Why it is important for startups raising capital to clearly communicate what you do.

I often come across business pitch decks, or even company websites that have fancy set of words that don't really communicate what the company does. For example, a tagline like "Redefining Healthcare" feels grand, but does not give the reader any clues on what your company does.

Instead, if the tagline were to be specific saying “Your neighborhood childcare clinic’, there is specificity in communicating what you are offering. If your tag line can also communicate your value proposition, it is ideal. E.g. “Affordable cardiac care”.

VCs and angel investor networks get 100s of business plans every month. And a few individuals in VC firms have the task of sifting though these pitch decks to shortlist those that they think are worthy of more time. Because it is impossible for anyone to go through 100s of pitch decks very, very diligently, it is often the first impressions and the clarity of communication of the first couple of slides that will decide whether the deck makes it to the 'shortlisted for further review' bucket.

I urge startup founders to share their tagline (nd other marketing collaterals, including website, with a few folks from outside their circle of family & friends and ask them what they understand about the company from that material. If you get multiple interpretations and inferences of what you might be doing, then go back to the drawing board and repeat the exercise till you get a sharp definition of your business that helps everyone instantly understand what you do. And often, it is the tagline about your brand that often has to carry the load of communicating what your business is all about.

Also remember, the tagline you have for consumers/users/clients may be different than the description of the business that you have when you present to investors. Consumers need to know your value proposition for them, while investors need to know the business behind that value proposition.

Starting Up & Fund Raising

About the AuthorPrajakt Raut@PrajaktR
Prajakt Raut is a Guest writer for Startuptimes.in . Prajakt Raut is an entrepreneur and entrepreneurship evangelist. Prajakt’s personal goal in life is to encourage and assist a 100,000 people to become entrepreneurs.

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How to Sell Combs to Monks ?

This is a great story, which taught me how to multiply my results in my sales career. I have often shared this with my students, to demonstrate how a shift in mindset and attitude can make a significant difference.

The Story:
3 sales professionals applied to work for a huge company. As they were all evenly qualified, the interviewer decided to set a sales challenge and the person who sold the most would be awarded the job.

The challenge was to sell combs to monks of any temple up in the mountains. "You have 3 days, and the person who sells the most will get the job" said the interviewer.

After 3 days, the 3 applicants returned, and reported their results.

Candidate 1 said "I managed to sell one comb. The monks scolded me, saying I was openly mocking them. Disappointed, I gave up and left. But on my way back, I saw a junior monk with an itchy scalp; he was constantly scratching his head. I told him the comb would help him with his scratching and he bought one comb"

Candidate 2 said "That's good, but I did better. I sold 10 combs." Excited, the interviewer asked "How did you do it?" Candidate 2 replied "I observed that the visitors had very messy hair due to the strong winds they faced while walking to the temple. I convinced the monk to give out combs to the visitors so they could tidy themselves up and show greater respect during their worship."

Candidate 3 stepped up "Not so fast, I sold more than both of them." "How many did you sell" asked the interviewer.

"A thousand combs"

"Wow! How did you do it?" the interviewer exclaimed.

"I went to one of the biggest temples there, and thanked the Senior Master for serving the people and providing a sacred place of worship for them. He was very gracious and said he would like to thank and appreciate his visitors for their support and devotion. I suggested that the best way would be to offer his visitors a momento and the blessing of Buddha. I showed him the wooden combs which I had engraved words of blessings and told him people would use the combs daily and would serve as a constant reminder to do good deeds. He liked the idea, and proceeded to order a thousand combs"

"You got lucky," one of the other candidates said bitterly.

"Not really," the interviewer countered. "He had a plan, which was why he had the comb engraved prior to his visit. Even if that temple did not want it, another one surely would."

"There is more," the third candidate smiled. "I went back to the temple yesterday to check on the Master. He said many visitors told their friends and family about the comb with the Buddha's blessing. Now even more people are visiting every day. Everyone is asking for the comb, and giving generous donations too! The temple is more popular than ever, and the Master says he will run out of the combs in a month... and will need to order more!"

Learning Points:
The three different candidates show us the different levels of sales performance:

Candidate 1 displayed the most basic level, which is to meet the prospect's personal needs. The monk with the itchy scalp had a personal need; it was specific to him only.

Candidate 2 shows the next level - anticipating and creating new needs for the prospect. Perhaps the monk doesn't have an obvious need for the comb, but how can it still be beneficial to him? When you can educate the prospect on new possibilities and benefits for his business, you are already outperforming your competitors.

Candidate 3 demonstrates the best level of all; an ongoing relationship resulting in repeat sales and referrals. Everyone was a winner, the monk, the devotees, the 3rd candidate and the interviewer. Help your prospects benefit their prospects, to create maximum value. View each prospect not as individuals, but also their contacts and network beyond them. See each customer as lifetime clients instead of one time sales.

Our beliefs and thoughts shape our actions and ultimately, our results. When faced with a challenge, how do you respond? And how big do you think?

How can you create new needs for your prospect and benefit their customers?

Post by Joshua Chua

Qyuki Digital OTT Media Startup to raise Series A funding of up to $10 million

Qyuki Digital Media, a cross-platform media network, is looking to raise Series A funding of up to $10 million in 2017. The company plans to dilute 15-30% equity to raise Series A funding

How does Qyuki wants to spend the new funds?
Qyuki wants to use it for scaling up technology, marketing and operations in sales and network management.

About Quicky
Initially launched as a digital music startup in December 2012 and later revamped its business model into Content production, distribution, promotion and monetisation

It manages some of the biggest digital superstars such as Sanam Band, FunkYou, Shraddha Sharma, Motorbeam and Powerdrift. It also runs agency business, which has executed branded content projects with clients including Coca-Cola, OLX, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Colgate.

Qyuki uses proprietary technology and analytics to discover and promote digital superstars and manages the end-to-end value chain for them across platforms.

Samir Bangara
AR Rahman (Oscar Winner for Music)
Shekhar Kapur (Film Maker)

Qyuki is backed by angel investors including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Varun Singh, Singapore Angel Network and Anisha Mittal.

Tags: OTT, Digital Content, Creators, Music, startup, Qyuki, funding,


Arnab Goswami

Arnab Goswami ,the most outspoken journalist of current times put the entire nation in shock when he announced his exit from Times Now. Arnab’s ‘Newshour’ debates on TimesNow TV have been quite controversial but extremely popular among the people. His supporters were upset with him leaving the high-rated primetime show and are eagerly waiting for him to make a return.

Arnab has announced that he is returning shortly with a new venture called REPUBLIC. He recently shared his thoughts on HOW HE IS GOING TO DISRUPT THE MEDIA? with his 'independent media. Here are those 7 disruptors that Arnab wants to use it to change the conventional outdated media.

