Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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Inspirational Journey of Ram Nath Kovind who Once Rejected IAS Job – Now All Set to Become Next President of India

Ram Nath Kovind – This name is unheard by many however his journey from Poorest village to Rashtra Pati Bhavan is full of struggle, sacrifice and dedication. BJP lead government has announced today him as Presidential candidate which is going to vacate on 24rth July. This man was once selected in IAS however rejected the most prestigious job and started practicing law and entered into politics.
Ram Nath Kovind

Early Education and Education

He was born in remote village Paronkh in Derapur tehsil of Rural Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, his father is farmer by profession. He has completed his primary education from village government school. He has completed  B.Com, L.L.B. from Kanpur University.

IAS Journey and Entry into Politics

Kovind has gone to Delhi to prepare for the Indian Administrative Services ( IAS) entrance test, he cleared the test in his third attempt however did not join the service and chose to start practising the law. In 1977  he worked as private secretart of then prime ministart Morarji Desai which opened the gate for him to enter into politics. As a lawyer, he has practised in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court for 16 years. He was Central Government Advocate in Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and Central Government Standing Counsel in Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993, according to his profile on the Bihar governor’s website. Kovind became Advocate-on-Record of the Supreme Court of India in 1978. He had practiced in Delhi High Court and Supreme Court for about 16 years until 1993.

Political Journey

Kovind’s political journey began in April 1994, when he was elected as a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh and served for two consecutive terms for 12 years till March, 2006.

Kovind served as Member on following important Parliamentary Committees:

  • Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes.
  • Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs.Parliamentary Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  • Parliamentary Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Parliamentary Committee on Law and Justice.
  • Chairman of Rajya Sabha House Committee.
BJP fielded him as party’s lok sabha candidate from Ghatampur seat in 1990. He lost and never contested again.
He was nominated twice to Rajya Sabha, in 1994 and again in 2006
He was close to AB Vajpayee and LK Advani and was made national president of BJP’s SC/ST wing in 1999.
The Dalit leader was sent to Uttar Pradesh as general secretary in 2012 but ‘unhappy’ Kovind refused to take up any responsibility for more than a year.
After BJP won the general elections 2014, PM Narendra Modi sent him to Bihar as governor .
Kovind represented India in United Nations and addressed United Nations General Assembly in October, 2002.

Personal Life 

He is married to Savita Kovind and He has a son Prashant Kumar who is married and a daughter Swati.

His Work for SC, OBC and Ground Level Work

Kovind is also known as a pioneer in spreading education. During his parliamentary tenure of 12 years, Kovind emphasized on the development of basic infrastructure for education in rural areas by helping in construction of school buildings in Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand under MPLAD scheme. As an advocate, Kovind took a lead in providing free legal aid to weaker sections of society, specially SC/ST women, needy and the poor under the aegis of “Free Legal Aid Society” in Delhi.
He has donated his ancestral home for Baratghar in his village. He has done great work for upliftment of society in education sector.

I cleared UPSC in my first attempt with AIR 32 – Avdhesh Meena , Success Mantra for UPSC

Below is the strategy that Topper Avdesh Meena AIR 32  followed , Below content is directly written by Him on Quora – He has cleared the UPSC in his first Attempt.

First of all few basic points to be kept in mind before preparing and during preparation-

  1. There is no perfect or single strategy to succeed. I listened to various strategies by toppers and then choose the one which best suited me as per my skills and understanding.
  2. There is no alternative to hard work and dedication, which is the prime strategy of success.
  3. Preparation for civil services is a full time exercise. Please do not indulge yourself in other exams like SSC etc especially if you need to read anything extra for other exams. Do not prepare for multiple exams at once.
  4. Don’t treat studies as a burden. Prepare only if you enjoy the studies. Enjoy the process of learning new things.
  5. Be observant of your surroundings, The real world and studies are not mutually different, they are an extension of each other. Try to observe things around you, link them with your studies and vice versa.
  6. Try to keep social life to minimum. Keep the contact with social media to minimum.
  7. Choose a friend circle with those who are preparing seriously. Keep in contact with them as to how they are preparing and contact them if you feel depressed or are not able to study. But don’t excessively rely on their strategies too, follow your own way.
  8. Keeping in touch with family especially parents is the most important aspect to handle ups and lows during preparation. Share with them your feelings during preparation.
  9. Do not think excessively about results, just focus on your strategy. I never seriously thought whether i would qualify or not, I was just focused on my studies. “Karm karte jao, fal ki chinta mat karo, wo apne aap mil jayega”. I have seen people who are too much depressed and loose their study questioning themselves whether they will qualify or not.
  10. Do not involve yourself excessively in political debates as to this leader is good or that. There is no point in doing that and would drain you of energy. Focus only on specific steps taken by government which are needed in exams and analyse those with both positives and negative and then forming a balanced viewpoint and an optimistic solution for future.
  11. Read one newspaper daily for about 1.5 hours. I read the Hindu. Try to improve your understanding of different topics from the news. Read anything which is related to constitution, SC judgments, govt schemes, social issues, economic issues such as poverty, development etc, environmental issues like new species being discovered, major developments in science and technology.
  12. If you are a newcomer or are in college time your preparation in a way so that you start 2 years before the actual year of exam you will appear. 2 years is the optimum time for preparation.
  13. Role of coaching is important in various aspects – regular time table, concise study material for some subjects, understanding of basic concepts in some subjects. But Civil Services can be done even without coaching especially with growing availability of online material which is useful.
  14. Role of choosing the correct optional is immense. I owe my success mostly to optional. I would preferably suggest you to take your graduation subject as an optional especially if you are an engineer. So those in college i would like to suggest please do not neglect the studies in college especially if you want to take your graduation subject as an optional. But do not choose Engineering if not able to understand technical concepts or you have interest and expertise in other subjects. This assessment has to be made by you without any prejudices. Also in general it would take more time to study the Engineering subject. Please ask yourself do you have the required aptitude to choose Engineering as optional and if you feel you can do it go for it. There is no concept of scaling in marks, do not worry about that. Choosing technical subject as an optional lessens the arbitrariness present in other arts subjects.

