Does being Apped means losing Humanity?

Evolution is inevitable, but have you ever wondered that we would evolve so much so as to have our entire lives and generation apped.

Ya, that’s the buzz word. Possibly anything that you can think of at the moment has been put as a service/product which can be accessed through an app. It was only yesterday that I came to know, that an app exists for funeral services as well for those who are not able to make it in time for the last riots of their loved ones.

Can you believe it? An app for a funeral service? Ironically, on one hand, where it is extraordinarily funny because of our socialization process, the way we all have been brought up in India, on the other, being apped means lot of convenience.

It means the time that earlier you might have so called wasted, can now be utilized for more productive work, though I still believe the entire concept can be questioned.

We are spending more than 70% of our time, either on our laptops or our mobile phones. Our real life conversations have gone down.

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If I were to picture a typical ITied family, you would see the husband and wife doing something on their respective IT platforms and the kid, who might have just been introduced to the likes, would be trying to add friends on Whatsapp or Fb.

What we earlier referred to as the family time has now got transformed into IT time. Father doesn’t seem to have time to spend with his kids, wife or parents. The wife, especially if she is a house-wife seemed to have found some abode in the arms of the virtual. The kids love the alley of the technology that they seem to be racing into.

The only ones who are left out in this entire ITionization or Appionization or whatever you might want to refer to as are the parents of the grownups or the generation that gave birth to the so called successful techies.

I know, some of us, would want to argue, that IT has helped us remain connected with our parents. At least we have an option to either do a skype or video calling sitting somewhere in US.

I just wonder, when we were young, and when we needed our parents’ attention the most, be it being fed when we were hungry or be it when we craved for their attention when we were hurt, if our parents were to come and tell us that they were appified, I bet we wouldn’t have liked it.

It’s our time, it’s our physical presence, it’s us providing the much wanted emotional support and attention, that our parents need the most, when they become old.

Where on one hand, it’s good to learn new things, keep oneself updated with what’s happening, on the other hand, we should try not to become so ITied or apped, where we tend to lose the very essence and foundation of humanity and love.

Source for Image: https://twitter.com/appstore

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Connecto! Journey of a Start-Up

Every start up has its own share of fun and challenges. And so does, Connecto. If you are wondering, how it might have all begun, it was an idea and a desire to satisfy a need that made the founders of Connecto embark on this wonderful start-up journey.

A need that we all as consumers want to be satisfied, when it comes to website browsing and a need which makes us feel like being catered to by the very owners of the website, be it an e-commerce one or a blog.

The founders were quick to realize the gap in the services that needed to be filled and they went on to develop this wonderful customer engagement tool which allows the website owners to engage their customers in a more meaningful manner, sending customized messages, offering them to fill survey or feedback forms or even request for a call back.

Initially, it was difficult to convince the website owners about the effectiveness of the tool. With the belief that the founders had in their tool and in order to instill the same kind of belief among the website owners, the founders decided to offer this tool free for a month.

The proposition put forward by the IITian founders was that only if the website owner was convinced of the tool and only if the tool helped them get better conversions and ROI on their sites, would they discuss the terms and conditions of the tool.

It didn’t take long for the website owners to realize the power of this wonderful tool. Since then, the founders have received considerable acceptance for their tool.

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Those who have used it want to continue doing the same and those who haven’t been lucky enough to get a taste of the same, are eagerly looking forward to receiving the wonderful service provided by this wonderful tool.

Yes, the start-up has had its own set backs. Going around convincing the owners wasn’t easy. Yet, the founders stuck to their beliefs. Initially it was perplexing for the founders as to why the website owners weren’t able to understand the value addition that this tool brought along with itself.

The founders decided to change their approach and decided that they would offer their tool for free in order to overcome the barrier presented by the mindset of the website owners and a rigid approach towards conducting business.

What followed was extremely pleasing to see. The website owners backed by the wonderful results witnessed by them concerning their conversion rate and ROI, became open to the possibility of Connecto doing wonders for them.

Today, as we look back on the journey of this wonderful start-up, it has been a tremendous learning and eye-opening experience for the team.

