Ever wondered how your favorite artist gets their work done? No, we mean, exactly how. As in, if we use the same pen Hemingway used, and the same kind of paper, and at the same time of day, maybe we’ll… nevermind. Regardless of pen type, there is something fascinating about the artist’s desk, and like anything else, everyone will draw their own far-reaching conclusions. In particular, it seems like everyone has their own opinion about what the state of someone’s workspace “means,” and we guess it has more to do with what the adage-makers own desks looked like than anything else. Whether a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind, or whether a cluttered desk just means a cluttered desk, or whether a messy desk is a sign of genius, we don’t know. But be their desks cluttered or clean, these creative people are definitely on this side of brilliant. Indulge…
Right now, I can't think of a better example than this: India's first crowd funded Political startup: Aam Aadmi Party.
Often poked fun at by politicians, the 45-year-old former IITian turned civil servant, also a Ramon Magsaysay award winner (for activating India’s Right to Information movement at the grassroots level) was challenged by the ruling party in the government — not to criticize the political system as an outsider but join it and cleanse it from within. The IITian was reluctant to get into the dirty "business" of politics.
Engineers and startups are slowly becoming synonymous in India.
After the government rejected the Lokpal bill draft that he and his team had worked on, Congress and other market players challenged them to join politics, win elections and come to Parliament to get what they wanted i.e root out corruption and get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed. In business terms it would roughly translate to: The monopoly in the market by an established powerful business that refuses to cater to the needs of the masses because it is not profitable.
He accepted the challenge and enters the political market with his own business venture, a new political party "Aam Aadmi Party" in New Delhi on 2 October 2012.
The launch of AAP, that would later become a brand.
The idea was mocked at and ridiculed as getting into politics was something that people thought won't find many takers and experts speculated that it would be difficult for AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) to capture significant market share, for the Indian politics being dominated by two established businesses (political parties): BJP and Congress.
To top it, they didn't have funds for the operations. But the CEO and founder Arvind Kejriwal believed that a good market segment exists whose needs were not being satisfied by the current players in the political market.
The usual troubles of every entrepreneur!
It was an alternate politics (business idea) and they were trying to break the norms, AAP couldn't have used the conventional methods of generating funds i.e use funding from the corporates (the black money that usually funds the rest of the political parties in India, the major factor that inbreeds corruption). Since, it was more of a social entrepreneurial idea, the seedfund was provided by a few wealthy NRI supporters. But the scale at which the elections are contested in India, the money wasn't enough to cover even the marketing costs (campaign costs).
The party finds a solution to that. Calls for crowd funding from the Indian citizens. The aggressive hunt for funds started with mass emails to over five thousand people every day, convincing people to be a stakeholder in the “politics of change”. The idea was still strange to the spectators in the market.
The product AAP offered what rest of the businesses in the market didn't, transparency and honesty became a USP!
Delhi was chosen as the test market because it is quite close to culturally and geographically representing India. Symbolically, since the parliament is in Delhi, the change had to begin from the capital.
Already a smart brand name, the brand logo of a "broom" was adopted — that symbolized their business Objective, Vision and Mission: clean dirt from the Indian politics.
To ensure the trust of the people and transparency they listed the source of funds on their website. It even awarded certificates as proof of donation. The moment one made a contribution the details become online. This gave an edge and a moral upper hand to the product AAP, the fact that anybody can see the details of its contributors on its website. Business values and ethics were followed.
3 A's: Accountability, Affordability and Acceptability
From the day it was formed, the party managed to mobilise over Rs.10.49 crore. As much as 67 per cent of the fund was collected online.
After they had enough money to cover their campaign costs they appealed to the investors to stop as they had generated enough funds.
The field work was made possible with the team work of thousands of volunteers who came together for one common Organisational goal. The CEO did a good job in keeping the team motivated to deliver the desired results!
The regional managers were recruited under strict scrutiny and evaluation i.e ticket to contest elections was given to only those who could fit in the brand AAP, social workers, soldiers, journalists, Delhi University professors and people who have fought against the system, the everyday usual people with clean image. I would call this smart efficient Human resource management (or talent acquisition).