Now coming to my strategy:

I prepared for total of 2 years before writing the prelims exam. I started preparing in my final year B tech. I took coaching from Vajiram and Ravi in 2014-15 batch with my college. In this year I got myself familiarized with basic concepts, basic books needed and attended Vajiram test series for prelims. Thus i was clear with my basics by the end of the year.

In the second year I started preparing for optional and answer writing for Mains. I joined Vision IAS Mains Test series for answer writing. I also wrote answers (preferably 1-2 answers) on Insights occasionally and then read other answers posted there and then analyse how i lacked in formulation of answers. Further the role of test series in improving my answer writing is enormous. I used to analyse my marks after each test as to what i was doing right or wrong and improve thereupon in the next test.

My optional was Civil Engineering. I had interest in Civil and also I was good in Civil in my college which helped me a lot to get 356 marks in mains exam. I purchased the hand written notes from market and took coaching booklets from my friend. I studied the hand written notes and referred to coaching books only if i was not able to understand something. I appeared for GATE and ESE examination to check my knowledge of Civil Engineering and got AIR 54 and AIR 9 respectively. Also the fact that there is an exam pushes you towards the preparation and helps in concluding the preparation fast.

I did not attend any coaching for Civil Engineering. I was not able to join test series because I joined the GS test series during the time and was not able to do both simultaneously.

Books to be read:

  1. Polity- Laxmikant (more imp for pre), Vajiram notes
  2. Modern Histroy – Spectrum (imp for both pre+mains), NCERT (not necessary to read it), Vajiram notes
  3. Ancient History and culture – NCERT, Vajiram Notes, Mrunal Videos on Art and culture
  4. Medieval History- NCERT (although I did not studied it but now UPSC is asking more about medieval nowadays)
  5. Environment- Shankar IAS
  6. Economics – Class notes, 11,12th NCERT
  7. Geography- 11,12th NCERT , Class Notes
  8. World History- Vision IAS add on material, Class notes
  9. International relations- Newspaper, Vision current affairs
  10. Science and Tech- Newspaper, Vision Current affairs
  11. Security – Newspaper, Vision Current affairs
  12. Social Issues- Newspaper, Vision Current affairs
  13. Disaster management- Class notes, vision value added material, Vision Current affairs
  14. Ethics- Class notes
  15. Civil Engineering- No books only coaching material.

For prelims practice- Vision tests and study them thoroughly.

I tried to keep the number of books to be studied at minimum. Only those book should be studied which can be revised in a month before exam. Instead focus should be more on revising at least 3-4 times, practicing test series for both prelims and mains, current affairs which should be studied thoroughly and practicing optional more. “

Ashish Mittal- The Man Who Is Known For Mentoring the Technology Startups

Very few people actually knows about incubators dealing with technology startups. Today we are going to talk about Ashish Mittal who is one of the leading incubators of India who is responsible for mentoring technology startups.

Ashish Mittal is the chief mentor and founder of turning ideas solutions. Apart from that Ashish is an angel investor and has spoken at many startup events. He holds 19 years of experience in the field of telecom and media. He had worked with technology giants like Microsoft, Google, IBM India, oracle, Ericsson, HP and more.

Talking about his educational qualification he has a bachelor’s of engineering degree from BITS Pilani and also completed his masters in consultancy management.

Below are the series of questions asked to Ashish regarding opportunities for entrepreneurs in India, the startup approach, and assistance available from the incubator ecosystem.
Follow the below question answer round with Ashish Mittal.

Q: What was the motive behind working on TurningIdeas?

AM: TurningIdeas started with a vision of replicating Harvard and Stanford in India to give an equal playing ground to young entrepreneurs who dare to dream big. We provide mentoring, technology, co-working and funding support. TurningIdeas is supported by a team of professionals who have had long careers with global tech companies, in areas like legal, finance, technology, marketing and strategy.

We offer both virtual and physical incubation. For virtual incubation of three months we charge Rs 9,999 per month and two percent advisory equity. For on site incubation, the equity varies based on the involvement.

Q: would he like to name companies graduated from TurningIdeas so far, and which are being incubated?

AM: We have supported companies in commerce and ed-tech. AskMyGift (founded by Sumeet Agarwal) is a gifting platform for all type of gifts, and aims to delight the giver and receiver. Swagbag (founded by Shagun Nayyar) helps identify prospects in physical retail stores, along with customer likes and dislikes. FutureVidya offers technology to redefine teaching and learning processes via classroom productivity tools.

We have three startups currently under incubation: StoryWalker (founder: Antony Rajkumar), Plown (founder: Adarsh Sharma) and Buddy4Study (founder: AshutoshKumar).

 

Q: According to you what challenges do startups normally face in India and what are the ways to win those challenges?

AM: The key challenges in the Indian startup ecosystem include social pressure, lack of ecosystem support, and difficulty of doing business. There is pressure when it comes to acceptance of failure; one needs to realize that there are many factors governing the success of any idea or venture apart from the effort put in. The most important factor here is to learn from failure and think of something better, rather than be demotivated.

Q: On what basis TurningIdeas select startups?



AM: We look for domain agnostic technology enabled ventures. They should be disruptive, scalable, at early stages, and have a passionate team. At TurningIdeas, we focus on deviation from the usual; innovation is praised and promoted. Being innovative has no set pattern or theorem, it is all about observation and looking for a new bubble of advancement.

