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Saturday, June 30, 2012

PERSONAL SPECIAL..WARDROBE REVOLUTION


WARDROBE REVOLUTION

Soon, you can ‘print’ your shoes at home


London: Have the perfect dress for the night out but no good heels to go with? Don’t worry. A new technology that promises to revolutionize wardrobes in the future is in the works and will allow you to quickly and cheaply ‘print’ your own perfect shoes at home.
    According to trend forecaster Jane Monnington Boddy, a director for market analyst Stylesight, within the next decade or so you’ll be able to quickly and cheaply ‘print’ your own perfect shoes at home. “This will revolutionize wardrobes,” she said. “It really is the future of fashion.”
    It may sound unbelievable, but crude versions of this new technology are already available for around 600 pounds from certain online electronic shops, the Daily Mail reported. Like all hi-tech gadgetry, prices are expected to drop as the technology becomes more mainstream.
    The technology though in its nascent stage is based on 3D printing which operates in a similar way to your inkjet printer, which prints ink in layers to form a image. Instead of ink, however, a 3D printer uses molten plastic to create a solid object.
    Hundreds of fine, 0.1mm-thick layers are stuck on top of each other by the machine to produce the item. The printers themselves look like a cross between a microwave and a bread machine, and are about the same size. PTI TOI120612


ENTREPRENEUR/STARTUP SPECIAL...LESSON NO.3 FROM REAL EXAMPLES


ENTREPRENEUR/STARTUP SPECIAL...LESSON NO.3 FROM REAL EXAMPLES

K CHANDRASHEKHAR Co-founder, Forus Healthcare
Healthcare, Better but Cheap
Twosenior Philipsexecutives quittheir cushy jobstofoundForusHealthcare, a company providing innovative medicaltechnology products. KChandrashekhar and Shyam VasudevaRao hadoften seen the gapbetween thedemandfor medicaltechnology anditssupply withthe mismatchlargely a resultof highcosts.Tobridge this,theduohassetup a firmwhich promisesto deliver a seriesof diagnostic products. Within a year of launch,they already have 3nethra, an ophthalmology pre-screening devicein the market.Now,they plan tolaunch more advanced productsin thesamesegment andhavebegun researchtodevelop devicesfor screening of diabetes,oncology, nephrology,ear nose andthroat andcardiology ailmentstoo. The venture is built around a solid premise. India has some 12 million blind people and 80% of visual impairment is avoidable. Their device, 3nethra, according to Chandrashekhar is notonly simpletouse,butcan alsobehookedup from a remotelocation to an advancedunitin a nearby town for referrals. “Wewerelucky to have a goodstart-up team…Nowwewill needto build a greatorganisation,” Chandrashekhar says. “Wewill needtosetup a robustsales and service network,supply chain management and ensure a stream of new products.” TheForusteam can seeksomehelp from their investorsAccelPartners andIDGVentures,who havebucketsof experiencehelping young companies growtheir businesses.handrashekhar believesthefirm’sbackerscan help thestart-up hire,scaledomesticoperations, providetheir businessdevelopmentexpertise andfinally open up their portfoliotolookfor both potential customers and a follow-on roundof funding.

THREE TIPS TO RAISE MONEY
Approach for
funding only after you get the product prototype right. Have customer buy-in for the product right from the initial stages
Preferably get good i-banker & lawyer
Be brutally honest with the investors – you may lose in the short run but will gain in the long run
Rahul Sachitanand
ET120612

TECH SPECIAL...How useful is Google Drive?


How useful is Google Drive?

Google has entered the cloud storage scene with its Google Drive service and apps, but is it worth discarding the thumb drive for storing data?



    Did you know that you store a lot of your personal and official information on a cloud? Where do you think all the attachments in your web mail accounts are stored? However, when it comes to consciously storing data and accessing it, most of us prefer a USB flash drive or, if the data is sizeable, a portable hard disk drive (HDD). Now, Google Drive aims to change this since it is not just a warehouse, but also offers a bunch of applications.
An office suite
At first glance, Google Drive seems just another storage service; all you see is a series of files that you would want to share. However, when you visit the Google Drive website (drive.google.com), you will also see a ‘create’ option, which lets you use Google’s online office suite, Google Docs. This allows you to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, drawings, even presentations, providing you with an online office suite. It’s almost like having a computer in your browser.
    To use Google Drive, all you need is a Google ID. If you have a Gmail account, it will suffice. You can also download the Google Drive app on your computer, be it a PC or a Mac, as well as Android phone and tablet. Though you can create and edit documents through the app on your Android phone, this facility isn’t available offline if the app is downloaded on to your computer.
    Google Drive offers 5 GB of storage for free. If you need more, you will have to shell out a monthly fee, which starts at $2.49 ( 137) a month for 25 GB, and goes up to $800 ( 44,000) a month for 16 TB. Upgrading to a paid account will also expand the storage of your Gmail account and Picasa web albums as the storage is shared among these.
Share and sync
The search feature is very good as you can hunt not just for document names but also terms used in them and, in a neat touch, even for words used in scanned documents. In fact, you can upload PDFs and scanned documents and Google Drive will translate them into Google Docs using optical character recognition. However, this aspect requires some fine-tuning. Google Drive keeps most of Google Docs’ sharing options intact. So you can share documents and files from Google Drive either by sending them as attachments or simply by sharing links. This is where we discovered another impressive feature of Google Drive. If you share a document with someone else, they will be able to view it even if they do not have the software you used to create it. For instance, if you share an image you created using Photoshop, it can be seen by recipients even if they do not have Photoshop. What’s more, they will be able to comment on it. The best part is that all the files you store on your Google Drive will be synchronised automatically across different devices, allowing you to access the same files from different computers, phones and tablets. You can even see live updates of changes made by you or anyone you have shared a file with. All you need is an Internet connection, so you don’t have to worry about carrying your pen drive.
Is it RIP, thumb drive?
Does the plethora of sky drives mean that it’s time to ditch the traditional thumb drive? If you don’t carry loads of data, and your portable needs are less than 5 GB, Google Drive is suitable for you. However, if you have high storage needs, this can prove to be an expensive proposition. Even at the lowest subscription of $2.49 a month, you will end up paying about 1,650 for using 25 GB for a year, which is more than the cost of most 32 GB flash drives. Another problem is that network access is erratic in many places in the country. If you do manage to get hooked up, the speed could be very slow and downloading or uploading large files could take hours.
    A good option is to upload important or frequently used files to Google Drive and store the ones that are rarely used on an HDD. This will save you the effort of having to plug a thumb drive in and out of multiple USB ports in computers. Another advantage is that unlike a thumb drive, cloud storage won’t get damaged or become unreadable, which minimises the chances of losing valuable data.
Cloud drive
options
If you want more storage in the cloud but don’t want to pay a fee for expanding Google Drive, here are some free alternatives.
Dropbox
(Dropbox.com)
This service offers 2 GB of free online space, which you can access on your mobile phone and computer. It is simple and easy to use, but does not have an accompanying office suite. Box (Box.com)
This portal offers 5 GB of free online storage too, along with a number of inbuilt enterprise options. However, some people might find it a tad complicated to use.
SkyDrive
(Skydrive.live.com)
Microsoft’s free online storage solution comes close to mimicking Google’s and offers 7 GB of free online storage, as well as online editing options. However, it can be a bit slow.
Ubuntu One
(One.ubuntu.com)
Ubuntu provides 5 GB of free online space. It also has a music streaming feature, wherein you get 20 GB of cloud storage at $3.99 ( 220) a month to store your files, photos and music.

