Browsing "STARTUPs AND SMEs"

Social Media is the death of traditional PR

Social Media – Game changing, Revolutionary, Transformative.
If you’re still not heavily invested in social media, you’re not relevant as an agency or person.
Compared to traditional PR, social media changes distribution channels, content and stakeholder development. Some have called social media the death of traditional PR. Social media provides direct links to qualified audiences. It makes mainstream media relations an adjunct to strategic plans rather than a primary focus. Shall I go on?
 
It’s cheaper.
It’s current.
It makes PR more measurable than ever before. It reaches demographics mainstream media doesn’t.
It’s fun.
It, in my opinion, offers up more creativity. Do it right and your message goes viral, global and can reach corners of the world you never dreamt would be into your program.
 
Take Quora, for example. There are CEOs on here giving direct answers to key questions about their businesses. It’s great access. It’s approachable. It’s unfiltered. It’s primo PR. There are journalists on here pulling story ideas and sources. And this is only one platform.
Let’s discuss more, ‘impact of social media on PR’.
Join me:  IDCOL Auditorium,Bhubaneshwarr | 11th Feb’2017 – 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM
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Why work for a start-up?

You will read many myths about Startups Life but listen Working at a startup isn’t for everyone. You’ll work long long hours, with long list of plans and strategy changing daily. Everything will move very quickly and often it will feel like you’re struggling even to keep you head above the water. But in this lies the benefit.

You’ll learn a lot about a lot very quickly. Job titles are far less meaningful than they will be in many other companies, as staff are tasked with whatever needs doing rather than what they were hired for. One day you’ll be sifting through a massive database of data for opportunities, the next you’ll be doing a doing a photoshoot in the rain. Doing SUMs in excel, crafting something in board. anything and many-thing…

 

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On top of learning a wide variety of different skills very quickly you’re also likely to be able to make a much bigger impact. Workers tend to have a larger impact at smaller companies, and this is especially true when the company is breaking completely new ground, rather than starting a business with a tried and tested formula. You’ll be asked to come up with, hone and execute a strategy rather than just execute one.

But you have to Trust and respect your team. You should always be a part of every small and big event of company. This is your baby. Treat like a baby. So always be prepare to work hard and give your best to your startup vision and make it Billion dollar company. This will be incredibly rewarding.

So tight your shoes and shoot your life.

Kanhaiya Kumar – A new role model for all entrepreneurs

I don’t care whoever he is, he is is a good speakers and a good scholar, Who knows the ground level politics and ground level problems.  One university and especially one student leader, Mr. Kanhaiya kumar, was at the center of controversy around a political storm in India lately. While it will be hard to comment on the politics of left and right ideology, its analogy to start ups and their daily problems can be drawn.

Take up a issue which are being faced by public in general and build a solution around it

  • Issue taken up Kanhaiya kumar – Rohit Vemula, Occupy UGC.
  • As a start up, you take up issues that people are facing and try to invent solution around it.. Issues taken up start up – Easy recharge and bill payment  (Mobikwik, Paytm, PayU)

In political or in business, Big players will bully  you and will try to stop-

  • Established big players will flexes their muscles as they see you as intruder in their market space and try everything to kill your ambition. Ruling political part tried hard to stop you
  • Similarly in business space, big corporates have always tried to stop smaller players like IBM – Apple , Makemytrip – Oyo room, Uber – Jugnoo

Corrupt environment will try to decimate your ambitions

  • External Socio-politic-economic forces will try to stop your progress. Kanhaiya charged with Sedition for doctored videos aired by some news channels.
  • In business, big business can get access to funds more easily. They can easily create entry barriers to new players. Some of the big business tycoons are biggest bank defaulters, while every day 100s of start ups are facing untimely death due to cash crunch.

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You will faces challenges all the time.

  • In Kanhaiya Kumar case, he was charged with sedition, he was beaten up by mob of lawyers outside court and he risked being labelled anti national for all of his life.
  • Similarly, in start-up, some of the problems you faced are wrong partners, cash flow issue, human resource issues, etc. These are some of the difficulty which tries to put a stop to your dreams.

Your family, well-wishers will keep faith in you

  • In hard time, it is very important to have helping hand from your closest family and well-wisher (monetary or emotionally). This will give extra mileage in long battle. Kanhaiya kumar was well supported by JNU community and lacs of Indian students.
  • Similarly, every founder needs emotional and monetary support from his close family and friends.

Slowly and steadly, you stood up against all the challenges and come as a winner

  • JNU Student Union President was given bail by Delhi High Court
  • Similarly, you will face lots of challenges in start up and finally find a way to make your start up a big story.

Aam Aadmi Party teaches a lot to Startups – Growth Hack ;)

1) Identifying a real need gap – They realized that there was a huge untapped market for a new brand of politics and developed their disruptive product, i.e. AAP in accordance with this market need. This came as a result of a lot of market research. In this case, the India Against Corruption movement only served to validate the findings of the research.
Lesson to be learnt: Research well on your market, customers, their needs. Then try to solve a real life problem that truly exists in the real world and not just in your mind. Then build a product to solve this recognized product.

