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  • 26 Jun 2017
    An entrepreneur goes through a lot of uncertainty and is bound to make mistakes on its way to success. It is always easy to preach in hindsight, but to understand the circumstances in which a decision was made. Every mistake is a step towards wisdom and a smart forward looking approach to learning from mistakes is not "oops." but "ah, interesting."  This boosts the morale while acknowledging the mistake as learning on the personal and professional growth curve.  That being said, repeating a mistake is considered as complacence and successful entrepreneurs are never complacent. Smart entrepreneurs learn from others. When on a mission with unknowns, you might not have all the answers, but learning from others increases your chances of success. Here are 5 most common mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.   1. Working without a Budget In business, the bottom line matters. An entrepreneur invests significant amount of time and money into building the business. Investments are valued by returns and returns are calculated on basis of a plan where you budget for everything as per plan.  Having a budget forces us to make thoughtful choices. A budget is not merely about expenditure; but about opportunity cost of capital. Budgets establish fiscal discipline, while ensuring that the capital is made available to the most attractive investment opportunities. Operating without a budget is like taking a journey without a destination. An entrepreneur without budget is like a ship without a propeller - it is bound to stray.  Never ever undertake a venture without a budget.   2. Losing Vision. Entrepreneurs always have a vision where they see an opportunity and create a product to capitalize it. It is usually during the struggle or growth that some lose the sight and compromise. That's like charting a course to Singapore, but losing sight and drifting away to No man’s land while navigating rough waters. It's not that you take head on with high waves, but you adjust course to sail through rough seas with destination in your mind. Never ever lose sight of your vision.   3. Overconfidence Confidence is a must but overconfidence is killing. Whether you are seasoned professional or an amateur, you need to do your homework and prepare for unforeseen challenges. You may be attending a negotiation or signing a partnership deal, unless you have the strategized, you are likely to make mistakes. You may have been luckier but don’t take chances as there’s no substitute for hard work. Do your due diligence and boost your chances to success. You may be the smartest but business in many ways is synonymous with battlefield with competition and unfavorable circumstances playing your enemy. Prepare for the known and take attach the challenges with confidence. Stay away from overconfidence.   4. Habit of Do it all Yourself A good leader knows the art of delegation. You may be willing to undertake it all by yourself, but in doing so, you are setting up yourself for failure. You will not only burn out but create situations that may be detrimental to your success. Remember that you can be at one place and can undertake just one task at any point of time.  Businesses are dynamic with multiple fronts. Call for help, hire trustworthy people or outsource, but avoid doing it all by yourself.   5. Driven by Money and not Passion Passion is the single most important asset of an entrepreneur and if you aren’t passionate, then you will never be successful. Money is a byproduct of passion. Your passion defines your mission, mission to do something bigger. Elon Musk’s mission is to conquer Mars and that has driven the success of SpaceX.  Henry Ford’s mission was to build an affordable car and that created a profitable Automotive Company.   
    6 Posted by Sandeep Maurya
  • An entrepreneur goes through a lot of uncertainty and is bound to make mistakes on its way to success. It is always easy to preach in hindsight, but to understand the circumstances in which a decision was made. Every mistake is a step towards wisdom and a smart forward looking approach to learning from mistakes is not "oops." but "ah, interesting."  This boosts the morale while acknowledging the mistake as learning on the personal and professional growth curve.  That being said, repeating a mistake is considered as complacence and successful entrepreneurs are never complacent. Smart entrepreneurs learn from others. When on a mission with unknowns, you might not have all the answers, but learning from others increases your chances of success. Here are 5 most common mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.   1. Working without a Budget In business, the bottom line matters. An entrepreneur invests significant amount of time and money into building the business. Investments are valued by returns and returns are calculated on basis of a plan where you budget for everything as per plan.  Having a budget forces us to make thoughtful choices. A budget is not merely about expenditure; but about opportunity cost of capital. Budgets establish fiscal discipline, while ensuring that the capital is made available to the most attractive investment opportunities. Operating without a budget is like taking a journey without a destination. An entrepreneur without budget is like a ship without a propeller - it is bound to stray.  Never ever undertake a venture without a budget.   2. Losing Vision. Entrepreneurs always have a vision where they see an opportunity and create a product to capitalize it. It is usually during the struggle or growth that some lose the sight and compromise. That's like charting a course to Singapore, but losing sight and drifting away to No man’s land while navigating rough waters. It's not that you take head on with high waves, but you adjust course to sail through rough seas with destination in your mind. Never ever lose sight of your vision.   3. Overconfidence Confidence is a must but overconfidence is killing. Whether you are seasoned professional or an amateur, you need to do your homework and prepare for unforeseen challenges. You may be attending a negotiation or signing a partnership deal, unless you have the strategized, you are likely to make mistakes. You may have been luckier but don’t take chances as there’s no substitute for hard work. Do your due diligence and boost your chances to success. You may be the smartest but business in many ways is synonymous with battlefield with competition and unfavorable circumstances playing your enemy. Prepare for the known and take attach the challenges with confidence. Stay away from overconfidence.   4. Habit of Do it all Yourself A good leader knows the art of delegation. You may be willing to undertake it all by yourself, but in doing so, you are setting up yourself for failure. You will not only burn out but create situations that may be detrimental to your success. Remember that you can be at one place and can undertake just one task at any point of time.  Businesses are dynamic with multiple fronts. Call for help, hire trustworthy people or outsource, but avoid doing it all by yourself.   5. Driven by Money and not Passion Passion is the single most important asset of an entrepreneur and if you aren’t passionate, then you will never be successful. Money is a byproduct of passion. Your passion defines your mission, mission to do something bigger. Elon Musk’s mission is to conquer Mars and that has driven the success of SpaceX.  Henry Ford’s mission was to build an affordable car and that created a profitable Automotive Company.   
