Advantages of Tier II cities


I just attended Chennai Open Coffee Club this Sunday. When I shared my business card with other folks!! Which had my Madurai office address. People immediately asked me if I hail from Madurai. When I said I’m not they were all puzzled. They were curious to know why I choose Madurai; I’ve to explain them the advantages. Thrn they realised the advantages of a Tier II city. So, I thought I can write a blog on advantages in a Tier II city.

Low manpower cost: As compared to Tier I cities, costs in Tier II cities are low for several reasons

  • Cities are small and travelling cost is low…
  • Hangouts are not expensive…
  • These cities are still conservative and there is no big partying culture…
  • No big designer/fashion brands…
  • Rentals are low…
  • Very less entertainment options…

Because of all those people’s spending options are very less which in turn keeps the manpower cost low…

High work productivity: People have no distractions as they have no choice on entertainment options are concerned…

  • Very less multiplexes and cine halls…
  • No of malls is also less…
  • No PUB culture, so there is not much Monday morning hangover…
  • No Friday evening fever… Since they have no options people don’t get distracted by weekend planning…
  • Once again travelling time is very less… So, they can make it to office without tension…

Because of all those things people have no other distractions in work and they give 100% in their work…

More educated youth population: Most of the Tier II cities have many colleges that cater to students of those villages in and around the city… Most Tier II city produces 2 – 3 lakh pass outs every year which is a huge chunk of talent which can be groomed…

Ethical values are high: Most people in Tier II cities value ethics a lot and in turn they expect it too… So, mostly they get attached to the company if they are respected and treated well… Attrition levels in Tier II cities are too low compared to Tier I cities…

Other than all those advantages we must carry some amount of social responsibility in developing these cities and people… Also when Tier I cities alone development there will be population explosion and we will loose balance… We must grow organically, so if we have the possibility to open an office in Tier II cities we are being a good citizen without taking extra efforts…

Every advantage comes with certain amount of disadvantages. My next blog is on challenges that can be faced in Tier II cities… Also I’d recommend all the readers to read the book “Fortune in the bottom of the Pyramid” by C.K.Prahalad…

Tips for Software Services Startups


Today one of the easiest businesses that had created many entrepreneurs in India is Software Services. Starting from Infosys to My own Cogzidel had a modest start. All we have to invest is knowledge & time that is it. If you have good technical expertise and you can manage the things listed below you can start your entrepreneurial journey. Points listed below are my USP which I gained in these 8 years. This means I’m sharing my hard earned USP :)…

At least one founder must be a techie: Remember in early days you don’t have the fancy of hiring experienced developers. So you must be a good Techie or you must partner with a good techie. Early days of business is purely based on creating credibility & identity for your entity. And this can be accomplished by successfully executing projects…

Use power of Reverse Auction Systems: Don’t waste time in making cold calls and sending spam emails. Use sites like Scriptlance.com, Elance.com, Getafreelancer.com, Rentacoder.com and Guru.com. All those sites have good amount of webmasters who post their requirement. Just bid and win projects from there.

Though projects are of small size and low in revenue, concentrate in volumes… This will give you two advantages

1. Help you to work with more clients. Which effectively spreading your brand to many clients
2. You will get different types of projects which will help you to get different ideas and business avenues of making money…

This blog post ”How to be successful a programmer in Scriptlance.com” will help you understand ways to be successful in Scriptlance.com…

Hire fresher’s or students: Always hire fresher’s and train them or if possible try to hire students who have to do an academic project for 6 months so that you need not pay any salary for what they are learning.

Communicate with clients regularly: When you start getting clients from Reverse Auction Sites. Start collecting their contact details like email id’s, telephone no. & IM’s. Constantly communicate with them by sending new list of project executed, wish them for events like Christmas, diwali etc by this way your customers will always remember you and will keep giving you projects when they have a requirement.

Work on shared office: Look for companies which have more seats than their requirement and share their office space by paying a meager rent. This will help you in investing upfront in infrastructure. A nice ambience will help you to hunt talent & even if some client visits you will get a good image. So, it is your talent to source a better office. You can use services of companies like Cogzidel to hunt for shared offices

Outsource Non Core Functions: Outsource non core functions like HR, Accounts and Admin to some consultancy firm where in you can simply concentrate on your core operations.

Cross Sell: If you finish a project successfully with a client. Immediately pinch for next project or cross sell other services or do both…

Promote your corporate site & Blog: Keep promoting your corporate site and blog in as many ways as possible. Sooner you get listed in search engine more chances of getting enquires thru your site. Some methods by which you can promote your site & blog,

1. Register with as many Social Networking sites as possible & grow your network. Add your company url in your profile page. More your contacts more publicity you and back links you will get for your site.
2. Add social bookmarking to your blogs and pages with services content in your site…
3. Have an email in your company name. Eg yourname@yourcompanyname.com
4. Always have your company email as your signature in both personal & official mail id’s
5. Have t-shirts with your company url
6. Have your company url stickers and paste it in your vehicle and your friends vehicle…
7. Attend lots of meetings like Barcamps, Unconference meetings etc and pass your business cards to other participants…
8. Approach famous bloggers and ask them to write a blog about your company…
9. Do Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing & Social Media Marketing(which is point no.1)

Update your blog regularly: Update your blog regularly, atleast there must be 2 updates every week. Also your post must me informative and targeted to your end user. Eg: Mr.Bala Murugan of Cogzidel Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd wrote this blog Provident Fund – Procedures, Problems and Solutions which got him 22 enquiries till now and still getting more and also most of his blogs will be related to his business…

Likewise understand your customer, employees, markets needs and write a blogs related to it. This will help you in viral marketing.

Tie-ups: Have lots of business tie-ups. For example 6 years back when I was small! I tied up with a famous script selling site and became their Official installer, that helped me to leverage the client base of that site and also partnering with a branded site will add up to my credibility and improved my brand…

Also you can make tie-ups to cross sell. If you are a programming company tie-up with SEO & Web design companies and cross sell your services & vice versa.

Partnering: Like tie-ups you can also partner with bigger companies like Microsoft, mysql etc and become their ISV (Independent Software Vendor). By this way you will getting business reference & publicity…

Participate in forums: Every technology/product has lots of famous forums. Actively participate in those forums and help trouble shoot issues. Also don’t forget to add your company url in the signature. More active you are more your brand spreads and more possibilities you can get enquires.

Start Developing Products: If you start doing the list of things mentioned above for a period of time. Your expertise on technology, knowledge on market needs and understanding of customers will improve. With all those knowledge you must concentrate on developing products which will help you to come out of Rat race and will give you a competitive advantage.

If you think you can add up to these points, please post them as comments…

How to be successful a programmer in Scriptlance.com


I’ve been using scriptlance since itz inception and I’ve evolved as scriptlance evolved. I’ve known Rene of scriptlance & I’ve good association with him. I was his official installer for his site Smarterscripts.com which was selling Perl/CGI scripts. Coming back to topic I’ll be sharing some of my experience which made me a success in scriptlance… Here are some tips…

Under Bid during early days: If you are new to scriptlance underbid and try to win more project until you reach some 100 reviews. Reaching 100 reviews effectively means you have 50-60 unique clients & also credibility to win bigger projects. Remember clients who offer bigger projects expect credibility for which you need more review… Also you need someone to create a relationship. If you have 50 clients you effectively have 50 new relationships to develop. This will help you in cross selling & pitching more projects from these clients…

Bid mostly on small projects: During early days bid on small projects because you can show volumes and get more clients sooner. So, under bid on small projects and overbid on bigger project so that you can stay active…

Stay Active: Be active even after winning sufficient projects. Just try to overbid during these times. It would be a bonus when you get over paid for a project. Always webmasters will be happy to choose programmers who are active. This would be helpful when you come back to take projects seriously.

Constantly follow-up: Never wait after placing the bid. Use Personal Message Board and follow up with the client regularly. This will creates an image that you are committed with your work.

Don’t Cross sell: Never cross sell all your service in one shot. This will confuse the customer & you might loose because of this. Cross selling should be done only after successfully completing a project. So when you post message be specific to the project.

Update Scriptlance Profile: Regularly update your scriptlance profile and portfolio. Some customers will be checking our progress regularly & when they have similar requirement similar to what we did, they automatically invite you.