The reason we covered this story is we like disruptors and we consider REPUBLIC as media startup

DISRUPT #1  Ask the Toughest questions to the most important persons
At the most the worse outcome would be the person may not give an interview next time.

DISRUPT #2  Don't believe in Neutrality. Don't be Neutral
Neutrality is a 17th century outdated concept, media is not a wikipedia to present both sides of a story, or act like a town crier.

DISRUPT #3  Doorstep Politicians & VVIP's
Media shouldn't play safe anymore, time has come to take chances.

DISRUPT #4  What is News & What is not News ?
Who decides the order of priority of News ? Why Politics , External Affairs on First Page or Headlines?

DISRUPT #5 Pin Prick in Society for a sustained time

Debate on a subject consistently over a period of time if you want to see a change.

DISRUPT #6 Persistence & Tenacity
It's all in the name of the story that you cover. Go to the nub of the story, dont be subtle , be direct with people in power.

DISRUPT #7 Stop creating HolyCows in the Nation
Why shouldn't a Parliamentarian who was once a Legend Cricketer be asked questions on his attendance?

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Bots vs Apps: Beginning Of The Next War

We all know that Chatbots are now used almost everywhere whether it is receiving weather updates on your smartphone or gathering latest news articles or for picking up grocery. Bots are omnipresent :-)

Also, UK-based online football community, Copa90 which has more than 20 million followers, launched its first Facebook messenger chatbot for UEFA 2016. Yes, the world is touting chatbots to be the next big thing after mobile apps. There is even a Chinese chatbot that will talk to you when you are lonely.

Much like mobile apps, chatbots will soon be holding capabilities in domains like testing, development experience, distribution, management or discovery in order to experience mainstream adoption. The initial adoption of chatbots has focused on consumer scenarios and now we are seeing iterations of enterprise chatbot solutions.

Let’s see how chatbots adoption is helping enterprises:

Chatbots In The Enterprise
While there is increasing adoption of voice and messaging technologies so does the potential for chatbot solutions. Readily adopted by enterprises, the chatbot platforms offer capabilities in domains like integration, security, monitoring and management. Such areas are essential elements of enterprise solutions. An enterprise-ready chatbot platform offers capabilities like:

Natural language learning system
Monitoring system
Integration with messaging platforms
Integration with enterprise systems

Why Bots Are Adopted By Enterprises?

1 Integration with messaging platforms – Get socialize a little more
Latest data shows that messenger apps are more used as compared to social networking apps. You would be surprised to know that more than any other social networking platform, you prefer using messaging platforms like Slack, HipChat, or Skype for communicating with your colleagues at work or you would talk to your closest friends on Facebook in messenger.

Such enterprise chatbot platforms can provide a consistent development experience which could seamlessly integrate with different messaging platforms. Chatbots can be built into major chat product like Facebook Messenger and that is where people really love to spend time. You will probably want to be where your users are.

2. Bots speak the real language – More personalization
With chatbot, you can be more expressive and more demonstrative while expressing yourself. Precisely explaining, the language of our apps are technological single-word or commands which are like ‘sign up’, ‘log in’, ‘download’, ‘click’, ‘fill in’. It is more like a formal language and there is less of social language as “please”, “hello”, “sure”, “how is it going?”.

This we can term as that our businesses suffer from a social communication disorder. But unlike apps, with chatbots, you can express anything you want and your customers will value you. Such engagement will be more interesting and will make people stay with you and chit chat for a bit longer.

3. Better interaction with users – High synergy levels
Chatbots are growing stupendously. They solve the asymmetry information flow. Till now they are considered as the best tool for keeping users on a certain platform for longer and keeping the content flowing. This happens because it starts and maintains the conversation. Chatbots show only a bit of information at a single given time and the interaction advances at each specific point. This entails a progressive and recurring interaction between a machine and a human communication.

4. Simpler interface which is easy to use – Simplicity supersedes
Simplicity is what helped most successful brands win hearts of their customers. Content is king, therefore a well-placed content attracts all. Chatbots are usually a blend of text, images, and unified widgets which make them easy to start the interactions. Just like another messenger app, these Chatbots are simple to use and behave exactly how users want them to. Without much clumsy, fancy and redundant features and keeping clarity intact chatbot is conceptualized in a very simplified way and that’s why they are doomed to success. No, ‘destined’ for success.

Race For The Enterprise Chatbot Platforms
The chatbot market is just taking a rise and, consequently, we are observing the emerging startups in this space. The race for the dominant enterprise chatbot platform promises to be an incredibly exciting one at that. As of now, the entire market is divided majorly into three main groups. These vendors are uniquely positioned in order to provide strong enterprise chatbot solutions.

Messaging platform vendors: Enjoy extremely vibrant communities on Slack, Facebook, Skype, HipChat.
Voice platform vendors: Platforms such as Siri, Cortana, Amazon Echo, or Google are some main catalysts in this domain.
Chatbot platform startups: With more and more hot technology movement, we are observing many startups who are trying to become the platform of choice for many chatbots developers.

Lead By Example
Bots automate a lot of mundane tasks, augments human abilities, weed out inefficiencies and help employees to focus on tasks which really matter and helpful for accomplishing major goals. Some real application of few bots are discussed here:

Assistants like x.ai and Clara manages your meeting schedule tasks.
Zoom, a multi-platform assistant, offers a full-fledged support mechanism for employees irrespective of their positions in the organizational hierarchy.
Slackbots like CareerLark, Lattice, and Growbot aims at automating feedback loops, check-ins, and work recognition.
Data-centric bot products like Birdly and Statsbot brings forth information layers from data-gathering tools like Google Analytics, Salesforce, and MixPanel to team communications in Slack. They also enable people to have quick access to data while making crucial decisions in real time.
E- Will Bots Kill Mobile Apps?

By now you must have seen the capabilities of bots and their applications along with undying relevance in various segments of an enterprise.

So here comes a thought provoked. Are they killing mobile apps?

Change is inevitable and history justifies that new channels can become complementary instead of displacing existing channels. Websites have not killed physical stores, and mobile apps haven’t killed websites. Rather it can be more positively perceived that there is a makeup of an ecosystem where every channel performs a different work for the customer whilst co-existing with the other channels. A quadratic channel scenario is what I vision – an ‘omnichannel’ of physical, web, app and bots floating together working at a speed never achieved before acting in sync dynamically reading behaviors and giving those accurate responses to the extent of redefining the very word ‘interaction’, as we all know today!

