Thursday, 24 July 2014

On 00:19 by Vishal Sawlani in    No comments
What the heck is “The Internet of Things”!! These days, very often I come across this Tech slogan so I decided to study about it and as a result, I have come to know about so called incredible millennial generation stuff. Why it is called “The Internet of Things” because it describes the fact that many everyday objects, from smart diapers to self-driving cars, have the ability to send and receive data via the Internet.
This clearly conveys the message that we will have more data than ever before, indeed, we will soon have data about most things on the planet. Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt brings it to a point: “From the dawn of civilization until 2003, humankind generated five exabytes of data. Now we produce five exabytes every two days…and the pace is accelerating.”

This huge increase in data means we can use it to create a smarter world, where buildings sense and predict temperatures outside and adjust heating or air conditioning systems inside, where cars will drive themselves, where electricity and water grids self-diagnose problems, where your alarm clock monitors your sleep and wakes you up at the right time so your body doesn’t feel tired and where your baby’s diaper tweet you when it needs changing.

A futuristic dream? No, all of these things are already here today.
Here are the 10 hot and practical examples of what The Internet of Things can do today, each with its functions, price and rating.

1) Google Glass Explorer Edition
Function: The connected glasses from Google that give you computing power and hands free information right in front of your eyes. For example, it allows wearers to communicate with the Internet using natural language voice commands, a touch pad and the in-build camera. Information is returned via voice to your ear piece or via the display in the glasses. You can also take HD videos or photos, and soon new apps will allow you use Google Glass for many crazy things including recognize faces, track your exercise, translate text, see reminders, go on Facebook and Twitter, etc.
Price: $1900
Rating: 4.8/5
2) Withings WiFi Body Scale
Function: These WiFi scales recognize you and it not only monitors your weight, body mass index and heart rate, but also the air quality in our house. These Wi-Fi-equipped scales synch the data to the Health Mate app which allows you to set targets for weight loss or gain, and monitor your progress
Price: $300
Rating: 4.5/5
3) Sense Mother
Function: It is actually a sneaky spy, capable enough to give every detail of your family’s movements and daily activities. Small sensors known as motion cookies can be given to every family member so everyone knows where everyone else is, at any given time as long as they have access to the app.
Price: $300
Rating: 4.2/5
4) Sony Smart Tennis Sensor
Function: Sharpen up your tennis skills with these sensors that attach to compatible rackets and serves up data on your serves and swings, to help you tweak your game. This is currently only available in Japan
Price: $175
Rating: 4/5
5) Trakdot Luggage
Function: Trakdot aims to offer travellers peace of mind, by letting them track the location of their luggage. Patented technology switches off transmitters and receivers while they are in the cargo hold and reactivates them when they are unloaded, automatically contacting the owner through local cell networks to report their location.
Price: $50
Rating: 3.9/5
6) Jawbone Up band
Function: It is designed to track and record data about our lifestyle, to help us make informed decisions on improving how we eat, sleep and move. The data is synched to an Android device or iPhone where it is presented as visualizations which can be analyzed by the user to provide useful insights. It gives you a smart alarm function that wakes you up when it is best.
Price: $150
Rating: 3.8/4
7) Microsoft Septimu Earbuds with Musical Heart
Function: This technology which will allow sensors in ear buds to work out what mood you’re in based on your heart rate, body temperature and biorhythms. Musical Heart automatically picks music according to your biorhythms. If you are upset and your heart is pounding and your body is tense, it can choose music to calm you down. Or if you are working out and want to keep your heart rate at a particular intensity, it will choose music to motivate you.
Estimated Price: $45

8) Digital Diapers
Function: These diapers will automatically analyze the urine and alert me to the onset of any infections even before any physical symptoms appear. Diapers with sensors that send an alert to your smartphone or a compatible wristband when they become wet
Estimated Price: 35% expensive than regular diapers
9) Belkin Wemo Home Automation
Function: This is a line of wifi-enabled home automation devices controlled from the mobile Wemo app, which promises to save you money along with the convenience of controlling everything from one hub. It uses Insight Switches – pass-through plugs which fit into wall adapters making it possible to remotely switch on or off any electronic device, as well as monitoring the amount of power it uses. You can add other features such as Wemo motion sensors, to automatically switch lights on or off as you move around the house.
Price: $72
Rating: 4.2/5
10) Digital Pills
Function: These US FDA approved pills come with in-built sensors, so when you swallow them, they take information from the inside of your body and submit it to devices such as smart phones. These pills will be able to alert you to any medical problems - just imagine a pill that senses the onset of labor in pregnant women and automatically informs their doctor and midwife.
Price: yet to be decided
Just imagine what will happen when you connect all these devices in even smarter ways – when some device claims to control your brain and its thoughts and gives you an insights about how much productive your brain is and what can be done to improve the usage of brain usage.