The marketing of the brand was done with a budget far less than the established businesses. The effective means of marketing were deployed, and unconventional means were used. From Direct marketing (door to door campaign), to social media and the PR that was generated through word of mouth which in turn generated immense goodwill that ultimately helped the CEO and founder Kejriwal in snapping the 15-year rule of its "competitor" and incumbent Chief Minister Sheila Dixit. Adding to her misery was the defeat in her own turf — New Delhi constituency — by a huge margin of 25,864 votes. AAP established itself as the most promising startup in the political market.
Market research was valuable. Positive results in the test market will now facilitate the roll out of the brand AAP on a National level.
Ms. Dixit, who once termed Kejriwal's political party as a nonsense idea (business) and that people who would vote (invest and support) for his party would be wasting their valuable vote (resource). The startup that went ahead and
Successfully uprooted the existing (political) domination of the established businesses
Created a new market share for unconventional politics.
Exploited the untapped potential of the common man (usually dormant in politics) and the youth.
Ended the two party monopoly by giving people an option other than the conventional brands in the market.
Established a brand that gave hope to millions.
Proved right the most risky rule in business of Bigger the risk, the bigger the profit.
Gave an interesting case study to the business students that not only how one man can make a difference but make a brand from scratch.
Proved that the Indian consumer is a smart one who is unbiased towards the segmentation of the market based on caste, religion, geography and other factors. A good product is what it demands.
Taught a good lesson to the established powerful businesses that anyone (common man) who is determined, persistent and has vision can change the rules of the market.
Most importantly, a kick ass brand positioning for the founder Mr. Kejriwal and his brand AAP that will facilitate its further expansion: Never ever mess with a badass engineer, he will not necessarily move to Silicon Valley.
EDIT 1: I have answered the question perceiving it as "startup IDEAS that eventually became successful" not "startups that eventually became successful", the question clearly marks the coming to life of an idea as a benchmark of success.
EDIT 2: It is "A2A", and I have answered the question to best of my knowledge and interpretation, (of course, I am not Philip Kotler.) Also, it is not a political answer but an analogy.
(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp will buy Nokia’s phone business and license its patents for 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion), a bold foray into mobile devices that also brings potential chief executive contender Stephen Elop back into the fold.
Two years after hitching its fate to Microsoft’s Windows Phone software, the Finnish phone maker that once dominated the global market collapsed into the arms of the U.S. software giant, its mobile business ravaged by nimbler rivals Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics.
Shares in Microsoft slid as much as 6 percent in the afternoon, lopping more than $15 billion off the company’s market value, as investors protested the acquisition of an underperforming and marginalized corporation that lost more than $4 billion in 2012.
Retiring CEO Steve Ballmer is trying to remake Microsoft into a gadget and services company like Apple, a move that has not won the endorsement of all shareholders.
Nokia CEO Elop, who ran Microsoft’s business software division before jumping ship in 2010, will return to the U.S. firm to head up its mobile devices business just as the company’s board considers a successor to Ballmer, who announced last week he will retire within a year.
Elop, who presided over Nokia’s market share collapse and a shriveling share price during his three years at the helm, is being discussed as a potential replacement because he remains respected and is considered one of the few who can fully grasp Microsoft’s sprawling empire.
But disgruntled Finnish media labeled him a Trojan horse who handed over the keys to one of the few remaining European technology powers. Nokia, whose market value topped $200 billion over a decade ago, will now concentrate on its networking equipment unit, navigation business and technology patents.
The Nokia deal thrusts Microsoft deeper into the hotly contested mobile phone market, despite some investors urging it to stick to its core strengths of business software and services. Activist fund manager ValueAct Capital Management, which has been offered a board seat, is among those concerned with Ballmer’s leadership and his attempts to plough headlong into the lower-margin, highly competitive mobile devices arena.
“Adding to the cost structure when shareholders may be looking for steps in the other direction is not likely to be well received…,” said Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund. “Perhaps a decision to repurchase stock and up the dividend would be a good idea right about now.”
Others applauded Ballmer’s aggressive gambit.
