Construction Field as Business

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Construction company’s marketing materials often fall back on the same boring “On Time, On Budget” spiel. While necessary components to running a successful construction business, a company’s marketing techniques must expand beyond just those completing work just on time and on budget.

Regardless of the industry, a company’s marketing needs to showcase two things that set the company apart from competitors: its personality and differentiation. This is especially important in best-value proposals, because the selection committee is looking for the right company. To win the bid, the company must educate the committee on why it is undoubtedly the best choice. It all comes down to the construction company’s personality being a good fit for the prospect and the successful differentiation of the company’s talents from the rest of the pack.

Personality

Not every company is a good fit for every client. Knowing the client in question is vital, and should be part of a company’s Go/No Go decision. A construction company stands no chance of winning the contract if it does not know the potential client. The potential client also needs to know the construction company; the proposal phase should not be the first time it hears the construction company’s name. One major reason people are in construction is because they like working with people in the industry. A formal, buttoned-up type of organization, probably doesn’t want to work for a group of artistic architects. In contrast, a fun, relaxed company probably wouldn’t want to work with the government.

Fit is crucial. When the construction team and the owner compliment each other’s personality, style and culture, the work environment will be good and the working relationship will be productive.

Differentiation

No two companies are alike, but the same cannot be said of their proposals. The proposal is an opportunity for a bidder to highlight the qualities that make it stand out, but many proposals recite the same litany of cost control, schedule control and the handful of services that every contractor offers. A serious competitor will position its business for success. It must be not just the ideal company, but the only company in the mind of its prospects.

Personality and differentiation are needed for more than just bid selections and proposals, and a business development manager must have more to say to a prospect than “Give us your business. We really want it.” A good company is looking for vendors and subs to be a genuine resource for its business; self-serving salespeople will turn such companies off.

The best business developers understand that business is about relationships, and a large construction project is a substantial investment. The construction owner’s facilities manager typically is looking to make the project shine to benefit his employer and to enhance his own career. That manager wants to do business with firms he likes and trusts to get the job done.

The best business developers think like customers, and they understand the psyche of their buyers. If a buyer is a CFO and uses statistics to make a decision, or if one is dealing with a driving CEO who makes decisions with his gut, they should get the specific information they need and cater to their decision-making style. Knowing one’s prospect is vital to success so a company can tailor its proposals and interviews toward this specific decision-making preference. To sell multiple decision makers with different styles, a blend of techniques, such as a written statement about the scope of work as well as a chart or matrix, may work best.

Differentiation and personality highlight the unique qualities that will position one team above the rest. A retail consumer will pay more for a better value and something that fits his needs most accurately. A company’s clients will do the same, so long as the company educates its clients about what makes it unique and why it is worth more money than the competitors.

PG Education in BITS pilani

PG program in BITS

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Founded by Shri G.D.Birla, the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani) is a deemed University. It is accredited by the National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC) with A grade & CGPA of 3.71. The university offers multiple academic programs of engineering, management, pharmacy and science.

Located approximately 200kms from New Delhi, the BITS Pilani campus location is near to the town of Pilani, Jhunjhunu District, Rajasthan State. The campus area covers a little over 300 acres and includes academic blocks, hostels for students and residential halls for the faculty. Over the years, new buildings have been added for academic programs as well as housing for the faculty. Hostel facilities are also available for the students

M.Sc.(Hons.) programs

  • M.Sc.(Hons.) Biological Sciences
  • M.Sc.(Hons.) Chemistry
  • M.Sc.(Hons.) Economics
  • M.Sc.(Hons.) Mathematics
  • M.Sc.(Hons.) Physics
  • M.Sc.(Hons.) Finance

M.Sc.(Tech.) programs

  • M.Sc.(Tech.) Finance: It is complementary to the M.Sc.(Hons.) Economics & the MMS program.
  • M.Sc.(Tech.) Engineering Technology: It gives exposure in varied engineering disciplines
  • M.Sc.(Tech.) General Studies: This includes humanities courses & certain general science & technology courses.
  • M.Sc.(Tech.) Information Systems: This provides skills training in computer software & software engineering techniques.

 

 

Higher degree (post graduate) programs at BITS Pilani

M.E. programs: These are of 4 semesters & in the last semester a student can opt for Dissertation and Practice School.

  • M.E.(Biotechnology)
  • M.E.(Chemical)
  • M.E.(Civil – Structural Engineering)
  • M.E.(Civil – Infrastructure Systems)
  • M.E.(Civil – Transportation Engineering)
  • M.E. (Communication Engineering)
  • M.E. (Computer Science)
  • M.E. (Embedded Systems)
  • M.E. (Microelectronics)
  • M.E. Electrical (Power Electronics and Drives)
  • M.E. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • M.E. (Manufacturing Systems Engineering)
  • M.E. (Design Engineering)
  • M.E. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • M.E. (Software Systems)
  • M.E. (Manufacturing Systems Engineering)

M.Pharm programs: These are of 4 semesters & in the last semester a student can opt for Dissertation and Practice School.

