How to prevent data breaching in an organisation

Startups are more prone to data breaching. The vast majority of data breaches come from human error and social engineering.

The single most effective way to protect yourself from a data breach is through Security Awareness Training. Here are some specific security tips to avoid data breaching:

Don’t click on anything suspicious or any type of attachment you are not expecting. These types of attachments contain malicious trojans and viruses that send data remotely to their servers.

Hover over a link to make sure it is a valid link. Look for https:// instead of http:// in URL.

Backup your data. Use multiple forms of backup as backup often fail. Test the restore function and make sure it works.

Train your employees on security awareness. Not everyone is an IT expert, so in order to secure your organisation’s data, cyber security awareness sessions should be conducted by the organisation.

Don’t pick up any stray USB’s and don’t plug them in. As these types of USB’s can run background process as soon as they are plugged in. So avoid using them.

Use a password tool to protect your passwords. Mostly password tools use an encrypted password to protect files and folders. Not only they are hard to crack but also introduces another level of security to the files and folders.

Avoid using free WIFI for your work. When someone uses wifi, they put themselves in their network, and anyone in that network can monitor network traffic and decode or re-route.

Use a good antivirus and built-in firewall for systems.

A simple and easy solution that won’t break the bank for start-ups is to store their data on a cloud solution that incorporates data-centric security as opposed to application-level security, meaning that security measures are embedded in the data itself as opposed to focusing all protective measures on infrastructure.

In the scenario of a data breach, and if documents are enabled with data-centric security, access to those files can be revoked remotely.

Why one should start their career with Startups

Start-ups are all about the people who are able or willing to stand out from the crowd and put some extra efforts to make their career successful. Here are the few reasons why one should opt for a career with startups.

You will get the knowledge of every divison:

A start up would provide you with more exposure, experience, and a hell lot of ideas. Working in start-up helps you to get the knowledge of every department. Even if a start-up employee was hired as a marketing assistant, it is more likely that he will also work as an accountant, an IT tech, an HR rep and so much more, it means employees have first-hand experience with a number of positions, giving them unprecedented insight into the efforts of different departments and allowing them to interact more easily with different teams.

Your work will be recognised (so as your failure):

At a large organization, it may take five or six years before you’re able to lead an important initiative. In a start-up environment, that may happen during the second month of job. On top of that, the entire company will know who led the project that made the product better, won a big client or improved a bad process. So, you’ll be recognized for your work. Just make sure it’s good, because the recognition works both ways and this is a good thing as this keeps you focused and on your game.

Start-ups are tough:

Let’s face it, if working in a start-up environment was easy, everyone would do it. The hours are long, benefits are slim, and the risk is high. Employees who are looking for a predictable environment and an easy or safe job shouldn’t work at a start-up, because those things just don’t come as part of the package. Working at a startup also means that you and your small team are the only people responsible for your success. At a startup, that natural wish to be self-sustainable is magnified, triggering the do-or-die attitude that is often the difference between success and failure.

Futuristic Investment:

Working in a start-up is like an investment into your future. You may work for few years in a start-up, earn less than what your friends did, have a simpler life but in the end, you have more skills to make money as an entrepreneur and by that time your friends will be left with that monotonous 9-5 job.

In short, we can say, working for a start-up can give you valuable experience you can utilize to become very successful in the business world.

What JA looks into whilst selecting startups

Jaarvis Accelerator being a tech accelerator focuses on tech-enabled startups which have to meet few criteria’s before being selected for JA 6-month accelerator program. The rigorous selection process criteria for startups involve: –

1. A complete application form: – A startup needs to submit a complete application form filling all the details mentioned in the form with all the relevant information. An incomplete application form is not a major hassle but shows the lack of  dedication of a founder in explaining his/her startup.

