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Controversies That Shook The Startup World

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Controversies in Startup World, Controversies That Shook The Startup World, Featured, Indian Startup World, Indian Startup World Top 4 Controversies, Recent Controversies in India 2018, Snapdeal Flipkart Merge Disaster, Startup Ecosystem, Startup News India, startup stories


With growth comes change and with change comes a huge responsibility: the responsibility of building a reputation and keeping it clean and untarnished. Like with everything in the world, the startup life is no different. As people keep having new ideas and new thoughts, it seems but natural to have things go more wrong than right. With the increase in the number of startups, the number of people fighting for the same positions also increase. As things progress at an alarmingly fast pace, it comes as no surprise that there are more controversies than positive things in the startup world. To prove just this point, here is looking at some of the highly talked about controversies of the past couple of years.

1. Snapdeal Flipkart Merge Disaster 

Quite possibly one of the most talked about controversy, the Snapdeal Flipkart merger failure was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Back in the year 2016, Snapdeal was one of the Indian startups with a really high valuation ($ 6.5 billion.) However, despite reaching the pinnacle of success, the company did not have the capacity to sustain at that level for much longer. With Snapdeal struggling to make its relevance felt, SoftBank proposed a merger between the homegrown e commerce platform, Flipkart. What made this deal hit the headlines was several rumours floating around about Snapdeal firing employees. Furthermore, the Snapdeal founders made multiple public statements about their disapproval of the merger.

Post the breakdown of merger talks, on August 1, it was reported the Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal-founded startup was gearing up to dismiss close to 80% of its employees. Durimg the second week of the same month, former and current employees of Snapdeal anonymously sent the founders a letter, addressing it to the PMO, accusing the company of not letting the merger go through for ‘personal motives. With all this going on, Flipkart saw no option but to back off, leaving Snapdeal all by itself in the dust.

2. Ola and Uber sue each other 

The March of 2016 was an interesting year, atleast in relationship to Ola and Uber. The two rivals had just entered the big leagues in the cab sector, with each at the other’s throat for the first place. Uber started off the feud by suing Ola. According to Uber, Ola was using fake accounts and booking rides on Uber, with the sole aim of cancelling them once booked. According to reports, Ola created over 94,000 fake accounts and booked over 4 lakh rides. Not only did this disrupt Uber’s business, it also prevented genuine riders the chance of getting a cab.  Ola replied to Uber’s petition saying the lawsuit was filed in an attempt to bypass the laws of the land by foreign companies who run their operations in this country for profit without due regard for the applicable laws.  Uber retorted though they are established in San Francisco, they have a hyperlocal team solving problems that are locally relevant. “Like our competitors, we received most of our funding from ‘foreign’ investors,” Uber said in response to the accusation! As bystanders, this war was entertaining as hell, with the only drawback being that I did not really get cabs on time!

3. PayTm accused for propagating a political agenda 

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetization and the absence of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes, PayTm put out a full page advertisement. The ad thanked Mr. Modi with a message saying the Prime Minister had finally taken a decision in favour of the growth of the country. Post the advert and the announcement, PayTm’s revenue saw a growth of 200% in terms of revenue, with more than triple the number of app downloads. Fintech in India responded strongly to this move, questioning the ethics and moral conduct, with PayTm’s every move put under scrutiny! What made the entire issue all the more controversial was Arvind Kejriwal’s comment about how the country was moving towards the Dark Side of Digitisation. After a lot of frenzy on Twitter and other social media platforms, the issue only quieted down when Vijay Shekhar Sharma (PayTm CEO) put out a public statement saying it was not only PayTm benefiting through the move but the entire country as well! Who knew free speech was only a law in the Constitution and not a civil right?

4. The Qarth and Ola misrepresentation scandal! 

Qarth Technologies, founded by Perit Shrivastava and Aditya Shrivastava, skyrocketed into the headlines for stealing identities through a self developed “Aadhaar e KYC verification” mobile app. While this in itself was a scandal, what made the entire affair all the more interesting was Ola’s involvement in the issue. Founded in the year 2012, Qarth was bought over by the home grown cab aggregator, Ola, in an attempt to increase the efficiency of its mobile wallet.

The moment Qarth’s illegal activities hit the headlines, Ola promptly denied any involvement in the matter, stating they had no hand to play in Qarth’s criminal activities. However, despite the government’s stringent search into Ola’s history with Qarth, no direct link could be found between the two companies and Qarth was left to pick up the pieces on its own.

