‘Sahara Life should not procure new business’

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Return to frontpage ‘Sahara Life should not procure new business’
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‘Sahara Life should not procure new business’
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT HYDERABAD, JUNE 23, 2017 21:05 IST
UPDATED: JUNE 23, 2017 21:13 IST
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th24BUSAHARA
Someone filling out Restraining Order.
IRDAI order allows company to service existing business

Insurance regulator IRDAI, which earlier this month had appointed an administrator to manage the affairs of Sahara India Life Insurance, on Friday directed the company not to procure new business.

The company is directed “not to procure/collect proposal deposits/underwrite new business with immediate effect, i.e., close of business on June 23, 2017,” the regulator said in its order.

Advising Sahara India Life to inform all concerned such as agents and intermediaries of the direction, it said the company should ensure that it did not conduct new insurance business immediately on receipt of the order.

However, the company is directed to “continue to collect and account for renewal premium; and service the existing business and policyholders, unhindered,” the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India said.

IRDAI had on June 12 appointed its General Manager (F&A-NL) R.K.Sharma as administrator of the company and asked him to file a report on the most advantageous course of action in the interest of the policy holders. There were reasons to believe that Sahara India Life “is acting in a manner [that is] likely to be prejudicial to the interests” of the policy holders, the regulator had stated.

[Source”pcworld”]

How to Start and Run a Successful Web Design Business?

How to Start and Run a Successful Web Design Business?

While listening to the stories of great web designers it seems that starting a web design business is much easy. But the process of starting your own business is not that easy as it seems; you not only need to have designing skills but along with that, a full-fledged plan and sincere efforts are also required to get your business run successfully.

Once designers get experience and acquire skills to handle projects on an individual basis, they think of working as a freelancer or starting their own web designing company. No doubt it is a good idea but it requires a blend of strategic thinking, thoughtful and skilled efforts, and tenacity to convert your dreams into reality. However, all those, who are planning to start their own web designing business, can refer to the below-given tips for a perfect start and seamless running of their web design business.

  • Know your strengths and weaknesses

Your strengths will let you choose main services you would be offering and your weaknesses will help you at avoiding wastage of time and energy on the things that can be handled by someone else.

If you have planned to start your own business then definitely you will be hiring some staff for it. So, a thing that you need to do at first is knowing the tasks you are excellent at and you would handle yourself, and knowing the ones for which you would need someone’s help.

  • Know your market

No doubt you would be delivering the services you are good at but don’t offer people what you are trying to sell. Instead, try to know what they are looking for and tailor your services to their needs. If you are finding it hard then you can get some potential clients to tell you about their requirements for web designs.

Ross Williams of Rawnet Ltd explains: “In the beginning there was a rush for everyone to have a website. Now the focus is on the most innovative and exciting.”

  • Have a clear thought about your offerings

Once you have known your market, enlist all your offerings. It depends on your skill set and talent that what services you would be offering to your clients. More clarity about offerings means greater chances of success. Here are some questions that you should ask to yourself for finalizing your services:

– If you want to deliver services all over the world or just to local clients?

– If you want the payment for the whole job or on an hourly or daily basis?

– If you will be managing the client relationships yourself or would hire a professional?

  • Design an attractive website

As people would be hiring you for web designing services, they will definitely notice the design of your own website to have an idea about the quality. So, design an attractive website to reflect your business to the best. It should be responsive, fast and engaging so that viewers will just enjoy the browsing process on it. Clear and easy navigation along with the relevant content are the two main things that will add value to your business website.

Andy Budd of Clearleft explains. “The quality of design work is so high, that you have to be really, really good to actually get work.”

  • Be active on the Social Media

Social Media is no more restricted to establish social connections among the people, its approach has reached a far behind that. It has become the excellent way to promote your services, drive traffic to your website, attract potential customers and form a network of the people who have the same niche. So, understand the importance of all the social media platforms and the way you can use them to maximize your business profits.

  • Show your credibility

When clients shop around for web designing services, they look for the experts. So, showing your credibility to the world is really essential. Mention all the essential educational details, certifications and work experiences on your profile as it would give people a reason to trust you and your services. Enhance your credibility by posting visual content about your area of expertise and by updating yourself as per the latest industry trends.

In the last, we would like to say that this is an era of tough competition, so you would need to keep patience and show perseverance regardless how many hardships you face to get started. And once you have an effective and thoughtful foundation in place, success will come your way on its own. It is well said by Gurpreet Walia, CEO at Suffescom Solutions- “The way to get started is to stop talking and start working as per your plans”.

 

 

[Source:- Entrepreneur]

 

ClickSend boost the marketing possibilities for your business

featured_clicksend

ClickSend are well known for their online SMS capabilities, and have now expanded their service by adding a heap of new products including MMS, Email, Voice, Fax, and even physical Post, to anywhere in the world.

