Category Archives: Business

Succeed with an Internet Business in Seven Steps

With the Real estate rates rocketing and inflation pouring in, who would think of setting up an online business from scratch? Yet, many people are going online and the internet business sector is booming. So what do you need to be really successful in raising one? We sum it up for you!

Have A vision: You must have a vision to succeed. A vision so strong and positive that it becomes a mantra for your employees. As a leader, your vision should realize, further, the visions of those following you; be it any of your customers or employees or other clients. So have a strong vision, protect it, nurture it and realize it.

Make a business plan: Nest, You really need to have a business model that you can follow. A strong business plan cannot only find you some really big investments, but also make sure (if, of ‘course you stick to your plans) that you cover your short term goals and gradually realize your vision to be really successful. So make a thorough business plan with your sales projection, marketing plan and other important plans before you start executing them without if’s and buts’.

Find investments: This is the step where almost 70 percent of the people would give up. But if you know that finding investments is a process and giving up is a big mistake, you will succeed in finding your capital. Put up all your savings; make a great sales pitch and bundle up your business plan. In the initial phase, you should ask your family and friends for investments by actually selling yourself and your idea to convince them that they can indeed get healthy returns if they do invest. You can even look for angel investors. And given the quality of your plan and your sales pitch, you will sure find one after knocking up many doors. When you see yourself getting recognized and making marginal profits, it’s time for moving to a Venture Capitalist for funding!

Set up the interface: Now that you have gathered up funds, set up your website. Position yourself in your customer’s shoes and see what kind of an interface can actually enhance your experience, since it’s an online business. Look how your competitions have set up. Try to beat them!

Manage sales and marketing: Now you definitely want your business to go viral. So execute your marketing plan. Social marketing can totally do the job. Send newsletters (email marketing) but do not spam. Hold out sweepstakes and other ways to attract potential customers. A healthy marketing can boost your sales like a miracle.

Master your services: On time delivery, great inventory management and attractive refund policies can do the charm! Trust your customers to gain their trust. Fostering a great customer service team can be a great investment of your time, money and energy.

Bootstrap and grow: Finally, your projections are being met and your turnover is growing. Yet, it’s not the time for cheese and pancakes! Hire quality people and invest in better suppliers to get better returns from your business. Bootstrapping can make your business stable and debt free; the key to growth and success!

 

About the author: Rebecca is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of gadgets. Recently an article on latest car stereos attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on Portable microwave.

Start a business with Zero dollars

Objective

 To get started with a web based business (without actually spending a single dollar)
Requirements- A Zeal to do something different

Overview- First of all you need to make it clear, what you actually want to do.To name a few, here you can
Start a news portal(as I did),
setup a forum
start a blog
Setup an e-commerce portal
Setup a classifieds portal
Setup an Ad Agency
Setup a Games Portal
Setup an Online Learning System
Setup a Video Sharing Site
Start a Social Network
Start a Job Portal
Start a Real Estate Portal

Take time and think, what will be the best for you.Ask your friends,relatives,any business people you know for their advice.Remember each of these have proven business model and are very successful venture.

Once Decided, what you are going to do,ask yourself
Who will be your target users(Customers)?
How will you reach your target users?
How will you generate revenue?
How much time are you ready to devote per day?

Personally, I feel that writing down these points helps a lot, especially at times you get confused, what to do!!. In my subsequent posts, I shall explain some of strategies which can be easily applied( and what I actually did :-) ) to make a large userbase and generate revenue, but it is important that you try to find out first.
Once the brainstprming is over, the technical side needs attention.This is pretty easy and you can setup them free of cost

Getting a Domain Name

If you are ready to spend an yearly fee of about USD 10, then you can book a .com .net or any TLD(Top Level Domain) of your choice.
If not, then dont get disheartened.I started my first website on a free domain itself.

There are only 2 reliable free domain services on the web, CO.CC and DOT.TK. While both are completely free services, CO.CC has been recently banned by Google.While in future, this ban is likely to be lifted, I strongly advice you to book a .tk domain. This is because it is a TOP Level domain while CO.CC is 2nd level domain. DOT.TK provides unlimited domains, while CO.CC limits this to 3 per account.

