How to build a Start-up from a real Challenge from MyGov.in


“Live and think like a child. Or have that childlike curiosity and wonder. That’s probably the most important trait you can have, especially as an entrepreneur.  Brian Chesky, Cofounder of Airbnb”

Being an entrepreneur can be challenging, rewarding, frustrating, satisfying, disappointing, and exhilarating. But when you look back at your efforts you will have a state of mind called Bliss. You will never regret for trying your best even if you did not realize your dream.

In order to help you in your journey of becoming an entrepreneur I have taken up a real case of a start-up challenge on the Mygov.in portal and will explain how to create a start up from this.

Here is the link to the real challenge posted on the https://innovate.mygov.in/  site https://innovate.mygov.in/birac-innovation-challenge-award/   “Platform technologies for reducing the burden of Diseases (Communicable and Non-communicable diseases”

The problem (opportunity): is to prevent communicable and non-communicable disease from spreading.

Below I explained how to analyse, define, design and create a new Start-up on the above opportunity

A start up means there uncertainty, sweat, stress, self-doubt that one has to overcome first.

First finding a Good name for the start-up. In this case let’s call this company as “Consolidated Wellbeing Management Systems (CWMS)”

First step is to get clear idea of the opportunity by having a business model canvas.

Business model canvas

The Business Model Canvas offers a concise tool for thinking through the business and keeping the key points highly visible to you, your team and all other stakeholders.

Now we need to visualize the company’s present and future operations in the form of a Infographic. I used D3JS Java script , PHP and Xammp  and developed the following structure. You may consider using other software tools.

Like a well-built home, great software focuses on giving its users hundreds of small, satisfying interactions.

“It looks different, it feels different and it sounds different.” Should be the feeling users should have.

We wanted to build something that can be used by many people from diverse backgrounds. Before writing the first line of code you should do some research, make plans, create to-do lists and sketches, and try to visualize what you will want to have in the end.

Since the Layout is too big to fit into one screen I have sliced it into multiple screenshots as follows to show the complete start-up hierarchy and its activities

The most important points to remember for a start-up is to know the last mile i.e you should be able to visualize your company 20 years forward and come backwords to have clear vision  of how to sustain that long. Since this is a software based challenge what differentiates and sustains this company is choosing the right IT infrastructure and clearly understanding what value can be delivered to customers (citizens, Business Government agencies, Doctors Hospitals etc.).

Here are some important points to remember while developing the software platform.

  1. Very simple user interface with an eye on aesthetics and mindfulness that citizens with no technical background will be using the app.
  2. Minimalistic design such as a single button for citizens to just notify that they have a disease.
  3. Notification of the disease to nearest Health providers and government agencies.
  4. Speech recognition software for Doctors and Government agencies to add further information on the patient’s button click message.
  5. APP features for Health providers should have interface connection to AADHAR(India’s unique Id No), using http://indiastack.org/about/ (IndiaStack is a set of APIs that allows governments, businesses, startups and developers to generate patients profile, geographic locations and all other information)  that allows Government and health providers to plan the logistics in controlling the disease spread.
  6. Planning the use of AI, IOT sensors and Machine learning tools to create a global software platform and integrate it with multiple health and other related infrastructure, scalability of operations, and performance of the software information systems is very essential.
  7. The integrated system should achieve the following goals.
  • Allow citizens to report about the disease and alerting government and other agencies to notice that there is a disease about to spread.
  • Allow health providers , government agencies and others to know about the geographical location of spreading  disease
  • Display the available transportation logistics to reach the location
  • Display the nearest health care providers information, enable users to alert the concerned professionals, collect real time data on the spreading disease using IOT sensors at strategic locations such as hospitals.
  • Allow Doctors to monitor the flow of patients and availability of medicines and support staff.
  • Create a Dashboard for command and control monitoring at the federal and state level with all statistical information related to disease, transportation, location, costs and any other information needed for fast action.
  1. The software should be scalable, adoptable and should have operational efficiency and integration capabilities to future inventions such as Speech Recognition, IOT, Machine Intelligence and Artificial intelligence and integration to health Monitoring equipment’s.
  2. The software should be cloud based and should be hacker proof and should have integration with all payment gateways Example fo Cloud based service providers are 1. Microsoft Azure 2. Amazon Web Services AWS IBM 4.SalesForce 5.SAP

In India top 10 cloud services providers are Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys Limited, Wipro Limited ,Cipher Cloud, CtrlS Datacenters Ltd.

