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Overview Report on Blogging Business

An introduction to blogging

Blogging refers to writing, photography, and other media that’s self-published online. Blogging started as an opportunity for individuals to write diary-style entries, but it has since been incorporated into websites for many businesses. The hallmarks of blogging include frequent updates, informal language, and opportunities for readers to engage and start a conversation.

Here’s an overview of what a blog is, why it’s popular, and tips for starting one’s own blog.

Image 1: Blogging Overview (picture courtesy: steemit.com)

What is blogging?

The word blog is actually an abbreviation of “weblog.” These weblogs allowed early internet users to “log” the details of their day in diary style entries. Blogs often allow readers to comment, so as they became more common, communities sprung up around popular blogs.

Like most internet-based innovations, many entrepreneurs saw marketing potential in having a blog, and the adoption of blogging among the business community helped further increase the popularity of the medium. Not only can a blog be used for marketing a business, but it can also become a home business in and of itself.

How does blogging work?

Blogging is as simple as obtaining a website and publishing original content on it. Tech-savvy bloggers can buy a domain name and build the website themselves. Those with less HTML knowledge can create an account with sites like WordPress that simplify the web design and publishing process.

Blogging vs traditional websites

              Blogging     Traditional websites
Updated frequentlyLargely evergreen content
Allows for reader engagementOne way communication

Examples of blogging:

Marketing blog, Manufacturing blog, Healthcare blog, E-commerce blog, Technology blog, Education and non profit blog, Digital agency blog etc

Image 2: Types of Bloggers (picture courtesy: thebloggingbuddha.com)

Market Overview

Blogging had started from 1994 but it was termed as ‘weblog’ that time. So, for a long time many bloggers were writing their blogs in their respective domains, as a result of which there are some fields where the market is already saturated by the existing bloggers. Another thing to be noted is that as the world became more digitalized day by day so one can get a specific information from various ways , so to enter in this domain one should have at least one domain knowledge for several years otherwise he will not get any competitive advantage in terms of value addition in a different way from the existing ones.As the whole blogging system works with frequent updates as well as the readers engagement from both ends, so one should keep these things in his/her mind before entering this domain specially that here Content is King.

Various blogging platforms

There are many blogging platforms for the bloggers. Some of them mentionable are-

1.Wordpress.org

2.Wix

3.Weebly

4.Blogger

5.Weebly

6.Tumblr

Image 3: (picture courtesy: pixabay.com)

How to make money from your blog?

There are many ways by which one can make money from their blogs. But one thing one should keep in mind is that the first key rule for getting success in this domain is readers engagement and content, and for this two things you have to have at least 10-15 blogs in their portfolio which have a decent amount of readers engagement then only one can make money through this otherwise it will be very tough even to run ads in their blogs/sites.

1.Monetize with CPC/CPM ads: Cost per click(also known as pay per click) ads are usually banners which you place in your content sidebars. Each time when reader clicks for the ad, you are paid for that click.

CPM ads or “cost per 1000 impressions” are ads that pay  

You a fixed amount of money based on how many people view your ad in your content sidebars.

One point to be noted that to monetize with ads you can do it by Google AdSense by fulfilling their criteria and having an account with them.

2.Sell Private Ads: If one end up with enough traffic, then advertisers can directly contact you to place their ads in your content and here you can directly place your ad price range i.e. there will be no middle man as before.

3.Including Affiliate links: One can include affiliate links of another persons product/service in their blogs sidebars and this will give them a commission of every landing or purchasing through their affiliate link.

4.Sell digital products /services: Many of the bloggers use their blogs as a medium to sell their digital products or services (like ebooks, courses,apps etc) by redirecting the audiences to their websites and to sell them those.

5.Content Marketing: Developing some business-blogs one can target and redirect a huge no of traffic to their own website for generating traffic as well as to getting some others stuffs as well. So,by having a good no of readers engagement one can easily establish there business for which  contents will do marketing for them.

One can also sell Memberships for some premium contents or information through blogs as a medium.

Necessary things to note:

1.To get prosperity in blogging as a business one should target a specific domain of his knowledge and should have to maintain a proper readers engagement  and to have at least 10-15 blogs in their portfolio before monetizing them through ads.

2.For generating leads in ones blogs , there are several ways to rank their content in search engines as well as to use some tags or labels according to their content which will help them for generating traffic in their contents. For this knowledge in SEO, using labels or tags , and how to analyse the stats of their respective blogs would help.

Written by: Sayantika Mondal and Tirtharaj Chakraborty

Edited by: Shubhangi Dey and Sarthak Majumder

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Pipilika.com : Bengali Search Engine

The world wide web was created and developed largely by the Western world. Though the contributions of people of different nationalities and cultures have together made the internet what we see it today, it is still largely limited to one language – English. Google, the corporate behemoth first started in 1998 as a search engine system, and now synonymous with internet and search engines, has included other languages for more than a decade. Yet, as every non-English speaker knows, the services are definitely not comparable to the English version of the search engine.

Bangladesh has a large unilingual Bengali population. Bengali is the lingua franca, and few people are fluent in English. Therefore, content targeted to Bangladeshis is largely written and distributed in Bengali. Without a proper search engine, these websites and businesses were inaccessible to a huge portion of the people. The internet was not accessible to the general people in its full potential.

In light of this situation, students of the Computer Science and Engineering department of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet programmed a Bengali search engine as their thesis project. The organisation has a culture of research and innovation. It, therefore, doesn’t come as a surprise that they created the first Bangladeshi search engine ever made. Registered in 2012 and started in 2013, a few hours shy of the Bengali new year, Pipilika.com has made the treasure trove of information on the internet far more accessible to the general Bengali speaking population across borders.

Image 1: (picture courtesy: IT EXPERT)

The launch and popularity of Pipilika brought to light the intense apathy of the IT world to non-English educated people. At the time, Google’s understanding of Bengali was severely limited and it could not even analyse the Bengali keywords properly, not to mention more the application of more advanced algorithms for search ranking. It has since been improved, but the results are yet to be on par with the English counterpart.

The search engine can handle both Bengali and English inputs with equal precision. It, however, prioritises the Bengali link in case of two links of equal relevance. The search terms are analysed and prioritised with great accuracy. There are five categories of search:All, News, Blog, Wikipedia, Government information, and the Bangladesh Domain. The main page offers quick options for product search page, job search, latest news options and A2I search. The input is equipped for both Latin and Devanagari scripts. Overall, the interface design makes for a soothing user experience.

Image 2: Business Plan Highlights of Pipilika.com (picture courtesy: Scribd)

According to the developer team, their most important service is making news accessible to all, by topic and unbiasedly from all available sources. In the first few years, they helped a large number of businesses to expand online with perfect ease. The local industries could easily connect to the users and market their products and services well. It also made for an easily accessible, cheap system for access to information for different social service organisations, NGOs and even some government departments. With their popularity, the domain search systems were made public. Later, they added e-commerce systems to form a different portal, and ranked them by popularity statistics.

Image 3: Projections for Strategy and Implementation (picture courtesy: Scribd)

Pipilika.com today is very popular in Bangladesh. The students who made the web crawling program are well satisfied with this development. However, their work is never done. Pipilika is regularly updated and its database improved almost every day. They are also working towards an offline search system and a topic-specific search engine. 

Written by: Ritoja Sen and Arka Dutta

Edited by: Shubhangi Dey and Sarthak Mazumder

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Trillion Dollar Companies

Since the dawn of Industrial Revolution springing it’s a root from Britain to the other countries in the 18th Century, many Individuals rose to set the first in class Industries to meet the demands for new and better Infrastructure, handling complex manufacturing and producing new jobs for the working class. Gaining an upper hand in terms of technology and establishing itself as a Diplomatic Superpower has always been the lucrative desire for all countries. One criterion which solidifies this ambition is having better Financial asset and pumping a ton of money in the Economy.

Image 1: (Image courtesy: crn.com)

The Industries kept setting the bar higher and higher, scaling them up and bringing more revenue. Standard procedures were created to measure and keep a record of a much larger number. Every country more or less uses their Imperial system. In India lakhs and Crores are used, in America, it’s termed in Millions and Billions. Let’s first get our numbers checked and be a bit familiar with the more used American units in the International market.

