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Inspiring Story of Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s Life, Paytm Founder

“He was from a small town; he didn’t know English; he didn’t know anything about business management or any coding language, and he became the Founder of one of the most revolutionary market in E-commerce history.” 

Vijay Shekhar Sharma is one of the few people who know the fruits of struggle and solely dedicate their success to “not giving up”. He believes that struggles and hard times can bring out the best in you and you get to know who you really are and what you can do.

Born in a small town outside Aligarh, Vijay completed his higher secondary at just 14 years of age. His father was an honest school teacher with high principles, who refused to give tuitions for extra bucks as he believed it the right thing to do. Vijay’s medium of education was Hindi till the higher secondary and had no or little knowledge about English. His tough times started when he left his cozy small town to pursue graduation in Delhi College of Engineering where he came to know the value of English. One can imagine the struggle one has to go through in a college like DCE and a city like Delhi without any hands on English. He struggled, got low grades in every exam, went hopelessly, but never gave up. He learned and mastered the language in ways only few can, through friends, second-hand magazines, and books. There were times in between the struggles with English, rigors of the engineering college and the city’s big bad cloak when he thought to quit. But his willpower kept him to going.

He rarely went to college and dedicated that time to building something new. He was inspired by yahoo and made the internet as his playground. He learned to code by himself and started building his own content management system with the help of his college mates. Later he joined an MNC and worked there for six months before quitting to start his own company with friends. His nightmares didn’t end here. He was conned by his own friends and was left bankrupt and devastated both mentally and financially. Vijay didn’t give up this time either. He skipped meals and went miles on foot to attend work and meetings. Things took a good turn in 2005 when he started One97 (the parent company of Paytm) and the team of one97 started working in the field of content, advertising, and e-commerce. Though the big moment awaited till 2011 when Vijay did something remarkable; putting the idea of Paytm on the table in front of the board of directors of One97. At first, the board wasn’t convinced as they were about to enter a non-existent market, but Vijay had full faith in the idea and it’s potential.

“This is for all of you if I waste the money that we put on the site.” He adds, “There is no fun in doing what others ask you to do, the real fun is in doing what people say you can’t do.” These were the words of Vijay when he laid down his 1% of equity (which was worth $2 million in 2011) as a security for the investment that would be made in Paytm. And now we know that at the age of 37, Vijay owns a multi-billion dollar company- growing no stop till date.

He is modest, friendly and always supportive to his customers. He spends 30% of the Paytm business profit in customer support. His success was a result of his non-stop hard work, genius intellect and an action-oriented mindset that only a few people possess.

Free charges Market Strategy: Internal and External Factor Analysis

Freecharge is a major player in the e-payment world. It is a one-stop portal for carrying out online payment transactions for mobile recharges, DTH, data cards, prepaid cards etc. Ever being started in August 2010, it has continued to grow in terms of popularity and expand its consumer base. It captures purchase behavior and brand preferences of consumers and offers them discount coupons and incentives to transact on its platform.

The several reasons responsible for the exponential growth of Freecharge can be pointed out as follow:

-Convenience of recharge

-Huge untapped market

-Free coupons- virtually free recharge

Internal and external factors:

  1. Strengths: Being different and unique is key to faster business growth. Freecharge gets its uniqueness and ‘out of the box theory’ by being the Pioneer of Coupon distribution in India. Being in the core business of coupons, Freecharge gets to be a unique player in online recharge market. A patent has also been filed by it for this business model. No other online player or not even any telecom company has its focus converged on this genre of business style. The reach of Freecharge has increased from 17% to 30% in the past year. On the other side, the ease and convenience of online recharge payments are extremely easy and fast. You are just a few clicks and second away from getting recharge done through your phone. What more could one ask for? Cashbacks, exciting shopping, movie offers add spices to the flavor.
  1. Weakness: Freecharge lacks direct marketing and often rely on intermediary sources for business. Additionally, Freecharge has a low margin of the business. According to Kunal Shah, Co-Founder of Freecharge “low margin has always been a problem for Freecharge”. Increasing copy cats in the markets have resulted in the narrowing down the source of margins for Freecharge. Even being the first to introduce coupon business in India, Freecharge has always struggled at keeping its low margin problem at bay. No to forget, having stiff competition from Paytm has also affected the business of Freecharge.
  1. Future prospects: No doubt, Freecharge is doing well with its business lately, but the fact is, a successfully running business needs continuous innovations and out of the box ideas to develop further. The scope of expansion for Freecharge is vast. Freecharge can engage itself into another mode of business as well, in parallel to the existing business.  After being acquired by Snapdeal, Freecharge has grown at much higher rate has already got a bigger consumer base now. Further additions to payment services will also attract more crowd towards it.