About the AuthorAjeet Singh@ASingh
Ajeet is Co-Founder & Director of Business Management at Algoworks

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Twitter is an incredible tool to get more leads.
You might be thinking, “how can I get leads with Twitter? Is Twitter even suitable for businesses?”
Heck yes it is!
Can I prove it?
Sure can. Here are some data to back it up:
– 66% of customers have discovered a new small or medium-sized business (SMB) on Twitter
– 94% plan to purchase from the SMBs they follow
– 69% bought from an SMB because of something they saw on Twitter
Still not convinced? Let me tell you, as someone who’ve been on Twitter for a long time, I’ve bought my share of things based on tweets I’ve read and have subscribed to many businesses through my interaction with them and the tweets I’ve read.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about how to get leads with Twitter!

1. Build a targeted Twitter audience
There’s no avoiding this step. If you want to get leads with Twitter, you absolutely have to make sure you’re building a targeted Twitter following.
As I shared earlier, 94% of customers plan to purchase from the SMBs they follow. That is IF you’re connecting with the right people.
If you don’t, you’ll only be promoting your tweets to people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer – not a great strategy.
So how do you grow a targeted Twitter following? By following the people you want as customers.
One effective method is to follow people who are tweeting and retweeting about a topic relevant to your business. This is because these users are your target market – these are the leads you want! I talk about this in my blog post on how I grew a following on a zero budget.
To take things to the next level, I recommend automating this process. Following manually will take you a lot of time so I would only recommend that if you are on zero budget. Automating this process will allow you more time to focus on other important tasks, like engaging with all your new follower!
This tactic works because people are likely to follow you back if your tweets are aligned with their interest.
I recommend Social Quant as a tool you must have in your toolkit. What differentiates Social Quant from other tools is their proprietary algorithm that targets the best prospects for your business.

2. Know the 3P of marketing
If you follow my work, you know I’m all about the 3Ps of marketing. They are essential for every social media platform.
The 3Ps of marketing are:
– Purpose: Tweets that adds value to your followers
– Personal: Personal tweets about you and your business.
– Promotional: Tweets that sells, sells, sells.
You see, people don’t follow businesses because they want to be sold to. Give your followers something that they can learn from, earn their trust, and  eventually they will buy. Add personality to your tweets to connect with your audience.
In fact, just a few days ago I purchased from a company after seeing their tweets and reading one of their blog posts.
Understand the 3Ps then find a ratio of your tweets that that fits the 3Ps and works for you.

3. Launch a contest
Okay, who doesn’t love contests?
NO ONE! Everyone loves a contest! The best part about contests is they require (or should) entrants to share their email.
With third party platforms like Wishpond, you can easily create entry forms that require users to give you their email address to participate.
Contests just work!
I know for sure because I used to work for a company that does contest platforms. Many businesses saw significant results from using them.
Plus you can introduce a viral component. People are likely to tweet and retweet if they know it will double their chances of winning your contest. Photo contests will make people want to share on social media even more (especially Twitter).

4. Utilize Twitter ads
Twitter ads are a great way to generate more leads. They allow you to focus on your target market and get in front of them instantly.
But before you go out and start creating ads, start doing some diligence in preparation.
I found this blog post by adespresso incredible useful. In their blog post, they analyzed over 7,700 Twitter ads.
Here’s the summary of their findings:
– Almost all Twitter ads use an image
– Mentions aren’t popular In Twitter ads
– Using just one hashtag in Twitter ads is most effective
– The most popular number used in Twitter ads is 5

5. Respond to tweets quickly
As a social media manager for many years, I found this trick to WORK.
If someone mentions your brand on Twitter, make sure that you respond to the tweet ASAP.
It doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative. Answer it as soon as you see it.
People love it when businesses respond to them quickly. It shows that they are heard, that you care, and it shows appreciation for your followers (potential or current customers).
The best type of tweets are when people are comparing your product with your competitors. That’s a golden opportunity just soft-balled in to you –  definitely be the one to respond to these tweets first.

6. Tweet relevant people about your product
For some, this approach may be spammy. However, if you’re short on time and want to increase leads, this method can work for you.
What you can do is tweet relevant people about your business, product or service. The key is making sure you’re varying those tweets and not sending the exact same one over and over.
Check out these tweets for an instance. It’s a great example of what I mean.
Noticed how he’s tweeting so many people? He changes it up, so it looks different. If I were him, I would spin it 20-30 different ways. What I’ll do next is tweet each personally, use their name and say something like:
@askaaronlee Hey Aaron, we’ve created a new _____ that ________.
That way it looks more personalized and, most importantly, human.
You might be thinking, does this method work?
Here are some of the responses he got.
Not bad! The best part is it cost him nothing.

7. Include a Call To Action in your bio
People are visiting your profile, folks! And if you’re following relevant people, they’re going to read your bio. It’s just how it works, they see the have a new follower in their notifications and it’s just natural for them to cruise on over to your profile and check you out.
Think about what will interest your target market, then GIVE it to them for free.
Give away eBooks, samples, etc. Find out what your customers want. If you don’t know what they want, ask your current subscribers and find out what they want. Create a short survey to find out. Compile what you learned and give that away.
Offer something exclusive or compelling. Add a call to action in your bio, and boom!
This method will work better than the usual ‘subscribe to my blog here’ method that I see many do.

8. Pin your tweets to the top
If you follow my blog posts here, you’ve probably heard me say this a gazillion times. Pin your tweets to the top.
Remember, people are visiting your Twitter profile. When they do, the first thing they are going to see is your first tweet. Just like in step 7, you can offer them something of value for free – well, in exchange for their email address of course.

9. Start a blog to compliment Twitter
Recently I wrote on Mark’s blog on how to become an influencer. In the post, I spoke about the need for a blog to add substance to what you’re doing.
Mark calls this “rich content.”
Just having a Twitter account isn’t going to cut it. You need to continue to add value. That’s what I learned after creating my Short of Height brand from scratch. Twitter is only limited to 140 characters and that’s not enough. With a blog you can provide long-form posts that provide true value and establish you as an industry expert that people will want to do business with.
Creating a blog allows you to share in-depth. Like this article that you’re reading. When people like what you’re reading, they are more likely to subscribe to what you have to offer because they’ll want more.
It’s pretty simple. Give them what the value they want, and they will give you what you want.

Source: Aron Lee

India's astonishing start-up boom – all you need to know in 5 charts

India is in the midst of a start-up boom. Supported by a range of government initiatives, new companies are popping up all over the country.

In fact, for the sheer number of new tech outfits, India is now the third largest tech start-up hotspot in the world, according to a report by NASSCOM and Zinnov. Investment is rising, with the surge generating employment and providing solutions in areas from healthcare to agriculture.

The government’s Start-up India initiative promotes entrepreneurship and innovation across the country. It aims to turn India into “a nation of job creators instead of a nation of job seekers”.

These five charts explore the Indian start-up boom.

1. India is the third largest tech start-up location globally
India has moved to third on the global list, and now has more tech-driven start-ups than Israel and China. Only the United Kingdom and United States stand ahead of it.