To put things in Indian perspective:

1 lakhs = 100000 INR

1 Million = 10 lakhs

1 Billion = 1000 Million

1 Trillion = 1000 Billion

With the rising valuation of Companies market share, our milestone has changed significantly in the past decades from Millions to Billions and few companies even crossing the Trillion Dollars mark. Let’s take a dip and see what these companies are and who are in their way of becoming

Image 2: Countries in Trillion Dollar Companies Club (Image Courtesy: reddit.com)
CompaniesDate surpassing 1 Trillion Dollars markMarket Capitalization (In USD)
Apple Inc4 August 2018$ 1.37 Trillion
Amazon4 September 2018$ 1.04 Trillion
Microsoft7 June 2019$ 1.36 Trillion
Saudi Aramco11 December 2019$ 1.81 Trillion
Alphabet16 January 2020$ 1.02 Trillion
Table 1: List of Trillion Dollar Companies

Apple: Apple became the first company to hit the 1 Trillion mark in August 2018. It already claims to be the World’s most valuable listed Business for several years. Although it fell to $ 800 billion by the end of 2018 (owing to the US Stock Market slump), it regained its position in the top few in 2019.

Amazon : Amazon followed the league to the top just after a month after Apple. The 2018 market slump also hit Amazon badly but it took longer for the E-commerce giant longer to recover and it rejoined the Four-comma club in January 2020 due to its rapidly growing Prime Subscription service.

Microsoft : By the end of 2018, Microsoft had overtaken it’s long-standing rival Apple to become the World’s most valuable company, a title which it holds for most of 2019 period. It joined the club in mid of that year. Its massive growth was fuelled by its business’s cloud computing division, Azure

Saudi Aramco: Saudi Aramco broke the Trillion Dollars barrier on its very first day of trading, due to the overhype created by analyst and commentators. At the end of the first day, it hits a value of $ 1.88 Trillion making it by far the biggest IPO in history and Saudi Aramco joining the league. Next trading day and Saudi Aramco broke another record of becoming first to get to $ 2 Trillion

  • Another Non-US company were claimed to hit the Trillion dollar bell was PetroChina getting market capitalization of $ 1.194 Trillion on the first day of it’s IPO way back in 2007 (more than a decade ago of Apple). However, the valuation was only based on a fraction of its share and the company sank soon after with its market cap dropped to $260 billion in 2008.

Alphabet : The newest of the members of the Elitegroup. Google’s parent company Alphabetbecame the fourth US tech company to get a market capitalization of $ 1.02 Trillion.

Although the Trillion Dollars Valuation gives a good measure of the companies accomplishment it does not provide the complete story of the overall economic health of the company and Investors tends to not get much into the glittery gold often.

If we adjust for Inflation we might get some surprising new names whose valuation would easily dwarf these top companies combined by a significant amount. It is truly fascinating that Dutch East India Company, which existed nearly 400 years ago, would have a market capitalization of a whopping $7.9 Trillion.

Image 3: The Trillion Dollar Club (Image courtesy: visualcapitalist.com)

Okay let’s now have a look at the most promising future contenders of the big Trillion club:

Facebook : With a total market capitalization of $599 billion, Facebook is well on its way to the breakthrough the mark. Facebook is also the only member of the US ‘big five’ tech giants not surpassed $1 Trillion value.

Berkshire Hathaway: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is not very far off from Facebook in the race to the trillions with its market cap of $560 billion. But it’s growth has been much slower than the Tech Rivals but it’s also more steady then it’s competitors and you cannot doubt Mr Buffett in his game.

Visa : Visa performed brilliantly in 2019 becoming one of the most valuable public company recently with a market cap of $499 billion. It grew 50% in value in 2019 and could be in the league by 2023 if it continues to leverage on the soar of cashless payments.

With these three in the lead position currently they odds are in favour of these companies but in no way mean that they will cross the mark. Business is full of uncertainties and things can change at a rapid pace.

Written by : Deb Das Jha

Edited by : Shubhangi Dey and Sarthak Mazumder

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Vodaphone Idea merger Detailed Report

INTRODUCTION

The Indian telecom industry has been in the grip of consolidation ever since the trading of spectrum licenses was legalised in October 2015. India’s Telecommunication network is second largest within the world by several telephone users with 1.2 billion subscribers. In the interest of increasing competition, innovation and facilitating businesses, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) liberalised the spectrum and allowed telecom companies to transfer their airwaves rights, subject to certain restrictions. Videocon Telecommunications took the lead and monetised its spectrum rights by selling it to Idea in several circles soon after the liberalisation move. Market consolidation in the telecom industry is not peculiar to India. In 2017, Vodafone and Idea announced a merger that was expected to create India’s largest telecom operator with more than 400 million subscribers and fuel the ongoing market consolidation. The merger results in Indian telecom sector being dominated by four players- Vodafone-Idea, Bharti Airtel, Jio and BSNL. It also kick-starts the process of renewing price discipline in an industry, which is still reeling under the shock of Jio’s disruptive entry.

COMPANY BACKGROUND

Vodafone Idea Ltd. has rebranded itself as ‘Vi’ nearly after two years the telecom operators merged as a results of a brutal tariff war effected by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.

Vodafone

Vodafone India is a subsidiary of London based Vodafone Group Plc, the second-largest mobile phone company within the world. Vodafone entered the Indian market in 2007 by acquiring a 67% stake in Hutchison Essar for $10.7 billion. The business was owned by Hutchison Whampoa Ltd and Essar was a minority stakeholder. The company was renamed as Vodafone Essar and ‘Hutch’ was rebranded to ‘Vodafone’. Vodafone had a right of first offer (ROFR) vis-à-vis Essar, which it exercised in 2001 to buy out Essar’s 33% stake for $5.46 billion. Vodafone acquired 74% shareholding, which was later increased to 100% by 2014. The 2007 deal, which secured Vodafone’s entry into the Indian market is embroiled in a tax dispute. Vodafone faces the grim prospect of having to meet a huge bill of about ₹14,000 crores, were it to lose the arbitral challenge to the tax claim.

Idea

Idea Cellular Limited was the third-largest mobile network operator in India. It functioned in its early years as a three-way joint venture involving the Tata Group, U.S. telecommunications behemoth AT&T, and the Aditya Birla Group (AB Group). The idea was incorporated in 1995 with its registered office in Ahmedabad. In a decade, the company went public and it was listed in 2007. The idea has been a very successful telecom giant and it has consistently reported net profits from its services rendered to its 191 million-strong subscriber bases. The company posted its first net loss since listing in 2007 in the December quarter, hurt by the price war following Jio’s offerings.

Image 1: Shareholding Post-Merger of Vodafone Idea

TRANSACTION DETAILS MERGER VALUATION & MOTIVATIONS

As per the official figures released by the companies, the value of the new entity post-merger is $23 billion but some analysts argue that the deal is undervalued by at least 23%. The companies claim that the merger is largely motivated by their commitment towards Digital India. Market analysts believe that it is an essential survival mechanism after the market disruption caused by Jio, as far as Idea is concerned. The need for merge arises to get the full benefit of the synergy and with synergy benefit, it results in higher profits and leverage expected to reduce, the combined entity’s equality valuation also rises. The merge will help in reducing the effect of tariff war that generally occurs in the Telecommunication market. Also, both of the company can enjoy benefits in terms of network and also in terms of services. Analysts locate Vodafone’s main aim in its intentions to deconsolidate its Indian operations.

Image 2: Post-consolidation market share based on 31/12/2016

DEAL BREAKDOWN

On 20 March 2017, Vodafone India and Idea cellular agreed to merge and expected to create the biggest telecom company in India with a customer base of over 400 million. The transaction will start with stock transfer and the deconsolidation of the Indian operations of Vodafone. As part of the deconsolidation process, Vodafone India will be separated from its parent entity-Vodafone Group Plc- and it will be treated as a Joint Venture (JV), reducing Vodafone Group’s net debt by Rs 55,200 crore. Vodafone India owns 45.1% entity after transferring 4.95 to the promoters of idea cellular for Rs of 3874 crores in cash post the merger. The promoter of Idea Group will hold 26% and the rest of the shares will be owned by the public so we can say that it is a 50 50 partnership. The deal contours can be broken down into the four steps through which the companies aim to attain share equalisation.