What lies ahead are exciting times! With an intention to meet needs of the consumers and with an intention to partner the website owners and the various businesses around the World in their journey of growth and success, Connecto is all geared up to keep innovating and keep evolving their product/tool at the same time developing new ones.

Source for Image: http://www.inqbation.com/lean-startup-starting-a-business-in-reverse-order/

Connecto: The New Kid on the Block

I woke up this morning with a strange feeling of being wired up. No matter where I go, I tend to be surrounded by wires and signals running all over my being. Yes, you can call it by what ever name you want, be it the internet revolution or the IT revolution, the fact is that we all are living in a Matrix (taking the liberty of borrowing this word from the famous movie), wherein we can be tracked every moment where we are going, what we are doing, what intentions we might have and what behavior might be expected of us.

Whether it be walking on the road with our mobiles in our pockets or whether it be browsing the internet, we are being tracked for every movement we tend to make, be it the mouse on which we move our fingers or be it the smart phone which we might be using for browsing the internet or sending a message to our friends on whatsapp. 

If you are feeling that your lives have been intruded, well to certain extent yes. But as you might be aware that there are always two sides of a coin, one which you feel happy about and the other which you don’t really take great pride in, so is this very aspect of making our lives go digital.

Without going into the cons, as cons are in itself defined to be such by the impact that they are making and by the very nature of usage of the pros, let me try to focus on the pros of the same.

One thing is for sure, that our lives have become simpler. If you have any sort of doubt regarding this, let me cite a couple of examples which might leave you on the pro side of things.

Imagine the kind of hassle one had to go through while paying, say an electricity or a phone bill. How much effort was required when it came to booking a train ticket! How wonderful it is that we can now book a cab or a taxi using the wonderful facility of a phone or internet!

On part of the consumers, so far so good. Let me now talk about how this has altered the way businesses are being run and what impact it is having on the sales or generation of leads and ultimately the ROI, which indeed becomes the bottom line and can be a key determinant when it comes to existence or non-existence of an entity.

How wonderful would it be for an e-commerce company if they can have a software product or a tool wherein they can gauge how much time a customer is spending on a web page or a particular page and they in turn can pop-up customized message based on the intent and understanding of the need of the customer! For instance, a girl might be looking to buy a top (say) and then suddenly a pop-up message like, “hey, we have the most fashionable tops at lowest of prices, please click here.” or say, something like, “Do you need assistance in buying a top, please click here.”Connecto Blog

Won’t you feel wanted and catered to by this virtual sales person? And this indeed can go a long when it comes to acquiring and retaining a customer from the point of view of an e-commerce company.

This, I have cited for an e-commerce company in particular but can be made applicable to any other company, whether it be a broker looking to acquire leads, or be it a travel company like makemytrip.com which is on a constant endeavor to satisfy the customers’ thirst for choosing the best possible travel deals which fits in perfectly well with their budget.

And one such product/tool that does exactly what I have stated above is Connecto (http://www.connecto.io/). It can be called no less than a revolution in this world of digital marketing, wherein it can help the businesses understand their customers’ intent and buying behavior and in turn enables them to engage their customers in a more focused and customized manner, which ultimately shows up in increased sales and increased ROI (defined by the sales achieved per $ of money invested in digital marketing).

The wonderful thing about using this product is that you don’t really have to spend money like you would have spent, say on any social networking platform like the facebook or linkedin and even better is the ROI that you get by using the features offered by this product/tool.

My take on the product is:

If you are an e-Commerce company looking to increase your sales and customer base; if you are an NGO, trying to reach out to your investors or people in general;

if you are a property broker looking to generate more leads;

if you are a travel site looking to engage your customers in a better manner in order to increase your conversion rate;

if you are a blogger who wants to interact with your clientele which in this case happens to be the readers; or

if you are any person with any kind of presence on the internet in terms of having a website; you got to grab this opportunity of using this wonderful product which comes with an initial free trial period and then depending on the impact it is having on your businesses, you can decide to upgrade it or not. 

You just need to visit http://www.connecto.io/ and sign up for a call back and then the efficient customer service that these people have, will get in touch with you and will help you better your prospects of minting money. With excellent service, coupled with a team of programmers from  IIT Delhi, this seems to be the best bet when it comes to real time data analytics and constant and meaningful engagement with customers on a real time basis.

