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Vinay Menon – Founder, Meratiffin



Please write us a short bio of yourself.


A very easy paced entrepreneur. Strong believer in delegating power and creating sense of ownership within the organisation is vital to its success. Teams can make or break a business. I am very aspiring and believe every problem can be solved and larger the problems bigger the opportunity to build solution around it. Took a sabbatical for a year and completed Post Graduate (Diploma) in Marcom from St.Xaviers Kolkata at a late age of 40. Traveled length and breadth of the country and I am amazed by the potential, India as a country has to offer to her citizens.

In your own words what is Meratiffin?
Meratffin is an order and pay platform on handheld devices, allows users to discover delicious home cooked food in their neighborhood. It facilitates foodprenuers to scale their businesses by bringing them online and help them connect with their potential customers. Meratiffin is also micro entrepreneurship enabler.
How did you come up with the idea of Meratiffin?
Hunger pangs is a concern because “Hunger can strike anytime”, different day parts will have different food cravings for a human. Discovering gourmet to quench your hunger is a pain,  one needs to consider so many things like place, options, price, safety, packaging, food temperature, time and many more factors. This consumes a lot of mindwidth and one may give up the idea of eating or consume wrong food at wrong time. This trend is mostly seen amongst Migrants. On the other hand there is a latent need for a woman to become self-sustaining. These women may have worked earlier or had to give up their job to bring up their children or some issues which lead them to job loss. Many of these jobless women have good culinary skills which can create a tongue twister and some have even commercialized their skill, they can be found everywhere. We just needed to bridge this gap. The opportunity we saw was in connecting hunger pangs with nearest home kitchen. Meratiffin was conceived to bridge this Gap. “With Meratiffin no more Hunger strike”. We empower micro food businesses (including women entrepreneur) to adopt IT to improve their business processes and grow their margins. Enabling them to come to mainstream and help them compete with big players and gain traction in the ever growing demand for safe food is our motto.
Could you walk us through the process of starting up Meratiffin?
Finding home chefs or home kitchen was the first on our agenda, these businesses don’t have advertising budgets and discovering them was a concern. Classified and social media sites were handy. We connected with quite a few and spoke to them about their business plans. Interestingly every kitchen wanted to reach out and grow, they are aware about the opportunity and knew the demand is growing. The only thing they lacked was marketing. We started checking how they were managing deliveries and was surprised to find they had no issues, their support staff in the kitchen doubled up as a delivery runner. We could now stitch our business plan from here. We enrolled kitchens with logistics support in our phase 1 roll out. The insights we got from the home chefs helped us design and develop a product which was close to market fit.  The best moment for us just began.
Did you encounter any particular difficulties during startup and if so, how did you guys overcome it?
Difficulties came in galore. Financially we were sucked. We shut down consulting projects to stay focussed on Meratiffin, consulting was our Cash Cow. It was a Big risk and we were ready to live with it. We reached out to experts and they laughed at us, nobody gave us a chance, nobody encouraged us or had a word of wisdom. No encouragement, no support, the fun had just began. We knew we were staring at hugely competitive marketspace. Big names had deep pockets and could burn us out. Our release dates got delayed. Nothing seems to be working. But we stayed put as a team and were grounded. We believed in ourselves and believed that we could make a difference to human life and wanted to create an Impact.
The opportunity came from NASSCOM, we got selected for their 10K Startup incubation program. This gave us the deserved boost. Its a long road ahead and we are ready for it. We were awarded as the best startup by Nasscom 10K in October 2015. We were on the winning side of the first startup realty show (Egiye Bangla) to be hosted in our state.
How have you been developing Meratiffin since startup (i.e. what’s the developmental direction)?
We launched only one platform (Android), feedback helped us improve the product. We are launching iPhone version soon, we get constant request from iPhone Fans and it can’t be ignored it makes us really happy.
What kind of feedback did you get for Meratiffin so far?
Our playstore reviews speak for themselves. Large numbers of our users are happy with the App performance, these feedback are vital, we have listened hard and have used our learning’s to improve our User Experience. We are aware the road ahead is interesting.
Do you face a lot of competition in this industry ? What is your strategy against your competition?
Competition is stiff in our industry. There are competition with access to large capital base and can disrupt any marketing plans. We believe we are ready as have carved a niche for ourselves in the space we occupy. The insight is “if you are Hungry you buy Food, you don’t buy discounts”.  We facilitate food discovery at affordable prices which suits our user base and it is delivered on premise. No need to discount. Our User base needs food to taste similar as home cooked and we are focused on bringing the best home cuisines online. This is the biggest differentiation. 
What can you tell us about the industry? Have you developed any industry insights that you could share?
Food has been the busiest sector overtime and is growing at 20 – 30% year on year. With large internet penetration and more people accessing internet on their mobile device it is good time for the industry. Online food delivery market is pegged at $ 15 billion and there is space for everyone who can add value. Having said this entry barriers are low, which is why there are so many failures in this sector. To succeed reaching critical mass early is very important and the cost structure should be driven around customer retention. Your sticky customers are your paying customers. They spread the word. Last mile delivery is also a critical component to succeed. We have figured that out early and are devoting all our effort to attain customer delight. We expect to see Big Businesses build around the Food Tech.
What is the future of the industry and how do you plan to stay relevant in this industry?
The industry is poised for a robust growth. Dual income families, more disposable income, lifestyle change, peer pressure, growing middle income families, convenience all these factors will drive demand for online delivery. Innovating our product and spreading across more channels and staying relevant to the user group will drive engagement and brand value.
Were there anything that disappointed you initially?
Disappointment for me is a state of mind. I get disappointed when I raise my bar and fail to achieve it, having said this as long as we learn from our failure and improve, I am happy. I take disappointment very constructively. It is an opportunity to introspect. It is also important to realize that in a team environment not all things can go right all the time, there could be a slip here and a miss there, as long as we recover and restore things asap all is well.
What do you think about being an entrepreneur in Asia? Is it harder or easier, why?
Asian Entrepreneurs are like toughened glass. They are hard core, they can take crisis like a KISS and come out scratch free.  I suggest global aspiring entrepreneurs to work in a Asian Venture for sometime before embarking on their own. We at Asia we are a different breed. For us there is no Give Up, we just do it.
What is your opinion on Asian entrepreneurship vs Western entrepreneurship?
Business Schools and Businesses are poles apart. West may have the best B School, we have the best Businesses who employ from these “B” Schools. This I guess speaks for all our Asian entrepreneur’s.
What is your definition of success?
Success is the start of any journey. With success one become responsible and to remember it is a label which others give you. It is also a motion you set for yourself. The motion can be happy or disappointing, one needs to balance expectation associated with success.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is a bug, it bites everyone, those who get infected turns entrepreneur. I wanted to be in charge of my destiny, I believe I add more value to the society being an entrepreneur, so the infection stayed. 
In your opinion, what are the keys to entrepreneurial success?
You need to be humble, smile at your hardest time, to realize that time will change and favor you, keep faith and push yourself to the limit. Also to realize that the luck quotient is only 1% and to make the most of it when you have it on your side.
Any parting words of wisdom for entrepreneurs out there from your personal experience?
Never give up. The Gold is not at the end of the rainbow, you need to collect small nuggets on your journey to the top, when you pause to review your count you will be surprised to see there is so much that you have accumulated. Don’t miss the small nuggets, they are the fundamentals on which you will build your enterprise. Stay relevant to your customer all the time.


