Follow by Email

Saturday, February 28, 2015



Buying travelogues or booking tourist guides isn't the
same as travelling with a local companion who takes you
through the secret coves and homespun bistros for that
authentic flavour. Local travel is trending big time this year

It's like having a guidebook written just for you. No touristy
rip-offs or standard rec ommendations. It's getting
downright personal with your destination. From having
high tea with the descendant of an erstwshile nawab of
Lucknow to sharing a home-cooked meal of kolumbus,
pootus and poriyals at a local's home in Chennai -local
sharing and caring is every traveller's demand today.
“Conventional luxury is available in almost every travel
destination. What people are searching for is
meaningful and authentic experiences -whether it's
an enriching conversation or a delicious dish they
can share with their friends upon their return,“ says
Aashi Vel, co-founder, Traveling Spoon ­ Travel Off
The Eaten Path, a community that lets travellers dine
at local people's homes around the world, including India.
Who would you rather have in your jeep on a tiger
safari... a seasoned wildlife photographer or a regular guide?
We all know the answer. Face-to-face recommendations
and insider tips from in-the-know locals or professionals
rank much higher on people's itinerary than a tour escort's
rehearsed stories. “Local travel comprises authentic,
off-the-beaten track experiences. It can range from meeting
an ex-monk in Malaysia, who will take you through several
 sacred spots to learning how to cook organically with a
family in Bali,“ says Madalina Buzdugan, communication
manager of Withlocals.
Connecting with local people is also easier than ever thanks to 
This rapidly growing trend is transforming how
travellers see the world. And what's the best part?
It's all very cost-effective. The trend is encouraging individuals
and communities to share their resources, right from sharing
their couches, renting their cars, leasing out their residential
farms for camping, to hosting delicious dine-ins.


In local travel, the trips could get as narrowed down as
meandering through the Dharavi slum in Mumbai (by the
startup Padhaaro) or seeing Agra in battery-driven rickshaws., a website currently operational across New
Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, offers potential tourists
the option of choosing specially-created tours, all priced under
Rs 3,000! These micro tours offer a plethora of options -from
street photography in old Delhi to cycling in the British-era
Mumbai. Micro tours are also ideal if you're passing through
and only have a limited amount of time. The best feature is
that anyone can sign up to be a sherpafriendgreeterlocal expert.
All you need is the enthusiasm to talk to people and, of course,
sound knowledge on the lay of the land.
Local travel is big not just among the budget traveller, but also
for those who have travelled abroad extensively, and now want
to explore their own country in detail. Holidaymakers are accepting
that the exoticness of the unknown doesn't have to take the form
of a desert island in the middle of the Pacific... it could be hidden
in their own backyard.“Earlier, only going abroad was seen as glamorous, but now going to the Rannotsav or doing a high-altitude drive in Ladakh is also a talking point,“ says Piya Bose of Girls on
The Go Club. Her Great Rann of Kutch vacation is all about
staying with the tribals in their traditional huts and buying authentic
embroidery first hand. The trip also includes a rendezvous with a collector of ancient fossils and dinosaur eggs... an experience one
would surely miss on a guided tour.


Going by the popularity of local travel, you'd probably be booking
a delicious home meal instead of a fancy restaurant on your next vacation. Imagine accompanying local hosts in Rajasthan on a
spice bazaar tour before being served a rich Rajasthani spread of
soolas (a battlefield speciality meat), ker sangri and bajra roti
with chunks of homemade butter! “Cooking and sharing a meal
allows people to open up, share stories and realise how similar
we are despite cultural differences,“ sums up Aashi.


Do your background check on the locals you will be hanging out
with, especially if you're staying with them.z Keep an open mind.
Don't be judgmental about lifetyle or food choices of your host.
It was your decision to be adventurous and try something new.


