Tag Archives: governance

Pune’s 2011-2012 Budget Analysis by Janwani and Parisar

Pune is one of the few cities in the country that regularly and promptly publishes its annual budget on its website. Pune NGOs Janwani and Parisar have analysed the budget and published the analysis so that everybody can get a better idea of where our tax money is being spent.

You can download Janwani’s PMC Budget Booklet Edition here. (If you have trouble downloading from that link, try this page and you should see a link to the budget document somewhere on the page.)

You can also check out Parisar’s analysis of the budget.

Overall, while Pune gets good marks for making the budget available to the public, apparently, the budget is not easy to understand, and making sense of it requires a significant amount of further processing. Parisar has done exactly that.

Now the next step is to convince the authorities to publicize how the money is actually spent (as opposed to how they had planned on spending it).

Code + Beer + Enthusiasm = Pune Hackfest

(Last weekend, the Pune Rails Meetup community organized a weekend-long Hackfest to build a Citizen Empowerment App. Gautam Rege, one of the organizers of this hackfest wrote this event report about the hackfest, which first appeared on the Josh Software blog, and is being re-published here with permission.)

Damn! Hackfests really work.

At the latest event of the Pune Rails Meetup – we organized a hackfest for the ‘second’ time (ahem – the first one ended before it started). This time however, we had a plan:

“Citizen Empowerment for Better Governance” – the aim was to complete the MVP for this in 2 days! We had a record attendance of 25-30 people on both days. I was skeptical of how much we could do, how much we can organize and if we can manage to keep everyone satisfied – it was make or break!

http://kipwiki.heroku.com — WE DID IT! This portal is almost complete (a few technical glitches but over all I would say it was success in more ways than one. The source code is hosted on github: https://github.com/punerb/kipwiki The hitch was that MongoHQ use v1.6 which does not support $nearSphere conditions for geo-spatial indexing — this causes our geo-location to go for a toss.

These are the lessons we learnt:

Pair Programming

This was not mandated but recommended (LoL — “mandatory pair-programing” — an oxymoron?). This photo says it all. Everyone paired with someone automagically — and it worked like a charm.

There were plenty of more modules build, tracked and tweaked. However, everyone was open to change, talking to everyone AND most importantly committed to “GETTING IT DONE”.

What we did

Initially,we had some mocks that we got confirmed – narrowed down the scope of work to 2 days, discussed with Peter at length what he wanted and then planned this hackfest. The first morning – we discussed the plan and with 1 hour we got down to business. This was our rails stack:

– Rails 3.0.7

– MongoDb (via Mongoid)

– Devise & omniauth for authentication

– mongoid-paperclip (with S3 as storage).

– Heroku and MongoHQ

– jQuery search result filtering

The Party continued into the night

Peter sponsored not just the lunches and dinners – but also ensured there was a steady flow of juices, snacks, fruits and beer! Shardul did not miss the chance to ‘showcase drink-fest’ 😉

Peter even bought a ‘Hackfest’ cake – what more could we ask for?

We worked on the first day till 11.30pm and then crashed to be ready for Day2. Day2 was very very productive and we were coding till 1.30am in the night to reach the finish.

Lots of beer, fun, ‘resolving conflicts’, ‘git blame’ games — and even doing something right like this one of Sergey! 😉

Coding, Designing and Testing

We were able to churn out a LOT of code indeed. But it did not start there. We had to design the web-portal with our designers, we had pivotal tracker to track stories and rspec to test the models. No we did not do ALL this. We used Pivotal tracker to check and evaluate stories and unfortunately we did not do Test Driven Development. Some of the things that we need to improve.

The excellent part of was that we had some rock-star programmers – who churned out a LOT of awesome code and we had some excellent designers who helped with designing.

“427 commits from 17 developers” and here is the impact:

We missed out on Test Driven Development!!

This is one thing that we need to do differently at the next hackfest. Its very important to see this work beautifully and always be ‘code green’.

All in all I think we are ready to be a part of RailsRumble later this year and I do intend to get Pune.rb on the RailsRumble map!


