Tag Archive for 'startup'

Missing Link – the HR plan

Having managed HR departments for over 110 companies in last 5 years, I am amazed to see the consistent absence of comprehensive HR plan inside or even alongside the annual business plan. And this remains the top reason why goal alignments, reviews and resource agility remains perpetual challenge. Most managers end up reacting to situations rather than anticipating and large part of workforce has no idea whats happening around. How difficult is it to give one week of think time to top management and put together clearly aligned operating plans that include people plan (numbers, roles, goals, metrics, reports, rythms, huddles, key programs, training runs, content and cheer)?

Problem with not thinking through enough, is that then, doing and thinking goes on together, forcing execution teams to either take random shots or keep running back to top for decisions, both create huge risk to plan achievement.

Incidentally, its been easier to put this together for privately funded companies as the basic discipline of planning and review exists quite rigidly, though ensuring that HR plan isn’t given a miss is still a task. Companies run by professional CEOs come next and family businesses remain a tough one to crack inspite of their sincere intention.

Planning discipline impacts ability to retain talent to a great extent as it simplifies everyone’s job, if HR teams are fully engaged to operating plan and there is clarity on annual HR plan, whole organization achieves amazing operational seamlessness. You still have two weeks to go for another execution run to begin, it might be a bit last minute but you can save the year.

Feel free to comment here or write to me at prashant@plugHR.com

Co-working Space in Gurgaon

Is there anyone in the startup community in gurgaon – having co-working space for a 2-5 member team? Couldnt get much information elsewhere, but hoping to get a response on venturewoods. You can reach me at theravishankar@gmail.com.

Thanks a ton and a wish a very happy new year 2012 for the startup community!!

Sneak Preview: Proto.in Mumbai – January 30th, IIT Bombay

Like any Start-up before it’s big release, we at the Team Proto have been extremely busy with the big event which is coming to town. As some of you should be aware, Proto.in is taking place on the 30th of Jan in IIT Bombay. For Start-ups, Investors and the Audience alike, we have an action packed day – one like never before at any of our events. If you haven’t checked in for the event already – do register on http://register.proto.in

If there’s one thing, that’s come to the fore during our selection process – it’s that innovation in India is certainly alive and well. Start-ups from sectors as diverse as Solar Power, Logistics, Robotics, Clean Technology and Mobile will take the stage in what I can promise you will be a power packed showcase. For the first time, through our collaboration with both Intellecap and NEN, we will have start-ups from both the Social Sector and a Student Start-up as part of the showcase. ‘Out of this Planet’ does sound like a cliche, but this time around we actually have India’s first Space company which will take the stage at the event. Enough said – register your tickets for the best start-up event in India.

Here is quick brief on what you can look forward to:

9:30 AM to 10:00 AM     In Conversation with Pradeep Gupta, Founder Cybermedia Group

A start-up from the Media sector discusses the challenges of scaling up a Media Company. Pradeep Gupta discusses his story.

10:00 AM to 10:30 AM    In Conversation with Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder, Naukri.com

An Internet start-up takes the stage and brings out Sanjeev Bikhchandani’s story in building Naukri.com

10:45 AM to 2:15 PM    Proto.in Showcase

15 of India’s hottest start-ups take the stage, each have 6 mins each to showcase their product to the audience present. This will followed by a round of Q&A

2:15 PM to 3 PM        Lunch Break

3 PM to 4:45 PM       Special Screening of Movie ‘Pirates of the Silicon Valley’

5:00 PM to 5:30 PM   Devil’s Advocate

Legal Counsel Shantanu Surpure of Sandhill Advisory takes on a panel of Venture Capitalists and provides clarity on some of the blackholes in the Fund Raising Process

5:30 PM to 6:00 PM    Angels and Demons  – A Review of the Angel Investor Pitch

The Angels in a panel discussion – where they iron out the demons in the Business Plan Pitch held earlier.

Parallel Sessions:

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM     Mentoring Session with Sequoia Capital

All start-ups attending the event have the opportunity of getting mentored by Sequoia Capital, 1 on 1 for a period 15 mins each. 15 deserving start-ups from the audience will be chosen for this special session.

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM     Meet the Airtel Innovation Fund

The Bharti Airtel Innovation Fund will be conducting a session for start-ups across such sectors such as Mobile, Internet, VAS and Software. Start-ups will have the opportunity to meet with the fund and discuss their goals and objectives.

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM    Angel Pitch to the Indian Angel Network

8 start-ups chosen by the Indian Angel Network will get an opportunity to make a Business Plan Pitch for Funding. Indian Angel Network will choose 1 start-up which will be given mentoring over the next 6 months till it is fund raising ready.

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM     Demo Pit

Start-ups will showcase their demos in the demo pit – and engage and interact with the audience on their growth plans and opportunities for collaboration.