Reliability and long-term functioning of an organization are two major success factors for a startup to withstand storms. With every single step there must be a vision for the next ten steps, what we call a stair to prosperity.

The team must be passionate and stick to the plan no matter how bad it rains. They must set their goal and pursue it, perhaps looking for alternatives but without dropping the whole idea.

Q: what support do startups generally receive?

AM: We provide mentoring, investor connects, co-working spaces and shared functional teams. We try our best to be there at every possible step of the founders and during their plan to make sure they are right on track. We connect founders to those who can financially support them, and advise them along the process.

We also give space for the ‘base camp’ for physical launch of the startup, along with shared teams for technology, business, marketing and so on. We provide teams of professional tech-savvy people, social media managers and other activity managers to assist startups wherever necessary.

Q: How would he define success for TurningIdeas?

AM: Success will translate into every young professional considering starting up as a viable option without fear of failure. This will be achieved through process-based mentoring and incubation support to every corner of the nation so that no future founder fails because of lack of mentoring and support.

Q: How does he differentiate TurningIdeas from the other incubators in the same area?

AM: Many incubators and accelerators are limited to co-working spaces. Our differentiation is end-to-end mentoring for startup scale, problem validation, solution scoping, product discovery, design, architecture, and technology support.

We host multiple solutions for problems ranging from minor technical glitches to major game changing plans. We also provide go-to-market assistance, finance, brand and strategy support, and fundraising. We work with startups even at ideation stage, the whole idea is to turn ideas into reality with continuous support.

Q: How would he compare and contrast India’s accelerators and incubators with those of developed nations like China and US?

AM: US and China have a lot of funding support. The social ecosystem accepts failure and rewards innovation. The government and education ecosystem are actively involved in entrepreneurship.

Q: What are his future plans in respect to fresh startups?

AM: We will focus on startups which are solving key issues which affect the masses. We will work on scalable ventures to reach profitability more rapidly. We want to promote creativity with innovation for not just tech or profit based startups, but social entrepreneurship as well.

Q: What are his suggestions to the entrepreneurs and startups? 

AM: At least think! No idea is bad, it is great if you can begin thinking. You already outshine a thousand others once you think, after that all you may need is improvisation. Try to get in touch with experts in your field for first-hand experience; no one can suggest better, warn you about ups and downs, or tell you what success is.

Get in touch with your audience regularly to know what is actually demanded. Be aware about what is in the market – try to be ‘hatke’ and not a second copy of something else. Whatever you think of, try putting it in writing – if you can’t write about it, it probably will never work. That is the first check!

Q: What are his suggestions for policymakers to make business simple for startups and incubators in India?

AM: There should be more brainstorming sessions from an early age to promote the idea of thinking creatively. Vocational education should be promoted to actually develop practical know-how rather than just theoretical knowledge.

There should be more linkages for ‘intra-startups.’ For example, marketing startup support for a tech startup. A big initial step is needed, and things will fall in place automatically, though gradually.

 

The Untold Story Of Dr Gurushankar Who Converted An Average Hospital Into Rs 350cr Empire

Dr Gurushankar , 37-year-old entrepreneur fixed the discrepancies caused by legacy assets and ruthlessly fired people who did not work according to his way.

The moment you enter Madurai district, you will find a couple of Meenakshi Mission Hospital buses on the way. These buses are like the hospital’s telemedicine units and anytime you can find them communicating with doctors at the city command centre.

These  buses, serve around 1,50,000 people every year, was the idea of Dr Gurushankar , who has transformed the hospital into the most demanding health  centres in southern Tamil Nadu. Though the hospital had very interesting history filled with drama and intrigue.

Meenakshi Mission Hospital was founded in 1985 by N Sethuraman, a urologist who dreamt of having​ a modern hospital in a  Madurai.
By 1991, the 100-bed hospital had come to be identified with politicians from Devar community. This was one of the reasons why in 2005, Sethuraman was losing his grip over the hospital. Sethuram built the hospital to serve the patients who can’t afford hefty hospital charges. But now it seemed like the politicians had taken control over the hospital and disgusted the purpose of making healthcare affordable.

This was the time when Sethuraman launched his youngest son, Dr Gurushankar, to save the hospital. He was worried that the amalgamation with politics and the power centres that were executing the hospital would gradually degrade this place.
No doubt it becomes a Rs 100-crore company and the hospital offered 250 beds, its margins had suffered the losses with cronies earning money and its business ethics compromised. The standards of the hospital dropped so much that the hospital wanted help. When Gurushankar joined​ he was just 25 and had no experience in this industry.

GuruShankar, Chairman of Meenakshi Hospitals, says,

“At the time I was never prepped to take over the business. It was when I was going abroad to study that I realised that dad was going through a lot of trouble and he needed my help. The decision to stay back changed my life.”

But soon he took care of the business very effectively by creating profits and end of friendships with mean partners. But his actions not only saved his family but business, which is now a Rs 350-crore enterprise and likely to increase revenues to Rs 500 crore in coming five years. There are plans to set up three more hospitals by 2024 and also build a telemedicine practice for Africa. Currently, the hospital serves more than 5 lakh patients per year.

Adel, a childhood friend now head of marketing and projects at the hospital says.

“Guru was a brilliant student. He would teach us physics and always read a lot,” he was the kind of kid who would succeed in whatever he did. “While everyone was being studious, he would just understand concepts very quickly and would ace exams with very little effort,”

Gurushankar says he is very thankful to his mother for making him study and says he had the capacity to comprehend concepts from an early age.