Freecharge mostly focuses on youth. Since youth is more exposed to emerging technology and services, Freecharge works on continuous improvisations and inclusion of advanced services in its payment scheme to attract the youth and grow its business. Coupons for restaurants, retail outlets, and movie tickets adds to the magnetic strength of Freecharge as youth always look forward to getting more for what they pay.

Freecharge aims further to increase more registrations, recharge frequency, shorten recharge period and motivate the existing customer to use premium coupons more often.

Kotak Mahindra Bank: Jifi Account Review

Private banking sector giant Kotak has launched Jifi account targeting the youth (the tech-savvy generation), who well socially connected. It is a fully integrated zero interest social bank account that gets account updates via twitter and social loyalty points. Additionally, almost all kind of banking requests like requesting a check book, transaction history, Mobile and DTH recharge, account balance are just a tweet away.

But are these perks enough for you to form a mindset about Jifi account? Well, first of all, question yourself some questions. Like; Are you not able to do international payments? Does your debit card doesn’t support PayPal? Do you want to open a saving account from home? If your answer to all these questions is yes, then Jifi Account is undoubtedly for you.

Most of the government banks are dull at international payment and almost all other banking services. One reason being, the intrusion of RBI in all the activities if banks and their banking services- it’s high time for a change. Jifi account of Kotak Mahindra can make your life easier and mess-proof.

You can open a saving/current account through the online application. You don’t need to go to the bank, rather the bank will come to you. We can open two types of account under Jifi account of KMB, namely;

  1. Kotak Jifi Saver Account: The interest rate offered under this type of account is 6% and you need to have a minimum balance of Rs.10, 000 to enjoy the interest benefits. You also get a Platinum Chip-based debit card which supports both international payment and PayPal.

You also get points upon each transaction, which you can convert into money and add to your account or you can use it for online shopping.

  1. Kotak Jifi Account: This account doesn’t need you to maintain a minimum balance (zero-balance account). It is a current account and so it will not render you any interest. Your account will stay active even if your balance is zero. If you intend to get a debit card only for international payment, you should consider this account.

Though you need to deposit Rs. 10, 000 initially in both types of account which you can obviously withdraw later, if you want.

The account opening process is simple and submission of application can easily be done within minutes. All you need to do is go to Kotakjifi.com and choose the type of account you want to open. After you select the type of account you click the “Signup” button and register yourself on the website. You need to fill out the registration form that seeks personal details and click on ‘Submit’.

Congratulations! Your application is submitted.

Now a bank executive will call you to verify that you need to open an account. You need to give the executive your address so that he comes and takes the required documents from you. After this, you need to pay Rs. 10, 000 to the executive when he/she comes again on a given date to collect and credit the amount to your account. The executive will take your signature on the form and when the documents are verified, your account gets activated.

In a nutshell, Jifi account is dedicated to giving the customers a better banking experience that includes more comfort and features. Jifi accounts are surely worth a try for everyone.

Roadblock in Airtel’s Data Future: Reliance Jio

When the telecom market couldn’t see any more intense competition, the launch of fourth-generation services by Reliance Jio Infocomm came as a nightmare for the Airtel. Analysts have shown concerns over the future of data growth of the telecom giant. The consumer database barely scratched the surface of increment with only 1.6% of growth in the last quarter. Gopal Vittal, managing director and chief executive officer, India and South Asia blames the cost of devices to be the slowdown factor for new additions in consumer base for Airtel.

