Monday, December 21, 2009

Judges Honourable Mention for Team OBELISK

Team Obelisk gets a Judges Honourable Mention at the Build London Live 2009 competition.

Team 8: Obelisk

Well done to everyone associated with the competition.

Build London Live 2009 - Winnners

Build London Live 2009 winners posted at the link given below

BLL2009 Winners

Congratulations to all the winners

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Build London Live 2009

OBELISK participates in the 48 hour BIM competition - Build London Live 2009.

Please click on the link below to check out our and other teams entries.

It was a great experience for everyone. Will post the entries on the blog soon.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Obelisk Bytes - Monthly Newsletter

Happy to announce the launch of our monthly newsletter starting this month. Please email us to subscribe to the email list.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Obelisk features in AUGI AEC EDGE

Debasish Karmakar had compiled an article on Navisworks clash detective tool along with Abhishek Tyagi.

The article has been published in the current issue of the AUGI AEC EDGE, the link for the article is below. Debasish’s article is on Page 13,14,15.

NAVISWORKS CLASH DETECTIVE – Reduce Risk and “Save Lives” on a project

Good work Debasish and Abhishek.

Friday, October 23, 2009

From - Falling Water - The story of a country house

This is a six part series featured on the AIA website on the Falling Water. An interesting read and facts about the Falling Water designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Story of a Country House

by Jim Atkins, FAIA

. . . all the elements of structure are combined so quietly that really you listen not to any noise whatsoever although the music of the stream is there. But you listen to Fallingwater the way you listen to the quiet of the country.
—Frank Lloyd Wright, 1955

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Season's Greetings....

And best wishes to everyone on Dussehra. Shubho Bijoya to everyone...!!! Cheers

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Navisworks Tutorial - Clash Detection

This a Navisworks tutorial for using the Clash Detective tool

Part I

Part II

Part III

Strategy- Good Read...

Strategic Management
The Disney/Marvel Marriage: Will They Live Happily Ever After?

Trying to picture the edgy, ultra-macho characters of Marvel Comics (like Spider-Man or the Hulk) teaming up with Walt Disney's fairy tale princesses and cheery spokesmouse is not an easy task. Nonetheless, Wharton faculty and entertainment analysts predict Disney's $4 billion acquisition of Marvel will overcome some major challenges and allow the company to instantly enter a key market where, as of now, it has made few inroads.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

An article on Helion Venture Partners in BS

Q&A session with Ashish Gupta- MD (investment advisor), Helion Ventures, in a chat with Shivani Shinde spoke about the venture capital (VC) environment and some of the investment focus going ahead. Excerpts.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ref- Knowledge at Wharton

Managing Technology
Information Security: Why Cybercriminals Are Smiling

With Internet usage forecast to grow 45% globally over the next four years, the web has become a paradise for cybercriminals. Many people don't yet fully understand the enormity of the threat -- to individuals, their families and the companies that they work for, warns Andrea M. Matwyshyn, professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton and editor of a forthcoming book titled, Harboring Data: Information Security, Law and the Corporation. In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Matwyshyn and two of the book's contributors discuss the major risk management gaps that are leaving valuable data assets unprotected.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

News udpates

France out of recession and Japan follows suit- its outlook on the business and economy scene is still shaky though, as per Business Standard.

LIC plans to open up a VC firm soon.

Sony India- have shortlisted four product categories around which it would heavily invest in sales and marketing and product development.

BSE tanks more than 600 points on global queues and monsoon worries....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Birthday OBELISK

Today we have completed one year of operations officially.

Congratulations and a big thank you to everyone connected with Obelisk, for supporting us through our first year. It has been a long and exciting year and we wish all a very happy & productive year ahead.


Team Obelisk

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What you sell and how you sell is important.

Understanding your market and segmenting it always helps you to focus better on “who to sell” and “how to sell”.

A more recent example is cars- Honda Jazz (Honda known for its efficiency) and Fiat Grande Punto (The Punto engine known for its innovation and uniqueness). Both these are launched for the Indian Roads and for Indian conditions, yet they are not the cars for everyone and anyone. The price range for these cars is also in a certain bracket and carry with them their respective values and company legacy.
This is a simple example of how two companies, when competing for market share in a country, project and offer their value to prospective customers.

