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Dhirubhai Ambani Life Lessons

Smruthi Kishore

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Dhirubhai Ambani is perhaps India’s first most successful businessman, with a streak of innovating and creating like no other entrepreneur in recent times. Not only has he created a fair share of wealth for himself, but for his shareholders as well. Known for founding Reliance Industries, India’s largest petrochemical and private sector giant, Dhirubhai Ambani has taught us a lot. While its perhaps not possible for us to absorb all the possible life lessons from this great man, here are a few which could help point your life in the right direction!

1. Start small. Grow big. 

Before Reliance came to being, Dhirubhai Ambani was the creator of a small startup by the name of Majin. A year after Majin was formed, Reliance came into being. The lesson here? Even if you start small, dream and grow into the biggest thing you could ever imagine.

2. Achieve 

When you see dreams, you work for them. When you work for them, you achieve them. Do things that make your dreams come true.

3. Create equal opportunities 

Create equal opportunities involved in your business.  To be marked successful as an entrepreneur, focus on creating a team of people whose capabilities can be trusted implicitly. Sometimes even just asking the team and discussing can motivate everyone. Dhirubhai firmly believed that if you take care of a team then they will, in turn, do wonders for you.

4. Be bold. But don’t be foolish 

When you take risks, make sure you aren’t just being bold for the sake of being bold. Take calculative risks and make sure that you don’t get played in the long run. Taking measured risks not only ensures a longer success rate, but also a pristine reputation. So take risks, but be wise about the risks you take.

5. Give back 

Giving back is the most important thing. Dhirubhai Ambani made sure his employees benefited just as much as he did. In fact, his biggest contribution could be the fact that he changed the way people bought sales.

Dhirubhai Ambani had one vision in life: to make a success out of whatever he created. With Reliance Industries being where it is now, it can be safe to say he has achieved his goal with certainty.

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Entrepreneur Stories

YouTube: The Founding Story And How It Came To Be

Smruthi Kishore

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Before YouTube became YouTube, the world was a different place. Netflix meant DVDs, video referred to the television and the internet meant simple texts and pictures. Everything changed in a mere 20 months when four former PayPal employees (Stan Chen, Chad Hurley and Karim) decided to find a creative solution to a problem they had been taxed with: that of no common platform for finding and sharing viral content.

The journey began with a possibly fictitious dinner party in San Francisco and ended with a breakfast at Denny’s in Redwood City, California. The digital world was transformed in the midst of maxed out credit cards, arguments over copyrights, humungous rats, a cameo by MC Hammer and the exit of a third, mysterious founder. When one of the most monumentous dinners of history was over, the world changed completely.

While it started off as a unique sharing platform, YouTube came with its own share of troubles and complications. From the beginning to now, YouTube has changed the way the world work. Every day, 800 million users visit YouTube, around 60 hours of videos are uploaded, about 500 tweets are tweeted with a YouTube link and over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month.

From just being just an idea at a dinner table, YouTube was first officially registered on Valentine’s Day in 2005. The founders officially launched the beta version in May the same year and from there, the rest was just history! Interestingly, while the name for YouTube may have been registered on Valentine’s Day in 2005, the work on creating one of the most iconic sites of all times started way before that.

In the beginning, it was quite hard to describe what YouTube really was. For a long time, the founders called it a dating site as back then, none really existed. Through the years, with more original content coming in than could be kept track of, the site became what it is today. Just when YouTube reached its peak, Karim exited. The premature exit of one of its founders left the other two in a fix.

It took a while for Hurley and Chen to come to terms with Karim’s departure, a task which came to them after explaining to the promoters the reason for his exit. Thanks to the right timing of the launch, however, the website took off with great numbers. The team steadily grew and when it was at its peak, Google approached the two remaining founders with a takeover proposition.

Julie Supan worked at Inktomi during the first dot-com crash, then moved to Minnesota to work at Best Buy. Mark Dempster, who was then at Sequoia, knew Supan. When she returned to Silicon Valley in 2005, he called her and suggested she run the marketing division in YouTube.

Supan joined in September 2005 and for many weeks, she and the two founders brainstormed in endless whiteboard sessions about what YouTube stood for. Eventually, they positioned YouTube as a broadcast medium for average people. A press release on 7 November in the same year from YouTube described it as “a consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos through a Web experience.”

