Jayanti Gupta shares her ecommerce success story!

Jayanti Gupta completed her PhD in Statistics before delving into the world of ecommerce. Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry in the United States of America, she found her heart in entrepreneurship in 2012.

She decided to showcase the beauty of artisanal sarees from Bengal to the world, resulting in the birth of Parinita, an online venture that offers handpicked  Bengali sarees that represent impeccable design, authenticity and excellent quality.

As part of our WomEntrepreneur Series, we present an enlightening interview with the very dynamic Jayanti Gupta.

How did you build your brand when you started off in this segment?

A: Initially, it was about gaining the trust of the customer, as we were the first online store dealing exclusively in handloom sarees from Bengal. Then it was about understanding what our customers wanted – as there are variations in taste across regions, age-groups, social background as well as seasonal trends.

Two years into the venture has given us a good footing in this space now. Today, the challenges are about maintaining the reputation of our brand and ensuring customer satisfaction in a sea of mass-made and often dubious stuff flooding the online apparel market.

Which is better, selling traditionally in a physical store or online retail?

A: The product that we sell (saree) is one in which touch and feel are very important to the customer when she makes her choice. I know I will never be able to replicate the pleasure that this traditional method of shopping gives her through an online medium.

Yet, the fact that I can now give her access to a large variety of niche handloom sarees at her fingertips, that were previously very difficult for her to get her hands on, gives me immense satisfaction.

How do you innovate to improve sales and the overall business strategy?

A: Adopting new technologies to improve customer experience on the website and using more innovative digital marketing techniques are what we do on a continuous basis.

We use existing data to predict customer preferences in order to be able to serve them better.  Market intelligence helps us recognize new trends and drive the business accordingly.

Which are the new categories that excite you now?

A: My focus continues to be handloom sarees from Bengal. Within this segment, we now strive to get deeper and unearth more exotic patterns, unique fabrics, rare-to-be-seen designs, uncommon shades, and make all of this available to the discerning customer at very affordable prices.

Our diversity stems from the variety that we provide, and I think we have only touched the tip of the iceberg yet.

Is there opportunity for more women in this segment? Do you see potential for more women to participate in selling online apparel?

A: Most certainly. Any woman with an offline business, who wishes to grow her customer base geographically, who deals with seasonal clothing, has niche garments for special occasions, has expertise in regional specialties, or apparel designers with limited marketing muscle should try out the online medium.

There is very little upfront investment required to set up an online store, so is especially suited for first-time entrepreneurs. There is a lot of space for new players here, and one can grow as gradually or aggressively as one desires.

What is one tech gadget you can’t be without?

A: All I need is a reliable smartphone with a long-lasting battery life!

 Your business mantra to success?

A: Be honest to yourself and to your customers – business, growth and success will all follow you.


Rise of App Economy in India



Rewinding back to mid and the late 1990’s, almost every company had a website to reach their customers. Today the scene hasn’t changed much except for the transition from these cluttered websites to user-friendly mobile applications. The rise of mobile applications can be credited to the ease access that it offered to the customers. In today’s scenario, the need for a mobile based application is as great as it did for a website 20 years ago. Mobile based applications have furthered the extent to which technology can ease our life.

India in spite of still being addressed as a Developing Nation, we are the fourth largest app economy in the world with numbers speculating that app downloads may cross 20 billion by the year 2020. The facts do check with more people relying on apps more than websites. Statistics say that about 97% of users in India rely on these mobile applications over browsers and websites. Another interesting demographic suggests that about 25% of the population in India use ride-sharing applications such as Rapido, Uber, and the like for everyday commuting, putting India at first in the ride-sharing segment as compared to other countries across the globe.

In undeniable that apps have become an essential part of our daily lives. It lets one book a ride, order grocery, pay other people, recharge phones etc. with much ease. The ‘Make in India’ programme by the government of India also plays a vital role in boosting our app economy. Despite a looming unemployment problem, rising app economy in India is expected to provide around 1,00,000 employment opportunities in the current fiscal year of 2017-18. Estimates value of India’s app economy to be of Rs 2,000 crore having more than 3,00,000 developers across the country. Of which Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi having the maximum number of developers when compared to other cities.

The major challenge that app developers in India face is monetizing their idea into a successful revenue. Incidentally, Most of the Apps listed on Google Play are free which mean developers earn major money through advertising. But in India, 60% of the total internet users hate Online Ads and the other 40% are least bother about them. The current business model of applications in India is based on a hit & trial model.

The present revenue rate of apps in India is poor, which is one of the most crucial aspects where all entrepreneurs have a great concern for. Another huge challenge posting the industry is high customer acquisition cost. About 90% of customer acquisitions in India are discount-driven acquisitions & the average acquisition cost per customer is somewhere in the range of Rs. 80-120.

It’s interesting to see how the application industry in growing despite such harsh conditions. The big answer to look forward is how our app economy shall grow in the future with the current revenue models.


