Monthly Archives: October 2008

POCC Meetup Reminder – Meet Pune Entrepreneurs on 18th Oct

What: Pune OpenCoffee Club get-together. Startup speed date. Get to know a lot Pune startups/entrepreneurs in a short time.

When: Saturday, 18th October, 4pm – 7pm

Where: SICSR, Model Colony. Here is the map.

Registration and Fees: This event is free for everyone, but RSVP unmesh at gmail dot com


The idea is for POCC members to get to know the city-entrepreneurs better and on the flip side, the entrepreneurs get to practice their elevator-pitch, field biting questions, and maybe find that one person they sorely need on their team. Please note that this is not a hiring event so please leave those resumes behind.

Here’s the format of a Startup-speed-date:
1. All the startups will first give a brief introduction.
2. Startups will occupy tables
3. Folks would get to do a sit-down with the startup for a max of 5 (? tbd) minutes
4. At end of the 5 min round the folks move on to the next table
5. this process continues till all in the room have gotten a chance to meet the ones manning the tables
6. At the end of the event you have a chance to win prizes (no iPods – all startups here) by guessing the startup from quiz questions.

Entrepreneurs signed up so far

1. ThinkingSpace Technologies –
2. Chroma Systems Pvt Ltd. –
3. Lipikaar – Express yourself in Language –
4. pringOO – express your Individuality –
5. Shop Online at Laxmi Road –
6. – News, Jobs, and Networks for people who create change
7. Pay for Performance SEM Solution –
8. A Wissen Systems initiative –
9. Kaboodle – Social Shopping Network –
10. Information Engine (Search Startup) called “42” –
11. AI for information access on mobile –
12. Sales/Marketing services for SME’s –
13. Contextual widgets for your website/blog –
14. Prasanna Walimbe – SaaS for equity research.
15. Parth Pandya – Provider of software solutions

…and the list is growing.

If you are an entrepreneur then you should sign up, because letting the community know what you are upto is always a good thing. Just send an email to unmesh at gmail dot com. If you are interested in the startup ecosystem in Pune, you should be there.

The Pune OpenCoffee Club meets on the third Saturday of every month from 4 to 7 pm at SICSR. Often, there are also other ad hoc meetings organized by members of POCC. See the PuneTech calendar for a comprehensive list of all upcoming tech events in Pune.

CSI Lecture: Applications of Business Intelligence – 16th Oct

Computer Society of India – Pune Chapter presents the second lecture in a series on Data warehousing. The first lecture gave an overview of BI and DW. The second lecture will describe how these techniques are used by businesses:

What: Applications of of Business Intelligence  by Narendar C.V. of SAS R&D India.

When: Thursday, October 16th, 2008, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Persistent Systems, Senapati Bapat Road
Entry: Free for CSI Members, Rs. 100 for others. Register here.

Details – Overview of BI & Data warehousing

This lecture will cover the various applications of Business Intelligence solutions. These include Customer Intelligence, solutions specific to Industries and also will touch upon real time BI applications. Narender will explore the value and use of advanced Business Intelligence, areas such as Performance Management, Customer Management and Analytics: forecasting, data mining and Optimization. He’ll present examples of advanced business Intelligence methods and uses, and suggest ways companies can implement and incorporate these types of analysis. He will also discuss ways to measure the success and ROI. 

If you’ve always wanted to know why, how and when you should be using advanced BI, you won’t want to miss this!

It is not necessary to have attended the previous lecture.

For more information about other lectures in this series, and in general other tech events in Pune, see the tech events calendar at upcoming.

About the speaker – Narender C.V.

Narender is a Principal Consultant at SAS. He currently spearheads the Solution development for the Retail & Manufacturing Solution.

Tech User Groups / Communities / Mailing lists in Pune

This is information about various technology-oriented groups and organizations in Pune. As Gireendra Kasmalkar advises getting involved in communities like this is an important factor in your success. So, pick one (or more) and get involved!

If you are aware of an active tech group in Pune that is not on this list, let us know and we’ll add it.

And of course, in this list, don’t forget PuneTech, your one stop shop for all information about interesting technology in Pune: events, news, companies, technologies, and people. Subscribe now for updates by email or via RSS. If the information isn’t already there in the PuneTech wiki, then ask us and well try to find it for you.

