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Entrepreneurship - A Blog

Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost




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  • Appreciating more than 50% in just a couple of days, BitCoin climbed past $16,000 for the first time this week. CME Group, launched the first BitCoin futures contract on Dec 10, making it possible for BitCoin aspirants to trade in BitCoin or as one of the economist termed it - “Speculate with BitCoin”. BitCoin in 2013 saw a similar meteoric rise, hitting peak of over $1,100 in November and then plummeted to $300 in Dec 2014.  So why do we have this excitement again around the crypto-currency?   To understand this let us look at Blockchain, the underlying technology of BitCoin.  Blockchain is transformational as it allows decentralized transactions without the need for trust or for a central authority to manage it. So you can create digital contracts that are verified by the peers and settled by the system without any ambiguity and cost. With conventional central data storage, the central authority controls the underlying database or ledger. Consequently, it also controls what other entities are permitted to contribute. Blockchain allows this data to be held by multiple independent entities that are naturally permitted to contribute. All entities that participate in distributed data storage form a network of so-called nodes or peers. All nodes agree upon a common truth through a consensus mechanism. There are two types of technologies prevailing in the market – Permissionless and Permissioned. Permissionless, such as BitCoin are public ledgers whereas permissioned such as Hyperledger are private and restrictive. Blockchain also allows you to potentially transact in assets across categories.     “BitCoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate.” - Marc Andreessen   As in the statement above, BitCoin has become a term synonymous with its underlying technology and thus the momentum and speculation seen in the market today.  Roger Ver, CEO of BitCoin.com, said on CNBC's Fast Money, "I think in the short run it can run up a lot more, but it's no longer a crypt-currency. It's just a game of hot potato at this point, and games of hot potatoes can go on for a long time, and lots of people can pump a lot of money into it and it might go on for even decades. But as far as it being used as money, the developers behind that have destroyed that at this point."   One of the early investors in BitCoin, Roger, simply implies that the speculations are running high. The development of the technology and its parallels created in the industry will eventually see BitCoin competing for technology rather than its value as a currency. So Blockchain is the name of the game and that is why very smart people are focusing on it. Imagine all your land records, bank accounts, properties, stock trades and physical goods facilitated through Blockchain smart contracts. You will have billions and billions of dollars of efficiency gains creating value for everyone in the system.   A lot of proponents of the BitCoin claim, that BitCoin will make Central Banks redundant and that’s the genesis of it. The point that many of them forget is that Central Banks do not exist to print money, but to manage the monetary policy. Imagine yourself in 2007, at the middle of global economic crisis.  To create liquidity, would you allow BitCoin owners to pump more BitCoins into the global financial system? The moment BitCoin attempts to do something like that, we will likely see it being wiped off as a currency. Central banks have two mandates – (i) Control Inflation (ii) Manage Monetary factors (Interest rates & Liquidity) for growth. None of these can be achieved by any crypto-currency, unless Central Banks themselves are at the helm of the crypto-currency. Time has come for the Central Banks to look at Blockchain as a technology for managing the monetary policy.   We see a new virtual currency being announced every day and we will see many more coming before the global financial system transforms itself into Blockchain. The value creation for most such systems will be the transaction fees they charge in their native crypto- currencies to facilitate the Blockchain trades. Then we have the Crypto-currency Exchanges that facilitate trading of virtual currencies. If you are looking at investing, consider investing into either a Blockchain technology or a Crypto-currency Exchange, as the gains will likely be far more than investing in BitCoin or Ethers.
    Dec 12, 2017 104
  • Ten years ago no one would have thought that the taxi business might replace public transport. This is something that is not only becoming a reality with the help of apps like Uber and Ola, who offer car-pooling, but in fact this might even be the cheaper mode of transport. In the past one week, Uber has come up with a 100 rupee pass for up to 12 kilometers in a sedan. This means that it will cost four people twenty-five rupees each to travel twelve kilometers in an AC car.   Traveling back from work in an AC car was a luxury that only few could afford just a while back. Today it is something that happens on the regular, and according to Niti Aayog, it is a market that has not been capitalized fully as of now. According to their suggestions, private cars should be allowed to offer carpooling and ride-share services in order to make the medium even more cost-effective and efficient.   How this would work is that, a person who is driving his private car back from work could choose to offer a carpool option to people in the locality that are going back to the same area. This would make the system cost effective and efficient as the number of cars offering these services would increase. Additionally, car owners could earn back the cost of driving to work, and maybe even make a small profit every day, just by offering these services to and from work. As is obvious, there would be many advantages if this system falls through, as the amount of traffic would drastically reduce. In addition to that, public transport would be much less crowded, car owners would only take their cars out in case of a necessity and people would be able to travel in a time-efficient way. These appear to solve a lot of problems faced by the common man in India with rising traffic and cost of traveling.   Niti Aayog, which is chaired by Narendra Modi, has partnered with ride-sharing companies such as Uber to assess the impact of this move, both economically and environmentally. However, there are some challenges that would be faced before this becomes a reality. The transport ministry is not in favor of this move as they feel that this would eliminate the concept of taxis. In addition of that, they feel that this move would jeopardize the jobs of the 5 million taxi drivers in India. Commercial vehicles have certain provisions in place such as, higher duties, insurance premium, permit charges etc. that insure the safety of the riders. All this would be absent in case of privately owned cars and there would be ambiguity in the regulatory framework. Official have been quoted as saying that, ‘despite the convenience, various legal aspects have to be kept in mind.’   In my opinion it is only a matter of time before private car-pooling becomes real, as this is something that is already seen in developed countries such as Canada and the US. In these places, people have seen prices of travel go down by more than half when compared to buses. This is a concept that can be a game changer when it comes to a country like India. We are a developing country that needs to develop better connectivity between cities, towns and villages all over the country. Right now we are talking about car-pooling between work and home. In no time we will be talking about it when it comes to traveling hundreds of kilometers.   The world is ever-changing, with things that were not even dreamed of, becoming a reality today. Humans have always adapted in order to escape disaster, and car-pooling might be a small step in the direction of saving fossil fuels. This is not to say that people will stop taking their cars to work completely, but with people getting more educated by the minute, we can rest assured that they will realize the benefits to this and utilize this services to its full potential. 
    Jul 18, 2017 797
  • With the fight of the century, starring Connor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather right around the corner, every morning I have been watching highlights of the promotional events taking place. These videos were of interest to me for two reasons; my interest in boxing, and the marketing genius displayed by both these fighters. It is estimated that the value of this fight is over $527 million, with Mayweather getting $400 million and McGregor getting the rest. This disparity is due to the fact that Mayweather is his own promoter and doesn’t have to provide a cut to someone else, like McGregor has to, to the UFC.     To put things into perspective, Zomato is estimated to be worth $500 million. Yes, that is right, two fighters, fighting for 36 minutes in a ring are worth more than a successful company that has existed since 2008. All this might seem too good to bet true but it’s not. There is one reason behind the success of this fight and that is: MARKETING. We can learn a lot about marketing from this fight, and I want to help break it down for you.   We must first acknowledge the fact that boxing is a sport that is a lot about promotion, and that boxers are typically good at promoting their fights. Keeping this in mind, the fact of the matter is that both Floyd and McGregor are insanely better at this than their competitors. We can break down marketing by analyzing the way that these two fighters go about with their promotion. McGregor is someone who relies on intimidating his opponents and saying things that other fighters would be petrified of saying at the world stage. This highlights a key component of marketing, and that is creativity. You need to be creative with your campaigns to catch the eye of the public. In order for the masses to remember your product, you need to be unique and stand out in their minds. You have millions of companies advertising their products to you every single day, but it is only the ones that stand out in your mind that actually make a difference.   