Mobile App Market In India: World’s 4th Largest App Economy Now

India’s growth rate to be more than China

When compared with India’s total app downloads per year, only China, US, and Brazil are ahead of the developing nation. The annual figure for India is expected to grow by 92% which will amount to 7.7 billion downloads this year and by 2020, this figure will rise to 20.1 billion.

As compared the app download in China is expected to grow at as slow as 29% this year. However, China’s absolute figure will be 49 billion which means it will be more than six times of India’s figure.

“With the introduction of affordable smart phones and better infrastructure supporting mobile, and given India’s population, the growth here is expected to be significant,” Junde Yu, MD of App Annie APAC.

According to Junde Yu, the most important thing that is now driving the app economy here is the amount of time spent by the users on the mobile app and not the revenue or the number of downloads.

In India, the amount of time spent on apps in the first quarter of 2016 has increased more than 2 times as compared to that in the first quarter of 2014.

 Retail apps, video streaming apps, ride-sharing app will continue to grow

India has seen a major rise in the time spent on retails apps. Mathematically speaking, the amount of time spent grew by 11.5 in the first quarter of this year as compared to that of 2014. The retail apps market is largely driven by e-commerce giants like Snapdeal, Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart and MarketApp.

Whereas time spent on video streaming apps rose by 7.4 times with Hotstar and YouTube heading the way.

“People have this perception in India that users spend more time on browsers. That is not true. Our data shows that the percentage of time spent on apps in India is the same as around the world, at 93% (the remaining 7% comes from mobile browsers).”

Why India’s app market is growing?

There is a misconception with regard to time spend on browsers by Indians. The data by App analytic company shows that the percentage of time spent on apps in India is the same as around the world that is, 93% and the remaining 7% comes from mobile browsers.


India’s initiative to maximize the growth in app market

There is a need for the Government to make policies that are aligned with the application development market in India in order to enable them to take a leadership position along with maximizing the revenue.

Along with India being the world’s second largest user of applications, it might become the largest developer base.


Franchise Opportunity




The fact is, we regularly receive calls from business owners that have no reason to consider franchising their business, and many start by immediately asserting the fact that their business is either, new, struggling, or not even opened yet, but that they think their current or future business will be the next great American franchise.

Because franchising is consistently reported as being such a hot industry, it tends to give the impression to would-be Franchisors that it is much, much simpler than it sounds to become a franchise powerhouse, and many equate the “build it and they will come” mentality with the franchise industry. It is quite concerning how many business owners and opportunists assume that any business can be easily franchised and replicated by the hundreds into successful units.

When you opt for a franchise route you need not go through the initial problems of setting up a business from scratch, because somebody else has already done the entire spade work. Somebody else has already proved that the business model works. Thus your business is based on an idea that has already been translated into reality and proved its success.


Aside from the costs for utilizing professionals service providers, the total financial investment and steps required to properly launch and fund a new franchise model can vary considerably from industry to industry.

This makes it extremely difficult for me to quote you a specific cost estimate. Typically, the amount of investment that is required to adequately fund a launch will be in close ratio to the differences t hat you would find in funding the original business when compared to other businesses.

My point being, is that it is more affordable to fund an original business that is service based, requires little capital investment or equipment, is operated in a minimal space requirement and with limited staff than say a 400-seat restaurant that requires substantial real estate, equipment, furnishing and personnel to establish and operate.

While some of the steps and costs that are incurred to start a franchise based on a large business are the same as those to start a franchise based on a small, more limited size business, many of the additional costs will be based on the complexity of the original business.

For that reason, it is important to obtain a clear understanding of the costs that are expected for developing your specific business into a proper franchise model. This can generally be accomplished by seeking professional development services or using the guidance of an experienced franchise attorney with a strong business background that can also guide you through the business portions of the development process.

Franchisee Benefits

The benefits are attractive. So much so that, as a franchisor, you may wonder what’s in it for the franchisees. What makes buying a franchise – your franchise – so appealing? It’s an important question because you need franchisees to succeed.

There are many benefits of franchising. The benefits of becoming a franchisee are that the franchisor has already established a profitable business model that is tried, tested and proven to be successful. The products or services that they provide are in demand and could be supplied and sold or provided in new areas, counties or even countries as their reputation and brand awareness increases.

The good news is that the benefits of buying a franchise are just as attractive. For example, your franchisees will gain instant brand recognition, initial training, ongoing support and increased purchasing power all for much less than it would cost to start an independent company.

The Fastest-Growing Sectors in the Franchise Industry

If you’re one of those who likes things to move fast, who wants a new challenge all of the time, then maybe a fast-growing franchise is for you. We’ve culled the fastest-growing franchises from Entrepreneur’s Franchise and compiled a list to get you started–fast.




This ranking is not intended to endorse any particular franchise, but rather to provide a starting point for your research. Due diligence includes thoroughly reading a company’s literature and its Franchise Disclosure Document, calling and visiting existing franchisees, and consulting with an attorney and an accountant. Here’s where slowing down makes sense: You should only buy a fast-growing franchise after you’ve taken the time to conduct a careful investigation.