BOARD COMPOSITION & VOTING RIGHTS

Vodafone will appoint the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Kumar Mangalam Birla will be the Chairman of the Board. The CEO and COO will be chosen upon mutual consent before the closure of the merger. The promoters of Idea and Vodafone will have the right to nominate three members each on the board, which will have 12 directors, six of whom will be independent.

AB Group and Vodafone will exercise their votes jointly and the voting power of Vodafone will be proportionately reduced until share equalisation is achieved.

MERGER RATIO

The implied swap ratio is 1:1 and it is based on Idea’s price of Rs 72.5 a unit. The implied enterprise value is Rs 82,800 crore for Vodafone India and Rs 72,000 crores for Idea.

Image 3: Wireless Subscribers Pre-Merger as on 31st August 2015

INITIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE JOINT VENTURE

Vodafone contributed all of its Indian businesses including its standalone towers with 15.8k tenancies but barring its 42% stake in Indus Towers. All of Idea’s assets including standalone towers with 15.4k tenancies and its 11.15% stake in Indus Towers will vest in the new entity.

NET DEBTS

Idea’s net debt was Rs 52,700 crore in December 2016. Vodafone would contribute Rs 55,200 crore of net debt to the merged entity. The combined entity would remain highly leveraged and will need some form of capital infusion.

The merger agreement has a break-fee of Rs 3,300 crore payable under certain circumstances.

SIGNIFICANT COST-CUTS

Mergers in telecom industry help in reducing redundancies and consolidating customer base. Vodafone and Idea both hold stake in Indus Towers and they lease cell towers at certain prices. Post-merger, Vodafone’s 42% stake in Indus Towers will remain whereas Idea will dispose of its shareholding. This will eliminate redundant costs since there will be a common expenditure on cell tower tenancies. Sharing of infrastructure will thus significantly decrease the costs of the new entity.

WIDER MARKET REACH

Post-merger the new entity has greater access to fibre cables for 4G and 5G network. Vodafone is the market leader in Urban circles and Idea is a key player in category B circles. The merger will allow the new entity to have a stronghold in both urban and rural areas. The new entity will be the market leader in 12 out of the 22 circles, and it will be only behind Airtel in nine circles.

Image 4: Wireless Subscribers Post-Merger as on 31st May 2020

UNADDRESSED ISSUES & POTENTIAL RISKS

The companies have not identified a mode of deadlock resolution. It is generally advisable to devise mechanisms to resolve an impasse in case of equal joint ventures. Otherwise, there could be unavoidable deterrence to the effective functioning of the Board. For instance, the equal division of powers concerning the appointment of Key Managerial Personnel (KMP) could create conflict. In the past, where clear terms of appointed existed, there have been huge controversies as seen in the merger between HDFC Life Insurance Co. Ltd and Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd, which created India’s largest private insurer. The shareholder agreement contemplates modes for further capital infusion neither during the lock-in period nor posts the four-year timeframe. This is important because the new entity will be highly leveraged and debt financing may not be feasible. Additional capital contribution by the JV parties involves several considerations. To maintain equal shareholding, both parties will have to make the same amount of value addition. The liquidity and the capacity of the JV parties may not permit equal capital infusion when the JV entity needs it. Further, the merger agreement does not discuss protections for foreground and background Intellectual Property of the JV parties. Indemnity provisions are also conspicuous in their absence. The JV parties have declared their intention to synergise operations but there is no clarity on the integration of supply chain and other verticals.

CONCLUSION

Vodafone has made its Indian operations subservient to its global goals. The world’s second-largest company has invested circa £19 billion over the last three years to increase its coverage in the United Kingdom as part of its ‘Project Spring program’. Overall consolidation in the debt-ridden telecom industry will lead to better financial health and sustainability of both the companies. Since consolidation will leave only three big companies in the industry, there will be less competition and bigger revenue. It will also result in duplication of resources across country which requires job cuts too. The merger will also lead to pooling of vital resources and infrastructure, which will inevitably lead to better service quality and customer satisfaction as both the companies are working on better coverage of 4G and 5G. It is undeniable that the deal is necessary for both parties after the competitive pricing onslaught brought on by Jio. However, when a corporate marriage is a response to an outside threat and global financial concerns, the scope for adverse consequences for the parties involved is much higher. A major beneficiary of consolidation in the sector and the merger of Vodafone and Idea operations is the consumer as the three top players (Bharti Airtel, Idea-Vodafone and Reliance Jio) will bring in best technology at best prices to retain customers in a sector where brand loyalty has been diluted by Mobile Number Portability. Vodafone and Idea have also announced their plan to explore flexible business diversification opportunities along the lines of Airtel’s tryst with Wynk app and Airtel Money. The two companies are also hoping to capitalise on the first-mover advantage in the Internet of Things (IoT) market in India by commercially offering smart cars and connected homes at affordable prices. Vodafone and Idea hope to collaborate with other investors in implementing their plans for the future so that they can limit exposure and maximise synergistic capabilities. Only time will tell how much of their hopes and plans will materialise into realities in the coming future.

Written by: Animesh Bhakat and Apurba Banerjee
Edited by: Shubhangi Dey and Sarthak Mazumder

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How the digital market is affected after India banned 59 apps linked to china

The Central government on Monday, 29 June 2020, banned 59 apps with links to China. These apps were banned after weeks of furious debate as their policies regarding data safety came under question. The ban included several popular mobile apps, most notably TikTok, UCBrowser, Camscanner, Xender, and many more. Together, these apps have several hundred million users in the country. The move comes in the backdrop of the present impasse at the line of control in Ladakh with the Chinese troops.

Let’s dive deep to have a view of the situation on a broader prospect.

TIKTOK

The biggest casualty of this move appears to be ByteDance. ByteDance-owned TikTok is targeting ₹100 crore revenue in India for the July-September quarter this fiscal year as reported by Entrackr. However, within minutes of the announcement of the Chinese app ban, the Indian government’s TikTok account MyGov, which had 1.1 million followers, was disabled. According to a report published by China’s state-run media The Global Times, ByteDance – the parent company of the TikTok and Helo apps could lose up to $6 billion( ₹45k crore) after the Indian Government decides to ban them.

Some of the most common examples for TikTok substitutes that come with the same core idea as the TikTok, of sharing short videos of 20 seconds are:

Tiktok Growth Rate

Tiktok Ranking and Revenue

Mitron: An Indian video-making app

Chingari : It crossed the 2.5 million download mark recently.

Youtube Shorts: A short video format on which Youtube is currently working on but it is not yet official when the feature will be rolled out.

Bolo Indya: Another Indian app developed by SynergyByte Media Pvt Ltd. Roposo: The oldest app here and is available for download on the Play Store and App Store

SHEIN

Shein, a fashion brand app, has been a go-to shopping website primarily for women and girls over the years. specializing in trendy women’s clothes that are mostly priced below US$20, with some items even selling for less than US$5. The company started in China’s eastern city of Nanjing back in 2008. Now it boasts of its presence in nearly every country in the world and has made more than 20 billion yuan (US$2.83 billion) in revenue in 2019, according to a WeChat post from Shein in February this year. Shein, which entered India in 2017, has localized its customer service, logistics, and marketing efforts in the country and with ₹250 crores invested in marketing, it receives 20,000 orders a day, according to Shein India general manager Malcolm Yam. It now has around 3 million followers on social media and collaborated with about 2,000 influencers. Alternatives to this app include homegrown brands like Ajio, Myntra, Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart, and Nykaa.

Sale Growth of Shein
Enter a caption

Shein Block growth rate

XENDER

Xender is one of the world’s leading apps, developed by a Chinese tech company called Xender Digital Technology Private Limited, founded by Peter Jiang in the year 2011 which lets users enjoy transferring files like photos, music, contacts, videos and apps in the best possible manner. It has logged 170 million Indian users over the last three years along with an annual growth rate of over 100 percent. Xender has been launched in more than 22 countries by now but one of the biggest markets for Xender is in India given those big companies like Micromax pre-install the application before selling it to the customers. Besides the other parts of India, the application is also gaining popularity in the northern parts of the country especially in the areas where internet connections are not so strong. After the next couple of years, Xender has taken a gigantic step by coming into a partnership with SONY India for MovieChain Project. However, After the ban of the app over security and privacy concerns, the following apps will be in rising:

Files by Google

Launched in 2017 as Files Go along with offline file sharing, the app lets users manage and browse their files. Currently, the app is only available on android.

