Indian Entrepreneurs Need To Be Better ‘Networker’ and ‘Team Builders’: Report

Global management consulting firm, Hay Group, conducted a survey programme aimed at providing the startup ecosystem (selected entrepreneurs) with expertise and strategic knowledge.

The survey is based on the leadership assessment diagnostic of 150 start-up leaders. The research reveals that the top 3 common traits amongst the selected entrepreneurs possess are: Achievement Orientation, Creativity and Action Orientation.

With reference to Achievement orientation and Creativity, 55% of the startups exhibited scores which were greater than 7 (on a scale of 1-10). The least common traits prevalent amongst the startup founders were Consultative, Flexible and Methodical.

75% of the leaders scored less than 5 on the consultative trait, indicating that they are comfortable acting independently without seeking the views of others and willing to voice disagreement if required.

Some Interesting Trends With reference To A Founders’ Role Adoption In Team Situations

Most of the startup founders have a natural preference for ‘Creator roles’, with 80% of the founders exhibiting scores higher than 8. The next common tendency amongst the founders was for ‘Driver roles’, with 52% of them exhibiting scores which were higher than 8.

80% of the start-ups have the top two team profile preference common between the co-founders  while, 70% of the founders exhibited scores lesser than 5 on ‘team builder roles’ and 60% exhibited the same for ‘networker roles’

“A startup founder’s role is eventually focused only on managing two key stakeholder groups. One, they have to handle things internally, which means building structures and mechanisms for developing talent. This requires the ‘Teambuilder role’ capability. The other responsibility is managing an external ecosystem of partners and investors, which requires ‘Networker role’ capability,” adds Debabrat Mishra, Director, Hay Group India.

Truecaller Wants To Be Your Personal Assistant ; Now Lets You Set Call Availability

Truecaller has launched ‘Availability’ feature that lets users set his status according to his convenience.

Currently available on Android (Windows is next), Truedialer newest feature aims to be your personal assistant by allowing you to switch on an indicator to let other Truedialer users know that you are unavailable to take a call.

The feature would show the contacts highlighted with a red status icon when they are busy and with green icon when they are free but it works only for the app users. The users can choose to be notified once the other person is free to take call or can make the ‘call anyway’ while the contact is still busy.

The update also syncs the app with the user’s calendar, thus saving time to actually update status and let others know.

Helpchat Acquires Hyperlocal Discovery Platform, Niffler

Helpchat has agreed to acquire Mumbai-based start-up Niffler for an undisclosed amount.

Acquisition will also enable Helpchat to launch its services in Pune and Mumbai faster as Niffler already has a presence in these key markets. Post the acquisition, the entire team at Niffler will join Helpchat.

Co-founded by Edul Patel, Prince Arora and Viraj Shah, Niffler was launched in July 2014 with the objective of providing a location based contextual offers and deals discovery platform for the Indian consumers. It had raised funding worth $1 million in March 2015 from SAIF partners.

Delhi Based TravelKhana Raises Funding Led By Astarc Ventures

Delhi based startup TravelKhana, a food ordering platform for train passengers has raised a funding led by Astarc Ventures and some net worth individuals. The funding amount however has not been been disclosed.

The funds will be used to expand to 400 stations and scale operations and improve technology by end of next year.

Founded in 2012, TravelKhana was previously angel funded roughly $2 million by Google’s Rajan Anandan, Alok Mittal, Sarbvir Singh and others. The startup claims that the revenues for FY14-15 stood at Rs 1 crore, and it currently serves 3000 passengers in a day.

India’s Counterfeit Sales Crossed 1 trillion in 2014

With rapid rise of fake products being sold in India, e-commerce players Amazon India and Askme.com have started creating awareness of genuine products being sold on their websites through mass media and digital campaigns.

A report by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and KPMG India has stated that counterfeit and smuggled goods in categories such as alcohol, personal care products, tobacco, mobiles and mobile components, automobile components, and computer hardware and software rose from Rs.72,900 crore in 2012 to Rs.1.05 trillion in 2014 which is approximately 44% growth and the growth rate surpasses the overall market growth of the country.

As counterfeit sales crossed 1 trillion in 2014, India was among the top ten countries in the priority watch list of USA.

IDG Ventures Will Soon Raise A Fund Of Rs 1,300 Crore

VC fund IDG Ventures will soon be raising a new fund of about Rs 1,300 crore after almost a year.

The new round of funding which is expected to begin in October will be used to increase the investment firm’s footprint overseas and reach out to both overseas and domestic investors.

