Is Africa the Right Choice for Business Expansion

The global economy is trending towards recuperation after a long hiatus of slack years. According to the IMF forecast, however, the GDP growth rate is 3.5 percent, which is lower than 4.5 percent, the average growth rate before recession. Even self-sustained countries like the U.K, and U.S seem to be struggling for stability during the post-crisis period.

What are the factors affecting global economy:

Several external factors conflate, and adversely affect business, and hence, it is imperative for the entrepreneurs to assess the situation with somewhat alacrity. The aim should be to prognosticate the possible risks, and avoid the pitfalls. Some common factors, which have corralling consequences upon business are political, economic, social and technological, also cumulatively known as PEST analysis. Of course, there are other factors like demographic, legal, and environmental forces too, which have long lasting effects upon the economy.

Why to do business in Africa:

Africa has become the cynosure among investors over the last few years, especially in a situation where most of the countries have been grappling with their rivals to imprint their footholds in the global market. Gifted with bountiful natural resources, Africa has always been a land of opportunities and promises. It managed to survive against the onslaughts of the two World Wars, and the Great Depression in the previous century.

The current scenario in Africa offers a bag full of promises to the potential investors. With swathes of rich wildlife spanning across the continent, and spotless beaches dotted along the coast line, there is a vast scope to expand the tourism industry. This would, in turn, boost the hospitality industry.

Many African countries are in need of the necessary infrastructure like proper airports, roads, railways, banks, super-markets, telecom,schools and hospitals. The giant concerns have a lot of scope in bagging developmental projects by collaborating with the governments of those countries.

The tropical climate, and rich soil across the Nile basin are ideal for the growth of crops apart from rice and cotton. Hence, there is ample scope for setting up food processing, food packaging, and textile industries in this area.

Besides, Africa is rich in crude oil and natural gas reserves. While oil could be cheaply availed from here for fuel purpose, it could be used for manufacturing petroleum products. The natural gas reserves could be positively used for generating power, which is the basic requirement of all the African nations.

Moreover, the democratic governments across the expansive continent have positive outlook towards entrepreneurship, investment and economic development, thereby attracting foreign investments. In fact, Africa witnessed a growth rate of 6 percent since 2001, and managed to sustain a steady growth rate of 2 percent since 2012, in spite of the global down sliding trends.

This is due to comparatively steady exchange rates, small debt burdens and steady inflation. Countries like Mauritius, Tunisia, Ghana, and South Africa currently outperform the bigwigs like Brazil, China and Russia. With culmination of  such promising factors, Africa appears to offer a kind of respite to the rest of the resuscitating world! Sounds cool, right?

Challenges in Africa:

Everything has a dark side, and Africa is not an exception. Despite offering a potpourri of promises, this place, once dubbed by The Economist as a “hopeless land” poses as a formidable challenge to those looking for investment opportunities:

  • Infrastructure Crisis: Many entrepreneurs in Africa feel hamstrung in their endeavors due to lopsided electricity and transportation facilities. For instance, Nigeria, which has population of approximately 150 million reels under severe power shortage. Countries like Swaizland, and Zambia have paucity of airports, rail penetration, energy and water resources. Such defalcations eventually dissuade business owners from investing money in these laid back regions. Moreover, Africa needs a behemoth investment of US$93bn in the power sector alone. Unless, a giant concern takes a lead in this matter, the rest of ventures seem to be a far cry in this “dark continent”!
  • Weak Demographic Front: The existing educational institutions, and hospitals are not able to accommodate the ever-increasing population due to unplanned urbanization. Consequently, a large number of shanty towns have mushroomed in the last few decades, where living conditions are absolutely pathetic. With downgraded municipalities unable to implement proper town planning, crime is on the rise. The future of business development in such places, undoubtedly remains bleak.
  • Socio-Political Waltz: The late “Arab Spring” testifies a great deal of autocratization, corruption, discontentment, inequalities, and apathy prevailing along the northern stretches of African continent. While there have been exemplar dictators in the other African counties as well, the repressive regimes in Libya, and Egypt have shown the world some of the worst examples of human rights violations. People in the neighboring countries like Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco have also rebelled against their ruthless Arab rulers. The recent years have witnessed executions, and gore in galore. Such unsavory climate is not at all feasible for investors to plan out something lucrative in Africa. 
  • Lawlessness: While the socio-political climate remains in doldrums, poverty has instilled apprehension among the locals. People cannot trust their governments anymore as far as integrity, and security are concerned. Consequently, terrorist groups like Boko Haram find a safe haven in Nigeria, and play havoc with people’s lives. The Al-Qaida finds enough protégé in countries ravaged by Civil Wars to wage Jihad against the infidels. On the other hand, The ISIS, the most outrageous terror outfit on earth is determined enough to establish its stranglehold on the war ravaged zones, and spread its tentacles further across the continent by means of indiscriminate brutalities and mass executions. Moreover, the rising instances of piracy off the Somalian coast have been causing grave threats to the shipping companies, and the international organizations overall. 
  • Health Hazards: Frequent outbreaks of droughts, AIDS, and malarial epidemics in the African countries have exposed their weak healthcare systems. Besides, Ebola, the most dreaded epidemic has spread across these regions like wild fire, and has taken a heavy toll of lives. The fatal virus, which was first discovered in Sudan, and Zaire soon spread to the neighboring countries as well. The governments in these nations have failed to be proactive in containing the outbreak so far. The little known disease resulted in a number of casualties, and deaths in the year 2015. Consequently, quite a number of foreign nationals working in these countries are keen to resign from their existing jobs, and return to their own countries. This has compelled some potential organizations in thinking twice before making investments in the African nations, where health safety has become a prime concern. 

Will Africa sustain itself in the business world:

Despite being torpedoed by certain hostile factors, Africa shows buoyancy in growth and development. With the erstwhile dictators put to rest, there seems to be very little possibility of future reprisals. Peace would steer the strife-torn countries towards stability. Besides, economic growth, and investments would eventually mitigate poverty, and crimes in the long run. Giant organizations could collaborate with the governments in these countries, in order to make huge investments in mammoth developmental projects.

How Small Business Can Manage Workers’ Compensation Costs

Running a small business entails a cocktail of challenges in terms of a concatenation of expenses. While some of them are fixed costs, the rest follow in various forms of unprecedented variables.  Keeping these impending expenses in mind, one needs to formulate proper backup plans so as to pre-empt losses.

In case, you are mulling about the possibility of curtailing workers’ compensation insurance, do not forget the premiums, which you need to pay from time to time. In fact, one of the most cumbersome expenses, which hits the small business enterprises includes compensation insurance, covering accidents, and injuries of workers on the job site.

According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), about 33 percent of small business entrepreneurs have complained about the hefty compensation charges comprising workers’ medical bills, wages for the number of working days lost due to accidents, and compensation costs owing to permanent injuries. These costs vary from state to state. The average premiums, coupled with health insurance, and labor costs keep spiralling year after year, and hence, cannot be ignored. Besides, frequent untoward happenings at the work site lower productivity, and adversely impact employee morale. Also, the replacement costs of damaged equipment should be taken into account. So, what steps should a company take to protect itself?

The wise have stated- Prevention is better than cure. Hence, every small business owner should plan, and implement a strategic safety programme:

  • Talk to your team about workers’ compensation: Talk to your employees, and make them aware of the fact that they are working for a small enterprise where workers’ compensations cannot be granted as freebies. Also, spread awareness about the impunity with which the company would deal with an employee, should he, or she indulge in any fraudulent claims. Make it clear among the workers that the company is liable to pay only the legitimate claims.
  • Take interest in handling the workers’ claims: Many companies tend to overlook workers’ claims thinking that these should be taken care of, by insurance companies. A claim could, however, take alarming proportions if it isn’t handled with care. So, when an injured worker submits a claim, talk to him. Make him sit in your office, and ask him what kind of support he expects from you. The employee seeking claims would feel that he or she is being supported, and would be less aggressive about the massive damages suffered by him or her.
  • Solve the problem in the beginning: Your employee’s well being should be your foremost concern. If a worker has been falling sick off and on, or if he or she feels tired while working quite frequently, then tell him or her to take an off. In such cases, you need to prove yourself as a benevolent employer who doesn’t reprimand his workers for no reason.
  • Prioritize safety: Make sure that safety of your workers should be your priority. Talk to the management team, and frame safety rules right in the beginning. The employees should be trained about the necessary safety norms. Hold regular meetings regarding safety rules, and make your employees aware of the fact that they are accountable for their own safety. Inspections should be conducted at the work place on regular basis so as to rule out all kinds of possible hazards for the workers.
  • Have readymade plans to deal with injuries occurring at the work place: There should be first aid treatment facilities, and healing measures available right at the work site, in order to treat the accident victims. Prompt actions could prevent the minor injuries turning into major ailments. In such cases, your employee would think over before he, or she decides to sue your company. Your immediate response to such untoward situations would eventually make you less liable to workers’ claims.

