May 26, 2013
You have to get your first job. At times, this is the most difficult task-at-hand. IMO, the reason for this is the lack of basic marketing principals applied to yourself – segmentation, positioning and differentiation!
So what can you do about it?
1) Avoid copy-paste / or template based resumes
You are unique. Prepare a resume that represents you. Highlight your personality traits and soft skills (max three) – keep it short but effective. Your soft skills are what make you stand out of the masses, because every one in your batch has the same degree and they have gone through the same lessons. When mentioning your technical skills, highlight the ones you have mastery in.
2) Achieve depth
You learn so many things during four years in your college. You may connect with selected subjects. You need to go deep into those subjects (even if your college curriculum has a touch-and-go policy for the same). You must base your academic projects on the same and explain the same in detail in your CV.
3) Do you have a pet project? What have you done on your own?
Lets say you are a software engineer. You have always dreamt of being a software engineer. You are in love with this subject – right? (If not, then software engineering is not the right career for you, even if you have studied so!) So, show the love! If you are truly in love, you must have played around with an idea or two. You must have created a pet project of your own (even if it failed). You must have picked a technology or two which has no mention in your course curriculum.
Talk about that pet project. Talk about those learnings. Employers want to hear about them. This is your key to the job.
4) Apply selectively, but firmly
When you apply for a job, do so selectively. Make your application specific to the company and put strong reasons and the capabilities that you bring on board in the email.
5) Gain experience
When you are in college, try to gain some experience by working as a freelancer for a company or a startup. If you can work evenings, do an internship in a software company in your neighborhood and gain practical experience. Do not look for monetary reward as the prime objective in such engagements. Do not leave any such opportunity.
The above five ideas will help you position yourself well infront of the segment of the companies you wish to go and work for. And hopefully you will have strong differentiators in comparison to thousands of applicants which will flood their mailboxes.
Happy job hunting.
April 23, 2012
I was thinking of writing this post for quite some time. But, @twitter has made me lazy. However, I have finally taken out time to summarize some technology trends that I see emerging and strengthening in 2012.
- Mainstream adoption of mobile web – It seems mobile web is finally here. The tablets has fueled the growth and has also increased the horizon of mobile web from essential info search to default information consumption device, which opens doors for a lot of interesting innovation in days to come. With tablets overtaking the production of laptops and desktops in number, this trend is set to grow.
We, at Indus Net Technologies has adopted a mandate that we will design sites for tablets and then make sure that it renders well on laptop / desktop resolutions.
- Mobile Transactions – With mobile payment infrastructure, regulations been put together and advent of NFC, mobile payment (or wallet) is a reality. It is however to be seen, who vests the power – the network providers, device manufacturers or the app developers. The collaborative competition will be interesting to watch.
It shall also gradually replace visiting cards and catalogs / brochures. I have increasingly felt less anxious when I meet people without my visiting card in my pocket. I know, we can connect through mobile (will become easier with NFC / Bump) and social networks.
- The OS / browser war is ON – With Android (from Google), WinMobile (from Microsoft) and iOS (from Apple), the old OS and Browser war is back. This time it is not separate – it is integrated, as web has emerged as the new platform.
- Interactivity is changing – Interactivity has moved on from keyboard to mouse to touch (the last one literally turned around Apple's fortune). And now it is set to move into the domain of voice and gesture. Innovators are working hard to make them mainstream.
- Convergence – Though, there has been talks about convergence for quite some time, but it will be visible in consumer use this year. TV, Internet and Mobile will finally blur with the advent of Smart TV, Android PC and Android based tablets / mobiles. All these can run same apps, which will bring in integrated functionality and give us access to content and functions irrespective of the medium.
This will have path-breaking impact in the verticals of entertainment, education, home automation, productivity, etc.
- Cloud (IaaS, SaaS and PaaS) becomes mainstream – IaaS, SaaS and PaaS is rapidly becoming mainstream. Though IaaS seems to remain under the reign of the big boys, SaaS will remain a favorite for technology start-ups! However, this year will see the growing popularity of PaaS, which provides a middle path to the enterprises who are averse to adapt SaaS.
This paves the way for wide adoption and growth of XML based 4GL and 5GL languages. From application development perspective, does it mean the end of the tedious coding cycles, which has fueled the growth of offshore outsourcing industry so far? Only time will tell.
- Social media gets mainstream – From the fancy muse of technology enthusiasts, social media is set to become mainstream. The rising concern among the political circles about the freedom of speech due to the social networks like Facebook and Twitter is a clear indication that they have proven their importance.
The multimedia part of the social media will continue to evolve and improving intuitiveness of interaction will bring more users contribute / consume content. If my 18 month old daughter can hook on to Youtube for her favorite video, there is no reason why 70 year olds (most of those who found it difficult to adopt to technology, as they had to learn it) cannot.
- Video will emerge as the most popular and common content / media for mass communication replacing text and images as we have on most websites. It stimulates all senses and gets the message across quickly and precisely. In a world with such low attention span, who has got the time to patiently read a 1000 word brief of how a new gadget works or how Company A is changing the world.
- The idea is to reduce improve the signal vs. noise ratio. Something that will allow us to focus on the essential and stay away from the bloat in the age of information overload. There seems to be several attempts, but no product seems to be the "winner" yet. This may be a little far away, but "objectiveness" will become a more and more desired skill.
- After network of sites (Google) and network of people (Facebook), it will be time for network of objects. Technology / platform to leverage the same and get the most of it, thrusting us in the machine age is not far away.
Several companies are already working on prototypes and proof of concepts and it is not far before innovators will start putting business models around them. Technology is already available – it is about making it easy to use and show the best possible use of the network of objects, so that it becomes a "need" for masses from a "aspiration" or "sci-fiction"
- On a sad footnote, the print publishing industry has been pushed to brink at a faster pace than they (or even I) expected. Try to reflect on yourself – do you really find it difficult to stay away from newspaper. If you have not tried, its worth giving a try.
Beyond doubt, the rate of change in technology is accelerating at a pace that is unprecedented. It will be exciting to see how this post / trend spotting matches with the real result in a years time.
It was summarized by a statement made by a friend of mine who is in corporate debt finance –
"I have to work harder, I have to keep reviewing the companies and their state every couple of months now. Gone are the days when companies used to take 10 years to be built and same amount of time to be killed due to mismanagement. 10 years has shrunk to 10 months, if not less"
January 19, 2011
Recently, I got an opportunity to speak at an event organized by Computer Society of India, Delhi Chapter. The theme of the event was "Software 2.0" and I made a small presentation on "Software 2.0 – Transformation of Software Services". The purpose was to highlight how software services industry would change with the advent of Web 2.0, i.e. Internet as an application development and delivery platform.
Here are the slides 🙂
It is also available on SlideShare at:
August 31, 2009
I had precisely three envelope entrepreneurial ambitions! I call them envelope as each of them encompass several small ambitious projects. All three are aimed to change the world in my small way and make it a better place:
- To build a successful Internet technology company which can enable millions of businesses
- To bring mass scale change in education system in terms of quality, content, reach and cost
- To become an investor with a difference!
To make sure that my journey at least start off to fulfill all the three ambitions, I (along with my partner Pallav) started up a technology specific angel fund and incubation center called Seeders. This is our attempt to bring finances, infrastructure, resources, connections and mentoring (technical + business) to the aspiring and daring ones.
For the more curious ones 😉 –
We will be investing in technology companies which uses Internet as a strategic enabler. These can be software product companies, SaaS projects as well as niche knowledge services. Any wild idea that makes business sense is also welcome! And yes, the venture must be based out of Kolkata or must be willing to shift its base to Kolkata (at least for incubation phase).
More on this project will be soon posted on http://www.seeders.in
So keep tuned in.
I will be speaking @ Internet World in the Web2.0 theatre on 28th April 2009 from 16:40 hrs on "Three Dimensions of Internet Strategy"
The talk will revolve around an approach that let businesses put together a comprehensive Internet strategy order to optimize their revenues and profitability by connecting – communicating and collaborating more effectively with the stake holders of the business.
The slideshow is attached 🙂
So, do drop in.Â
P.S.: Internet World will take place @ Earls Court in London between 28th-30th April 2009
March 27, 2009
I recently shared few ideas with fellow IT companies about braving the downturn in a NASSCOM event.
The takeaway from the presentation was –
Stick to fundamentals. Business is simple. If we complicate it for the sake of some buzzwords, we will see more such tough days!
Here is the presentation for you:
Earlier in the day, our Industry stalwart, Mr. B. Hari did a small workshop on Wealth Dynamics (the Roger Hamilton one) and how entrepreneurs / executives should adopt the path of least resistance to succeed.
A great day out!
P.S. A few days back, I shared some random recession strategies. You might like to check them out as well.
P.P.S. Thank you Nasscom, for such a wonderful event.
March 12, 2009
Over years, we have been subject to several frauds.
It can be a political fraud when someone do horse-trading of members of legislative assembly / parliament to reach the coveted majority mark in the parliament. Or cast their influence to get a contract awarded to his favorite business house.
Then we have been subjected to corporate fraud where Harshad Mehta brings down the market single-handed or highly recognized corporate teams bring down companies like Lehman Brothers, Enron, Worldcom and most recently Satyam.
So what's next?
I can see a high probability of a social media fraud!
This is very much probable due to the volume of social content that is being created and the level at which private data is getting exposed to the public (or is at risk of getting exposed). There are so many companies launching sites which collect and process personal and business information as Web2.0 web services or SaaS systems. Many of them claim to have solid privacy policies and data protection measures. However, I seriously doubt the claims of most websites and waiting for someone to come up and disclose that they have been funding their operations by misusing the copyrights or selling private information in sizable chunks to third parties.
I was just wondering at its probability and the consequences. Any ideas?
There are so many people working to get a new technology out to masses – a new invention to make things better. However, in my experience I firmly believe that:
Technology is as good as its implementation.
Many a time, little imagination is put into implementation of the technology which is existing. If the existing technology is properly explored, understood and implemented in creative and innovative ways, I think it will do a lot of good to the mankind than decades of new inventions. For billions, the usage is falling behind the rate of discovery.
Let us implement the available tools and technologies properly, because poor implementation will not make any difference to the mankind and the guy next door (for the sake of simplicity).
Thoughts are welcome…
February 21, 2009
I was checking template trends on Google Trends and my intuition was positively reinforced. Joomla templates have officially overtaken traditional web template in search volume. The graph below is self explanatory.
It is interesting to note that Joomla templates have gained a lot of popularity in eastern European countries compared to the south Asian countries. In Northern America a very interesting trend has been spotted. Regions like Nevada, Alabama and Nebraska are virtually untouched by the Joomla revolution!
I cannot help without this shameless plug 😉
TemplateKingdom.com, our template website, provides high quality joomla templates. In fact you can see those templates LIVE in action before making a purchase. My team can also put together custom joomla template design and integration for you! So get in touch with our guys at http://www.hire-a-designer.com/
February 20, 2009
A very interesting visualization of Facebook traffic.
Is this the future of web stats? And it can be interesting if the same video is shot over time-line with specific location kept constant. And yes, a facility to fast forward and slow motion won't hurt. It will really help us understand how the traffic patterns have changed over time.
February 18, 2009
Here are some street smart strategies to survive the recession:
1) Invest in marketing. Your competitors are not doing so to save money. You shall go ahead and make the kill to get maximum leads and exposure. As we know offense is the best defense. So it is best to attack recession with your full might and try to go all out to grab the business that might be available to you. It will help you increase your market share in a shrinking market.
2) Identify deadwood inside your organization. They sneak in when you are at a high and do not care about few 'under-performers'. However, it is easy to identify them when the going gets difficult, because they are unable to earn back their own cost to the company. Put together a system to calculate cost and revenue from each and every individual in the company. It is difficult to do, but this is the only way you know if you have the right team or not. If a guy is not earning for you, he must be told so, given a warning and an opportunity to improve quickly. If he does not, you shall let him go.
3) Start a new business line which creates more value in the current market dynamics. It is best if your new service has the same target audience as your existing business. It will just make life simpler. To get you more bandwidth, consider closing a business, which does not excite you or seems to have a bleak future. Recession is the best time to do such transitions.
4) Partner with your clients. Deliver real results with real benefits. Calculate the benefit you have given to the client and see how you can maximize it. If your services and/or products are not delivering the value that a client expects, you need to do a serious re-think on your business model. Recession is a result of blind-mad-rush where companies forgot the basics of business and got swayed away in the glamorous world of equity, valuation, expansion, etc.
5) Sort out the internal processes and do some house-keeping. This is the only time when you are a little bit free and you can actually take care of your home in a proper way. Processes, policies, products, offerings can be reviewed, polished and realigned to take advantage of the next boom.
Feel free to add your points –
Recently my friend Arun has put together his set of tips! So why not grab them as well 😉
February 9, 2009
I have recently given an interview to Viraj Sawant of new-web-business.com on my views as "Blogging as a career". I found the interview interesting and have expressed my opinions strongly. Feel free to have a look:
December 3, 2008
I have recently written an article for SME WORLD (November 2008 – January 2009) issue of Financial Express. It should be a good read for any small business if they want to put together an Internet strategy for their business.
Internet Strategy for Small Business
Internet is making the world flatter and giving small businesses a level playing field to compete with the big players. Many businesses have changed the rules of the game by using Internet to their advantage.
Do you have a compelling Internet strategy? In simpler words, do you have a clear plan, on how you will use Internet as an enabler to create an edge for your business? If not, put one together now.
Demystifying Internet Strategy?
Every successful business needs a strategy, i.e. meticulous planning and a long term vision across all functional practices like human resource, sales, marketing, supply-chain management, etc.
Internet is a media, a platform and a network. Therefore, it is not a business function. But, it cuts across all business functions and has a profound impact on the way we do things. It has changed the way we do business.
Therefore, it is important to plan to usage of Internet across different business functions in a way that it can make the business more competitive by optimizing it’s top-line and bottom-line growth.
Every organization is unique. The way their business works is different. And therefore, their Internet strategy is bound to be different. However, a generalist approach for small business highlights three core strategic dimensions –
- Acquisition of new business
- Developing a strong online business network
- Improving efficiency in communication, and collaboration
Acquire new business
Internet is a mass media with millions of attentive people logged in. They are trying to solve a problem. And if you can solve that problem, you have a hot business lead!
Do not ignore the fact that this prospect is looking for what you offer. Therefore this is a potential pull-sale prospect. It is more valuable than hundreds of cold calls and thousands of mailers that you might invest in, expecting a single digit conversion rate.
This opportunity has its own challenges:-
- What is your prospect searching for?
- How will your prospect find you?
- What offer should you make?
- How will you convince him?
- Why will he trust you?
The entire cycle is comprised of a) Getting targeted visitors to your website, b) Convert those visitors into clients and c) Analyze results and make changes in your online customer acquisition process! (Note: A targeted visitor is one, who is looking for a product /service you offer.)
You can get the targeted visitor by using techniques like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) backed by high quality content on your website.
SEO is a technique used to rank a website high on search engines on specific keywords. SEM is all about buying clicks on popular search engines. Both techniques have their pros and cons. The selection entirely depends upon the business need and the overall Internet strategy of the company.
Once you have the visitor on your website, you can further test various offers, content snippets and design elements by techniques known as A/B split testing and Multivariate testing to see which combination works best!
This is just the beginning. Some of the many things that you must consider:-
- Which keyword shall I target?
- Is it worth paying $1 per click when I am selling something worth $25 only?
- How to handle a visitor who is not interested in my product today, but might need it tomorrow?
The list can go on and on. As you can see, it is a fairly technical process; it needs expert guidance, external consultancy and implementation help.
Make new connections
Business networking is a marketing method by which business opportunities are created through networks of like-minded business people. People like to work with people within their comfort zone. So before you can talk business, you need to create a trusted relationship.
A good network is like a catalyst, which can multiply the speed of your growth. If you know the right person at the right time for the right job, you will race ahead in the competition.
When this networking is done online, it can connect you with people all over the world in a very efficient way. You can efficiently create private and open networks where you can share opinions, ideas, problems, information, knowledge and most importantly business references! There are several online business networking websites like LinkedIn, Ecademy and Ryze.
It is important that you approach the network in the right spirit, present yourself nicely, increase your connections, work on win-win partnerships, and adhere by the pay-it-forward principle of networking.
I highly recommend that you try to strengthen your network with face-to-face meetings with as many people as possible.
Some questions that you need to answer to do this bit effectively:
- What is your elevator pitch?
- What are your goals of networking? What are you trying to achieve? Most people who are actively networking invest a lot of time, without a clear view of the desired outcome.
- What kind of people you want to connect with? Why will they like to connect with you? What is your win-win proposal for different categories of connections that you will make?
- How can you proactively help? What knowledge can you share? Which are your areas of expertise? Do the areas of expertise help you create influencers in the marketplace?
You need to do the groundwork to get the best results. So do not underestimate this part. You may need someone to help you with this.
Streamline communication and collaboration
In an increasingly dynamic business environment, proper communication and collaboration system is the key to success. Internet is a software platform that enables such system to be deployed across the organization cutting across various roles, designations and departments.
Businesses do not operate within their closed shell anymore. They have major impact from its environment consisting of employees, clients, suppliers, etc.
You need to react to changes as they happen every moment across the organizational eco-system. Therefore, the data required is real time – i.e. updated every moment.
You need to have an intranet (internal collaboration portal) or extranet (external facing collaboration portal) to keep up with the pace.
Think of some of the advantages it can bring to your business:-
- Employees can share ideas, notes and project details.
- Efficient communication with all your employees and clients.
- New employees applying online on your website to reduce time and cost in processing the job applications.
- Real time order status and inventory flow can be seen by respective customers and internal stakeholders.
- Clients have access to their ledgers in real time.
- Clients can communicate with their sales managers, place new orders and file complains / queries instantly.
- Suppliers can see tenders online and submit their quotes. The built in rule engine help you select the winning bid.
- Documents can flow within departments with remarks added on within seconds at relative ease.
Such empowerment will increase the level of productivity and satisfaction at all levels. Innovative ideas will result in paradigm shift in the way a particular work is done.
- E-statements by bank save money, postage and trees.
- You can buy and reserve your air ticket / railway ticket online without standing in the queue.
- Major corporations need you to apply for a job online. Even, Barack Obama, President (elect) of the USA is recruiting his team online!
- Large corporations like BPCL have online system to receive and resolve complains from consumers.
- Online shopping is becoming the order of the day.
The way Internet can be used to increase efficiency is only restricted by your imagination.
It is a good idea to hire a consultant who can think aloud with you to find out ways, in which your business can become more productive, more efficient and stay ahead in the fiercely competitive world.
There is no silver bullet of Internet strategy. However, the following tips will help you define your Internet strategy and put the same into execution.
- You need to put together your organizational goals. Break them down into functional goals and map them with the three dimensions of Internet strategy.
- Rationalize and prioritize various elements of your strategy. Everything may not be feasible or even rational to execute. The cost / return analysis should be done.
- Once you have created the right mix, define your approach for every element in detail. It is a low-effort high-impact world of Internet. If success gets magnified, then so are the mistakes!
- Execute the strategy in a time bound manner. Everything changes fast and if you are caught on the slow trail, you might be doing something which does not hold value anymore.
- There is no absolute truth. Make sure that you have a mechanism for measuring the results.
How Indus Net Technologies can help?
Indus Net Technologies has been rated as #1 IT SME in India – 2008 by Dun & Bradstreet.
We help enterprises all over the world through consulting and implementation of their online strategies. We bring together 11 years of experience and implementation expertise to ensure success in your online initiatives through out its lifecycle.
Our core teams provide creative services, web application development and Internet marketing (SEO, SEM & conversion optimization) solutions. They are guided and supported by our consulting initiative.
You can be in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 10, 2008
I thought only Microsoft messes up their products / releases.
I could not understand, why will Google release such a major product i.e. a browser to compete against Microsoft and the Firefox without support for their own toolbar. Also, after five days of usage, I find Google Chrome still lacking in many areas:
- Browser plug-ins won't work!
- Text editor of my blogging software does not load (Must have some problem with Java Script)
- I am missing the option where Firefox posts the POST-DATA when something goes wrong, so that you do not have to fill up the form from scratch.
So, I have again started using Fire Fox after the initial Google Chrome mania. Yes, I will still continue to use Chrome to see how it develops.
Will keep you all posted.
September 6, 2008
I was reading about Google Chrome.
> Some blog says that it has snapped up 2.8% market share in 24 hours. Amazing. Isn't it?
> Some feels they have dumped and back-stabbed their partner, Mozilla / Firefox
So I decided to try it out. My observations (based on two days of usage) have been:
> Quick to download and install
> Faster than IE (for sure) and seems to be faster than Firefox
> Wide, open interface gives a feel of "freedom" and gives more space to see the website
> Interesting pop-up blocker. It minimizes the pop-up!
> Incognito window – for those who want to surf without leaving a trace
> A quick homepage with most visited websites listed to improve productivity
> Address bar doubles up as search box of Google.
So far it looks fantastic.
Few things I did not like (mainly interface and usability):
> Favorite button is not very intuitive
> Settings icon is definitely not a decent visual metaphor!
> It has a minimalist design. So some less-used features has not been accommodated.
However, one question is disturbing me – What is Google trying to achieve?
Is it "organizing the information of the world" or "becoming the central processing unit of the world" with a thin client (the chrome browser) and the client to access the web based operating system to access this massive central processing unit powered by clustered Linux servers!
Their attempt to monopolize is very evident. And with monopolization comes manipulation. So keep your eyes open.
Are anti-trust activist taking note of it?