Tag Archives: punetech

PuneConnect 2012 application date extended to 19 Nov

Since this is Diwali Week, and people are on vacation, we have received a number of requests to extend the deadline for submission. The deadline has now been extended until end of day, Monday, 19th November.

For details of how and what to submit, see the Submit A Proposal page at PuneConnect.com. For more information about PuneConnect itself, see [the original Pune Connect call for applications[(http://puneconnect.com/puneconnect-2012-dec-1-apply-now/)

Remember, this event is absolutely free for all participants, so you have no excuse to not apply.

(Note: all those who have already submitted applications, you should have received an email acknowledgement. If you have not received an acknowledgement, please re-submit your proposal, or leave a comment on this post and we’ll get in touch with you.)

Here are some selected testimonials from companies that presented at PuneConnect 2011:

Anand Kekre, CEO and Co-founder of Vaultize

Overall it was a good experience in PuneConnect 2011. We got some publicity as well as used the “Best Startup” accolade and ET Now coverage in our marketing. […] I would recommend such events to all startups.

Saurabh Jain, Co-founder, Intellista Software Studios:

The PuneConnect experience was really helpful.


However, I thought the following were really helpful:

  1. Getting insightful feedback from many experienced and senior people from the Indian startup ecosystem – who have been there and done that. This is difficult to get for many young startups with few connections.
  2. We were short listed for the ETNow show – which as an interesting experience in itself 🙂 Taught us a few things on how to pitch, especially on the TV. The feedback by the judges helped too.
  3. We got to get the entire team out (even though it was just four of us) and everyone got to pitch and explain to other people what our product does. This is always helpful and provides good exposure to the team. And lets face it, how often do we get such chances?
  4. The format of the event was such that we did not have to spend a LOT of time preparing for it – maybe a couple of days. Which is always good – because you do not end up wasting time.

Overall, the event lived up to more than my expectations and we all had a great time.

Rahul Sawant, Director, BizPorto:

It was indeed excellent initial push for bizporto. One of the early recognition by 4 prominent organizations together gave us confidence to move ahead. Well, we couldn’t get into the ET Now session nevertheless the opportunity was big. The visibility through this event was big & it helped us networking with few industry dignitaries & we are getting an excellent guidance from them in running the business.

PuneConnect 2012: An event to connect Pune Startups to Enterprises – 1 Dec

After the huge success of PuneConnect 2011, we are back again with PuneConnect 2012, a mega event for Pune startups to showcase their products and services to the world at large, and specifically to larger companies in Pune. PuneConnect 2012 will be on 1st December 2012, and the idea behind the event is to allow the best startups in Pune a platform where they can find customers, mentors, business partners, affiliates amongst Pune’s established companies, and successful senior entrepreneurs.

PuneConnect is a joint initiative of Software Exporters Association of Pune (SEAP), TiE Pune, PuneStartups.org (POCC), PuneTech, and NASSCOM. SEAP and NASSCOM have large communities of established companies, and PuneStartups.org, TiE Pune and PuneTech represent thriving communities of Pune’s young startups. PuneConnect represents a one-of-its-kind activity that bridges the gap between the new companies and the established ones.

Any startup company from Pune or nearby areas, who has a product that they would like to demo, should submit a proposal by following the instructions at http://PuneConnect.com. A panel of selectors drawn from experts in the industry will select the most promising startups who will be allowed to set up a stall at PuneConnect on 1st December.

Benefits to selected startups include:

  • Exposure to Pune’s top companies, potential customers and potential mentors
  • Exposure to Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors who are being
    invited to the event
  • Press and media coverage before and after the event
  • Winners of the event get automatic entries to other country-level events (e.g. those organized by NASSCOM)

PuneConnect 2011 showcased 12 Pune startups. All the companies got a lot of exposure to potential customers, angel investors, VCs and media.

Media Coverage: The Financial Express, the Financial Chronicle, Business Standard, and the top Marathi newspapers Sakal and Maharashtra Times all carried detailed articles about PuneConnect and the companies. All 12 companies got mentions in various articles. One company, World Without Me, got a half-page article in Pune Mirror as a direct result of being featured in PuneConnect 2011.

Entries to other prestigious events: 4 of the selected companies (InnovizeTech, ReliScore, DroidCloud, and AdMogul) were selected to be featured on an episode ETNow TV Channel’s Starting Up show. 4 of the companies (kPoint, Vaultize, InnovizeTech and DroidCloud) were selected for participation in a national-level conference organized by Zinnov, where they got to demo their products to companies from all over India. Two of the companies (BizPorto, and InTouchId) went on to be a part of the TiE Pune Nurture Initiative where they got in-depth mentoring in becoming ready for funding.

Funding: DroidCloud (now known as AppSurfer) got an invitation to the SuperAngels show on the ETNow Channel as a direct result of being in PuneConnect 2011, and a chance to win Rs. 1 crore in funding on the show. AppSurfer actually went on to win the show and secure the funding.

