Jayanti Gupta shares her ecommerce success story!

Jayanti Gupta completed her PhD in Statistics before delving into the world of ecommerce. Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry in the United States of America, she found her heart in entrepreneurship in 2012.

She decided to showcase the beauty of artisanal sarees from Bengal to the world, resulting in the birth of Parinita, an online venture that offers handpicked  Bengali sarees that represent impeccable design, authenticity and excellent quality.

As part of our WomEntrepreneur Series, we present an enlightening interview with the very dynamic Jayanti Gupta.

How did you build your brand when you started off in this segment?

A: Initially, it was about gaining the trust of the customer, as we were the first online store dealing exclusively in handloom sarees from Bengal. Then it was about understanding what our customers wanted – as there are variations in taste across regions, age-groups, social background as well as seasonal trends.

Two years into the venture has given us a good footing in this space now. Today, the challenges are about maintaining the reputation of our brand and ensuring customer satisfaction in a sea of mass-made and often dubious stuff flooding the online apparel market.

Which is better, selling traditionally in a physical store or online retail?

A: The product that we sell (saree) is one in which touch and feel are very important to the customer when she makes her choice. I know I will never be able to replicate the pleasure that this traditional method of shopping gives her through an online medium.

Yet, the fact that I can now give her access to a large variety of niche handloom sarees at her fingertips, that were previously very difficult for her to get her hands on, gives me immense satisfaction.

How do you innovate to improve sales and the overall business strategy?

A: Adopting new technologies to improve customer experience on the website and using more innovative digital marketing techniques are what we do on a continuous basis.

We use existing data to predict customer preferences in order to be able to serve them better.  Market intelligence helps us recognize new trends and drive the business accordingly.

Which are the new categories that excite you now?

A: My focus continues to be handloom sarees from Bengal. Within this segment, we now strive to get deeper and unearth more exotic patterns, unique fabrics, rare-to-be-seen designs, uncommon shades, and make all of this available to the discerning customer at very affordable prices.

Our diversity stems from the variety that we provide, and I think we have only touched the tip of the iceberg yet.

Is there opportunity for more women in this segment? Do you see potential for more women to participate in selling online apparel?

A: Most certainly. Any woman with an offline business, who wishes to grow her customer base geographically, who deals with seasonal clothing, has niche garments for special occasions, has expertise in regional specialties, or apparel designers with limited marketing muscle should try out the online medium.

There is very little upfront investment required to set up an online store, so is especially suited for first-time entrepreneurs. There is a lot of space for new players here, and one can grow as gradually or aggressively as one desires.

What is one tech gadget you can’t be without?

A: All I need is a reliable smartphone with a long-lasting battery life!

 Your business mantra to success?

A: Be honest to yourself and to your customers – business, growth and success will all follow you.

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India is definitely the world’s next major tech market, says Internet Trends Report

2017-06-05

If there’s been any doubt about India being the next major target market for tech businesses, Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends Report should make that clear as day.

The report, which spans 355 pages, dedicates 55 pages solely to the state of internet and mobile access in India. The first major takeaway is that the country now has 355 million internet users, which amounts to roughly 27 percent of the population of 1.3 billion people. That’s up from 277 million in 2015.

Internet-penetration

Chalk that up to the falling prices of smartphones and mobile data. The average cost of a handset is now far more affordable than a decade ago, having dropped from about $270 in 2007 to under $150 in 2016, and from over 25 percent of per capita GDP down to 8 percent.

 

averageData plans are now half what they cost in 2014 – and India has major conglomerate Reliance to thank for that. The company’s Jio carrier launched last September with low-cost data plans on its 4G network that blew the competition out of the water. Of the 108 million people who signed up for the free trials, 72 million have converted into paying subscribers.

GDP

So yes, mobile internet use is certainly on the rise – since 2014. As per the report, People mostly use mobile internet to send good night msg or funny bday wishes. It’s skyrocketed from under 100 million GB a month to nearly 1,200 million GB a month, with a 9x growth seen between last June and March 2017. It’s not surprising that music and video streaming has increased threefold and fourfold respectively in that same short time frame.

 

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The majority of India has also largely leapfrogged desktops to experience the web – mobile devices account for about 80 percent of all traffic, far higher than the global average of 50 percent and that of the US at under 40 percent.

Mobile users in India are second only to China when it comes to time spent on Android phones (close to 150 billion hours).  Facebook owns four of the top 10 most popular apps across the country, while the rest include video streaming services, a video player, an offline file transfer tool and Truecaller’s caller ID app.

Oh, and of course, a browser – but it’s not Chrome or Opera. Instead, its Chinese internet giant Alibaba’s UC Browser, which comes preinstalled on a large number of devices. It currently enjoys 50 percent market share nationwide, while Chrome is at roughly 30 percent.

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The report says that about 45 percent of the time people spend with their phones is for entertainment, while 34 percent is taken up by social media and messaging services. And at 28 hours per week, mobile use also dwarfed the amount of time people spent watching TV or reading print media (two hours each).

It’s also worth noting that 82 percent of Indians have now enrolled in the Aadhaar digital ID program over the course of the past six years. The unique 12-digit identifier is paired with biometrics to allow citizens to access government services and subsidies – but lately, it’s come under fire for not being secure enough and being made mandatory by private organizations.

And while India presents tech companies across the world with tremendous opportunities to capture a massive market, there are significant challenges too. Many people in the country still don’t have formidable spending power, and education and infrastructure are still lacking. Stringent regulations and high registration costs for starting a company in India bring its global rank in the ease of doing business down to 130 out of 190 countries.

Still, it’s evident that India’s internet and mobile scene is hotting up incredibly quickly, and the time is ripe for companies to enter the market and get to grips with its idiosyncrasies and hurdles to score big bucks in the future.

N.B. To view the interesting messages and photos that people are sharing on SOCIAL MEDIA, please visit: good night msg  or funny bday wishes

Why Do Marketplaces Become Harmful as Time Goes by?

2017-05-29

The trend of startups like marketplaces, food delivery, online grocery has been catching the spotlight. India seems to be having a growing appetite for such startups. Sellers are relying on the marketplaces model to sell their products.

Well, deciding what to sell on the internet is easier than deciding how to sell online. Most sellers choose to use third parties websites to display information and products virtually. That means they let the marketplace operators process the transactions. There are many famous marketplaces out there Flipkart, SnapDeal, Amazon and more… Not to mention they have been increased in last couple of years. However, many experts have realized “These marketplaces can be harmful over time for the sellers“!! That means people can get long-term profits if they build and develop their own e-commerce sites instead of selling on marketplaces.

Why Sellers Choose Marketplaces

Marketplace is a secure and transactional website where sellers can sell their products or services to buyers without any face to face interaction. Buyers transactions are processed by a marketplace operator, and usually delivered by the seller. Marketplaces offer an easier way of setting up a virtual store online. Sellers don’t need to brainstorm about the design and they don’t need any skills. Not to mention they don’t need to deal with sales transactions. In a nutshell, marketplaces take care of everything. What sellers need to do is to prepare and list their products. They can get traffic and potential buyers without much effort. They only have one responsibility. It’s to pay a fee or commission to such marketplaces. Overall, it’s a quite tempting way to sell online.

Many sellers use marketplaces as a shortcut to selling their products on the internet. They don’t need to worry about the competition. Selling products online becomes easier as they only need to rent a space to display their products (sometimes no upfront fees, only commission on each sale). However, they should recognize that it isn’t beneficial for the long run businesses.

Many small businesses have realized this potential, and have chosen to sell their products on Flipkart, eBay, Amazon or even via their Facebook page but this doesn’t give an impression of professionalism.

Winning an online race is also about brand building. That means sellers/suppliers should establish their brand and improve their presence on the internet. This is a great strategy to achieve better profits in the long run. If sellers only focus on the online marketplaces, they can’t build a firm foundation for their business. There’s one problem when it comes to building an own brand. Gaining search presence and quality site to get visitors to their site are daunting tasks. Sellers need to prepare lots of budget and time. Even though it takes much time to grow, an online store can reap the full profits of the sales. The idea is to win the race in the long run. Smart sellers understand how to win the online race as It isn’t only about profits they are making currently. There are many other important factors to think about.

You’d never see a large, successful business sending their customers to marketplaces like eBay or Amazon to buy their products.

For small businesses, this isn’t a good idea. They use online marketplaces instead. It’s because they want to simplify everything. They want an instant result.

Marketplaces are a Bad Option in the Long Run

What makes online marketplaces aren’t good in the long run? The answer is simple. These sites don’t make sellers’ store worthy. Third-party marketplaces aren’t as great as people might think. Often time, it makes more sense to build and run an online store with their branding and domain. Selling products on a personal domain allows sellers to earn more cash. They can build the foundation from the beginning to the end. This method helps businessmen build a stronger relationship with their customers. Many experts agree with it. They consider that it’s better to give up some profits sometimes. Sellers need to focus on more volume, instead.

The competition is high on the internet. Not all sites are able to make sales and profits. However, it’s a long journey. Sellers should patiently establish their own site and brand over time. The goal is a long-term profit. What are the risks of owning an online store? There are many difficulties such as market fluctuation, strict Google algorithm updates, losing popularity, losing search presence, and others. These aren’t a nightmare for sellers. As a matter of fact, some people get more excited about those challenges.

Even though marketplaces help people understand how e-commerce works, they can help people flourish their brand. All businesses require a brand identity. Running an online store can help sellers achieve that goal. However, it takes much time and money to maintain the site. Not to mention people should prepare long-term plans for their online store. In the long run, this site provides lots of profits for the owner. Unlike online marketplaces, the profits don’t come immediately.

Overall, marketplaces aren’t good for brand building. Even though these sites help sellers improve profits and sales, they can’t help with branding. The brand process requires numerous phases. It includes business and audience analysis. Running an online store is a good start to build the business brand. Sellers are able to perform business analysis using a website. They can learn what the clients want to get, their weakness, and strength. In the end, they can find solutions for the customers. Clients tend to learn more information about the products. That means they like to visit an online store to know more about items they want to buy.

Finding the Right Solution

Using online marketing places, sellers can’t provide as much information as buyers need. As a matter of fact, they can’t perform a business analysis. On the other hand, running a site allows them to find clients’ demands. This is quite helpful to discover brand solutions that are matched with their business objectives. It’s true that branding isn’t an easy task. It’s a long-term process, after all. The key is to provide a unique value to customers. Sellers can achieve this by building their online store instead of using marketplaces. How can they survive the competition?

Want to Increase Sales?

MarketApp directly connects sellers to online buyers. It allows sellers from across India to promote their products for free in 3 easy steps.

This is way to small businessman make our business online in easy  way and make reliable for users. You can go directly to our shopkeeper for purchase products on cheap rate with quality of products.

Like other e-commerce sites MarketApp also, has a chain of sellers from where they provide the products to customers. It only depends upon the sellers who are delivering the products whether its fake or original but user can avoid the post delivery issues with the products by selecting the products that have time period standard replacement.

MarketApp is India’s premier online platform that supports sellers to increase online sales. Sellers can maximize their brand awareness by posting promotional products, deals, discount offers or any news/events to let their audience updated and engaged with brand.

 

Why App Aggregators Are Betting Big on India

Mobile-application-development

 

In recent years, a particularly eye-catching trend in China and India’s economic relationship has been the vast influx of Chinese internet companies into the Indian market. Chinese smartphones accounted for 50 percent of total smartphone sales in India going into the final quarter of last year, with Xiaomi alone chalking up $1 billion in sales and its Redmi 3 model winning plaudits as India’s most popular smartphone.

Mobile apps developed in China have also found a passage to India, including Android-based web browser UC Browser, which lays claim to 43 percent of India’s browser market, and Cheetah Mobile’s Security App Lock antivirus, India’s eighth most popular app in 2016. Now, these internet giants, alongside lesser-known breakthrough firms, are heading in droves into the development of content and news aggregation apps — a move that has the potential to transform the commercial and economic relationship between India and China.

Content aggregation apps are typically marketed as curators of content from dozens of news wires and media publications in India and elsewhere, using a combination of human editors and machine-learning algorithms to create a customized news feed for users. Popular examples include Flipboard and Google News in the United States and Jinri Toutiao in China.

Chinese internet companies have been expanding globally in recent years, regarding India as a serious priority. True to the speed and nature of disruption synonymous with the technology industry, in just 16 months these Chinese firms have laid claim to a considerable stake in India, offering serious competition to Indian counterparts like In shorts and Jio Prime.

UCWeb, a browser owned by Alibaba Group, in April 2016 launched the UC News app, which currently occupies the number-one spot on the news and magazines section of India’s Google Play store, with 80 million monthly active users. Cheetah Mobile, meanwhile, acquired News Republic from a French company in 2016 but have launched it to more limited success so far: The app currently occupies a distant 93rd place. More surprising than both of these apps, however, is the presence of a Chinese company that very few in China have ever heard of: NewsDog.

NewsDog is somewhat unique because it is a Chinese-developed app launched exclusively for the Indian market. Its parent company, Hacker Interstellar, has no other known businesses, and its main office in Beijing is exclusively India-focused, according to a personal acquaintance who declined to be named for this article. Yet this relative underdog is the second most popular app in India.

India is the ideal destination for Chinese companies creating technology for hundreds of millions of mobile-savvy internet users.

– Dev Lewis, researcher

Added to the mix is Beijing Bytedance Technology, owner of Jinri Toutiao, China’s most popular aggregation app. In October 2016, the company led a $25 million round of investment for an undisclosed stake in Dailyhunt, the third most successful content aggregator in India’s Google Play store.

Why has news aggregation in particular attracted the attention of Chinese companies? One answer is that India is the only country comparable to China in scale, financial promise, and market conditions. It is the ideal destination for Chinese companies whose unique selling points center on creating technology for hundreds of millions of mobile-savvy internet users, many of whom use budget Chinese-made Android smartphones and have limited access to fast and cheap Internet.

Another reason for Chinese interest in India is data. Accumulating user data and understanding user behavior are both key to selling advertising, which forms the basis of the revenue model employed by these companies. Data also fuels the machine-learning algorithms driving the future of the mobile technology industry. India thus appeals to Chinese market leaders eager to truly cement their industrial dominance, as well as to smaller Chinese firms that missed the boat the first time around.

To win big in an industry where standing still is akin to moving backwards, news apps are transitioning from content curation toward content creation, while also making a bigger push toward artificial intelligence (AI). At present, both News Republic and UC News have their own content-creation portals within their apps, with the latter investing an eye-popping $30 million to hire content-creation “stringers” and encourage user-generated content.

Their reasons for doing so are clear, as Kenny Ye, the general manager of overseas business at Alibaba Mobile Business Group, told me. “In China, the digital media market remains dominated by fast-growing local players,” he said. “There are more than 600 million mobile users and 20 million content creators in China. India currently has 371 million mobile users with minuscule contribution from self-publishing. India is still in its nascent stage compared to China.”

If knowledge transfer from China into India is key to the success of app aggregators, then the partnership between Jinri Toutiao and Dailyhunt appears quite promising. As the leading player in the personalized content-recommendation space with 508 million daily active users, Jinri Toutiao is a self-styled AI-first company. It claims to have built the largest machine-learning platform for content, as well as an AI journalist named Xiaoming that is capable of generating short reports on European football games, according to a recent interview with the head of Toutiao’s AI lab, Li Lei.

Overall, these developments reflect how China’s technology industry is increasingly training its attention on India. In the past year and a half or so, India-focused Chinese venture capital funds such as Cyber Carrier, APUS Fund, and ZDream Ventures have made a flurry of investments in Indian internet startups, adding to headline-grabbing deals like Tencent’s recent $1 billion investment in e-commerce player Flipkart. These new forces bind China’s economic interests to India, with the Chinese private sector becoming an increasingly important and powerful stakeholder in Indian industry.

Indian consumers using Chinese devices and platforms will also make China an important participant in India’s digital ecosystem. As articulated in a recent article by Arun Mohan Sukumar, head of the Cyber Security and Internet Governance Initiative at New Delhi-based think tank Observer Research Foundation, the positive side to this relationship may lead to the co-designing of services targeting the Indian market. But there are also genuine risks of Beijing becoming gatekeepers of security and influencers of consumer behavior, especially given the lack of online privacy laws in India.

The approaches taken by Chinese companies in the Indian mobile app space are worth watching not only for the rapid growth they are presently enjoying, but also for what their influence portends for the two countries’ future economic relations. The successes and failures of Chinese companies in India’s technology space may blaze a trail for future partnerships and usher the India-China relationship into a new era.

Rise of App Economy in India

 

Rise-of-Business

Rewinding back to mid and the late 1990’s, almost every company had a website to reach their customers. Today the scene hasn’t changed much except for the transition from these cluttered websites to user-friendly mobile applications. The rise of mobile applications can be credited to the ease access that it offered to the customers. In today’s scenario, the need for a mobile based application is as great as it did for a website 20 years ago. Mobile based applications have furthered the extent to which technology can ease our life.

India in spite of still being addressed as a Developing Nation, we are the fourth largest app economy in the world with numbers speculating that app downloads may cross 20 billion by the year 2020. The facts do check with more people relying on apps more than websites. Statistics say that about 97% of users in India rely on these mobile applications over browsers and websites. Another interesting demographic suggests that about 25% of the population in India use ride-sharing applications such as Rapido, Uber, and the like for everyday commuting, putting India at first in the ride-sharing segment as compared to other countries across the globe.

In undeniable that apps have become an essential part of our daily lives. It lets one book a ride, order grocery, pay other people, recharge phones etc. with much ease. The ‘Make in India’ programme by the government of India also plays a vital role in boosting our app economy. Despite a looming unemployment problem, rising app economy in India is expected to provide around 1,00,000 employment opportunities in the current fiscal year of 2017-18. Estimates value of India’s app economy to be of Rs 2,000 crore having more than 3,00,000 developers across the country. Of which Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi having the maximum number of developers when compared to other cities.

The major challenge that app developers in India face is monetizing their idea into a successful revenue. Incidentally, Most of the Apps listed on Google Play are free which mean developers earn major money through advertising. But in India, 60% of the total internet users hate Online Ads and the other 40% are least bother about them. The current business model of applications in India is based on a hit & trial model.

The present revenue rate of apps in India is poor, which is one of the most crucial aspects where all entrepreneurs have a great concern for. Another huge challenge posting the industry is high customer acquisition cost. About 90% of customer acquisitions in India are discount-driven acquisitions & the average acquisition cost per customer is somewhere in the range of Rs. 80-120.

It’s interesting to see how the application industry in growing despite such harsh conditions. The big answer to look forward is how our app economy shall grow in the future with the current revenue models.

 

Mobile App Market In India: World’s 4th Largest App Economy Now

India’s growth rate to be more than China

When compared with India’s total app downloads per year, only China, US, and Brazil are ahead of the developing nation. The annual figure for India is expected to grow by 92% which will amount to 7.7 billion downloads this year and by 2020, this figure will rise to 20.1 billion.

As compared the app download in China is expected to grow at as slow as 29% this year. However, China’s absolute figure will be 49 billion which means it will be more than six times of India’s figure.

“With the introduction of affordable smart phones and better infrastructure supporting mobile, and given India’s population, the growth here is expected to be significant,” Junde Yu, MD of App Annie APAC.

According to Junde Yu, the most important thing that is now driving the app economy here is the amount of time spent by the users on the mobile app and not the revenue or the number of downloads.

In India, the amount of time spent on apps in the first quarter of 2016 has increased more than 2 times as compared to that in the first quarter of 2014.

 Retail apps, video streaming apps, ride-sharing app will continue to grow

India has seen a major rise in the time spent on retails apps. Mathematically speaking, the amount of time spent grew by 11.5 in the first quarter of this year as compared to that of 2014. The retail apps market is largely driven by e-commerce giants like Snapdeal, Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart and MarketApp.

Whereas time spent on video streaming apps rose by 7.4 times with Hotstar and YouTube heading the way.

“People have this perception in India that users spend more time on browsers. That is not true. Our data shows that the percentage of time spent on apps in India is the same as around the world, at 93% (the remaining 7% comes from mobile browsers).”

Why India’s app market is growing?

There is a misconception with regard to time spend on browsers by Indians. The data by App analytic company shows that the percentage of time spent on apps in India is the same as around the world that is, 93% and the remaining 7% comes from mobile browsers.

Mary-Meeker-top-app

India’s initiative to maximize the growth in app market

There is a need for the Government to make policies that are aligned with the application development market in India in order to enable them to take a leadership position along with maximizing the revenue.

Along with India being the world’s second largest user of applications, it might become the largest developer base.

 

Franchise Opportunity

 

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FRANCHISING YOUR BUSINESS

The fact is, we regularly receive calls from business owners that have no reason to consider franchising their business, and many start by immediately asserting the fact that their business is either, new, struggling, or not even opened yet, but that they think their current or future business will be the next great American franchise.

Because franchising is consistently reported as being such a hot industry, it tends to give the impression to would-be Franchisors that it is much, much simpler than it sounds to become a franchise powerhouse, and many equate the “build it and they will come” mentality with the franchise industry. It is quite concerning how many business owners and opportunists assume that any business can be easily franchised and replicated by the hundreds into successful units.

When you opt for a franchise route you need not go through the initial problems of setting up a business from scratch, because somebody else has already done the entire spade work. Somebody else has already proved that the business model works. Thus your business is based on an idea that has already been translated into reality and proved its success.

HOW TO START A FRANCHISE

Aside from the costs for utilizing professionals service providers, the total financial investment and steps required to properly launch and fund a new franchise model can vary considerably from industry to industry.

This makes it extremely difficult for me to quote you a specific cost estimate. Typically, the amount of investment that is required to adequately fund a launch will be in close ratio to the differences t hat you would find in funding the original business when compared to other businesses.

My point being, is that it is more affordable to fund an original business that is service based, requires little capital investment or equipment, is operated in a minimal space requirement and with limited staff than say a 400-seat restaurant that requires substantial real estate, equipment, furnishing and personnel to establish and operate.

While some of the steps and costs that are incurred to start a franchise based on a large business are the same as those to start a franchise based on a small, more limited size business, many of the additional costs will be based on the complexity of the original business.

For that reason, it is important to obtain a clear understanding of the costs that are expected for developing your specific business into a proper franchise model. This can generally be accomplished by seeking professional development services or using the guidance of an experienced franchise attorney with a strong business background that can also guide you through the business portions of the development process.

Franchisee Benefits

The benefits are attractive. So much so that, as a franchisor, you may wonder what’s in it for the franchisees. What makes buying a franchise – your franchise – so appealing? It’s an important question because you need franchisees to succeed.

There are many benefits of franchising. The benefits of becoming a franchisee are that the franchisor has already established a profitable business model that is tried, tested and proven to be successful. The products or services that they provide are in demand and could be supplied and sold or provided in new areas, counties or even countries as their reputation and brand awareness increases.

The good news is that the benefits of buying a franchise are just as attractive. For example, your franchisees will gain instant brand recognition, initial training, ongoing support and increased purchasing power all for much less than it would cost to start an independent company.

The Fastest-Growing Sectors in the Franchise Industry

If you’re one of those who likes things to move fast, who wants a new challenge all of the time, then maybe a fast-growing franchise is for you. We’ve culled the fastest-growing franchises from Entrepreneur’s Franchise and compiled a list to get you started–fast.

 

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This ranking is not intended to endorse any particular franchise, but rather to provide a starting point for your research. Due diligence includes thoroughly reading a company’s literature and its Franchise Disclosure Document, calling and visiting existing franchisees, and consulting with an attorney and an accountant. Here’s where slowing down makes sense: You should only buy a fast-growing franchise after you’ve taken the time to conduct a careful investigation.

 

 

MarketApp.online is empowering retailers to Sell Online and Create Unique Brand Presence

Ecommerce is exploding at a frenetic pace and more and more retailers and hopping on to the bandwagon. Creating a unique brand niche is difficult and reaching out to customers even more so but Market App Online uses cutting edge technology in an app that gets retailers to sell and establish a strong online presence.

Commenting on the marketapponline app, the founder of the company says “We have small retailers under the lens and it is our sincerest wish to help them grow and establish a strong foothold in a competitive market. Marketapp online is the result, a one-stop ecommerce solution with no transaction fees at all. Users just select a package to start with and realize instant results in the form of sales every day. What they invest they recoup in less than a year.”

Marketappline features are targeted at small retailers and their needs. Marketapp online offers easy website, a mobile app and a social media store in the package. Each client’s storefront is customized for unique individual look. Retailers enjoy the facility of a secure payment gateway with low charges so they can charge low and yet make a profit.

The app also features complete ecommerce feature that includes inventory management, shipping and tracking for better customer experience. At each point customers have access to total support from a dedicated account manager. Customers receive training on how to use the marketapp online features to maximum advantage.

Marketapp online, the premier ecommerce solution for retailers in these days of mobile technologies, is priced affordably. There are various packages to suit a retailer’s requirements. One can start with a silver plan at a low Rs. 12000 and go on to the diamond plan with plenty of features at Rs 80000 with plenty of customizable options in between. “Hundreds of retailers are joining the marketapp online family and are profiting each day,” claimed the representative.

Technology often baffles retailers who are more used to handling products and selling for cash. For them digital technologies, ecommerce and payment online can be a whole new ball game that can be confusing as well as expensive. It does entail an investment in the marketapp online package but the results far outweigh the investment.

A retailer who sells to a dozen customers in his local area can now sell to hundreds of customers across the world. A customized app on Google Playstore gives instant access to millions of potential buyers. From selling a few products today, any retailer can add to his portfolio and sell hundreds tomorrow. From local he goes global.

Marketapp online ushers in a new era of prosperity and all for so very little. We invite entrepreneurs to take the plunge and promise rewards far beyond their expectations, said the spokesperson of the company.

WVEF: Inspiring women entrepreneurs with stories of success

Successful businesswomen fire up entrepreneurs’ meeting in São Paulo for the Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum.

The Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum (WVEF) today continued in São Paulo, Brazil, with powerful testimonials by entrepreneurs from across the world who have overcome the barriers that often prevent women from succeeding in business.

Dr. Anna T. M. Mokgokong, co-founder and executive chairman of Community Investment Holdings, a South African company led the charge. She called on businesswomen to work even harder to succeed. ‘The patriarchal is system is global and is everywhere, and we are all suffering from the system,’ she said.

Born in Soweto, Dr. Mokgokong was raised in Swaziland, and knew since she was eight years old that she would be a businesswoman. Starting off by selling bags to fellow students while studying to be a doctor, she never looked back and is today in charge of a US$2 billion investment company with holdings across sectors including finance, logistics, healthcare and mining.

Another trailblazer inspiring the 500-strong audience was Archana Bhatnagar, founder of India-based Haylide Chemicals, which manufactures environmentally-sound cleaning products. After working as a model and then in the media industry, she turned her hand to entrepreneurship,launching a company together with her husband. Launching Haylide came later, but Ms. Bhatnagar also set up the Madhya Pradesh Association of Women Entrepreneurs to help other women entrepreneurs in the central Indian state to overcome gender-specific barriers.

Among the other successful women entrepreneurs telling their stories to the vendors and buyers at WVEF were Carmen Castillo and Janete Vaz.

Born in Mallorca, Spain, Ms. Castillo has built a successful Miami-based company – SDI International – that helps other businesses with procurement outsourcing. Ms. Vaz, meanwhile, built Sabin Laboratory, which today is among Brazil’s largest laboratories with more than 1,800 staff in 100 locations.

Organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in association with Apex-Brasil, WVEF also relies on other partners to connect women entrepreneurs with prospective buyers of goods and services.

Josiane Cotrim, founding member of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, Yasmin Darwich, president of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women, Virginia Littlejohn, president of Quantum Leaps, and Joan Kerr, board member of WEConnect International and director of supplier diversity at Pacific Gas & Electric, all shared their experiences in campaigning for women entrepreneurs and women’s economic empowerment.

Champions of change

The women vendors attending WVEF also heard from Anna Illy of illycaffé, Yesim Sevig of KAGIDER, the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey, and ITC Executive Director Arancha González, who all called on women across the world to not to be beaten down by invisible barriers preventing them from succeeding in business.

Learn more about ITC’s Women and Trade Programme.

By: intracen 

Click here to download Marketapp, a completely free app to sell and promote your products and services.

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Fidel Castro was a well-known Cuban politician and revolutionary. He was the Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba for 17 years, then became the President and governed the state till 2006. He was the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba. He served as the secretary till 2011. Under his governance, Cuba became a one-party socialist state. All the industries and business were nationalised under his administration. Many socialist reforms were implemented in Cuba under his regime.
Earlier Life:

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1926, in Birán, Oriente. He was the son of a wealthy sugarcane planter who hailed from Galicia, Spain. He was the third of six children of Ángel Castro y Argiz. Fidel’s mother used to serve as maid to Maria Luisa Argota, Ángel’s first wife. Ángel Castro married Fidel’s mother Lina Ruz González when he was 15. When Fidel was 17, he was officially recognised by his father and his name was changed from Ruz to Castro.
Fidel grew up in wealthy economic circumstances amidst the extreme poverty of Cuba. His father had business ties with American-owned United Fruit Company. He was educated in private Jesuit boarding schools. After that, he joined Colegio Dolores in Santiago de Cuba and then El Colegio de Belén in Havana. It is after his graduation in 1945; Castro entered the Law school at the University of Havana, and was completely transformed by socialist ideology.
Political Career:

By 1947, Castro became completely inclined to bring social justice and economic freedom in his country, Cuba. He travelled to the Dominican Republic and then Columbia to participate in anti-government rioting. He then planned to overthrow Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. After failing in his attempt and imprisonment of a year, he travelled to Mexico and formed a revolutionary group the 26th July Movement with Che Guevara and Raul Castro.He returned to Cuba in 1956 with around 80 insurgents and weapons and started a guerrilla war against the Batista government. Over the course of the next two years, he succeeded in organising many resistance groups. He also formed a parallel government and brought some reforms in the agricultural and manufacturing sector.
After some eventful military campaigns, Castro was fortunate to bring down Batista’s government. By the age of 32, he fruitfully concluded his guerrilla campaign and took control over Cuba. Castro was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Cuba in 1959. On April 14, 1961, Castro declared Cuba as a socialist state. The Bay of Pigs incident soon after soured the relations between the United States and Cuba. The United States government tried many times to collapse Castro’s rule but in vain.After the Bay of Pigs incident, Castro strengthened his relation with the Soviet Union. This political tie-up brought the world closer to a nuclear war. As Castro anticipated a sudden US invasion in Cuba, he and the Soviet Premier Khrushchev conceived the idea of keeping nuclear missiles in Cuba. After 13 days of high anxiety, and communications between the US President and Soviet Premier, the missiles were removed from the state.
In 1965, Fidel Castro merged Cuba’s Communist party with his radical organisations. In the 1970s, he projected himself as the spokesman of the third world countries and aided many pro-Soviet countries like Yemen and Ethiopia.Under Castro’s regime in Cuba, around 10,000 schools were opened, and the literacy rate increased up to 98%. The Cubans also got a better health care system. The infant mortality dropped significantly. Castro curbed the freedom of people in many ways; the unions had no right to strike; the independent newspapers were shut and made to go out of business while many religious institutions also suffered a setback.

Personal Life:
Castro married Mirta Diaz-Balart in 1948, and they had a son, Fidelito in 1949. After his divorce with Mirta in 1955, he had relations with two other women, NatyRevuelta and Maria Laborde. Castro’s health worsened during the 90s and he suffered from gastrointestinal bleeding. He passed away on 25th November 2016 at the age of 90.

Awards:

Castro received the Order of Lenin three times. He was the first foreigner to receive the award. He was also awarded the Order of Good Hope from South Africa for his fight against racism. Many governments around the world honoured him for his social reforms.Order of Lenin AwardOrder of Good Hope.

By: SuccessStory.Com

Ravi Pillai: From Farmer’s Son to Construction Tycoon

Ravi Pillai
Chairman and MD, RP Group of Companies
Age: 60
Rank in the Rich List: 34
Net Worth: $1.7 billion
The Big Challenge Faced in the Last Year: A huge shortage of skilled workforce. To overcome this, is planning to set up technical training institutes in India, Middle East and other countries.
The Way Forward: Pillai wants to double turnover of $3 billion over next three years. Will focus on expansion in Africa, Middle East and India.
On September 2 every year, Ravi Pillai, 60, the chairman and managing director of the $3 billion RP Group of Companies, performs the udayasthamana pooja at the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh. Whichever part of the world he is in, Pillai flies into Tirupati the previous night. He wakes up at 4 am and heads to the temple. Udayasthamana literally means from dawn to dusk; that’s how long the devotee must pray to the lord. Only five to seven people are allowed in the sanctum sanctorum where the pooja is conducted. And you cannot book one today if you want to—the waiting time for an udayasthamana pooja is more than ten years.

September 2 also happens to be Pillai’s birthday.

“I booked this pooja 30 years ago,” says Pillai. “And I have been doing it every year since then. Whatever I have achieved in my life, it is because of my hard work and the blessings of god. I couldn’t have done anything alone.”

The gods seem to have taken notice of his devotion. Consider how well he has done for himself: This year, Pillai has entered the Forbes India Rich List for the first time, at No. 34 with an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion.

And now look at his back-story.

Born into a family of farmers near Kollam in Kerala, Pillai says that he had always wanted to become an entrepreneur. As a first step, he started a chit fund. While that proved profitable, he soon realised there was more to be gained from the booming construction sector. In the early 1970s, he began doing sub-contracting work for companies in the chemical and oil refinery business. His journey, however, came to a sudden halt when the labourers went on strike. Pillai says he was disappointed but, in many ways, this was a turning point in his life.