Choosing a Hosting Provider

Paid Hosting

If you are ready to pay a nominal hosting fees, then choose from Dreamhost or Bluehost. Just for info, this blog is hosted on Dreamhost.

Free Hosting
Freehostia is the best free hosting provider till date.They provide almost everything ideal to an online startup.However, SMTP is blocked on FRee Hosting.This means your site wont be able to send any automated emails to users.If you dont think this as a bottleneck, then jump to Freehostia wihout hesitation.I started my online business in early 2008 on Freehostia itself.

X10hosting is another good name in the hosting industry.They provide more free hosting figures(in terms of space,bandwidth emails etc). I havenot tested them much, but they seem to be a good place to start with.The only restriction is that you need to login to your control panel once every 15 days.

This article is the first in a series of posts aimed to foster entrepreneurship and encourage young people to start a business of their own.I shall be posting stuffs to it at least once a week.In the meantime, if you need any help, do comment below.I shall respond promptly

Apple goes into Cloud introduces ICloud

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, by introducing a service that shares files across different Internet-linked devices, takes another step toward sidelining the personal-computer industry he pioneered.

Jobs, who helped popularize home computers with the Apple II and the Mac in the 1970s and ‘80s, is counting on the new iCloud product to let users synchronize and access data on Apple devices and Windows PCs running iTunes.

Jobs aims to make Apple the center of consumers’ digital lives, further decreasing dependence on Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s once- dominant Windows software and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ)’s market- leading PCs. With iCloud, files will be stored by Apple in remote data centers — known as the “cloud” in technology parlance — and automatically synchronize. That means the same content is available from any Apple gadget, without it cluttering up users’ hard drives.

“The PC will be the most visible casualty of the cloud revolution,” said Steve Perlman, a former Apple engineer and the CEO of online game company OnLive Inc. “Apple knows it.”

Apple is trying to parlay the success of the iPhone and iPad into the leading role in the “post-PC” era. Already, customers have bought 25 million iPad tablets, eating into PC sales. Both Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard disappointed investors with their earnings last quarter, hurt in part by tablets weighing on the industry.

‘Demote the PC’

In all, Apple has sold more than 200 million iOS devices, a category that includes the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, the Cupertino, California-based company said yesterday when it unveiled iCloud. Apple’s App Store now has more than 425,000 applications that work with iOS.

“We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device — just like an iPad, an iPhone or an iPod Touch,” Jobs, dressed in a black sweater and jeans, said yesterday. “We’re going to move the hub of your digital life to the cloud.”

Apple recently completed a $1 billion data center in North Carolina that will serve as the backbone of the iCloud service. It will help devices synchronize calendar items, contacts, mail, iTunes songs, photos, apps and other files.

“If you don’t think we’re serious about this, you’re wrong,” Jobs said while showing pictures of the data center. Yesterday’s event marked Jobs’s second public appearance of 2011. Though he has been on medical leave since Jan. 17, Jobs remains involved in Apple’s decision making. His absence is the third since 2004 as he copes with a rare form of cancer.

Amazon, Google

In racing to the cloud, Apple is competing with Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), the biggest online retailer, and Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android software, which runs rival smartphones and tablet computers.

Amazon is the top seller of e-books, and offers its own cloud service. Google’s Android, meanwhile, runs smartphones from Samsung Electronics Co., HTC Corp. and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. Android accounted for 36 percent of smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2011, compared with 17 percent for iPhone, according to Gartner Inc.

A major piece of Apple’s effort to dislodge the PC is eliminating the need for customers to plug their devices into a computer for updates. With the software upgrades announced by Apple yesterday, devices will synchronize wirelessly. For example, a picture that’s taken with an iPhone will become immediately available to view on an iPad or Mac.

“Keeping these devices in sync is driving us crazy,” Jobs said yesterday.

Closed Ecosystem

The various Internet services Jobs introduced will only work with Apple’s mobile devices. That improves the chance customers will stay within its ecosystem of gadgets and services, saidGene Munster, an analyst for Piper Jaffray Cos. in Minneapolis.

“Apple is increasing the likelihood that consumers buy multiple Apple devices,” he said in a note to clients.

At the same time, Apple’s closed approach presents an opportunity for rivals, including Google and online file-storage service Dropbox Inc., said Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com Inc. in San Francisco, which offers cloud services to businesses. Those competitors can offer services that will work with different platforms, not just Apple’s, he said.