Source for Image: http://www.connecto.io/

The Feedback!

How many out there really believe in having an honest feedback from the person you are providing services to or from any shubh chintak whose intention might be to bring about a positive change in the way you do things?

Well, considering the amount of hard work that one puts in implementing something coupled with the harsh realities of life that everyone seems to be dealing with at every moment of their lives, not many would want to be questioned for a task which they take great pride in implementing.

Recently, I came across a very agitated conversation that ensued in a restaurant  between the chef (C) and an anonymous person (P) who happened to visit the restaurant hoping he would get what he expected.restaurant

So, how do you find the food?”—–C

I will be honest with you chef. Actually, what I was expecting was a more spicy and tasty prawn dish. I guess it has a western taste which we Indians don’t like so much. It is a little too simple and plain to my liking.”—-P

I appreciate your feedback, Sir. Let me modify it a bit and get back to you.”—-C

Great response from the chef, isn’t it? And then after sometime he came back along with the dish.

Sir, I have made it more spicy. Please taste it and tell me whether you like it or not.”—-C

Ya, certainly an improvement. But still, it is not meeting my expectations. You see, when I taste the prawns alone it tastes blunt. The juice has really not penetrated inside the prawns and that’s the reason why it is tasting so blunt.”—P

Sir, with all due respect, have you have had a chance to eat authentic Chinese food in your past?”—-C

Yes, of course. It is not the first time.”—-P

By the looks of it, Sir, it doesn’t seem so. And let me tell you, we are the finest Chinese restaurant in the city, and you are questioning our best dish, which we take great pride in serving, which in turn makes me believe that you haven’t developed the taste for it. May be you can try some Indian Chinese stuff being served in other restaurants and not the authentic Chinese dishes that we serve in our restaurant.”—-C

What kind of response is this? Can I talk to your manager?”—-P

You can talk to anyone you want. I don’t care. Moreover he will also tell you the same.”–C

A fight of sorts ensued which ended in the manager being called, who tried to restore peace in the restaurant after a much deserved apology that the person wished to be coming his way.

Later on, I came to know that the anonymous person happened to be related to a political family in the state and as a consequence the chef was fired for his bad mannerisms.

Somehow, the professionalism seems to be lacking among the service providers. Many a times, instead of accepting their mistakes or taking feedback in a positive manner, many service providers go in a defensive mode and end up straining their relationships with their clients which could even lead to a chain effect resulting in loss of other prospective clients, which they could have got, courtesy the strength of the word of mouth that in today’s World, seems to propagate even faster than the speed of light, thanks to the technology revolution.service provider

So, for any service provider, it is extremely important to value client’s feedback and take measures to improve upon the same as in this competitive market scenario, one got to have that edge as compared to the others competing in the same field, and a good customer service division could be a great niche to possess.

Source for Image: http://vecto.rs/design/vector-of-a-cartoon-couple-dining-at-a-restaurant-outlined-coloring-page-by-ron-leishman-19374, http://www.mybuzzmarketing.com/service-provider.php

e-Soch: Nothing but WWW

I am sure, by now, you know very well as to who Saty is. If not then surely you are going to find out now.

Yesterday, while having our usual conversation, Saty came up with one of the saddest news of his life. Yes! His internet connection had been marred by the thunder showers that had taken the city of Lucknow by surprise.

If you are wondering as to what’s the big deal in net not working, then you and me are on the same footing as this was precisely the question that I put to him. And as if I had opened the Pandora’s box, Saty indeed had his arsenal ready to be used on who else other than me:

Dude! Net is life. I feel so constrained when I am not on the net. As if the life seems to have come to a standstill. How many friends would be waiting for me to log on and solve their problems which they might be having with their girlfriends and I have got so used to solving them that I can’t but let them suffer without me even trying to help them out.