2) Team Building – AAP then went around on a hiring spree (if I may call it hiring). AK appealed to all ‘ache log’ of this country to come together and join AAP to establish a brand pf politics. Each new member was chosen very carefully with a proper background check. They were put into roles where they could deliver/add maximum value. Each team mate was as ready as the co-founders to go all in to make the product a huge success. I won’t go into the specifics of this one.
Lesson to be learnt: Spend a lot of time in building the right team. The right team always consists of those who believe in your product and not those that are motivated by greater incentives such as money/fame etc. Candidates with the right skill set in a given. But always choose those who bring in the same amount of dedication, passion and believe as you. Choose wisely. A good team and be a deal maker or a deal breaker.

3) Test your product – AAP went around the streets of Delhi testing their models of ‘Swaraj’ – or decentralization of power. Similarly, they tested the grounds for each of their product feature such as cheaper electricity and water. After very carefully assessing each feature of their product did they move ahead on it in the rest of Delhi.
Lesson to be learnt: Test your product and each of its features again and again for real customer validation. Don’t sit idle with your product thinking and hoping this is what people wanted and that we have given it to them. Keep checking and testing until you hit the spot bang on.

4) Listen to customers – and listen to them early on. Through the many gatherings, sabhas, mediums such as twitter, Facebook, radio etc., AAP listened to what their customers wanted. For eg., women safety. And they were quick in implementing it into their list of features thereby only strengthening the product and its demand.
Lesson to be learnt: Stay in touch with potential customers throughout. Listen to each of them carefully and try your best to solve their problem. This can very often be the most important differentiating factor of your product.

5) Branding and Brand Elements – AAP chose the name of its party very carefully. Also their party symbol ‘Jhaadu’. All slogans, taglines and the Gandhi cap were all very integral to its brand building because each brand element made a connect with its target audience, i.e, the middle class.
Lesson to be learnt: Building a great product is not enough. As the co-founder it is your job to design your brand elements correctly, to create the highest impact. Naming of the product/company matters too. Pay very close attention to your positioning. How is it unique, or how it is different from the existing competition. A great product will not sell on its own. Pay attention to such details.

6) Learn sales and marketing – AAP did not just rely on the professionals to take care of their sales and marketing. But sales and marketing was right from the beginning an integral part of all its members. They recognized each member as a brand ambassador of the party with the CEO at its helm. AK himself was always the leader of all their campaigns.
Lesson to be learnt: The founders can never think or assume (especially engineers) that sales and marketing can be left to professionals that they can hire. It is important for them to first master their own craft and may be then leave it to professionals. If you don’t know much about sales or marketing then LEARN. No excuses!

7) Learn PR early on – AAP was in constant touch with the media. Had its PR strategy been weak or ignored, they would have never gained the traction they got from free media. Whether AK was a poster boy for the media or later on the villain they could bash, he always stayed in news. He did his part, and the rest followed.
Lesson to be learnt: Many feel that traditional PR can be ignored until you establish yourself as a major player in your domain. Nothing could be further from the truth. As the founder or co-founder it is your job to establish a great PR connection early on. If people write about you it is always great. You cannot ignore the importance of this. EVER!

8) Be Frugal – AAP was very frugal in its expenses. They operated out of small residences converted to offices. AK drove a Wagon-R till about recently. They curtailed all sorts of unnecessary spending.  No swanky offices like the established players. No chauffer driven cars. No fancy and expensive advertising.
Lesson to be learnt: BE FRUGAL! It will increase your chances of survival. Stay bootstrapped for as long as possible. Cut down on all and every unnecessary spending. Successful partnerships and business dealing need not happen in a Café Coffee Day. The roadside tea stall can be just as great. Build frugality into your DNA.

9) Bringing in Investors – Now AAP did not look out for donations immediately after launching their party even though they were open to it. They started seeking full-fledged funding (in this case Crown Funding) only after testing the market thoroughly for their product. After being sure that people were indeed ready to buy their product (in this case, vote them to power) only then did they expect real funding.
Lesson to be learnt: Investors come on board only when you have a kickass product and an established customer base. Focus first on building the right product and then on finding customers who are willing to pay. Investors will, if at all, only come then. No investor puts money on ideas which have not been implemented.

10) Learn when to scale up – Immediately after winning the Delhi elections in 2013, AAP started scaling up immensely. They thought they could win the Lok Sabha elections too. And we all know how that turned out.
Lesson to be learnt: After the successful launch of your product, do not immediately aspire to scale up. Make your fundamentals strong. Capture your home market first. Then scale up organically. You will have success stories to tell and a huge satisfied customer base who will gladly do the selling for you. Do not scale up too soon.

12) Course Correction/ Back to Basics/ Scale Down – After its dismal performance in the Lok Sabha elections, the group was quick to get back to basics and focus only on the home market. They focused on their strengths and scaled down equally quickly so that they don’t lose the existing market and its customers. They gave this existing market all their energy and heart. They worked relentlessly in trying to win them back.
Lesson to be learnt: Scaling up is not just a huge risk but also an art. Do not try to scale up a business too soon. However, if you do and burn your fingers, be quick to correct your course. Focus on making customers happy. As they say ‘A happy customer is the best marketer’. This may mean giving personalized attention to some of your good customers and going the extra mile to appease to them. But do it. It is your business. If you don’t know one else will. This will pay huge dividends when you see your business grow.