NIMISH DUBEY ETW120611

JOB SPECIAL...How to give a job winning interview


How to give a job winning interview
Create a strong resume. Build a compelling case on why you fit the job role: The process of giving a job winning interview starts by forming a strong resume. A resume works as an entrance test to get an interview. A person's resume should be concise and convey more in fewer words. A good resume doesn't necessarily contain paragraphs about the person's attributes; instead it contains facts that speak about the person. An impressive resume should speak louder than words. For example, instead of saying, "I am an exceptional guitarist", one can say, "I was the lead guitarist of an award winning rock band back in college".
The interviewer breaks the ice with the interviewee by talking about him/ her and the likes and dislikes of the person. The answer to this question should contain relevant facts which give a brief professional and personal summary of the interviewee. It is important to read the job description well and prepare a compelling answer in advance. Another thing to remember while answering this question is that, it is a great opportunity to give a desired direction to the conversation.

Do your primary research on your potential employer:
Every recruiter expects you to have some basic knowledge about the organisation and the industry that you are contemplating joining. Hence, it is advisable to do a primary research before going. After all, the employer has a lot of information about the applicant, so it's only polite if the applicant evens the score. One should focus their response on what they understand about the company (history/ products/ services/ industry leadership/ performance record) and what one finds exciting about its future. If it is a listed company, one would get several financial analyst feedbacks to support their response to the future outlook on the company. For example, if the potential employer has just reported great financial numbers, it is a great opportunity to complete one's response by saying: "Your quarter results have been phenomenal and analysts are clearly positive on your company and I look forward to an exciting career if given an opportunity" and of course you can always Google it. It is extremely important that you find the latest news worthy mention of a company before meeting them.

Highlight your strengths & experience:
During an interview it is important to highlight one's strengths and experiences that appropriately fit the needs of the role. The employer will be assessing the interviewee's fitment with the job role, and in order to respond appropriately, one needs to understand the specific needs and expertise relevant to the position one is applying for. Also when asked about your greatest strength, the applicant needs to leverage the question to highlight not just his/her best skills, but also traits that harmonize with the current opportunity in the best way. In addition to technical skills the employer is also looking for key behavioral attributes in addition to technical skills. It is important to ensure one's focus on core strengths in soft yet confident communication skills.  So if the employer asks the applicant his/her weakness, there is no need to panic. Relax. They don't expect anyone to be flawless. However, it is important to articulate one's weakness to one's advantage. One shouldn't pick a weakness that will strike him/her off from the employer's list. Instead he/she should pick a weakness on which he/she is working on to take corrective measures. This puts the applicant in positive light before the employer. The important thing to remember here is to be truthful, honest & confident.

The recruiter will try to assess the applicant's problem solving skills, dependability and willingness to tackle a tough situation at work, by assessing how he/she got out of a difficult work-related situation. Here the applicant needs to focus on his/her strategy and traits that helped him/her get out of thick soup, and end on a positive note by stating an example expressing the same. Old world traits like loyalty and hardwork still pay and are looked upon well by any employer. Employers also look for value match between the company and individual, try to learn about the values the company stands for and find a possible match between what you stand for and the company.

Never criticise your current employer: 
There is a saying ‘whatever goes around, comes back,' it is never helpful to criticise your current employer and cite that as one of the reasons for changing your job. You may be talking about your prospective employer the same way in the coming years. It is helpful to focus on the lack of challenges in current job fit not being in line with your career aspirations, want of greater responsibilities and the learning opportunities your new employer offers as some of the reasons for seeing a change.

Be confident:
One should always remember to be fiercely confident, show willingness and enthusiasm for the job and appear as a genuine person who loves what he/she does.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare:
Before the critical day it is helpful to prepare by reading your resume critically, reading up your prospective employer and speaking to your consultant in detail about the job & employer. If you are looking to have a close friend with whom you can role play, do that. Be your worst critic in that and remember opportunity knocks only once, better be prepared to interview with it.


--Rajan Kalia: The writer is Director & Head – Human Resource, Max New York Life Insurance. ASC