Next Blog will have more deeper analysis on this subject. Thanks for reading. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

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The transformation of academy to Economic and well-being clusters


We are in an age of complex challenges which demands a broader vision, capabilities in critical thinking and logical deduction without which we cannot have constructive progress.

Students are entitled to expect that they will succeed in learning something of value when they are groomed by schools and colleges. If they don’t succeed, they are entitled to know immediately that they have not. And when they have not succeeded, they have the right to expect that they will be involved in learning that makes success more likely on their next try. Education, which cannot subscribe to these ideas—neither in their words nor in actions—are not likely to manage effectively.

Young Kids should be more engaged in open possibilities with unbridled curiosity, passion for problem solving, taking risks and strong ethics. Present education and society’s wrong expectations are shifting them from those great characters which are the need of the hour.

Unpredictably is the norm of the day. The magnitude of cultural, societal, industrial, technological, environmental and other unforeseen events is so complex that, in order to handle those complex challenges we need to prepare this young generation very differently.

Here are the transformation steps we need in academy.

  1. Fitness first and then everything else falls in place. Academy should make it mandatory in keeping everyone in the society hale and healthy by introducing yoga, meditation, sports and community service. Transform universities, colleges/school campuses to have the required infrastructure and grade students accordingly.
  2. Citizen resources: Redesign the whole university, college/school campuses for active participation of Citizens, Professionals, scientists, businessmen, industry,  students or anyone who wishes to learn, experiment, tinker and create products.
  3. Wellbeing Centres: Redesign classrooms into wellbeing centres where anyone can use the resources for increasing their physical, mental and psychological fitness.
  4. Business Academic centres: Remove the legal and all boundaries of identifying academy and business separately. Every business activity should have participation from fresh minded students, faculty along with the employees of the business.  Many a times, Business experts are trapped by their own knowledge and fresh graduates creates innumerable possibilities for some real challenges business faces.  This will be a win-win situation for both industry and academy in areas of working in real world challenges and gaining skills and talents in sustaining business with low costs, higher profitability and new innovations.
  5. Clusters of Expertise:  All universities, colleges and schools should be grouped as clusters of specific expertise and that should be based on the knowledge, skills, talents needed in industries, software technology parks, special economic zones and other industrial clusters in and around the academic institutes.

For example if there are many pharmaceutical companies and Petrochemical industries in an area then the academic curriculum of that area’s colleges, schools and universities should be on those specific domains and also on emerging trends such as Robotics, artificial intelligence and data analytics ,drug discovery, Health innovations  etc. in the above sectors.  By clubbing universities, colleges and schools based on the specific domain expertise and emerging trends,  students, faculty will gain real time working experiences.

  1. Academic Project clusters: All government funded initiatives, projects , infrastructure developments and all kinds of commercial works of state and federal programs should be initiated in university clusters by making them as part of the stakeholders in that specific projects. This will erase the boundaries between Education and commerce. The initiatives will create employment for students who will be getting grading on their progress in real world work.
  2. Functional Degrees. Degrees should be awarded to students and remuneration and other rewards for faculty on the work accomplished in live projects. Those certificates should be based on the expertise gained in specific functional areas rather than general certificates such as civil engineering, mechanical engineering etc. These way each clusters of universities will be building on specific domain skills, talents which can be mapped to business requirements and other such needs.

The proposal is a major structural, legal and strategic change with immense benefits for the good of academy, business and Government.

Since a new business model requires disrupting the present, it’s important to be thoroughly conversant with prevailing model and how present system creates value.

There should not be any confusion about the new business model with changing the activities performed within the present framework. If it is done that way then its plain old business process reengineering. This inside-out view has the potential of labelling mere internal alterations as a new model. Don’t. Instead, academy, government and all stakeholders should take an outside-in view, focusing on outcomes, not activity, in addressing whether the business model is truly new. Internal activities will most likely morph as a result of addressing changes to strategic factors, but this is a second-order effect.

Comments, improvements, new ideas are always encouraged. Let’s make ourselves better with best practices.  Thank you for reading.

The Museum in you


The unhindered enthusiasm to discover the world when you are a kid start creating a museum in you

The aspirations and perspiration of parents growing you adds spice to the Museum in you

The enduring childhood, the thrills, shrills and drills at school shapes the personality of museum in you.

The social activities, confused and dazed teenage, pressure to excel decorates the Museum in you.

The untiring efforts towards challenges, the grit to succeed, and the mark to make a difference are the endearing characters of the museum in you.

The   temptations, the failures, the weaknesses, the frustrations become indelible memories of the museum in you.

