Strategy for Startups – An Upcoming and Insightful Mentoring Session

Is your product compelling enough to solve a real problem ?
Do you have enough users who care about what you have to offer ?
What problem are you solving for today’s users of your product
What in your product is truly differentiated in the market to solve this problem. Does it solve deep issues for your potential customers ?

– How is it different from what is already existing in the market ?

If one or more of these are part of what you are asking yourself OR you are looking for clarity, then join us
March 18th to triggert thought and have an insightful interactive discussion with one of our mentors Rakesh Mishra, Co- Founder and Director of Excubator

Rakesh MIshra.jpg

Rakesh Mishra, Co-FOunder, Excubator



Rakesh Mishra is Co-Founder & Director at, an organisation that assists entrepreneurs and enterprises to multiply their business value and build world-class businesses. His area of specialisation are incubating advance technology based businesses, innovation portfolio management, technology research and delivery scale-up. Rakesh is also the co-founder of the PAN IIT nation building program ‘IIT Mentors’. He has been engaging with various IIT institutions and IIT alumni community as part of this program to develop the mentoring hubs across the country.

Rakesh brings 20+ years of industry experience that cuts across wide spectrum of industry verticals, technology platforms and geographies.
Rakesh is heading the HackSpace (AI-ML-IoT incubator) program at Excubator. He works very closely with Technology focused MNCs to help them evaluate and engage with innovative startups. Rakesh is advisor to SIDBI for their startup ecosystem development program and also leads platform initiative to collaborate with various central and state government bodies and industry bodies.

As a professional coach, Rakesh has touched lives many senior executives for assisting them with their personal development, job satisfaction challenges and corporate-to-startup transition readiness. Rakesh is recognized as one of the top Gamification experts in India. Rakesh is a graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

We are very happy to have Rakesh lead this discussion on March 18th, and open it up to you all to engage.

See you

To know more about what we do check us out on facebook:

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #startegyforstartups






You know that feeling of uneasiness you get when you try something new, something different, something that you’ve never done before – that will lead you onward towards your goals ?

That fear ?
It’s OK to be scared and it’s OK to recognize that that feeling has been stopping you all this while.
This is our comfort zone.
It is the space we prefer taking because it reminds of of being safe and at ease.
Take time to understand that EVERYTIME you reach out to do something like this, you will feel this way. You will want to cower down and curl up and shy away from anything that causes disturbance to that comfort zone you live in.
But to really really get to that goal ?
That is, at some point, going to require YOUR conscious effort.
It is going to ask you to STEP UP.
To do things you have NEVER EVER done before.
To shed that shell and take that step to do what is burning deep inside of you.
It is scary. And those fear are honestly never going to go away.
Because once you have conquered it – you have the next level of fear and comfort- zone- breaking to breach.
So don’t you think it’s time to get comfortable with your fears ?
Even in the Gita, it is said to get LOST in the process. And that the effort is more important than the goal itself. leave it
This way, when we get lost it in it, we revel in the fact that we took that step.
This also helps bring down the stress we allow to build inside of us , that we use to beat ourselves down, when we haven’t yet reached our goal.
It’s OK.
It’s OK to not YET reach it.
And it’s OK to recognize that. Take all the time you need to do so
And then you keep going. And revel in the process, acknowledge the fears. And acknowledge your action DESPITE your fears.

Have an ambitious, fear- filling, process – pleasing 2017 people.
Loads of Love   


The author is an Executive Coach & Social Entrepreneur

Twitter: CarolineVibha


I can’t tell you the number of times I’m rejected at work.

I meet so many different kinds if people whom I wish to explore to collaborate with, intend to offer our services to as well.
It’s ego breaking. When things don’t materialize.
I sit to reflect on why things happen the way they do.
I also question what was missing from my side and what more we could have done / do to learn and add value to our own processes.
I’m still learning.
And what’s always struck me as being helpful for our work is asking, listening, sometimes ( many times ) going back to the drawing board time and time again.
I used to feel terrible about it. Now I use that to keep me going.