The number of new start-ups is rising every year. By 2020, there are projected to be around 2,100 in the country altogether.

2. Indian start-ups are going global
As this chart from March 2016 shows, Indian firms are now breaking into global lists. Flipkart, the e-commerce company headquartered in Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore), takes ninth place on the list, with a 2015 valuation of $15 billion dollars.

3. Funding is concentrated in just three urban areas
In the first half of this year, well over three-quarters of financing was towards just three urban areas – Bengaluru, the National Capital Region (NCR), which includes Delhi; and Mumbai – saw over $2 billion in the first six months of 2016.

4. Two-thirds are in three cities
The bulk of Indian start-ups is also found in these three places. Over a quarter are in Bangalore, 23% in the National Capital Region, and nearly one in five in Mumbai.

5. Founders are young – the youngest in the world
demography startup founders india

Nearly three-quarters of start-up founders in India are younger than 35. Over a third come from an engineering background. However, as the graphic shows, only around 9% are women. There is some good news, though: according to the report there was a 50% rise in the share of female entrepreneurs between 2014 and 2015.

Source WEF

Solar Roadways - A killer Startup Idea for 2017

Idaho-based startup wants to turn the U.S.’s four million miles of roads into solar panels. In December, it started converting the parking lot of a Missouri rest stop into energy-harvesting photovoltaic cells. Streets and highways are next.

An Idea
The Solar Roadways® journey began on an ordinary day as most life changing adventures do. Scott and Julie had known each other since they were small children, in southern California in the 1960’s when roads and highways looked, well – just like they do today!

Years later, married and living in Idaho, Scott and Julie were working in their garden and were feeling very concerned about climate and environmental issues. Julie wondered aloud whether roads could be made out of solar panels. We’d been contemplating buying rooftop solar panels out of concern for the environment. Suddenly, an image popped into Julie’s mind of solar panels on the driveway and the road. She asked Scott’s opinion of this idea, but he just laughed and said that would be impossible – the fragile solar panels would be crushed by cars.

Julie dismissed the idea, but Scott’s engineering mind just couldn’t let it go. About a week later, he said, “If we can design a protective case, then you might be onto something about that solar roadway idea.” We decided to brainstorm. Many hours were spent on a couch getting more excited as realization after realization flowed into us:

“We could add heating elements and roads would always be snow free.”
“We could make road lines out of embedded LEDs.”
“This would generate SO much renewable energy.”
“Those ugly wires could go into some kind of compartment alongside the roads.”
“We could use the panels for parking lots too.”
“And sidewalks.”
“And driveways.”

Idea to Lab (Pilot)
The rest stop, along Route 66 in Conway, Missouri, will include about 50 solar panels covered in durable glass. To start, the panels will be used on the sidewalk, with the goal of powering the building at the rest stop. If this phase is successful, the next step for the pilot could be to try the panels in the rest stop's parking lot, then the entrance and exit ramps. The eventual goal is to move onto streets and highways.

Idea Funded
The company previously raised $2.2 million through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, and it received a $750,000 contract from the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct tests in 2011. The Conway test pilot is part of Missouri's Road2Tomorrow initiative to create futuristic highways.

Why Solar Roadways?
While homeowners can use solar energy to power their houses, governments need to come up with their own solutions to produce clean energy on a massive scale. This often requires large, open spaces and additional disruption to the landscape to create large solar panels or wind turbines.

How does this Solar technology solve the Winter problem?
The roads would heat themselves meaning little to no work to maintain them in winter.

Whats the revenue Model?
Governments can monetize the roads providing a second revenue beyond Tolls.

Phases of the Solar Roadways Project
Phase 1 - Parking Lots
Phase 2 - Streets
Phase 3 - Highways

10 Most Popular revenue models being used by startups today

10 Most Popular revenue models being used by startups today

Here are some of the most common revenue models being used by startups today.

Product or service is free, revenue from ads
This is the most common model touted by Internet startups today, the so-called Facebook model, where the service is free, and the revenue comes from click-through advertising. It’s great for customers, but not for startups, unless you have deep pockets.

Freemium model
In this variation on the free model, used by LinkedIn and many other Internet offerings, the basic services are free, but premium services are available for an additional fee. This also requires a huge investment to get to critical mass, and real work to differentiate and sell premium services to convert users to paying customers.

Cost-based model
In this more traditional product pricing model, the price is set at two to five times the product cost. If your product is a commodity, the margin may be as thin as ten percent. Use it when your new technology gives you a tremendous cost improvement. Skip it where there are many competitors.

Value model
If you can quantify a large value or cost savings to the customer, charge a price commensurate with the value delivered. This doesn’t work well with “nice to have” offerings, like social networks, but does work for new drugs and medical devices that solve critical health problems.

Subscription model
This is a very popular model today for Internet services, calling for monthly or yearly low payments, in lieu of one value or cost-based price. Startup advantages include a more stable revenue stream, easier customer retention, and increasing customer investment over time. The customer advantage is a lower entry cost.

Product is free, but you pay for services
In this model, the product is given away for free and the customers are charged for installation, customization, training or other services. This is a good model for getting your foot in the door, but be aware that this is basically a services business with the product as a marketing cost.

Product line pricing
This model is relevant only if you have multiple products and services, each with a different cost and utility. Here your objective is to make money with the portfolio, with high markup and low markup items, depending on competition, lock-in, value delivered, and loyal customers. This one takes expert management to work.

Tiered or volume pricing
In certain product environments, where a given enterprise product may have one user or hundreds of thousands, a common approach is to price by user group ranges, or volume usage ranges. Keep the number of tiers small for manageability. This approach doesn’t typically apply to consumer products and services.

Feature pricing
This approach works if your product can be sold “bare-bones” for a low price, and price increments added for additional features. It can be a very competitive approach, but the product must be designed and built to provide good utility at many levels. This is a very costly development, testing, documentation, and support challenge.

Razor blade model
In this model, like cheap printers with expensive ink cartridges, the base unit is often sold below cost, with the anticipation of ongoing revenue from expensive supplies. This is another model that requires deep pockets to start, so is normally not an option for startups.

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Why are good tech startups failing?

Just because you have an idea in mind doesn’t mean you can build a business empire around it right? Is just the idea really enough? A few of the primary reasons why startups bleed out is incompetence to:
  • Identify if the idea is market worthy
  • Carry out sufficient competitive analysis of the industry
  • Analyze if the product/service they are looking to offer is exclusive
  • Identify a value bracket
  • Categorize budget restraint and why it’s crucial to stick to the resources at hand
If you ask entrepreneurs whose startups have failed at one point, you are likely to get many different answers, every one of them telling their stories from their personal experiences.

