Establishing a Profitable Start-up

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr APOORV JAIN

VICE PRESIDENT – BUSINESS, URBANCLAP

28th August 2018

“India ranks third amongst the global start-up ecosystem with more than 4,200 new-age companies. We are living in the age of start-ups and the reason behind this is that the youth today has the potential to innovate and the passion of being able to shape their own destiny.” Says Mr Apoorv Jain, VP – Business, UrbanClap, while interacting with Great Lakers.

Mr Apoorv Jain | Vice President Business | UrbanClap

Mr Apoorv Jain: Mr Jain possesses close to 7 years of experience in helping build start-ups both across India and abroad. In his previous work experience, he had worked with brands like Rocket Internet and OfficeYes.com in Operations leadership and P&L leadership roles and served Lazada as Vice President. He has also previously launched Witcraft Marketing Private Limited.

While interacting with Great Lakers, Mr Jain answered some of the most vital questions, aspiring entrepreneurs must ask themselves before embarking upon their entrepreneurial journey.

  1. Why Entrepreneurship?

Mr Jain started the discussion by addressing the most important question – why do people want to become an entrepreneur? “Let’s face it! One of the major motivations for anyone to become a businessman is Money. Maybe not every entrepreneur is in it solely for the financial aspect but finances are a necessary evil.” He added, “Some of you might be in it for the purpose of being in control of your own destiny, but whatever the motivation is, the key is to write down the goal in specific and measurable terms. Goals are always more effective by putting a number on them which can be measured.”

He went on to talk about how budding entrepreneurs are the ones who find themselves leading and not following. Every entrepreneur feels the need to solve a problem and create an impact. The passion with which they drive the solution is what determines the success of the startup. Moving on with examples of successful start-ups, Mr Apoorv explained the 1 by 100 rule, that is, nine out of ten start-ups fail within the first five years of their inception. Out of 100 startups that come into existence, only one makes it to the big picture. “Every day is a success or a failure in the life of an entrepreneur. Intrinsically, not every day in your company can be a success. It is on the days of failure that you need to remind yourself of your goals and missions and stick to them.”

  1. What is the Right Mix of Ingredients for a Perfect Start-up Recipe?

Mr Jain stated that there are a lot of “whats”, “hows”, “whens” and “ifs” that need to be answered before launching an enterprise. If you are an accomplished marketer or a salesperson, you can help the business reach great heights in lesser time. It is beneficial to have a skilled pool of resources within the company, starting with the founding team. Not all successful entrepreneurs have experiences in all business domains, but most of them are true leaders and are passionate about their idea, and that is all that is required.

Another major deciding factor is the investment. Needless to say, this is the tricky part of the journey. To appeal to the investors, you need to sell your idea and to do so you need to believe in your solution to the problem identified. Last but not the least, market trends are vital in deciding the time of the launch. So, one needs to keep following them with an eagle eye.

  1. How to finalize on the idea?

Mr Apoorv answered this question by explaining UrbanClap’s business idea and how it has been able to come up with something that brought a significant change in the way consumers use services and products. He explained, “The start-up should be focused on solving consumers’ problems in an innovative manner. For an entrepreneur to identify a consumer’s problem and solve it, it is necessary to first realize that problem themselves. Either you have experienced the problem in your own life or have seen it in the lives of those around.”

He added, “To act on these ideas and make a decision, you will need to carry out an extensive market research. This helps in understanding the sustainability and longevity of your idea. The millennial generation is growing at an unbelievable pace and the business idea needs to be aligned with the fast-changing technology to stay relevant.”

  1. The Founding Team

“Quality of the founding team is directly proportional to the success and growth of the business. In most cases, the relentless pursuit of the co-founders is what derives the success of a company. There are two categories of people who entrepreneurs choose from, first, the ones they believe are essential for the success of the startup, accounting to their excellent skills and talents and second, the ones without whom they don’t want to continue on their journey of success.”

Mr Jain concluded the interaction on the note that the consumer should always be at the centre of every decision and primary research is very important to ensure customer centricity. Primary research helps in understanding the gaps in the market and in determining the market size. It can also act as an initial motivator to enter into a certain market.

