According to recent data released by the China Internet Network Information Center, 591 million people in the country were using the Internet as of June 2013. That translates to a 44% internet penetration rate. Mobile Internet users are growing fast and account for 420 million Internet users in the country. Most Chinese Internet players are thus focusing on growth through the mobile segment.
Sramana Mitra: Who was your first large website design for?
Shaul Kuper: Our first large client was a children’s performer named Sharon, Lois & Bram, very well known performers in Toronto – children entertainers. I approached them and said that we could make a great deal for them – download music, they could sell their CDs online, children could play online with coloring and other features, etc. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any money, but we made a deal with Apple. Instead of paying us we had a swap deal, where we got Apple´s first web server in Canada and a color monitor in exchange for doing the website. >>>
Sramana: You essentially operated your business in a consulting mode while you built your product suite. How much business did you do in 1995 while operating in this mode?
Girish Rowjee: We may have done around 4 or 5 lakhs in 1995 ($6,408 to $8,022). We were just a couple of guys who were extremely happy with what we were doing. We really did not have any pressure. >>>
Shaul Kuper is the chief executive officer of Destiny Solutions, a company that provides software solutions for higher education management on a cloud-based SaaS. He holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Toronto. In this interview he gives us a detailed overview of the origins of Destiny and of the education space, in which he specialized at the very early stages of the company.
Sramana Mitra: Shaul, let’s introduce you to our audience. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Shaul Kuper: I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I had a fairly normal childhood: I grew up, I went to school and went to university. I was promised the dream of “make sure you learn math, science, and French, and you will be able to do anything you want in the future.” >>>
The advancements in mobile and internet technology have helped the growth of some innovative service companies. One such start-up is San Francisco–based Uber, which offers a solution for car transportation and logistics using mobile technology.
Sramana: Did you complete your project as planned and purchase a new computer with the 5,000 rupees earned from that contract?
Girish Rowjee: We did finish the project, however, the individual did not pay us. We were able to get the bulletin board up and running in Mysore and we were able to connect to AOL and download messages. Unfortunately, he was not able to find anybody in Mysore to subscribe to the service. >>>
John Meyer: You are right. We have a few companies that already exceed the one million threshold. One example is a single mother who eight years ago was worried about her children coming out of elementary school and being on a street corner. She decided to go all in with Arise. She was working crazy hours – 100 hours a week. She was basically working and sleeping. She had friends who said, “What happened to you?” And she said that she had gotten this check and that she was doing really well. So they asked her if they could do it, to which she replied: “Sure, just set up a legal entity, get a computer, get a phone line, get through these people´s certification process, and you are in business.” >>>
Entrepreneurs are invited to the 197th FREE online 1M/1M roundtable mentoring session on Thursday, December 5, 2013, at 8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST/9:30 p.m. India IST.
If you are a serious entrepreneur, register to “pitch” and sell your business idea to Sramana Mitra. You’ll gain straightforward feedback, advice on next steps, and she’ll answer any of your questions. Others can register to “attend” to watch, learn, and interact through the online chat.