Work with Webmasters with high review: Try to win projects of webmasters who have more reviews. They have proved their credentials by working with more programmers and will be trust worthy to work. Also they are capable of giving more projects. So, you can make compromise to win the trust of these webmasters.

Break high value projects: Remember you also need high value projects in your reviews. But this article is for starters in scriptlance. So, if you are lucky winning a project worth $1200, convince the client to break the project into 6-7 and post it for you. This will help to get more reviews… Don’t do this with new clients. Try this with clients with whom you have previously worked.

Get Exclusive Projects: Convince clients with whom you have already worked to post project “For Your-Scriptlance-Username”. This impress other webmasters…

Insist only Escow payments: During days never insist for direct payments or upfront advance. Till you gain some credibility be contented with Escow.

Accept only Positive reviews: Scriptlance has come with a new feature where you get reviews only when you give back review. If you are not clear if a customer is happy with your work, never accept the review. Don’t worry about loosing the project or money. Because credibility will only help you in long term…

Never miss reviews: Many webmaster’s forget to post reviews. Constantly follow-up with customers to get those reviews.

Read project descriptions fully: Many webmasters are smart. In order to check the commitment of the programmer they would have place a line which says “Pls post the word “READ” in your bid/PMB in order to know you have read fully”. So never bid by reading first two lines for projects which has big description. Also personally it is not safe for you to place bids on projects which you have not read fully…

Google Friend Connect


Google Friend Connect

Just signed up for Google Friend Connect and added itz member gadget in my site… GFC helps non social media sites to become social media enabled. It has a simple signup process and step by step instruction which can be easily followed…

I’d like to add more friend connects… Here is by Member Gadget & join as my friend…

var skin = {};
skin[‘HEIGHT’] = ‘385’;
skin[‘BORDER_COLOR’] = ‘#cccccc’;
skin[‘ENDCAP_BG_COLOR’] = ‘#e0ecff’;
skin[‘ENDCAP_TEXT_COLOR’] = ‘#333333’;
skin[‘ENDCAP_LINK_COLOR’] = ‘#0000cc’;
skin[‘ALTERNATE_BG_COLOR’] = ‘#ffffff’;
skin[‘CONTENT_BG_COLOR’] = ‘#ffffff’;
skin[‘CONTENT_LINK_COLOR’] = ‘#0000cc’;
skin[‘CONTENT_TEXT_COLOR’] = ‘#333333’;
skin[‘CONTENT_SECONDARY_LINK_COLOR’] = ‘#7777cc’;
skin[‘CONTENT_SECONDARY_TEXT_COLOR’] = ‘#666666’;
skin[‘CONTENT_HEADLINE_COLOR’] = ‘#333333’;
google.friendconnect.container.setParentUrl(‘/’ /* location of rpc_relay.html and canvas.html */);
google.friendconnect.container.renderMembersGadget(
{ id: ‘div-1228676353177’,
site: ‘13403240241584180243’},
skin);

Is democracy good for India?


India claims to be the biggest democracy in the world which is divided by caste, religion, language etc etc. we are proud of this. Democracy says “By the People for the People” but in reality there is no respite for people of this land. Infact I sometimes feel we could have been better under a monarchy than under these shameless politicians. They have shattered this nation for greed.

This entire Mumbai crisis has given lots of lessons, answers, questions, puzzles et more. Let us take one by one. Let us go out of way and talk about our so called Raj Thackeray chief of MNS, who brought unnecessary issues to divide people of our country. Where were you when this entire crisis happened? Hiding under your bed?? You B@$%@$d imagine no. of people who sacrificed their life to save Mumbai on the day of crisis, they were north Indian, south Indians who fought like Indians & didn’t differentiate. They didn’t hide like you like a coward. You have lost face in this entire episode, if you had at least walked out on the roads of taj/trident on the time of crisis I’d have saluted you and would have fought with your for your so called marata pride. Understand on thin be it marata or malayali we are Indians, if you don’t understand this now you are not fit to be a human being…

Then coming back what are the politicians doing? What was the intelligence doing? Home minister Shivraj Patil still do you want to be greedy for power?? The entire way our ruling or opposition politicians handled terror is intolerable. You go on a Z class security and we the people have to wait on hot sun & rain for you to travel. In last six months alone there were bombings in almost every major city in India you have never come open on any of it.

