Is your Network, really your Net Worth?

Men are born to succeednot to fail. – Henry David Thoreau

So far, the best definition of Success, I have come across is: Success is the completion of anything intended. In other words, success is finishing what you planned to do. It does not really matter what route is taken, as far as it is legitimate and does not hurt anyone.

On the 5th of November, 2015, in the early days of our entrepreneurial journey, my son & I attended a startup event organised by NSR Centre at IIMB. Sitting next to us were 2 gentlemen who were speaking in Konkani, which is also my mother tongue. A compulsive networker that I am, I struck up a conversation and learned that they too were in the process of setting up their venture.
Soon, Arvind Kamath and Chandranath Gadiyar went on to set up Vydik, an online platform for Hindu Rituals. Being passionate about spirituality, Arvind’s aspiration was to get the younger generation in touch with their heritage and culture. Also to educate them on the importance of rituals. To meet this objective he also started another platform Vydikshala.com (which is defunct now).

Birth of an Idea:

Interestingly the idea of Vydik was conceived during one of Arvind’s official travels abroad. During his travel, his chance meeting with 3 people firmed up his resolve to create awareness in the community about rituals:

  • A young taxi driver, who is a trained Hindu priest, who gave up his practice as he could not earn enough
  • A young Pakistani, who wished we lived in a visa-free world so that he could participate in the discourses of Sri Sri Ravishankar and understand Hindu culture more closely
  • A Bangalore based IT professional, who was more interested in talking about American soaps, movies and their way of life sounding more American than an American.

He narrates what he calls his life-changing experience in his blog.

When one door closes…

Things were going well, until one day due to ideological differences with the majority shareholders, Arvind decided to step down from his position at Vydik. It must have been a tough decision.

Henry Ford said, ‘whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right’, the opportunity came knocking on Arvind’s door for the second time.

I will put it in his own words – ‘You know that I am superb at networking. You too must have been receiving my mailers. I used to send regular updates to people who were in my network. Among them was also Mr. Arjun M Ranga, MD of Cycle Pure Agarbathies. I had met him during another event.’

To the uninitiated, Cycle Pure Agarbathies is a Mysore based company that was Established in 1948 that boasts of more than 500 fragrances that are created in-house and also of numerous awards including a slew of quality awards.

Once the mailers stopped, Mr. Arjun who was following Vydik’s progress was intrigued and reached out to

Arvind through his PA. What followed is nothing short of dream come true. Cycle brand in its diversification drive had plans of setting up an initiative in the spiritual space. Arvind’s meeting with Mr. Arjun helped him realise that what Cycle brand planned to do was a concept very close to his heart. Finding the offer hard to resist Arvind agreed to work with the Cycle brand leading the initiative from the front.

Lessons learned:

  1. When you are passionate about something and pursue it with all your heart, the universe conspires to make it happen.
  2. Your network is really your net worth!

 

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Art For Charity

Art For Charity – Celebrated Artists Participate to Commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the Nargis Dutt Foundation

PIGMENT – Colors with Purpose, a fundraiser exhibition is being held by the Nargis Dutt Foundation to commemorate 35 glorious years of the foundation’s service to humanity in Mumbai on June 11, 2016. Through this medium, participating artists lend canvas and lens for a noble cause. The funds raised from the sale of artwork will be channelled towards the support of cancer care, and rural development.

Showcasing over a 150 works including paintings, photographs, hand-knotted silk carpets and metal sculptures by around 35 artists. Revered artists listed below have put together their works specifically for the exhibition:

  • Nikita Padora,
  • Suvigya Sharma,
  • Rajiv Mennon,
  • Nayaana Kanodia,
  • Prakash Bal Joshi.