The faith, belief, criticism, health, age, upbringing, infatuations, frustrations, bliss, happiness, moods, cherished friendships, soulmates, classmates, society becomes the tapestry of life in the museum in you.

The journey of life appears better than the end, the patience to wait for achievements, getting there to the cherished goals is the final bliss and tranquility of your Museum in you.

New Economic Model and the Role for Academy


The dynamic environment of economic activities that shape the nations growth and prosperity needs a new language and new practices to sustain long term.   There is no end game. It is infinite game of aligning the best interests of our societies to stay hale and healthy, coexisting harmoniously within the wonderful nature by preserving and aligning our economic, industrial, technology and any kind of  progress and wellbeing of all the  living species . This can be achieved by orienting all that progress towards new environmentally friendly products and services and solid growth.

In order to meet that target there is an urgent need to redefine the status quo in Academics and bring academics to the forefront of economic activity of the nation.

Merging Academy and Industry as one entity will lead to major job growth and Economic Resilience when IOT (internet of things), Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Machine learning like technological innovation take away human jobs. The question to ask is  “GROWTH CAN BE MANAGED AND GUIDED, BY WHOM, AND FOR WHAT NEEDS”?  Academy should become the wellbeing centre of excellence (as explained in my Earlier blog here https://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2017/10/31/stop-building-classroom-and-focus-on-wellbeing-buildings-and-more-laboratories/

) to sustain and nurture new opportunities in products and services that align us with environment.

Innovation typically precedes strategic decisions and by redefining academy as part of economic growth of any country we will be in a position to create new opportunities and new possibilities.

Here is the game plan for introducing a new paradigm that I call ‘Economic sustenance by redefining academics’.

  1. The boundaries, language and legal matters that identify universities , colleges , schools and all educational related institutes needs to be redefined with an eye on tapping the vast pools of raw talents of students(knowledge and skills gatherers) , Research scholars, professors by orienting their academic activities on creating new opportunities.
  2. There is a huge effort by government in attracting major industries to invest in their respective states. Some of those industries in areas such as Machine learning, Chip designing, Artificial intelligence, Gene mapping, anti-aging (example: Google Calico project collaborating with Drug maker Abvie https://www.calicolabs.com/ ) have to spend money in establishing research laboratories. Instead Universities and colleges should be tapped and allowed to participate in government’s activities in this kind of initiatives to map the academy’s internal resources, knowledge, skills and infrastructure required by industry and actively engaged. This allows Faculty, students to learn corporate best practices and become valuable contributors to the economic prosperity of the institutes and helps industry with lowering their costs of establishing new laboratories.
  3. State and Federal (central) governments spends a lot of money on infrastructure development projects such as building dams, roads, mining (example sand, minerals etc. ) , smart cities and many such activities by floating tenders and inviting private industry to take up the projects.  Most of the projects are not implemented as designed due to various reasons such as corruption, poor usage of manpower, materials and plethora of issues. Academy and students should be allowed to become part of the project’s stakeholders which helps students, faculty to learn vital project management and people’s skills and earn some money for the institutes. Some of the major project delays, poor quality, and corruption activities can be eliminated as students and academy’s interests will be more in implementing quality and good practices in the projects.
  4. The whole academic nomenclature, infrastructure needs to be redesigned to make them part of this new economic model by mapping the raw talents of the students , expertise of faculty and connecting them to industry needs.
  5. Government should act as facilitator by allowing academy/private participation in projects implemented at state and country wide.

Universities, colleges and Education isn’t here to make us feel comfortable.  The intention, practices and the language is to make students feel excited and raring to go and find the truth and enlightenment. Academic institute in their pure form should be bringing energy, efficiency, bliss and completeness and fulfilment while actively engaging the raw talents of the students.

Want to add your thoughts and feedback. Please do so by commenting.

Associating Belief systems and cultural practices to Academics


From childhood some common rituals, practices, beliefs are hard wired into our brains. Some of these practices are beyond the proof of science. Even those with extra ordinary capabilities in science and technology follow certain ceremonies that are still beyond the reach of human cognition. One such phenomenon is seeking blessings from God before a launch of satellite or starting a major and complex projects spanning across the globe.

When we are suffering we look for solace in practices that cannot be proven by science and we take great pains to seek the blessings or visit far off crowded religious places to just get the blessings we need. Come Rain or Shine we are so determined to follow the rituals.

When we look this from a scientific angle we see the best human characters such as determination, focus, will to overcome obstacles, patience and all those best practices that can make anyone highly successful if same are followed in academics or career.