When Google starts reading our mind and understand our search needs and provide search solution before much we actually need it.

Keeping these emerging and new technological trends, I see endless opportunities for business, science and governments to exploit this new data tidal wave. The only challenge is that what % of the population will be able to experience these emerging technology gadgets!!
I hope this blog details have actually made the often fuzzy concept of The Internet of Things clearer. Please let me know about your views on “Internet of Things”.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

On 05:35 by Vishal Sawlani in    No comments

Few years ago, when virtual world did not exist, things were not too complex when it comes to business as customers were not very demanding and analytical but now as we are exploring the new opportunities and platforms offered by this so called virtual world i.e. digital media, cloud computing, social media, wearable smart technologies etc. Day after day, things have started becoming more complex as customers have become more informative and logical when it comes to making buying decision. Earlier, influencers were identified and targeted but now in this virtual world, it is difficult to find influencers as customer’s interactive medium has become virtual and it has become wider. Customers have become more vulnerable these days when it comes to brand commitment unlike earlier days, when loyalty was regarded and rewarded.

Over and above, stiff nature of competition has also played a vital role to make things even more complex as customers are now bombarded and confused with lot of product options. People have acclimatized their lifestyle and behavior to deal with these emerging trends of virtual world.

In such a highly complex economic and business environment, it has become challenge for companies to target customer and increase profitable sales. Now days, companies are merely focusing on surviving strategies rather growth strategies. Gone are days, when companies were focusing on long term growth strategies and business processes to build sustainable business model but now I am surprised to see the way companies have become shortsighted when it comes to sales. Everybody wants immediate favorable sales results due to vulnerable nature of economic and business environment.

To deal with this complex and challenging business environment, some of the leading companies have changed their ways to operate their respective businesses by keeping customer’s changing and vulnerable behavior and needs into consideration. Companies haves started adopting practices which actually help them to target customers in a personalized fashion but the question is how do they do it? In an era of virtual world where we spend our time on mobile, social media and digital media, we actually leave lot of digital data of our activities I.e. conversation on social media, private emails are stored in cloud system, phone conversation etc.
More and more of our activities are digitally recorded: Most things we do in our digitalized world leave a data trail. For example, what we are searching for and what websites we visit, how we click through them, as well as what and when we buy, share or like something. When we read digital books or listen to digital music the devices will collect (and share) data on what we are reading and listening to and how often we do so. And when we make payments using credit or payment cards the transactions are logged.
So, we are living in a world of “Datafication” where we have a lot more data than ever before, in more complex formats, that are often fast moving and of varying quality. The best part is we now have Analytics and Business Intelligence tools and methods that allow us to analyze vast amounts of data by breaking the task of processing very large data sets down into smaller tasks that are run in parallel using a large cluster of computers. As a result, we get to know about action insights of each customer. This is what helps companies to stand out from their competitors and make companies capable enough to claim decent consumer mind space.
Amazon, largest ecommerce giant is leveraging this Big Data and using predictive analytics and as a result, it has been successfully doing personalized sales.Some of the world’s leading advertisers, such as L'OrĂ©al Paris, Intel and Fiat, have discovered new ways to use Google Search Trends – for personalized sales. From search volume and search keywords, these companies are trying to understand consumer’s behavior by location.

Personalized Marketing is an emerging trend and is only solution left out with companies to deal with such a complex sales situation and also to ensure increasing growth rate of profitable sales.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with this sales revolution? Are you ready to leverage data and capitalize this new emerging trend of personalized sales?
On 05:22 by Vishal Sawlani in    No comments

In business, there is always pressure to gain higher market share and profitable sales. To fulfill both these objectives, it is important to have good presence in all territories so to do this; we have to penetrate into new territories to explore the opportunities provided by that territory. To get entry into new territory and start from the scratch to start sales is always a big challenge as sometimes we have to deal with competitors who already have long dominant presence in the similar territory. This calls for another challenge which is to get positioning into consumer’s mind space and then product/brand acceptability.

Keeping how challenging it is to build strong product presence into new territory into consideration following measures to be taken in steps for an effective execution and rewarding sales.

 Set Your Target
• First, set goals for this new territory like what sales company is expecting from this new territory in first 6 months and in next 2 years? Company has to be patient and has to give adequate time to understand and develop the market.

Know Your Customer
• Study customer first to know what they think about you as a brand. You will get to know brand-customer mind reach gap which may further help you build your action plan.
• Find out the pain areas of customers of new territory in terms of product-service-need gap.

