21st century is a generation of oxymorons

It has been a 2 month absence from the blog. You could say that it was partly due to my busy schedule and partly due to my laziness. The 21st century is a generation of oxymorons.

At some phase of your start-up life you will encounter the phase which we like to call “inertia-phase”. You maintain the clients you already have. But with respect to new clients, the enthusiasm has fizzled out as the last few pitches had not gone according to plan. As you are not used to failure at this % level, your enthusiasm level starts to fizzle out. Deadlines for pitches are constantly changed according to convenience. Energy Levels are down unless you secure that next pitch.

My advice to you – soldier on. Try to find out something to maintain those energy levels. Coz there will be many times when you face such situations. When you are not sure if you have got the right staff, if your last pitch was a good effort, if you can pay off the salaries and the rent for the month.

Just remember. There isn’t any better place you would rather be. Have a Strategy meet over a half bottle of rum and I am sure you would find some new Idea to tide over this.

 

The Key is to keep faith.

Team Meets

They tell you that team dinners are a great way to bond for owners with their employees.

Well, we tried that, with a little difference. The dinner part just consisted of masala peanuts. The water was replaced by a lot of beer, frankly a lot. And one team member was absent, coz of fever. But the important point was that we bonded and discussed. And we sorted out a lot of differences. For e.g.

  • we agreed that Dilli waalahs can’t live without Aaloo and Paneer. Being all non Dilli Waalahs we proved it by just ordering biting of peanuts and chicken
  • We agreed upon doing something about the rat roaming around the office. The only point of contention was whether to let it live or not
  • a general consensus was reached that My Bar CP doesn’t hold a candle to My Bar Paharganj. The next team meeting was therefore decided to be held at MY Bar Paharganj.
  • everybody agreed that the Maharashtra Polls sucked
  • almost everyone wondered as to when Arvind Kejriwal would come out with his latest winter collection of mufflers

All jokes aside, it was surely a productive time for us. Came up with 2-3 great ideas which we hope to pitch to our clients and make money off. A man’s gotta earn…

 

Sarath..

Treat yourself

image

If there’s a heaven and if they are serving food there, the menu has to include “Jamaican rum and
almond duncaccino” with “Brute – Tough guy chicken burger from Dunkin Donuts” . I don’t know if I may reach heaven, but the people there deserve it.

So, after a long and tough week, I decide to treat myself to a well deserved donut and cold coffee at DD. One more reason for the treat was that I had somehow managed to lose 1.2 kilo during the week with just a single gym session. Somehow there was a weighing machine right outside the restaurant to confirm this.

So like any decent opportunistic junk food lover, I carpe diem-ed and filled my tummy with sugar enough to feed a colony of ants somewhere in Africa for a year. An entrepreneur needs energy.

BTW did you notice the dream filter I put on the picture???

Sarath

Don’t mess with the Bai..

Maybe 5 years into the future, I hope i can be accomplished at my work like our Bai.

Be able to Charge 1000 for a job worth 500 and be so in control that the client is afraid to disagree with me.

Frankly she scares the bejezzuz out of me. It’s only a dead rat that she has forgotten to remove, no problem. We can clean it…

 

Sarath

 

 

Patience Patience

One Lesson I have been learning while dealing with clients, employees and other people while handling my business, is that patience is the key to everything. There will be numerous instances where you would like to take a hammer and vent out your feelings but you have to pacify the inner HULK in you.

Turns out the lesson holds true when it comes to technology & inanimate objects.

One Major part of verifying your online presence nowadays is to get verified by Google as a business. Only then will your business come up on search listings when someone searches for it. But the surprising fact is that Google still uses good old snail mail to verify you. They send you your verification code by snail mail to your registered address. When you enter that on the site, your business is verified.

Well our snail mail arrived today, 10 days after I had requested for it. I hastily entered the code, but the site rejected it. My inner HULK was about to raise when I realized it was my own doing.

Earlier when the snail mail had not arrived after 4 days, I had requested google to send me another code, thereby the first code was automatically cancelled.

Damn Snail Mail… HULK Smash…

 

Sarath

A Single Entrepreneur

Thank God, the English gave us the words “Entrepreneur” & “Startup”. They help us put a positive and glamorous spin to the oft asked question by our elders – “Beta, kaam kya karte ho?”

And if you have no one to talk to when you come back home in the evening, you try to find out ways to share all those unique experiences that keep cropping up everyday in the life of a newbie entrepreneur.

This site/blog is such an attempt to share that life. Some struggles, some victories, some jokes and maybe a few miseries. And maybe a memorable journal for me to look back to, 10 years from now.

 

SBU

The Beginning

Shifting from Blogger to WordPress on my own domain.

My previous blog : http://greatsarbat.blogspot.in/

Hopefully this place will not just be the rants, but also my attempt at growing up. No promises though.