A major effort is going on in reforming education system across the globe. To name a few prominent personalities in educational reform are Bill gates  https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2010/04/12-Foundations-Commit-to-Education-Innovation-with-US-Department-of-Education

, Khan academy https://www.khanacademy.org/  , Facebook Zuckerberg https://chanzuckerberg.com/ ,  Indian Government sponsored national skills development programs  http://nsfindia.org/,  Massive Online Open courseware (MOOC) programs  and the list goes on.  If we search online we can find organizations, corporate houses, foundations all working to reform education system.

I felt everyone is missing the last mile effort in their Noble intentions of reaching out to every kid on the planet. That is creating curiosity, love, blind faith, solace and all those characteristics that I described above which we follow without questioning when it comes to religion, culture, heritage and whatnot other than scientifically proven methods.

What I wish to bring to attention to all those great pioneers of educational reforms is to align their process, practices and subject matter to bring the same extra ordinary characteristics we show when it comes to all the practices I mentioned above into academics and corporate best practices.

A great research is needed on deeper understanding of how even a very common person exhibits extra ordinary human characters when it comes to religious practices, cultural and belief systems. That insights should then be ingrained in to our educational practices.

Also I think by aligning our education system, syllabus, skill enhancement programs to spirituality and to harmonious living with nature, will bring extra ordinary success not just in making our children the best but also saving our planet from disintegration because of our behaviour and practices till date that will lead us just to destruction.

It is time that we align our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education more in tune to Nature’s way of handling the Planet’s resources. Our living standards should not be measured by materialistic gadgets we have but how well we are integrated with the nature around us and how well our gadgets are aligned to nature.

What do you think?  Complement and enrich this thought process with your comments and suggestions please.

The Impact of Automation on present Employees and young graduates


The anxiety of job loss is palpable for several employees from across the industries. Robots, Deep learning, Artificial intelligence has rapidly matured in taking care of most of the work performed by millions of Software engineers or white/blue collar workers.  Automotive and auto parts, electrical and electronic parts, business process outsourcing, textile, clothing and footwear  and retail are some of the industries that already are seeing loss of millions of jobs.

Most of the Banks, financial institutes, brokerage firms  will face closure due to rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin which will affect millions of graduates/MBA’s  wanting to work in financial sector.

There are driver less cars, deep machine learning techniques which can accurately predict diseases (Doctors are you reading this?) and provide medical advices are some examples of how deep the impact will be.

Modern machines, Robots, sensors, Software can now not only do manual routine tasks but also do work that requires cognitive intelligence.

As a result a highly trained radiologist or a specialized software engineer in a company is in danger of being replaced by a Computer software or a Robot that have the cognitive capabilities and can work consistently.

According to a World economic forum report “current trends could lead to a net employment impact of more than 5.1 million jobs lost to disruptive labour market changes over the period 2015–2020, with a total loss of 7.1 million jobs—two thirds of which are concentrated in the Office and Administrative job family” Source:  http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs.pdf

Due to rapid and wide spread automation, AI, Deep learning and Robots replacing humans,  there will be no requirement of software engineers who are just specialists in any core technologies such as JAVA, Web or RDBMS. Rapid maturity of the above mentioned technologies will have the following impact on employment, present jobs and future jobs.

  1. Around 56% of jobs in industries such as Logistics, Healthcare, banking, transportation etc. in areas HR, Services, deliveries, finance, IT,  middle management jobs (supervisors, managers, Software engineers, clerks, tax experts, bank clerks etc. ) are automated and employment in this areas will be dwindling rapidly.
  2. Other areas of job loss will be are hotels and restaurants (80.7 per cent), wholesale and retail trade (77.5 per cent), construction (70.8 per cent) and manufacturing (61.6 per cent). Source : http://www.ilo.org/global/lang–en/index.htm
  1. By year 2020 employees will be working with Robots and other intelligent machines as colleagues and they have to take orders from machines to fulfill the remaining work that is not already replaced by the machines.
  2. There will be a situation in many companies, where humans will not be able to get jobs and only robots handle entire company operations. One such live example is Dyson’s automated Singapore plant where 55 robots do all the work that is done by 100’s of engineers. https://www.fastcodesign.com/1671939/dysons-80-million-new-factory-dedicated-to-its-most-unsung-invention
  3. Infosys an Indian IT giant plans to embrace automation and artificial intelligence, besides other newer technologies. Post-automation of certain operations, Wipro is already in the process re skilling 4500 employees for new technologies.
  4. Few and few companies will visit Universities and colleges for recruiting students (NO MORE CAMPUS Recruitment)  and there is no choice for universities and colleges but to rapidly adopt to changing business needs and adopt to new skills and teach students the same. Otherwise they will be producing huge numbers of Un employed youth that will have a cascading effect on industry and the country’s growth prospects.