MarketApp.online is empowering retailers to Sell Online and Create Unique Brand Presence

Ecommerce is exploding at a frenetic pace and more and more retailers and hopping on to the bandwagon. Creating a unique brand niche is difficult and reaching out to customers even more so but Market App Online uses cutting edge technology in an app that gets retailers to sell and establish a strong online presence.

Commenting on the marketapponline app, the founder of the company says “We have small retailers under the lens and it is our sincerest wish to help them grow and establish a strong foothold in a competitive market. Marketapp online is the result, a one-stop ecommerce solution with no transaction fees at all. Users just select a package to start with and realize instant results in the form of sales every day. What they invest they recoup in less than a year.”

Marketappline features are targeted at small retailers and their needs. Marketapp online offers easy website, a mobile app and a social media store in the package. Each client’s storefront is customized for unique individual look. Retailers enjoy the facility of a secure payment gateway with low charges so they can charge low and yet make a profit.

The app also features complete ecommerce feature that includes inventory management, shipping and tracking for better customer experience. At each point customers have access to total support from a dedicated account manager. Customers receive training on how to use the marketapp online features to maximum advantage.

Marketapp online, the premier ecommerce solution for retailers in these days of mobile technologies, is priced affordably. There are various packages to suit a retailer’s requirements. One can start with a silver plan at a low Rs. 12000 and go on to the diamond plan with plenty of features at Rs 80000 with plenty of customizable options in between. “Hundreds of retailers are joining the marketapp online family and are profiting each day,” claimed the representative.

Technology often baffles retailers who are more used to handling products and selling for cash. For them digital technologies, ecommerce and payment online can be a whole new ball game that can be confusing as well as expensive. It does entail an investment in the marketapp online package but the results far outweigh the investment.

A retailer who sells to a dozen customers in his local area can now sell to hundreds of customers across the world. A customized app on Google Playstore gives instant access to millions of potential buyers. From selling a few products today, any retailer can add to his portfolio and sell hundreds tomorrow. From local he goes global.

Marketapp online ushers in a new era of prosperity and all for so very little. We invite entrepreneurs to take the plunge and promise rewards far beyond their expectations, said the spokesperson of the company.

WVEF: Inspiring women entrepreneurs with stories of success

Successful businesswomen fire up entrepreneurs’ meeting in São Paulo for the Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum.

The Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum (WVEF) today continued in São Paulo, Brazil, with powerful testimonials by entrepreneurs from across the world who have overcome the barriers that often prevent women from succeeding in business.

Dr. Anna T. M. Mokgokong, co-founder and executive chairman of Community Investment Holdings, a South African company led the charge. She called on businesswomen to work even harder to succeed. ‘The patriarchal is system is global and is everywhere, and we are all suffering from the system,’ she said.

Born in Soweto, Dr. Mokgokong was raised in Swaziland, and knew since she was eight years old that she would be a businesswoman. Starting off by selling bags to fellow students while studying to be a doctor, she never looked back and is today in charge of a US$2 billion investment company with holdings across sectors including finance, logistics, healthcare and mining.

Another trailblazer inspiring the 500-strong audience was Archana Bhatnagar, founder of India-based Haylide Chemicals, which manufactures environmentally-sound cleaning products. After working as a model and then in the media industry, she turned her hand to entrepreneurship,launching a company together with her husband. Launching Haylide came later, but Ms. Bhatnagar also set up the Madhya Pradesh Association of Women Entrepreneurs to help other women entrepreneurs in the central Indian state to overcome gender-specific barriers.

Among the other successful women entrepreneurs telling their stories to the vendors and buyers at WVEF were Carmen Castillo and Janete Vaz.

Born in Mallorca, Spain, Ms. Castillo has built a successful Miami-based company – SDI International – that helps other businesses with procurement outsourcing. Ms. Vaz, meanwhile, built Sabin Laboratory, which today is among Brazil’s largest laboratories with more than 1,800 staff in 100 locations.

Organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in association with Apex-Brasil, WVEF also relies on other partners to connect women entrepreneurs with prospective buyers of goods and services.

Josiane Cotrim, founding member of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, Yasmin Darwich, president of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women, Virginia Littlejohn, president of Quantum Leaps, and Joan Kerr, board member of WEConnect International and director of supplier diversity at Pacific Gas & Electric, all shared their experiences in campaigning for women entrepreneurs and women’s economic empowerment.

Champions of change

The women vendors attending WVEF also heard from Anna Illy of illycaffé, Yesim Sevig of KAGIDER, the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey, and ITC Executive Director Arancha González, who all called on women across the world to not to be beaten down by invisible barriers preventing them from succeeding in business.

Learn more about ITC’s Women and Trade Programme.

By: intracen 

Click here to download Marketapp, a completely free app to sell and promote your products and services.

Fidel Castro Story



Fidel Castro was a well-known Cuban politician and revolutionary. He was the Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba for 17 years, then became the President and governed the state till 2006. He was the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba. He served as the secretary till 2011. Under his governance, Cuba became a one-party socialist state. All the industries and business were nationalised under his administration. Many socialist reforms were implemented in Cuba under his regime.
Earlier Life:

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1926, in Birán, Oriente. He was the son of a wealthy sugarcane planter who hailed from Galicia, Spain. He was the third of six children of Ángel Castro y Argiz. Fidel’s mother used to serve as maid to Maria Luisa Argota, Ángel’s first wife. Ángel Castro married Fidel’s mother Lina Ruz González when he was 15. When Fidel was 17, he was officially recognised by his father and his name was changed from Ruz to Castro.
Fidel grew up in wealthy economic circumstances amidst the extreme poverty of Cuba. His father had business ties with American-owned United Fruit Company. He was educated in private Jesuit boarding schools. After that, he joined Colegio Dolores in Santiago de Cuba and then El Colegio de Belén in Havana. It is after his graduation in 1945; Castro entered the Law school at the University of Havana, and was completely transformed by socialist ideology.
Political Career:

By 1947, Castro became completely inclined to bring social justice and economic freedom in his country, Cuba. He travelled to the Dominican Republic and then Columbia to participate in anti-government rioting. He then planned to overthrow Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. After failing in his attempt and imprisonment of a year, he travelled to Mexico and formed a revolutionary group the 26th July Movement with Che Guevara and Raul Castro.He returned to Cuba in 1956 with around 80 insurgents and weapons and started a guerrilla war against the Batista government. Over the course of the next two years, he succeeded in organising many resistance groups. He also formed a parallel government and brought some reforms in the agricultural and manufacturing sector.
After some eventful military campaigns, Castro was fortunate to bring down Batista’s government. By the age of 32, he fruitfully concluded his guerrilla campaign and took control over Cuba. Castro was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Cuba in 1959. On April 14, 1961, Castro declared Cuba as a socialist state. The Bay of Pigs incident soon after soured the relations between the United States and Cuba. The United States government tried many times to collapse Castro’s rule but in vain.After the Bay of Pigs incident, Castro strengthened his relation with the Soviet Union. This political tie-up brought the world closer to a nuclear war. As Castro anticipated a sudden US invasion in Cuba, he and the Soviet Premier Khrushchev conceived the idea of keeping nuclear missiles in Cuba. After 13 days of high anxiety, and communications between the US President and Soviet Premier, the missiles were removed from the state.
In 1965, Fidel Castro merged Cuba’s Communist party with his radical organisations. In the 1970s, he projected himself as the spokesman of the third world countries and aided many pro-Soviet countries like Yemen and Ethiopia.Under Castro’s regime in Cuba, around 10,000 schools were opened, and the literacy rate increased up to 98%. The Cubans also got a better health care system. The infant mortality dropped significantly. Castro curbed the freedom of people in many ways; the unions had no right to strike; the independent newspapers were shut and made to go out of business while many religious institutions also suffered a setback.

Personal Life:
Castro married Mirta Diaz-Balart in 1948, and they had a son, Fidelito in 1949. After his divorce with Mirta in 1955, he had relations with two other women, NatyRevuelta and Maria Laborde. Castro’s health worsened during the 90s and he suffered from gastrointestinal bleeding. He passed away on 25th November 2016 at the age of 90.


Castro received the Order of Lenin three times. He was the first foreigner to receive the award. He was also awarded the Order of Good Hope from South Africa for his fight against racism. Many governments around the world honoured him for his social reforms.Order of Lenin AwardOrder of Good Hope.

By: SuccessStory.Com

Ravi Pillai: From Farmer’s Son to Construction Tycoon

Ravi Pillai
Chairman and MD, RP Group of Companies
Age: 60
Rank in the Rich List: 34
Net Worth: $1.7 billion
The Big Challenge Faced in the Last Year: A huge shortage of skilled workforce. To overcome this, is planning to set up technical training institutes in India, Middle East and other countries.
The Way Forward: Pillai wants to double turnover of $3 billion over next three years. Will focus on expansion in Africa, Middle East and India.
On September 2 every year, Ravi Pillai, 60, the chairman and managing director of the $3 billion RP Group of Companies, performs the udayasthamana pooja at the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh. Whichever part of the world he is in, Pillai flies into Tirupati the previous night. He wakes up at 4 am and heads to the temple. Udayasthamana literally means from dawn to dusk; that’s how long the devotee must pray to the lord. Only five to seven people are allowed in the sanctum sanctorum where the pooja is conducted. And you cannot book one today if you want to—the waiting time for an udayasthamana pooja is more than ten years.

September 2 also happens to be Pillai’s birthday.

“I booked this pooja 30 years ago,” says Pillai. “And I have been doing it every year since then. Whatever I have achieved in my life, it is because of my hard work and the blessings of god. I couldn’t have done anything alone.”