When I decided to jump into entrepreneurship and started Obelisk with my Partners, we too were faced with this challenge- we knew the space and the service, but had to work on our positioning, segmentation (though I would admit this is still Work-in-progress) and creating the “Wow Factor” for the prospective partners. What one needs is a long-term thinking process, keeping one’s eye on the future, innovating and most importantly “Partnering”.
Partnering has its pros and cons but the overall experiential value and steep learning curve can be very exciting and challenging.

I have always been very perplexed (coming from a non AEC/ Design background) about why is it (and based on my limited understanding of this industry) that anyone would want to outsource their drafting/ drawing production, be it CAD or Revit. We spent days on research and weeks in discussions, to finally understand- “No sane business person, now or in future, would like invest heavily in personnel and infrastructure and would not mind/ look forward to, outsourcing to earn more value from the money spent there on and focus their attention in areas of creativity and designing, leading to more money for their businesses. As far as the routine drafting and drawing production is concerned, they can leave it with the specialists and experienced, trained resources, which just focus and do that. This made sense to me and I started selling it. I would admit- it has been no mean task, but the daunting realisation of the necessity to keep a lean structure, boot strapping, outsourcing any non-core but essential activities, is finally settling in their visionary business minds.

My mentor tells me- Entrepreneurial aspirations and projects are not based on what you were or on what you are, but on “What you want to become”. This always guides us in stormy nights. I would love to hear back from you- the reader on your comments, thoughts, ideas, suggestions or any reaction- good or not so good. Reaction is important and confirms life. Cheers.

Paper to CAD ..................... CAD to BIM

Remember the days when all the drawings and drafting was done on paper and to make one simple change required the whole drawings to be redrafted or scratching of old sheets & redrafting over them. What a waste of time and effort.

Then CAD came along and took over as an effective drafting tool. To change a wall just required typing 2-3 commands and, WOW!!! It was done. However, the transition was not that easy. There was a lot of resistance from the architecture community and it took a lot of time to be widely accepted.

I remember in architecture school some of us who were proficient on CAD were not allowed it to use for submissions by our professors and we ended up taking plots on CAD and then extended lines with our drafting pens to make it seem as hand drafted.

In the present day scenario we can't think of life without CAD. CAD helped us improve our efficiencies but it still was a tool and not what you can call an intelligent platform.

PRESENT DAY: ENTER BIM (Building Information Modeling)

Again to define it simply BIM is an emerging technological and strategic approach for the AEC industry. It has positioned itself as an approach to address many of AEC’s numerous inefficiencies.

But, do we see the same resistance as we saw for CAD.......................... maybe more.

What a lot of us have not realized is that shifting from paper to CAD in principal was much simpler. You were doing the same thing on the computer which you initially did on paper. It was more of a platform and technology shift. Putting it very simply, CAD just facilitated your drafting.

BIM on the other hand is just not about drafting or documentation. BIM IS NOT A DIRECT REPLACEMENT TO CAD.

To move to BIM is just not about a CAD upgrade but more like a strategic and business decision by the firm’s principals. A firm needs to understand how BIM will impact it at all levels. The primary aim of the platform however is to create, share, contemplate and apply knowledge and to take the concept of 3-d modeling to an infinite number of dimensions.

In my subsequent posts I would be discussing effective pointers on understanding & implementing BIM within organizations, let me know your views and suggestions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


An interesting read on BIM Capability v/s BIM Maturity. This article describes that even though after achieving BIM capability organizations are still not ready to take on projects.

Paste the link below in your browser

(Source: The source of this information is the posted on June 03, 2009)

This blog, including any attachment(s) hereto, is intended only for the visitors of this blog. Any comments or statements made in this are not necessarily those of Obelisk or any other Obelisk entity.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Revit was used entirely for modeling this building in a famous hollywood movie.

Can you identify the movie from the picture above?

