10 Things You Didn’t Know About Holachef

Holachef is now 2 years old! It seems like only yesterday that we started out in Powai and today we are all over Mumbai and beyond. There’s a lot that we have done in the last 2 years that you have seen, tasted and liked. Here are 10 things (some of these are iconic incidences in our journey thus-far) which you didn’t know and we are spilling the beans now!

1) Slack saves the day

When things spiral out of control, use Slack.

With the team spread out across SoBo, Western suburbs, Navi Mumbai, Thane, and Pune – there’s only one way to always stay in touch and keep the communication flowing: Slack!

In many ways, Slack keeps us all on the same (web) page. When our customer care team needs to report that your cheesecake in Borivali was not creamy enough, the entire team reads it at once and gets down to resolving the matter, chefs included! (This is just an example, our cheesecakes are pretty amazing. We have proof)

2) We love the Robin Hood Army

It’s a little known fact that every weekend (Sunday, to be precise), Holachef and Robin Hood Army collaborate to feed the less fortunate in Mulund-Thane area. The wonderful volunteers from Robin Hood Army inform our team about the number of food boxes they plan to distribute on the coming Sunday. Holachef’s team arranges for the boxes and delivers them around 4 pm near Teen Haath Naaka in Thane.

If you are free on a Sunday, you can volunteer with Robin Hood Army in your area too!

3) Our in-house social media sensation  

When a Tweet or a Facebook comment is not in our favor, these two gentlemen from our Care team are the ones who take the heat. Needless to say, they have a high-stress job. On the other hand, a positive comment or tweet from you really makes their day Also, they love being a little dramatic.

4) Our iOS ‘team’ is the Apple of our Eye!

Like our iOS app? Well you should know our iOS ‘team’  is actually just one person holding the fort. So if there’s a bug in the iOS app, you know who’s getting sleepless nights. Or not.

5) Cups of chai = number of orders

There’s a famous story that in the very early days of Holachef, our CEO believed that stepping out of office for chai had a direct co-relation with the number of orders we received. It was his conviction that every cup of tea he consumed would yield at least 10 orders. You can imagine how many gallons of chai has been consumed now that we deliver over 2,500 orders every day.

Saurabh, happy after drinking chai a hard day at work!

6) VCs expect discounts too!

Our angel investors often give us a call before placing their order at Holachef to ask “Koi coupon code hai kya?”  #WhatToDo

7) We are a team of (food) experts.

Sure, we are. Our CEO is a Meta Engineer with a background in oil and education industry; our CTO is a mechanical engineer, our marketing team is led by a Meta Engineer. #WeAreLikeThisOnly

8) We love Holachef freebies too! 

Our VP, Business and Sales, once placed as many as SIX individual Holachef orders in a single day because we were giving away a pair of cutting chai glasses with each order. We can’t blame her for wanting more of the fun goodies that are usually reserved for our favorite customers!

In her own words, Sadhna calls it #chaikidukaan

9) There is such a thing as free lunch. 

The Holachef team didn’t pay for its lunch for a very, very long time. There were so many chefs across the city sending in food to our ‘tasting experts’ every day, the entire office would be stuffed! With every dish receiving a ‘yay’ or a ‘nay’, this was the fool-proof way we used to form our initial team of chefs!

Team tasting various ice-cream flavours to decide which ones are good enough to be listed on Holachef.

10) When the going gets tough, the Ops head gets going. 

Once it so happened that it was pouring a lot in Mumbai and we were short of resource for making deliveries. Not wanting to delay the orders, our VP – Operations, Samir, went out for making a few deliveries by himself in his car. One of the customers, not realizing that Samir wasn’t a delivery executive, gave him a generous tip upon accepting the order, which Samir gladly accepted (this was in the early days of Holachef, you see)! We later heard from the same customer over email appreciating the ‘delivery boy’ who made an on-time delivery despite getting drenched in the rains.

Samir, happy with his generous tip!

Despite all the craziness, it’s been a joyous ride last 2 years. And here’s to many more!

Food = Emotions

This article was originally published on Kalaari.com

So what do you want to do after graduating from IIT?”, a close friend asked with an expectant look. As a reflex, I replied, “Build a startup! Would love to create something interesting in the food space.” It wasn’t a childhood dream or a mindless banter, and the more I thought about industries that interested me, the more I was convinced that food sector was one of the most exciting areas to be in. 

That was circa 2004.

Cut to 2014 and Holachef was born. All the homework, observations and market analysis through the years did not prepare me for what I learned as I became a stakeholder in this vast, and largely unorganized, industry. Food sector was still an interesting space, but some of the challenges that lay on our way had little to do with scaling or expansion. Food, as I now realize, has a lot to do with emotions.