The time had come when he joined the business in June 2005; he was announced vice-chairman in board meeting by his father. His appointment was not very much appreciated by some members especially the senior members In the end everyone had to accept the Gurushankar as the Vice chairman of the company.

However, that did not control the power centres from executing things their way. Gurushankar called each of them in and fired them.

While the hospital’s management structure started to be realigned, Gurushankar also planned in for expansion. He recruited young people to work on key departments. He strictly suggested them to bargain in a better way with pharma companies.

Gurushankar introduced a plan for the doctors in which every big consultant had to give up consulting on the outside and dedicate themselves entirely to the hospital. Being a good leader, he also promised that the doctors would receive hefty compensation from the organisation’s profit margin.

Dr. S Gurushankar @ Aram Seiydhu Pazhagu Awareness Campaign Launch Stills

Most of the senior doctors quit  but the young ones stayed behind and relied on the future. Right now , the hospital is working with  330 doctors  with over 150 of them being MD- and MS-level doctors.

He stated,

“Such a business model takes away the business-minded nature of the doctors who use hospitals to get patients into their personal profit centres. This destroys healthcare service, which Madurai cannot afford.”

Then came the turn of politicians. “I have learned to say no to people. I made sure my business did not have political leanings,”

I ensured that I removed the clan-based association that my hospital carried because of my dad’s association with politics. I kept them at a distance”.

The politicians complained to his father, who again said that his time was over. Fixing the leakages took Gurushankar three years.  In 2016, he was appointed as a chairman of the company and finally things were in his control. And under his chairmanship now the hospital had expanded into a 1,000-bed hospital. Gurushankar started focusing on expansion plans around the Tamil Nadu region.

He started analysing the Thanjavur region which had small 100-bed hospitals. He found out that there was no multiple specialities in the region.

As far as the future business strategy is concerned Gurushankar is planning to set up a premium hospital in Madurai that will be focused on serving the premium patients in the region. His company is also planning to focus on growth in Salem, a tier-3 city, with a 250-bed hospital. Besides they have plans to set up a hospital in Chennai as well.

He has finalised a Rs 300-crore investment plan to build a nursing college in Madurai. He plans to use the  New Zealand university to train African students, who can go back to their countries and serve as nurses in telemedicine centres set up by Meenakshi Hospitals. The first stop will be Kenya.

He says,

“I want to apply the same model abroad. But this time I might want help with a clever startup platform or anyone who can make this dream of serving Africa from India a reality.”

“I cannot chase short-term profits. I do not work in that fashion and it will be a nightmare if I sign up with profit seekers,”

No wonder, he wants things to be done on his own terms. He is very fond of the given quote from the Tamil movie Thiruvalavar
The quote goes like this..

“Who can harm a king with counsellors who are free to rebuke him roundly. A king unguarded by trenchant counsel needs no foes to come to grief. The earth bears no heavier burden than a tyrant hemmed in by fools.”

APJ Abdul Kalaam- A Man Who Was Himself A Definition Of Success.

APJ Abdul kalaam was one of the remarkable and unforgettable personalities of India. Popularily known as missile man and a critically acclaimed author, Kalaam was a man whose each statement are still an inspiration for most of the youths in our country. Kalaam was one of those few Presidents who earned immense respect among youths and new generation of India. I am myself a big admirer of Kalaam sir and if you are not then you must be. Despite being a renowned scientist and president of India you would be amazed that all his life he never attracted towards fame and wealth.

He died while giving speech to the students. He may be no more alive but his teachings, inspiration will always find a way to guide the students towards a successful career.

In order to remember his teachings we have shortlisted excerpts of interview of APJ Abdul kalaam.
You can read his words mentioned below and get inspired.

 

Q. What are the possible causes and elements to make someone’s dream true
Commitment, parents or access?

A. Dreams are finally nothing but goals or mission in life. In my case I had great teachers in various phases of life. And also my parents, my father and mother were very useful teachers to me throughout their lives. I was the only fellow in the family studying, and their commitment to me was absolute. The spiritual environment at home shaped me.
You should convert your goals and me mission to success in spite of problems. That is my lifelong commitment.

Q. How should someone encounter their failure? 
A. Of course, I have myself gone through many successes and a few failures. And I have also met a number of successful people throughout the world wherever I have gone, and when I discuss with them, they reveal how many problems they have encountered, what kind of failures they have had.

So, I have come to the conclusion that great success has some element of failure also. I still remember Prof. Satish Dhawan, he gave me a project in 1973, were you born then?

Q. Would he like to share his experience with SLV project in 1973?


A. He gave me the SLV project in 1973, and named me the project director. I found that there were a lot of senior people above me, you know, experienced people, they should support me and there were a number of youngsters with high technical knowledge. So, I had to bring them all together to succeed. At that time I was in my thirties, 39 or 40. So, I was frightened, whether I can do it. It’s a great job, how can I do it for the first time, how to build a rocket, to make a satellite, and it’s a big vision and how can I do it?

 

Q. How much expectation people had from him?
A. A lot of expectation. So then Prof.Satish Dhawan, the chairman saw my hesitation. He called me and gave me some advice, famous advice. He said, “Kalaam, if you don’t do any work, you don’t experience any problem.” Even in media, if you don’t report there is no problem. If you report, problem starts. (He laughs heartily at this). So,
Prof. Dhawan said major programs are always coupled with major problems. But don’t allow problems to become your captain, you should become the captain of the problem. Defeat the problem and succeed
. This advice he gave me in 1973, even now it’s true. It is true for politicians, educationists, media people, it’s true in every area. So, the message I’m giving is we should take control of the problems, okay?