  • M. Pharm.
  • M. Pharm. with Spl. in Pharmaceutics
  • M. Pharm. with Spl. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • MPH (Masters in Public Health)

 

Education in Indus Foundation

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OUR VISION

No region on earth is growing faster or expanding its role in international affairs more quickly than the Asian community of nations. And the Indian sub-continent, with its glorious Indus Valley Civilization, is now once again emerging as one of the most important countries of the World. The Indian sub-continent is home to more than 1 billion people, nearly one sixth of the World’s population. The Indus Foundation is an organization dedicated to empowering the students of India for accessing the best educational and career opportunities in the world.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Following are the guiding principles for the working of our organization. We consider these principles as supreme. We try to observe these principles both in letter and in spirit at all times.

  • Provide highest quality educational services to students.
  • Give students more than what we promise them.
  • Act in the best interests of students at all times.

OUR MISSION

1. EDUCATIONAL COLLABORATIONS

Educational collaborations promote universal and equitable access to education, and develop in students the knowledge, confidence, and requisite skills to become lifelong learners and economic competitors in a dynamic global marketplace. Today, success is determined by access to knowledge. It is no longer an option, it is a mandate for survival. An important mission of the Foundation is to galvanize high-impact educational collaborations between educational entities in India on the one hand and those in Foreign Countries on the other. The Foundation acts as an internationally recognized support system for 21st Century education for bridging the education divide.

Indian educational system has been in transition in the recent past. India has the world’s second largest post-secondary student population of over 12.8 million. It is expected that this number will double over the next 12 to 15 years. Further, Indian economy is transforming into an international powerhouse requiring India to have the best possible educational opportunities for its citizens. Faced with a growing demand for post secondary education and limited resources, India is looking to the private sector and foreign universities to bridge this expected shortage. India is a member of the WTO and has now become a signatory to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), thereby enabling high quality educational services to be offered in India from around the world.

The Indus Foundation recognizes that collaborative research programs, graduate and post-graduate programs, twinning programs, certificate programs, faculty exchange programs, study in India programs, and partnership programs between Indian institutions and Foreign Universities are extremely useful in meeting the rapidly growing Indian educational needs. These programs contribute to the goal of preparing students to compete in the global economy.

The Foundation  has staff with expertise in the Indian and Foreign educational systems. Over the years, the staff has developed extensive contacts with a wide array of accredited Foreign universities.

2. OVERSEAS EDUCATION 

With the recent liberalization of the economy in the Indian sub-continent and growing affluence of the large middle class, study in foreign countries is no longer just a dream for many students from the sub-continent. It is indeed a very viable option. Students from the sub-continent are interested in foreign universities to pursue their higher education goals and tap the international career opportunities. The Indus Foundation guarantees admission in foreign universities for all students from the Indian sub-continent, provided they meet the minimum admission criteria of the foreign universities.
The Indus Foundation is an organization of professionals working as authorized representatives and promoters of foreign universities in the Indian sub-continent. The Foundation offers a comprehensive package of services to take care of all processing and application needs of Indian students for study in foreign countries. Its services are directed towards assessing and matching students with the philosophy, requirements, academic offerings and resources of foreign universities. The Foundation assists the students through the entire application process from the identification of the programs of study to the actual enrollment. These services are guaranteed to result in admission of students from the Indian sub-continent in good accredited foreign universities. Students are given a wide range of options to study in the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Ireland, Malaysia, or any other country.

Good quality education is always in great demand. In today’s competitive world, entrance tests such as GRE, GMAT, SAT, TOEFL, and IELTS play a very important role. Admission into a large number of good foreign universities is based on tests in which thousands of students compete with each other. Students have to appear for one or more of these tests and do well for assured admission (with financial assistance) into a good university. Students look for good training institutes through which they can prepare for various entrance tests. The Indus Foundation, with its vast experience and latest training materials, is best suited to train students to do well in the entrance tests and fulfill their aspirations of studying abroad.