If you’re interested

PuneConnect 2011 – Event Overview and Results

PuneConnect 2011, held on 5th November, was the event where Pune’s
top tech communities (SEAP and PuneTech) and startup communities (POCC and TiEPune) came together to organize an event to let Pune’s startups mix with Pune’s established companies.

PuneConnect Demo Hall Photo
Demo Hall at PuneConnect was overflowing with the who's who of Pune's IT and Startup community

12 Pune technology startups were chosen from about 30 applicants to showcase their products at PuneConnect 2011. The 12 companies selected were: AdMogul, ApplyEzee, BizPorto, CoTrakr, Deja VU 3D, DroidCloud, InnovizeTech, IntouchId, kPoint, ReliScore, Vaultize, and World Without Me.

Short write-ups of the 12 companies can be found here.

All 12 companies got to demo their product to the who’s who of Pune. Senior members of SEAP, and Charter members of TiE Pune were asked to vote for their favorite demos and the top 4 companies get a chance to present at the bitter “Advantage Pune” conference being organized by Zinnov in Pune, in December 2011. Separately, 4 companies were selected to be part of the “Staring Up” show on ETNow, and their pitches were recorded to be televised nationally on ETNow on 15th November.

Companies selected for Advantage Pune

These 4 companies won the top votes from Senior Members of SEAP and Charter Members of TiE Pune, and hence get a chance to get exposure at the national level at the Advantage Pune conference in December where lots of India’s larger IT companies will be present. The winners are:

  1. kPoint
  2. Vaultize
  3. InnovizeTech
  4. DroidCloud

Companies selected for Starting Up show on ETNow

PuneConnect Starting Up ETNow Photo
4 Pune companies, InnovizeTech, ReliScore, DroidCloud, AdMogul were selected to be part of the Starting Up program on ETNow

These 4 companies were selected by the selection panel consisting of Gaurav Mehra, Suhas Kelkar, Moti Thadani of SEAP in consultation with Sudhir Syal of ETNow, and they got to pitch their startup to a panel consisting of Nickhil Jakatdar, Gaurag Mehra, and Suhas Kelkar on a program recorded by ETNow to be televised nationally later.

The winners were:

  1. InnovizeTech
  2. ReliScore
  3. DroidCloud & AdMogul

In this program, InnovizeTech got the top marks from the judges and hence gets a direct entry to the final round of ETNow’s SuperAngels’ show where they get a chance to pitch for a million dollars of funding.

The Starting Up now show recorded at PuneConnect will be telecast on Tuesday, 15th November at 11pm on the ETNow channel. It will be re-broadcast 9pm on Saturday, 19th November, and 10:30am and 7:30pm on Sunday, 20th November. It should also become available on YouTube and PuneTech will post a link to the YouTube video.

Other Media Coverage

The event was very well covered by local and national media. The Financial Express, the Financial Chronical, Business Standard, and the top Marathi newspapers Sakal and Maharashtra Times all carried detailed articles about PuneConnect. Three of the articles mentioned all 12 companies, and one of the articles mentioned ReliScore and InnovizeTech.

Pune Mirror had a half page article on World Without Me as a direct result of being featured in PuneConnect 2011.

Overall, we believe PuneConnect 2011 was a huge success, and we hope to do many more such cross-organizational initiatives in the future.

(Disclaimer: Navin and Amit of PuneTech were deeply involved in the creation, conceptualization and organization of PuneConnect, and are also the founders of ReliScore one of the companies that had applied for PuneConnect, got selected in the final 12, and also got selected for the ETNow Starting Up show. Due to the potential conflict of interest, Navin and Amit did not play any part in the selection process which was done entirely by people from SEAP, TiEPune and ETNow. For similar reasons, non of members of POCC who are in the PuneConnect organizers team played any part in the selection.)

PuneConnect 2011: Showcase for 12 interesting Pune startups – 5 Nov

PuneTech takes great pleasure in inviting everyone to PuneConnect 2011, to get to know 12 of Pune’s most interesting startups, on 5th November 2011, 12noon-2pm, at MCCIA, ICC Trade Tower, SB Road. (Register here)

PuneConnect 2011 is an event where Pune’s top tech communities (SEAP and PuneTech) and startup communities (POCC and TiEPune) have come together and chosen 12 Pune technology startups from a larger pool of applicants to showcase their product to the tech and startup communities.

The event consists of two parts – a demo room, where all the startups will first be demonstrating their products, followed later by an on-stage session where 4 of the startups will pitch their product to a PuneConnect panel. This panel pitch session will be televised to a national audience on Economic Times’ ETNow channel.

Event Details

11am-12noon: Closed Demo Session

From 11am onwards, all 12 startups will set up demos in Bajaj Gallery, 5th Floor, A Wing, MCCIA, ICC Trade Tower. This is a closed session that is open only to members of SEAP and charter members of TiE Pune; this is intended to allow intimate discussion between Pune’s tech startups, and senior members of Pune’s more established software startups. If you are not a member of SEAP or a charter member of TiE Pune, but would like to attend this session and you’re a CXO or MD of an established software company or an investor, please write to puneconnect@punetech.com with a little background about yourself to request an invitation.