The company had recently included Ratan Tata as one of the advisory board members and since then has approached at least 150 family offices and has received about 50% of the commitments.

The firm last raised Rs. 600cr last November and has been steadily growing in the venture capital market.

 

Facebook Rebrands Internet.org To Free Basics ; Adds More Services

Internet.org, Facebook’s controversial project has been rebranded as “Free Basics”, in order to distinguish the app and website from Internet.org initiative.

We’re making this change to better distinguish the Internet.org initiative from the programs and services we’re providing, including Free Basics. Anyone currently using the app will be able to continue using the Android app, though it will now be called Free Basics by Facebook in Google Play. And the mobile web version, which will redirect from the previous URL, can be accessed at FreeBasics.com.

Facebook has also added 60+ services to the platform.

Starting today, people using the app or mobile web version can navigate to a menu where they can select which services to add to their list of free services. They can also search for a service by name or description.

Micromax Launches Super Affordable 4G Devices, Aims to Disrupt The Growing 4G Market

With an aim to disrupt the budding 4G market, Micromax announces 3 new additions to its existing 4g LTE range of smartphones— the Canvas Blaze 4G, the Canvas Fire 4G and the Canvas Play 4G.

The Canvas Blaze 4G is a budget phone priced at Rs 6,999 that sports a 4.5 inch FWVGA display with a 1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad core processor and packed with 1GB of RAM.

The Canvas Fire 4G which is also priced at 6,999 aims to offer a better music listening experience through its dual front firing speakers. It has 4.5-inch FWVGA display with a 1GHz MTK6735 quad core processor combined with 1GB of RAM.

The Canvas Play 4G is priced at Rs12,499 and sports a large 5.5 inch vivid IPS display with Gorilla® Glass 3. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2GHz quad core processor along with 2GB of RAM.

“We would want to stay true to brand’s positioning of ‘Democratizing Technology’ and help in ‘Massification of 4G’ providing the access of 4G to all with our range of smartphones starting INR 6999/- to 10999/-. We are further looking to expand our LTE range and will be launching 5 to 6 more 4G enabled smartphones at various price points by the end of 2015 leveraging both online and offline channels,” said Mr. Shubhajit Sen, CMO, Micromax Informatics

 

20,000 Uber Drivers In Bangalore May Go On Strike To Protest Against The Compensation System

The Karnataka State Drivers’ Association said that it will mobilize 20,000 Uber drivers and stop services today in a mark of protest against Uber’s alleged discrepancies in their driver payment system.

The company is said to have circulated advertisements claiming driver compensations up to Rs 90,000 a month. Manjunath S, an Uber employee said that every time a customer complaints, the company blocks the driver’s mobile phone for up to a week as penalty.

» Uber drivers in Hyderabad staged one-day hunger against the compensation policy.

They promise to pay incentives of Rs 100 per trip but if we do not complete the target of 13 trips a day, we get nothing,” added Manjunath while talking to TOI. He was among the 300 Uber drivers who held a protest at the company’s MG Road office on Wednesday.

Drivers also said to the TOI that they were given free phones and charged Rs300 a week for internet connections without their Knowledge.

“The incident being referred to involved a small group of drivers who defaulted on our system and hence can no longer use our platform. In terms of incentives, most of our driver partners are happy to take advantage of Uber’s lead generation technology, which provides flexibility and earning potential. We’re working with our driver partners on an individual basis to help address any concerns,” said an Un-named spokesperson from Uber. (Source: TOI)

Tata Trusts Funds Rang De, The Micro Lending Platform

Tata Trusts has extended its support for a period of four years to Internet-driven peer-to-peer micro-lending platform, Rang De. This initiative aims to offer an affordable micro-credit solutions to nearly a quarter of a million families, over the next five years.

They will be given access to improved livelihoods, education, health and sanitation facilities. During the first year, Rang De will scale up the team and increase their crowd-funding network with an additional 12,000 social investors.

Ganesh Neelam, Development Manager, Tata Trusts, said, “The concept of leveraging technology to deliver low cost, community based solutions is a path-breaking concept. Tata Trusts is working towards bringing this idea to life through the microcredit initiative. Since our partnership fuels entrepreneurship at the very grass-root level in the country, we are confident that this will make a difference to the social sector. It will help improve livelihoods, education, health and sanitation facilities, through affordable solutions.”

 

Innerchef Raises Rs 11cr From Founders Of Paytm, redBus And Others

Innerchef has raised Rs 11 crore in its first round of funding led by entrepreneur angels like Vijay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm, Phanindra Sama of redBus, and Anupam Mittal of Shaadi.com, along with two fund houses.

