Pelicans dump GM Dell Demps after Davis ‘dumpster fire’

first_imgLATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Pelicans have the disadvantage of trying to make a deal with teams knowing Davis wants to go anyway, limiting what gains New Orleans can expect. Davis was fined $50,000 for revealing his desire to be sent elsewhere.The entire debacle has taken a toll on the Pelicans, Gentry said, his team having slid to 26-33, third-worst in the Western Conference and six games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the last playoff spot.“To tell you the truth, this whole thing has been a dumpster fire,” Gentry said. “It’s hard for guys to go through what they’ve been through.”Great expectations by owner But Benson demanded the Pelicans do more than finish off a disappointing season in the last two months of the campaign.“My expectations, and the expectations of our fans, are that this team will compete at a high level for the remainder of the season,” Benson said.Davis, who had been sidelined with a finger injury, suffered a bruised left shoulder on Thursday against Oklahoma City and is uncertain for Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte.The Pelicans reached the playoffs only three times under Demps, losing to eventual champion Golden State in the second round of last season’s playoffs.The biggest deal under Demps sent former New Orleans star Chris Paul to the Clippers in 2012. View comments In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzerscenter_img Davis is averaging 28.5 points, 13.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game this season.Davis said he will not sign a long-term extension with the Pelicans, leaving him to play out the final year of his contract with New Orleans next season or be shipped out for whatever they can get.The Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly in deep talks for a deal on Davis, but backed off when they kept getting different terms, saying the Pelicans kept wanting more and more even after the Lakers would scramble to assemble an offer.Asked if the Pelicans bargained in good faith, Lakers president Magic Johnson tersely replied, “No.”It will be the new general manager who decides among what are expected to be several bid deals for a Davis trade while he remains under contract.ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra ABL: PJ Ramos returns as Alab Pilipinas dominates Wolf Warriors Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? “We will immediately begin the process of restructuring our basketball operations department,” Pelicans owner Gayle Benson said.Former Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry, a Pelicans consultant with more than 25 years of NBA experience as a player and executive, was named the club’s interim general manager.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“My focus for the rest of the season is to provide leadership to our basketball operations group and give Alvin and our players the resources and support to positively impact the culture and foundation now and moving forward,” Ferry told The Athletic website.Demps exited barely a week after the NBA trade deadline passed with Davis still on the Pelicans roster despite saying he wanted a transfer to an NBA title contender. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title FILE – In this May 12, 2015, file photo, New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps speaks during an NBA basketball news conference at the team’s practice facility in Metairie, La. A person familiar with the situation says the Pelicans have fired general manager Dell Demps.The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, because the club has not announced it. Demps did not immediately return voice and text messages left with him Friday morning. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)Dell Demps was dropped as general manager of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans on Friday after what coach Alvin Gentry called a “dumpster fire” surrounding star Anthony Davis.Demps, who had served as general manager of the team since 2010, and the club agreed to a mutual parting, the team said in a statement.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titlelast_img read more

Gajraj will be remembered for opposing those who tried to compromise voters

first_imgDear Editor,I wish to extend condolences to the family of the late Mr Ronald Gajraj, a former Minister of Home Affairs.His tenure as Minister occurred at a time when, quite unfortunately, persons in the then opposition, with the aid of seasoned criminals, top-brass officials acting under the collar of law enforcement, and others sympathetic to the opposition, willfully orchestrated a campaign of violence to remove or compromise an elected PPP Government.The aforesaid tenure regarding security of the country is controversial because it involves confrontation with citizens whose premeditative intent was the open and notorious subversion of the will of the electorate that emerged at the March 19, 2001 Guyana general elections.I know this because I was steeped in the documentation of the period. It was a coup d’état in the making. It was much more than a crime spree. Rape, robbery, murder, kidnapping, arson, assault, battery, petit larceny, are all criminal acts committed as means to an end. It was a former police commissioner who stated in June 2001 that crimes were being committed to “create a climate of instability in the country.”It was not a period of mere “troubles,” as President Granger wants his supporters to promote. This is not Ireland; this is Guyana. There was no conflict about the constitutional status of any internal region. What we had were persons who swore allegiance to defend the Republic from enemies both foreign and domestic and instead worked to undermine both law enforcement and the elected administration.They offered protection to seasoned gunmen, gangs with sophisticated artillery, and nurtured a parallel army using state-owned equipment smuggled out of Georgetown into the East Coast corridor to make war on voters and open an avenue to high office for a then opposition waiting in the wing.If memory serves all correctly, we may recall, for example, at least one second-tier PNC leader stated that for the PNC to respond to public appeal for help stem the violence, it must first be offered political concessions. People, including traditional PNC supporters were being killed or raped and the PNC leadership watched on. Mr Raphael Trotman, the current AFC leader a former leading PNC member, arrogantly stated that the PNC’s job was to “depose” (as opposed to replace) the elected administration.There is more, much more about who were involved to set aside voters’ will. But perhaps that is the responsibility of local journalists to disclose, especially since no one has been prosecuted for their involvement, and some are bent on disguising it all as mere so-called “troubles” or tales of crime and now, drug sprees. It is not customary for notable politicians or political activists to go on crime or drug sprees.Acts to subvert the will and/or mandate of the 2001 electorate constitute some of the prima facie evidence of what transpired during the home affairs tenure of Mr Gajraj, and ought to be included in petitions or testimonies to be submitted by those who speak of court proceedings and commissions of inquiry.Voters who bear scars from having their right to govern trampled from one general election to another, are free to publicly recognise the late Minister as they see fit. But they must also be vigilant.This is because democracy is a terrifying thing to citizens who have been schooled to believe that in Guyana, most have a right to vote but only some have a right to govern. This is beyond George Orwell. However, controversial it was, opposition to this kind of schooling is part of the story some will remember of the late Mr Ronald Gajraj.Sincerely,Rakesh Rampertablast_img read more

Cho’s classmates say he was picked on

first_imgAmong other things, the 23-year-old South Korean immigrant was sent to a psychiatric hospital and pronounced an imminent danger to himself. He was accused of stalking two women and photographing female students in class with his cell phone. And his violence-filled writings were so disturbing he was removed from one class, and professors begged him to get counseling. He rarely looked anyone in the eye and did not even talk to his own roommates. Cho, who killed 32 people and committed suicide at the Blacksburg campus Monday, cast himself in his video diatribe as a persecuted figure like Jesus Christ. Cho, who came to the United States at about age 8 in 1992 and whose parents worked at a dry cleaners in suburban Washington, also ranted against rich “brats” with Mercedes, gold necklaces, cognac and trust funds. Classmates in Virginia, where Cho grew up, said he was teased and picked on, apparently because of shyness and his strange, mumbly way of speaking. Once, in English class at Westfield High School in Chantilly, Va., when the teacher had the students read aloud, Cho looked down when it was his turn, said Chris Davids, a Virginia Tech senior and high school classmate. After the teacher threatened him with an F for participation, Cho began reading in a strange, deep voice that sounded “like he had something in his mouth,” Davids said. “The whole class started laughing and pointing and saying, `Go back to China,”‘ Davids said. BLACKSBURG, Va. – In high school, Cho Seung-Hui almost never opened his mouth. When he finally did, his classmates laughed, pointed at him and said, “Go back to China.” As such details of the Virginia Tech shooter’s life come out, and experts pore over his sick and twisted writings and his videotaped rant, it is becoming increasingly clear that Cho was almost a textbook case of a school shooter: a painfully awkward, picked-on young man who lashed out with methodical fury at a world he believed was out to get him. “In virtually every regard, Cho is prototypical of mass killers that I’ve studied in the past 25 years,” said Northeastern University criminal justice professor James Alan Fox, co-author of 16 books on crime. “That doesn’t mean, however, that one could have predicted his rampage.” When criminologists and psychologists look at mass murders, Cho fits the themes they see repeatedly: a friendless figure, someone who has been bullied, someone who blames others and is bent on revenge, a careful planner, a male. And someone who sent up warning signs with his strange behavior long in advance. Stephanie Roberts, 22, a classmate of Cho at Westfield High, said she never witnessed anyone picking on Cho in high school. But she said friends of hers who went to middle school with him told her they recalled him getting bullied there. “There were just some people who were really mean to him, and they would push him down and laugh at him,” Roberts said. “He didn’t speak English really well, and they would really make fun of him.” Regan Wilder, 21, who attended Virginia Tech, high school and middle school with Cho, said she was sure Cho probably was picked on in middle school, but she said so was everyone else.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Can Monaco overcome this team? Predicted Juventus XI for tonight’s semi-final

first_img 11 11 7. Juan Cuadrado (right attack) 11 11 11 9. Gonzalo Higuain (centre forward) 1. Gianluigi Buffon (goalkeeper) – check out the full line-up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above, right 19. Leonardo Bonucci (centre back) 5. Miralem Pjanic (centre midfield) Juventus take on Monaco at the Stade Louis II tonight, kick off 19:45 BST, and you can listen to live commentary on talkSPORT.Juve defeated Champions League favourites in the quarter-finals of the competition and they now face a fearless, free-scoring Monaco in the semi-finals.So who might Massimiliano Allegri start to thwart their Ligue 1 opponents later today?Scroll through the gallery above to check out talkSPORT’s predicted Juventus line-up. 11 11 3. Giorgio Chiellini (centre back) 11 11 17. Mario Mandzukic (left attack) 11 12. Alex Sandro (left back) 21. Paulo Dybala (attacking midfield) 8. Claudio Marchisio (centre midfield) 11 23. Dani Alves (right back)last_img read more

Jose Mourinho’s Ander Herrera experiment backfires against Tottenham

first_img MONEY RANKED Herrera was at fault for the second goal gameday Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade First Herrera ruins the offside-line. Then his VERY weak in blocking the Moura shot…2-0— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) August 27, 2018 Brilliantly worked by Spurs but United a shambles defensively. Backline trying to play for offside when Herrera is stood 10 yards behind them— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) August 27, 2018 LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS The Herrera experiment backfiring spectacularly in this second half. Positionally poor and didn’t do anywhere near enough to block Moura’s effort.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) August 27, 2018 United were completely undone and Spurs soared into a two-goal lead courtesy of Lucas Moura.Herrera struggled in the second instance when he tried to block Moura’s goal-bound effort, too.Harry Kane had put the away side ahead just two minutes earlier with a perfectly-guided header from a corner.But fans were quick to point out that Herrera cannot be blamed, because he simply shouldn’t be playing in that position.Here are the best tweets: highlights possible standings smart causal maybe ander herrera is… not a center back?— A West (@ayyy_west) August 27, 2018 How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures center_img Best clips, calls and talkSPORT moments of 2019, feat Hearn, McCoist and more Herrera at fault twice for second goal, although he can’t be blamed as he wouldn’t expect to be the last defender!!! 🤔— Brian McClair (@BrianMcClair13) August 27, 2018 impact Well, what did you expect from a midfielder playing at centre-back?Everyone stepped up to play Christian Eriksen offside ahead of Tottenham’s second goal – except Ander Herrera. 1 Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack silverware Glazers and Woodward reaping what they sow here. Only so long a makeshift defence – or any defence available – can function. For #mufc it lasted 45 minutes. Herrera looking like what he is for the second goal.— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) August 27, 2018 England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener Smalling appealing for offside. Herrera’s defensive line. Sheesh.— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) August 27, 2018last_img read more

Athletics swept again on the road after 4-3 loss to Seattle

first_imgSEATTLE — The road woes continue to pile up for the A’s.Oakland lost on the road for the 11th time in its last 12 games as the Seattle Mariners held on for a 4-3 win over the A’s to sweep a two-game series.The Athletics fell to 5-15 on the road this season and have seven more games ahead on their current road trip.A’s face rough roadA team that was known for squeezing out victories out on the road a season ago, the A’s have struggled to find success away from home this season. Oakland went …last_img read more

Conducting Grocery Store Tours Resources

first_imgBy Robin Allen, MSPH, RDN, LDNAbout 4 years ago I worked for a health center/gym where I was asked to give grocery store tours at a local grocer.  As a Registered Dietitian it was just assumed I would know what to do and how to do this grocery store tour.  Well I did not! Trust me, this was not at all taught or even heard of when I was going to school 30 years ago.  I spent hours or research, memorized the store, wrote and practiced script after script and I finally did it.  I can’t say I was great, but my audience seemed appreciative.  I wish I had had more resources to fall back on when I was designing my first tour.Grocery (Supermarket) store tours are becoming much are popular and there are many more resources for Dietitians to use today. While other people often lead a grocery store tour, the Dietitian is uniquely qualified to provide accurate up to date food, nutrition and health knowledge. Tours can be general shopping healthy or focus on specific diets such as Mediterranean Diets, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free, FODMAP, etc.  Some tours will never leave the produce section highlighting all the benefits of fruits and vegetables. Tours can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours but the most popular length it 1 to 1.5 hours.Do grocery store tours change behavior.  A a recent systematic review summarized supermarket interventions. Of the 8 studies reviewed, 4 indicated an increase in nutrition knowledge.  No studies addressed long term behavior change.  What this review discovered is there is a lack of quality research in this area.  Certainly there is strong indications that these grocery store tours do increase knowledge in a fun, hands on environment, more research is needed that includes 3 and 6 month follow up.In the meantime, grocery store tours are becoming more and more popular and you as a Dietitian may be asked to facilitate a group.  Our upcoming free webinar “High Impact Impact Grocery Store Tours“, September 14, 11:00 ET  you will learn from the expert Maribel Alchin, MBA, RD, LDN, Nutrition, Culinary Art, Heart Health, Dietitian and Healthy Living Advisor, Meijer. To register for this free webinar, go to the event page.  Dietitians receive 1 CEU.While you are waiting for the webinar here are some resources for your own High Impact Grocery Store Tour.Please share your best resources.Resources for Dietitians:eat right Pro The Supermarket RDN http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/news-center/in-practice/dietetics-in-action/the-supermarket-rdn#.WagbQHO00ck.email.Today’s Dietitian Supermarket Dietitians: What They Can Do for You and Your Clients http://www.todaysdietitian.com/news/exclusive0711.shtml#.WagaAUT0Ad0.emailSupermarket Savvy https://www.supermarketsavvy.com/USDA SNAP Ed Supermarket Savvy Tour Training Kit Supermarket https://www.supermarketsavvy.com/SUPERMARKET DIETITIAN RECOMMENDED READING & RESOURCE LIST Created by: Barbara Ruhs, MS, RD, LDN Corporate Dietitian, Bashas’ Family of Stores (AZ) http://www.eatrightarizona.org/docs/2013%20Annual%20Mtg/SUPRMKT%20RD%20REC%20READING%20LIST-revJan2013.pdfToday’s Dietitian Hosting Supermarket Tours by Barbara Ruhs,  MS, RDN, LDN Nov 2015, Vol 17 No.11. p. 40 http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/1115p40.shtmlDo you have additional references you like to use for grocery store tours?References:Nikolaus, C.J., Muzaffar, H, Nickols-Richardson, S.M., Nutrition Education Medium: A Systematic Review J Nutr Educ Behav, 2016-09-01, Vol 41, Issue 8, p 544-554. https://experts.illinois.edu/en/persons/sharon-m-nickols/publications/ This blog was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.last_img read more

My 2013 Balance Sheet

first_imgIt’s the last day of the year. Time to do some year-end accounting.DebitsI blindly put too much trust (and invested too much money) in people I didn’t know and who didn’t deserve it. I was angry with them when I have only myself to blame.I created dependents and was angry when they continually needed me for what I should have better prepared them to do for themselves.I sometimes over-committed and struggled to keep up. Any stress I felt was a result of my unwillingness to say “no” to some smaller things so I could say “yes” to bigger ones.I didn’t read nearly enough.I sometimes didn’t follow the systems and processes I put in place, and in some cases didn’t build a system or process where I needed one.I sometimes allowed myself to enter a frustrated and unresourceful state and gave up when I should have worn people down until they relented and did what was right.I was sometimes unclear with my instructions. I sometimes delegated poorly.I was sometimes short with people when I should have exercised empathy, patience, and understanding.I sometimes made poor decisions about my health and my diet.I was sometimes unavailable. I didn’t leave enough margin.CreditsI hired Beth to help with my bookings.I hired Jess to help with my calendar.I spoke in Australia, England, the Netherlands, Ireland, Washington, DC, New York, South Africa, Columbus (Hometown Gigs!), Canada, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Danville (Illinois) San Francisco, and Abilene, Texas.I had the opportunity to share ideas, coach, and consult with salespeople, sales managers, and sales organization from around the world.I met dozens of new people I am now happy to call friends, and some I now call family.I licensed three frameworks to ThinkSales out of South Africa.Every business in which I am involved is bigger than the prior year by at least 12%.I became a contributing editor at SUCCESS Magazine.I spoke 40 times in 2013.I shed 25 pounds.I saved and invested more money than I had planned to.I took two family vacations (much more difficult than it sounds, back to that margin thing).I drafted the manuscript of book one (editing now for a 2014 release).I drafted the manuscript of book two (editing after the launch of book one later in 2014).I built a new site for my speaking business which will be launched in the first quarter of 2014.I built a training site for salespeople and sales organization which will be launched in the first quarter of 2014.On balance, a good year for me. Now what about you?QuestionsWhat were your major “debits” in 2013?What were your major “credits” last year?What does your balance sheet tell you that you need to do in in 2014?last_img read more

The Changing Indian Business Landscape

first_imgOver the past 20 years, India’s information technology and outsourcing companies have grown at an extraordinary pace, with many reaching revenue numbers in the billions of U.S. dollars and seeing staff sizes grow exponentially. But this is almost entirely in the services arena; in product space, Indian companies have been singularly unsuccessful.“Whether you use Accenture, IBM or Wipro, India is literally the back office for global information technology,” according to Vish Tadimety, chairman and CEO of CyberTech Systems and Software, a leading provider of geo-solutions in India and the U.S. But thus far, Indian companies have not proved as successful in the product and shrink-wrapped software realm. With so many Indian multinationals increasing operations outside the country, many in the Indian business community are asking if India is preparing to remain competitive in the changing economic ecosystem. Does India have the resources, structures and innovation it needs to meet the challenges of the coming decade? What are the opportunities for first-time entrepreneurs in India?Bharat Goenka, co-founder and managing director of Tally Solutions, a leading business management software company in India, said that complacency among Indian entrepreneurs has held the country back in the software product arena. “Over the past two decades, we have seen a few hundred companies entering the product space and then moving on to the simpler exercise of earning money from a handful of customers, rather than trying to scale across to tens of thousands or millions of customers,” said Goenka. “That is usually a business-landscape problem. Money is difficult to get back so you will always take the easier path to earn money.”But as Indian companies continue to expand operations overseas, a more focused and aggressive approach will be needed. “There is knowledge now available at a global level,” noted Sudhir Agarwal, president of Aegis, a leading global business process outsourcing (BPO) provider. He noted that companies like his are no longer remaining in India simply because they are Indian. Instead, they are evaluating locations based on where they can best meet customers’ needs. “That could be anywhere in the world,” he said. Aegis today works from more than 50 locations and has 50,000 plus workers worldwide.Innovative Services ExistN.V. (Tiger) Tyagarajan, the COO of Genpact, a leading BPO company, disputed the notion that innovation was merely about products, citing examples of Indian innovation in services, processes and intellectual capital. But he also agreed that the most successful businesses would be the ones that position themselves as global, rather than Indian. Genpact, he noted, is growing faster outside India than in the country. “I sometimes get very schizophrenic when someone asks if we’re an Indian company. I don’t know. Some 95% of our customers are outside [India], 99% of our shareholders are outside. More and more — 35% today, in the future maybe 55% — employees are outside India,” he said.On the leadership front, countries of origin are also becoming less relevant. “My cost of global leadership is the same if I hire in the U.S., India or Germany,” noted C.P. Gurnani, CEO of Mahindra Satyam, a global IT and BPO company. However, Gurnani was very optimistic about the outlook for young Indian MBAs. “It is an interesting time to be an Indian and most interesting to be in a transnational or multinational company. We are experimenting, doing what other companies desire to do, because our growth is a necessity of invention.”Exciting as this time may be, hyper-growth also presents its share of challenges. Primary among them is the problem of succession. When you are growing at 30% to 40%, how do you groom the next set of leaders? “Employees don’t have time to mature to become the next leader, so it can be hard to find the second or third in line when someone leaves,” said Tyagarajan.The challenge is exacerbated by Indian employees’ tendency to move quickly from company to company. “When you get a CV in India, the most common thing is everyone works in a company for two years. It’s astonishing,” according to Gulbir Madan, founder and chairman of Brahma Management, an India-focused asset management firm based in New York City, and moderator of the panel, “Challenges and Opportunities for First-Time Entrepreneurs.”High attrition rates not only drain businesses of time and training resources, they also drive wages up. Milan Patel, CEO of ACS International Resources, a leading global technology firm, doubled all of his employees’ salaries last year. “I had to; I was losing about two to six employees a month because they were very well qualified and cross-trained,” he said.For employers, the high turnover rate of Indian employees creates a lot of headaches. But panelists also acknowledged that, for employees, jumping ship was the best way to move up and make more money. “The only thing that you should think about in terms of your career is how many times can you pack your bags and move to another location,” noted Tyagarajan. “If you can, you’ll have a professional advantage. If you can’t, you will be disappointed.”Keeping qualified employees is a problem; finding qualified new ones is not. That is what Naveen Tewari discovered in 2007 when he started InMobi, the world’s second-largest mobile-advertising firm after Google. Because so many companies like Amazon and Microsoft had already set up back offices in India, he found a deep pool of qualified workers. “[They] have done the hard job of training people” said Tewari.Staff Numbers SurpriseAdam Sachs came to India after the group-dating website he launched in New York — Ignighter.com — proved far more popular in India than in the U.S. When he first arrived in India, he was surprised to discover how large start-up teams were. “No one could believe our team was five people. I was able get a tour of start-ups about the same size as ours in terms of user base and revenue [where there were] literally 60 or 70 working in that company.” He noted, however, that this trend is starting to change. “I’ve more recently seen more start-ups where it’s two or three people starting a company,” he said.For his part, Patel of ACS countered that high turnover rates made these large teams a necessity for long-term survival — so that there will be a qualified manager to fill the shoes of a departing executive. “You can have a hole fairly quickly,” he stated.When addressing a roomful of would-be entrepreneurs, Tewari and Sachs were optimistic about the opportunities for raising funding from angel networks and venture capital funds. Tewari noted that one angel network he was familiar with looked at 80 business plans, and funded three, during a six-week cycle. “If one group sees 80 business plans, half of them will be [unviable], but if they see 80 business plans it means their activity leverage is very high and somebody or the other is going to fund it if you have a nice plan,” he said.He noted that VCs call him whenever an interesting mobile-Internet company pops up, and during a recent week, he received nine calls from nine different VCs about a single plan. “If you have one good deal in the market, everyone is on it,” he said. Sachs, who received his funding from U.S. VCs and Indian angel investors, was equally upbeat. “The VCs’ business model is they must deploy capital. I met with a lot VCs who said they were desperate for good companies and entrepreneurs to put their money in, so I think for people in this audience if you build something interesting, the money is there.”Where Are The Start-ups?Patel of ACS added a more sobering note. He is part of an angel network that recently shortlisted three businesses to invest in, out of about 10 to 15 they reviewed. However, all three businesses — which were focused on online marketing, e-commerce and gaming, respectively — were already in operation. “[They were] not business models that were just on paper; they were functioning, had a growth path, had a story. So they were maybe one or two years into their plan.”Because technology companies don’t require licenses in India, setting up a tech company is less complicated than establishing other types of businesses. Once he had financing, Tewari said that setting up his company took about 30 days and the process was relatively straightforward. “We were never asked for a bribe. We never needed to give or take favors. It was fairly clean,” noted Tewari.But Patel warned that establishing a company still came with a fair amount of red tape and paperwork, such as incorporating the articles and the memorandum of association, and appointing the directors. “If you’re doing it on your own and think that you are going to go over there and knock it together in a week or a month and then come back, I don’t think so,” he said.For Sachs, processing payments was by far the biggest challenge. The Ignighter team launched in India with an American portal for payment, not realizing that very few Indians used credit cards that worked internationally. The result: a 70% default rate. “The online payment landscape is a nightmare in India right now… If you don’t have an Indian payment gateway, it’s virtually impossible to collect revenue,” he pointed out.The problem of payment collection is not merely technical. Patel noted that large companies have a habit of working on their vendors’ money — payment cycles can be 90 days or longer. When working with smaller companies, the challenge is to ensure that they are properly financed so that payments are not dragged out — or dropped completely. “People love doing work on your money. It’s one of those things in India — you sell them something and they don’t pay you, and then you have to go begging for your own money,” he said. He added that he has an employee on his four-person accounting team whose entire job is retrieving overdue payments. “His job is to show up in people’s offices, just wait all day for the accounting guy to cut him a check.”Patel’s parting advice to would-be entrepreneurs stressed the pragmatic over the inspirational. He extolled the virtues of purchasing, rather than renting, the worksite — the value of his company’s real estate went up 4.5 times, even when the business itself was just breaking even.Hands-on Effort NeededHe also warned against being an absentee manager. “If you want to do it, you have to be there and have to put in the time there. Going there two weeks every quarter may not just cut it,” he said.Tewari took a different tack, saying not to worry about getting a lot of experience before creating a start-up, and to avoid the golden-handcuff trap. [Once you take up a regular job, you get too fond of the pay and perks.] “Those golden handcuffs will push you out of entrepreneurship for two or five years of experience. In my viewpoint, experience is grossly overrated,” he noted.He admits, however, that the entrepreneurship process can be extraordinarily grueling and disheartening, especially when one sees classmates making a lot of money in jobs at established firms. During those times, the fear and doubt can be crushing. “At the end of all of this, when you are trying to lay out the story, the negatives seem so fairy tale-ish and people love it. But when you are going through it, it’s stress, stress, stress. It is bad.”But, ultimately, it is worth it for those who are willing to take risks and think big. “The whole experience of entrepreneurship is so beautiful that it is like cocaine,” said Tewari. “You will not be able to give it up.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

Child beaten to death in brawl in M.P. village

first_imgPolice have arrested two persons on the charge of beating a one-and-a-half-year-old child to death in a fight that followed an objection by the infant’s father to a child from the accused family urinating in the open at Bagaspur village in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh on October 1. The accused have been identified as Ram Singh and his son Umesh.“As a six-year-old boy was urinating on the road, the child’s father objected to it. And in turn, the boy’s father and grandfather attacked attacked him with lathis. The 18-month-old boy he was holding suffered blows and died on the spot,” Amit Sanghi, Sagar Superintendent of Police, told The Hindu.“There is a running feud between the two tribal families,” he said.A case was registered under Section 302 [punishment for murder] of the Indian Penal Code. The injured father is being treated at a local hospital.The case had no similarities to the Shivpuri case where two children were beaten to death for allegedly defecating in public, Mr. Sanghi stated, adding, “There is confusion. There is no case of open defecation here.”last_img read more