“Microsoft cannot walk away from smartphones, and the hope that other vendors will support Windows Phone is fading fast. So buying Nokia comes at the right time,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner.
“In today’s market it is clear that a vertical integration is the way forward for a company to succeed. How else could Microsoft achieve this?”
As part of Microsoft, Elop will head an expanded Devices unit. Julie Larson-Green, who in July was promoted to head a new Devices and Studios business in Ballmer’s reorganisation, will report to Elop when the deal is closed.
It is a pivotal moment for Microsoft, which still has huge revenues from its Windows operating system, Office suite of business software and Xbox game console, but has failed so far to set up a profitable mobile device business.
Microsoft’s own mobile gadget, the Surface tablet, has sold tepidly since it was launched last year.
“We think we have made excellent, excellent progress with the partnership and yet we also know we have a long way go and felt on balance that together this is the best approach for both companies’ shareholders,” Ballmer told Wall Street analysts in a conference call to explain the deal early on Tuesday.
Microsoft said it would make more than $40 profit on each smartphone it sells once it owns the Nokia business, as opposed to less than $10 now, due to development and marketing costs it pays to Nokia.
However, it said the business would not be fully profitable until fiscal year 2016, and needs to sell more than 50 million smartphones a year to break even. Last quarter, Nokia sold 7.4 million smartphones.
The deal leaves the Finnish company with Nokia Solutions and Networks, which competes with the likes of Ericsson and Huawei in telecoms equipment, as well as a navigation business and a broad portfolio of patents.
In 2011, after writing a memo that said Nokia lacked the in-house technology and needed to jump off a “burning platform”, Elop made the controversial decision to use Microsoft’s Windows Phone for smartphones, rather than Nokia’s own software or Google Inc’s ubiquitous Android operating system.
Nokia, which had 40 percent of the handset market in 2007, now has just 15 percent, and only 3 percent in smartphones.
Shares in Nokia surged 34 percent to close at 3.97 euros by late Tuesday. While up from their decade-low of 1.33 euros hit last year, they are still only a fraction of their 2000 peak of 65 euros.
After today’s gains the whole company is worth about 15 billion euros, a far cry from its glory days when it reached over 200 billion euros.
Tuesday’s deal includes an agreement to license Nokia’s patent portfolio for 10 years. Without it, Nokia’s devices and services business would have been worth about 3.7 billion euros, the companies said.
“It’s very clear to me that rationally this is the right step going forward,” Elop told reporters, though he added he also felt “a great deal of sadness” over the outcome. “I feel sadness because inevitably we are changing Nokia and what it stands for.”
SOLD FOR “PEANUTS”
While some investors credit Elop for bringing urgency to Nokia, which has stepped up its pace of product development in recent months and is due to announce a “phablet” large-screen handset this month, his legacy will be a bitter one for Finland. The company, which began life as a paper mill and has sold an eclectic range of products from television sets to rubber boots in its 148-year history, was a national champion in its heyday, accounting for 16 percent of all exports.
Hired by former chairman Jorma Ollila, Elop was Nokia’s first foreign CEO.
For many Finns, the fact that a former Microsoft executive had come to Nokia, bet the firm’s future on an alliance with Microsoft, laid off about 40,000 worldwide and then delivered it into the software giant’s hands, was a galling snub to national pride.
“Jorma Ollila brought a Trojan horse to Nokia,” a column in widely read tabloid Ilta-Sanoma said.
“As a Finnish person, I cannot like this deal. It ends one chapter in this Nokia story,” said Juha Varis, Danske Capital’s senior portfolio manager, whose fund owns Nokia shares. “On the other hand, it was maybe the last opportunity to sell it.”
Varis was one of many investors critical of Elop’s decision to bet Nokia’s future in smartphones on Microsoft’s Windows Phone software, which was praised by tech reviewers but hasn’t found the momentum to challenge the market leaders.
“So this is the outcome: the whole business for 5 billion euros. That’s peanuts compared to its history,” he said.
Alexander Stubb, Finland’s Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, said on his Twitter account: “For a lot of us Finns, including myself, Nokia phones are part of what we grew up with. Many first reactions to the deal will be emotional.”