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #stilllearning # womenentrepreneurs

For more information on Vibha Women vibhawomen

The author is an Executive Coach and Social Entrepreneur


These women were brought up in a culture steeped deeply in discipline, focus and the will to continue.

I am reminded of the ‘Bloom where you are Planted ‘ adage. It’s usually tough yet ironically simple to start exactly where you are, and then keep going. Crazy paradox huh. We’ve known of tons of businesses that started out of garages and then others that began owing to some adversity, gap or simply exploratory genius.



Amongst other entrepreneurial traits, perhaps fate too, synergistic-ally brought these two go-getters together to create WINGS.  WINGS, in it’s extended form means – We Inspire Grand Success – WINGS!

Although many times over as a trend, we at Vibha Women have chosen tpo speak of the venture, our primary goal in sharing these stories, is not to highlight the business, rather the inspiring grit and resilience these many many women choose to carry with them to venture into the world of startups.

Read on to know more about Payal Talwar and Priyanka Kumar.

Payal: A Miranda House alumni, I am an M.Sc, B.Ed and an MBA. I am an IFC certified trainer and am also an NLP master practitioner from NFNLP, US.

Priyanka:  Even though Payal and I have both gone through the same certifications together, before that, we were pursuing different things. I have been a student of psychology (from LSR, DU) and psychological counselling. Both of us are from the Army background.


On the Starting Point of WINGS

Payal: Both Priyanka and I could sense the frustration our fellow army wives felt.  These highly accomplished ladies are generally unable to pursue their own vocations due to their husbands being posted at far flung places – which offer no work opportunities.   This resonated with what we felt. We realized the need to create a platform which could provide them projects they could be a part of wherever they might be posted; give them a sense of being gainfully employed.


On Determining their Target Customers

Payal: Our business is about providing service – through training programs, content development, content reviews and building an online social media presence for companies. Our target customers are corporates and educational institutes. We also aim to reach out to individuals through open workshops.


On facing Obstacles

Priyanka: One of the major challenges has been marketing and business development. Initially, it was just the two of us managing everything.

We were unable to do justice to business development effectively. Now that our team has expanded, it is easier – though of course, there’s always more scope!

Also, regular cash inflow has always been on our mind.. 


wings workshops


How do you market your business?

Payal : We are in the business of helping our clients. We believe that our work speaks for itself.  Most out our clients have given us business only because we have been referred to them by other clients. We just focus only on quality, and our intent of serving them.  Business happens. 

On What Inspires them : (S)heroes, Books?

Payal : Priya Kumar, Ashelsh Rao (our NLP coach), Priyanka – my partner and lifeline!

Priyanka :  J While doing business we both use ‘Go Givers’ as our guide.  It has been authored by Bob Burg and John David Mann

What is your advice for entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs?

Priyanka: It’s a long haul – be prepared, be consistent – results are slow but sure. Take stock every now and then and be willing to adapt/ open new avenues.

A few more details about the business

A team passionate about spreading our wings and soaring to touch the skies, constantly challenging ourselves to rediscover our potential in the untiring quest for excellence – and enjoying the process to the hilt, is how we would like to describe ourselves.

We like to call our workshops ‘SELF-REVAMPING CLINICS’ filled with dialogue & dance, learning & laughter, creative madness and mental mobility, all in equal measures.

We are into providing training, building social media presence and developing and reviewing content

Website link

Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Pinterest/Google+ links

Email/Phone number for Business enquiries                                                  9899514419                                             8587099331                                                 9489378165


The author is an Educationist and a Social Entrepreneur. To get yourself featured, feel free to email us on

Twitter: Caroline Vibha

Caroline Cares Fernandes


Coaching is Much Deeper Than You Think!

