Corporate Lessons From Bihar Elections

The entire country was looking at Bihar elections anxiously and the whole counting process along with the final results were equally dramatic. On 8th November 2015 India at state level saw the rise of a dead & buried political party RJD, a struggling JDU and a near to death Congress together in form of “The Grand Alliance” easily garnering two-third of the majority kicking out its biggest competitor BJP.

Looking into the elections from corporate lenses, I could find a few corporate old golden rules that were not followed properly by BJP that ended up for such a big loss for them. Below are a few major take away for the corporates that I could see here:

Unbiased Efficient Team

You need to have a team which is efficient, capable, has ideas along with the required domain knowledge because in today’s changing landscape experience alone does not count. In order to create such a team you might need to think beyond your favourite chaps, past success and look for people who has the potential, intelligence, field knowledge and can actually deliver.

Otherwise we might again see another less experienced Prashant Kishore stealing the show from Amit Shah.

Know Your Customer, Listen to Voice of Customer (VOC) & Study Market

Every organisation needs to understand what customer really wants, their likes and dislikes before building a product so that you know what to offer to the customers in order to capture market. Further a good ground market study is another important aspect so that you understand the market where you are going to play along with your competition because until you know the rules you can’t follow or break them.

Unfortunately, in Bihar elections BJP could not identify the voters (customers) need that resulted in packaging a wrong product in form of wrong agenda that was reflected in their campaign. At this point of time the voters in Bihar wanted only development and job, while BJP was juggling with religious issues, personal attacks etc. their competition got the pulse right and played on the development card. Bihar has seen at least some development during Nitesh’s tenure so they chose development over any other agenda.

Development will actually happen or not happen that is debatable but at least for that moment competition ruled out BJP completely because they offered what voters wanted. Hence, it is imperative that you know your customers, understand their need and the market as well.

Clear Go-To-Market Strategy

A firm should always have a clearly carved out GTM strategy that will specify the value proposition to the customers and also help to achieve required competitive advantage. The kind of channels and campaigns that will follow is crucial part of any GTM, so it is imperative to have a well thought GTM at place.

During Bihar elections we saw BJP with unclear GTM that as per my understanding is the biggest reason for their loss. They kept swinging from this agenda to that agenda, being influenced by outside comments etc. and in midst of all these they could not bring out the correct value proposition for the voters while its competition kept chanting the development mantra. As a result there were many uneducated, undecided voters who could not understand BJP’s idea and at the end turned towards the Grand Alliance with a hope that they would help them flourish.

This same case could happen with a firm if it fails to a clear GTM because at the end of the day it is your responsibility to make customer understand what your product is, how it will help and convenience the customer to go for it.

In business and politics you are only as good as your last success; brand, size etc. matters only if your product & strategies are good enough to acquire customer/voters. Every landscape is different & dynamic, every customer mind-set is different so an organisation need to be cautious and keep evolving so as to be the market leader.

Soon You Can Shop From Facebook

E-commerce seems to be so hot that even Facebook could not stop itself from getting into the run and hence it is going to add a “buy ” button to its pages, BuzzFeed’s Alex Katrowitz reports.10333105_1381867922088346_766341384_n

This is another step towards Facebook’s effort to keep people intact to the website after it’s recent introduction of peer-to-peer payments capabilities, which provide a complete new ways to let stores communicate with people via messages. Before this, back in 2011 Facebook allowed a few brands ( like Gamestop, Gap, JC Penney, and Nordstrom) to operate their shop on the social network website but unfortunately they all closed their shops within a year because there were not much traffic on Facebook for these stores as the customers preferred shopping at the respective store’s website.

Facebook told BuzzFeed it won’t take a cut of sales.”We are planning to expand the test in coming weeks to include more businesses, but it will remain very small for now,” a spokesperson told Business Insider.


Now Google Will Tell If You Can Go Solar

Google has put itself on the map by funding more than $2 billion in renewable energy projects.

Now the search giant wants to map the amount of sunlight your rooftop receives—and help you decide if it makes financial sense to go solar.

Dubbed Project Sunroof, the recently released online tool enables you to type in your address and find out how much space you have for solar panels on your roof, how many hours of rooftop sunlight you’ll get a year, and how much money you’d save.