Nokia’s new interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa painted a picture of just how grudgingly the call to sell had been arrived at, describing how the board had met almost 50 times after the approach by Microsoft around February.
Ballmer, at a news conference in the Finnish capital, sought to assuage fears the deal would hit jobs in the Nordic country and said Microsoft would build on the recent growth of Nokia’s flagship Lumia smartphones.
Nokia said it expected around 32,000 people of its roughly 90,000 staff to transfer to Microsoft, including about 4,700 who will transfer in Finland.
Analyst Tero Kuittinen at consultancy Alekstra said the sale price of Nokia’s phone business, about a quarter of its sales last year, represented a “fire sale level.” Others were less clear about what a shrunken Nokia was worth.
The price agreed for the devices and services business gives it an enterprise value of about 0.33 times sales for a loss-making business, about half what Google paid for Motorola’s handset business in 2012.
“What should be paid for a declining business, where market share has been constantly lost and profitability has been poor?” said Hannu Rauhala, analyst at Pohjola Bank. “It is difficult to say if it’s cheap or expensive.”
Nokia remains the world’s No. 2 mobile phone maker behind Samsung, but it is not in the top five in the more lucrative and faster-growing smartphone market.
Sales of Nokia’s Lumia phones have helped the market share of Windows Phones in the global market climb to 3.3 percent, according to consultancy Gartner, overtaking ailing BlackBerry Ltd for the first time this year. Still, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS make up 90 percent of the market.
Credit default swap spreads on Nokia tightened by more than 30 basis points to around 200 basis points after the news, meaning it now costs $200,000 to insure $10 million worth of Nokia debt, which is rated junk due to worries about its shrinking cash position and market share.
Nokia said it expected that senior executives Jo Harlow, Juha Putkiranta, Timo Toikkanen, and Chris Weber would transfer to Microsoft when the deal is concluded, probably in the first quarter of 2014.
Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor to Microsoft, while JP Morgan advised Nokia, according to people close to the deal. Law firm Simpson Thacher represented Microsoft, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom represented Nokia, they said.
($1 = 0.7582 euros)
(Additional reporting by Terhi Kinnunen, Jussi Rosendahl and Niklas Pollard; Editing by Peter Graff, Will Waterman and Tim Dobbyn)
NEW DELHI: Largely unaffected by the recent carnage in stock markets, salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group is closing in on to become the country’s first business house to attain a market valuation of Rs 6 lakh crore. The cumulative market capitalisation of all 32 listed companies of the Tata group has risen to nearly Rs 5.90 lakh crore as on Friday — the highest for any business house in the country and almost double the market value of the second ranked Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Group. The total market value of Tata group exceeds the combined market capitalisation of at least three leading business houses in the country — Mukesh Ambani- led RIL group (about Rs 2.75 lakh crore), Kumar Mangalam Birla-led Aditya Birla Group (about Rs 1.5 lakh crore) and Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group (about Rs 62,000 crore). Interestingly, the Tata group’s market value has grown substantially over the past one year, including in the past few months when the overall stock markets have been facing strong headwinds and have lost value. In the past three months, the Tata group’s valuation has grown by over Rs 80,000 crore or over 15 per cent, while the total valuation of Indian markets has actually fallen by about 10 per cent during the same period, shows an analysis of data available from stock exchanges. Tata group, which saw a change of leadership late last year from Ratan Tata to Cyrus Mistry, has seen its valuation growing by over Rs 1 lakh crore since the beginning of this year. On the other hand, valuations of many other large groups have remained either flat or have fallen in the recent months amid a huge volatility in stock markets. While Tatas have the largest number of listed companies among major business houses in the country, RIL alone used to command a market value of over Rs 4 lakh crore a few years ago as the country’s most valued company. However, this position is now occupied by Tata group firm TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) with a market cap of close to Rs 3.96 lakh crore. In comparison, RIL’s market cap currently stands at about Rs 2.75 lakh crore, while its only other listed group company, Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Ltd, has a market value of just about Rs 440 crore.