What: Talk on ‘Designing Democracy for better eGovernance’ by Anupam Saraph, CIO of Pune City When: Thursday, 26th November, 6pm onwards Where:ThoughtWorks Technologies, Tower C, Panchshil Tech Park, Yerwada Registration and Fees: This event is free for all to attend. Register at: http://www.thoughtworker.com/banyan-tree-talk-anupam-saraph-register
Dr Anupam Saraph, CIO of Pune, will speak at Thoughtworks’ Banyan Tree Series of Talks. Dr Saraph will be talking about IT strategies that have the potential to revolutionize eGovernance not just in our city, but the whole of India.
About the Speaker – Anupam Saraph
Anupam Saraph has served as advisor to CM of Goa, lectured at Lally School of Management and Technology at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has been advisor to various international and national organizations including UNESCO, Lead International and the Asian Dialog Society. Today he holds the unique position of CIO of Pune, a post envisioned by our city for the first time in India. When not in this seat, Dr Saraph is a consultant and leadership coach to individuals and organizations around the world.
Some of his accomplishments while in office include Pune’s contributions to the Giki, and Design For Pune which won him mention in CIO Magazine’s CIO 100 listing.
What: SPIN (Software Process Improvement Network) monthly meeting featuring ‘Role of IT in Clean Tech’ by Anil Paranjape and ‘Quality issues in carbon management industry’ by Shreenath Shanbhag When: Thursday, 26th November, 6:45pm onwards Where: Hotel Ambassador, Shivajinagar Registration and Fees: This event is free for all to attend. No registration required.
Clean Tech and Sustainable Business are probably today’s biggest buzz-words. By all accounts, this is the industry that is likely to spur the next wave of growth in the global economy. As IT professionals we must be aware the challenges of this industry, the gaps that exist in the IT infrastructure for this industry, which are the big opportunities for all of us tomorrow, if not today!
This month’s SPIN meeting features two talks on Clean Tech
Topic I: Role of IT in Clean Tech and in making businesses sustainable
Businesses the world over are waking up to their critical role in society and their practices that have led the world to the brink of massive upheavals on environmental and social fronts. These changes are making consumers more aware of their plights and rights and they are demanding that businesses act more responsibly. Needless to say, the governments are responding to their voting constituencies through increased regulation and legislation that is forcing the businesses to be more sensitive and responsible towards all stakeholders, not just their shareholders. On this uncharted, unmarked and often even undeveloped road to sustainability, businesses are increasingly finding a severe lack of appropriate frameworks, tools, experts, theory, research and empirical data to help them do a better job with their triple bottom-line: profits, people, and planet. This talk aims to explain why we are where we are, what role businesses play in it and then focus on how and where IT can help businesses be more responsible towards the world.
About the Speaker: Anil Paranjape
Anil Paranjape is a renowned technologist and now a successful Venture Capitalist. Originally from Pune, he has completed his BE in Electronics and Telecommunications from University of Pune. After finishing his graduation he earned his degree in Biomedical Engineering from University of Texas. In his working career of 20 years, he was associated with Intel Corporation in Oregon where he helped Intel to develop their flagship microprocessors starting with Pentium Pro. He has also worked on complex Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software tools and methodologies for Intel’s flagship prototype microprocessors including Pentium-4 and the recently introduced Core i7. In 2005, he completed his MBA from Wharton School of Business and then joined Intel Capital where he was responsible for developing new business opportunities.
Last year, he shifted back to India and has been mentoring entrepreneurs and startups to active participation in social impact ventures and tending his prior investments in hospitality business. These days Anil is helping companies with cleantech investments, business incubation and evangelizing sustainable ways of doing business
Topic II: Quality issues in Carbon Management industry and the Early error Detection methodology
First Carbon is a brand new start-up in the Clean Tech industry. Their product helps companies measure and manage their carbon footprint.
In today’s competitive market, quality has become the hygiene factor in every organization. Especially for a product organization, occurrence of bugs at a late stage would be quite costly and it may even impact existence of the product organization. Catching errors in the early stage of the development life-cycle could well be the key to success for a product.