PERSONAL SPECIAL .....................Inside the Psychology of Productivity

Inside the Psychology of Productivity

Burned out? Can't get it all done? The problem might be in your head.
You wake up with it in the morning and go to bed thinking about it at night: an ever-crushing load of emails, meetings, conference calls, and tasks that needed to get done yesterday. Family time means reading sales reports in the room where your kids are playing video games. For entrepreneurs, there's soooo much to get done--85 percent of fast-growth-company CEOs work 10 or more hours a day, according to a recent survey of the Inc. 500. Under such circumstances, personal productivity isn't just a metric. It's also a mandate.
Recently, a glut of tools and systems has emerged to help you measure, manage, and maximize what you accomplish. But not all impediments to productivity result from poor organization. Many are psychological. Behavioral economics reveals the wacky ways people think about financial costs and rewards. Similarly, psychologists, business researchers, and even philosophers are illuminating people's idiosyncratic approaches to getting stuff done.
Productivity, or at least how productive you consider yourself, is surprisingly subjective. As a leader, your most important work--mulling strategy, blue-skying for innovation, imagining the future--may not feel all that productive because it is open-ended and the outcome is uncertain. At the same time, more (subjectively) unimportant work, like clearing out your inbox, can leave you quite satisfied.
Often, there's an irrational component to whether you think you've gotten much done. "If I have 10 things I want to finish in a day and I finish five, I get frustrated because I am not productive," says Gregory J. Redington, president of Redcom, an engineering and construction company in Westfield, New Jersey. "If I have five tasks and I finish all of them, I feel productive, even if it's the exact same five. My instinct as an entrepreneur is to plan to do all these things. But I want to believe I've won at the end of the day, so I try to put fewer things down."
Clayton Mobley, co-founder and CEO of Spartan Value Investors, a real-estate investment business in Birmingham, Alabama, admits that the state of his desk has a lot to do with whether he thinks he has accomplished enough on a given day. "There are two piles on the sides of my desk," he says. "If one of those piles is gone by the end of the day, I feel productive. Even if I just put it in a drawer."
No matter how you try to trick yourself into feeling more productive, there are just 24 hours in a day, and you almost certainly are not making the most of them. Here's what you can do about that.
Get to the Root of Your Procrastination
Procrastination is a particular problem for entrepreneurs, who often must tackle work in which they have no experience and no familiar starting point. And of course, when you are responsible for everything, there's always something else you could be doing. Many consider procrastination a moral failing, a weakness of will. But Timothy Pychyl, a professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, calls procrastination an "emotion-centered coping strategy." He suggests that if you understand what's motivating (or--more accurately--demotivating) you, you can begin to address it. "Many of these emotions are not conscious," says Pychyl. "So the first step is to have some awareness of how you are feeling. 'Why do I keep not wanting to do this?' "
The reasons people shrink from particular tasks typically vary with the stage of a project, Pychyl explains. In the inception and planning stages, you procrastinate because you don't find the work interesting or meaningful. In the action stage, you procrastinate because the project isn't well structured, which creates uncertainty about how to proceed. Fear of making a poor decision can also be immobilizing. "With uncertainty comes fearfulness," says Pychyl. "You have to acknowledge that fear."
Another culprit is perfectionism: People envision outcomes so outstanding that their expectations become more intimidating than inspirational. "It's like you're practicing the high jump, and when you set the bar too high, you look at it, and you walk away," says John Perry, an emeritus professor of philosophy at Stanford. "Perfectionists aren't people who do something perfectly. Perfectionists are people who fantasize about doing something perfectly."
At its core, procrastination represents shoddy treatment of the one person who should matter most to you: the future you. Hal Hershfield, a marketing professor at UCLA's Anderson School of Management, used MRIs to demonstrate that people view their future selves much as they view a stranger. (This is why we smoke, fail to save, and order the red velvet cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory.) Resolving not to do some odious task today makes procrastinators feel good, says Pychyl. Then they predict they'll feel just as good tomorrow, which will make the task easier. Of course, the next day they feel worse, which makes the task harder and the stress greater. Homer Simpson summed it up neatly: "That's a problem for future Homer. Man, I don't envy that guy."
That same disregard for their future selves often leads people to cram their calendars with appointments. This allows them to take the neurochemical hit of pleasure that comes from scheduling something today--and to suffer the consequences of five back-to-back meetings next month.
Counterintuitively, even work can be a form of procrastination. Scientists in the Netherlands coined the phrase bedtime procrastination to describe the tendency to keep doing things, including work, long after you intended to go to sleep. Entrepreneurs may succumb to this sort of procrastination when it comes to reading to the kids or taking vacations--activities you know are good for you but that, on some subconscious level, seem self-indulgent when compared with work. Here too the present self cheats the future self, as insufficient sleep and leisure affects performance.
Despite its bad rep, procrastination has its apologists. Two years ago, Stanford's Perry published The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing, which posits that procrastination--like cholesterol--is not all bad. He coined the phrase structured procrastination to describe the act of doing things that--while not top priorities--still have value. "I think that's a pattern of work a lot of very creative people have," says Perry. "If you went through history and eliminated all the plays that have been written and inventions that have been created by people who were supposed to be doing something else, you might not have much left of your civilization."
Focus on Progress, Not on To-Dos
To-do lists are daily reminders that you're not cutting it. Just half of all to-do-list items are completed within a day, and 41 percent are never completed at all, according to data compiled by one productivity-tracking company. That's a problem, because energized, motivated people are more productive than depressed ones. And what is more demotivating than seeing uncompleted tasks hanging on and on and on like outdated inventory?
To-do lists are problematic for other reasons. For one, they can be mentally gamed. When it comes to the pleasure of getting things done, people are like rats repeatedly pressing a bar because it stimulates their reward centers. Many people who have finished tasks not already on their to-do lists will add those tasks retroactively for the satis­faction of crossing them off. They may even slot previously unscheduled events--after they've happened--into their calendars. There's also a temptation to mentally redefine everything you do as valuable and credit yourself accordingly. Stanford's Perry describes his own to-do list: "It says: Wake up. That's worth a check. Get out of bed. That's worth a check. Make the coffee. That's a check. Drink the coffee. That's a check. By the time I've had my coffee I've done four things and I feel like a real effective human being."
More practically, the rigid, reductive format of to-do lists is not optimal for the kinds of work done by leaders, says Teresa Amabile, a professor and director of research at Harvard Business School. "The really important things that don't generally have a specific deadline may be what you should be spending most of your time on," she says. "I think many of us who have a strong work ethic feel like we are indulging ourselves when we do that more exploratory work, that deep-level learning that may not have an immediate application but, in the grand scheme of things, may be more important than anything else."