Few other insights why start-ups are faltering on their way up the ladder
  1. Inadequate Networking and Connections
  2. Lack of Managerial Experience
  3. Not Knowing Your Industry And Your Competitors
  4. Diminished Finances And Poor Cash Flow
  5. Inadequate marketing (not enough analytics)
  6. Poor IT infrastructure
  7. Marketplace Deterioration
  8. Lack of administrative experience
CASE : Why Food Tech Startups Fail? (Source: Som Speech)
1.The cost of last mile delivery was not properly understood (fail in unit economics)
2.Dependency on human is very very high in Food space, the technology will only help the business identify consumer however the people management is taken for a toss as the founders lack experience handling the day to day challenges.

Some of the greatest innovations have occurred as a result of individuals who are not afraid to try again with a new idea.

Two Billion Dollars spent on Indians on How to Use 'APPS'

India has been named as the world’s fourth largest app economy, and it’s expected downloads will top 9 billion by the end of 2016, with an annual growth rate of 92%. The data comes from a report by App Annie, where it’s said the growth will continue and reach 20.1 billion app downloads by 2020.

India app ecosystem is estimated to be in the range of $330 mn by 2016.The average mobile app usage in India has grown by at least 129 per cent and has outpaced the global growth rate. The next wave of growth in the Indian mobile apps is being driven by the increased usage of smartphones coupled with low mobile tariffs bridging the digital divide between metros, non-metros and rural areas.

Who Spent on APP awareness to Indians and How much?
"Collectively all Indian Unicorn Startups like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, Ola and many more have spent around two to three billion dollars to educate Indian consumer on how to use APPS. These companies brought consumer onboard and the people started buying online" said Sandeep Singhal Co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners.

How many APPS average Indian user installs?
Study says Average Indian user installs 32 apps

How many Smartphones used in India?
200 Million

How many of these Smartphone users are from Urban Population?
70% Users

What are the most popular Apps in India?
WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon and Paytm.

Startup for Cancer diagnosis at the earliest possible stage

Grail wants to develop a test for cancer at the earliest possible stage. Illumina, the maker of DNA-sequencing technology, teamed up with a group of Silicon Valley investors to develop a blood test for any kind of cancer at an earlier stage than previously possible.

Using Illumina's technology, a new company called Grail will look for a way to measure circulating nucleic acids — bits of DNA that circulate in the blood outside blood cells. While most of our DNA is inside our cells, scientists use CNAs to test for cancer and other diseases noninvasively. Its ambitious mission: Develop a universal cancer-screening test.

$100 million from investors, including Arch Venture Partners, Bezos Expeditions, Bill Gates, and Sutter Hill Ventures. Illumina remains majority shareholder.

Tags: MedTech startups, DNA, Cancer, Oncology, Illumina,

Startup Trends 2017 - FinTech & Agri Tech attractive Startup domains in India

Year 2017 will see birth of lots of FinTech and AgriTech startups in India as it's attracting most VC's investments.

Why FinTech?
Governments aggressive financial reforms (demonetization) has paved a way for lots of opportunities in Banking and other Organized sectors. India is going for cashless economy and this would turn out to be the best time for FinTech Startups to evolve. In December 2016 Govt. of AndhraPradesh has started a FinTech valley Park in Visakhapatnam which shows how governments are leading as front-runners for partnerships and investments.

Why AgriTech?
Agriculture, with its allied sectors, is unquestionably the largest livelihood provider in India, more so in the vast rural areas. It also contributes a significant figure to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Sustainable agriculture, in terms of food security, rural employment, and environmentally sustainable technologies such as soil conservation, natural resource management and biodiversity protection, are essential for holistic rural development. Indian agriculture and allied activities have witnessed a green revolution, a white revolution, a yellow revolution and a blue revolution. Currently, around 51 per cent of India's total workforce is engaged in agriculture and its allied sectors, like forestry, fisheries, and so on. For most of the 21st century India is expected to remain an agricultural society. One cannot underplay the role of agricultural growth in improving rural incomes and securing India's food and nutritional needs.

2017 will see new startups evolving in GrainTech, DairyTech and 'MeatTech. Farmers of Telangana are already using an app called Plantix, built by Progressive Environment and Agricultural Technologies

Do you have a point to add on AgroTech & FoodTech Startups Leave a comment

Four Books that have changed My Entrepreneur Life

My life as an entrepreneur has been a fantastic journey of ups and downs. Through it all, I’ve learned a lot in the trenches – living it every day, burning the midnight oil, and then repeating the process over and over again.  Sometimes when you’re ‘in it’ that deep, you crave some perspective. Which is how I also came to be a voracious reader. I can’t say it enough - reading is one of the most cost-effective and most impactful investments you can make in your entrepreneurial journey.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve read hundreds of books. (My wife will diplomatically confirm that we house literally hundreds of books.) In those hundred, a few stand out for their profound impact on not only my career, but also the way that I manage my life.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz
The Hard Thing About Hard Things is the first book I read that so accurately portrayed life in a startup. (I’ve read it twice more since the initial reading.) Why does this book matter so much? Horowitz shoots it straight telling it like it is - the real-down-and-dirty view of a business that is fighting to stay alive despite the odds.

On an even more personal level, this book mirrored my psychological experience in startups more than any other book that I’ve ever read. I believe that much of my success and positive outcomes were driven by my sheer will to win – to keep pushing, to never give up. And this book tells that story – a high-growth business fighting to win and making it happen. This book continues to support you as you make your way through the journey, too; I’ve found myself referring back to it for “advice” in tough times - firing people you care about, making tough decisions, communicating with your board or investors. All the “stuff” no one really talks about.

It’s a powerful read that I strongly endorse for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Only the Paranoid Survive, Andy Grove
I bought Only the Paranoid Survive early in my entrepreneurial career. I was young, inexperienced, and still struggling to figure out how I felt about startups – the challenges and the success. In this book, Former Intel COO, CEO, and Chairman, Andy Grove, warns us (‘us’ being any of us, really – not just entrepreneurs) about one of our culture’s biggest threats - the danger of complacency and arrogance.

When companies of any size start to succeed, they experience a tendency to lean into what’s working. They feel like if they’ve found their rhythm, they might as well stay there.  But, as we know, the innovative young will gobble up the old and comfortable; the fast and nimble will eat the slow and steady.  Grove’s book infused an appropriate amount of paranoia into my early career; the kind of paranoid that helps you to stay innovative, fast, nimble - ahead of the curve.

My biggest takeaways from this read: Never sit idle. Never assume you’ve made it. When you start to feel safe and steady and comfortable, double your efforts. Innovate. Think. Rethink. Smart paranoia will help drive your success.