Politicians get paid by our tax money; get all perks from our tax money. Why can’t you cut your pay, perks etc and spend more on security & infrastructure??

What worries more is politicians are not committed & not taking responsibility too. Already mudslinging started to grab the opportunity. In the end it is people who are the ultimate sufferers.

Finally coming back to people we call it Spirit of Mumbai, people get back to normal etc. but it is this attitude that keeps politicians running. Our memories are short.

Look at the condition of all the fighters who fought for the nation, I saw the bus they travelled to reach the spot. It is no way comparable to the luxury busses used by cricketers. What shame cricketers are paid for winning as well as loosing matches. Shouldn’t we feel ashamed of ourselves? Enough is enough we have to think and must act responsible and high time we take some steps.

Now this leads to lots of questions which we expect from politicians,

Why we there were you unable to stop terrorism?
What commitment you will take from now on?
What is it you are going to do to people who have lost their life?
Will we get transparency in investigation?
Will there be transparency in handling terrorism?

I’ve many more questions but I know even the questions I listed will go unanswered. But let me open the Pandora box, when every I read this post I keep remaining that I must do something to all this and when politicians come to campaign might be I can shoot all these questions to them…

I take this opportunity to salute all the martyrs who have laid down their life to save lots of life and made the nation proud. Also to people who fell prey to this cowardly act of terrorism. May their soul rest in peace…

Chennai Floods 2008…


It has been a regular affair every November, which exposes how unprepared our governments are on managing floods. Chennai’s winter hardly lasts for a week (Can’t imagine what happens if it rains last long). This is a YoY affair and I don’t know why government is not taking adequate steps to tackle such calamities.

Because of Mumbai Terrorist Crisis, Chennai’s flood has got a back seat from getting media publicity. Chennai floods have claimed 80 lives so far. Most of the deaths are mainly due to the negligence from the government officials. Also flood relates deaths because of negligence are also on raise YoY.

Also Chennai suffers from serious water crisis every summer & seeing all flood water getting wasted real matter of concern. One must also look at the loss (Bothe productivity loss & material loss) incurred by residents & offices. If we had proper Flood Management system in place we can store excess flood water and use it effectively during summer & can also avoid material & productivity losses.

India having a good growth story and Chennai being one of the fastest growing cities with no. of multinationals setting shop in Chennai it is high time we take serious steps to overcome calamity related crisis & have a proper crisis management in place.

There is a saying “When we point fingers at some one, three fingers points back at you”, like wise I’m also a mean citizen who forget everything and keep moving with the work. But I thought at least by writing this blog it might reach some right person / NGO somewhere in the world who might take some step or give some solution.

Here are some snaps sent by Balaji.

1
Arial View from Olympia IT Park. 100 feet road looks like a lake.

5
Water stagnation in inner ring road…

4
Making ready to walk in floods…

7
Traffic flow in floods…

6
Traffic flow in floods…

Customer care in 2020


Operator : ‘Thank you for calling Pizza Hut . May I have your…’

Customer: ‘Helloo, can I order..’

Operator : ‘Can I have your multi purpose card number first, Sir?’

Customer: ‘It’s eh…, hold……….on……889861356102049998-45-54610’

Operator : ‘OK… you’re… Mr Singh and you’re calling from 17 Jalan Kayu. Your home number is 4094! 2366, your office 76452302 and your mobile is 0142662566. Which number are you calling from now Sir?’

Customer: ‘Home! How did you get all my phone numbers?

Operator : ‘We are connected to the system Sir’

Customer: ‘May I order your Seafood Pizza…’

Operator : ‘That’s not a good idea Sir’

Customer: ‘How come?’

Operator : ‘According to your medical records, you have high blood pressure and even higher cholesterol level Sir’

Customer: ‘What?… What do you recommend then?’

Operator : ‘Try our Low Fat Hokkien Mee Pizza. You’ll like it’

Customer: ‘How do you know for sure?’

Operator : ‘You borrowed a book entitled ‘Popular Hokkien Dishes’ from the National Library last week Sir’

Customer: ‘OK I give up… Give me three family size ones then, how much will that cost?’

Operator : ‘That should be enough for your family of 10, Sir. The total is $49.99’

Customer: ‘Can I pay by! credit card?’