Q. What could be the possible reason behind 2/3 of India’s engineering graduates unemployable?

A. During my recent visit to Canada visited a university called Waterloo. For an engineering degree students are taught in the classroom for one year, the next year they go to the industry. So two out of four years they spend in the industry. And in the industry they learn to work within the system, it may be the software system or the hardware system, machine system, electronic system, or chemical system. But they learn to apply what they studied at the university. So when they graduate there is good demand for them. They can hit the ground running.

 

Q. How important entrepreneurship and skill development was for him?


A. We add seven million people every year at 10+2 level and three million graduates every year. So, we inject ten million people into the society every year as employment seekers. This is because entrepreneurship is not taught, either in the secondary school education or in higher education or university education. Entrepreneurship is not part of the curriculum, neither is acquisition of usable skills. That’s why I’m saying if 30 per cent people have to procure their skills, that training should be started during the period of education itself.

 

Q. Name three qualities that are needed to aim for success in a long run?
A. I will say four qualities, okay.
Number one, a clear aim in life, without it you will be going in all directions. Second, you should acquire the knowledge. You acquire knowledge in multiple ways. Great books should be your friend, great teachers should be a friend, and even home environment and parents can help you gain knowledge. The third aspect is hard work with devotion. I am saying since your work is towards your mission, it should be permeated with the devotion to that mission you have in mind. And the fourth one is perseverance. Persevere continuously. You do these four things and you can become anything. All these four things you have, work for it, you will achieve anything.

Q. How could someone focus on one goal and achieve it?


A. It is finally that the goal should be in front of you. That is my experience.
We are always tempted to do many things simultaneously. But if you start doing one thing, have one goal and put all your efforts into that, then definitely you will succeed. Of course, you have to win! A problem always appears here and there but you have to face the problem and defeat the problem.

 

Q what did he tell his followers?


A. They must think in a big way. I remember 2000 years back, there is a famous saying in Thirukural by Saint Poet Thiruvalluvar — Vellathanaythu Malar Neetam Mandartham Ullathanaytu Uyarvu. It means that, just like the height of the water in a pond determines the height to which a lily would grow, it is the heights of thoughts that determines the heights to which you could aspire for. So as human beings they should have great thoughts, great aims, and when thoughts become transformed into actions performed with perseverance and devotion, success has to follow. Thank you very much sir.

The Success Story of Rohit singhal- The Radiologist with no Business Background runs a million dollar software company Sourcebits

Rohit Singal is man with many designations. He is a radiologists, MBBS and most importantly an entrepreneur. I would like to address him as an entrepreneur because he has done something which shows he has got entrepreneur skills.


Rohit singhal is a founder of Sourcebits, an app company in Bangalore in 2006. You must be wondering what a doctor has to do with technology and mobile apps well he is a man of talents . His app became successful in a very lesser period of time. Currently his company has become a king of software products in espousing through its existence what a software product company is by execution. He is successfully running his software product company without any experience in business before. He managed to execute his heart advice rather than going for any other way.

How did a radiologists turned into a mobile entrepreneur. What’s the story behind all this?

In India, how you go to medical school is you usually do MBBS and then you do post-graduation (MD). So, when I was doing MBBS, my dad got me a computer and I was really hooked onto it, but I never even thought that I would be in computers. That was just a hobby, and I had to pursue my medical career. After finishing my MBBS from Government College in Haryana, I got MD in Ramaiah Memorial Hospital in Bangalore. They had the requirement for this communication system software, which big companies like Siemens and other big companies were selling at quite a good amount of money. I offered them this software for $100,000. They got convinced and brought it from me. I got that money, and I was enjoying work in this field quite a lot, so I thought why not make a company out of it. When I passed out, I started the company.

How old was he when he started up?
I was 30.

What is the story behind choosing Sourcebits as a company name?

It is a combination of two words – Source + bits. Bits is the lowest denominator in coding, and you can source bits from us, that is why the name.

Sourcebits is one of the very few VC-funded services companies in India.

With my medical background we didn’t have any contacts in this field when we started out. So when we always made a product, first it was on Mac, then it got very popular, a lot of people were interested and gave us consulting work. Similarly on mobile also, we developed a product which sold quite well and we made a million dollars. Then consulting work followed after that. We continue to have our product and services direction, and since India has a benefit of scale, we can hire quality talent in a quick span of time. So we are utilizing both to pursue forward our strategy.

How come he managed to set up the company?

I didn’t have any coding background. All I was looking for was gut feel, and how much the other person is passionate about what I want to do and whether he aligns with it. Based on that gut feel, I use to hire people and maybe those people are also quite different from the normal crowd because the normal crowd would go to the established companies. The kind of people I hired were looking for something different which is not normal, so they never go to the established companies. There are always these kind of people but they would not have that kind of typical experience or academics which you would look for in a corporate environment.

Where did he recruit people from?

 

I hired people mostly while going to the forums and looking at the activity. Today there is Quora.com where most of the coding talent comes from, and there are similar forums where most of the design talent comes. If you go frequently to such forums, and understand them, then you would know which people are right for your staWhat is the customer split between India and the US?
Mostly our business is in the US. Over 95% of the business is in the US and in India maybe we have four or five customers.

Was it challenging to sell within the US, while he is predominantly based out of India?

We don’t have any sales people and we don’t go out and sell. All our customers approach us through our website and they give us business. This list includes Intel, SAP, and US Military, and other such big enterprise customers. But, I focused on building a brand which is design-led engineering, and which is different from all the other services firms. All the other services firms in India are focused on doing the back-end work, not particularly focusing on the user experience or how the user would consume the content that they developed, whereas we are extremely focused on that and engineering is second to the design. We are very design-led, and that was quite unique and it is still not very much there in India, so people approach us for that.