Author: Anindita Srivastava

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Advertisements

Telecommunication – Enabling the Fourth Industrial Revolution

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr SUNIL SAYAL

CFO REGION INDIA, NOKIA SOLUTIONS & NETWORKS

10th September 2018: Nokia, a brand that has a special place in all our hearts. Growing up, there hardly was any kid or adult in the 90s who didn’t own a Nokia. So, both the Ninjas (PGPM) and the Aztecs (PGDM) 2019 batches were supercharged to welcome Mr Sunil Sayal, CFO Region India, Nokia Solutions and Networks. Mr Sayal took the time out to share his immense experience of the telecom industry and talk about the ongoing fourth industrial revolution.

Mr Sunil Sayal | CFO Region India | Nokia Solutions and Networks

Mr Sayal is a finance professional with close to three decades of experience across both MNCs and Indian Corporate houses. He is a member of ICAI and ICSI and holds commerce and law degrees from Delhi University. He has been working in the Telecommunication Industry for the past two decades with Ericsson in the past & currently with Nokia Solutions and Networks and has witnessed its evolution in India since its infancy to the present era.

Mr Sayal started his talk with the history of past industrial revolutions. Steam engine powered industries and rail-roads had sparked the first industrial revolution, followed by the second revolution energized by electricity. The third spurt of massive productivity gains was triggered by development and advancements in the domain of computing and web-based internet. Mr Sayal believes that the fourth industrial revolution would be empowered by the explosion in digital information, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence, with telecom being its biggest enabler.

He discussed the growth of the telecom industry starting from Analog Voice to current 4G making telecom industry an integral part of everyone’s life. A life without a 4G connection is now not imaginable. Mr Sayal shared interesting facts regarding the contribution of the Telecommunication industry towards the development of India. Having 1146 million subscribers, telecom industry contributes to 6.5% of GDP and has generated over 4 million jobs besides attracting big scale FDI. India and China are currently the #1 consumers in global data traffic. In his words, “We sit on the cusp of a revolution in information”, and the numbers are a definite proof of his statement.

How has Airtel managed to be the #1 company?

Mr Sayal highlighted the factors behind Airtel’s immense success in India. Airtel has been the leader in the telecom industry since its inception and has always enjoyed the biggest pie in the market share. Innovation is one of the biggest factors behind Airtel’s success. To quote him, “Either you innovate or you die out”, and this seems to be the motivation behind Airtel’s mission. Airtel, which had the first mover advantage, capitalized on the opportunities it got and never failed to take the lead in bringing technological changes in its services and quality rather than following the competition. While the strategy of adopting pay-by-capacity and network outsourcing to companies like Nokia and Ericsson has given them the competitive edge in improving the quality and services, having a brilliant brand connect has helped them in establishing the link with high revenue customers.

Why weren’t Vodafone and Idea able to challenge Airtel’s reign?

The two companies which recently merged to become the biggest player in the telecom industry bringing further consolidation in the industry have historically been the second and third biggest companies in the market. The guest discussed the gaps which kind of prevented these two great companies with extremely renowned parentage from challenging Airtel’s reign. Vodafone, which brilliantly established brand connect with its unique advertisements, fell short of providing a better alternative to Airtel’s services. While getting involved in the taxation dispute hurt the company during its early days, being a global company, it was perhaps not so successful when it comes to thinking and executing with local considerations in mind. Idea, too, lagged in establishing a concrete strategy to outsource or insource their networks and were not in a dominating or leading position in the cash-rich telecom circles of the country.

Jio – the disruptor?

The latest entrant in the Industry, Jio, has been able to disrupt the market with its out of the box thinking strategy and huge risk-taking appetite. Jio entered an already saturated market with its ground-breaking innovation and technology and became the first player to launch its services with Pan-India 4G coverage which helped them reach every corner. It launched its services with path-breaking industry-changing cheap tariff plans. While most companies would prefer taking services from well-established brands, Jio took a risk by purchasing the network equipment from a new entrant– Samsung, and invested hugely in R&D from best brains across the globe and provided the best quality services to the consumer. Mr Sayal quoted Mr Ambani, “Data is the new Oil”, which seems like the motivating idea behind Jio’s strategies.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

For his concluding thoughts, My Sayal explained the contours of the upcoming fourth industrial revolution which will be triggered by the introduction of 5G powered IoT. ”5G delivers extreme broadband, ultra-robust, low latency connectivity, and massive networking for the Internet of Things to enable the programmable world, which will transform our individual lives, economy and society”. Enabling the fourth revolution would require enabling massive capacity everywhere through Ultra-broadband, realizing the agility of software-defined business through Cloud and igniting the new businesses of IoT.