Top 5 web designs shortlisted for Pune Traffic Portal Contest – Please Vote

A few weeks back, we had reported on the Pune Traffic Police’s contest to design a Pune Traffic Portal. The first round of filtering is now done, and PTP has announced 5 designs short-listed for the final round. You can see the designs at:

To vote and/or comment on these designs, go to the facebook page for this contest. 20% of the marks have been reserved for the community voting, and the remaining 80% will be awarded by the judges.

The results will be declared on 3rd January. The best design gets a cash prize of Rs. 50000.

(By the way, if you read this before 5pm on Monday, 27 Dec, please note that Pune Traffic Police have called their “facebook friends” to University Circle at 5pm today to analyze and discuss the traffic problems of that area, and gather suggestions from the people. DCP Manoj Patil will be present. Check out the awesome Pune Traffic Police facebook page for more details.)

UPDATE: Please do not vote here! Go to the facebook page for this contest for voting. Voting on this page is ignored.

Overview of mobile products/services startup Omni-Bridge – makers of Pune’s TraffiCop system

If you’ve been paying attention, you no doubt have seen the newspaper articles about the fact that Pune Traffic Police have been using BlackBerrys to instantly look up information about traffic offenders via the internet. This project has been done by a small Pune startup called Omni-Bridge, and a few months back, PuneTech caught up with founders Amit Shitole and Pritam Hasabnis and found that they have a story that many other tech startups will find interesting.

Like many other tech startups in Pune, Omni-Bridge is a startup that wants to really have their own products, but since that takes a lot of time and investment, they started off doing services in their area of expertise, and slowly started using the revenues from services to fund their product business. Their core expertise is in building mobile apps (mainly BlackBerry, and Symbian, but now branching into Android and iPhone too) for their customers (which are other product companies). They are now building their own mobile apps to market and sell using AppStores/marketplaces.

About Trafficop

This is a product developed by Omni-Bridge Systems which essentially involves digitization of vehicle & license holder’s data, traffic police records and putting them on a server so that it’s accessible from internet, and then building a BlackBerry app that can access the server from anywhere. The idea is that each officer will carry a BlackBerry with him/her and when booking someone for a traffic violation uses the BlackBerry it to instantly look up the records to see if the offender has committed any traffic violations in the past.

Usually, when I see newspaper reports that giddily announce the use of some fancy technology by some government body in India, I am very sceptical. My general impression is that these are usually projects that somebody is using to get visibility or to appear cool, but when you really check, you’ll find that nobody is really using the system.

Due to this scepticism, I approached a few traffic constables and officers (at different times and places) and asked them about Trafficop system. I was surprised (and happy) to find out that:

  • The system is actually being used on a day-to-day basis,
  • The rank-and-file are actually happy with the system, and even impressed with it,
  • The system has been useful in actually catching criminals – once constable told me about how a routine traffic violation stop resulted in them finding out that the vehicle was wanted in connection with a robbery from a few years ago.

Everything hasn’t gone according to plan. Not enough BlackBerrys were procured to give one to every officer, but that hasn’t stopped them from using the system. Those who don’t have BlackBerrys still go and enter all the information into the system at the end of the day when they get to the office.

How to approach a government body as a customer

I asked Omni-Bridge whether it was easy or difficult to deal with the traffic police department, and how did they even approach them. There I found another interesting story that would be instructive to Pune Start-ups.

Omni-Bridge did not approach the Traffic Police directly. Instead they first went to the Science and Technology Park (STP). STP is a central government body, housed in University of Pune, whose mission is to help out science and technology start-ups that can help India in some way. (We will write a more detailed article about STP, hopefully sometime soon.)

So, STP helped Omni-Bridge approach Pune Traffic Police. And one of the advantages of working with STP is that since STP is a government body, other government bodies trust it more than if a start-up were to directly approach them. In this respect, Omni-Bridge found their relationship with STP very helpful.

As for actually working with the traffic police department, they found that the officials there were quite helpful, and worked with them to define and fine-tune the product. Specifically, they found, DCP Manoj Patil and PI Surendranath Deshmukh to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the whole process.

I think the takeaway message for Pune start-ups is that they shouldn’t shy away from considering government bodies as customers, and they should approach the STP for help.