In a brand new industry, getting the requirements right is an even bigger challenge. This talk presents the Early Error Detection methodology used by First Carbon to build Quality in their product up-front. This includes validation of the requirements to catch defects right at the requirement stage and generate test cases in a formal way from the validated requirements to ensure Quality.
About the Speaker: Shreenath Shanbhag, First Carbon
A technically proficient manager with rich IT experience and sound project management knowledge of over 18 years, he has worked in both Product and Projects environments. Shreenath has been involved in various phases of software development including requirements analysis, design, development, testing, implementation and has demonstrated Process design and implementation skills for very complex business processes. At present, Shreenath is actively involved in developing a product in the niche of Carbon Management
The Pune Open Coffee Club and Venture Center, Pune presents a talk by Samir Patel, on what are the characteristics of a startup that will ultimately become an enduring company. The talk is on Saturday, 28th November, from 10am to 12noon, at Venture Center, NCL Innovation Park, Pashan Road. Map. (To reach Venture Center, go past NCL towards Pashan, pass the cricket ground adjacent to NCL and then you’ll find NCL Innovation Park / Venture Center on the right hand side.) This event is free for all to attend. No registration required.
Elements of Sustainable Companies
Start-ups with these characteristics have the best chance of becoming enduring companies.
Clarity of Purpose
Summarize the company’s business on the back of a business card.
Address existing markets poised for rapid growth or change. A market on the path to a $1B potential allows for error and time for real margins to develop.
Target customers who will move fast and pay a premium for a unique offering.
Customers will only buy a simple product with a singular value proposition.
Pick the one thing that is of burning importance to the customer then delight them with a compelling solution.
Constantly challenge conventional wisdom. Take the contrarian route. Create novel solutions. Outwit the competition.
A company’s DNA is set in the first 90 days. All team members are the smartest or most clever in their domain. “A” level founders attract an “A” level team.
Stealth and speed will usually help beat-out large companies.
Focus spending on what’s critical. Spend only on the priorities and maximize profitability.
Start with only a little money. It forces discipline and focus. A huge market with customers yearning for a product developed by great engineers requires very little firepower.
About the Speaker – Samir Patel
Samir Patel founded SearchForce that helps manage search marketing campaigns in a burgeoning $6 billion yearly online advertising market with its algorithmic trading platform. At iPIN, later acquired by Valista for $50+ million, he designed the world’s first open scalable mobile payments platform. Samir also crafted the go-to-market strategy for eBay‘s apparel division, which is now a $500 million business unit and growing. He devised efficient systems for Stanford Graduate School of Business in the area of analytics, courseware management and security.
During his 2009 sabbatical, he walked solo for a 1000 kilometers in the wild Himalayas and along the Narmada river with two pairs of clothes and little money. He heads various projects at Manav Sadhna (http://www.manavsadhna.org) and GramShree at Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati, Ahmedabad.
About Venture Center
Entrepreneurship Development Center (Venture Center) – a CSIR initiative – is a not-for-profit company hosted by the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. Venture Center strives to nucleate and nurture technology and knowledge-based enterprises by leveraging the scientific and engineering competencies of the institutions in the Pune region in India. The Venture Center is a technology business incubator specializing in technology enterprises offering products and services exploiting scientific expertise in the areas of materials, chemicals and biological sciences & engineering.
The Pune OpenCoffee Club was started to encourage entrepreneurs, startups, developers, startup advisors and investors from Pune to organize real-world informal meetups to chat, network and grow. Our members also include lawyers, accountants and freelancers who work with startups.
POCC is different from other organizations aimed at Entrepreneurs (like CSI Pune, SEAP, TiE Pune, NASSCOM Pune) mainly because of the informal format, and also because of the fact that it is free (i.e. there are no membership fees, and there are no entry charges on individual events). In other words, anyone could announce and arrange a networking event at the cafe round the block. Thanks to the informal approach, the group allows wacky ideas like the startup lunch initiative to be popularized.