The Monk and the Riddle, Randy Komisar
I’ve practiced “lifestyle design” most of my working life. Early in my career, I boldly and unequivocally made decisions to prioritize important, life priorities - family, travel, and flexibility. I’ve cared about "where and how" I work. I’ve asked myself "why" I do what I do.

I’ve never been great at “balance” – but, I’ve always been good at “fusion”, fusing together different areas of my life around my priorities. A great example: I’m writing this from my back porch with my dogs at my feet and my wife 10 feet away in the middle of a workday. The Monk and the Riddle is the book that helped me frame this way of work life.

This book is part fiction, part personal experience, but it is a complete manual of sorts that forces you to really think about work and really like about life design.

If you want to crush it AND do it while living a great life - this is a MUST READ.

The Purple Cow, Seth Godin
As a thought leader, Seth Godin is just the best. I’ve been a fan of his through much (if not all) of my entrepreneurial life. He wrote smart books, taught smart classes, and published smart blogs as I was starting my first tech companies in the mid to late 1990s, so I was digesting and implementing his advice early on.

I recommend any (all, really) his works and his daily blog to any aspiring entrepreneur, but it was The Purple Cow that had the greatest impact on my career, and here’s why: I’m a big believer in brands and a strong advocate for powerful design, and The Purple Cow opened my eyes to the simplicity of what’s possible when you pair brand with design. You should always position yourself and your company so that your product will BE the marketing. It’s really that simple. Make great products. Period.

This served as a foundation for much of our work launching Mountain Khakis. In a retail landscape where we were trying to differentiate the seemingly generic khaki pants, we shifted our thinking to just that – the seemingly generic khaki pant becoming GREAT.

I carry Seth’s lessons from company-to-company, but, most importantly, I will always shout from the rooftops that we need to build amazing products. The fact that he is the only writer here that I feel comfortable referring to by his first name is proof of another lesson that digs a level deeper into The Purple Cow– you are your best brand; you design your own brand. Buy this book.

Now, I want to hear from you - what books have shaped your entrepreneurial journey, your lifestyle design, your own brand?

Post By Mac Lackey Entrepreneur & Investor

What will work for Indian Startups in 2017 ?

As the new year dawns, it is time for most of us to make resolutions either realistic or far fetched. Millions and millions of people worldwide set out their New Year resolutions at the end of December.

Of course, on a personal front it’s probably something like “get my dream career", "lose weight”, or “save money”. But for entrepreneurs, resolutions usually sound something like “start my business with the eureka or big idea" or, if the business is already kick-started, "get my startup really rocking" or “get my series round of funding".

Startups and entrepreneurship have been the glamour hot buzzwords for the last few years in India. As India raced ahead to become the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, there have been spurts of reality checks more often this year. While Indian startups have multiplied in huge numbers, needless to say, there have been significant trends to clone the US eco system in India. With global players inching their way in Indian soil and funding narratives drying up, it is high time to contemplate what will make Indian startups tick in 2017. Time to move ahead of eCommerce, hyperlocal delivery…

Digital Transformation and Cloud
As India embarks on Digital India Movement, a digital transformation on a massive scale is almost certain In 2017 and beyond, enabled by cloud, mobile, big data and analytics, and social technologies. The grand demonetisation announced in November this year served as a catalyst accelerating digital technology adoption and digital transformation at a much faster rate than expected and the early competitive advantages will go to enterprises that can keep pace with the emerging digital transformation economy. Startups like JusPay, Chargebee, Wibmo are making significant impact in this space.

Needless to say, cloud is the prime enabler of digital transformation, which means that every business will be a cloud service provider of services to its own marketplace. As India strives to become a cashless economy, various modes of digital payments and mobile wallets will be increasingly the attractive option – a lucrative space for Indian start-ups.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 
With technology gaining a strong foothold in almost all fields in India, the AI revolution to make tech smarter and better at predicting things, shows great promise about AI's possibilities to help foster innovation at a much quicker pace in 2017. Applied AI and advanced machine learning give rise to a spectrum of intelligent implementations, including physical devices (robots, autonomous vehicles, consumer electronics), as well as apps and services (Chatbots, virtual personal assistants and smart advisors). Not to mention the role of Big data behind AI's rise, given the sheer volume of data that the digital world currently accumulates.With the emergence of data scientists and machine learning experts all set to rock the Indian tech landscape, a scope for startups to truly innovate in the space – a huge market for blending human expertise with AI.

Of late, Chatbots have taken the enterprise world by storm as these automated services interact with and offer information to consumers, through a chat interface. Interestingly, AI is one of the prime technologies that is helping to make chatbots mainstream, . A future trend to spur even more innovation, specifically in the enterprise.

Indian businesses will increasingly look to chatbots to help reduce spending on customer service, insurance and financial services representatives. As digitisation pervades across the country, there is great scope for chatbots to become the hot consumer application of AI. With the flurry of companies opening their platforms for chatbot integration with companies' backend systems, the way people communicate with businesses is rapidly changing. Indian startups can also focus on chatbots innovation which is ripe for disruption in the services sector. AIndra Systems, Brainasoft, Morph.ai, Racetrack.ai, Fluid AI are leading the race of AI in India.

Thanks to digitisation and demonetisation, coupled with wide-spread penetration of internet, smart phones and eCommerce in the country, the issue of cyber security has gained prominence in the Indian context as well. One can expect growth in the cybersecurity space in 2017. Indian startups can be optimistic about this area as eCommerce and digital transactions grow exponentially in the country. No doubt that AI will play a growing role in cybersecurity. Security is complex and hard to manage, which is going to be constant challenge for Indian start-ups in this domain. With cloud computing and its adoption becoming increasingly popular and zooming like a rocket , the role of managed security service providers will be increasingly important in helping organisations reduce the risk of a security breach. With rise in volume of funds transmitted via digital channels, the banking sector is facing new challenges as unscrupulous elements and fraudsters have started devising ingenious methods to siphon money. The concern is growing among bankers and customers on the threats posed by cyber criminals. The latest incident of 3.2 million debit cards being blocked or recalled by Indian banks has sent jitters across the banking community. While the data breach took place between May and July, the fraud was discovered only in September and banks then decided to proactively change cards. Every new attack vector or vulnerability exposed , is an opportunity for the emergence of a cybersecurity startup to fill the gap. Indian startups like Deccan Infotech, Data Resolve Technologies, Secugenius, Valency networks are promising ones working in this sector.

IoT is gaining widespread prominence in India with the launch of Digital India and Smart Cities initiatives. As a step in this direction, Cisco and Electronics City Industries Association (ELCIA) formed a partnership to develop Asia's first end-to-end 'Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Hub' in Bengaluru. Cisco ‘s ‘Smart City’ project using IoT in Bengaluru serves as a blueprint for the future of smart and connected cities in India.