ClickSend has been operating since 2006 and now have thousands of customers worldwide, including some pretty big name clients: HP, Citrix, Red Cross, and AVG just to name a few.

With a brand new website and dashboard, the signup process for the service is quick and simple; the first screen you see once logged in is a dashboard, which gives you some vital stats on your recent messages.

USING CLICKSEND SMS

SMS is a fantastic tool for direct marketing and thanks to the portability and global use of mobile phones, a business can reach countless customers instantly and at any time. The engagement rate of SMS is also far greater than for any other marketing method, with more than ninety percent of SMS messages being opened and read within just a few minutes of receipt.

Sending an SMS with ClickSend is quick and easy. Simply enter the recipients, select the from option, compose the message and click Send. You can choose to send the message immediately or schedule it for a later date.

CLICKSEND MMS OPTIONS

MMS is very similar, simply enter the recipients, select the from option, drag and drop the image, compose the message and click Send.

CLICKSEND’S EMAIL MARKETING PLATFORM

Marketing via email works very effectively to build your business and attract and retain customers. Even though email is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, it is still a very valuable tool to improve your business and to elicit results that are tangible—when you do it right, that is.

ClickSend provide an email marketing platform which lets you create your email using any of their free templates. It’s similar to MailChimp’s offering, but around half the price.

CLICKSEND’S EMAIL MARKETING PLATFORM

Marketing via email works very effectively to build your business and attract and retain customers. Even though email is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, it is still a very valuable tool to improve your business and to elicit results that are tangible—when you do it right, that is.

ClickSend provide an email marketing platform which lets you create your email using any of their free templates. It’s similar to MailChimp’s offering, but around half the price.

 

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

Are ‘chatbots’ the future of online business?

If the artificial intelligence "chatbot" trend catches on, it could transform the digital landscape by allowing smartp

An artificial intelligence “chatbot” from Taco Bell now lets you order a meal in a smartphone text exchange that might look something like this:

TacoBot: Hello there, I’m your TacoBot, I can help you order a meal for you or your team.

You: Can I order one soft taco with beef?

TacoBot: Sounds good… do you want to keep adding stuff? Maybe some bacon?

Brands like Taco Bell and tech companies large and small are betting that more and more people will start using this “conversational” way of interacting online instead of clicking through on-screen menus.

If the trend catches on—as firms like Facebook and Microsoft expect—it could transform the digital landscape by allowing smartphone users to find information or make purchases with simple text messages, bypassing apps and search engines.

Among the companies already developing or launching chatbots are the Wall Street Journal, CNN and retail giants Sephora and H&M.

“I believe we are headed to a shift where this becomes one of the primary means we interact with the digital world,” says Mark Beccue of Mark Beccue Consulting, who follows trends in the messaging market.

“The chat user interface is what makes sense for a mobile-first world. You can be more specific and be quicker.”

Facebook chief and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg discusses Messenger on April 12, 2016
Facebook chief and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg discusses Messenger on April 12, 2016

‘Bots the new apps’

Chatbots are already popular in China, where a system powered by Microsoft offers a variety of services for users of the popular messaging app WeChat.

Messaging services have become a natural place for chatbots to reside, since their usage is growing: at least 1.4 billion people used a messaging app last year, says research firm eMarketer. According to Business Insider Intelligence, the “big four” messaging apps have overtaken the largest four social networks.

Facebook this week also made a major push in this area, opening up its Messenger application—and its 900 million users—to “bot” developers.

“We think you should be able to text message a business like you would a friend, and get a quick response,” Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg said.

The idea is to create a seamless experience for end users, who can access services directly via a messaging app by chatting with a “bot,” which appears alongside their regular contacts.

Microsoft unveiled a similar effort last month, as CEO Satya Nadella described a push into “conversations as a platform.”

“Bots are the new apps,” Nadella told developers.

The messaging service Kik meanwhile launched its own “bot shop,” with partners including retailers, game developers and services such the Weather Channel.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella demonstrates the digital personal assistant function Cortana on April 2, 2014 in San Francisco, Cali
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella demonstrates the digital personal assistant function Cortana on April 2, 2014 in San Francisco, California

Kik said the move was a response to the trend of people using fewer apps and spending more time on chat platforms.

“There’s nothing to download, no new registration required, and you can use an interface you’re already familiar with: chat,” Kik said in a statement.

Simple or smart

Chatbots can be simple programs that provide answers to predetermined questions, or more complex ones powered by artificial intelligence.

“It’s a more natural extension of how consumers are used to doing things,” said Julie Ask at Forrester Research.

The intelligent chatbot movement suffered an embarrassing setback recently when Microsoft had to ground its “Tay” bot just a day after letting it loose on Twitter.

Internet users gamed the artificial intelligence—designed to improve the conversations—to cause Tay to spew out hateful and racist comments.

“‘Tay’ went from ‘humans are super cool’ to full nazi in <24 hrs and I’m not at all concerned about the future of AI,” quipped one user, @geraldmellor.

Analyst Mark Beccue said the Microsoft case was more of a science experiment “testing the boundaries of what artificial intelligence can do.”

“It was a case study they will learn from,” he said.

Future path

Some analysts remain skeptical however on chatbots as the wave of the future.

Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research said the movement is largely driven by Microsoft and Facebook, two firms which would like a greater presence in mobile even though they don’t control the biggest smartphone operating systems.

For Facebook, which has invested heavily in AI, the “bot” movement—crucially—opens a door to monetizing its popular Messenger platform.

“There’s a lot of hype around chatbots but the reality is there are few interactions where a chat with artificial intelligence is going to be more efficient than using an app,” Dawson said.

Artificial intelligence has come a long way with systems like Apple’s Siri, Google Now, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft Cortana, but still cannot deal with all possible situations, says Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates.

“There’s a kind of hubris that someone could expand the one-to-many communication method to every human interaction,” Kay said.

“Humans want to remain human and not a cog in someone’s machine.”

[Source:- Phys.org]

 

Office 365 is king of business web apps, but Slack is growing fastest

Office 365 is king of business web apps, but Slack is growing fastest

Which is the most popular business app used online? Unsurprisingly, it’s Office 365, the subscription version of Microsoft’s productivity suite, according to some new research which details the most-used web apps.

These figures were revealed by Okta, a firm which produces software to manage employee logins to online services. The company found that among its customers, Office 365 was king of the enterprise cloud apps, followed by Salesforce.com, Box, Google Apps for Work, and in fifth place was Amazon Web Services.

Okta also made an interesting observation regarding Office 365 and Google Apps both being used within the same organisation. Indeed, data showed that over 40% of companies use both of these services due to preferences for one or the other in different departments.

Not slacking

As for the fastest growing business app, that was Slack, which witnessed a growth rate of 77% in the second half of 2015. We can expect Slack to put in a very good showing this year, by all accounts, as it’s continuing to pick up the pace with “no sign of slowing down just yet” Okta says.

Adobe’s Creative Cloud also had a good year in 2015, growing its user numbers by 44% according to the report.

One final nugget on business security for you: Okta found that 30% of organisations are now using multi-factor authentication, a number that still needs to increase in an ideal world.

[Source:- Techrader]

 

Creating Stronger Brand Value Wins More Business

Creating Stronger Brand Value Wins More Business | Social Media Today

We’re bombarded with brand messaging every day, but sometimes principals/equity partners find it hard to understand the value of their company’s brand. If you’re among them, you’re certainly not alone. Many professional services executives see their brand as little more than a logo, tagline and a few website pages. They don’t focus on developing their brand beyond those elements because they fail to recognize how branding can directly affect their company’s success.

In truth, your corporate branding is far more than a logo, or even the messaging on your company website. Your brand includes everything your clients – current and future – know about your company. You want that audience to react in a positive way whenever they encounter your brand. The goal is to elicit a reaction that leads prospects to select your services over competitors.

By strategically developing your brand value, you can foster strong relationships with clients and prospects and build a stronger path to new business. But to develop that brand value, you need to think beyond the logo and tagline.

BREAKING DOWN YOUR BRAND

Your brand’s value is a measure of your company’s reputation and visibility.

Visibility describes how your business appears to the outside world, both online and offline. Think of it this way – to elicit a reaction, your brand has to be present before your target market. This visibility can include displaying your logo prominently on the jobsite, at select conference/events, on your website, through social media and even in proposal materials. Recognizing where your audience is will help determine the level of effort required on this front.

Reputation is the way the marketplace thinks of your organization and the regard it holds for the services you provide. That regard will be based on the experiences those in the marketplace have had with your company and what others in the industry say about your brand. A prospective client might not directly interact with your company, but they may work closely with, for example, a subcontractor who mentions your high regard for job site safety, or an architect who describes how your team prevented cost overruns on a past project. In other words, the relationships and experiences you have with everyone in your industry can influence your reputation.

Of course, your visibility and reputation are rarely dictated by your own communications – not in today’s world of social media. Your reputation is reflected in both online and offline communication – messages that are driven from inside and outside the organization.

These messages can take many forms: the testimonials you collect from satisfied clients (positive), online reviews written by unhappy former employees (negative), or a discussion by clients about your company’s ability to meet deadlines (positive). While you can’t control all messages, you can control how you react and turn even negative comments into a chance to demonstrate what your brand is truly about.

ENSURING BRAND CONSISTENCY IN YOUR ORGANIZATION

Your brand needs to be more than a mission statement mentioned during annual meetings, it need to be reflected in everyday interactions.

One of the biggest challenges in developing brand value is ensuring that everyone in the company – from the executive suite to the front desk – understands your brand and conveys it in all business dealings.

While getting everyone on the same page can be a challenge, it’s crucial because an inconsistent reflection of your brand can damage your organisation’s reputation significantly. For example, consider my recent conversation with the CEO of a 35-year-old architecture firm. He was struggling to extract himself from day-to-day client management discussions, and while he was excited to lead all new client pitches, they left him no time to run the business. He was stymied because the junior staff, while technically excellent, did not communicate the brand’s differentiators as clearly as he could.

BOOSTING YOUR BRAND’S VISIBILITY

If you’re looking to build your brand, don’t focus on the reputation you have today – take a moment to explore what you want your brand to mean. What feelings do you want it to convey to the marketplace? Start with the perception current clients have of your company and where they perceive your business to be providing most value. Understanding this will help you to enhance your brand focus, both internally and externally.

  • Internally – Begin by educating all employees on your firm’s core differentiators. Make sure managers, technical professionals and salespeople alike can explain the company’s value proposition and what sets it apart. The message shouldn’t focus on how great your employees are, or even how terrific your work is. It should be about the relevancy of your business to prospective clients’ most important issues and goals.
  • Externally – Get to work raising your brand’s visibility by demonstrating thought leadership. This can take a variety of forms; You might consider blogging on your company website or contributing articles to leading industry publications; You might explore speaking opportunities at relevant events that put you in front of prospective clients; You could boost your social presence with relevant materials, with a focus on enhancing your online community. Whatever direction you choose, building visibility isn’t done with a single blog or speech – consistency and relevance are key. It’s also important to ensure your message is clearly conveyed. After all, you want to leave readers, listeners and all prospects extending the reach of your message.

Once you’ve objectively understood the internal and external perceptions of your business and it’s brand value, it’s time to take that brand to the next level and win more business.


[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

3 Ways to Get More Out of Your Business Partnerships Using Social Media

3 Ways to Get More Out of Your Business Partnerships Using Social Media | Social Media Today

We’re big fans of growing your business through new partnerships. If your business is ever feeling stagnant, looking to partnerships is a great way to get the ball rolling again and grow your business in ways you couldn’t have done all on your own. As AllBusiness writer Ann Gatty puts it:

“Strategic partnerships can be beneficial for businesses with limited resources. When two companies that complement one another don’t have the funds to expand the way they would like, or to reach the markets they wish to, they can form a strategic alliance to help accomplish their goals.”

Here’s how to get the most out of your partnerships with the use of social media:

1. FEATURE EACH OTHER’S GUEST POSTS

A great way to dive into a partnership is to propose a cross-blogging relationship. It’s as easy as swapping guest blog posts once a month – you write an article for them, they write an article for you, and the both of you get to expose your brands to a new audience that might not have normally read your article were you not partners. As their articles go live on your blog, be sure to post them on your social sites saying something like, “Check out this article on ______ written by our friends at _____” making sure to tag them in the post. If you’ve built up a reputable social presence, a place where your readers can come to learn about the field you’re in in an informative and interesting way, they’ll take your recommendation seriously and read your partner’s article. Ideally, your partner will do the same for you.

2. LET YOUR AUDIENCE KNOW ABOUT THEIR CONTESTS

Everybody likes the chance to win something. If your partner is hosting a contest that most of your customers could easily participate in, let your audience know about it. Even if your partner doesn’t straight out ask you to promote the contest, they’ll absolutely appreciate the gesture. The whole point of hosting a contest is to spread awareness of your brand in some way – whether you’re trying to highlight a new product, or you’re just trying to get more likes on Facebook. Imagine if all your business partners helped to spread the word about your contests – that’d help a ton, right? It’s little things like this that make you stand out as an excellent partner to do business with.

3. FEATURE THEIR DEALS (BUT NOT TOO OFTEN)

The best social environment you can provide for your customers is somewhere they can go to keep informed and entertained with the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of your industry. No reader wants to be fed spam all day every day – it’s a good way to lose a lot of followers really quickly. You can’t solely post about your company’s deals just as you can’t post about your partner’s deals on a regular basis. However, just as with the contests, if they’re having a big promotion, by all means, share it with your customers – but if, and only if, it’s a product or service your customers would be interested in. Though, being that you’re partners, you’d hope that your products and services overlap. Again, if you’re helping them out when they have big promotions, they should be happy to help you out as well.

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]