That one statement was enough to change the public perception of this strange and unique website. While we take a moment to appreciate the fact that the first YouTube video was uploaded Today, it is but pertinent to take into account the amount of time, hard work and effort gone into building one of the largest and most widely used content sharing platform in the world!

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Micromax Founding Story: From The Beginning To Now

Smruthi Kishore

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While a lot has been said about Micromax’s climb to success, not a lot has been said about the journey. Within two years of being formed, Micromax became one of the largest distributors of mobile handsets in the Country. The Company started off with four founders: Rajesh Agarwal, Vikas Jain, Rahul Sharma and Sumeet Kumar. Ever since its inception, Micromax’s philosophy has been simple, to be the best at what they do and never settle for repetition.

Fresh out of college and full of enthusiasm, the founders knew the year 1999 was time to capitalize on the dot.com boom happening in the Country at the time.  All they could think of was software and how the world could change with the technology boom! Making modest beginnings as an M2M partner for Nokia (under a partnership with the Micromax Software,) the founders were introduced to the concept of fixed wireless terminals from a Finnish executive of the mobile company. This soon went on to power payphones in India which used SIM cards in areas with no landline connectivity.

They started supplying this technology everywhere and soon, M2M became the second largest company in the world! However, Nokia sold the business shortly and this left Sharma and Co., in a fix. Very soon they realised the big game changer was in creating handsets and not just in selling hardware or partnering with payphones. The scene changed quickly with the entry of Micromax smartphones in March 2008. The new kids shook up the market! In India, about 100 to 120 million handsets are sold annually, 80 million handsets are imported and the size of the handset business is valued at Rs 27,000 crores. In two years, Micromax increased its market share from 0.59 % in 2008 to about 5 % in 2010.

So how did Micromax break through a world which was dominated by Sony and Nokia? By being unique in every aspect, of course! The company’s policy was to identify with all factions of society. Micromax broke from the norms by introducing products that fit well with the rural consumer need. The handset manufacturer was the first to launch many innovative products such as handsets with 30 days battery backup, dual SIM/dual standby, handsets that could switch between networks (GSM to CDMA and vice versa,) QWERTY keypads and universal remote controls.

Through the years, Micromax established itself as the one stop shop for smartphones made available to people across different strata of the society. Today, a majority of Micromax phones boast this feature, even as competitors struggle to match its pace.

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Influential Women In The Entrepreneur World

Smruthi Kishore

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Gone are the days when women were meant to be only in the kitchen. This current generation the world over, is recognising women in a way that has not been done before. They have become so empowered, they are poised to take over the world with renewed spirit and vigour! Celebrating women every day, here’s taking a look at the most influential in the startup and tech world!

1. Oprah Winfrey 

Oprah Winfrey is the founder of not one but three startups! Founder of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN,) Harpo Productions and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Known for being a TV personality and director apart from a philanthropist, Oprah’s touched the hearts of people all over the world and incidentally, she stands at a net worth of $ 2.9 billion!

2. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw 

India’s richest self made woman, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has proved if you put in the effort required, you can get what you want and more from life. With a net worth of $ 3.9 billion, Shaw founded the biopharma firm Biocon (1978,) a company which treats autoimmune diseases, diabetes and cancer.

3. Sara Blakely 

While Sara Blakely may have started off as a door to door fax machine sales person, she is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. Her invention of clothing (Spanx) to wear under slacks became so widely accepted, its become a standard piece of clothing in everyone’s wardrobe. Post the creation of Spanx, Sara’s net worth stands at a cool $ 1.01 billion!

4. Weili Dai 

An immigrant from China, Weili Dai came to the United States with a dream in mind and a plan in hand. Dai founded the $ 2.3 billion worth Marvell Technology in the year 1995, after working as a software technician. Her net worth stands at $ 770 million.

5. Richa Kar 

Founder of the online lingerie store Zivame, Richa Kar was perhaps one of the first people in India to revolutionize the way women bought lingerie. Furthermore, the online platform has played a role in educating women across the country about intimate wear and shaping consumer behaviour.

With so many enterprising women in the world, it stands to see the men are going to soon take a back seat. All hail equality!

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