 

 

Brexit, Automation, Digital Age and Us

The referendum for Brexit by the people of the United Kingdom seeking to part ways with the European Union (EU) throws a few poignant questions on where the world is heading. The instability is further enhanced by visible cues from the Republican Party in the United States with its projected leader, Donald Trump seeking to rake up the xenophobic feelings against migration, and hatred for a religious minority.

  • Are we seeking to go back to our past to resurrect a state, where countries were isolated, and collaborations were limited?
  • In this connected world, where messages move almost at the speed of light, can isolation work?

In the last two decades, the internet has become deeply entrenched, and associated with day to day lives.  Technical advancements have been quick, and human beings in general have gained by having better control, and exposure to usage of services. These advancements in general have affected some of the jobs, but created a whole range of new services and work areas. Information Technology (IT) industry therefore, has, not only created numerous jobs, but also has given ample options for reskilling, and redistribution of labor.

One such advancement of technology which is abuzz is “Robots”. These were created, and used by the Japanese, who were the pioneers in research with Artificial Intelligence. More often, they used these robots as toys, and in games. They did replace a few mundane, and repetitive jobs in manufacturing as part of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, particularly in automobile companies like Toyota. The nature of these displacements, however, was not as much as impacting as the recent experiments suggest. With the U.S & Japanese companies, along with, Research & Development establishments devoting considerable effort to create humanoids and build intelligence, new developments which are termed “disruptive” have emerged, each of  which could potentially remove jobs in millions. Take for instance the “driverless car” experiments from Google or a few auto companies in USA.  What happens to the jobs of drivers? The drones from the US Department of Defense are operational for some time, particularly for reconnaissance, and in war to weed out terrorists without “pilots” onboard.

Replacement of labor in industries with the purpose of gaining operational efficiency, and profitability has been in vogue for quite some time – from the introduction of machines to automate the textile industry; to introduction of automated systems and flexible manufacturing systems; to companies like IBM, and Accenture that have moved to destinations abroad to scout for cheap techies in place of the expensive ones in the United States.

When it comes to robots, however, the cost advantage that they bring in to the table cannot be matched by any salaried employee – in fact robots do not work for salary. They are adept at doing repetitive jobs, at no extra cost without becoming fatigued. Not surprisingly, the world’s three large employers – Foxconn, US Department of Defense, and Walmart are replacing workers with robots, reports Business Insider. Foxconn is a key manufacturer for Google, Apple and Amazon – is 10th largest employer in the world, and has used robots to replace 60,000 workers. Citi and Oxford predict that about 77% jobs in China, and 57% jobs from 34 OECD countries are prone to risks due to automation. The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2020, 5 million jobs could be lost globally.  A utilization of automation dubbed Robotic Process Automation ( RPA) is also being developed and implemented which would potentially replace cheap BPO jobs as well. It is just not the workers who are at risk. Even the highly educated professionals like medical, or journalists could be at risk if artificial Intelligence has its way. In fact, IBM has claimed to develop a computer that can diagnose cancer better than doctors.

It is this undercurrent of technology, coupled with a long recession, which seems to have created a jingoist attitude – that of holding on to whatever available, or grabbing even what is not available among the masses, causing Brexit. It reminds one of famine – the Russian famine, consequently forcing human beings into cannibalism, in order to survive.

