March 31, 2010

My first love with Entrepreneurship

Posted in Business, General tagged , , , at 11:51 am by asprakash

It is not so pain. But ofcourse, pain is the pain. Here I would like to share my thoughts and feelings about the term “Entrepreneurship” and obviously how is my entrepreneurship life is going on.

What is Entrepreneurship

Well, I am not going to explain about it here. Please refer this nice wikipage here. But from my point of view apart from the business and money, the entrepreneurship is one who creates the future for others. In detail, he/she creates good career & job opportunity for people belongs to him, he/she creates economic growth for a country, technology promotions,.etc.

My entrepreneurship life

My star-up is I have just less than 6 months experience in my entrepreneurship life.  But I already invested around 2 years of my time to my start-up company. There were so many +ve and -ve suggestions got from my well wishers/friends/parents/ when I planed to start-up my own company. My friends advised me to join a MNC and earn money first and then start-up a company. My parents much worried about my horoscope(?)! and so many etc etc suggestions. Ofcourse, few of them encouraged me to go ahead. Some of the over confidence suggestions are, “If you cant, then who will”… ;).

I have my own dreams; my own ambitions and targets. Now planing to achieve my target and take my steps one by one confidently and carefully. Till now, many steps already taken and those steps finished in failure. The terms “failure” is not an word to hate in our life. But it must be observed by everybody; Know our failures and correct it later. So that a person can able to achieve an target. Nobody in this world directly  jump to the target in a single step/try. Step by step progress is always safer and provides more experience to avoid failure in future.

Somebody said, now I am a Business man. Business and Entrepreneurship differs from some other way. A independent person can do business and earn money. For example, running a shop, hotel,.etc. However, Entrepreneur is also doing business. But he creates career for others and he is used to invest the earning money into new business opportunity and so on.

If you are working in Infosys, Micrsoft, CTS, TCS,.etc and earning few laks per annum, do you think when your company founded, it was started from a big Tidel park in a central heart city? Do you think, your company CEO, early met your clients traveling by flight? Do you think, when your company founded, the employee’s strenght was around 10,000? Do you think, when your company founded, all the employees got nice salary like you?. There are so many good MNC companies (HCL, Infosys,.etc)started from an single room and they used bike to met their clients.

I am also in the same position to preparing the strong foundation and providing best career opportunity for my employees in future.

There are around 2998 engineering colleges are available in India and ~5 laks  fresh engineers (I did not calculated other degree holders. If so, then the numbers will be more per year!)are come-out every year. Practically, It is not possible to provide the job opportunity for all the engineers by those CTC,TCS,Infosys,.etc companies. And if everybody wants to work with a company, then who will create the job opportunity?. As my favorite  Dr.Abdul Kalam said, “Indian engineers wants to create the job opportunity instead of like to work with someone”. Due to lack of support for new entrepreneurs, from friends, home, relations, Governments and Government policies  I am not sure, when it will happened and how it will happened.

Output of Entrepreneurship

Once I started my own company, many of my well wishers now expected some output from me. I am not sure, what they are mean by “Output”. They are thinking like, once we started our own company, then we can immediately earn Crores & Crores. It is so funny!. If this is true and easy, then why the people are want to join with a company and why they should not start-up their own?. And few others thinking like, once we open a company ( like shop?), then we can start earning money automatically. Obviously, running a enterprise is not like an shop/store and earn 2 times of money at evening when we invested some money at morning. We need to put more efforts, hardwork and most important one is patient. Finally the endurance. I guess, it will take to earn money by an start-up company minimum upto first 6 months and based on the services/products.

As per my concern, running a enterprise at this economic down situation, we need to put infinite hardwork, patient, endurance, time, confidence and obviously money. There is no use of starting a company with missing of any one from the above.

My entrepreneurship experience and suggestions for young entrepreneurs

  • Rest :: Now a days my sleeping time is less than 6 hours. I guess, it will decreased more in future. But maintain your sleeping hours atleast 6.
  • Time & Friends :: Not possible to spend time for chat with friends, movies, outing, roaming,.etc. Need to avoid these activities. If you feel, you cant ignore anybody, then talk with your friends and explain about it. They will understand you.
  • Time & Girl friends :: One of the main reason, why the guys are wasting their time is, girl friends!. You must keep it in mind that, your time is so valuable. Do not waste much time with girl friends through by Phone, Chat, roaming,.etc. WARNING!. You are very near to the door, “Failure”.
  • Depression :: You will get more depression these days. Bcoz most people will reject you : customers, investors, employees you try to hire, organizers of startup showcases. You have to keep looking for the ones who will accept you.
  • Failure :: Dont bother about the failure and dont afraid. Learn the failure and accept the failure. If you failed 20 times; 50 times; 100 times. Try again & again. One day “failure” will get bored and run away!.
  • Time & Relatives:: Do not waste much time to visit your relatives home, relatives functions,.etc. Convey your regards over by phone. Any important functions, you may consider. It may helpful for you to refresh yourself.
  • Bankers :: You will be rejected to get an Credit card, account from an Bank,.etc. Dont worry. They will comeback to you surely, later.
  • Advise :: You will get more advise from your relatives to search a good job and earn money. So that you will get a good alliance. Do not consider this kind of advice. Once you succeeded, then they will tell you, “Yes, I know on the first day itself, you will become a millionaire”.
  • Employee’s risk :: Retaining employees is an crucial task. Its upto you, how you are going to handle. You may consider like, offering employee benefits, bonds, salary hike,.etc.
  • No Holidays! :: You dont want any holidays these days. Either work from your room/home or from office. Having a USB data card will help you to work with internet at any time from any where.
  • Quick response :: You must provide proper response to your customers and every one of your customer is highest priority to you.
  • Finally, absorb all your pain; learn it; try it again and again. Success is very near to you.