Now how does, the entry of Reliance Jio has sabotaged the growth rate of Airtel? Well, we can point the offers and schemes it offers for starters.  Though Reliance Jio is not commercially launched to run in markets, but it has built a consumer base of nearly 1.5 million users in its trail phase. The launch is set on 15 August and the consumer base is expected to increase exponentially after then. Reliance Jio offers considerable speed with jaw-dropping data offer. Compared to Airtel, which offers in general 4P/Kb as data charge; Reliance Jio takes the crown as it is 8 times cheaper- 0.5P/kb. This comparison is when you don’t have a data plan or have exhausted it. The data plans also have considerable differences in them, as Reliance Jio clouds all plans of Airtel.

While Jio is all set to go Fast and Furious upon all other telecom giants, Airtel has already started working on countermeasures. Airtel has launched new plans that bundle unlimited voice calls with data; to slow down Jio’s marathon. The bundle pack comes of Rs.1, 199, that offers unlimited mobile calls along with bundled 3G/4G data on its postpaid connections. But Airtel’s nightmare doesn’t seem to end here only, as Reliance Jio is going to slash its LYF headset rates by 25% as well. Now the new price will be 2,999/- compared to the previous 8,999/- with 3 months of unlimited 4G experience. All other network operators like Vodafone and Idea are already balancing their data plans, as they are offering up to 67 percent more data for 2G, 3G and 4G services at no extra cost since last month.

Bharti Airtel’s Director – Operations (India & South Asia) Ajai Puri, said in a press release that, “With ‘myPlan Infinity’, we are making voice calls free for our customers and offering them the flexibility to combine this benefit with their individual data requirements”.

Now maybe we can see the lines of concerns on the foreheads of Airtel officials, but still it will be interesting to see the telecom war in the coming next few months as Reliance Jio is targeting to lure customers into the world’s second largest smartphone market whereas Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have already spent trillions of dollars in expanding their business and they won’t step down easily.

Anyhow, it’s we (the customers) who will get the pie in the cat fight here, so cheers to that!

Getting Started in E-commerce: Where to Find Product Ideas?

Starting your own Ecommerce Business? If yes, then we are here to help. The first thing you will need to have is a good product idea. A great product idea will mold your e-commerce business’s future into your very own ‘chocolate factory’, but first, you need a roadmap for finding a niche product idea for your business.

Now the internet is full of ideas and inspiration and finding here what you really need can be like finding a needle in a haystack. So allow us to make it simpler for you and present some of the most efficient resources where you can get your ‘cheese’.

  1. Start with what you have: Before going on the mission, start analyzing and researching the ideas that you already have. Like what niche field you are interested in, or passionate about? What product genres you find others passionate about? It is possible that you had the cheese all over this time in your pocket? I mean, it’s worth a shot to give a fresh look at it, as once it dominated your head, right?
  1. Stomping Ground: Sometimes you can opt for the traditional brick and mortar concept, rather than looking for a new idea. Local community around you can give you a lot of inspirations and happenings that you can take and put it into an online For example; you always liked that grilled chicken from the shop at the corner of your block. Why not pick that niche idea up and put it online for business, open to all? Have it cooked with love, packed with care and deliver with speed. Getting the picture?
  1. Review Sites: Sites that review latest trends and products are a great place to get fantastic product ideas for your business. Why is it fantastic? Because you get to look into the new and exciting products other entrepreneurs are bringing to the market, every day. You can follow different sites, stay updated and follow the pattern. For example; Sites like Gear Moose, Uncrate, and Outblush can give you a good trending information about men’s and women’s products.
  1. Webshops: Online shopping marketplace is also a rich source of product ideas. Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, Snapdeal and the likes can help you get your idea of a dream. You can browse their product based on popularity, funding, staff picks and current trends. Maybe you can get a hit on an opportunity from the millions of product and more, listed in them.
  1. Social Networking: You can get the first clue for your product here. As you can track a product’s popularity as soon as it starts to roll here. You can use this advantage to exploit that opportunity before anyone else.