I am unable even to think about something. Every thought of mine comes from the net. I want to kill the BSNL people for having done this to me. They have brought me immense mental trauma and suffering. I am even thinking about filing an RTI for the same. Do you think it’s a good idea? And by the way, how much would it cost?” —–Saty

Well! The RTI won’t cost you much, but if you carry on like this, spending so much time on the computer, then for sure, you are going to have a hard time in the future.”—-Me

Why are you saying this? What’s wrong in spending time on net and interacting with people?“—-Saty

There is nothing wrong with interacting with people, but the question is for how long? To cite a few reasons as to why you shouldn’t do it: firstly, it is not worth wasting your time which can very well be used in constructive activities and even if you want to interact with your friends then also you don’t need to spend the whole day doing that; secondly, as many researchers have already found out, spending too much time on the net can not only make you addicted to the same but can also have drastic consequences for your health (e.g. eyes and neck); thirdly, you tend to start living in a virtual world of your own, away from the reality of life which is waiting to welcome you the moment you step out of your home. How can you be so naive about it?“—Me

Yaar, it’s not that I don’t know about these things. It is just that I have got too much addicted to it, and the moment I get up in the morning, there is a strong urge of me logging on to what you call the virtual world. People tend to know me here and give me importance for my nature and for the human being I am, where as in your real world, where materialistic success is the only reason why people might want to meet you, I think I am better off not making myself exposed to the same.“—-Saty

Hmm! I can understand what you mean. But for how long can you carry on doing like this? There will surely arrive some point when you will realize that enough is enough and that you need to get out of this addiction.“—-Me

May be, you are right. But for now I don’t want to think about what’s going to happen in the future. I prefer living in the current as the future makes me very nervous.“—-Saty

These were his last words before our conversation came to an abrupt end and I thought it not wise to carry on with the discussion. Firstly, because I, myself, didn’t have any answer to the perplexing riddle of the real World about the way it operates and secondly, because by arguing I would have made Saty more sad, sheerly because he too is aware of the consequences of what he is doing.

Though, it didn’t stop me pondering about an issue that is becoming more relevant in present day context. I have met people who think about nothing else but logging on. Their craving is so visible that they, at times, tend to ignore their bosses and their real World friends in order to being able to spend some time on the net.

It has also become an escape for those who are not able to do what they would have wanted to do in their lives and thus have decided to abandon the real World altogether. It has also evolved as a refuge for single mothers, or widowers, who are not able to overcome their losses and the societal consequences resulting from the same.

Indeed, our thought processes are increasingly becoming dependant on the very revolution that Tim Berner Lee would have thought to bring in this world by inventing WWW.

I know that this phenomenon is not going to dissipate in the near future and is here to stay. I just hope that people can extract all the positives from this phenomenon and can prevent any harm from occuring to them, as you know that there are always two sides of a coin and one side is never right.

Source for Image: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/oct/18/battle-dot-eco, http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-how-internet-is-creating-jobs-worldwide/20110527.htm, http://theinternet11.blogspot.in/

Impact of Globalization on Administration in Developing Countries

Most of the countries that fall in the category of developing , today have evolved after getting freedom from the colonial rule. Thus, we surely can see a glimpse of what was there during the colonial times. A number of countries have not been able to bring about the amendments in the ways they used to function earlier and now. Things have certainly changed and today powered by the IT revolution, the phenomenon of globalization has taken everyone by storm.

On one hand, where media provides people in these countries to witness and know about the mode of governance in developed countries, which in turn enables them to demand more from the government; on the other hand there are institutions like World Bank/IMF/WTO which try to impose their own norms on the developing countries in lieu of the funds offered to these for their development.

One point of view is that since these institutions are basically controlled by US, it is all about the US forwarding her own agenda about finding more markets and making economies more dependent, thereby bringing more economies under its control, thus reorienting the ways in which government in these countries function.

What globalization is doing to the administration in these countries is that it is opening up sectors in these countries to private corporations, whose motive, at the end of the day, is to make profits and not to think about the welfare of the people in these countries. Many people believe that market forces can better serve the people than if the government were to take up all the sectors under its control.

I believe that every country has its own ethos and requirements. So, instead of blindly copying the developed countries, it is important to do a self-analysis on the needs of the people and steps should be undertaken based on this analysis rather than any other consideration. After all, its the people who matter the most, and the ultimate aim of any government around the world should be to meet the aims and aspirations of its citizens.

Source for Image: http://figgzsglobalization.blogspot.com/2011/05/globalization.html