Last but not least, Do not forgot that, you are not going to build your career; But you are also going to build  the entire career for thousands of your future employees. I wish you all the best. Here I would like to share a poet.

தெய்வத்தால் ஆகாதெனினும் முயற்சி தன்
மெய்வருத்த கூலி தரும்.

Meaning of the above poet :: Suppose the god cant help you in certain case; But your hardwork will help you to get the credits.


July 23, 2009

Technopreneurship Promotion Programme (TePP) & Technology Business Incubators (TBI)

Posted in Business tagged , , , , , , , at 8:22 am by asprakash

I hope every body having its own dream. When I was entered into my engineering degree, I was dreaming about innovations, technologies in different areas, invention in many applications,.etc. But it was dismantled when I come to know about the industries [especially IT industries].

Think about the current situation in this recession period. Every degree holder is now like to work in IT field. But you are not interested to join as a costliest labour (?) (IT Employee) and you would like to do some inventions in your own core filed, How? (or) You have already prepared a very good unique novel product idea. But none of the ventures/companies ready to invest on your idea. Then how can you develop the prototype of your idea? Suppose, You dont have any inventions in your mind and you tired of thinking about the novel idea, job search and then finally come-up with your business plan to start-up your company, atlast. But you are from middle class family or not possible to invest huge amount at this stage. Then how you will execute your business plan or your product idea? Who will fund for you?.

Oh. Stop it. Enough to ask questions. What I want to do now?.

Ok. Surely I will tell you. Before that few words. Readers those who are already working in a company and only interested to earn money, than please close this page and do continue if you have any other work. The following paras are not for you. Rest of others please proceed.

TePP (Technopreneur Promotion Programme)

The Dept.of Scientific & Industrial Research [], through a public advertisement, has invited applications from budding entrepreneurs or innovators to seek funding from the government for converting their ideas into working prototypes/models. Called the Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP), this is for promoting individual innovators to become technology entrepreneurs (technopreneur).

The eligibility criteria for the programme are quite simple and uncomplicated. Any individual with an original idea/innovation, say- an engineer, scientist, farmer, artisan or even a housewife or a student can apply. Even companies can apply, provided their turnover does not exceed Rs. 10 lacs. The only requirement is that, the idea must have a commercial implication; it cannot be just for research or patenting purposes. The maximum amount of the sponsorship is 90% of the project cost or Rs 10 lacs, whichever is lower.

Industrial or scientific innovations in India are far more in need of funding than software startups; there is no dearth of funding for software entrepreneurs from VCs, seed funds, banks etc. Govt. programmes like STPI have mechanisms to nurture and incubate software startups. Besides, the IT industry anyway has a powerful godfather in NASSCOM, which has started influencing government policy quite significantly.The same is not true for industrial or scientific segments. A recent edition of the Business World has a lead story on how, some of the giants of Indian manufacturing like Larsen & Toubro are facing substantial exodus of their best manpower to the IT/software industry.

Procedure to apply for TePP

TePP categories

Tepp categorized different schemes with different formats for the people.

For example, if you are a student, then the category is different and the fund amount also varied. And if you are a independent person planing to start-up your own company, then you need to apply for separate category. I have given the available TePP categories below,

  1. Phase I – Micro Technopreneur – for students – Eligible upto 75,000/-. To know more about this phase, click here. The application form available in the same page.

  2. Phase I- Technopreneur project fund – For staffs and employees, start-up companies & independent persons – Eligible upto 15laks – Innovators should invest 10% of total project cost. To know more about this phase, click here. The application form available in the same page.

  3. Phase II – Seamless scale-up fund – Successful completion of students from phase-1. They are eligible to get more fund to start-up their company. To know more about this phase, click here. The application form available in the same page.

  4. Phase II – Supplementary fund – Successful completion innovators from Phase I Technopreneurs. They will provide upto 45laks this time. To know more about this phase, click here. The application form available in the same page.

Proposal preparation

You need more patient to prepare the proposal. Its not like just prepare a 5 pages of documentation. You need to prepare the following documentations to enclose along with your proposal. Its compulsory.