13) Focus not just on good content but also its distribution- Yes, again! AAP chose every channel of marketing. They left no stone unturned. Twitter for tweeters, Facebook for facebookers, radio for those who drive cars a lot, newspapers, flyers, press releases, posters, branding on autos, Delhi Dialogues and what not. Point is they could reach out to every customer where they were, when they were.
Lesson to be learnt: Once you have your product ready and at least a few interested customers try to acquire a critical mass of your audience by providing solid content. Keep in mind that your customer will engage with you when they want, how they want and where they want. It is your job to be present across all mediums. It takes 27 impressions of a brand before a consumer put the brand into its consideration list. Be present everywhere. And more importantly, be consistent with your message.

‘A must Read from Quora…’

Mukesh Bansal has logged out of Flipkart, time for a new a Start Up

Fire your boss, do what you love and work better to live awesome. Agree ?

Weeks after the top-level rejig at Flipkart, its head of commerce and publicizing business Mukesh Bansal has put in his papers. Flipkart’s Chief Business Officer Ankit Nagori has likewise stopped the firm to begin an entrepreneurial endeavor in the games area. Interestingly, Flipkart fellow benefactors Sachin and Binny Bansal are the main financial specialists in his new organization.

“Mukesh Bansal, Head of Commerce Platform, Flipkart is moving out of his active role to be an advisor to the company. Mukesh has played a huge role in making Myntra the number one fashion destination and helped build a strong platform at Flipkart,” ~ Flipkart

A computer science graduate from IIT-Kanpur, Bansal founded Myntra in 2007.  He sold Myntra to Flipkart in one of the largest M&A deals in the Indian e-commerce space. While neither companies had disclosed the deal size, it was estimated to be worth about Rs. 2,000 crore.

Mukesh Bansal’s departure is one of the most high-profile exits yet for Flipkart, which is competing head-on with Amazon and Snapdeal for a larger share of the booming Indian online retail industry. Binny Bansal will now directly oversee the commerce and advertising platforms.

Some Interesting tweets:

Mukesh Bansal quits FlipKart. He has 30 days to change his mind as per FlipKart’s return policy. ~Ramesh Srivats

Mukesh Bansal set to leave Flipkart. It’s official. #watchthisspace this entrepreneur will come up with something new soon enough :) ~Abha Bakaya

 

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Flipkart says No to Airtel Zero because Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai : Ankur Mishra

Lets Understand what is Airtel Zero…

There has been a lot of discussions over India Wants Net Neutrality, Net neutrality and the proposed Airtel Zero terms. Many People are asking questions Like: how is something like Airtel Zero against net neutrality?
As per my Gyan, Airtel Zero is basically a agreement where many big companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Flipkart… etc. pat Airtel and the data usage for any User by their apps on Airtel becomes free. Free !! Bur it generates Many Questions – Free?
Is this Good for a User?
There were many similar deals in past, where accessing certain websites/Apps like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo were free on some Networks. If it was not bad then how it is bad now? Here The difference between past deals and the current Airtel Zero type deal is that past ones were limited in scope and limited to a single service, and for a limited period of time. It was just like a Trial Package. But Now Scope is much Wider and Big. Say Airtel zero comes with free access to all leading sites/apps – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp – one or two top services in each category. These are some of the most used apps by an average user. If they get these for free they will never have a need to pay for the Internet to access any other apps/services.
This will be a huge disadvantage for new services and app that are newly launched. Entrenched services with deep pockets can be accessed for free so while the new kid on the block is not free. What will consumers choose? Obviously free. That kills the open nature of the Internet. If you have to reach consumers you have to pay or rather bribe telcos. So instead of Internet being a demand based platform it becomes a supply based platform – one that is controlled by the Internet Service Providers. Even for established companies, if their competitor joins such a platform they will have no option but to follow suit. From a business point of view it’s a good deal. That gives you unfair advantage over your competition and acts as a barrier to entry for new players.
“As a consumer I will have two options – pay to access the whole Internet or access a clutch of services for free. Is there a guarantee that when I pay for accessing the whole of the Internet my experience will not be throttled by the telco?
It’s a conflict of interest for the telco. They would rather have me access the net through their free plan because it makes them more money.” (TechWithTheGud1)
The Main Problem is here, we will have two types of Internet: One is with Free access with Limted Access and another one is Paid.Once the general population has been conditioned to the idea of a Paid Internet – that paid Internet can then be divided into further packets – just like how we have DTH plans today.
As a consumer it affects me. It makes access costly for me and since the competition has been reduced it slows down innovation. Similar to DTH. 
Telecom companies want a piece of action because they feel Facebook, Google, Flipkart are making money over the infrastructure they have built. But hey, as a consumer I am already paying for that infrastructure, am I not? “Going by their logic Suzuki, Honda, Toyota should ask for a cut from Ola and Uber! After all they are providing Over The Top services on their products.”(TechWithTheGud1)
Flipkart says no to Airtel Zero because they understand that har ek friend zaroori hota hai…

It’s simple – Airtel Zero is against Net Neutrality!