Saturday, June 27, 2009


AUGI has recently launched an online magazine called the AUGI AEC Edge ( The first edition is out and you can view it by clicking on the link provided in the bracket. I got a chance to meet with the authors of the magazine at the RTC in Australia last week. The first issue is dedicated to Revit and I would personally recommend reading through it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

OBELISK@RTC 2009 - Melbourne, Australia

Maneck received an invitation to present at the Revit Technology Conference 2009, held at The Sebel Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. The conference dates were

from Jun 18 to Jun 20, 2009.. He presented a paper on “Outsourcing Revit” (Collaborating with Andrew Harp from ARCHdoc) and shared his research on Industry standards, pros and cons, issues and best practises. The event was a big success and Obelisk got an opportunity to exchange ideas with the Australian AEC Partners.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Power of BIM

Obelisk had showcased one of it's projects at the AIA 2009 Convention. The animation was a great attraction for visitors and below is a link to the animation on youtube.

Please take time to view the 3 minute animation and post your comments either here or on youtube.

BIM Team


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

At the AIA Convention 2009

Sitting here at the Moscone Center in San Francisco I am watching the contractor work on our booth as it comes up.
We have finally completed all registration formalities and Obelisk is a registered exhibitor at the AIA 2009 Convention and Expo. Lots of exhibitors and even though these are difficult economic times that doesn’t seem to dampen the spirit of everyone working & exhibiting at the convention.
The Convention starts on April 30 and I would keep everyone updated through the 3 days of the event.
Hope to be a big event with 22000 attendees.
More later.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Outsourcing and Recession

In a recent survey that was conducted on 600 small businesses to determine how the recession is affecting their outsourcing plans. Survey results showed that 41.9% said they planned to outsource more in the near future, either because they’ve cut full-time staff (7.0%) or because they’re simply unable to hire full-time staff (34.9%). They are also outsourcing more functions than ever before – 28.5% said they are now outsourcing something that they previously thought they couldn’t.

In light of such numbers, it’s hardly any surprise that 14.6% of them report that they have replaced employees with contractors in the last year, and 14.5% have hired a contractor who would have been otherwise unemployed or a victim of the economic downturn.

Outsource more in current recession: 41.9%

Because you have cut full-time staff: 7.0%

Because you are unable to hire full-time staff: 34.9%

Outsourcing something you previously thought you couldn’t: 28.5%

Replaced employees with service providers: 14.6%

Hired a service provider who would have otherwise been unemployed or a victim of the economic downturn: 14.5%

It should come as no shock, then, that many who have lost work recently are turning to freelancing. 32.1% of the 350 freelancers surveyed reported that they’d lost their job within the last year. A majority (59.0%) said that if they weren’t providing freelance services, they wouldn’t be able to meet their financial obligations and nearly a third (32.4%) said freelance earnings are their primary source of income. A vast majority said that there are enough freelancing jobs to meet their needs (73.9%) and feel they are earning fair rates (77.9%).

They cited “flexibility to live and work anywhere” as the number one reason for their survival, followed by guaranteed payment for hourly work and the ability to set their own hourly rate.

Lost their job in last year: 32.1%

Freelancing is my primary source of income: 32.4%

Wouldn’t be able to meet my financial obligations without freelancing: 59.0%

There are enough jobs under freelancing to meet my needs: 73.9%

I earn fair rates on freelancing assignments: 77.9%

American workers seem to be doing well in the global marketplace. 53.9% of the surveyed small businesses reported employing at least some U.S.-based contractors, while 84.3% of U.S. contractors are working for a U.S.-based buyer. Outsourcing nearly tripled during 2008, and the trend looks likely to continue.

These results certainly look good for the future and similar businesses.

(Source: The source of this information is the oDesk Blog posted on March 24, 2009)

This blog, including any attachment(s) hereto, is intended only for the visitors of this blog. Any comments or statements made in this are not necessarily those of Obelisk or any other Obelisk entity.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Waiting for the Perfect Answer ???

On one of my flights I read this book about one of the biggest business leaders of our times. He is an ex - CEO of one of the largest company in today's times.
I just wanted to write these few lines I read by him and which hold good for all new and old entrepreneurs and for all of us who want our company to grow into a strong and large organization but scared to take decisions for the fear of being wrong.