FOOD SPECIAL..Fruit soup


Fruit soup



    Summer in Europe is all about celebrating the precious few weeks of sunshine and warmth before the onset of autumn and dark winters. This is also the season for fruit such as cherries, peaches, apples and berries. Fruit is used creatively across the continent from Scandinavia to Eastern Europe in both sweet and savoury dishes. These include divine fruit-based soups that capture the spirit and flavour of summer in their cold, colourful depths.
    While the concept of using fruit for soup is starting to catch on in India, the trend remains largely confined to fine-dining restaurants in metros. Moreover, while the chef may put his or her own signature on the creations, the soups tend to be restricted to conventional ‘soup fruit’ such as cherries, avocados and melon. Experimenting with very local — and more importantly, seasonal — fruit is rare.
    This is a pity. Because, if like me, you believe firmly that one of the things that makes the long summer months bearable is looking forward to a bowl of chilled soup either at lunch or dinner (and sometimes both), then fruit grown locally and abundantly available in the hot months — watermelon, mangoes, wood apple (bel), pomegranate — can add to your cold soup repertoire.
    When I first began experimenting with local fruit, I drew my lessons from the European fruit soups I had enjoyed: scarlet bowls cherry soup from Eastern Europe, the clove-redolent apple soup from Denmark, the fruit soup one finds in all the Scandinavian countries that has dried fruit like apricot and prunes, slow-stewed in red wine, mellowed with the richness of sour cream and fragrant with cinnamon and the subtle cantaloupe soup with a barely discernible hint of mint.
    Unlike vegetable soups, the fundamental taste sensation that you work with when making a fruit soup is sweet. This gives these soups their uniqueness but also provides cooks the challenge of moderating the sweetness without banishing it all together. You need to get a cold soup with sweet accents, not a smoothie masquerading as chilled soup.
    Lime, yoghurt and sour cream are stalwarts when you’re turning fruit into soup. A herb like mint that readily straddles the sweet and savoury worlds — think of mintice cream but also raita — is almost indispensable. To a lesser extent, and certainly with much greater caution, basil comes in handy — especially sweet basil.
    This summer I launched into fruit soups inspired by a wonderful watermelon gazpacho recipe provided by New York Times food columnist, Mark Bittman. Watermelon, tomatoes, and cucumber are roughly chopped and put into the processor along with a generous dash of olive oil and a handful of mint, and then whizzed to create a chunky mélange. This beautiful collage of reds, pinks, and greens is served with some shredded mint and a sprinkling of feta.
    As is typical of his cooking, Bittman’s recipe is all about using the best of the season. This meant, however, that the recipe used a fairly high ratio of raw tomatoes to the watermelon, since in the US this is the time for sweet, juicy tomatoes. Given the miserable quality of our tomatoes in this hot weather, I reduced their quantity and upped the amount of watermelon. I also decided that this gazpacho was resilient
enough for a dash of Tabasco and not having feta at hand, I crumbled some un-smoked Bandel cheese over the surface before serving. The result was an incredible explosion of sensations on the palate with the first ice-cold spoonful: sweet water-melon moderated by the heat of Tabasco, the crunch of the fruit, cucumber and tomatoes, the fragrance of mint and all of this mellowed by the extra-virgin olive oil and the subtle pungency of the Bandel cheese.
    Soup, I discovered, is a great way of using up slightly over-ripe mangoes. Blend them with some yogurt to get a consistency that is thin enough to easily pour out. Adjust the taste so that the sweetness of the mango is tempered by the acid creaminess of the yogurt and pour into soup plates. Finely dice a mix of red and green peppers and cucumber and shred a bunch of coriander. Swirl in a couple of tablespoons of this mix into each soup serving, fleck with red chilli flakes and serve chilled.
    Even subtly flavoured fruit make flavourful soup. For instance wood apple
grows in abundance in our Santiniketan home in the hottest months of the year and its flowery flavour is enjoyed in a cooling sharbat made with milk. For the soup, I pulped the fruit with some milk. I added single cream to the thick puree and blended it in the food processor till it acquired a soupy consistency and the sweet had been sufficiently tamped down.
    A spritz of lime provided satisfying tartness. But the soup was still missing something. Deciding that it craved some heat, but nothing as dramatic as chillis, I opted for some freshly powdered nutmeg. A garnish of mint leaves was all that was left to finish a refreshing, cold summer soup, prettily pale peach in colour and redolent of wood apple and nutmeg.

COLD POMEGRANATE SOUP
(Serves 4)
Ingredients
Seeds from 2 ripe pomegranates 1 cup pomegranate juice 3 cups beaten yogurt 1 cucumber 1 tablespoon tahini Mint
Method
Beat tahini into yogurt, then add the pomegranate juice and blend to get a mix that can be poured easily. Adjust sweetness to your taste by adding honey to increase sweetness and yogurt to reduce. Divide this pale pink liquid into four soup bowls and distribute the pomegranate seeds and the cucumber into each bowl, giving it a good stir each time. Garnish with a generous scatter of chopped mint. Serve chilled.

ARUNDHATI RAY TCR120630


Friday, June 29, 2012

ENTRPRENEUR/STARTUP SPECIAL...LESSON NO.2 FROM REAL EXAMPLES


ENTRPRENEUR/STARTUP SPECIAL...LESSON NO.2 FROM REAL EXAMPLES


AJAITA SHAH Co-founder, Frontier Markets
Filling in Last-Mile Gap
It was while working at microfinance firm SKS Microfinance and urban microlender Ujjivan that Ajaita Shah struck upon a startup idea of her own. She realised that producers eager to reach the rural consumer often faced a gap in the last mile. Shah, along with co-founder Daniel Tomlinson, decided to set up a rural distribution venture Frontier Markets that would help companies to reach the bottom of the pyramid rural customers. It does this by using microfinance networks, self-help groups, farmers and anganwadi school teachers as channel partners to market products to rural consumers. Shahlaunchedthestart-up in Rajasthan with angelfunding from a networkof friends andbegan by supplying solar lanterns.Later that year Shah andTomlinson began approaching US investors.“In India,theconceptof investing in socially-focusedcommercialenterprisesdid not existthen.IthoughtUS wouldbe a better bet,” says Shah, a TuftsUniversity degree-holder. However, Shah realised that the US funds she met did not understand her target market: rural India. She then approached Indian investors and met Indian Angel Network’s Sadeesh Raghavan, who became their advisor and helped streamline business model. “Around that time we also met Seedfund’s Paula Mariwala who gave us pointers on what we need to do,” says Shah.

THREE TIPS TO RAISE MONEY
Research the investors interests, check if your business is the right fi t.
Bootstrap and get stuff done on the ground, so investors get interested.
When meeting investors understand what they think are the important points and focus on that.
Radhika P Nair

PERSONAL/GADGET SPECIAL..KEEP YOUR ELECTRONICS CLEAN


KEEP YOUR ELECTRONICS CLEAN

A microfibre cloth & mild soap solution can work wonders for a flat surface, but most electronics also have nooks and crannies that need special cleaning equipment


Air Blower
A simple air blower costs just 500 but has several uses. The most common use is to blow the dust out from a desktop computer cabinet, but you can also use it to clean out set top boxes, TV cabinets, laptops, gaming consoles, projectors and various items around the house. If you plan on using the blower with an electronic item, make sure that you unplug the mains power first. It's also a good idea to take the device out in the open and use some sort of protection for your eyes, nose and mouth. You can buy an air blower from any computer market.

Camera Blower
Image quality in a DSLR can be affected by dust on the image sensor. Your sensor is more prone to dust if you regularly swap lenses. Many cameras have built in ultrasonic sensor cleaning systems, but these can only dislodge small dust particles. The best way to remove larger dust particles is to get a handheld air blower ( 150 onwards). Lock the mirror up, hold the DSLR with the sensor facing downwards, point the nozzle of the air blower at the sensor (do not touch the sensor with it) and rapidly squeeze the blower bulb. Done in this way, dust will not settle back on the sensor nor go deeper inside the camera. Note that it is not recommended to clean a DSLR sensor with a cloth.


Cyber Clean
Cyber Clean is one of the most effective (but expensive) ways to keep various electronics clean. This non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning compound ( 250 for a 75 gram pack) is made from a patented Swiss formula that not just cleans but also kills germs. It's a jellylike compound that can reach deep crevices and corners of any device because it moulds itself to the shape of the object to pick up dust and debris. It works great for cleaning remotes, keyboards, phones, tablets and other gadgets with tight components that are not easy to clean. A change in colour indicates when Cyber Clean is no longer effective. The best part about Cyber Clean is that all dirt is absorbed — nothing gets on your hands.