This, in his opinion, was the shape of things to come which will guide the future of the global telecommunication industry.

Author: Arpit Gupta

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

HR – The Way Forward

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr SANJEEV SHARAN

DIRECTOR (HR – GLOBALIZATION) – ZTE TELECOM LTD.

Thursday, 13 September 2018: An enthusiastic crowd, comprised of 100 plus Jaguars (PGDM 2018-20 batch), gathered in the auditorium dressed in business formals looking as sharp as Obsidian Blades, to learn about the significance of HR in companies from one of the best the field has to offer. Mr. Sanjeev Sharan, Director (HR – Globalization), ZTE Telecom Ltd., was in the campus to provide us with in-depth knowledge of the role of HR in the 21st Century and covered various topics like, expectations of businesses from HR, ways in which HR can be the core of a business and clarified if the time is ripe for HR to change to avoid going extinct; in an insightful interaction.

ZTE Telecom Ltd.

ZTE Corporation is a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It is one of China’s leading telecom equipment manufacturers. ZTE operates in three business segments – Carrier Networks (~54%)-Terminals (~29%)-Telecommunication (~17%). Being a Chinese company, its workplace policies and culture are quite different from those followed by Indian organizations. This was an interesting insight into work cultures followed by companies outside India for the attending crowd.

Mr Sanjeev Sharan – ZTE Telecom Ltd.

Mr Sanjeev Sharan is currently working as the Director (HR-Globalization) for ZTE Telecom Ltd. and is an accomplished HR Professional with over 24 years of experience in renowned organizations. Mr Sanjeev has been working as Director (HR-Globalization) with ZTE for 4 years and has also worked with MTS Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Reliance in the past. During his professional career, Mr Sanjeev has over 18 years of work experience in the Telecom industry in the HR Department. He is a strategic HR professional with Global experience and has a strong exposure to Culture Building, Performance Management and Business HR. He also headed the Globalization Project based in China with a focus on setting up HR led processes and policies aligned to Global Best Practices.

Role of HR in companies today

Expectations of businesses from HR

Mr Sanjeev started off the lecture by introducing the Great Lakers to the relevance of HR. He explained why people would want to join HR and also stated that HR is about finding the “Right people for the Right role”. According to him, HR is no longer a support function but has matured to be an advisory function. Everything that can be measured, should be measured and HR has the responsibility to find ways to accurately measure the data related to the employees and advice the top management accordingly. Another requirement that businesses have from the HR function is to get into the mindset of the person whom they are investing money in, so as to understand the value that he may provide to the company. He also put forth the fact that technologies are changing at a rapid pace, companies are struggling to keep up with these advances and are now seeking the help of HR to fill the gap between the emerging technologies and the manpower required to utilize these technologies profitably.

HR as the core of businesses

Mr Sanjeev stated that the core functions of the HR department are its “ FLEXIBILITY” in processes. He further explained that Business focus should be “married” to HR focus to achieve higher goals. He then dived into the key areas where currently HR spends maximum time (Recruitment, engagement, payroll and incentive calculation, etc.), brushing up on the tasks that are undertaken in each area. His belief is that “Power of HR is how you align it”, HR practices that are the result of an extensive study of data gathered from various processes within the company will provide more fruition than generic HR practices. Mr Sanjeev then linked business challenges to HR, explaining HR’s role as an advisory figure to business, helping them in building right leadership mindset, measuring productivity, fair evaluation culture, maintaining right talent pool and right people identification.

The Way Forward

The final topic tackled was if the time is ripe for HR to change to avoid becoming obsolete. Mr Sanjeev having two decades’ worth of experience was the perfect person to address this topic as he gave significant insights into the change that already is taking place in the HR departments across the companies around the world. He said, “The age-old HR practices have to be discarded due to the changing work environment. Knowledge is power and this is what HR has to conform to in all its functions. Deep industry and competition knowledge, networking, automation to reduce man-days, focus on culture fitment are few standouts in the recruitment function of HR.” In regard to careers, he stated that “data-based decisions, promotion linked to organization need, capability and performance-based promotion are the factors which build careers.” He then moved to Analytics in HR, as the world today is based on data and the analytics of this data. He explained that there is no place anymore in HR for “I think….& It Should”, as every action and every decision has to be based on appropriate facts and data.

To conclude, it was an exciting and interactive session for the Jaguars which helped the young B-School students understand the nuances of HR and how the theories they learn in classes get applied to the corporate world.

Author: Indrajeet Vadgama

PGDM, Class of 2020, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Winds of Change: Indian E-Commerce Space

Winds of Change: Indian E-Commerce Space

It has been 5 years since Amazon came to India, loaded with $5 Billion worth of committed investment to establish amongst the then home-grown marketplace, Flipkart and Snapdeal. In no time Amazon expanded its wings. Since its inception in June 2013, Amazon has grown both in terms of scale and brand value. Though it may seem to be a simple strategy,

More Units sold => More Customers => More Brand Value

It hasn’t worked as well for many others; brand value is developed through marketing which is not limited to mere advertisements. It is also to come real on those promises and exceed customer expectations in due course. Instead of just fulfilling the customer needs, Amazon is vying to provide customer delight. It is very difficult to make each customer happy but you can attempt to satisfy your customers by adding value to your offerings at the same price point.

There are various customer-centric steps taken by Amazon. These include quick response Customer care team, average product rating criteria wherein Amazon suspends extremely poor rated products, quick & free delivery for Prime products, add-on purchase features like book delivery or leave with neighbour, the latest subscribe & save deliveries, Amazon Pay convenience, early deal access for Prime members, AZ Guarantee, best in class packaging and that’s not it, add-on value services like Amazon Prime Video, Prime Music, Kindle, Alexa, Prime Now, Fire TV.

These add-on value services & products offered can be divided into 3 categories:

  • Services: 2 day delivery on Prime products, 2-hour deliveries on Amazon Now groceries store, Amazon Pay wallet.
  • Assortment: More depth and width (Merchandising and Assortment), Alexa, Amazon Basics (headphones to office chairs), Solimo, Kindle, firetv stick, Myx, Symbol, 10.or etc.
  • Digital Content: Amazon Prime Video (original domestic content as well), Prime Music.

Amazon’s bouquet of products and services

Many of these benefits and value services are coupled with annual ₹999/- Prime membership. Amazon Prime includes video and music content with additional buying and product delivery based benefits. Amazon has grown beyond the marketplace model; hence, it will be wrong to call it just a marketplace for buying goods. This appears to be the competitive advantage for Amazon’s rapid expansion, which is shrinking space for others in the market. They are playing the cards right through product diversification and this is also visible in their vision and mission statement:

“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online”

The strategy is right or not, time will tell but Indian E-commerce seems to be in for a new showdown between Amazon and Walmart with Flipkart’s acquisition. With Walmart’s expertise in offline retail and the successful changes it made to its US strategy, Walmart might not stay too far behind for too long. The firm might also utilize Flipkart and its strong ecosystem in India (Myntra, Jabong, PhonePe etc.) to export ideas to the rest of the business offerings.

Just like Amazon, Flipkart has also been developing private label brands such as Roadster, MarQ, Perfect Homes etc. These private label brands can help improve the profitability of these marketplaces in the long run.

When these companies will start looking to move past the revenue growth and towards unit economics, the market will move towards stabilization. However, given the rivalry between these US-based behemoths as well as with other international players such as China’s Alibaba (with its payments subsidiary Alipay holds more than 50% stake in Paytm Mall) this stabilization period might get further delayed.

With a population of 1.3 billion & rising affluence, India is one of the most appealing retail markets currently. As the opportunities for these players are expanding, Indian consumers need to gear up for the upcoming shopping spree offered by these marketplaces. With a bouquet of services aimed at the target segments, Amazon seems to be ahead of the pack. However, for how long will it keep investing & diversifying these services apart from the marketplace could determine the success it is aiming for and how well the other players counter this threat is an interesting development to keep tabs on in this ‘Battle of Giants’.