Send Anywhere

The Send Anywhere app also lets its users share files using Wi-Fi direct. The app is available on both android and iOS.

JioSwitch

JioSwitch also lets users share files with other devices offline

UC BROWSER

UC Browser is a web browser developed by Chinese mobile internet company UCWeb, a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group. It is known for its low network requirements and is the 8th most downloaded app in the last decade. It has been particularly popular in India, as people in areas with a slow internet connection would prefer the app over others, and is also available in several Indian languages.

Its ban is likely to narrow the growth of UCWeb as well as corporate giant Alibaba significantly, as India has been a huge part of their customer base. Alibaba has been repeatedly accused of having loose policies for user data security and has been subject to heated debate several times. This is, however, the first time it has faced such a vicious reaction on the issue. Alternatives to this app would be browsers like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Bharat Browser, Opera, and Firefox.

wordpress

CAM SCANNER

CamScanner is a mobile app owned by a Chinese company named Intsig Information Co. Ltd. It was released in February 2017 and uses the phone camera as a photo scanner. It is largely used by students in India, due to the easy and effective system of scanning and sharing work in an electronic document. It is owned by a Chinese company named Intsig Information Co. Ltd. In August 2019, Kaspersky Lab found that several versions of the app contained a trojan dropper, which installed a few hidden Zip files into the device when CamScanner was installed into the advertising library. These files were found to download other files, controlled by hackers in China, that allowed them to receive all of the user’s data in the device.

This caused Google to take it down from PlayStore, but later the app was made available again after they had removed the library altogether. With the ban from India, CamScanner loses its largest customer base, which is likely to curtail its growth significantly, and lead to a great drop in the valuation of Intsig Information Co. Ltd. Alternatives to this app are Adobe Scan, Microsoft office lens, PhotoScan, TurboScan, and TapScanner.

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CLEAN MASTER

This smartphone junk cleaner and virus detector software called the Clean Master app was made by a China-based tech company Cheetah Mobile, headquartered in the city of Beijing. At its peak, Clean Master was a quite popular app with over a billion downloads and it can be assumed that the app remains installed on millions of smartphones.

According to a report by Forbes, Clean Master has been collecting all manner of private Web user data that a security firm shared with Google. This app has reportedly compromised the safety and security of user data and privacy. To safeguard the Indian Cyberspace and the privacy of numerous users it has been banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Thereafter Cheetah’s revenue fell 51% annually to 528.1 million yuan ($74.6 million) during the quarter. It posted an adjusted net loss of 97.7 million yuan ($13.8 million), or $0.10 per ADS, compared to a profit of 33.8 million yuan a year ago. Google and Facebook both claimed that this app defrauded advertisers by “injecting” background clicks without any user interaction. Facebook ended its ad partnership with Cheetah in 2018, and Google booted Cheetah’s apps from the Play Store and its ad platforms earlier this year.

clean master

Alterntives to Clean Master App:

Norton Clean, CCleaner, and Files by Google

WE CHAT:

WeChat is a Chinese all-in-one messaging, social media, and mobile payment app developed by Tencent. As of August 2019, WeChat has 3.5M fans on Facebook and 250.3K followers on Twitter and estimated annual revenue of 24.1M. However, the app inspects messages, photos, and content shared on the platform and stores them with user info. It’s easily accessible to the Chinese government, making it no less than spyware which forced the Ministry of Home Affairs, ban this app.

A recent report by QuestMobile indicates that the time spent on the WeChat App dropped by 8.6% between December 2018 and June 2019.

Average time spent on we chat per user

YOY growth of Tencent advertising has reached a low of 16% for Q2 2019. The growth of Tencent’s ad revenues is following a steady downward trend for the last year.

YOY growth of we chat

Alternatives to WeChat:

Whatsapp and Telegram

Conclusion: India is the fastest-growing consumer of the digital market in the world which is the second largest for app downloads. But at this point, the biggest question is – Does Aatmanirbhar India have the alternative apps to quickly fill the void created due to the ban on Chinese apps? Well, we may find our answer in the near future.

Written By: Ayndrila Ghosh, Ritoja Sen and Deepshikha Sen

Edited By: Suvro Mukherjee

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Adobe pulling off the support for flash at the end of 2020. Is it the end of the era?

Adobe Systems plans to phase out its flash player plug-in by the end of 2020. It was a dominant player in early days of internet and was used in variety of games, animations and video streaming as well.

           But it was only in the year 2014, Google estimated that more than 80% of the users used flash based content everyday on the net which eventually declined to 17% in late 2018 and now to less than 5%. This revealed the present trend of the sites migrating to open-web technologies. Adobe systems has also been working in partnership with Apple, Mozilla and Microsoft for discontinuing the Flash and its replacement by more current browsers.

2020 will mark an end of an era for Flash, but one feels like it has been a long time coming. HTML5 standards have been implemented across all modern web browsers, and the need for Flash just isn’t there anymore. An end to Flash will bring with it obvious improvements in security and enhance pure battery life on laptops and other mobile devices that still support the web technology.

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So why exactly did this thing happen? What are the factors that led to the sudden demise of Flash player?

Primarily Apple, in a sense, gave Flash the kiss of death, when it took the Flash Player out of the iPhone in 2010.The factors of phasing out the Flash player are as follows:-

 

  • Relatively old plug-in: Being relatively old plug-in, it had flaws in code which made it increasingly vulnerable to online threats like hackers and viruses.
  • It never saw the mobile revolution coming:  Designed especially for desktop computers it was barely optimized for displaying contents in mobile devices, which reduced performance, reliability and increased battery drain issue and security threats for mobile devices.
  • Closed source program: For flash player being 100% proprietary, Adobe holds the sole right for further enhancements, availability, accessibility and pricing. In such situation users were just paying only to use it and not to buy it.
  • Withdrawal of support from major Tech Giants: Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs put an end to the relationship with Adobe, highlighting its concerns about its reliability, security and performance. Technology partners like Mozilla, Facebook, Microsoft, Google also followed suit and initiated their migration towards open web technologies post Adobe’s 2020 proclamation.

     With the growing popularity of newer programs such as HTML5, WebGL, Web assembly popular web browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer are already half way through their roadmap of putting last nails on the Flash player coffin by disabling its support by default and many web sites and web pages are still being updated to modern standards that contained flash content. Still phasing out of Flash player will have some noticeable impact worldwide web community.

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The data that shows how the use of Flash gradually diminished over the years.

  • Increased security concerns: With the end of life of Flash, there will be no more security patch updates from Adobe, consequently the web pages or websites that has still not been updated to modern standards may face certain vulnerabilities thereby creating a gap in the company’s network security.
  • Some vintage flash games might die-off: Many online flash games website like Miniclip, Gams ODO, Kongregate and online game development websites like Ceil fire, Kongregate Labs, Game  etc. might die if they don’t port to modern standards considering the user base it still has.

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  • Dormant flash based websites won’t open: There are thousands of websites and web pages that still uses flash and are not updated lately. And the problem is they need significant investment to convert or update them to newer technologies that can be used on the web.
  • e-Learning and legacy courses might be at risk: Most of the older resources and e-Learning platforms still use flash plug-in. With the Imminent end of flash some flash based e-Learning and legacy courses might come to stand still.What are the changes that user interface would require due to this change?

    Effects on Browser community:-

    “With Flash technology becoming unsupported, businesses and industries built around the technology will need to make the decision to either keep using an unsupported piece of software or to find a new technology to build their business upon. Patches will no longer be released for the software, and if businesses choose to keep using Flash, an imminent security threat could arise.” – David LefeverThe Mako Group.