After typing in your address, a Google Earth image of your home and the surrounding neighborhood appears, with the roofs appearing in colors ranging from purple to yellow to indicate how much sunlight is striking the surface. The photos, however, appear in some cases to be at least one or two years old.

“As Google, we knew we had the expertise to do this well using Google maps and aerial imaging,” said Barry Fischer, a Google spokesperson. “Project Sunroof draws upon the same high-resolution imagery that powers Google Earth.”

The project—which started as the “20 percent time” effort of a Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Google software engineer—is a latecomer to the solar mapping scene.

City and state governments, the United States Department of Energy, and solar installers such as Sungevity have developed similar tools enabling curious homeowners to type in their address and determine how much solar power they can produce from a photovoltaic system.

But Google’s tool—which is still a pilot and so far only available for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, and Fresno, California—appears to be unique as it uses machine learning to distinguish a rooftop from, say, adjacent trees or lawns.

The team found that the accuracy of estimates of a roof’s solar capacity was increased by reducing the computer’s chance of mistakenly including surrounding trees or lawns when calculating the rooftop’s exposure to sunlight.

“Based on our testing, we found that using machine-learning techniques alone helped reduce classification errors by 75 percent compared to using traditional methods of determining the boundaries of buildings and rooftops,” Fischer said.

The method is also being applied to solar in other ways. Students at Duke University, for instance, are using machine learning to estimate U.S. solar capacity.

Project Sunroof will also recommend the size of solar system that you should install based on your average electricity bill. And it calculates how much you’ll save depending on whether you opt to finance the solar array with a loan, by leasing, or by purchase. Then it presents the option to request a consultation with Google’s solar provider partners—SunWork, Vivint, SunEdison, SunPower, or NRG Solar.

Fischer said in the future Google will collect a referral fee from those companies when a potential customer contacts it through Project Sunroof.

Google plans to expand the tool to other areas of the United States.

“During the coming months we’ll be exploring how to make the tool better and more widely available,” Fischer said.

(This article came up at takepart  by Kristine Wong)

Silicon Valley of India Has Youngest Entrepreneurs in The World

The Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru left behind the original Silicon Valley in terms of average age of entrepreneurs. The tech city reported n average age of 28.5 years according to a survey carried out for the top 10 global startups while the average age was 36.2 for Silicon Valley. Compass, a startup benchmarking firm based out in San Francisco conducted this survey. They further reported an average age of founders to be 30.5, 31.7 and 31.8 years for cities like Kuala Lumpur, Sao Paulo and Berlin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Image Source: TOI

Today we see many younger’s stepping into entrepreneurial world and disturbing the whole industry. All the young talents are coming up with innovative business ideas and betting on technology, internet and social. The internet industry is just few years old but the way our young entrepreneurs have distributed it and brought some excellent businesses is marvelous. And that’s the reason Bengaluru is the 15th-best startup ecosystem in the world. : Your PNR Confirmation Status Predictor


So every-time you get a wait-listed train ticket, you are worried whether it will get confirmed or not by the date of your travel, isn’t it? Now, you have an amazing way to know whether the ticket will get confirmed or not and it is the all new PNR predictor called It is India`s No.1* IRCTC train PNR predictor which is backed by a unique and efficient algorithm which predicts your IRCTC PNR in seconds based on historical trends.It also assists you in deciding whether to book or not if the train is in wait list. Not only that you can predict PNR confirmation status after booking rail ticket and discover all the possible alternatives to get a confirmed train ticket for your railway ticket reservation.

We had a quick talk with its founder Sripad and Dinesh, colleagues at IBM India in Bangalore. Here is the excerpt from the conversation:

1) When, Why and how the venture was started?

In India daily 2.2 million tickets are booked and of which 30% of the tickets would be on wait list. Even though the tickets are on wait list ,people would book the tickets in the hope of getting the ticket confirmed . If they are lucky they would get a confirmed ticket to travel else they just cancel their trip .This is one of the most common and biggest problem which every train traveler faces today in India. We faced this problem personally many times and thought of addressing this with technology and analytics. So we started which predicts the train ticket confirmation chances based on the historical trends. Based on our predictions, train travelers would be able to make intelligent, data driven decisions whether to book a ticket or not.Whenever we planned to travel from Bangalore to Hyderabad (to our native places) . We would see long waitlist. We had 2 options – Either travel by train ( if you are lucky enough to get a ticket ) start shelling out huge amount of money on the buses . Which would be some where 5-10 times of the train fare during the peak season / weekends .We  started observing the ticketing trends for train (Bangalore Express-12785)  which I usually travel  and surprisingly I saw a trend in the way booking and cancellations happen .   To try out started booking the waitlist tickets based on my observation and many times we both travelled with Confirmed ticket . So at the point we thought of building a software which can predict and help is common user .And hence, ConfirmTkt was launched on 5th July 2014.