Coaching is focused on enabling you to get a grip on your self, gain more and more clarity about what you want ( career goals) and then..the most valuable part of the master plan
Actioning everything you outline in your framework!
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Do not assume that a coach is some random image consultant who helps you with your hair and make-up and gets you all ‘poised’ for success
😦 Such a disappointing reputation some folks have built around this heavily responsible role.
Events are doled out by the dozen, but carry nothing fleshy in it. facades are great to show, but they will eventually crash if substance is missing.
Your name and reputation will carry you only that much farther, until people begin to see through the cracks and holes!!
And yes.
A coach can listen to your troubles ( personal woes and downfalls) -but only for the first leg of the process. No wallowing, it’s just not done!
Your coach has a responsibility to ensure you KEEP GOING!
That you are on track, no matter what!
And that you will carefully, patiently stay the course everyday!
Take sports and coaching and you will associate a person who is there to get your prepped, help you stay focused and make sure your thoughts and actions are goal- oriented!
Don’t you think your careers and business ventures need that ?
Don’t you think you as an entrepreneur need that too?
There is nothing frivolous about the role a coach plays in your life and for your career- growth !
Take yourself seriously – things will materialize ! 🙂
The author is a Coach and Educationist
twitter: CarolineVibha
Caroline Fernandes

Dear young mom, are you actually a barren woman?

To celebrate this month of Being a Woman, Vibha Women’s Co-Founder, Ganesh Vancheeswaran has captured a topic which to me, spells what quite a few of us women folk experience sometimes ( hopefully a phase that’s passing)! After all, it’s in a  state of mind 🙂






While motherhood involves many sacrifices, it definitely does not mean giving up on yourself. But, that is exactly what many women have done.

This Woman’s Day, do you want to change something about yourself?

Ramya opens the door to her flat to let me in. She is glad to see me. She is an old acquaintance, who I was meeting after nearly six months. Though we had never been close friends, we were good acquaintances. We had gotten to know each other well when we lived in the same colony for three years. I remember her as a spunky girl, filled with a zest for life. Outside of her job as an architect, she was keen on a bunch of things like trekking, dancing and cycling. Why, she even used to find time every week to volunteer at a small school in our locality!

When she got married, she moved away to another part of town. But we continued to be in touch, meeting off and on. I had met her husband too on a few occasions. A pleasant chap with a ready smile, I remember telling myself.

Some work has taken me to her neighbourhood today. I remember that she lives in the area and think it’ll be good to catch up with her.

I call, she answers and says ‘yes of course, you must come over’. And so, here I am at her flat.

As the door opens, I am puzzled. The woman at the door looks so different from the Ramya I know. For a few seconds, I actually wonder if this is she at all. Gone are her hallmark features: a wide smile, a face brimming over with vitality and a very eager manner. In their stead, I see a woman who has lost weight to the point of looking skinny, a tired face, drooping shoulders and a look that can only be described as ‘drained’. In short, I see a listless woman who is making a brave attempt at smiling.

My mind is in a daze. I hope she doesn’t read the shock on my face.

We get talking. She tells me that her husband is at work and is expected home any time now. He works for a leading construction firm and is doing well in his career. He is ambitious, spends long hours at work and frequently brings work home too. I notice that our conversation is disjointed. While she is talking to me, she is also feeding her son, who is about six years old. She answers me in short sentences, looking distracted all the time. Sometimes, she doesn’t even look at me as she answers. Her eyes constantly flit from my face to her son – to her maid who is dusting something – to the clock and then back to her son……And all the while, she is talking. I have the surreal feeling that she is addressing several other people in the room.

Ramya tells me that she took a year-long maternity break and then got back to work. But, when her relatives and a few friends started questioning her decision (‘Are you sure about this?’ ‘But what about the child? How can you leave him and go to work?’), she started feeling extremely guilty. And when she could not take it anymore, she quit her job and turned housewife. Ever since, she has hardly stepped out of home, spending all the time looking after the child, the husband and the house.

I think to myself ‘No wonder you look like this. You need some fresh air, girl.’ But I refrain from voicing my thoughts, because after all, I don’t know her too well. Something tells me this is her personal space…and I am not close enough to go there.

