Showing posts sorted by relevance for query business. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query business. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How to Sell 'Ecommerce Business' For Maximum Value?

You have an ecommerce business that you’ve put a lot of time, effort, and sweat equity into growing, and now you’re looking to sell. Your objective is to get maximum value and you’re assessing steps to prepare for the sale. There are a multitude of variables to consider and in this post, we'll cover them all to maximize the price you receive when exiting.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Family Business Drama

Leading a family-run business calls for different skill-sets and leadership abilities.

Going by definition, a ‘family business' is an enterprise (with an intention of making profit) owned by the member or members of a single family. It is the most common and popular form of business that exists today. Many leading names are family-run. A growing economy like India has more potential in this space. A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers - Family Business Survey (FBS) 2012 says that 74 per cent of family businesses in India have witnessed growth in sales figures in the past year against the global average of 65 per cent. So, the outlook is promising.

But, do you think leading a family-owned business is as simple as coming to office one fine day and taking charge? Think again. Taking up the reins of a family business is no cakewalk. There are several challenges in leading a family entity.

"One major challenge for me was living up to the expectations that were set before I joined the business. I was meant to bring a change and revolution in the monotony of our business operations owing to my education and knowledge," says Anirudh Dhoot, director, Videocon. "Hard work was the only way out. I sat and learnt a lot from my seniors, read a lot of management books, met a lot of experienced people, spent sleepless nights and finally overcame most of the hurdles," shares Dhoot.

"There must be a clear strategy in place on the functions of multiple family members and clarity on who is doing what. We had a strategy in place before the second generation came in, so that there is no overlap of responsibilities and even the employees need to be clear on the leadership positioning," feels Mithun Chittilappilly, MD, V-Guard Industries Ltd, a second-generation owner running the family business.

Many a times, family-owned businesses hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons (read: the succession feud). "A leader must proactively plan for leadership succession; there is a need to not only systematically develop the second generation of leadership, but also look beyond family relations to find the right successors. Business leaders must also prepare for potential internal conflicts related to such succession," informs Ashish Arora, founder & MD, HR Anexi. The absence of a competent family member should not be a deterrent for the growth of the business. Organisations must always be open to the idea of bringing in competent talent from outside to lead the firm, though experts suggest that it's vital to weigh the pros against the cons of doing this.

Separating ownership from management is a tricky factor in family-owned businesses. "Family members work on a payroll like any other employee. Before we got listed, we transferred the brand name owned by the family to the company. We have a very strict board of directors and do not have too many dealings with the promoter off the group. We do not talk much of business at home, though we bounce of ideas. We have an informal meeting of family members once in three months for discussions and appraising each other's performance," explains Chittilappilly on how they balance ownership and management.

"A leader must separate the twin phenomena of working IN and ON the business. As a leader of the firm's management, his/her role is to guide executives on managing business performance and help them plan for potential risks and opportunities," suggests Arora.

Making your family entity a success calls for a strong and competent leadership. "In order to manage a business, one must own every aspect of it, take responsibility of all the decisions and also bear the brunt of all the wrongdoings. In order to be a successful owner, one must be a responsible manager," suggests Dhoot. To be a successful leader, it is good to gain some experience outside the family entity, feels Chittilappilly. Before joining a family business, working in any other major organisation will open up new ideas and thought processes beneficial for the family-owned business.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Family Businesses In India Are Heading Back To The Classroom

Recent research by management consulting firm Hay Group suggests that over two-thirds of family businesses in India don’t have succession plans in place. The study also points out that globally, more than 72% of family-owned businesses do not survive beyond the third generation. The firm notes: “The first generation builds, the second expands and the third destroys. It is a universally acknowledged phenomenon that few family-owned businesses survive beyond the third generation.”

According to Kavil Ramachandran, Thomas Schmidheiny chair professor of family business and wealth management at the Indian School of Business (ISB): “Though family businesses account for more than 85% of businesses in India, there is paucity of knowledge about their ways of organizing and managing in these rapidly changing times.”

Business schools in India are looking to fill this gap. ISB, for instance, recently launched the Management Program for Family Business (MFAB), a 15-month, part-time course. Later this year, New Delhi-based International Management Institute (IMI) will commence an 18-month Global Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM-MBA) in family business. Among the Indian Institutes of Management, IIM Bangalore runs a 40-day (spread over one year) course called Management Program for Entrepreneurs & Family Businesses, which it started a few years ago. IIM Ahmedabad teaches family business as one of the several subjects in its Post-Graduate Program in Management (PGP).

A recent report in business daily Business Standard notes that the “demand for management programs in family-owned business has seen a rise by 30% to 40% in the past two years.” Pointing out that family-owned businesses are vital to the Indian economy, Ashutosh Khanna, associate professor of strategy, innovation & entrepreneurship and coordinator, global PGDM (MBA) – family business at IMI says: “They contributed 41% of total corporate tax revenues in 2007 and accounted for half of the corporate hiring in 2010. The dynamic economic environment they are operating in requires that the next-generation of leaders be groomed accordingly. We need to build capacities at the family business level.”

According to John Ward, clinical professor of family enterprise at Kellogg School of Management, business families in India are becoming more aware of the special challenges they face and are realizing that “there are some fundamental lessons to [be] learned.” Ward lists the challenges facing family businesses in India: Attracting and retaining non-family management talent, preparing the next generation for leadership, balancing individual freedom with family loyalty, assuring sibling unity, and not over expanding and growing the business despite strong economic conditions. He adds: “While academic courses in family business [in India] are still rare, they are becoming more recognized.”

Aakash Chaudhary, who joined his father’s enterprise Aakash Educational Services in 2006, is a strong advocate of classroom training. After acquiring a MBA degree from ISB, Chaudhary went to Harvard Business School for an owner/president management program certification. “In a family business, the issues usually revolve around building consensus around key decisions, delegating responsibilities, profit-sharing, etc. A course rich with case studies of family businesses definitely helps a lot. Moreover, there is a lot of peer learning because they are in the same boat as you,” he says.

Meanwhile, a study co-authored by ISB’s Ramachandran in April 2012 titled, “Challenges Faced by Family Businesses in India,” suggests that Indian family firms are going through a transition mode. Ramachandran adds: “Though gradually, they are progressing towards professionalization. We are also witnessing a separation of ownership and management…. There is a realization among the family business leaders that their businesses must alter the traditional ways to make space for modernity if they [want to sustain themselves].” Ramachandran believes that this transition bodes well for India and “is a reflection of a nation that is changing for the better.”

Monday, March 16, 2009



ELECTION PROCESS – March 23 - Notification, March 30 – Nominations, March 31 – Scrutiny, April 02 – Withdraw,
April 16 - Polling

HYDERABAD DISTRICT – ASSEMBLY Population: 30.04 Voters: 2927553 Polling Stations: 3229 Youth: 22.20 Minority: 41.6% (Muslims – 29.9%)

57 Musheerabad
(Population: 3.5L Voters: 112670 + 103852 = 216524) – Polling Stations: 209
Youth: 63% Minority: 48.5% (Muslims – 31.9%) Literacy – 49% New Voters – 30.3% (Youth-19.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA – T Manemma - Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No.1

• INC : Manemma
• TRS : Nayani Narsimha Reddy
• PRP : P V Ashok Kumar
• BJP : K Lakshman
• Loksatta : Rohit Kumar

58 Malakpet
(Population: 2.98L Voters: 89913 + 88116 = 178029) – Polling Stations: 194
Youth: 68% Minority: 50.6% (Muslims – 49.3%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA - Malreddy Rangareddy - Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No.16 Ward No.17 (Part) Block No. 8 and 9

• INC : Vijaysimha Reddy
• TDP : Muzaffer Ali khan
• PRP : Karate Raju
• BJP : Karunakar
• MIM : Ahmed Balala
• Loksatta : Panduranga Rao

59 Amberpet
(Population: Voters: 95905 + 90549 = 186462) – Polling Stations: 176
Youth: 63% Minority: 38.2% (Muslims – 34.3%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) - Ward No.2 Ward No.3 (Part) Block No. 1 to 4

• INC : Fareeduddin
• TRS : K Jagadeshwar
• PRP : G Srinivas Goud
• BJP : G Kishan Reddy
• Loksatta : C Vinod Yadav

60 Khairatabad
(Population: Voters: 109190 + 102716 = 211906) – Polling Stations: 200
Youth: 70% Minority: 33.2% (Muslims – 26.1%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA - P Vishnuvardhan Reddy - Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No.6 Ward No. 3 (Part) Block No. 5 and 6 Ward No.8 (Part) Block No. 2. Ward No.5 (Part) Block No. 10

• INC : D Nagender
• TDP : K Vijayarama Rao
• PRP : N Vijayender
• BJP : C Ramchandra Reddy
• Loksatta : A Subhashini

61 Jubilee Hills
(Population: Voters: 129501 + 116674 = 246175) – Polling Stations: 252
Youth: 65% Minority: 41% (Muslims – 39%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No.8 (Part) Block No. 1, 3 and 4.