2) Major offerings, target market and strategy

ConfirmTkt is a travel tool which is changing the way people travel in India. It is solving of the biggest problem which Indian train traveler faces every day.Problem: “Getting a Confirmed ticket to travel”In India almost 2.2 million tickets booked on a daily basis of which 7.9 lakh tickets would be in wait list. This is a huge problem which a Indian train traveler faces. Many of us know if we are lucky a W/L ticket will get confirmed.  And people start guessing and trying their luck. Some people are lucky enough to travel some people just cancel their trips just because they are not getting a confirmed train ticket.Lay man Solution :  Everyone would have seen people say “For a train “XXX” W/L 30 would confirm” .How they guess it ?  Just by their past experience!!Confirmtkt Solution :  Confirmttkt does the same . The intelligence behind the ConfirmTKT PNR predictions is very close to how humans think. We humans predict and act on the future based on past experiences. In the similar way ,ConfirmTKT algorithm analyses the past ticketing trends and predicts your ticket confirmation chances. ConfirmTKT maintains confirmation thresholds for every train and predict the ticket confirmation chances based on them. ConfirmTKT is designed in such a way that it learns while predicting. So, the more we predict the more accurate and efficient we are.

3) What is in it for customers?
The customers can predict the confirmation chances of their ticket PNRs if already booked or can even predict the confirmation chances while checking the seat availability of any train between the stations they want to travel to on a particular date (and 6 days from their day of travel). In addition, a very important and exclusive feature for ConfirmTkt users is the Alternatives option which shows all possible alternatives of getting a confirm ticket on that same train of choice (either by booking 2 tickets via an intermediate station or booking a ticket to a station further to the destination wherever the availability/confirmation chances of a ticket is high. Please check the images for other highlights of the app

4) Major challenges faced
Data collection, analyzing huge database of trends, figuring out an accurate logic, reaching out to customers were some of the biggest challenges faced by us.


5) Future plans

We started with prediction engine for predicting confirmation chances of wait list train tickets. but we plan to evolve into a ticket discovery tool across all modes of transport. The mission is to enable users to discover confirm tickets for their journey plan at a single button click.We would be a one stop shop which will guide people how to travel . We would be addressing all the problems which  a traveler faces to day .We have many features lined up which would be focusing on the ticket discovery. Alternative travel options provided in the current app is the first stepping towards achieving this.

6) About the founder 
ConfirmTKT was co-founded by Sripad and Dinesh, colleagues at IBM India in Bangalore. The idea evolved out of the difficulties they faced in booking tickets to travel to their native places. Sripad had built a logic for predicting the confirmation chances of his own wait-listed tickets for the frequent Tiruchirappalli – Hyderabad train journeys he made while persuing engineering at Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology & Research Academy. Dinesh is a full stack developer who completed college at National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur before being colleagues and roommates with Sripad at their former workplace. ConfirmTKT was launched on 5th July, 2014 after 2 years of hard-work and dedication

So next time when you need to know about your ticket, just refer below links:

1) Website :

2)Android App :

3)Windows App :

4)Predictions on SMS : 

Credihealth: One Stop Shop For Healthcare Need

Credihealth, a healthcare start up which focuses on providing customers with credible, reliable and detailed information about hospitals and large healthcare institutions. You can use this information to compare and book appointments in top hospitals with the click of a button from the comfort of their own homes. Here is an excerpt from the conversation that we had with it’s founder Ravi Virmani:


1) When, Why and how the venture was started (journey story)?

As a former COO of Max Healthcare, Ravi Virmani would get inundated with frantic calls from friends and relatives seeking ‘insider’ information about the best doctor or a hospital that wouldn’t rip them off. These incidences led him to identify a real need in the healthcare industry for widely available credible, reliable, and transparent healthcare information. Along with Gaurav Gaggar and Saurabh Uboweja, Ravi founded Credihealth on 10th October 2013.