BUILDING TO LAST
In 1979, Pillai moved to Saudi Arabia with whatever little money he had saved. This was also the time when many ‘Malayalis’ from Kerala were getting lured by opportunities in the Middle East. “I didn’t know anybody there. And this was the first time I had gone abroad,” says Pillai. While he was clear that he wanted to stay in the construction business, it wasn’t easy to get started. For the first two years, he worked with a businessman called Abdullah Jufan. “Our partnership did not work out. So I left and started working with another businessman called Nasser Al-Hajri,” says Pillai.

It is a partnership that has stood the test of time.

Headquartered in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, today Nasser Al-Hajri Corporation is one of the largest general construction contractors in the Middle East. It was founded in 1978 and was a small company at the time Pillai joined it. Al-Hajri, the original promoter, is the CEO. (Pillai has a 50 percent partnership in the company; later he formed RP Group of Companies and Nasser Al-Hajri Corporation is a vertical under it.)

Pillai, who is the managing director of the company, says the venture started with around 120 people, all of them recruited from a town called Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu. “The real growth took place around 1983. We started getting sub-contracting work and our first project was to construct an underground parking space for aeroplanes, for a French company,” he says. “Then we got a project for the Royal Terminal [at Riyadh airport], followed by other petrochemical plants and refineries.”

The major contributor to Pillai’s growth has been the industrialisation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the construction boom in the Middle East. Starting 1975, the country began work on Jubail, a small fishing village which is the largest industrial city in the Middle East today. In 1976, Saudi Arabia formed Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), a diversified company with interests in chemicals, petrochemicals, fertilisers and steel. Nasser Al-Hajri Corporation piggybacked on the growth of SABIC; it was and continues to be the preferred contractor for SABIC’s industrial projects.

SABIC recorded a turnover of $50.4 billion in 2012. Pillai also did well to expand the business to other countries like Qatar and United Arab Emirates; today, Nasser Al-Hajri Corporation’s client roster includes global players such as Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Shell, Philips Conoco, Chiyoda, Daelim and RasGas.

But it wasn’t like companies were queuing up to give him projects. He had to battle enough scepticism. Pillai says that the impression of Indians in the Middle East at that time was that they were only fit to become cooks, drivers or gardeners. Add to that, the construction sector was dominated by Korean companies. “People would say that Indians can’t do it. With every project, I showed that we could do technical work too,” says Pillai. “We were better in both quality and cost. In fact, I have delivered many projects with just an Indian workforce.” The RP Group of Companies today employs around 70,000 people, more than 45,000 of whom are Indians.

FRESH TERRAIN
Pillai hasn’t stopped there. In the last 35 years, he has gone beyond construction and now has interests in hospitality, education, retail and hospitals as well. There is also a tours-and-travels business and a trading company in Dubai. While he is based in Bahrain, Pillai has made significant investments in his home state, Kerala (Upasana nursing school, Raviz Hotel & Resorts, K Mall in Kollam and RP Mall in Kozhikode). He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award in 2008 and the Padma Shri in 2010.

In 2011, Pillai bought Leela Resorts, Leela Group’s Kovalam beach property in Kerala, for about Rs 500 crore. CPK Nair, the chairman of Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, says that he is very fond of Pillai. They first met in 2010. “I had never heard about him. I saw him for the first time when I was getting the Padma Bhushan. He was getting the Padma Shri and had come with around 100 people to collect the award,” says Nair. A year later, Nair found himself in trouble. His company, Leela Venture, had accumulated debt of Rs 3,830 crore at the end of FY11 owing to capital expenditure of over Rs 4,000 crore. He needed to reduce debt urgently. The idea of putting the Kovalam property on the block was on his mind but it was a prized possession—he wasn’t willing to sell it cheap.

But the word was out. In July 2011, Pillai approached Nair to buy the property. Pillai says that each time he visited Kerala, he was disappointed at the quality of hotels there. “That’s why I wanted my own hotel to stay in with my friends and family. And I love the sea,” he says. He met Nair in his office in Mumbai and the two agreed on a deal. “While I was initially hesitant, I sold the property to him because he gave me a fair price. We still manage that property for him,” says Nair.

Pillai is obviously aware of his success. But, at 60, he also knows that there is only so much he can do. For more, he has pinned his hopes on his children. His son, Ganesh Ravi Pillai, who has worked with Citibank and has enrolled for his MBA at IE Business School in Spain, will join him next year. “I am also looking forward to my daughter [Dr Aarathi Ravi Pillai], who’s a doctor, joining the business. They will drive things,” he says.

They have big shoes to fill and bigger dreams to fulfill. Their father aspires to double his existing business (turnover) over the next three years. But, while he waits for them to join, he isn’t resting either. “There is still a lot of potential in different parts of the Middle East. We are growing in Africa and India,” he says. “I am travelling all the time, looking for new opportunities.”

BY: ASHISH K MISHRA

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