There is no formulaic answer to a question in science.
The same holds true for most business problems. There are rarely black or white answers. Business is often smell, touch and feel as much as or more than numbers.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Obelisk in USA

Greetings everyone from the Windy City (Chicago).
It has been a long and hectic week but finally managed to climb the first step of the ladder. Congrats to all we have a small place in downtown Chicago and even though I am alone here, trying to find clients and get them to hear about Obelisk, the thing that keeps me going is the support and vision of all of you.
Going by our values I am following the frugal way and saving up on small costs like transportation, resources and making that extra effort to get things done.
Starting this week I would be trying to meet a lot of architects and firms to network with them till the AIA convention on April 30, 2009, which will help us create awareness for Obelisk. Not sure how much this would be of help in today’s scenario, but this is the only approach we know off and by god we are going to make this work.
So like an intelligent entrepreneur once said to me, “Better to be wrong than confused”, Obelisk is going to go ahead and try all possible routes to success.
Best of Luck

Thursday, March 19, 2009

AIA Connvention 2009

Maneck along with the Sales team would be attending AIA Convention 2009 at San Francisco. Obelisk can be reached at booth 234 located in the South Hall, Moscone Center. We look forward to meeting everyone who will be attending the convention between Apr 28 and May 2.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Financial Year

Last Year when Obelisk was conceived it had only 3 members. At the beginning of this New Financial Year from April 1, 2009, we would be more than 30. As we are into the last month of this financial year I look back at the past year and realize what a roller coaster it has been for us and for the world markets.
With world markets crashing and bankruptcies being filed by major corporate giants, it has been difficult times for businesses all over the world. The reason why we all moved on was primarily because of our hard work and perseverance. Amidst these tough times we managed to grow steadily and develop a consolidated infrastructure, thanks to everyone's effort.
But, some feel the worst is yet to come and I urge each one of us to brace ourselves for the future. There are really going to be tough times ahead and a major resource crunch. There could be a lot of frustrations and rejections. As they say Every Cloud has a Silver Lining, the only ones to survive and see the good times would be the patient and the frugal businesses.
So this New Financial Year let us all make a resolution that each one of us would work hard and not care about the results till we have seen these bad times pass. Let us keep our growth steady and planned and I am sure we together would very soon reap the rewards for our perseverance.
Good Luck.

Monday, February 16, 2009


What is recession?
This Story is about a man who once upon a time was selling Hotdogs by the roadside. He was illiterate, so he never read newspapers. He was hard of hearing, so he never listened to the radio. His eyes were weak, so he never watched television.
But enthusiastically, he sold lots of hotdogs.
He was smart enough to offer some attractive schemes to increase his sales. His sales and profit went up. He ordered more a more raw material and buns and used to sell more.
He recruited few more supporting staff to serve more customers. He started offering home deliveries. Eventually he got himself a bigger and better stove.
As his business was growing, the son, who had recently graduated from College, joined his father. Then something strange happened. The son asked, "Dad, aren't you aware of the great recession that is coming our way?"The father replied, "No, but tell me about it." The son said, "The international situation is terrible. The domestic situation is even worse. We should be prepared for the coming bad times."
The man thought that since his son had been to college, read the papers, listened to the radio and watched TV. He ought to know and his advice should not be taken lightly. So the next day onwards, the father cut down his raw material order and buns took down the colourful signboard, removed all the special schemes he was offering to the customers and was no longer as enthusiastic.
He reduced his staff strength by giving layoffs. Very soon, fewer and fewer people bothered to stop at his hotdog stand. And his sales started coming down rapidly, same is the profit. The father said to his son, "Son, you were right"."We are in the middle of a recession and crisis. I am glad you warned me ahead of time."
Moral of The Story: It's all in your MIND! And we actually FUEL this recession much more than we think we do!!!!!!!!!! !!
What can we take away from this story??
1. How many times we confuse intelligence with good judgment?
2. Choose your advisers carefully but use your own judgment
3. A person or an organization will survive forever, if they have the 5 Cs
* Character
* Commitment
* Conviction
* Courtesy
* Courage
The tragedy today is that there are many walking encyclopaedias that are living failures. (Source: This story is from an email I received from a friend)

