's co-founders:

I'm probably more of a conceptual engineer, and I can draw block diagrams for almost anything I can think of, but I can almost never implement them. So I started looking for someone who had done this kind of stuff before. I heard of a project at Stanford called the Stanford University Network, or Sun.workstation project. I called the computer science department, and some secretary who did not want to bother a professor gave me the uame of a graduate student from Germany, Andy Bechtolsheim.

Apparently, Andy, who was also at Carnegie at the same time I was, but I did not know him there, had come to Stanford to do his Ph.D. in CAD tools. I think he realized there was no appropriate machine to develop CAD tools, following the same discovery process I had gone through, so he decided to build one himself. His specs fit mine almost to a T.

Andy had developed the workstation concept in a fair amount of detail and had a prototype implementation of lt. Stanford had assigned the technology to him because, in their great wisdom, and after calling DEC and Prime, they had decided it had no value.

So, for over a year he had been licensing the technology to six or seven companies. He had invested $25,000 of his own money into building prototypes, and as a grad student licensing it at $10,000 a pop, he thought that was just wonderful.

Bechtolsheim offered Khosla his usual $10,000 license. Instead, Khosla tried to persuade Bechtolsheim to join forces to start a company to build workstations based on his designs.

I said to him, "I want the goose that laid the golden egg, and I don't want the golden egg." I thought that kind of resource is very rare to get. So I would rather have him than any one design he would come up with. I had nothing very concrete to offer. I told him we could build a big company, that we could raise a few million dollars. He would be a founder of the company.


As an entrepreneur, VCs were good to VK.

Andy Bechtolsheim agreed to participate by late January 1982. The two started working out of Andy's office at Stanford and in a couple of weeks had produced a brief plan.

It was a real concise statement of the reasons for making an investment: how the economics had changed, what the product would be, when it would be out, and how big it could be and why the market made sense.

The next day, February 12, we met with two venture capitalists, one of whom, Bob Sackman, had helped me write the Daisy business plan. Within three or four days, they agreed to give us $300,000 in equity. They gave us a $100,000 check right away and said, "You can get going and let's work on the paperwork." On February 22, we formally incorporated the company and received the remaining $200,000. The price of the stock was $2.75 a share. We also gave them an option to put an additional $2.2 million for a total of $2.5 million at $5.60 a share, that option to expire on June 30, 1982. By that date we were supposed to hire a marketing person, write a business plan, and demonstrate a prototype.

Bob Sackman led the thing, and he trusted me. It was really on trust. There was very little due diligence on their part- - they just believed in the concept and said, "Yes, we think you can do it.


Importance of containing burn:

We were unlike most start- ups. Most start- ups have everything- - marketing, sales, support, advertising, and PR- - in place even before they have a product to sell. They get up to $600,000 to $800,000 a month of expenses before they've really started selling anything. In that range, given you're starting out with low gross margins because your product costs are high, you've got to start selling $1.5 million worth just to break even in 8 month.

Click Here to read the full case study.

The importance of persistence

Joe Kraus, co-founder of search engine company Excite, has a very interesting 2-part blog post -
here and
here - on the importance of persistence for entrepreneurs.

He provides examples from Excite's experience as well as that of its investor, Vinod Khosla of Kleiner Perkins (during his Sun Microsystems days).

Do read.

September 20, 2004

"Bad employees do more damage than no employee"

"I always keep two things in mind when hiring, no matter how desperate I feel: 1. a bad employee does far more damage than no employee, no matter the issue, and 2. A players hire A players, B players hire C players, and C players hire losers," says Joe Kraus, a co-founder of Internet search engine firm Excite in his new blog. "Let your standards slip once and you're only two generations away from death," he adds.

Quoting from the book How Would You Move Mt Fuji, Kraus points out how Microsoft "seeks to avoid hiring the wrong person, even if this occasionally means missing out on some good people."

Google, the other great tech company of our times, has a similar hiring policy. The company's "hiring process is notoriously long and complicated". "A single no-vote of the hiring committee means you're not in. Why? Because they put the principle of 'no false positives' to work. They assume that there is a huge talent pool of great people and that they can afford to pass on people that would be great fits in order to make sure they never let someone through who doesn't fit."

Kraus acknowledges that such stringent policies are very hard to adhere to - especially in a start-up where "you've got much more to do than you have people to do it". Despite this, he advises entrepreneurs not to compromise. "Slip up even once and it's trouble fast."

August 05, 2004

Advice against starting up

In an article appearing in StartupJournal, Warren Schulz - who has started and sold two small businesses - provides strong counter points to the "great benefits of being your own boss".

An extract from this must read article for all "aspiring entrepreneurs":

Let me offer this reality check. If you're employed in corporate America, you've probably got a steady paycheck. If you get sick, your employer's health insurance plan probably will cover most of your doctor's bills. If you want a vacation, you're apt to have paid time off. For the most part, you can do your eight and hit the gate. You've got it made; you just don't know it.

Running your own business is hard. But you think you're smart and can take an idea and make it happen. Odds are good that you'll lose half of your start-up cash by making mistakes. They may involve bad leases, employees, records, decisions, ideas or luck. The bottom line: You're bound to make mistakes, and they'll cost you.

May 17, 2004

Are you ready to get lucky?

By Arun Natarajan

I recently watched an interview with MphasiS-BFL's Chairman & CEO Jerry Rao television ( Udaya TV on February 20, 2004), when he said - quite firmly - that luck plays a huge role in any entrepreneur's success. He said a large part of his success was owed to the fact that he was "at the right place at the right time".

Rao gave examples to prove his point about luck being so important. For instance, his highly successful career with Citibank had begun "willy nilly" - via a campus placement at IIM-A. And even his founding of Mphasis Corporation, a California-based software company that subsequently merged with BFL Software to form Mphasis-BFL, was sparked off by a chance meeting with MphasiS' future co-founder during a flight trip.

Rao's remarkably candid and humble admission made me think about the role of luck in my own entrepreneurial endeavors as well as that of my friends. And sure enough, I could think of quite a few instances where sheer luck - good or bad - made all the difference.

Obviously we all know about the definition of luck as something that happens when "preparation meets opportunity". But is this always true? How about an entrepreneur whose idea was simply too early to market? What if the market that he was going after, blooms - to the benefit of his followers - two years after his start-up folds up?

As I was thinking more on these lines, as luck would have it (!), I ran across articles and interviews with other leading entrepreneurs which backed Rao's views on the Luck Factor.

Guy Kawasaki (the former Apple executive who founded investment bank Garage.com) says in his Forbes.com column that if he were to allocate weights to factors that contribute to entrepreneurial success, he would give 20% to experience, 10 % to classroom learning, 30% to hard work and 40% to luck. 40 per cent!

Seth Godin (who founded online entertainment and marketing company Yoyodyne and sold it to Yahoo!) actully wrote an article titled "The L Factor" in Fast Company magazine. "Friendster, the online social networking service, is the latest viral rage. It recently turned down a chance to be acquired by Google for $30 million. Just a few years ago, though, SixDegrees.com was offering almost precisely the same service, and it's no longer on the radar," he points out.

"Every time you launch a product or service .... you're either going to hit or not. If you get lucky, you're entitled to deny that luck had anything to do with it. But if you fail - and you probably will - understanding the role of the L factor will keep you sane. And if you've planned for it, it will keep you solvent as well. Solvent enough to try again and again, until you make it (and take all the credit)," Godin says.

Other entrepreneurs like Vani Kola, founder of software firms RightWorks (sold to ICG) and Nth Orbit, do not believe luck has any magical quality to it. It isn't something that will happen to you if you just sit back and relax. Or just another employee.

"Luck is the ability to recognize and take advantage of an opportunity.... It's being able to take the risk, and if you're wrong, you have to be able to change it," she said during a panel discussion at Silicon Valley's Churchill Club.

So, can entrepreneurs "plan" to get lucky?

Godin feels that the answer is to spread your bets. "Do that with lots of products, not just one or two. Cut your overhead so you have plenty of chips, ready for another spin of the roulette wheel," he advises.