The IoT wave is a great chance for India to create new startups and global brands as well as growth opportunities for existing companies and brands. The requirements of this massive and emerging market translates to exciting options for innovation in technologies like embedded design, semiconductor industry , communication systems thereby creating a new paradigm of pervasive computing. Exploiting AI and machine learning to deliver advanced behaviours and collaborative intelligent things, such as drones, autonomous vehicles and smart appliances, holds great promise. There are exciting Indian players like CarIQ, Sensegiz, Teewe, Entrib Shopworx coming up in this space. This is a golden opportunity for SMEs and startups in India in the coming year.

It is indeed an inflection point for Indian start-ups to shift focus to basics, quality, creativity , customer service and local conditions. An opportune era to transition from funding narratives. Will 2017 label India as a global powerhouse of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Looking through the Indian lens, can we have any realistic predictions for 2017, crystal gazing into the startup landscape ?

About the AuthorJayashree Patnaik@JPatnaik
Jayashree Patnaik is an entrepreneur at sparkbootcamp. Passionate, result-oriented strategic thinker and problem solver.

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What's Next in 2017: Artificial Intelligence

 Artificial Intelligence 2017

I expected to feel a little out of place at the swanky university event for bioethics. My wife, a professor with expertise in the field, had invited me. But when I introduced myself as a software engineer to the attendees, many wanted to talk about one thing -- artificial intelligence (AI). How would it affect society? What are the goods and the bads?

Artificial intelligence has been popping up everywhere. At a recent family holiday event, a relative held a long conversation with my brother and I about how our companies --- Google and Agolo --- were destroying jobs by automating human tasks.

Artificial intelligence has entered the national conversation on a broad scale. 2017 could be the year that we start to see AI becoming part of our lives and causing some disruptive change.

Before we speculate on the potential downsides of increased automation due to AI, let’s consider some of the positives:

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that self-driving technology could save up to 94% of the 35,000 yearly vehicle deaths caused by human error. That number is more than the number of U.S. military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, and victims of domestic terrorism.

New consumer products that utilize AI can make us more efficient and enable us to potentially have more impact. Services such as a personal assistant or research assistant, which previously were only available to people in higher positions, are now available for a small price due to AI-powered services (see: X.ai and agolo.com).

AI may be able to shed light into problems that have been unsolvable - cancer treatment, virus control, how to optimize education, etc. An anecdote from the Go match between Fen Hui and Google’s AlphaGo engine illustrates this.

After playing a close match, AlphaGo played a move that surprised many of the people in attendance, including Fen Hui. “It’s not a human move. So beautiful.”

In the case of the game of Go, the machine is given a simple goal; win the match. But what about when AI faces complex decisions and trade-offs? That brings us to some of the concerns about AI - that despite the complexity of the algorithms, the biases and short-sightedness of the engineers can cause unforeseen ramifications.

If we look over the past year, we can see a few examples of this. Microsoft released an AI-powered chat bot, “Tay.” However, within a few hours Twitter users had figured out how to get the bot to repeat Nazi propaganda and images. It seems that the engineers hadn’t considered this “edge-case,” and the bot wasn’t prepared for the malicious attack.

Tesla released their autonomous driving technology, insisting that it was not meant to be fully autonomous. However, the reliance of the technology on light images may have caused the death of a driver in a fatal accident. Newer models are relying on radar technology as well as light images.

Besides the engineering errors that can seep through AI technology, there are also human concerns. What about the jobs that AI will replace? The self-driving truck startup Otto threatens to disrupt the jobs of 10’s of 1000’s. What will these people do from now on?

Every technical disruption has a darker side. The industrial revolution improved manufacturing efficiency 50-fold, but it also created an oversupply of workers, causing many to lose their livelihood. That’s actually where the term “luddite” comes from - Luddites were textile workers who revolted against the new technology.

Many have begun proposing solutions to the eventual automation onslaught caused by AI. Anti-technologists would like to prevent autonomous technologies from being adopted in order to protect jobs. Some technologists like Elon Musk have said that governments might have to establish a universal basic income to support displaced workers.

Just like complex problems faced by AI, our national attitude towards AI involves trade-offs. If we accept the technological progress, we also have to confront the job losses and need for re-training. If we shut out AI, we risk dropping behind as a leader in innovation and industry. The trick will be getting AI to play for us, not against us.

This article by Tom Goldenberg is part of the LinkedIn Top Voices list, a collection of the must-read writers of the year.

Are you ready Startups ! for 2017

With the year 2016 drawing to a close, it is time to pick up some key trends that will shape how next year may look like. Sentiment in the startup space is bullish, but not unnecessarily euphoric. With that in mind, some broad themes that one can expect to play out next year:

Valuation is not the name of the game
It became clear somewhere towards the end of 2015, that the valuation game had to end. Lofty valuations and raising $1 million in seed rounds, which had become normal mid-2015, gave way to rational thinking. In 2016, the emphasis has been on business metrics like revenue and profitability. In fact, 2017 will be the year when startups had to raise money at a more realistic valuation, driving home the fact that this year’s euphoria and hype is not sustainable.

Going Digital is not a choice
When the fixed telephone line or what we call as the landline first made its presence in India, having a telephone connection was considered a luxury. There was a 10 year waiting period to get a connection and the service was appalling. With the telecom sector opening up, the mobile revolution swept through India and we bypassed landline connection to embrace cellular connections. Mobile opened our world to new innovations and products and now the phone is an integral part of our life.

Ever since the government launched its ambitious Digital India programme, it was clear that people in the corridors of power realize the importance of going digital. In a large country like India, digital is the only way to get services and amenities to a large section of the population that has been neglected till now. Digital is no more a luxury meant for only a few but has gone mainstream. Similarly, digital is no more only the playbook for tech enterprises. In 2016, more than ever before, digital has become the way of business.

Mainstream adoption of technologies like SasS and Mobility solutions in Small & Medium Enterprises will be reality in 2017

"C" is citizen and not consumer
Many did not notice, but slowly and surely some startups have moved their focus to addressing challenges faced by the citizens of the country. Built on top of platforms like Aadhar and India Stack, these startups have a paradigm change in their target audience. While every business focuses on its consumers, startups in the year 2016 have decided to focus on the society as their customer base. Next year I suspect there will be focused startups that will emerge to address changing government rules and regulation and to support citizens in getting things done. Creating platforms for GST readiness and compliance such as easemyGST will be great opportunity for startups

Innovation around Healthcare, Retail and Fintech
The health care piece is so large that we saw plenty of action in the space and we will continue to see activity next year. While innovation is not around finding a new molecule for a new medicine, advancement in the space has been centered on new devices and using technology to bring in a new dimension to care giving. Similarly, startups and innovations around retail has moved from ecommerce to using artificial intelligence, personalization and on-demand customization of fashion to come up with the next set of solutions. Also, an increasing number of startups this year focused on brick and mortar retail stores and tackling inefficiencies in the physical format, a trend that I think will strengthen next year leading Retail ERP provider to extend solution to accommodate future of Retail.

