Customer is the King

Online pharmacy

“In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.”- Doug Warner

I`ll start this article with a question, what`s the first word that comes in your mind when I say ‘Big Billion Day’? If you are going to answer this question with negative words such as fraud, cheating, fake discounts, e-commerce lies etc then probably you are a disgruntled customer who expected a lot from Flipkart`s ‘Big Billion Day‘.

Indian E-commerce giant, Flipkart decided to celebrate 6 October, 2014 as ‘Big Billion Day’ and promised the greatest sale with unbeatable offers, discount, deals and surprises. For many Indians, 6 October was claimed to be the Black Friday that they have been waiting for a long time. For small E-commerce entrepreneurs like me, 6 October was expected to be the start of a golden era and we believed that everything is going to change now, Indian consumers` mindset, perception towards online shopping, knowledge about E-commerce business etc. But we all were wrong!

Since its inception Flipkart has been growing steadily and recently raised $1B hoping to win the e-commerce battle in India against Snapdeal and Amazon. To get money from customers` pocket early before festive season starts, and to acquire more customers than competition during the festive season, Flipkart came up with the ‘Big Billion Day’ idea.

However, even before the sale began, controversy mounted as people realized that the prices of most of the products have been increased back to the MRP instead of the actual selling price – to compensate the huge discounts and products were costlier than the regular days.

Worse was that Flipkart was struggling to keep up with the high demands. Products were sold out in a matter of seconds, which shows just how limited the sales really were. Another big issue was the number of technical problems users were facing. People wanting to buy, and those having bought products on Flipkart during the Big Billion Day repeatedly had to deal with issues such as ‘Server Breakdown‘, in addition to the unrealistic discounts and auto-cancellation of orders.

Even though Flipkart announced revenue of $100 Million on the day of the sale but it left customers with disappointment, frustration, and distrust. There were many first-time online shoppers who had never trusted the online shopping before; there were many who had never heard about Flipkart before but now they knew about it and were amazed to see advertisements showing 90% discounts; there were many who had bad experiences with online shopping in the past and wanted to give it another try; and there were many who wanted to give a supporting hand to home-grown dreamers, Bansals.

And then there were small e-commerce entrepreneurs who believed that this day will break all the barriers and myths that people have in their minds regarding online shopping. We believed that Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal will pave a way for budding Indian entrepreneurs like me.

Going forward, Indian consumer will have difficulty trusting another e-commerce company, another breakthrough promise and another genuine offer. You not only did hurt your credibility but also damaged trust that Indian consumers were gradually putting in the online shopping.

I appeal to E-commerce giants such as Snapdeal, Healthkart, Amazon, Myntra etc. to be honest and genuine to the customer. Now-a-days customers are very skeptical as well as intelligent. By maneuvering numbers and showing catchy advertisement, you can win them for a short period of time but will lose in longer run. Brand royalty is the thing of past; you can only win their hearts by providing the best services with honest efforts.

Well what`s done is done but now it`s time to fix it.

LET`S FIX IT and take a vow to put customers before stakeholders and financial charts!

LET`S FIX IT and take a vow to focus on building credibility and customer relationship than revenue!

LET`S FIX IT and take a vow that we`ll never doubt customers` intelligence and manipulate discounts!

References:

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/10/08/flipkarts-big-billion-day-sale-prompts-big-apology/

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/analysing-deal-behind-flipkarts-big-billion-day-sale-1468884

http://gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/news/flipkart-big-billion-day-sale-riddled-with-problems-602498

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Entrepreneurs and Social Responsibilities

Jammu Kashmir Flood Relief

“When I see my kids, I feel like killing myself,” she cries. “I tell them God will send someone very kind, and I send them to sleep. In the morning they ask again for food, and I say again that God will send someone.”

The tragic flood waters took away her husband, and she is now left alone with her three children. She has to stand with died hopes in a throng of broken people standing for hours watching the sky and hoping that one of the helicopters would drop an aid to her hands. But still she stands, bare-footed, in high rising precarious water which has taken away their family, peace, everything.

She is not only the one who is left with a slim chance of hope, but there are thousands of grieving families still marooned. Some have a family but have to see their children dying of hunger, some have even buried their children. Others have lost their mothers, fathers, and to them, the world no longer seems a place to live. After the severe rains that triggered floods and claimed over 300 lives in the state, people of Jammu and Kashmir crave to get a respite. The network towers have fallen down and situation worsens as the people stranded are not able to contact their family members and loved ones.

The people of Kashmir are left with nothing but anger, frustration and tears of losing everything. The heart-rending flood waters seem to have snatched away all happiness from their lives and has filled it with a flood of despair. As flood waters washed away all belongings of flood-affected people of Jammu and Kashmir, the government has intervened to ensure food availability to them. However, still a large number of people are deserted and several others are stuck with the threat of a rampant malady that appears to be knocking their lives.

Amid fears of an epidemic breaking out due to the catastrophe, government has managed to send 80 teams of doctors and till now they have treated around 53,082 patients. Still, a large portion of people are left unhealed, waning to get medicines and cure.

Natural calamities and disasters are inevitable. Tomorrow the same could happen to us, won’t you need help? Would you be able to see your loved ones dreaded with tears of an epidemic? As a human, we need to know the value of our life, and life of our loved ones. If we won’t help them today, would we be able to face ourselves in the same condition? Even a small donation from each one of us has a potential to save a life. We can support our brothers and sisters of J&K by donating not only money but also cloths, grocery, food packets, medicines etc.

There are various organizations and companies that are trying to collect the donations for J&K flood relief and dispatching to the people. SEWA INTERNATIONAL USA, Help Age India and INDIEGOGO are only a few of them. American business tycoon and philanthropist Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced an emergency relief fund of USD 700,000 for the flood victims. We at Mera Medicare are also encouraging donors to order the medicines online from our website for people in Jammu and Kashmir and promising to share 50% of the medicines` cost. Mera Medicare is also working with some insurance companies and e-commerce retailers in India to supply medicines worth 500,000 Rs. Trucks full of grocery items, cloths and medicines are expected to leave from New Delhi on 22 September.

Every day hundreds of trucks with relief materials are leaving for Jammu and Kashmir and saving lives. Your donations will also be sent to J&K through those trucks and used to save our brothers and sisters. Spare a minute. Order medicines for a better cause. Not for sake of us, but for them!!

We entrepreneurs and professionals need to come together and put our best efforts to support our community. No matter how successful we become in our professional lives, no matter how much money we make in our ventures but if we don`t use that success and money for rescue of our people then these are of no use.


P.S.: We’ve been trying our best to help the flood-affected people and are still struggling to do the best. If we join hands together, I’m sure we can stand proudly to have saved a couple of lives.


Mera Medicare is an online platform that enables patients to purchase medicines online and cost-effectively. It`s currently operational in Delhi-NCR.

How to clear your mind in 30 mins

Are you having a crazy, distracting day? Here is a 15-minute approach to clearing the mind and regaining focus.

Some days just get out of hand. The workload is heavy, and still the emails and calls flood in. The pace can seem frenetic, and the constant interruptions not only disrupt your actions but your thought process as well. You move so fast you feel unproductive and sloppy. By the end of the day, you feel stressed and edgy. Worse, you can’t shut down your brain because you feel you might have missed something important.

  It doesn’t have to escalate to the point at which you head home to snap at your kids and yell at your dog. There are simple ways to gain control during the most hectic and frantic of days.

Below is a simple, 15-minute regimen from my friend and writing coach Carolyn Roark, Ph.D., who taught college students for years and knows a little about creating calm amid a world of chaos. The next time the world is spinning you in all directions, go find a quiet place for 15 minutes and use this exercise to recenter yourself in the universe.

 

5 minutes of physical activity

Even though you may already have your blood pumping from running around the office, Roark suggests that heading outside and running or fast walking around the building will give you a break from the immediate chaos. Separation from the action will help your mind let go of the immediacy of issues. The release of endorphins will lift your mood and begin to break the stress.

4 minutes of gratitude

Now that your body is a little looser, you can start to clear your thoughts. The easiest way to slow down the pace is to remember why you are doing all of this to begin with. Use these minutes to contemplate how grateful you are for the people around you who support you and add value to your life. Be thankful for good health, good opportunities, and the wonders of the world you live in. You can take a broad approach and make a list, or pick one person and write a note. Send it tomorrow; no need for another task right now.

3 minutes of meditation

Now that you are in a positive state of body and mind, you can go to work on getting your mind to clear. Meditation is a very effective way of clearing out all the distractions and allowing you to find your center. There are several approaches you can use. Some people use prayer to quiet the outside and create an inward focus. Others cross their legs and hum. If you don’t have an established method, Roark recommends you find some examples on the Internet or find a guided video on YouTube. Either way, make sure it has specific structure that guides you through the process so you have one less thing to think about.

2 minutes of silence

With your mind clear, the last thing you need now is to walk back into the distracting frenzy. Find a quiet place you can sit and desensitize. Even if you are at your desk, turn out the lights, turn off your computer and electronics, put on some noise canceling headphones, and block out all stimuli. Be alone with yourself and focus on your calm. You can set your smartphone on airplane mode so it doesn’t disturb you, and put two minutes on the timer. If it’s in vibrate mode in your pocket, it will gently let you know when the two minutes of quiet are over. By now, you should be calm, cool, and clear.

1 minute of deep breathing

At the end of the quiet mode, set one more minute on the clock. Of course, you know you have to head back into the fray, so, time to prepare. For the next 60 seconds, focus on slow breathing as you bring yourself back to awareness. You’ll find that just the act of deep breathing will slow things down. For the rest of the day, if you find things edging out of control, you can simply go to a quiet space and repeat this one-minute breathing exercise, which should settle things down again. If it doesn’t seem to work, just find another 15 minutes and go back to the top.

 

Source: http://www.inc.com