Since the beginning, we had a simple vision for the Holachef brand – to become an extension of one’s personal kitchen. What did that mean for us? It meant we not only had to serve great food but also touch an emotional chord through the food. Are you wondering which are these emotions that I talk of are? Read on!

“I like it spicier” vs “It was too spicy for my taste!”

Imagine getting these as reviews for the same dish by the same chef on the same day. Everyone likes their food in a certain way. In most cases, that ‘way’ is how mom used to make it. Believe it or not, we all have a distinct image (and taste and aroma) in mind when someone mentions the humble kadhi-chawal or something equally intrinsic to the palate.

More than standardization of recipes; we learnt that it is the localization and personalization that can play a potentially huge role in creating a flutter in the F&B space. For far too long the industry has thrived only on standardization and niche specialties; more so when the value proposition is that of providing ‘food for daily consumption’

“I am bored of this food!”

No surprises there – we eat at least thrice a day, every day. Food is something that most people look forward to when they need something to lift their mood up or simply to break the daily monotony. Boredom can set in within no time. At one point mom used to ask you, “So what do you want to eat now?” and you could tell her what your heart (and taste buds) desired. But how many of us enjoy that liberty now?

To be able to deliver variety in daily menus without compromising on quality or nutrition is of significant value when it comes to a food business.

“I feel guilty ordering outside food every day.”

We have all been in that situation when over-indulging in outside food has left us feeling less responsible about ourselves. It raises questions about our (seemingly unhealthy) lifestyle.

A food delivery service that can take away the guilt from ordering-in every day – now that’s quite a challenge we have at hand.

Getting a mother to approve our food for her son or having a wife’s confidence that she can rely on our food for her husband’s daily consumption is the Holy Grail for us. Achieving that is what will create a successful people’s brand.

 “I love to explore new cuisines when I travel.”

More often than not, food is what makes a travel experience complete. You visit a new region within your own country or a foreign land, thrice a day you explore the local cuisine on your vacation. And once back, you crave those dishes and remember them with their authentic taste. Can a food service recreate the same taste and fulfill those cravings? Can we offer original Mediterranean flavors and French taste to remind you of the wonderful holiday you once had? There’s our big opportunity.

“The food just spoiled my mood!”

Eating something which does not taste the way you want it to; or craving something but getting to eat something totally different can potentially ruin your mood for long. Being in the food business made us realize that we are actually in the business of creating happiness. Our food can make or break someone’s day – and that’s a lot of pressure to work with.

“Food ordering can get frustrating!”

Can you relate to these situations?

1)      Ordering-in food for an impromptu house party but spending over 30 minutes in taking down what each person wants to eat.

2)      Calling food for two (say, you and your spouse) but while you want to eat Chinese, the spouse is craving Continental. You might decide that ordering from multiple restaurants is way too cumbersome for a weekday dinner so one of you end up compromising on your preference.

3)      Wanting to order-in a scrumptious pizza but having to spend over 15 minutes in building the order (way too many tempting choices that makes it hard to decide)

Can a single food ordering service solve all of these problems at once? Can we offer contrasting varieties, a simple check out and add value to the customers’ life without wasting too much of their time? That’s the problem statement we work with every day!

“The food made me nostalgic!!”

When the food brings back memories from the past – reminding one of mom’s cooking or a travel experience, or even an exciting house party, that’s when it creates true happiness. How we get there is something we learn every day and the learning continues.

Every customer feedback and suggestion that we get makes its way into our decision making process.  Perfecting a standard product is one thing, perfecting something new every day is totally different – especially when it has so many emotions attached to it. The only way to get there, we realized, is by putting in emotions of our own – our undying love for food and our passion to share it with everyone else.

7 Fun and Easy Ways to Enhance Internal Communication With Your Team

By Amita Baheti

Start-ups generally assume that good internal communication is a natural product of a small, young, vibrant team. Often communicating and sharing information with colleagues is overlooked as most of us work hard to build beautiful products and wonderful services. The focus is on warding off challenges, striking off numbers and fire fighting with situations; and more often than not, the more subtle (yet essential) messages get missed.

Interacting with your team facilitates:

  • Trust within.
  • The communication that needs to flow out.
  • Absorption of ideas which are vital.

Good internal communication is not just about town halls and major company announcements but it’s an ongoing, open dialogue (formal or informal) between all those who ‘need to know’. I bring to you 7 easy ways for start-ups to connect with their teams.

1) Create a Blog. Enhance it to a V-Blog.