CD Lens Cleaner
The easiest way to clean the lens of a CD/DVD player is with a lens cleaner disc. You'll know that your CD/DVD player needs cleaning if it skips or takes longer than usual to start playing. The cleaning disc has brushes on the underside & guides you through the cleaning. Note that it's good practice to leave a disc inside your player to prevent dust from settling on the lens.


Screen Wipes
It doesn't take long for any kind of screen to get dirty — which in turn affects the image quality. Good quality screen wipes will cost you about 500 for a box of 200 wipes. The wipes hold a specially formulated solution that dries fast and does not leave a residue. Each wipe can be used till it is damp — you can safely use wipes on TV screens, LCD/CRT computer monitors, tablets, cellphones and mp3 players. Make sure that you do not put excessive pressure on the screen while wiping. Note that it is not recommended to use regular wet wipes on screens.


CD/DVD Scratch Remover
CD and DVDs tend to build up scratches over use. At some point, the scratches can start causing read errors, skipped tracks or jolts/pops while playing. When this happens, you can try cleaning the disc with Brasso in straight strokes from the inside to the outside. If that fails, a CD/DVD scratch remover ( 900) may be the only solution. Spray the provided liquid solution onto the disc's readable (silver) side and place it in the cleaning tool. The cleaning tool has a material that effectively buffs out scratches when used in conjunction with the solution. Note that a disc can be buffed in this way for a limited number of times.


Lenspen
A lenspen ( 400 onwards) is a great tool to remove smudges and fingerprints from camera lenses. It can also be used to clean other optical elements of DLSRs (like the mirror and sensor), binoculars, telescopes and microscopes. A typical Lenspen has a retractable soft brush on one side — used to remove dust particles from the surface. The other end has a smooth cleaning surface with a unique cleaning compound that does not dry or spill out. For effective cleaning, it is recommended that you use it in a circular motion — start from the centre and move outwards. Putting the cap back on the Lenspen recharges the cleaning tip.


Screen Cleaning Kit
Many households have multiple screens now — televisions, LCD monitors, phones/tablets, laptops and so on. Screens (especially touchscreens) are dirt and fingerprint magnets that need to be cleaned frequently for optimal performance. However, wiping them with any cloth could lead to micro scratches. Get any commercially available screen-cleaning kit ( 150 onwards) for the job. Most kits include a cleaning liquid and microfiber cloth — some also include a soft brush. Use the brush to remove dust and debris from the screen. Spray the cleaning liquid, taking care that the solution does not drip into sensitive components and use the microfiber cloth in small gentle circular motions.

Karan Bajaj & Hitesh Raj BhagatET120611

FOOD/CHOCOLATE SPECIAL...Toblerone Coming in India


Toblerone Coming in India


    Cadbury India will soon launch parent Kraft Foods’ legendary triangular Swiss chocolate brand Toblerone to take on Italian brand Ferrero Rocher in the premium chocolate market. The country’s largest chocolate maker plans to price Toblerone competitively, market it aggressively and sell it more widely than what different third-party importers presently do, a senior company official said.
Toblerone is the world’s largest selling chocolate brand in dutyfree and travel retail, the official said. Every single bar of Toblerone is produced at Berne in Switzerland, and about 96% of the total production is shipped to other countries. The brand accounts for 40% of Switzerland’s total chocolate exports.
What has prompted Cadbury to bring in Toblerone is the tremendous success of Italian rival Ferrero’s Ferrero Rocher brand in the country.
“While Cadbury tried tapping the top end of the market with Silk, it hasn’t worked as well as expected and hence necessitated the launch of Toblerone,” the company official said.
A Cadbury India spokesman refused to confirm the development. “We continuously evaluate opportunities available to us and will bring products to the market as and when appropriate,” the spokesman said in response to a questionnaire on the launch of Toblerone and competition from Ferrero Rocher.
Cadbury plans to launch several pack sizes of Toblerone in India at a price range of . 50-400, retail and trade sources said. At present, Toblerone’s entry price varies between . 55-80 per pack of 50 gm. Cadbury’s premium chocolate brands like Celebrations, Bournville and Dairy Milk Silk have been under pressure ever since Ferrero set up its Indian subsidiary four years ago.
Ferrero Rocher has 4%-5% share in the estimated . 2,500-crore chocolate market despite having an entry pricing of . 60 per pack of 37.5 gm and much less market penetration than Cadbury India, an industry veteran who did not wish to be quoted said.
This makes Ferrero Rocher the segment leader as premium chocolate market is estimated at 10% of the overall market. Cadbury India has some 25 SKUs in premium end, while Ferrero has 16.
The Italian firm now plans to start local manufacturing of Ferrero Rocher to reduce prices and gain market share.
An email sent to Ferrero India MD Rudolph Sequeira on its plans and the way it has challenged Cadbury’s dominance did not elicit any response. Attempts to reach him on phone too failed. Cadbury has more than 70% share in the Indian chocolate market. However, competitors like Amul and Nestle are revamping their offerings at the massend while newer players including Ferrero has nibbled into its share at the premium end.
Experts feel the launch of Toblerone by Cadbury India can change the market dynamics and will increase average selling price of the category. “Toblerone as a brand has a strong brand recall for at least three decades now. So the brand can ride on Cadbury’s vast distribution network across India as there is a lot of demand for imported chocolates even in Tier II cities,” Alpana Parida, president at brand consultancy DY Works, said. Devendra Chawla, president (food and FMCG) at the country’s largest retailer Future Group, said Ferrero built the premium chocolate category in India.
Ferrero Rocher became an instant hit in India for gifting and during festive seasons as consumers brought it as an upgrade version of the traditional mithai (sweet) box. “It’s the new age gift with laddu shape and traditional gold color which Indians can relate to easily,” Chawla said.
He said launch of Toblerone would spur consumption growth of the category, as currently there are only a handful of players in this segment. A Euromonitor report last year said indulgence products like chocolate are boosting the growth of the Indian confectionery market. Urban population in India is set to increase by 46 million between 2010 and 2015, driving demand for processed food like chocolates, it said. Since 2010, when Cadbury was acquired by Kraft, the Indian arm has tasted success with two Kraft brands-—biscuits with Oreo and fruit juices and beverages with Tang.