In her book The Progress Principle, Amabile emphasizes progress (moving forward with one's work) over productivity (getting things done well and efficiently, irrespective of their importance). A sense of making meaningful progress, she found, has much greater positive impact on engagement and motivation. Her latest research--not yet complete--suggests that the simple act of looking back on progress also positively affects your sense of accomplishment and how competent and effective you feel at work. For the new study, Amabile signed up people to work for two weeks. Some kept diaries in which they recorded at least three sentences a day about how much they had done. Those subjects who were able to review their entries were more satisfied with the progress they had made and in their own abilities.
The positive feelings derived from reflecting on accomplishments, in turn, improve productivity. Francesca Gino, also an HBS professor, asked some employees at an Indian company to spend 15 minutes at the end of each day writing about what had gone well. The group that took time to reflect had a performance level 23 percent higher than that of employees who spent those last 15 minutes simply working. If reviewing incomplete to-do lists brings us down, it appears compiling have-done lists bestows a sense of satisfaction and enhances performance.
The power of reflection is the premise behind iDoneThis, a startup that inspires people to accomplish more every day by providing a mechanism to report what they have done. (Zappos, Uber, Reddit, and other companies have used the product, chiefly to improve the performance of teams.) "If you are working on one thing all day, it is very easy to remember what you did and give yourself credit for it," says CEO and co-founder Walter Chen. "But if you did 20 things and one is have a conversation with your kid and one is put out a fire, it's often hard to remember those things." Pausing to reflect is an opportunity to remember those accomplishments and to recognize their value. "Giving yourself credit helps you feel productive," says Chen, affirming, "That actually makes you more productive."
Bottom line: To-do lists are useful for organizing and prioritizing work. But you should also maintain a "have done" list--or at least reflect on your accomplishments for a few minutes at the end of each day--to keep yourself motivated.
Beware of Time Thieves
Ownership is a management buzzword that, sadly, is rarely applied to people's time. Workplace culture often requires that you sacrifice time for others, whether that means acting as a mentor or maintaining an open-door policy. The benefit to others' productivity often comes at a cost to your own.
Most people have just two really productive hours a day, says Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke and co-founder of Timeful, a time management app. (See "Four Great Productivity Apps," page 45.) Those two hours might be sufficient if they belonged entirely to you. But even the boss can't schedule every meeting so that it falls outside his or her optimal nose-to-grindstone stretch. And in flatter organizations, more people have roughly the same claims on the company's collective time resource. "The biggest change in the calendar from paper days to computer days is that, because we now have shared calendars, people can kidnap our time," says Ariely. "It's really kind of a shocking idea."
Still, most people would rather work alongside others than not, because humans are social creatures. When others ask for your time, saying yes feels good and is easy. Saying no feels bad and is hard. "All of us want to be nice, and all of us want to be team players," says Kory Kogon, global productivity practice leader at Franklin Covey and co-author of The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity. At one typical company that Kogon advised, "the COO said to me, 'We are a nice organization, so nobody knows how to say no,' " she recalls. "Of course he does say no. But he doesn't feel like he is saying no enough."
Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, recommends extreme selectivity as a check on your desire to always be accommodating. McKeown likes to ask people to imagine they have no to-do list, no inbox, no schedule of appointments. "If you didn't have any of that, and you could do one thing right now that would help get you to the next level of contribution, what would you do?" he asks. "Maybe all the stuff you're doing should be questioned. Start from zero every day. What would be essential?" People require space and clarity to identify what matters, McKeown explains, and what matters should dictate what you say yes to. "You can say, 'I would love to do that, but I am already doing this,' " he says. "And that is completely true and understandable, because you are."
On the face of it, McKeown's advice seems at odds with that of Adam Grant, the Wharton professor whose best-selling book Give and Take has made generosity a hot topic in corporate corridors. Grant argues that helping others with no expectation of return can increase energy and well-being and, consequently, productivity. But, like McKeown, Grant advocates selectivity: saying yes only in instances when distraction is minimal and the benefit to others outweighs the cost to self. McKeown calls this practice disciplined generosity.
Bottom line: Although it feels good to say yes, be disciplined about the time you give to others. Employees and partners need your help, but mostly they need you to concentrate on what matters.
Be In-the-Moment With Everything You Do
Every businessperson knows that you have to distinguish, in the words of Dwight Eisenhower, between the "important" and the "urgent." But demands on your time don't come with labels indicating their level of priority. The important, the urgent, and the trivial rush past in a blur. When Franklin Covey recently surveyed 350,000 people worldwide, respondents confessed to spending 40 percent of their time on things that are unimportant or downright irrelevant. But many don't know exactly how they are wasting their time, says Franklin Covey's Kogon.
Perhaps it's not surprising people are so confused. McKeown observes that when the word priority entered the English language in the 1400s, there was no plural form. Today, you moan about being distracted by everything you could be doing. But there are also more things you arguably should be doing, such as developing your talent pipeline or studying the competition. Those things cry out to you, like voracious baby birds. Your mind is not quiet. The noise hurts.
Mindfulness--which sounds new age-y but doesn't have to be--is increasingly held up as a way to improve both performance and decision making. Scott Eblin, author of Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative, defines mindfulness as awareness plus intention. "If you are aware of what you are thinking and feeling and what is going on around you, then you can manage the gap between that and your actions," he says. Mindful people don't ignore noise and distractions--that's impossible. But they exert discipline to control what Buddhists call their restless and unsettled "monkey minds." "You have to be aware of all the mental chatter," says Eblin. "That's the first step toward quieting it."
Mindfulness is particularly effective at thwarting that bane of productivity, the fallacy of sunk costs. The more time, thought, and energy you expend going down a road, the harder it is to change course when the destination looks dicey. New research from Insead and the Wharton School shows that subjects who meditated were much more likely to abandon a lost-cause project than those who did not. Cutting bait fast is critical, because lost causes waste time and, Eblin says, "because regret kills productivity." He recommends avoiding regret by having individuals and teams subject their failures to after-action reviews, like those conducted by the military. "That way it becomes, what did I learn from this?" says Eblin. "You reframe it as retraining. And retraining, of course, is productive."
Another advantage of mindfulness is that it concentrates attention on the qualitative, rather than quantitative, aspects of work--why am I doing this? instead of how much of this am I doing? "To me, productivity is the wrong focus," says Wharton's Grant. What you want is to be maximizing quality or usefulness. "I think a lot of people accept the goal of being productive," says Grant. "And that's counterproductive.
By Leigh Buchanan
Editor-at-large, Inc. magazine