The neo-Luddites are back.  The army of textile workers, known as Luddites had protested against the machines introduced during the Industrial Revolution in England, since then and the struggle seems to have continued, albeit in a different way during this Fourth Industrial revolution of Robots, RPA, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Technologies and human beings.

While robots usually create efficiency and profits for the companies they work for, they also require human support – to manage and monitor them, to maintain them and replace them; if the need be. As such, artificial intelligence (AI) is “artificial”, as it is developed completely by humans. Each norm of intelligence that is impregnated within a robot with AI requires development, testing, and implementation by human beings.  These programs also require inputs from data analysts, since any artificial intelligence requires a lot of learning that the robot (humanoid) has to do.  For example, just to make a robot understand what a “flower” is, it has to be fed a lot of comprehensive data. Recently, Google’s artificial intelligence program erred by tagging a Black man as a Gorrilla, due to inadequate data. The vast requirements of data that the Artificial Intelligence, and Digital Technologies require is called Big Data in Software parlance. This in turn requires new software, and technical members to maintain such data and databases. Data Analyst is a new job profile that is created to define, and analyze such data.

Each technological revolution leads to job loss for some, and new jobs created for others. It is important to reskill, and keep oneself updated with skills, which would be applicable under the transformed environment. If the number of jobs created are less than the jobs lost, we are going to see more and more of social adjustments like Brexit or social unrest. Governments need to collaborate more on job creation, since only job creation for human beings would keep the social environment under control.

The future for us is CHANGE, so as to adjust to rapid automation. We need to learn to coexist with the robots and being productive during the age of robots.

 

Things to Do Before Starting a Business

Are you planning to quit your job, and start a new business? If that is the case, then you really deserve the thumbs-up to make headway with such an idea. This is because the world has been experiencing a massive economic meltdown since 2007. Consequently, the phrase “layoffs” has become a trope in the corporate world. In case, you too have been feeling some inklings of facing similar situation in the near future, then it’s high time you started thinking of some other alternative to keep yourself get going!

Starting business is an excellent idea for those who wish to harness their enterprising skills. It should, however, be noted here that setting up a business is not an easy task. It could be an exhilarating, as well as exacting experience at the same time. One needs to do a lot of planning beforehand so as to avoid any kind of setback in his or her venture.

Here are a few things for you to ascertain before starting a business:

  • Do proper research: Do your ground work before hitting upon an idea! You might be having certain grand plans to kick start a venture, but others too could be having similar ideas. So, you need to a great deal of shovelling before hitting upon a plan, which would be unique. Ultimately, you need to have an edge over your competitors so as to gain a stranglehold of the market. In such cases, the best way out for you would be to offer your goods, or services at cheaper rates than what is being offered by your business rivals. This work outs perfectly well for those who are beginners, and want to sustain their presence in the market. 
  • Try out before quitting your job: Set up a small scale business venture while you still exist on the payrolls of your company. Observe the market trends for some time, and build up a strong client base till you are confident enough to run your own show. So, in case, you don’t have congenial work environment in your organization, there is something else for you to fall back on! 
  • Question yourself: Everyone needs to formulate certain business goals, and you too need to do the same. Keep questioning your plans, and why you wish to execute them. There are instances when things go haywire, and being an entrepreneur you need to question your objectives. This constant exercise is imperative to ensure a steady path of growth, and ward off the factors, which could stall the process. 
  • Learn from others: Expand your contacts in the market, and make new connections. Make it a point to constantly meet your veterans, and learn from their prior experiences. Communicate with people on the social networking sites, and join a few groups. Interact with people on social platforms, and enlighten yourself. 
  • Seek legal advice: Take advice from a legal expert before starting a business. Many people think that they would need legal counsels only if they get into dire straits. The wise have always stated that prevention is better than cure. So, take advice from a lawyer before starting a business. Do not hesitate in seeking legal counsel before it gets too late. Or else, things go out of hand. 
  • Survey the market: Keep close watch over the market trends. Take into consideration what the consumer wants. It’s not necessary that people would buy whatever you wish to sell. Ultimately, consumer demands determine the supply factors. 
  • Make your brand: Be innovative, and try to create your brand image. This involves a great deal of experimenting. Take advice from experts, and do something different from your counterparts. In this way, you would definitely outshine the rest.
  • Improve your credit score: Ensure that you have a clear credit history so as to attract investments for your business. It is possible that you would fall into a debt trap in due course. Keep enough savings as backups. If your credit score isn’t good, then you would end up borrowing less money at high interest rates. To start a business, you need a real good credit score so that, you could borrow as much as you want. 
  • Be clear about your tax payments: You need to pay all the taxes on time, in order to avoid unnecessary legal suits. There could be a number of taxes which you need to pay from time to time. Hire an accountant to organize your finances, and put everything on paper in a systematic manner. 
  • Be prepared for slack periods: Every business is bound to experience tides and troughs. There would be lean times when money flows in at a slow pace. You need to have enough savings to stave off unsavoury situations, in case a client turns out to be a defaulter in payments. 
  • Stick to a proper schedule: Fix your working hours, and make it a point to adhere to your schedule. People who are flexible about hours tend to fail in their endeavors. 
  • Work out your exit strategy: Make your plans in advance to safely quit your business, in case things don’t work out in your favor. Keep observing how the market is trending. It is advisable to sell your inventory, and make up for losses on time before it gets too late. Find a potential buyer, sell your business, and reinvest your money elsewhere.

