Some of the business ideas relevant in today’s market

Posted by on Oct 11, 2014 in Business, Self-employment, Start-up business | 0 comments

business ideas

Entrepreneurship and Business Ideas

Top 10 business ideas for start-ups.

Suggested business sectors:

  1. Food Processing
  2. Textile and ready made garments
  3. Technology [Software Product Development and maintenance, eCommerce, Internet Security, IT literacy, Digital Infrastructure deployment and maintenance]
  4. Social Computing / Social Media
  5. Smart Infrastructure development
  6. Solar Energy and allied infrastructure [MW Solar plants, Rooftop Solar Plants, Trading in PV Panels, Inverters and Batteries, Structural Services to erect Solar Plants, Specialist Electrical Services for Solar Installations]
  7. Automobile Components
  8. Textile & ready made garments
  9. Service Sector [associated with Sea Ports, Airports, Healthcare and Lifestyle segment]
  10. Training [Soft skills, Leadership, Sales and Customer Support Management, Finance Skills, Entrepreneurship Development Skills, Data Analytics, Digital Marketing,

Check this before you go for manufacturing activity.

  1. It would be ideal to take up any manufacturing activity based on product buy-back arrangement [job work] or specific network / market strength in the line of activity considered.  If not we will have to bear credit line to buyers, minimum 6 months working capital (depending on the product cycle), R&D and more.
  2. The other option is going with collaborative model with a foreign company to produce import substitute items in India.
  3. The DMIC corridor, Make in India, and proposed Industrial Estates in Telangana and AP are another opportunity in the coming years.  The focus areas of these projects are many varied items to cut dependency on China made capital equipment and end user products.  These efforts are definitely going to provide opportunities for ancillary industry growth.
  4. The other way to explore manufacturing opportunities is to scout for takeover of sick unit or advertise in local News paper for collaboration / partnership opportunities.  This may reveal some good opportunities.
  5. For manufacturing ventures, it always helps if one of the member promoters come with technical or marketing expertise in the chosen manufacturing activity.
  6. Last but not least one can go for manufacturing activity to produce any innovative product.  Innovation doesn’t mean a totally new product idea.  A small twist and improvisation of any existing product which enhances the utility value at affordable cost can be considered.

Brief on IT sector business ideas:

Software product development is an evergreen sector as long as the product becomes a solution to focused problem and the product is designed with inherent efficiency, security and compatibility to various environments.  Considering the growing patronage to cloud computing technology, smart phone infrastructure, and internet security tools,  there is sufficient scope to devise new products or improvise existing solutions to the newer environments.  The other perpetual avenue is enterprise market constituting ERP and ERP integrated with social computing tools and data analytics.

The other promising business ideas in IT Sector:

Website development:

This is a perennial market.  The challenge, however, remains to be the capability of the organization to develop a professional website [elegant interface, aesthetics, mulsti browser compatibility, efficient loading, nil dead links, user friendly navigation, professional and crisp content compatible to search engines and self declarations for content and design ownership] incorporating digital documents [pdf brochures, e-readers, digital collateral with various presentation options, interactive forms for online interaction by customer for enquiries, feedback, survey, referal, and more].

eCommerce:

Practically many offline business models could be converted to online models.  The approach would be offering of related product group constituting a few items in the initial stage.  The products could be from segments like Lifestyle, Food [especially organic food items], Construction, Infrastructure, Supplementary services to Healthcare, Hospitality and Travel & Tourism.
Success of any online venture depends on right scoping, application efficiency, aggressive and judicious marketing strategy.  Many of the failed online ventures have their root to inappropriate business model, poor infrastructure and/or wrong positioning.  The important advantage with the online business models is that they become attractive for funding institutions or individuals once the initial sustenance is proven with promised future.  Popularity and application efficiency are the foremost attractions for any online business models.

Mobile & Tab Applications:

Again many desktop applications, online applications could be ported to Mobile and Tab platform.  Thus opportunities are immense in this segment.  Any application addressed to customer service, sales, marketing, consumer behavior analysis, analytics has good scope irrespective of any number of competitive products. This market has bright future.

Internet Security.