For all those present at the event, we also have a special Innovation Jam which will be telecast on the ‘Starting Up’ show on ET NOW. Clearly, your opportunity to join the fun.

Tickets are running out quick – and before they run out (like they did in our last edition in Pune), we recommend you log on and register on http://register.proto.in

Look forward to seeing you at the event.


Team Proto.in

The Startup Chat. Every Saturday 10am – 5pm.

There is a lot of knowledge that resides among people, and not everybody is able to make it to real-life meets. In an increasingly connected world, it might make sense to make use of the technology that exists. There are also a lot of folks – aspiring entrepreneurs in tier II cities who do want to make it to the ranks, but do lack the know-how to move forward.

Here’s a means to solve that Problem.

Proto.in, along with VentureWoods and a host of other partners have started this online chat initiative called The Startup Chat. It will be live every Saturday between 10am – 5pm (IST) and people can connect to the site, login, and interact with people to get support in whatever they might be looking for.

It would be great to have the support of this community – as there are lots of mature and experienced entrepreneurs here. Do login and help out. And it would be great to catch up with all of you in real time as well. Look forward to seeing you there.

URL: http://chat.proto.in

Some Nuggets on Starting up, and Scaling Out

These are links to some presentations that were part of Startonomics, a conference for Startups. There are some very good nuggets that most of our companies could benefit from:

1. Moving out of the Garage:

2. Product Development 101 (Fast Track Product Development)
Continue reading ‘Some Nuggets on Starting up, and Scaling Out’

We Really Don’t Dream Big Enough.

I grew up with a poster in my room saying “The size of your world is as big as your dreams”. It was always there when you woke up to remind you to think beyond the box. It still hangs there in my room at my parents place. It’s the thought that came into my mind when I was browsing through the net, listening to some of the folk’s interpretation of Entrepreneurship.

It seems  to me as if there are a couple of theories floating around these past few weeks.

a) Entrepreneurship is overrated. Entrepreneurship is romanticized, and the often tweeted and retweeted phrase seems to be “My son is without a job, ah! he is an entrepreneur”. Well, That’s probably pushing it far, and yep, perhaps we are breaking the elitism that was once associated with being an “entrepreneur”, but isn’t this what we wanted with all the publicizing that we did and urging one another to chase their dreams? I do see that this could dampen the ones that pride in elitism, but as far as things go, there will always be a gulf between those who can dream, ideate and implement, and those who just wear the badge and do nothing. And really, the more the merrier in this party.

b) There is also this other camp, that seems to think that, Entrepreneurship is too Web 2.0-ised. I can emphatize with this camp.  I dont think entrepreneurship in India is equated with a venture in the web 2.0 world, but most of us derive our first impression from the media that we consume and web 2.0 is essentially Media and new age consumption of those content. You get hit by it in the face over and over again, till you find something interesting. That doesn’t mean that there arent other sort of ventures going on out there. Manufacturing is still one of our strongest sectors and there are plenty of neat things cooking up in that camp. So for those of you freaking out with the thought of drowning in Web 2.0 Gyaan, take heed, there is a bigger world out there – you just need to step out more.
Continue reading ‘We Really Don’t Dream Big Enough.’

Top 10 Disruptive Techs for 2008-2012(Gartner)

According to http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=681107&format=print

Top 10 Disruptive Technologies for 2008-2012

  • Multicore and hybrid processors
  • Virtualisation and fabric computing
  • Social networks and social software
  • Cloud computing and cloud/Web platforms
  • Web mashups
  • User Interface
  • Ubiquitous computing
  • Contextual computing
  • Augmented reality
  • Semantics

partial approaches to present economic scenario

These may be partial approaches to present economic scenario for technology entrepreneurs.

  • Embracing Business Models for Open Source Software
  • Embracing Open Innovation

These are my recent talks in OSS Camp delhi.



Looking for “fundable(?) tech startup ideas”?

Looking for “fundable(?) tech startup ideas”?

Ycombinator lists 30.


Which one you want to take?

SSIR Article -Rediscovering Social Innovation



Social entrepreneurship and social enterprise have become popular rallying points for those trying to improve the world. These two notions are positive ones, but neither is adequate when it comes to understanding and creating social change in all of its manifestations. The authors make the case that social innovation is a better vehicle for doing this. They also explain why most of today’s innovative social solutions cut across the traditional boundaries separating nonprofits, government, and for-profit businesses.

The PDF is available here

(I regard first web-based e-mail Hotmail, though a for-profit business, was a social innovation for the users. So are Yahoo Directory and Search, Google Search, even Jobsahead/Naukri. I think it is time to find “new ones” as Internet and mobile are somewhat mature now. Where are the billion$ ideas that change the society?)