Other artists who have their work on display among many others are:

  • Brinda Miller
  • Nishant Dange,
  • Arzaan Khambatta,
  • Sudharak Olwe,
  • Ajay De,
  • Narayan
  • Charan Sharma

“The Nargis Dutt Foundation has always strived to keep my mother’s vision alive through collective efforts to provide improved cancer treatment and better quality of living to those affected in the rural areas. It has been 35 year since my father Sunil Dutt started this foundation and we have been trying to realise this mission and I know that my parents would be very proud of what the foundation has achieved today. PIGMENT –  – Colours with Purpose, uses art as a means to help us achieve our goals.  I would like to thank all the artists for very generously coming forward to aid our venture.” said Ms. Priya Dutt, donning the artists cap herself.

The exhibition will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016, at Garden View, Taj Lands End,
Bandra (W) between 10 AM and 6 PM.

To know more about the Nargis Dutt Foundation please visit: http://www.ndmct.org

Source: PR Newswire

 

 

Auto Driver Chandra

Please try it yourself!

Try looking for ‘Bangalore auto driver complaints’ on google, well I did, out of curiosity and google threw up 7,79,000 results! Some of them read:

Harassed by auto drivers? Now you can do something…

Auto Complaint Bangalore – Android Apps on Google Play

How to Complain Against Meter Tampering by Auto …

And so on and so forth! Yes if you have had the misfortune of travelling in an auto, driven by a particularly nasty driver, you will understand what it means.

Recently, on my way back from work, I tried to get an auto to go home which is a distance of about 5 or 6 kilometres.  As usual one auto driver asked for Rs. 20 extra (above the meter fare) while another asked a round figure of Rs. 100.

Over the last couple of years I’ve learnt that if I just keep asking enough autos, without loosing my patience, I will eventually find one who agrees for the meter rate. As I turned down the third greedy driver, another auto who was patiently waiting came up to me and asked me ‘Madam, where do you want to go?’. I stated my destination and the man quietly turned the meter indicating he willing to take me. Happy that I got an auto within the 4th try, I got in.

As the driver swung onto the 80 feet road coming dangerously close to a lumbering BMTC bus, I involuntarily gasped. The very observant driver, Chandra told me reassuringly ‘Don’t worry madam, I have been driving an auto for nearly 27 years now and have not had any untoward incidents or accidents so far”.

Noticing that he was speaking in a dialect of Kannada which was from Uttara (North) Kannada, I started a conversation with him and I was happy I did that. Below is the gist of our chat:

Chandra owns the auto he was driving, he considers himself an entrepreneur and is proud to be one. He has worked for nearly 27 years and he never refuses a passenger nor does he charge them extra. He waits till the passenger has asked all the autos in the vicinity before he approaches them so as not to irritate the other drivers. He confidently told me that he earned quite well! He said he had invested well for his retired life…

Unable to contain my curiosity I probed to learn that Chandra was the owner of a 19 acre areca plantation! Chandra told me that he had saved judiciously and purchased land for 60 lakhs in the year 2006 in his native Honnavar. He said that his 3 sons Ravi, Vishwa & Kiran were settled there with their wives and were cultivating the property.

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He proudly said ‘Madam  the property that I bought in the year 2006 for Rs. 60 lakhs is now valued at around Rs. 2 crores. My family works on the land (plantation) and it is enough to sustain us’.

He went on to tell me, ‘Madam, in a couple of years when I retire, my wife Kalyani and I intend to live in Honnavara, life there is so peaceful’. The pride in his voice was unmistakable.

By then we had reached my destination. I requested him for a photograph because I wanted to write about a ‘cool’ auto driver who is also a land owner by his perseverance and hard work…

New Guinness World Record in Bangalore!

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Bengaluru witnessed a new Guinness World Record, as more than 900 students from the Mount Carmel college simultaneously opened most drink cans of TWISS – a canned sparkling fruit juice, at their premier Cul-Ah 2016 fest on January 22, 2016.

With this, they broke the existing record of ‘Most Drink Cans Opened Simultaneously,  ‘ set by Ltd CidoGrupa (Latvia) in Ligatne, Latvia, on 2 August 2014, involving 689 people.