In the coming one year we are going to witness Digital India through which efficient Internet bandwidth is going to be made available to lakhs of villages.  As the Internet infrastructure grow so the requirement for safe and secure management of such infrastructure. One may think about collaborating with existing security products to be offered in the market with supported maintenance.  This can be combined with Internet literacy offering to the users.

Social Computing and Analytics

The end users for these products are small companies to large corporations whoever have implemented intranet social computing infrastructure and/or Internet presence.

Some of the business ideas in Education & Training Sector:

  1. IT Skill development [Career centric technology training].  Market is inundated with training institutions whose primary focus is volume of business than the quality of content.  Thus if an organization can focus right curriculum with efficient faculty there is enough room for new comers.  Almost 70% of engineering graduates are failing the eligibility criteria in the technical aptitude and professional outlook.  This fact itself vindicates that the existing training and skilling infrastructure lacks right content and approach. This business idea works well in the future as government is looking to collaborate widely with private institutions under PPP model.
  2. Softskill & Leadership development [Govt. of India and Govt. of AP are coming up with special mission to train youth in softskill and leadership development].  This is one of the topmost priorities in India in the path of youth empowerment for employment or self employment.
  3. Multi vocational skill development unit inline with ITIs & Polytechnics. These are going to be in much demand in the coming years.
  4. Education (Professional education / coaching centers / Mentoring hubs )

Few other business ideas:

  1. Stainless Steel Fabrication, Furniture for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes.  Every furniture product should provide the benefits of aesthetics, space optimization, ergonomic advantages, multi-use and must come at affordable cost. Many of the home furniture items can be redesigned using SS, wood, aluminium, plastic or any other composite material.
  2. Trading in Modern Building material
  3. Industry specific help desk solutions
  4. Industry specific Customer Management solutions
The above are just indicative.  However, among other things every business opportunity at the outset has to be analysed considering (i) Promoter’s expertise (ii) Place of business (iii) Product / Service demand in the target areas (iv) Promoter’s equity (v) Government support; and (vi) Competition.
If you need any clarifications may please leave your comments.  I will attempt to answer to the extent possible.  However, if you need personal consulting the consulting fee shall be INR 1000/- [one time].  We don’t charge consulting fee for micro business setup, or students who come from humble background.
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Top 5 businesses for 2012

Posted by on Jan 1, 2012 in Business, EPM World | 3 comments

We are in 2012 now.  The new year this time has brought several exciting business opportunities at almost nil investment to any investment size.  These opportunities are going to rule the market at least for a decade from now.  I would like to talk here about my choice of top 5 businesses for 2012.  Let us look at them:

EPM WORLD

1.0 Web 2.0 Technologies

This is one of my favorite areas of business investment.  We can explore business opportunities like (a) Online marketing (b) Social Media Consulting (c) Content development for web and digital documents (d) Enterprise Analytics (e) Services to develop personal branding.

One can start a business in this line with a minimum investment of 1 PC from home.  The one other important requirement would be he / she should be English literate with definite knowledge in written English.  This is most ideal for freshers who are passionate to work on their own full time or part-time.  Considering the rapid growth of Internet users, online media has emerged as one of the foremost options for business promotion by small and big companies.  The business opportunities indicated from (a) to (e) above surround Internet and Internet technologies.

Though this is part of Information Technology, I consider this as a marketing and branding opportunity where one doesn’t need to possess any programming or technical skills except using social media platform.

2.0 Food Processing:

Every business activity related to manufacturing, processing or trading of food items falls under this category.  It could be milk dairy, ready to eat food items, juices, edible oil, or energy food.  There are hundreds of such opportunities around us.  We can in fact aim at organic version of these products.  Government of India is consciously promoting food processing sector with loans, subsidies, technology know-how and many props.  Changing food habits, growing tastes for global food culture, and increasing purchasing power have contributed to the demand of varied food requirements besides the natural increase in the population.  Thus, food sector has become most vital investment opportunity.  The increasing presence of Indian and Global retail chains have brought the need to bring forth food variety.  Besides, it is possible to start a business in this line with low investment like INR 2 lakhs onwards.  A right business for every one including a housewife.