On the other hand, Mayweather has a different approach to his trash talk as compared to McGregor. He is cautious in what he says and makes sure to point out his accomplishments from the past. This gives us another valuable lesson when it comes to marketing and that is: brand name. You need to be able to back up your words and not attempt to oversell yourself. We have all seen universities claiming to be ranked number one in the country, when we know for a fact that, that is not the case. Doesn’t this lower your opinion of the university in your eyes? We also see that when you create a good brand name for yourself, you open up avenues that you previously could not access. We see many forms of innovative advertising from companies that would not be successful without their brand name. Hence, companies should focus on perfecting their product and developing a reputation of excellence in the market.   As a fan of combat sports, it was torture for us to see Mayweather and McGregor go back and forth for years without there being a possibility of a fight. However, when both parties realized that they have maximized the interest of the fans, they decided on a date for the fight within no time. In retrospect it was one of the most cunning marketing moves that I have ever seen. Both fighters used their banter to peak the interest of the consumers, and decided to capitalize on it at the most opportune time. This teaches us that marketing is all about timing and being relevant in the market. When you have a product that is going to hit the market, you need to make sure that the interest in the product is at a point when you will be able to make maximum profit. At the same time, you have to understand that the consumers will only buy your product if it is relevant at the time. The promoters for the fight realized this as well, as consumers were getting frustrated and decided to finalize the terms of the fight.   The next thing that is important is: knowing your consumer base and being able to relate to them. Both fighters have a certain type of crowd that they attract and they know it. Mayweather knows that his image in the market consists mainly of him being a wealthy celebrity who likes to flaunt his wealth, as shown by his ring name, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. He knows that while this is not something that is relatable to everyone, millions of his fans adore him for it. This leads to his antics on the stage, as was seen in the New York chapter of the promotion.    McGregor on the other hand, is someone that is known to be a lovable fighter who isn’t afraid to challenge men bigger and stronger than him. His advantage is his trash talk, which he never shies away from. This shows us that we need to find our niche and capitalize on it. If you are a company that primarily targets teenagers, you need to understand the psyche of a typical teenager and target it. You need to adapt with time and be up-to-date on the latest trends.   The last thing that I want to talk about is negative marketing. You need to understand that when you are a public entity open to criticism from millions of people, you need to be careful with what you say and do. You can never satisfy each and every one of the consumers, but you can always try to avoid making any mistakes. An example of this is Uber, with the CEO resigning in disgrace, the company’s reputation has taken a major hit. Competitors will not waste a single minute in highlighting your flaws, and so you need to be very careful with how you act as a company.   Finally, something that is worth thinking about is the fact that, while marketing is a lot about standing out, you need to target people’s hearts and loyalty. You need to develop a brand with which the consumers feel synonymous, and which they are loyal too. Loyal consumers will get you more business than a good ad might, and so you need to work towards making a place in people’s heart. Just like fans of either fighter will go to any length to defend their hero, you need to be a company that people want to defend and hold up on a pedestal.
    Jul 17, 2017 747
  •  As I was re-watching The Social Network the other day, it dawned upon me that Facebook was founded nearly 13 years ago. Yes, I know. It seems like just yesterday, doesn’t it? As I am working in the field of startups, my mind automatically started thinking in that direction. I tried to come up with another startup that was as big as Facebook, or even had as much potential.   So I decided to do some research, and I came to the surprising, and frankly terrifying conclusion that there had been no major tech startup since Facebook, and as mentioned before, that was more than a decade ago. This put a question in my mind that led me to writing this blog. Is this the end of tech startups? All the way from the 70s, with Microsoft and Apple, to the early 2000s with Facebook, tech was the field to be in. It had high paying jobs and unmatched profit margins. This is clear as Bill Gates was named the richest man in the world for the 16th time in 2016.    You might think that I am crazy as you read this article because you have heard of companies such as Uber, Airbnb etc who came much after Facebook. While Uber had the potential to become a company that was in the same league as Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc., their recent troubles has put them in tight spot. With the CEO resigning in disgrace, the company’s future certainly seems to be in jeopardy. On the other hand, while Airbnb is a multi-billion-dollar company worth $31 billion, its value is just 7% of that of Facebook.   After carefully analyzing the situation, I came to the conclusion that this dilemma was due to saturation and dominance in the market. In today’s day and age companies are wary of competition and are aggressive in their approach. Giants such as Facebook, Google, Apple etc. are looking out for their competitors in order to acquire them before they can reach their maximum potential. This is also increasing the value of the parent companies, making the rich, richer. I am sure we have all heard the news of Snapchat refusing to be acquired by Facebook, hence directly competing with it. By the time new companies with potential enter the market, the industry is already saturated with competition. To illustrate their dominance, we can go over the companies owned by Facebook and Google. In 2012 Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion and then two years later bought WhatsApp for $19 billion. On the other hand, Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006 and also bought Android in 2005. If these companies had still been independent, they could have challenged the empires created by Facebook and Google.   There are other strategies employed by these giants to bring down their competitors. Facebook introduced Snapchat-like features in all three of its social networking sites. This created pressure on Snapchat, reducing its stock price. Google tried to acquire Yelp in 2012, but was turned down. Google responded to this by launching their own product, and furthermore used their dominance in the search market to promote their own product while pushing down Yelp reviews at the same time. This made it harder for Yelp to attract new customers and severely hampered Yelp’s attempt at expanding overseas. Combine this with the fact that companies require huge amounts of money in order to compete in the market. Back in the day, when Google was launched, you could enter the market with a modest amount of investment. However, this is not possible today as you have to directly compete with companies such as Facebook that appear to have unlimited resources.   With all these problems being faced by startups, the future of the tech industry appears to be uncertain. In addition to that innovation is happening in different fields in today’s world. We can see this with what Elon Musk is doing with Tesla and SpaceX. I personally hope to see some new players in the tech market, and hopefully we will be privy to a game-changer soon enough.            
    Jul 13, 2017 292
  • Being home for four months on vacation, I had a lot of time on my hand and not a lot of work. After putting in some thought, I decided that doing an internship would be the best use of my time. Thus started the process of applying for internships, on various platforms, over the next week. Having applied to jobs that I deemed a good fit for me, all I had to now do was wait for the acceptances and the interviews to come around. Within the next few days I was accepted to over 10 companies and now I had the privilege to be able to choose from them.   Companies ranged from MNCs worth millions of dollars, to startups that weren’t even a month old. I now had to choose what kind of company I wanted to work in, and I chose to work for a startup. The reason for this was simple, as supposedly you learn more while working for startups.   I think I am now in the perfect position to judge this statement for a fact, having worked in a startup for the past one month. I would like to share in this article my thoughts, both good and bad, about working in a startup.   I would first like to address the elephant in the room, the fact that you learn more when you work for a startup. Never having worked for a well-established corporation, I am not in a position to comment on the experience of working in one. However, I can comment on the experience of working in startup. Being an Economics and Mathematics student, I thought I would be involved in the finance side of things. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Over the past one month I worked on subjects ranging from marketing to business research. Frankly, working in a startup is not for someone who does not like to learn and experience new things. In addition to the core subject you have expertise in, you would be required to work on a plethora of things. You might be asked to make calls to clients, pitch ideas to investors and so on and so forth. While to the common man this might seem like a waste of time, the experience which you gain from doing all these tasks is invaluable. You learn to communicate with people under pressure while making sure you have all your facts right. I don’t know about you, but as an eighteen-year-old, I can only be thankful for such an experience.   Everyone knows that work is all the more bearable when you work with people you can talk to, and maybe even be friends with. Startups usually have a work force that ranges from anywhere between five to fifty people and this means that employees know each other by name. Being on first-name basis with everyone in the office makes the job so much easier, as you can cooperate with each other on those extensive projects, or call in when you might be late for work so that your colleagues can cover up for you. All in all, knowing your colleagues is awesome and makes work fun.   On a similar note, one of the biggest advantages of working in a startup is the fact that you get to interact with everyone in the office. I have personally worked with the CEO of the startup I work in, and it is truly an enriching experience. Learning, first-hand from a person who has approximately twenty years of experience in the field, is something that cannot be underestimated. In a MNC you will rarely interact with the manager and that too for only a couple of minutes at a time. Working with someone who has so much to offer is lucrative to almost everyone.   One of the reasons why I settled in so quickly within the organization is the fact that there is no age barrier. Your position in the organization is directly related to the amount of work you do and the quality of your work. You can be the youngest member on the team, but you will receive a certain status based solely on your aptitude and contribution. This should be encouraging for everyone out there who has suffered due to office politics of any kind.   The only drawback with my experience of working in a startup was the brand name. When you tell someone you’re working in startup that they probably haven’t heard of, more often than not, you won’t receive the same reaction as that of working in an established corporation.   However, the choice you have to make is whether you want to be surrounded in a place full of energy, motivation and innovation, where you have a chance to drastically improve your skillset. Or do you want to be one of the innumerable men, who work 9 to 5 and do the same task over and over? The choice is yours, but when you want to experience something new, know that startups don’t judge based on age.    
    Jul 10, 2017 369
  • Working capital is a fund which is required by business organisations to run their day to day activities. Banks and financial institutions provide loans to businesses to fulfil their requirement of working capital. This is done on the basis of their performance, credit rating and overall predictability of the business organisation. Given the situation of the current Indian market, a well thought and intelligent idea can turn into a great business model. Hence, to promote SMEs to start implementing new business ideas in India, the government has initiated different incentives. Over 30 million SMEs have been started in India over the last decade. However, some of these businesses are slowing down due to shortage of working capital fund. This is because of the lack of trust that the banks or financial institutions place in the companies, along with a complicated and long process of fund approval system in financial institutions. In order to make lending of funds to SMEs more convenient, Gaurav Hinduja and Shashank Rishyasringa have come up with the Capital Float company. They started in 2013 in Bangalore and are working in the digital finance sector. “We felt that it was the right time to get in, because India is going to look a lot like the US in five years. In the US, you see a lot of businesses doing digital lending because the infrastructure is present,” says Sashank, co-founder of Capital Float. The founder of Capital Float Gaurav Hinduja and Sashank Rishyasringaadd are of the opinion that smartphones have made it easy for people to apply for loans. This is because they can have their creditworthiness analysed within minutes and so a loan can now be approved and disbursed within the hour. Capital Float is an online platform that provides working capital finance to SMEs and start-ups in India and offer flexible, short term loans that can be used to purchase inventory, service new orders or optimize cash cycles. With the help of this company, borrowers can apply online in minutes, select desired payment terms and receive funds in their bank account in 3 days with minimal hassle. Capital Float is the trade name of ZEN LEFIN PVT LTd, a non banking finance company (NBFC) registered with the RBI. Capital Float is backed by George Soros’s Aspada Investment company, SAIF partners and Sequoia Capital. It has raised more than $80 million in debt and equity. The company has raised USD $ 13 Million in Series A- funding, USD $ 25 Million in series-B funding, led by creation investment Capital management LLC. The Capital Float venture, since inception, has partnered with companies across verticals, having forged partnerships with E-commerce websites, payment gateways, cab service such as Snapdeal, PayTM, Shopclues, eBay, Alibaba, Amazon, VIA, Yatra, Mswipe, Pine Labs, Bijlipay, ICICI Merchant Services, and UBER. The company is engaged with small business, E-commerce merchants, manufacturers and early stage business to business service providers across India. Capital Float Company has two types of products that can be used to purchase inventory and service new orders. For inventory based players like Myntra and Zovi, they underwrite receivables and for inventory purchase, they provide 60, 90 or 120 days of working capital loans. As additional working capital loan helps vendors to expand horizontally and give equal weightage to all E-commerce sites. Capital Float has come with innovative products such as ‘Pay Later’, which gives loans to retailers against data on PoS machines. Capital Float, which primarily handles E-commerce finance, has seen 8x times growth in 2016. So far, Company has disbursed almost INR 150 crores in 2015. It disbursed almost INR 1000 crores to over 1,000 customers in 40 cities across the country within 10 months from April 2016 to January 2017. For the current year, the company has disbursed around INR 1500 crores with an interest rate between 16-20 percent. This depends on the risk assessment of the individual. The team also takes on a fee income, which is one to two percent on processing a loan. Capital Float Venture is offering short term loans in the range of INR 25,000 and INR 30 millions. The company is offering time duration for disbursing large ticket size loan is three days whereas for small ticket loans a little as 90 seconds. As per Gaurav Hinduja, he is expecting 500% rise in disbursals of all his products by increasing the customer base by 600%. Total loan disbursals of the company’s products in the market rose steeply with Pay Later and unsecured business loan being the top performing products with 140% and 300% growth respectively over 2015. Company having lent to 7000 borrowers in 2016-17, Capital Float is aiming to finance 20,000 of them in the next one year, including 10,000 kirana stores, with about 60% of its total borrowers coming from outside metro cities.
    Jul 06, 2017 450


Premium

  • 12 Dec 2016
    To succeed with your idea, it is important to work on the problems currently faced by a group of people. It ensures that the problem really exists. It sounds obvious to say that business ideas should only work on problems that exist. however, most common mistakes entrepreneurs make is to solve problems that don't exist.   Why so many start up venture into something that no one wants ? Because they are merely looking at doing something different, without gauging the potential of their idea. When we run our ideas with our friends they don't say they won't use the byproduct, but you get a response that it sounds great and they may potentially use it at some point tomorrow. However, after you launch, you have zero users.   When an idea launches, there have to be at least some users who really need what the byproduct is, not just potential users, but those who want it urgently. Usually this group of idea users is small, because if there was something that a large number of people urgently needed, it would already exist.   Enterprising people often hold back their start-up ideas as they fear that their ideas may be copied or ridiculed, instead of calculating the potential of the idea by exposing it to a community or group of people, who may become  potential users of the byproduct of that idea. Entrepreneurs have to move out to find this group of users and litmus test their innovation before investing time and money.   How do you tell whether there's a path out of your idea? How do you ascertain whether something has the potential of a next Google, Apple or Facebook, or it is just a niche product that may or may not succeed?   Most successful founders don't even realize at first how big a market they are targeting. They grow while exploring their idea and change their business model into something that appeals to a group of people who need their byproducts urgently. This is entrepreneurship.       Sharing ideas on a dedicated platform such as Idea Center on bornbrio.com will help you  get neutral reactions from those who don't worry much about the relationship, but consider the usability based on their actual needs. It is a litmus test for the success of your idea. You could potentially have a demand created even before you launch the final product. For sure you can get loads of suggestions that can be filtered to create a much more refined product.   History testifies that people have indeed copied  ideas, however, not before those ridiculed ideas proved themselves for those who  replicated them. For example, Ola  copied Uber’s successful business model after Uber was valued in billions of dollars and e-commerce marketplace player, Flipkart expects government to provide protection to counter the leader -Amazon in its eCommerce business. Neither Uber nor Amazon made any efforts to wrap their ideas and make them confidential, but they went on to try them by talking about them.   Groundbreaking ideas can rarely be copied before they become a reality, because they are different and need skills and in-depth thought process unique to the individual who successfully grooms the idea into successful business. More often than not, potential ideas die their death, due to lack of knowledge and skills to execute them.  In other cases the idea simply seems too attractive for the individual who thinks it, but is unable to gather the momentum in terms of the users of the byproduct of that idea.   Sharing your idea motivates you to work further on your half-baked ideas when people question, appreciate and inspire you.  You can get a co-founder, who shares your vision. You will also have access to mentors who will guide you on your way forward and  the investors who may be willing  to bet on your idea.   Testify your ideas and gather the groups of users who need its byproduct urgently. That's the sole mantra for success. You can do it by keeping everything confidential and investing in each of your idea, before most of them are proved worthless, simply because there are no users for your niche or you can start today and publish whatever comes to your mind and select those who appeal to a group of users.   Think what would happen if all of the startups in Silicon Valley suddenly stopped talking to each other? The answer is predictable: deal flows, partnerships and innovation would stop. The time that an idea takes towards becoming the next giant will only go up multi-fold and many ideas which get ridiculed, would  not even see the light of the day.   Go on and share your thoughts on Idea Center at www.bornbrio.com. Realize the next big venture with the Innovators, the group, who needs your products.    
    1 Posted by Expert Advisor
  • 17 Jul 2017
    With the fight of the century, starring Connor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather right around the corner, every morning I have been watching highlights of the promotional events taking place. These videos were of interest to me for two reasons; my interest in boxing, and the marketing genius displayed by both these fighters. It is estimated that the value of this fight is over $527 million, with Mayweather getting $400 million and McGregor getting the rest. This disparity is due to the fact that Mayweather is his own promoter and doesn’t have to provide a cut to someone else, like McGregor has to, to the UFC.     To put things into perspective, Zomato is estimated to be worth $500 million. Yes, that is right, two fighters, fighting for 36 minutes in a ring are worth more than a successful company that has existed since 2008. All this might seem too good to bet true but it’s not. There is one reason behind the success of this fight and that is: MARKETING. We can learn a lot about marketing from this fight, and I want to help break it down for you.   We must first acknowledge the fact that boxing is a sport that is a lot about promotion, and that boxers are typically good at promoting their fights. Keeping this in mind, the fact of the matter is that both Floyd and McGregor are insanely better at this than their competitors. We can break down marketing by analyzing the way that these two fighters go about with their promotion. McGregor is someone who relies on intimidating his opponents and saying things that other fighters would be petrified of saying at the world stage. This highlights a key component of marketing, and that is creativity. You need to be creative with your campaigns to catch the eye of the public. In order for the masses to remember your product, you need to be unique and stand out in their minds. You have millions of companies advertising their products to you every single day, but it is only the ones that stand out in your mind that actually make a difference.   On the other hand, Mayweather has a different approach to his trash talk as compared to McGregor. He is cautious in what he says and makes sure to point out his accomplishments from the past. This gives us another valuable lesson when it comes to marketing and that is: brand name. You need to be able to back up your words and not attempt to oversell yourself. We have all seen universities claiming to be ranked number one in the country, when we know for a fact that, that is not the case. Doesn’t this lower your opinion of the university in your eyes? We also see that when you create a good brand name for yourself, you open up avenues that you previously could not access. We see many forms of innovative advertising from companies that would not be successful without their brand name. Hence, companies should focus on perfecting their product and developing a reputation of excellence in the market.   As a fan of combat sports, it was torture for us to see Mayweather and McGregor go back and forth for years without there being a possibility of a fight. However, when both parties realized that they have maximized the interest of the fans, they decided on a date for the fight within no time. In retrospect it was one of the most cunning marketing moves that I have ever seen. Both fighters used their banter to peak the interest of the consumers, and decided to capitalize on it at the most opportune time. This teaches us that marketing is all about timing and being relevant in the market. When you have a product that is going to hit the market, you need to make sure that the interest in the product is at a point when you will be able to make maximum profit. At the same time, you have to understand that the consumers will only buy your product if it is relevant at the time. The promoters for the fight realized this as well, as consumers were getting frustrated and decided to finalize the terms of the fight.   The next thing that is important is: knowing your consumer base and being able to relate to them. Both fighters have a certain type of crowd that they attract and they know it. Mayweather knows that his image in the market consists mainly of him being a wealthy celebrity who likes to flaunt his wealth, as shown by his ring name, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. He knows that while this is not something that is relatable to everyone, millions of his fans adore him for it. This leads to his antics on the stage, as was seen in the New York chapter of the promotion.    McGregor on the other hand, is someone that is known to be a lovable fighter who isn’t afraid to challenge men bigger and stronger than him. His advantage is his trash talk, which he never shies away from. This shows us that we need to find our niche and capitalize on it. If you are a company that primarily targets teenagers, you need to understand the psyche of a typical teenager and target it. You need to adapt with time and be up-to-date on the latest trends.   The last thing that I want to talk about is negative marketing. You need to understand that when you are a public entity open to criticism from millions of people, you need to be careful with what you say and do. You can never satisfy each and every one of the consumers, but you can always try to avoid making any mistakes. An example of this is Uber, with the CEO resigning in disgrace, the company’s reputation has taken a major hit. Competitors will not waste a single minute in highlighting your flaws, and so you need to be very careful with how you act as a company.   Finally, something that is worth thinking about is the fact that, while marketing is a lot about standing out, you need to target people’s hearts and loyalty. You need to develop a brand with which the consumers feel synonymous, and which they are loyal too. Loyal consumers will get you more business than a good ad might, and so you need to work towards making a place in people’s heart. Just like fans of either fighter will go to any length to defend their hero, you need to be a company that people want to defend and hold up on a pedestal.
    1 Posted by Ruhaan Dev Tyagi
  • 12 Dec 2017
    Appreciating more than 50% in just a couple of days, BitCoin climbed past $16,000 for the first time this week. CME Group, launched the first BitCoin futures contract on Dec 10, making it possible for BitCoin aspirants to trade in BitCoin or as one of the economist termed it - “Speculate with BitCoin”. BitCoin in 2013 saw a similar meteoric rise, hitting peak of over $1,100 in November and then plummeted to $300 in Dec 2014.  So why do we have this excitement again around the crypto-currency?   To understand this let us look at Blockchain, the underlying technology of BitCoin.  Blockchain is transformational as it allows decentralized transactions without the need for trust or for a central authority to manage it. So you can create digital contracts that are verified by the peers and settled by the system without any ambiguity and cost. With conventional central data storage, the central authority controls the underlying database or ledger. Consequently, it also controls what other entities are permitted to contribute. Blockchain allows this data to be held by multiple independent entities that are naturally permitted to contribute. All entities that participate in distributed data storage form a network of so-called nodes or peers. All nodes agree upon a common truth through a consensus mechanism. There are two types of technologies prevailing in the market – Permissionless and Permissioned. Permissionless, such as BitCoin are public ledgers whereas permissioned such as Hyperledger are private and restrictive. Blockchain also allows you to potentially transact in assets across categories.     “BitCoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate.” - Marc Andreessen   As in the statement above, BitCoin has become a term synonymous with its underlying technology and thus the momentum and speculation seen in the market today.  Roger Ver, CEO of BitCoin.com, said on CNBC's Fast Money, "I think in the short run it can run up a lot more, but it's no longer a crypt-currency. It's just a game of hot potato at this point, and games of hot potatoes can go on for a long time, and lots of people can pump a lot of money into it and it might go on for even decades. But as far as it being used as money, the developers behind that have destroyed that at this point."   One of the early investors in BitCoin, Roger, simply implies that the speculations are running high. The development of the technology and its parallels created in the industry will eventually see BitCoin competing for technology rather than its value as a currency. So Blockchain is the name of the game and that is why very smart people are focusing on it. Imagine all your land records, bank accounts, properties, stock trades and physical goods facilitated through Blockchain smart contracts. You will have billions and billions of dollars of efficiency gains creating value for everyone in the system.   A lot of proponents of the BitCoin claim, that BitCoin will make Central Banks redundant and that’s the genesis of it. The point that many of them forget is that Central Banks do not exist to print money, but to manage the monetary policy. Imagine yourself in 2007, at the middle of global economic crisis.  To create liquidity, would you allow BitCoin owners to pump more BitCoins into the global financial system? The moment BitCoin attempts to do something like that, we will likely see it being wiped off as a currency. Central banks have two mandates – (i) Control Inflation (ii) Manage Monetary factors (Interest rates & Liquidity) for growth. None of these can be achieved by any crypto-currency, unless Central Banks themselves are at the helm of the crypto-currency. Time has come for the Central Banks to look at Blockchain as a technology for managing the monetary policy.   We see a new virtual currency being announced every day and we will see many more coming before the global financial system transforms itself into Blockchain. The value creation for most such systems will be the transaction fees they charge in their native crypto- currencies to facilitate the Blockchain trades. Then we have the Crypto-currency Exchanges that facilitate trading of virtual currencies. If you are looking at investing, consider investing into either a Blockchain technology or a Crypto-currency Exchange, as the gains will likely be far more than investing in BitCoin or Ethers.
    1 Posted by Expert Advisor


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    Jul 13, 2017 1