The startup world is exciting, motivating and invigorating. With growth comes great responsibilities and great expectations. However, when these cannot be met, things fall apart, resulting in chaos. If you think we missed out on some truly shocking controversies in the startup world, feel free to comment and let us know!

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How To Set Your Financial Goals For 2019

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The year 2019 is upon us and is moving forward like a house on fire. With so many things happening and the world constantly moving forward, there are a lot of things to look at, especially when it comes to your financial services. As a startup, here’s how you can set your financial goals for 2019:

1. Review your goals

A lot can happen over the span of a year. Priorities can change, mindsets can change and your ideas about where you think your startup should be can change. You may have overshot your budget last year and you may not have properly planned for the year ahead. Take a look at all the things which happened in the past year and review the goals you set for yourself. It is vital to note that in order to stay fully prepared for 2019, you should have financial plans which are in sync with what your goals are going to be!

2. Take stock of the previous investments

When you are working on what to expect from the financial year from 2019, it is important to look at the kind of investments you made in the past. Make a note of the funding you received in the past and where you used the money. If you know you have enough funds to make do for the essentials, don’t go overboard with the frills. Cut back wherever necessary and with the the goal of securing your future investments, make a clear choice about what you want and need for your startup. This not only helps in figuring out your plans, it also helps in giving you a clear direction regarding where you need to go.

3. Manage your debts the right way

One of the best ways to get over your financial crunches is by learning how to manage your debts. It is daunting to look at your debts and see how much you owe people. Take stock of what your outstandings are and then start crossing each debt off one step at a time. The more money you owe, the scarier it is to look at how to grow and as you climb up the ladder, this is never a good idea.

4. Prioritize and get rid of the unnecessary

One of the primary ways to keep a track of your financial status is by looking at what is priority and what isn’t. If you’re paying for three coffee machines when you can actually make do with just one, get rid of the extra. If you need only 5 people in a particular team and have at least ten, then take a look at if you can work better with fewer people on your team. While it may be hard to make these cut throat and to the point decisions, the long term goals are satisfying and worth it at the end of the day.

5. Stick to your plans

Despite working on your goals, it isn’t easy to stick to your goals all the time. No matter what, hold yourself accountable for when things don’t go according to your plan. Stay true to what you want and what you need, so at the end of the day, you know you have done all that you could. Sticking to your plans is important, especially when it comes to achieving success later in life. When it comes to your startup, sticking to your plan needs to be taken care of without the shadow of doubt.

6. Have goals for the expansion of your business

The start of every financial year looks at how to secure cash for the growth of your startup. While some look at growth on a small scale level, others want to expand with leaps and bounds. Take into account which category you fall under and when you decide that, the financial aspects also fall into place. It is imperative to have goals and decide the kind of sacrifices which need to be made when it comes to turning your dreams to reality. Though the sacrifices may seem a bit much now, the end result is always going to be worth it!

When it comes to financial stability, you need to make sure you have all your eggs in order. What are some of the ways you stay financially stable? Comment and let us know!

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Life Lessons From Barbara Corcoran

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Barbara Corcoran, a part of the investors’ panel on the show Shark Tank (amongst other things,) has lived an interesting life. By the time she turned 23, Barbara had held over 20 odd jobs and was still struggling to make ends meet. However, everything started to change in 1973, when she founded her real estate company which instantly turned into a massive success! By 2001, she sold the company for a whopping $ 66 million to NRT Incorporated and since then, there is no stopping her. Here are some really inspiring life lessons to learn from Barbara Corcoran:

1. Accept fear

Every failure and every fear has an upside if you are in the game for the long run. The first ever talk show Barbara was a part of, she got so nervous, she lost her voice! For many people, this would be a dealbreaker when it came to being a media personality. However, Barbara realised this was just going to stop her growth and not help her push past her fears. By pushing through, she made sure she didn’t let the fear of public speaking overrule her decisions and after just a few years, she gave over 40 speeches in a span of 2 months. In fact, she also gave one of the most inspiring TEDx speeches!

2. Always stay positive

In most situations, optimism is the key to success. According to Barbara, it is important to be optimistic in the midst of all adversity. One of the key principles Barbara follows in life is to meditate and stay centered, a rule which helped her get through a lot of tough times as well! The glass is always half full, whether or not you realise that fact.