The Foundation strongly believes in providing honest, up-to-date and accurate information with friendly and courteous service. It is an organization where students can go for counseling and information. Information dissemination and personal counseling are made available to students from all over the Indian sub-continent.  Foundation’s are ideally equipped to assist students to go through the maze of admission processes of foreign universities

Best For Business-Logistics

Logistics strategy planning process

There are three main steps to review the background and current Logistics situation:

  1. Specific Logistics factors about products that influence the design of each supply chain:
  • Volume : weight ratio of the item
  • Value : weight ratio of the item
  • Availability – the lead time required by the customer or end user, therefore requirements concerning delivery and inventory
  • Product security risk issues with an item:
    • Perishable
    • Contamination
    • Flammable/explosive
    • High value/theft potential

2. Consideration of each product group to identify:

  • how close to markets or materials the product should be made
  • geographic location where products will be made or sourced
  • how products will be moved and stored
  • the modes of transport to use

3. Four reviews: Supply Chain flows; items (SKUs); Supply Chain links and costs

Within the review process of nodes and links is the outsourcing policy. This is the extent to which an enterprise will ‘make’ (do something within the business) or ‘buy’ (contract another party to do something). It includes the policy regarding Logistics service providers (LSPs), which includes third party logistics (3PL) providers. While outsourcing may be treated as an operational transaction, strategically it relates to decisions concerning the degree of vertical integration within an enterprise. Within the outsourcing policies will be considerations about off-shoring, near-shoring and in-sourcing (returning outsourced activities to in-house).

The Logistics Strategy plan is then developed within eight elements:

  1. Customer service policy – the appropriate level of service for customers, by product group or market segment; considering: order fulfilment requirements, enquiry and investigation capability and the available information. The customer service policy informs the nodes and links of the supply network
  2. Inventory location policy (Supply Network nodes) – centralised or decentralised inventory; whether to differentiate facilities by fast and slow moving stock; location of sites; use of specific technologies and layouts; company-owned or contracted facilities
  3. Inventory policy – form and function of inventory by location; the appropriate amount of stock to hold for various groups of inventory; planning structure that links outbound and inbound materials
  4. Cost plan – trade-off analysis between cost and service level requirements; cost of Logistics operations
  5. Transport and distribution (Supply Network links) policy – affected by whether enterprise imports or exports and the size and structure of conurbations being served. This incorporates transport modes, delivery pattern and storage location considerations, based on the time taken for deliveries.
  6. IT and Communications capability: technologies (including software) that will be internally developed; buy planning and scheduling applications from single supplier or obtain ‘best of breed’ applications
  7. Logistics organisation structure: function or flow based; allocation of responsibilities; managed or self-managed teams
  8. Logistics Targets and metrics: measures of performance and achievement targets; operations improvements process and management

Education system in India

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Why is India still a developing country and what is stopping it from being a developed country? This particular question strikes me every time when I read something about India’s education system. I see India’s education system as a stumbling block towards its objectives of achieving inclusive growth.

Let me inform you about certain startling facts. India is going to experience a paradox of nearly 90 million people joining the workforce but most of them will lack requiste skills and the mindset for productive employment according to a report in DNA. India has about 550 million people under the age of 25 years out of which only 11% are enrolled in tertiary institutions compared to the world average of 23%.

I wouldn’t be laying too much emphasis on the drawbacks of India’s public education system because it has been an issue well debated over in the past and the main flaws have already been pointed out before. I will be focussing on how the education system’s failure is leading to another social issue of income inequality and hence, suggest certain policies to improve India’s education system and reduce inequality.

The really critical aspect of Indian public education system is its low quality. The actual quantity of schooling that children experience and the quality of teaching they receive are extremely insufficient in government schools. A common feature in all government schools is the poor quality of education, with weak infrastructure and inadequate pedagogic attention.

What the government is not realising right now is that education which is a source of human capital can create wide income inequalities. It will be surprising to see how income inequalities are created within the same group of educated people.Let me illustrate this with the help of an example:

Let us take P be an individual who has had no primary or higher education. His human capital is zero and hence it bears no returns. Let Q be an individual who completed his MBA from S.P Jain college and let R be an individual who completed his MBA from IIM Ahmadabad. The average rate of return for an MBA student is 7.5% (hypothetical). Q gets a rate of return of 5% and R gets a rate of return of 10% due to the difference in the reputation and quality of the management school. Let the income of P, Q and R be 1.In a period of 10 years, P will be having the same income as he does not possess human capital. For the same time period Q will earn an income of (1+0.05)^10=1.63 and R will earn an income of (1+0.10)^10=2.59. Now lets see what happens when the rate of return on human capital doubles. Earnings of P will not change since he does not have any human capital. Now Q is going to earn (1+0.10)^10=1.63 and R is going to earn (1+0.20)^10=6.19. Flabbergasting! As soon as return on human capital increases proportionately income inequality increases. With return on human capital doubling, Q’S income increases by 59% and R’s income increases by 139%.

The above example just shows the effect of the quality of human capital n income inequality. So if the government does not improve education system particularly in rural areas the rich will become richer and the poor will get poorer.

