Innovative Businesses and Business Models


New and Changing business trends


Change is Constant : The next wave of disruptive technologies will change the business

Uber, the world's largest taxi company owns no vehicles
Facebook the world's most popular media creates no content
Alibaba, the most valuable retailer has no inventory
Airbnb the world's largest accommodation provider owns no real estate
Apple with sales of  over 200 million smartphones and tablets does not own a factory
Whatsapp with 3 Billion messages a day does not  own  servers
Disruptive,innovative and collaborative consumption is shifting the lines of the economy


 One of the things that has begun to worry me is the fact that I'm seeing change happening at a scale which is unimaginable before and that it's impacting industry after industry after industry. Every industry I've looked at I've seen a trend of major disruption happening. Manufacturing is the most obvious. With robotics and 3-D printing, as of this year, it is cheaper to manufacture in the United States than it is in China. It is cheaper to manufacture in Europe than it is in China. Why is that? Because with automated robots that have two arms, that have screens, which show you their emotion, with the sensors they have around them, I'm talking about Baxter from the Rethink Robotics or Universal. These robots have become very sophisticated. The cost of operation is less than the cost of human labor. So we can now have robots working 24/7 doing the things that human beings did. Give it five years and these robots will become ever more sophisticated. They'll be doing many, many more jobs, which means that the manufacturing industry is going to be disrupted in a very big way. The good news for America is that it's coming back here. The good news for Europe is that it's coming back there. The good news for Asia is that it's also going to become a local industry. Bad news for China because it's no longer going to happen in China.

So, by the end of the decade you're going to see major upheaval in manufacturing, opportunities and problems. Move into the next decade, these robots will probably go on strike because we won't need them anymore. We'll have 3-D printers now. Within 15 to 20 years we'll be able to 3-D print electronics. So imagine being able to design your own iPhone and print it at home. That is what becomes technically feasible in the 15 to 20 year timeframe. So you're talking about major disruption happening to manufacturing in the short-term and then even greater disruption happening in the long term. Now look at finance. We're seeing the turmoil that Bitcoin is creating. You now have many parties supporting it. Well, you also have crowdfunding shaking up the venture capital industry that they've become less relevant. We'll soon have crowdfunding for loans that in some countries already they're experimenting with taking out loans by if you want to buy a house, if you want to buy a car you simply get it from a large number of people.

You're now moving into cardless transactions for purchasing goods. We may not need the banks anymore. We may not need financial institutions the way we do right now. So there's going to be disruption happening to financial services whether or not financial services realizes it. In the USA they seem to be complacent because they've got laws protecting them. But the same laws don't apply in other countries. We may well have major innovations happening abroad which come now to the United States. Look at healthcare. That already we now have Apple putting a stake in the ground saying we're going to be the platform for health. They basically have announced their health platform. What they want is that all of these new sensor devices that are becoming common, which monitors your blood pressure, which monitors your blood oxygenation, which monitors your heart beats, which monitors your temperature, which monitors your activity levels, and soon which will monitor your blood glucose and monitor your internals. They want all of this data being uploaded to the Apple platform. Do you think Google will be left behind? Do you think Microsoft will be left behind? Do you think Samsung will be left behind? Everyone is jumping into the act. But soon when you have all of this data, we'll be able to transform the healthcare industry because we will be able to predict when someone is about to get sick. We will have AI based physicians that can advise us when we're about to get sick, that can advise us on what we need to do to get healthy.