    Jun 26, 2017 6
  • 23 Jun 2017
     Sitting at home, drinking cold beer, my friend and I had the brilliant idea of playing basketball to offset some of the unhealthy habits in our day-to-day lives. Excited and bubbling with energy we were ready to go. Alas! We had a ball, but it had no air. All the excitement was slowly draining away as we thought of the steps it would take to complete this tedious task. We would have to go all the way to a sports store, buy a pin and then go to a petrol pump to get the air filled. Maybe basketball wasn’t that awesome an idea, was it?   This is where an application called Dunzo came in. Our friend had overheard our conversation and recommended that we use it to save both money and our precious energy. Now you must be wondering what Dunzo does? It is an app made specially for people like you and me. Yes, you know I am talking to you. It’s 2 pm on a Sunday afternoon and you’re sitting on your couch, binge watching Netflix when suddenly your wife/mom tells you that you’re all out of vegetables. You don’t want to get up just to buy ‘Aaloo’ and ‘Bhindi’. This is where Dunzo comes in. You whip out your phone, put in whatever  task you want completed and voilá! Your task is underway and will be completed before you would have even gotten off the couch. Everyone around is impressed by your efficiency and you can go back to watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones.   A successful business idea is one that address a problem that a lot of people face, but have no solution for. Dunzo looks to do the same as it will complete any task from getting groceries to doing your laundry to calling the electrician. This solves a lot of problems that are faced by all of us on a daily basis. First, we get to avoid the heat, dust and traffic faced while completing the smallest of jobs. This convenience that Dunzo provides us is the key to its’ success. In a day and age where everything and anything can be done on your mobile phone, who actually wants to get out of their house to complete a task. Secondly, it saves you the trouble of finding a particular resource. Never called a plumber before? Don’t worry you don’t have to call your friends to find one. Simply get on Dunzo and the job will be done. All this seems to be something out of a dream where you are a King, but let’s face it. Most of us don’t have the money to afford such luxuries. This is where this app goes from a good idea to a real game changer. If the amenity you require is available within a 3 km distance from your house, the delivery charges is simply 45 INR or 0.7 USD. Mind boggling, is it not?   Although this app is currently available in Bangalore only, I have no doubt that it will gain equal traction in other cities as well. With features such as being able to track your good to being able to confirm the good you ordered via pictures, this app takes into account the smallest of details and that is what makes it unique.
    3 Posted by Ruhaan Dev Tyagi
  •  Sitting at home, drinking cold beer, my friend and I had the brilliant idea of playing basketball to offset some of the unhealthy habits in our day-to-day lives. Excited and bubbling with energy we were ready to go. Alas! We had a ball, but it had no air. All the excitement was slowly draining away as we thought of the steps it would take to complete this tedious task. We would have to go all the way to a sports store, buy a pin and then go to a petrol pump to get the air filled. Maybe basketball wasn’t that awesome an idea, was it?   This is where an application called Dunzo came in. Our friend had overheard our conversation and recommended that we use it to save both money and our precious energy. Now you must be wondering what Dunzo does? It is an app made specially for people like you and me. Yes, you know I am talking to you. It’s 2 pm on a Sunday afternoon and you’re sitting on your couch, binge watching Netflix when suddenly your wife/mom tells you that you’re all out of vegetables. You don’t want to get up just to buy ‘Aaloo’ and ‘Bhindi’. This is where Dunzo comes in. You whip out your phone, put in whatever  task you want completed and voilá! Your task is underway and will be completed before you would have even gotten off the couch. Everyone around is impressed by your efficiency and you can go back to watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones.   A successful business idea is one that address a problem that a lot of people face, but have no solution for. Dunzo looks to do the same as it will complete any task from getting groceries to doing your laundry to calling the electrician. This solves a lot of problems that are faced by all of us on a daily basis. First, we get to avoid the heat, dust and traffic faced while completing the smallest of jobs. This convenience that Dunzo provides us is the key to its’ success. In a day and age where everything and anything can be done on your mobile phone, who actually wants to get out of their house to complete a task. Secondly, it saves you the trouble of finding a particular resource. Never called a plumber before? Don’t worry you don’t have to call your friends to find one. Simply get on Dunzo and the job will be done. All this seems to be something out of a dream where you are a King, but let’s face it. Most of us don’t have the money to afford such luxuries. This is where this app goes from a good idea to a real game changer. If the amenity you require is available within a 3 km distance from your house, the delivery charges is simply 45 INR or 0.7 USD. Mind boggling, is it not?   Although this app is currently available in Bangalore only, I have no doubt that it will gain equal traction in other cities as well. With features such as being able to track your good to being able to confirm the good you ordered via pictures, this app takes into account the smallest of details and that is what makes it unique.