Right now Trafficop is being used in Pune, and a subset of their software is being used in Bangalore. After the success of the Pune program, Omni-Bridge hopes to be able to convince a bunch of other cities to go for it.

About balancing services and products

Many start-ups have the idea of using services to bootstrap their product businesses, and I have not seen too many successful examples of that model. Persistent, which did have hopes of doing this has not managed to pull this off so far. GSLab, after 5 years of doing services, is now in the market with their own product kPoint – whether they’ll succeed remains to be seen. The biggest success in ootstrapping a product company through a services company in Pune is one that most Punekars don’t really know about – Kenati. Kenati was founded as a network software services company about 10 years ago and after 2/3 years of doing that they switched over to their own products (in the home networking space). Kenati was acquired by 2Wire a couple of years back.

So, coming back to the point, I wondered how has Omni-Bridge’s experience been in this regard? Last year Omni-Bridge reached a stage where their services business could fund their own products, and they do have a few products (mobile apps) in addition to Trafficop. I asked MD Amit Shitole what advice he would give to other start-ups who are planning on doing this and he said that his biggest learning was that the most important aspect that needs to be managed is the cash-flow. The founders need to sit and very carefully figure out how much cash is needed on a month-to-month basis to keep the product business running, and then to figure out where that money is going to come from – on a regular, sustainable basis. The product business cannot really be put on a “pause” once it is started, and becomes a permanent cash-flow sink, so this calculation needs to be tackled upfront.

Co-founders Amit Shitole and Pritam Hasabnis, have indicated that they would be happy to provide guidance to early-stage first-time entrepreneurs who find themselves in a situation similar to what Omni-Bridge was in. You can get in touch with them via their website.

Pune Traffic Police’s contest to design a Pune Traffic Portal

Update: The short-list of 5 designs in the “final round” has been announced. See our follow-up post for details of voting.

Janwani and Pune Traffic Police have announced a contest for designing a traffic information portal for Pune. The last date for registering is 20th November, and the last date for submission is 30th November. There’s a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 for the winner. The contest will be judged based on usability, creativity, use of animated features, graphics and color theme. Contest entrants will get detailed guidelines after registering.

Click here to register

About Pune Traffic Police

In the last few years, Pune Traffic Police have started a number of very interesting tech initiatives. For example, just yesterday, they announced the launch of a facebook page where citizens can report parking violations and Traffic Police will take action against the offenders. I assume it his this page.There is also the “Blackberry” programme, where Pune Traffic officers enter all traffic violations data in an online server, and this has actually helped them find repeat offenders, solve some long standing cases, etc. This system was developed by Pune Startup Omni-Bridge, and we’re hoping to cover them on PuneTech sometime soon.

Stay tuned.

About Janwani

Janwani is an initiative of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA), it was formed in 2006 to advocate and promote equitable and sustainable development in the city beneficial to the citizens. This is turn stems from the fact that the city will not be an attractive destination unless it is a truly “livable city.”

Janwani endeavors to take a comprehensive view of city development. They work towards identifying gaps and priority areas in the development process, and providing well researched and implementable solutions. They are working to both create a shared vision amongst Punekars of the type of city they want, and bring this vision to reality by networking, facilitating and driving the development process of the city on the desired path.

Pune Corporator uses SMS to stay in touch with constituents

This is an example of effective use of technology in public life in Pune. Sakaal Times reports that first-time corporator Rajendra Gorde, is using SMS to not only stay in touch with his constituents but also to provide them with useful information.


Rajabhau, as he is popularly known, has created a personal data-bank of nearly 80 percent of the electorate in his ward. Not only does he know people by name, where exactly they reside and the number of people in their families, but he also knows their birth dates, anniversaries and other important dates. Most importantly, he has the cellphone numbers of each of these people.

So, it is possible for him to send out personalised greetings, good wishes, condolences and other messages to each and every individual in his database. While this kind of SMSes help Rajabhau to establish a personal connect with his voters, what makes him stand out as a corporator are the public service and informational messaging that he sends out to hundreds of people every day.

For instance, he secured the names of all secondary and higher secondary students of municipal schools in the city who had secured 80 percent and above marks. It was a pleasant surprise for 83 such students when their parents received individual SMSes from Rajabhau informing them that they were eligible for grants of Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively, under a PMC scheme for meritorious students.