Commodore Indru Wadhwani, President of Mallya Hospital, Dr. Jaykar Shetty and  Chartered Accountant Rajesh Narayanan, representatives of Guinness World Records, were present on the occasion. They will validate the record and officially the certificate will be issued in a week’s time.

TWISS is the first ever multi-flavoured sparkling fruit juice to be introduced in India by TWISS Drinks India Pvt. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TWISS UK.

Speaking about the record, Mr. Nitin S Menon, Managing Director, TWISS Drinks India  Pvt. Ltd., remarked, “We are excited to be here in India to offer this unique beverage. We are even more excited to set this new Guinness World Record with the active participation of energetic youths. It is unleashing the women power, as this is for the first time ever that women are participating in such large numbers in India for a world record.”

TWISS is available in four flavours – Mango with a twist of Lime; Passion Fruit with a  twist of Orange; Lemon with a twist of Mint; and Apple with a twist of Blackcurrant.

TWISS supports the ‘Make in India’ initiative, as their beverages are canned at a special unit in Pune, Maharashtra.

Mohini

She was tall almost 5 feet 7 or 8 inches, fair, slim with a good figure. Her name was Mohini. She was the only prostitute of our town in the 70’s and early 80’s. In a small town like ours, she was the talk of the town, women stayed away from her and (many) men visited her surreptitiously.

She was fashionable, wore shades and dressed stylishly in western outfits.  She was referred to as ‘Entu’ or the number 8 – supposedly that’s how she walked. What I remember now is that she walked in a mincing style.

She caused an inexplicable excitement among us children, we were not to even talk about her and that made her an enigma! I still remember Girijakka, the lady who was our help, scolding us, if we even mentioned her in our talk.

Mohini used to live with her only son, about a kilometre away from our house, near a school. I remember my meeting her the first time… and it was a revelation. My childhood friend and I had gone to the school to play and we saw Mohini outside her house. I remember I had greeted her with a smile and what followed was an education of a different kind to 2 young girls from a lady who had seen the worst side of an entire town.

She told us that decent girls (like us) were not to be seen talking to her. She told us about the famous, well known men in our town, who were her customers (without mentioning any names). She laughingly told us, how they avoided her in public. Though we did not fully comprehend it then, it was our introduction to the duality of the world. She had sent us off, warning us not to even mention our interaction with her to our respective families, to avoid us getting into trouble.

I recently heard that she was vacated from her rented house in her old age. That she had no place to stay and used to sleep in a nearby school. Her family (sister) did not provide shelter and Mohini did not have the health nor the means to rent another house. She became mentally unstable and died a sad, lonely death. An end she did not deserve.

Teddy my Best friend

It looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, chances are it is a duck, is an old Christian proverb. Teddy looked like a dog, walked like a dog, sounded like a dog but behaved like a human being…

Teddy was my pet, friend and family all rolled into one. My husband Udi, and he had a love hate relationship; they loved to hate each other. Teddy thought Uday was a bully and Uday thought Teddy was getting too much attention from me, it was pure Male jealousy!!

Teddy was a gift from Udi. One morning, in August 1990, Udi came home from Mangalore, with a puppy in a hand bag and a feeding bottle. It was the most beautiful puppy I’d ever seen, he was white as snow, a cuddly fur ball, a cute pink belly, a wet nose and soulful squint eyes, we named him Teddy. I was working and pregnant and didn’t want a Dog. We had a possessive and ferocious kitty who hated Dogs. We decided to find a home for the puppy, but the little puppy won our hearts in no time, no house in fact, was good enough for Teddy!! As a Javan proverb says – “Fate decides who comes into our lives and the heart determines who stays”.

Teddy, without doubt, was the devils incarnation, during one of his adventures, he fell into the toilet bottom first, he could not come out, he yelped loudly and my mother rushed to pull him out. While giving him a bath, if the water was either too hot or cold, he used to express his displeasure by howling. My neighbours had good reason to believe we were torturing him.