Is he looking up to any design entrepreneurs?

Obviously, Steve Jobs! And, also of late, there are some of the companies that have come up. There is a company called Path, and another one Flipboard. There is a company by the name Square. If you look at the products that they have done, they have redefined user interfaces and design. Even if you look at their Twitter page, the amount of interaction that they have managed to build on single page is just amazing. You can click on the link and watch the images and videos on the same page! Even the timeline feature in Facebook. I know some people like it and some people don’t, but I think Mark Zuckerberg is doing awesome work. I mean having earned so of much money and still keeping a strong hold on the organization that he has built from scratch. He is right up there.

What else he would like to share with the readers?

In India whatever you see, let us say we talk about the interface of Bangalore. My last visit to US has only happened last year, before which I have never been out of India. So when I saw San Francisco, how it is designed and how all the blocks work together, it is amazing. We in India design everything based out of necessity. Okay, today we need a bridge here, let us make one. Today we need a restaurant here, let us start one here. Rather than thinking from a long-term perspective. I think in India there are just two well-designed cities: one is Chandigarh and another Bhubaneshwar. Chandigarh still remains a very well-designed city. So, fundamentally we don’t give importance to design. Even if you go restaurants here, there is no design sense. So as an Indian, I really want that we start focusing more on design. Technology is not a challenge anymore. So we should have schools that are focusing only on design, not just for technology or computers but for everything.

Success Story of Top Bloggers of India

It often seems like a person have limited resources to make out money for their living. Long gone are those days when we used to totally dependent upon 9 to 5 job, most of us still stuck with it. But there are few who broke this tradition and started something on their own. Blogging It is.
After reading their success stories you won’t consider blogging as side business but an opportunity to make enough money and worldwide fame.

Let’s know who these people are and how much they earn through blogging.

Below are the series of questions asked to these bloggers and their response to the same:

1. Harsh Agarwal, ShoutMeLoud.com



This Twenty-nine-year-old Guy initiated blogging as a hobby but is now making tons of money every month. While working in call center in Gurgaon he realized he should go for Blogging. As an investment he took help from his friend by asking him for him credit card. This helped him in purchasing a host and domain, and that’s how ShoutMeLoud came into existence.

A. Where does he operates from?

New Delhi when I’m in the country. Otherwise my wife (Shallu, she is handling ShoutMeHindi) and I love to travel and work. We stay as locals in countries like Bali, Singapore, and Thailand, usually at airbnbs.

B. When did shoutMeLoud.com started?

I started with a BlogSpot blog in the month of Aug-Sept, 2008. On December 1, 2008, I moved to WordPress platform and started ShoutMeLoud.com.

C. What is the unique selling proposition of Shoutmeloud.com?

The transparency and the Shouters community.

D. How much money ShoutMeLoud earn him per month?

My last month’s income was $32000. You can see my past report here.

E. What are his products and what methods does he use for making money through blog?

Products: We have eBooks, WordPress Plugins, which are selling on our platform. We also have a membership program called ShoutUniversity that also adds a substantial earning. The other avenues are

  • Affiliate Marketing: One of the majority earning sources.
  • Direct ads: Some of our direct advertisers like comare with us from last three years and such recurring revenue helps a lot.
  • Product review

F. What is the biggest challenge of earning through his blog?

At times, when you have to leave huge money for the integrity of your blog. From a business perspective, it’s the biggest challenge and loss.

G. Personal experience related to his blog

When I got the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award from the college I graduated from (Sharada University). It was only because of ShoutMeLoud. I was an ‘ok kinda’ student and never received such a high-level award while I was in the college. And that was the first time I cried with joy. While receiving the award, I was asked to say something. The only thing I could say was, “Don’t let anyone ever tell you how to live your life. Life is beautiful when you discover it yourself.”

H. Tips for the beginners

If you want to make it big, think big! Your attitude is the first thing that will decide how big you will become. Be a learner for life and don’t get stuck at one place for long. With the fast changing technology, you should be ready to keep experimenting and adding new stuff to your blog. Along with content, focus on building the community. Be in a niche which has a future and is profitable.

2.  Shivya Nath, The Shooting Star.com

Shivya Nath is travel blogger and a digital nomad. 28 year old shivya Nath has hitch-hiked along Romania’s northern countryside, lived with the chocolate farmers of Costa Rica, journeyed along Canada’s great wilderness by train and swum with black tip sharks on Malaysia’s east coast, and more.
She quit her job to experience the world. She believes it would inspire to  step out of their comfort zones and discover the world!

A. Where does she operates from?

I am a Nomad. I stay in a place for a few weeks or as long as it inspires me, and then move on. At present, I am in Goa.

B. When did she started?

In 2011

C. what is the unique selling proposition of her blog?

Experiential travel, solo travel, and responsible travel

D. How much money she earns from her blog per month?

That’s a tough one. It can range from Rs 0 to Rs 200,000.

E. What methods does she use for making money through blog?

Blogging and social media campaigns with relevant travel companies that share my travel philosophy.

What is the biggest challenge of earning through her blog?

Unsteady income. I can never predict how much I’m going to make, but I like to think of it as a financial adventure.

G. Tips for the beginners

Start blogging only because you love it, otherwise it’s hard to sustain such an unpredictable source of income.

3. Imran Uddin, Alltechmedia.org

 Imran Uddin, Alltechmedia.org

Imran uddin is a 23 old tech blogger who started blogging in college to earn extra money. Currently he manages many tech blogs.

A. Where does he operate from?
Hyderabad.
B. When did he started working as a blogger?

I started when I was 18 years old and in the second year of my engineering degree.

c. What is the unique selling proposition of his blog?

