Author Archive for vikasshah

Export Import Business Online-Business Idea

 Logistics is big business.And freight forwarding (export -import) contributes significantly to logistics business.

Having worked with Air India Ltd at its Cargo SBU, I wonder whether are there any companies in world which facilitates export and import business online.This business can be classified into 2-3 ways.First is via air or sea.Second is big shipments (in tons) v/s small shipments (in kgs).While online model would be useful for small shipments as discounts given by airlines is too good in that.

Hindrance of digitising this business is influence of stakeholders like customs and shipper’s export /import division.

VC’s and entrepreneurs in logistics domain may wish to brainstorm on this idea.Contact .

Acquisition of an online bus booking site

If anyone wants to dilute majority stake in a revenue earning online bus booking site please get in touch .Acquirer wants the target entrepreneur to continue run the business.Acquirer has other bigger plans to club bus booking with airline tickets and prepaid mode of selling.

Give me an idea and I will make you POOR

Standard and Poor says America is getting POOR.

Economists ,capitalists,governments and people are discussing the fallout of such a situation.

But what does it mean for an entrepreneur.In case somebody has misssed recent article by Jug Suraiya in TOI ,here it is .Wherein the associate writer mentions that in this knowledge economy ,US started producing everying except goods and articles.And these goods and articles US started importing in majority from China.US is now majorly producing ideas.

Are we ready for Kindles and the like.

No , we don’t want Kindles as of now.As an entrepreneur there are hundreds of subjects one can pick and choose.But Indian entrpreneurs rotate their minds where the moolah is without thinking that this moolah(VC money) too can evaporate any time.

First things first.An entrepreneur needs to create Value first .Value for the common Indians .

Cash,Visa,mobile or prepaid who will win

With reference to the growth of e-com in India ,now digital money is growing at the cost of liquid cash.This digital money could be a credit card (if it is credit card ,than all chances of it being visa) or a mobile cash.But even mobile transcactions are taking place thru credit cards.In India we do not see real mobile cash like the one prevalent in kenya.In Kenya there is enough transaction thru mobile as opposed to India where RBI is a tough regulator.

Till now one can book tickets and transact through a mobile using a credit card but come January 2011 ,everybody can also use their debit cards for mobile transaction.

Another thing in market is prepaid cards .

Advantages for companies building a business model around a prepaid card is that it helps them save on commissions which otherwise would go to VISA .

But the challenges for prepaid card would be

1) to build and scale IT infra and bring the product in line with electronic payment standards.I doubt whether prepaid cards prevalent in India will be easily used from semi-closed (or semi-open) can be reloaded and used as open-loop (when ever RBI allows in future).It seems difficult in given scenario but if it happens, it will be another chapter in the business model of the companies apart from being just an e-com player.

2) the cost of acquisition of customer is more as marketing spend is more. 

A lot is at stake travel, books and gadgets .It is how you build your business and your ecosystem.

Summing up , shall one build a business model on visa or prepaid cards.(Though US experience may be a guidance but India may be different.

Everybody’s opinion please.