In fact, when he was teething, I stopped buying leather shoes; he’s chewed at least half a dozen of my shoes. One night I left my new leather sandals near him, the next morning, to be sure, only the sole was available, Teddy had chewed up the soft leather straps.

Our daily walks were always adventurous, one day he picked a cigarette stub in his mouth, my scolding and shouting fell on deaf ears, he just wouldn’t let go of it. He was drooling with the effort of holding it in his mouth. When we reached home, I complained to Udi about it and Udi like a Hero said, “see now, I’ll make him spit it out”, then he bent down and just tapped Teddy on his bums. With lightening speed, Teddy jumped and bit Udi’s nose, then what followed was a wild chase, Teddy running for his life and Udi chasing him. Teddy got a nice spanking that day, and Udi ended up with a Black nose, Udi washed the cut and placed Dettol directly over his nose. From then on Udi called him “Katte” – a Donkey and Teddy would immediately acknowledge it with a growl.

Another day, Teddy caught a Frog, the frog urinated in his mouth, and that was the last he ever went anywhere close to a Frog.

He was 4 months old when our first son, Mayur was born, we expected Teddy to be jealous and hurt the baby. It did not have to worry, Teddy took it upon himself to be Mayur’s protector. Mayur was his personal toy, if any visitor even lifted the baby and took him near the door, Teddy would start growling threateningly.

Teddy loved coffee, if I drank coffee in his presence, without giving him, he would keep staring and drooling till I felt guilty. After a while, he will pick his feeding bowl and bang it on the floor, demanding that I share it with him. Teaching my kids with Teddy close by was fun, I just had to shout to my son, “baby Sit up” and both my son and Teddy will sit up. We just had to bring out the Camera and Teddy was ready for the Photograph, posing away, with his bushy tail up in the air.  I can go on and on writing about his pranks!

Teddy grew up to be absolutely handsome, he was a cross between a mongrel and a Pomeranian. He was about 2 feet high, with busy tail and floppy ears. He had light brown patches on his back and ears.

Teddy was more than a pet, we had the pleasure of his company and his unconditional love for 11 years. One day 13 years back, he went for a walk and never came back and we searched the neighbourhood for many days. I still regret that I did not try hard enough, that I did not place an advertisement.

I could not bear to take another pet and resisted taking a pet for nearly 8 years, till another cute puppy came into our lives. A ginger coloured Labrador, I will write about her in another post.

 

 

Bangalore Based Home Services Marketplace, Bro4u, Raises Angel Funding

Bro4u.com, Bangalore-based home service market place, have raised undisclosed funds from Sargod Ventures led by Alok Sargod. Bro4u is an 8-month-old hyper local home services app which promises seven minutes turnaround for users.

Pramod Hegde, CEO & Co-Founder of Bro4u, said that their latest funding would be used to strengthen their position in home ground Bangalore. He also confirmed that they are in talks with Venture Capitalists to move into next level by expanding the services to Hyderabad and Pune market. Pramod believes that there is no clear leader in this segment yet, and anyone who has a right model will come out as a market leader. He believes they have the right model and competency added to it.

Bro4u is unique in terms of matching users’ need as customers can see the available service providers in real time while booking service. Pramod says, “This is just like how you see nearby cars in Olacabs, similarly here you see nearby service providers and users can book them seeing their prices and rating. This establishes more confidence to customers as they get instant result.” He congratulates Akshay Harish, CTO Bro4u, for
developing this wonderful technology that matches demand and supply with almost zero manual intervention.

Bro4u confirmed its participation in Black Friday Event scheduled from this Friday to Monday. Black Friday is very popular in the US and is gaining momentum in India this year. This is the biggest sale in consumer Internet space and they want to make this a big sale day for home services, where customers get huge discount offers from services
providers across various services like House CleaningPest Control, Doorstep Car wash, Laundry, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electricians, Packers and Movers and more.

Bro4u are tageting 2000 houses during this saleFor more information, please visit: https://bro4u.com 

Source: PR Newswire