Archive for the ‘General’ Category
Writing a book has been on my “TO-DO” list for several years. Perhaps because I am myself an avid reader, I have immense fascination with books and what goes in to writing them. My guess is that it takes lot of patience, perseverance and planning to write a decent book! I recently read the 700 page long “India after Gandhi” and it left me in complete awe of the author Ram Chandra Guha!
I have probably written a book’s worth of content in this blog itself. Yet, I have always considered writing an actual “book” as something different from just writing a bunch of disconnected articles. There has always been an inertia in my mind whenever I have contemplated writing an actual book. This inertia inevitable overpowers the desire to write!
However, just a few days back, I had a sudden realization – writing a book and getting it published are two distinct activities. In fact, simply writing a book has no entry barriers – nobody can stop you from doing that. Of course, getting it published is a different ball game. For that, you need to have credentials, good writing capabilities and at least one publisher who feels he can make money publishing your book. You also need to worry about cover design, promotions etc. But writing a book is just that – writing and nothing more.
So, I have decided that I shall write. Since I have already written a lot about entrepreneurship on this blog, my topic of choice would remain that. I don’t know how far I will go in the process, but I will be happy if I can churn out a couple of hundred pages over the next 6-8 months!
If you have written a book before, then I will be grateful if I can get some tips from you. If you would like to help me by reviewing drafts, then please do let me know. I can be contacted at gauravbhatnagar at gmail dot com.
Its been a very long time since I last wrote a blog post. Unlike other addictions, blogging seems to have few withdrawal symptoms. That would be why I just haven’t gotten myself to update the blog in a long time! However, there are many updates to share and hence this post!
Travel Boutique Online nominated amongst NASSCOM TOP 100 IT Innovators
Travel Boutique Online (TBO) is our travel industry focused B2B platform. In our first year of operation, we have seen tremendous growth in this business and to top it, we were nominated amongst the top 100 IT innovators for 2007 by NASSCOM. This was a great accomplishment for our technology team. As a business, we have largely flown under the radar in a space (online travel) which sees lot of news and activity. We have also followed a radically different business model by going B2B in a space that is so far dominated by B2C players. TBO deserves a post (actually several posts) to itself. But getting the NASSCOM nomination was definitely a high point for us.
Three years of Tekriti
Tekriti completed three years of existence on 7th Feb 2008. It has been a terrific ride so far and time has flown by fast! We are now nearing the 100 employee mark, have added new clients, delivered several dozen projects and very importantly, brought domestic mix in our client list. Our commitment to product/platform based model has borne fruit and our video publishing product TekMedia has found good adoption in the last few months. There is a lot more to share which I will leave for future posts. However, we do have a new logo (as seen here) and a brand new company website. Do take a look and send back feedback my way.
New office move!
We are moving to a new office! For almost an year now, we have been operating out of three different offices. Obviously this makes things difficult. It increases costs and reduces communication. So now we are moving to nearby Udyog Vihar. We will have a whole building to ourselves. With 15000 sqft of space, a nice cafeteria and a recreational lounge, I can’t wait to move in!
I am hoping to get back to blogging. I started getting back in the mould by micro-blogging on twitter but New Delhi Times is the real thing!
Michael Vick reminds us how easy it is to lose it all!
I kid you not, this is the exact text from the declaration you have to sign on the marriage registration form:
“Neither of us is an idiot or a lunatic at the time of Marriage”
Of course some might argue that this is an oxymoron since why would you marry if you are of sane mind (Palak’s joke – not mine!)
It was my birthday today. So I thought I will take this opportunity to start writing again. I have been offline for almost 3 months now. But I have a pretty valid excuse. I was busy getting married!
Palak and I tied the knot on July 11th. The run up to the wedding involved juggling work with wedding preparations, shopping, and having fun. As is the norm with Indian weddings, we had loads of festivities before and after the wedding. The details of the wedding are worthy of several blog posts!
The past year was definitely not just another year! I will back online and blogging from now on. So please tune back in to New Delhi Times!
Around an year back when we were kicking off a big project in office, our unofficial motto for the project was “lets play like the Aussies”. Watching Australia win the World Cup last night reminded me how appropriate that motto was.
The Australian cricket team has won 4 of the last 6 world cups. They have made it to the finals of 5 of the last 6 world cups. They haven’t lost a match in the world cup since 1999. In short, they rule the game and there is not even a distant second. Their domination has lasted 20 years and there are no challengers in sight.
In a sport that is often termed as “a game of glorious uncertainties”, how can one team continue to dominate so consistently? Over 20 years, dozens of players, coaches, management and selection committees must have come and gone. So it is definitely not a case of individual genius. It is also not a case of just having things fall in place (the way they did for India in 83 or for SL in 96). Australia’s success is a case of having the right system in place and following processes. Whether it is selection procedures, training regimens, talent spotting or team strategy, their appears a clear method in their ways. There is no adhocism and very little dependence on individual brilliance. Contrast that with the India team. We have traditionally been people oriented. A great all arounder or a genius batsmen or a legendary leg spinner have historically given India its cricketing successes over the years. This is of course the reason why the Indian team goes through so many crests and troughs.
Australian team is a great example of how organizations should work. Dependence on individual star performers can yield results in the short term but adds little to the strength of the organization. If anything, it can leave rest of the team rallying behind a few individuals. So when those individuals stop performing or are not available, things start falling apart. In contrast, a process based approach may take time to show results. It is hard to get processes right in the first go. It is also hard to get people to change and adhere to processes. But once a good system has been put in place, its there forever. It doesn’t depend on individual brilliance or sheer genius. It makes success more predictable and a good system allows identifying weaknesses early on. Sure, it might not be as sexy as a Sachin Tendulkar cover drive – but then how many World Cups has Sachin lifted so far?
I have been suffering from a severe blogger’s block for a while now. I just can’t get myself to write a decent blog post. I noticed that lot of other people in my blogging circle are going through similar symptoms.
There are a couple of reasons why I have not been blogging much. Firstly, I just have been incredibly busy with work and yet at the same time, I am making a conscious effort to balance my work-life. Since there is only limited time in a day, its not possible to pursue everything. Blogging has unfortunately fallen down in my list of priorities.
Apart from that, I have been a little disillusioned with the style of blogging that used to previously impress me. The most influential and popular bloggers (at least in tech and entrepreneurial circles) are the ones who write a lot about how things should be and how things should be done. Its a lot of preaching and advice which usually is good and well intentioned. Frankly, significant part of my own blogging has been in that category and I know the that whatever modest popularity my blog has enjoyed is because of my posts on R2I and entrepreneurship in India. But of late, I have realized that the most successful entrepreneurs out there getting work done – not blogging. There is a huge crop of bloggers whose only claim to fame is blogging. I don’t want to end up in that category. Hence my motto – blog less, slog more!
Finally, my own views on entrepreneurship and running a startup continue to evolve very rapidly. Hence, often my views change from what I had previously blogged. Now that is not a bad thing, but I am getting a little bit wary of putting stuff out there which in hindsight might not be very good advise for somebody who takes it seriously. After all, I have only 2 years of experience doing this and we have a long way to go! However, at the same time, sometimes I feel that it is worthwhile to pen down my thoughts and experiences as they evolve. This is something I am still debating.
I am trying to get back into the blogging groove. Thanks for checking back and thanks for leaving comments even when I have been really bad in replying back!
Marc turns 50 today. Now generally it is considered bad form to suck up to a client on a public forum. But on an occasion which is very special to Marc, I think it is OK for me to wax eloquent about Mr. Canter.
I met Marc just little more than two years ago via email. Marc was building Ourmedia at that time and needed development resources. Ourmedia was built on open source technology which is diametrically opposite to the Microsoft background that Ashish and I came from. However, we went on a limb and told Marc we could pick up whatever technology in a matter of days. Marc immediately responded with a challenge which we worked hard to meet it. It was Marc’s faith in our abilities (never having met us in person and not having any references to check with) that got us started as a company. I think very few would have shown the trust Marc showed in us back then.
So Marc – a very happy 50th birthday to you! It is a pleasure and honor to know you and work with you!
2006, just like last two years, was a landmark year for me. It was one of those years which I will always remember. For example, if I was asked what was special about 1994, or 1999, or 2002, I can barely remember anything from those years. But 2006 was different. “2006″ will always evoke many many memories for me – but that is not the point of this post.
Towards the end of 2003, life had started to get into a rut. Everything seemed too comfortable and predictable. At the end of 2002, I could have forecasted with great accuracy how 2003 would go. I could have told you who are the people I would be hanging out with, who are the people I will be working with, what kind of raise I will get at work, what time of the year I will visit India etc. The same thing happened at the end of 2003 too when looking back, I realized it was an “OK” year which went pretty much as predicted. And frankly, the next one was going to be pretty much identical. So at the end of 2003 I had resolved that I will celebrate the next New Year’s eve in India. I was craving for change. I was dying for some excitement and unpredictability in life.
Well, as the wise men have said – be careful of what you wish for, you might actually get it!
Year end of 2004 was when Ashish and I had just met Marc and were working hard on proving ourselves. I guess the seeds of Tekriti were sown at that time. On new year’s eve 2005, we had no idea of how the next year was going to go. We honestly had no idea of what was coming next. It was thrilling. So 2005 came and went like a whirlwind and indeed we could have never predicted that the year would turn out like it actually did. On Jan 1 2006, Manish and I were stranded at the Mumbai airport and got disucssing how 2006 would be. We knew it was an important year (and which year isn’t) but again at that time, it was hard to say where we would be in an year’s time. So, my wish from 2 years back continued to come true. And in all honesty, I have enjoyed, and even thrived in the excitement of the unknown. Human nature is to gain inertia and settle in a comfort zone as soon as possible. Hence it is a challenge to keep oneself outside of a comfort zone and continue to deal with uncertainty on a prolonged basis.
So as I wish you a Very Happy New Year 2007, I will myself not make any wishes for the new year- who knows which ones might come true
If you notice that I am not blogging, then its probably because I am getting actual work done – as opposed to just writing about it
Expect to see lots of action on the blog later this week! Off to Mumbai tomorrow!