The most recent PuneChips event was easily the most successful one in the short history of the group. Over 50 engineers attended the “SystemVerilog” talk by Clifford Cummings, President of Sunburst Design and SystemVerilog industry guru. A big thank you to a few folks who made this possible is in order; first off Parag Mehta of Qlogic for connecting us with Cliff; secondly in addition to Parag, Pravin Desale and Deepak Lala of LSI, and Jagdish Doma of Virage Logic for driving the attendance. Last, but not the least, we must also thank Cliff for taking us through a complex topic in a very engaging manner. Cliff certainly held the audience in rapt attention through an hour of highly technical discussion. The Q&A session was also very engaging. Of course, Cliff being the industry celebrity that he is, was mobbed by engineers asking questions after his speech.
It is very clear that SystemVerilog is clearly targeted at improving designer productivity. Failing productivity due to increasing design complexity is one of the biggest challenges faced by chip designers today, and it is not at all surprising that the EDA tool industry is focused on rectifying this. The chart below (source: SEMATECH) shows a rather grim picture – while design complexity has been growing at 58% CAGR, productivity has been increasing at only 21% CAGR. It is obvious to anyone that tools that fill this gap will be in great demand.
The reason for increasing design complexity is multifold – decreasing geometries allow designers to add more and more elements to the chip, making the entire process challenging. Number of IP cores per chip has grown from ~30 in 2003 to over 250 in 2006 and possibly much more today (source: EETimes). In addition, a big bull’s eye has been painted on power consumption numbers and most chips now must be designed using low power techniques. Plus, increasing complexity means that chip verification becomes more complex; 50% of all ASIC designs today require respins due to functional/logic errors (Source: Colette International Research).
Rather than a single solution, it is very likely that a multitude of innovative solutions that address individual problems will emerge. For example, better modeling techniques that can give a very accurate QoR estimate at the architecture stage itself can reduce the design complexity downstream. Languages such as SystemVerilog literally reduce the lines of code that a designer or verification engineer must write, thus boosting productivity. Time also may be right for ESL design, which has been around for a while, as conventional techniques fail to keep up.
All in all, we live in very interesting times. Faster and smaller is not always for the better. The industry must innovate and rise up to the economic and design challenges if it is to survive and prosper.
What: Pune Google Technology Users Group (Pune GTUG) presents a jumpstart seminar on Android When: Saturday, Nov 21, 10am to 1pm Where: Orbett Hotel, 123/2 Apte Road (Opposite Shreyas Hotel), Deccan Gymkhana, Map. Registration and Fees: The event is free for all, no registration required.
Pune GTUG presents Android Jumpstart Seminar. A seminar where we would get people excited, thrilled and ready on Android Platform.
The objectives of this seminar are as follows: introduce Android, introduce the building blocks and architecture, talk on building an Application on Android comprising of all the building blocks.
Lucky draw winner wins an HTC phone from the sponsors of this event Quick Office and Synerzip Softech.
Use of renewable energy is hot subject today. This week the Indian Institute of Production Engineers, Pune chapter (IIPE Pune) is coming to you with:
What : Renewable Energy sources – Specially Solar. Speaker : Mr. Deepak Kelkar Venue: COEP Pune Production Engineering department. Date: Wednesday, 18th Noember 2009. Time: 18=30 hrs. to 20=00 hrs. Charges: Free for all. No registration required.
Mr. Deepak Kelkar is mechanical engineer. He has huge experience in sugar industry to install and commission different equipments. He has started Squre Engineering Pvt. Ltd. in 1986, as EPC company and they are specialized in Renewable Solar energy. They have collaboration with many renouned names in the field. They are working in renewable energy sources since 1992. Mr. will be sharing his experieces in this field. Suare Engineering has developed SUNCUBE – innovative system. The system genrates DC power by using “Tripple Junction PV cells under concentration of 1000X of Sun light.
Visit http://squareengg.com/ for details of Square Engineering Pvt Ltd
and http://groups.google.com/group/iipepune?hl=en for learning more about IIPE activities.
What:ISACA Pune meet. Understanding Wi-Fi Security Fundamentals by Dr. Hemant Chaskar When: Saturday, 14th November, 6pm-8:30pm Where: College of Agricultural Banking of Reserve Bank of India on University Road, Shivajinagar Registration and Fees: Free for all to attend. No registration required
Dr. Hemant Chaskar is a domain expert in WiFi security.
