Saturday, November 24, 2007

Media transcription opportunity

"English-literate housewives in remote places can do transcription work for talk-shows, interviews, speeches, documentaries and group discussions, sitting at home. We are training people for this. Earning potential for the trained people is about Rs 20,000 per month."

S. Shivakumar, CEO, iSource I.T. Enabled Services Pvt Ltd (

Nov 24, over lunch

‘BPO is here to stay’


Murali said...

Sat, Nov 24, 2007 at 4:25 PM
Cc: vinod kumar ramani
I shall be happy to have your answers for a few questions - as a possible email interview.
0) First, your story. (biographical, initial business lessons, growth trajectory)
1) Your business model - the schematic - and the financials, headcount, stats
2) Special skills that you think are the distinguishing features of your work.
3) Hurdles that small business face - policy, funding, compliance and so on.
4) Rupee impact and response.
5) Growth areas that you are working on.
6) Your initiatives for remote job, and responses. Case studies. (quotes from people who have benefited) dropouts, health problems
7) Success stories (World Bank, Microsoft, CNBC, Harvard) - (quotes)
8) Plans for the future - trends in the industry - do you see a bubble (dotcom boom vs BPO)
9) Any other points of interest

Murali said...

Bio... in Shiva's words...

As you figured out, I am blessed with time I should say. I have come a complete round in the entire IT spectrum: IT training Industry, Dotcom business, IT Business and now in BPO business. From mid 1996 I had opportunity to witness and be part of IT Training boom, IT Boom, Dotcom boom, Dotcom burst and post sep11 IT burst and now in BPO business.

Well, I learnt business lessons from by doing it. IT and dotcom industry had no big history and so lessons chip on.

I am a post graduate in management with finance as core subject. But, my work from the day one is with IT Companies.

Work History

1996 – 1998 US Company – Local business

I joined with a newly found US based IT training and Web Solutions Company owned by cousin. I handled IT training and web solutions marketing for two years.

Lessons: obviously, it was huge for me. No experience... no seniors in India office to guide. I learnt many things by doing it. I had to innovate and experiment. This was the time I got exposure to US, where the principals were sitting. Working culture, economics and balancing act to fill information gap with bosses in US.

Work History – 1998- 2000

Dotcom – first mover…

In later part of 1998, I jumped out and started my own dotcom (www.tnagar,com and related location specific portals) venture along with a financial partner. It was huge success. It lasted till early 2000 and I somehow figured it that dotcom is going to burst.

Lessons: As one of the early movers in dotcom, I enjoyed the limelight. I learnt to innovate and implement many marketing initiatives. Lesson out of this venture was innovation pays….

Work History – 2000 - 01

1 Year Recruitment company experience - An Entrepreneur in the making

In the middle, I had a less than I year stint in a leading Recruitment company as head of their IT recruitment division. I got into this to help that company in its absence of its Director who had gone to US to develop business.

Lesson: though I had done some US recruiting in my first job, this recruitment company exposure helped to me widen my knowledge in IT business spectrum. I felt that An Entrepreneur in the making. Varied experience in most of the IT proves good for me today.

Work History – 2001 - 02

IT Products – IBM Rational

Marketing SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle) Tools is big thing in India. Selling software to top 100 software companies needs technical background and comprehensive knowledge of software development life cycle. Soon after I took this career, 2001 sep 11 happened and it was the time IT companies started loosing charm and tightening their budget.

Lesson: It was really a challenging job and I partly succeed given the IT burst situation. This is when I got exposed larger IT companies, I had chance to meet most of the senior profiles and decision makers in big budget software budgets. Their business models, working culture, their budgeting workouts etc..

Work History – 2002 – 04

ERP & Web solutions

I should say, I got good break with leading ERP and Web Solutions Company as their Head of Ebusiness division. This helped to use my expertise in Web solutions into ERP specific to manufacturing client base.

Lesson: This opportunity helped me to shape my managerial skills as I was getting things done with 100 talented staff group. This job gave confidence to venture out to on my own.

Work History – 2004 – till date

BPO – iSource - little money and plenty of 24 hours per day!!!

(4 to 5 hours sleep on office sofa!)

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Entrepreneur in me always spot opportunity well in advance. Since I was preparing myself for a venture, it was easy to venture out when glimpse of BPO boom seen. My failures in past entrepreneurial attempts were due to lack of experience and volatile business scenarios. We started small and scaling high. Ironic to big budget BPO outwits, we relied on no budget bootstrapping…!

It was reality. Being from lower middle class upbringing and first generation entrepreneur, we had to bootstrap with little money and plenty of 24 hours per day I had.

At the same time, I ventured with the traditional Indian style investment… we sold all the jewels in hand to mobilize roughly around 1.5 lakh. My lovely married wife with 200% confidence on me stood firm on me venturing with whatever we had.


In an e-mail exchange..

Murali said...

On partners...

"Partners – capable individuals

There is a tremendous scope for new entrepreneurs in the market. Many are keen and aspiring to fire their bridges and jump into business.

In an effort to leverage the growth potential, we are looking our individuals with entrepreneurial zeal to join hands with iSource. This category of partners need not come with money. Today’s world service industry boom, it is for people matters.

Partners – Investors

Old economy businesses and High Net-worth Individuals spread across India and overseas countries like US and Gulf are looking at BPO as their next bet. iSource is seriously looking to partner with them and reap the growth potential with our current strength.

Smart Money is the key to BPO business today. Investors with rich experience in business is the most sought and iSource too wants to engage serious dialogue with investors with good business experience."

In an e-mail exchange.

Anonymous said...

They do not pay vendors, vendors who do the work for them.