WRITANKAR MUKHERJEE & SAGAR MALVIYA ET120611

JOB HUNT SPECIAL...THE RESUME CHECKLIST


The resume checklist
A resume represents you to perfection whenever viewed by your recruiter, thus extolling your best virtues and highlighting the smallest of successes (if formulated correctly). But just like every job you take up and every milestone you achieve, your resume has to change as well and reflect the transformations. We give you effective ways of doing just that.
Arti Raghava, director of human resources, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa offers the following tips:
Title the resume as your ‘name' rather than ‘resume;'
Start the resume by highlighting your qualification, key skills and achievements;
If highlighting any achievements, make them specific and quantify wherever possible, like "Incremental revenue of 17 per cent over the target";
Only list job description relevant to the job applied for;
Brag about your achievements but do not exaggerate;
Make a covering letter for your application to go along with your resume;
Add a line at the end; ‘references will be provided upon request' and that will be professional and still save lot of time changing the references often;
Make the responsibilities very specific and concise rather than lengthy explanations of job role.
Swarna Sengupta, HR - head, The Chopras, Overseas Education Consultants gives a breakdown of what is expected depending on the seniority level of the job:
· Entry level jobs: The candidate needs to focus on the educational qualifications, courses pursued, grades obtained, internships done, projects handled, proficiency in foreign languages, involvement in sports and/or extra-curricular activities (debates, dramatics, fine arts, music etc.), contribution to school/college magazines, participation in community work/social causes; and leadership positions held during  academic years. These help the prospective employer to know the candidate's personality traits, attitude towards and ability to acquire new skills, aptitude to think out of the box and give solutions to the complex problems and situations.
· Middle level jobs: Employers look for operational skills and your ability to handle the assigned set of responsibilities. Therefore, the resume should include the key responsibilities performed by you. It is a good idea to list down the achievements at the job.
· Senior level positions: The focus of the resume should shift from operational aspects of the job to strategic aspects of the role. Remember, at senior management positions, one is expected to lead and provide strategic direction to a team of middle and junior level employees. The resume should edge out what sets you above the middle level and junior level workforce.
Rajshri Baskaran, HR manager, Cbazaar.in agrees, "The resume should be catchy with only key points, that value add to the job profile of the targeted employer.  A long resume would bore the HR and and the process of reading it; they may miss out on the important points." She also suggests not including any photographs.
When it comes to references, updating is of paramount importance. "References should always be given from people one has interacted in recent past say last 1-2 years. An old reference does not carry weight age as the person is being hired because of the relevance of his recent experiences," says Suman Rudra, India HR leader, NCR India. "References are generally required at the last stage of evaluation process so as such not required at the initial interface. At the same time writing too many references can turn against you as you never know one out of the multiple ones might not found favour with the interviewer because of his past experience. References should be provided only after being asked for and should have informed the referee that his name has been given for reference check," advises Vinay Grover, founder and CEO, Symbiosis Management Consultants.
To conclude, keep in mind this clever acronym devised by Raghava:
R- Relevant Information to the opening
E- Eloquently written flow & language
S- Specific and quantifiable wherever possible
U- Updated regularly to include achievements/ new roles etc
M- Meaningful to the Job vacancy (Current & Exact)
E- Efficiently crafted & presented

- Ankita Shreeram


PERSONAL SPECIAL..Now hiring Luxury Items


Now hiring Luxury Items
Fret not if your salary doesn’t allow you to snap up that high-street designer dress. You can still own it, and that too at a fraction of the original cost.

So, you spotted your friend sporting a Chanel at a party last week. And just the week before, she had Jimmy Choo shoes on. Did you go green with envy and spend the next week wondering how she manages to sport all those brands that still remain off limits for you even as the salary difference between the two is not much.
It’s quite possible she is latest entrant into a school that believes “share it when you can’t own it”. Here is a chance to own what you want at a fraction of the market cost. But remember, the ownership is not for eternity, it may be as short as a day or a week.
Everything’s for hire
Almost anything is up for hiring, be it cellphone, toys, bags, consumer durables or clothes. “This allows aspiring customers to experience and get a feel of luxury items. This probably would not have been possible for most consumers otherwise, so this model allows you to experience the brand at a relatively low cost,” says Saloni Nangia, senior vice-president, retail and consumer products, Technopak.
Mukesh Kumar, co founder of www.rentoys.in, a website that allows you to borrow toys, says: “There are certain things that you may want only for a specific period and it’s possible you will not need it afterwards. In that case, it does not make sense to splurge on something if you will end up stocking it up in the wardrobe which defeats the whole purpose.” He adds that in such a case, you can look at hiring.
Not just your needs, even cost plays a big factor. For instance, a toy of superior quality can set you back by anywhere between `1,000-5000. On the other hand, you can borrow more than one for just `250 if those are on rent!
Penny pinching
So far, we have featured only small-ticket items. But if you have set your sights on that designer dress made by Manish Malhotra that carries a price tag of `1 lakh or more, then hiring can save you a lot. Jessica Nagpal, founder of www.secretwardrobe.in, a company that allows you to rent designer outfits, explains: “We have seen an increase in demand and it especially picks up in the bridal season. That is because most people are becoming aware that it is a more practical option at times.
For instance, a bridal dress for which you will have to shell up to `80,000 can be hired for just `8,000. Apart from the cost part, it also makes sense as it is an investment that you are making just for a day and you will probably not wear it ever again. That is why more people are looking at taking expensive items on rent.” But in most cases you may have to pay an initial deposit for security purposes.
Some companies also give you the option of trying out yourself before you place the order. Not just high-end luxury, but medical equipment and consumer durables are also available for borrowing.
The clean-up act
What about quality and hygiene, you may ask. In order to dispel fears, most of these set-ups make it a point to actually walk the talk. Nagpal says, “We make sure the outfit is in perfect condition and dry-cleaned every time after use. This is because most consumers are very particular about this.”
Never lose sight of the fact that on hiring, ownership is temporary. This means you need to be extra careful as long as you possess an item. In case you end up spoiling it, you may have to cough up the original price of the product.
Founder of www.bagsutra.com, a website that rents out high end bags ranging from `20,000-5,00,000, says, “Generally, customers are very careful about the product they borrow. However, if there are any problems at the time of return, the customer is always ready to pay up for the mistake.”
Nupur Anand DNA 120523