GLOBAL SPECIAL ....................... Harnessing the power of shifting global flows

Harnessing the power of shifting global flows

Here’s what countries and executives need to know to benefit from the next—and markedly different—wave of globalization.

There has been a steady drumbeat of reports in the press and elsewhere that the heyday of globalization is over.1 Since the financial crisis, growth in global trade volumes has slowed. Global financial flows are hanging at levels almost 70 percent below their peak.2 Meanwhile, rising wages in China and shifting energy dynamics have challenged lengthy global supply chains.3
These crosscurrents are real, but our research suggests that they won’t undermine globalization’s long-term trajectory.4 Cross-border flows of goods, services, finance, people, data, and communication will expand in all plausible scenarios during the years ahead (Exhibit 1). What is changing dramatically is the mix of flows. Their networks and structures are evolving rapidly and will be radically different from those of the past.
Foreign direct investment and trade in goods used to account for the greatest volume of flows, which mostly streamed between advanced economies. Trading partners were primarily neighboring or nearby countries. Today, this trend is being upended: emerging markets are swiftly closing the globalization gap with advanced economies, and emerging players are now sources of consumption and innovation as well as production. New regional hubs are coalescing around the world to facilitate flows of goods, services, and money in an expanding global network. And new types of flows are growing rapidly: information is now gushing to often-underserved areas (such as western Africa, which is part of a network of new international undersea-cable routes), while knowledge-intensive goods have become the fastest-growing traded flow across the globe.
Digitization is at the heart of these changes because it enables new business models using cheaper and modular cloud storage, video streaming, or talent-sharing services. Digitization enables some companies to grow quickly into what we call hyperscale businesses, extending their reach to global markets at low cost. (For more, see “Competition at the digital edge: ‘Hyperscale’ businesses,” forthcoming on Digital technologies, meanwhile, transform flows of physical goods into digital flows that can not only be traded farther and faster but also tracked precisely, which will bolster global supply chains. Finally, cheaper computing power and communications technologies are becoming the building blocks of robust digital platforms that increase the global participation of otherwise excluded small and midsize companies (see sidebar, “The new shape of globalization”).
Governments (which are responsible for shaping trade policies) and companies should take close note of the shifting landscape and move quickly to adapt. The winners in the new era of globalization will be organizations that can reallocate resources while quickly adopting strategies and policies to take advantage of the trends.
The globalization gap