We hope these resource ideas would certainly work for you. Follow these and you can come up with a list of great initial products.

5 top Adventure Sports You Must Enjoy Before You Die

You have only one life and you need to do the most of it during this lifetime only. If you miss out something exciting there is no next life when you can enjoy them! There are many adventure sports around the world that excites people. If you too want to have some excitement in your life you should try these adventure sports at least once before you die!

These sports may seem dangerous but they are done under professional supervision so the risks associated are minimum! Thus, enjoy them.

Paragliding

Have you ever felt like flying like a bird? Try out paragliding. In this sport you will fly like a bird and your trainer will provide you with necessary training before they let you start the sports. You can glide for different timings depending upon your choice. While flying freely like a bird you can enjoy the beauty of nature. Thus, give yourself wings and enjoy paragliding.

River Rafting

Among the various adventurous sports river rafting is one of the most popular. While rafting through a wild river you can enjoy the beauty of a river and the area beside its bank. You can go on a rafting tour with a group and enjoy the up and down of river. Here also you will be guided by trained professionals so that you do not face nay mishap.

Hot Air Ballooning

Gone are those days when you can find people riding in hot air balloon only in movies! Now, you too can enjoy a ride in hot air balloon along with your loved ones. While you are up there in the hot air balloon you can see the earth in bird’s eye vision. So, if you want to explore sky, take a hot air balloon ride.

Skiing

Among the most popular sports all over the world, Skiing is one of the most exciting ones. You will love the snow around you and if you have trained yourself to be a skier you cannot forget the experience that you will gather while you ski through those pine forests!

Trekking

Those who love adventure and mountain, trekking must be in the list of their adventure sports that they need to experience before they die.

There are a lot of trekking roots all over the world and you can choose one that you wish to trek. You will be passing through narrow passes, enchanting waterfalls, challenging terrains and all these will add to your experience.

These are just 5 such adventure sports that can be enjoyed before you die. There are many more and once you are done with these you can try out others.

Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum Credit Card

Believe it or not, in today’s world cash cards hold dominance over hard cash. Everything from watching a movie to buying a car can be done using a credit card (depending upon the bank limit). It makes our life more comfortable and immunes us from the problem of carrying hard cash for everything, every time.

Standard Chartered stands tall in banking and financial sector with a working history of more than 150 years. Among the many unique and customer friendly services that it provides, comes the Manhattan platinum Credit Card. If you are into cashback, SCB credit card is the one for you. Consider it as the best cash back credit card in India. You get tonnes of perks and upsides for using this card, that totally result in saving your hard earned money.

A few advantages are:

  1. Probably the best perk; you get money for spending money. Sounds awesome, right? You get 1% worth of cash back by redeeming reward points that you get upon spending.
  2. You can use a standard chartered credit card almost anywhere for any purpose (except for loading money into Paytm Wallet and foreign transactions). Be it shopping in supermarkets, online shopping at e-commerce websites, like Flipkart, Amazon, and the likes, Dining and restaurants, hotels, travels etc. and the list goes on.
  3. You get 5% cashback on groceries. It is the only card that offers you cash back for shopping on groceries in superstores like Big Bazaar, Reliance, Easyday, and Mor. What’s merrier than that? Because every now and then we have to step in the market for groceries (which we need to, all the time). So all the cashback upon the groceries fetches you enough cashback in the long run when compared to what you could’ve got on any other kind of transaction.
  4. You get 5 reward points for every 150 rupees you spend. Each point is worth 30 paise. Suppose you spend around Rs.1, 00,000 for every 4-5 months, you will make free money of 1000 rupees. Also, you receive more when you spend money on groceries. For every Rs.5000 you spend on groceries, you will receive a cashback of Rs.250; that means to get a cashback of Rs.1000, you just need to spend Rs.20, 000.

