Authors Posts by Arundhati Ramanathan

Arundhati Ramanathan

Arundhati Ramanathan
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Staff writer

Defence PSUs are firing blanks

A wintry January morning in Bengaluru saw the coming together of two very unlikely sets of people. Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Bharat Earth Movers Ltd, all suppliers of various defence equipment to the armed forces, were hosting an event at the BEL Officers Club. It was a mission to woo startups—an officious sounding seminar...

A game with no winners

In December 2016, one particular acquisition slid past most of mainstream media’s eye in India. It was a small deal, after all, just $8.5 million. Starbreeze Studios, a Swedish game developer, acquired Dhruva Interactive, a 20-year-old gaming services company. $8.5 million isn’t a lot of money, so it is easy to brush it off as a small deal. Except,...

The unlikely story of BHIM, the upsetter of plans

Remember that epic cemetery scene in Sergio Leone’s 1966 spaghetti western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly? Something similar is at play in India’s newest payments platform, United Payments Interface (UPI). An app called BHIM (we’ll come to it later, stay with us), another app called PhonePe (owned by the largest local e-commerce unicorn, Flipkart, and we’ll come...

The Q in QuikrServices

The Qs are literally everywhere. The heavy door to Quikr’s headquarters in Hebbal, Bengaluru, has an ornate Q-shaped handle, which opens into a large minimalistic lobby. And the lobby has a giant neon green coloured Q painted on its floor. “It is like a target board, if one does not meet targets, you’ll be dropped on the Q,” jokes...

The GST gamble of ClearTax

There is something very secular about taxes like the universal disdain people have for both filing and paying.  Another matter altogether that chartered accountants (CAs) have thrived on this sentiment. With life being finally breathed into the 16-year-old zombie called the Goods and Services Tax (GST), for businesses, CAs are likely to be on speed dial; its imminent rollout has got...

E for Eccentric

I asked an artist if he had to paint e-commerce as a concept how would he make it. He shut his eyes and made these vivid brush strokes in air—red unicorns with half-sawed horns galloping in a river of money. Now that sounds about right. Merci, Monsieur Monet for that impression, which is not all lilies and daisies. Eccentricity is at the...

IITians have a weak heart for startups

From the outside, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras looks like an ocean of calm. It is early December and there is a cool breeze rippling through the rain-washed campus. But as one gets closer to Sharavati hostel, a ladies’ hostel that has temporarily been turned into a venue for the yearly job mela called placements, the air...

Urban Ladder: Long climb to the top

Buying furniture online is a hard habit to cultivate even among people who buy things online. Problems: high ticket size and few repeat users. Urban Ladder and its competitor Pepperfry are the two most well-capitalised startups in this space, trying to change habits of consumers and getting them to buy furniture online and buy more often.Company Name Urban LadderOfficial...

How Bourn Hall got knocked down

It’s a hot Friday afternoon in Gurugram. In a lane curiously called Dalal Street, tucked away into a far corner is a two-storied white and brown coloured building called Bourn Hall Clinic. It is an infertility centre that stands like an oasis—so full of promise, but its sprawling and plush waiting lounge is empty. Save for the receptionist, an...

Kicking The Habit

When it comes to startups, is there such a thing as too much money? Can you be addicted to it? Speak to Rajiv Srivatsa and Ashish Goel, co-founders of furniture e-tailer Urban Ladder, first-hand survivors.The two 38-year-old co-founders, one a Chennai boy, and other from Ghaziabad, who still tries to take the bus wherever he can, brought their frugal...

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