For last 5 years, he has extensively worked on WiFi networking and wireless security. Currently, he is Director of Technology at AirTight Networks, which is a global leader in WiFi security and performance management products and solutions.
This post talks about why it is a great opportunity for students, and why they should make every effort to attend barcamp, even if it means skipping college lectures for a day. Here are the top reasons:
Finding great projects: Far too many student projects these days focus on ideas that were old 5 years ago, using technologies that are even older. To find be exposed to the latest trends in tecnologies, and to get ideas for very different and interesting projects, and to find passionate project guides, a barcamp is a great venue. This would be most useful for someone in their 3rd year. Now is the time to identify a good company to work with for a project. Far too many students start looking for projects in the beginning of their 4th year, and then scramble desperately as they’re unable to find sponsors. I would even encourage 2nd year students to do some mini-projects with the people they meet at barcamp. Nothing improves your resume as much as a “real” project with a “real” company. (Your course projects are all worthless.)
Challenging internships with lots of responsibility: Many founders of Pune’s small startups will be at barcamp, and they are always looking for interns to work on their projects. Startups, by their very definition, have lots of cutting edge work to do, and not enough people to do it. So an internship at a startup will certainly give you much more responsibility, and the ability to work on latest technologies, than an internship at a larger company. If you’re looking for an internship starting in December’09 or January’10, come to barcamp, listen to the various presentations, and just directly approach the speakers you liked. Tell them you want an internship. Don’t be shy.
Recommendation letters: I’ve realized that there are a number of students who want recommendation letters for their applications for MS in the US. Getting good recommendations means you have to do non-trivial work with people who matter, and who’ll be able to give you a good recommendation. Doing a B.E. project with someone is a poor way of getting a reco. Mainly because you need the reco in November, and by that time, you’ll have done so little work in your project that your guide will not be in a position to give a great recommendation. It would be much better to start working with them in your 3rd year. Even better if you start in 2nd year, so that you have a chance to do multiple projects with multiple people – more recos and more projects is better, right?
Learning! There is a lot to learn at barcamp, as people talk about the latest technologies, new domains, and new opportunities. If you are one of those weird and rare students who’s actually interested in learning new things, and meeting people who can guide you, then barcamp is the place for you. (And if you are one of these, then I would like to meet you!) What can you learn at barcamp? For example, I’ll be talking about why it is very important, especially in India, to integrate voice (phone) and SMS into your web-based software. And how to do it. Priyank will probably talk about developing rich internet applications using Adobe Flex. Shankar might talk about how to convert your ideas to commercially viable innovation. Whatever Dhananjay talks about will be very intersting and useful, though he hasn’t decided yet. There will be lots of other interesting topics – but because of the nature of barcamp, we can’t really know what those topics are until the morning of barcamp.
So, what do you need to do, to attend barcamp, and how to prepare for it?
Nothing! Barcamp is free. Anyone can attend. Just show up at the venue. If SCIT is too far for you, figure out how/where to catch the barcamp bus from SICSR, Model Colony.
Bring a notepad and pen, to note down the email addresses of people you would like to get in touch with later, for projects|internships|guidance|generally.
Don’t be shy. If you’re a good student, and willing to work sincerely, you are an extremely hot commodity, and everybody will be interested in you. You can approach anybody and tell them that you’re a student from X college, and you are interested in a project|internship|guidance. They’ll be happy to talk to you.
If you have a great idea for a project and are looking for a someone who can guide you, prepare a short talk about your idea, and then speak at the barcamp. Anybody can speak. Your talk will help you find a guide.
That’s it. Send a “proxy laga dena yaar” sms to your friend and head off to Hinjewadi.
If you know a student or students who can benefit from attending barcamp, please forward this mail to them.
Pune will have a “BarCamp” free conference this Saturday, 14th November, in SCIT Hinjewadi (bus pickup/dropoff provided from Model Colony). We believe that all technology professionals, and all computer science students should take this opportunity to get exposure to some of the most interesting people and technologies in Industry. To register (free) for barcamp, and for details of venue, timing etc, click here.