Hence, it is imperative for the government to correct the blemishes in India’s education system which will also be a step towards reducing income inequality.

Certain policy measures need to be taken by the government. The basic thrust of government education spending today must surely be to ensure that all children have access to government schools and to raise the quality of education in those schools. One of the ways in which the problem of poor quality of education can be tackled is through common schooling. This essentially means sharing of resources between private and public schools. Shift system is one of the ways through which common schooling can be achieved. The private school can use the resources during the first half of the day and the government school can use it during the second half. It is important to remember that the quality of education is directly linked to the resources available and it is important for the government to improve resource allocation to bring about qualitative changes in the field of education. Common schooling is one of the ways in which government can use limited resources in an efficient way and thus improve resource allocation.

Another reason for poor quality of education is the poor quality of teachers in government schools .Government schools are unable to attract good quality teachers due to inadequate teaching facilities and low salaries. The government currently spends only 3% of its GDP on education which is inadequate and insufficient. To improve the quality of education , the government needs to spend more money from its coffers on education.

Most economists feel that the only panacea to the ills of the public schooling system is the voucher scheme. Under the voucher system, parents are allowed to choose a school for their children and they get full or partial reimbursement for the expenses from the government. But however, the voucher system will further aggravate the problem of poor quality of education in government schools. Such a system will shift resources from government schools to private schools. This will worsen the situation of government schools which are already under-funded. Moreover, if the same amount given as vouchers can be used to build infrastructure in schools then the government can realize economies of scale. For example- The centre for civil society is providing vouchers worth Rs 4000 per annum to 308 girls. This means that the total amount of money given as vouchers is Rs 1232000. If the same amount can be used to construct a school and employ high quality teachers who are paid well then a larger section of the society will enjoy the benefit of education. A school can definitely accommodate a minimum of 1000 students.

Direct Marketing-A Network Builiding

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The benefits of Direct marketing can be achieved without using DMOS. Marketing service consumers (“buyers”) can interact directly with marketing service providers. However, the problem with this scenario is the number of connections required between buyers and providers which forces the constant “reinvention of the wheel” by both the buyers and providers.

Buyers and providers conducting electronic commerce directly with each other

As shown in the diagram above, each buyer has to establish a separate connection with each marketing service provider. Likewise, each provider has to establish a connection with each buyer. For example, in the case of 1,000 buyers and 100 providers, 100,000 separate connections would have to be established!

These connections are not trivial. Connecting to a web service is not much work. However, establishing a business class connection that is secure and reliable is quite significant.

The alternative to the cobbled together “point to point” approach mentioned above is the use of DMOS to facilitate communications between the buyers and providers.

Electronic commerce with the Direct Marketing Operating System

Buyers need only one connection with DMOS to access all services available through DMOS. Likewise, marketing service providers need only one connection to DMOS to enable all DMOS buyers to utilize their service.

In essence, DMOS makes it easy for buyers and suppliers to conduct business.

But DMOS is much more than a matchmaking service. It provides the infrastructure that makes it possible to conduct secure and reliable business electronically.

Direct Marketing Operating System (DMOS) services

The responsibilities of DMOS include:

  • Directory– provides a registry of services available through DMOS
  • Authentication – validates the identity of parties involved with a transaction protecting against impersonation
  • Authorization – restricts access to services to protect against unauthorized access
  • Confidentiality – ensures that requests and data are delivered confidentially through encryption to protect against eavesdropping
  • Orchestration – coordinates the workflow of many tasks in a business process to avoid omissions and errors
  • Message Delivery – guarantees the delivery of messages and data are delivered to ensure that no critical information is lost in transmission
  • Transformation – transforms requests or data into the format required by the marketing service provider performing the task
  • Monitoring – monitors the availability and performance of services to ensure high availability
  • Integrity – ensures that requests or data is not tampered with in transmission
  • Non-repudiation – provides assurance that an agreement or service request cannot later be denied by the parties involved
  • Auditing – keeps a log of service activity to provide insight and accountability of the service

Which is at Best??OLA or UBER.

OLA vs UBER

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While comparing both their offerings, there are a few differences that you should keep in mind. Ola lets users make advanced bookings with the Ride Later option, while Uber does not. Uber has a cancellation free, Ola does not. Both services have a per-minute charge as well, which varies from Rs. 1 to Rs. 2.5 depending on the car’s category. Ola’s per-minute ride-time tariffs only start ticking five minutes after the ride in some cities, according to the tariff charts.

Apart from this, in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, Ola levies an ‘Airport rate’ that has a much higher fare and minimum bill amount, which can prove costlier than radio taxis, based on surge pricing. Both companies have launched ride sharing services and private carpooling services in Delhi. Ola plans to launch Ola Share in 20 cities across the country over the next six months.