HEALTH SPECIAL..A garment can save you from malaria


A garment can save you from malaria


Washington: A collaboration between a scientist and a designer from Africa has resulted in the creation of a fashionable hooded bodysuit embedded at the molecular level with insecticides for warding off mosquitoes infected with malaria.
    The disease is estimated to kill 655,000 people annually on the continent.
    Though insecticide-treated nets are commonly used to drive away mosquitoes from African homes, the Cornell prototype garment can be worn throughout the day to provide extra protection and does not dissipate easily like skin-based repellants.
    By binding repellant and fabric at the nanolevel using metal organic framework molecules — which are clustered crystalline compounds - the mesh fabric can be loaded with up to three times more insecticide than normal fibrous nets, which usually wear off after about six months.
    “The bond on our fabric is very difficult to break. The nets in use now are dipped in a solution and not bonded in this way, so their effectiveness doesn’t last very long,” said Frederick Ochanda, postdoctoral associate in Cornell’s department of fiber science and apparel design and a native of Kenya. The colourful garment, fashioned by Matilda Ceesay, a Cornell apparel design undergraduate from Gambia, debuted on runway at the Cornell Fashion Collective spring fashion show April 28 on the Cornell campus.
    It consists of an underlying one-piece body suit, handdyed in vibrant hues of purple, gold and blue, and a mesh hood and cape containing the repellant. The outfit is one of six in Ceesay’s collection, which she said “explores and modernizes traditional African silhouettes and textiles by embracing the strength and sexuality of modern woman”. Ochanda and Ceesay, from opposite sides of the continent, both have watched family members suffer from malaria. Ceesay recalls a family member who was ailing and subsequently died after doctors treated her for malaria when she had some other illness. ANI
TOI120510

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ENTRPRENEUR/STARTUP SPECIAL...LESSON NO.1 FROM REAL EXAMPLES


Fuelling the Power Grid

The start-up has been attracting risk capital with Aavishkar investing Rs 18 crore in the firm 

S VENKATESAN Co-founder, Vana Vidyut
From a multinational technology maker to establishing the country’s first biomass plant that supplies energy to the state power grid, has been a transformational journey for Subramanyam Venkatesan Along withco-founders SatheeshGundappa andMurali Anur,helaunchedVana Vidyut thatdrawsbiomassfeedstock from dedicatedenergy plantations. Thestart-up,whichbegan operationsin January,has already attractedsignificantinterestfrom riskcapital players,with social venturefundAavishkaar investing Rs18crore.Thecompany, a subsidiary of TamilNadubasedEnergy Plantation Projects,isin the processof setting up itsfirstsingle megawatt power near Madurai.Next year it planstosetup a 2mw power station. Vana Vidyut already has 300 acresof energy plantations and planstobring in an additional1,000 acreof landtocreateits man-madehigh-density regenerativeforestfor power generation by 2016.Asia’sthird-largesteconomyhasbeen struggling with massive power shortages,with stateutilitiesunableto produce enough power to meetthe growing demandsof itsindustries. Globalinvestors areevincing greater interestin India’senergy sector becauseof thecountry’s rising energy demands,the gap between demand andsupply, and a slewof policy regulationsbeing enactedto meet globalemission norms. The next roundof funding isexpectedtobeby mid-2014, asthe company lookstoexpand geographically acrossthecountry. 

THREE TIPS TO RAISE MONEY
Attract the best talent possible and create a lean and tight operational structure.
Choose the best investor by evaluating their investment track record.
Be flexible. Business plan has to take into account as many operational scenarios as possible.
Biswarup Gooptu

FINANCE SPECIAL..5 Steps to create a household budget


5 Steps to create a household budget

Budgeting is the cornerstone of financial planning. After all, if you don’t know how much you spend, and on what, it will be difficult to save adequately for your financial goals. Worse, you may not have the money when you need it. Find the answers to these five questions before you start budgeting.


1 What’s your actual income?
Your real income is what you actually pocket each month, commonly referred to as take-home salary. Don’t consider your CTC as income because a part of this will only be available to you at the end of the year. Also, it’s quite possible that you may not get the entire amount of variable pay that you had been promised, so you can’t afford to bank on such irregular income. This is true even for bonuses, dividends and monetary gifts. However, you can include rental income while calculating your earning for each month. The only qualifier for an income here is that the amount is fixed for the entire year.
2 How much do you spend?
Collect all the bills and receipts for the past six months. Then make a list of what you have bought and how much you have spent. Include everything, from grocery to gym fees. Don’t forget to add smaller expenses, such as the newspaper bill or car wash spending. To ensure you don’t miss out on anything, crosscheck with your credit card and bank account statements. This will also help you remember what you did with the money that you withdrew from the ATM. Repeat this exercise for 2-3 months till you have an idea of your average monthly outgo. Within this category, make two lists: mandatory expenses, such as school fees and rent, and discretionary spends like eating out. This will make it easier to know where you can cut costs.
3 What are your goals?
    
Write down all your financial goals and the time period within which you  want to achieve these. Include everything you aspire for, from buying a laptop in the next six months to a comfortable retirement after 30 years. In case you have taken a loan, repayment should also be included in your goals. If it’s a long-term goal, calculate how much it will cost if you take inflation into account. This is important since you may find yourself drastically short of money when you buy the desired object. There are various inflation calculators available on the Internet that can help you with this. You can go with an inflation rate of 6-8%.
4 Do you have any savings?
We’re hoping that you do have some savings, even if it’s just the contribution to the employee provident fund or an insurance plan. List all such savings and the time period after which you can redeem these investments without paying a penalty. Correlate to see whether any of these will be able to fund a financial goal substantially. To know how much your savings will grow after the desired time period, you can use the ‘final worth of investment’ calculator on our website economictimes.indiatimes.com/personal-finance/financialcalculator/calculators.cms. Add your monthly savings and expenses. This should be equal to your take-home pay. If it’s less, it means you aren’t investing your savings properly. Warning bells should sound if the sum is more since you’re obviously living beyond your means. 5
What’s the difference?
    
Compute the corpus you need to fulfil all your long-term goals as well as the proportion that can be funded through your current savings. The deficit will tell you how much more you need to save. To figure out how much you will need to invest every month to achieve your goals within the required time period, you can use the ‘savings target’ calculator on our website. Do you have the necessary amount each month that can be invested or are you living hand to mouth? If you don’t have any investible surplus, you should take a hard look at your expenses and figure out which ones can be cut down. For instance, can you opt for carpool on some days and save on fuel? Can you reduce your culinary expeditions to just once a fortnight? If you do have a surplus, you will have to consider where to invest. This, of course, requires more work and where you should invest depending on how much risk you are willing to take.

Namrata Dadwal ETW120611

TECH/AUTOMOBILE SPECIAL ...Merging Cellphones and Dashboards


Merging Cellphones and Dashboards


No, G.M.’s strategy is not to shortchange buyers, but simply to let them avoid buying what they already own. Today, calling home is rarely done on a phone built into the dashboard, and recorded music is less often stored on CDs jammed into the glove box; increasingly, the smartphone in the driver’s pocket serves both needs.
So G.M.’s newest approach is a fundamental shift in philosophy from the practice of embedding such technology in the bowels of the car. Instead, it will offer an inexpensive link that lets drivers control their phone — and more important, its apps — using the dashboard touch screen.
Although phones have routinely connected to the dash for calls, this system is far more versatile. Buyers of two Chevrolet models will be able to get music and directions through subscription or phone service plans they already have.
Essentially, G.M. is proposing to replace the cellphone’s windshield cradle with software.
There are many benefits to this alternative approach, starting with its lower price. When the Chevrolet Spark goes on sale next month, the upper-level 1LT and 2LT models, which start under $15,000, will come with the infotainment system MyLink and a 7-inch touch screen as standard equipment. (The larger Chevy Sonic will offer MyLink late this summer.)
A cellphone-style infotainment system can bring other advantages: the interface is typically more familiar to users, especially young ones, and its maps are fresher than those of onboard DVDs.
But there can be shortcomings. An app like Google Maps downloads data to a phone while it is in use, and most phone plans limit the amount of data you can use. At the least, it means people would need more expensive data plans.
A solution comes from an app commissioned by Chevy, called GoGoLink, available this fall. A GPS app, it offers touch controls easy enough to use while driving and it stores, rather than streams, data for the maps on the phone. Updates can be made using Wi-Fi, which doesn’t count against data use.
At $50 for the app, which will be available for both Apple and Android products, it’s half the price of a basic portable GPS. It’s a bigger bargain when compared with factory-installed packages that typically bundle navigation with more powerful audio systems and features like voice recognition, weather reporting and traffic alerts — and cost more than $5,000 in a car like the 2013 Acura ILX.
G.M.’s style of cellphone integration required some tough decisions: what buttons go on the dash and which on the screen, and how to make the resulting system feature-filled but not distracting.
“There is a race to see who can integrate it as seamlessly and as intuitively as possible,” said Dave Lyon, an executive design director at G.M.
While automakers know that buyers expect their cars to connect to the Internet, it is unclear how best to do it. The all-inclusive Cadillac CUE system, just arriving in showrooms, and Chevy MyLink, both developed in-house, are perhaps the current extremes of telematics solutions.
G.M.’s telematics push began in 2008, at a time when impressive-sounding systems like BMW iDrive and Mercedes-Benz Comand were well established. Though G.M. was rushing toward bankruptcy, the project was given priority, said Mike Hichme, lead engineer for the CUE system. “The rationale was, Cadillac didn’t have any branded systems to call their own,” he said.
During six months of ride-alongs, engineers traveled to work with commuters, went on the road with salespeople and tagged along for family vacations to see how people used infotainment systems. As it turned out, there was a big difference between what consumers said they wanted and what they actually did. For instance, drivers said they needed access to all of their phone contacts, but their behavior didn’t bear that out.
“I have 100 phone numbers, but I am only calling four people most of the time,” Mr. Lyon said.
The same was true for radio stations, GPS destinations and iPod playlists. The result of that insight was a “favorites” screen, where the driver puts icons for the most commonly used numbers and apps, which also happens to be exactly what smartphones have been doing since the iPhone.
G.M.’s strategy may prove to be ideally timed. For one thing, the economy end of the car market is a segment with lots of young buyers devoted to staying connected through their phones.
“There is an expectation from younger buyers in general,” said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director for global research at J. D. Power & Associates. “We can do these things at home, why can’t do these things in the car?”
By ROY FURCHGOTT NYT120608/10

FOOD SPECIAL...Rice: The World’s Underappreciated Staple


Rice: The World’s Underappreciated Staple

Rice has a long storage life — indeed, in some cultures older rice, such as basmati, is prized. But like flour, rice will attract grain moths if left sitting around for too long, and I like to get to it before they do.
Rice is a thoroughly sustaining food. According to Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid in "Seductions of Rice," a beautiful, well researched survey of rice traditions around the world , “Rice has the highest protein digestibility and energy digestibility among all the staple foods.” In most rice-consuming cultures, rice is supplemented with vegetables and legumes, small amounts of meat and fish, and oil.
I don’t share the current national aversion to white rice. True, nutritionists prefer brown rice because the high fiber content slows down the carbohydrate absorption rate. But you can get the same benefit by combining rice with high-fiber vegetables and legumes.
Mr. Alford and Ms. Duguid make another interesting point about the nutritional quality of brown rice:
“It is true that brown rice has more calcium and iron as well as higher protein levels and significantly more of the B vitamins [and] more fiber than white rice. But brown rice is less digestible than white . . . rice. The aleurone layer and embryo, still present in brown rice, contain phytate phosphorus, which seems to interfere with the absorption of calcium, zinc, and iron.”
Bottom line: if you prefer white rice, just make sure you’re also eating lots of vegetables or beans with it.
Basic Steamed Long-Grain Rice
Rice can be cooked many ways, but here’s the technique that I find to be most reliable. Combine the rice with water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover tightly and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes. Once the water has evaporated from the pot, place a towel between the lid of the pot and the rice, and let it sit for ten minutes to absorb more moisture and steam.
The amount of liquid you choose to use will affect the texture of your rice. A 2-to-1 ratio, liquid to rice, produces soft, tender rice. Chewier rice will result from using a 1-to-1 ratio, or from adding a bit more water. I usually go with a 2-to-1 ratio for cooking a long-grain rice like basmati.
Traditionally, basmati rice first is soaked for 30 minutes to as long as two hours. The grains are brittle, but if they absorb a little water they are less likely to break while cooking. Still, I have to admit that there are many times that I don’t soak my basmati rice — and I can’t really tell the difference.
1 cup basmati or long-grain rice
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1. Place the rice in a bowl in the sink, and rinse and drain several times with water, until the water runs clear. If using basmati rice, soak for 30 minutes. Drain over a bowl, and measure out 1 1/2 to 2 cups water.
2. Combine the water, rice and salt in a heavy 2- or 3-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer 12 to 15 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
3. Uncover the rice, and place a clean kitchen towel over the top of the pan (it should not be touching the rice). Replace the lid, and allow to sit for ten minutes undisturbed. Serve.
Variations:
* Here is a typically Middle Eastern way to prepare pilaf. Proceed with step 1 as instructed. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or oil in a heavy 2- or 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped onion if desired, and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about three minutes. Add the rice, and cook, stirring, for two to three minutes, until the rice is sizzling and the grains are separate. Add the water and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Proceed with step 3.
* Substitute chicken or vegetable stock for the water.
Yield: People who eat rice as a staple cook a lot more than one cup at a time and may eat up to 1/2 pound at one sitting, according to Mr. Alford and Ms. Duguid. They usually cook 3 cups of rice for four people and still have leftovers. Each type of rice yields a different amount when cooked. Basmati expands to three times its original volume, so one cup of rice would feed four people if eaten as a side dish. If rice is at the center of your plate, however, 1 cup would feed two people, with perhaps a little left over.
Advance preparation: Rice can be cooked ahead and reheated. One you have followed the recipe through step 3, spread the rice in a lightly oiled 2-quart baking dish and allow to cool completely, uncovered. To reheat, cover with foil and place in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes.
Martha Rose Shulman