What is Barcamp?
A Barcamp is a “democratic” conference. It is not a normal / traditional conference. A normal / traditional conference is usually put together by a committee of professors, or industry veterans, and the speakers are selected by the committee and invited to speak. Many of the speakers are “forced” upon the conference by the sponsors, and they end up droning about how cool their product is. The other talks tend to be boring “lectures” or “speeches” that you fall asleep in. Who can attend is also constrained by money (conferences fees are high), or by other means (only members may attend).
Anybody who’s been to a traditional conference will tell you that the tea-breaks and the corridor-conversations are the most interesting and important part of a conference. Think of a barcamp as an entire conference that consists only of tea-breaks and corridor-conversations. Well, it’s a little more structured than that – but not much … A barcamp is not a conference – it is an unconference. Anybody can attend a barcamp. Anybody can speak on any topic that they are passionate about. A whiteboard is put up in the morning with the available rooms and timeslots. People can write down their name and the title of their talk in any available slot. Based on this, the others can decide which talks they want to attend. That’s it. Repeat all day. Democracy.
You’ll wonder, if anybody can speak, how do we ensure quality of speakers and presentations? By the “law of two feet“. The audience in a Barcamp are encouraged to use their two feet and walk away from a talk if it turns out to be boring. People are encouraged to find and create subgroups interested in specific topics, find a room or a corridor, and start discussing – and they often do.
This ensures that everybody finds something interesting, and often something unexpected at a Barcamp. Maybe you might find the 15-year-old kid who knows more about Search-Engine-Optimization than all the “industry veterans” you’ve met. Maybe you’ll go there to learn new technology and instead find some really interesting NGO or other social work organization and join that. Maybe you’ll just land up there, not knowing what to expect, and end up finding not just your first job, but a great career. Maybe you have an idea for a company, but don’t know how to implement it, and you’ll find someone at Barcamp who’s willing to handle the technology for you.
I’m not just making all of that up. Each one of the sentences in the previous paragraph that started with “Maybe” is actually a real-life story that I’ve seen happen during some of the Barcamps in the last couple of years in Pune. And there are a lot more such stories.
Over the next few days, we’ll be writing short articles on why you should attend Barcamp. If you’re a student looking for projects, internships, or recos. Or you are an entrepreneur with an idea, but don’t know enough about technology to implement it. Or you’re an employee of a big company and are looking to hire some really smart people … or you’re looking to be hired by some really smart people. Or you’re a startup looking for collaboration, business development, or simply mentors/advisors.
I am in the process of setting up my own small business after my maternity break (is the break ever really over? :-). I have always been a high achiever in life, was doing very well in my career (IT in Oz), and had a steep career graph going for me. After having my baby, I decided to consciously take time-off. Now, the 9-5 (or is it 9-9?) routine does not suit me. But I still wanted to fulfil my individual potential and live out my best life, and would like to work professionally, but at my own pace. So now I am in my ‘onramp’ stage, and would like to share some of my thoughts on ‘Entrepreneurship after having kids’.
First in my series is – ‘The soft challenges of doing part-time entrepreneurial work’ (esp. with limited human resource even if you count the baby in 🙂
Ideas-Focus: The problem is not lack of ideas (as one would have expected), but rather too many of them. When I started, there were too many ideas that I wanted to do all at once. Having worked in a fast paced corporate environment (pre-babies of course), I was efficient at using the current working system to make the ideas happen. The shift now is to develop a new system on your own to make things happen. It takes time to adjust to the ‘new working you’. What can we do about this?
Learn to focus on and develop a few (couple) ideas. Need to analyse what is going to be my niche. Once the core idea sets in, then you can work on the allied services.
Need to use the strategy of ‘release and review’ with your customer base. But here we need to understand the effort/ output ratio. Come to a satisfactory stage/ get initial reviews from industry experts/ and release. Update and chart your course as per the feedback.