Read : Answers to TRAI’s 20 Questions : This could be your last chance to save the INTERNET in its pure form 0 comments,  If you too want to stand up for net neutrality, shoot a mail to advqos@trai.gov.in (TRAI)
Do it Right Now, Important For You.

Ankur Mishra @ ForeanTech
ankur@foreantech.com   @iAnkurMishra

Answers to TRAI’s 20 Questions : This could be your last chance to save the INTERNET in its pure form

In a consultation paper dated 27th March, 2015, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) posed 20 questions for the public to answer. Although the questions are repetitive in nature, I have tried to paraphrase my answers most (but not all) of the times.
If you too want to stand up for net neutrality, shoot these 20 responses (with questions) in a mail to advqos@trai.gov.in before 24th April, 2015. This could be your last chance to save the INTERNET in its pure form!
  • Question 1: Is it too early to establish a regulatory framework for OTT services, since internet penetration is still evolving, access speeds are generally low and there is limited coverage of high-speed broadband in the country? Or, should some beginning be made now with a regulatory framework that could be adapted to changes in the future? Please comment with justifications.
    It’s true that internet penetration in India is still in its early stages of evolution. However, if the approach to increase penetration involves giving free access to Facebook (courtesy of Reliance) or other selective services, I’m afraid it’s the wrong path. In fact, it’s a recipe for disaster. If increasing access is the priority, people should be given free, unbiased connectivity (bandwidth). In the times of knowledge based economy, how can we hinder knowledge; it is meant to be universally accessible. But it seems the road we are treading is taking us to what I call ‘selfie economy’. Ten years down the line, do we want to assess the internet penetration in the country by the ability of our people to take a photo and post it on the internet? Or, do we want to have a large internet user base which is informed and ready to take the country forward? The choice is obvious.
    The selective services which are offered for free benefit only the data carriers (as in this example, Reliance; Airtel, in several others) and the original service provider (here, Facebook, which gets to grow it’s empire) leaving very little or nothing for the end user. The user should have the liberty to choose the services she wants to use. Therefore, there is a need for an immediate response against the anti-net neutral advances of telecom operators (aka data carriers). We need to kill the dragon before it becomes too big to handle!
  • Question 2: Should the OTT players offering communication services (voice, messaging and video call services) through applications (resident either in the country or outside) be brought under the licensing regime? Please comment with justifications.
    The answer here is simple. Some businesses evolve and innovate over time, others don’t and perish. Since, telecom operators have failed to innovate and tweak their business model with changing times, their customers should not bear the brunt for their incompetence. It’s time they realize their role as data carriers because that’s what they basically are. And, there is no dearth of opportunities in this space – revenues from data services will continue to rise. (Anyway, this should not be a concern for the end user.)
    We, the Indian people, have lent the airwaves to the data carriers to channel data to us and are willing to pay for it. It’s a fair business transaction. They provide data, we consume it. And here, the end user, who is buying the data, should be the one making the decision how to consume it, not the data carriers. So, let OTT players provide their services, data carriers provide data and end users pay for the data. It is as simple as it gets.
  • Question 3: Is the growth of OTT impacting the traditional revenue stream of TSPs? If so, is the increase in data revenues of the TSPs sufficient to compensate for this impact? Please comment with reasons.
    It is quite obvious that if people use OTT services to make calls and send messages, the traditional revenue stream would wane. It is not of concern to the end user whether data revenues would compensate for loss in traditional revenue streams. Although it is highly likely that it would (data already contributes to nearly half of revenues; it increased by 3/4th in 2014 y-o-y), over 900 million telecom subscribers should not be made to pay for the lack of innovative agility of Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) if it does not turn out to be the case. TSPs should envision to entirely become data providers and try to get good it because right now, they do a horrible job at that too. The bottom line is that just because you are losing a portion of your revenues, you should not use unethical trade practices to realize your monetary targets.
  • Question 4: Should the OTT players pay for use of the TSPs network over and above data charges paid by consumers? If yes, what pricing options can be adopted? Could such options include prices based on bandwidth consumption? Can prices be used as a means product/service differentiation? Please comment with justifications.
    The arrangement between OTT players and TSPs is entirely their prerogative, however, this should not involve prioritizing/de-prioritizing the services of OTT players with respect to bandwith and the price paid by the end user. The success of businesses (here, OTT players), large or small, should be determined by market forces and their ability to innovate and evolve over time. TSPs have no role to play here.
    TSPs should be able to differentiate their services but not at the cost of net neutrality. They can always offer better connectivity, faster downloads, cheaper tariffs, etc., as a way to stand out in a competitive marketplace.
  • Question 5: Do you agree that imbalances exist in the regulatory environment in the operation of OTT players? If so, what should be the framework to address these issues? How can the prevailing laws and regulations be applied to OTT players (who operate in the virtual world) and compliance enforced? What could be the impact on the economy? Please comment with justifications.
    Yes. Various TSPs are offering free/cheap access to selective services provided by different OTT players. This should not be encouraged. A framework that prohibits TSPs from treating different OTT players differently by giving (or denying) them access to a user base needs to be immediately introduced.