Apple fell $5.40, or 1.6 percent, to $338.04 yesterday on the Nasdaq Stock Market, mirroring a broader decline in the markets. The shares have climbed 4.8 percent this year. Today, the stock dropped 0.7 percent to the equivalent of $339.58 in German trading as of 9:14 a.m. in Frankfurt.

As part of iCloud, Apple introduced a $24.99 music feature called iTunes Match that will scan every song in users’ libraries and match it with a copy in the cloud. That means customers don’t have to upload all their music song by song — a requirement on services introduced by Google and Amazon.

Free Download

ICloud will be available as a free download when Apple releases the new version of iOS this fall. The feature will include 5 gigabytes of free storage for users’ files, plus unlimited room for purchased apps and books, and recent photos.

The new version of iOS will come with a notification system to alert users when they get text messages and updates from applications such as Facebook. It also will make it easier to see Web articles and save them for future reading.

A new Twitter Inc. partnership will help users access the social-networking service and post photos. And a feature called Newsstand lets customers purchase and organize newspaper and magazine subscriptions for the iPad and iPhone.

New Features

Apple also is adding 250 new features to the Mac OS X Lion software, including more touch-control options and a service called AirDrop that shares files over Wi-Fi. The Lion operating system will be available for downloading in July for $29.99.

The company’s earlier foray into Web-based services, MobileMe, got off to a slow start, dogged by breakdowns, including one that kept users from sending or receiving e-mails. MobileMe, with a $99 annual subscription fee, eventually gained 3 million users, according to Forrester Research Inc. That’s a fraction of the potential customer base for iCloud.

“We learned a lot,” Jobs said yesterday. MobileMe “wasn’t our finest hour.”

 

Microsoft offering $1 lakh to start-ups in India

Microsoft said India is a strategic market for it, and also announced a $ one-lakh grant to promote innovation among domestic start-up companies.

‘Microsoft is happy to reiterate its commitment to India by fostering innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Towards this, we are pleased to launch the ‘Microsoft Bizspark India Start-up Challenge’ under which four most promising start-ups will share a prize money of $1,00,000,’ Microsoft Corp chief operating officer Kevin Turner said here.

On investment plans for India this fiscal, Turner said they will continue to invest here as it is strategically an important market. But he refused to give any specifics in terms of the timeline or quantum of such investment.

The Microsoft Bizspark India Start-up Challenge is a unique contest for start-ups in the field of product software to showcase their creativity, get constructive feedback, inputs on technology roadmap and gain mentorship from peers, investors and Microsoft.

The first two winners will get $ 40,000 each and the two runners-up will get $ 10,000 each under the contest, which will be open to all the 1,300 member-companies of the Microsoft BizSpark platform. The contest opens today and will run till June.

The BizSpark platform has been running to promote a local software ecosystem, Microsoft India general manager for developer platform evangelism Moorthy Uppaluri.

Over the years, through the Spark series, Microsoft has helped and guided many aspiring entrepreneurs, Uppaluri said and insisted that this is not a revenue-based business model but an investment being made under personal guidance of Bill Gates.

‘What more, with 4.5 million downloads of Microsoft programmes/products, a year, India has become the largest free-software download market in the world,’ Uppaluri said.

The Spark series include DreamSpark, WebsiteSpark, I-Spark, BizSpark and BizSparkOne aimed at students and entrepreneurs alike.

 

Ratan Tata and the journey from an Indian giant to a global business house

RATAN TATA is as different as can be from the popular image of a business titan: he is a natural gentleman who lives austerely, litters his conversation with references to “dignity” and “duty” and is happiest when talking about his pet dogs, two German shepherds. He owns less than 1% of the group that bears his family name. But he is a titan nonetheless: the most powerful businessman in India and one of the most influential in the world.

The Tata group, of which he is chairman, is a giant too—or rather a collection of them. This family of companies covers cars and consulting, software and steel, tea and coffee, chemicals and hotels. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is Asia’s largest software company. Tata Steel is India’s largest steelmaker and number ten in the world. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is India’s biggest luxury hotel group by far. Tata Power is the country’s largest private electricity company. Tata Global Beverages is the world’s second-largest maker of branded tea. Overall, the group earned 3.2 trillion rupees, or $67.4 billion, in revenues in 2009-10 (see chart) and 82 billion rupees in profits.

