Sunday, 25 October 2015

Turning 30 in the next 500 days... 30 things to do...

Turning 30 is one of the biggest moment of life as it shows us that we have just completed the first half of our lives. We build several dreams, take up some responsibilities and work to have a good career. Post 30, the focus slowly shifts towards family and also the responsibilities at work increase. So, they say, you ought to live your life before turning 30. There are several things that people plan to do and also suggest us to do before turning 30. I read this list on Travel Triangle, and perhaps, this is one that I am going to follow to add some memories to life's journey.

  1. Party in Goa: Sunburn music festival in Goa
  2. Trek to Triund in Mcleodganj for an incredible experience
  3. Dwell in the Valleys of Ever Changing Srinagar
  4. Conquer the fears of water with Scuba Diving in Andaman
  5. Ride on the Leh-Ladakh Highway and camp under the stars in Ladakh
  6. Explore the ghats of river Ganga in Banaras
  7. Stay overnight at Marine Drive in the never sleeping city of Mumbai
  8. Trek in the jungle trails and spot the myriad wildlife of Binsar, Almora
  9. Explore the Scotland of the south – Coorg
  10. Kolkata to Color Yourself Red in Durga Puja
  11. Explore The Caver’s Paradise – Meghalaya
  12. Volunteer with the monks in Sikkim
  13. Visit the 7th Wonder of the World – The Taj Mahal in Agra
  14. Enchant your spirit in Kerala
  15. Camp In The Arid Thar Desert
  16. Listen to the qawwalis at Nizamuddin Dargah, Delhi
  17. Solo trip to Kasol
  18. Walk On The Living Root Bridges in Cherrapunji
  19. Face The Unknown At The Bhangarh Fort
  20. Drive Through The Forest of Bandipur
  21. Explore The Ruins Of Hampi
  22. Spectate At The Dhuandhar Falls, Jabalpur
  23. Celebration for Colors in Mathura
  24. Travel To The Salt Lands During The Kutch Festival
  25. Beat Your Fear Of Heights – Go Paragliding In Solang
  26. Visit Golden Temple in Amritsar
  27. Travel To The Dangerously Beautiful Red Corridor, Orissa
  28. A Wildlife Trip To Dibru Saikhowa National Park in Assam
  29. White Water Rafting in Rishikesh
  30. Kalka to Shimla in a Toy Train

All set to travel, cause the time is now!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Paperboat drinks: India's answer to Pepsi & Coke?

Paper Boat drinks has caught India's attention in a big way. Incorporated as Hector Beverages in 2011, the company started with Tzinga, an energy drink as a low cost alternative to Redbull. Started by Neeraj Kakkar, Suhas Misra, James Nuttall and Neeraj Biyani with a seed capital of Rs 2.5 crores, the company has transformed itself from a desi energy drink maker to a nutritious memory drinks seller over the last 4 years. After seeing success with Tzinga, the company started making products like the Aamras, capturing average Indian's attention with its quality product packaged in a memories. The marketing of the products has been built around memories like gully cricket, lazing in the backyards, golgappe walas, helping the consumer relive those memories as they savour the drink. The Narayan Murthy seed funded company has been producing wonderful numbers over the years. In 2014, it was already selling over 1.5 million packs of Paper boat drinks every month, an unprecedented number for a company competing with giants like Coke and Pepsi. Today, the company is talking of 7-8 million packs a month, meaning revenues of Rs 25 crores a month, or aiming to hit a market with sales of ~Rs 300 crores per annum, implying their ambition to garner nearly 20% market share in the drinks market dominated by the giant Pepsi and Coke, a high ambition indeed. 

Perhaps, the biggest advantage for Paperboat is that they do not compete in the cola segment. Several companies tried that before and couldn't get better of either Pepsi or Coke. Instead, Paperboat gives consumers an alternative to the colas. Everyone knows the ill effects of consuming colas regularly. Instead, when you are provided with a healthy drink associated with some memory, you'd rather grab it. At Rs 30, most would like to consume an Aamras in lieu of Maaza or Slice. India's beverage market is estimated to be about Rs 1800 crores. However, the fortified functional non-carbonated drinks market in India is projected to cross Rs 1,000 crore by end-2015, by industry estimates. This is much less than the carbonated drinks market of Rs 10,000 crore. What impresses most about Hector is that they are already making profits, meaning they aren't a startup anymore and are in serious business.

The company's plan to introduce the ethnic drinks into the urban markets was an instant hit. In the process, they have been able to bring several traditional drinks within the reach of all Indians. Kakkar, an alumni of Wharton Business school, has on several occasions spoken about how he got ideas of these traditional drinks. One of the incidents that I loved the most was how he saw a guy drinking sattu (a traditional Bhojpuri drink consisting of a mixture of ground pulses and cereals) and that helped him design a drink.

Paper Boat’s arsenal has aamras, aampanna, jaljeera, kokum, jamun kala khatta, imli ka amlana, anar, chilled rasam, ginger lemon tea, tulsi tea, and golgappe ka pani. One of the biggest challenges that the company faces in the process of manufacturing natural drinks is the hot Indian climate which negatively affects the products as they risk a change the chemical composition. To the best extent possible, the company depends on nature-identical flavoring.

There are some ingredients that are common to all, like acidity regulators (vitamin C, found naturally in all citrus plants) and stabilisers (pectin, a binding agent found exclusively in plant cells), which again are natural when it comes to Paper Boat. The company has adapted several food processing technologies related with high pressure, aseptic and heat to Indian conditions in order to increase the shelf lives without adding preservatives. One of the most interesting aspects of the packaging is that they are made of a four-part laminate. The two outer layers are a blend of proprietary polypropylene and polyethylene. This makes the pack withstand extremes in pressure and heat while at the same time being easy to print upon. This is the one time you can actually judge something by its cover.