3.0 Retailing

This is another excellent opportunity though demands sizable investment.  What could constitute a business opportunity in this line?

Branding of any consumer product especially a private label product whether it be a food item, textile product, health care item or any other proprietary or sourced product retailing.  For example, one can source a couple of products from local manufacturers like Self Help Groups or other MSME segments and brand it in their own name.  We can see a brand name to every other item today whether it is Wheat flour, masala powder, rice or so.  It only denotes the potential to market a particular item with guaranteed quality.  The one requirement to take up this kind of business opportunity would be right sourcing of the chosen product w.r.t. price, quantity, quality and period of agreement.

Besides the market for luxury product retailing is very profitable and growing.  It can be any thing like an imported exotic food consumables, non-jewellery articles made by silver or gold, furniture, imported building material and more.

4.0 Information Technology

This is one of my favorite business opportunities.  Indian market needs considerable technology implementation in business applications.  It can be customized solutions for a particular segment, web applications, portals, or ERP applications.  I foresee a great demand for mini or micro ERP provided it comes with competitive price and cost effective support and operable from PC to mobile.

Other potential opportunity is mobile or handheld based business management for business persons to end user.  Sales force management applications ported to telecom mobiles with PC like connectivity to cloud applications will be a great choice.  A sales person in the field should be able to effectively perform his field sales, update data in real time to the server, access other business data on cloud, or switch to his personal applications from the same mobile instrument.  Every other task we perform on PC could be ported to a mobile though with limited functionality.  Even that limited functionality is acceptable to users provided it comes with ease and performance.  A provider in this line should extend total solutions consisting hardware, software, deployment and maintenance to capture real market.

Internet portals are another great business opportunity in the present times.  We can convert every offline business to online business model at a very reasonable investment.  We are all used to online transactions whether it is ticketing, product review, product purchase, online education and many more.  We are in a true e-commerce era.  A right time for people to make online a money making platform.

5.0 Solar Energy

Energy sector in India is undergoing a great movement of tense and uncertainty.  India has pitched a great hope on thermal power projects.  However, infrastructure problems like land acquisition, coal supply, institutional finance have derailed the hope.  Today, we have several pending thermal power projects which are suffering for these reasons.

Wind energy, hydel power or bio mass power are not as viable or feasible to be operated any where.

The one great choice we have is Solar Power solutions.  A right investment opportunity as a few MW plant to 1 KW roof top solar unit.  The prices of solar PV modules are very attractive.  The investment per MW plant has come down from INR 20.00 crore to almost INR 9.00 crore.  The prices are further falling internationally.  It is time for some one to invest on this as a long term business opportunity.  This is right time to build expertise and setup a business.  It can be grid connected solar plant or tailor made solution for an apartment, office building, village or industry.

There definitely many more business opportunities.  But these are my choice.  Hope you would take-up a profitable venture.

Wishing you all a Prosperous, Delightful and Peaceful New Year 2012.

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Part-time CEO could be the right choice for your venture

Posted by on Oct 29, 2011 in Business, EPM World, Start-up business | 0 comments

Part-time CEO

The very mention of part-time CEO may appear to be something unknown for many of small or start-up enterprises.  Yes, because we are mostly used to the model of Consulting SLA whereby a consultant or an organization would meet the piecemeal services required by a venture.

At the very outset why an organization would need a CEO?  Obviously to define a right strategy and planning for the successful implementation of business objectives and to drive the vision of the enterprise.  CEO would obviously be accountable to draw organizational productivity, consistently increase the net worth of the company, and achieve stakeholder satisfaction.  These aspects would inherently demand efficient management of all business functions supported by an energetic team.

Part-time CEO services from EPMWORLD

Why do you need a part-time CEO:

(i)  You may be a first time entrepreneur and a start-up owner.