The gods seem to have taken notice of his devotion. Consider how well he has done for himself: This year, Pillai has entered the Forbes India Rich List for the first time, at No. 34 with an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion.

And now look at his back-story.

Born into a family of farmers near Kollam in Kerala, Pillai says that he had always wanted to become an entrepreneur. As a first step, he started a chit fund. While that proved profitable, he soon realised there was more to be gained from the booming construction sector. In the early 1970s, he began doing sub-contracting work for companies in the chemical and oil refinery business. His journey, however, came to a sudden halt when the labourers went on strike. Pillai says he was disappointed but, in many ways, this was a turning point in his life.

In 1979, Pillai moved to Saudi Arabia with whatever little money he had saved. This was also the time when many ‘Malayalis’ from Kerala were getting lured by opportunities in the Middle East. “I didn’t know anybody there. And this was the first time I had gone abroad,” says Pillai. While he was clear that he wanted to stay in the construction business, it wasn’t easy to get started. For the first two years, he worked with a businessman called Abdullah Jufan. “Our partnership did not work out. So I left and started working with another businessman called Nasser Al-Hajri,” says Pillai.

It is a partnership that has stood the test of time.

Headquartered in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, today Nasser Al-Hajri Corporation is one of the largest general construction contractors in the Middle East. It was founded in 1978 and was a small company at the time Pillai joined it. Al-Hajri, the original promoter, is the CEO. (Pillai has a 50 percent partnership in the company; later he formed RP Group of Companies and Nasser Al-Hajri Corporation is a vertical under it.)

Pillai, who is the managing director of the company, says the venture started with around 120 people, all of them recruited from a town called Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu. “The real growth took place around 1983. We started getting sub-contracting work and our first project was to construct an underground parking space for aeroplanes, for a French company,” he says. “Then we got a project for the Royal Terminal [at Riyadh airport], followed by other petrochemical plants and refineries.”

The major contributor to Pillai’s growth has been the industrialisation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the construction boom in the Middle East. Starting 1975, the country began work on Jubail, a small fishing village which is the largest industrial city in the Middle East today. In 1976, Saudi Arabia formed Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), a diversified company with interests in chemicals, petrochemicals, fertilisers and steel. Nasser Al-Hajri Corporation piggybacked on the growth of SABIC; it was and continues to be the preferred contractor for SABIC’s industrial projects.

SABIC recorded a turnover of $50.4 billion in 2012. Pillai also did well to expand the business to other countries like Qatar and United Arab Emirates; today, Nasser Al-Hajri Corporation’s client roster includes global players such as Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Shell, Philips Conoco, Chiyoda, Daelim and RasGas.

But it wasn’t like companies were queuing up to give him projects. He had to battle enough scepticism. Pillai says that the impression of Indians in the Middle East at that time was that they were only fit to become cooks, drivers or gardeners. Add to that, the construction sector was dominated by Korean companies. “People would say that Indians can’t do it. With every project, I showed that we could do technical work too,” says Pillai. “We were better in both quality and cost. In fact, I have delivered many projects with just an Indian workforce.” The RP Group of Companies today employs around 70,000 people, more than 45,000 of whom are Indians.

Pillai hasn’t stopped there. In the last 35 years, he has gone beyond construction and now has interests in hospitality, education, retail and hospitals as well. There is also a tours-and-travels business and a trading company in Dubai. While he is based in Bahrain, Pillai has made significant investments in his home state, Kerala (Upasana nursing school, Raviz Hotel & Resorts, K Mall in Kollam and RP Mall in Kozhikode). He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award in 2008 and the Padma Shri in 2010.

In 2011, Pillai bought Leela Resorts, Leela Group’s Kovalam beach property in Kerala, for about Rs 500 crore. CPK Nair, the chairman of Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, says that he is very fond of Pillai. They first met in 2010. “I had never heard about him. I saw him for the first time when I was getting the Padma Bhushan. He was getting the Padma Shri and had come with around 100 people to collect the award,” says Nair. A year later, Nair found himself in trouble. His company, Leela Venture, had accumulated debt of Rs 3,830 crore at the end of FY11 owing to capital expenditure of over Rs 4,000 crore. He needed to reduce debt urgently. The idea of putting the Kovalam property on the block was on his mind but it was a prized possession—he wasn’t willing to sell it cheap.

But the word was out. In July 2011, Pillai approached Nair to buy the property. Pillai says that each time he visited Kerala, he was disappointed at the quality of hotels there. “That’s why I wanted my own hotel to stay in with my friends and family. And I love the sea,” he says. He met Nair in his office in Mumbai and the two agreed on a deal. “While I was initially hesitant, I sold the property to him because he gave me a fair price. We still manage that property for him,” says Nair.

Pillai is obviously aware of his success. But, at 60, he also knows that there is only so much he can do. For more, he has pinned his hopes on his children. His son, Ganesh Ravi Pillai, who has worked with Citibank and has enrolled for his MBA at IE Business School in Spain, will join him next year. “I am also looking forward to my daughter [Dr Aarathi Ravi Pillai], who’s a doctor, joining the business. They will drive things,” he says.