    TRAI regulates telecom bodies, it should do that. It primary motto should be serve the end users by facilitating the services of TSPs while maintaining (and ensuring) a transparent regulatory environment. OTT players can function under the umbrella of laws with govern other businesses involving IT and internet companies.
    The essence of net neutrality favours the very entrepreneurial mindset of an average Indian youth. If TRAI doesn’t choose to tread on this path, small businesses may never be able to dream big; it would scuttle their growth. Net neutrality provides a level platform to all sizes of businesses to further their interests. Over the past century, most of the major economies of the world have made a transition to market economies; some others like us are still in the transition phase. Do we want to kill the growth of the economy when a significant portion of the growth is coming from the internet sector? An unbiased internet could help India realize profound surges in economic growth in the medium term and beyond.
  • Question 6: How should the security concerns be addressed with regard to OTT players providing communication services? What security conditions such as maintaining data records, logs etc. need to be mandated for such OTT players? And, how can compliance with these conditions be ensured if the applications of such OTT players reside outside the country? Please comment with justifications.
    TRAI should ensure that communications via OTT services are traceable and proper records are maintained which could be used as legal evidence (just as communications mediated by TSPs). Rest assured, the government can request these OTT players for information as and when required. This wouldn’t be a new thing; the Government of India is already in business with internet giants like Google and Facebook, when it comes to information requests.
    It is likely that if OTT players want to do business in India and bank on India’s ever increasing internet population, they would comply by TRAI regulations, irrespective of their country of origin. In this particular case, we have the leverage and we can negotiate a fair deal. However, some OTT players from hostile countries (or, the ones with a proven record of non-compliance) can be banned from providing their services.
  • Question 7: How should the OTT players offering app services ensure security, safety and privacy of the consumer? How should they ensure protection of consumer interest? Please comment with justifications.
    OTT players should have the provision of multiple verification steps to ensure security, safety and privacy of the consumer. They should follow the best industry practices and sharing of consumer data between different OTT players without the consumers’ consent should be outlawed.
  • Question 8: In what manner can the proposals for a regulatory framework for OTTs in India draw from those of ETNO, referred to in para 4.23 or the best practices summarised in para 4.29? And, what practices should be proscribed by regulatory fiat? Please comment with justifications.
    The revenue sharing between OTT players and TSPs should be their prerogative and it should, in no way, hamper consumer interests (or, the very essence of net neutrality). Being data carriers, TSPs can charge the consumer based on the amount of data consumed but it is entirely up to the consumer as to how to consume it. The idea of separate regulatory practices for communication and non-communication services (para 4.29) could be borrowed from our European counterparts. This is because communication services carry sensitive personal data and there is need to protect the interests of consumers.
    Any behind the scenes sharing of personal data among OTT players (or, between TSPs and OTT players) without explicit consumer consent should be proscribed. Price discrimination of internet traffic should be prohibited.
  • Question 9: What are your views on net-neutrality in the Indian context? How should the various principles discussed in para 5.47 be dealt with? Please comment with justifications.
    In the Indian context, net neutrality occupies more important position than any other period in internet’s two decade long history. It is mainly because of two reasons.
    i) Innovation and risk taking is in our genes but so far India’s hasn’t realized her entrepreneurial potential. And, just when the regulatory environment is easing and the youngsters are floating new start ups everyday, we shouldn’t (and can’t) introduce a tinge of cronyism to the markets. The playing field has to be equal for businesses, regardless of their size or, the name of the holding company. Do we want to crush the dreams of our budding entrepreneurs at a time when they seem ready to take the internet by storm?
    ii) Let’s repeat, who the TSPs actually are – data carriers. Shouldn’t they carry data and charge for it? Isn’t that a deal fair enough for businesses whom we, the people of India, have lent the airwaves to? Data is fed to consumers at a price and they should be able to decide how to use it. End of story.
    The principles discussed in para 5.47 could be realized by establishing guidelines for traffic management techniques and ensuring their enforcement and, fostering the spirit of differentiation by price and  connectivity (non-discriminatory). Independent audit firms with expertise in the field should be asked to audit the TSPs’ traffic management techniques from time to time to ensure that all OTT players are getting equal treatment.
  • Question 10: What forms of discrimination or traffic management practices are reasonable and consistent with a pragmatic approach? What should or can be permitted? Please comment with justifications.
    Offering a product for free for a particular period of time in order to spur consumption is a ploy which has traditionally been used by many businesses. A recent example that comes to mind is the first ride free offer of Ola Cabs. However, there needs to be an antitrust law which caps such freebies, so that companies with big pockets (or, large appetite for losses) do not end up hurting other businesses.
    So, if a TSP is offering a 3 day free trial period offer from a OTP player, it could be allowed but that too should be capped in terms of the number of days (and/or data usage) till it can be offered for free (meaning that no data charges apply during that time). For instance, if people are given free usage of Yahoo! search for the sake of increasing internet penetration, how they would even realize that they could be getting sub-optimal results. If you want to increase penetration, provide free, unbiased internet, not Yahoo! search!
