Everything you wanted to know about InFocus

Earlier today, InFocus made a comeback of sorts in India with the launch of their budget smartphone, the InFocus Turbo 5. Priced at ₹6,999 for the base variant and ₹7,999 for the higher spec’d variant, the smartphone will go on sale on July 4 exclusively on Amazon. Read more Everything you wanted to know about InFocus

Startup India Hub offers a platform for all stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem

Launched earlier this week, the Startup India Hub – www.startupindiahub.org.in – is an online platform for all stakeholders of the startup ecosystem in India, including startups, investors, mentors, incubators, accelerators, aspiring entrepreneurs, service providers, and government bodies. Read more Startup India Hub offers a platform for all stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem

UberMOTO is a masterstroke from Uber in markets like India

It’s been over a year since Uber launched a unique mobility option in India – UberMOTO. Also available in markets like Thailand, UberMOTO enables riders looking to save time and money on short trips to book a ride on a motorcycle using the familiar Uber experience.
Read more UberMOTO is a masterstroke from Uber in markets like India

An Open Letter to PR folks for a better Brand-PR-Media Ecosystem

Disclaimer: This post is based on my experience with corporate communications team of organizations and PR and social media agencies in the technology as well as, to use the broad term, lifestyle space. Different industry sectors might have different stories to tell, and individual mileage may vary. Also, I attempt a collective media representation for bloggers, online editors, print journalists, columnists, television panellists, et al.

Read more An Open Letter to PR folks for a better Brand-PR-Media Ecosystem

Mobile Learning: The Ubiquitous Learning


I was invited to speak at the HCL Social Learning conference, a maiden initiative of the L&D team at HCL. The event at Chennai saw a keynote from Naveen Naryanan, Global Head – Talent Management at HCL and four other experienced speakers with interesting speakers. Read more Mobile Learning: The Ubiquitous Learning

Adam Gilchrist on Leadership: Belief, Hope, and Trust


At the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum 2014 in Mumbai last week, Adam Gilchrist delivered a great keynote with some good humor and interesting anecdotes from the dressing room. He drew a lot of inspiration from his teammates and skippers in framing the lessons on leadership.
Read more Adam Gilchrist on Leadership: Belief, Hope, and Trust

A Polio-free India, and a Personal Milestone


Congratulations to all fellow Indians as India hits the landmark three-year milestone of being a polio-free country. A great win for the health department, the agencies, and all stakeholders.
Read more A Polio-free India, and a Personal Milestone

Wallets for the Urban Men

Wallets are a tricky pick for most urban men. There’s too much plastic – few credit cards and a zillion loyalty cards – that adds to the weight, and the awkward bulge comes across as a lump in your ass when you keep it in the back pocket of your jeans or trousers. No wonder, I see many of my friends pull it out when they sit at a restaurant table or in the car.
Read more Wallets for the Urban Men

Two Years On: From Job to Jobless to Business


Well, say hello to baxiabhishek & partners, a business entity (self-proprietorship) with which I’ll do business – offering digital consulting to clients – starting August 2013.

The Process
I’m as geeky in anything finance as Internet Explorer 6 users are in technology. Okay, maybe I’m a little better.  But I was all worried and getting things started in order to have registration et al. When I finally did it, I found it surprisingly easy for a proprietorship.

Just head to the Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax portal, fill the ST1 form for registration, head to the Central Excise and Customs Commisionerate of your region to submit your identity documents and proofs, and it’s done. You’ll get the ST2 form, which is essentially the registration certificate.

Opening a business (current) account, while I assumed would be simpler, was otherwise. Every bank would have different requirements. SBI had nine in total which included IT returns, business registration certificate from Municipal Commissioner of Gurgaon, and few other things. HDFC Bank asked for the minimum documents (although the highest minimum balance requirement), and so I chose it. I gave my PAN, Passport, and the ST2 registration. Sorted.

My primary savings account is Citibank, so I did not consider it for the business account. I know it would’ve been best though. The processes and ‘please visit the branch’ mandates of ICICIs and HDFCs are annoying!

The Journey
After leaving my fine job at Microsoft in June 2011, I’ve been treading the parallel road of being an independent digital consultant and technology columnist for a while now. Two years actually. While the former was the intended play when I decided to quit the ‘job’, the latter was always an indulgence which started to take more of my time. When the ZDNet offer came up, I knew this was a parallel profession rather than a laidback interest.

Anyway, I was lucky in the initial months of being ‘jobless’, picking up clients like SAB Miller, American Express, and Microsoft, and bagging more like PVR Cinemas, HP, and others on the way. Sometime I thought I was ‘getting there’ quicker than I hoped for, but knew that I had to work on consistency rather than flash-in-the-pan projects and campaigns.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
It’s been good. I’ve got an exciting portfolio, have engaged with several brands, and travelled to several tech events with media credentials. I miss the water cooler conversations and the table tennis matches at Microsoft, and the ego boost of working at one of the best, and my favourite, technology brands, but being your own boss and working from home never killed anybody. Sometimes, I maybe broke, but I sleep contended. Or stay up in excitement.

The Next Step
I’ve already got my eyes on a proposition of renting an office space. Since I’m restricted in the need by size, I’ll go for the new-age shared/virtual office spaces and have, I guess, zeroed down on one. Soon.

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