The next wave of entrepreneurship in India

Monish Darda, Director of Product Development at BMC BladeLogic and co-founder of WebSym, wrote an article on the next wave of entrepreneurship in India for CSI Pune’s quarterly newsletter Desktalk. Parts of that article have been reproduced here with permission. You should be able to download the the newsletter (contain the full article) from CSI Pune website’s download section. (It’s the July-Aug-Sept 2008 newsletter.)

So let us take a look at tomorrow’s entrepreneur – I tend to see him (or her – the masculine is just convenience) in two colors – Mr E the risk taker, and Mr E, the man with the plan. Tomorrow’s risk taker is a person fresh out of college, with a few like-minded close friends and a couple of mentors, who want to do the next cool thing. The man with the plan is a youngish guy, probably back from the USofA, his future secured, with a plan that will leverage India for his next successful startup. Is anyone building up a services company? Well, yes and no. What I see in the future is services sold as a product. One in three entrepreneurs are going to be thinking about leveraging the labor cost differential at the low end of the value chain along with innovation that takes the returns to the high end of the value chain.

I see social networking sites that will spawn with better ideas in India, quickly gaining eyeballs, cheaper and faster than anywhere else except China perhaps. I see quicker and richer integration of media, with infotainment at the core. Indian entrepreneurs will be driving mid range technology applications with a larger audience and higher success rates. You saw youtube and facebook become the rage and build value worth billions in a short span of time – hold your breath for the Indian versions; they are not too far away in the future.

I see mobile middle-ware and products – if every other Indian is going to have a mobile phone soon, the apps are not far away. Indian apps, in Indian languages, closer to the Indian psyche, driven by Indian technology entrepreneurs. And it is not far in the future that we will have our own Nokias and Sonys and Ericssons – hardware is sure to follow.

I am not a betting person, but if I were, I would be betting on small, consumer shareware coming out of India in the near future – apps for the phone, the iPhone and the PC, that makes practical use of the now ubiquitous personal computer. I see enterprise software being developed in India, owned in India, but still managed and sold principally outside India. The entrepreneurs are going to be eyeing the small, high volume software for cash market, where services coupled with technology vying to increase the quality of life.

How will Technology Entrepreneurship benefit India?

My bet on the man with the plan is that he will drive the “real” technology – high tech technology creation and adaptation for grand socio-economic experiments, for logistics and the growing manufacturing industry; selling to corporates, multi-nationals and governments. He will be the guy attracting large investments and innovation dependent on infrastructure.

We are culturally a very adaptable, and very tolerant, people – the technology infusion of the future is going to bring about sweeping social change; most of which has already started. Look at what we did with the mobile phone – with SMS and the “missed calls” syndrome. We adapted the technology to suit our way of working, and kept driving costs to the ground. We will keep doing that with automobiles, phones, software, nuclear power and any other technology that we adapt as our own. We are very good at converting luxuries to needs, and that to me is key – the future of the Indian entrepreneur is dependent on this one factor. And I think this mass market has the potential to make billionaires out of ordinary people, with the spark to adapt and profit. And I believe with all its perceived ineptness, corruption and mismanagement, the government is somehow going to be the catalyst to make this happen, believe it or not. Perhaps all the impossible traffic and the constant load-shedding is already starting an entrepreneur somewhere on the road to his empire …

About the Author – Monish Darda

Monish is Director, Product Development at BMC BladeLogic. He set up the India operations of Storability Software, an East coast storage startup and was heading the group at Sun Microsystems when Storability underwent two acquisitions.

Monish is also the cofounder and Director of Websym Technologies.

He did his Master’s at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. He has architected large systems in the areas of customer acquisition, manufacturing and finance on J2EE and Microsoft platforms. He has also shared his experience in leading technologies in implementation and design through mentoring programs for senior developers and designers in top national and international software houses. He has implemented innovative processes and tools for distributed design and development across the US and Europe

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Stop Virtual Machine Sprawl with Colama

This is a product-pitch for Colama, a product built by Pune-based startup Coriolis. For the basics of server virtualization, see our earlier guest posts: Introduction to Server Virtualization, and Why do we need server virtualization. Virtualization is fast emerging as a game-changing technology in the enterprise computing space, and Colama is trying to address an interesting new pain-point that making its presence felt. 

Virtualization is fast becoming an accepted standard for the IT infrastructure. While it comes as a boon to the development and QA communities, the IT practitioners are dealing with the pressing issue of virtual machine sprawl that surfaces due to adhoc and hence uncontrolled adoption of virtualization. While describing the problem and its effects, this paper outlines a solution called Colama, as offered by Coriolis Technologies.