And apparently, residents are finding this service useful.

The most popular messages are the ones informing people about water cuts and power shutdowns. It enables people to prepare for exigencies and not get caught unawares.

PuneTech readers will note that this is very similar to what SMSOne has been doing in over 500+ villages and urban localities in Maharashtra and a couple of other stages. Unlike Rajendra Gorde, who is using this “SMS newsletter” concept as part of public service, SMSOne has been running this as a for-profit business, and it appears to be doing rather well. SMSOne appears to have shown that this is indeed a sustainable business model.

Given the really low cost and low technology requirements for setting up an SMS Gateway, this idea is something that many others can and should implement. I see few “web-2.0” businesses/services that are using SMS as an add-on to their website/service. And I see fewer still who are fully SMS based ideas. But, considering that India probably has 50 million internet users, and 500 million SMS users, I think more and more people should be looking at SMS as a primary enabling technology.

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Designing Democracy for better eGovernance – Anupam Saraph – 26 Nov

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.

See Anupam Saraph’s profile on the PuneTech wiki for more. Also check out his PuneTech article giving his vision for e-governance in Pune.

About the Banyan Tree Series

The Banyan Tree Series are a series of talks where ThoughtWorks invites luminaries from other fields in an attempt to learn from their experiences.

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Participatory Budgeting in Pune – Propose your additions to your local ward’s budget

(This is a guest post by Sanskriti Menon, who is a Programme Diretor, at the Center for Environment Education, Pune. PMC is now not only allowing citizens to suggest additions to the local budgets, but the form can be filled online (and that is why this item does belong to PuneTech.) The what, why and how are covered below, but if you do decide to submit an entry, please note the following: go to PuneCorporation.org, click on the “Participatory Budget 2010-11” link around the middle of the page, and then on the next page you get a page with instructions in Marathi. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click “Accept”. That will give you the actual form.)

What is Participatory Budgeting?

The Participatory Budget of the PMC provides an opportunity for citizens to give suggestions for works to be taken up in the next financial year. Citizens can make suggestions for streetlights, footpaths, public toilets, waste sorting shed/ biogas plant/ bulk compost unit, drainage etc, in spaces where such works are permissible and needed. Participatory Budget has been carried out in Pune over the last three years. It is a mechanism for citizens to give inputs for works to be carried out through the ward offices. The final decision regarding the budget of our city government is of course taken by our elected representatives with inputs from the administration.

What is the process citizens are to follow?

Citizens can make their suggestions online in the E-Budgeting application available on the PMC website from 26th October to 09 November 2009. The form is available at www.punecorporation.org

Suggestions can also be made in the prescribed forms available at ward offices.  All ward offices are also making arrangements for online entry. When submitting the paper form, citizens must ensure that it is duly in-warded at the ward office and the tear-off receipt with inward entry number is given. This number will be needed to the unique id number after computerization. Those submitting suggestions online will directly get the unique ID number on completion of the entry. This number will be needed to track the suggestion and what decision is taken about it.

Of course, citizens have to be clear that submission of suggestions does not necessarily mean that the work will be accepted. The PMC has to check the feasibility and the Prabhag Samiti will be making their decision too.

What is the benefit of Participatory Budgeting?

Participatory Budget is a refinement in the ‘institutional design’ of the democratic process to make it more responsive to citizens’ needs. Our democratic process is that we citizens elect our representatives to take decisions that are well thought out, in keeping with societal and environmental concerns, and responding to our needs. However, a necessary condition for representative democracy to function well is that citizens actively provide inputs to elected representatives. This happens in many ways through RTI, the media, NGOs etc. Draft master plans and new policy drafts are kept open for a specified period for public input. The most direct method is of course discussions with corporators. However, in a city where the ratio of representation is about 15000 citizens to one corporator this may pose some problems.

The participatory budget process helps to deepen our existing democratic framework. It is an evolving mechanism to enable the democratic process to function better. The underlying idea is that citizens get a formal opportunity to deliberate upon the needs of their areas and submit requests to the respective administrative ward offices.