Though these perks come with a few conditions;

  • Minimum transaction of Rs.1000 is required to avail the cashback (Rs.1000 is no big deal when you are buying at a supermarket).
  • You will have to make limited value transaction each time as there is a limit of cashback upon one single transaction i.e. Rs.150/-, which means you have to make a maximum of Rs.3000 worth of purchase only. Make individual transaction pieces of 3000.
  • Minimum cashback per month is 500, which makes it 6000 per annum.

Not everything comes with all lights and joy, though: SCB has one or two flaws as well- Let’s hear them too;

  1. Disadvantages can be started with the limits on transactions and cashback (if it pains you).

Joining fees is Rs.499 and Rs.999 from second year onwards. (Though they both can be waived off with a minimum purchase of Rs.30000 and Rs.60000 a year, respectively).

Common shopping patterns among women

You must have experienced at least once in your life when you ask your male counterpart to join you in shopping and they start making excuses to avoid joining you on the shopping spree!

You are not alone, most women face this. You should not feel disappointed as different surveys suggest that the way a woman shops are a part of her personality! The way you shop when you are 18 will be similar to the way you shop when you turn 40! The mindset will be more or less same, just that the situations may change.

In women, there are four distinct mindsets which dictate their individual shopping pattern. They are:

Social catalyst

About one third of the women represent this group. They are organizers who love to plan before they start shopping. They are proud of their social network and consider themselves to be active in their friendship status. Thus, all these lead them to be good influencers. They may love to spend a night out but before that they will check out the bargain deals. They will go with latest trend provided they get good bargain there!

Natural Hybrids

This is a group of poised and stable women who too comprise about one-third of the total online woman shoppers. Of course they are a little less than the social catalyst group. The natural hybrids knows how to keep balance in everything, like they know when to spend and when to stop purchasing. They do not go for trendy items very often; instead they prefer buying traditional and classical items that will last long.

Content Responsible

This is a group of women who believe that shopping is a habit and they do so to complement their other practices. They neither set trends nor do they go for something classical. They do it as a chore and buy something that they feel necessary for the moment. They are like men who are considered to be more practical and loyal consumers.

Cultural Artists

The ratio of cultural artists may be very low than the other type of shoppers in women, but they are people who love shopping. They keep on trying new trends or try out something that is new. They are always seeking for new products so that they can enjoy those items first that are newly launched.

For women shopping is an activity that will help them lead a life that they love. It is just not a necessity like most men. They give their time to choose the best and love getting comments on their choice.

Foodpanda to grow stronger in upcoming years

Foodpanda stands tall when it comes to online food delivery marketplace. With over 580,000 partnered restaurants globally and 12,000 restaurants in India, Food Panda has continued to grow and expand its market leadership since its inception.

The start of the year 2016 wasn’t what Foodpanda was expecting to be like, as it had to lay off its 300 employees. Though Foodpanda has introduced full automation for its order flow in order to have better operational efficiency. Foodpanda CEO Saurabh Kocchar projects that this will help Foodpanda gain better profits in the next three years.  He says to the reporters that “The last six to eight months, we have worked on near 100 percent automation of order flows to ensure operational efficiency to meet our target of becoming profitable in the next three years (at EBITDA level).”

foodpanda

Foodpanda’s future growth and visions are backed up by big investment firms and is efficiently funded by Rocket Internet, Goldman Sachs, Phenomenon Ventures and Falcon Edge and several others. The food delivery industry in India is just coming into existence but has a lot of potentials. Foodpanda with its well-established business framework and organizational efficiency is looking forward to anchor down its business properly in India. Foodpanda looks India as to be among the top 3 of its market by the year 2019.  Foodpanda India is currently the leader in food ordering market. Kochhar said: “We are best placed to grow and consolidate our leadership in the Indian market.”

The company has witnessed 10 times growth during the last one year, despite several hurdles that came in the way. Foodpanda has also collaborated with Hardcastle Restaurants to avail orders from McDonalds. Hardcastle Restaurants are responsible for owning and operating McDonald’s chain of restaurants in western and southern regions. With this collaboration, Foodpanda will be able to expand its reach and so will McDonalds’ to deliver its tasty menu to more customers. Concepts like, express meals, express deliveries are also being introduced in major cities of India that will funnel in more customers.