A quick analysis of all the fleets, (which range from hatchbacks to sedans, to luxury sedans and SUVs,) operating in the Indian metros reveals that the lowest minimum fare for a cab is in Kolkata, where an UberGo starts at Rs. 45. At the time of writing, UberGo had a per kilometre charge of Rs. 6 in Chennai, Rs. 7 in Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, and Rs. 8 in Mumbai. On the other hand, an Ola Mini costs Rs. 10 per kilometre in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai, and Rs. 11 per kilometre in Mumbai. The only city where it is cheaper is in Kolkata, where it costs Rs. 7 per kilometre.

In Delhi, an Ola Mini costs Rs. 8 per kilometre, with a minimum fare of Rs. 100 for the first four kilometres, while an UberGo has a minimum fare of Rs. 60. Generally speaking, it appears that UberGo is likely to be the cheapest on your wallet, barring any surge pricing. Predicting which app will have higher surge rates at any point in time is something that’s worthy of a PhD thesis.

Is UBER becoming the target?

While Uber’s global presence might make the app more appealing for frequent travellers, Ola is making headway internationally – partnerships are forming between Uber’s rivals, to challenge it globally.

According to a Bloomberg report, Uber lost $1.7 billion (approximately Rs. 11,500 crore) despite earning $1.2 billion (approximately 8170 crore) in revenue over the first three quarters of 2015. It’s biggest competition is China’s Didi Kuaidi, which completed 1.4 billion rides a year, and invested in Ola in September 2015.

In December, Ola inked a pact with Didi, and also with Uber’s biggest competitor in the US, Lyft, allowing users to seamlessly travel across China, US and Southeast Asia. Partner products are expected to roll out early this year.

In response, Uber has experimented with many India-specific features, such as cash payments in May 2015, and Uber Auto, which was shunted in late 2015 after being tested in New Delhi.

To sum it all-

Ola Cabs is currently not making any profits but the business model of Ola Cabs is currently working on the strategy of capturing the market and tapping the potential of a large number of Indian commuters by offering different services like local transfers, outstation travel and full day/half day rentals thereby catering to the varied needs of the customers. Currently Ola Cabs is working to gain market share while trying to provide an enjoyable experience to the customers and thereby gain their trust. To attract more and more customers they provide discounts/ referrals/ coupons etc.

The business model of Ola Cabs also works by getting money from grocery deliveries, peak time peak charges etc. OLA Cab provides different services like Ola Mini, Ola Prime and Ola Luxury depending on the needs of the customers and charges fares accordingly. For example OLA Mini Charges for a Cab service in Delhi Rs 100 for the first 4 kilometers and the Rs 8 per kilometer.

But is this data enough for you to decide OLA is better right now?

Start Up Street analyses OLA and its business model in depth i.e. how it affects the passengers , the drivers and the company to see whether OLA is really worthy enough of the position. The mathematical, statistical and financial  analysis of the team suggests –

For the Passenger: The Rs. 7 Per Kilometer is actually Rs. 13.5 per Kilometer

OLA advertises its lowest fare in Bangalore at Rs. 7 per km charge but that is utter bull. For an average 10 km ride in the city, it costs much more:

a Rs. 35 base charge that has no free usage, which would be Rs. 3.5 per km.

Rs. 7 per kilometer run

Rs. 1 per minute as a driver fee. For an average of 3 minutes per kilometer this comes to Rs. 3 per km.

These add up to Rs. 13.5 per kilometer. That’s how much you pay for an auto as well.

At Rs. 13.5 per kilometer, your car would have to give you a fuel efficiency of 6 per liter for the economics to make any sense. I see comparisons of – oh you pay X for the fuel, Y for the driver cost, Z for the parking…this is utter bullshit. Owning a car means I will drive it; I don’t need a driver (if you do, your economics are different from mine, and I believe people like me are FAR more prevalent). Plus I’ve already paid for the parking – it comes with my house!

The annual costs of a car are tiny nowadays (Rs. 1 per kilometer, assuming Rs. 12,000 service costs for Rs. 12,000 driven). So if my car gives me 12 kms to a liter of petrol, i’m still paying just Rs. 5.5 per km for petrol and Rs. 1 for parking.

And then, OLA cars are not available when you want them – wait times are upwards of 10 minutes most of the time, unless you’re in a favoured location. Then, there are spikes – if it rains, OLA goes to 1.5x “surge” pricing. All this will not vanish because drivers too have their economics which ensures such practices (long wait times, surge pricing) will continue.