3. Take a leap of faith

You always have to take a leap of faith when you think things aren’t going your way. Barbara believes, people work the best when they’re under pressure. If you want to find out the best thing about yourself, then work on what makes things tick for you. Don’t stand around waiting for the right time because if you hold on for too long, then you might just lose out the best thing which could happen to your life!

4. It’s all about perception

The big mouth shall inherit the earth,” says Barbara. What does she mean by that? Simply that if you want your business to succeed, make it look bigger and better than what it really is. According to Barbara, when it comes to succeeding, self promotion is important to climb the mountain. Act like you have the authority to say the right things and when you send press releases of any kind, make sure what you say is truly original.

5. Build firewalls between personal and private life

One of the major reasons people don’t succeed in staying at the top of their game is because they don’t know how to distinguish their home and personal lives. One of the reasons Barbara is so successful in life is because she compartmentalises every aspect of her life. Barbara believes, the one way to make it big in the real world is through following the rule of progress, not perfection!

6. Fake it till you are it

Just like perception is everything, giving people a different view about you till you make it to the top is also an extremely important part of the growing up process. The more you go through the journey of growth, the more you realise that you are faking that which you really want and crave. According to Barbara, one of the reasons people fake perfection is because they are insecure and no matter where you are in life, insecurity never goes away. Another benefit of faking it till you make it is that you grow to become a better person by accepting the insecurities in life.

Barbara Corcoran would not be where she is if she hadn’t accepted all the negative aspects of life. If you think you have learnt other things from her, comment and let us know!

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Top 5 Movies Every Entrepreneur Must Watch

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As an entrepreneur, for any company to scale, staying motivated, no matter how many times you face failure, is a key trait. Only when the founder is spirited to take on the tasks and achieve the goals, his/her employees are motivated as well. A great film can turn a visit to the cinema into more than an excuse to procrastinate. For your daily dose of inspiration and to get over your obstacles here are 5 motivational movies. These top five films will challenge your limits, push your understanding, spark your imagination and evoke strong emotions.

1. Shawshank Redemption (1994)

This is widely considered to be one is the greatest films made in the history of cinema. It’s a story about hope and freedom.

Here’s the story: Andy Dufresne, the protagonist (played by Tim Robbins,) is a banker who manages to make the very best out of a bad situation as he gets imprisoned for a false murder. Through determination, he manages to achieve far more than he thought possible. Andy uses his financial skills to help the warden and the prison guards to keep accounts. Through this, he comes to know about the illegal gains they’ve made using prisoners as manual labour. This is later exposed by Andy. This film teaches us the importance of developing long term goals while continuing to achieve short term goals.

2. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

It’s an honest, meaningful film which makes the viewer fully invested in the struggles of Chris Gardner. He overcomes unbelievable circumstances to achieve his dreams. This movie teaches us that even having a little bit of hope can lead you to an opportunity. The real life father and son dynamic between Will Smith and Jaden Smith enriched the film. WARNING: Bring a box of tissues to the movie.

Here’s the story: The Pursuit of Happyness is based on a true story based on the life of an entrepreneur Chris Gardner. He goes through a year long’s struggle of being homeless with his son while going through a 6 month unpaid internship as a stockbroker.

3. Forrest Gump (1994)

One of the most critically acclaimed movies and one of Tom Hank’s best movies.

Here’s the story: Forrest Gump is a simple man with a low I.Q., but with good intentions. He accidentally becomes a phenomenal success by living life the way he feels is right.
He wins medals, becomes a professional ping pong player, takes up running, starts a shrimping company and inspires people across the country. The story revolves around Forrest Gump and he proves that you don’t have to be a genius to achieve something. All you need to do is try.

4. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Jordan Belfort is the perfect example of what an entrepreneur shouldn’t be. He is driven by greed and has no empathy toward his people. He lives life indulging in extreme debauchery, which eventually leads to his downfall.

Here’s the story: It is a true story of Jordan Belfort who is an entrepreneur. The movie shows the rise and fall of his firm which was engaged in a securities scam which draws the attention of the FBI.

5. Nightcrawler (2014)

This movie will teach you that anyone can achieve anything, with persuasion and drive.

Here’s the story: It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom who is a guy looking for a job, but can’t find one. He then finds an opportunity while witnessing a crime, after which, he decides to become a crime journalist.

We hope your weekend binge plans are sorted with our list of highly motivational movies! If you know of any gems that we may have left out, comment and let us know!

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