What are the achievements so far?

A few thousand people have participated in the exercise over the years. Last year over 1300 suggestions for works were received. Over 35 crore worth of projects were incorporated into the main budget.  There is recognition that some project ideas are mundane (fix a pavement); but the fact that citizens have to ask for these is a telling comment on how these very aspects may be ignored in conventional budgeting processes. There are the not-so-usual ideas as well – sorting sheds, composting units, benches, hawking zone platforms, etc.

Is PB happening anywhere else?

In many parts of the world! Participatory Budgeting started in Latin American countries struggling to build or rebuild their democratic institutions and to eliminate corruption, improve transparency and accountability of government. The innovation of ‘participatory budgeting’ has been praised internationally as an example of “good” governance.

In Brazil, citizens deliberate on five thematic areas: transport and traffic circulation; education, leisure and culture; health and social welfare; economic development and taxation; city organization and urban development. Meetings are held in each neighbourhood, where residents draw up their list of priorities for investment in infrastructure. These inputs are provided to the municipal budget council who determines the distribution of funds for each priority among districts. The municipal budget council and the district budget fora also monitor spending year-round.

In UK, talking about participatory budgeting, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blear said “councilors must not feel their democratic mandate is bypassed, and instead recognize that it will strengthen their relationship with their local community”.  Also, that, “I think the world has changed. I think voting every four years and basically handing over responsibility and power to other people and then doing nothing again for four years, I think our democracy is not like that any more.”  Ms Blear may well be talking about our city!

Intructions for Participatory Budgeting

PMC’s Citizen Suggestion Form is available online at www.punecorporation.org

(scroll down to ‘What would you like to do’ (above Swine Flu)

General instructions for suggesting works

  1. Please fill in all columns
  2. Citizens should note that suggesting a work does not necessarily mean its inclusion in the budget; the projects inclusion/ exclusion will be determined on technical and legal considerations
  3. All suggested works should be specific (location, description, quantity, category etc) (attach maps, photos where needed – fill a physical form in this case)
  4. Only projects that pertain to neighbourhood or locality level works are to be suggested, not city level infrastructure
  5. The cost of suggested works should preferably be below Rs 5 lakh
  6. Projects of the following type are admissible: pavements, water supply, drainage, bus stop (in consultation with PMT), parks and gardens (only repair works), bhawan (only repair works), public toilets, lights (roads and traffic), roads (only resurfacing)
  7. Projects of following type are not admissible: pedestrian bridges, speed breakers (prohibited by Supreme Court), garden (new provision), construction on land not owned by PMC
  8. Non budgetable projects should be avoided – For e.g. appointment of staff, minor repairs, clean up etc
  9. Deadline for submission is 09 Nov 2009
  10. When submitting the paper form, citizens must ensure that it is duly in-warded at the ward office and the tear-off receipt with inward entry number is given. This number will be needed to the unique id number after computerization. Those submitting suggestions online will directly get the unique ID number on completion of the entry. This number will be needed to track the suggestion and what decision is taken about it.
  11. Suggestions can also be made in the prescribed forms available at ward offices.  All ward offices are also making arrangements for online entry.

For more information, visit




About the Author – Sanskriti Menon

Sanskriti Menon is a Programme Director for the CEE Urban Programmes and Central Regional Cell of the Centre for Environment Education. CEE is an organization that works towards improving the awareness of environmental issues in our education system. It is supported by the Ministry of Envirnoment and Forests. Sanskriti also runs greenteacher.org, and she is also one of the primary driving forces behind the huge success of the Pune governance wiki.

Software Process Improvement Network event on eGovernance – Thu, 29 Oct

What: The Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN) hosts a monthly event. This one is on eGovernance with Anupam Saraph, CIO of Pune City, and Gautam Pal, Director of ETDC.
When: Thursday, 29th October, 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Where: Hotel Ambassador, Shivajinagar, Pune
Registration and Fees: This event is free for all to attend. No registration required.