The company targets mostly metropolitan cities and other up-and-coming cultural melting pots, with major focus on consumers aged between 25 and 40 years. They also sell products on their e-commerce portal,, as well on websites like Paytm. Paper Boat also sells internationally and they sell the same quality of its products everywhere, irrespective of geographical boundaries.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Stay fit, feel young. After all, the #HoneyDietIsHere

"Health is Wealth" they say and this perhaps is the biggest reason why we all chase health, aka its  form of wealth. We do all that we do to ensure that we lead a happy and healthy life. Almost every thing in out lives somehow connects to having a good health, be it work, be it family, be it money, be it exercising, be it food, or anything. Everything connect to leading a hale and healthy life.

As the world progresses into more commercial forms of life, we keep forgetting this whole goal. Someone has rightly said, "We spend all our health to gain wealth, and then we spend all out wealth to gain back health". This becomes so relevant in modern times where we live restless lives at a point of time when economics has overtaken the world and we keep calculating out productivity in minutes, and perhaps seconds too. In such a fast paced life, one often forgets to concentrate on several facets of life like family, love, social responsibilities and of course, health. So, what do we do? We often realize this once in a blue moon and start a diet. The world is filled with some gruesome diets like the GM diet, Cigarette diet, Cotton balls diet, Water diet, and so on, which claim that you will attain an instant nirvana on following them. However, neither following these diets is easy nor are the results sustainable. Often, we end up consuming greater volumes of food and break the diet in haste. 

When I got to about the Dabur Honey diet (, I was greatly impressed. Firstly, this doesn't need any additional efforts from us. Its just about replacing some kinds of foods with some other kinds. The honey penetration in our country is very low, despite the fact that it is a great food. In fact, the funniest part of human lives is that good food comes at a great price, and that's perhaps the reason why we end up consuming all the junk fund around us. A tender coconut costs Rs 25-30, a handful of dry fruits easily cost a hundred rupees, and so on. The Dabur honey diet is a wonderful program that insists that we replace the sugar that we consume with honey. The day starts with a spoon of honey with warm water, which is more than enough to add energy to hit the gym or go for a walk or a Yoga class. Pooja Makhija, a health and nutrition expert says that honey has all the properties in it to kick start our day and it helps in ensuring that our taste buds aren't activated for the wrong kind of food.

The website ( provides great deal of details about how this diet is not just simple and easy but also healthy and sustainable. The website has some great tools like a calorie calculator, honey recipes, advice from experts that Michelin star chef Vikas Khanna, tips on fitness, and the most important being the 3 step diet planner. This is a great initiative from Dabur that caters to the current generation which has started becoming more cautious about health.

I have always heard that there are 2 kinds of food. The first kind are the ones that are meant for the mouth, for the taste buds in other words. These are food like sweets, junk food, etc. which make us feel elated. These food should only be consumed in such quantities that they meet the needs of the mouth. The other kind of food are food for the stomach. They may not great taste but are great for our health (like green leafy vegetables, etc), and these must be consumed for the stomach irrespective of what the mouth feels like. Often we end in trouble when we feed the stomach with food meant for the mouth and vice versa. Honey is one such great food that falls in both the categories and thus it helps in a great way to achieve the goals in our fitness schedule.

Check out and explore the benefits of this food, and get started on your journey to be fit with a sustainable course or laid out plan which you can practice all life. 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

UC Cricket - the savior for cricket lovers #YuviSurfsUC

Cricket is perhaps the biggest single thing that unites India together. We all grew watching one man called Sachin Tendulkar change the entire landscape of this game. Of course, several other players have made great contributions to take the game to where it has reached now. It is definitely my favorite sport like it is for many Indians.

Over the time, due to lack of time, it hasn't been able to catch up with the game. When the IPL is happening, there is a huge buzz and we somehow get to know the course of the tournament. In fact, the buzz isn't so high even when the World Cup is going on. When it comes to bilateral or trilateral series, the news isn't really there unless there's some earth shattering record being created. In fact, even that fails to get highlighted, and it appears like the game isn't happening.

When I had lost touch with the game, and wanted to keep a track, I decided to install a host of applications in my phone. However, again, these apps did not fulfill my purpose for various reasons. In the process, I once came across the UC browser (, which claimed that it helps to surf faster and the transitions are seamless. So, I started using the browser for web browsing and it really worked well. What surprised me the most the was UC Cricket, a space dedicated to cricket, which was so wonderfully designed. This page had details of all the ongoing cricket matches and upcoming tournaments too. The live commentary loaded at a real quick pace and the discussions tab was a fun filled center. I kept using this space, and over time, it has become the most visited place on my web devices.

When compared to other applications that provide live scores and live streaming, the UC browser does a great job in actually making things live. The other applications have at least a 5 minutes lag. This is where the UC browser scores the most. When we are watching the game on the phone, we want to be sure that it doesn't delay the scores as it would again lead us to the TV or some other place where the event is streaming live. The experience I have been having on the UC browser and UC cricket has been really fantastic and I hope this continues and becomes even better in the days to come. Great job guys, you've added a new dimension to the world by cricket by making it a seamless experience to catch the match on the phone and this is no less than a great blessing for cricket buffs like me. After trying all browsers available for a Windows phone, I must say here that it is not only the most downloaded browser (after IE which comes default), but also the best in its category. It makes up for several flaws that exist in IE, and the most important benefit is that it is a stable browser and easy to use.