    Flash will initially be disabled, and the user will need to re-enable Flash on a site-by-site basis; Flash will be completely removed from the browser towards the end of 2020. Group policies are available for enterprise admins and IT pros to change the Flash behavior prior to that date.

    For both the in-market version of Microsoft Edge (built on EdgeHTML) and Internet Explorer 11, the current experience will continue as-is through 2019. Specifically, they no longer intend to update either Microsoft Edge (built on EdgeHTML) or Internet Explorer 11 to disable Flash by default. They still plan to fully remove Flash from these browsers by December 2020, as originally communicated.

     

     

    20200501_004152As open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past few years, most of them now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web. Over time, they have seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.


    Some of the positive impacts of phasing out flash player for the browsing community can be briefed as:

     

  • Better user experience: Being too heavy its misuse by hackers have always annoyed the users online. So by removing flash content and resorting to open web technologies that doesn’t need any third party plug-in it is inevitable to bring about a better user experience.
  • Will promote a mobile first approach: Mobile phones have been the primary browsing tool among mainstreams. Flash was difficult to integrate with mobile technology and had lack of support on both iOS and Android. So phasing out of flash will push businesses to opt for mobile friendly technologies.
  • Better internet security: Flash became the prime target for hackers online and was not the most secure technology to begin with. Thus, no support for flash and adoption of open web technologies means that anyone can contribute for improving in security and will benefit business and home users.
  • Also open web technology will enable the businesses to decide on how their websites will look different on different devices and faster loading of graphical content.Facebook says that it will help game developers on its platform migrate to open web standards.

     A lot of e-Commerce and web service startups with flash content on their pages have already been updated to modern standards like HTML5, WebGL, Unity etc. and any of these startups that want to continue their service needs to update their websites by the end of 2020.

    Conclusion:

    20200501_004220Given its wide distribution, Flash (and especially outdated versions of it) quickly became one of the main targets for hackers, and Flash offered them plenty of avenues for trying to get into their target’s machines. The fact that Apple never supported it on mobile (and Steve Job’s famous 2010 letter about that) only sped up Flash’s demise, especially as modern browsers and HTML5 allowed browser vendors to replicate Flash’s functionality without the need for third-party plugins. To be fair, Adobe probably wanted Flash do go away as much as everybody else and, by 2015, the company said as much. Since then, it has started to phase out Flash support from its applications and worked on providing its users with alternatives.

    Similarly, browser vendors have also started deprecating Flash support over the last few years. Google made Flash a “click-to-play” plugin, for example,  users must explicitly enable if they really want to use it. The same holds true for all other major browser vendors.

    At this point, there’s very little that Flash can do that HTML5 can’t handle. Still, a number of holdouts remain, especially in the education and gaming space.

    As the company’s VP of product development Govind Balakrishnan also noted, Adobe remains proud of the legacy of Flash — and for all of its flaws, it’s worth remembering that it played a pivotal role in bringing video and gaming to the web, for example. Microsoft once tried to compete with it when it launched Silverlight back in 2007, but at that point Flash was already so ubiquitous that even Microsoft had no chance to displace it (though it’s still kicking around somewhere in the Windows ecosystem).


    Done by: Oman Ansari

      Sumit Chakraborty

      Swarnendu Chakraborty

 

 

Uncategorized

What measures can start-ups take so that business won’t get affected despite such outbreak(COVID-19) in future

Corona Virus outbreak is the first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting hundreds and thousands of people. Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2(SARS-CoV-2). The disease, first identified in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Huwei province, has since spread globally, resulting in the ongoing 2019-2020 Corona virus pandemic. On 30th January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019-2020 corona virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency Concern (PHEIC) and a pandemic on 11 march 2020.
Due to the high rate of transmission and lack of antidotes for COVID-19, human life has already come to a standstill. Naturally, the business world is also facing its own consequences.

THE CONSEQUENCES

In recent weeks, we have seen the huge economic impact of the corona virus on the global economy, financial market and vulnerable sectors such as manufacturing, construction, tourism, hospitality, travel, transport and education. The Indian stock market index, the BSE SENSEX, and National Stock Exchange of India NIFTY 50 has fallen by 25% in the last 30 days.
As the stock market is falling gradually, investors are choosing less risky investments. Gold, traditionally considered a “safe haven” for investment in times of uncertainty, also saw a tumble in price briefly in March, as investors expect a global recession.20200501_004247

In China, many workers have been home bound since late January, disrupting factories that assemble electronics or make automotive parts. As a result, the electronics and automotive industry has been badly damaged.
Oil has slumped to prices not seen since June 2001. Investors fear that the global spread of the virus will further hit the global economy and demand for oil. The oil price had already been affected by a row between Opec, the group of oil producers, and Russia. The pandemic has driven the price down further.
The travel industry has been badly damaged, with airlines cutting flights and tourists cancelling business trips and holidays in the beginning, which escalated to more than 100 countries having travel restrictions due to the corona virus outbreak. Most countries now have a ban on commercial passenger transport. The travel and tourism industry accounts for 10% of the GDP and 50 million jobs are at risk worldwide. 20200501_004330 (1)

Regional airline Air Deccan on Sunday announced ceasing of operations until further notice, becoming the first Indian airline to succumb to the lock down crisis. The airline sent all employees on sabbatical without pay. A major oil price crash in international markets came as godsend, but the oil producers’ bid to cut output and cushion the price fall may take away much of that advantage by the time the airlines are back in the sky again.
Sadly, criminals and hackers are also exploiting this situation and there has been a significant rise in Corona virus-themed malicious websites, with more than 16,000 new Corona virus-related domains registered since January 2020. Hackers are selling malware and hacking tools through COVID-19 discount codes on the internet.. Stock markets are plunging — down about 25% in last 30 days — oil prices are in free fall, supply chains are being disrupted, and in the middle of it all, small- and medium-sized businesses are dealing with frightened employees, skittish customers and an uncertain future. The situation is so dire, US President Donald Trump plans to meet with Senate leaders Tuesday to discuss a payroll cut, small business aid and help for hourly workers who might become sick.
Ever since the coronavirus started infecting people in China, Eric Plam, president of Skyroam, a San Francisco-based company that creates and sells Wi-Fi-enabled hotspots to businesses, has been busy figuring out how to keep his staff safe and his business operating.

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Pic: Effect on Travel based businesses and start-ups

Amicable Solutions:-

NOT TOO LATE TO PLAN

This wouldn’t have been an issue a decade ago, when businesses mostly conducted business closer to home, but now many companies are global.
“We encouraged small businesses to be more global and to export more, and now they’re more vulnerable to things like the corona virus,” says Andrew Sherman, a Washington, D.C.-based partner with Seyfarth, a global law firm.
Despite cases continuing to rise and markets sending people and companies in a panic, it’s not too late for businesses to set up remote work forces, communicate with staff and prepare for a worsening outbreak.
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COMMUNICATE WITH THE STAFF

One of the most important things start-ups can do is communicate with the employees. Many people are likely concerned about their health and how they can continue working as more things get shut down.
Henry Albrecht, CEO of Limeade, has his own Limeade ONE platform comes with an internal communications feature where people can instant message each other. As soon as the outbreak’s seriousness became clear, Albrecht set up what he calls a “care in crisis” channel that automatically sends push notifications to staff whenever he posts. “There’s an intentional importance attached, because the messages are coming from me,” he says.
It’s in that channel where he provides updates on the virus itself — he’s posted a number of CDC videos on COVID-19 and how to monitor oneself for the disease — along with recommended hand washing and social-distancing procedures, travel updates (most are canceled) and ideas on how to work effectively from home.
Employees can also post their own messages in that channel, which he says is key. “It’s powerful,” he says about the two-way communication. “We want to hear from our people as well. We also have the ability to ask people to take a quiz so they can tell us if they need more information on something.”

INVEST IN WORK FROM HOME TECHNOLOGY

While most people likely have a phone, a computer and an internet connection, some may not have enough bandwidth to do the kind of work they do at the office at home. Some companies may also not be set up with the right collaboration tools, such as internal communications programs or secure Wi-Fi networks to allow for remote work.
Over the last couple of weeks, many companies are looking to find ways to help their staff work remotely.
For Albrecht, Microsoft Teams is coming in handy. It’s a collaboration program that allows people to video chat and work on Word files together from wherever they may be. Programs like Google’s G Suite, which comes with collaborative software like Google Docs, Sheets and Hangouts, come very handy in such situations.