As a first time entrepreneur, you will need support right from setting up the processes, implementing the project  infrastructure, to putting the venture on commercial track.  These initial processes need multifunctional expertise in business and management.  For young entrepreneurs and for people who come from traditional business line, this might prove to be a challenge to build a professional structure.  In order to overcome this challenge, a first time entrepreneur and a start-up owner can engage a Part-time CEO who can invest his expertise on (i) Business Plan (ii) Statutory and mandatory registrations (iii) Investment model (iv) Procurement (v) Policy Development (vi) Marketing collateral (vii) Legal and organizational documentation (viii) Team deployment (ix) Technology implementation (x) Infrastructure deployment; and (xi) Commercial launch.

Besides the above, the matter of business promotion and brand identity processes suitable to the target market and customer segment is an important concerted task to be achieved with the active involvement of respective team members.

(ii)  You may be remotely handling a project.

You may be the promoter-owner of the venture who is away on other avocations.  You may be an enterprise having headquarters or business units in other part of the world.  You may want a local expert in the project location to handle the project with absolute expertise and accountability.  You need a responsible company who could extend you Part-time CEO services placing their Sr. Executive onsite.  This model will bring you required assurance on successful project implementation supported by relevant SLAs.

(iii) You may be holding some parallel projects which demand specialized techno-management skills.

You may be an individual or an organization who has got requisite management expertise and seized with several projects.  You might need a Part-time CEO who come with requisite techno-management expertise.  This will place you at ease in the initial project launch and you will also be secured about the project success under SLAs.

The model of engaging a Part-Time CEO:

You should go for a model where the role of a Part-time CEO is a mere indication of responsibilities, deliverables and accountability.  He may not be necessarily be an all-time visitor to the project site.  As a promoter-owner, you will be the actual CEO in the organization and the person in question would otherwise co-ordinate with you to effectively handle project deliverables.  The appointment of such person or organization for part-time CEO services would precisely indicate these aspects along with (i) project scope, (ii) terms of service, (iii) periodicity, (iv) remuneration, (v) Support after project launch, and (vi) exit route, in the MOU.  Regular and onsite placement of part-time CEO might give way to management and team cultural challenges on his exit.  Thus, it is desirable to have off-site services as an officiating person.

The MOU could spell the performance metrics and subjective terms like penalty for non-performance, cost over-runs, schedule delays and so just as in case of a project delivery agreement.

The challenges in going for a Part-Time CEO:

You would need to exercise openness in accepting suggested measures by the part-time CEO.  As a responsible person for project delivery, he might want contextual changes in resource handling, vendor relations, procurement preferences or even review of strategy.  Mutual trust and transparency between the promoter-owner and the part-time CEO would make lot of positive difference to the project.

The parameters of selecting a right organization or right individual

The most important parameters being (i) Multifunctional expertise specially with respect to project management (ii) Visionary with innovative thinking (iii) Ethical and transparent (iv) Sense of ownership (v) Proven background (vi) Process oriented and analytical (vii) Market Awareness (viii) Service with smile; and (ix) Always accessible; and desirably Social Media savvy.

Notwithstanding the above, the final responsibility again lies with you to monitor the effectiveness of part-time CEO and his deliverables.  Ideally, you should undergo a few sessions of detailed inputs from him before the project start and during the project handling on the approach, project baselines, performance parameters and controlling measures.  Choose a person as a part-time CEO with guts and confidence and through thorough screening.

http://blog.epmworld.in

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Why you need a Website or Internet Blog?

Posted by on Sep 14, 2011 in Business, EPM World, Start-up business, Technology | 2 comments

The answer for ‘why you need a website?’ is though subjective, I can answer it in one word ‘indispensable’.  Online identity i.e. having a company’s website and / or blog are very important business need(s) for a small business establishment to a large enterprise.  This has been rightly recognized by the business houses and is quite evident from millions of websites present today.

However, small business owners are not able to rightly exploit the investment made on the website owing to (a) bad content, (b) duplicate content (c) bad design of website, (d) improper presentation of company’s service offerings or expertise, (e) poor hosting services and (f) nil maintenance.  What is the result of such online identity?  Bad representation and misrepresentation the company.

I would like to discuss here the important considerations to develop a website which can make your investment worthy.

The quality of web content is the most important thing:
Yes, you should ensure that you have right content for your website that would aptly represent the services you offer, the expertise you hold, the service delivery model you have in place.  Remember your content should not be a borrowed content from any other Internet source.  Such an approach would only make your presence redundant and you would not be faring well in search results.  Moreover, it would be a copyright violation.