Along with working on expansion and adjustments to the business model, Foodpanda is also engaged in introducing revolutionary technological innovations in the delivery system. It intends to bring ‘Drone Delivery’ in action, for its delivery purposes in remote or hard locations. “The technical solutions [of drone delivery] will be available over the next months,” said Ralf Wenzel, CEO of Foodpanda. The drone delivery system will benefit all 24 markets of Foodpanda including India. Foodpanda hopes a 20 minutes cut in the average delivery time with the drone delivery. It can be considered as a part of automation intervention of Foodpanda in its operations. If Foodpanda’s Drone Delivery comes into play in upcoming months, it will perform at an even greater pace and exceptionally well.

Although Foodpanda looks for expanding its international market, it will be focusing on strengthening its functionality in India instead of expansion. Since India plays is a fertile land for Foodpanda, it is logical to ensure the strengthening of the roots first and grow in size later.

7 Insanely POPULAR Things To Buy Online In India

Are you an Indian who prefers online shopping over aisle-to-aisle shopping? Or, a foreigner who’s looking to buy Indian-made items right from the comfort of your home?

Well, then you’re reading the right piece of content as this article tosses around top 7 Indian-made things that are insanely popular when it comes to online shopping:

Textiles

India is popular for producing an exemplary range of cotton & silk clothing, table cloths, bed covers, and wall hangings. Perhaps, majority of these textiles come embellished with hand embroidery and hand beading—something that adds to your style and grace.

Whether its phulkari work from Punjab, chikan fabric from Lucknow, silk from Kanchipuram or ornated appliqués from Gujarat, you’ll find almost all kinds of fabric on online fashion stores.

Jewellery

Well, every woman loves a piece of jewellery whether Indian or foreigner. When it comes to jewellery, India has a lot to offer in the form of bigger & more lavish designs. Offering a breathtaking range of real & costume jewellery—the online Indian fashion stores are certain to lend you a much-fancied princess look.

Designed as well as made in the country, Indian jewellery boasts of a phenomenal variety including antique Jewellery, bead jewellery, gold jewellery, ivory jewellery, kundan jewellery, silver jewellery, stone jewellery, tribal jewellery and much more!

So, don’t wait? Find a popular online Indian Jewellery Store today and add sparkle to your life!

Arts & Crafts

Throughout the country, time-honoured craftsmen create beautiful clothing, textiles, rugs, pottery, furniture, boxes, home décor goods—typically with distinctive regional diversities that you’ll come across as you scan through several online Indian stores.

From weaving & dying crafts, wood crafts, lac crafts, glass crafts, stone crafts, clay crafts, bubblegum crafts, metal crafts, leather crafts to paper crafts and more, you can lay your hands on almost all kinds of Indian handicrafts sitting in your comfortable couch.

Ayurvedic Products

You’ll amazed to know that the world’s oldest medical system—Ayurveda originated in India. And, that’s why this country is home to some of the best Ayurvedic products for beauty, skincare and wellness. In fact, some of the most popular brands like Himalaya, Shahnaz Herbal and Biotique are readily available on online fashion and medical stores.

Scented Products

Celebrated as ‘the land of incense’, India is widely known for offering unmatched natural perfumes that are extracted from herbs, flowers, spices, and barks. And, the good news is these invaluable scents are available for online purchases.

Shoes

From cheap leather juttis (classic embroidered slippers), decorated high-heeled party sandals to crystal-beaded chappals (flat slippers), buying Indian shoes is truly fun.

Indeed, you’ll be flabbergasted by the overwhelming variety of shoes the online Indian stores offer to its customers.

Music

If you fancy classic Indian music or devotional music, then you should definitely consider purchasing music from an Indian e-commerce site as not only they offer high quality music CDs but also make sure they deliver you an astounding range of all kinds of music that’s native to this country.