When most bloggers are writing articles for traffic based on keyword search, I write a few articles from my personal experiences and this is what makes my blogs unique.

D. How much money does he make per month through his blog?

I run two funded companies which are worth several million. But, if you ask how much I make from my personal blog then it’s around $10,000 per month.

E. What are the methods he uses to make the money?

Display ads, affiliates, sponsored content and ads.

F. What is the biggest challenge of earning through his blog?

It was hard initially, but after I earned my first Rs 300, it didn’t stop. Earning money has become easy for me now. The challenge is in scaling things up.

G. Tips for the beginners

Focus on your strengths and blog on the same. If you deviate from this just for the money, you are probably killing your blog in the hurry to make money fast.

H. Personal experience related to his blog:

I meet a lot of people daily, and every day is exciting. But I feel proud when people recognize me from my blog. It’s like your baby is growing big and people applaud your baby’s success. For me, my blog is my baby and I do whatever is required to keep it healthy and safe.

These three bloggers are source of inspiration to many of the newly started bloggers. The reason behind the success of these bloggers was not money but their passion.

Alok Sagar – An Ex-IIT Professor Who Dedicated 32 Years For The Welfare Of Tribal Villages

What would you do after you get a degree from prestigious institution IIT and PhD from Houston?

For most of the people, it’s an opportunity for a better future to lead a settled life. And that’s a fact because you aren’t going to risk this opportunity for anything.

Well, there is someone who once been an IITian, IIT professor and even have PhD from Houston now pursuing the strangest jobs you could have ever imagined. He is not living in US and doesn’t even have big house and a lavishing salary. Besides he is not a saint. So, who is he???

Okay  it’s time to know about this gentleman. Alok Sagar is a learned man who went to IIT and Houston to pursue his studies and he also groomed EX RBI Governor Raghuram while teaching at IIT Delhi. But all these fancy degrees couldn’t keep him satisfied so he left his job.


He decided to serve the people living in remote tribal villages of Madhya Pradesh. He began working in Betul and Hoshangabad districts of Madhya Pradesh. The sole purpose of his stay was to work for tribals, look into their problems and help them solving those problems. Surprisingly, he spent the last 26 years of his life in remote village of Madhya Pradesh called Kochamu. Kochamu is known to have around 750 tribals and a primary School. This place still lacks the basic necessities like electricity and roads.

Alok Sagar have always been very optimistic about his decision to work for tribals. He believes people can actually serve this country by focussing on the grassroot level which is often neglected.

He stated:

“In India, people are facing so many problems, but people are busy proving their intelligence by showing their degrees rather than serving people”.

It’s not like he didn’t have to face any kind obstacles while serving the tribals. While serving the tribals he have always maintained a low profile but one day he became a subject of suspicion. There was district elections going on in Betul


When local authorities found him suspicious and asked him to leave.But Ashok didn’t have to be afraid of anything as he wasn’t​doing anything wrong. He revealed his long list of qualifications which was later verified and confirmed by district confirmation. Once Ashok’s qualifications were confirmed, district administration had no option except surprise at what they just confirmed.

Alok Sagar totally transformed his life from a white-collar man to a tribal man. He doesn’t have shirts but 3 sets of kurtas; he doesn’t have a Car but a cycle. Unlike most of his fellow IITians he spent his entire day collecting and distributing seeds to the tribal people. He has a language proficiency of many different tribal languages and dialects used by tribals.

Alok Sagar is associated with Shramik Adiwasi Sangathan which works for the upliftment and betterment of the tribals

Sachin Kale – The Agripreneur and The Robinhood for Indian farmers

Recently, we have heard about the pathetic condition of farmers in India especially from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu region. Government is in no mood to look into​the matters.

At one side, farmers are being ignored on the other side there is someone who built a business out of agriculture and made the farmers beneficiary by giving them the profit share of the business.The man we are talking about is Sachin Kale, whose success story must be told to each one of us.

Let’s know more about this gentleman.

Sachin kale was born in a middle class family. He was deeply inspired by his grandfather Vasant Rao Kale who had been a government employee all his life and later adopted the profession of a farmer. His Grandfather used to tell and teach him a lot of things about farming and agriculture.

 

Education and Career

As far as sachin’s academics are concerned he had been a brilliant student throughout his school and college life.He completed his mechanical engineering course from REC, Nagpur in 2000. He went for Masters in Business administration after completing engineering. You would be surprised to know that he is a law graduate too. He kept on learning and ended up doing PhD in developmental economics in 2007.

He worked in a power plant and reached to its top position. Later he became a manager in Punj Lloyd earning the hefty salary of 24 Lakh per annum.

 

He wanted​ to be his own boss

The phase had entered in his life when he got this feeling that he should start something on his own like his own business where he will be the boss of his own company. Well, it wasn’t a piece of cake to leave your company like that and set up a new venture. So, he sat down and thought and after giving it much thought he realized that food industry is something that has a lot potential in the market. His grandfather once told him a person can survive without earning but not without food.

 

The Agripreneurs Approach

Finally, Sachin decided to come forward and leave his Gurgaon based job to shift in medhapur. Now all he had in his mind was growing food on agricultural land and sell it in the retail market.The whole idea was somewhat an inspiration from its grandfather.The idea was clear but the thing that was bothering him the most was he had no clue how farming is done. So, he started learning from the scratch and successfully gathered all the knowledge to need to carry out his business project.

Now all he needed was implementing his knowledge and farming experience into real business and that’s what he did. He may have the faced the inevitable challenges in the beginning but he succeeded at last.

According to his grandfather Agriculture is a risky and a hard business to do. The reason was labours, which are hard to find and even harder to get them work on the fields. If you want to get work done by them pay them well .so, sachin tried to figure out this matter and came up with a solution.