Globalization boosts GDP growth and opens avenues to rising corporate profits. We examined this dynamic and discovered that when countries increased their level of globalization by 1 percent (as measured by the scale of flows of goods, services, finance, people, and data relative to the size of their GDPs or populations) the rate of GDP growth rose by about 10 to 15 basis points, a material figure. Overall, we estimate that as much as one-quarter of global GDP growth comes from global flows. It’s important for leaders of companies and countries to understand their relationship with the shifting nature and pace of globalization.
Advanced-economy multinationals
Companies from advanced economies have thus far been globalization’s leaders. Some generate more revenue outside their home countries than within them. But greater changes are looming. Despite a leading position in globalization, most such multinationals are still underweight in emerging markets, which represented only 19 percent of their revenues in 2013. Trade in developing markets will continue to swell—by 2025, it will represent 47 percent of global consumption. Multinationals should accelerate their inroads to secure a strong position in global commerce. And they’ll need to do so quickly because they face a new breed of competitor: multinationals that are rising in emerging countries and hope to win their own place on the global stage.
Traditional global companies took years to deploy resources on a global scale. They will need to accelerate that pace not only to keep up with players from emerging markets but also because digitization is ratcheting up the global economy’s clock speed. Consider how digitally born companies, such as Facebook and Google, now earn more revenue from global markets than from the United States.
Multinationals from emerging markets
A number of companies in emerging markets are embracing globalization—swiftly expanding abroad and gaining market share, particularly in other emerging economies. A telling signpost: the value of cross-border goods flows between emerging markets increased from 6 percent of all global trade in 1990 to 24 percent in 2012. Even so, only 40 percent of the revenue of the 100 largest listed companies in emerging markets comes from overseas, versus 51 percent for the largest listed companies in advanced markets. Moreover, while multinationals from emerging markets have expanded into the United States and Europe, they have done so largely through M&A. Such companies have yet to distribute their operations globally, and the data show that their supply chains are more local than those of their peers in advanced economies
.Small and midsize companies
Smaller enterprises add a new dimension to global competition as they begin expanding across borders. Internet platforms are empowering these “micromultinationals,” enabling them to find customers, suppliers, funding, and talent around the world at lower cost. One data point: digital platforms can cut the cost of exporting by 83 percent as compared with traditional export channels.5 Even small companies can access international markets: in 2013, eBay analyzed a sample of its small sellers and found that more than 95 percent exported to other countries, compared with an average of less than 25 percent of traditional small businesses—and eBay merchants export to customers not just in one market but in dozens. Still, most smaller companies today haven’t taken full advantage of digital capabilities in developing their global reach. Across the world, they consistently account for a smaller share of exports than of value added.


Open, developed economies have been both the rainmakers for globalization and its largest beneficiaries. The case of Belgium illustrates the challenges they face going forward. The country is globally connected, with trade flows three times greater than its share of world GDP, and globalization is responsible for a third of GDP growth. According to our research, the country’s central position in the network of flows makes it more likely to capture benefits from trade than other countries are. Yet Belgium is trending toward a current-account deficit, and in recent years, it may have under-invested in areas that would take advantage of that position—not only in traditional trade, but also (and particularly) for new flows. Furthermore, while Belgium’s physical port infrastructure in Antwerp still compares well with that of neighboring Rotterdam, the Netherlands has invested dramatically in a virtual-port infrastructure in Amsterdam, which is now a leader in cross-border data flows.