Know Your Competitors
• Study what competition has been doing good in that territory to get the major market share
• Find out weak areas of competitions like poor service, customer dissatisfaction, product complaints, poor customer handling, higher price of the product etc.

Fix your Communication Strategy
• Launch your brand/product campaign in phases highlighting USPs of your product/service. This should cover all strengths of yours and pain areas of competition.
• Remember, this campaign design and execution should be creative and appealing enough to become talk of the town. This should actually strike the market and competition too.
Sales Execution Strategy
• Assign dedicated and adequate sales reps to cover market and also to give assurance of all time presence to targeted market and customers both.
• It is very important that sales team should be trained and motivated enough to make sure that they must have long term commitment and will not flee away while facing tough situations.
• Tie up with other local influential channels which have long time presence in that territory and also are directly/indirectly play a vital role in your product sales life cycle.
• Last but not the least, it is very important to have all your top management, backend sales staff and other sales dept. to be extra cautious besides being active and responsive enough when it comes to supporting this territory.

Focus on Customer Delightness

• Focus on increasing customer touch points to ensure not to miss single customer query and also to ensure speedy customer query resolution.
• Start addressing customer’s issues in a personal manner and thereby building confidence amongst consumer’s mind.

Reexamine Market
• Restudy the market at regular intervals to know the changing market trends besides knowing customer needs – product fitment gap and take corrective measures to meet customer expectations for better market penetration.
Planning is worth nothing unless executed efficiently so it is very important to have smooth and timely execution of the planning which in turn help to have profitable sales and higher market share.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

On 10:23 by Vishal Sawlani in    1 comment
In my dreams, I see India as a place where I do not find stinking air, even a tiny piece of paper on roads, people spitting on the roads or walls, anybody peeing along the roadside, anybody using poly bags, innocent kids begging for food and money. I see India as a country where everything goes in accordance with the system, where I don’t see anybody honking unnecessarily while driving or arguing in the middle of the road. Well, my wish list to will go on and on to make my country India the best place to live in but I know, you know that this is not the reality.
You all might be thinking that these all must be happening in dreams only! Or you would say get something real and come out of ideal world! But if I tell you that such ideal places exist in the world and to name a few, I would say there are countries like Germany, Switzerland, France, and Japan .All these countries have their unique way of social and civil life style which makes them an ideal place to live in.

Now you will say that they are way ahead of us in terms of technology and economy which actually helps them to keep their city, state and country neat and clean. Trust me; it is about our own belief only that if we decide to contribute then it is possible and in fact it is very easy to make our country a neat and clean place but the point is that our complacent attitude and ignorance to shoulder our responsibilities makes things worst. It is we who litter our vicinity, our roads and our society.

A lot of times, I have heard that we people want to live in a neat and tidy house but not in a neat and clean city but What I feel that to make things better, it is not only our community who can do it alone but it is our governance too who has to contribute via building better infrastructure in order to make things happen. What is lacking is a common drive across nation.

Now let us study the root cause of the problem and what could be the solution to encounter each problem faced by the society to make India a neat and clean country.

1) People throwing garbage on the road, railway stations and gardens
Why – Because they don’t find any trashcan nearby where garbage can be thrown. Second reason is our complacent attitude.
1) Govt. authority should ensure dustbin facility at every street corner.
2) While travelling, to manage things better, we can always carry small trash bag in our car where we can throw small garbage (wrappers/can/leftover food/papers) and the same can be finally disposed at proper place like street dustbin or house dustbin.
3) Here, our attitude will play a vital role. Believe me; people in foreign countries have been following this simple practice for last so many years.

2) Spitting& Peeing on the roads and walls
Why – Because if not on roads and walls then where to spit or pee.
Solution - There has to be a solution because how long will people take to realize the importance of our motherland. It’s time for each and every one of us to give back what she deserves.
1) To deal with this problem, why cannot we have our own spit bags while travelling? It is more comfortable!
2) Those who travel without spit bags and want to spit then they can spit at nearby toilets.
3) Yes it is essential that we must have toilet facility at every 500mtrs to begin with and 2 toilet facilities in big societies and garden.
If these solutions are implemented properly then I am sure this spitting and peeing on the roads will become part of history and we can have stink free roads and clean walls.

 How to Implement and Monitor –Where there is a will, there is a way. There are several ways to monitor these things and ensure effective implementation. To make things simpler and easier, we can implement this in metro cities and later on, the same can be replicated in other cities and towns of India. First and foremost thing is that it is our govt. authority, be it local or state or central that has to build and ensure all these facilities and then we can expect our community to adhere to the system. Let us see what are the possible ways to monitor and implement in order to make our India a neat and clean place.