Create animated characters or tell a story via videos. You may record fun interviews with your team member and deliver a subtle message or ask your Finance team to teach a life hack to save taxes! Share these videos internally or on the blog; and make it interactive by letting employees (or regular readers) comment, like and share.

2) Knock down office walls

Drop a colleague home who is going the same way or call for an impromptu dinner to the resto-bar in the next lane. Join gym together or how about some soccer time on weekends? Be present out there. Engaging in activities beyond work fosters relationship and builds trust.

3) Conduct stand-ups!

A 10 minute stand up meeting at the commencement of day or at the beginning of a shift goes a long way in keeping communication an ongoing process. A brief meeting with your team, providing just key updates and a to-do list is effective in reinforcing values, purpose and targets – individual and organizational.

4) Organise a book-a-thon

The team-lead or the CEO can let out a book to 5 people. Each one prepares a review of a chapter and conducts a joint session to be talked about over a cup of coffee. This exercise will enable the team to learn the business concepts, language, management skills and strategy which you would want them to emulate. Read outside the emails to think outside the box!

5) Write personal notes!

Why don’t you stop coding over that MAC and write a personal note to a team member? It can be a simple, whacky one liner or a genuine “How exciting those numbers looked in your presentation!” Indira Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, went to the extent of writing letters to employees’ parents thanking them for the beautiful gift of their child! This gesture is bound to create ripples of emotions and tons of loyalty.

May be you can simply have a message board in the centre of the office. Anyone can put up anything they like once in a while, to add a bit of humor, crack an internal office joke or may be to compliment someone.

Creates a great vibe in the office. It’s known!

6) Generate warmth

John Neffinger, the author of Compelling People, writes, Before people decide what they think of your message, they decide what they think of you.” Foster warmth. Warmth is not easy to fake and a polite smile fools no one. Even a few small nonverbal signals—a nod or a smile, can show people that you’re pleased to be in their company and attentive to their concerns.

Works well when you are trying to foster team-work as second nature amongst your team.

7) Weekly updates over lunch

Meet weekly to share updates and progress as an organisation. Club it with a lunch (or preferably a lot of desserts) or may be mocktails! Celebrate wins and acknowledge losses. It’s a great way to recap the week and set the stage for the week to follow.

Leaving you with a video that Saurabh shared with all of us at the beginning of this week. This blogpost was the result of the inspiration I gathered by watching this video! You see, it works!

About Amita Baheti 

Amita is a potato-lover and works at Holachef. You can follow her on Twitter at @AmitaBaheti


This post is part of Holachef’s Write Ho! program which is open to Holachef’s fans, critics, customers and their loved ones! To participate, write to [email protected].

A fun chat with Kashyap Deorah

Holachef catches up with Kashyap Deorah for a fun interview. Kashyap is an entrepreneur, author and investor. He loves building global technology companies and providing commentary on the Indian startup ecosystem. He goes by the name @righthalf on Twitter.

1)      Tell us about your most favorite food and who’s most favorite chef?

“Ma ke haath ka khana” is undeniably the best. If I take that bias aside, I have to say that my mother-in-law is the best chef in the world. She is famous in both families for cooking up the perfect recipe regardless of the constraints.

2)      Share with us an interesting anecdote from your travels – something to do with food / culture / people.

My wife, Shruti, my son Kanav (then 2yrs old) and I took six months off inearly 2015 to travel the world together. Near Valparaiso in Chile, we did a home stay with a charming couple in the wine country. We picked the place because every last review about them was superlative, and soon we found out why. The couple took us around to tour the beautiful coastline, art deco district and wine country. Yet, the best part were the meals at home. They had their own orchard where they grew all fruits and vegetables. They did all the cooking together; all three meals of the day were made by them. Their selection of wine and coffee was heartfelt. Our relaxed conversations with them over those meals and about our lives connected us so much that we are still in touch. Kanav calls them Hector dada and Gloria dadi, and I recently congratulated them when Chile won Copa America against arch-rival Argentina.

Home-stay hosts in Chile, Hector and Gloria in Casablanca, Chile.

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3)      What inspired you to author your book, The Golden Tap? What’s the biggest challenge you faced while writing the book?

During the travels, I was constantly nagged by the sudden boom of startups in India. It should have all felt positive because the times I used to dream of when I started my first company in ’99 had finally arrived. Yet, I found myself nagged by something but could not tell what. As that story de-constructed in my head with a fortunate vantage point of being thousands of miles away from India, I thought I had a story to tell. And then the universe conspired. After moving back to India (we were living in Berkeley, California the previous year), Kapil from Roli Books called after reading a blog post I wrote. He asked if I would write a book on Indian startups. My reaction? “Funny you should ask!”