12noon-12:30pm: Open Demo Session

From 12noon onwards, we’ll open the demo room (Bajaj Gallery, 5th Floor, A Wing, MCCIA, ICC Trade Tower) for everybody. The bottom of this article gives an overview of the companies that will be present.

12:30pm-2pm: PuneConnect-ETNow Session

4 selected companies will pitch their product to a distinguished panel followed by Q&A with the panelists, in a session that will be televised on Economic Times’ ETNow channel. This session will happen in the Sumant Moolgaokar Auditorium (Ground Floor of the same building, A Wing, ICC Trade Tower), and is open to all subject to availability of seats (on a first-come-first-served basis).

Registration and Fees

This event is open to all after 12noon, and is free. Please register here

The Startups

The following is the list of 12 chosen startups in alphabetical order. These were selected from amongst the startups that applied to PuneConnect, by a panel of selectors from SEAP. The following selection criteria were used:

  • Is the vision of the startup clear?
  • Do they have a differentiation and is the potential market correctly identified? In other words, can they make a valid business out of it?
  • Do they have a novel idea or IP that is hard to replicate? i.e. Sustained competitive advantage.

Note: PuneTech and POCC did NOT play any part in the selection, due to potential conflicts of interest. See the bottom of this article for details.


The AdMogul is a social (Facebook) game built around the concept of TV commercials which rewards and encourages people to rate commercials from a pool of choices from a particular campaign. (For example, Cadbury’s recent Diwali Campaigns). When people rate commercials, they capture basic demographic details which help us generate insights which can help advertisers refine and re-target their commercials.

The AdMogul is started by Saurabh Jain (BE Computer Science from UoP) and Gaurang Sinha (BE Computer Engineering UoP) in November 2010, and the game was launched in August 2011. This is their second startup.

Link: http://intellista.com/#/what-we-do/the-admogul


ApplyEzee.com is a platform for students to apply to a large number of educational institutes across the globe via a common application form. It makes finding institutes much simpler, with easy-to-use tools that quickly let you find institutions and finally applying to them via the common application form. The Institution Eligibility Calculator that instantly tells you your chances of getting into your favorite institutions Institutions Profiles for 1,000+ institutions.

ApplyEzee has been started by Himanshu Jain and Sanjay Kumar, entrepreneurial sales and marketing strategists with over 40 years of composite experience in the domain of education & training having a record of demonstrated success in driving multi-crore sales.

Link: http://applyezee.com


BizPorto provides an Internet based business-to-business (B2B) marketplace where business buyers (outsourcers, wholesalers) can find and buy b2b goods from sellers (manufacturers, suppliers). Customers are both the sellers and the buyers, typically from the medium and small scale industries, who create online stores through the BizPorto website & advertise their products or needs. BizPorto has operations in 6 different cities in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

BizPorto is founded by Suresh Salunkhe, who has 10+ years of experience in MSME sector.

Link: http://bizporto.com


CoTrakr is a platform that allows organizations to collect and use the collective knowledge of their employees, customers, and partners by leveraging open innovation techniques. This allows organizations to discover new ideas, business opportunities, locate subject matter experts and utilize their expertise in taking an idea from concept to cash.

CoTrakr has been founded by Abhijeet Dhamankar who has 10 years of IT experience in knowledge management and information architecture.

Link: http://cotrakr.com

Deja VU 3D

“DejaVu 3d” is an image processing service, that works with its channel partners to process and convert 2d photographs to 3d that can be viewed as print or digital content without the need of expensive electronic hardware. The resultant 3D content would not require any special screen, viewing device or glasses. DejaVu 3D will tie up with event photographers to create 3D images, promote 3D services across the country, and in general become a technology processing and marketing company with future ventures in Realtime 2D to 3D video conversion and glasses free 3D.

Deja Vu 3D is founded by Krunnal Gharre (MBA Thunderbird, BE E&TC UoP), who has 5 years of experience in operations, sales and marketing in US and India. Customers: TATA, Kirloskar, PARI, Warade Automation, Accurate Gauges, Arrow MachineTools, PCMC, Patsons, Surya, Aurora Towers, Ashtekar Jewelers, Fine Equipments. Also winner of Times of India’s Power of Ideas Program in 2010.

Link: http://www.wix.com/krunnal/dejavu3d


DroidCloud allows users to try and use Android apps from any desktop web browser. Normally, applications intended for Android phones cannot be used by people who do not have an Android phone. DroidCloud gives every user a virtual Android phone in the cloud that they can use to run apps. This is useful for app developers to demo apps to clients, app publishers to show demo of apps to potential customers and users, and different teams in large organizations to collaborate on apps.

DroidCloud is founded by Aniket Awati, who has experience building many mobile apps for many different platforms and Ratnadeep Deshmane who is an avid code enthusiast who has developed complex back-ends for intelligent education service applications.