2) Major offerings, target market and strategy

Our target user base are active internet users >30 years of age. People in this range are typically the ones looking hospitalization for self or family. We are currently offering Rs. 200 cashback on the doctor’s appointment booked through us.

3) What is in it for customers?

Credihealth is an easy-to-use website for people looking to compare and select doctors, hospitals and treatments. Submit your request on the website or request a call-back from our team of in-house doctors. Based on your choice of doctor, the team member schedules your appointment. We regularly follow-up after the procedure for post-op care or rehab, supporting you throughout your hospitalization journey.

4) Major challenges faced

In a developing country like India where doctors are approached mostly through word of mouth– patient hesitation was expected. Building trust among patients and to make them believe that their medical problems could be now be discussed and guided by a medical expert through the internet was the primary challenge.

5) Future plans

Credihealth plans to launch in 15 major cities across the nation this year and eventually aims to cover the entire Indian geography. With this reach, we would be the only company in the pure hospitalization digital health care space. The primary area of focus is to help people deal with all non-clinical pain points during their hospital journey. The idea is to set the benchmark for all healthcare services providers.

6) About the founder

A successful business leader, Ravi had co-founded Noble House in his New Delhi garage which was acquired by Hewitt with Ravi at the helm of Hewitt Associates India as its co- founding Managing Director. After successfully stints as MD at Hewitt South Asia and CEO Aventus Consulting (both in Singapore), he returned to India as COO of Max Healthcare immediately before founding Credihealth. Ravi is an alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur.

7) Funding if any or looking for

Our investment source is the initial seed funding from the founders. Currently we on the lookout for funding from angel and private equity investors.


8) Any new update about the venture that you would like to share

Customer feedback is our oxygen! We gather reliable feedback from our customers using forms, phone interviews, in-person conversations etc. To ensure information integrity and validation, every feedback is subjected to a strict verification process before making it public.

Credihealth wants to bring a change in the healthcare industry in India and we’re using social media giants to do so. Having an active presence on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, Credihealth has created 5 communities on Facebook that are used as platforms where about 10k members share intricate health issues.  The New Moms Club on Facebook – is one of our most active groups, consisting of over 5900 moms from all over India, who share their doubts and experiences both on the group and health blog.

9) Benefits to customer

Credihealth helps navigate through the complex healthcare system. We aspire to leverage technology to expand the healthcare boundaries, by enabling access to healthcare, which includes – (i) Information – Hospital and Doctor Credentials, Procedures, Treatments, Feedback, and healthcare content for the common man; (ii) Ensuring Delivery – Credible partner to support the patient through the entire experience of their hospital journey. Another aspect is bringing transparency to healthcare where the aim is to empower people to make informed healthcare decisions, by way of verified reviews, price comparisons, multiple treatment options and a belief that now there’s a better way!

10) USP

  • Credihealth is the first player in the hospitalization business in India that allows a patient to compare and select doctors, hospitals, treatments and cost options from the comfort of his home
  • Broadening the accessibility to healthcare world-wide – People from different parts of the country and abroad can now easily access information on experts and treatment options from thousands of miles away. To give you a real time instance, we currently have 8 liver transplant patients from across the globe who will be getting treatment done in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore through Credihealth.
  • We are the only healthcare website in India to have over 250 exclusive doctor interviews and patient feedback

Traveler Food – Providing Passengers A Benefit Of Health And Taste During Train Journeys


One of the major problems faced by passengers undertaking long journey’s by train in India is to get hygienic and tasty meals. Given the unpalatable dishes served by pantry cars passengers generally chose to either pack large quantities of food cooked at home or rely on the packed snacks and fruits available at various stations along the route. However, this issue might soon be a thing of past as the thanks to entrepreneurs like Ambar Arora, passengers can now get tasty hygienic food served right at their seat on the station of their choice through the online portal of Traveler Food.

The project “food on the move” was initiated by 26 year old Ambar Arora in 2013. An MBA graduate, Ambar worked with Green Ply Industries for more than 3 years before initiating Traveler Food, an online portal that enables passengers to order the food of their choice during the journey itself. The simplicity of the entire process of food ordering and payment as well as the affordable prices offered by Traveler Food ensured that it soon became a preferred choice of people seeking healthy and tasty meals during their journey. With Mr. Madhav Bhatia having recently joined the company as its new COO, the growth of Traveler Food is expected to be more significant with focus on quality and hygiene.

In the very short period since it became operational, Traveler Food has made considerable progress in terms of the number of orders being processed every day.  From delivering a meager 4 to 5 thalis a week to processing anywhere between 500 to 600 orders per day, the website has come a long way. The number is expected to go up to about 1000 to 2000 orders on a daily basis by the end of 2015. The website is all set to play a critical role in revolutionizing the food catering services for Indian Railways.

Although Traveler Food started by serving only across 30 locations in India, today it has expanded its reach to no less than 180 destinations across the length and breadth of the country with more over than 500+ restaurants. This is definitely a great achievement for a website that is only about 2 years old and has shouldered the responsibility of catering to a population whose food habits change with every 100 miles or so. What’s more the website intends to make its services available across 70 more stations by the end of 2015 taking up the total number of locations served to 250. This means that passengers can now get food of their choice delivered at almost every major station across the country.

Traveler Food has changed the manner in which train passengers in India order and enjoy their meals. The ease of placing an order through their call center, website or even the mobile app, gives the passengers the freedom of not only planning their meal but also choosing a place of delivery so that they are served hot and tasty food right on their berths. Even though Traveler Food has just started its journey area of online catering, it has already created a name for itself through its amazing services that focus completely on customer satisfaction and affordability. hacked & the hacker offered a job, an Indian music streaming website was hacked by a person who named himself as Mak Man on Thursday May 28. Later it was found out that the hacker belonged to Pakistan. After hacking, the hacker posted the news on Facebook. In response, the CEO of offered a job of consultant to the hacker so as to find other bugs/issues in the website.

Capture is owned by the Times internet and its CEO accepted that the company has been hacked when it’s around 10 million users remained offline for many hours. Later, the CEO reached out to the hacker and said: “Hi, I’m Satyan, CEO of Times Internet, which runs Gaana. First of all, I’d like to apologies personally if you had shared these reports and we didn’t respond earlier. Totally unacceptable by us, and I’m looking into it.”

Mak Man alias Sajja Ahmad also responded and said: “Hello Satyan! It’s good to see that you took notice of the issue before it was too late. You are right; our intention was not to disclose any private information of the users but to highlight the issue. The vulnerability was reported to the technical head of the website several times but he failed to fix it.

Anyhow, the page exposing the information has been taken down permanently. Direct requests from that page were generated to the server to extract the information. We assure you no data from the website database was saved anywhere. Mak Man will message you for further discussion.” acquires Realty Business Intelligence


Rahul Yadav, CEO has been mentioning in his interviews that he is willing to acquire few firms hence acquisition of Realty Business Intelligence comes as no surprise with a deal value of $3Million. Reality BI is a firm that provides information on the trends of  Real Estate and also creates Collateral Risk Management Tools through the use of technology. This acquisition has been closed after their talks with PropEuity, a property analytics firm did not take any shape due to differences over valuation.

Recently, as been in news enough due to it’s founder Rahul Yadav’s melodrama but now it is definitely nice to see it to be in news for some good reason. Previously, had acquired Indian Real Estate Forum and reports suggested that it was looking to buy real estate analytics firm, PropEquity. competes with the likes of CommonFloor, 99Acres and MagicBricks. Commonfloor was also in race for buying Realty BI. (source)

Cafe Coffee Day plans to bring IPO

CCCD3-e1401866899190 They have finally prepared a plan to bring IPO in order to raise Rs.1,150 crore ( around $180 million) and next month they will be filling a draft red herring prospectus (DRHP), a pre-IPO document. As per the sources, the company will repay its debts with Rs.750 crore and rest of the money ( around Rs.290 crore) will be utilized for capital expenditure to fund expansion of its chain and refurbishing its existing outlets. 

Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd (CDEL), the parent company of the Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) on a pre-IPO round of funding in March was valued at Rs.6,200 crore. Even before this CDEL has raised Rs.100 crore from five investors, including Infosys Ltd co-founder Nandan Nilekani, investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Rare Enterprises and stock broker Ramesh Damani.

Today the coffee chain industry is witnessing an intense competition with players like Starbucks that entered Indian market with partnership with TATA group few years back. Hence, this step by CCD seems to be more logical way so as to make it’s feet even stronger in Indian market and reach a significant scale.  

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