2.Business Model: –

a. Business Plan: – The first thing we look up in the business plan is the market demand i.e the idea is market driven or not. Is the idea solving an actual problem prevailing in the market?

b. Scalability: – The business should have the potential to multiply revenue with minimal incremental cost. Just because others think an idea is cool, that doesn’t mean it is scalable. A scalable idea helps to attract more investors.

c. Uniqueness: – How different is your idea from the rest present in the market? This does not mean that you have to create a new market because creating and holding new market is more difficult than incremental improvement/uniqueness like Facebook was not the first social network.  It was a clone of HouseSYSTEM and myspace.

d. Competitive Landscape: – the Fourth aspect we look for is your edge over competitors. One must have a way to differentiate them from others and should create something which will be difficult for the competitors to replicate, often called barriers to entry.

e. JA Focus Theme: – JA is particularly focussing on domains like Iot, Fintech, AI, Big Data and SAAS but this doesn’t mean we ignore other startups domain, if you have an out of the box tech-enabled idea it is also considered. In addition to this more preference is given to startups operating in the B2B segment.

3. Founders: – First and the foremost thing is the educational background of the founders. Then the previous successful experience of the founders matters a lot because If a startup has experienced founders who have worked for a long time will boost a spin-out’s ability to start quickly and operate smoothly. They will be able to really hit the ground running. A diverse team with a tech founder gives an edge to the startup over others.

4. Revenue Model: – What are the strategies for a startup to manage revenue streams. We want to know what does the time horizon looks like, when there is going to be money to be seen, what the next major milestones are—bottom line…when a startup is going to start making revenue? A revenue forecast no further than 12-24 months with burn rate. If they want to raise funds, then how much and at what valuation.

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Women Entrepreneurs – Changing The Indian Economy

In the last decade India has witnessed the emergence of highly successful women entrepreneurs. A report by International Labour Organization on women entrepreneurship points out the problems faced by women entrepreneurs like lack of family support, lack of capital, lack of confidence etc. which restricts a woman to start up. However, most Indian women do have natural entrepreneurial skill sets. The way our mothers and their mothers efficiently managed the household with no extra income proves the above statement. Today, there are many institutions, programs, bodies in India who have been instrumental in fostering women entrepreneurship and is helping in changing the myth that women cannot be economically independent. With the rise in opportunities and women empowerment we see a lot of women entering the corporate world and also taking up entrepreneurship especially in the SME segment.

Fighting against all the odds, India still has been a home to many phenomenal women entrepreneurs who have contributed to the growth of the Indian economy. These women have become the job creators and are regarded as role models by thousands of women.  Here’s a few of them worth mentioning:

Meena Bindra: Started as a hobby to earn some pocket money, today BIBA has a presence across 76 cities in India and has 192 exclusive outlets with an annual turnover of around INR 600 crores.

Indu Jain: She is currently the Chairperson of India’s largest media group, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. She was awarded Padma Bhushan by the in the year 2016.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw: She is the Founder and Managing Director of Biocon Limited. Started in 1978, Biocon is today one of leading players in biomedicine research with a focus on diabetes and oncology.

Vandana Luthra: Born in Kolkata, India she started VLCC in 1989. VLCC is today a beauty and wellness giant has its presence in 11 countries across Asia, Africa and the GCC. In 2013, she was awarded the Padma Shri award and has been recognized as the 33rd most powerful business woman by Fortune India.

Swati Bhargava: She is the CEO & Co-Founder of CashKaro, one of the largest cashback and coupons sites in India. Since its inception in April 2013, CashKaro has worked with more than 1500 brands like Amazon, Snapdeal, Jabong etc. and is constantly growing year after year.

Ekta Kapoor: She is the woman behind Balaji Telefilm serials who changed the face of the Indian television. Loved by thousands of people, her serials have been seen all over India and the world at large. Ekta Kapoor has also won the Hall of Fame award for her contribution to the Indian television industry.