Link: http://rainingclouds.com


InnovizeTech’s Sapeince is a software product that when installed on employee PCs automatically figures out what work was done, by whome, for how long, and for what purpose. It produces reports that highlights gaps and deviations from pre-determined goals. The basic idea is to provide managers with data that can be used to drive efficiencies, detect underutilization, and compare with industry metrics. Sapeince protects privacy of individual employees by only providing aggregate data and trends for teams > 10 employees in most cases.

Innovize has been founded by Shirish Deodhar, Madhukar Bhatia, Swati Deodhar, Hemant Joshi – Each has 25+ years of technology and leadership experience in US and India. They are Serial Entrepreneurs with 2 previous successes in outsourced product development.

Link: http://innovizetech.com


IntouchId is a cloud and mobile based solution that allows people and businesses to securely maintain and share their contact information. Just update your contact info in one place and all your contacts’ automatically see the updates in their address books. Conversely, your address book is always up-to-date since it is being managed by the contacts themselves. The auto updating address book is always at your fingertips – visible directly in your mobile’s native phonebook. IntouchId brings these benefits to the corporates by providing an auto updating corporate directory accessible to employees and customers alike, ensuring you stay in touch with your customers, forever.

IntouchId is founded by Dr. Sarang Lakare (PhD in Computer Science from SUNY Stony Brook, USA). Previously he has worked in the areas of medical imaging analysis software and helped built the world’s first Virtual Colonoscopy device, and led the development of software for automatic cancer detection.

Link: http://www.theintouchid.com/


kPoint is a cloud-based solution for aglie knowledge transfers based on innovative video search technology backed by 5 pending patents. It is basically a browser based software system that allows customers to create interactive videos that embed slides and other data that makes them easier to search and browse than regular videos. This can be used by enterprises to facilitate knowledge capture and collaborative learning. It can be used by product managers, team members, subject matter experts, trainers, and support.

kPoint is led by a team of 5 experienced industry veterans (including Shridhar Shukla and Sunil Gaitonde, founders of GS Lab) with repeated technology business successes, with seed investment by GS Lab, and now self-funded.

Link: http://kpoint.in


ReliScore.com is an interactive web portal that enables job-seekers to showcase their technology skills across various domains. Users of the portal solve problems and upload sample programs. This allows companies to search for the right candidate based on actual competencies and examples of work.

ReliScore is founded by Navin Kabra (PhD in CS, University of Wisconsin, USA, B.Tech IIT Bombay) and Amit Paranjape (MS University of Wisconson, USA, B.Tech. IIT Bombay) who each have 15+ years of software industry experience in the US and India – in large companies and in startups.

Link: http://reliscore.com


Vaultize is a cloud-based backup solution for enterprises. It is built ground up specifically for the cloud, with enterprise class SLAs and features, data de-duplication and encryption at source, and with clear return on investment in mind. Target customers are SMBs/SMEs/Enterprises – for files, emails, app databases on laptops, desktops and servers.

Vaultize is founded by Anand Kekre (MTech CSE IIT Bombay, BE CSE SGSITS Indore) who has 17 years of experience in large software enterprises, and 53 US Patents, and Ankur Panchbudhe (MTech CSE IIT Bombay, B.E. CSE VNIT Nagpur) who has 10 years of experience in large software enterprises, and 17 US Patents.

Link: http://vaultize.com

World Without Me

World Without Me is a website that allows people to create a digital “afterlife” so that they can store their web passwords in a vault to be bequeathed to heirs after death, send messages in the future, create an autobiography on the go by archiving and curating social networks, and create private discussions. In the future, they would be able to offer country specific estate planning tools, and mentoring and coaching for life challenges.

World without me is founded by Bhaskar Thakur, a seasoned marketer and entrepreneur with over 13 years of experience. Bhaskar was one of the first wave of Internet Marketers in India and specializes in creating strategies, solutions and platforms for the Social Web.

Link: https://www.worldwithoutme.com/

(Disclaimer: Navin and Amit of PuneTech were deeply involved in the creation, conceptualization and organization of PuneConnect, and are also the founders of ReliScore one of the companies that had applied for PuneConnect. Due to the potential conflict of interest, Navin and Amit did not play any part in the selection process which was done entirely by SEAP. For similar reasons, non of members of POCC who are in the PuneConnect organizers team played any part in the selection.)

We are Number #1! (For “Pune Technology” search on Google)

From almost the day we started PuneTech, one of our desires has been to build a site that is the top search result on Google for the search Pune Technology. Today, we are proud to report that, as far as we can tell, PuneTech has the top 2 results for this search.

For the last 10 years, the top ranked search result for “Pune Technology” has been a terrible, out-dated, incomplete, and pointless list of ‘IT Companies in Pune’ from PuneDiary.com. We’ve always hated the fact that the world saw that obsolete page instead of something more current, and a couple of months back, when we (reported that PuneTech now has a pagerank of 5](http://punetech.com/minor-celebration-time-punetech-com-now-has-a-google-page-rank-of-5/), we shamelessly let it be known that we wanted to dislodge PuneDiary from the number 1 slot.

We’re very happy that it has finally happened.