  • Question 11: Should the TSPs be mandated to publish various traffic management techniques used for different OTT applications? Is this a sufficient condition to ensure transparency and a fair regulatory regime?
    Yes, TSPs should be mandated to publish such results and if possible, timely audit should be undertaken by third party firms to ensure a foolproof mechanism.
  • Question 12: How should a conducive and balanced environment be created such that TSPs are able to invest in network infrastructure and CAPs are able to innovate and grow? Who should bear the network upgradation costs? Please comment with justifications
    India has the second biggest internet population in the world and it is expected to continue to grow at a staggering pace. Mobile data traffic increased by 74% in 2014 (Nokia Networks’ MBit Index), 3G traffic has already surpassed 2G data usage, 4G is making rapid strides into the lives of internet users. A Credit Perspective (July 2014) report mentions that mobile data is already contributing up to 50% of TSPs’ revenues. These numbers can only go up. In fact, voice revenues would have stalled at a certain point but data revenues are not going to plateau over the medium term. In such a situation, there would be no dearth of capital to invest in network infrastructure. TSPs can bear the upgradation costs with relative ease.
  • Question 13: Should TSPs be allowed to implement non-price based discrimination of services? If so, under what circumstances are such practices acceptable? What restrictions, if any, need to be placed so that such measures are not abused? What measures should be adopted to ensure transparency to consumers? Please comment with justifications.
    There shouldn’t be any non-price discriminatory practices including but not limited to bandwidth throttling. This could be allowed when OTT players offer freebies but that too should be capped in terms of data usage and/or time period. Constant assessment of traffic management practices, frequent consumer redressal and audit by third party firms could ensure transparency to consumers (although it is not an exhaustive list).
  • Question 14: Is there a justification for allowing differential pricing for data access and OTT communication services? If so, what changes need to be brought about in the present tariff and regulatory framework for telecommunication services in the country? Please comment with justifications.
    This works as follows: i) TSPs channel data to and from consumers, ii) consumers get charged for it and, iii) they use the data according to their personal preferences.
    TRAI should let the market decide the pricing. However, severe antitrust laws should also be put in place so that the TSPs do not engage in a price-fixing cartel when their immoral discriminatory pricing advances receive a blow.
  • Question 15: Should OTT communication service players be treated as Bulk User of Telecom Services (BuTS)? How should the framework be structured to prevent any discrimination and protect stakeholder interest? Please comment with justification.
    The issue of treating certain OTT players as BuTS lies with TSPs and it’s should be their prerogative as to how to deal with it. They can reach at as many agreements as they want as long as they are legal in nature. From TRAI’s perspective, communication and non-communication services (by OTT players) can be bundled differently with respect to regulations to ensure data privacy of consumers.
  • Question 16: What framework should be adopted to encourage India-specific OTT apps? Please comment with justifications.
    The most apt response to this question lies in being net neutral. Banning non-Indian origin apps would be detrimental to consumers’ interests. Also, such a practice would decentivize innovation among Indian OTT players. It is most beneficial to follow the principles of open market economy here and provide both Indian and non-Indian origin apps an opportunity to compete on a level playing field.
  • Question 17: If the OTT communication service players are to be licensed, should they be categorised as ASP or CSP? If so, what should be the framework? Please comment with justifications.
    OTT players providing communication services can be categorized as CSP while those providing non-communication based services could be put under the ASP label. Since, CSPs involve data concerns (and therefore, more legal issues), they need to be have a different set of regulations. Proper records should be maintained by the CSPs and made available to the Government of India on request.
  • Question 18: Is there a need to regulate subscription charges for OTT communication services? Please comment with justifications.
    There can only be regulatory discrimination of OTT communication services. Any kind of price discrimination undermines the very principle of free, open and unbiased internet. There shouldn’t be Facebook or Whatsapp packs but internet packs (unless there are packs for all OTT services)!
  • Question 19: What steps should be taken by the Government for regulation of non-communication OTT players? Please comment with justifications.
    Non-communication OTT players should be prohibited from sharing data without consent. Additionally, they should not be undermined (or, given preference) in terms of bandwidth with respect to communication OTT players.
  • Question 20: Are there any other issues that have a bearing on the subject discussed?
    Any anti-net neutral stance by TRAI would be devastating for India’s Internet of Things industry which is being mainly driven by start ups and new businesses. This sector which is growing leaps and bounds, and is expected to touch $15 billion mark by 2020, needs old and new players to fight on equal footing so that consumers’ interests are respected and India’s economy booms.  (Content Via Gyan Prakash)
You can Contact me: Ankur Mishra @ ForeanTech // ankur@foreantech.com   // @iAnkurMishra
In 14 days, the TRAI will end Net Neutrality‬ in India, making it impossible for you and me to use apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube etc. without paying extra for them.
We all need to unitedly oppose this move of this Crony Capitalist Government working for the interests of Big Corporates!