New strategic options

Progress toward globalization’s new era will be uneven for economies and companies alike. Since many types of organizations could deepen their cross-border activities, the priorities include combining a more intense kind of digitization with a network view of the global landscape, seeking opportunistic positioning in hubs bursting with talent and capabilities, taking full advantage of intangible assets that can help companies differentiate themselves among new customers and markets, and becoming better attuned to the emerging new cross-border competition.
1. Nurture global ecosystems
Digital platforms enable companies to expand rapidly and profitably to customers far beyond home markets, while nurturing new ecosystems that span borders and connect clusters of suppliers, distributors, and after-sales services. The benefits will include lower-cost procurement and better preemptive maintenance for plants, reducing downtime. Boeing’s Edge offering, for instance, brings together the vast amounts of data the airline business generates, thus creating a real-time information network linking aircraft assets with maintenance groups, operations staff, suppliers, and passengers.
Other global ecosystems are facilitating innovation by linking researchers, financiers, and even customers to crowdsource new ideas. AstraZeneca’s digital open-innovation platform, for instance, aims to connect the company with scientists and academics at research institutes worldwide. German equipment maker Bosch uses its innovation portal to connect with individual and institutional researchers in key business areas, such as power tools, new materials and surfaces, and the automotive aftermarket.
2. Locate in the best hubs
Many countries and cities have established themselves as hubs for specific types of flows. Locating within these vibrant centers can buttress a competitive advantage. Amsterdam, for instance, with some of the world’s fastest and cheapest broadband connections, has become a magnet for Internet companies. Another hub, not far from Amsterdam, is Eindhoven’s Brainport, which boasts a concentration of expertise for broadband deployment, applications, and other skills. With 8,000 researchers, developers, and entrepreneurs scattered among small and midsize companies and global players, Brainport accounts for a third of private R&D outlays in the Netherlands.6 In density of patents, it is one of Europe’s top three regions.
People flows will continue to be an important source of growth and innovation, and here the United States is top ranked. Immigration has long enabled US businesses to strengthen their competitive advantage by attracting global talent from every nation. The impact of foreign entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley is legendary: from 2006 to 2012, immigrants founded over 40 percent of all high-tech and engineering start-ups there.7Global flows also allow pockets of specialization to develop beyond high tech. In 2012, Switzerland—a global hub for knowledge on watch manufacturing—produced 95 percent of luxury watches (those priced at over 1,000 Swiss francs).8
Companies without a strong presence in influential hubs should consider moving operations to one or more of them. A leading example of the trend is Singapore, where many multinationals have located to be at the nexus of Asian flows of goods, services, and finance. Singapore has the world’s highest density of regional head offices relative to GDP: more than half of all large foreign subsidiaries in emerging Asia outside China are located there. P&G, for example, chose it for the global headquarters of its beauty and baby-care divisions. Rolls-Royce moved its marine business from London to Singapore for the city’s advantages as a shipping hub.
3. Build digital platforms and exploit proprietary assets
Digital platforms are connecting companies and customers, suppliers and companies, talent and jobs, and entrepreneurs and funding—and in ways that were all but impossible only a decade ago. Effective platforms benefit both the participants using them and the companies operating them.
E-commerce sites that connect businesses to consumers are signature examples of the new platform power. Global e-commerce sales reached over $1.2 trillion in 2013, nearly 2 percent of global GDP.9 E-commerce provides new access to consumers for companies of all stripes and offers buyers more choice (and often lower prices). Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce platform, includes B2B, B2C, and P2P (peer-to-peer) marketplaces. It posted merchandise worth approximately $248 billion in 2013.These online platforms are highly profitable as well.
Other platforms now channel flows of knowledge and expertise to companies around the world. One well-known example is InnoCentive, an online innovation-crowdsourcing site that has reported a membership of 300,000 registered “solvers” in over 200 countries. Today, it has helped large R&D-intensive companies (in industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and consumer products) to crack as many as one-third of a sample of knotty problems they had previously considered unsolvable.10 Meanwhile, the staffing websites launched by oDesk and Elance, both based in Silicon Valley, connect employers with freelance professionals around the world. The two companies merged in 2013, creating a platform used by 2 million businesses and 8 million freelancers.
Many companies have assets that could be deployed more effectively to build such platforms. These may be tangible assets, such as routers and servers, logistics networks, or distribution centers. But they can also be intangible brands, data, and knowledge. The brand position of companies such as Citigroup and Nike undergirds their global reach, as do their data and knowledge of customer preferences around the world. Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the global hospitality group, is brandishing its digital expertise to expand its brand and customer loyalty. Its mobile app books rooms in any of the chain’s hotels, offers personalized suggestions for dining and entertainment, and even allows users to check in and to open the doors of hotel rooms remotely .
Digital assets are especially important to the new wave of globalization. Our research shows that tangible and intangible digital assets will account for roughly a third of total global GDP growth in the future.11 Consider the extent to which Google’s search algorithm or Amazon’s recommendation engine underwrites global knowledge and bolsters commerce.
4. Be ready for new competitors and challenges to business models
Along with helping smaller businesses everywhere and companies from emerging markets increase their participation in global flows, digitization will put tremendous pressure on business models. To succeed in the new environment, companies will need to define and choose their businesses, their customers, their suppliers, and their ecosystems quite nimbly.
Already, we can see how Internet-enabled lower barriers to entry are creating new twists in competition: companies that initially disrupted entire industries with first-stage digital technologies are now being disrupted themselves. Web-based travel companies launched in recent decades, for example, now face tough and growing competition from a new digital business model represented by app- and web-based Airbnb. The peer-to-peer hospitality site, launched in 2008, now offers rooms in more than 34,000 cities worldwide. Airbnb’s customers research, reserve, pay for, and review their lodgings—bypassing traditional digital travel sites.
New forms of competition will arise from three sources. First, established companies from emerging markets will expand to operate on a global scale. Second, smaller companies around the world can now compete in niche markets globally, thanks to digital platforms. Finally, new competition will come from players outside traditional industries—as is the case, for example, with e-commerce companies, like Alibaba, which are disrupting banking and payment systems.
The potential for disruption shouldn’t be underestimated. According to research by the McKinsey Global Institute, the number of Fortune Global 500 companies with headquarters in developed economies will fall to less than 55 percent by 2025, from almost 75 percent in 2013.12 Seven out of ten new large companies will come from emerging markets over the same period.
Small entrepreneurial companies from emerging markets already are joining the fray and showing the potential to grow. One of the new breed is Jumia, a Nigerian e-commerce company that now operates in seven other African countries, including Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Morocco. M-Pesa, a now-famous mobile-money service that started in Kenya, currently has 19.3 million users.13 What’s less known is how M-Pesa is disrupting banking and payment businesses in a growing number of countries: it has expanded across Africa and South Asia and in 2014 entered Eastern Europe. Start-ups active in peer-to-peer lending are another potentially disruptive segment in finance. Chile’s Cumplo, China’s Pandai, and Germany’s Auxmoney all facilitate P2P loans, challenging a host of traditional financial institutions.

5. Create new businesses that combine and transform global flows
In the new era of globalization, pressure to create new business models and redefine the borders of companies and markets will increase because digital technologies make it possible to transform and recombine flows.
Many physical goods are now virtual thanks to digitization. Books and movies, for example, once moved from country to country solely by ship, truck, or train. Today, they can digitally whiz across the globe in an instant. This pattern of transformation may be only in its infancy. In some areas of manufacturing, for example, 3-D printing will probably have the same profile: product design files can be sent across the Internet, and goods will be “printed” locally rather than manufactured in one country and shipped to another. This development will create space for new business models and for companies that will become the Amazons or Alibabas of 3-D printed goods. (For more, see “Are you ready for 3-D printing?,” forthcoming on
Digital “wrappers” that embed information within a good or service can also increase the value of physical flows. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology is the best-known example. From 2005 to 2012, the use of tags to track shipments of goods has grown nearly three times faster than global goods flows.14 These tags improve the efficiency of global supply chains by reducing losses in transit (in some cases, by up to 14 percent)—and they may cut inventory costs by up to 70 percent.15
In the growing global peer-to-peer arena, Etsy is an example of a company creating a new business model by straddling digital and physical flows. Its online global marketplace connects over 40 million buyers and sellers of artisanal goods and handicrafts. The company also wraps knowledge and other services into its distribution channel: it offers entrepreneurial education to artisans and has a partnership with the crowdfunding site Kiva to help finance the growth of their businesses.
Companies that have seen their global activities struggle in the wake of the financial crisis can take heart that what they have witnessed is likely to be only a pause and not a break in the progress of globalization. Yet they’ll need to up their game—and quickly. Traditional competitive engines are proving ill adapted to a world of flows moving at digital speed.
About the authors
byJacques Bughin, Susan Lund, and James Manyika

GADGET GIZMO SPECIAL..................... HANDSETS FOR UNDER Rs 10,000

Rs 10,000

Shopping for a budget smartphone?

The Yu is the only handset available in India preinstalled with CyanogenMod ­ an open source Android variant that allows users to customize the interface using different themes and components, including the status bars, icons, controls, and fonts.
It boasts of a large HD-resolution screen and support for dual SIMs. What you also get is 16GB storage and a microSD card slot. So if you use your phone for music and movie playback, this extra space is a huge advantage. Additionally, it supports USB OTG.
This sub-10k smartphone packs in hard ware that performs as well as handsets that cost more than double its asking price when it comes to tasks like web browsing, e-mailing and social networking.Similarly, 3D games like Frontline Commando 2 and most Full HD video formats run smoothly without any stutter or lag.
The output of its dual cameras is sharp enough to be posted on the web, though the colours seem washed out and with some softening of details. Turn on the flash, however, and you get snapshots that retain minute details under zoom.
Call quality is clear and GPS works accurately for turn-by-turn driving.
The Yu's speaker output is not loud or clear. Also the placement of the single speaker grill at the rear of the device usually gets blocked when held in the hand, and this muffles the sound further. Use this device with headphones and you won't face any problems.
The biggest drawback of this handset is its battery life, which will last you for about a day with basic tasks. But play games or videos and you will find yourself reaching for the charger every few hours.
What the ratings mean: Below 5: The product is poor and doesn't offer the experience it promises | 5 and 6: The product works as advertised | 7: The product is good; will not disappoint the buyer | 8: The product is very good; super value for money | 9: The product is exceptional | 10: You're kidding, right?

The Alligator is the smallest smartphone on test here. It looks plasticky, but sports a sturdy build.Its compact size makes it a comfortable fit into any pocket, although those with large hands might find its virtual keyboard too cramped to type.
This device works well enough for tasks like messaging, web browsing and listening to music.Voice calls are loud and clear. But heavy games and movies might result in lag, and at times even the touchscreen response gets sluggish.
In keeping with its modest specs, there is almost no customization to the Android interface, and very few apps (Notebook for note taking, Hungama for online music, and Truecaller to identify unsaved numbers) are pre-loaded on it.
Its display is bright and offers decent viewing angles, but its low-resolution does not match up to the clarity offered by the Lenovo A6000 and Yureka.
The camera, which includes the stock tools to capture and edit photos, takes average shots.The results appear soft and low-light photos suffers from grain. Still, these images are good enough for sharing on the internet.
Lastly, we would have preferred a better battery.The S454 gives you less than a day's service with basic tasks. The lack of any power management settings means you will need to charge the device more than once daily.

The A6000 is a smart-looking handset with a rubberized back panel that allows for better grip and handling.It sports a bright display that renders vibrant colours and crisp text. The 5-inch touchscreen is just right for browsing and reading, while the virtual keyboard is spiffy and trouble-free.
The device is capable of clear phone calls, handling everyday productivity tasks, and the odd 3D game, but stutters and lags when multiple services run in the background.
The A6000 runs Vibe, a user interface that includes pre-loaded apps ­ ShareIt and SyncIt ­ to facilitate content sharing and contact syncing. These are visually intuitive and useful. However, its camera interface is just the opposite ­ basic settings are hidden deep within the menu and include terms like “ZSL“ and “Wavelet Denoise Mode“. Its shooters, however, are slightly better than the ones on the Obi, but you will find some shutter lag, which makes it tough to shoot action photos.
This smartphone comes with thirdparty apps like Guvera for music streaming, a Lenovo security tool, txtr for e-books, voice call recording, and a Dolby audio enhancement, which lets you configure your sound profile depending on what you are listening to. Coupled with dual speak ers, the A6000 makes for a decent entertainment device.
Like other devices in this price band, the A6000 is plagued by a dismal battery life that will require you to carry along your charger for a full day's use.