Drop in pagerank and PuneTech Wiki discontinued

Sadly, we have to report that our pagerank has once again dropped from 5 to 4. After some investigation, we believe that this drop is because of spam and vandalism happening on the PuneTech Wiki. Also, the PuneTech Wiki has not really lived up to our expectations, and hence, starting today, we have disabled the PuneTech wiki. Some of the pages in the Wiki have been migrated, but the rest is just gone. It wasn’t worth keeping around.

More details: The PuneTech Wiki was a section of the PuneTech website that was modeled after the wikipedia (and in fact used the same software (Mediawiki)). The idea was the the community would collaborate to create interesting and useful content. However after trying that for 3 years, we have given it up as a failed experiment. Most of the content on the wikipedia was added by us, and very little content came from others. The amount of work needed to keep the wiki free from spammers and vandals outweighed the benefits of having the wiki. That is the reason why we have turned off the wiki.

The PuneTech Directory

In its place we hope to create a PuneTech Directory. It already has a listing of the most important tech user groups, organizations and mailing lists in Pune, a way to find the most interesting techies in Pune, and a list of the top-ranked websites in Pune.

Other content, specially lists of companies (organized by industry/speciality) will be added soon. We will do it ourselves, manually, as and when we find time.

How to do SEO the hard way

It has taken us too long to reach number #1. The reason is that there are a lot of things that we should have done, but did not do.

We did not do SEO (Search Engine Optimization). We did not do link-building. We did not spend too much time thinking about crafting headlines and first paragraphs with search traffic in mind. We did not add lots of content on a regular basis to ensure a high flow of traffic. We did not keep an eye on what is ‘hot’ on any given week/month and then try to write stories around those concepts (keywords). (On a separate note: we also are aware that the design of the site is terrible and both the looks as well as the usability need lots of work.)

We do realize that all the above things are important – and that anybody building a website for commercial reasons must focus on the above issues, and much more. Specifically, we are NOT implying that these activities are somehow distasteful and that good people should not do them. In fact, we hope more good people focus on these things, and less of the bad people.

But, PuneTech is different. PuneTech is a non-commercial activity that we do in our free time because we like doing it. Because we are having fun doing it. And the SEO/design related activities are not our idea of fun. That is the only reason we have not spent too much time on them.

So how did we reach #1? The slow, painful, old-fashioned way. Content. Unique content. Good quality content. Articles that are interesting for people. Information that we think people should be reading. We are glad to report that “Content is King” is still true.

Thank You

There have been lots of people, too numerous to list, who have helped PuneTech in various ways, and had a big hand in making it what it is today. Special mention must go to the Pune Open Coffee Club, which started around the same time as PuneTech and the two forums have been very complementary to each other.

Together, we have made the Pune community one of the most active and vibrant communities in the country.

Minor Celebration time: PuneTech.com now has a Google Page Rank of 5

We’re very happy to report that http://punetech.com/ now has a google rank of 5.

To a large extent, we have never really worried too much about the SEO of PuneTech, or the design, or a whole bunch of other stuff that webmasters typically do (and should) worry about. Since PuneTech is a non-commercial, hobby project that we do in our free time, and since that free time is limited, we have always chosen to focus our efforts on producing good quality content, rather than other aspects.

However, it would be very naive, and unrealistically idealistic of us to say that SEO is not important. If we don’t rank highly in Google results, people can’t find us, and that sort-of defeats the purpose of a site like PuneTech. Of course, we do value regular subscribers much more than the casual users who land up on our pages via search engines, but still, the further growth of PuneTech does depend upon getting such users, and then converting them to subscribers.

Hence, we’re very happy that Google’s algorithm has promoted us to a Page Rank of 5. It was very easy for us to reach Page Rank 4, which we managed to do just a few months after PuneTech was started. But there we stayed for a while, and last year, as we went through some downtime, some server headaches, and a 2-month long break, the Page Rank had dropped to 3 for a while. But now it is at 5, which is a significant milestone.

For those who don’t understand what Page Rank means: Page Rank is a number assigned to websites by the Google Search Engine and indicates the relative importance of these websites. It goes from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest possible. This is an ‘exponential’ scale, which means that, very roughly, a site with PR of 5 is ten times more important than a site with PR of 4; and also it is ten times more difficult to attain a PR 5 compared to getting a PR of 4. It took us 4 months to reach PR 4, and 40 months to reach PR 5 – which sounds about right. (Of course, many websites never make it past 3 or 4, so it’s not just a question of time.)

To put things in perspective, see the PuneTech list of Top-Ranked Pune Websites. You’ll note that only 3 Pune sites have a PR of 7 or more (C-DAC at 8, and IISER and IUCAA at 7). That’s it. There’s a handful of sites at PR 6. It is very unlikely that there are any Pune websites at PR 6 or above that are not already listed at that page. The list of sites with PR 5 is also fairly small, and comprises a Who’s Who of Internet in Pune, although this list is incomplete – and there would be a bunch of other sites that we’ve missed. (If you find any, please edit that page, or let us know.) In short, PR 5 is pretty good.