A little later, I ask her ‘You are looking tired and weak. What’s up?’ She shrugs her shoulders and mumbles ‘Oh, nothing. Aise hi yaar.’ After that, the conversation goes something like this:

Me:  ‘But you used to be very healthy. You have gone pale and look weak. The change is pretty dramatic.’

She: ‘Really? I hadn’t noticed.’ A short pause and then ‘But, I am feeling ok; so, chalega.’

Me: ‘Did you have lunch?’

She: ‘Of course. A paratha.’

Me: ‘Just that? But how will that be enough?’

She: ‘Oh, it is enough. Anyway, who notices yaar?  One eats whatever is there. I had so much to do today, you know? Fold clothes, buy groceries, pay some bills…. and then, this little fellow woke up. In between all this, I just didn’t get the time to eat properly.’

Me: ‘But you can eat after you have taken care of your son. After all, he is what…six years old now? He’ll keep playing as you eat. Or, your maid can be with him for some time.’

She (with an extremely unconvinced look): ‘Yeah, I know. But Mayank really needs me. How can I leave him alone or with the maid?’

Me (it is my turn to look unconvinced now, but I let it go and change the topic): ‘We are off for a fortnight from Friday. As soon as we return, you must come home. Charu (my wife) will be happy to see you too.’

She (surprised): ‘Oh. Where are you guys going?’

Me: ‘To a place called Fort Kochi and from there, to Thenmala. It is a beautiful hamlet up in the hills of Kerala.’

She (with a wistful look washing over her face): ‘Wow. Sounds like fun. Wish I could come with you too.’

A small pause later, she continues ‘You guys just up and go on the spur of the moment. I love that. I often tell my husband about this habit of yours. I wish we too could be that way.’

I smile in a slightly embarrassed manner and say: ‘But you too can be just like this, you know. It is not as difficult as it seems to you. You just have to allow yourself to take these breaks. ’

She (lost in thought): ‘Hmm….but somehow, we are just not able to do it.’

By now, she looks positively distraught. I sense her dilemma and don’t want to rub it in. I talk about this and that for a few more minutes. Just as I am about to leave, her husband Amit walks in. We shake hands and I stay back, talking to him for a few more minutes.

As I finally leave, Ramya says to me earnestly ‘Call me when you folks return from your vacation. I will surely come over to your place. We could even do lunch somewhere and catch a film.’ Her face lights up as she says this, but I feel a pang of I don’t know what. I say ok.

As I drive back home, I am deeply disturbed by what I have seen and felt at Ramya’s place. Her hunched shoulders, drawn face and sober tone flash past in my mind. Something is very wrong with her. Her entire personality had changed for the worse. She seems to have just collapsed into herself! Deep at heart, I know what the reason is.

She is obsessed with her role as a mother and as a wife, and has stopped thinking of herself as an individual. It started off because her relatives and friends thrust upon her a sense of guilt which she did not probably feel herself. But then, the sense of guilt seemed to have grown on her like a cloak, covering her completely and masking her true self – the woman she really was.

And perhaps, over a period of time, she grew used to being like this…and had slowly degenerated into a zombie state. In a sense, she lost her emotional and mental fertility – and become a barren woman.

And for this, I would not blame her husband or anybody else. Amit was not a tyrant who insisted that his wife sacrifice herself for her home and hearth. On the contrary, I know that he often asks Ramya to take it easy and to go out once in a while. He has even asked her to get back to work if she wants to.

But, she has been stopping herself from doing any of this.

I have seen this happen to other women – friends, cousins, neighbours in my colony. All of them seem to have gone into a shell after the birth of their child (or children, in the case of some) and have simply forgotten how to laugh and enjoy life. They rarely step out of home, other than to take the child down to play. There is no question of watching a movie, getting together with friends, hitting a pub or going out of town on a break. In short, none of the things a normal, healthy, self-respecting adult would want to do.

It is as though, in becoming a mother and a wife, they have forgotten to be themselves. They have forgotten the women in them. Which is such a tragedy!

Dear young mother reading this, do you see a Ramya in yourself? Have you too forgotten the woman in you? Are you too leading the life of a zombie? Are you taking your ‘job’ as mother and wife too seriously? Scandalous as it may sound, perhaps you have become a barren woman?

This Woman’s Day, how about breaking out of it and rediscovering yourself?

How about rediscovering the multi-hued joys of life? How about realizing that while motherhood and wifehood involve many sacrifices, they definitely do not ask you to sacrifice yourself? How about getting back to your passions in life? How about chasing that long-forgotten dream again? How about becoming mentally and emotionally fertile again?

In other words, how about finding the woman in you again?



Do check out this nice article here:







More on Ganesh and one of his writing blogs :  You can find my writings at and connect with me on Facebook at


My life’s been a series of serendipitous incidents that way!

As luck would have it, this fine lady has probably been at the right place, at the right time !

Say what you will, but to me, it’s an artistic blend of what you see in front of you and how you choose to respond 🙂

It’s interesting how perception shapes our reality.

When we absolutely love what we do, it sure does Nithya.jpg

seem to enable us to open our eyes to a world of possibility!

Meet Nithya David and read on to know more about her:

‘  I started my career in advertising account management with JWT Chennai, handling mainly Lifestyle and Pepsi businesses. My passion and dedication to the Lifestyle brand, displayed during their Bangalore store launch, caught the eye of Mickey Jagtiani, the founder of Landmark Group. I was offered a Marketing Manager–GCC role with Landmark Group in Dubai. After a couple of years with them, I was back in Bangalore with Ogilvy & Mather. Another chance encounter with Shekhar Kapur (the director) led to a marketing job with Gotham Comics.’

On Starting Upstream

I’d always wanted to do something on my own, and had always dreamed of starting my own company by the age of 30. So I guess the universe just conspired to make it happen for me. Only, I thought my enterprise would be in the retail/fashion space. I have no background in HR but I have extremely good networking skills and unbridled passion for anything that I do. In short, the craving for independence combined with ambition resulted in Upstream.

On Target Customers

Upstream is a talent recruitment firm. It was started in 2007. We do placements for advertising agencies and corporate houses across India.

Our target customers are two-fold: qualified personnel and corporate houses who are looking at a right fit both ways. My job is to understand the requirements at both ends and match them.

upstream logo


On Taking Initiative in the face of Challenges

First, the perception of this business itself. People think this is just a hook-up job, and the existing recritment firms are largely to blame for this image. They are neither well-versed in the functions of advertising and marketing and end up just supplying ‘people’.

I go a little deeper, and sometimes I can sense annoyance at the other end. But unless I am convinced, there is no way I will pass on a talent to the organisation. Even after that kind of screening, you end up placing someone who hops to another job too soon.

The industry is filled with such job-hoppers who move from organisation to organisation in search of more money and better designations. Perseverance is rare in this business. The sad part is, even organisations don’t curb this itch to hop. And that happens because skilled talent is in such short supply  especially when it comes to advertising.

On Marketing

My business relies completely on word-of-mouth and references.

On Inspiration 

Schuana Chauhan, Head of Parle Agro is an inspiration and so is Indira Nooyi, Chairperson and chief executive office of PepsiCo.

On Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Not really advice, but some directions:

–  Never never let go : It’s going to be an extremely tough ride. But remember, if it doesn’t kill you, it will only make you stronger.

– Always keep your eyes and ears open. Life is series of opportunities strung together and do not miss even the smallest one.

– Trust your instincts – Being an entrepreneur  is like venturing into the unknown. And in such times, your instincts are sharper. Trust them blindly. If you allow your instincts to guide you, there is no way you’ll fail.

Wanna know more  about Nithya? Here’s how you can explore:

Website link –

Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Pinterest/Google+ links

Email/Phone number for Business enquiries – 9900822077 –


The author is a Social Entrepreneur and Learner

Twitter: CarolineVibha