Operator : ‘I’m afraid you have to pay us cash, Sir. Your credit card is over the limit and you owe your bank $3,720.55 since October last year. That’s not including the late payment charges on your housing loan, Sir.’

Customer: ‘I guess I have to run to the neighbourhood ATM and withdraw some cash before your guy arrives’

Operator : ‘You can’t Sir. Based on the records, you’ve reached your daily limit on machine withdrawal today’

Customer: ‘Never mind just send the pizzas, I’ll have the cash ready. How long is it gonna take anyway?’

Operator : ‘About 45 minutes Sir, but if you can’t wait you can always come and collect it on your motorcycle…’

Customer: ‘ What!’

Operator : ‘According to the details in system ,you own a Scooter,…registration number 1123…’

Customer: ‘ ????’

Operator : ‘Is there anything else Sir?’

Customer: ‘Nothing… by the way… aren’t you giving me that 3 free bottles of cola as advertised?’

Operator : ‘We normally would Sir, but based on your records you’re also diabetic……. ‘

Customer: #$$^%&$@$% ^

Operator : ‘Better watch your language Sir. Remember on 15th July 1987 you were convicted of using abusive language on a policeman…?’

Customer: [Faints]

Thanks to Vivekananthan Sivashanmugam…

A funny flight announcement…


Disclaimer: This article is a mail forward and I’m in no way responsible for any damages or claims. If you want I can help is catching the person who has forwarded me the mail, sorry bala ;)…

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen….

This is your captain PATEL welcoming both seated & standing passengers on board of Air Deccan.

We apologize 4 d 4-day delay in taking off; it was due to bad weather and partly due to the search for a missing tyre.

This is flight 717 to Mumbai. Landing there is not guaranteed, but we will end up somewhere in India. And, if luck is in our favor, we may even be landing on your village!

Air Deccan has an excellent safety-record. In fact, our safety standards are so high, that even terrorists are afraid to fly with us! It is with pleasure; I announce that, starting this year, over 30% of our Passengers have reached their destination.

If our engines are too noisy for u, on passenger request, we can arrange to turn them off. To make your free fall to earth pleasant and memorable, we serve Complimentary Daru and Vada Pav. For our not-so-religious passengers, we are the only airline who can help you find out if there really is a God!

We regret to inform you, that today’s in-flight movie will not be shown as we forgot to record it from the television.

However, for our movie buffs, we will be flying right next to Kingfisher Airline, where their movie will be visible from the right side of the cabin window.

There is no smoking allowed in this airplane. Any smoke you see in the Cabin is only the early warning system on the engines telling us to slow down!

In order to catch important landmarks, we try to fly as close as possible. 4 d best view, if however, we go a little too close, do let us know. Our enthusiastic co-pilot sometimes flies right through the landmark!

Kindly be seated, keep your seat in an upright position 4 take-off & fasten your seat-belt. 4 those of you who can’t find a seat-belt, kindly fasten your own belt 2 d arm of your seat. And, for those who can’t find a seat, do not hesitate to get in touch with a stewardess who will explain how to fasten yourself to your suitcase.

Affiliate Marketing


What is Affiliate marketing?

Affiliate program is nothing but you hearten other webmasters to sign up and advertise your services and products on their sites, in exchange you pay them based on their performance. An affiliate program is an excellent way to gain additional sales. There are options for all budgets, but you generally get what you pay for.

There are various way that affiliates are paid:

1.Per Impression: The affiliate is paid a set amount for every time that your ad is shown. The downside is that affiliates have no incentive to send you traffic, or to put your ad in a attention-grabbing location.

2.Per Click: You pay a set amount for each unique person that clicks on your ad. This is similar to a PPC engine. The downside is that you must pay even if the traffic is of a low quality.

3.Per Lead: You pay your affiliates based on the number of unique people that click on your ad, and then proceed to complete a particular action (for example, a “lead” might be when someone downloads a trial, or signs up for a mailing list). This is very similar to Per Sale, but is more common on sites promoting free services.

