MongoDB introduction talk at Dr Dobbs Conference Bangalore, Pune in April 2014

Dr Dobbs Conference held its maiden conference in India in Bangalore on 11 and 12 April. Organized by UBM, it saw good presentation on Hadoop, MongoDB, source code analysis etc. Yours truly presented an introduction to document database MongoDB. After giving a brief introduction to different nosql database, I went on to describe various aspects of MongoDB. I took a simple blog application example. I designed an ERD (entity-relationship design) circa RDBMS. I described the schema design in MongoDB’s document data model covering articles, tags, categories, users, comments and web metrics. Then, I illustrated it with Python code (inspired liberally from my awesome MongoDB colleagues). Please find the presentation below.

Do let me know your comments, feedback on it by leaving a comment below or emailing me.


Cloudera, an Apache Hadoop implementor raises an insane 900m

Cloudera just completed a $900M funding round. This incorporates the $160M they announced a week or so ago.

This is obviously great for Cloudera. For just 18% of the company they got $740M from Intel (plus sold away a few other equity points to other investors). It also signifies something more: The complete shape of data infrastructure is changing.

MongoDB has had a Hadoop connector for a while now. It has been used by several customers, like FourSquare. To cement this relationship more, Mike Olson, Cloudera co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer will keynote at MongoDB World this June at New York City.

[Disclaimer: I work as consulting engineer with MongoDB India. Shameless plug: If you want 10% discount for MongoDB World, please contact me prasoon DOT kumar AT mongodb DOT com]

Techfest 2014 at IIT Bombay

I thoroughly enjoyed various lectures, exhibits at Techfest at IIT Bombay, Powai. Among them, I found the following 3 noteworthy.

Asa Dotzler on Mozilla’s mobile OS

Asa started by describing how Mozilla has commonness with Techfest, being both volunteer-driven and been running for 17 years and growing, which is hard for volunteer-run efforts! Mozilla is a not-for-profit organization promoting original values of internet and acts as balancer between commercial interests on one hand and other facets like civil, political activism, free information on the other.

Firefox1 Team

Team members of Firefox 1 version

Internet had its heart inter-operability from start by its fore-fathers like Tim Berners Lee in 1980’s. It led to development of online community, political activism, educational curriculum for all. In 2000’s, when millions of user began using proprietary browser like Internet Explorer over Netscape Navigator, it was leading to monopolization of consumer’s browser experience. While IE 6 was reasonably solid, it had a problem, that it was proprietary, so Mozilla’s small, but driven team (pictured above) started building Firefox. It became better than IE soon in 2003, but the challenge of marketing it came to them. They did not have the advantage of bundling it with OS bought by majority of users. They turned back to users and asked suggestions and volunteers for spreading Firefox. Spread Firefox was like open-source marketing of the product, basically first few power users would convince other slightly non-technical users and so on. Volunteers pooled in money, design and their heart to do a paper ad in none other than New York Times. Volunteers kept on surprising – they did a huge Firefox symbol in farm field in Oregon. Firefox kept getting bigger and bigger market share and acted as catalyst for extension, even for better browsers. Chrome, Safari came up and it was no longer a monopolistic control of consumer’s browser experience.
Now, same kind of control over consumer’s mobile experience is being by few big companies, so they decided to do a mobile OS now. Their idea is for a smartphone to be available for $80, because that is the price point, where next 2B users will come out now. They are not targeting high-end smartphones, because that market is well served by likes of Apple and Samsung. Vishwanathan Krishnamoorthy joined Asa on the stage for Q&A. They told how to become volunteer by going to Mozilla site, maybe joining Bugzilla or whatever suits your skill and interest. They said that if anyone of us wanted to make contribution, which would affect 1/2 Billion users, we should volunteer for them.

4G launch by Reliance Jio

RJIL’s President for Strategy and Products, Mathew Oommen introduced 4G services of Reliance Jio. I saw a demo of Jio TV with recording, video on demand and other features, which was at par with modern satellite TV services. There was also a healthcare demo, which I could not catch up. They did tease us with many more services:

  1. Education – remote education, virtual classroom, online assessment
  2. Entertainment – Shows and TV content, Pause and play content
  3. Healthcare – remote services

Social Robot BINA 48

Here’s BINA sitting at IIT Bombay, who is the world’s most advanced social robot to talk to.


BINA 48 Social Robot








I am embedding Youtube video of the same robot from a US channel, as I could not get a recording of the same.

All in all, it was a great fest on technology, science and innovation, a must-see for college students and even inquisitive adults. Last year, I had attended a lecture by Facebook Product Manager on Newsfeed and learnt immensely from it.

NoSQL Benchmarking talk at CMGIndia Delhi regional meet

KV Narayanan, the guest speaker

KV Narayanan, the guest speaker on Webex

I presented at first Computer Measurement Group-India, Delhi Regional Event on November 29, 2013 at TCS Noida Sec 4 Office. Guest Speaker started talking about how Obama’s healthcare website could not handle the load because of poor planning and execution, Why measurement is really important? 2nd speaker gave good insights into Oracle performance. There were the following speakers:

  1. K.V.Narayanan, Vice President, Govt ISU, TCS, New Delhi, Guest Speaker
  2. Kapil Malhotra, Architect, Dell Software, New Delhi on Oracle Performance – Benchmarking, Tuning, Replication – Best Practices
  3. Prasoon Kumar, Solution Architect, MongoDB, Mumbai, Benchmarking of NoSQL Databases
  4. Ramakrishnan Raghu, Chief Architect, Passport Seva Project, TCS, New Delhi, Making Software Performance Engineering an Integral Part of SDLC – Practice & Experience
  5. Ramakrishna Alavala, HiPODS, IBM Labs, Bangalore, Proactive Performance Management in Production System

I prepared the following slides with which I delivered the talk.

