Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Review: The Mouse Charmers

Book Review: The Mouse Charmers by Anuradha Goyal

Pioneering Digital Companies of India
Pic Courtesy:

I have worked in a startup. So in a way I understand the thriving energy a startup generates, and the buzzing conversations that are always happening within the office walls about technology, products, marketing, and funding. Startups are forever talking about other startups, mapping them, evaluating them, or even contemplating acquisitions and mergers. Being from the same industry, reading this book gave me a sense of deja vu.

The book chronicles 12 startups based out of India, startups which have played with technology to deliver some of the best products in Indian economy right now, in fact some of them have went on to become the most valued companies in the growth story called India. Featuring the story behind start of Flipkart, MakeMyTrip, Big Basket, CaratLane, Zomato, Games2Win, ImagesBazaar, Chai with Lakshmi,, RangDe, CommonFloor,  and IndiBlogger. From content marketing to e-commerce, from real estate to consumer durables, the book showcases detailed discussions on the unique selling point of these businesses, cutting across segments. 

So what I loved about this book? I loved the stories behind the ventures, the snippets of conversations that gave an insight into the minds of the entrepreneurs who stood out from the crowd, and a sneak peak into the business models of these startups. So if you are a would-be entrepreneur, dreaming of making it big, pick up a copy, it will be an enlightening journey. and even if you are not, still get a copy, it surely tells the story of a digital India and its golden future, something which we all are a part of.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Flexible Workplace: Are You A Good Fit?

Although I always assumed that people like the concept of a flexible work schedule, I was surprised to hear a whole lot of my friends feel the flexible working is not their cup of tea. Some of the reasons I have heard are:

  1.  Taking out time from family to work is difficult. It’s best to leave for work at a fixed time and come back at a fixed time. Being flexible raise expectations of both colleagues and family members.
  2. Multi-tasking is not something I am excellent in doing (assuming that work flex also means multitasking, an assumption I disagree with)
  3.  In India, working flexible hours makes you less competitive, and you miss out on plum opportunities.
  4. Family is less supportive when I work from home.

Elena, a community member of the group I interact often, says on the topic, that flexitime hinders productivity, in terms of teamwork. She said, ‘Unless your work in isolation, your flexibility can become someone else's coordination nightmare.’

Carol, a midlife career specialist, said, ‘I think it depends on the industry. Before becoming self-employed, the nature of the work of the organisation that I worked for and the need to provide a face to face customer service between certain hours, made it very challenging for those who were having to cover front line services. I know at times that this was particularly challenging for the Team Leaders who had to organise the teams and the work taking into account those that worked flexibly.’

Another group member, Diana, said, ‘I definitely thinks it helps productivity but shouldn't be used 100%. Individual projects should have flexibility but group projects need in-person face time. I like tele-conferencing and Skype but sometimes you have to be in-person to get a job done.’

I am a big fan of flexible work, as I feel the flexibility allows me to balance my work and family very well, when my husband stays away from home a lot on work. But yes, one needs to have a good fit to be able to work flexible time. Are you a good fit?

Read my posts on flexible work: