Get ready to View Pune Ganesh Utsav in Virtual Reality!!

When we talk about technology advancement and use of technology we always think about its application in business such as improving productivity, making customers happy, making that extra bit of sale. Most of the talking points about technology in the media will be around these points.

Let me ask you a question, is life all about business? Is technology all about satisfying our materialistic needs? What about the emotional and spiritual side of us which almost all the time, when satisfied, leads to a happy human being?

One start-up from Pune has set-out to change exactly the same. Like every other business they are focused on serving their customers and creating niche solutions using technology. However, they found a unique way of giving it back to the society. MyVRooms is on a mission to help those who have been neglected by their own and to some extent by the society. Despite a strong desire and wish to visit some of the religious places, there are some less fortunate in our society who may never be able to enjoy the life in the same manner as you and me can because of their physical limitations.

This is where MyVRooms wants to use the technology to bring the smile on those elderly faces which were once full of bloom.

Changing family value system, economic compulsions of the children, neglect and abuse has caused elders to fall through the net of family care. Old Age Homes seem ideal for elderly people who are alone, face health problems, depression and loneliness; but many times they feel the need to go out there and enjoy the small things in life.

Ganesh Utsav is one of its kind events that have been cherished for generations generally in India and specifically in Maharashtra. It marks the beginning of all religious festivals in India. The elderly and senior citizens though wanting to go, could not do so due to physical limitation. The founders of this start up felt the pain of the elderly and decided to make them re-live those moments all over again using Virtual Reality. If they cannot visit the temples and decorations physically, we will virtually make them visit it, is the thought behind this whole initiative.

It was only a thought that has struck the right chord with people of all ages. With this noble thought and a social cause that is so dear to all of us, the help started pouring in. Technology enthusiasts like Kiran Kirve and Digambar pitched in to develop an app. Puneet Badam came forward to give a push on social media.

Amey Thakar from Kasba Ganpati loved the idea and pitched it to Shri Shrikant Shete, President of Shri Kasba Ganpati Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal. Mr. Shete, himself being a champion of many social initiatives, loved the idea and immediately gave permission for the same. Other Mandals also supported the cause wholeheartedly and very generously.

During this Ganesh Utsav MyVRooms is planning to give the Virtual Reality experiences to Old Age Homes, People in hospital, Orphanage and such.

Availability of VR cardboards and the challenge of reaching out to so many institutions were staring them in the face. But as they say, when you are set-out to do good for others, things fall in place. Tata Motors Tiago division donated all the remaining cardboards they had and a shipment arrived at the doorstep of MyVRooms within two days of Jitesh Khurkhuriya contacting them.

We are very thrilled to write about this as are the founders of MyVRooms for executing this. Can we help them by volunteering for this cause? Also, if you know or can reach out to such institutions who may want to host an event for an hour or two for their guests, we will be more than welcome to pass on your message to the organizers of the event #VRGanesh.

To make it more convenient for people an Android app will be launched on Ganesh Chaturthi, 5th September with the same name – MyVRooms.

You can also visit their newly created Facebook page specifically for this purpose and message them directly for volunteering or joining hands in any other way. Even any other Mandals who would like to join can contact them.

https://www.facebook.com/MyVRGanesh/

You can visit the 360 degree views at – http://myvrooms.com/place_of_interest/

We always share different fun and entertainment stories. Help them by sharing this post in your network. Your one share may make someone smile…!!

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Business/Sales ethics

Ethics comes into play in your everyday life even when you don’t realize it. You would have definitely received some extra bucks from a shopkeeper at any store, what you did in that case? The situation is an example of ethical dilemma. But this points to personal ethics – how you handle such situation. Business ethics comes from the individuals who are part of an organisation. For any organisation it is very important to make sure all the employees are given clear instruction about the ethics they need to follow. For personal ethics all you need to keep in mind is ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.

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Business ethics, also called corporate ethics, is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines the ethical and moral principles and problems that arise in a business environment. It can also be defined as the written and unwritten codes of principles and values, determined by an organization’s culture, that govern decisions and actions within that organization. It applies to all aspects of business conduct on behalf of both individuals and the entire company.

Not all behaviour that is unethical is illegal. Let’s take an example. Real estate builder advertise that he is giving 10 percent off for the first 100 customer and customers decide to buy that. But once they see the price break up they see some extra charge of 10% which are not usually present or charges are marked up than the market.

Ethical Behaviour in Sales –

Ethical behaviour is more important for Sales team than any other team because sales people are the people who interact with customer directly. What the sales people say to the customer and how they behave in front of the customer is direct reflection of the organization and its ethics.

Let’s take this situation for a real estate agent. He has got a great house in his listing and if he is able to sell it he could make handsome commission on the sale. He had a look at the property and found out that there is internal leakage in the wall. He asked the owner about it. Owner told him that he will take care of it for short term as getting rid of the issue will cost big bucks. Owner also warns him that if he go ahead and disclose this information to the buyer he will take authority from him to sell the property.

In a situation like this, it’s best to remember that doing the right thing can be a hard choice and might not be advantageous to you. Although you really don’t want to lose this listing, the right thing to do is to disclose anything that affects the value or desirability of the home. Even if you think it might not be a major issue, it’s always best to err on the side of honesty and disclose the information. Either withholding or falsifying information is lying and therefore unethical.

You have to start from the personal ethics and make it a habit to follow it in your organisation also. I love this quote from Peter Drucker, famous management consultant and author, “Start with what is right, rather than what is acceptable.”

As a company it is very important for you to make sure ethical behaviour is followed. These are some of the points you can take a note of describe desirable and undesirable selling behaviour promote high standards of practice reduce the risk of fair trading breaches help staff make ethical decisions.

It is even more important for the startups not to forget basic business ethics. They have limited resources and finances which can force them to go the other way. Any brand or big company is made on very strong business ethics. If you are trying to be one practise business ethics.

Mention in comment any situation in which you were in business/personal ethical dilemma.

Now organising a puja is one click away – myhawanpuja.com

India is a land of tradition and culture. We still believe we have to do pujas before moving to the new house. In fact, we have pujas for any occasion you can think of. We spend a huge amount of our time and energy in planning and then organizing the event. In this digital world, we don’t find time for ourselves; we have too much on our plate, but we have a strong sense of belief in our traditions that when it comes to any auspicious occasion, we want to organize a prayer.

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Everything is going online from booking a cab, finding a restaurant to paying your bills, then why not organising pujas. MyHawanPuja.com is one such effort which aims to minimize time and efforts one needs to organize a puja and buy products online. Reports suggest that this industry in India is worth 30 Billion USD. You can make out how much money every family spends on an average to religious prayers and rituals for the prosperity of life.

When I first looked at the concept, I doubted its appeal. But then I remembered my childhood, how much effort was made by everyone in the family when any such event was organized. It brings so much peace to you when you think everything now is just a click away.

The idea!

As they say, great Start-up ideas originate when you try to solve a problem. More often than not these are the problems that founders have faced themselves. This amazing story is no different. When Pankaj moved to Delhi/NCR in his new house and wanted to organize GrahPravesh, it proved to be a next to impossible task as he had no relatives or friends there.

He says, ‘Then I realized that others like me might be facing the same problem and I should do something about it. So I started working on the idea and launched myhawanpuja.com in 2016.’

The company revenue model is based on a set percentage that they would be receiving from every ceremony booked.

For now the company is bootstrapped but the response has been great which will encourage the team in making this big. They are working on a business plan and approaching investors which will give them opportunity to grow faster.

What is on offer?

Since people are busy and life is too fast paced, people don’t have time to arrange and conduct a puja on their own. From getting different products to arranging for a pandit, getting everything in place is a herculean task. Just as one buys different products like clothes, groceries, etc. on an e-commerce portal, one can buy various puja packages in one click through the portal. They provide Puja services by well qualified and experienced people. They provide Puja services by well qualified and experienced pandits and provide puja products in Delhi/NCR and Lucknow as of now but very soon you will find them in other major cities.

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They have more than 40 different pujas with them with a price ranging from 1500 to 25000. They also provide customized pujas depending on the requirement.The prices are very competitive if you take into account the effort required to put together everything on your own.

The process is as simple as it could get. Choose a puja you want to conduct, add it to cart, fill out the basic information and you are all set.

They also conduct e-puja (puja conducted through video chat) for all other locations.

People behind the idea

Pankaj Misra originally came up with this idea and was joined by Kushagra Pandey to take the idea to the next level.

PankajMisra is an IT professional with over 9 years of experience in top Indian & Multi National IT companies. Using his technical skills and ingrained management expertise, he commenced his own business venture to provide people living in various cities an easy solution to find “Pandits” who can perform religious rituals at festivals & occasions.

Kushagra Pandey being a management professional with more than 5 years of experience has an established career in driving business revenues. With his understanding of marketing, he drives the business through launch and promotions, extending its reach to the users in order to meet the ultimate purpose and achieve the company’s mission.

Both of them make a great team and their efforts can be seen in the way they are approaching the business and meeting goals.

Give away

They want to give something back to the society. The aim of their company is to provide a hassle free experience to customers who plan a puja. They want to deliver everything required related to a puja in one click.

The Future

Currently operating in 2 cities, Lucknow and Delhi/NCR, the team wants to expand to other cities in due course of time.  Also, they are planning to add and increase product range so that customers can have all puja related services and products at one place.

Our take

The execution will be important. I think this is a good idea to work on as the industry is big and in demand. If Pankaj and team are able to deliver what they are promising, they are sure to succeed. It would be interesting to see how they scale up this idea. We wish them luck from our side.

I would like to end with a quote, ‘ The product that wins is the one that bridges customers to the future, not the one that requires a giant leap’.

Two things that keeps business going – Marketing and Innovation in Marketing

All big organisations have different departments and they all are important for the success of any business. For me, the most important department is marketing. The success of this department largely depends on the innovation that the team can come up with. The traditional marketing is long gone. Marketing produce results, rest all are cost to the organisation and now only innovative marketing produce result. The main aim of marketing is to get new customers and that is the reason for its importance. No customers, no revenue, No revenue, no positive numbers to run any department.

The statement that marketing aims at getting new customers can lead to confusion between marketing and sales. Before going any further, I would like to differentiate the both. In the words of famous Amercian economist, Ted Levitts, the difference between selling and marketing is that selling is getting rid of what you have while marketing is having what people want. I simply love this statement as it brings in so much of clarity in how we should look at these different terms.

Now once we have said that marketing has to bring in customers, next on the cards is – How do we bring in more customers? Customers are new currency and hence everyone is fighting for them. Knowing their self importance, customers are making it even difficult for companies to get them and like any other currency their demand is more and supply is limited. We have to realise that lot has changed over time and so should our approach in getting them. Customers of present world are selfish brutes and they only care about themselves not about your sales forecast or the strength of your IT department or your success.

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To get their attention now you have to come up with innovative marketing plans. Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. The success of your marketing campaign depends on how much the customers were involved in it. So how about a campaign which was made to involve people? Here is a perfect example of it.

For any travel provider biggest challenge is how do you stand out in a crowded market? How do you engage with consumers and encourage them to travel with you? French rail network SNCF has taken to experiential marketing over the last couple of years and has created some brilliant campaigns that tap into the zeitgeist of travel and put the company on the map as a way to travel to top European hotspots. Check out this amazing campaign here.

Try to think of marketing itself as a big umbrella, with fields like direct sales, advertising, and public relations all tactics that make up different parts your marketing strategy. Some of the world’s most well-known and celebrated companies – from Coca-Cola to Apple – have succeeded using two surprisingly simple tactics: making great products and marketing them well.

So now let’s move to Innovative marketing where we force customers to pay attention to our products.

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Social Entrepreneurship – They are here to make impact!!

It has been almost one year when I last wrote about Startups and entrepreneurship. Lot has changed but one thing has remained constant – the number of individuals coming forward and deciding to change the world.

I would like to start by quoting a line by Rajat Khanna from TVF Pitchers – ‘You guys are creating a revolution and you guys even don’t know it. Mark my words – the face of this nation is not going to be changed not by politicians or film stars, it is going to be changed by entrepreneurs.’

So what is it that drives so many of us to leave 9 to 5 job and take up this challenge. Are we after the money, fame, both or none? There has to be one such reason and strong enough that get us going. We all know that the journey of an entrepreneur is difficult. So a special mention has to go to those who are taking even tougher journey- Social Entrepreneurship. The driving force for them could be – money or fame but the they are here to make an impact.

For an outsider it may seem an easy approach to success but the reality is completely different. Social Entrepreneurship has all that is needed for a profit organisation with an added advantage – the entrepreneurs make an impact in the society where it matters the most. But it comes with its own set of challenges.

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One such challenge is taken by team at Sociocharge. They have come up with a mission ‘People helping people’. We all want to help people around us but we are busy in our own world,  we don’t have time for anything else. We can’t help others financially because we are finding it difficult to manage our own needs.

Hemant Shrivastava and Arjun Sarin, have come up with this unique model which has solution to both the problems – you don’t need extra time and money to help others. The idea originated from various posts on social media sites where most people would show sympathy for various social causes and it gets over with that. They wanted to create a system where people can take action by doing what they have been doing.

They have been successful in creating such a system. Sociocharge is a platform that enables anyone to support a cause and help needy. Useful and need based engagements at Sociocharge can help channelizing support from privileged ones to less privileged ones. Now the challenge lay in front of them. A social enterprise can scale but makes little profit, but a lot of impact. They will surely succeed in doing the latter. The challenge in front of them is to make a model that will generate revenue for them as at the end of the day that is what is needed to keep all of us going.

There is a thing with social entrepreneur – they cannot succeed with their own effort. We as common people have to come forward and join the movement which they have started. Now those who want to do plant a tree or educate a child don’t have to make an excuse. It is in everyone’s reach now to bring about a change and feel proud in doing so.

Lets join the movement.

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