Sarath

Malala, Satyarthi & 99.8%ile in CAT


Yeah, today is one of those days. The day when you get to hear a self-absorbed, ignorant and opinionated rant.
But on second thoughts; with the advent of facebook and twitter, every Tom, Dick & Harry gets to spit out his “OUTRAGE” on every damn thing under the sun. So this day might not be different after all.. The only difference being that you get to hear some pears of wisdom from this blog. 
I normally take a back seat on passing my judgement on any major news. You can call it the signs of a lazy citizen or the scruples of a person who doesn’t want to comment on anything without knowing the whole truth. In such matters, i take the road dictated by my spiritual guru “The Dude” from the Big Lebowski – I “abide” and mind my own business…
The Nobel peace prize was announced today. As expected Malala got it along with a guy from India called “Kailash Satyarthi”. Though I am ashamed to say i had never heard about the guy earlier, I felt immensely proud, even more so when I googled him and found out the kind of work he has been doing. 
So what would tick of this all abiding guy from Dudeland you ask and force him to write a blog. When some opinionated pricks start pointing fingers at the honor and say things like
  • You just have to toe the lines of a western NGO to get this award nowadays
  • If the NGO is run by a certain section of the society, it is never recognized, because the west hates these guys
  • it is just a token award during times of war between India & Pakistan
To all these people, I write an open letter, or an open blog:
  1. Just recount what you were doing at the following ages
    • 11 – fighting with your younger brother over who gets the remote 
    • 13 –  fighting with the neighbouring society kids over who had won the toss before the inter  cricket match
    • 15 – fighting with your parents who are forcing you to study for your 10th board exams
    • 17 – fighting again with your parents over not being allowed to go to Goa with your friends after the 12th board exams
  2. Now, just replace it with the following life events
    • 11-13 – writing a personal blog against the Taliban about your opinion on promoting girls’ education in the Swat Valley which makes you world famous
    • 15 – being shot in the head by terrorists while you were travelling in your school bus and being unconscious and critical for so long after that
    • 16 – speaking on education for the girl child at the U.N headquarters
    • 17 – getting the Nobel prize
Now, I know I may be a little well off in Logical reasoning (scored 99,8% in CAT), but even my friend’s 3 year old daughter can figure out from this, as to who from the following 2 cases deserves recognition. 
I normally follow a simple philosophy on such cases – “If you have not experienced it, you don’t have to right to comment on it.”
Continuing the scenarios, just imagine you are able to live up to the ripe young age of 60 (fairly easy for our politicians). Can you do the following by the respective age?
  • 26 – Give up your career and dedicate yourself to the cause against child labour
  • 50 – Be on all the major panels working towards child development 
  • 55 – Be awarded all the major nations in the world for your work except your home country
  • 60 – get the Nobel prize
  • Yup, it’s a west funded award and they will have their own criteria. If you are handing out some recognition or award, wouldn’t you want the winners to have followed some of your own criteria rather than wait for the respective governments to nominate someone from the yearly quota. 
  • Yup, there would have been more deserving winners, but I am pretty sure that those guys would be the last guys to be worried about it. They would keep on doing their work
  • Even if the award is just a token, it is a token which is recognized globally and will surely bring more attention to the causes and force the respective governments to take some hard steps against it.
  • about allegations of financial irregularity against Satyarthi – prove it and you can have a Well done award from us. Till then keep your trap shut. 
Well, I think I have outraged enough.
My bai seems to think, I am fasting for Karva Chauth. No breakfast for me till now.

The Confused Chef

Lately, I have been developing a new Hobby – cooking. You would ask, “Why so late in life, Sarath?” And I would answer “Necessity is the mother of invention”. When the going gets tough and eating restaurant food everyday burns a hole in your pocket so deep which even Ambuja cement can’t fill, you are forced to develop hobbies.

Before starting this new venture, I did my usual soul searching. Would it be right to expose my internal digestive organs as a guinea pig to the Culinary experiments i was going to conduct. But I tried it 2-3 times and I realized that I was a natural. Sure, Half of the rice stuck to the cooker, the omelet was a dark shade of black on one side, the Batata Poha had more batata than poha but I am still alive.

As I am getting used to the terms in cooking sites, I have a list of doubts which I would like my friends to help me with

– What exactly is a golden brown color?? My onions usually turn black as soon as I turn my eyes away from the pan. It is like some invisible force in the kitchen doesn’t like the color Golden brown

– What do you do when you have a spoon that is larger than the tea-spoon and smaller than the table spoon?? What is the ratio like tea:Middle:table spoons?

– if you accidentally spill a small packet full of chilli powder into the pan while cooking ( it only happened like 5 or 6 times the last week i promise), how do you still make the food edible?

– What is a CUP of something???? See the last time i put a cup of rice to pressure cook, it lasted for a week and then I had something left to give to the neighbour’s dog..

– Shopping for food is more tiring than cooking. If only it were like Sanjeev Kapoor’s show, where all the recipe items were placed in small glass bowls before hand and all you had to do was empty them in the pan
                        – ek katori baareek kati hui pyaaz, do chamach  hara dhaniyaa etc etc..

– How come the Masterchef Australia guys prepare whole meals in half an hour, while we are stuck at the Onion cutting stage.

– Is there any lazy person’s guide to cooking? where all the dishes are completed in15 minutes and taste great?

– How much trial & error food(most of it error) can the human body take???

But I am happy to say that I have made good progress. My earlier repertoire of cooking skills included only Maggi and Tea, Now it has expanded to rice, batata with some poha, bread poha (bread with chilli powder – loads of it), onions with some scrambled eggs and my speciality – potato and tomato curry with half a kilo of chilli)

Wish me luck..