CREATE A DISASTER PREPAREDNESS POLICY

A lot of companies have never planned for a crisis on this scale, but as many are finding out now, they need one.
A good plan will cover a number of things, including most importantly:

  • Procedures and tools for remote work – It should spell out how people should work from home and what tools they’ll need to get the job done; how to handle travel; what to do about meetings and more.
  • Insurance coverage for business closures or trip cancellations
  • Financing – How to finance when no one is investing, what lines of credit are in place, etc.
  • Supply chain alternatives
  • Companies like restaurants or local movie theaters, will have to think hard about how to manage staff and cash flows if people stop going out.

All of this should be documented, as it shows that people are thinking about what could happen in a worst-case scenario, and it acts as an easy-to-reference guide on what to do, how to communicate and how to keep business running in difficult times. Every company needs all the elements of a crisis-management or disaster-preparedness plan in place.
No matter what happens, small- and medium-sized businesses will no doubt take some sort of hit to their bottom line. While the government may step in to help — the Finance Minister, Dr. Nirmala Sitharaman has already announced several measures to relieve immediate stress of businesses — business owners need to be proactive and do what they need to do to keep their doors open, even if their employees aren’t there.

A Leadership Lesson the Pandemic has Taught to CEO’s

Amul

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“My Biggest Concern is Making Sure My Workers are Available for Deliveries” -R.S. Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (Amul)

Amul has sought the support of local governments to ensure that the distribution of milk is not disrupted, since it is an essential commodity.
“I have seen curfews in the past, but I have realised that our teams should also be taught how to handle such scenarios and manage with just 25% of the staff, and which authorities to talk to when our trucks are stopped.”

Apollo Hospitals Enterprise

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“This Pandemic Reminds Us that We are All Equal and Connected” -Suneeta Reddy MD, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise
Being able to sit and discuss with colleagues and brainstorm on courses of action and business decisions, and being able to find out best practices from around the world, is a blessing.
It reminds us that we are equal regardless of our religion, culture, occupation or financial situation. It reminds us that we are all connected and the false borders we have put up give us no protection. It reiterates how important our health is and how we should not neglect it and, most importantly, it teaches us that our true work is not just our job, that’s just what we do.

Lemon tree hotels

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“Working from Home, I Have More Time to Think” – Patu Keswani, Chairman, Lemon Tree Hotels
There are two aspects. One, I think it has helped us become much leaner and will in the long term ensure we are more cost-effective — any and all potential points of waste have been eliminated and fixed costs reduced. Two, that in times of crisis, new streams of revenue arise — in this case the sudden need of IT companies and MNCs for rooms to house employees who are required for business continuity.
First, if your culture is great, your biggest support in times of utter uncertainty will be employees —it’s a wonderful and very comforting feeling to have. The second is an intuition, actually a conviction, that in future, such black swan events will occur more frequently and that one must always have a business continuity plan in place that factors in perhaps zero revenue for up to 6-12 months in the worst case

Sequoia Capital India

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“For Many Startups, the Only Focus Will be to Survive the Year” -Rajan Anandan MD, Sequoia Capital India

I spend some meaningful time every day connecting with friends and family. We talk about non-Covid topics. Regularly checking in on people I care about helps me create some personal space during the day — and I find that helps for leaders, when the world is extremely worried and concerned, it’s important to be thoughtful and empathetic — but it’s equally important to act. If there was ever a time to be decisive, it’s now. Some of the decisions you take may not be correct. But in the current scenario, ‘wait and watch’ is not an option. You have to do what you think is best. And communicate constantly. People want to hear from leaders during tough times — so make sure your voice is heard.

Zoomcar

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“It is Important to Religiously Follow Daily Stand-ups and Staff Meetings” – Greg Moran, Co-Founder, Zoomcar
Teams are now getting into the groove of this new working reality. It is important to religiously follow daily stand-ups and staff meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Never waste a crisis. Use it as a teaching moment and as an opportunity for the team to come closer and work at an even greater productivity level.

TATA Power

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I Keep a Positive Frame of Mind in Order to Help My Team” – Praveer Sinha MD, Tata Power
As the leader of a foremost utility service company, I have been through many ups and downs. That is the way of life and business and one learns to take the good times and the storms in one’s stride. As a professional manager and business leader, I have to ensure that I keep a positive frame of mind in order to help my team.
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. I firmly believe that a leader is only as good as his or her team. My team is my strength and by serving the country in a committed and selfless way, they have proved their mettle and character. Our employees realise that all of them cannot afford the safety of working from home and are taking up the challenge with full commitment dedication.

Panasonic

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“The Initial Impact was on the Supply Side; Now It is on the Demand Side” -Manish Sharma President & CEO, Panasonic India & SA
We have suspended production at our factories temporarily. We are monitoring the situation closely. In these defining times, it is crucial to reflect on our core values and further strengthen the consumer trust in the after-sales service. Practicing resilience is the way forward. Individuals and organisations need to be cautiously optimistic and consciously prepare for adverse conditions where things might not be in their control and simultaneously plan to explore the opportunities ahead. True leadership is tested in a crisis, where leaders need to accumulate the collective wisdom of people around, but still have the ability to take critical decisions themselves even if it means risking their own reputation. This is important to steer an organisation through tough times and be in a position to provide service to the society and livelihood to people in times to come.
Lastly, in this present scenario of utter distress and Global Pandemic, The Start-Ups ought to showcase their Corporate Social responsibility so that everyone’s small efforts can heal our Mother Earth from this Pandemic and free us all from the shackles of this distressed situation and as a result make our Mother Earth a better place to live in for the future generations to come.

Written by- Ritoja Sen, Arka Dutta, Animesh Bhakat

Edited By-Sayan Seth.

Problems of Traditional Business Model
Uncategorized

Direct-to-Consumer(D2C) all set to flare-up at the fall of the new decade

What is D2C?

D2C, or direct-to-consumer, is a retail model that cuts out the middleman to deliver products straight to buyers. Compared to traditional retail, which relies on wholesale distributors and secondary retailers, these companies wield end-to-end control of making, marketing, and shipping their wares.

Definition of D2C Business Model

 

Problems of Traditional Business Model

In many cases, it is seen that an established business with a strong product line is losing market share to the e-commerce platforms and are struggling to develop an e-commerce platform and integrate into the existing business model. To curb this problem, there is an alternative way called D2C which enables to establish relationships between products and customers.

Problems of Traditional Business Model

Emergence of D2C

D2C marketing isn’t a brand new concept. Mail-order catalogues, the first-ever of which was published in the 15th century Venice gave customers a first taste of the potential of D2C. Customers would receive a pamphlet of products they could purchase a particular merchant for mail delivery. At a time when brick-and-mortar sales are flat, with just 0.5% growth in 2017, and e-commerce sales are booming, expected to grow to 17% of all retail sales by 2022, it’s clear that online experiences are setting the new norm in retail.

Emerging D2Cs are digitally native, primed to leverage the powers of e-commerce to challenge legacy brands in every industry.

Emergence of D2C

Breaking the Wall between Products and Customers

From the very beginning, brands have different walls between their products and customers and in many cases, they are not aware of the fact what the consumer is buying or who the consumer is. Several questions may arise in the minds of business brands

Are my ads reaching the right customers?

Am I producing the right amount of product?

Am I wasting resources?

So they can’t get the key information they crave on consumer behaviour. The walls have made marketing essentially a guessing game. The D2C platform will remove all types of ambiguity and will help to establish a direct relationship between customers and products.

Breaking the Wall between Products and Customers

Successful implementation in Companies

It helps the products to get acquainted directly with the consumers since the advent of mass media.

