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2011-07-28

Soaring high on unique concepts

Born to a Sindhi family, Anand Chhatpar’s upbringing prepared him for business at a very young age. The CEO of Brain Reactions, who has also received many awards for distinguished contributions in his chosen field and also otherwise gives a lowdown on his

Born to a Sindhi family, Anand Chhatpar’s upbringing prepared him for business at a very young age. The CEO of Brain Reactions, who has also received many awards for distinguished contributions in his chosen field and also otherwise gives a lowdown on his business and his life in general.

Seema Seth(SS): Tell me about yourself, what was your previous profession and how did you think of coming into this business?
Anand Chhatpar(AC): I have been creating products and services to better lives of people since I was a teenager and I love solving problems using technology, people and processes. I want to contribute to the advancement of India and the world. I have been named as one of the “Best Young Entrepreneurs” by Business Week and have also received the distinguished Young Alumni award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison called “Forward Under 40“. I have been interviewed by CNBC, BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report,  India Today, The Hindu and quoted in publications like Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, and others. I have created an international innovation event called Innovation Trip and I’ve also spoken at various international innovation events such as Product Development & Management Association (PDMA) Conference, Marcus Evans Front End Innovation Conference, TechCoire, IT Vidya Technopreneurship Conference, and JETRO Conference at Chiba University in Japan. Business students learn about me through a chapter written about me in an MBA textbook used in 120 Universities around the world called Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures” by Dr. Bruce Barringer and Dr. R. Duane Ireland. I have also been written about and quoted in a book called “Innovative India” by Radhika Chadha and Parmit Chadha. I have reviewed business books for notable authors such as Ken Tanner, former senior executive at Taco Bell, and bestselling business author Daniel H. Pink, former Whitehouse speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore. I have made original contributions to both science and business, and have 8 U.S.
patents and have 1 patent pending. My patents have been used in the research work of companies like Hewlett-Packard (HP), AT&T, Motorola, Fuji Film, and many more, and my business and innovation related articles have been published in Rediff Business, and Frost & Sullivan’s Growth, Innovation & Leadership bulletin. I have also helped other entrepreneurs by providing advice and angel investment, and several of my investments have created new jobs and provided profitable exits.

SS: What role did your family play in terms of supporting you?
AC: My family has been extremely supportive and have played a major role in my success. They paid for my living and education in the U.S before my startup there became profitable. Also, in my recent companies, my wife has been extremely supportive and, in fact, she has taken an active lead role in two of our companies.

SS: What is your company’s full name and what is your product range?
AC: I run multiple product and service businesses under the Fame Express LLC and BrainReactions LLC banners that fall under the web technology and innovation services space. My latest service is a phone-based system to empower Indians to fight corruption and poor integrity when dealing with customer service.  Do you get frustrated because of the liars all over India? Do people promise you something verbally that they do not follow-through on? Use Phunwa to record your calls and conversations and then play them back as evidence to keep people accountable. Dial +91-80-39411020 and enter pin number 5046 to record or pin 2309 to play back your recordings from the last 24 hours. You can also access all the recordings from our website th http://phunwa.x-workplace.com/listrecordings . Use Phunwa to record your in-person conversations or simply call Phunwa and then conference in any number you want to record that call. Let’s bring honesty and accountability to India through better transparency!

SS: How did you fund the business initially?
AC: My first few businesses were started using money from my parents. My newer businesses, started in the last 5 years have all been using the money re-invested from profits from my previous companies.

SS: What challenges did you face in establishing your business?
AC: I have been extremely lucky that I found great mentors who guided me with various aspects of business like marketing, product management and financing, and therefore, I have had a relatively easy time in establishing my businesses.

SS: What is your team size and what challenges did you face in putting your team together, how was the experience of hiring the first employees?
AC: Our team is fairly small, and it is still quite difficult to hire high-quality web programmers and web designers, even though our pay and benefits package is among the best in the country. In fact, interested engineers who are reading this interview should see my website anandvc.com and apply for jobs there.

SS: What is your product’s USP?
AC: Talking about my latest project that allows the recording of calls to expose corruption and improve accountability, I think the USP for the service is its universal accessibility because anyone with any type of
basic phone, including landlines, can access and benefit from this service.

SS: What is your marketing strategy?
AC: Currently, the service is being promoted via the press since it is a social service. The idea is to make people aware that such a service exists that can help them fight corruption in their daily lives and empower them to improve their own lives by getting better customer service.

SS: How are you planning to scale up your business?
AC: We hope to find a corporate sponsor that is interested in eliminating corruption within India to market the service in a big way and also support the technology costs.

SS: What is the price range?
AC: The service is free to use for everyone within India. The only cost incurred by the user is the cost of the phone call made by them.

SS: What is your turnover like?
AC: Since this is a non-profit free service, there is no question of turnover.

SS:  Where do you see your products 5 years from now?
AC: Our vision is to continue to create technological products and services that bring about the upliftment of India. I'm hoping that our products and services will improve the quality of life in India and help millions of people in our country over the coming years.

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