“When Adam Draper does Crypto Standup, Singapore listens”



I live and work in Singapore and Santa Monica. Yes, I am blessed. However, my life has been by design, I think of what I want and so I make my life choices and make them happen in my life. Hence the bi-continent living and that comes with bi-continent and now global community living, being and ecosystems building. So I am now never surprised when one part of my world meets another.

I went to Wavemaker Partners venture capital event this evening, keen to meet Adam Draper, who is one of the many great presenters at Crypto Invest Summit, April 30- May 2 in Los Angeles.

Since I actively support leaders who are building scalable, sustainable businesses and movements for the betterment of many; of course I am learning about Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. I had been keen to report on the Crypto Invest Summit as I would be back in May to LA for my PhD programme. I was in communications with the organizers. However, I am being awarded an award at the Women Economic Forum in Delhi that same week and could not be physically present.

Still I wanted to report on the event, somehow.

I wanted to listen to the speakers and support some of the speakers who are already friends and experts I rely on for greater insights on cryptocurrency. I like learning and sharing with the greater audience, I have in Asia what I am learning from the US and vice versa. So I feel I had my chance tonight to do a bit of that.

I could not help but smile as Adam Draper shed light into his world of investing in more than 85 crypto related products because he was such a breath of fresh air to the last few Blockchain and Financial conferences I have been reporting on; especially here in Asia.

He just says it like it is.

He kept stopping the audience when they said Blockchain and he said, “You know you really mean cryptocurrency.”  He hit the nail on the head because I have seen so clearly how this phrase had been said in Singapore time and again – “I am not into cryptocurrency but I believe in Blockchain.”

When he said how there was an incongruity as he sat across bankers who personally invested in cryptocurrency and when faced with an inbound of requests from their clients on the same investment; are tied by regulations and are unable to respond.

Here’s some of his best lines. If you don’t laugh or “ah-ha” the way I did, you probably just had to be there. The truth is funny because it calls out for something we all see but sometimes just do not want to admit.

There is a growing understanding of the underlying thematics that the cryptocurrency world has been experiencing as the interface between centralize; de-centralize and personal autonomy becomes more and more apparent and lines get drawn.

Adam Says:

1) The newest phenomenon is that some of the ICO founders are now just so rich from their ICOs that they really don’t need to work on the project they asked for money for.

2) For the crypto-world, money doesn’t matter anymore!
They need talent

It’s so founder friendly now.

3) What Bitcoin made us ask is “What is money?”

The next question is “What is government and governance?”