Big Data: Big Opportunities in the modern Era

Wiki Says: “Big data is an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large or complex that it becomes difficult to process them using traditional data processing applications. The challenges include analysis, capture, curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization, and privacy violations.”
And All big companies have different definitions of Big Data.
It is generally accepted that big data can be explained according to three V’s: Velocity, Variety and Volume. But Now the context is set with some the traditional V’s, Veracity, Variability, Visualization, Value…
According to Gartner(META Group), “Companies that invest in Big Data more than their competitors do, outperform them by 20% in every major metric. This study is a direct consequence of the fact that money is made when companies interact with their customers and strive to understand their preferences”.
At its core, Big Data refers to bulky, unorganized data in extremely large amounts, which can possibly be put to use in order to understand typical scenarios in a contracted but patterned way, so as to optimize results.
The area of application could be literally anything, ranging from studies of genomic sequences and astronomy to various kinds of businesses.

(Via- Datafloq))
Till date, re-election of Obama is the most celebrated fact about Big Data.
But, is there more to it than just that?
Quite unequivocally, it is evident that if Big Data finds its application in psephology at a scale which involves some 200 million eligible-to-vote Americans, it can be put to use just anywhere else. This is because the kind of diversity that any voter database brings with it, is more complex than the customer base which even the biggest corporations like GE and 3M, deal with. Therefore, Big Data can indeed be used for improving business prospects of organizations.
Besides, public economics is yet another playing field for this area which has aroused massive business as well as academic interest over the past few years. The figure (Reference: Research Trends, September Issue, 2012) given alongside summarizes its growing relevance in the modern world.
It is worth recalling that the banking sector is one of the oldest users of Big Data analytics. ‘Big Data’ was there all the way around, although the term was not used in common parlance until it was eventually coined by Roger Magoulas in 2005. So how did the banks use it? The answer is, the credit-card based lending system. The banks used to (and they continue to do so) identify vulnerable customers (termed as revolvers) from lower middle class backgrounds with a propensity to spend and lured them with credit card offers with borrowing limits well beyond what these ‘revolvers’ could afford. These high street lenders then charged exorbitant interests on these credits continually for years despite knowing the fact that ‘revolvers’ may never be able to repay their debts. Such a situation can be considered a classic case of Big Data analytics.
Lately, its mammoth potential is in the process of being explored as Big Data forays into online retailing (e-commerce), brick-and-mortar retailing (shopping malls), social media, city traffic management and the like. Be it the suggestion of complementary and/or additional products to customers, based on their past buying behavior (e-commerce) or the real time analysis of loyalty card users to extend them attractive offers (shopping malls); it’s all Big Data. So, the next time, when Facebook suggests you a list of people to become friends with, do not write it off as a random exercise; it’s the interpretation of an elaborate study of your online activity. The same holds true for city traffic management during peak hours by altering the switching frequency of traffic light signals. The more the number of vehicles on the road, the faster is the activity of traffic signals.
From the above examples, what we have seen is that Big Data helps us convert grossly crude (and/or inadequate) data into actionable plans which in turn, facilitates the optimization of the desired outcomes. Similarly, the application of Big Data analytics to study demographic parameters can be used to make real-life business decisions such as pushing-in new products. Such an analysis can also reveal crucial information about other leads like product packaging (mostly in case of FMCGs), pricing and promotional efficacy (over different types of media). To end with, one can easily conclude that Big Data is an important tool which has become so indispensable that it has to be complied with, in time to come, for companies to stay in business.
Of course, data in itself is not valuable at all. The value is in the analyses done on that data and how the data is turned into information and eventually turning it into knowledge. The value is in how organisations will use that data and turn their organisation into an information-centric company that relies on insights derived from data analyses for their decision-making
(Source: Google, Blogs, Wiki, Datafloq)

Beyond the Comfort Zone- Be proud of yourself

We are in an era and place where no one wants to leave his or her comfort zone, but that’s really where the magic happens. It’s where we can grow, learn, and develop in a way that expands our horizons beyond what we thought was possible.

Normally the Comfort Zone is, where You feel no stress, you’re doing things that you know how to do and usually do, you feel comfortable doing the things you’re doing and they don’t take much physical or emotional energy to perform. The activities are usually ones you learned a long time ago and they’ve become routine or can be done without conscious thought.

When was the last time you experienced a moment that made you pause and consider your approach to life?

I had one of those rare experiences when I met to Sandeep Maheshwari. I am admittedly a huge fan of this incredibly talented Entrepreneur and Speaker.

Like most fans, I was looking forward to hearing his motivational speech but the meeting instead blazed through interested new Ideas. He told a story of experimenting life with his Ideas, Writing, Photography, Event Management…Etc. He described his whole life. It was a years-old struggle to create something entirely new out of uncomfortable zones.

Yet I didn’t like his every ideology. Some were very boring. But others motivated a lot. Who’s life could I compare this to?  There is none and Everyone. And that is the achievement of “Beyond the Comfort Zone”. I am listening him, You are listening him, we all are listening him.

“If it terrifies you, do it.” – This is one of the best advice you’ll get f you could follow through. (Avery Stonich)

“Do one thing everyday that scares you.” 

