From our previous posts you’d remember that we have been (atleast my friend) trying to find our multi-million dollar idea. Its not that we haven’t found any ideas. We have, some. But they are either not the multi-million dollar types or they are extremely improbable. I mean the idea to fund education of students in US is something that would take considerably longer to generate ROI and hence was dismissed. We have also, in past, in all our immaturity, discussed the possibility of getting people to pay for reading my blog. We had to shelve this idea since the single fan that my blog has outrightly refused to pay but rather wanted to see if I could foot the internet bill.
But since we haven’t had any bright ideas, we did what everyone who is waiting for an opportunity does. Daydream. We daydreamed or rather an astrologer told us, this way it sounds more palatable, that some serious money was coming our way and the elusive optimist in me even put a number to the ‘serious money’. The amount was settled at 50 Crores. The currency is not decided and we are open for anything equal or stronger than Indian Rupees.
Somebody then told us that ideas are always floating around and that you have to understand and evaluate an idea to turn into a business and monetize. Taking that advice seriously we decided to keep an eye on the ideas floating around. It happened approximately two months back that something on the internet caught my eye. High Sea Piracy. As far as illicit businesses with low risk and high rewards go, it doesn’t get much better than piracy on the high seas. The profit margins can easily surpass those of the cocaine trade. The risks? “There is no reason not to be a pirate,” according to a high-ranking U.S. navy Admiral. “The vessel I’m trying to pirate won’t shoot at me & I’m going to get my money.” Even pirates who are intercepted have little to fear since they cannot be arrested, because there’s no place to try them. Do you get the idea now? This is the best: Doing something illegal and getting away with it. Something like what Raju did. 🙂
Somali pirates some time back capped a string of increasingly brazen hijackings by seizing a Saudi supertanker carrying $100 million worth of U.S.-bound crude. A rough back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that the operation to hijack the Saudi tanker, the Sirius Star, would have cost no more than $25,000 assuming that the pirates bought new equipment and weapons ($450 apiece for an AK-47 Kalashnikov, $5,000 for an RPG 7 grenade launcher, $15,000 for a speedboat – I cannot tell you where I got the prices, if I tell you I’ll have to kill you).
There is a major difference between the ‘investment’ and the initial ransom demand made from the tanker’s owner, Saudi Aramco, which was of $25 million. I am sure anybody management graduate can tell you after quickly putting the required variables on a spreadsheet is that this is the business to be in. The VCs would hunt you down to invest in this ‘greenfield’ project. Piracy, hence, is an excellent business model if we operate from an impoverished, lawless place like Somalia. The risk-reward ratio is just huge, just the way we’d want, and our investers would love.
Some excerpts of To Do notes that I have:
Prepare a presentation for VC Funding
Broadly outline prospects
Understand and develop raw material supply chain
Buy: Audi TTS Roadster
Ofcourse we can offer you the first chance to get a cut of it, what with you being a regular reader of this blog and all. The larger the investment the larger the payment. Standby for my account number.