Running a business – lessons learnt from the movie Sholay.

The title of this post is not merely to entice readers into reading this post – this post is exactly about how running a business is akin to a movie full of action, drama, comedy and suspense; Sholay

Lean and Mean

Remember how to thugs got into the business of saving lives of hundreds of villagers of Rampur? A lean and mean team goes a long way. Theirs was a lean and mean startup (as opposed to the police force) that broke into an established business domain because there was a need (to protect the villagers from dacoits).

Bol diya hai to kar denge

The two small time thugs are true to their word, whatever the risks they take them head on and that’s an important factor contributing to their success. Like Jay tells Veeru “Partner, ab bol hee diya hai to dekh lenge” So, as an entrepreneur, never back out of your commitments.

Veeru se takkar?

Nothing speaks louder than confidence in your abilities. Know your strengths well and use them all the time.

Ye dosti hum nahi todenge

Founders of a business go way beyond being business partners – they become inseparable. They value their relationship and trust each other completely.

Jo dar gaya samjho mar gaya!

Fear is the worst enemy of a business enterprise. Dare, and you will win.

Loha garam hai, maar do hatoda

Know your strengths and capitalize on opportunities. Letting go of opportunities that come your way is not an optimal way of running a business.

Mujhe Gabbar chahiye. Zinda

While your investor (Thakur) trusts your abilities, he has an ulterior motive. VC’s always have ulterior motives.

The above is not an exhaustive list of sholayisms and I intend to keep adding to it as I discover them. Hope my readers enjoy reading it as much as they enjoyed watching the movie.

CakeFest, A CakePHP programming conference.

SANIsoft is proud to be a sponsor for CakeFest . A CakePHP programming conference, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from December 2 -5, 2008.

Conferences are the forefronts of modern communications, more so when they are related to the FOSS world. Conferences and Open Source Fests are platforms where the developers meet, discuss, share and carry their work forward. However, organizing conferences and fests do not come easy. They require a lot of planning and grunt work.

So when an opportunity comes by wherein we can give back, we are always happy to do it. After all, SANIsoft runs its business on open source products and believes in giving back to the open source communities – and – not just in the form of code. We strive to help such events by sponsoring them in whatever small way we can. We believe in putting our money where our mouth is :)

We have heard developers of Open Source Projects lament that SME´s shy away from supporting project needs by sponsoring. We feel by lending a hand in the form of sponsorship and even micro-sponsorships the small and medium sized companies can strengthen their own base and in turn the FOSS community. The inescapable reality is that the world is powered by money, not code.

When we decided to be a sponsor for CakeFest, a common refrain heard was ¨Argentina is half a world away and as a business what is the point of having your banner / logo there¨. Wait a min! people actually said that? Doesn’t really matter to us. The CakePHP framework has been a major player in many of the recent projects that SANIsoft has done – so – there it is QED

We wish the event and the organizers huge success

Budget 2007 some thoughts

“What a damp squib!” is the most heard line since yesterday’s announcement of the Union Budget.

Personally I feel, the budget was as apolitical as it can get and that is commendable considering this being the election year. What FM did was more or less expected. It did not give anything to the stock market, neither did it take anything away from it – the indices have been rising for a while and the sudden fall can be attributed to technical corrections which would have happened with or without a reason. In-fact, one can already see an upswing happening today.

The budget was agriculture and tourism friendly, but hard on IT industry with implication of MAT of 11.33%. However the MAT affects only those companies who have been enjoying a tax holiday so far and were hoping to enjoy it for one more year. For a company like SANIsoft which got minimmal sops of being an IT company (for various reasons), getting all IT companies to pay tax makes it a level playing field. However, a small hike in outsourcing costs can not be ruled out.

On the employee front, things could have been worse, and FBT on ESOPs was coming anyways. Companies and Coporates never suffer, so the burden of FBT is going to be passed on to the employees, affecting their net income.

On the negative side, a Rs 1000 relief to is in fact going to cost more to the assesses considering the 1% hike in education cess. Real Estate is going to be hit with hike in cement prices as even they are going to pass their burden of excess excise duty to the consumers. However, these are some things that a growing economy has to bear as cost of growth. Indian Economy has never been better and the country can take some mature financial planning in its stride.

Of telling people to leave

Another first for SANIsoft – an employee was fired yesterday!! Feels bad, but I can not live with compromises – I will not tolerate anyone going against the ethics on which my organisation stands, and top it up with insubordination. People at SANIsoft are my family, and I will let no harm come to my family.

The dot com bubble

The next dot com bubble (some call it web2.0) – is it about to burst ?

When does a bubble burst – In a very simplistic way, one can say, a business bubble bursts when common people start loosing money investing in an industry. The last dot com bubble burst when a lot of venture capitalists lost a lot of badly invested money resulting into a south facing profit graph and low stock prices.

Look at the scene as it was 15 days back, the tech stocks seemed to be climbing and on NASDAQ while today they look as if they are going to loose the footing on Nasdaq and as its reaction on Nikkei. BSE and NSE too was affected by the sluggish international markets – BSE and NSE indexes are not tech heavy indexes so, one really cant say anything about collective performance of tech scrips however, a cursory glance on todays market figures shows them dipping south.

While that was a pessimistic scenario, from a more picturesque optimistic scenario, and looking at things from a broader perspective – The stock prices rise and fall marginally all the time -the trend more or less still looks upwards.

People are still not loosing money – the profit graphs of tech companies have not started plunging yet. The investors big and small VCs and banks included, still seem to be interested in putting money albeit in good technologies and capable technologists. More and more brick and mortar business are expanding their realm of business to the net, resulting into an increased bottom lines on a comparatively smaller investment.
Now thats gives a pleasing a pretty picture.

I am no business analyst, but by simply pitting the negative against the positive, I would like to believe that this bubble will not burst, at least not in very near future, and the longer it takes for it to burst, the less harmful it will be.