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Showing posts from July, 2008

Taking Care Of Customers - By Sanjay Anandaram

The CEO of a leading online bus reservations company arrived late for our early morning meeting. I was upset for having been made to wait for what was our weekly meeting. He apologized profusely upon arrival and I could see that he was upset. He looked tired as well. I asked him if all was well. His story took my breath away.

Apparently, a customer had booked tickets through the company’s web-site for the last bus that departed late at night for Mumbai from Bangalore. Upon reaching the departure point, the customer was shocked to learn that the bus had been cancelled (the bus industry is not unknown for springing such surprises periodically) and that there was no other bus available.

The desperate customer, who had to urgently reach Mumbai the following morning, called the CEO’s company. The call-centre was just about to close after the last buses for the day had departed and were not at their responsive best. He was naturally livid. The CEO and his head of bus operations were hurried…

'Leading by Example" - Article by Sanjay Anandaram

Example 1: “I’m catching an overnight train to Hubli. My regional manager has set up a meeting with retail and corporate investors late tomorrow afternoon”, my friend told me. I asked why didn’t he just drive down in the morning rather than spend a night away from home. He replied, “It will give me time to spend with my branch colleagues there and I also plan on having lunch with them. There’s a nice masala dosa place near our office there and it’s been a while since I’ve caught up with all of them.” My friend is the founder and CEO of a leading financial services company. He tries his best to accept invitations to various events involving birthdays and weddings of his colleagues. He’s takes a genuine and personal interest in their well-being. He’s as comfortable in a road-side dhaba as in a high end 5-star restaurant.

My friend’s job requires him to travel extensively not just to metros but also to smaller towns around India. When travelling by air, he routinely takes the air-cond…

Profile of National Entrepreneurship Network

Business Today has article on the pioneering efforts of NEN, which has been promoted by NRI entrepreneur Romesh Wadhwani, to promote entrepreneurship in India.
NEN began with six colleges (winners of a competition in 2002 called Lock Stock and Trade) in Mumbai and spent the next few years building its own team, bank of students’ cells and entrepreneur-advisors as it sought to effect a change in the mindsets of students. “Five years ago, when we launched NEN, there was a clear need to accelerate entrepreneurship in India, especially at the college and university levels,” says Romesh Wadhwani, serial entrepreneur, whose eponymous foundation runs this network. The original goal for NEN was to launch thousands of first-generation entrepreneurs over 10 years, creating 100,000 high quality jobs and accelerating economic development in India. “Five years on, we have come a long way and made a big difference. Today, there are nearly 400 colleges and universities with entrepreneurship programme…

"My Lips are Sealed Mr. VC"

Rick Segal provides a list of 3 VC Questions You Should Not Answer and, if you can't seal your lips, some sample bogus answers.
1. Who else are you speaking to? [Answer: The usual suspects.]

2. What pre-money value did you have in mind? [We are looking for a deal that provides great returns for all of us.]

3. Can we speak to a few of your customers so we can better understand the value proposition? [No. Customer calls are post term sheet due diligence]
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the Private Equity and Venture Capital ecosystem in India. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.