Sergio Magistri of InVision Technologies (a company which makes explosive detection systems for airport security), another member of the Churchill Club panel, thinks having the "smartest possible team working together" is a good insurance against bad luck. When he was asked in an interview whether, after the September 11 attacks, his company felt like they had "won the lottery", Magistri replied saying "Yes, but you wouldn't believe how many tickets we bought." Yes, InVision was in exactly the right business post 9/11. But in preparation for it, the team had to make "investment in time, in people, in energy, in human work, in getting your people to work together the right way".

Amnon Landan, Chairman & CEO of enterprise software company Mercury Interactive and another member of the Churchill Club panel, provides a military analogy. "When they shoot at you, you can stay behind a rock and you'll be safe, or you can try and get to whomever is shooting at you. So you jump from one rock, to the other one, to the other one. You get exposed in the process, but in the end, you can actually point at who is shooting at you and take care of business. When you take this approach, you increase the risk but you increase the likelihood that you'll win," he said. "I think that's what entrepreneurs do - they take more risks so when they fail, they fail big. But they increase their likelihood that they'll be lucky".

So, the bottom line on the "L Factor" seems to be that if you have the other qualities required of a good enterpreneur (i.e. education, experience and hard work), there is a high probability that you will get lucky as well.

What do you think?

Arun Natarajan is Editor of TSJ Media. He can be reached at arun(at)tsjmedia.com

April 26, 2004

What makes Infosys tick?

Extract from Infosys Technologies co-founder and CEO Nandan M Nilekani's interview to CIOL:

Actually when Infosys was formed, all of us were working with Patni in Mumbai and Narayan Murthy was our boss there, heading the software group. The group strongly felt that there is a need to create a very professional company, one that was based on very strong ethics and values. We also wanted to create a company that really valued people. That is how we started. The fact of the matter is that there were many such companies that started at the same time during early '80s, however, what made us different was that we stuck it out-we realized that it was not a sprint but a marathon and we were long distance runners. We went through difficult times, but none of us digressed from the common vision. All of us believed that Infosys was bigger than any of us and we were willing to subordinate our egos and our desire to larger boats. I think that determination to create a world-class company, to stick together, willingness to keep Infosys ahead of any individual-perhaps these are the characteristic not many people and companies had to the extent we had. That's why we were able to last the marathon for last 23 years.

Click Here to read the full interview.

February 19, 2004

From fighting VCs to funding Hindi films


In a new column for BusinessWeek Online, Vivek Wadhwa, Founder, Chairman and former CEO of US-based enterprise software firm Relativity Technologies, talks about how he fought--and won--against his Venture Capital investors while recovering from a massive heart attack, and has now stepped back to do something "less stressful": produce Hindi films.

"While still in the Critical Care Unit, I received a phone call saying that my investors felt the need to renegotiate the terms of the current financing. Two days later and still bandaged, I left the hospital and walked, uninvited, into a closed-door meeting, where investors were trying to convince my executive team to accept more money for a revised agreement that would give them majority ownership. I flatly refused, and ended the meeting," he says. "My investors sent me a letter demanding that I step aside and allow the younger brother of a partner in one of their firms to take over the company I had founded, built with most of my life savings, and paid for with a cardiac arrest. For the next few months, I spent what little energy I had fighting people I formerly held in high regard," he adds.

Click Here to read the full column.

February 13, 2004

Do and Don'ts of Networking


"Networking is about serendipity...The more places and times you are meeting people, the more likely it is that you'll find what you're looking for," says Kevin Laws, a VC at US-based August Capital, in his posting at VentureBlog.

"It's about making your interests and needs widely known (a new job, companies to invest in, people to hire, money to raise) and listening to the interests and needs of others. Because of the FOAF concept ("friend-of-a-friend"), you are likely to run across somebody who needs what somebody else you know is offering. Eventually, that person will be you," he adds

Other extracts from this article will is full of useful "how to network" tips:

Networking is a process, not a goal, and should be done constantly rather than only when you have a specific need.

People at networking events are often there to meet others, plural, not just one person. They want to pay attention to you briefly then move on to meeting somebody else.

Whatever you do, don't waste the opportunity by seeking out the people you already know well or spending your time at the drink counter.

Don't get overly hung up on any particular contact. Remember, networking is about serendipity not persistence.

If you want advice, ask for money; if you want money, ask for advice...Try a much softer method.

Click Here to read the full article.

January 17, 2004

Marketing tips from my Cable TV Operator

By Arun Natarajan

Here is a posting (quoted verbatim) from the telecom focused India-GII forum at Yahoo Groups (dated Jan 13, 2004):

Three months before, I got a connection from my cable operator who had
takn a pipe from HTMT (in cable netowrk) Setup charges 3500, monthly
Rs. 500 for 400 MB data transfer. When I mentioned it on this list the
members advised me that it is not posible to offer such rats. I should
have heeded their advice. last month suddenly my connection stopped
working. When I enquired, I found that that I had used up my 250 MB
limit. I was shocked, asked what is the matter and was given a new
rate card of 250 MB for Rs. 500. No intimatin no warnings Just a
simple blocking through their software. Reason HTMT has increased
their rates. It was a simple marketing technique. Offer reduced rates,
once I am hooked on to it, increase rates. Now I am stuck to their
rates. They charge Rs. 1000 for single computer for unlimited access
but I am not biting this time. best regds bala


I empathize with Bala. But, I don't think it would be right to call this a "marketing technique"--simple or otherwise.

If anything, it's bad marketing. By not meeting his expectations, Bala's service provider has pissed him off. And he's now giving them bad word-of-mouth through this forum--which has several folks who are either potential customers for "always on" Internet connections, or are approached by others for recommending such services.

I would like to share a contrasting experience that I had with my cable TV operator.

Some time back, when broadcasters hiked rates for their channels, my operator decided that he had to pass it on to his customers. Instead of just demanding more when he came around to collect money the next month (ie, popping an un-anticipated and upleasant news), he actually put out a flier - issued well before month end and slipped under the apartment doors in our neighbourhood. He included the breakup of the rates that the broadcasters charge him and said that he hoped that we would understand his situation and bear with the hike in rates.

His note certainly did not help us as far the monthly budget went. But the fact that he had bothered to tell us in advance, in such a polite and transparent AND without interrupting us in the process, certainly helped soften the blow--especially towards him. (This means that, if he started a different business tomorrow and came to sign me up as a customer, I would give him a chance.)

Given the way in which consumers, can so easily air their grievances through the Net, services providers--and especially, ISPs--should be careful about setting and meeting expectations of their customers.

PS: Here's another interesting "marketing technique" that my Cable TV guy uses: he offers a Rs.10 discount to those consumers who pay their monthly Cable TV bill at his office before the 5th of the month.

January 12, 2004

Nasscom proposes fund to help SMEs file patents


The National Association of Software & Services Companies (Nasscom) has proposed a special fund, in association with the Indian government, to provide financial assistance to small and medium sized software products firms to file patents, Financial Express reports quoting Nasscom president Kiran Karnik.

The quantum of the funds required for each company will be determined by a Nasscom-designated committee based on the importance of the product and the extent of handholding required. The funds will be provided initially as a loan. If the patent application is successful, the amount will be converted into a grant.

Click Here to read the full news item.

January 09, 2004

Govt. announces Rs.10,000-Cr fund to provide soft loans for SMEs


On January 09, the finance minister Jaswant Singh announced that the central government is to set up a Rs.10,000 crore fund for providing loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The interest on loans from the new fund will be provided at 2% below the prime lending rate, the minister said. The fund is expected to be operational within four weeks and is to be structured by the the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).


Click Here
to read the PTI news agency report on the announcement.

Be vary of VCs, say ex-Internet entrepreneurs


"In 2002, we sold egurucool to NIIT for Rs.14 crore. But that was because we were forced by the venture capitalists (VCs) to do so. I didn’t want to," says Vivek Agrawal, co-founder of online education company egurucool, in a Business Standard article. "VCs are a double-edged sword," he adds in the article featuring interviews with former Internet entrepreneurs and executives.

"Set up your venture without external investment," advises Rajiv Vij, co-founder of net2travel.

Click Here to read the full article.