4.Per Sale: The affiliates are remunerated either a percentage or a set amount for each sale generated by a user that originated from the affiliate’s site(for example I came across a template selling site named templatemuseum.com which offers a high rate of Per sale commission). Affiliates generally prefer receiving commissions on a Per Impression or Per Click basis, but site owners have a preference of the inevitability of Per Lead and Per Sale. There are three ways to start an affiliate program: Your own script, install a script, or use a third-party service. Your Own script If your website’s order system has been custom-made, then one option may be to ask your programmer to add an affiliate program to the system. The programmer would add some code to the payment script, and then develop a simple interface for affiliates to see how they’re doing, and for you to check on your affiliates. This is an cost-effective choice for sites based on custom scripting, but site owners may be somnolent to trust your reporting (after all, it would be in your best interest to fudge the numbers). Established sites can get away with this, but new websites may have difficulty here. Also, if you roll your own then it will be entirely up to you to promote it. Installing a Script If you don’t have a custom-made order script, or if the required modifications would be too pricey, then a similar alternative would be to install a ready-made script. The CGI Resource Index has a list of such scripts. Free scripts are out there, but are generally difficult to find if you’re interested in the script’s quality (which is important for an affiliate program). Expect to pay $20 to $60 for a good affiliate script.

Like rolling your own, this presents the problem of finding affiliates. Also, affiliates may be just as apprehensive of using a script controlled by you as they would be of a custom-built affiliate system. Using a Third-Party Service The final alternative, and the one chosen by the largest number of sites, is to use a third-party service. Here, you let another company control your affiliate program. They will take care of managing it, and to some extent finding affiliates, but at a price. For example templatemuseum.com can be viewed as a destination place for retrieval of information regarding the best affiliate program in the market today.

Biography – eight years of entrepreneurial ride


I’m one of the most blessed ones by almighty! He gave me an opportunity to become an entrepreneur & I gracefully accepted it & utilized it in the right way. I must also take some credits for my perseverance. It all happened because of my cousin brother who still desires to be an entrepreneur but lacks perseverance. It all started with a desire to make money where in I started doing some part time freelance jobs like data entry, web design etc. which gave opening bells to my entrepreneurial desire.

I was doing all amateur jobs until I finished my graduation & that is when the opening bells rang & I made my formal entrepreneurial debut. An out of college kid, no specialization, no competence, no exposure, no experience overall I didn’t posses any entrepreneurial qualities but what all I was dream, desire & passion to be an entrepreneur. Even my parents & friends made fun of me & were not confident about by success, but today I can take pride in being one of their role models.

Early days as an entrepreneur were not an easy ride. I was not aware of any business functions, no idea about business & didn’t even know how to present myself, most of the times I stood like a joker in front of anyone I saw/met, but still I rowed against the tide, kept meeting people in spite of humiliations. But what I didn’t understand at that time was; I’m a entrepreneur in the making & all the humiliation & struggles were to give me more experience, expertise & shape me as an entrepreneur. Yes I know it is very very hard to over come such turbulent times when we startup, but we have to understand that there are no outside force that can motivate an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is a self made man and he has to be motivated and often it would be self motivation. What kept me moving was word of encouragement from some well-wishers and one of the words my friend Aravind use to tell “You can be fool for 5 min. not for ever” & dalai lama’s sayings “When you lose, don’t loose your lesions” with those two phrases I over came lots of challenges and over a period of time I got more experience than people of my own age group.

I started meeting more and more people every day with different faces like a sales man for pitching projects, as a finance head with bankers/financers to raise capital, as a HR interviewed lots of candidates. With every person I met I gained some knowledge which helped me to put it to some other person, with which I was able to gain some respect. Over a point of time I was in a position to talk to anyone at any time and talk any topic. Day by day I started learning new things, understands different functions in business, my networks grew along with all those my confidence grew as well as gained confidence of other people.

So to get all ingredients of business one invest more time than money. I’m writing this blogs only by investing that much of time (8 years). If I’m able to achieve something with all the limitations I had, I think anyone can become a successful entrepreneur. So if you have the desire & fire to be an entrepreneur never think, just act immediately, because “It takes a lot to be a doer, than a thinker”. There is no starting point to become an entrepreneur or there wont be right times or platform to start your entrepreneurial journey. Once you start it and have never say die attitude you are definitely going to be a winner. I wish this post must have kindled the fire and helped someone in some part of the world and have become an entrepreneur. If you had become one please shoot and email to anand@anandnataraj.com.