Virtual machines have been slipping in under the covers everywhere in the IT industry. Software developers like virtual machines because they can easily mimic a target environment. QA engineers prefer virtual machines because they can simultaneously test the software on different configurations. Support engineers can ensure reproducibility of an issue by pointing to an entire machine rather than detailing on the individual steps and/or configuration requirement on a physical host. In many cases, adoption of virtual machines has been primarily driven by users’ choice rather than any coherent corporate strategy. The ad-hoc and uncontrolled use of virtual machines across the organization has resulted in to a problem called Virtual Machine sprawl, which has become critical for today’s IT administrators.

Virtual machine sprawl is an unpleasant side effect of server virtualization and its near exponential growth over the years. Here are the symptoms:

  • At any given point, the virtual machines running in the organization are un-accounted for. Information like who created them and when, who used them, what configuration/s they have, what licensed software they use, whether security patches have been applied, whether the data is backed up etc are not maintained and tracked anywhere.
  • Most commonly, people freely copy each other’s virtual machines and no usage tracking and access control is in place.
  • Because of cheap storage, too many identical or similar copies of the same machines are floating across the organization. But reduction in storage cost does not reduce the operational cost of storage management, search, backup, etc. Data duplication and redundancy is a problem even if storage is plentiful.
  • Because there is no mechanism to keep track of why an image was created, it is hard to figure out when it should be destroyed. People tend to forget what each image was created for, and keep them around just in case they are needed. This increases the storage requirements.
  • Licensing implications: Virtual machine copied from one with a licensed (limited) software needs to tracked for its life span in order to put a control on the use of licensed software.

    There are many players in the industry who address this problem. Most of the virtual lab management products are tied to one specific virtualization technology. For example, the VMWare Lab Manager works for only VMWare virtualization technology. In a heterogeneous virtualization environment that is filled with Xen, VMWare, VirtualBox and Microsoft virtual machines, such an approach falls short.

    Colama is Coriolis Technologies solution to address this problem. Colama manages the life cycle of virtual machines across an organization. While tracking and virtual machines, Colama is agnostic to the virtualization technology.


    Here are some of the features of Colama:

  • Basic SCM for virtual machine: You can Checkin/checkout/clone/tag/comment virtual machine/s for tracking revisions of virtual machine.
  • Image inspection: Colama provides automatic inspection, extraction and display of image-related data, like OS version, software installed, etc and also facilitates “search” on the extracted data. For example, you can search for the virtual machines that have got Windows 2003 server with service pack 4 and Oracle 10g installed!
  • Web based interface: Navigate through the virtual machine repository of your organization using just a web browser.
  • Ownership and access control: • Create a copy of a machine for yourself and decide who can use “your” machine.
  • De-duplication: Copying/Cloning virtual machines happens without any additional storage requirement.
  • Physical machine provisioning (lab management): Spawn a virtual machine of your choice on a physical host available and ‘ready’.
  • Management reports: auditing and compliance User activity reports, virtual machine history, health information (up/down time) of virtual machines, license reports of the virtual machines etc.
  • Virtualization agnostic: works for virtual machines from all known vendors. 
  • Please note: This product-pitch, by Barnali Ganesh, co-founder of Coriolis, is featured on PuneTech because the editors found the technology interesting (or more accurately, the pain-point which it is addressing). PuneTech is a purely non-commercial website and does not take any considerations (monetary or otherwise) for any of the content on the site. If you would like your product to be featured on the front page, send us an article and we’ll publish it if we fell it’s interesting to our readers. You can always add a page to the PuneTech wiki by yourself, as long as you follow the “No PR” guidelines.

    Career Guidance Workshop by CSI PUne

    Career Guidance Workshop 2008

    Following last years hugely successful career guidance workshop, the Computer Society of India, Pune Chapter is organizing yet another program to help young professionals (freshers) and students.
    Looking at the current trend, students and freshers are always looking for brighter opportunities and want to do something “different”. To help such students and freshers, we have organized a Career Guidance Workshop, where experienced industry leaders will talk about different domains, and opportunities in those domains. Whether you want to learn something new, or are seriously looking for a job, this workshop will definitely help you. There are two parts of this workshop. One, which talks about alternate and upcoming technologies, and the second, which talks about IT in the non-IT fields. Students and freshers usually have a limited view of the scope and trends in the industry. Through this workshop, we want to help students gain a better understanding of various domains, and provide them some direction, which might eventually help them choose a bright career.