 

Reasons Why Twitter Is Losing Popularity

It is amazing!! Twitter, which one of the most popular social media platforms, has been losing its sheen at an alarming pace! As a matter of fact, the number of active members on Twitter has declined over the last few months. . In the end of 2015, Twitter had 305 million active users against 1.6 billion active Facebook users, and 1 billion active Google users.

In September 2015, even Instagram witnessed a bee-line of 400 million users. Twitter’s stocks have suffered a plunge as a consequence of its performance. Also, heads have rolled including replacement of CEO – Dick Costolo by Jack Dorsey.   So, what’s gone amiss with Twitter?

We have tried to investigate, and analyze a few reasons for Twitter losing its market share and engagement:

  • High Attrition of Customers: Unlike the other social media tools, Twitter offers a niche product for its users to share, collaborate and market their offerings. However, as a product, it has not been at par with its counterparts in terms of product engagement of users.The primary reason for this could be attributed to the high turnover of active users of this platform. During the last 3 months in 2015, Twitter lost about 2 million customers. As a result, 1% reduction in overall number of customers was experienced by Twitter – a drop from 307 million customers during third quarter of 2015 to 305 million during fourth quarter.
  • Low Quality of Interaction: The nature of interaction in Twitter, particularly the use of abusive language has something to do with the flights of the users from the platform. While Twitter has setup a platform which allows people to interact freely with other users and institutions, it is not in position to control the flagrant abuse of the platform. In general, abusive, pointless, painful, or difficult interactions can scare away users from a platform, and that is what has exactly happened on Twitter. 
  • High Noise Level: Twitter excels in content liquidity. This means that there are a number of tweets, or content pieces flowing into Twitter. The effective content, or the signal to noise ratio for such content is very low. Links related to news articles, blog posts, videos, spam links, etc. take one away from Twitter, or distract the users. In this process, the desired content is lost. On the other hand, the other social media sites like Instagram, or Facebook have less noise levels or distractions as compared to Twitter. 
  • Buried Tweets: Twitter does not restrict the activities of the followers, and their display of content. Hence, it gets flooded with a host of irrelevant content from various sources. Consequently, the desired tweets, and discussions are lost. For instance, if you have a thousand followers on Twitter, your tweet is only one out of thousand sources of content. Once other users start tweeting, your tweet or content would be pushed down, and buried deep below contents of other users.

 Absence of Visual Marketing: While Twitter serves as an excellent platform for promptly sharing the news feeds, the screens are usually devoid of pictures, images and videos unlike its competitors. For example, an Instagram, or a Facebook post ideally is more visually appealing than Twitter. While Twitter is popular mostly among men, women show more penchant towards Facebook, and Instagram than Twitter because of their visual content. 

