Let’s Support Guts! Let’s Support Start-ups!

Mera Medicare

Looking for ideas to be a good entrepreneur; well you need to go elsewhere. Seeking inspiration; sorry, you won’t find it here. This article is neither a guide to ‘5 ways to establish a start-up‘ nor is it a motivation kit for the youth. I have no intention of addressing potential customers here. This article is for all those people who have no interest in the life and work of crazy entrepreneurs. This article is essentially for all those who have nothing to do with upcoming start-ups and those who do not give a damn to entrepreneurial passion for new ideas. Since you folks do not give a damn, here are a few reasons as to why you should.

  • For their guts will leave you amazed…

Entrepreneurs are gutsy people who believe in taking risks. They begin with nothing to build everything. They are not like famous brands that would bring only incremental changes to their products as their market rests on the existing ones. But they are firebrand zealots who innovate to create breakthrough products and services

  • Because Michael Dell asks you to…

It is entrepreneurs like Michael Dell, the founder of Dell who took a risk with his career when he was only 18 providing hard-drive upgrades to corporate customers in 1983 and the rest is history. From the meteoric rise of Dell Computers largely due to innovations in supply chain, manufacturing and the implementation of a novel distribution strategy to its current market value, it is a perfect example of ‘sky is the limit.’

  • For the umpteen innovations they bring into the corporate world…

Marriott or Hilton would have never created a business model where travelers can stay with the local families in a cost effective manner and get first-hand information about local surroundings but Airbnb surely did. AT&T or Verizon would have never created a free messaging app but WhatsApp did. Similarly Samsung or Apple would have never created a product that is flexible enough to be re-sized or used as both a smartphone and a tablet but Asus did. Start-ups are crazy ventures that bring with them a promise of adventure, fun and satisfaction for its employees. They give you not just a job to do but an opportunity to live your dreams. They give you a chance to innovate and to revel in the accomplishment of work that becomes the breath of your life. All those just out of college, looking for jobs, try working for a start-up to experience a whole new world where you learn more and grow as a professional. For all those who believe in a secure profession and don`t have time and energy to start something new or those who have a full time job that does not give them enough time to provide advice/consulting to a start-up or those who have a family to support and thus can’t fund a start-up; here are a few simple steps to support them:

  • Have you ever made a purchase through a startup and not a big brand even when there was greater value in going with that brand? If not, do it now.
  • Have you ever bought services/ products from a start up to experience difference of their services? If not, do it now.
  • Have you ever rated and reviewed a start up so you can see them grow? Well if not, do it now.

It’s time we innovate. It’s time we shed inhibitions. It’s time we support start-ups. It’s time we support guts !

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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

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