For The Driver: You Pay Rs. 100, the Driver Makes Rs. 300: OLA Pays The Rest

I travel about 7 kilometers to office per day. My bill is between Rs. 100-120, given slightly longer than average time to destination. The driver, though, gets nearly Rs. 300 for my ride. How?

The Rs. 100 I pay

OLA pays Rs. 100 “incentive” per ride

If he takes 12-13 rides per day, he gets another Rs. 1,200 which is Rs. 90 per ride

Out of the Rs. 300 he makes, he apparently “pays” OLA 25%. So he makes a net fee of Rs. 225.

This is awesome for him, because:

For 12 rides a day, he gets Rs. 1200, plus Rs. 100 per ride incentive = Rs. 1200, plus Rs. 100-150 per ride as a fare = Rs. 1200-1800.

That’s about Rs. 3600 – 4200 per day.

Of which he pays Rs. 1000 or so to OLA, and nets Rs. 2500 to 3000

Most drivers I’ve met say that their target gross number is Rs. 2,000 per day – if they make it they consider it a good day, many just drop out after that. (There’s a lower Rs. 500 incentive for 8 rides, and many make their Rs. 2000 target at that point)

That’s about Rs. 60,000 per month for a driver (gross) and net, around Rs. 45,000.

His costs are:

Rs. 15,000 as EMI for the car

Rs. 10,000 for fuel costs and service

Net costs of Rs. 25,000 – they’ll take home Rs. 20,000 or so, which is sweet because it’s about 15% more than they can make as a standalone driver.

For OLA: This is a Lousy Deal, So Probably Called Marketing Expense

OLA only gets what you and I pay. I pay Rs. 100 per ride. If you multiply that by 12 rides, that’s Rs. 1200 that they get, per day, per car. Let’s be nice and say they get Rs. 1,800 at the average of Rs. 150 per ride.

The driver, as you can see, makes Rs. 3,000 per day, even after “paying” OLA their fees.

So OLA’s paying the rest, at Rs. 1,200 per day of net losses.

(Apart from this they pay 14% service tax, and apparently don’t charge the drivers yet, so that’s an extra loss)

For 12,000 drivers (this is the average figure I hear in Bangalore from the drivers) that’s Rs. 1.5 crore, or Rs. 15 million per day.

In Dollar terms, that’s $250,000 per day.

For 30 days, that Rs. 45 crores, or $7.5 million – per month, of losses in Bangalore alone.

The annual losses will be around Rs. 500 cr. or more, just short of $100 million. This is not considering any other expenses like marketing or salaries or support.

This is now, when incentives are low. They started with a Rs. 250 incentive per ride, and even higher number-of-rides incentives.

So, what should OLA cabs do to ensure the whole market share?

If drivers drive 1.5 km to connect with you today, it’s because they’re getting paid that Rs. 300 (okay, Rs. 225) per ride, no matter what.

They don’t crib about where they you want to go. They don’t mind going to a remote place. OLA’s incentives make them go for it. In fact, after 7 or 11 rides, just to make that last one count, they might ask a friend to book a small ride – of say Rs. 50 – so that they don’t lose the incentive. They even request customers – and in one case, when I had to drop a friend off in the middle, I even did it on my own (because OLA’s supposed to be point to point, so I told him I’ll rebook where my friend was dropped).

If you take away these incentives, it will go back to the Auto problem. Drivers will call and ask you where you want to go, and then refuse the ride. OLA might think that this will reduce driver rating which will kick them off the system. But if this is rampant, no “rating” system will help – and as we have seen in Autos, it *is* rampant, even though there are 2x more autos on the road than demand.

And if you increase fares, many drivers will not even use OLA – you will be able to pick them off the road which is how you pick up Autos. A simple app to measure distances is all you need – and there are tons today. That saves drivers and passengers the 25% that OLA would otherwise charge. And it saves the hassle of having to struggle with surge pricing and all that. A service to call taxis is not very difficult to build, and if OLA takes out incentives these kind of services will easily find their way into every city.

In effect OLA has to keep losing money, for a long time, to drive all competition into the ground. And then hope that as a monopoly it can raise prices and cut incentives. And regulators must not interfere. And public transport should not increase appropriately. And oil prices should be stable. And incomes should go up substantially. There is a non-zero probability of this happening. But even without the math, you get the feeling it’s a lot closer to zero than to one-zero-zero.

While data seems to indicate that Ola is presently in a leading position in India, it’s too early to declare a winner with UBER ready to make $2 billion investment  in Indian markets

Tips for Retail Marketing

Nothing is Free

The old saying ‘time equals money’ is true. If you’re looking for ways to promote your business and drive awareness, cheaply, you could be tempted to develop some wild and wacky PR stunts in the hope you’ll generate masses of publicity Richard Branson style. Whilst these types of events can be successful in generating awareness, they typically take a tremendous amount of effort to organise, and the results are often difficult to predict.
Even though ‘materials’ may not cost you much, the ‘time’ component can be astronomically high.