  • Restricted to News Feeds: As an interactive platform, Twitter is used more often to share news feeds, i.e. “what is happening”. Contemporaries like Facebook and Instagram, elaborately present what is being done, or experienced by users. So, these networks are more interactive in nature than Twitter from social perspective. 
  • Concerns Related to Data Privacy and Security: Data Privacy is an important requirement of users in this Internet era. Since Twitter shares all the personal data with third parties, there is a sense of insecurity that users feel while using this platform. Identity theft, data compromise, and fraud tend to happen more frequently on Twitter than the other social media platforms.
  • Tweet Size too Small for Users: Twitter places a restriction of 140 characters on each tweet. Not all users find this restriction acceptable, and therefore, they prefer to use other platforms where such stringent limitations do not exist.

 Number One Social Site for Spammers: Spammers are constantly on the prowl on Twitter. It does not set restrictions on the followers, and there could be multiple users spamming a user’s account with irrelevant content. Users tweet to promote their websites, articles, blogs and so on, thereby leading to a splurge of unwarranted information. Moreover, spammers could sneak in, and get access to personal information. 

  • Useful to Celebrities: Celebrities tweet to promote their popularity, thereby keeping their fans constantly hooked on to their updates. Politicians, and their adversaries use this platform to throw barbs at each other, and create unnecessary commotion.

 Highly Addictive for Users: Usage of Twitter is like an addiction, where precious, and valuable time is consumed. It deviates one from core activities. As a result, many users have decided not remain active on Twitter anymore.

 

 

 

7 Ways to Feel Rich Right Now

In this mercenary world, where everybody is vehemently indulging in money-making spree, numerous get rich quick means have evolved in lieu of traditional methods. There were times when people really had to toil, in order to make extra money, apart from working for fixed salary jobs; however, with online business and transaction schemes being hyped to a great extent, things have become somewhat easy for everyone. Moreover, the modern concept of digital marketing has given a fillip to people’s fictive aspirations of getting rich in reality.
Now, if you too have the urge to become rich fast without any impediments, then here are seven ways to feel rich and abundant right now:

Buy gold: These days, professionals have been deftly handling the gold market, to everyone’s delight! You could safely indulge in gold transactions without getting duped. All you need to do is to forage through the newspapers, or online news to find out gold rates on regular basis. Once the gold prices scale down, make it a point to make investments. Get a BullionVault for safe keeping of gold coins, gold bars, jewelry, mining stocks and certificates. Many people across the globe own BullionVaults these days. In fact, people like you could store more gold than your country’s central bank.

Sell gold: With the financial market continuously rolling, you need to wait for the appropriate time to part with your precious gold bars, coins and jewelry. Wait for the time when the gold price soars maximum in the market, sell your gold, and pocket your dollar bills. You need to be vigilant about the trending gold prices, whether you sell your bullions online, or at a local pawn shop. In the end, your endeavor should be to earn maximum profits, and not to end up in poor deals.

Invest in the stock market: These days, every smart guy wants to get rich quick, and hence invests money in the stock market. Make it a point to buy stocks at feasible prices, and use the dividends in buying more. Be vigilant, and invest in stocks when the prices crash. Stock markets are always known to show unstable trends. Once the stock prices scale high, sell your stocks, and stuff your pockets with dollar bills. You just need to have the right trading mindset to take correct decisions.

Rent out properties: This is an ideal way to make extra money alongside a 9-to-5 job. You could work in an office, save money, buy a number of properties, and rent them out. As a matter of fact, landlords with a good number of rented homes or commercial spaces, are likely to seek early retirement, and relax at home.

Choose tax-free investments: While some investments are followed by taxes, there are numerous others tax-free savings and investments like Children’s Bonus Bonds and pension savings.

Take up difficult assignments: Be bold enough to accept challenging assignments and jobs. People are generally hesitant about accepting jobs in unfavorable geographical terrains, or places where civil and political conditions are rife; however, do not forget that employers in such places are willing to pay six-figure salaries.

Be innovative: Be forthcoming about designing a new product, which is bound to go viral in the market. Acquire licensing rights for your patent, make copies, and sell your product.

Is the BBC More Popular Than CNN

The BBC holds its unrivalled position of being the world’s oldest and largest broadcasting corporation closely followed by CNN. While the former is available to more than 274 million users across the globe, the latter caters to approximately 200 million people worldwide. By and far, both the broadcasting organizations have their head offices in two different English speaking countries, consequently employing numerous journalists.

Researchers have, however, observed that the BBC has accentuated in popularity among the global users, notwithstanding its defalcations, as compared to CNN. In fact, some people from the United States have been frank enough to express their preference for the BBC to get live news updates. A few have also stated that they would rather prefer the prestigious New York Times, or the Washington Post to CNN.

Moreover, the BBC has become more popular outside Britain than CNN outside America. A large number of viewers prefer the BBC channel, since it has been successful in its mission “to inform, educate and entertain” everyone. It has also overshadowed Reuters, which had been the first, and foremost channel to report on Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

On the other hand, CNN came into limelight during the Gulf War in 1991 when it aired the live telecast of the US, and allied forces relentlessly bombarding Baghdad. The channel’s fame got further catapulted with the broadcast of the shocking carnage, and the aftermath, which followed after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

The CNN, however, has failed to scale popularity heights because of being US-centric. The BBC does a commendable job by broadcasting live news feeds worldwide.

The CNN has been criticized, since its anchors are keen on projecting themselves during the shows rather than presenting engaging news. The BBC personalities do justice to their shows, since they focus on presenting the facts. It has also been observed that the BBC anchors are adept at interviewing their guests in coherent, and incisive manner. These live shows are very interesting, and viewers remain glued to their monitors till the end. The CNN anchors need to brush up their skills in this respect so as to be at par with their British counterparts.

The CNN has veered from its objective of broadcasting global news. It is jaded with celebrity gossips and advertisements. It is, however, deemed for its remarkable coverage of technology, health, diet and travel portals. Also, CNN’s website is copious with articles related to Facebook, Apple, and Google whereas bbc.co.uk is archaic in this respect.

 

 

A Website Review For bbc.co.uk

Being the trailblazer among the global news providers, bbc.co.uk has proclaimed to draw a bee line of approximately 14 million users every month. According to some reports, it has overshadowed its competitors, owing to its ever-increasing user base. Let us have a brief review of bbc.co.uk and its performance:

Structure: The iconic site appears to be a cornucopia of international news articles, colourful snap shots, and podcasts on day to day basis.  The flashy headlines enable the readers to go through the global happenings at a glance.

Content: Besides, the articles are engaging, informative, and coherently structured under various sub-heads. As a matter of fact, some of them are even compelling ones, consequently demanding our attention till the end. The podcasts serve as the prime attention-grabbers with live, and sensational news clippings.

Site Navigation: Despite its acclaimed popularity, bbc.co.uk seems to be down-sliding in terms of popularity. This is primarily due to the increasing number of unnecessary commercial websites linked to the news site. Consequently, there has been a decline in the click-through rates, which would, eventually jeopardise its popularity in future. Also, it faces a tough competition from Google, which has lately witnessed a boom in traffic.

User Experience: According to the latest survey, users feel that the commercially vibrant links are not effective enough in promoting the site’s popularity. They rather betray the purpose catering to public service by creating unnecessary diversions.

DMAi – Digital Marketing Campaigns – A Case Study

Encompassing more than 600 destination marketing organizations (DMOs), spanning over 25 countries, Destination Marketing Association International (DMAi) has become a colossal figure in the world of digital marketing. The current data corroborates the fact that DMAi caters to almost all the iconic DMOs by organizing campaigns, conferences, events and so on, thereby cobbling up platforms for their clientele.

Here are a few case studies corroborating DMAi’s credibility as an organization:

DuPont: In 2010, DMAi partnered with Times Now and DuPont to create two television series; ‘Quest for Zero’ and ‘Challenge for Zero’. The prime objective behind these endeavors was to slowly scale down the mammoth problems faced by India to zero or ‘Shunya’ and create awareness among the youth across the country. Besides, DMAi associates managed to rope in Anupam Kher, the much famed Bollywood actor to host the event so as to garner nationwide viewership. The idea was to highlight the schemes augured by Dupont to attain maximum growth rate at zero cost, reduce the number of hungry mouths to zero, modernise the existing infrastructure at the expense of zero casualties and so on through scientific methods.

