How we optimized our server stack for scale – Part 1

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Over the last 1 year, we’ve seen strong growth in traffic and usage of our platform. Akosha has a three way complaints handling platform – the system is used internally by 30+ employees to review, respond and follow up on the tickets, externally by more than 40,000 customers whose tickets are live at any given point and over 100+ brands which log-on daily to answer the complaints. This kind of growth forced us to look at latest technologies and adopt them for our purposes. As a startup, we chose to stay with open source technologies not just because they are free but also because we strongly believe that open source technologies are good enough for us to do what we […]

A customers sends a card!

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Sometimes we forget how big a difference we might make to some of our customers’ lives. That said, we have a long way to go in terms of ensuring our levels of customer service don’t fall and we help more and more customers in resolving their complaints. The complainant was filed by Rishi Agarwal against BagitToday for an issue of Rs.7750

500 Startups @ Akosha office

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We hosted the Geeks on the Plane – a tour organized by 500Startups. As part of their itinerary in Delhi, they stopped over at Akosha, met our team, discussed the Delhi startup ecosystem in an Off the Record session and met with the Morpheus “Gang” over a hookah session. The Off the Record session was attended by Amit Ranjan (Slideshare), Brijesh Agarwal (IndiaMart), Albinder Singh (Zomato), Sameer Guglani (The Morpheus), Gaurav Kachru (5 Ideas), Pearl Uppal (5 Ideas), Annkur Agarwal (Pricebaba) among others.

Notes on Product Management – insights from Slideshare / MMT / ex-Google PM

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Avinash Raghava, who is doing a wonderful job of getting product start-ups together all over India, organized a product management roundtable with the help of Aneesh Reddy (CEO, Capillary). They invited Amit Ranjan (Cofounder, Slideshare – acquired by LinkedIn) and Amit Somani (Chief Product Officer, Makemytrip, ex-Google) to share their insights with a small set of entrepreneurs. Credit for all the good stuff goes to Amit Ranjan, Amit Somani and Aneesh Reddy. Notes are rough. If anything is unclear, feel free to comment. Here are some quick notes/thoughts from the event: Who would make a good product manager? Someone who can do 70% of everything (coding, design, listening to users etc.) Best way to find a product manager in India […]

Understanding product v. service [ThinkLab Notes 1]

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One Sunday afternoon, when Avinash and I were in office, he passionately made an argument that we frequently get lost in the everyday execution that doing the big, innovative stuff keeps getting lower priority. He was right and we sat down and thought about how we could come up with a more structured process for focusing on new, innovative ideas. We (including Vishal) finally decided to form an informal group in the company called ThinkLab (I know, the name is pretty unimaginative) whose job would be to meet regularly and think about new product ideas/growth hacks/opportunities in the future. We circulated a mail and asked people to volunteer. With some cajoling and encouragement, 9 people formed a group and now […]

The Akosha Story

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last updated in May 2012 A lot of people ask me how we came up with the idea of Akosha. Here is the story behind Akosha and convoluted path we took. I’ll keep updating it every few months. The early days – a small start We started off in September 2009 with a very different idea. The plan was to sell legal documents online (a bit like LegalZoom in the USA, which is apparently IPOing this year). We started with Wills first (wasiyat.com). I asked my father for a small space in his office in Chandigarh and started off with a MCA grad from DU. We closed ourselves in a room and started working. Everything was fun and exciting. I […]

Entrepreneur’s High – Part 2

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Last year, when we were pretty early in our journey, I wrote a post called “Entrepreneur’s High” where I said it was a high when someone easily understood what you were trying to do and also thought it made a lot of sense. Well, those were early days. Since then things have moved. We shifted from Wasiyat.com to Akosha.in as we wanted to solve bigger problems within the legal domain. We have some real customers and when a happy customer wrote it, that was a real high. And these high-es is what entrepreneurs live for. The bad days are crap, but the good ones are really kick ass. Here is what Suresh, a customer who made a Will for his […]

Startup Lessons

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Paul Graham’s (Founder, Y Combinator) writings are a must read for start up folks. I just re-read Paul Graham’s article on “The Hardest Lessons For Startups To Learn“. The following bit really resonated: A lot of startups worry “what if Google builds something like us?” Actually big companies are not the ones you have to worry about– not even Google. The people at Google are smart, but no smarter than you; they’re not as motivated, because Google is not going to go out of business if this one product fails; and even at Google they have a lot of bureaucracy to slow them down. What you should fear, as a startup, is not the established players, but other startups you […]