Author: Shaleen Mishra

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Tribute to the True People’s Prime Minister

Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Tribute to the True People’s Prime Minister

India is the largest democracy in the world. Throughout its democratic history, it has witnessed several politicians rising to power before going downhill. Our countrymen have been fortunate enough to see great leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, P.V Narsimha Rao, and Indira Gandhi taking up the podium and setting up vivid examples of leadership and diplomacy for the generations to come. Our country represents a classic example of unity in diversity, it exemplifies different flavours in almost every aspect of our lives, Politics being one of them. We have produced leaders exhibiting varied styles and building a connect with varied people of our country. And at the same time, the race to reach the pinnacle of power had also corrupted some of those leaders beyond redemption. Today, we are a part of a political system which lacks mutual respect for each other. We see Parliamentary sessions succumbing to unproductivity owing to clashes between ideologies and people driven by the utmost motive of demeaning each other. Where does a leader like ‘Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’ fit in in this landscape? What made him stand out from the rest?

Born to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee on 25th December 1924 in Gwalior, Atal Bihari Vajpayee did his schooling from Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Gwalior and later went on to complete his graduation from Laxmi Bai College, Gwalior. He then pursued his Masters of Arts in Political Science from DAV College, Kanpur, where he was awarded a first-class degree. A revolutionary nationalist at heart, at a tender age of 16, he was already working as an active member of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and had earned the honour of being a freedom fighter when he was jailed for participating in ‘Quit India movement’. The urge for public service and uplifting our nation drove him throughout his life. From being one of the founding members of ‘Bhartiya Jan Sangh’ to organizing it into the first truly national party, ‘Bhartiya Janta Party’, formed in independent India, he exhibited strength, proactivity and responsiveness to various national and state-level issues, especially in the case of J&K protests against separate permits for other citizens. His extraordinary organizational and oratorical skills won the hearts of masses. His aptly articulated and poetic way of addressing public sessions soon started bearing fruits. In 1957, he was elected as a member of Lok Sabha from Balrampur. There, his oratorical skills so impressed Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that he predicted that Vajpayee would someday become India’s Prime Minister. He served as an MP (Member of Parliament) for 47 years thereafter, as he was elected 10 times for Lok Sabha and 2 times for Rajya Sabha. As his political career progressed, Atalji became a name synonymous with Integrity, Cohesiveness, Patience and Cooperation. He was an inspiration for many and he strongly upheld our nationalistic identity on international platforms. India had just started gaining momentum, when as a ‘Minister of External Affairs’, he addressed the UN General assembly in Hindi. It showed the love he had for his motherland and his capability to think differently to create a distinct national identity.

Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee @Pokhran

Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as the Prime Minister of India between 1996 and 2004 in three non-consecutive terms. Though the initial terms were comparatively unstable, his firm decision-making and his ability to build consensus amongst everyone brought about a lot of key changes at that time. His approach to decision-making included seeking considerations from every political front to arrive at a consensus. He strongly believed that such inclusion was paramount in achieving desired effectiveness for the government policies to work. His able governance proved several economic and political pundits wrong, who suggested that a democracy could never achieve a very high GDP growth rate since India grew at around 6-7% at that time owing to the liberal reforms in various sectors. While we as a nation had started dreaming of becoming a superpower, Atalji consolidated our position in terms of national security as well when he overcame the hesitation of our nation, the resistance of the world and threat of isolation to make India a nuclear weapons power post the second Pokharan range tests. Amid all these developments, he showed contrasting gumptions when he went an extra mile to make Indo-Pak relations better post Kargil war. Foreign relations, especially with USA and China, were never better. He widely advocated World Peace and Cooperation. As he himself once said, “Gun can solve no problem; brotherhood can. Issues can be resolved if we move forward guided by the three principles of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat.” During his Prime Ministership, India witnessed a golden era of transformation and positivity while everything worked in tandem in an otherwise difficult-to-manage coalition government. It was the magic of Atalji working wonders for the nation.

We have not only lost an excellent politician, but a diplomat, journalist, poet, and in a true sense, a Bharat Ratna. A gem whose shine would enlighten us forever in our path for development. He taught everyone the politics of consensus and not confrontation. He taught us how to accommodate everyone’s opinion while putting forth your own ideologies and beliefs. He was often termed as ‘Bhishm Pitamah’ of Indian politics as he was equally respected and liked by either political fronts. I still remember humming to the tune of the song “School chale hum…” during my childhood. Today it feels different. I am sure his spirit will continue to guide us as we progress to become the greatest nation in this world.