Website designing is all about your understanding of the user habits of navigation than rich graphics:
Most of the low priced website development companies develop your website using the free website templates from Internet source.  Instead, you should ask them to develop a custom design for your company keeping in mind (a) the business sector you belong to (b) the service items you want to present online (c) the features you like to provide through your website i.e. for example you may like to have ‘real-time chat application’ for online support to your customers or to attract and deal with online sales calls, or video streaming of your Company’s profile, projects, achievements, employee statement about their experience with the Company or feedback of clients.

epmworld websites

All such or any further features of your website should be properly designed with dynamic and scalable architecture considering the user friendly navigation, security, clarity and lastly an experience to the visitor of your website.

Online identity is like a perpetual racing competition:
Another important aspect that one should take note of before creating online identity through a Website, Internet Blog or / and Social Media profile(s) is introduction of your website or blog to your existing customers, prospective clients and to all relevant stakeholders.  Website should never be considered as one time job.  It should undergo frequent update of company developments, client acquisition, induction of new management members, if any, and more.

How do you announce your website to your customers and other stakeholders?
An important question, indeed.  My suggestion in the context would be:

  1. Send email communication to all your present and prospective client(s) with the link of your website
  2. Create an official blog as a sub-domain or as a folder to your company’s domain.  Make the blog content rich with information about your product, your team’s expertise, service and support issues, market trends, technology trends, stakeholder achievements and more.  Share this link with all concerned on regular basis through email subscription or RSS feed.
  3. Create social media profile with links to your website and blog.  Actively involve with your stakeholders reaching them with the data concerned to them.
  4. Ensure your website and blog addresses are printed on all the company’s stationery, marketing collateral, and announce your website in all the marketing announcements in conferences, presentations and campus interviews.
  5. Encourage your employees to participate in your blog and invite participation of their contacts wherever the product and your content would be relevant to the participants.
  6. Release small advertisements just with your website and blog addresses and telephone numbers on regular basis.  This would not cost much and at the same time would educate people about your services.  The advertisement so decided can be a simple content like: “Visit us for your business consulting services.  www.blog.epmworld.in”
  7. Use moving media extensively to announce your website.  It could be a collaborative advertisement where you will share the ad space of other advertiser like movie advertisement.

There could be many more approaches.  However, you should consistently ensure that your website and blog are (a) available on 24x7x365 basis (b) no broken or dead links (c) you respond to each and every query from a website or blog visitor (d) you will honour whatever you propose through these channels.  Most important again is the fact that your company’s team who respond to the enquiries of website must have thorough knowledge and coordination control on required actions.

I will highlight on the promotion through SEO again.  Meanwhile you may also visit our other blog on social media.

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Services to Power sector Projects

Posted by on Sep 12, 2011 in | 3 comments

Services to Power Sector Projects

Infrastructure projects like Power Sector projects need to be precisely planned for optimum utilization of resources and meet the implementation schedules. Continuous monitoring, review and performance management are the highly important factors for these projects considering huge investments with multi-stakeholder delivery model.

Having supported several start-up projects in industry sectors viz., Technology, Power, Construction, Hospitality, Packaging, Food Processing, Retail, Education and Professional Services since the last two years, EPM World has embarked on to Project Management Consulting services to manage Power Sector projects from the phase of Project Initiation to the Commissioning stage.

The consulting division is equipped by in-house and collaborative expertise to meet the disparate nature of project services.

May please feel free to interact with our team to gain insight into each of the service offering or combinational services that EPM World can extend to reap you guaranteed benefits.

Project Management Consulting

  • Power Transmission System Survey using GIS and Conversion of LVDS to HVDS
  • Project Plan Development.
  • Setting up PMO.
  • Deployment of Project Management tools like MS Project, Primavera.
  • Selection and deployment of Project Management personnel.
  • Development and deployment of Project Methodologies, Process documentation, Formats.
  • Training to the entire Project Team on the Project Implementation, Project Plan, Baseline Monitoring, Performance Management and Earned Value Management.
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