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The biggest challenge was the structure of the book in order to best deliver the story that I wanted to tell. I was able to get past that in the first month and then everything started flowing in the right direction. But I never imagined this was going to happen but look how it all worked out!

4)      You have been part of the Indian startup eco-system since 1999. Tell us how this space was at that time.

My then future father-in-law had asked me what I was going to do after graduation. I spoke to him for ten minutes about my startup Righthalf.com and after listening to me patiently he asked, “No, I mean what will you do for a living?” I was dumbstruck.

At that time, there was no social proof for entrepreneurship. Most people thought there was something wrong: either I did not get through a university in the US, or did not secure a good job, or there was some other personal issue. You had to be crazy to startup, especially in tech. It was like being a trespasser digging for gold in a treacherous desert before the gold rush.

5)      Tell us something about HyperTrack – how did you start it and what’s your vision for it?

In my travels around the world, I saw how smartphones had become part of everyone’s lives and how local businesses were going online because of smartphones. After spending nearly a lifetime in ecommerce and marketplaces, we used to imagine how offline and online will converge, and it looked like we were already past that now.

When I got back to India, I started discussing business ideas with Tapan Pandita (now my co-founder) because we were both in love after our Chalo/OpenTable experience together. And I do mean that Tapan and I were in love with each other in the sense that we wanted to start a company as a team. Co-founding a company is like marriage. Love is a pre-requisite!

We were inspired by the quote ‘the only people who made money in the gold rush are the ones who made shovels’. We started looking for shovels for this new economy: connected commerce. Location tracking stood out as a big pain. Everyone was building an Uber-for-something but we could not track anything else in our lives other than an Uber. We dug deeper and found it was a hard problem, and took the plunge to solve it for the global market.

6)      After moving back to India, how did you decide to live in New Delhi?

My wife and I celebrated our 10th year of marriage (many more years together). She had moved across the oceans for me on multiple occasions and now it was my turn. One of the goals of our travels was to figure out where we were going to live next. She got her dream job, of being the renewable energy advisor to the central regulator of electricity of India (CERC). Seeing her excitement and commitment towards it, I wanted to support her in taking it up. And now I am in New Delhi!

7)      What’s your favorite drink?

A nice glass of red wine.

8)      Do you cook? Share with us a recipe that you cook and take pride in!

No I do not. I have had to field a lot of criticism about this, especially when working at OpenTable (the leading restaurant reservations platform of the US) where so many of my colleagues were from the restaurant industry and had been chefs, waiters or restaurant managers at fine dining restaurants. And here I was, culinary-challenged street-food junkie.

9) Have you tried Holachef food? How was your experience?

Yes, I have had Holachef food several times and loved it. My family in Mumbai orders it often, and I can’t wait for you to launch in Delhi at some point so I can enjoy it more frequently as well.


About The Golden Tap

In the book, Kashyap chronicles the transformative era of the Indian economy, as minimal large companies have managed to pass the IPO but start-ups are worth millions. Kashyap Deorah, serial entrepreneur and visionary, talks about the foundation of the business model that will become the future of the Indian economy where hyper-funding is the new normal.

About HyperTrack

HyperTrack allows businesses to track people, goods and pay per use. For companies that are just starting out and are in boot-strap stage, the services will be offered free upto 10,000 tasks and then will be charged 4 cents per task.

Holachef goes HyperTrack


By Krupa Sonecha

“With great order numbers comes great responsibility!”

– Saurabh Saxena, Co-founder & CEO, Holachef

That was the only ‘problem statement’ that came to our tech team from Saurabh who, by the way, is always pulling our (social media team included) ears about making everything better for each and every Holachef user.

In 2015, when our orders stood at over 1000 meals every day with a just a handful of locations in Mumbai (at present we are available in 100+ PIN codes across the city), we had, by then, started building our own kitchen. The idea was to empower our chefs to really scale with the space, equipment and ease of operations that we were creating for them. It was at this point that we had to focus on dual goals of ‘increasing orders’ and ‘ensuring smooth and timely deliveries’.

While some of us were tracking daily sales and growth numbers, Saurabh was tracking if each and every order was getting delivered on time or not.

For customers, this might seem like the problem of ‘order time pe nahi aaya’  (the order did not reach on time) but for us, tracking an order is a lot more than just that. We wanted to track:

  • Whether deliveries reach customers on-time relative to the delivery slot promised
  • The percentage of time in a shift that delivery executives are idle
  • How far are delivery executives from the hub after delivering their last order
  • Where exactly is the order when a customer complains (80% of our support calls are about where they’ve reached) and what is the accurate ETA(expected time of arrival)
  • The exact path taken by the delivery executive for an escalated complaint escalated and the ability to replay the trip to see the progress in time and space

We can trace the actual path and replay the trip using the Play button at the bottom

Not just this, to optimize the resources (manpower, vehicles and time), each delivery executive leaves with multiple deliveries in a trip. We also wanted to:

  • Find available delivery executives nearest to the dispatch hubs so we could assign them the orders and then track them with an ETA until they arrived for the pickup
  • Get upfront ETAs for all deliveries in a trip and then track the trip progress
  • Re-order, cancel and re-assign deliveries on the fly based on changing circumstances
  • Get alerted when drivers were running late due to traffic, unscheduled stops, moving away from the destination, or going off-radar due to network or battery issues

Bird’s eye view of live trips with status alerts

Therefore, between every ‘mera order kahaan hai?’ (where’s my order?) and ‘ladka nikal gaya hai’ (it is on its way) conversation, there’s a lot that gets tracked in real time for each and every confirmed order at Holachef.

– Anil Gelra, Co-founder & CTO, Holachef

As the number of orders increased at Holachef, so did our search for a system or technology that would help enhance our customer’s experience.

It was at this point that HyperTrack came in and worked closely with us to integrate the desired features and dashboard that would enable us to manage the order deliveries seamlessly.

Our team wanted to provide a consistent end customer experience and was concerned about enabling order tracking on a map if it was only going to be available for a small subset of deliveries. HyperTrack was already being used heavily by one of our logistics partners and we knew it was working well for them. It helped that the APIs allowed for delivery partners to seamlessly integrate tracking of our portion of deliveries into our internal dashboard and our notification to customers. We are able to optimize the performance of our delivery staff and soon will be able to compare the performance of our in-house deliveries with those of our delivery partner.

Real-time order tracking is a big boon to food-delivery services like us where time is extremely critical. With Mumbai’s complex geography and over 100 PIN codes to serve in this city alone, there’s a lot that we are able to do because of HyperTrack.

Krupa SonechaKrupa Sonecha is VP, Product, Holachef. She manages and heads the consumer facing product. She has been a part of the team since the last one year. In the past, she has worked with many reputed names such as Sony Entertainment Television, Leo Burnett, etc. 

Want Help With An Impressive CV? Tips Inside!

The standard word document that used to be meticulously structured and filled with content has graduated to become a creative, colorful and an engaging copy of self presentation. A CV these days, offers great scope for customization and if you are a seeking a job in a creative organisation, the following tips might just help you build an impressive one. Here are a few ways to make a classy first impression.

1. Customised Designs

Unlike the regular CV with bullets and numbers that categorically list achievements and education, customized resumes are creative to present and interesting to read. The use of various fonts, symbols and layouts can be much more appealing to interpret and grasp. These CV convey the credentials with engaging visuals and clever expressions while giving it a personal touch. A quick tip here is to customize your CV with terms and visuals that are most relevant to your qualification and add an interesting if not a witty element to the content.

2. 3D Sketches

This one is definitely not recommended for professions such as a lawyer, banker etc, on the other hand if you into creative fields such as social media manager, graphic and games designer and so forth, a 3D CV can help you present yourself much more effectively. Infact, you should opt for this CV only if you have a lot to say and that shall be better through images than words. Do keep in mind the work culture of the company you are applying at while going ahead with a visual resume such as this.

3. Alignment

It is not necessary to align everything to the left anymore, but while at it, there is a lot of scope for creativity. Playing with the incline on a sheet can change the face of your resume, while keeping it executive and simple too. Even while breaking the rules it is important to present yourself neatly, so always keep it reader-friendly.

4. Infographics

If you thought infographics are just meant to represent flow-charts in an alluring way, you’re wrong. CV’s and infographics have gelled so well together that it’s hard to ignore a resume like that. Listing your academic records, achievements, work experiences and personal details becomes easy to look at in one go. Not to forget the scope for aesthetic designs that infographics offer while keeping the CV inventive too.

5. Videos

Videos seem like the most accessible source of entertainment these days but the unusual and interesting part here is uploading a resume’ as a video. A video resume is an animated presentation of your speaking skills and delivers the required qualifications through speech. That said, there’s no one way to do it. You can keep it purely professional or mix it with some fun – but the message should be delivered right across.

6. Story

An interactive CV that tells everything about you through an interesting story can keep the reader completely engaged. If you are even remotely connected to any field of writing, this one can be a clever way to introduce yourself to the potential employer. Even while being content heavy, this CV can help put across information and add some extra info which otherwise would not find place. Nevertheless, keep the story sweet and simple!

The Power Of Storytelling And Some Quick Tips

Storytelling has always been integral to the Indian culture. Stories and anecdotes are not just a part of our growing up but have also been a medium to pass on wisdom through generations. Remember how each of our childhood story had a moral? These narratives have indeed been an effective tool of communication that have left a lasting impact on us.

No wonder, the skill has been effectively implied in the corporate world for its thought provoking power. Whether it’s a political speech, a corporate conference or an online talk – storytelling is being revived for a way of communication that is quite beneficial. Here’s why communicating through narratives is a great way to ensure that you are being heard.

Why and how storytelling works in a professional environment

  • Stories definitely grab attention and make your communication more receptive.
  • Personal anecdotes are always relatable and give a sense of achievement while inspiring the listener.
  • It is much effective to state facts and numbers which interest the audience and offer clarity. Blending them with good stories keeps them perceptive.
  • Humour, the right amount of it, makes it much easier to remember the story while keeping the atmosphere less formal.
  • Storytelling also helps connecting with the audience on an individual level, especially while addressing a larger gathering.

Tips to collate the right stories

1) Take Notes
We are full of stories whether they are humorous or serious. Observe and take down notes whenever you can – in office, while travelling, socialising or during a daily commute. Interactions give us a lot of inputs too. Stories are what primarily surround us.

2) Research
The internet can be widely used to research and learn. Did you know there are people trying to revive the art of storytelling? And these video-stories are available on the most preferred platform today – the internet. An array of stories from around the world, lessons on how to narrate an experience, stories related to most liked leaders – is all at the touch of a finger. Observing their skills and using those tips for the next big talk might just be the key.

3) Recall
What interests you in a story? There could be a number of things. It could be the story itself, the way of portraying it, the actions used or a method of making a simple story interesting. Recall stories from throughout your life during different phases and use them as a medium to get the message across by making it more personal. Learn the ways of storytelling and try to enact what caught/catches your attention.

Making stories more interesting

Personal narratives will always top the list when it comes to storytelling. There is a charm and the ability to keep the audience engaged in this method, which has never failed over the years. It is one of the most active ways of communication which connects the listener in a one-on-one basis. Dastangoi for instance is the art of storytelling in Urdu language from the 16th century. Our mythology is also full of captivating stories. This form of communication is has always been alluring and impactful.

Technology comes in handy here. Narrate a story through videos either as a storyteller or through interesting animation with narration in the background. Find different ways of engaging the audience to keep them hooked on to your thoughts. Videos also give access to a larger audience.

Photo Stories
Visual appeal is another efficient way to communicate with the audience. Pie-charts and graphs are a passé . Find something interesting like photo stories. Source good images – personal or others – and pair them up with great narrations to keep the audience engaged. Beautiful, believable images coupled with stories that reach out on a personal level will play a key role in delivering the message while keeping it interesting throughout.

Here’s a list of books that decipher the art beautifully

The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative 
Stephen Denning
is regarded as a master storyteller and in this book, he explains the power of storytelling and how it can be highly advantageous for leaders. He emphasises that stories can bring about a positive change in the organisation, when used at the right time.

Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince and Inspire
In this book, Paul Smith gives examples of the most renowned companies using storytelling as a way to communicate in the organisation. This book is a guide with tips on effective ways of narrating stories that will come in handy for a speaker.

Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story
Peter Guber has explained the techniques that lie hidden in the age old art of storytelling. His approach explains in detail about how a target can be achieved by using stories as a messenger and also making sure that the audience sticks to the goals.

Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact
Annette Simmons in this book explains the influential power of storytelling that is changing businesses for the good. Digging your own stories, adding an element of curiosity and ultimately inspiring the audience, can be found in this book.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human 
Jonathan Gottschall is accoladed with making us realise the evolution of storytelling and how it is human nature to narrate stories. The author believes that the world can change for the better through stories and that they are helpful in all walks of life.

Garr Reynolds is a communication expert from Japan and his approach towards enhancing the skill is based on Zen principles. In this engaging TED talk, he shares tips on better presentations and how storytelling can help achieve it in different ways.

The Secret to Stress Management at Work

Stress has become a common expression these days. For most of us it starts mounting on Sunday evenings – because it’s Monday the next day and the week ahead keeps us stressed with work demands, business targets and everything around it. Then there are responsibilities at home, personal commitments and a clutter of emotions. Eventually, even the most trivial things look stressful – traffic on the road for example or maybe an extended discussion (that soon turns into an argument).

  • One of the leading factors of health issues related to the heart, mind, high sugar levels and high cholesterol is stress.
  • How you react to stress is a cause of concern. Negative reactions can kick off health issues; while dealing with stress in a better, positive way doesn’t affect the body in any bad way. There’s a difference between a reaction and a response.
  • One of the top most reasons that cause sleep disorders or insomnia is stress.
  • Being a control freak, over committing to work, setting high expectations from yourself and from others can be causes of stress too.

A former Buddhist monk, Andy Puddicombe is also the founder of Headspace, an online platform for guided mediation. In the following talk, he stresses on not doing anything at all and how meditation can help calm the anxious mind.

Here are some more every day activities to keep the stress in check. Have you tried doing these?

Yoga and Exercise

“It’s astounding how much one’s stress level goes down with the simple act of switching from skinny jeans to yoga pants.” Very true isn’t it?  Exercising is a good way to take a break from the routine, paying attention to your body and feel good throughout the day.


If you are working on a very very important presentation and the internet goes off, instead of spewing your dissent, why can’t those few minutes be utilized to roll your eyes and do some neck exercise? That’s perspective.

Time Management

Organizing your work and things around is the simplest way to manage time. Everybody stares at their wardrobe in the morning and wonders what do I wear today, but some just need to pick it from a neat laundry while others search hard into a heap of clothes. They are the same people who later can’t find their home keys, get late to office and have to come up with excuses. Keeping the smallest of things in place and handy can save a lot of time and eventually stress.

Stress Refutal

Working in a team where every colleague might have different viewpoints often means more discussions than conclusions and can lead to conflicts. An easy solution here is to stay away from arguments that are futile and do not add to any decision. While work schedules are the biggest reason for stress in cities, team meetings and  interactions are a great way to build patience and increase your reaction time besides once in a while getting to watching your otherwise calm colleagues’ fiery sides!

And guess what, you can even make use of these apps too which are cool stress busters! 

1. Breathe to Relax

As the name suggests, this app helps your body to calm down, by monitoring breathing exercises. It comes fully equipped with tools to record your breathing time and the know-hows of doing it.

2. Attitude of Gratitude Journal

Being grateful has recorded positive effects on the body and life. In the daily rush of life, we forget to be thankful for the simplest things and this app is a brilliant way to keep a check on your pot of gratitude! All it requires is to record the things that you are grateful for, at the end of each day. And you’ll see how your life changes in a good way with such simple steps. Try it!

3. Happify

Happify is an app that encourages you to stay happy every day. It has different activities that cover various areas like fighting negative thoughts, keeping still, listing down good things and the likes. We’re pretty sure this will be an instant bout of happiness!

4. Worry Box

The concept of this app is simple and absolutely straight forward. Lock those worries inside a box and manage them better by listing the ways in which you can deal with them. Apparently, it has helped a lot of users to manage anxieties well.

5. Personal Zen

The app aims for good mental health by making the users focus on specifically designed games. The app is based on scientific research and has recorded levels of reduced stress and increased mental happiness.

And finally some golden words by William JamesThe greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. Do share with us your ways to curb all things stress.

10 Books On Startups and Entrepreneurship By Indian Authors

Starting up is often much more than the business idea and involves numerous decisions, all that decide the fate of the venture. From to-do-or-not-do-the-MBA to how-to-raise-the-big-bucks, entrepreneurial journey is full of questions. For all those attempting to answer them, check out this list of 10 books on startups that might inspire the CEO in you!

1) Go Kiss the World

Author – Subroto Bagchi, co-founder of Mindtree

Citing experiences and anecdotes from his personal life and the entrepreneurial journey, author Subroto Bagchi beautifully describes the various influences and decisions of his life in the book. Infact, ‘Go, Kiss The World’, were his mother’s last words that have left an indelible impact on the author.  The book also has detailed descriptions on Bagchi’s childhood, early life and career that also include co-founding MindTree, one of India’s well known  software services companies. The last chapter impressively sums up his learnings on this journey and inspires the reader to imbibe those rewarding qualities.

2) How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded A Million Dollar Company

Author – Varun Agarwal, co-founder of Alma Mater

Based on a true story, the book is about a young man who after serious deliberations and discussions finally decides to start up with his school friend. How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded A Million Dollar Company  is a funny account of author Varun Agarwal’s struggles while deciding to put on the entrepreneurial hat. The two friends set on a journey to customize clothing and accessories for the alumni of schools and colleges across India. The light hearted book’s protagonist is Anu Aunty, Varun’s mom’s best friend who persistently trivializes Varun’s efforts. The book is an interesting read on the making of a startup.