  • Signed copy of application
  • Proof of residence
  • Literature survey & patent search results
  • Targeted Product specification/ process performance
  • A one page description of potential user, why would he/she buy this new product and how would the innovator access the user
  • Documentary proof of prior work ( video, photo, test report, TUC site report, press coverage etc)
  • Cost justification
  • Bar chart with mile stones for project schedule and
  • Technology Angels evaluation form

There is no standard format for the above documentations. But search some sample templates from google and prepare the documentations.

Where to apply

Well, its time to apply your proposal. Where & How?.

Very simple. But before that I would like to introduce about one more new term for you. That is Technology Business Incubators (TBI). TBI will take care of your TePP applications. DSIR tied-up with most TBIs available in India and they will help you how to prepare TePP proposals and get fund from DSIR. So first I will provide more info about the TBI and then continue the TePP processes.

TBI (Technology Business Incubators)

Technology Business incubator (TBI) is an entity, which helps technology start-up businesses with, all the necessary resources / support that the start-up needs to evolve and grow as a mature business. Typically, TBIs provide incubatees, the start-up businesses supported by incubator, with necessary infrastructure support, technology/ prototype development support, research assistance, help in getting funding, business consulting assistance and do whatever is necessary to make the start-up a success.

Our government selected some institutions in every state and setup this TBI with different kind of resources based on the available facilities in that college/universities . For example, we have the following TBIs available in Tamilnadu. Note : All the states are having TBIs.

  • Anna University, Chennai for biotechnology field
  • VIT, Vellore for IT, Biotechnology and Mechanical
  • Kongu, Erode for Embedded systems and Electronics
  • PSG Tech, Coimbatore for IT
  • University of Madras, Chennai
  • IIT-Madras, Chennai.
  • Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, Coimbatore
  • Periyar Technology Business Incubators, Thanjavour –  for Biotechnologies

Fortunately, Tamilnadu has more TBIs. To know the list of available TBIs in other states click here.

So go through the above list. Then select the TBI which is near and suitable for you. Then immediately meet the Manager of that TBI. Discuss about your plan with him. He will provide you what are the facilities he have and what he can do for you. Please note that, even you dont like to apply for TBI but still you can approach TBI to get the TePP fund from DSIR. First they will ask you  to send your draft copy of all your documentations. They will get back to you if you have any corrections in your documentations. Later you need to take the hard copy of all your documents and submit it to them (to TBI). The process will take minimum 3 months to call for an review meeting for your proposal. You need to take an presentation in-front of the DSIR committee and its your responsibility to convince them to get funded. There is no final date to submit your proposal. You can take your own time. Prepare carefully and then submit. ITS OPEN FOR ALL 365 DAYS.

Why TBI?

Because, you need space to setup your working place, need resources like machines [CNC, Lathe, biotech,.etc], hardwares, components, computers, internet,.etc to implement your prototype, need technical guidance and non-technical help like Market survey, business analysis, Ventures to invest money on your prototype,.etc. The room rent in Metro cities like Chennai & Mumbai are huge cost. So its better to utilize the TBI’s space for very low cost and you can stay with them upto 3 years. After you successfully applied for TePP fund, then approach the same TBI to get resources for you. You no need to give any share for them.

Hey,! Are you a women entrepreneur? Oh…you are so lucky yaar!. Do not ignore the next section.

Facilities/benefits for women entrepreneurs

There are lots of extra benefits available for women entrepreneurs rather than the men entrepreneurs. For example, you got the loan from government through by the above schemes and suppose your business went in loss. Then you no need to return the full amount to them. There are some percentage of exceptions are available for womens. BUT THIS SCHEME IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR MEN ENTREPRENEUR. In Tamilnadu, Periyar Technology Business Incubators, Thanjavour encouraged women entrepreneurs and they provide first preference to them. So, Women entrepreneurs, try to utilize the available resources and create more job opportunities for womens and as well as mens. Till now I did not get any documented proof for this scheme. I discussed with some TBIs and I come to knew about it. Leave your comments if you have any links, reference,.etc.

What I can do for you?

I am also applying for this TePP through VIT TBI. The manager of VIT TBI, Mr.Balachandran provided more info reg the TePP and TBI and What are the things to be done before we start a company. Now I am preparing the draft copy of my TePP proposal and it is in the final stage. I will submit my final copy of the TePP proposal soon. I dont have any experience in getting fund from TePP project. But I can surely help you, how to prepare a proposal, other necessary documents, howto approach TBI,..etc. You can reach me by asprakash83_at_gmail_dot_com (or) you can leave your comments.

Quick reference to apply for TePP Project fund

  • Think about a unique novel innovation commercial product idea
  • Prepare the proposal and necessary documents for your idea
  • Select any one of TBI and approach them to apply for TePP fund
  • Apply for TePP
  • Meanwhile prepare a business plan for your company and apply for TBI to get working place
  • Implement your idea and create the prototype of your invention.
  • Approach Venture Capitalizer to invest money on your idea to make business.
  • Leave from TBI and create a own working place for you. Be a employer… 🙂

Useful links