The idea being the more we take ourselves out of our comfort zones—our little bubbles—the more we will experience life, community, the unexpected. Confront your fears: speak up, talk to a stranger, take a dance class, ask for someone’s phone number, climb a mountain, learn to surf, begin writing that novel, go to a party alone, tell someone you love them. Let’s all take the challenge: Do one thing everyday that scares you. Bonus: tell us about what you did in the comments section so we can cheer each other on.

When it comes to getting outside your comfort zone, don’t mistake magical outcomes for magical processes. Adaptation takes time, effort, strategy, and determination. But with a solid plan in place and the courage to take it forward, your results can be extraordinary. (HBR Says)

My Journey from ‘Anshan to Oath’ with Arvind Kejriwal

When I was planning for a startup, Anna started his Lokpal fight at Jantar Mantar.  In initial phase no one was interested in knowing about, What is Lokpal or Janlokal, all were busy with their own tasks, own jobs and with own families, Date was 4th April. I and My team were planning for “Go4Every” and none of us were listening to his voice. But after two three days we read about it in a Newspaper, A revolution for India. Then a thought came in our mind and we started to watch this revolution on TV. After few days movement was finished and my startup plan was also finished; now time was to implement both, yet we have implemented and launched our startup, but Still Lokpal was struggling and another date decided for “Jail Bharo Andolan” – 16 August.

A date which comes after 15 August, Independence day. This was the fight for real Independence. And this was the first day when I joined this movement without knowing anyone in Raj Ghat. Suddenly a Bus came and arrested us from Raj Ghat and blocked us at Chatrashal Stadium. A stadium which was the part of CWG scam.

The Gov rule was there, no one was listening to Aam Aadmi. Gov. was arresting and throwing them into Jail, at the end of the day we were 3000+ people inside the jail. This was not surprising for us, surprising was the strength and crowd outside of the Chatrashal Stadium, More than 1 lakh Aam Aadmi were struggling for us, and someone said “supporters are striking all over the India”. After listening and watching this support, I felt proud and shoutes our statements “Vande Matram”, “Jai Hind”……

Here I was with Dr. Kumar Vishwas, very kind and motivational man. This was my first meet up with him. He motivated and talked. And started doing same…”Vande matram”, “Jai Hind”…. After 2 days in jail, finally we were outside and again started our movement for Janlokpal, Now everyone knows about “Lokpal” so our strength was large.

Still a Man was missing; he was doing everything for this movement, Arvind Kejriwal, Ex. IITian, Ex. IRS officer and RTI researcher. Although I met him in my college when he was campaigning for the movement but he was not much known.

I read him and googled him many times then found him Excellent and again joined him at Ramlila Ground. This time team and support was big and till now whole team were working as Social Activists. Everyone wanted a Real India and Corruption free Hindustan. Anna started his Anshan and Gov. started their politics on Lokpal. First time public were doing for themself without any Gyaan.

Everyone was talking about JanLokpal. Yet this was not tough, all rules were normal, this was an open development policy. But Gov not accepted because it was Gov RAAJ.

I can say there was no Rocket Science in whole Lokpal, No Phd was needed for implementing it but still Gov. was not interested on this.

Still I don’t know Why? So Concluded: They are Corrupt. There don’t want development.

Anna’s heath was going down and down, but there was no effect on Gov. they are giving foolish Ideas…. And at last because of bad health of Anna they promised to Pass JanLokpal. And with this commitment Anna’s left his fast…

Still Only Anna was in focus no one interested to knowing about his team, Arvind , Manish, Kumar and others. They were the key people behind the scene.

After One year of the promise Gov. were doing nothing on JanLokpal. Then a hidden man came outside and again started Anshan on the Anna’s way, but we could not imagine, still there was no effect on Gov., and now they are using abusive language and dictatorship on Aam Aadmi. And they were calling for Politics “Sansad Me Aao Aur Janlokpal Pass Kara Lo”. Now with these activities and dictatorship every Indian was fed up. They also started to talk about Change. They were fed up with BJP and Cong Gov.

So On the call of Aam Janta Mr. Kejrival came with their Ideas and put on the open platform, on 2nd Oct., Gandhi Jayanti, Peace day, he and his team announces a Party and in November month gave a Name “Aam Aadmi Party(AAP).

My Arvind:

An IITian, An IRS Officer. He did research on RTI, His press conferences were long and his stamina was strong, He fixed power connections, Forced Sensex corrections, Shaked giant real estate. And did so many other challenging things, Challenges Sheila Dixit and other political leaders for election. And Entered in Delhi Election with a real dream and Good Manifesto, and got 28 revolutionary seats.

I think he is for cities, he is for India, he is for development, Anna left him but still he has power so we can say ‘Anna was not his power’ but ‘he may be Anna’s power’.

Finally things are changed, he changes the Political System, He increases the Vote percentage, He pulled rabbits somehow.

He is brand himself for us and Aam Aadmi Party.

And will take the oath in Ramlila Ground.

 

This shows politics has been changed and India will Change soon. Everyone has a Hope for Change.

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