• INC : P Vishuvardhan Reddy
• TDP : Md.Saleem
• PRP : Humayyun
• BJP : Bala Prakash
• MIM : Srisailam Yadav
• Loksatta : Pratibha Rao

62 Sanathnagar
(Population: Voters: 89637 + 85909 = 175569) – Polling Stations: 178
Youth: 63% Minority: 32.2% (Muslims – 21.6%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA – M Shashidhar Reddy - Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No.7, 24 (excluding the area in AC – 46 Kukatpalle) and 25 to 30.

• INC : M Sashidhar Reddy
• TRS : Padma Rao
• PRP : P L Mahender Reddy
• BJP : B Shyam Goud
• Loksatta : Srikanth sharma

63 Nampally
(Population: Voters: 112183 109384 – 221613) – Polling Stations: 240
Youth: 70% Minority: 49.9% (Muslims – 44.4%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No. 10 to 12.

• INC : Vinod Kumar
• TRS : M Surya Prakash
• PRP : Feroz Khan
• BJP : B Srinivas Rao
• MIM : Virasat Rasool Khan
• Loksatta : Md.Ishaq Khan

64 Karwan
(Population: Voters: 110172 + 104255 = 214543) – Polling Stations: 235
Youth: 73% Minority: 61.6% (Muslims – 49.3.9%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA - Afsar Khan - Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No.9 Ward No. 13 (Part) Block No. 3 to 6.

• INC : Roop Singh
• CPM : M Srinivas Reddy
• PRP : V Venkata Krishna
• BJP : D Karunakar
• MIM : Afsar Khan
• Loksatta : Manik Prabhu

65 Goshamahal
(Population: Voters: 103013 + 95744 = 198797) - Polling Stations: 232
Youth: 68% Minority: 38% (Muslims – 26.5%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No. 4, 14 and 15 Ward No. 5 (Part) Block No. 1 to 9 Ward No. 13 (Part) Block No. 1 and 2.7

• INC : Mukesh Goud
• TDP : Bugga Rao
• PRP : Madhavi Deepak
• BJP : Prem Signh Rathod
• Loksatta : Hemant Kumar Jaiswal

66 Charminar
(Population: Voters: 82445 + 76230 = 158712) – Polling Stations: 227
Youth: 75% Minority: 68.2% (Muslims – 46.3%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA – Ahmed Pasha Quadri - Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No. 20 to 23.

• INC : Buchaiah Das Goud
• TDP : Ali Bin Masqati
• PRP : Mir Yousuf Ali
• BJP : Shobha Rani
• MIM : Ahmed Pasha Qadri

67 Chandrayangutta
(Population: Voters: 80043 + 82928 = 163009) – Polling Stations: 198
Youth: 62% Minority: 40% (Muslims – 28%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA – Akbaruddin Owaisi - Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No.18 (Part) Block No. 1 to 3 and 8 to 14.

• INC : Venkatesh Mudiraaj
• TRS : Faqruddin Samdani
• PRP : Raju Yadav
• BJP : Jagjeevan Reddy
• MIM : Akbaruddin Owaisi
• MBT : Khayam Khan
• Loksatta : E Anand

68 Yakutpura (Population: Voters: 107366 + 105131 = 212518) – Polling Stations: 242
Youth: 68.6% Minority: 56% (Muslims – 49.3.9%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA – Mumtaz Khan - Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part)- Ward No.17 (Part) Block No. 1 to 7 Ward No.18 (Part) Block No. 6 and 7

• INC : G Ratnamaiah
• TRS : Abdussalam Sharfan
• PRP : S Rajkumar
• BJP : P Surender
• MIM : Mumtaz Khan
• MBT : Zafar Pehelwan
• Loksatta : S Veerendrababu Yadav

69 Bahadurpura
(Population: Voters: 90100 + 91180 = 181306) – Polling Stations: 212
Youth: 69.2% Minority: 49% (Muslims – 41.5%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No.18 (Part) Block No. 4 and 5 Ward No.19.

• INC : Raza Hussain Azad
• CPI : Mir Ahmed Ali
• PRP : Syed.Yunus
• BJP : Md.Sirajuddin
• MIM : Moazam Khan
• Loksatta : Md.Rafeeq

70 Secunderabad
(Population: Voters: 96422 + 95820 = 192302) – Polling Stations: 197
Youth: 70.4% Minority: 39.8% (Muslims – 27.5%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA – T Srinivas Yadav - Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No.33 (Part) Block No. 4 to 7 Ward No. 34 and 35 Osmania University Area.

• INC : Jayasudha
• TDP : T Srinivas Yadav
• PRP : Sarangapani
• BJP : S Ramesh
• Loksatta : A Maharani

71 Secunderabad Cantt. (SC)
(Population: Voters: 92256 + 91959 = 184260) – Polling Stations: 192
Youth: 63% Minority: 28.2% (Muslims – 21.3%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA – Saianna - Hyderabad (M Corp.+OG) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Ward No. 31 and 32 Ward No.33 (Part) Block No.1 to 3 Secunderabad Cantonment Board.

• INC : Shanker Rao
• TDP : Saianna
• PRP : N Ravikumar
• BJP : K Ramulu
• Loksatta : V R Vijaya Rama Raju

Population: 38.30 Voters: 3757824 Polling Stations:

43 Medchal
(Population: 398877 Voters:143455 + 136729 = 280222) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 66.6% Minority: 23.7% (Muslims – 19.8%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA – T Devender Goud - Medchal, Shamirpet, Ghatkesar and Keesara (Rural) Mandals.

• INC : K Laxma Reddy
• TDP : Prabhakar Goud
• PRP : Jangaiah Yadav
• BJP : Bhasker Reddy
• Loksatta : T Shivkumar

44 Malkajgiri
(Population: 450244 Voters: 171367 + 165516 – 336883) – Polling Stations: 330
Youth: 72.4% Minority: 38.2% (Muslims – 27.3%) Youth: 72.4% Minority: 38.2% (Muslims – 27.3%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Malkajgiri Mandal.

• INC : A Rajender
• TDP : Sharada Mahesh
• PRP : C Kanaka Reddy
• BJP : Ballingam
• Loksatta : K Dharma Reddy

45 Quthbullapur
(Population: 458015 Voters: 143996 + 128442 = 272455) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 67% Minority: 38% (Muslims – 19.6%) Youth: 67% Minority: 38% (Muslims – 19.6%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – BC Youth
Quthbullapur Mandal.

• INC : K M Pratap
• TRS : Vivekanad Goud
• PRP (Mana) : Kasani Gyaneshwar
• BJP : S Malla Reddy
• Loksatta : Ravinder

46 Kukatpalle
(Population: 584578 Voters: 196297 169541 – 365842) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 72% Minority: 20.1% (Muslims – 16.6%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Hyderabad (M Corp.) (Part) Hyderabad (M Corp.) - Ward No.24 (Part) (Area in Balanagar Mandal) Kukatpalle (M) (Part) Kukatpalle (M) - Ward No. 5 to 16.

• INC : V Narsing Rao
• TRS : M Sudershan Rao
• PRP : K Venkatesh Goud
• BJP : Kanta Rao
• Loksatta : Jaya Prakash Narayan

47 Uppal
(Population: 505664 Voters: 172156 + 152804 = 324992) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 63% Minority: 38% (Muslims – 22.8%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Uppal Municipality, Kapra Municipality.

• INC : Raji Reddy
• TRS : M Yadigiri Reddy
• PRP : A Narendra
• BJP : S V V S Prabhakar
• Loksatta : Jaswant Reddy

48 Ibrahimpatnam
(Population: 241771 Voters: 98047 + 92538 = 190597) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 69% Minority: 35% (Muslims – 27.1%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Hayathnagar, Ibrahimpatnam, Manchal and Yacharam Mandals.

• INC : Malreddy Rangareddy
• TDP : M Kishan Reddy
• PRP : T Devender Goud
• BJP : Narsimha Reddy
• Loksatta : M Rajshekhar

49 Lal Bahadur Nagar
(Population: 556880 Voters: 191857 + 173835 = 365693) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 70% Minority: 36% (Muslims – 30.1%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Saroornagar Mandal (Part) Gaddiannaram (CT) Lal Bahadur Nagar (M+OG) (Part) Lal Bahadur Nagar (M) - Ward No. 1 to 10.

• INC : Sudheer Reddy
• TDP : Krishna Prasad
• PRP : Sama Ranga Reddy
• BJP : A Ramesh Goud
• Loksatta : E Rama Rao

50 Maheswaram
(Population: 360287 Voters: 140047 + 133603 = 273658) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 73% Minority: 25% (Muslims – 18.9%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Maheswaram and Kandukur Mandals Saroornagar Mandal (Part) Medbowli, Almasguda, Badangpet, Chintalakunta, Jalpalle, Mamidipalle, Kurmalguda and Nadargul (Rural) Mandals. Hyderabad (OG) (Part) Balapur (OG) - Ward No.36 Kothapet (OG) - Ward No.37 Venkatapur (OG) - Ward No.39 Mallapur (OG) - Ward No.40 Lal Bahadur Nagar (M+OG) (Part) Lal Bahadur Nagar (M) - Ward No.11 Nadargul (OG) (Part) - Ward No.12 Jillalguda (OG) - Ward No.15 Meerpet (CT).

• INC : Sabita Indrareddy
• TRS : K Prabhakar Reddy
• PRP : A V N Reddy
• BJP : Bal Reddy
• Loksatta : Jangaiah Yadav

51 Rajendranagar
(Population: 368280 Voters: 130034 + 123218 = 253364) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 63% Minority: 37% (Muslims – 29.4%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Rajendranagar and Shamshabad Mandals.

• INC : K Gyaneshwar
• TDP : T Prakash Goud
• PRP : Sama Rajpal Reddy
• BJP : Prem Raj Yadav
• MIM : Muralidhar Reddy
• Loksatta : Solkar Reddy

52 Serilingampally
(Population: 468803 Voters: 194776 + 172478 = 367258) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 60% Minority: 25% (Muslims – 16.4%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Serilingampally Mandal Balanagar Mandal (Part) Kukatpally (M) (Part) Kukatpally (M) - Ward No. 1 to 4.

• INC : Bhikshapati Goud
• TDP : Satyanarayana
• PRP : B Ramesh
• BJP : Bheem Rao
• Loksatta : K Srinivas Rao

53 Chevella (SC)
(Population: 244310 Voters: 96291 + 92745 = 189121) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 63% Minority: 28% (Muslims – 19.9%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MLA – Sabita Indra Reddy - Nawabpet, Shankarpalle, Moinabad, Chevella and Shabad Mandals.

• INC : Yadaiah
• TDP : K S Ratnam
• PRP : Bhanu Savla
• BJP : K Prakash
• Loksatta : G Chandraiah

54 Pargi (Population: 327149 Voters: 93644 + 96103 = 189807) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 59% Minority: 24.7% (Muslims – 19.4%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Doma, Gandeed, Kulkacherla, Pargi and Pudur Mandals.

• INC : Rami Reddy
• TDP : Harishwar Reddy
• PRP : Veeresh
• BJP : K Prahalad Rao
• Loksatta : Satyanarayana Reddy

55 Vicarabad (SC)
(Population: 260700 Voters: 90315 + 91146 = 181511) – Polling Stations
Youth: 65% Minority: 36.8% (Muslims – 27.7%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Marpalle, Mominpet, Vikarabad, Dharur and Bantwaram Mandals.

• INC : Prasad Kumar
• TRS : A Chandrashekhar
• PRP : Satyanarayana
• BJP : Narsing Rao
• Loksatta : Venkatesh

56 Tandur
(Population: 270251 Voters: 87438 + 93358 = 180821) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 61.5% Minority: 22.6% (Muslims – 22.1%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Peddemul, Tandur, Basheerabad and Yalal Mandals.

• INC : M Ramesh
• TDP : Mahender Reddy
• PRP : Anjaneyulu
• BJP : T Baleshwar Gupta
• Loksatta : K Venkatesham

40 Patencheru
(Population: 5.4L Voters: 124800 + 120402 = 245340 ) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 61% Minority: 26.1% (Muslims – 18.3%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%) Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
Jinnaram. Patencheru & Ramachandrapuram mandals

• INC : Nandishwar Goud
• CPM : Chukka Ramulu
• PRP : J Ramulu
• BJP : Satyanarayana
• Loksatta : Satyanarayana Goud


(Population: 23.7L Voters: 21,15,947) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 72% Minority: 40% (Muslims – 32.9%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%)
Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
43 Medchal, 44 Malkajgiri, 45 Qutbullapur, 46 Kukatpalle, 47 Uppal, 49 Lal Bahadur Nagar and 71 Secunderabad Cantt. (SC).

• INC : Sarvey Satyanarayana
• TDP : Bheem Sen
• PRP : T Devender Goud
• BJP : Indrasena Reddy
• Loksatta : L Rattaiah

(Population: 16.1L Voters: 14,83,379) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 69% Minority: 48.9% (Muslims – 32.4%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%)
Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MP – Anjan Kumar Yadav - 57 Musheerabad, 59 Amberpet, 60 Khairatabad, 61 Jubilee Hills, 62 Sanathnagar, 63 Nampally and 70 Secunderabad.

• INC : Anjan Kumar Yadav
• TDP : Sudesh Adibhatla
• PRP : Shravan Kumar
• BJP : Bandaru Dattatreya
• Loksatta : P L Narasimha Rao

(Population:16.9L Voters: 13,03,974) – Polling Stations:
Youth: 79% Minority: 83% (Muslims – 71%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%)
Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
MP – Asaduddin Owaisi - 58 Malakpet, 64 Karwan, 65 Goshamahal, 66 Charminar, 67 Chandrayangutta, 68 Yakutpura and 69 Bahadurpura.

• INC : Laxma Goud
• TDP : Zahed Ali Khan
• PRP : Fatima Begum
• BJP : Satish Agarwal
• MIM : Asaduddin Owaisi

(Population: 21.5L Voters: 16,35,540) – Polling Statiions:
Youth: 73% Minority: 36% (Muslims – 31%) Literacy – 51% New Voters – 38.3% (Youth-21.3%)
Business community – 62% Vote Bank – Youth
50 Maheswaram, 51 Rajendranagar, 52 Serilingampally, 53 Chevella (SC), 54 Pargi, 55 Vicarabad (SC) and 56 Tandur.

• INC : Jaipal Reddy
• TDP : Jitender Reddy
• PRP (Mana) : Kasani Gyaneshwar
• BJP : Baddam Balreddy
• Loksatta : Raghuveer Reddy

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Hyderabad 'Water Biz Gets Dirty In Thirsty'

In a waterstarved city, it’s only predictable that the business of water is big and as it turns out, even dirty. Borewells across the city may be drying up, but many local ‘mineral’ water manufacturers are not thirsty. 

Manufacturers have fanned out to the water-rich areas of Hyderabad including Alwal, Bowenpally, A S Rao Nagar, Qutbullapur, Bollarum, Miyapur, Kukatpally, BHEL, Lingampally and Sainikpuri. They have rented spacious residential bungalows, turned them into mineral water plants and are filling up their cans by drawing water from borewells using heavy duty pumps, sapping groundwater of the entire localities. The bigger problem: the mineral water lobby has turned into a mafia of sorts. They are not acted against despite repeated complaints from locales and what they supply as ‘mineral’ water is again a serious concern. 
Denizens gulp down close to 50 lakh litres of canned mineral water every day. Apart from the handful of big brand names, most of the supply is from local manufacturers. The city’s yellow pages throw up over 300 manufacturers who collectively supply over 2 lakh cans a day. 
Among the local manufacturers are the black sheep who have found a huge business opportunity in the growing demand for mineral water cans given the poor supply of drinking water by the water board. In the last two-three years, the number of such units has grown. While a parallel water mafia is operating for tankers in areas such as Nizampet, for mineral water, the guns are trained in the city limits. 
Take Telecom Nagar in Alwal for instance. An unnamed plant has been functioning from a house here for over two years now, despite repeated protests by local residents. They fear that ground water of the area might drop to alarming levels if the business is not stopped immediately. “If the water is drawn at this rate it will deplete soon. Considering that they use powerful pumps to draw the water, the chances of depletion is dangerously high,” said G V Rao, general secretary, Greater Alwal Allied Services Association. He added, “We have complained against such plants to the GHMC several times but no action has been taken yet.” 
While there are four such units functioning in Alwal, residents of Lingampally and Ramchandrapuram near BHEL also complain of units working out of residential bungalows. 
Residents allege that they have been threatened and told not to interfere in the business by these water dealers. “The dealer had set up a bore pump on barren land. When we objected he threatened us,” Rao said. Incidentally, when INN sought a certification from the plant on Friday, the unit owners refused to divulge information. 
A builder on Manjeera road in Madinaguda, for instance, who initially set up a water pump to cater to nearby apartment owners, has now started selling the ground water, allege locals. Complaints registered with the water board have failed to yield any result. “In a day, at least 30 tankers are filled from this water pump. We tried to argue with the builder but he paid no heed to our concern. Also, the constant movement of heavy vehicles has become a nuisance for residents,” said S Ramakrishna, a resident of the area. 
There is similar activity on a barren plot on NH-7 in Bowenpally. “The owner of a farm land is now using a water pump to draw ground water to make some quick money. Residents of nearby areas have been complaining about him to the authorities for long now. However, he remains unscathed because of his connections with influential people. Even police complaints have gone unheard,” said a resident here but feared being quoted. 
It requires an investment of about Rs 10 lakh, permissions from both Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Central Water Commission to set up these units. The modest investment has made it a lucrative business and those in the industry say that some manufacturers function without permissions in place. “It’s an unregulated business. There is no control on their activities,” says a mineral water company official. 

Farmers make a splash in water trade
The mineral water business in Hyderabad is being supported by an unlikely section__ that of farmers. With land prices crashing, farmers on the city outskirts who had lost hope of eking out a livelihood from farming have now found a solace in water trade. Realising the acute demand for water, these farmers, big and small, have in large number started venturing into packaged drinking water business in areas where their farmland is endowed with abundant ground water. As most of the land they own already has an agricultural borewell, the initial investment is minimal and conducive for the farmers to get into the water business. Needless to say, all these units are unregulated but do brisk business. 
That precious agricultural water is being commercially exploited is not their concern, they say. B Bal Reddy, a paddy farmer from Tellapur village, which is located close to Gachibowli has been a farmer for as long as he remembers but decided to venture into packaged drinking water business about two years ago. With an initial investment of around Rs 1.5 lakh, he set up a mineral water unit on a 100 sq yard piece of land on his three-acre agricultural land. “There is no dearth of ground water in our village and also have a bore pump. Seeing the high demand for water, I had set up this plant for my son who now looks after it,” said Bal Reddy. 
Bal Reddy, who has a reverse osmosis plant, sells close to 50 to 60 20-litre cans to the nearby waterstarved localities everyday. However, Reddy’s once lucrative business is now facing stiff competition. “When I had setup this plant, it was the only one in the whole village. Now things have changed as many in the village and nearby areas are into the same business.” 
Indeed, various villages that fall on the Gachibowli-Patancheru stretch have taken to this business on a largescale. The villages of Aminpur, Kollur, Nagulapalli and many others now have a thriving small scale industry of the packaged drinking water with each of them boasting of at least three to five such units. 
K Srisailam, a 36-year-old peasant from one of these villages had set up Royal Blue mineral water, about six months back. “My family and I have faced many hardships in farming and even suffered losses. That is when I decided to set up this mineral water packaging unit along with my friend since I could see the demand for water. Now I am financially better placed, thanks to this business” he said. 
These small-time farmers turned entrepreneurs sell their mineral water cans for anywhere between Rs 20 and Rs 30. There are also those who are making the most of the water crisis to make some quick money. A farmer at a small tract of land in Bolarum has tied up with a tanker operator for selling bore water as well as his open well water. “Since I have not been doing farming since the last two seasons, I have decided to earn through selling water. I sell the open well water to the tankers for household purposes and the groundwater to the mineral water units.” He says that this business is limited only to summer months and he earns close to Rs 1 lakh to 2 lakh in this season. 
“The land rates have come down and there are hardly any buyers for our land. What we earn out of farming is also very less and hence, I felt water manufacturing business is the best option to keep us going financially,” said G Ramulu, who now runs a unit on his land located on the LB Nagar highway. 
S Govardhan Reddy, president, AP packaged drinking water Manufacturers Association said, “Such is the need for water that many small packaged drinking water units have mushroomed in the city and outskirts. This situation is not just limited to city as even in villages across the state there are many farmers getting into this business.” He however feels that it is not easy for these small units to sustain for longer duration as most of them lack proper manpower and knowledge of the business. 

GHMC clueless about water biz
The estimated worth of packaged drinking water business in Hyderabad is Rs 1,500 crore. But how unregulated this industry is, is best reflected in statistics. There are as many as 2,000 illegal drinking water packaging units in and around the city. And there are just about 150-odd ISI-certified legal ones. This ratio is getting further skewed rapidly as more and more illegal units are coming up in every nook and corner of the city right under the nose of government bodies that are meant to ensure that nothing but pure drinking water is supplied to citizens. 
Though the health and sanitation wing of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is responsible for cracking down on this growing menace, the authorities here have not even woken up to the alarming situation. Municipal corporation officials claimed they had little information on how big the water business in the twin cities was and predictably also said they had no plan of action in place to ensure that these units comply with norms. L Vandhan Kumar, additional commissioner, health and sanitation said, “We conducted raids on illegal plants about two weeks ago and will also look out for such plants which do not have ISI certification.” 
Industry sources estimate that dozens of these water units are being added every few months but the GHMC officials have managed to crack down on only 15 such units since the beginning of the year when units in Kushaiguda were raided. 
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which is authorized to issue ISI licences, also has a limited role in acting against these illegal plants. “If it is brought to our notice that ISI mark is being used illegally then we take up the enforcement activity. We raid the place and book cases, if material evidence is found against them. However, we are not concerned with the illegal water plants unless they misuse the ISI logo,” a senior official of the BIS said. The BIS in the last one year had raided and booked cases against only 12 such manufacturing units. The police officials on their part say that even if they receive complaint also they cannot do much about the illegal units unless the department concerned asks them to do so. 
With the enforcement agencies lax on taking action against these errant water units, it’s the legal packaged drinking water manufacturers who are crying hoarse. The ISI-certified manufacturers rue that after going through a strenuous permission process which includes obtaining no objection certificate from central ground water authority and small scale industry certificate and paying huge amounts for licences they are ending up in losses thanks to the illegal plants. 
One such manufacturer happens to be P Srisail Reddy, managing partner, Cirrus marketing services in Langar Houz. “Many of the BIS certified manufacturers like me are on the verge of closure. The illegal units do not have to pay for any permissions nor do they have to adhere to quality. They are selling 20 litre cans at some places for as low as Rs 6 to Rs 10. Now, are forced to slash our prices and suffer losses.” He demands that it is time the government does something about the menace. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Fundamental Rights Of Business

By M H Ahssan

Do businesses have any fundamental rights? Should businesses have any fundamental rights? Strange as these questions may seem, it is important to pose them at this point of our economic development.

Fundamental rights are important because they guarantee certain basics that are needed for realising the full potential of the individual. Though India became an independent nation on 15 August 1947, it was not until 26 January 1950 that its citizens — at least the educated ones — came to know about the exact fundamental rights that were being guaranteed to them by the Constitution.

Of course, the Constitution gave the Indian citizens many other rights as well. But the fundamental rights were written as a special category simply because they were so crucial for the growth and development of the Indian citizens.

Of course, when the Constitution was written, there were no fundamental rights provided for the corporate or business entity per se. Indeed, it would have been quite extraordinary if such provisions had been made at all. There is no constitution anywhere in the world that has anything called fundamental rights for businesses. Not even in the US, the country in which the business entity has overarching importance.

And even if there were precedents anywhere around the world, why would India need to create any fundamental rights for business in its Constitution? The fundamental rights for the citizens already guaranteed by the Constitution, when read along with the directive principles of state policy, pretty well cover anything that the country’s businesses could want.

The right to freedom, for example, explicitly states that all citizens are free to choose any trade, set up any business or follow any occupation. The right against exploitation and the right to equality are not just important for the individual, they are equally important for business entities. And the right to constitutional remedies is the final protection. These rights were designed for the individual — but they fit nicely for business entities as well.

So in this 62nd year of India’s independence, why is there any need to debate on the necessity of certain fundamental rights of business? Aren’t there a plethora of laws — both corporate as well as pertaining to specific industries and sectors — that lay down and clarify the rights (and duties) of business entities? And aren’t these laws enforceable in courts of law — the corporate equivalent of the right to constitutional remedies? And shouldn’t the fundamental rights for citizens also help businesses in the natural course of things?

Actually, there is a need to debate the necessity of fundamental rights for businesses for a few good reasons. First, since 1991, the country has moved towards a path of giving increasing economic freedom and independence to its businesses. But those freedoms have not been backed by the kind of fundamental guarantees that businesses in the developed world can take for granted. These might be unwritten guarantees, but they are an important part of doing business properly.

Then again, the Indian government is hoping for many years of 9 per cent plus growth rates — and it is depending largely on the corporate entities, both in the manufacturing and services sector, to achieve that ambition. But that growth rate is unlikely to be achieved year after year unless businesses count on certain very basic conditions and rights. And finally, none of the rights that are being focused on in the following pages are unusual or extraordinary or require any special effort. They are all essentially provisions that are already provided for the Indian citizen that now need to be interpreted keeping the business entity in mind.

