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    5 IIM graduates who skippedplacements for start-ups

    18 Mar, 2013ET Bureau; Devina Sengupta& Sreeradha D Basu

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    In odd lot of students at the premier IndianInstitutes of Management has decided to make way for their classmates jostling for jobs in a tighteconomy. Some of them from the 2013 batch haveopted out of placements to sell sanitary napkins torural India, start a network for photographers, and

    make algorithms that predict the market. Theentrepreneurial road is less travelled, but the driveis strong.

    It may not be the best time to walk out on campus

    placements, with the economy on the slouch, butstudents feel their ideas cannot wait for long asothers may pick them up.

    Jostling: Push

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    Venkat R

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    Gaurav Midha

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    Institute: IIM Lucknow

    Gaurav Midha; Age: 26 Start-up: Data analytics firm Beyond Numbers

    Investment: None yet

    Gaurav Midha's start-up partners took up job offersduring placements at IIM Lucknow, but Midha decidedto take it forward. Midha, along with two batch mates,started a data analytics firm, Beyond Numbers, within

    months of joining campus.But he is the only one who's stuck to the course - hisdream kept him going. "Data analytics is still a relatively new concept in India but it's been growing at 20%-25%. I want a share of that pie," he says.

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    Institute: IIM IndoreNiranjan KM; Age: 23

    Start-up: Selling sanitary napkins to rural India

    Investment: Needs Rs 1 crore, of which Rs 25 lakh has been approved by Tamil Nadu government

    Niranjan KM plans a start-up to manufacture and sell sanitary napkinsin rural India. He had earlier thought of being a candy maker ormineral water producer but realised the market potential forsanitary napkins was big.

    Niranjan will start the plant in global manufacturing hub Tirupur. "The big companies see money in the urban areas, while I plan toconcentrate on rural areas. I can sell each napkin for around Rs 3-4 which is about half the cost for such a product from an FMCGmajor," he says.

    Niranjan's research showed rural women know little about sanitary napkins and his marketing campaign includes raising awarenessthrough skits during festivals.

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    Ajusal Sugathan Achin Agarwal

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    Institute: IIM BangaloreAjusal Sugathan & Achin AgarwalAge: 24

    Start-up: Hedge Quants

    Specialises in quantitative trading and investment strategies across Indianequities, fixed income, currency, volatility and derivatives

    Investment: Tied up with Kolkatabased brokerage firm ShivmangalSecurities on a profit sharing mode

    "We have developed seven to eight models and our simulation tests show we can predict market movements," says Ajusal Sugathan."Unlike the West, Indian markets do not use the algorithm-based tradingmethod, but our live simulations have shown good results," adds Sugathan.

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    Why India is not the best place forstartups31 May, 2013

    Regulatory roadblocks are emerging as the biggest challenge for scores of entrepreneurscatering to the growing demand for innovativeservices from Indian consumers.

    Let's take a look at the top few issues

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    The banking issues Registering a Company :

    Takes almost a month in India, compared to justa week in the US, or just 3 days in Singapore.

    Opening a Current Account:

    Requires 6-7 set of documents, often certified by a CA. Banks decline, if a startup doesn't possessa service tax or VAT registration.

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    Hutting shop is very difficult31 May, 2013

    Shutting Down

    An entrepreneur needs to present a winding uppetition to the court, appoint liquidators, meet allcreditors, distribute company's assets and wait forcourt hearings, which may take years.

    Bribery

    In a global index that ranks countries with the leastamount of corruption, Denmark ranks 1st,Singapore 3rd and India 94th

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    Policy related issues for Web andMobile industries

    E-Commerce

    Policy Hurdle: Ban on foreign direct investment incompanies engaged in retail ecommerce

    Affected parties: Online retailers who want to raisefunds from foreign investors

    Impact: Has led to layoffs, closure and acquisitionsof some e-commerce companies who were unable toraise follow on venture capital funding

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    Mobile Value Added Services

    Regulation: Ban on bulk SMSes, over-regulation of Do Not Call registry

    Affected Parties: Has impacted bulk SMS providers,telemarketing agencies, mobile value added serviceproviders, daily deal startups

    Impact: Has led to layoffs, closure, and acquisitionsof many mobile value added services companies. H

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    Way behind in technology, Wayahead in intolerance

    Social MediaPolicy Hurdle: Websites which carry usergenerated content can be pulled up in court.

    Affected parties : Social media content websitesImpact : Very few new ventures being launchedMobile Remittances & Digital Payments Policy Hurdle : Ban on encashing currency by

    users of mobile money products. Affected parties : Financial services startups,telcos and mobile money startupsImpact : Hampering launch of new business models

    that revolve around online payments

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    Indias strengths as a market Cost competitiveness

    Skilled workforce

    Large domestic economy

    Access to financing

    Keen interest from foreign investorsStrong fiscal policy

    Policy stability & predictability