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

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Rakesh Mishra, Co-FOunder, Excubator

 

 

Rakesh Mishra is Co-Founder & Director at Excubator.org, 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 SIDBIStartupMitra.in 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:

https://www.facebook.com/vibhawomen/

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #startegyforstartups

 

 

 

 

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Chase excellence, and customers will chase you.

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One of the biggest lessons I learnt early on in my career is that it is vital to be excellent in whatever you do.

This applies equally to any sphere of activity, anything that you do. I have observed (in my own life and in that of others) that it is important to first identify what you are good at, what you have a flair for and then simply keep getting better and better at it. This means that rather than take up many different things and try to do them all (and hope that you’d succeed in them and make money), it is better to sharpen your focus on the one or two things you can do well. The key word here is ‘focus’.

We live in times of overload. There is information overload, choice overload, competition overload, confusion overload, distraction overload, everything overload. And as God is my witness, there is mediocrity overload.

In this context, it is very easy to get railroaded by things that won’t really get you anywhere in life. It is also very easy to get lost in the sea of humanity.

Which is why it is important for us to beat this ‘overload’ tendency by focusing. By saying a loud ‘NO’ to anything that doesn’t make sense to us.

In these times of overload, the only way to stand out is to specialize in something, become the expert in something. This is all the more relevant for an entrepreneur. All entrepreneurs have to hustle, irrespective of what they offer – hustling is a reality for us. But, it is important to hustle on the bedrock of domain expertise. You may be offering financial consulting, software products, landscaping, catering, fashion accessories, sports equipment, whatever.

The point is, are you a specialist, an expert in your field?

If your answer to this question is ‘yes’, you have a great chance of differentiating yourself from the crowd.

You can command a price premium from your customers with great confidence; your customers are more likely to keep coming back to you and to refer you to people they know. All this will positively impact your venture.

But, if your answer to the question is ‘no’, you have some more ground work to do. You have to learn some more, speak to experts in the field, take more customer feedback about your offering – in a nutshell, you have to upgrade yourself and your offering.

To summarise: ‘Pursue excellence in your field. And customers will automatically start pursuing you.’

 

Ganesh Vancheeswaran is co-founder of Vibha Women. He is also an author, branding specialist, freespirit, mountain man and occasional nitwit.

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For more informatin on Vibha Women check out our Facebok page: http://www.facebook.com/vibhawomen

Or write to us: reach@iamvibha.com

 

 

 

 

Seriously, Intelligence is Over-Rated.

I used to wonder where the point of getting good to great would happen.

I mean, how do you know when you’re getting really really good at what you’re doing?

Simple. You’ll find people, a steadily growing number of them actually, will want to meet you. Not because you’re known or something, and yeah, that happens to happen anyway, but because what you do is getting the results people want.

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So, we are seeing a lot of tense hesitation with women when they transition between where they are, to where they need to be. The Real versus the Ideal states.

We find that all this is to a very large extent, a state of mind.

Through our interviews, discussions, coaching and events, more and more we are realizing women do not take the step into the unknown, simply because it’s the unknown.

Sure, you’re probably thinking how is this different from the way men think, correct?

Correct. To look at it from the surface it is human nature to resist change and resist it we will. Excuses, delays, avoidance and denial flood our minds and stop us dead in our tracks, sometimes self-indulgence in opting to be mentally paralyzed too.

But, studies have shown that when it comes t0 us women, these challenges tend to take on a slightly if not grossly skewed shape. We have a gender based lens that enables us to perceive events that lead us to go into self- deprecation. We bring ourselves down, and filter situations from this world view.

In due course this takes us into a loop which stops us from progressing to getting to that ‘ really really good space’ aka, becoming experts at what we do.

Some of of the basics that can incrementally lead to disengaging this thought process are:

  1. Developing a clear Leadership Vision
  2. Self- Confidence Building
  3. Understanding what Success Means to us
  4. Networking
  5. Influencing and negotiating
  6. Others

We invite yoou to take notice of the fact that core skills around what you do have consciously not been mentioned here, as we consider that a given for success.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we at #VibhaWomen plan on addressing these facets via our workshops that will work in tandem with more sharing of thoughts and experiences that you can read here as well.

 

Join us either at our workshops or read more about this here shortly.

We also invite you to share your own thoughts around this.

More to follow, see ya soon.

 

The author is an Educationist, Social Entrepreneur and Coach

Twitter: #CarolineVibha

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #carolinecaresfernandes

Caroline Cares Fernandes

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.

WINGS CO FOUNDERS

 

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

www.wingsteam.in

Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Pinterest/Google+ links

https://www.facebook.com/wingsteam.in/

Email/Phone number for Business enquiries

payal@wingsteam.in                                                  9899514419

Priyanka@wingstaem.in                                             8587099331

Radhika@ingsteam.in                                                 9489378165

Wingsteam@hotmail.com

 

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

reach@iamvibha.com

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!
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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
 

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 – www.swimupstream.in

Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Pinterest/Google+ links

Email/Phone number for Business enquiries – 9900822077 – nithyadavid@swimupstream.in

 

The author is a Social Entrepreneur and Learner

Twitter: CarolineVibha

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Remind Yourself & Keep Going!

Do you remember Why you became an entrepreneur?

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This thought and reason should be crystal clear in your head.
Keep reminding yourself and encourage yourself to venture deeper into this concept-
You could have been doing something else, been somewhere else

WHY did I become an entrepreneur?
HOW can I make a difference to the people I have sought to offer my time and effort to?

At the start,it’s ok because there will be a lot of rumble and noise in your head. You may have to win over the fears and doubts you have been building skillfully within you.

But when you can effortlessly narrow this idea down to a single sentence your actions become an extension of your thoughts

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Keep Going!

 

The author is a Social Entrepreneur & Learner.

Get in touch to know more about Vibha Women

twitter: Caroline Vibha

Caroline Cares Fernandes