Sunday, 1 December 2013

Professional Car Cleaning Services- An Opportunity

Dear Friends,

I certainly feel there are abundant of entrepreneurial opportunities available in public domain catering to the most of the basic needs. One such opportunity I have observed recently, not so thoroughly researched but has a growing potential as explained by the prevalence of high demand market catered by completely unorganised sector in this particular domain.

Need: With growing number of cars being owned by Indian society, the scene in every household, residential society, flats or any housing unit is the washing of cars by unskilled hired personnel. They use conventional techniques and tools, namely, bucket, tumbler(s), water hose/pipe and a dirty cloth pieces (which is some old discarded cloth of household). The technique is to wash dirt of every car with plenty of water normally using the pipe and wasting liters of precious ground water  in the process.Then, they clean the car with the cloth and then dry it using another or same cloth piece. the perceived result is shining car which may not be so clean from inside as well. In case, if he uses pipe/hose to clean the car, he leaves the pipe on again destroying natural resources.

Potential : With fast growth in automobile sector and high disposable income available, there is increasing number of cars available in every household. In metropolitan areas, this number goes upto 3 per house. With clustering of houses in proximity to each other, on an average 100 + cars may be available in a street or residential area/society. Hence, demand is huge and unlimited potential. On an average, in any urban area, residents pay anywhere between Rs. 500- Rs. 1000 per car for washing on daily/twice in a week or weekly basis.

Solution: McDonalds' restaurants across the world is using flush less toilets saving millions of liters of water every year. The toilets use some absorbing plate into the toilet which makes toilets odorless. Can't our young scientists design (could have been already designed) some gel/liquid/cleaner which applied through some mechanical/human technique get the dirt off and could shine cars. Besides, using handheld machines running on batteries could be used to vacuum cars from inside once a week thereby adding lots of value to consumer satisfaction. Trained, properly dressed personnel with clean backgrounds and loaded with appropriate tools can be hired to provide clean cars to needy consumers. Besides, i feel, a premium can be charged form consumers for expensive chemicals used (as substitute to water) which they will pay happily for environment conservation and water preservation. The professional service provided will also attract premium pricing. Cars can be classified on basis of their size, their engine capacity etc. so as to charge differently from different consumers, e.g. a Mercedes will be charged extra in comparison to Alto or a Swift.

Challenges: A few challenges do exist but can be tackled:
1. Water substitute
2. Trained manpower
3. Limited time slots- morning 6 to 9 and evening 6 to 9
4. Extreme weather conditions
5. Car washing centers have opened in every neighborhood- they charge Rs. 150 to 300 per car wash

This is just a rough draft  idea, the research is still to be done to fine tune the idea into a full fledged business idea. Would certainly appreciate your comments/criticism/appreciation/additions to the idea through comments to this post. Any takers?

Dr. Ashish Arora

P.S. It is rightly said, "necessity is the mother of invention". My car washing guy has actually left my assignment and I was driving a dirty car every day to work since last 15 days, so, this idea came to my mind.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

3 Days Entrepreneurship Awareness Camp (EAC) From 8-10 November, 2013

EDC of Department of Management Studies, GNDU College, Jalandhar is organising a 3 day entrepreneurship Awareness Camp (EAC)under the aegis of EDII, Ahmedabad  on 8th-10th November, 2013 in order to kindle the spirit of entrepreneurship among young students of various diploma, graduate and post-graduate from colleges in and around Jalandhar. No registration fees is charged from the participants. More than 80 students are expected to participate in these proceedings with enthusiasm. A galaxy of eminent speakers from Industry, Academics and Government Support agencies are expected to motivate the students and apprise them of various aspects of setting up a commercial unit anywhere in India. This is first ever EAC to be organised by Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) of GNDU College, Jalandhar. The detailed schedule of 3 day proceedings and profile of speakers will be uploaded soon and mail to participating students very soon. The colleges receiving invitations to nominate 5 students from their college as participants can mail their entries at or can contact me at my mobile number 98142-22177. The name, class, stream, mobile number and email id of every participant is required to be sent for all participants from each college.

P.S. Suggestions are invited from faculty/students/ experts on their expectations from such programmes or workshops and also how to make sessions more interesting and captivating for participants. Comments on this post can be sent as suggestions.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Jalandhar As A Location For Promoting Start Ups

Does Jalandhar, a city of industrial clusters can be classified as "Start Up Common" location?

The question is to be answered in terms of evaluation of Jalandhar on the various parameters of presence of entrepreneurial ecosystem in the area. Pater Cohan from Babson College, USA in his MIT Entrepreneurship Blog designated a suitable location for promoting start ups in an industry as "Start Up Commons" and has suggested six major elements of "Start Up Commons" as criteria for evaluation. These locations supposedly get strengthened by respective generations of successes and failures. The unfunded start ups try to get advice, people and funds from the industry, but, very small percentage are funded. Citing example of Silicon Valley as a lucrative and suitable "Start Up Commons", Cohan has attributed the location as an important attribute for high number of start ups from specific locations. 

Jalandhar, a prominent emerging metropolitan of Punjab has developed as an industrial hub. With various clusters functioning here,a few of them, namely,  Hand Tools, Sports Goods, Pipe Fittings, Leather Goods and Surgical Goods are quite prominently active. With many of units in these clusters are highly export oriented, the contribution of these units in economic development of Punjab can never be doubted. What is needed is to evaluate the true entrepreneurship potential of these units, an evaluation of Jalandhar as "Start Up Commons" is badly needed. Jalandhar's evaluation in terms  presence or absence of six common elements as an entrepreneurial location can be summarised as follows:-

  • Pillar Companies : Kalsi Pumps, Ambika Overseas, Atam Valves, F.C. Sondhi to name a few. Question is that whether these companies help the start ups in terms of hand holding, availability of trained manpower and even seed financing?
  • Universities : Jalandhar has gained the advantage of having 4 universities in and round it. Primarily, the advantage is truly world class, as, these institutions have excellent infrastructure, creative research environment and global reach.
  • Human Capital : A good number of graduates passing out from these universities are technically qualified and able enough to start their own ventures. They have examples of existing units who have excelled over a period of time in spite of not becoming big and confining as small and medium units.
  • Investment Capital : many government and non government agencies including banks provide seed capital financing and different types of support to help  and facilitate the start ups.
  • Mentoring : All kinds of mentoring is possible with establishment of right platforms for interaction of experienced players with budding start ups. Such mentoring can be extended from business development to hiring to souring of raw materials and to apply for government grants and subsidies. In fact, the academic environment has the capacity to guide such start ups in more diligent and aggressive manner.
  • Values : The value system comprises of intellectual capital and the way of doing business ethics being passed from one generation of entrepreneurs to another. Undoubtedly, such value system flows from the organisational and industry culture of big players providing support and guidance to smaller and newer units for long term sustainability.
The above inputs and analysis is just a starting point of a possibly long discussion. A survey of size able number of units in different clusters of Jalandhar can truly determine suitability of Jalandhar as possible lucrative location for promoting entrepreneurial spirit and thereby developing strong, favourable ecosystem for establishing start ups in different technology related /unrelated areas.

P.S. I hereby invite any of readers of this blog to approach me at my mail id in case if interested in carrying out a research project on above issue. 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

12 Days FDP from 27th December, 2013

12 days Faculty Development Programme on Entrepreneurship sponsored by Department of Science and Technology under the aegis of EDII from 27th December,2013 to 7th January, 2014. It is organised by GNDU College, Ladowali Road, Jalandhar at its premises. Faculty from technical and management institutes interested in developing expertise in guiding budding entrepreneurs is invited to attend this event. An opportunity to update their knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship and start ups in different industry domains.The resource persons will include successful entrepreneurs, academic experts and managers from national level government support organisations. Expert faculty from IITs and IIMs will be called as resource persons to share their practical ideas on promoting entrepreneurship in educational institutions. An opportunity to explore new ideas, update your skills and understand the dynamics of promoting entrepreneurial skills in your respective institute.

No registration fees. Participants will be given participation certificates at successful completion of programme.

Details of registration procedure, schedule and contents of programme will be uploaded soon.