    Jun 23, 2017 3
  • 22 Jun 2017
    History was created on 13th April 2017, when President Pranab Mukherjee signed and ratified independent India’s biggest tax reform – Goods & Services Tax.  The bill comes into effect on 1st of July 2017 and promises to unite India as a Union with one tax rate, thereby simplifying transactions across the country. GST Act subsumes several indirect taxes such as custom duty, excise duty, value added tax, service tax, central sales tax, octroi, entry tax, purchase tax etc. and brings them into one common umbrella called GST.   Businesses across the world are excited as they plan to set up their shop in the fastest growing economy in the world. Past three months have seen surge in startups being launched to help businesses and media shows and newspaper articles making people aware of the change. It is also a good time for the accounting firms and tax consultants as they see an opportunity that’s win-win in several ways for them and their clients, however, many are skeptical of the real gains and the complexity of implementation. Businesses are getting new software in place, while smaller players remain concerned about increased compliance requirements.  Let us take a look at some of the common points spoken for and against the bill.   It is generally believed that GST will reduce the administrative and compliance cost drastically for the supply of goods and services by merging around 17 indirect taxes in the value chain. Building consensus for the passage of the GST bill was always difficult in the democratic India.  Alcohol Electricity and Petroleum products are not covered under GST and will continue to be taxed as per the old system. It is a compromise. The challenge in itself was so big that the final outcome in many ways is no better than the existing framework of multiple taxes.  The GST is divided into three parts i.e. CGST, SGST and IGST, which will require businesses to file 3 returns per month or 36 returns per year.  Sounds Like the old wine in new bottle – isn’t it? Now consider this on top of it - A service provider such as an insurer will need registration under each state of operation for SGST.  Now compare it with the existing service tax charged by the center. The services industry in particular is unhappy about the increased burden of compliance.    The biggest beneficiary of the new regime will be the manufacturing and retail industry. While the manufacturers will gain by avoiding multiple taxes and a lower tax rate (approx. 10% lower), retailers who operate PAN India will be saved from the trouble of double taxation. Since goods will move freely from the point of dispatch to the consignee without bureaucratic taxes, corruption and the delays thereof, businesses will be able to plan their inventory and further reduce input costs.    While manufacturing in general will gain, SME’s who were exempted from custom & excise duties will have to bear the full burden of tax and this will lead to increase in the prices of the certain products.  Since the tax advantage available to SME’s will be off, it is likely that the larger players in those sectors will play dominant and will result in closure of many small units.   GST benefits e-commerce in a big way. The industry in the past faced several issues landing goods across states with tedious paperwork that deprived customers in some states of the products available in other states. With no entry tax, logistical issues for the industry are sorted completely and vendors will be able to ship across the country.   The make in India will get the boost with many foreign companies making the much awaited move to set up plants in the country. This will bring foreign capital and improve rupee value and employment conditions. It is anticipated that implementation of GST alone will add 2% to the GDP.  It is a Diwali for the end consumers, who will enjoy savings of at least 10% on their spend on goods.   GST tracks the value chain, collects tax at the point of consumption and provides credit for the taxes paid at the previous milestone. With the multiple stakeholders from the base to end consumer, government will be able to track the channels used for tax evasions. This will bring transparency in the system.  Most critics have talked about the flaw when a particular supplier has failed to comply; its customers will not be able avail input credit. Now this has been done to ensure that system enforces compliances, however, with little and no control and information of the counterparty, this will likely lead to misinformation and confusion.   With some Chief Ministers, voicing their discontent, even before implementation of GST, it is evident that there will be conflicts between the states and the center. With no incentive for fiscal discipline, states will invariably show budget deficits, making center responsible for every nuance in the state machinery.     Change is never easy. Let us bite the bullet as GST is a great start in the positive direction. While the debate is on, only time and experience will help us evolve. For a start, it is good to know that 1st of July, India will operate as a single market and that the stock markets are already on Bull Run anticipating growth. The stage is all set and everyone is bound to get a share of it. The headline on Economic Times today reads “unity among political parties and rollout to be showcased as the unifying force”. The key now is to be GST ready.