Mr Tata has transformed the group. When he became chairman in 1991, India was groaning under the Licence Raj and Tata seldom ventured outside its home market. Today, as he prepares to step down in late 2012 and the search for a successor speeds up, India is one of the world’s most dynamic economies and Tata operates in over 80 countries. The latest sign of its ambition came this week at the Geneva motor show, where Tata Motors showed a prototype of a small car for European drivers.

But the Tata story is about more than its own transformation. Just as Tata played a leading role in nation-building from its foundation in 1868, creating India’s first Indian-owned steel plant, power station, luxury hotel, domestic airline and sundry other firsts, it is now one of the stars of India’s globalisation. The group has also projected a new type of company onto the global stage—more diversified than Western firms, more engaged in the life of the community and, if its employees are to be believed, better equipped to prosper in both developed and developing markets.

The house that Ratan built

Mr Tata’s enthronement in Bombay House, the group’s headquarters, took place just before the liberalisation of India’s economy, an event that Indian business people habitually call the country’s “second independence”. He spotted that liberalisation was both an opportunity and a threat. It was an opportunity because it set Tata free: the economy had been so tightly regulated that you could be fined or even imprisoned for exceeding your output quotas. It was a threat because Tata was vulnerable. Its companies were unco-ordinated, overmanned and undermanaged. They had competed with each other so vigorously that four textile mills drove each other out of business, yet there was a serious risk that leaner, fitter foreigners would wipe out the lot.

Mr Tata set about streamlining with a vengeance. He focused the group on six industries that have provided most of its revenues since 2000—steel, motor vehicles, power, telecoms, information technology (IT) and hotels—and increased its often paltry shareholding in these core businesses. He gradually established Bombay House’s power over the barons who had ruled the various businesses for decades. Companies now have to earn the right to use the Tata brand. The Tata Management Training Centre does as its name says; and TAS selects high-flyers who move regularly from one company to another as their careers develop. Teams of “auditors”, stars from across the group, conduct annual surveys of selected companies, reporting on progress and suggesting lessons to learn.

The group embraced globalisation. The pace of foreign acquisitions has grown dramatically: in 1995-2003 Tata companies made, on average, one purchase a year; in 2004 they made six; and in 2005-06 more than 20. So has the scale. Tata Tea’s takeover of Tetley Group, a British company, for $450m in 2000 was the first of several bold buys of well-known brands that announced the group’s arrival in the global big league. In 2007 Tata Steel bought Corus, Europe’s second-largest steelmaker, for $12.1 billion. A year later Tata Motors paid $2.3 billion for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

In all Tata has spent around $20 billion on foreign companies. Today it earns about three-fifths of its revenue abroad and employs more British workers than any other manufacturer, and two of its biggest companies, Tata Motors and Tata Communications, are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tata has been busy in emerging markets, too. Tata Steel and Tata Motors have been snapping up Asian companies, such as Thailand’s Millennium Steel and South Korea’s Daewoo trucks. At home Tata Motors makes the first Indian-designed car, the Indica, and the world’s cheapest, the Nano. Mr Tata talks about the company’s duty to produce groundbreaking products for the world’s poor with missionary zeal.

The changes have been dramatic. A group that used to be identified with secure employment (“for shoes there’s Bata and for jobs there’s Tata”) has become obsessed by serving its customers and matching international standards. Tata Steel has more than doubled its output since 1994 (from 3m tonnes to 6.4m) while cutting its workforce in India by more than half (from 78,000 to 30,000). A jaunty self-confidence has replaced the self-doubt of the early 1990s. Yet Mr Tata’s changes have gone only so far. That is partly because of caution and reverence for tradition, but also because there is logic behind the group’s diversity.

E pluribus plura

In Jamshedpur men in thick denim shirts and hard hats watch as molten steel is poured from a gigantic ladle. In Mumbai young women in exquisite saris add to the allure of the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel. In Pune PhDs from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and various Indian Institutes of Technology feed data into one of the world’s most powerful privately owned supercomputers. They are all part of Tata’s global workforce of about 395,000 people.

For all the frantic restructuring the group remains strikingly diversified by Western standards: 98 operating companies, 28 of them listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, in a bewildering range of industries. It is bound together by complicated interlocking structures: various central bodies, such as the Tata trusts and Tata Sons, hold shares in the companies.

Tata is also held together by a common culture that has been marinating for 140 years. Employees love to tell tales of how Tata got the better of the British overlords. They also love to point out that Tata created many of India’s greatest institutions, such as the Indian Institute of Science, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Tata Memorial Hospital. Reverence for Jamsetji Tata, the group’s founder, borders on ancestor worship: his ever-present busts are garlanded with fresh flowers daily. On March 3rd thousands marched through the streets of Jamshedpur, as they do every year, to celebrate his birthday.

Tata prides itself above all on its culture, which it argues is defined by three things: loyalty, dignity and what is now called corporate social responsibility (CSR). It is not unusual to find a Tata lifer whose spouse works for the firm and whose father also did. Tata is admirably restrained by the flashy—it is tempting to say money-grubbing—standards of modern India. It has always eschewed “sinful” industries such as drink, tobacco and gambling. It is as committed to public service as it was when Jamsetji Tata was laying the economic foundations of Indian independence.

Tata charitable trusts own two-thirds of the holding company, Tata Sons. Alan Rosling, a former Tata executive who spearheaded the group’s globalisation, liked to say, “We’re making money so that our shareholders can give it away.” The trusts funded worthy causes, from clean-water projects and literacy programmes to the various Tata institutions, to the tune of $97m in 2010. But the commitment to CSR is deeper than this.

Consider Jamshedpur, the home of Tata Steel and perhaps the world’s most successful company town. Tata Steel runs almost all the city’s institutions: these include a 980-bed hospital, a zoo, a giant sports stadium, academies for football, archery and athletics, golf courses and the local utility company. (“They provide you with a house and a car,” jokes Prabhat Sharma, head of corporate affairs for Tata Steel. “The only thing you need to bring is a wife.”) The company also employs 250 people to work with local tribespeople, to improve agriculture, health care and education, and regularly sends a hospital train farther into the hinterland. The city is remarkably well run by Indian standards, with broad avenues, green parks, reliable power and water that you can drink. Tata Steel gently mocks all this corporate philanthropy with the slogan, “We also make steel”.

This largesse has come under some strain in recent years. Tata Steel has reined back some activities (it no longer makes ice or shoes) and created a separate utility company. Tata Tea (now Tata Global Beverages) has sold its vast plantation in the Western Ghat mountains where it was the biggest employer for more than a century. But rationalisation has not gone far by Western standards. The tea plantations were sold to former employees. Tata Steel gave generous pensions to the thousands of workers it got rid of.

The group has inevitably provoked criticism as it has stridden onto the international stage. Western investors who already apply a discount to American and European conglomerates are leery of India’s more sprawling variety. Many Indians may view the prominence of Ambanis, Birlas and Tatas as part of the natural order of things. But Westerners tend to associate it with unreconstructed tradition and messy family politics.

The widespread suspicion that Tata had overpaid for Corus and JLR seemed to be confirmed when the world’s stockmarkets tumbled in 2007-08. Even Mr Tata admits that the group had to reach deep into its pockets to keep some subsidiaries going. But the crisis has done nothing to damage Tata’s growing self-confidence. The global deals are beginning to repay its patience: JLR is likely to make $1 billion in profit this year as well as providing Tata Motors with valuable skills. Mr Tata warns the group against drawing the wrong conclusion from the meltdown: it needs to be more bullish rather than more conservative.

The sense behind the sprawl

Tata executives also insist that the group’s sprawl makes sense, even if they sometimes explain it in idiosyncratic terms. R. Gopalakrishnan, a director of Tata Sons, explains the structure with reference to the extended Indian family: the patriarch sets an example to his “sons” and kicks them out of the house if they fail to live up to his values. But they also claim support from management thinkers such as Tarun Khanna, of Harvard Business School, and Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great”.

Mr Khanna points out that diversified groups are the “dominant” form of business in many emerging markets, including Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan and Thailand. He argues that this makes eminent sense in countries with weak governments and underdeveloped institutions. India regularly comes in the bottom half of the World Bank’s “Doing Business” rankings. Many institutions that Western companies take for granted are missing.

The group’s spread not only improves its chances of grappling with bureaucracy and filling various institutional voids but also helps it wage two of the hottest wars in modern India: for talent and trust. Tata can compete with Western talent-magnets such as General Electric and Accenture. It is well enough known to appeal to people in the remotest villages. In last year’s BrandFinance Global 500, a ranking of the world’s most valuable brands, the Tata name was reckoned to be worth $11.2 billion, placing it first in India and 65th overall. Even the twin strategy of advancing at both the bottom and the top of the market makes sense: it is hard to dismiss Tata as a “cheap” brand when the group owns luxury hotels and fancy consultancies.

Mr Collins argues that “culture” is a rich corporate resource: many of the “great” Western companies that he studies share a propensity for ancestor worship. Tata’s culture of probity has helped to insulate it from India’s endemic corruption. It has guided its behaviour when standards have slipped: when the company discovered widespread irregularities in Tata Finance in 2001-02 it blew the whistle on itself. Tata has not escaped unharmed from the snowballing scandal over the Department of Telecommunications’ decision, in 2008, to allocate wireless spectrum to favoured companies at below market prices. But in general its reputation has earned its senior figures the benefit of the doubt.

Tata’s diversified structure has given it a valuable mixture of flexibility and deep pockets. Its companies have been able to seize opportunities, such as Tata Steel’s takeover of Millennium Steel or Tata Motors’ joint venture with Marcopolo, a Brazilian bus manufacturer. Bombay House provides Tata companies with clout when they want to make ambitious acquisitions (Tetley was twice the size of Tata Tea) or when the market turns against them.

Tata’s new frontiers

A profile in Fortune in 2002 characterised Tata as both “one of India’s most beloved companies” and “a mess”. The latter no longer looks correct. But Tata will be held to much higher standards as it competes with the world’s best. Its future success will depend on the answers to two questions. Can it use its muscle to become a master of innovation? And can it become a truly global company rather than just an Indian one that does well abroad?

Mr Tata’s mission in his final years as chairman has been to foster innovation. He has started an annual competition with a prize for the best failed idea (failure is a “gold mine” for a great company, he says). He has also created five “clusters” (plastics and composites, nanotechnology, engineering, IT and water) that throw people from different businesses together.

The group is pursuing innovation on two levels. At the high end, Tata Chemicals is conducting research in nanotechnology and food science, and TCS holds regular innovation conferences in Silicon Valley. But what has caught more attention is the group’s commitment to “frugal innovation”: new products designed to appeal to poor people and the rising middle class.

Tata’s best-known frugal product, the Tata Nano, a 150,000 rupee car, has run into problems: some cars have suffered from what Ravi Kant, the vice-chairman of Tata Motors, calls “thermal incidents” and his customers call “catching fire”. Distribution has been poor, although more are appearing on the roads. Carl-Peter Forster, chief executive of Tata Motors, admitted this week in Geneva that the Nano business model is having to be reinvented.

Even if the Nano proves disappointing, frugal innovation looks promising overall. Tata Motors is making small trucks that are replacing three-wheelers. TCS has co-produced a cheap water filter, the Swach, using ingredients such as rice husks. Tata Steel has made a prototype of a $500 house that can be bought in a shop. The hotel company is building $20-a-night billets for India’s army of commercial travellers.

The group is learning to combine the strengths of its various parts. Three companies collaborated on the Swach. After the Asian tsunami in December 2004 TCS and Tata Teleservices joined forces to develop a weather-alert system for fishermen. The group is also marrying high- and low-end innovation. The supercomputer in Pune was built in six weeks for around $30m. TCS has created a cheap software package that can teach adults to read in 40 hours.

The Nano needs sprucing up

In globalising, Tata has been a fast learner, absorbing lessons from JLR and Daewoo. It has become more ambitious: Tata Global Beverages presents itself as a global company rather than an agglomeration of acquisitions. Tata also claims that it is easier for Indian companies to compete in Western markets than it is for Western ones to adapt to the complicated demands of developing markets.

But the group nevertheless faces serious problems. One is the parochialism that afflicts big countries (and companies): the upper management is still dominated by Indians who know only life within Tata. A second is hubris. Tata is too inclined to celebrate the great pruning of the 1990s rather than ask whether another is due. It may not be able to justify today’s degree of diversification when the Indian market is growing so rapidly and when it is doing so much business in the developed world. It needs to consider whether it is time to lop off weaker limbs such as Tata Teleservices, an also-ran in India’s crowded telecoms market, and Tata Financial Services.

The most immediate task, though, is more humdrum: replacing Ratan Tata. This will not be easy. Mr Tata has driven the group’s big transformations from its restructuring to its focus on frugal innovation. His personality pervades the organisation, which is in a far better state than it was when he inherited it.

Tata has plenty of senior executives who have grown up under his regime—not least Noel Tata, Ratan’s half-brother and the son-in-law of Pallonji Mistry, Tata Sons’ largest individual shareholder. It has also forged a long-term strategy that could power its growth for years: producing a stream of innovative products that will both cater for the rising masses of the emerging world and shake up markets in richer places.

 

5 Tips for Following-up the Right Way

Chances are, there is little doubt in your mind about the importance of follow-up in your marketing…you just need a few tips to get moving in the right direction. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you put your follow-up procedures in place.

Follow up immediately.

If a prospect expresses interest in your company, don’t let them slip through the cracks. Follow up right away to start building a relationship.

Manage the frequency of your follow-up.

Frequency is critical. If your follow-up is too sporadic, contacts may forget who you are. If you follow up too often, you risk being viewed as a pest. Avoid the urge to communicate with your prospects too often. Less is definitely more.

Manage expectations.

In order to avoid unkind thoughts and SPAM complaints, set email expectations up front. Most complaints come when prospects are surprised – so tell subscribers exactly what you will be sending, when, and how it will benefit them.

Practice permission-based marketing.

Before you email anyone, make sure you have permission to do so. This is as simple as including an “opt-in” button on your webform or other lead capture method. Once you have their permission, they are less likely to send you to the SPAM folder and more likely to respond to your messages.

Be persistent.

Remember, 80% of your prospects may not be ready to buy right now, but they will be ready within 2 years. Don’t give up on the opportunity to stay in touch with these prospects – through special offers, helpful tips and tricks, coupons, industry news, new product information, etc. You never know when one of these prospects will be ready to buy.

Put these principles to work in your follow-up marketing and you’ll start seeing much better response rates. There’s a gold mine of potential out there.

President Obama Dinner with Top Tech Leaders

President Barack Obama had dinner with Technology Business Leaders in Woodside, California, on Feb. 17, 2011. Apple’s Steve Job, and Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg were seated beside the President among others.

P021711PS-0705
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza from White House Flickr page)

President Obama Dinner

Invitees: So how many people can you identify in the photo? SE Land has marked the photo to help you identify the people seated for dinner. As per their information, and NewYorkTimes had a list of invitees.

  • John Doerr, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Carol Bartz, president and CEO, Yahoo!
  • John Chambers, CEO and chairman, Cisco Systems
  • Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter
  • Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO, Oracle
  • Reed Hastings, CEO, NetFlix
  • John Hennessy, president, Stanford University
  • Steve Jobs, chairman and CEO, Apple
  • Art Levinson, chairman and former CEO, Genentech
  • Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google
  • Steve Westly, managing partner and founder, Westly Group
  • Mark Zuckerberg, founder, president and CEO, Facebook

Agenda: WSJ says “the overall aim of the meeting was for Mr. Obama to discuss his competitiveness agenda, and to find new ways the government and private sector can work together to lift the shaky economy.”

Original article: President Obama Dinner with Top Tech Leaders [Photo]

 

Free WordPress Customization Service for your blog

If you are new to  blogging and fear setting up your blog yourself,I  have come up a program to help needy people like you.I have decided to make 10 WordPress installations for FREE. This will include

  • WordPress Installation
  • Theme Setup
  • SEO Optimization
  • Ad Management Integration
  • Page Speed Optimization using Page Caching and GZipping
  • SiteMap
  • Facebook  Like and Tweet  for each post
  • Feeds Redirection to Feedburner
  • Automatic Email Alert to all Subscribers

This program is being sponsored by Hostgator, the leading hosting provider on Web. From my experience ,they are one of the  cheapest  and quality hosting provider on web.

To Claim this offer simply enter the Coupon Code GET994USDOFF when you signup at Hostgator.  This coupon code will allow you an additional  discount of $9.94 on your total purchase.For example, if you are going for  the plan of $4.95/month, then you  will get First 2 months of hosting FREE, in addition to $100 FREE Adwords Credit.

So by signing up using this coupon code, you are entitled for

  • FREE WordPress Setup  and  Customization
  • 2 Months of hosting FREE or a discount of $9.94, whichever is more.
  • Free Google Adwords Credit  worth $100.

Once you Signup,simply male a comment to this post and I shall finish your installation-cum-customization within 24 working hours as promised.

Click here to get your FREE WordPress Installation

10 Installations left so far.Hurry Up! as it may get over soon

3 quick tips to be a highly successful email marketer

E-mail marketing is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fund-raising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every e-mail sent to a potential or current customer could be considered e-mail marketing.Here are few tips to   increase the effectiveness of your  outbox.

Give subscribers what they want.

The most impactful thing you can do to improve your email marketing is to send relevant and interesting emails. Why? Because when your subscribers know that there is something valuable on the other side of the subject line, your open rates will skyrocket.

So offer something of value in every email you send, such as industry research, tips and tricks, discounts, and more. Not only will this establish your credibility as an expert, it will reduce spam complaints.

Get to know your readers.

In order to deliver relevant content, you need to understand what your subscribers care about. If you don’t already know the answer, you can find out by conducting online surveys or by asking for specific information on your web forms.

Once you know what individual readers want, you can segment them into groups based on their interests. This knowledge will help you send relevant messages to each person. If you don’t have the resources (or inclination) to manually track this data, you can use a customer relationship management tool like Infusionsoft to do it for you.

Be consistent.

People (and remember, your prospects are people) gravitate toward things that are familiar. Campaigns that have a consistent look and feel will be more effective in helping your prospects absorb information. That’s not to say you can’t get creative and mix things up, but you should maintain brand standards in design, tone, and personality, and use the same sender name and address throughout your campaigns.

NOTE:The above tips are based on discussion with one of my friend who works for Infusionsoft, the leading e-marketing agency

Continue using Paypal in India without affecting your business

Yesterday evening, I was one of the 1,70,000 Indian  to reeive the email from Paypal stating that Paypal has amended its  agreement  for Indian Customers. It stated

  1. Any balance in and all future payments into your PayPal account may not be used to buy goods or services and must be transferred to your bank account in India within 7 days from the receipt of confirmation from the buyer in respect of the goods or services; and
  2. Export-related payments for goods and services into your PayPal account may not exceed US$500 per transaction.

You can see the details here  at https://www.paypal-apac.com/india/

Now this is the most disastrous  event which occurred  since last year when they halted the personal payments to India. Considering  1,70,000 Indian accounts with Paypal  and average amount of  $ 500  per account per  month the total monthly transaction goes beyond 85 million USD

Considering this high volume of money being  transfered, it would be impractical to stop using Paypal services all of a  sudden.What we aim is to minimize the impact on the business.After analysing the entire scenerio, I have  discovered a simple catch to  continue the smooth flow of business using Paypal.

1. Accept Payments using Paypal

2. Transfer the amount to your bank account in India on weekly basis

3. Whenever you need to make online purchases or money transfer, generate Virtual Credit Cards  and   pay using it.I have been using HDFC  NetSafe  for this purpose and it is completely FREE to use, as of now.  http://www.hdfcbank.com/personal/payments/netsafe/netsafe.htm

I guess it is better to store the money in your bank account( and get interest) rather than in an online Wallet like Paypal ( and allow Paypal to get interest on it).

This fix has certain limitations.

1. The exchange rate of Paypal is quite low 1 USD= Rs. 42, which is significantly lower than the normal bank exchange rate of  1 USD= Rs.45.50.

2. Paypal will charge Rs. 50 extra if the amount  being realized in the bank account  is less than Rs. 7000.

The Transaction limit of  $500  has no catch-around  right now. Better ask for Payments in multiple of $500.

If you have found any alternative fix of this problem ,please let us know by commenting below.

Update: Here is the reason why this happened http://techie-buzz.com/tech-news/paypal-rbi-guidelines-flouting.html