Let’s have a look at a few companies which successfully implemented the D2C business model

  • Casper created an entirely new mattress buying experience.
  • Dollar Shave Club introduced a reliable razor subscription model.
  • Warby Parker made glasses cool.
  • Some legacy brands have even moved partially or completely into the direct-to-consumer space, like Coach, which broke up with department stores in 2016.
  • Brands like Borders got replaced by Amazon Kindle, Blockbuster by Netflix, and also platforms like Spotify and Apple music have come in.
  • DTC brands are one of the fastest-growing groups of TV advertisers in the US.
  • Tesla recently launched a pre-order for their model 3 and in one week they got a reserve demand for 300,000 cars starting at $35,000 per car that represents the demand of at least 14billion dollars a week and they did not spend a penny on mass media to generate that demand as they knew the name and identity credentials of every single customer who required the car and they were able to raise debt based on the future demand of their cars.
  • Xiaomi is a very popular Chinese smartphone brand that released a pre-order for their ‘Mi5s’, ‘Mi5s plus’ and recorded about 3 million registrations in just 24 hours as they were directly able to reach their target customers directly.

Successful implementation in companies

Influence on Millennials

For millennials or the highly scrutinized generation between 1981-1996 D2C appears more appealing than B2C as they have no problem in opting for brands that speak to their priorities and have low cost and are also less convenient which is readily available through D2C. Though Gen-Y normally prioritizes affordability above quality and direct to consumer brands stand apart in this case as they can easily offer both. Usually, the wholesalers and retailers mark up the prices after getting them from the manufacturers and the customers have to pay a huge price for buying the products. But in the case of D2C, there is no such scope as the customers can directly receive their products from manufacturers without sacrificing the quality of the product. 

Some of the key features of D2C business model are:

  1. Low Barrier to Entry: D2C companies have the advantage of facing fewer amounts of barriers as they can directly address the needs of the customer.
  2. Low Price: The companies which manufacture, ship and sell their products actually without undergoing the interminable process of retails which enables the customers to receive products at low cost.
  3.  Better connectivity with the customers: D2C business model can allow a company to directly address the issues of the customers and cater to their needs. This is because, by cutting out the drawn-out supply chain and saving time as well, companies can directly monitor the buying trends of the customer thus the company can build suitable strategies based on these trends.
  4. Huge Brand Image: D2C business can build a huge brand image and a customer base in a really short period. Since the judgment of the product or the reviews will be directly based on the company’s performance and sales of the product won’t be affected by the strategies of the retailer.
  5. Mostly Digital: Digital marketing and e-commerce has been groundbreaking innovations in the commercial fields. Most of the D2C companies are e-commerce companies because the digitalization of sales has facilitated the growth of D2C companies and made such a model possible.

 

Influence on Millennials

Future of D2C

D2C models use generally social ads which are quite more adaptive nowadays. Customers find this easy and cost-effective. Finely tuned social ads will not only spread awareness faster than any out-of-home ad campaign, but they also spread awareness to the right customers. 24/7 on-site chat support and social messaging, like Facebook Messenger, help you offer highly personalized customer service with the immediacy consumers expect of online shopping. The retail landscape has evolved rapidly in the 21st century, with small brick-and-mortar stores closing, legacy brands shuttering, and e-commerce rising in prominence. Big brands need to evolve to keep up with consumer habits and expectations, and digitally native D2Cs offer the best lessons for domination in e-retail. From using data to fuel personalization to amplifying word-of-mouth through online social influence, some strategies and tactics will keep established brands growing with modern retail, instead of against it.

Future of D2C

Written by:
Rounak Kirtania, Suvro Mukherjee, Apurba Banerjee

Illustrated by:
Abhinandan Bose

Edited by:
Ankan Chattopadhyay

 

 

Entrepreneurship, Ideas, India, Uncategorized

CORONA AND ITS EFFECT ON BUSINESS

The coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting hundreds and thousands of people all over the world.As of today, the outbreak has infected more than 862,573 people, and left 42,528 people dead worldwide.Due to fast spreading and not having any antidote for COVID 19, Human life has already come to a standstill. In this circumstances business world is also facing its own consequences.

The COVID-19 epidemic has hit the economy hard on all sides. There is no business, no sector spared of its tender mercies. It’s not just that we’re slowing down things. We’re actually hitting the pause button, and there is no precedent, there is no model for that.

THE CONSEQUENCES

In recent weeks, we have seen the significant economic impact of the corona virus on the global economy, financial market and vulnerable sectors such as manufacturing, construction, tourism, hospitality, travel, transport and education. The Indian stock market index The BSE SENSEX, and National Stock Exchange of India NIFTY 50 has fallen by 25% in last 30 days.

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As the stock market is falling gradually , investors choose less risky investments.Gold is traditionally considered a “safe heaven” for investment in times of uncertainty.Even the price of gold tumbled briefly in March, as investors were fearful of a global recession.

  • China Conundrum:

Wuhan, the centre of the pandemic, is also one of the largest auto hubs in the world. With Wuhan shut for months, there’s going to be a huge shortage of components too.

At this point in time, China seems to have entered the post-peak period. According to the WHO, this is when levels of the disease drop from the peak and the process of recovery begins. Much of the rest of the world is still in the early stages of the pandemic. This means China could get its industries up and running in time to meet the global post-pandemic demand.

Given the raw material, transportation, and labour issues that manufacturers are likely to face, most businesses in other countries are not going to be able to drop their prices. China, with its head start, could still manage to get low-cost products to the world, creating a massive competition issue for Indian and other exporters.

  • Travel Industry:

The travel industry has been severely damaged, with airlines cutting flights and tourists cancelling business trips and holidays. More than 100 countries have travel restrictions due to coronavirus outbreak. Governments around the world have introduced travel restrictions to try to contain the virus. The U.S. travel and tourism industry could lose at least $24 billion in foreign spending this year because of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, according to data produced by Tourism Economics and first seen by CNBC.That would be equivalent to about seven times more than the industry lost during the SARS outbreak in 2003, according to the data.The figures also imply 8.2 million lost visitors in one year, which would be even more than the 7.7 million international travelers lost in 2001 and 2002, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

  • Hacking Issues

Sadly, criminals and hackers are also exploiting this situation and there has been a significant rise in Coronavirus-themed malicious websites, with more than 16,000 new coronavirus-related domains registered since January 2020.

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World Economy Facing Serious Threat

  • As the coronavirus outbreak spread, the world’s biggest companies, like Mastercard, Microsoft, Apple and United Airlines began painting a bleak picture of broken supply chains, disrupted manufacturing, empty stores and flagging demand for their wares. Companies have started paring planned investments and even laying off workers, increasing the economic distress.
  • According to the new analysis from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), commodity-rich exporting countries will face a USD 2 trillion to USD 3 trillion drop in investments from overseas in the next two years.
  • The world economy will go into recession this year with a predicted loss of trillions of dollars of global income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, spelling serious trouble for businesses in developing countries, according to a latest UN trade report.
  • Barclays estimates that India’s aggressive 21-day lockdown could bring the country’s growth down to 2.5% from the 4.5 per cent it had earlier estimated. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced 21-day lockdown , he stated during his address to the nation that if this pandemic is not contained, it could set us back by decades.
  • In the wake of a pandemic like this one, demand is likely to soar, while supply will be extremely weak. Raw materials will likely be in short supply, as free trade will be curtailed for a while.

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Effect on GiantCompanies:

  • Starbucks :

In a recent released to coincide with Starbucks’ latest earnings, the coffee chain addressed concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

President and CEO Kevin Johnson said that the company’s partners in China are navigating as health officials respond to the coronavirus.

Over half of the Starbucks locations in China have been closed, while operating hours of all cafés are subjection to modification “in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus,” according to the release. The company said its financial guidance hasn’t changed in response to the coronavirus, although it is monitoring factors like declining foot traffic and “business disruption.”

“We remain optimistic and committed to the long-term opportunity in China, building on our brand heritage and 20-year legacy of profitable growth,” Johnson said.

  • McDonald’s :

“The situation in China is fluid, and it’s concerning,”

Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s president and CEO, said in an interview.

“Right now, as you would expect, our priority is really on our employees, on our customers, doing everything we can to make sure that they are safe and taken care of.”

So far, Kempczinski said that the company has worked closely with local authorities, set up an epidemic prevention and control task force, and provided meals to hospitals workers. McDonald’s has so far closed all restaurants in the Hubei province. He added that the epidemic’s “actual impact on our business is going to be fairly small,” as long as the virus largely remains in China.

