Let’s Support Guts! Let’s Support Start-ups!

Mera Medicare

Looking for ideas to be a good entrepreneur; well you need to go elsewhere. Seeking inspiration; sorry, you won’t find it here. This article is neither a guide to ‘5 ways to establish a start-up‘ nor is it a motivation kit for the youth. I have no intention of addressing potential customers here. This article is for all those people who have no interest in the life and work of crazy entrepreneurs. This article is essentially for all those who have nothing to do with upcoming start-ups and those who do not give a damn to entrepreneurial passion for new ideas. Since you folks do not give a damn, here are a few reasons as to why you should.

  • For their guts will leave you amazed…

Entrepreneurs are gutsy people who believe in taking risks. They begin with nothing to build everything. They are not like famous brands that would bring only incremental changes to their products as their market rests on the existing ones. But they are firebrand zealots who innovate to create breakthrough products and services

  • Because Michael Dell asks you to…

It is entrepreneurs like Michael Dell, the founder of Dell who took a risk with his career when he was only 18 providing hard-drive upgrades to corporate customers in 1983 and the rest is history. From the meteoric rise of Dell Computers largely due to innovations in supply chain, manufacturing and the implementation of a novel distribution strategy to its current market value, it is a perfect example of ‘sky is the limit.’

  • For the umpteen innovations they bring into the corporate world…

Marriott or Hilton would have never created a business model where travelers can stay with the local families in a cost effective manner and get first-hand information about local surroundings but Airbnb surely did. AT&T or Verizon would have never created a free messaging app but WhatsApp did. Similarly Samsung or Apple would have never created a product that is flexible enough to be re-sized or used as both a smartphone and a tablet but Asus did. Start-ups are crazy ventures that bring with them a promise of adventure, fun and satisfaction for its employees. They give you not just a job to do but an opportunity to live your dreams. They give you a chance to innovate and to revel in the accomplishment of work that becomes the breath of your life. All those just out of college, looking for jobs, try working for a start-up to experience a whole new world where you learn more and grow as a professional. For all those who believe in a secure profession and don`t have time and energy to start something new or those who have a full time job that does not give them enough time to provide advice/consulting to a start-up or those who have a family to support and thus can’t fund a start-up; here are a few simple steps to support them:

  • Have you ever made a purchase through a startup and not a big brand even when there was greater value in going with that brand? If not, do it now.
  • Have you ever bought services/ products from a start up to experience difference of their services? If not, do it now.
  • Have you ever rated and reviewed a start up so you can see them grow? Well if not, do it now.

It’s time we innovate. It’s time we shed inhibitions. It’s time we support start-ups. It’s time we support guts !

Customer is the King

Online pharmacy

“In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.”- Doug Warner

I`ll start this article with a question, what`s the first word that comes in your mind when I say ‘Big Billion Day’? If you are going to answer this question with negative words such as fraud, cheating, fake discounts, e-commerce lies etc then probably you are a disgruntled customer who expected a lot from Flipkart`s ‘Big Billion Day‘.

Indian E-commerce giant, Flipkart decided to celebrate 6 October, 2014 as ‘Big Billion Day’ and promised the greatest sale with unbeatable offers, discount, deals and surprises. For many Indians, 6 October was claimed to be the Black Friday that they have been waiting for a long time. For small E-commerce entrepreneurs like me, 6 October was expected to be the start of a golden era and we believed that everything is going to change now, Indian consumers` mindset, perception towards online shopping, knowledge about E-commerce business etc. But we all were wrong!

Since its inception Flipkart has been growing steadily and recently raised $1B hoping to win the e-commerce battle in India against Snapdeal and Amazon. To get money from customers` pocket early before festive season starts, and to acquire more customers than competition during the festive season, Flipkart came up with the ‘Big Billion Day’ idea.

However, even before the sale began, controversy mounted as people realized that the prices of most of the products have been increased back to the MRP instead of the actual selling price – to compensate the huge discounts and products were costlier than the regular days.