Strategy Before Tactics

Most business owners suffer from ‘marketing idea of the week’, producing random marketing campaigns designed to drive short-term sales. Sometimes they work, but most of the time they don’t, which causes endless frustration and of course even more random ideas.
We always say to our clients “Strategy Before Tactics”. Firstly, stop trying to be all things to all people, narrow your focus and identify who is your Ideal Customer. Secondly establish a way to differentiate your business in a way that matters to your Ideal Customer, and thirdly, define your brand for your Ideal Customer to deliver the core difference.
I liken it to the phrase “Ready, Aim, Fire”. “Ready, Aim” relates to Strategy – Who you’re talking to; What you say; and How you’re going to deliver it. “Fire” relates to tactics – how you implement your strategy – the website, advertisement, mailing, etc. Unfortunately most businesses go “Ready, Fire, Aim”, which means they’re just shooting randomly and unlikely to hit much.

Act Like a Successful Retailer

What do the following retailers have in common?  Woolworths, Myer, Vintage Cellars, Peter Alexander, Country Road, Bravissimo, Baby’s Got Style, MyCatwalk.com, Amazon, Fishpond.com.au.
Would you like a clue? They all have some connection with my home, either because we (my wife and I) have bought from them, or she visits their store regularly.
The correct answer is of course, they’re all direct marketing companies. And by that I mean they actively capture data on their customers and prospects, and communicate with them on a regular basis. And the reason they do this is because it works.

(Notice I didn’t say ‘big’ retailers. I know some business owners have an aversion to getting ‘big’ so I’m not suggesting that but I am suggesting you mirror what the successful retailers do, and in this case that means building a list, and maintaining regular contact.)

Build a Marketing List

Most businesses have some sort of customer list that’s generally held somewhere in a finance or sales system. However you need to build a marketing list that incorporates existing customers, but also prospects, people who have shown an interest in your product but who may not have purchased yet.
So, how do you build a list?
The short answer is you need to provide something of value. People are generally happy to provide their name and contact details as long as there is some perceived value.
You could offer advance notice of new products; access to special offers or promotions; entry into a ‘chance to win’ promotion; or offer a free report that’s relevant to your business. For example, Top 5 Things you should Know Before Buying a Digital Camera; 7 Steps to Buying the Right Surfboard; 3 Steps to Getting the Perfect Fit XYZ.
Make sure when they do ‘sign-up’ that you acknowledge their interest with an immediate ‘thank you’ communication.

(Note: If you are planning on sending emails, your prospects need to opt-in specifically to receiving email. Also, you need to provide an opportunity in every communication for recipients to opt-out of receiving future communications.)

Maintain regular contact

Now that you’ve started building a marketing list, you need to communicate with your customers and prospects.
Frequency of contact is difficult to advise without knowing your business, as it really depends on what is appropriate for your business category. For example, if you’re a retailer of high-frequency consumables then weekly or fortnightly is acceptable, however a retailer who sells digital cameras would probably only communicate monthly.
At the very least, you should be communicating at least every 90 days.
What do you say? Obviously you need to deliver on what they registered for originally – advance notice of new products, access to special offers or promotions. You can also include product reviews, customer reviews, invite them to VIP events where you run ‘how to’ demonstrations or advance showings of new products.

Develop Strategic Partnerships

Identify another business that serves the same target market as your business but doesn’t compete directly with you. They could share the same ideal customer, or maybe you’re in the same geographic area.
If approached correctly it should be a great opportunity for a Win Win, so that both businesses benefit. For example, you’re able to include an offer in their weekly email – they’re able to provide an exclusive offer to their customers, and you have the opportunity to increase sales and awareness with new prospects.
You could potentially introduce a 3rd business to result in a Win Win Win! For example, you could run an event together, where all 3 businesses invite their customers, and you’re able to cross-promote each other.

Tip #7: Identify other businesses that serve the same target market and develop Strategic Partnerships.

(Note on privacy. You can’t email someone else’s list directly – firstly, your partner is unlikely to release their list to you, and secondly, you don’t have the individual’s permission to communicate directly. Any communication needs to come from the partner, promoting your business)

Leverage your Existing Customers

Referral marketing is one of the most powerful marketing techniques available, yet many businesses do not have a defined referral marketing system in place.
First and foremost, you need to be referable. Your customers are not going to promote you if you offer a lousy product or service. Next, you need to target your existing customers – start with your best customers, as they’ll generally refer people who are most like themselves.
Then you need to educate them on your Ideal Customer so they’re not just promoting you to anybody and everybody. And make sure you provide an appropriate offer for both your customer, and the prospect. Lastly, make sure you follow-up your customers and remind them about the promotion on a regular basis. You could incorporate a leader board, or potentially change or refresh the incentive every few months to provide a reason to re-contact your customers about the program.

