Recruiting, or… Marketing?

Recruiting, or… Marketing?
During my discussion with an early stage entrepreneur, he talked about problems in hiring the right staff for his team. His concerns were that he was competing with big brand names and assurance of a stable career path. We discussed about these for a while but interestingly, I realized that these hiring issues are no different from marketing issues. A lot can be applied from marketing practices here. In fact, some of the best recruiters I know are great marketers.…

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What’s your go-to-market plan

What’s your go-to-market plan
This series presents some of the questions, related to the role of a new leader, put up by the participants of the Being an Effective New Leader open course and answered by the Course Director Mrityunjay Kumar (MK henceforth). Many of these relate to these new leader’s attempt make sense of real life scenarios they face, while others stem from their attempt to better understand the nuances of being an effective leader. Ankur Asija: How can a new leader encourage…

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What does Return on Equity tell me as an investor ?

What does Return on Equity tell me as an investor ?
Some of my favourite companies have been companies which historically have had a very high return on equity, customarily in excess of 25% for long periods of time. But what does a high RoE tell me? What is RoE What is RoE? I wouldn’t go into a detailed definition of ROE but RoE indicates any firm’s ability to use investments from equity investors to generate profits. A firm can use capital either from equity or from debt. Consider a company…

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Running your own startup? It’s time to go Lean.

Running your own startup? It’s time to go Lean.
Running a startup is by it's very nature a journey through uncertainty. It's like walking on a winter foggy night, where all you can see is few feet of road ahead. As you move forward, things become clearer, but again to an extent of few feet only. Similarly in a startup no plans are concrete. Boxer Mike Tyson once said about his opponent's pre-fight strategies: "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." For a startup, it…

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When to take the plunge

When to take the plunge
There are so many professionals these days who want to be entrepreneurs, that now there is a term for it – wannapreneurs. I think it will show up in the Oxford dictionary in a year or two. Microsoft Word just doesn’t know enough that it keeps red-lining it. As you would expect, there are a large number of wannapreneurs who never really become entrepreneurs. They keep waiting for the right idea, right opportunity, right team, right financial situation or some…

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Cash: A building block for business

Cash: A building block for business
Every company wants cash but how much is good for them is difficult to determine. Is there a limit? No, as long as a firm is making profits, it can have as much cash as it wants. This is what we think. In a real business scenario, this is not true. The problem is that cash is not free and every penny lying in company’s reserve has a cost. For a simple example of daily life, let’s say you want…

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Snapdeal: Is offline retail a competition?

Snapdeal: Is offline retail a competition?
Indian e-commerce has shown a lot of promise in past couple of years and has started to grow. Today, Snapdeal is selling more than 25,000 products every day. It is still far from developed world like US or even emerging markets like China, but we all expect this fast paced growth to continue in near future. E-commerce in India vs. other geographies Since e-commerce in India is lagging behind most of the geographies, it is important to understand the differences…

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Etihad: Why invest in Jet airways?

Etihad: Why invest in Jet airways?
In the previous article, Jet Airways: Valuation, I did the valuation of Jet. In essence, we came to know from calculation that Jet was overvalued by Etihad in this deal. For those who have not read the earlier article, Etihad invested Rs. 2057 Cr for 24% stake in Jet. Earlier, I evaluated the deal from Jet’s perspective. Here we will try to understand what Etihad can gain from this deal. Why did it pay extra for this deal? Essentially, we…

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Leadership: Vision-directed, not visionary

Leadership: Vision-directed, not visionary
Many a times you would read about some of the great leaders from history – they were true “visionaries”. They saw the future and they achieved it. There certainly have been some instances where this has been true – JFK said we will send a man to the moon in the 60’s and we did. Sun Microsystems said that “Network is the computer” and a decade later, it was! When I got into business, I felt extremely in awe of…

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Leadership – Does intent matter?

Leadership – Does intent matter?
Small, entrepreneurial setups make for very fertile ground for studying and testing management/leadership theories. Historically much more attention has been on large companies. I think the reason is that large impacts are available for large companies and people can relate to the brand as well, vs. a unknown small company. Since I saw a company grow from small to large and am now back in a small setup, I am constantly trying to connect and co-relate these experiences. Let's take…

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Pricing Strategies

Pricing Strategies
One of the key marketing decisions which a company has to make is how to price their product or services. A sound understanding of the utility of their product or service, as well a thorough understanding of the competitive environment is needed to achieve profit maximizing pricing. This info graphic explains the various strategies which companies follow and also suggests examples where such pricing strategies were evident.  

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3 important metrics to measure your Facebook brand page

3 important metrics to measure your Facebook brand page
It’s very difficult to avoid digital marketing discussions in any marketing meeting these days and hence, discussions about Facebook based marketing have been prevalent recently. This is a huge area and you can easily write a book listing its nuances. I am no expert in this area but have experienced certain metrics in action and my intent is to share those metrics. I would recommend Avinash Kaushik’s blog to anyone who is interested in detailed analysis. Also, this is limited…

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