Instant gratification: Remember the pat-on-the-back by your boss for an excellent presentation/ or the extra-bonus/ or the successful release at 4 in the morning/ or simply the cheers at the morning coffee run? As trivial as they may seem these are important things. As a part-time mumpreneur, there may be no-one to provide this encouragement. These advantages of working in a collaborative effort are missing. Also, initially success may be slow in coming (incubation and setting up period more). This for a mother is more challenging due to the internal pressure she faces in order to succeed (to justify her effort away from her family).
Very simply – ‘Pat yourself’ 🙂 There are times when only you know how you’ve gone through that difficult day with being a mum, home-maker, wife etc. and have still managed to complete that little work. Be kind to yourself.
Surround yourself with positive people. Get honest feedback from the ‘knowers’.
Perceptions: Ever heard the expression ‘Just a mother / housewife’ – that is what I’m talking about. When you are doing a job, it’s easier for others to understand the structure of your life. So (generally) the expectations & their perception of you is very different. Our society, I feel, is quite biased in this regard. (That’s another discussion for another day). Since I work mostly from home, and schedule around my toddler’s timings, people don’t know where to draw the line with expectations. They tend to take our time for granted a lot more, and also do not understand that the work we do is as important (if not more). I am sure that this is probably something to do with the signals that we give out, but nevertheless it is an issue.
Highlight what your efforts are, and what you have achieved through them. Sometimes this doesn’t come naturally to us, especially if what we have achieved is not as much as before. You need to be able to tell people and believe yourself that it is important and a priority.
Being immersed in your work/ Losing flexibility: Remember the reason why we chose to do this type of work? We wanted a lifestyle of flexibility and independence in terms of time and accountability. In order to make it big fast, or to fuel the great early success, we tend to work on this more than a full time job. The work takes over our mind & time, and we find it difficult to switch-off when we need to. The goal of being more present (physically & mentally too) for our family / or of leading a more independent lifestyle is lost. For this we can apply various time/ priority management strategies.
Do not try to ‘have it all’ by doing it all. You must to understand when the business is big enough for you to recruit / partner with a team and delegate. Apply appropriate task management strategies.
These priorities in life may change depending upon various factors – there may be busy and slow periods. From time-to-time ask yourself and your loved ones – ‘Is this working for me?’/ ‘Are we happy with this?’.
Networking: I remember I had wanted to attend a Pune Open Coffee Club forum presentation. It was 45 minutes from my home. I was looking forward to it. During my maternity leave, this was an event to look forward to. To connect to my non-mummy/ non-nappy conversation mode 🙂 I observed that for most of the other participants it was just another casual meeting they had made way to after a busy day. Just one of the things that they did. For me, this meant pre-arranging for baby-sitting, making sure the feed/ nap times are taken care of, and arranging for stuff so the baby stays happy. Phew!! All this for a free forum meeting (which turned out to be really good, BTW). Now you understand the effort that we have to go through with networking. And I haven’t even talked about the soft-networking aspects (the golf games/the tennis games/ the tweet-ups/ the catch-ups/ the evening beer meetups etc. 🙂
Sometimes you just need to take that break from ‘mummyhood’ in order to connect to your other self. Even if it is a lot of effort, do take the time out to network. When you do make sure you don’t let the mummy-brain take over your personality 🙂
Use technology. When you cannot physically go out and network, use the abundance of technology at your disposal. Be careful that you are networking effectively and not just being part of groups which add no value to your goal.
So the above are some of the few things that I have tried and have worked for me during my on-ramping experience. Would love to hear what you all have to say. There are a lot more things in this series to talk about – we’ll see how we go :-).
About the Author – Aparna Kalantri
Aparna has recently moved to Pune. She has studied B.E. (computer science) from Pune University and then moved to Melbourne. There, she completed (with top honours) her Master’s in IT from Swinburne University. After her degree she worked in Melbourne & Sydney in banking domain doing various IT roles. After having spent seven years in Australia, she (along with her husband and a little baby) moved back to India (Pune).
She is in the process of setting up her own ‘Personal Excellence Centre’ for women. She is passionate about self-development activities, and has been involved in many such workshops in her corporate career. She aspires to help women achieve their full potential and live their best life. She too believes in living consciously and freely.