Summary:

  • Develop a marketing budget upfront, and ensure you incorporate your time
  • Strategy before tactics – be clear on your ideal customer and your point of difference
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel – mirror what the successful retailers do
  • Build a marketing list that incorporates customers and prospects
  • Maintain regular contact
  • Segment your marketing list and deliver relevant content and offers
  • Identify businesses that serve the same target market and develop strategic partnerships
  • Introduce a referral marketing program

Telemarketing Model

 

Sales team plays a major role in the success of any business.

Irrespective of the size of an organization the efforts of sales and marketing team is quintessential if any company wants to fulfill its business goals.

To ensure that the sales team continues to come up with the top-class performance it should be provided with necessary tools and advanced software to achieve the high-level of success and creativity.

In today’s competitive world it is the inside sales that have become more important than the outside sales.

And this inside sale is carried out by the front-line staff that provides the customer care support.

There is a heavy competition in all the fields and hence it is highly important that the inside sales team gets the support of latest software that can strengthen its base so that the team can provide efficient and quality service.

 

To understand how can improve the work efficiency of a sales team let us discuss a case study. It will help you to know how using the right advanced technology can improve the results and prepare an atmosphere conducive to business growth within the company.

Problem

Here we are discussing a case of a extend that extends support to several insurance and banking organizations.these organizations have hundreds of customers who invest to cover their health and life risk and also to keep their earnings secured.

The clients of extend keep on offering new products annually and also introduce new schemes or extensions in the existing insurance term or bonuses to lure new customers or even to entice the existing ones to continue investing with them.

Interestingly, since these companies offer concept-based products, top-class customer service, that supports after-sales service by the agents of the respective companies is highly essential so that the clients continue to get new business and also retain the existing customers.

exend has been using one of the popular in the business and primarily fulfilled the basic requisites of its clients such as telecommuting with the customers, sending them premium reminders, calling them for new policies and bank investment schemes.

Xtend had a good relationship with all its clients since they had a working association of almost a decade.

But lately, it seemed that the clients were favoring other customer care service companies for their new projects which were quite surprising to the Xtend directors.

They could not comprehend as to why the clients were giving the new business to some other call center companies when they were offering the best.

Although, the call center company still retained a major chunk of the business, if such practices continued, soon the clients would divert all the business to some other companies.

That is when the board of directors decided to find out what was making them lose business when they were providing the same level of service they started  10 years ago.

The directors appointed a team of experts to find out the exact reason for the changes in the attitude of the clients.

Firstly the experts discussed the issues with the banking and insurance company heads.

They found out that:

1. Xtend had maintained the same type of service all these years, but now times had changed and their customers were using the latest communication platforms such as live chat, social networking sites, mobile apps and so on for communicating.

2. The other new call center companies were offering all such facilities which increased the customer satisfaction ratio thereby ensuring policy and investment scheme renewals and probabilities of more referrals through them.

3. The  Call center agentsof these companies used special techniques for reaching out to the prospective customers which further increased the sales.

After that, the experts observed the working pattern followed by Xtend and the approach adopted by its front-line staff.

After the observation, the team found out that:

1. The company was seriously in a big trouble as it was using an old software that although was the best when Xtend started but now had become outdated and certainly could not compete with the features that was provided by best call center

2. The staff was not using all the features that the software provided and it was because the employees were not properly aware of how to use them.

It meant one thing that they lacked proper training, especially the new employees.

3. The employees lacked the right approach, smartness, and tactfulness that had become an integral part of all the customer service companies.

When the board of directors studied the combined report from the research team they became aware of the loopholes in their working system and decided to take a quick action.

Solution

The employees were trained at using the new software.

The company also imparted training to the agents related to the new products, alterations in products and features of the clients.

To ensure that the right information is passed down to the staff, the company organized a weekend session where the sales staff of the clients and its agents handling the customer support and insider sales could interact and understand the issues properly.

Result

Once the agents started using the best telemarketing servers, extend started getting a positive response.

The company now could offer availability 24/7 across all the latest communications platforms through live-chats, emails, social media presence, and Smartphone apps.

The agents were now using the latest features offered by the software including call recordings, purchase history and predictive dialers for outbound callings thereby ensuring that only interested customers were contacted and less time was spent.

 

With the increase in the number of satisfied customers, the viewpoint of clients of extend also changed and now they decided to once again start giving all the business to the call center company.