He highlighted if an entrepreneur is looking for a problem to solve., then the entrepreneur is always looking for horrible industries with poor services and high costs. So yes – Governments are those horrible industries and they need to be disrupted.

4)  Any company who comes to an investor and leads with how much ICO has raised; is a red flag. Leave immediately and go read a Harry Potter book instead.
If they are leading with value and not the problem they are solving. Beware. (read more here

5) If you are going to invest in where the brains are. It’s in crypto.

6) Philosophically, Coinbase is against ethos of what Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency movement is trying to do. However to do such a move from fiat to digital currency, there would need a way to do that. So Coinbase acts like a browser does for internet. One day there will be no need to cash in or out as everyone is already there on digital. Cryptocurrency is the exchange of value. His advice and we know his bias as he is invested in  Coinhako; is to hold onto an exchange for 3-5 years since onboarding of all users to the new digital currency will take some time.

Adam met with many banks and government bodies on his trip to Singapore – I hope they got his truths.

I ended the night by thanking Adam for making me laugh. He reminded me of how much I miss LA.

Want more of this?

If you are in LA on April 30 – May 2.



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Callum Connects

Adrian Reid, Founder of Enlightened Stock Trading



Adrian Reid escaped the rat race and became a knowledgeable trader. He now shares his trading knowledge and empowers others to take control of their stocks.

What’s your story?
After working 12-16 hour days in the corporate world for many years I had a moment of realisation on the 1 hour bus ride to work. It was here at this moment in time, I realised that I felt trapped, desperate and isolated. Trapped in a job I hated, and a life I had not designed. I had long been interested in investing, but I made the decision at that point to become the best trader I could possibly be and escape the rat race.
My dream was to be free; free of the 9 to 5, the commute, the stress and the exhaustion. I threw myself into my stock trading research and study and emerged 3 months later with the trading rules that would ultimately buy me my freedom. I am now retired from the corporate world, I trade full time and share my knowledge with other aspiring traders through my online education program which puts them in control and empowers them to take control and accountability for their trading results.

What excites you most about your industry?
So many people are trapped in jobs they don’t like or are feeling immense financial pressure in their life. Trading education is typically done extremely badly today because of the conflicts of interest in the industry. Fund managers want to hold onto your money forever; brokers want you to trade more frequently; forex brokers want you to use more leverage. Why? Because that is how they make their money.
By teaching traders how to develop and test their own stock trading systems I am able to empower them to find trading rules which fit their own personality, objectives and lifestyle. This is the only way for new traders to be successful. This process transforms people’s financial future, their relationship with money and wealth and gives them hope. I love that!

What’s your connection to Asia?
I recently spent 3 years living in Singapore which I absolutely loved. This put me in a good position to observe the other Asian markets. As a stock trader I am interested in many markets and economies around the world, however the Asian markets have some of the best potential for trading profits. I have traded stocks in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo and I have developed trading systems that work in many other Asian markets as well.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
My favourite city is Singapore. After living in Singapore for 3 years my family fell in love with the city. Life is great in Singapore for the whole family and the pro-business and investing policies of the government make it a wonderful place to build your financial future as well.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
On a personal front: Find something you love, throw all your energy and passion into it.
On the wealth front: Spend less than you earn and invest the difference. Take control of your finances and always accept 100% responsibility for your investment decisions.

Who inspires you?
My wife Stephanie inspires me. Her commitment to everything she does, her compassion, her insights into people and her ability to uplift those around her, make me want to be a better person.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
No matter what we think we know, there will always be a different perspective that can change our opinion. In my own trading, I continually find that the truths I cling to are not absolute and they can be misleading if held onto dogmatically. Striking a balance between taking a stance and knowing when to change that stance based on new information is critical in all areas of life.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have taken more action earlier on. My fear of mistakes (which still limits me on occasions, like most people) has always proven to be baseless. Playing small to avoid the embarrassment or pain of mistakes is very limiting and I would have taken more action earlier, if I had my time again.

How do you unwind?
To unwind I like to read, meditate, run and ride my mountain bike in the forest.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I just love the small island resort at Batu Batu. It is beautiful, isolated, quiet and surrounded by clean water, full of sealife. After a week at the resort I felt like a different person.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto. This book teaches the art of clear and structured communication. My time working as a business strategy consultant gave me a great appreciation for the importance of communication in business. Clear and effective communication can solve a myriad of challenges in your business and professional life, and as a strong communicator your employment prospects, business relationships, team performance and family life are all dramatically improved.

Shameless plug for your business:
Enlightened Stock Trading ( is the only stock market trading education business that empowers you, as an individual trader. It shows you how to design and test your own unique stock trading system that fits YOUR Personality, Objectives and Lifestyle. We have no conflicts of interest and we are focused on teaching you how to trade stocks profitably in a way that fits your life.
After working through the Enlightened Stock Trader Certification Program you will find yourself confident and empowered with your own battle tested trading system and trading plan to guide you through the markets.

How can people connect with you?
Email me directly at [email protected] or through my Facebook Page (

Twitter handle?

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
Download free copies of his books here:

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