Still, one of our primary goals remains unachieved so far.

For many search related to technology in Pune, PuneTech pages have started showing up somewhere on the first page. If you search for “Pune Technology” on Google, PuneTech shows up as the second link. Which is great. But the first link is a terribly outdated, and totally pointless page from PuneDiary.com. We’ll never be really happy until PuneTech ranks above that page in a search for ‘Pune Technology’. If you have a website, please help us in this noble goal by linking to http://punetech.com from your site.

Introducing ForPune.com – ask any question about Pune and get answers

ForPune.com is a website where you can ask any question about Pune (it does not have to be a technical question) and get good quality answers from other Punekars quickly. It is another for-the-community, by-the-community initiative from PuneTech. Please use it – the more people use it, the more useful it becomes.

Some example questions and answers

Just to give you an idea of the various different ways in which this site can be useful, we’ve listed some of the interesting questions here.

Basically, you have access to a bunch of smart, interesting, knowledgeable Punekars from different fields, and you can get them to answer your questions, your doubts, and your philosophical issues.

Key features

Why is this ForPune different from a “discussion forum” or a “mailing list”? Here are the reasons:

  • Voting on questions and answers: ensures that good quality answers float to the top, and more useful questions get higher ranking in search results
  • Moderation: volunteers from the community keep patrolling the site to get rid of spammers and idiots. So you will not (usually) find the site over-run by idiotic irrelevant posts.
  • Tags: All questions are tagged to make it easy to browse and find interesting questions and answers
    • For example user meetu earned the Notable Question Badge because her question about real estate prices in Lavasa has more than 3000 views.
    • Users nik, Abhinav, Subhojit Roy and ravi karandeekar have earned the “Enthusiast” badge for visiting the site every day without fail for at least 30 days.
    • 16 Users have a “Popular Question” badge, for having asked questions with more than a 1000 views.

    The points system: All users of the site get points for various activities. There are points for asking questions, for giving answers, for voting, for correcting inaccurate tags, for asking good questions, for giving good answers etc. Members earn various badges.

    Basically, the points and badge system ensures increases the motivation of the users to “work” on the site, and gives visibility to people with specific expertise.

Why not Quora? Why not Facebook Questions?

Quora/Facebook Questions are good alternatives, but the simple reason why ForPune was not built on those was that ForPune has been around for almost an year now – before Facebook questions and Quora were launched.

There are other reasons why we feel that this is the right choice:

  • Quora is still rather tech-heavy (and generally heavy). It has serious people with serious questions, and startups and tech trends. This scares away most of the regular people.
  • Facebook questions doesn’t really seem to be taking off (at least not that I can see).
  • In any case, I think that in the long-term it is a much better idea to have an independent entity that is not dependent on the whims and fancies of a startup that might change its policies, or shift focus, or simply discontinue the service (remember Google Wave?)
  • ForPune will soon run on open source software, and we have hopes that the tech community in Pune will use that as a base to extend it and create a whole bunch of apps/hacks/other services.

Software / Platform details

  • ForPune is based on the StackExchange software – the same software that runs the popular StackOverflow site for programming questions & answers.
  • In the next few months, ForPune will shift over to using OSQA the open source clone of StackExchange. (It’s written in python+django, Yippie!) At that time, we’ll also shift it to our own servers – probably on slicehost or webfaction.

Who’s behind ForPune

Well, although it was started by us – the people behind PuneTech, but it is now really run by the users. See the list of ForPune users. More points indicate people who’ve spent more time on the site. People with diamonds against their name are moderators.

What to do now?

Use the site. Ask questions, answer questions, vote for good answers and questions.

Tell your friends about ForPune.com. Due to the network effect, the utility of the site quadruples if the number of users doubles. (And if the number goes up by 10x the utility increases by 100x).

Especially if you have friends in media. Ask them to write articles about ForPune.

And follow @forpuneq and forpune on twitter.

Why has the PuneTech website been changing so frequently?

Regular visitors to PuneTech.com would have noticed that the website has been undergoing major upheavals in recent times. This article gives you an idea of what is going on behind the scenes. This article is not directly related to tech in Pune, so busier readers should feel free to skip this article.

But before I get into the details of what’s going on, I should point out: If you have noticed that the website has been changing frequently, you are doing it wrong. You should not be visiting the PuneTech.com website. You should instead subscribe to PuneTech via RSS or by email. Why? Because that ensures that you’ll never miss a post, and for us, the benefit is that we get a “loyal reader” rather than just another “monthly unique visitor.” We value the loyal readers more.

So, what’s going on with the website?

Basically, for the last few months, the PuneTech website has been consuming too much CPU, more than the acceptable use allowed by the shared host. It’s in danger of being kicked out, and the problem needs to be identified and fixed. That’s why you’re seeing all the changes on the site.