Worse was that Flipkart was struggling to keep up with the high demands. Products were sold out in a matter of seconds, which shows just how limited the sales really were. Another big issue was the number of technical problems users were facing. People wanting to buy, and those having bought products on Flipkart during the Big Billion Day repeatedly had to deal with issues such as ‘Server Breakdown‘, in addition to the unrealistic discounts and auto-cancellation of orders.

Even though Flipkart announced revenue of $100 Million on the day of the sale but it left customers with disappointment, frustration, and distrust. There were many first-time online shoppers who had never trusted the online shopping before; there were many who had never heard about Flipkart before but now they knew about it and were amazed to see advertisements showing 90% discounts; there were many who had bad experiences with online shopping in the past and wanted to give it another try; and there were many who wanted to give a supporting hand to home-grown dreamers, Bansals.

And then there were small e-commerce entrepreneurs who believed that this day will break all the barriers and myths that people have in their minds regarding online shopping. We believed that Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal will pave a way for budding Indian entrepreneurs like me.

Going forward, Indian consumer will have difficulty trusting another e-commerce company, another breakthrough promise and another genuine offer. You not only did hurt your credibility but also damaged trust that Indian consumers were gradually putting in the online shopping.

I appeal to E-commerce giants such as Snapdeal, Healthkart, Amazon, Myntra etc. to be honest and genuine to the customer. Now-a-days customers are very skeptical as well as intelligent. By maneuvering numbers and showing catchy advertisement, you can win them for a short period of time but will lose in longer run. Brand royalty is the thing of past; you can only win their hearts by providing the best services with honest efforts.

Well what`s done is done but now it`s time to fix it.

LET`S FIX IT and take a vow to put customers before stakeholders and financial charts!

LET`S FIX IT and take a vow to focus on building credibility and customer relationship than revenue!

LET`S FIX IT and take a vow that we`ll never doubt customers` intelligence and manipulate discounts!

References:

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/10/08/flipkarts-big-billion-day-sale-prompts-big-apology/

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/analysing-deal-behind-flipkarts-big-billion-day-sale-1468884

http://gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/news/flipkart-big-billion-day-sale-riddled-with-problems-602498

Start Early, Fail Early !

Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it” – Oprah Winfrey

If you ask me what I regret the most, then my answer would be, “not starting early and not failing early”. I did my first internship when I was 20 years old, I started my first full-time job when I was 22, I created my first business-plan when I was 26 and I started my first venture when I was 27.

Now, when I look back I feel that not starting early and not failing early is one of the biggest mistakes one can make in his life. Probably I could have started my entrepreneurship journey when I was 20, failed and learned harsh realities by the time I was 22.

When I see young kids going for the secure, high-paying internships or jobs in big companies/ brand names, I ask myself what they will get out of this position. Brand name, respect among friends and family, big bucks and what else. They will probably enjoy free 5-course luncheons and dinners, pool tables, office-parties, gyms, and luxurious recreation centers but what else.

What will they learn about challenges of starting a business? What will they learn about innovating without enough budget and resources? What will they learn about experimentation? What will they learn about stress and sleepless nights? Probably nothing!

On the other hand, kids who begin their professional journey with start-ups get better opportunities to learn, fail and grow. In a start-up, you don`t limit yourself to one particular skill or job profile but you get opportunities to do more and contribute in many different areas. At such an early age you get an amazing opportunity to decide the overall business strategy for your start-up, you get an opportunity to work and have intelligent discussions with CEOs, CTOs and Board of Directors very frequently. And if you are a valuable contributor and your start-up grows due to your efforts then you have an opportunity to rise to executive level position.

Career path of Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo is the perfect supporting example of my point. In 1999 when she completed her Masters in Computer Science from Stanford University, Marissa Mayer had 14 job offers including a teaching job at Carnegie Mellon University, a consulting job at McKinsey & Company and an engineering job at Google. However she took a major risk and joined Google, which was still a start-up and 19 employee company. She rose to become Vice President of Search Products and User Experience in 2005 and later became CEO and President of Yahoo in 2012 in the early age of 37. She summarizes her risk-taking attitude amazingly, “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.

Similarly, other idols such as Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs took major risks in their early 20s or even before that and that risk-taking attitude at an early age made them what they are today.

We at Mera Medicare truly believe in associating with young kids of 18 to 24 years old and providing them immense opportunities to learn, grow and do something that they have never done in the past. We not only make them a part of important decision-making activities but also enable them to gain maximum out of their roles and responsibilities. Our honest efforts to nurture them and make next leaders are highlighted in previous article on Linkedin: The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been

There are thousands of great start-ups in India and other countries of the world that have potential to become next Facebook, Google or Apple. My appeal to college students is to get associated with start-ups in whatever capacity you can, join as Intern or Student Ambassador or College Ambassador. Or, if you have your own idea then work on it today, take risks today, learn as much as you can.

There is no shame in failing when you are young and there is no glory in failing when you are old.

WHY GENERIC DRUGS ARE CHEAPER THAN THEIR BRAND NAME COUNTERPARTS?

Online Generic Medicines

A medicine that’s discovered, developed and marketed by a pharmaceutical company is known by its brand name. A newly discovered drug or medicine is given a brand name by its manufacturer and this name is exclusively reserved for this manufacturer. A newly discovered drug has two names: a generic name-it’s the drug’s common scientific name and a brand name-it represents the drug in the market as well as works as an identity for common people.

When a pharmaceutical company discovers and markets a new drug, it receives a patent on this new drug. The patent persists for a predefined time period, usually 17 – 20 years, depending on the drug’s molecule, to give the corresponding company a chance to recover its research and first time development investment. Furthermore, the time period for the patents applies from well before clinical trials have begun testing the safety and effectiveness of the medicine. After the patent expires, a generic version of the drug may become available. The same company that makes the brand name drug or a different company may produce the generic version of the medicine.

A generic drug has a similar chemical composition or drug formulation as of its brand name counterpart that acts on the body with the same strength and absorption process as that of the brand-name drug. So, the generic version of a drug is the bioequivalent of its brand-name counterpart, meaning there is either no considerable variation between the two drugs in terms of the rate and extent of absorption or if there is a variation, it is either intended or medically insignificant.

The generic drug must inhibit the following similarities with its brand name counterpart:- 

  • It must contain the same active ingredients (active ingredients are the chemical substances that make the drug work).
  • It must be the same dosage type (that is, it needs to be available in the same form as the branded drug—for example, as a pill, syrup, capsule etc.).
  • It must have the same dosage strength (the quantity of active ingredients, for example 10 mg or 20 mg).
  • It must have the same route of administration (the way the medication is introduced into the body).
  • It must convey the same amounts of the drug to the bloodstream (that is, it needs to deliver an equivalent amount of the drug into the bloodstream within a similar time period as the brand name drug).

Following differences may also exist between the generic drug and its corresponding branded drug:-

  • They look different i.e. they could have different sizes, shapes, colors or markings.
  • Drugs are made up of both active and inactive ingredients. They might have distinct inactive ingredients. Some people may be sensitive to inactive ingredients also. For example, some people have allergic reactions to certain dyes or flavors used in some drugs.
  • The generic drugs cost less than their corresponding brand name drugs.
  • Generic drugs vary by manufacturer, which means that we can receive different versions based on where we purchase our medications and what type of generic they dispense.

WHY GENERIC DRUGS ARE CHEAPER THAN THEIR BRAND NAME COUNTERPARTS?

Most of the reasons for why generic drugs are less expensive than their brand name counterparts are as follows:-

  • One of the main reasons is research and development costs. The pharmaceutical companies producing the generic drugs have much lower expenses than the companies that produce the branded drugs. This is because of the fact that drug research is costly and creation of a drug can consume many years- costs that generic manufacturers do not have. Once a company creates the drug, it must accomplish expensive clinical trials to ensure that the drug is safe and efficient. So, by the time a brand-name drug gets an approval from FDA, the drug company has already spent millions. Generic drug manufacturers don’t have to bear these costs encountered while developing a new drug. For generic drug manufacturers, the drug’s formula is known, the clinical trials are complete, and these are investing only on the production of the medication, so they can afford to sell the medicine at low prices.
  • Another main reason is marketing. Brand-name manufacturers spend loads of amount in marketing new drugs to doctors and the public. They try different tactics for providing a place to their drug in the market. The brand name manufacturing firms send their representatives to visit the doctors in their clinics and various hospitals; these companies also invest on arranging the conferences to talk about their drugs with other doctors. Generic manufacturers rarely spend money on advertising and marketing. Generic drug companies also receive the benefit of the previous marketing efforts made by the brand-name drug company, including media advertising, presentations by drug representatives, and distribution of free samples. Most of the drugs introduced by generic manufacturers have already been on the market for a decade or more (the time period for which the patent was valid), and may already be well known to patients and providers.
  • Competition among the generic drug producers also keep the costs down. Once generic drugs are approved, multiple companies begin producing and selling the drugs. Due to this, the competition grows, which keeps the price

Generic drugs are cheaper than their brand-name counterparts and have the same safety, effectiveness and active ingredient, but people still take brand-name drugs. This panorama is because of the following reasons:-

  • Basically, it’s marketing. Branded drugs are known to common people. Generic drugs are sold under their scientific names – less or not known by common public. Also, if a patient is finally on a drug that works, he might be less likely to switch to the generic version for fear of losing the effect of the drug. Advertising can push patients to take more expensive, newer drugs, when lower-cost generics would work just as well.
  • There are inactive ingredients in generic drugs that can be different from those in their brand-name counterparts. They don’t affect the way the drug works, but they can make it look and taste different, making people wonder if the cheaper drug has left something out.
  • Another reason is that doctors don’t prescribe generic drugs in India. A study conducted by Maulana Azad Medical College’s pharmacology department at DDU revealed that only 35% prescriptions stated drugs by their generic names. The rest advised costlier, branded versions. In the US, almost 80% prescriptions name generic drugs. In UK, the generic prescription rate is 82%.
  • The thinking that generic drugs are manufactured in poorer-quality facilities or are inferior in quality to brand-name drugs also trim down their acceptance by the people. The same standards are applied by the FDA for all drug manufacturing facilities, and many companies manufacture both brand-name and generic drugs under same conditions. In fact, as estimated by FDA, 50% of generic drug production is by brand-name companies.
  • Another common disbelief is that generic drugs take longer to work. But it’s just a disbelief and generic drugs work as fast and as effectively as the original brand-name products as the chemical composition or the active ingredient is the same in both the drugs.

So, it’s the need of the hour that generic drug manufactures spread awareness and promote the usage of generic drugs among people as well as people also open their brains towards the use of generic medicines.

References: www.medicinenet.comwww.healthsmart.comwww.fda.govhttp://www.canadiangenerics.ca

Entrepreneurs and Social Responsibilities

Jammu Kashmir Flood Relief

“When I see my kids, I feel like killing myself,” she cries. “I tell them God will send someone very kind, and I send them to sleep. In the morning they ask again for food, and I say again that God will send someone.”

The tragic flood waters took away her husband, and she is now left alone with her three children. She has to stand with died hopes in a throng of broken people standing for hours watching the sky and hoping that one of the helicopters would drop an aid to her hands. But still she stands, bare-footed, in high rising precarious water which has taken away their family, peace, everything.

She is not only the one who is left with a slim chance of hope, but there are thousands of grieving families still marooned. Some have a family but have to see their children dying of hunger, some have even buried their children. Others have lost their mothers, fathers, and to them, the world no longer seems a place to live. After the severe rains that triggered floods and claimed over 300 lives in the state, people of Jammu and Kashmir crave to get a respite. The network towers have fallen down and situation worsens as the people stranded are not able to contact their family members and loved ones.

The people of Kashmir are left with nothing but anger, frustration and tears of losing everything. The heart-rending flood waters seem to have snatched away all happiness from their lives and has filled it with a flood of despair. As flood waters washed away all belongings of flood-affected people of Jammu and Kashmir, the government has intervened to ensure food availability to them. However, still a large number of people are deserted and several others are stuck with the threat of a rampant malady that appears to be knocking their lives.

Amid fears of an epidemic breaking out due to the catastrophe, government has managed to send 80 teams of doctors and till now they have treated around 53,082 patients. Still, a large portion of people are left unhealed, waning to get medicines and cure.

Natural calamities and disasters are inevitable. Tomorrow the same could happen to us, won’t you need help? Would you be able to see your loved ones dreaded with tears of an epidemic? As a human, we need to know the value of our life, and life of our loved ones. If we won’t help them today, would we be able to face ourselves in the same condition? Even a small donation from each one of us has a potential to save a life. We can support our brothers and sisters of J&K by donating not only money but also cloths, grocery, food packets, medicines etc.

There are various organizations and companies that are trying to collect the donations for J&K flood relief and dispatching to the people. SEWA INTERNATIONAL USA, Help Age India and INDIEGOGO are only a few of them. American business tycoon and philanthropist Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced an emergency relief fund of USD 700,000 for the flood victims. We at Mera Medicare are also encouraging donors to order the medicines online from our website for people in Jammu and Kashmir and promising to share 50% of the medicines` cost. Mera Medicare is also working with some insurance companies and e-commerce retailers in India to supply medicines worth 500,000 Rs. Trucks full of grocery items, cloths and medicines are expected to leave from New Delhi on 22 September.

Every day hundreds of trucks with relief materials are leaving for Jammu and Kashmir and saving lives. Your donations will also be sent to J&K through those trucks and used to save our brothers and sisters. Spare a minute. Order medicines for a better cause. Not for sake of us, but for them!!

We entrepreneurs and professionals need to come together and put our best efforts to support our community. No matter how successful we become in our professional lives, no matter how much money we make in our ventures but if we don`t use that success and money for rescue of our people then these are of no use.


P.S.: We’ve been trying our best to help the flood-affected people and are still struggling to do the best. If we join hands together, I’m sure we can stand proudly to have saved a couple of lives.


Mera Medicare is an online platform that enables patients to purchase medicines online and cost-effectively. It`s currently operational in Delhi-NCR.

“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” — Henry A. Kissinger

I always believed that creating something meaningful is the most rewarding thing in the world and being an artist or creator is the most satisfying profession. Being a poet, I love writing poems that can touch hearts and have deeper meaning in them. And if a poem or story written by me can bring tears in my eyes as well as get love from readers then I don`t care whether it`s marketable or not.

I believe the same notion applies into entrepreneurship too. In my view, entrepreneurs are creators & artists first, followed by technocrats, geeks or visionary leaders. When I started working on the idea of Mera Medicare, I had only one motivation and that was to create something really amazing & meaningful. Something that people loved and considered a part of their lives. I didn’t care whether this idea would make money or not. The only thing I cared about was creating something amazing.

However, I`ll have to confess that I have changed now, and my motivation has changed along with it. As I moved forward in my entrepreneurial journey and started hiring more minds, I got smitten with the idea of finding and nurturing leaders within the team. I am stunned to realize how my young team members of age 18 to 22 are so passionate about the holistic idea of start-ups. I am surprised to see their amazing ideas, efforts to make a change and grow as future leaders. To be honest at the age of 20, was completely ignorant and hadn`t even heard words such as Entrepreneurship, Start-up or Venture Capital.

I still get motivated by idea of creating something new but I get more motivation from the idea of finding and nurturing next leaders in the team. These young team members are highly instrumental in my perseverance. Even if I am tired and disappointed due to some roadblocks, I still want to keep moving because I am committed to my team and its growth.

I saw journey of a young kid, who joined Mera Medicare as Social Media Marketing intern six months ago and gradually grown to higher position and role. He started with managing daily updates on Facebook Page of Mera Medicare and today he not only manages a team of 15 Student Ambassadors but also plays a vital role in customer acquisition, branding and developing overall business strategy.

I also see Student Ambassadors working really passionately for creating awareness regarding generic medicines, Mera Medicare`s role, organizing events and campaigns, and creating beautiful documentaries like ‘Truth Behind Wrinkles’. Being founder of Mera Medicare, I not only ensure a fun-filled learning experience for them but also tremendous personal and professional growth opportunities.

Today, I see user base of Mera Medicare doubling every month and that`s only possible because of hard work and passion of my team members. Obviously, this is just a modest start and we need to achieve a lot before we can even brag about it but it`s something that inspires my whole team.

It`s a journey in which you can`t really choose the destination but you can definitely choose your co-travelers, you can`t really choose the amount and sizes of the potholes in the road but you can definitely choose the type of relations you want to have with your co-travelers.

In a life of an entrepreneur, every day is a struggle not only for himself but also for his start-up. A struggle to save your face from humiliation, a struggle to keep motivating your team even when punches are blowing from all the sides, a struggle to keep thinking about the three year projections even when next day is expected to be unexpected.

I can`t see the future and don`t know for sure whether I`ll fail or succeed in my entrepreneurial journey but I am sure that I`ll keep trying my best for my team members` growth and success. Because I know there is only one thing that can turn my idea and start-up into gold and that is my team thus I`ll keep finding and nurturing leaders within my team.


Mera Medicare is an online platform that enables patients to purchase medicines online and cost-effectively. It`s currently operational in Delhi-NCR.


How to Care for the Elderly

CforEBLOG

            “The most important part of caring for the elderly is loving them.”

Mera Medicare has launched a #CareForElder initiative by tapping the need and creating an opportunity for every common man to help an elderly. May it be a known, or someone totally strange. Every elderly could be helped with www.meramedicare.com 

The value of the services Mera Medicare claims to provide speaks for itself by providing cheaper solutions to healthcare such as medicinal needs ( both branded and generic ) which could be ordered for FREE from the website and availed within 2 – 4 hours* of time under normal circumstances at a cheaper price which usually people don’t get in a Pharmacy store. CASH – ON – DELIVERY makes it easier too !

**Minimum order of Rs. 100 (Recommended)

Elderly is a section of society which need medicines on a regular basis.

LET’S ALL DO OUR PART BY CONTRIBUTING IN THIS CAMPAIGN BY ORDERING MEDICINES AT A VERY CHEAPER PRICE FROM www.meramedicare.com & REDUCING HEALTHCARE EXPENSES FOR THEM.

“CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME. LET’S START NOW”

two women hugging

 

Here are 12 ways you can make them happy and fill them with joy.

Use the ones whichever suits you the best !

 

1. Find areas of mutual interest. The non-curious may mistakenly think elderly people seem boring, but, remember that you and your interests might be very boring to them as well. Try to open your mind and find out what gives them joy. If you can’t share their interest at least you can share their excitement.

2. Reduce their healthcare expenses without any investment. Reduce their expenses of medicine requirement by ordering medicines through web based healthcare start-ups like www.meramedicare.com, www.socialblood.org, http://uberhealth.co and other available platforms.

2. Don’t judge them by their physical condition. You might think that they’re unfit but it’s just the way the life cycle goes. You’re born, you’re a kid, you grown into your teen years, adult years, and one day you will be elderly too.

3. When they want to make tea or something for someone or themselves, you make it and tell her/him “Sit down, I’ll do it for you.

4. If he/she has pains or medical issues, tell them to see (or take them) to a doctor. If the pains/medical issues are severe enough, it is imperative that you call a hospital and see what they can do for him/her.

5. Clean up for her/him as you see fit.

6. Cook for them (or aid them in making meals).

7. Listen to their stories. You may find them interesting (like when they were in war or something along those lines). Find the beauty in the story.

8. Take them out of the house; go where they wish to go.

9. Don’t swear or say words which some may find inappropriate, they may not take this lightly.

10. Care for their animals. This may fill them with joy.

11. Surprise them with gifts from time-to-time; hold parties for them.

12. Organize and make better their garden/house (if they have one.)

 

“We’ll also be on the same spot that they are today. Let’s make their lives easier and simpler” 🙂

 

REFERENCE: WikiHow