JOB SPECIAL...Tips for good resume writing


Tips for good resume writing
John Hersey says, "journalism allows its readers to witness a story, and good fiction makes the reader live the story." Similarly, a good resume should make the recruiter see the value in the hire and, visualise the potential in the candidate. A resume is the essential document that starts the recruitment process. In part one of this multi- part series, let us see how you can gain advantage with a good resume or slip into career stagnation with seemingly small mistakes.
Objective of a resume
The first step is to identify if you are writing a resume proactively to showcase your skills and search for a job, or, you are simply responding to a piece of information about an open job position. This simple yet essential step outlines the purpose of your resume. The proactive resume needs to bring out important information about your skills both as keywords and as action words. The reactive resume should match to the open job position to the best extent possible.
Catching attention and sustaining interest
Driven by enthusiasm, job hunters end up writing long and often boring-to-read resumes. Remember, you are working on a resume, and that is your resume. You are familiar with all aspects of your resume. A recruiter is required to review hundreds of resumes in a given day.
A long winding story about one perceived difficult challenge is not going to help.
A resume delivers in two parts:
(1) It gets you a meeting (the interview) with a recruiter or the hiring manager (your future boss)
(2) Having achieved step 1, it forms the basis for a decision on your selection
When you focus too much on the interview and the career beyond, you tend to understate your role. This is in fear that you will be asked to deliver all that you portrayed in your resume. When you focus too much on getting to the interview, you tend to overstate your achievements and face challenges in not being able to deliver. A resume should sustain both steps, get the interview and form the basis for your career.
Resume templates from the internet
It is a good thing to choose a resume from the internet to create your resume. When selecting a template remember that the resume should:
  • Not be distractingly louder than your capability and skills
  • Be relevant to the industry – job position (include a photo or not)
  • Not force sections into the resume (social networking as a section for example)
Long winding and boring versus quantified and high impact
Job hunters, especially at the early part of their careers, tend to write long lists of seemingly meaningless things about their professional personality: team worker, problem solver, hard working, creative, disciplined, never say die attitude, excellent communicator, result oriented are commonly found phrases in resumes.
Most recruiters have read these phrases too many times and instantly feel boredom. Instead, describe your qualities and strengths in a manner that the resume is true to your personality. These phrases should be in your resume because they describe you, not because your friend has them, not because you found those phrases in a resume template.
Boring versus high impact
Avoid this:
  • Senior level data administration professional
  • Expert in database management
  • Implemented creative solutions to produce fast results
  • At home with analytics, data structures
  • Comfortable with all aspects of enterprise grade database management
Go for this:
  • Skill: Database management
  • Expert in: Normalisation, Indexing, Warehousing, Analytics, Stored procedures,
  • Data arrays
  • Handled large database tables with up to 5 million records
  • Retrieved data in 30 milli seconds using performance optimisation
  • Optimised database that did not report any down time in two years
Attention grabbing methods
  • How do you gather attention then?
     Here are some important steps:
  • Know the target job position you are applying for
  • It is recommended to have different versions of resumes for different target job positions
  • Resume versions should not have contradicting information or misstate facts
  • Choose specific aspects that are important to the job position
  • Dig deep on those aspects of your career that match those in the job position
  • Quantify (express in numbers) those aspects
  • Bring depth and back your strengths
The author is Madhu Murty Ronanki, president, TalentSprint120222

While you get your ideas around the above guidelines, we will come back with more pointers on:
  • Is your resume web ready?
  • Why is formatting so important?
  • What are resume lies and, how they can kill a career?
  • How to use keywords and action words in good combinations?
  • Should a resume always be in two pages?
The author is Madhu Murty Ronanki, president, TalentSprint…120222

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

BUSINESS (SMALL) SPECIAL ..Top e-commerce platforms for small business


Top e-commerce platforms for small business

Flipkart started by selling books, but over a short span of time, has grown into the go-to destination for everything from mobile phones, games, household items to even PC components. The e-commerce business has picked up great pace in India and with more and more people addicted to online shopping, it’s equally important for small businesses and start-ups to have an e-commerce model as part of their site in order to reach out to a wider audience. There are two primary types of e-commerce models -- hosted and open source that you can integrate with your business website and give users an added value. Choosing one entirely depends up on your product, size of your company, ease of upgradability and flexibility in future as your company grows. If you have an IT team with expertise on how to go about implementing and managing an e-commerce module, then open source would be the way to go. Else, you could just opt for a paid package that would include everything from domain name registration, shopping cart and maintenance so that you don’t have to deal with the technical stuff.

Big commerce
This is a good place to start for a small business, especially if you have an existing eBay or Facebook business. They offer services like design, SSL certificates, marketing, SEO, mobile commerce, etc. Once set up, you have the option to link your eBay listing within the platform itself. Once that’s done, you simply choose the products you want to push on eBay so that you can have a consolidated database, no matter from where the product is bought. Prices start at $24.95 per month for 100 product listings.

Vendio
Vendio provides you tools to quickly and easily put up products on eBay, Amazon, Facebook and of course, your own online web store. Like Shopify, Vendio also provides tools like Google Analytics integration, shopping cart with drag-and-drop features, e-mail marketing and the like. The web store provided by Vendio is also optimised for mobiles so that one can easily browse through your store on the phone as they would on the site.

Shopify
Shopify is a hosted e-commerce solution that allows you to set up and run your own online store. Here you simply pick your template, tweak the design, organise your products, add a product catalogue and even create blog posts – all from a centralised administration dashboard. You can even add a mobile e-commerce component as well which includes an iPhone app. They also specialise in SEO and coupon codes to help sell your products. Shopify also features a Google Analytics component that lets you track customer behaviour so that you can tweak certain aspects of the store that aren’t drawing in customers.

Open source shopping carts
Open source shopping carts are an attractive option as they are free and require no initial investment, which makes it a perfect choice for start-ups where money is tight. You also have a strong community support as other developers and storeowners offer free support as well as new features and add-ons that you can try without having to pay any fee. Some popular open source shopping carts include Agora, Broadleaf Commerce, Commerce.CGI, Magento and Loaded Commerce.

Ability commerce
This is a good choice if you want to manage your products on Amazon. The feature set involves integrating Order Management Systems and Accounting Systems along with web design, SEO, mobile, social networking, enhancing images and videos, e-mail marketing, conversion and retention tools, etc. The core feature remains the Amazon integration and once you provide the inventory to sell on Amazon, the professionals at Ability Commerce Amazon will monitor your products and help you position it better in order to increase sales.
—Team DNA120612