They have big shoes to fill and bigger dreams to fulfill. Their father aspires to double his existing business (turnover) over the next three years. But, while he waits for them to join, he isn’t resting either. “There is still a lot of potential in different parts of the Middle East. We are growing in Africa and India,” he says. “I am travelling all the time, looking for new opportunities.”


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5 great Indian entrepreneurs to be inspired from!

Success stories of great entrepreneurs are truly inspiring, aren’t they? Even better when they are India, because it infuses a spark and a ray of hope within us, that entrepreneurial success is definitely possible in the land of Babus.

Vijay Mallya


Liquor Baron (Chairman, United Breweries Group which by the way is the 2nd largest drinks conglomerate in the world), Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, Owner of a Formula One team (Force India), an Indian Premier League Team (Royal Challengers), Football Clubs East Bengal FC and Mohun Bagan FC, Owner of one of the fastest growing Commercial Airlines in India (Kingfisher Airlines), Owner of a Newspaper in California, and worth $1.4 billion according to Forbes.com. If you can think of a better entrepreneur, let us know!

We are in awe of the diverse businesses that Mallya has invested and founded. We highly recommend that you check out his collection here.

Narayana Murthy


Here’s a fact that may surprise you – Narayana Murthy co-founded Infosys in 1981, with a start-up capital of $250! And what’s even more amusing is that he did not have the money. Narayana Murthy borrowed the money from Sudha Murthy, his wife. Talk about humble beginnings!

Narayana Murthy has also been awarded the Padma Vibhushan (2008) and Padma Shri (2000) awards. And if that was not enough, he has also been recognised on the international scale by being listed under ‘Global Tech Influentials’ by TIME magazine. We think this sort of inspiration is sure to give goose bumps to any budding entrepreneur.

Sunil Mittal


A true first generation entrepreneur, Sunil Mittal has been awarded the Padma Bhushan and has a net worth in excess of $8 billion. He is the founder and chairman of the Bharti Group which owns businesses ranging from telecom (Airtel) to insurance (Bharti AXA General Insurance) to Fresh Foods (FieldFresh Foods Pvt Ltd).

Sunil Mittal borrowed money from his father in 1976 when he was 18, and started manufacturing crankshafts from motorcycles. He has never looked back since then, dwelling into manufacturing or trading of bicycle parts, portable generators, push button phones, fax machines, telecom services, retailing and much more. We call this an epic journey, from which we can all take inspiration from.

Sabeer Bhatia


We call Sabeer Bhatia an inspirational entrepreneur because he has risen from scratch and used his education to become one of the most successful Indian entrepreneurs. After finishing schooling, Bhatia studied at Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) after which he moved to California to study at the California Institute of Technology.

Continuing on his quest for higher education, Bhatia went on to study at Stanford University. It is after this long journey that Bhatia worked with Jack Smith and co-founded Hotmail.com, later sold to Microsoft for $700 million!

G.R. Gopinath


We love taking inspiration from entrepreneurs who are pioneers, don’t we? Well Captain G.R. Gopinath is just that. He pioneered the low-cost air travel industry in India when he founded Air Deccan in 2003. It later merged with Kingfisher Airlines.

His goal was to make air travel a mode of travel for the common man in India. And we think he has surely paved the way for that to happen. Did you know that Captain G.R. Gopinath is a graduate of the prestigious National Defence Academy? This entrepreneur has also served the Indian Army! He has also published his own book, titled, Simply Fly: A Deccan Odyssey.

Are you charged up already to plan your next big entrepreneurial venture? Well we won’t blame you because after reading about these great Indian entrepreneurs, we feel inspired too!

By: Kaushambi

Click here to download MarketApp, a free business platform


An entrepreneur’s guide to success

What it takes to succeed as a businessman in a country where doing business, especially for small enterprises, is a challenging task.

I have always maintained that entrepreneurship is a state of mind. It’s a state in which you have to be flexible, alert, aggressive, inspiring and positive and use every low as a learning opportunity to bounce back. My journey to build HCL has been a roller coaster ride – with highs and lows; with its adrenaline rushes; with its setbacks and learning, and finally, with a lot of fun. I am keeping this anecdotal to help whoever reads this connect with real-life situations – something that I believe many young entrepreneurs or aspiring ones may find useful.


Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of inadequate bandwidth creation and utilization. From the very beginning, we ensured that we had people amongst whom we could divide work. So, an organisational structure was put in place even before we had office space. Our bandwidth came from the partners or executives we had hired.

Once, we tried to apply for a loan at Syndicate Bank. So, I took the first meeting with the bank because I was the Managing Director even if the company was too small at that time. After the meeting, my fellow director stayed back to complete the documentation and get the loan.

There is one bank where I used to go every day and check what all has been debited and what all is credited. I used to do that to see the daily cash balance. It was just that we were running with very tight cash balances.

If you are just an entrepreneur, you have to do all sorts of things and you have to ignore everything else. The simple point that I am trying to make is that first, you need to take up any work irrespective of who you are in the hierarchy. Second, there is only so much that you can do as an individual. So you need to distribute work among your team members.


One day, my wife dragged me to watch a film with her. There is a movie theatre called Paras in Nehru Place in Delhi, which is where our first registered office was. So we went for a 10 p.m. show and after the movie, I saw that the lights on the eighth floor (HCL office) were still on. I saw all those lights and wondered: it’s a very wasteful habit to leave the office lights on. When I shared this with my wife, she said: “I think everybody else is working except you, who has taken his young wife out for a film.” The elevator had stopped working late in the night, so we decided to walk up. When we reached, we saw everyone was there. Everyone just loved the company and did not want to go home.

Even during the start-up years, we never made any compromise on the quality of hires. We have always gone to the IITs and IIMs from our early days. The reason we could attract some of the best minds was because of the richness of work at HCL. Many IIT students who left India for the US to study further or to do a job, never got down to actually doing design work. At HCL, they got an opportunity to lay hands on a microprocessor and do real design work.


The US economy went into a recession in early 2001. The stock market crash prolonged into 2002 when Nasdaq touched a low of 1,100 (one-fifth of its peak). Dow Jones touched a low at 7,200 levels, losing $5 trillion from the January 2001 levels. Nearly 76 per cent of our revenues at that time came from the US. We were pushed to the corner and had no choice but to look for new opportunities and create our Next Big Practice.

HCL, at that time, had some anchor customers in health care and aerospace. Our ability to leverage our core skills in hardware, software and networking opened up two whole new markets and revenue streams for us. We consciously invested in building new competencies, tools and processes. The ERS (Engineering and R&D Services) practice in HCL is one of our key growth pillars and contributed 17.1 per cent to our revenues in the first quarter of 2014/15.


I am fearful, but I do not act on fear. Andrew Grove’s book Only The Paranoid Survive is very close to my heart. I have always believed that the paranoid strive for the best, but are always prepared for the worst. One needs to identify and exploit every crisis point that challenges the business.

In the 1970s when we started, HCL had five products. The minicomputer was our big bet. It failed miserably and we stopped production. The 8-bit processor system was a big success and lasted 12 years. The KTMF (Key to Mini Floppy) ran for 15 years but our cash register bombed. However, the programme calculator kept the fireplace going.

The NIIT story is another fitting example. In those times, we needed to invest in training but could not afford to actually put our profits back into training. While the industry badly needed trained manpower and we were struggling to find the resources, no one had the financial muscle to invest in training. I went to Singapore and visited Edutronics, a training company, and saw the first opportunity. NIIT was born in 1981. In 1997, NIIT crossed $1 billion, the biggest success story in technology training in India.


As the organisations grow, the role of your board becomes increasingly important and critical to your success. The questions to ask are:

>>  How do you look at board formations?

>>  How do you take a risk decision in the board?

>>  How often does a father and a son disagree in the board and if there is a disagreement, whose decision carries through?

>>  How many family members are there on the board?

>>  How important is professionalization of a board?

How closely do nominations and remuneration committees evaluate the CEO’s and the CFO’s performance? How long does it take to decide on a salary?

The example of an effective board in the current times is that of Microsoft. The company has been led by two iconic men in technology – Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Microsoft’s market capitalization in the second week of November was $410 billion. What was it on the day Ballmer said he was stepping down? About $290 billion. And what was the cash balance on both days? $90 billion. So the enterprise worth shot up exponentially on the leadership transition. This happened because the board acted in the best interest of the organisation and shareholders.

Finally, let me leave you with these tenets of success:

>>  Focus on the weak signals and make the most of the environment.

>>  Ensure that your aspirations exceed your resources.

>>  Connect the dots.

>>  Create nimble organisations.

>  Stay paranoid, stay successful.


Shiv Nadar, HCL founder and chairman

ABOUT: Shiv Nadar is among India’s most successful first-generation entrepreneurs who took a bet on high-tech when it was a tiny business. What makes his company HCL’s journey different from that of its peers is its strong engineering roots. The HCL group, with revenues of some $7 billion, is focusing on education and health care as the next two businesses it wants to make a big impact in.

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Scope And Challenges of E-Marketing in India

Before development of e marketing, the term digital marketing was used in 1990s. The fast growth of digital media found new trends and opportunities in marketing and advertising fields. Digital marketing is also called the online marketing, internet marketing and web marketing.

Digital marketing has been popular in all over the world. The term online marketing is still popular in US. It is popular as ‘web- marketing’ in Italy. In UK and other countries, it is used as ‘digital marketing’.

The process of taking place of products and services by the computer networks on internet, is called Electronic commerce( E-commerce or e-Commerce).

The electronic commerce includes various technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online-transaction, inventory-management-systems processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), and automated data collection systems.

Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web although it may also use other technologies such as e-mail.E-marketing includes email, websites and micro sites, search engine advertising, search engine optimization, co-registration, mobile marketing, and other technology-driven tools.

E-commerce covers the various aspects as Enabled by website, create virtual shops, Create customer data bank, Provide for business-to-business exchange of data, Contact customers by e-mail or fax, Use business-to-business buying and selling, Defies all barriers of time and space.

Scope of E-Marketing-E-marketing has global applicability. It covers almost all types of business namely, agricultural, industrial, medical tourism, governance, Education and so on.

There are some common applications of e-marketing as Document automation, payment systems, content management, group buying,Online banking, shopping and order tracking, Teleconferencing, Electronic tickets which have become common with large and small businesses alike. The history of e marketing can be traced back to :

“Skill Development : The Key to Economic Richness”

1. 1971 or 1972: The ARPANET is used to arrange a sale between students at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the earliest example of e commerce.

2.1979: Michael Aldrich Showed the first online shopping system.

3. 1981: Thomson Holidays UK is first business-to-business online shopping system to be installed.

4. 1996: India MART B2B marketplace established in India.

5. 2007: Flipkart was established in India. The e-commerce market of India is one of the fastest growing market in the world. It is due to the rapid growth of internet users in the country. Internet users in India were estimated to be 300 million in 2014.India has an internet user base of about 250.2 million as of June 20144.The admission of eCommerce is low compared to markets like the United States and the United Kingdom. India’s e-commerce market was worth about $3.8 billion in 2009, it went up to $12.6 billion in 2013. In 2013, the e-retail market was worth US$ 2.3 billion. About 70% of India’s e-commerce market is travel related. There are about 10 million online shoppers in India and is growing at an estimated 30% CAGR vis-à-vis a global growth rate of 8–10%5.

Growth factors : Individual or business involved in e-commerce whether buyers or sellers rely on Internet-based technology in order to accomplish their transactions. E-commerce is recognized for its ability to allow business to communicate and to form transaction anytime and anyplace. Whether an individual is in India or overseas, business can be conducted through the internet. The power of e-commerce allows geophysical barriers to disappear, making all consumers and businesses on earth potential customers and suppliers Several factors have contributed to the growth of e marketing in India. There is sea change in the life style of the burgeoning middle class. Internet and 3G penetration revolutionized the marketing scenario for both consumers and the marketers. Rising standard of living has not only increased the level of consumption but also the pattern and quality of consumption. Busy urban lifestyles, lack of time for shopping, desire for variety and convenience and comfortable disposable income has changed the way Indian consumers prefer to shop today. Some other factors helping the online retail industry seeing good growth include smartphones offering accessibility to online shopping, aspirations of tier II & III cities, women becoming more tech savvy, evolving perception around branded products, impulsive buying and logistical convenience.

Legal issues : Legal issues of e-commerce in India are generally ignored by e-commerce websites. Foreign companies and e-commerce portals would be required to register in India and comply with Indian laws, as India is gearing up to regulate online business. Efforts are being made to regulate marketing websites dealing with various products online and violating laws of India . Enforcement directorate (ED) of India has already initiated legal actions against companies dealing with Bitcoins in India. Tax liability of foreign companies like Google, Face book, etc. is also under consideration in India. Myntra, Flipkart and many more e-commerce websites are under regulatory scanner of ED of India for violating Indian laws. The case of US-based transport application provider UberInc is the latest example that can be cited. Similarly, illegal online sales of prescribed drugs by illegal online pharmacies of India are also under scrutiny of regulatory authorities of India In India, the Information Technology Act 2000 governs the basic applicability of e-commerce. Further, e-commerce laws and regulations in India are also supplemented by different laws of India as applicable to the field of e-commerce. For instance, e-commerce relating to pharmaceuticals, healthcare, traveling, etc. are governed by different laws though the information technology act, 2000 prescribes some common requirements for all these fields. The competition commission of India (CCI) regulates anti competition and anti trade practices in e-commerce fields in India.

Challenges in the context of skills : The world is used to conducting business and commerce on signed paper documents. Electronic documents and messages, without familiar signatures and marks have changed the scene of trade. consumers want to be assured that the electronic world is safe. Therefore there is a genuine expectation that e-commerce system offers some level of reliability.

CONCLUSION : This paper discussed the growth and the challenges in the ever expanding area of e marketing. This field needs constant learning. One cannot overlook the fact that it is a technology driven approach.There is a dire need to keep abreast of the latest in the field of computer science and information technology. Poorly created and executed programs create mistrust between clients and marketers. Spam, identity theft, intrusive advertising, technical snags, not keeping terms with contract / agreements, gap between ordered products and actual deliveries have created deep mistrust in e marketing. Hence the growth of e marketing depends also on the growth of business ethics on the one hand and consumer protection laws on the other. In other words, the relevance of ‘credibility’ in business in general and e marketing in particular is mammoth which can be addressed with skill development in the field of information technologies.While one has to adopt caution, e marketing offers a world of opportunities.

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