What are these fundamental rights of business that we are talking about? The first one is right to infrastructure — to good roads, ports, airports and uninterrupted power supply. The second one is right against corruption. The third, right to rational taxation. The fourth, right to fair labour laws. The fifth, right to speedy clearances. And finally, the sixth — the right to an educated and skilled workforce, something that should naturally flow from the recently passed Right to Education Act.

These are the very basics that every business in every developed country can bank on. These are the basics that all developed nations guarantee to their corporate entities. In no other country is a corporate entity asked to create its own infrastructure, educate its own workforce even in the basics, or deal with complicated structures to open businesses.

This is our basic case: it is high time the government thought in terms of guaranteeing certain basic fundamental rights to our corporate citizens, much like it does for individuals. This is necessary to help India take its place among the economic superpowers around the globe.

Implement the fundamental rights for business — and you will have created a more conducive ground for business to flourish as well. You would have created the environment for 9 per cent plus growth for years to come.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Analysis: Is Vijay Mallya India’s Worst Businessman?

It may be a trifle uncharitable to hit a man when he is down, but Vijay Mallya has served as such a wonderful example of how not to run a business, that one has to set scruples aside. There are larger lessons to be learnt from his impending failure with Kingfisher Airlines.

Jim Collins, management guru and author of several best-selling books on corporate success and failure (Built to Last, Good to Great) examines the reasons for why good companies fail in another book (How The Mighty Fall). This book gives five broad reasons why top-performing companies lose their way and collapse to either mediocrity or even bankruptcy.

Of the five reasons, the first two relate to the causes of failure (management hubris, leading to over-reach and expansion beyond the core) and the other three to how managements respond to crisis when things start going wrong (denial of risk, grasping at straws for salvation and capitulation to irrelevance).

In Mallya’s case, he has not only managed to qualify on all five counts, but has added several bits of foolishness of his own. Jim Collins will have to add a few chapters when he learns about the Mallya mishaps.

Let’s begin with Collins’ five reasons.

Hubris: Mallya’s Kingfisher foray had all the wrong reasons for entry and staying the course to disaster. He entered the business for the glamour it brought to his portfolio (which is why, in any Kingfisher flight, Mallya talks to you directly on the video), rather from any special understanding of competitive advantage. He wanted to be India’s Richard Branson, forgetting the success is not easily copied.

In India, given high fuel prices and related costs, success in aviation depends on reducing costs all the time. In contrast, Mallya ratcheted up his costs wherever he could – from handing out earphones to all passengers to serving high-cost gourmet meals in business class.

When he bought Air Deccan, he failed to see that running a low-cost carrier is different from a full service airline. He made the mistake of calling it Kingfisher Red – another pointer to hubris (“my brandname”) – and reduced his full-service brand to the level of a cut-price carrier despite much higher costs.

In this morning’s Business Standard, Mallya has gone on record to say that “I am a businessman and my businesses are for sale at the right price.”

He said that in the context of his flagship United Spirits, not Kingfisher. In the case of Kingfisher, which has Rs 7,000 crore in accumulated debt and a further Rs 7,000 crore in losses, he missed the bus for getting the right price years ago. He will get no price for Kingfisher at all.

Overreach: Mallya’s prime folly, which again flowed from hubris, was overreach. The overreach happened at several levels.

First, he failed to understand the difference between running a business with 25-35 percent margins (booze) and one with 1-2 percent margins, or even losses for long periods of time (aviation). He failed to see his managerial limitations in this new business where he didn’t have a clue on how to run it.

As we noted before, in the US, the last 30 years have seen nothing less than 50 airline bankruptcies. In India, we have seen at least 10 failures since aviation was opened up to the private sector in the 1990s. But Mallya does not seem to have noticed any of this. He assumed that since he was so successful in liquor, the airline business should be a breeze.

Trying to run an airline like the liquor business was his first mistake. It was also a case of unrelated diversification.

The second overreach related to his expansion with the acquisition of Air Deccan. Despite the odds, the fact is Mallya did create the best airline brand in Kingfisher. Business passengers were shifting from Air India and Jet in droves to Kingfisher, thanks to Mallya’s no-expenses-spared approach to Kingfisher First Class. But when he suddenly decided that he wanted size and scale, he bought Air Deccan at a huge premium (Capt GR Gopinath’s airline was roughly where Kingfisher is today—on stretchers—but Mallya didn’t see that). Worse, he named it Kingfisher, too. Do you name a loser the same as a potential winner?

Mallya can be excused for running a lavish Kingfisher, but trying to run a cut-rate carrier like Kingfisher was folly dipped in red ink from day one.

This double overreach—from profitable liquor to an unprofitable airline and even further into a discounting airline—set the stage up beautifully for Mallya’s ultimate failure.

Denial of risk: It is one thing to blunder into an unprofitable business, quite another to bet the farm on it. But this is precisely what Mallya has done. He has staked almost his entire liquor business to save a sinking airline.

In business you can succeed by doing one of two things: avoid putting all your eggs in one basket (and so spread the risk), or you can put all in one basket (that is, focus on one business and stick to your core competence) and watch the basket like a hawk.

Mallya did neither. He put all his eggs one one flight to disaster – including his shareholdings and personal assets – and failed to focus on what makes an airline succeed.

Today, if Mallya is talking to Diageo to sell a stake in United Spirits, it is largely because he has pledged too much of his liquor business and his personal assets to keep Kingfisher afloat. He threw away his good business to rescue the bad.

Did Mallya not understand, at least as late as 2010-11, when everyone knew how the aviation business was going down hill?

Did he not understand the risks involved? Like a gambler who thinks the next throw of the dice will get him his jackpot, Mallya bet the farm after his Titanic had already hit an iceberg.

Grasping for Salvation: Nothing exemplifies a bankrupt rescue effort more than Vijay Mallya’s constant refrain that he is talking to investors on Kingfisher. He has been talking about this for nearly a year now, even while banks have moved in on his properties and aircraft lessors have been willing to pay Mallya’s dues to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) just to repossess their aircraft.

When aircraft lessors pay somebody to repossess what is theirs, this is a telling indictment of what they think Mallya’s chances of a rescue are. And yet, Mallya tells his shareholders that he is in talks with foreign airlines to sell a stake.

This may be factually true, but why would any airline want to buy a stake in a company with Rs 7,000 crore in losses and an equal amount in debt? They will buy only if Mallya keeps his debts and sells the airline for Re 1. They will buy his assets (the remaining brand value of Kingfisher and its airport slots) and let him keep his liabilities (debts, etc).

Clearly, Mallya is living in “cloud cuckoo land” – to use HDFC Bank CEO Aditya Puri’s colourful phrase, used in another context.

Capitulation to irrelevance: Vijay Mallya is clearly going through the motions in talking about saving his airline when it does not have a snowball’s chance in hell of being saved.

What he should be doing is abandoning the airline as a mistake, and save his shareholdings in the liquor companies, to the extent possible, from his creditors.

He is still making vague and irrelevant statements on FDI in aviation, and how fuel costs are so high – as though a reduction is fuel costs will help him in anyway.

If fuel costs fall, they will fall for everybody, and the resultant fare war will damage Mallya more than his rivals. A fare war has already broken out, but Mallya seems to think salvation lies just after the next mirage.

So far, Vijay Mallya has gone by the textbook—Jim Collins’ textbook—to show he can fail successfully.

There is nothing in the script so far to show he is not a member of India’s Worst Businessmen’s Club.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Corporate First Impressions Start Here!

Business is about first impressions and on-going interactions. Employees’ appearance, attitude and behavior are direct reflections of your company and brand.

How do your employees measure up?
In our business etiquette series, your employees will learn the hidden value – and priceless potential – of image, etiquette and protocol and how they can make a difference in business.

In Part 1, The Etiquette Essentials, we’ll provide employees with the fundamentals for notable first impressions – how to look, act, and be their best in any professional situation. From handshakes, introductions, and presenting a business card, to body language, gestures and the impact of words, participants will learn the immeasurable value of image and etiquette in business. This etiquette session will transform your employees into a team of skilled professionals promoting your company with precision and style. This is one dynamic program your business can’t afford to miss.

In Part 2, Workplace Etiquette, we’ll complete your team’s image training with vital business etiquette know-how – for professional excellence in the office and beyond. With an understanding of office courtesy, technology protocol, meeting manners in and out of the office, and the principles of business travel, your employees will possess the tools they need to support your corporate image from the inside out. Discover how business etiquette training from etiquette expert can work for you!

Your business is worth it…
Transform your company with this exciting, interactive series! Regardless of your company size or industry, “First Impressions Start Here” will make a difference.

IMAGE MANAGEMENTImage has an undeniable impact on your company’s success. And as your employees serve as ambassadors for your business, the appropriateness of their appearance – even on casual workdays – is crucial. How your employees groom and dress create an immediate, lasting impressions on every client and prospect they meet.

How is the image of your employees really affecting your bottom line?

Set the standards now with our “Image Management” seminar. Through a series of fun, interactive exercises and discussions, we’ll teach your employees the power of their professional presence, whether suited for a boardroom presentation or comfortable on a Casual Friday. From the importance of grooming and first impressions, to the way clothing communicates, to the “4 Levels of Professional Dress,” employees will learn to create a polished image for any budget, and your business will benefit!

Image Consulting servicesThe appearance of your employees significantly impacts your corporate image and the manner in which clients and prospects perceive your company. Your employees need to maintain a professional image that is a positive reflection on the company and is consistent with your corporate brand. An image consultant will help.

What does an image consultant do?An image consultant coaches employees through the practices and techniques necessary for improving visual appearance, verbal and nonverbal communication skills and business protocol practices.

Why use an image consultant?Some people don’t know how to dress for their position. Some misinterpret the meaning of “business casual” attire. Some wear clothing that is simply unflattering for their body type and overall appearance.

- Are some of your executives confused about the appropriate attire for their position?
- Has a valued employee’s image prevented him or her from advancing in the company?
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How can Image Consulting from Professional Image Management help your company?Improving your company image begins with improving the image of your employees. ANY employee – from CEO to receptionist – can benefit from image consulting.

We specializes in one-on-one employee image training consultations that help professionals – at every level of career development – to project a polished image that speaks of confidence and credibility. Through private image consultations, employees feel comfortable to explore their specific wardrobe challenges.
Would an employee in your company benefit from one-on-one image consulting?

 Contact Professional Image Management now!
Want to register your employees? Have questions? Want to know more? To discuss your specific corporate needs and learn how “First Impressions Start Here,” or one of our other proven corporate series, can help! eMAIL - to proceed further.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Greater Houston Partnership Initiative, Mayor Annise Parker To Lead Delegation To India On April 20 -25, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: As the most diverse city in the United States, Houston is home to over 100,000 people of Indian-origin, and has more than 700 companies that do business with India

The Greater Houston Partnership and Mayor Annise Parker will lead a delegation of top business representatives and elected officials to India from April 20 to April 25. The mission will focus on increasing trade and investment between the Houston region and Indian cities including Mumbai and Delhi.

Houston Airport System Director Mario Diaz will be part of the Houston group that includes companies, ranging from energy and aviation to engineering and international trade and foreign investment.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The 'Silence' Of 'Robert Vadra' In 'Rising Controversies'

By Jatin Gandhi (Guest Writer)

Two years before he lost faith in the ‘Mango people’, Robert Vadra told The Times of India that he had been under party pressure to contest the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Sultanpur, the constituency adjoining his mother-in-law Sonia Gandhi’s Raebareli and brother-in-law Rahul Gandhi’s Amethi. “There was a huge demand for me to stand [from Sultanpur],” he told the paper, “but I was clear that it was not my place. I was being recognised only because of the family.”

Thursday, December 11, 2008


By M H Ahssan

Salaried employees take the business plunge even as young B-school grads join family businesses, their dream job a recession away.

On a crisp Sunday morning recently, four young boys in their mid-20s busily packed fish fries and chicken leg pieces in clean plastic containers, throwing in sumptuous amount of sliced onions and lime and liberal helpings of ‘salan’ with their special fried chicken biryani. That this work of taking orders and packing food was a far cry from what they did on weekdays wasn’t obvious. After all, one of them is a banker with a multinational, another a techie, the third an IITian employed with an international consulting group and the fourth partner of this ‘take away’ venture is an assistant professor in an engineering college.

Much like these young boys, who make for rather unusual businessmen, there are more who have been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug. From restaurants to event management and from project management to business outsourcing units, these 20- and 30-somethings say they have found their calling in ideas that make business sense. In fact, at an ongoing entrepreneurship meet at a college the ideas have seen a shift from launching software companies (a favourite concept until last year) to setting up restaurants, internet marketing firms and portals this year.

These ideas are low in risk, reason wannabe entrepreneurs. Moreover, they note that these ventures would insulate them from the recession since having their own venture would help them tide over bad market situations such as these when layoffs and salary cuts are the order of the day.

For instance, the four partners of the take away venture, Kostha Ruchulu in Kukatpally Housing Board, say they did not start it because of the downturn but chose food as a business option since it “does well through the year’’ irrespective of the market conditions. “We had two ideas. One was to start a movie theatre and another to start a take away joint. The latter required less capital compared to a film theatre the investment for which would have run into crores,’’ explains 24-year-old K Shailender Reddy, one of the partners. He says that their investment of Rs 7 lakh (as on date) is paying out well so far with the daily food sales ranging between Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000. The venture hopes to break even in a few months’ time. The partners say that this appeared as a much better option compared to a software firm or some such idea as a food joint guaranteed returns.

Another IITian Ravi Mundoli, who did his masters in the US and worked there in a software firm for four years, is now in India with his own venture on software construction and project management. Intriguingly, Mundoli had started this business keeping in mind a US-based real estate clientele. But he hastily shifted his focus to India seeing the rapidly sinking US market. “Now we are also diversifying and dabbling in other verticals such as manufacturing and exploring other non-software opportunities with construction companies,’’ he says. “It is low risk,’’ he reasons.

These businessmen say that they themselves are cost cutting to tide over the recession but still have the financial security that a regular salaried job would not have provided them in such times.

Besides, they say they are surprised they are managing to stay afloat in these hard times. And how? “We provide back office services. Companies have to take care of accounts and finance and this is where we step in and provide these services at a price which is cheaper than recruiting staff for each of these functions. In the process, we even get familiar with best practices in various industry sectors and then apply it in our service as well,’’ says R Raj Shekhar, director with Oremus Corporate Services.

Businessmen like Raj Shekhar say that initial days of ventures are ridden with problems but it all settles down. His venture, for instance, started off from a one-room office saw bad times initially when the investment of Rs 50,000 made by each of the three partners was exhausted in three months. However, now the firm employs 30 to 40 people and has opened offices in Bangalore and Chennai.

Even MSR Murthy or DJ Murthy as he is popularly known went through a lean patch when he started his business. “I had to use all my savings. There were no short cuts. We worked from a paltry sum of Rs 500 to reach to Rs 25,000 today. We now have 12 permanent employees and we also hire part time staff for gigs and events,” he says, adding that it was all worth it. Murthy, who has a degree in environmental engineering and M Tech, started his own label called Frequency with a friend to collaborate with international artists and bring them to Hyderabad. “I wanted to make money doing what I wanted to and that why I charted my own career. This way I don’t have to play at wedding and other such functions,” he says.

The new businessmen on the block point out they too are coping with the economy downturn. Mundoli, for instance, is cutting down on meetings at plush hotels and other transport expenses. He admits that he does think of the MNC options that could be waiting for him, but says that he brushes the thought each time.

The Homecoming
Until two years ago before Rohit Chowdhary joined a business management course in Hyderabad, the 23-year old wasn’t exactly keen on helping his father and elder brothers in their ageold family business of importing Petro chemicals, nor did he prefer to return to his native city, Kolkata, soon after college. Rather, what his heart longed for was an independent life as a multinational firm employee probably settled in a high-flying city like Mumbai or Delhi.

But now, he finds it only logical to use his marketing skills in expanding the traditional chemical business. The reason, he promptly puts, is the global slowdown hitting firms leaving the placement season dry this year. “I was looking for a package of at least Rs 6 lakh. But these are bad times and the maximum companies are offering is Rs 3 to 4 lakh. That doesn’t make sense to me as our chemical business promises me more,” he says.

Ditto for Shreyans Bardia, another 23-old student in Hyderabad who says working for his family business of generator manufacturing wasn’t the job he dreamt of during college. “I am forced to join it now since no offers are coming my way,” he says. His family, he says, is more than happy with his decision to be part of the family run business but admits that his dream of a job in a high profile firm has been put on hold.

These are hard times, say these young businessmen and rue that their B-school nurtured wishlist of a plum job in a reputed firm now appears as a distant dream. However they are thanking their stars as they have a good back up plan that can save them from a jobless state, which some of their batchmates have entered now.

In fact for some, moving back to family business almost comes as a saving grace. For instance Rahul Tripathi, who recently resigned from his job as a manager in a leading bank now plans to help his mother manage an Indian restaurant she runs abroad. “The industry is facing a real hard time with the employees forever in the fear of losing jobs. I may want to continue with my present lifestyle but the conditions are suggesting me to think otherwise. Now I only wish market improves soon so that I can join my banking industry again but right now, I feel satisfied with my decision to help my mother run the restaurant,” he says.

Even Vinay Middha, 28, an IIM Calcutta grad and working with a leading bank in London, feels the axe hanging on his head. After a stint with various multinational companies he now, for the first time, sees bright opportunities in his family undertakings of a hotel and a school. Even his younger brother, studying in IIT Kanpur, is now keen on following his elder brother’s footsteps. Both now are busy chalking out plans to expand their age-old business.

‘India needs young entrepreneurs’
K Harishchandra Prasad, senior vice president, Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry speaks to HNN about the entrepreneurship trend. This trend of young people turning to entrepreneurship is a chain reaction. The job situation is very gloomy these days and opportunities are uncertain so a number of people are either returning to their family business or setting up their own ventures. Placement offers from companies in even top MBA and engineering colleges are not as good as they used to be so the present graduating batch is not left with too much choice. Those who haven’t managed to secure job offers are either going for higher studies (albeit in small numbers) or people are getting together to start a business if they are able to pool in some money. A number of graduating students are giving serious thought to starting their own establishments and this thought process is steadily settling in.

There are two kinds of people who would like to become entrepreneurs—those who already have the drive for it while others are people who change according to the current (market) scenario. Today there are definitely more entrepreneurs and people are looking at entrepreneurship programmes.

In a developing country like India there is a constant need for young, enterprising entrepreneurs. Unfortunately due to recession the environment is not too conducive for breeding entrepreneurs. Banks are tight fisted while giving loans and thus people who want to start their own business need to generate their own resources from savings or require financial assistance from family and friends. However a number of people who are managing their capital are still looking towards entrepreneurship and family business and the trend is definitely leaning towards entrepreneurship.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Do You Have A Real Estate Strategy?

By Sarah Williams

The importance of a strategic real estate plan to a successful business plan is no Mickey Mouse affair. Walt Disney needed to learn that lesson only once when he set out to create what have since become the world's most successful theme parks. Just before World War II, Disney envisioned an eight-acre amusement park. When his plans were delayed by the war, he used the time to expand his dream, ultimately purchasing a 160-acre tract of orange groves in Anaheim, Calif. There, he built Disneyland.

By any standard, the park has been a success. At the time, Disney's decision to acquire a larger tract of land than he thought he would need was seen as extravagant. And yet even that seeming extravagance proved inadequate. Shortly after the park's opening day, Disney predicted, "We're gonna kick ourselves for not buying everything within a radius of 10 miles around here."

Decades later, while planning for Disney World in Orlando, he was determined not to make the mistake he'd made in California. In Florida, he developed a long-term master plan for future growth, acquiring a land holding that rivals many midsize cities. The result has been decades of continual expansion of Disney World - driven by a sound, strategic real estate plan with flexibility that is still in sync with the company's overall business vision.

Few of us will ever be challenged to develop a master plan of this scale. But all businesses rely on some form of real estate to execute their business plans, whether it's a one-person consultancy in a shared office space, a multimillion-dollar manufacturer, or behemoths like Wal-Mart or McDonald's. As Disney learned in Anaheim, the lack of a fully developed strategic real estate plan can limit a company's ability to respond to future opportunities and challenges.

Today, executives who have the responsibility of aligning their corporate real estate strategies with overall business plans see the need for more real estate assets on the balance sheet. Yet, current business trends often dictate that real estate assets consume less of the company's capital.

However, some firms do plan larger real estate investments. Today, 30 percent or more of the value of American corporate holdings currently is allocated to real estate. A new study by Ernst & Young LLP shows that 42 percent of the businesses surveyed plan to increase the amount of real estate they occupy in the next 12 months. Further, 65 percent plan to increase their investment in real estate. Whether a firm is planning to increase or decrease its real estate investment, all firms share the same fundamental mandate: real estate investments must be tied strategically to the business plan.

Who Will Take the Lead?
Though it may represent a substantial part of the balance sheet - and often one third of a corporation's assets - real estate planning receives a disproportionately lower amount of staffing, budgeting, and other resources when compared with other corporate functions. Most manufacturing companies, for example, have in-house expertise in engineering, financial management, communications, and human resources. Some larger companies have substantial in-house real estate planning and management expertise. But it's rare for small to midsize companies to have any in-house real estate capability.

Perhaps this state of affairs occurs at many firms because real estate is not a discipline through which decisions are passed routinely. Because of that, real estate planning frequently has no in-house champion, making it all the more difficult to assemble the necessary resources when real estate decision-making is critical. With a global market and ever-more sophisticated and complex business environments, it's apparent to most that the days have passed when key corporate real estate decisions could be made on an ad-hoc basis by people who are skilled in other areas but unprepared to develop strategic approaches to real estate.

The low priority that strategic real estate planning too often receives is especially troublesome given some recent events. For example, prior to September 11, major corporations generally considered it sound practice to concentrate corporate offices in a central location. After all, this tends to maximize efficiency. In the wake of that day's devastation, however, prevailing wisdom has challenged this monolithic, all-in-one-place approach.

Dispersal to multiple locations that are linked by technology dominates the current debate on how best to locate corporate operations. To illustrate the point, in the week following September 11, AT&T reported a 20-percent increase in its teleconferencing business. Similarly, a Prudential videoconferencing facility that rents to the public doubled business that week.

Manufacturers once distributed their inventories to small warehouse facilities in many locations. Now, so-called super-regional distribution centers and just-in-time through-docking facilities - which take products in the front door and push them almost immediately out the back - are best serving changing business needs. Add to that the weaker economy and it is clear that companies need more flexibility than ever to shrink or grow their real estate assets in lock-step with the demands of the marketplace.

At this point, some readers of Area Development might think, "Tell me something I don't know!" Every corporate real estate executive, CFO, or CEO at least gives lip service to the idea that strategic real estate planning is critical to business success. In much the same way, every football coach knows that a team must run and block well, that quarterbacks need good arms, and that receivers need good hands. Just about everyone knows what it takes to be successful. Yet some teams win consistently and some almost never do. The winners are able to move from knowledge to execution.

Typically, thinking about real estate is limited to factors such as how a facility contributes to creating a product, how it affects the supply chain, whether or not it contributes to client intimacy, and how it contributes to employee morale and satisfaction. But real estate can affect many more factors that directly impact the bottom line. Good or bad real estate choices invariably have an impact on recruitment, training, client relations, corporate image, efficiency of workflow, the ability to deploy new technologies, and the return on public or private equity investments in a company.

Because real estate decisions can affect so many things, truly strategic real estate planning is linked closely to the business plan in realistic and practical ways. Assembling a complex real estate plan is precisely that - a complex undertaking with many parts that must be integrated seamlessly to form a coherent picture. Yet far too many real estate plans fail to account for all of the pieces of the puzzle.

For example, if your company were to consider buying the "perfect" building today, how perfect will it be when the size of your business doubles in accordance with your business plan? Would it be smarter to lease space in a corporate-center environment where the landlord has ample motivation to accommodate your expansion requirements? Would a stand-alone building be the only way to project the high-end image that's also demanded by your business plan? Or would a stand-alone facility belie your market position as the value provider of your product or service?

The following questions deserve consideration in any such analysis:

- Should you be deploying any capital to bricks and mortar when your business plan calls for capital investments in other areas of your company?

- Would that capital provide a higher return if it were used to support the purchase of new capital equipment, increase marketing, or fund other capital requirements?

- Are your facilities geographically aligned with your targeted growth markets?

- Are you considering the locations, technologies, and amenities that are required to attract and keep the kind of workers you need?

- Conversely, how will your real estate plan accommodate an unexpected downturn in sales?

Real Life Real Estate
These and other questions were among the challenges considered recently by executives at Philips Communication, Security & Imaging, Inc., which is now pending acquisition by German-based Bosch GmbH. The Communications, Security & Imaging unit - currently a division of Philips North America Corp. - designs, manufactures, and supports communications and security products and systems, including closed-circuit video surveillance, paging, and public-address systems. The company's U.S. headquarters were housed in an antiquated facility that was inherited when the current parent company purchased the firm. The executive team agreed that the facility did not support the business strategy in many ways.

The building had been retrofitted so many times that materials no longer flowed through the facility efficiently and departments that needed to relate physically could not do so. The building was not attractive, a factor that had real consequences for a firm known in its industry as a technology leader. Also, the building didn't offer a pleasant working environment, which had a profound effect on employee morale and productivity. Further, the facility was leased from a landlord who didn't share the firm's desire to make the infrastructure improvements that were sorely needed, such as sophisticated telecommunications systems, high-speed Internet access, and HVAC improvements. This was a straightforward case of a company's real estate being out of sync with its business planning.

Philips executives reached a number of conclusions. First, they did not have the in-house expertise to assemble their complex real estate puzzle, and, second, they did not want to take on the overhead of a full-time, in-house real estate planning and development team.

So Philips hired the expertise it needed. The company's requirements included locating the new facility within close proximity to the existing facility and avoiding any disruption to the commuting patterns of the current work force - which would reduce the need for a large recruitment and training effort. Philips wanted its manufacturing and distribution facilities to be connected to its office facilities, yet also saw the advantage of having some separation between them. Company executives also wanted a large amount of office space outfitted with the high-end look and sensibility they needed to support their position in the marketplace. Finally, despite the highly customized requirements they had, they did not want to invest their assets in owning a facility.

The firm that Philips chose was a full-service real estate company that was able to locate and purchase the real estate; design, specify, and handle permits; build the facility; and create a lease structure that was attractive both to Philips and to the real estate company, which would also serve as Philips' lessor. And, because the real estate firm specialized in development projects within the same geographic areas in which it operated, it also helped Philips take advantage of special state-level funding programs that provided incentives for companies to expand or retain jobs in the state.

Honest Evaluation
It's useful to look behind the scenes at decisions that were made in the Philips deal. The facility that Philips needed was unique. For the real estate company, it would not have been economically sound to build so much office space in a manufacturing facility - if the tenant were to leave, finding a replacement company with similar requirements would be nearly impossible.

In order to serve Philips' needs and also make it economically feasible for the developer and facility owner, two buildings were designed - one for offices and one for manufacturing and distribution. The two were connected by an umbilical structure that could be removed if later required. This met Philips' needs and protected the investment of the real estate company.

How can you develop a sound real estate strategy for your business? The truth is, you probably can't do it alone. The first step is to honestly, rigorously, and objectively evaluate whether you have the in-house expertise required to tackle such a mission-critical task. If the answer is no, your first step must be to determine how to fill that need, either by building the capability in-house or engaging the necessary outside help.

Just as lawyers, accountants, and other consultants help in crafting a business's strategy, qualified real estate professionals who contribute their knowledge and guidance can yield huge dividends for an organization.

Developing any important strategy that will influence the future of your business is tough and complicated work. Sometimes, it can seem overwhelmingly complex. But as Disney was fond of saying, "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."

Monday, January 05, 2009

SMEs can make their key differentiator

By M H Ahssan

The rapid growth of the small and medium enterprises has led to an increase in the demand for IT solutions

The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have become a key focus area for a majority of IT service providers who want to tap the growth potential of this market. A report by AMI Partners early this year has revealed that the SMEs in the country are likely to spend $9.7 billion on IT this year, an increase of 22% over the previous year. The vibrant and dynamic growth of the SME segment has also made a significant contribution to the GDP, industrial production and exports.

If we closely analyse, SMEs have complex business scenarios irrespective of their size. One of the most challenging tasks of the SMEs is to lower the total cost of operations and keep pace with market issues and developments. For most of the SMEs, monitoring global issues and dealing with complexities such as multiple currencies, changing demands and the continuous customer pressure on achieving scalable cost reductions.

Key Trends
Studies reveal that SMEs which outsource their IT infrastructure are utilising the technology resources that bring in additional top-line revenues while improving bottom-line results. SMEs are most likely to use cutting-edge technologies and approaches such as Software as a Service (SaaS). Analysts are of the opinion that the increase in use of hosted infrastructure models is enabling smaller companies to compete on an equal IT footing with bigger enterprises which have already made substantial investments.

SMEs are choosing a hosted infrastructure model as it provides organisations with state-of-the-art software solutions that can be implemented, while avoiding the large infrastructure costs and eliminating the recurring administrative resources as in traditional on-premise applications. The other area where the SMEs are focusing on is the regulatory compliances. Success for most of the small and midsized businesses depends a lot on the IT. Small companies cannot afford to make inappropriate investments in IT as a failure may also endanger both the profitability and the regulatory compliance.

Following are the key SME segments, their business requirements and the crucial role played by IT in their balance sheets.

Discrete Manufacturing (Engineering)
Discrete manufacturing companies make countable products that go directly to businesses and consumers, or components that are used by other manufacturers. The industry is often characterised by individual or separate units of production. Significant requirements in this segment are bills of material estimation, MRP runs, inventory management and order-wise profitability reports.

Some of the key challenges in the discrete manufacturing industry include customer order fulfilment, controlling and monitoring Work-In-Progress (WIP) of several work-orders simultaneously, periodic assessment and visibility of workorder profitability, getting real time information on WIP status and ensuring targeted delivery time.

The above challenges could be immediately answered by an implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. The ERP solution shall be able to effectively model the organisation structure, the flow of material and documents across functions. The ERP solution would enable the customer to have clear visibility of the different forms of the stock and the amount of working capital locked into different stages of production, along with the availability of the finished goods across warehouses and stocking points.

Thus the centralised data warehousing would lead to better monitoring and control of the data as well as easy retrieval of the same. The user friendly software modules would help in report generation and business analytics support different kinds of reports and give the management single window access to financial, manufacturing, logistics, supply chain and sales in a consolidated manner.

Textile Industry
The textile industry is one of the earliest to come into existence in India, and accounts for 14% of the total industrial production. Its contribution to the nation's exports is nearly 30% and it is the second largest employment generator after agriculture.

However, the industry has to address the challenges arising from fluctuations of consumer demands, high setup cost with respect to capital cost, the seasonal variation of natural raw materials for production, sourcing of the synthetic raw material pegged to the prices of petro products, multiple production stages and improper management of quality.

The critical problems of supply chain and integrated view of multiple functions could be handled by ERP implementation as it supports customer and supplier portals. The functional features of multiple warehousing facility and ability of the system to capture the lot and serial number of the inventory, allows the customer to track the flow of the inventory across multiple production stages. The solution helps to streamline the manufacturing process with the modules which have inbuilt features like planning and scheduling, shop floor execution, work order management.

Manufacturing module also supports businesses that have diverse planning policies like made to order, made to stock, and forecast to order. The purchase module, which has got features like supplier management, request for orders, purchase operations, subcontracting and vendor rating manages the full spectrum of sourcing activities, achieves efficient supplier management resulting in enhanced supply chain planning, thus leading to better management of operations.

The software also offers functionalities like business analytics and reports which helps manufacturers in analysing data and getting the overall view of respective functions. It also gives the management access to financial, manufacturing, logistics, supply chain and sales information in a consolidated manner, and thus equips them to make quick and informed business decisions.

Trading and Services
In the trading and services segment SMEs should have proper planning and maintenance of stock at different stocking points and manage the business with multiple billing and collections points across multiple customers.

Consolidated order planning and execution, with support for both centralised and de-centralised location management of either procurement or sales of the goods, tracking of materials intransit, proper warehouse management, stock valuation (actual cost) and managing sample sales are some of the critical requirements of this industry. The system also effectively helps the credit and aging management of the customers who are spread across locations. In short, the geographical spread is dramatically reduced through a virtualisation by the system while modelling the different locations. Hence, there is increased effective control on the overall operations, while individual locations have being provided adequate freedom to exercise within their delegated power.

Here, too, ERP can play an important role in streamlining the functionality of trading business. For example, ERP application helps in handling the pending receipts report based on the order date and in-transit report which would enable proper order, execution and planning in multiple locations. This enables faster deployment and quick and improved decision. It helps to streamline the business operations and facilitates multi location billing. The warehouses can be managed in a much more efficient manner. The warehouses can be divided into zones and bins that enable proper management of inventory. This would help in centralisation of the data that are available.

The application helps in maintaining an account of the materials that are in transit as well as of the materials that are lost in transit. It helps the business by providing visibility of the available stocks in different warehouses. It offers inbuilt functionalities like business analytics and reports which helps the trading houses in analysing data and getting the overall view of various functions. As the contemporary software packages are web architected they are useful for companies which are located at multiple locations. It also gives the management access to financial, manufacturing, logistics, supply chain and sales information in a consolidated manner, and thus equips them to make quick and informed business decisions.

Most of the challenges faced by the various SME industries are common in nature–lack of accessibility of real time information, inefficiency of supply chain management and expensive IT solutions. In the current scenario, for an SME to sustain in the market and remain successful, it has to work meticulously towards streamlining its business processes. And as discussed above the business process needs to be innovative and efficient enough to adapt to the market and business requirements. These integrated processes need not only include departments but also partners, suppliers and customers. And it can only be attained by using information technology which can support and drive business objectives. Consequently, this also enables to innovate and respond faster and adapt to the globally changing business conditions – a must for SMEs.

To conclude, the growth and evolution of the SME sector has led to an increase in demand for IT solutions. Many smaller companies are not satisfied with their existing disparate solutions and legacy systems and are showing a keen interest in IT solutions which provide maximum business benefits. Many of the CIOs in the SME sector are of the opinion that hosted IT services and Software as a Service (SaaS) would facilitate them to work more, spend less and gain remarkable benefits by concentrating on their businesses, rather than on managing IT. Last but not the least, this model will facilitate management of businesses to handle scale complexities better, and thus endow them with the foundation for innovation.