the single-SIM Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G (`9,999) for its 5.5-inch HD touchscreen and 3100mAh battery, or the Asus Zenfone 5 A501CG (`9,999) for its 2GB RAM, scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 screen, 16GB of internal memory and a camera that's takes decent shots in low light as well. Alternatively, you can buy the water-resistant Motorola Moto E (`5,999) for its quality 4.3-inch display, spiffy performance, stellar battery life and loud audio output.
The Mach One is almost the same size as the Obi S454, but offers a larger and higher resolution display . The handset also sports similar processing hardware.
While the screen is not as bright as the other phones on test here, it offers better colour contrast. On the flip side, it is not very legible in direct sunlight even with brightness set to maximum.
The Mach One packs some useful features like smart gestures that let you launch apps from the lockscreen itself, use twoas well as three-finger gestures on the homescreen to adjust volume, start the camera, take a screenshot and more.
It does a fairly decent job of playing high-def videos smoothly and is good enough for games like Redline Rush and Subway Surfers.
Like the Obi, this handset's camera uses Android's stock interface with basic scene modes and filters. It also shoots average pictures that lack detail, but are good enough for sharing on the internet. Interestingly, its front-facing camera is paired with a flash, in case you have a thing for shooting selfies in the dark.
The S310 give you almost a day's use on a single full charge of its battery, thanks to its energy-saving “stamina mode“.

Ashutosh Desai and Savio D'Souza TOI21FEB15

FOOD SPECIAL…..Food trail - Know your biryani 

Food trail - Know your biryani

There are several ways to make biryani ­ each style loyal to its local gastronomic history. Here are the India-specific ones that every rice and biryani lover should know about

The masses love it, politicians woo voters with it, and festivals are incomplete without it -the delicious biryani is the favourite of all. India has a wide variety to choose from when it comes to this royal dish. Top chefs talk about the distinctive features of each biryani, and what makes them special...

Andhra Pradesh: Hyderabadi biryani is one of the most popular dishes in south India. For many home cooks and chefs, this dish from Mughlai cuisine is quite a challenge to make, and each has his unique way of spicing it up. What makes it stand out is the usage of saffron and coconut. This biryani is cooked in layers ­ the most challenging part in its creation. While most other biryanis are always dominated by mutton and chicken gravy, here the saffron-mixed-rice takes over. Serve it with brinjal gravy.

Tamil Nadu: This one's a favourite in Chennai with many outlets dedicatedly serving just Dindigul biryani.The rice used in it is very different ­ jeera samba rice instead of Basmati, giving it an entirely new flavour.The biryani also uses cube-sized muttonchicken pieces instead of big chunks. Apart from the usual masala, a lot of pepper is used.

Tamil Nadu: It's hard to miss out on the Ambur biryani if you are in Tamil Nadu. Take a trip to the sleepy little town of Ambur and the first thing that'll strike you is the innumerable biryani stalls dotting the Chennai-Bengaluru highway. There's chicken, mutton, beef and prawn as options, with the flavour of mint and coriander standing out. The highlight of this biryani is the fact that chefs soak the meat in curd before adding it to the rice, which imparts a unique taste to the dish. Have it with onion raita and brinjal gravy.

Coastal Karnataka: Though low on spice, the Bhatkali biryani has the right amount of flavour. This particular style originated from the Nawayath Muslim community of Bhatkal, in coastal Karnataka. They use a lot of onions, green chillies in their style of cooking ­ also in the layered format. Unlike Ambur biryani, in which mutton pieces are soaked in curd, Bhatkali biryani chefs cook muttonchicken pieces in curd. This eventually makes the biryani less spicy.

Uttar Pradesh: Based on the Persian style of cooking, the Lucknowi biryani is made with the use of a completely different method known as dum pukht. As is the norm with most Persian formats, the meat and gravy are partially cooked and then layered in the dum pukht style.Served in a sealed handi, Lucknowi biryani is light on the stomach as it is low on spices.

West Bengal: Kolkata biryani has its roots in the Nawabi style biryani of Lucknow. The chefs from Awadhi kitchens brought the signature biryani recipe to Kolkata, which later got tweaked into the unique Kolkata biryani that we know today. The Kolkata biryani is unique, thanks to its subtle use of spices combined with ghee, Basmati rice and mutton. The addition of potatoes and boiled eggs also lends a different flavour to the dish. Use of nutmeg along with saffron and kewra gives this biryani its signature aroma.

Kerala: Malabar biryani, famous in Kozhikode, Thalassery and Malappuram areas of Kerala, is characterised by the unique variety of rice called khyma rice, the rich flavour of spices, and the generous usage of cashewnuts and raisins. Chefs in Kerala add these ingredients generously while preparing the biryani. The key difference lies in the method of preparation. The rice is cooked separately from mutton gravy and mixed well only at the time of serving.

Pakistan: Sindhi biryani, which originated in Sind, Pakistan, is quite spicy and zesty. Sour curd, generous use of spices and chilli mark this form of biryani. Usage of kewra or mitha ittr is another differentiating factor. Sindhi biryani recipes also use potatoes and prunes.

Maharashtra: What makes Bombay biryani special is the use of potatoes in it. Be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian biryani, potato is a must. The preparation uses a layered method, where half-cooked basmati rice and cooked meat are put on dum-style.
ashish joseph sharanya Inputs by Chef Damu, R Rajesh and Hushmoin K Patell TL22FEB15