Technical details: Many people were surprised to see the “default” wordpress theme on the PuneTech website, and some also wondered whether we had migrated PuneTech to wordpress. Actually, since the first day (almost 3 years ago), PuneTech.com has always been on wordpress. Over time, we’ve had a bunch of wordpress themes (which allow us to change the look-n-feel of the site while keeping the underlying software the same), which made the site look like a magazine or something else. One of the themes was a freely downloaded theme from the internet, while the others were all hand-crafted by me.

Anyway, to see if we could fix the performance problems, we tried the following:

  • Use various DEBUG plugins on wordpress to see if any specific query/queries were taking up too much time. Doesn’t appear to be so.
  • Disable all plugins to see if any plugin was causing the problem. That’s the first time you might have seen some functionality disappear from the website. Nope – the problem still remained.
  • Turn off the “tag cloud”. That did not help either.
  • Replace the latest theme with an older theme to see if the theme had some code that was causing the problem. Again, that did not help.
  • Delete the entire installation and do a fresh install – this was to ensure that there was no malware that got into the site somehow. Apparently not.
  • Replace the older theme with the wordpress default theme – this pretty much guarantees that we haven’t done anything to screw the site up. This is the reason why you’re currently seeing the wordpress default theme.

Our host Rochen has been very supportive throughout the process, and they’re pretty solid (I host a lot of other sites with them, some with higher traffic), so I’m pretty sure the problem isn’t at their end.

Why bother with all this? Shouldn’t I simply opt for a higher plan with more CPU and forget about the whole thing? The geek in me doesn’t allow me to do that. For one, I can’t believe that a small site like PuneTech can/should cause this much CPU usage. Second, I can’t give up without finding the root cause of the problem.

Hence, I’m still experimenting. So, apologies as some of the things will randomly stop working. The site might keep changing. But, the flow of article RSS feed and the daily email will continue. Thanks for listening…

How to get your event promoted on PuneTech

The PuneTech calendar is the most comprehensive source of information about tech events happening in Pune. And, with a large focused readership, PuneTech is a great way to provide publicity to your event. In this post, we provide guidelines on how to get your event promoted on PuneTech.

There are two different ways in which an event can be promoted on PuneTech. The first is to get listed in the PuneTech calendar. This is easy, and anybody can do it. The second is to get listed on the PuneTech main page. This is more difficult, and is subject to selection by PuneTech editors. Details on how to submit your event for these two listings is given below.

Adding an event to the PuneTech Calendar

To add an event to the PuneTech Calendar, follow these steps:

  • Add your event to Yahoo Upcoming. To do this, click on this link and then fill out the form in as much detail as possible.
  • Note: you will need to sign in using your yahoo ID. If you don’t have a yahoo ID, you’ll have to create one.
  • Don’t forget to indicate whether the event is free or paid.
  • If registration or RSVP is required for the event, please include information about how to do that. If no registration is required, please say so explicitly. (Otherwise we get mails from people asking us how to register for the event.)
  • Remember to click “Preview Event”, followed by “Submit”.
  • After the event has been created, send us the link via email to punetech@punetech.com and we’ll add it to the PuneTech calendar.


  • The event must be in Pune, and must be a technology event. (We sometimes relax this condition if we feel that enough of our readers might be interested.)
  • The event must be a real, physical, offline event. No webinars/webcasts or other online events
  • Did we mention that the event must be in Pune? No Mumbai/Hyderabad events. (Yes, we routinely reject requests to list events from other cities.)
  • Listing of paid events/trainings is allowed, but only if the price is clearly indicated.

Remember to send an email to punetech@punetech.com with the link after you’re done.

Featuring your event on the PuneTech main page

Events that we find particularly interesting are posted to the PuneTech main page. This gives much wider coverage to the event. In addition to being seen by all the visitors to the website, it also goes automatically to the 2500 “subscribers” of PuneTech who get the latest PuneTech news via RSS or email. It also shows up on http://punetech.com/category/events/ and is sent to the @punetech twitter account.

To get your event promoted to the main page, you need to first add it to the PuneTech calendar (by following instructions in the previous section), and then send us an email suggesting that we promote it to our main page. Here are the rules:

  • Only free events or events that charge a nominal fee are considered for inclusion on the main page. Specifically, any event that charges more than Rs. 1000 is definitely not promoted. Events charging less might be considered, based on interestingness of the event.
  • Adding the event to the PuneTech Calendar with all details filled out properly significantly improves your chances of being promoted. You could try sending us an email with just the event details, but without adding it to the PuneTech Calendar. But that significantly increases the time and effort required on our part to add the event. And then, since we’re doing this in our free time, for free, we might or might not get around to it depending upon how busy we are.
  • Please make sure that the “Description” is filled in detail using plain text. Just a link to an image or a PDF is not good enough. (We can’t cut-n-paste text from images, and we’ll probably not feature events for which we cannot give a good text description.)
  • Promotion to the main page is based on various subjective criteria, including “interestingness”. There are no guarantees. You sends us an email, and you takes your chances.

Suggestions/comments/feedback? Let us know in the comments below.

Rebooting PuneTech

Regular readers would have noticed that PuneTech has not been updated in a while. We're are back now.