3) MBA at 16: A Teenager’s Guide to Business

Author – Subroto Bagchi, co-founder of Mindtree

Another interesting read by Subroto Bagchi, in this book he gives business advice and talks about the next generation who are all set to become budding entrepreneurs. The author states the how, what and why of this industry and the book can be termed as a guide to the business world. Young minds are full of questions that need an answer in the most detailed way, and here it is. A delightful read for everyone, MBA At 16 is about interesting stories and the faith in youngsters that Subroto Bagchi assures very well with this book.


4) Start-up Sutra: What the Angels Won’t Tell You About Business and Life

Author – Rohit Prasad, professor at Management Development Institute, Gurgaon

Startups stir-up curiosity  like no other and everyone is equally inquisitive to know the A to Z of these businesses. Start-up Sutra is a book by Rohit Prasad that, as the title suggests, elaborates on the intricacies of starting a business and how it takes over your life in good and bad ways. The book cites first-hand experiences of entrepreneurs and states the pros and cons of the business world that one would definitely want to read. All in all, a book complete with stories that will keep you hooked onto it while arousing curiosity about the business world at the same time.

5) Take Me Home

Author- Rashmi Bansal, co-founder of Jam Magazine

The charm about small towns in India is their ability to dream big and their capability to go to any length to achieve it. Rashmi Bansal has managed to capture these stories in the most enchanting and inspiring ways that motivate go after our dreams. Ideas from across India have turned into global companies that are making it big, and those are the enthralling journeys one finds in this book. This is a good dose of all the encouragement one needs to become a young entrepreneur in this country.

6) The Golden Tap: The Inside Story of Hyper Funded Indian Startups

Author- Kashyap Deorah, co-founder of Chalo, Chaupaati Bazaar and Righthalf.com

One of the most highly recommended books for existing and budding entrepreneurs, The Golden Tap is a book by Kashyap Deorah who has given a detailed analysis of the past 20 years of the startup boom in India. The beginning, the fall and the rise of businesses that come under this category is the highlight of this book that has been reviewed as one of the most exciting reads. An entrepreneur himself, Kashyap Deorah has covered all the questions and systems that are intriguing in this arena and has left no stone unturned in making this book a captivating read.

7) Young Turks

Authors – Shereen Bhan, managing editor at CNBC-TV18 and Syna Denuhgara, features editor at CNBC-TV18

Shereen Bhan brought us the show, Young Turks, every Sunday where she interviewed entrepreneurs and this book  by the same name, co-authored with Syna Dehnugara,  takes on a journey of highly inspiring stories of tech startups that have changed the business scenario with simple ideas. The anecdotes shared in the book are captivating and a delight to read. It has everything from the basics of where these businesses started to where they are now. To put it simply, the book is motivating and the stories of young entrepreneurs is influencing in all the right ways.

8) Bhaag! Inspiring Stories of Student Entrepreneurs in India

Author – Ganesh V, entrepreneur and marketing consultant

Ganesh V, the author of this book, has jotted down a quick read that is interesting from all perspectives. The young generation is all about taking risks and giving their business idea a shot, and this has been brought out in an apt manner by the author through his insightful perspectives. Ganesh V has been an entrepreneur himself and that is showcased well in the take-aways from this book, which brings us to the realisation of no idea is too small. An idea can work for the best when implemented with all the right steps and most importantly, by taking a big leap of faith.

9) Dream With Your Eyes Open: An Entrepreneurial Journey

Author- Ronnie Screwvala, founder of UTV Group

Ronnie Screwvala narrates his entrepreneurial journey through the years with all the ups and downs that he has dealt with. It’s a hopeful book for budding young business men and women about what the country holds for them in the future. The author has humbly penned down the trials and tribulations that he faced in establishing new businesses and how he came out successfully or unsuccessfully to the other end. The book has some great lessons to be learnt when it comes to startups and the stories are entertaining in their own ways. The title of the book manages to stir-up curiosity and the book lives up to that name.

10) Connect the Dots

Author- Rashmi Bansal, co-founder of Jam Magazine

Connect the Dots is another book by author Rashmi Bansal and the stories are absolutely exhilarating to read. The book is about entrepreneurs who have made it big in the business world without any management degree. An influential book that takes us on an expedition with small episodes which help realise that one doesn’t need a business degree to execute an idea that can change the world. If you have a concept, thoughts and a plan to back it up then no dream is too far to be turned into a reality. Just connect the dots and the picture will pop right up in front of your eyes.

These books should be on your reading list and shall definitely encourage you to take the big leap. Do share your favourite authors and books that can be added to this list.