Author: Prateek Gupta

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author

Image Sources:

indiatimes.com

abplive.in

ndtv.com

Holistic View of the Various Nuances of the Tax Structure

Holistic View of the Various Nuances of the Tax Structure

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Ms PREETI KHURANA

EDITOR IN CHIEF – CLEARTAX

Sunday, 19th August 2018: “There is no rest for the wicked.” This idiom was tailor-made for the Great Lakers. When the world enjoys quiet and lazy Sunday mornings, the ambitious Great Lakers are always up and ready in their sharp business formals, armed with their laptops and notepads, to welcome an industry guest in the campus for an interactive learning session. This week we met Ms Preeti Khurana Chief Editor, ClearTax, who expounded the various nuances of the tax filing system, elaborated on the recently implemented GST tax structure and gave the students a holistic view of the Indian tax regimen.

ClearTax

ClearTax began as an “Individual tax return filing” platform. It has now ventured into multiple areas including Tax Cloud which is a bulk return filing system for Chartered Accountants. Along with possessing a dedicated “GST Return System” which facilitates GST invoicing, returns, supplier performance reporting and online e-way bill generation, it also has its own “Investment platform” which is regarded as the #1 platform in India for mutual fund investment. Another differentiated category which ClearTax caters to is the “Start-up regulation”. It helps start-ups remain cognizant of the compliances, manages their accounting and bookkeeping and expedites their tax filing. It is also instrumental in providing comprehensive knowledge about tax regimes, investment and accounting to the people.

Ms Preeti Khurana

Ms Preeti Khurana is currently associated with ClearTax as the Editor in Chief. Prior to this, she has served as a Budget Manager and an Assistant Manager at American Express and PwC respectively. She completed her C.A in 2004 and started her career with PwC. Post that she joined American Express where she spent 7 years of her corporate career, but later on, realized that she wanted to pursue something more exciting. It was then she decided to call it quits and joined ClearTax. At ClearTax she serves in various capacities, which includes customer support for tax filing, sales pitching for the product as well as drafting the complete tax guide at the portal which even a layman could understand. She believes that if you put in your best efforts to accomplish a goal, you will definitely be able to achieve it.

Recent changes in the Financial Services

Technological developments

Ms Khurana started by stating “The future is paperless and presence less” owing to the recent developments on the technological fronts, and how it has impacted the financial sector. She explained that this change has vastly opened up the business avenues by broadening the target market in terms of the tech-savvy users, but it has also opened up new challenges regarding issues like data privacy and data theft. She also talked about how the cumulative use of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the face of the Financial Services sector and how the business is being transacted in the global space. “Heightened need for collaboration and threat of competition coupled with the massive amount of regulatory oversight would be prevalent in the times to come” said Ms Khurana. Commenting on the differentiation that the financial companies face, she said that though these organizations are extremely asset light, their core investment area turns out to be data security, rules around which are yet to be framed and this would have several major implications on the taxation.

Worldwide Taxation

She also took the students through the worldwide taxation phenomenon and reiterated that how digital companies like Facebook and Instagram would face challenges in their taxation policies in the times to come owing to the digitalization and globalization. These companies which initially accounted their taxes based on the presence of a Permanent Establishment (PE) will now also be forced to pay taxes in countries where they have a significant economic presence in terms of revenues and subscriber base. This, she said, would have several ramifications as the International Tax laws and treaties would have to be revised. There are also humongous challenges with regard to generation, storage and retrieval of such large amounts of data.

GST

The Goods and Services Tax or the GST implementation was also expounded by Ms Khurana. The students were awestruck with how she explained the entire GST regime in such a lucid manner. She explained the need for switching to the GST system and the flaws which were present in the indirect tax system which led to cascading of taxes, non-compliance and difficulties in tax filing procedures. She further elaborated on how GST has simplified the entire system by bringing all the taxes into the ambit of a single one and the simplification of input credit claims by suppliers, the launch of the e-way bill to prevent leakage of revenues and the easy tracking of the movement of goods throughout the country. Ms Khurana stated that although the new system has simplified the entire tax structure, it has a downside in the form of costs of compliance shooting up, discrepancies in the dating and receiving of tax bills and proper mechanisms to track the interstate movement of goods and contingencies in tax filing for real estate.