“Importantly, we do still have about 3,000 restaurants in the country that are still open,” he said. “So, several hundred closed, but 3,000 net are still open.”

  • AMAZON :

Amazon India has halted orders for non-essential products to prioritize customers’ urgent needs and will focus solely on supplying the essential products. Amazon India’s global senior VP and country head Amit Agarwal said to serve our customers’ most urgent needs while also ensuring the safety of our associates.

“ we are prioritizing (with immediate effect) all our resources to serve products that are currently high priority. Stay safe!”

According to the blog of Amazon,

“These changes are in effect from 24th March 2020, and we will update when we resume normal operations. We will follow all Centre and State Government guidance on this. We continue to work with concerned government authorities to ensure on-ground support that will enable us to offer a more expanded selection to fulfil customer needs.”

Amazon also stated that customers who had placed their orders prior to the announcement choice to cancel their orders and get a refund. This would be only applicable for customers who have ordered low-priority products.

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Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs):

Any micro, small or medium-sized enterprise are likely to pay a high price. All businesses are facing huge losses due to the shutdown. Even ones that are open, like food, medicine, etc. Are facing losses as people maintain the quarantine.

These companies are too small to have enough of a cushion to last through a pandemic like this one. Add to this the fact that many of these companies have been asked to down shutters or curtail operations while still paying employees — apart from meeting costs for taxes, power, and other utilities. Available data show that Indian MSMEs employ upwards of 110 million people; asking companies to keep paying during a prolonged lockdown is not a sustainable solution in the medium to long-term.

Any MSMEs that manage to survive the economic disaster are going to face severe competition from Chinese companies, who have a head start at most production and supply chains as they enter the post-peak period earlier than the rest of the world.

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  • Steps Taken and Proposed Solutions:

The Finance Minister, Dr. Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a few tweaks by extending tax filing deadlines. The government has also raised the threshold for starting insolvency proceedings to Rs. 1 crore. Apart from this, bank charges have been lowered for digital trade transactions for all trade finance consumers.

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has recommended a slew of measures the government can take to help industry, including more tax breaks and softer terms for loans.

However, these are all short term measures intended to ease smaller businesses. Long term plans are yet to be put in.

In the face of a looming financial tsunami this year, the United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD) proposes a four-pronged strategy that could begin to translate expressions of international solidarity into concrete action.

However, proper long term measures depend entirely on the progress of the pandemic – an element no economist can predict. Only time will tell how far-reaching the effects of the Corona pandemic will be.

Written by: Animesh Bhakat, Arka Dutta, Ritoja Sen.

Edited by: Sarthak Mazumder

Uncategorized

Report on visit to Scintillations E-Summit of IIEST Shibpur

About Scintillations: Scintillations, E-Summit is an attempt to inspire and educate students who are inclined towards entrepreneurship to facilitate the development of a healthy ecosystem that can boost imagination, innovation, and invention. They had influential people from different fields hosting various workshops and discussion sessions for the participants to share and learn about the new age challenges of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Day 1, 15th February 2020

Workshop Attended:

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Workshop by Ritoja Sen and Deepsikha Sen.

Overview:

The workshop started with a brief but enriching introductory speech by Prof. Parthasarathi Chakrabarty, Director of IIEST Shibpur who spoke about the urgent need for awareness of intellectual property and the related rights among innovators and the general public. The first speaker Ms. Joshita Davar Khemani, Managing Partner and Attorney at Law (Intellectual Property Rights) at L S Davar & Co. and HV Williams & Co gave us a general view of the importance and historical relevance of intellectual property and related laws proceeded by Dr. Sushil Kumar Mitra. Dr. Mitra, an ex-Deputy Controller of Patents and Designs at the Patent Office, Government of India has previously worked in scientific research at the Central Drug Laboratory, Government of India. He spoke of the specifics, criteria and technical aspects of getting a patent.

Reflection:

We really enjoyed the session where the guest speakers shared their knowledge and experiences with us. The speakers gave us brief information about the main purpose of intellectual property law which is to encourage the creation of a wide variety of intellectual goods.

To achieve a proper ecosystem for innovation and social progress, the Law gives people and businesses exclusive property rights to the information and intellectual goods they patent, usually for a limited period of time. This provides an economic incentive for innovation because it allows people to profit from their own knowledge, information and intellectual goods they create. The strategic, economic and social incentives are expected to stimulate innovation and contribute to the technological progress of countries, which depends on the extent of protection granted to innovators.

Innovation is not intellectual property until it is protected by statutes. Similarly, a patent is not a declaration of the uniqueness of an invention; it is merely a set of legal papers that grant exclusive marketing rights to the person who filed the request for it. Students filing for patents are often aided by their institute, but the profits get shared between the institute and the innovator.

The event was concluded with a few questions to Dr. Mitra about the intricacies of patent law and a group photograph that everyone happily posed for.

The whole event was completed smoothly, without any hitches except for some timing problems. It is also worthwhile to note that we received quite a bit of help from the organizers, the E-cell members of IIEST Shibpur. They were always around to guide us and assisted us wherever we found necessary. The students at the registration desk, Ayanabh Roy, second-year student, and E cell member, and Sachin Paul should be specially mentioned, as they were instrumental in ensuring our visit was productive and comfortable.

Day 2, 16th February 2020:

A group of four students consisting of Abhishek Baral, Animesh Bhakat, Sayan Kundu and myself, Mayukh Sen had gone to IIEST Shibpiur on the final day 16th February.
We had reported at the lush green campus consisting of posters, hoardings of all the guest speakers at about 11:00 AM and entered the main arena.

THE CAR SHOW

As soon as we entered, we were followed by a convoy of supercars. First entered a yellow Porsche Cayman, Lamborghini Aventador followed by a Rolls Royce which snatched all the attention of the entire population at their arrival. All the members of the organizing team and us started taking pictures and swooning over the cars. But the fact that left us stunned was that there was no one to tell us where we need to register as no one had the slightest idea of the events that were taking place.

POOR MANAGEMENT

We went to the representatives of the Entrepreneurship Development Cell(EDC). The members were not a bit aware of the competitions, workshops, and events going on. They had no idea about the fees and the registration process. Everyone along with E-Cell members was busy viewing the display of those fancy cars such as Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, and Porsche. It seemed that we were in a motorsport event rather than an E-Summit. We have to find the registration desk on our own and the rude behavior and body language really made us disappointed. We were given welcome kits but even there they committed mistakes. My friend Sayan was given the wrong kit containing all spare articles of which some were even intoxicated. After finishing the registration, we started exploring the campus. The E-Cell members were also not sure about the venue of the workshop. The management reached its lowest state when we tried to bring their attention to a poster of Elon Musk which had fallen down. But members were busy with their own and no one cared.

THE WORKSHOP

We reached the venue at 1.45 pm as the workshop was about to start. After waiting for half an hour when we were about to leave a member told us to wait for 15 minutes more. At last, the workshop started at 3.00 pm.
The workshop on content and digital marketing were presented by nine grapes. Our instructors were Mr. Aman Shah, the CEO and Mr. Abhishek Tiwari, the creative director of Nine grapes. It was an interactive workshop and the instructors were pretty well. We were introduced to the concept of a copy. We were also made to write our own copies for selling Havells Wire. The workshop went for around 45 minutes and it finally came to an unexpected end as more events were scheduled in that hall. This shows that EDC (Entrepreneurship Development Cell) gave zero efforts to the event management. They forced us to stay there to fill the hall as a guest speaker was about to come there. After the speaker session, we managed to come out of the hall.

OUR GENERAL OPINION AND WHAT WE LEARNT
We were all really excited about the event, but this will always go down as a bad experience. We never expected a thing like this to happen. IIEST Shibpur ranks 19 in NIRF 2019(Engineering). And the things we experienced were completely unexpected but real and hard true. We ourselves can pledge never to commit such mistakes and it will help us in event management for the future. What matters to us is what we learned and what we feel about it at the end of the day. We did learn the mistakes which one should not commit while managing an event. I would like to end with the quote of Steve Jobs.
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”
Steve Jobs

Written by Mayukh Sen, Ritoja Sen

Edited by Suvro Mukherjee