In the new Demonetized world, access to capital will become key for SME leading to Fintech ventures which can help credit assessment in near real-time basis for faster lending.

Wallets, IoT and Virtual Reality are real
Digital wallets have been around for some time now and it was thought they were often considered as a good alternative to have. However, after November 8, digital wallets have found a new lease of life with people beginning to understand the utility and importance of a digital wallet. Today, with the entire cashless transaction drive, one can expect wallets to be a sector of keen interest in 2017.

When it comes to IoT, the most popular application has been in the wearables space where fitness bands like Fitbit and GOQii has carved out a space. IoT has seen increasing applications in the sphere of smart cars, appliances and next year we are bound to see some exciting stuff happening around us. Hardware is a difficult space to crack, especially in the consumer arena and that is one reason why progress in the IoT space has been a tad slow. Similarly, virtual reality has made rapid strides since Oculus Rift made VR a household name with its headsets. Today, VR is used in healthcare, entertainment, automotive, space among others. Next year, one can expect a more mainstream application of VR and not just limited to gaming or the sectors mentioned above.

About the AuthorAshish Mittal@AMittal
Ashish Mittal is a Startup Mentor, Investor, Ex-Google, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and a Guest Columnist for leading Media

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Internet Censorship in India: Is India going the China way?

Since the past few days, I have been thinking deeply about the latest internet censorships that the Indian Government under Mr. Modi has implemented and what it might mean for the future of the country.

A few of the concerns that I have planned to put of as a part of an RTI are roughly drafted below:
  • What can the Indian Government block on the internet with respect to the latest and previous laws in the country and who oversees the legitimacy of such blockings, as regards whether they come under the laws or not?
  • What laws govern the blocking and what is the procedure to get a particular url blocked?
  • What ensures the competency of the body that decides it all and who has the final say on it.
  • How can a URL or content be unblocked?
  • What is the procedure for the same?
  • What function does the Indian Court play towards the matter.
  • Where and how are disputes decided and heard, between a content provider on the internet and the blocking authority.
  • What's the percentage of error till date regarding blocking perfectly legal content by mistake or as an act of error. 
  • What are the specific regulations to ensure that a url or content blocking is not based on a personal motive or a motive inspired by personal tastes, likes, dislikes or a personal enmity?
  • What charges can be pressed against the body or the individual who is found to have indulged in such personally motivated decisions? 
  • What are the legal consequences for the same? 

For example, on most banned urls in India, a message appears regarding the consequences of viewing the material in the said url, which includes the words:

“This URL has been blocked under instructions of a competent Government Authority or in compliance with the orders of a Court of competent jurisdiction. Infringing or abetting infringement of copyright-protected content including under this URL is an offence in law. Ss. 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957, read with Section 51, prescribe penalties of a prison term of upto 3 years and a fine of upto Rs.3 lakhs."

Is there a similar penalty in place for the officials who indulge in wrongful actions that ends up banning a url or content without any legal claims in support of the same as per the laws of the country? If yes, what is it, and if not, then why not?

Moreover, how come is it, that due to a single copyright violation on a single page of a website with thousands of pages of legitimate lawful content, an entire website is being banned and blocked? Does the government lack the skills and technology to ban individual copyright violation contents on the specific pages? Or is it intentional?

There are various sites that do not create content but it's users do. Most of those sites function like the way facebook or youtube does, which is, if a user posts copyrighted content without permission from the copyright holder, and someone complains using a dedicated button regarding the violation, the sites routinely go through the complaints and removes the said content within a specific time predecided by the company within which it can humanly manage to go through the list of complaints and verify it's legitimacy. How are these websites treated by the Indian laws? Are they treated like the usual websites or are there specific rules and regulations under which a certain violation has to be taken care of, before it is blocked from the internet? How are these cases tackled and what qualifications do the members of the body have to be able to actually understand the difference between a site that creates content and a site that merely acts as a platform where the users create the content? What is the technical skill level of the officials that ensures a fair judgement?

And in case, such platforms that do not create content and have their own legal copyright terms and policies as well as a feature to report the unauthorized content; aren't treated as separate, then what is the reason for such and such. In this scenario, sites like youtube, facebook and wordpress could soon be banned, which means the country's internet will become nothing less than crippled, what does the government have to say about this? As a democratic country, if that happens, it will be a violation of the right to freedom of expression and the right to access of perfectly legal information as a consequence of such flawed practices. How does the authority and the Government plan to deal with the denial of certain fundamental rights of the citizens of the republic of India?

Another serious issue is the BJP Government and Mr Narendra Modi's intolerance towards anything that they do not like on the internet. In the past couple of years, people have been locked up in jails for stuffs like tweeting, re-tweeting or liking on facebook. I have been an admirer of Mr Modi's philosophy of Development and having lived in Gujarat for a decade, I have known the kind of work that he is capable of doing. But, Mr Modi's (and BJP's) outlook towards the internet is outrageous, to say the least. And, sure there have been more than a dozen things that the Government has done or tried their best to do, which would make the overall internet experience far worse than ever before. Take the recent blocking of Adult Content websites, which although was taken back after a huge public outcry, but was enough to show that Mr. Modi wants the internet in India to resemble the Chinese.

About the AuthorAnimesh Mishra@AMishra
Animesh Mishra is the Co-Founder, CEO & Hacker- Magical Clouds Inc.

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Why I think its the right time for women in India to startup?

Why I think its the right time for women in India to startup?

Often young women and men reach out to me via email or Linkedin or at events asking me how did I decide to startup, whether the idea they have is worth the plunge or in some cases having just started do I think they are on the right track.

An interview I gave few months back at a BusinessWorld event captures my thoughts on entrepreneurship really well so I am posting it here. Hopefully it will help those women and men who are on the brink of taking the decision - to startup or not to startup. Do indeed decide to Startup and create something Unique of Value. The video addresses topics such as - "women in tech", "are startups for Indian women", "what are India specific challenges faced while starting up", "what sectors are ripe for innovation in India", etc.

One key message I have for all aspiring entreprenurs
The confidence and passion that - "this is how this problem must be solved" and "this is why I am the best person in the world to solve this"; must come from within. Without that internal conviction its very hard to startup and sustain. Everything else - family support, finding a team, building the MVP, raising money is secondary. If you dont have the belief that you can do it, then there is no way you will be able to do it!

About the AuthorUpasana Taku@UTaku
Upasana Taku is the Co-founder of Mobikwik and looks after Partnerships, Finance & Talent Acquisition.

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