To conclude, it was a fruitful session which helped the students in understanding the nitty-gritty of the tax structure and the recent developments in the global marketplace. This knowledge will be a great asset to the students not only aspiring for a career in finance but every single one of us.

Author: Bhawna Ahuja

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Social Media: Perfect Communication Channel for Startups

Social media has emerged as an integral part of our daily lives. As of April 2018, the active social media users are more than 3.3 billion. This number is staggering and qualifies to be a world in itself. When fabricating a startup, you have to go where your group of onlookers are and engage with them keeping in mind the end goal to develop your business plan. Today, the place to run advertisements is web-based platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the sky is the limit. These social channels act as a bridge between the individuals and brands. They have turned into a vital component to increase exposure, raise brand mindfulness, create leads and boost client transformation rates. This is particularly critical for startups that are working with little spending plans, in an ever-increasing competitive entrepreneurial market. This information-driven advertising approach helps you direct your focus on individuals rapidly so they can be acquainted with the startup offerings at the click of a mouse. Social media hands over an opportunity of easy access for customers and to get a genuine feedback from its potential client in a shorter traverse of time. We can explore different avenues regarding our internet-based content to catch the essence of the offering among clients of various demographics. In order to integrate social media marketing with other communication channel and to have a competitive edge, startups ought to maximize the online presence by working on an effective social media strategy.

Stitch a plan that works for your need:

Turning to long-range social networking as a method for business advancement doesn’t just mean being available on the web. In actuality, this is a confounded procedure and, accordingly, it requires completing an exhaustive research and building an arrangement that will keep you on course. Startups have to build a strategy that fits well for their business offering. Something that works for one startup would not necessarily work for others. Identify the unique value proposition, the point of parity and disparity of the business with its competitors should be thought out before formulating a road map of implementation.

Target audience segmentation:

To construct a content for your audience, we have to distinguish their identity. Startups need to segment their potential client to get hold of the purchaser persona. By surveying your audience’s experience data such as their occupations, hobbies, interests, training, and additionally, some fundamental statistic factors such as age range, sexual orientation, and wage, could have the capacity to effectively focus on your gathering of people, convey true client experience and stitch deals.

Identify the correct social media marketing channel:

When online networking showcasing plan is figured, a startup needs to distinguish the web-based life stage they have to fabricate their presence. Every internet-based platform is one of a kind in their group of onlookers focusing on and has diverse reasons, new companies need to recognize the channel that fits their need. Focus on the channel that would contact the correct group of onlookers for your business like for B2C business, Facebook and Twitter could be the correct channel however for B2B LinkedIn could be the ideal place.

Learn about your competitors:

Before beginning with social media content creation effort, one should explore their competitors. Begin with distinguishing them by picking the organizations working in the similar space. Consider their advertising technique, content marketing strategy and customize your online presence accordingly. Additionally, keep an eye on the social media campaigns being run by the competitors and work on formulating a marketing strategy to counter the competition.

Knowledge about the end goal:

Make a long-haul objective to be accomplished through social media marketing to accomplish exceptional yield on investment of your time and money. For some producing Facebook likes or Twitter retweets and followers could be the objective yet for others, their frameworks would be centered around creating more prominent activity volume, web referrals, exceptional client target and high conversion rates. Conceptualize about the objective and plan of your road ahead customized to achieve the final goal.

Focus on content creation:

Content is the core of social media advertising. The more engaging and slanting substance one can make, more would be the traffic volume. Substance ought to be influenced creative to connect with the gathering of people to make the buzz about the contributions and to influence them to share content over various profiles. Additionally, content should be in sync with the motto of the startup and should highlight the unique selling proposition about the offerings. They should make utilization of the most recent happenings and inclining points and draw in the crowd by associating the substance with it.

Real-time feedback tracking:

The most ideal approach to benefit as much as possible from your web-based presence is to gather moment criticism by checking your clients’ exchanges. Along these lines, you will have the capacity to discover how your intended interest group feels about your product and utilize the opinions valuable to enhance your approach. In particular, internet-based life enables you to furnish your customers with the continuous service and immediate feedback. On the other hand, you can likewise screen the audience’s feelings about your latest released product and recognize any potential client encounter issues and settle them on time.

Happy Marketing!

Author: Kumar Shreesh

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon