2008 Reflections and 2009 Plans

Happy 2009 everyone!

2008 has been a very interesting year by all measures. We saw record drops in global stock market indices – 34% drop for the Dow, the worst since 1931. We saw vast amounts of wealth obliterated. We saw the US moving closer and closer to a socialist economy. We saw the election of the first African-American to the office of the President of the United States. We saw another round of incredibly well planned terrorist attacks across India, culminating in the sixty hour standoff in Mumbai. We saw Indians get up and rebuild quickly from the attacks. We saw a new sense of urgency in the fight against terror by the Indian middle class. And we have seen India and Pakistan, once again, come to the brink of war.

Obviously, we’ve seen a number of other things that I’ve missed but these are some of the events that will always remind me of 2008. 2008 is also the year we got Teknatus Solutions Private Limited up and running in India. We did a soft launch of our Bridal network, Brides’ View and we’re getting ready for a private beta of our next product – Semblr. It’s been an interesting and tough year all around. We’ve seen an incredible amount of interest generating around the Indian startup scene, both with prospective employees and also with the media. Plenty of folks have done a great job in catering to this interest. We’ve had Proto, Head Start, Startup Saturday and also BarCamps across all major Indian cities to help get startups some visibility and to help those interested in learning/joining/startip a business. With the economic downturn, a good deal of media attention is turning to startups and venture funding. The amount of Indian startups has been increasing steadily and now, with many people getting laid off, the numbers should increase even more. As far as VC/angel funding, well, the picture in India and globally isn’t as rosey as it was six months ago. However, there are still quite a bit of deals closing.

For Teknatus, 2009 is going to be an interesting and challenging year. Our major goal for the year will be to launch a few additional products and start generating revenue. It won’t be easy but I feel confident that the product we’re getting ready for soft launch will be generating revenue by the end of the second quarter of 2009 and by then, we are planning to launch our third product which will be a SaaS product geared toward SMEs. Our next major goal is going to be working on building the team out. We’re going to have positions opening up for various roles over the coming months and, hopefully, we’ll be able to fill them with some great people.

In 2009, we also plan to continue working on helping the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India, specifically New Delhi. We’ve found platforms like Startup Saturday to be wonderful areas to connect with like-minded individuals. Hiring and building a team in India is difficult but it’s not insurmountable.

Once again, happy 2009!

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