Suggestions for Universities, educational institutes, Schools and other skills imparting institutes.

  1. Employees, Students should have the mindset for New skills adaptation and they should always be willing to be learning constantly based on the business needs.
  2. Change the ratio of teaching staff to include Industry experts in the proportion of 60% academic and 40% Industry experts in universities, colleges and schools and make faculty accountable of what skills they impart to students and reward only those who make students acceptable by industry.
  3. Avoid recognizing Marks as the parameter of students success in academics and recognize and reward special skills , creativity shown by students. Allow industry experts to teach students ‘Creativity , innovation and change” and make it mandatory for students to prove they are learning this vital skills.
  4. Eliminate class rooms and replace with Practical labs. Embrace online MOOC classes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course  and make students to pass the courses designed by industry and academic experts.
  5. Ask students to solve society’s or industry’s problems as part of school, college project submissions. Indian Government as part of engaging citizens has shared some challenges with rewards. Check details here https://www.mygov.in/  BTW i participate in some of the challenges.
  6. Change syllabus to include what industry will be needing in coming years. Be Proactive in knowing the skills needed in next 5 to 10 years rather than reactive in teaching present skills needed.  There is a huge requirement for software and hardware security experts by 2020. A report from Frost & Sullivan and (ISC)2 found that the global cybersecurity workforce will have more than 1.5 million unfilled positions by 2020. But the security industry is a fast-growing market.  More details on this report is here. http://blog.isc2.org/isc2_blog/2015/04/isc-study-workforce-shortfall-due-to-hiring-difficulties-despite-rising-salaries-increased-budgets-a.html
  7. For those who are working in Software industry or any other sector here is my advice.  Visualize yourselves working with robots, machines only and into next 10 years of your career and work backwards to check what skills will be in demand after 10 years and start learning them right now. If you just know one skills you will be in danger of losing your job pretty soon. Having a diversified skills set is a reward in present job market.
  8. Jobs in areas such as Artificial intelligence, robotics,cyber-security,  building intelligent machines will be on raise and also many traditional jobs that need deep cognitive skills won’t be replaced rapidly and there is scope for job stability.
  9. Because of huge pressure, stress, anxiety in work areas,  individual’s health will suffer which will force for more visits to hospitals. Yoga and meditation will gain tremendous influence in helping those who embrace Yoga and Meditation. I advice young students to start seriously practicing YOGA and Meditation. You can make a career in this two healthy areas.

Finally those who are lifelong learners and who can rapidly adopt to changing job specifications, skills will stay relevant and those who resist change will be side-lined.

Any comments, additions to this article are welcome to do so. Thanks

Where there is a WHY there is a WAY


“The ‘why’ of what we do is much more motivating than the ‘what,’ we do.

When we are young we don’t really care to chart a course of action of what we really want in our life or where we really want to go. We just know that we need to go to school or college, make friends, study or have fun and pass out. If we are Lucky enough we get into job via Campus recruitment or thru some competitive exams whether we like it or not. All of these are familiar to most of the students.    Those are the golden days where we enjoy watching movies with friends, post photos on Facebook, study together or do something that we know really well. We never question “why” we do what we are doing daily.    We are in a comfort zone and we don’t care much to plan or plot a particular journey or reach a particular goal that is unknown to us.  We won’t know the meaning of “Vision” or what “Disruption” to our daily routine means.  Very few students move out of comfort zone, from daily habits, from the known life and experiment with things, think differently, work hard to reach great goals,  do something different than their friends or classmates do. They are charting an unknown path and at every step of learning they stop, re-evaluate and recalibrate their course of action and finally they will find a WAY for leading a life not just living another day that is just like yesterday for many others.

“Vision” implies you have a view of exactly where you want to go and you chart a course of action plan accordingly, like plotting a journey on a map, a straightforward road with no distractions, roadblocks or alternate routes.

Others just move forward and they don’t form any idea how to lead a life until a problem makes them to think. That is the time self is constructed and that is the time most of them take a course of action and follow.  That is the time WHY leads to find a “WAY” out of the situation. For some of those who don’t ask themselves “WHY” early on they may end up with doing something they don’t really want to do whether it is their subjects or life  or career.

So my friend every day you should question your routine with a WHY and you will realize that you need a WAY to better your life. Better life with best practices is what my vision is for skillsnest.