planning to redo my website..

Its been a while since I worked on my site thats located at, So I thought why not update that with some of the stuff I’ve been doing currently. Designing a personal site is lot of fun, generally. Especially mine.

The first time I started with my site, came out pretty horrible of which pictures I can’t share :). However things have improved since and the last site before the current one was pretty decent. Initially I started with lot of things on the page and then ended up minimalizing it and keeping it very simple. Simplicity is something that I’ve come to appreciate over the period of time.

Few months back, I was reworking on that and tried GWT 1.5 to build it with some jazz. It came out fairly decent.  Though some of the things like clicking on images were not very intuitive and not many users clicked on images to get the description text.

This time, I’m planning to use contrasting colours to the ones currently and make it more picturous.. In a week or two, it should be ready and lets see how it looks..

I’ll be posting couple of snapshots and looking forward to some valuable feedback. Thanks.

Grails-Jasper plugin starter issues..

Jasper is one of the better solutions on the reporting side from the open-source perspective.  Also, Grails has been growing in popularity as the chosen framework to write web-apps which were ought to be written in Java.

In this post, I’ll stick to the grails-jasper plugin. It expects you to know basics of grails and jasper.

Off we go then..

On the editor side, I prefer Eclipse and eclipse-plugin JasperAssistant than iReport. There are many advantages with that. It is much more simple & lightweight.
Regarding the issue with Grails, I went ahead with installing the plugin and was able to generate reports.

One great help was:
after installing the plugin, go to the url

It gives few sample implementations of the jasper plugin. Once they’re working, you’re set to use the reports.

Some issues I faced were:

Issue : report/MyReport.jasper or .jrxml not found.

Solution: Need to create a report folder in web-app and copy all the .jasper & .jrxml files there.

Reason : The plugin expects the files to be there. It can be modified by changing the configuration.groovy file.

Issue : PDF(output) is empty

Solution: Data is not bound to the report file.

My solution was I created my own Controller to access data and pass it to jasper (instead of the default jasper query)

class ReportController {


def testExample = {
// This “data” object in this data model is the data that drives this Jasper report (i.e. what appears in the
// detail band)

List reportDetails = Race.list();


// here jasper is the plugin provided controller.
// and index is the default method in jasper controller.
// we need to pass the data and the params.


list.gsp (front end) has the following tag

<g:jasperReport controller=”report”              >> calls the report controller
jasper=”all-races”            >> the jasper file
action=”testExample”        >> the action(method) in the controller
format=”pdf”            >> format can be pdf, excel, etc.
name=”ReportFile”            >> Name of the file exported

all-races.jrxml (report file) has the following lines

// fields provided to the report. They’ll be equivalent to the Object provided in collection.
// e.g. List<Person>, Person class would be available and each field is its attribute.

<field name=”name”/>
<field name=”city”/>

// usage of the field:

<textFieldExpression   class=”java.lang.String”><![CDATA[$F{name}]]></textFieldExpression>
<textFieldExpression   class=”java.lang.String”><![CDATA[$F{city}]]></textFieldExpression>

I hope it helps.

I don’t need a Lead Management System because..

This is a collection of reasons that we’ve got from some of our prospects whom we approached for a lead management system.

It’s surprising, in this day and age, people are still shying away from embracing technology to smoothen out their business. OK, so lets cut the chase and get to the reasons:

1. It’s good but it’s costly.
CRMs were costly, a decade ago. Currently, they’re as accessible as a mobile phone or an internet connection. Also, with the SaaS offerings, it is extremely easy to own a Lead Management System.

2. It takes lot of time.
That needs a rethink of strategy. An average lead management system saves about 30% time in administrative tasks performed by a salesperson. Also it is proved that it also increases the efficiency of a sales team in long run.

3. I can manage my leads without it.
Its a different question when you only get dozens of leads per month. In that case, you really need to think if the business is viable.. leave alone the managing part. Anything above that, you surely need to have a lead management system.

Well.. A lot of people are moving on to better ways of managing leads. Hope these businesses too catch up..

[Shameless self promotion]

LeadSimplified is one such offering in the Lead Management space that helps you keep a track of all your leads and convert more leads into deals.

Startup City Experience

In the last month, I’ve had the privilege to present my product at two startup conferences. One in Bangalore and other in Singapore. There were few similarities between the two, but overall they were both very different from each other.

Let me Start with our Indian environment..

Startup City is an annual event organized by Silicon India in Bangalore. There have been 2 events so far. Both witnessing a massive response from the startup world. No surprise, since Bangalore is one of the best startup ecosystems around in India.

The event was a success with around 100 startups and 3000 visitors. There were some awards distributed.. Check it out here

It was well managed, with a professional outlook. Nice stalls were provided for the startups. Every startup got an opportunity to pitch their respective companies in front of a decent size audience. (It was my first real pitch in front of a large audience. The experience was wonderful.)

Our Singaporean counterpart was a little different..

Unconference ’09 was the first of its kind which invited startups from across Asia to come and present at an international audience. It is organized by e27 an event management organization based in Singapore.

It had around 30 startups from across South East Asia and some from Japan and HongKong as well.. The crowd was fairly decent sized as well with around 1200+ visitors. Check out their details here

It was a very young crowd and the feel was also very similar. Certainly more colourful of the two. Lots of gaming and fun softwares displayed. Not many softwares on the business space though. It was pretty hectic over there, being the only person available to give the demo from our side.

Some very obvious differences were..

1. The nature of the applications

The Singapore event was full of games and fun applications and mostly online. Some of notable ones being, and few others. Where as our Indian version comprised of more serious softwares (if that is what Enterprise software means) and mostly catering to the Indian segment. Some of the notable ones being, and

2. The nature of startup founders

The startup founders at Singapore event were full of young kids some still in their colleges.. It was a total youth affair and I was very surprised (pleasantly) and impressed with their involvement. While at Startup City Bangalore, we had some really senior people, and it was a completely formal affair.

3. The size of booths..

Well, this matters a lot and you can see the two version. On the right is the booth in Singapore, which was basically a stand-up dinner table. and of the left is Bangalore, which is a full-blown space to showcase one’s product and offering. Both demanded creativity. We were better at Bangalore, as we were around 4-5 people there.

Singapore Event
Startup City, Bangalore

Made some good associations at both the places.. With the rise in the number of startups, these events would also increase and give us a greater chance at stardom.

Great, looking forward to many such appearances. Probably move into the larger corporate sector as well..

Terrific Twitter Tips

Follow these tips for maximum networking benefits through Twitter.

1. Branch out: Don’t settle for tweeting with only those in your address book. Search for people with similar interests and people in your industry or city.

2. Don’t just offer your content: By joining the greater conversation, you’ll make more meaningful relationships.

3. Be engaged: Tweet often so you don’t get forgotten.

4. Search for the right people: Conduct a Twitter search for conversations you’d be able to help with or that advertise jobs.

5. Follow who your friends follow: Check out who you’re friends are following and sending @ messages to. They’ll get the connection and probably have something in common with you, too.

6. Follow people back: You don’t have to follow every single person who follows you back, but make a point to follow a good percentage of them.

7. Link to others: Tweet other people’s blog posts and links to spread the love and catch the attention of industry leaders.

8. Promote yourself: Post links to your work and don’t be afraid to promote yourself in a responsible, non-annoying way.

9. Share using @: Include your most wanted Twitterers in a conversation by using @ and then their name. They’ll notice you, too.

10. Tweetup: Suggest a Twitter happy hour or picnic to meet your local Twitter friends and extend your networking opportunities.

For more..