Monday, February 9, 2009


The building in the picture.
Hint 1: It is one of the tallest sky scrapers in its city of origin.
The Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park is a 1,200 ft (366 m) skyscraper under construction in the Midtown Manhattan district of New York City, in the United States. The US$ 1 billion project is located on Sixth Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Street, opposite Bryant Park. It has been designed by Cook+Fox Architects and Gensler to be one of the most efficient and ecologically friendly buildings in the world. Construction is expected to be complete in 2009.
Hint 2: Its city of origin was a 17th century Dutch colonial settlement.
New York was a 17th Century Dutch colonial settlement, and its earlier name was New Netherlands.
Hint 3: The city is often referred to with the monicker - "the huge forbidden fruit".
The Big Apple (the apple was the forbidden fruit that Adam and Eve ate to be thrown out of the Garden of Eden) as New York is referred to.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Govt. of India Notification

Government of India has developed an 'Online Grievance Forum' @ Can you imagine this is happening in INDIA ?
The govt. wants people to use this tool to highlight the problems they faced while dealing with Government officials or departments like Passport Office, Electricity board, BSNL/MTNL, Railways etc. Many of us say that these things don't work in India . Couple of months back, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation laid new roads in an area and the residents were very happy about it. But 2 weeks later, BSNL dug up the newly laid roads to install new cables which annoyed all the residents. A resident used the above listed grievance forum to highlight his concern. To his surprise, BSNL and Municipal Corporation of Faridabad were served a show cause notice and the guy received a copy of the notice in one week. Government has asked the MC and BSNL about the goof up as it's clear that both the government departments were not in sync at all. So use this grievance forum and educate others who don't know about this facility. This way we can at least raise our concerns instead of just talking about the 'System' in India.Invite your friends to contribute for many such happenings. PLEASE SPREAD THIS MESSAGE IF U WANT OUR INDIA TO HAVE A BETTER TOMORROW & FORWARD THIS TO AS MANY AS POSSIBLE.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Having a dream and living a dream are two very different things. I personally feel it is easier to dream but tough to live it and work towards fulfilling it. When you come from a background into a new space you can be nervous as you are unsure of the path and the outcome. However what really makes one get headlong into the thick of things and pursue these dreams is the will to try and the hope to make it happen, make a difference and see success through the changes.

Being an entrepreneur and doing a regular job are also two very interestingly different scenarios and when I took the plunge myself (into entrepreneurship) I was pretty nervous over my decision. However my faith in my own abilities and potential were reinforced by my colleagues at Obelisk and my wife Ritu. She has really been the strength behind this decision along with a few other mentors who I really look up to.

My experience so far has been enriching and valuable and irrespective of the outcome of this decision, I know I have learnt a lot and will continue to “really” learn more of “Management”. Had always thought doing an MBA was difficult and then getting a good job even more difficult, but what really is challenging is actually putting what you learn from organisations and at business schools, in real use for your own self and in trying to contribute back into the society as a whole.

Your attitude towards relationship management, negotiations, conflict management, sales, employee motivation, finance, costs, admin and every aspect of business and an organisation is very different when you do a “Job” and when you run your “own shop”. Some really useful lessons can be learnt along the way and its interesting (if you are a conscientious and introspective type) to see and assess your reaction to these.

Like a famous teacher once said- you will not know till you do it and walk through that door.

I quote Irv Grousbeck, of Stanford Business School where he gave a talk on entrepreneurship for his Final Class- Fall Quarter, to all passing out MBA students. He said – “A leader is best when people barely know he exists... not so good when people obey and proclaim him; worse when they despise him…. but of a good leader who talks little, when the work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness; concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth -- the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. That the moment one commits oneself, then providence moves too, all sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred, a whole stream of events issues from the decision; raising in ones favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and even a material assistance which no man would have dreamt come his way." I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: "whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."

This is an excerpt from a six pager my mentor sent to me to go through and reflect on…it was a difficult three month time where I kept going back and forth on “To do or not to do”. But then finally I did decide and I shall see it through till I feel it’s time to change gears. With that I mean go to the next level or take a different road. These are difficult decisions and can never be taken by an individual easily. But as long as one can read, talk to other experienced people and does things oneself, one can always make an informed decision.

So let us do, learn and keep changing to become better in whatever it is we may do. This is what Evolution is. Cheers.