1) Let private authority take the maintenance responsibility of these facilities.
2) Rolling out fine system in case of failure to adhere the system.
3) Take a snap of the individual breaking rules and publish in local newspaper.
4) Go and talk to the person in case he/she is not following the system.
5) Govt. should build adequate cells and one toll free no. to connect with public.
6)  Good citizens should be rewarded for their good work.
7) Every individual should take it as a daily mission.
8) In schools and colleges, this practice should be implemented by students.
9) Each RWA should be made responsible for their local area.
10) Govt. should use digital and other marketing mediums to disseminate this message out.

I have always heard that India is a country of a youth population and India has a great future. It is a matter of time only, one day India will rock for sure. When we do not know! If we do not know then why we have not taken a single step towards making India a better place to live in? Nothing happens overnight and if there is right time to start anything then it is NOW. I believe, if we can’t contribute our bit then we have no rights to crib about it. If we want to do it for our country then do it now by taking small initiatives and it is time to lead by an example. Let us move ahead together.
Let us all pledge that we will not take our motherland for granted and we will make our country neat and clean and send a very clear message not only to the rest of the world but also to our upcoming generations as they are the one who are supposed to take it forward as mature and responsible citizens of this beautiful country.
 I hope we all are ready to pull up our socks and ready to make India the best place to live in the world. Yes it is possible but this time let us not wait.
To make India better, it is not me or a couple of individuals who can make a difference but it is we together who can make difference. so friends, what’s your take on it? I would love to hear from you.

On 08:05 by Vishal Sawlani in    No comments
Parenting!! For me the word parenting brings a sense of responsibility, maturity and confidence to prepare kids for the whole life as social and prolific human being and ensuring kid’s health and safety besides ensuring transmission of cultural values. Think about our parents and I am sure, we all tend to find our parent’s parenting style as one of the best in the world. Gone are the days when parents belonging to Gen-X used to be present physically all the time to take care of their kids and in absence of parents, grandparents used to take care of their grandchildren. Parenting could be one of the most rewarding yet challenging jobs as parents are responsible for shielding kids from physical and psychological pain/injuries. Parents are children’s first and foremost teachers, guide, counselors and nurturers.

We all are rolling very fast to maintain socio status and in 21st century, it is very surprising to see the way parenting style has been changing. For me, Gen Z parenting can be defined as giving adequate space to kids and themselves both to ensure self-development and self-learning of their kids.

Gen Z parenting has brought lot of challenges pertaining to kid’s development, kid’s access to tech stuff, parents living style, external environment’s influence on kids. If you are living in a nuclear family, one question will always keep bothering you – “how can I look after my child whilst I am at work?”
With the increased number of working mothers, nowadays more often than not we see more and more young kids are being left at home in the hands of caretaker. As I had mentioned earlier, the whole parenting style has gradually changed due to the fact that the extended family system has been replaced with the nuclear family model. This is something unreal, because if caretaker is looking after your child, she will not meet your expectations. For me, it is very disturbing to see that parents are trying to replace themselves completely with caretakers in order to ensure that work life balance.

What Gen Z parents are ignoring here is the void which is being created intuitively between parents and their children at the very early age of their growth journey because caretaker cannot perform like parents who otherwise could have taken care of their children from the bottom of their heart. This could be dangerous further due to lack of proper attention from parents, Gen Z kids might develop separation anxiety.
Nowadays, very often you might have observed that parents either hang around at various malls, events and tourist places with their caretaker taking care of their kids. I feel very sickened when I see such mean parents who take their responsibilities as burden or as a tedious job and feel very pity for such kids who don’t get much deserved attention and love from their parents.
Parents need to nurture and teach their children how to act. They should realize and acknowledge about small kids expectations towards them. It is unwise to let our children‘s caretaker perform our key role. Gen-Z Parents must understand that they should not be over-ambitious to the extent that they sacrifice the love of their children. We all might have heard of incidents where some parents leave their kids to sleep with the caretaker because they are too tired to wake up and feed the child. Sometimes, I have observed kids preferring their caretakers to take care of them instead of their own parents, and this is simply because the child feels rejected by their parents. I wish to advise such parents to   give enough attention and spend time with their kids as it strengthens their bond with the baby.

Gen Z parents must find a midway solution to ensure their adequate attention during this most precious part of kid’s growth and development journey. Gen Z parents should not compromise on their kid’s social, emotional and intellectual development. It’s always advisable that one shouldn’t take the responsibility of parents unless one is ready to deal with it emotionally.

 It is parents only who choose the way their kids to be taken care either by themselves or by caretaker. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”