Images from the Mumbai Trip

The trip started with "dinner" at the Chennai airport at about 10 45 pm.I had an early dinner around 7 pm, so by 11 pm, my stomach was grumbling, and so I happened to spot this at the entrance of the domestic airport. As soon as I said " One Cheese Sandwhich please", I saw 4 rats running around, and that was enough to give this place a miss. There happens to be another food counter which had saner prices and pretty comestible food, at the Taj catering counter,before the security check.
The AIR DECCAN flight was re scheduled from 18 15 to 23 00 hrs and not suprisingly AIR DECCAN was tightlipped about its 11 pm flight till 10 55 pm, and the flight finally started at 11 30 pm and as soon as I sat on the flight, my eyes opened only in Mumbai
I reached Mumbai at 1 15 in the morning, and immideatley called up a room mate of my class mate at Great Lakes, and he directed me to his flat at Andheri. Gate crashing is in :-), and when I was about to sleep at 2 am, I noticed a small hill outside the window, but when I got up in the morning I saw that the darkness had camouflaged a set of slums (This was Subhaash Nagar in Andheri, in the MIDC area).
I quickly got up and left home to reach the ITC Grand Maratha at SAHAR only to realise that the seminar was happening at ITC Grand Central, which was at lower Parel. So I took a taxi amidst the Mumbai morning frenzy of the traffic jam. The total cab expense in the morning ran up a whopping 215 rs.
I came, I saw and I sat down

It was interesting to see an international conference having bean bags instead of traditional chairs. Web 2.0 is all about fun ? Is that the impression that the Internet industry wants to send feelers on? Maybe! It was fun at the conference, getting to hear opinions and gnyan.
Thats's Avnish Bajaj of Matrix Partners discussing with Ravi Datanwala and Navin Mittal. Navin is the founder of Fropper.com and Ravi is from Microsoft. Both seemed to have conficting opinions on the technology tools needed for a start up. Navin was vociferous about a LAMP architecture for a start up, while Ravi was evangelising and hard selling Microsoft.
That's Ashish Kashyap, CEO of MIH Internet in Gurgaon. MIH's stable includes products like ibibo.com(Blogging service) and dwaar.com(Search Engine). Ashish spoke about the utilitarian nature of web 2.0.
Rehan Yar khan on the left was a founder of a company called yo4ya.com and has also founded a company called flora 2000, which delivers flowers to a 153 countries. On the right is a more sedate Nikhil Pahwa, who founded desimartini.com, a social networking website and interestingly has also founded Second Shaadi, a portal for divorced people
The Bean bags and the lights made the stage very colourful

This session was very well moderated and they spoke about the marketing perspectives in web 2.0. The person on the extreme left is Shailesh Rao, the MD of Google India followed by Mr Bindra, Country head of MSN India. They are flanked by Mr Bangar,Garima Chaudhari(citi group) and Kiruba( My Ex- B0ss). The highlight of the session was the way Kiruba said in plain words to the Google head about "how bloggers were waiting for Yahoo and MSN to introduce advertising initiatives on blogs so that Google could be kicked in its butt". The best speakers were Jaspreet Bindra and Kiruba, but I was equally impressed with the way Shailesh spoke.
Talk about catching on business news, while you are destressing youself in the toilet!
The Corridor of the Taj Central at Parel was a great place to network with business heads and this awesome setting with monsoon clouds right above was just the right place for some hot tea during the breaks.
Honey Where is the Money... This was a session on venture capitalism and funding for web 2.0 business. The panel between them were all from MIT,Harvard and Wharton and became investmennt bankers before they became venture capitalists.This session started a little soporific, but gained momentum after a few questions.
The final session speaking on the advances of new media and whether individuals in the new media could give traditional media a run for its money. Thats Mariam Mathew of the Malayala Manorama, flanked by Sanjeev Bhikchandani , the CEO of Naukri.com. The person on the right is the soft spoken Sanjay Trehan, the CEO of NDTV Convergence. It was good to meet up with Sanjay,whom I had earlier had conversations over email, when he was at Hindustan Times.


nAl said...

Ha ha, why the picture of the urinals, Karthik?

Anonymous said...

hi kartik,
good write up and photos. felt i was almost there in mumbai...errr...except in the toilet, of course;))

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