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TheRodinhoods Bangalore Open House (Sept. 27) – Live Reporting!



Alright Bangalore!!! Finally it is D-day. The Rodinhoods Open House is about to start in an hour’s time. We have a power packed agenda in place including Alok’s special presentation, TRHS Launches by Apna Stock and Parallelo and much, much more! There is also a special section where you can ASK ALOK ANYTHING! How cool is that? We are sure you won’t want to miss this for anything in this world. So, just remember to drop in @Thoughtworks Office in Koramangala. 🙂 


Alok starts the program by doing a round of introductions. And, then, deciding to call Gunjan (in a totally impromptu manner) to speak about his start-up Roomys. So, Gunjan starts his demo.


[People are still streaming in]




Roomys is a place where you connect with your roommates. The website went live on 1st April this year and has had upto 2000 people on the website in a day. Gunjan now focuses on speaking about the mistakes that he made with Roomys. This is one quality I love about real entrepreneurs.


Alok is busy asking questions (what he loves doing 🙂 ) to Gunjan and throwing new ideas.Gunjan mentions that Roomys is more of a social platform, than just listing – very interesting!!!
Roomys will relaunch in October this year with a more mobile friendly website as well as Android & iOS apps 🙂 .
Do check out the website – 


That is all from the first agenda. Finally, Alok decides to make his introduction and about The Rodinhoods. 🙂 Rohith is our Anchor (go to guy) for today.




We just had the National Anthem. Also, we would like to thank ThoughtWorks for having us here and making arrangements for today’s The Rodinhoods Bangalore Open House!




Special mention of The Rodinhoods Sponsors – Mahaveer Babaji & Sri Sri Ravi Shankar! 🙂


ApnaStock (Platform For Construction Material) by Vinit Bhansali 




We have our first presentation. Vinit starts his launch for ApnaStock.


Vinit – Techie.Geek.Nerd. He loves Startrek and wears a full Startrek Suit to ComiCon. ApnaStock is his 3rd start-up. He has 1 wife, 1 child and 2 dogs (Sherlock & Byomkesh 😛 )


ApnaStock uses technology and optimise procurement for SME and independent builders and home owners.


ApnaStock is India’s No. 1 platform for construction materials at wholesale prices.


Alok – Many things for many people is horizontal (like Flipkart). Some things for many people (Myntra, Lenskart). Many things for some people. Finally, something for some people – is a concern.
Vinit says that the average ticket size in most ‘something for some people’ industries are variable and small but here for ApnaStock it is BIG (even better, HUGE!)
He has no Sales people! Only one to answer calls. And in just 3 months, ApnaStock  has done over Rs 65 lakh in sales and the business is profitable! Really fantastic.


Challenges – HR – for Growth | Marketing – Get more people to search building materials online | Strategy


Bottlenecks – Logistics – Owned vs Vendors | Risk – Credit for Customers | Experience – Metrics to Track


[Audience Questions now. Microphones running around]


40% of Aajtak’s ad revenues used to come from Saria Companies.
Alok’s Trivia – India is the only country with Cement companies doing prime-time ads.


Question: Small builders are not IT industries. They are not online. How do you get their business?
Vinit: Two things – 1) Older generation is getting replaced by the newer one. They are tech-savvy. They are driving the focus. 2) Prices have to not even one rupee more, a little less is even better. We are already managing that. So, this will do it. 🙂



Parallelo (Take the Guesswork out of Sales work) by Kiran Kumar


Kiran from Parallelo takes a long walk to the presentation floor. Parallelo started in a weekend hackathon at this very office of Thoughtworks – lovely!


Kiran – Career sales guy. This is his second venture and is an avid blogger. In short, he wants to become Rudra Desai 😉


Parallelo helps you make sales pitches instantaneously. If you are sales guy, you get to know who opened your email, who opened the document and what they did with it. Typically for people who send presentations and pdf files.


His Challenge – Getting the word out.


So, Sales people – Please sign up –




Alok asks – What is the effectiveness? Not the science of it.


Kiran – Imagine you are an exhibition services company. Your sales document is a presentation. He would probably do some kind of marketing to people who might exhibit. He would upload all contacts on parallelo and send the presentation to all the contacts. 15 have not opened, 20 see it, 5 requested a call back. All on a mobile screen in just a few hours!


Alok – Can this be used for other areas?  Like apps. Can it be used for people who are checking Ambassador cars on Parking Frenzy but not buying it (only 1.5% buy). Can they be identified and pushed into buying?
Kiran – Idea is to pick a vertical, dive deep. Serving one vertical very well. Focussed on Sales people only at this time.


[Now, the house is open for audience questions to Kiran]


The audience here is diverse and questions are very, very, very intelligent. This is also an integral part of the success of a THRS Open House. 



2:45 – 3:00 pm: Alok’s special presentation




What is in store?


Break myth of how presentation is made


Finding boundary of a problem


Explain one thing leads to another


As a B.Com grad, Alok met Mauro Chekoni – Alok’s Guru No. 1 (Business Guru) – taught him how to stand more than CAD/CAM designs but also learnt how to make socks.


Trapped by a Marwari Joint Family


Made socks for 9 years


Joint Family System gave him ROYAL Treatment


Finally, he just WALKED OUT – with Rs 5000, Brains & his Clothes.




And, in the past 15 years being an entrepreneur he figured out:


Problems are the best IDEAS. That help you START UP and SCALE UP.


And he hopes that next gen of Indian Entrepreneurs are not COPYCATS and he is now going to persuade us to do so.


Situation 2002: Everywhere people watch TV with mobile phones right next to them. But, there was no interaction while doing so. They were NOT using their phones. He realized this is BIZZARE.


So, he invented first of its kind SMS contesting in the world (via Mobile2Win in China & India)! This was extremely new – so much so that Mobile2win was a case study at Stanford, and very soon Mobile2win China was acquired by Walt Disney!!!


Thought of applying the concept to India with Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC)


The folks there thought this was stupid since they were already making tonnes of money. They went to SONY for Indian Idol (the competition).


[But, before that: Approached Sunil Lulla – took the jingle of Jassi Jaisi Koi Nai and made it a ringtone – while meeting him – asked folks at office to call constantly. The idea: put such ringtones in the astin band of the television screen and let people download the ringtone which was a huge success]


So, following this success, they (Alok & team) approached SONY for Indian Idol. But folks at SONY were also focussed on money – the pitch was made – and the point was drilled in: Engagement is more important.


But money was important. Partnered with SONY & MSPs for Rs 3 per SMS. In the first year, 1 Crore SMS were sent for votes!!! Can you just imagine that??? 




Current & Aspiring Entrepreneurs – Are you already inspired now???



3:00 – 3:45 pm: Matching- Making @TRHOH: Presentations by Rodinhooders


Time for Dating & Match-making!!! 😉 So, we are playing CUPID.



First, it is Tarun Jaswani, a serial entrepreneur, loves online marketing! Has amazing tech team, needs a biz partner! Are you up for working with him?





Now Sharada’s turn. She started up first when she was just 19 doing B2B branding. Now she is 23 and is on her second start-up – Svadha.


Her belief: Solving unsexy problems is sexy! (SMART)


Svadha – developing farm management & planning tools to enable farm systems get more sustainable (it’s objective: multiple parameter assessment of farm systems – push for efficiency and profitability for farmers)


Her concern: She has business, but NO TECH
So, she needs somebody who would say what tech platform would be best & build a tech platform together for farmers & farming communities!





So, this is dating time for Shreyas . Shreyas has business but no TECH. Apparently so since he is a MARWARI (for the records: just like Alok). 😉 He is 28 and just starting up.


His start-up: Medaxo
Aim:To be the Staples for the Medical Supplies business. One stop B2B shop for medical supplies




Needs excellent tech people – An expert in mass customization.


Contact him: or 91-9945049094


Advice from Rudrajit to Shreyas: Outsource Technology


Trivia: Alok’s Dad to him when starting up Contests2Win – Things start small (Phenomenal thought – simple, but phenomenal)



Next up Ashish Gyan (knowledge fellow, huh?) 😉 . 1st Generation entrepreneur going into e-commerce sector.


Started in June this year – providers of high quality nuts, dried fruits and healthy snacking – opening up online store in 10 days




Tech guy – Diwakar, Childhood friend & IT Head passed away last month 🙁 May he rest in peace. This incident has made Ashish rethink his business – he has no technical expertise.


So, he needs a tech team member & mentor. 


His learnings:
We can never ever be truly prepared
We need to take all possible scenarios into account
We can GO UNDER OR BUCKLE UP and fight it out


Connect to him: or 91-7829525509


Alok to Ashish: The way you kept saying ‘I don’t know’ honestly about what you do not know is a symbol of a great entrepreneur. 🙂 And you must focus on what YOU KNOW! 



3:45 – 4:15 pm (We are a bit behind schedule but with this passion, this is bound to happen): Create a Startup – CAS – Theme: Apps for Apple Watch


This is a very exciting program: CAS! So, over to Alok to explain the same 🙂


This is the 1st time that we are having the same at THRS Bangalore


[Can see everyone really excited]


The idea: Apps for the newly launched APPLE WATCH




Here are the ideas that came up in the discussions:


Idea #1: Security trigger alarm – heartbeat
Idea #2: Stock alerts
Idea #3: Women Security (very promising)
Idea #4: Navigation – that buzzes differently for left or right turns
Idea #5: Location based alerts in case of health emergency
Idea #6: Walking stick for visually impaired 
Idea #7: Contact exchange 
Idea #8: Proximity Reader
Idea #9: Motion Sensors (maybe used for Cricket Bowlers – help analyse)
Idea #10: Remote Control 
Idea #11: Find compatibility factor (Dating) – Banda-Bandi App (very interesting, Sourish)


Now, think – Why or Why Not do you need to do something! THINK! More than the How to Do Something, Why or Why Not do you do something is IMPORTANT!



4:15 – 4:30 pm: In Conversation with Rudrajeet


The last event of the day. With Rudrajeet Desai, not Singh! 😉
Rudrajeet – Co-founder & CEO – ideacts innovations
Founded in 2007 & funded by Sequioa Capital & Saama Capital (SVB)
Rudrajeet – 1st Entrepreneur mentored by Alok and worked at Mobile2Win earlier
Recently published a book – Breaking Out & Making Big
Contact him –


We thank him for taking time to come to Bangalore from Pune




Asha: What inspired you to write the book?
Rudra: Had Alok by my side. Made no mistakes for the first 3 years of the start-up just because I had Alok by my side. For many entrepreneurs, mentors many time give wrong advice. So, decided to write the book.


A: Lowest low of your life?
R: Business is all about advertising. 2010 end, 2G scam happened. 34% used to come from mobile. It was just wiped away!!! Yahoo also cut advertising and was cutting budgets, co-founder quit, one vendor owed huge money. All end of 2010 and early 2011. Had to cut costs, restrategize, deal with angry investors.
took a year to recover – helped by focus on core of the business


A: Memorable high?
1) Getting the book published.
2) March 2014 – Company anniversary, Among one of 10 internet companies in India, coming out of 2 recessions and posting profits was a very big high!


A: Biggest blunder?
R: Never invested in R&D. All tech businesses must, must invest in R&D. Realized this late but realized and recovered


A: Favourite excerpts:



#1: Entrepreneurship will kill you
#2: Be a magnet for inspiration
#3: Don’t look for an idea, follow your passion
#4: Make a plan for Yourself
#5: Fight the battles you can win


A: One piece of advice to first time entrepreneurs
R: Be VERY VERY Sure if you want to do it. Don’t focus on money. Don’t do it for money.


[Now, session open for questions from the audience]


[05:50 PM] So, it is finally time for the Group Photo! 


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  1. Missed the super event  :- (

  2. Good Job Priyadeep Sinha, Prashant Sharma, Rishikesh Gorantala and the Entire TheRodinhoods Bangalore Team with #MotherRH Asha #RHPrime Alok

    Waiting for the Group Photo and other Pictures to be uploaded soon with the other Post-Event Posts!!!

  3. Awesome writeup on the event.  Thank you Priyadeep Sinha !  Is there any PPT or writeup on Svadha’s plans to help farming ?

  4. Hi Mahesh! I had made one for the matchmaking section. Please find it attached. However, if you’re talking about a more detailed draft, we can talk about that off this thread. Cheers!

  5. Lucky, could make it up inspite of threats due to Ms.J’s court verdict. As usual JIT. The best part is that could take with me another 6 startup CXO’s and they were all thrilled to be there. 

    Great Day! High energy as usual and lot of take aways….

  6. Thanks Sharada, That was really an amazing energy levels I could witness. Definitely need that ppt. Will keep in touch shortly. 

  7. awesome bhai! even though I was there, between tweeting and running around I might have missed on few things — find this very useful! well captured 🙂

  8. hey mk,

    all the presenters will be putting up their presentations in the coming week – shall share the links for you for sure!

  9. priyadeep,

    can’t thank you enough. i was sitting 2 chairs away from you and was so floored by your sincerity – i could hear you typing away furiously with such enthu – it was contagious. you are such a trooper!!

  10. Thank you Darshan 🙂 Eagerly waiting for the photos as well!

  11. You were awesome too, Rishi. We made a good team 🙂

  12. Thank you so much, Asha 🙂 Well, cheers to you that the event went super smoothly! I had taken a responsibility and had to deliver – Karma 🙂

  13. thanks darshan! i’m waiting for pics too 🙂

  14. Thanks for sharing the details Sharada. Seems interesting !!! Will reach out of you on Monday/Tuesday.

    Regards – Ashish

  15. very well written priyadeep.. it can at times get real difficult (at least for me) to capture a live event in words & you seem to have done it with so much ease. u shared the background and the key takeaways, awesome!! & sharada is such an inspiration..

  16. Thank you Sunaina 🙂 My first tryst with live blogging – tried doing the best I could. Glad you enjoyed reading it

  17. @Priyadeep : Nicely written & engaging… 🙂

  18. Well written article, Priyadeep ! Enjoyed reading it especially when I didn’t attend the event.

  19. Thanks…look forward to hearing from you!

  20. Sounds great Ashish. Look forward to hearing from you.

  21. Thanks a lot Sunaina 🙂 This means a lot! 🙂 Cheers!

  22. Thanks Nilesh 🙂

  23. Thanks a lot Arpit 🙂

  24. Awesome work.

    It was nice to see the team’s effort to put together this eventful event. 🙂

  25. It was great! Keep it coming!

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