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Showing posts from May, 2011

Profile of Wonder Grass

From the Economic Times profile of Bamboo-based building systems company, Wonder Grass:
“Using bamboo to build structures is not rocket science. Bamboo is renewable, cost-effective and appropriate material to be used for housing segment. It is available in abundance in India,” said Vaibhav Kaley, co-founder of Wonder Grass, who started the firm along with his younger brother Nachiket Kaley in December 2007.

...Industry experts say bamboo solutions for the high-end luxury and rural housing market forms a 41,875-crore market. Almost half of this opportunity includes supplying structures such as green-wall panels, pergolas, rooftops, cottages to high net worth individuals, corporates and resorts.

The other half of this market comprises of making affordable houses in rural areas, for corporate foundations, NGOs and during disasterrelief initiatives .

“The rural end-user gets a new home built by Wonder Grass for 1.25 Lakh in only 15 days, which includes integrated sanitation, water and lightin…

The right recipe for a profitable speciality restaurant

From the Mint article
The choice of cuisine is equally critical. The cuisine hierarchy goes something like this—Indian, followed by Chinese and Italian. “Italian has broadened to include European and Chinese has grown to pan-Asian but the basic hierarchy remains the same,” says Raman Macker, whose company Dish Hospitality owns chains such as Tasty Tangles and Sancho’s, besides Aurus, in Mumbai.

...For those looking for a high number of walk-ins, malls are a good option...A.D. Singh, who opened his Japanese restaurant Ai at Metropolitan mall in New Delhi, concedes, however, that malls can be a tricky option since the crowd that comes there has to be aligned with the kind of restaurant you want to open.

...While at most spaces the staff will summon the manager for every issue, at Indigo they are allowed to take any decision related to enhancing the dining experience of the guests—they can even decide not to charge for a dish that diners may seem unhappy with, even if they have not complain…

Profile of Nopaperforms.com

From the Business Today profile of the company which enables academic admission applications to go online:
The catch is that those applying have to pay extra if they want the convenience of the online route. Most institutions charge for the paper application forms they distribute; the portal charges an additional 4.9 per cent - or Rs 30 whichever is higher - per form filled online.

...Anil Joshi at venture capital firm Mumbai Angels, however, points out that Shah's business model has no intellectual property attached to the product and can be easily copied by competitors. Shah believes the institutions he has signed on will not leave him in a hurry. "Getting them to even listen to you is difficult," he says. "Once I am already in with a free product, it will be five times tougher for someone to replace me."

NoPaperForms is also working on a business-to-consumer platform to engage Facebook-savvy students and spread its brand virally. This platform will let students…

In praise of Boutique I-Banks

From the Economic Times article:
These are the ones who left the suffocating process-driven culture at giant firms, such as Morgan, Merrill and Goldman. They build relationships with entrepreneurs for years and get to experiment with ideas. Know them, identify what they want, comfort them and say they could be a lot bigger than they are, with a banker's advice. Boutique banks, such as MAPE, Collins Stewart Inga , Spark Capital and RippleWave Equity are thriving in a market where mergers and acquisitions last year doubled.

Some successful boutique firms such as Avendus Capital and Edelweiss are expanding into full-service financial firms taking their expertise to public markets such as initial public offerings. "Our approach is not transaction oriented but relationship oriented," said Jacob Mathew, managing director at MAPE Advisory.

"We keep going back to clients with ideas. We compete with top bankers with large balance sheets but we don't want to become large for…

Opening at Venture Intelligence: Head – Research Services

We are looking to hire a suitable candidate for the following position:

Designation: Head – Research Services

Location: Chennai

Reporting to: MD & CEO


Roles and Responsibilities
o High quality of research that enrich the Venture Intelligence product offerings
- Provide hands-on leadership for a team of analysts to create and update financial transaction and valuation information in user-friendly format.
o Assigns daily workload to analysts and follows through on all tasks assigned to the team. Contributes to production as needed.
o Ensures deliveries are on-time and conform to quality standards.
o Accountable for performance of the team and effectiveness of production processes. Responsible for intra-team policies, procedure, and workflow.
o Assist in recruiting new team members by evaluating candidates
o Implements training for new hires and existing team members as necessary
o Develop new features/products for existing customer segments
- Should be able to interface with programming (in…

ET NOW launches ‘Super Angels’ Series

Edited extracts from the Press Release:

24-hr English business news channel ET NOW has launched ‘Super Angels’, a path breaking series which will witness start-ups raising funds on national television, for the first time. The show will feature 20 of India’s most innovative start-ups and 4 of India’s most influential investors along with a national audience who will choose India’s next ‘Super Entrepreneur’.

The 4 Super Angels on the show are Mahesh Murthy, Managing partner; Seed Fund, Vishal Gondal, Founder; Indiagames, Harshal Shah, Founder; Reliance Ventures and Sanjay Parthasarthy; Entrepreneur and Angel investor. The show will be anchored by Sudhir Syal, Editor; ‘Starting Up’.

Every week one start-up will make a pitch to an investor; the TV audience will then be given a chance to vote for the pitch through SMS, email and Facebook. Five months, after the completion of 20 start-up pitches, the audience votes and the investor’s votes will be collated to choose the final 8 Start-Ups, whi…

Deal Alert: Financial software firm Agility raises $5.7 M from IDG Ventures, others

From the press release:

BFSI software products company, Agile Financial Technologies (www.agile-ft.com), announces the successful completion of its US$ 5.7mn Series A financing, led by IDG Ventures India (IDGVI). This funding will enable Agile Financial Technologies (Agile FT) to surge ahead with its organic and inorganic growth plans and expansion into new markets.

With a rapidly growing footprint in emerging and frontier markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, Agile FT has now embarked on its next level of expansion with an enhanced range of pioneering software products especially in the space of Investment Management, Lending Management, Microfinance and Insurance.

Agile FT’s strategy has been successful in delivering its products and services to a growing customer community of leading institutions, leveraging its channel presence across 20 countries.

IDG Ventures India, a US$150 Million technology venture capital fund,helps build category-leading companies from India for the Indi…