    27 Posted by Sandeep Maurya
  • History was created on 13th April 2017, when President Pranab Mukherjee signed and ratified independent India’s biggest tax reform – Goods & Services Tax.  The bill comes into effect on 1st of July 2017 and promises to unite India as a Union with one tax rate, thereby simplifying transactions across the country. GST Act subsumes several indirect taxes such as custom duty, excise duty, value added tax, service tax, central sales tax, octroi, entry tax, purchase tax etc. and brings them into one common umbrella called GST.   Businesses across the world are excited as they plan to set up their shop in the fastest growing economy in the world. Past three months have seen surge in startups being launched to help businesses and media shows and newspaper articles making people aware of the change. It is also a good time for the accounting firms and tax consultants as they see an opportunity that’s win-win in several ways for them and their clients, however, many are skeptical of the real gains and the complexity of implementation. Businesses are getting new software in place, while smaller players remain concerned about increased compliance requirements.  Let us take a look at some of the common points spoken for and against the bill.   It is generally believed that GST will reduce the administrative and compliance cost drastically for the supply of goods and services by merging around 17 indirect taxes in the value chain. Building consensus for the passage of the GST bill was always difficult in the democratic India.  Alcohol Electricity and Petroleum products are not covered under GST and will continue to be taxed as per the old system. It is a compromise. The challenge in itself was so big that the final outcome in many ways is no better than the existing framework of multiple taxes.  The GST is divided into three parts i.e. CGST, SGST and IGST, which will require businesses to file 3 returns per month or 36 returns per year.  Sounds Like the old wine in new bottle – isn’t it? Now consider this on top of it - A service provider such as an insurer will need registration under each state of operation for SGST.  Now compare it with the existing service tax charged by the center. The services industry in particular is unhappy about the increased burden of compliance.    The biggest beneficiary of the new regime will be the manufacturing and retail industry. While the manufacturers will gain by avoiding multiple taxes and a lower tax rate (approx. 10% lower), retailers who operate PAN India will be saved from the trouble of double taxation. Since goods will move freely from the point of dispatch to the consignee without bureaucratic taxes, corruption and the delays thereof, businesses will be able to plan their inventory and further reduce input costs.    While manufacturing in general will gain, SME’s who were exempted from custom & excise duties will have to bear the full burden of tax and this will lead to increase in the prices of the certain products.  Since the tax advantage available to SME’s will be off, it is likely that the larger players in those sectors will play dominant and will result in closure of many small units.   GST benefits e-commerce in a big way. The industry in the past faced several issues landing goods across states with tedious paperwork that deprived customers in some states of the products available in other states. With no entry tax, logistical issues for the industry are sorted completely and vendors will be able to ship across the country.   The make in India will get the boost with many foreign companies making the much awaited move to set up plants in the country. This will bring foreign capital and improve rupee value and employment conditions. It is anticipated that implementation of GST alone will add 2% to the GDP.  It is a Diwali for the end consumers, who will enjoy savings of at least 10% on their spend on goods.   GST tracks the value chain, collects tax at the point of consumption and provides credit for the taxes paid at the previous milestone. With the multiple stakeholders from the base to end consumer, government will be able to track the channels used for tax evasions. This will bring transparency in the system.  Most critics have talked about the flaw when a particular supplier has failed to comply; its customers will not be able avail input credit. Now this has been done to ensure that system enforces compliances, however, with little and no control and information of the counterparty, this will likely lead to misinformation and confusion.   With some Chief Ministers, voicing their discontent, even before implementation of GST, it is evident that there will be conflicts between the states and the center. With no incentive for fiscal discipline, states will invariably show budget deficits, making center responsible for every nuance in the state machinery.     Change is never easy. Let us bite the bullet as GST is a great start in the positive direction. While the debate is on, only time and experience will help us evolve. For a start, it is good to know that 1st of July, India will operate as a single market and that the stock markets are already on Bull Run anticipating growth. The stage is all set and everyone is bound to get a share of it. The headline on Economic Times today reads “unity among political parties and rollout to be showcased as the unifying force”. The key now is to be GST ready.
    Jun 22, 2017 27

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