Also, DMAi succeeded in showcasing DuPont as a trailblazer among the science based solution providers through numerous strategies. Apart from creating buzz through the digital media, the organization also circulated compelling articles, e-mailers and press releases so as to enable DuPont reach out to its target audience. Dupont also accentuated in popularity through the social media, and television broadcast of a 16 episode series.

The Dupont India website showcased 23 product-specific case studies and 5 films receiving about 160,000 million page views. Business increased manifold with 206 new customers and revenue potential of 5 Million USD.

Kaan Khajoora Teshan: Considering the increasing, ever increasing and everyday increasing population in India and looming power scarcity and poverty, it is, but obvious that a major chunk of the population is unable to access the news and entertainment channels aired on the television channels. In order to combat this problem, Unilever launched a mobile based entertainment channel. Besides being free on demand Kaan Khajoora Teshan caters to about 54 million population which is twice the number of television users. All one needs to do is to keep the mobile battery charged which consumes minimal electricity. By dialling a number catering to KKT hotline, users are able to access entertainment stream.

DMAi has further augmented the brand building activity through promotional messages such as;” Missed Call Lagao, Muft Manoranjan Pao.” The consumers were educated through targeted Outbound Calls. People were told to give a miss call to a toll free number and they received call backs from ‘Kaan Khajoora Teshan’. The pre-tailored programme entailed popular music, Unilever Ad Spots and jokes. Also, there is a Radio Jockey to host the show. Apart from the local and regional shows people are also able to view the movie releases of the year.

The consumer base has been expanding at an average of 25,000 per day. Besides, Kaan Khajoora has also served as a quick medium for promoting Wheel, Ponds white Beauty and Close up products to all the vestibular corridors across the country.

In 2014 a DMAi Awards and DMA International ECHO Awards competitions were conducted witnessing hosts of participants from countries across the globe. The contesting bodies had to fill up the entry forms which cited their goals and objectives behind their marketing efforts and strategies. Remit2India emerged as the ultimate winner. This is because DMAi has been managing its search campaigns for years. In due course of time Remit2India had reached the crux of publicity. However, it started experiencing decadence in the face of stiff competition posed by its competitors. Nevertheless, DMAi managed to revitalize the brand image without incurring additional costs. Currently, Remit2India hosts the highest number of registrations per month. Apart from managing to cap the cost per registration with just 6% higher than before, DMAi has also launched versatile Exchange Rate bearing ads. Currently, Remit2India advertisements have garnered 27 % of clicks in the US alone as compared to its staggering counterparts in the industry.

Business Ideas With A Small Budget

 

Are you planning to open a business that does not require a large amount of money? If your budget is limited, then here are some great ideas to look at to ensure that your money is channelized in the right way and not spilled in schemes that do not provide a decent return on your investments.

  1. Research , Research and Research – Research your market, do adequate research before you even think of having a business plan.  You may have a great idea. However, would the customers be ready for your idea?  A thorough research would show both the market potential, as well as the limitations of the idea.
  2.  Base your Assumptions on objective analysis –  Often, companies are misled by incorrect interpretations of the market and therefore, they rely on half-truths, or false assumptions. Any business needs to be objectively analyzed based on what could be the opportunities and threats to the business, the possible dependencies and a correct estimate is to be built. Buffers for unaccounted risks are to be considered as well as mitigation strategies for enterprise risks are to be planned.
  3. Keep a control on expenses –  Keep expenses low, be frugal in your spending, till assured of appropriate returns. For a startup, it is important to consider ways that keep the budget low. Adequate cost control measures are to be taken right from day one of business.
  4. Develop a team as you grow business – Do not keep every thing with yourself , even if you are a start-up. Time is crucial, and therefore take help of others, who could deliver work faster and cheaper.
  5. Maintain a financial buffer-  Always have a financial buffer which could help in case of emergencies. Ideally, have  a contingency fund of about 6 to 8 months to take care in case of emergencies. Else, have an alternate source of regular income to meet any eventuality that may precipitate.

Read : Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill