Thursday 24th August 2017

  • Top 10 Tips for Funding Your Enterprise

    Entrepreneurship is in the air and exciting possibilities are waiting around the corner. With technology at the forefront and consumerism at its best phase, enterprising minds across the country are starting out with their own small businesses. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in India have grown manifold in recent times, but the lack of funding often acts as a spoilt sport. As the many startup enterprises come up each year, just as many fade away equally quickly for the shortage of funds or over dependency on their funding agencies.

  • How Uber uses psychological tricks to press its drivers' buttons!

    Uber's drivers are officially independent business owners rather than traditional employees with set schedules. This allows Uber to minimize labor costs, but means it cannot compel drivers to show up at a specific place and time. And this lack of control can wreak havoc on a service whose goal is to seamlessly transport passengers whenever and wherever they want. Uber helps solve this fundamental problem by using psychological inducements and other techniques unearthed by social science to influence when, where and how long drivers work. It's a quest for a perfectly efficient system: a balance between rider demand and driver supply at the lowest cost to passengers and the company. Employing hundreds of social scientists and data scientists, Uber has experimented with video game techniques, graphics and noncash rewards of little value that can prod drivers into working longer and harder - and sometimes at hours and locations that are less lucrative for them. More here.

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  • Vishal Sikka's 'Indian IT' obituary

    The 50-year-old was a rank outsider to the Indian IT industry when Infosys appointed him CEO. Sikka's style of working and areas of expertise were unlike those of the other bigwigs in the sector. Sikka holds a PhD in artificial intelligence from Stanford University. He joined SAP in 2002 and was appointed its chief technology officer (CTO) in March 2007. Three years later, he became a part of its executive board and managed up to $8 billion of its revenues. He is known as the "father of HANA," SAP's fastest-growing product ever - in 2014, this platform was generating over $1 billion in revenue. In November that year, I first heard Sikka talk about the Indian IT industry. In a video address at an industry event, he vehemently voiced his displeasure at what he saw: "I was not deeply familiar with the services industry until recently. I find all of us in the industry on a downward spiral.. It's like a treadmill of increasingly lower cost, hiring people faster and faster, from more and more mediocre places, training people less and less, putting them into (a) job faster and faster. I think that is a wrong direction." More here.

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  • Learning from the Feynman technique

    They called Feynman the "Great Explainer." Richard Feynman (1918-1988), an author, graphic novel hero, intellectual, philosopher, physicist, and No Ordinary Genius is considered to be one of the most important physicists of all time. He pioneered an entire field: quantum electrodynamics (QED). In the 1940s, his invention of the Feynman Diagram helped bring much-needed visual clarification to the enigmatic behavior of subatomic particles. His work helping scientists understand the interaction of light and matter earned him a share of a Nobel Prize in 1965. His work has directly influenced the fields of nanotechnology, quantum computing, and particle physics. In 1986, his research and explanations were critical in helping to understand the cause of the space shuttle Challenger disaster. In addition to his groundbreaking research, Feynman was brilliant, eloquent, and an exquisitely passionate thinker. In the world of science, he stands unequivocally for his ability to synthesize and explain complex scientific knowledge. His lectures are the stuff of legend - Albert Einstein attended Feynman's first talk as a graduate student, and Bill Gates was so inspired by his pedagogy that he called Feynman, "the greatest teacher I never had." More here.

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  • SMEs need strategies to keep their best employees

    - Attrition is a standard phenomenon observed in companies large and small. However, large companies typically have processes to deal with it, while SMEs may not have the resources to continue to function smoothly when a key employee leaves. It is important for SME management to understand the reasons why employees typically leave and to devise strategies to keep their best employees. And it's not all about the pay package! For more on this story, subscribe to the SME print edition.

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  • The birth and growth of a 'fried onion' business!

    EGKFoodsFor decades it has been a ritual in the Roy family to make mutton biryani on Sundays. In its preparation, while the women folk spent most of Sunday morning peeling, chopping and frying onions, everyone had to patiently deal with the 'burning eye'. One day fed up with the chore, Satyajit Roy said "Surely fried onions must be available in the market, why doesn't someone pick them up". And he immediately began searching for it online, only to realize that fried onions were available abroad, but not in India. Thus was born the idea of EGK Foods Pvt. Ltd. For more on this story and to get your company featured, subscribe to the SME print edition.

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  • Snapdeal must learn from Infibeam rather than Amazon to revive itself

    digitalbuzzOne possible path forward for Snapdeal may come from Infibeam, its lesser-known competitor. An early entrant in the market, Infibeam didn't raise venture financing, and survived as a niche player. While it has maintained a business-to-consumer (B2C) presence that competes with Amazon and Flipkart, it has kept the cost of that operation under control and not tried to match their pricing. Furthermore, it launched BuildaBazaar.com to help other brick-and-mortar retailers launch their online stores. Infibeam later acquired a digital marketing agency to help these retailers with their marketing initiatives. BuildaBazaar's success shows how a small player can survive by finding a niche. More here.

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  • Traditional business metrics are outdated! Tesla is a case in point.

    Elon Musk is having a moment. Tesla just delivered its first Model 3, the affordable model that he envisioned in his "secret" strategy some 11 years ago. He wanted to build a sports car, then build a more affordable car with zero emissions. He's basically already there. The Model 3 has mostly rave reviews and a multiyear waiting list, which is quite a feat, even for an industry leader like Musk. And yet confusion still abounds regarding Tesla. There are roughly the same number of buy, hold, and sell ratings on the company, which means Wall Street has no idea what's going on. Tesla's recent announcement to raise $1.5 billion in debt was largely met with a yawn by stockholders, as shares moved down a slight 0.5%. Tesla's ability to surprise has analysts wondering if it is wise to ever bet against Elon Musk. At the core of the confusion over a company like Tesla is that traditional business metrics are outdated and can create overconfidence or underestimation. More here.

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  • IoT could be the saviour for Indian IT

    India's $150 billion information technology (IT) industry is in a state of turmoil, but there is one bright spot: the Internet of Things (IoT). Employees at the country's billion-dollar behemoths are quickly re-skilling themselves to work with the new-age technology needed to add sensors to machines so that they can be monitored and controlled over the internet. As a result, India's technology firms are doing IoT-related business worth $1.52 billion, accounting for 44% of the $3.5 billion global IoT technology services outsourcing market in 2017, according to a report by Bengaluru-based research, consulting, and advisory firm Zinnov, released on Aug. 07. The largest share- 43% of India's IoT-services activity is dedicated to product engineering. More here.

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  • 25 must follow CMOs on Twitter

    It's really surprising that more chief marketing officers (CMOs) aren't on Twitter. Don't get me wrong - some CMOs totally get it. In fact, this article highlights 25 CMOs that you absolutely should follow on Twitter. But, according to a search on LinkedIn, more than 30,000 people have the title of CMO. You would think that all of them would be on Twitter by now, promoting their brand and engaging with customers. After all, social media is kind of a big deal. More here.

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