This Gurgaon-based food startup is planning to use the fund to expand into Mumbai and Bangalore in the next two months.

Founded in April this year,Innerchef presently operates only in Delhi and Gurgaon.

Practo Acquires Qikwell; Expands Healthcare Appointment Booking Platform

Practo has acquired Qikwell – a player in appointment scheduling at hospitals. This acquisition makes Practo a leading appointment booking platform with nearly 40 million appointments managed every year.

With this, Practo gets a fantastic product that delivers a great consumer experience in hospitals and clinics by providing smooth appointment booking, significantly reduced waiting time as well as contactless payment at the hospital. The key proprietary technologies and algorithms help synchronize patients, doctors and front office staff at the hospital to reduce the average wait time by over 3X resulting in a much better consumer experience as well as better optimization of the hospital operations. Practo will use this technology to improve the booking experience across the entire Practo platform.

Qikwell started in 2011, by Krishna Prasad Chitrapura and Raghavendra Prasad TS, today has 100+ employees and over the last 4 years has grown to become one of the leaders in hospital appointment scheduling with presence across 250 Hospitals in 19 cities. It powers the patient experience across some of the marquee hospitals including Manipal, Fortis, Cloudnine, Narayana Hrudalaya and many more. It also has over 6000+ top doctors across India including the top Pediatricians, Gynecologists, Neurologists and more. Qikwell will continue to be led by Krishna Prasad, Co-Founder & CEO, Qikwell and Raghavendra Prasad, Co-Founder & CPO, Qikwell.

“Qikwell is thrilled to join Practo in our quest to enable digital healthcare worldwide. We share the same passion, vision and commitment to customers in offering great products. We chose Practo over some other options because together we can offer superior, comprehensive and integrated solutions for all participants in the healthcare ecosystem across patients, doctors and healthcare providers. I look forward to working with Shashank and the Practo team in realising our shared vision of transforming healthcare globally.” – said Krishna Prasad, Co-Founder & CEO, Qikwell

Practo recently raised $90mn and acquired InstaHealth for $12mn.

Qustn Technologies raises a funding of Rs 2.6cr

Qustn Technologies has launched Capabiliti, a mobile SaaS platform to recruit, onboard, train and assess remote users across any geography. The firm has received a funding of Rs. 2.6cr from Smile Multimedia and angel investors like Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl & Rohit Bansal and Freshdesk founder,Girish Matrubootham.

Other investors who participated in this round of funding are Google’s Rajan Anandan, Nasscom’s Ravi Gururaj, ex-Canaan Partners MD Alok Mittal, Capillary Technologies founder Krishna K Mehra and Cisco’s Alok Bardiya. The funding will be used to solve the problem of training remote users.

Founded in October 2014, this startup helps companies in training and assessing their employees. The startup provides a mobile-first platform and works through mobile applications and web through videos, presentations.

Uber Plans to Hire Drivers From The Govt’s National Career Service

Uber is turning to the National Career Service (NCS) portal, to source credible drivers in order to expand their operations in the country.

The NCS claims to have a pool of job-seekers, verified and authenticated by the government. A senior labour ministry official reportedly told Economic Times that Uber executives are in talks with the government to explore the possibility of roping in drivers through the portal.

Uber has told ET that it is in talks with the ministry and is “exploring areas of collaboration with the labour ministry with the goal to provide easy access to economic opportunities for drivers, individuals and budding living in remote areas of the country.”

“Individuals who register on the NCS platform are also required to input their verified Aadhaar identification and this collaboration will further strengthen Uber’s commitment to safety,” said, a spokesperson from Uber. [source]

In the past number of years, Uber has introduced several pilot projects in India that saw some notable success. The pilot programs, often arise out of challenges that Uber faces in the Indian market.

Uber’s Debut Products in India Introduced in Other Countries

Uber, which originally was against the introduction of cash payments in India, introduced the feature recently after its pilot project in Hyderabad saw 80% users preferring cash payments.Now the option is available in Vietnam and Nairobi and is expected to hit other countries sooner.

UberGo, which uses hatchbacks cars, was developed in India as the country provided the biggest market to the hatchback service.  That product is now available in Turkey.

Uber announced a global partnership with SafetiPin, a Delhi startup that alerts cab operators and police by sending out an SOS during a crisis. The feature was first introduced in India and expanded to some 50 cities in Africa, South America and Asia through the partnership.

Wi-Fi in cabs was also firstly introduced as a pilot project in Mumbai a month ago. Now it is to be expanded to all other Indian cities as well as in Manila.