A note to women entrepreneurs – Few things one must know before starting a business:

  • Do something that you are passionate about. Pursue it in a constructive way, do not worry about choosing between family and your startup.
  • Family is the joint priority of both men and women.
  • Hunt for co-founder with complementary skill sets.
  • Don’t start something without doing deep dive research on it. Do a proper feasibility due diligence before starting.
  • Try to understand all the stat & legal requirements well in advance and plan for making arrangements accordingly.
  • Assess capital requirement and plan your bootstrapping accordingly.
  • Find out how many have failed in your domain and why?
  • One has to do a lot of networking at events, meetups, one to one meetings etc, will you be able to do that? This will require travel and staying away from home.
  • A better planned road map is more important than a better plan.

Women entrepreneurship in India is increasing where females account to 40% of entrepreneurs (according to OECD survey). It’s never too late to start up, women in India are rising and will soon grab the world by the lapels.

Observant Jack Of All Trades = Master Entrepreneur

There goes a saying: “To be a good speaker, you have to be a good listener.” Tweaking it a little, for those startup entrepreneurs who are still working for some boss, we say that working sincerely under somebody’s leadership will make you a better leader.

Consider this – the more you’ve listened to, the more you’ve read, the better you can speak. Similarly, the more jobs you’ve handled with varied job descriptions, the more diversified your skill set will be. Take our word – no other job profile can ever appreciate it as much as entrepreneurship can.

A technical job has its own applications and so does a marketing job. And a leader, an entrepreneur, should be capable enough to lead the experts of the both the fields. Of course, you won’t be doing all the work but an above-average knowledge of the subjects will make your understanding more comprehensive. You will know what you want, how you want it and nobody will be able to fool you. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need this.

As Eric Ries says in The Lean Start-Up, “Entrepreneurship is a kind of management.” Leadership qualities are found in a person who has insights about their employees, someone who has walked through that path before. Remember the time when your boss completely dismissed your suggestion about that new product? If you think it was unfair, do not end up doing this injustice to your employees.

You will be hiring people to assist you and you need to give them the space and comfort by valuing their suggestions. Do not be the boss you’ve always hated. And, you can only be appreciative of this when you have learnt something from all the bosses you have worked for. No boss is ignorable. Hating and cribbing about bosses is easy but learning from them is not. While some teach loads of tricks of the trade, some end up being the role models of what not to be. Be observant.

Being your own boss does give you freedom, but it comes at the cost of responsibility. And you have to develop the ability and determination to fight all the odds coming your way, turning your start-up venture into a success story.

Bottom Line:

It isn’t easy to work for others and equally difficult is managing people working for you. When you decided to be an entrepreneur, you decided to be different. Do not end up in the same mold as the rest of the bosses. For God’s sweet sake, never think that you will be superior to those in your team and, if you want a strong team, never even intend to micro-manage them.

(Disclaimer: This is a guest post submitted on Techstory by the Jaarvis Accelerator. All the contents  in the article have been provided to Techstory by the authors of the article. Techstory is not responsible or liable for any content in this article)

Boost Up Your Startup with Jaarvis Accelerator

Startup Accelerator: Whenever you think of starting a new business many questions come in mind that will it be successful, you might think of profit and loss, and different ways of promoting it. Starting and planning a new business in not an easy task at all. A creative idea is not everything for a successful business but one must know everything about the stock market, must have enough funds, customer dealing, promotion plans, and structural resources.

Best-Startup-Accelerator-Jaarvis In-India-Jaarvis-Accelerator
In the beginning, most of the people find it difficult and this becomes the failure of most of the businesses at the startup. To resolve this issue, various organizations help the fresh entrepreneurs and business persons in different ways. These organizations provide them proper guideline and sponsors that help to accelerate their business at the startup. This is the reason these organizations are called Startup Accelerators. Now one can find a good startup accelerator in India as well.

How It Works:
Different startup accelerators like Jaarvis Accelerator provide all kind of support that can be the guideline, financial support, sponsors, etc for a fresh business. They give them a boost in the beginning that results in a successful business. The startup accelerator is beneficial for both the one who is about to start the business and for the one who is about to sponsor. The sponsor provides financial support and all the expert teaching for the business and asks for a small equity stake. The focus of the business accelerator is on the quick expansion, growth, and success of a new product. It is the best option for those who want to compete with the market as early as possible unlike those who build up their business very slow. The business accelerator is favorable for both the startup and the investor.
Startup Accelerators in India:
India is also competing with the world and many new businesses are starting with a great speed. New businesses are necessary for a stronger stock market and make the country strong financially. There are many people with creative ideas and those who have enough resources are already enjoying their businesses by launching new products. Still, many people have the thoughts but do not have enough to invest. They do not need to worry because now they can find a great startup accelerator in India too. All they have to do is just choose the one they feel comfortable and reliable. Business accelerator will provide them a plan of few months that will be intense but fruitful. The plan includes all the necessities for the startup of a business that will be successful.
If someone has a great idea but does not have enough money to start the business, he can choose any of the business accelerators that can be Jaarvis Accelerator. The great thing about these organizations is that you can learn a lot with the tips of the mentors and experienced staff. They will transform your mind and you will see a great change in your personality. A good business accelerator will give you a good platform that accelerates your business that has good campaign managers, media experts, etc.

7 Affordable Tips For Startups To Go Social With Their Marketing Strategy

Launched a startup with a brilliant business idea and want to spread the word out to the world? But, there is a little problem and that is lack of marketing budget, bandwidth and time.

The above situation is not only your story, it’s a true story of many bootstrapped startups and our answer to this problem is “Go Social”. Use Social Media platforms to tell your story to the world.

With the help of Social Media startups can achieve their marketing goals within a limited budget and by spending comparatively less time. But, they definitely cannot go without a setting a proper plan and pre-defined objectives.

Here, we have some really simple & affordable tips for startups to start their Social Media activities!

1. Put your Social Media strategy in place even before you make accounts

Yes, you read it right. You need to chalk out a proper strategy before creating accounts on various social media platforms. You just cannot go out & post random things. In order to prepare a strategy you will have to find the “hook”. You will have to understand, what customers are looking and how you are going to sell your product differently.

2. Chose the right platforms

There are thousands of social media platforms and one cannot be present everywhere. It is best to select few right platforms for your business, based on your social media strategy. Not having accounts everywhere is better than inactive accounts.

For example, any startup related to housing & interiors cannot focus on Linkedin because it won’t get customers from Linkedin whereas any education or software related startup will focus more on linkedin.

3. Research is must

Sometimes, reading & research is boring, time consuming. But, nothing can be done on Social Media platforms without a well directed research. Content is still the king & research is extremely important to get the perfect content. You need to be really sure of the content to be posted on Social Media.

Remember, it’s not only about you; it’s also about what customer wants. Do not just go with self promotions; keep posting some general stuff as well. There should be a combination of 80% general content & 20% self promotional content.

4. Prepare the posts & schedule them

Done with the research? Now, start working on the content of the posts. Prepare the posts for all the platforms.  You cannot be omnipresent, so you will have to schedule the posts. Use some social media tools to schedule & be ready with at least one week’s posts.

But, there should be things which will require your immediate attention & you have to post them live, so be ready for that as well.

5. Engage the customers

Scheduled the posts and your job is done? No, that’s so not true. Social Media is a way you interact with your followers, who can be your future customers.

Startups should be really proactive, when it comes to customer engagement . Re-tweet them, share their posts, send reply to their comments and create some small contests to engage them. Never be afraid of Social Media confrontations. It is a part of the deal, the more you will interact, the more you will be valued.

6. Analysis is the key

Must have read principles of management which says, after planning & implementation, you should measure the results as well. This is also applicable in Social Media marketing. You must work on analysis part as well, to understand the RoI of the money and hard work you have been doing.

These days most of the platforms have their own insights but you can also chose some general websites like Hootsuite, Hubspot or Social Bro to measure the impact of your social media.

7. Re evaluate the strategy & give it a twist, if needed

Results of analysis can be brilliant or can be devastating.  But, there is nothing to worry; you can always make some changes in your social media strategy. It might be possible, that strategy is perfect but the content is not up to the mark. You can improve that too. Because you know, no one can ever be perfect and especially for the first time.

There is always a scope of improvement. If needed, give a little twist to your strategy or may be put more efforts in improving the quality of content.

Bottom line

Social media is all about thinking out of the box, being proactive & consistent and engaging the customers in the best way. So, apply the theory but don’t be afraid to try something new. 
Go ahead, use these tips, do the brainstorming and give a head start to your business with Social Media platforms.

4 Legal Aspects To Look Out For Before You Sign Any Contract !

As a nascent entrepreneur, the agreements and/or contracts that you sign at the early stages of your business play a pivotal role in ascertaining the success rate of your start up. Below listed are some of the key legal aspects which need to be kept in mind before you proceed with execution of any contract.

1. Authorise Signatory Of An Entity

Whenever you are signing a contract, either with Jaarvis or any other third party, make sure you are aware as to who the parties to such contract are. You should always bear in mind that you and your entity are different from each other to the extent that you will be personally ‘on the hook’ if you sign a contract in your personal capacity rather in the capacity of an authorised signatory of your entity.

2. Attention To Detail

Ambiguity undoubtedly results in disputes, therefore, it is imperative that you record every possible detail pertaining to the commercials of the transaction. Each party’s rights and obligations need to be clearly defined in order to spare no room for any kind of uncertainty. A good contract will always state very clearly what goods or services will be provided and when and how the other party will make payment. Let’s say your company wants to engage the services of a manufacturer to manufacture its products, in such a case it would be great to have all the design and feature specifications incorporated in the contract to avoid any dispute in the future.  It is also essential to define the relationship the parties share pursuant to the execution of a contract for e.g. an agency, principal to principal, partnership etc.

3. Termination of the contract

A legally sound contract must always envisage a very clear term and termination clause disclosing the actual intention of the parties. Either party under the contract may have the right to terminate the contract with or without giving any cause or reason or the right to termination could be a unilateral right residing with any one party to the contract based on the understanding between the parties.

4. Dispute resolution mechanism

Having a clearly specified dispute resolution mechanism clause in a contract often turns out to be a blessing in disguise. Law suit or Litigation although might just be fancy words, however, if a contract anticipates that disputes will be resolved in court, the contract should specify which court will resolve any disputes in order to avoid being dragged into a court in a different city, state or country than yours.

Penny wise pound foolish, this English proverb often holds true in case of start-ups who try avoiding any attorney fees for reviewing a contract but eventually the small amount of money that you are trying to save might cost you a fortune. An attorney while reviewing a contract ensures that the legal nitty gritty is taken care of therefore seeking an attorney’s opinion on a contract before executing the same becomes indispensable.

This article was written by Shubhra Mishra, Legal Counsel, Jaarvis.

Which Is The Startup Rut ? Attitude Or Aptitude ??

This decade is remarkable. And the decade before, and the next one to come. What makes it so remarkable is the complex ecosystem of startup popping up. That is it. With so many small-scale businesses emerging from every corner of the globe, what is imperative is for them to stand out in the race to build their startup? In the list of things that matter, this might seem like a small concern. But history confirms that no enterprise that hasn’t done the ground-work right has ever made it to the door of success. And the truth is that your VC knows it all too well.

There can be ‘n’ number of things to focus on to make it to the top, but for a startup founder, a key one should be their employees. They cannot overlook the importance and key roles the employees play. So, what makes an employee irreplaceable? Is it their attitude or their aptitude? Or is it both?

To understand this, let’s take a detour. Go back to the first sentence you read here.

This decade is remarkable. And the decade before, and the next one to come.’ There can be numerous ways to say this particular sentence, I wrote it this way. That’s my attitude towards current startup scenario, which I have imbibed as a skill; it has become a part of my aptitude. I see things ‘present-first’, ‘past-later’ and ‘future-ahead’. This reflects in that particular sentence structure. This is just a micro-example.

Everything one does, plans to do, and previously did, is a direct response to stimuli they have had, which reflects in their attitude. This small logic becomes humongous, especially in a dynamic startup set-up, where everything is to be done on priority, everyone needs to multi-task, you will have to work and work really hard. It is then going to be your attitude that will keep you going.

Aptitude is important as well, but one can learn how to code, how to program a machine, make a website, to do basic elemental designing etc. All you need to do is sit with it for twenty-hours, then spend forty-five minutes a day, for a month or so. Those first twenty hours are not important because of ‘what’ you achieve in them. They are vital because of ‘how’ you achieve it. It is going to be your attitude towards learning, which will actually lead to your goal fulfillments.

In a recent study conducted at University of East London, 46% of new hires fail within the first 18 months on the job. The reason? For 89% of them it is because they have the wrong attitude, and that only 11% fail because of the lack of technical skills and competencies.

But hiring someone who doesn’t understand the what and why of a job they are supposed to do doesn’t persist and solve the problem. An employee needs to have the right attitude to learn what they don’t know, acquire skills and develop the aptitude to become an expert. They need to have potential, the potential to learn, and an attitude to adapt, to develop aptitude through learning, with some prior aptitude of course. We cannot expect an artist to do coding and vice-versa, it’s probably not their cup of tea!

Your attitude determines what and how much you can do. It is like an engine – it can either slow you down or accelerate you forward. And your aptitude is what gets the coal burning, to give it some throttle and a kick-start. To run the machine, both are important. Aren’t they? 

How To Plan Before Approaching Venture Capitalists !

That idea is giving you sleepless nights, and all you can think is how to make a perfect pitch for ‘it’ to the investors, aka ‘The Venture Capitalists’. It may seem an onerous task, but with the right strategy and planning at hand you can definitely make it work wonders for you and your company.

Be it a start-up or an established firm, to run a business capital resources are needed for day-to-day functioning and long-term sustainability. This aspect can be sorted out easily, all you need is expertise at your end to make the right pitch.

For Venture Capitalist (VC) firms ‘Information’ is the key! They appreciate your enthusiasm, but it is the figures that they seek. Get your business plan right, and ask for the amount of investment that is actually required.

In a hot startup market, some VC scouts consider ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out on the next big deal) as a key deciding factor for considering whether to make an investment, or consider you a dead-deal.

Other key considerations you must plan for are:

1. Close Networking

Approachability is apparently another essential thing, have somebody close to the VC investment board give an introduction on your behalf. If you seriously want consideration, you need to work on close networking, making sure that they are all eyes and ears to your idea and strategy. They should know about your company prior to approaching them. Spread the word about your company, market it well !

2. Time-it

OK, so now you have delivered your best first opening pitch to them, don’t keep them hanging on the edge of the cliff. Be a step ahead, so before you have given them the opening pitch, you should have the next set of presentations, fact sheets, and documentation in place. So when they ask you “what next?” with a smile, hand-out the next step strategy. Make them feel that it is you who owns that idea solely and have worked sleeplessly on it and are working continuously. Also remember to keep your pitch short and simple, it’s best is to sum it up in four to five slides.

3. Follow the ladder-up

Venture Capital firms have strict layers of organizational hierarchy, and you must respect that. Be on your toes, always and forever. Greet everybody you speak with, whether an analyst, a general secretary, or a board member, with equal integrity and respect. They seek professionalism and discipline at the core. You must abide by the ideas and values you lay down in your idea and strategy.

4. Mock pitching

Practice makes perfect, and endless practice makes you a super-perfectionist! Have as many mock presentations as you can with your colleagues and everybody who is helping with your idea. Keep the presentations as interactive as they can be, anticipate as many questions as much you can. And write down essential questions and thoroughly prepare to answer them with facts and figures. Sell them your idea, in a way they just cannot decline!