    Here is an outline of the program.

    Date: 11th October 2008
    Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium,Persistent Systems Ltd.’Bhageerath’,  402, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune 411016

    Time: 3pm to 7pm

    Program Details:

    Registration: 3.00 to 3.30 p.m.

    Panel 1 – Alternate Technologies – Panel coordinator – Monish Darda (3.30pm to 5:00pm)

    Technology Suggested speaker
    Rich Internet Applications Ramesh Shrinivasraghavan – Adobe
    Gaming Ninad Chaya – Jump games
    Open Source Amit Kale – LinSysSoft
    Mobile Application Vishwesh Jirgale – Azingo
    GIS Dr. Rao- Lavasa

    Tea Break: 5:00pm to 5.30pm

    Panel 2 – IT in non-IT Panel co-ordinator – Anand Paranjape (5.30pm to 7pm)

    Industry Suggested speaker
    Eng./ Manufacturing Kishore Daryanani – Alfa Laval
    Automobile Anil Khopkar (Bajaj)
    Life science Image Informatics Abhi Gholap (Optra systems)
    Science Amit Dangle (Indo Global)

    Charges: Rs. 100 for non-CSI members and Rs. 50 for CSI members. To register, head to

    Advice for entrepreneurs – Gireendra Kasmalkar

    Gireendra Kasmalkar (Giri), whose testing startup VeriSoft was recently acquired by SQS, was interviewed for CSI Pune’s quarterly newsletter Desktalk. Some quotes from that interview that should be especially inspirational are reproduced here with permission. You should be able to download the the newsletter (containing the full article) from CSI Pune website’s download section. (It’s the July-Aug-Sept 2008 newsletter.)

    About how your attitude towards something makes all the difference:

    Initially, testing was a new area and it was a tough to convince people about it. Even today testing is sometimes looked down upon. My response: “I am glad you think of testing that way. That is what creates the opportunities for us!”.

    About how to deal with commoditization in your domain:

    But the testing industry was maturing. Every company now had an ‘independent’ testing practice. To maintain our leadership, we had to specialize further. We did that horizontally in such specialized areas as automation, load / performance, security and usability testing, even publishing papers in international conferences.

    But we also realized we had to develop a vertical. It had to be a vertical right for our size and where we could have a shot at global leadership. After due consideration, we decided that Games was that vertical. It was not at all easy to enter this vertical. But today we test for top 10 publishers in the video games industry and have authorization with all 3 major console manufacturers – Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. In the on-line games industry, we not only test for game developers / publishers, but also for regulatory bodies for their compliance.

    On how a small startup can make an impact:

    For an entrepreneur, focusing on a niche is crucially important. One can hope to compete and beat the bigger, already established players only in a niche of your strength. More often than not, this niche would be a new area, and the entrepreneur only has his / her own data and analysis to see the hidden potential in the new area.

    On the importance of networking for success:

    This is where networking plays a very important role. Networking in the industry can bring you data about the trends in the industry. And you can even get your analysis of that data, and your ideas validated using your network. I was lucky to have the IIT network, the Jnana Prabodhini network, the TCS network because of my earlier background. But I also actively worked to build new networks through forums such as SPIN, CSI and MCCIA. In fact, there was a group of 8-10 successful industry seniors, whom I met once a year, by formal appointment, specifically for discussing my activities and seeking their suggestions. To their credit, none of these people ever refused my request. I definitely became a better entrepreneur as a result of these meetings.

    From my own experience, I strongly recommend active participation in forums such as CSI.

    I particularly like the suggestion about meeting 8 to 10 successful industry seniors on an yearly basis. I had started doing this with about 2, and based on Giri’s suggestion, I plan on increasing that to 8 to 10.

    And I certainly agree with active participation in forums. Giri suggests CSI-Pune. I would strongly suggest getting involved in the Pune OpenCoffee Club. There are a whole bunch of other groups and organizations where you could get involved. Check out the Groups and Organizations Page from the PuneTech wiki.

    Final word from Giri:

    To me, entrepreneurship is less about making money and more about making a difference. (There must be easier ways of making money .) An entrepreneur provides a viable solution to a problem (need). On the flip side, the entrepreneur’s capabilities are stretched to the maximum extent possible, which I find very satisfying.

    About the Interviewee – Gireendra Kasmalkar

    Gireendra Kasmalkar (Giri) is the Founder Director of Prabodhan and Verisoft InfoSystems, and after the recent acquisition of Verisoft, is the MD and CEO of SQS India InfoSystems Pvt. Ltd. Giri has been the Chairman of CSIPune chapter for 2007-2008 and is also actively associated with other relevant industry forums like SPIN and MCCIA.

    Despite having his hands full, professionals working with Giri will vouch for the energy, responsiveness and maturity that he brings forth to any activity.

    For a full profile and links, see Giri’s profile on the PuneTech wiki.

    Why Python is better than Java for Object-Oriented Design

    Dhananjay Nene recently switched over to Python and has discovered that he is much happier writing programs in Python. We covered his first article in the series, and the end of that post gives an idea of why we think you should listen to him, and also subscribe to his blog. In the next article in the Python vs. Java series, he takes a few design principles of object-oriented programming and shows how to implement those using sample code in Java and Python. 

    An excerpt to whet your appetite:

    Well, static typed languages use polymorphism as a powerful mechanism of extensibility. In other words, in many cases the extensions are likely to be newer derived types. Thus design the rest of your code to work on the base type and introduce the newer derived types later as required without having to necessarily change existing code. However static languages primarily depend upon inheritance as the vehicle for delivering polymorphism. Dynamic languages on the other hand depend upon duck typing. Duck typing supports polymorphism without using inheritance. In this context you need the same set of relevant methods to be implemented in each of the extension classes. The role of the abstract base class or interface as the one which specifies the contract / api has been made redundant. You can still choose to define a base class / interface if you want to, but you no longer have to. 

    The full article is a must read if you are a student of programming languages in general, and object-oriented programming in particular. If you are neither of those things, and if you plan to be in the software field for a while, then you seriously need to ask yourself, “Why not!?“.

    Reading list for startup-founders

    Earlier, we published a list of free web services that a company can use to better run their business. However, tools do not really make or break a company. Having the right attitude, and making the right decisions at the right time is much more important. If you are a startup founder, it is not necessary that you learn everything from your mistakes at the school of hard knocks. You can try to benefit from the experiences of countless others who have learnt from their own successes and failures, and have survived to write blog posts about them. 

    To educate you, (the blog of Santosh and Anjali, founders of Bookeazy and Lipikaar) have put together this list of articles and books that they found useful in their own journey. Here is a full list, shamelessly plagiarized from there, (to save my lazy readers from one extra click, I hope they don’t mind):

    Think Big!

    1st Month: Bullet-proof your idea.

    2nd Month: Raise Money, or scrape some together.

    3rd Month: Define your value proposition.

    4th Month: Iterative Innovation.

    5th Month: Advertising.

    7th Month: Momentum

    • 7 months in to my 2nd stint as Startup CEO – Jason Goldberg. Sorry. This link has gone off the internet. It used to be at but the whole blog disappeared after Jason sold social|median to Xing. If you’re able to find a copy of this article, please let us know. Lot’s of Pune people want to read it.

    9th Month: Profit for sustainability.

    Raising serious money from Professional Investors/Venture Capitalists.

    Master your disruptive contribution.

    Managing up and down.

    Other books worth reading.

    The Economics of Media and E-Commerce businesses.

    I need inspiration. I need to know this has happened to others. It’s never too late to start over.

    Read Founders@Work. Just turn to any story, any page and start reading. This is not to be read in one go, it’s most useful when you think you’re a complete idiot. Also, don’t forget to read Guy Kawasaki’s list of best pages from the book. Make your own list. We both have our list that we’ll put on the blog someday.

    Startup Resources from around the web.

    Remember to check the source, as they are promising to keep updating that list based on your suggestions (leave a comment).

    POCC Meeting on 18th October

    POCC will be meeting next on Saturday, 18th October at the SICSR, 7th floor.

    Startup Speed Date will help you rapidly get to know other Pune OpenCoffee Club entrepreneurs, advisors, techies and everyone else.

    For more details visit the forums,

    Please RSVP by getting in touch with Unmesh at gmail dot com;

    Startup Speed Dating, from WebYantra

    “…….the principle is roughly the same as the SpeedDating concept. The startup founders are seated on one side and the candidates get to say hello and have a quick conversation to talk about what the background of the founder is, why he started the company and what sort of person he is looking for, while asking questions to the candidate about the reason to join a startup and what his/her passions are and a few minutes later the same process continues with the next founder. Within an hour, you would have met/spoken to most of the startups, and by the end of the day would know whom to get in touch with for your first/next startup/job….“.

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