Allow me a few minutes today to talk at length about the past and future of PuneTech. The executive summary is that PuneTech is coming back with some changes, but hopefully nothing that will change the overall experience significantly. Feel free to skip the the rest of this article – it talks mainly about why the change, and what the changes are going to be.

Basically I (i.e. Navin) had taken an unscheduled break from PuneTech for the last month or so while I was trying to figure out my priorities. In the last 6 months or so, I realized that I had become rather busy with too many different activities and realized that I wasn't doing a good job of many of them, I was always behind on my work, and had started "dropping packets." I realized that this situation could not continue for too long and something needed to be done.

Specifically, as regards PuneTech, this means that I cannot spend as much time on PuneTech as I used to spend earlier. Amit and I have been doing PuneTech for more than 2-1/2 years now. PuneTech has grown in a lot of ways, reaches lots of people, and we've done lots of experiments, some of which failed, but some have succeeded spectacularly. We're proud of what we have achieved, and we will definitely keep it going. However, one of the things that we haven't managed to figure out how to do, is to get other people writing articles regularly for PuneTech. Yes, we've had the occasional guest authors, we've also re-posted from blogs of other Punekars, but that remains the exception. In general, it takes too much of an effort to get someone else to write an article. For me personally, this is one of the biggest problems, because it means that I end up writing most of the articles that appear on PuneTech, and this used to take up a lot of my time. What made me doubly sad was that there are so many interesting stories about companies and people doing tech work in Pune that need to be told – but haven't been told because I don't have the time to write them down. Some of them have been sitting in my head for more than an year, but I haven't managed to get it out because of lack of time.

Regular readers of PuneTech will be aware that PuneTech is a completely non-commercial activity. We don't make any money in any form from PuneTech and we don't intend to. Which meas that we have full-time day jobs and we can only work on PuneTech in our free time – because we love doing so. A corollary of the non-commercial-ness is that we don't spend too much money on PuneTech; that means no hired writers, no hired low-level admin folks, etc. I run the website, Amit runs the PuneTech linked-in group, and we do a lot of meeting people, connecting people, encouraging and helping other activities in the background. All of this happens as and when we get time. And sometimes it doesn't happen at all. Such is life.

So, what's the fix?

I think I can significantly reduce the time I spend on a PuneTech article by essentially making you, the readers, do more work. This is what I'm planning to do:

  • From now on, articles are likely to be much more raw, much less polished. I'll be spending less time re-writing articles, finding spelling mistakes, and structuring the overall flow of the article. I'll pretty much spit out the information I have, or the thoughts I've gathered. So the overall structure of the article is likely to be a little less coherent. But I'm hoping that even in "ex-tempore" mode, I am a good enough writer that the articles will still be good enough for most of the readers. For example, this article has been written in this ad hoc style.
  • Much fewer links and images in articles. In my opinion, inserting hyperlinks to relevant information in articles does add significant value, but takes up a lot of time. So, for now on, I'm not putting links except in a few, necessary cases. For the rest, you'll need to start using google yourself. Sorry. And no more images, in most cases.
  • More quick-n-dirty, one paragraph articles. Often I try to wait until I've gathered enough information about a topic to create a good full-length article. This takes up time, mental bandwidth, and many smaller pieces of information get lost because they never amounted to more than a paragraph. For a while, I'm going to change my tactics and start posting shorter pieces, which have less information content, but are still useful. This will result in an increase in the number of PuneTech posts. I'm hoping to be able to do that without significantly damaging the signal-to-noise ratio of PuneTech. So, the current plan is to try this for a few months and then solicit feedback from the readers as to whether it is an overall positive or a negative. If you get PuneTech via email, then you'll continue to get one email per day, but each email might contain multiple articles – so keep that in mind and scroll down till the bottom of the email before marking it as read. Those following via RSS will see multiple smaller articles showing up during the day (hopefully). If you're not subscribed via email/rss, what's wrong with you? Please subscribe!!
  • The PuneTech wiki is officially deprecated. One of my dreams when I started PuneTech was to create a wiki for tech information about Pune which would be updated by people from the community. However, I never was able to crack that – and the wiki never really took off. Sure, there have been some good pages that we managed to create: like the Pune User Groups and Organizations page, the Top-ranked Websites in Pune page, etc. But those are few and far between. So, the PuneTech wiki, which has anyway crawled along anaemically for a while is now officially put in coma. The wiki will continue to exist, and the existing pages will remain, but we're no longer putting any effort into it. Oh well. One of the experiments which failed.
  • The PuneTech calendar is, we believe, one of the experiments that worked really well, and we'll continue to keep updating it. But it is work, and we would like to ask our readers to help us out here. It would really reduce our workload if you could add events to the upcoming PuneTech page directly. The instructions for adding an event are given on that page, and if you add the event to the PuneTech group (as given in the instructions), it will automatically show up in the PuneTech calendar. (Yes, we know that the calendar has not really been updated in a while, but we'll hopefully fix that in a few days…)

That's all for now. Let the experiment begin. If you have any suggestions, or other feedback, please let us know in the comments below.