1. Dr. Anupam Saraph, CIO of Pune City, will speak on the IT quality issues in the e-Governance domain.

2. Mr. Gautam Pal, Director, ETDC, will be sharing his thoughts and experience on e-Governance initiative across the country and the quality framework, Conformity Assessment Framework (CAF)

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Governance for Startups

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Yogesh Pathak, an advisor for many startups, argues that it is very important for startup founders to clearly lay out the ethical rules that the startup is going to play by. He points out the various issues on which the founders need to make their stand clear to all concerned stakeholders.

Governance has come in spotlight again in India due to scandals like Satyam. Normally governance is talked about in the context of large companies. However governance is a fundamental quality of any institution, small or large, for-profit or nonprofit, so here’s an attempt to highlight some issues about startup governance. Basically what “ethics” is at personal level, “governance” is at an institutional level.

Founders need to agree on an ethics policy in a startup

In countries that are high on the corruption index, India included, variation in standards of ethics affect pretty much everyone in the country: industrialists, government, entrepreneurs, citizens, and so on. It is key for even a small enterprise to have an ethics policy of its own and not just react to ethical dilemmas as they arrive. Differences between ethical preferences of individuals may crop up and create periods of conflict in a startup. Some standardization of rules of engagement (and ethics) between co-founders is ideal. e.g. Being open and upfront about any conflict of interest scenarios, etc.

A hypothetical example: A startup develops a cutting edge product and takes it to emerging markets, say Africa or other countries. Many large enterprises in such countries may be owned by the government. Let’s say a sale is possible at such a customer but a bribe is asked. What if some of the founder/management time are all right about paying bribes (to build revenue scale, which is very critical for startups) while some consider it unethical. Such a situation can result in conflict and affect the overall team spirit at a startup.

Accounting policies

Most startups work in cutting-edge areas and break ground on new business models, new streams of revenues etc. Often, established definitions and norms of accounting may conflict with the context of a new market, product, or service. Such areas include

  • what are the various types of revenues, policies regarding adjustments to revenues, what is revenue for accounting purposes, etc
  • how does the company define bad debt (collections awaited from customers)
  • expense heads and related accounting policies
  • what expense items should be used when computing gross margin, operating margin, etc

At times there may be a lot of discussion between startup management, board members, auditors, etc about what norms are prudent. While being conservative is usually a safer strategy, it is also key to listen to everyone’s viewpoint and make an informed, objective decision that is fair to all stakeholders and follows the law of the land both in letter and in spirit.

Fair treatment of customers

At times, companies may get creative in their communication with customers in order to keep customers longer or maximize revenues and profits. For example, not all costs to a customer may be transparent, sometimes un-subscribing from a service may be difficult for customers to do, or sometimes customers’ confidential information with the company may be used without their consent.

Startups need to be cognizant of an average customer’s expectations on fair treatment, as well as consumer protection laws across countries, and need to build it seamlessly in their customer experience design. Again, being proactive works better than being reactive.

Fair treatment of employees

While the laws of land, best practices in HR, and a free market for labor will usually take care that employees are treated fairly, it is key for employers to consciously design ethical treatment of employees in all their HR processes.

Investor communication

Startups are always in the market to raise capital for growth and make their dreams possible. Business plans are their main communication tools with investors. It is important to convey information such that is verifiable, accurate, and generally defensible in due diligence.

Once an investment is made, investors ask for detailed financial and operating information, usually at a monthly frequency. This information is their main tool for keeping a track of the health of the business. Investors appreciate companies providing information in agreed-upon formats, data not being re-stated frequently, knowing any surprises earlier rather than later, and an easy-to-understand explanation for the business drivers behind the numbers.

While a startup board may not have lots of formal committees, VC/PE investors are usually very active on boards, and play multiple roles in terms of tracking governance, evaluating the business, and being a mentor to the management team. It is important to form governance policies with mutual discussion and then follow them in a disciplined manner.

I am sure there are more unique aspects having to do with ethics and governance depending on the nature of business of a startup (utilizing 3rd party data on the web or IP protection, are some issues that come to mind). The above is a just a starting point touching upon major areas. Entrepreneurs have a clean slate on how to develop the culture within their companies. They will be expetced to set prudent norms and then lead by example.

About the author – Yogesh Pathak

Yogesh Pathak is founder of Path Knowledge, a business research, consulting, and startup advisory firm based in Pune.

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