 

Win -Win situation for farmers

Sachin started his own company naming Innovative Agrilife Solutions Pvt. Ltd., which supported farmers with the contract farming model of farming.

Sachin wanted a fair share for the farmers so what he did for the farmers were remarkable. He introduced the contract farming model for the farmers which involved the buyer and seller concept. The buyer is the one who buys the food products from the farmers and the seller will be the farmer.the best thing about the contract farming model is that it ensures the security of payments for the farmers plus the portion of profit share earned by the product in the market.

He had another thing in mind about the paddy fields.Normally paddy fields are used to grow which is a 3 to 4 months job and for the remaining period the land is left unused. This is where sachin used his mind and suggested the farmers to use the land for the unused period by growing seasonal vegetables on the land. This idea was liked and promoted by the farmers as they can see the benefits of sachin’s idea.

After sowing the seed of struggle sachin has reaped the product of success. His agriculture based startup was a success and fortunately earning a profit. The annual turnover of his company was 2 crore per annum. Besides the profit margin, farmers are also getting benefitted by this business. Now theere are more than 150 farmers onboard who are living their life happily and proudly.

A family Man

Sachin was a family man from the beginning. He might have invested his 15 year provident fund in his business but he knew his family was dependant upon him so he had a back plan of returning to the corporate life only if he fails in his business which he didn’t.

His wife kalyani kale has always been a supporting wife to him. She may miss those days in cities but never regret her husband’s decision.She is a great admirer of the clean air and the healthy food of the village than urban city.

 

Future Plans

Sachin would love to see his company at the Mumbai stock exchange someday. He also wants more and more farmers to be an essential part for the Indian economy. He want farmers to be self reliant, educated and strong to fight for their right.

 

Sachin says:

“While thinking about options for entrepreneurship, I came to the conclusion that the food industry is the most important yet the most ignored one by us. That is when I recalled the lessons given by my grandfather about farming,” 

“Everything was a challenge, as I had absolutely no clue about farming. I had to learn everything from tilling the land to sowing the seeds.”

“It was difficult in the initial two years as no one trusted a young urban man telling a 70-year-old farmer about farming. But when I discussed the financials on papers, they started taking interest,

“I don’t buy their land, that way they lose the ownership. I just buy their produce and directly sell it to the retailers, which give a very good margin. I also share a part of the profit with them,

“My grandfather would encourage me to take up farming but at the same time he would warn me that it was a risky business and the biggest problem was labor. ‘You won’t get labor unless you help them earn more than what they are already earning,’ he would say,” recalled Sachin, who lost his grandfather last month.

 

Ashok Khemka- The Man Who Survived 45 Department Transfers in 23 Years of Career

One could hardly survive 45 job transfers in 23 years of career unless he is Ashok Khemka.
In childhood, we are taught honesty is the best policy but nobody taught us about the consequences of performing honesty.

Here, Ashok Khemka, a 45 year old IAS officer dedicated his career to honesty but in return he has been awarded transfers , transfers and transfers.

Let’s get to know more about this honest IAS officer.

Ashok Khemka hails from the city of palaces Kolkata. He had always been  diligent and determined in whatever he did.He completed his graduation from the prestigious institute IIT Kharagpur. This was not it as he accomplished doctorate in computer science from Tata institute of fundamental research, Mumbai.
And, finally in 1991 he became an IAS Officer of Haryana Cadre.

Now, let’s talk about his role as an IAS officer and unusual department transfers.

The most notable case was Robert vadra case . Being a managing director of Haryana seeds development of corporation, he exposed and cancelled unfair land deals between Robert vadra and real estate company DLF. Soon after the cancelled the deals he began receiving death threats from unknown people. Later, the matter was taken care of as the chief manager of Haryana Seed Development Corporation (HSDC) K R Sharma took the charge and filed a police complaint against those threats from unknown people.

The other notable incident took place when Khemka (being as a managing director of HSDC) was transferred on April 2013 just because he exposed land deak corruption in Gurgaon.

There was a similar case happened when Khemka was working as Director-General of Land Consolidation and Land Records-cum-Inspector-General of Registration in Haryana government. Khemka had suspected irregularities in land transactions dealing with the transfer of hundred Crore panchayat land to real estate companies. Once again he had to pay the price of honesty while opposing the ‘transfer notes’ from CM’s office he ended up with a transfer to a smaller post.

It seems like Robert vadra case was chasing him like a ghost . Recently, Haryana government had charge sheeted him for going beyond his  authority as an IAS officer to cancel the deals between Robert vadra and DLF. Union Cabinet Secretary Ajith has made a recommendation to the PMO to transfer Khemka from the Haryana State to Central government. In response the PMO has already cleared Khemka’s name and Haryana government has been notified.

Interesting Facts about Ashok Khemka.

* Ashok Khemka is the man who Knows how to use the RTI Act effectively. He often uses RTI to dig out facts and information regarding concerned matters and expos fellow government officials.

* Khemka witnessed 45 transfers all in different departments in 23 years of his career.

* Recently, he has been transferred to the 45th department where he is working as the DG of Archives & Archaeology in Haryana state .

Some must read quotes from Ashok Khemka.

“I am not a quitter. I am part of this system and will stay in it. I am proud of it. I have only been doing my duty as an officer.”

“I only go by what the public expects from me. I do this without fear or favour.”

“I hate being called a whistleblower. I am just doing my work which others may not be doing. I am also not an activist. Once a job is taken away, my part gets over in that matter.”

 

“I don’t feel scared by all this. But there is a lot of mental stress. In my last transfer, they threw me out in the most humiliating manner. My reliever had come to the office even before the transfer orders had arrived.”