8 years with WordPress

Happy Anniversary to this blog!

I registered on 8 years ago in Dec 2005! It was my experiment with Web 2.0, participatory web, rather than one-way web 1.0.

Thanks to WordPress for flying with me. Keep up the good tool for blogging!

Bangalore::Hack 2013 organized by Sequoia had Justdial sponsoring Web track

Sequoia Capital organized 24 hours’ hackathon in Bangalore to connect with developer eco-system in the following categories: mobile applications, web apps and systems and cloud infrastructure. The web apps category was sponsored by Justdial, a Sequoia portfolio company, my employer. Kadam Jeet Jain (Linkedin, @kaddyiitr), an IIT Roorkee graduate, head of engineering, mygola and Samyak Jain (Linkedin, @saammybwoy) who formed a part of team, called Seinfeldfans, won the web track. Their product is called IMDBGraph, Facebook Graph search-like interface for IMDB.

mygol engineers

Sienfiledfans hard at work

Sandipan, Justdial presenting Web track winners

Sandipan, Justdial presenting Web track winners

Sandipan Chattopadhyay, CTO Justdial presented Web track award to Seinfieldfans for their work. Many many congrats to the participants and winners!

TechCircle Mobile Forum 2013 in Delhi

Session: Insights On Discovery, Business & Economics Of Mobile Apps
How to drive efficient discovery of your apps? How are sustainable businesses built via mobile apps? What are the success stories in India and other markets? It has the following 4 panelists:

Sulakshan Kumar – Co-Founder & Director, Mysmartprice
Sandipan Chattopadhyay – CTO, Just Dial
Bhavish Aggarwal – Co-Founder & CEO, Ola Cabs
Amit Somani – Chief Products Officer, (Moderator)

AdChemy is helping retailers upload their entire inventory of millions of products to Google Shopping

Google Product ads got launched in India as well!

Organized foodservice industry

Foodservice includes the following formats.

  1. dhabas
  2. restaurants
  3. kiosks
  4. express counters
  5. food stalls
  6. ice-cream parlours
  7. fast-food joints
  8. casual and fine dines
  9. juice bars

The organized players are the following and their presence is shown in the table below:

Retailer No of outlets No of cities
Haldiram 20 1
Yum! Restaurants India 507 50
Barista 310+ 26
Cafe Coffee Day 1350 185
Baskin Robbins 425 55
McDonalds – North 130 32
McDonalds – West 140 13
Costa Coffee 17 7
Domino’s 500 110
Mad Over Donuts 38 4
Nirula’s 72  
Speciality Restaurants 91 24
Subway 250+ 50+
Sagar Ratna 70+ 30+
Yo! China 50 14
Lite Bite Foods 65 7
Blue Foods 120+ 6+

QSR Revolution in India

While global biggies, like McDonalds, KFC, Subway have entered India in a big way, there have been desi startups, who jumped into the bandwagon as well. Global biggies have modified western menu to accommodate Indian palette – KFC selling vegetarian products, pizzasselling tandoori variants etc. I will cover the journey of Jumboking (Vada pav), Subway, Mast Kalandar, Faasos (next post) etc and lessons one can draw from them based on their own account at Startup Saturday Bangalore and Startup Summit 2013 Mumbai edition by Franchise India.


Jumboking Schezwan Cheese combo

Jumboking Schezwan Cheese combo

Dheeraj Gupta is a 2nd generation entrepreneur based in Mumbai, who set out to start a vada pav chain in 1998. He was inspired by Mcdonalds: Behind the arches book, esp how they started a new price point of burger. He made a visit to UK to learn the nuances of fast food, chain business. He stayed with a Burger Chain franchise owner during his stay and even worked in a Mcdonalds for 10 days – talk about dedication! The vada pav market, mostly unorganized is Rs.20Cr per day in Mumbai and Thane alone. That translates to 7,300 Cr per annum!! He priced it at Rs.5 against street food price of Rs.2. He signed up Bharat Petroleum, HP, IRCTC in 2007 for setting these at their premises. [If any reader has spotted them at these, please provide it’s address, photo in comment or email prasoon DOT kumar AT gmail DOT com]. Jumbo King has 38 outlets in Mumbai and Thane (20 self-owned and 18 franchises). This compared to 20,000 vada pav stalls is only about 2% marketshare of the business in Mumbai.

Mast Kalandar

Another great promising QSR is North Indian food serving joint, Mast Kalandar. Pallavi Gupta is co-founder and COO of the company. She worked in IT company as business analyst in Bangalore and abroad with long hours and would live on pizza. Her husband, Gaurav Jain was in sales function at IT company as well. They came up with an idea that even hot and piping paratha should come in a box. They started their first outlet in Bennarghatta Rd in 2004. Next outlet was started in Indiranagar. By 2008, they had 8 outlets and VC started showing interest. Post 1st round of funding chaos ensued and things did not go as planned. They were able to grow from 7 to 11 from that instead of the target of 30. By 2011, they had 25 branches, growing to 40 in 2012. As of July 2014, they have 47 branches in Bangalore, 7 branches in Chennai, 2 in Hyderabad and 5 in Pune.


Within the Rs 8000-crore organised eating out market in India, QSRs are witnessing the fastest growth of nearly 25% annually. Key reasons for this growth include a high number of nuclear families and urban migrant population, a growing preference for vegetarian food, especially, North Indian and a spike in the number of people “eating out”. We have seen Ammi’s biryani and Box8 (earlier Poncho) getting funded as well.

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