So, the problem that doctors have right now is that the data that they get back from medical tests is so complicated that they can often not understand it, especially in fields like cancer. If you look at the reports, and I've seen some of these reports, they're incredibly complex. Add to it the genomics data we're going to be getting. The cost of human genome sequencing has dropped to $1000 over the last 15 years. At the rate at which we're going, the cost of sequencing will be practically zero, which means that we'll all have genomes done. Combine that with the medical sensor data, combine that with the data that we have in the cloud and you've got a healthcare revolution. We won't need doctors for day-to-day medical advice anymore. We'll have robotic surgeons doing sophisticated surgery. So we're going to impact the medical profession. We're going to now upend the entire healthcare system the way we know it all in the next five to ten years. People don't seem to understand this.
Now look at the energy industry. We're fighting wars over oil. Five years ago we worried about America running out of oil, today we're talking about Saudi America because of fracking. Fracking is a harmful technology, nevertheless it has allowed America to become energy independent and soon to become an energy exporter. Forget about fracking. Solar itself is something we've become negative about, but solar has dropped about 97.2 percent over the past 35 years in price. At the rate at which solar is advancing, by the end of this decade we achieve grid parity in the United States. Grid parity means it's cheaper to produce energy at home on your solar cells then buy it from the grid. Move forward another ten years. It costs you 100th as much to produce your own energy then to buy it from the grid, which means that we have these grid companies now in serious trouble. This is why you have the utilities fighting solar. They're now started opposing solar subsidies. They're now doing everything they can to stop the solar industry. Because on it's own solar, if it keeps advancing the way it will and there's every indication that it will, it's going to eclipse the fossil fuel industry. And solar is one of maybe a hundred technologies that are advancing, which will change energy industry.

So now you have unlimited energy, well guess what? We have unlimited clean water because we can simply boil as much water as we want and we have unlimited water. We can now have vertical farms in which we grow food locally. Imagine now having 100 percent organic food where you don't have to have insecticides and so on pumped into it because you have it produced in sealed buildings, in vertical farms. Imagine now being able to 3-D print meat so we don't have to slaughter animals. So we're talking about upending agriculture and the entire food production industry. So I can go on and on and on. Every industry I've looked at I've seen major disruption. Even good old communications, look at the impact AT&T, Verizon and Sprint will suffer over the next decade or so. They have seen the landline business disappear. Landlines went to mobile and then now we have data. I mean when I travel abroad right now I don't make long-distance calls anymore because I just call over Skype. Imagine when we have Wi-Fi everywhere? AT&T and Google are competing now to wire up regions with superfast Internet access. What happens now when you have open networks everywhere so you can make phone calls over Wi-Fi networks? We're talking about disrupting the communications industry.

I can go on and on and on but every industry I look at I see a major disruption happening. So the world ten to 15 to 20 years from now is going to be completely different. We're going to be disrupting industry after industry after industry. The vast majority of companies who are the leaders right now may not even exist because the problem is that not only are people not aware of it, most industry executives dare not invest the type of money that will be required for them to reinvent themselves. They dare not put themselves out of business. So major disruption is coming. Our industry heads are worried about shorter performance. They dare not see this future we're headed into so they're going to be disrupted. We will have new industries coming out of nowhere eclipsing these old line industries. New trillion dollar industries wiping out existing trillion dollar industries, this is the future we’re headed into, for better or for worse.
Vivek Wadhwa. Bigthink .

Sleep Market , Humor Market and other industries that are often overlooked

Wake-up calls often signify a sudden end to slumber. But for India's stationery-to-hospitality major ITC, the wake-up call came in the form of a study that argued for more and more sleep - deep, peaceful, and recurring.
ITC, which owns the country's second-largest hotel chain, undertook a study last year which disclosed that 70% of business travellers found it difficult to sleep in the unfamiliar surroundings of a hotel room.
Worse, around 82% respondents were worried that this would affect their business performance the next day. For Nakul Anand, ITC's business chief and executive director, it indeed was a wake-up call.
Anand, who firmly believes that he is in the business of selling sleep, says a hotel can offer the finest services, great restaurants and stunning architecture, but if the guest hasn't slept well, all that effort comes to nothing. Sure enough, he's got on to the act of selling sleep, and so are a slew of companies across the electronics, healthcare and technology sectors.
ITC now boasts of 'sleep menu' across all its hotels, which includes a choice of pillow sizes and density, a range of calming aromatherapy essential oil sprays, in-room foot massages and even a 'dream kerchief ' - a handkerchief doused in aromatherapy oils.
Companies such as Philips and GE are expanding their in-home sleeping aid devices business, while demand for anti-snoring devices and sleep products too is growing.
Most Sleep-Deprived Nation
The likes of GSK Consumer Healthcare and The Himalaya Drug Company have recently ventured into the segment. Even mobile phone applications related to sleep are seeing a huge market in India.
"India is one of the most sleep-deprived nations," says Philips India Senior Director (home healthcare) Bidur Dhaul. Philips recently undertook a survey with The Nielsen Company with 5,600 respondents across 25 cities in India.
It threw up some shocking figures: 93% of the respondents were sleep-deprived, 58% felt their work suffered due to lack of sleep, and 11% actually fell asleep at work. Worse, only 2% discussed their problems with a doctor, a fact that points towards the market potential.

Globally, the market for sleep aids is estimated to be more than $33 billion by 2014, according to a study by BCC Research. While industry estimates put the market for sleep products in India at around Rs 16,000 crore, GE estimates that nearly 70 million Indians are affected by sleep disorders and need some technology or interventional support.
Philips has set up 200 sleep labs in hospitals and clinics across the country that would help doctors accurately diagnose sleep disorders. The company says its in-home sleeping aid devices are growing at a double-digit rate.
While the Philips range of in-home sleeping aids is sold in the Rs 25,000-60,000 range, GE India has rolled out products priced between Rs 30,000 and Rs 4 lakh.
"Even though the market is in its infancy in India, it has grown four-fold in the past three years and has tremendous potential," says GE Healthcare India General Manager (life care solutions) Ashutosh Banerjee.
ITC has started a sleep index for its hotels whereby it tracks reasons why a guest has not slept well. The company is also working on a chocolate made with natural ingredients that has a soothing effect and would induce sleep, says Anand.
The Himalaya Drug Company has rolled out a sleep tea, which acts as a relaxant and mild sedative. The company's two other sleep-support products - Ashvagandha and Tagara - too are growing year-on-year at 42% and 15%, respectively, says business head Mukesh Patney.
The sales of over-the-counter anti-snoring products by GSK and Umesh Modi Group's Modi Omega India too are growing at a fast pace.
"We get at least 15 calls per day for information about the product from customers, which we believe is a great initial response," says Himani Modi, executive director at Modi Omega Pharma India, which owns the Silence anti-snoring spray brand. "Even a few years ago, snoring was not considered a problem in India. The scenario is changing, now it is considered an embarrassment as well as a problem," says Modi.
Standing testimony to the findings of the sleep surveys is the turnaround trends in popular apps - technology is often blamed for many losing their daily sleep.
One of the top-selling applications for the Apple's iOS platform is 'Sleep Pillow Sounds', which creates background noise that helps a person fall asleep. Ditto for Android, where the 'SleepStats' app tracks a person's sleep pattern - it figures among the top ten health apps in India.
Sleep is no mean task, and for its sake, India Inc is now staying awake all day.
Writankar Mukherjee, ET Bureau Jan 5, 2013


The Humour Business


when All India Bakchod, a firm of comedians and impressionists, used its Facebook page to invite applications for internships in Mumbai. A written, sample piece of humour was compulsory with every application.

"Despite advising candidates to sleep over their work and not be in haste, we got 480 applications in the first two days," says co-founder of the company Tanmay Bhat. The firm had got 1,200 applications nationally during an earlier hiring drive in March. The company booked Rs1.5 crore in revenues from 20-odd shows during past five months. About half-a-dozen startups including The East India Comedy, The Viral Fever and Weirdass Comedy — all focussed on the business of humour — are now in the market to hire stand-up comedians, improvisers, satirists, etc. Salaries could be pretty attractive. Once established, a comedian can earn as much as Rs20-30 lakh a year, says Bhat.

The upbeat hiring plans of these startups capture a fairly new phenomenon: pure-play humour is becoming a mainstream entertainment option that city-dwellers are willing to spend a fair amount of money on.

"Comedy has gone from niche to mainstream. Now, this kind of entertainment is like heading for an evening out at a pub," says Girish Bobby Talwar, business partner, Weirdass Comedy.

And as entrepreneurs attempt to spin businesses around the funny bone, hundreds of young men and women are also trying to build careers around their wit.

"There is now a cool quotient about us," says Sapan Verma, co-founder of The East India Comedy. "We get 80 applications a week from tier-II cities such as Jaipur and Indore wanting to work with us." He recalls an engineering student from Goa who sent one joke a day for six months to pitch for a job. He didn't make the cut. The firm has six full-time employees and works only on project basis. These include award shows, gigs and standalone shows. It is hiring comedians, cinematographers and editors as freelancers.

"There is an explosion of demand for comedy acts in India now and we want to hire graduates in literature and content writers," says Amogh Ranadive, content head for Weirdass Comedy. "We are getting applications from Chandigarh, Ludhiana and south India for openings in Mumbai." It got 1,500 applications in three weeks in June, when it started hiring.
Although positions usually start as interns and barely 4-5 get absorbed, young India seems undeterred. Stand-up comedian and actor Vir Das is a founder of Weirdass Comedy. The Viral Fever, another Mumbai-based company, got 37 lakh views on YouTube for its satire on elections. TVF has a 40-45 member team working on videos. Biswapati Sarkar, creative director, says the firm prefers to concentrate only on the online video format. "We need technicians, editors and get 40 job applications a day from smaller towns and even neighbouring countries," Sarkar adds. 


A little-known stand-up comedian can bill Rs 5,000-20,000 for a show while a popular one can get corporates to cough up Rs 1 lakh or more. 

Besides stage shows, these companies are called in for corporate events, dealer meetings, script and content development for brands, columns in magazines and even for weddings, house parties and bachelor/bachelorette parties. 
"Industry has developed wheels, venues have regular stand-up comedy acts and sponsors have realised they can interact with audience and bring in humour in brand messaging," says Weirdass Comedy's Talwar.

All India Bakchod, which was registered as a company a couple of months ago, earns money from sponsors of their videos on YouTube and ticket sales of shows. Its team of eight employees also consults for brands, writes scripts and conducts workshops for corporates and students. "People want a stake in our firm, but it is too nascent for that," says cofounder Bhat.

And it is not merely those proficient in the Queen's language who are the rage, regional players have a fan base too. Gujarat-based Manan Desai and his wife are founders of The Comedy Factory and perform seven bilingual (Hindi and Gujarati) shows a month across the state.

"In Gujarat, getting a DJ is no more in vogue and we are asked to perform in weddings, bachelor parties, baby showers, and money is not a concern," said Desai. His team of five includes a lecturer, a musician and game designer. Before a wedding, they spend days with the family, get familiar and write scripts accordingly. He charges about Rs 25,000 per artiste for a 90-minute show.

Desai gets hundreds of mails a week from actors, scriptwriters and professionals who want to join his troupe. Like any other industry, this too has specialists and niche skills are needed. Scripts required for stage acts are different from video formats and what strikes a chord with a live audience is unlike what a You-Tube watcher will prefer


Public Speaking Industry: Hillary Clinton has signed up for speaking circuit and will charge a whopping $ 200,000 per appearance

Hillary Clinton has signed up for speaking circuit and will charge a whopping $ 200,000 per appearance, an amount more than her annual salaray as the US Secretary of State.
The $200,000-per-speech fee will be a sizable increase for 65-year-old Clinton, who made $ 186,000 annually as secretary of state before stepping down earlier this month

"Now that she's out as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton isn't going to be hurting for money, thanks to speaking fees of more USD 200,000 per speaking appearance, according to a source familiar with the situation," Buzzfeed reported.
Clinton will be represented by the New York-based Harry Walker agency, which also represents her husband Bill Clinton, the former US President.
Clinton gave 471 paid speeches during his 11 years as a private citizen and raked in an average of USD 1,89,000 per event - joining the speaking industry's rarefied six-figure circle occupied by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Gore, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin, according to a channel.
Clinton, however, according to Politico, will do some speeches pro bono, particularly those for the charities and causes she champions. She will also be involved in non-profit works.
PTI Feb 22, 2013

The business of business school


Wharton's M.B.A. Admissions Director to Resign -10/3/13

Ankur Kumar, director of M.B.A. admissions and financial aid at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, is leaving her post effective Friday.
The move comes as campus leaders are questioning whether Wharton has done enough to distinguish itself in the marketplace.
Wharton's M.B.A. application volume has declined in recent years, even as competitor schools have rebounded from dips caused by the financial crisis and waning Wall Street job opportunities. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that some admissions consultants, applicants and even some professors say Wharton has lost some of its cachet and is no longer perceived as on par with Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School.
People familiar with the matter said Ms. Kumar told staff of her decision last week. Such departures are rare in the middle of the admissions season—Wharton closed out its first round of applications on Tuesday afternoon.
Neither Ms. Kumar nor representatives from the school responded to requests for comment, but in a note to colleagues and friends on Wednesday, Ms. Kumar said that she has been "pursuing several different opportunities in New York City in the past few months" and would have news of a new job soon.
Ms. Kumar, who received her M.B.A. from Wharton in 2007, and took over as director of admissions in 2011.
Wharton Dean Tom Robertson said in a note to students and faculty that the admissions team will continue to operate under Maryellen Lamb, the school's former careers director who in late August was named deputy vice dean for M.B.A. admissions, financial aid and career management.
Ms. Kumar and school officials have said the lower application figures, combined with a higher yield, indicate the school has been better targeting candidates. Applications fell nearly 12% in the past four years. The school doesn't disclose its yield or acceptance rates.
To be sure, Wharton students are in great demand in the corporate world. Nearly 98% of job-seeking graduates from the class of 2013 had full-time offers from top companies, including Amazon Inc.,  McKinsey & Co. Google Inc. and General Mills Inc. 

There has been a revolving door at Wharton's admissions office in recent years. Rose Martinelli left the school in 2005 to oversee admissions at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Her successor at Wharton, Thomas Caleel, arrived at the office that year after a career in startups, retail and private equity; he left after the class of 2008 graduated. And J.J. Cutler, who came to Wharton in 2009 from a marketing position at Aramark, left two years later to return to the company.



How the tea plant has transformed lives of an emerging class of Indian estate owners

The business is no longer the exclusive domain of India's big tea companies with their massive holdings. Smaller planters with estates of 10 acres or so have seen their fortunes rising over the past few years and are likely to account for half of all production by 2020. But the big and the small seem to be complementing each other.

 Dipen Roy, 42, is one such small tea producer. He's just shifted from a thatched mud home in Singhibari in Jalpaiguri district to a pucca house. Roy, who remained unemployed for almost four-five years after he completed his graduation, didn't ever imagine being able to afford such a home. But things started changing after he planted tea on family land in 2001.

Now he has 10 acres where tea is grown and owns two motorcycles and a Maruti Alto, for which he's hired a driver. He also plans to send his two daughters to Kolkata for higher education so that they can take the family business further. "My life has completely changed after I entered tea cultivation," he said. "It has turned out to be a profitable business for me."

Roy exemplifies a trend that began a few years before he entered the business. "The age of these entrepreneurs ranges between 35 and 50 years.

The trend started sometime around 1995 and picked up from 2004 as tea prices started climbing," said Bijoy Gopal Chakroborty, president of the Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers Association (CISTA). They have now become a significant constituency in the tea industry, which was worth Rs 16,000 crore in FY2013. India is the biggest producer and consumer of black tea in the world. The larger tea companies are upbeat about the trend.

"I think it is the best thing that has happened in the Indian tea industry," said Aditya Khaitan, managing director, McLeod Russel India, the largest integrated tea company in the world. "Since no more land is available with the big corporates, this is the only way that we can grow our production." There has also been a beneficial social effect.

"This new trend has also helped to bring stability in law and order in Assam where a lot of unemployed youth have entered tea production and have bettered their lives," Khaitan said. Roy sells green leaves to a nearby factory where they are processed. This then goes on to auction houses such as J. Thomas and Associated Broker, from where they go to merchant exporters and others higher up the chain.

Dilip Das, 41, who owns a 10-acre tea estate in Berubari in Jalpaiguri, sells his produce at the Siliguri auction centre. The big tea companies such as Duncans Industries, Goodricke Group and firms from western India are also customers for his tea. After 12 years in the tea business, life has changed. He too has a Maruti Alto and a pucca house, equipped with satellite TV. And, he wants to make sure that his son and daughter get the best education.

Far away in the Nagaon district of Upper Assam, Karuna Mahanta drives to his garden in Sonitpur in a Maruti Swift Dzire. He entered the tea plantation business in 1996 and today has about 4 hectares where it's grown. He sells his tea leaves to Tata Global Beverages directly.


 "In the initial years, I would come to my estate in a bicycle. As the business started prospering I bought a bicycle and now I have upgraded to a car." Das, Datta and Mahanta epitomize the first-generation entrepreneurs in North Bengal and Assam who took up green leaf production to earn a living. There are estimated to be about 30,000 such tea entrepreneurs in North Bengal in the districts of Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar and West Dinajpur, according to CISTA. Assam has more than thrice that number, 94,000.





Solar Parking

Waste Management Business in India


Waste Mangement can be divided into two major categories :
  • Municipal Waste - including hazardous and other solid waste
  • Industrial Waste - hazardous waste
There are other categories like hospital waste and e-waste ,however there is no critical mass in those streams.


Municipal Waste Business


Statutory Framework for Management of Municipal Waste in India

Ministry of Environment & Forests ( MOEF) , Government of India ( GoI)  has notified “ Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2000 on 25th September 2000 in exercise of Power conferred by Section 3,6 and 25 of the Environment ( Protection) Act, 1986 ( 29 of 1986) with the objective to regulate the management and handling of Municipal Solid Wastes(MSW). The rules shall apply to every Municipal Authority responsible for collection, segregation, storage, transportation, processing and disposal of Municipal Solid Wastes.

·         Clause 4 of these rules stipulates that every Municipal Authority shall be responsible for the implementation of the provisions of these rules and for any infrastructure development for collection, segregation, storage, transportation, processing and disposal of Municipal Solid Wastes.


·         Clause 7 of these rules stipulate that any Municipal Solid Waste generated in the city or a town , shall be managed and handled in accordance with the compliance criteria and procedure laid down in Schedule – II. And that the waste processing and disposal facilities to be set up by the Municipal authority on their own or through an operator of a facility shall meet the specifications and standards as specified in Schedules III and IV.


·         Under Schedule II, Part 5 of these rules stipulate that  Biodegradable wastes shall be Processed by  composting, vermin-composting, anaerobic digestion or any other appropriate biological processing for stabilization of wastes. And that the compost or any other end product shall apply with standards specified under Schedule IV. Mixed waste with recoverable resources shall follow route of recycling. Municipal Authority or the operator of a facility wishing to use other state- art- technologies shall approach the CPCB to get standards laid down before applying for grant of authorization.


·         Under Schedule II, Part 6 of MSW Rules 2000 stipulate that Land filling shall be restricted to non-biodegradable, inert waste and other waste that is not suitable either for recycling or for biological processing. It is also stipulated in the said rules that “ Land filling shall also be carried out for disposal of residues of waste processing facilities as well as pre-processing rejects from waste processing facilities”.  Further it states that “Land filling of mixed waste shall be avoided unless the same is found unsuitable for waste processing.”

Thus , the main objective of MSW Management , primarily a responsibility cast on the Urban bodies is to enhance Recycling, Reduce waste generation, promote segregation and related awareness , take up processing of Municipal waste to recover compost, recyclables, biogas /landfill gas and energy. The inerts/residues out of any or all of these processes shall be disposed off into a Sanitary landfill , which requires a lesser foot print area than uncontrolled dumping. The benefit is huge and unquantifiable in terms of the conservation of the land resource.
Through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) format Municipal corporations award concession agreements. Concessionaire will receive tipping fee as consideration for the services rendered under the scope provided in the agreement. The fee is typically Rs 1500 to 2000 per tonn of waste disposed at the disposal facility maintained by concessionare.
Revenue Model for Municipal waste

Revenue streams in Municipal Waste Business
Municipal waste management processes offers the following revenue streams:
·         Collection and transportation: This involves collection of municipal wastes from homes and transportation to our facilities. We generate revenues in the form of tipping fees from municipalities and corporations.
·         Treatment and disposal: This typically takes the following forms: composting, waste-to-energy, landfilling and leachate treatment. We generate revenues in the form of tipping fees from municipalities and corporations.
·         Production and sale of compost from organic waste;
·         Recyclables:Sale of recyclables such as paper, plastic, metal and glass.
·         Waste to Energy and Waste to Ethanol


Hazardous Waste
Collection & transportation
Treatment storage & disposal


Municipal Solid Waste
Collection & transportation
Treatment storage & disposal
Sorting Recycling
Reuse
Organic waste processing
Composting
Waste to Energy
Waste to Ethanol




Industrial Waste

      Industrial Hazardous Solid Waste Disposal facility - Revenue Model

Industrial Waste generated by various units in industrial areas viz., Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Bulk drugs, Paints, Engineering etc., classified as Hazardous and shall be handled under the ‘Hazardous Waste Handling Rules’. This is disposed under the control and monitoring of Government Agency i.e., the Local Pollution Control Boards of every State.


Broad objective in setting up of facility is to protect the environment from air, water and soil pollution and to maintain hygiene by proper sanitation.


Process of Disposal of Waste

01.     Enrolment: The facility for disposal of Waste is like a club and membership enrolment is done by collecting deposit.

02.     Upon enrolment, the waste generator becomes eligible to use the facility by either entering into a written agreement or otherwise for the services extended viz., laboratory services, container supply and finally disposal of waste.

(i)                 Laboratory services – every generator shall provide samples of waste generated and get them analyzed comprehensively to decide the path of disposal viz :
    
           (a)      Direct land filling of waste 

(b)      Land filling of Waste after treatment

           c)     Incineration of Waste


(ii)               Container supply – Every generator is at option to choose the containers depending on their requirement
 
(iii)             Waste Disposal Services

a.       Direct land filling of waste  - If the finger print analysis test conducted by the facility confirms with the comprehensive test report, the material is accepted and gets disposed into the land fill by directly taking the same to the dump yard.
  
b.      Land filling of Waste after treatment – If the finger print analysis confirms the nature of material requires treatment, then the required treatment to be given before taking the same to the land fill. Here we will use consumables called reagents viz: Cement, fly ash, lime, clay etc.

c.       Incineration of Waste – Waste which cannot be land filled shall get disposed by way of Incineration. In this process also we use reagents like lime etc.

  

Charges / Fee Collected


01.  Enrolment Deposit  – Membership deposit (One time) is collected at the time of enrolment

02.  Container maintenance charges – For the maintenance of container bins used by the members.

03.  Monthly Minimum Commitment Charges – As the facility is established for the usage of all the members and certain expenses are incurred even in case of facility not been used, an amount of minimum commitment is collected from the customers who are not using the facility.

04.  Transportation charges – the facility uses its own state of art specially built vehicles / trucks to carry the waste material adhering to the waste handling rules it charges the generators the agreed tariff.

05.   Waste Disposal Charges – The main source of revenue – the agreed tariff is collected for the specified path of disposal along with cost of reagents in case of the requirement of treatment before disposal.

Responsibility

The facility is responsible for the safe disposal of Hazardous Waste and the maintenance of the facility adopting high safety standards both during the life of the project and also during the post closure. The life of the project is estimated 20 year of operation and 30 years of post closure monitoring based on inventory calculated by State Pollution Control Board.

Players in Waste Management Industry


Ramky Enviro Engineers and A2Z Group are some of the established players.

Given below are the excepts from interview with a new player :Sort India Enviro Solutions Ltd.


 I want to be ‘Mr Waste of India’, says Paresh Parekh
So confident is Paresh Parekh, founder of a waste management company, of his ambitious plans that he has it written in bold in a visitors’ book: “I will be India’s first billionaire in the business of waste in 10 years!”
“And, I will create one million jobs and clean up India”, he told Business Line. “This is not a boast. But the huge potential I see makes me believe in it.” He wants to be the “Mr Waste of India.”
A chance meeting with technology wizard Sam Pitroda in Belgium drove this young Gujarati businessman from Belgium to return to his roots and set up his unique waste management business in Vadodara in 2008. But he had already established his credentials in Europe where he bought restaurants he had worked as a waiter at weekends while still a student! And he was already into other businesses as well: diamond trading, Bollywood films…
Born in Morbi (Gujarat) in 1973 into a business family, educated at Vadodara and London, he earned a Masters in Infosystems and an MBA in Brussels, Belgium, in 2002. There, he became the first Indian to bring Bollywood to Belgium by importing films, renting theatres, delivering tickets and creating a niche market of his own among the Asians who loved those films. “I even categorised seats for diamond merchant Gujaratis settled in Antwerp and sold these for high premia.”

LEARNING PROCESS

Parekh learnt as much from his mistakes as efforts. “It was all part of my learning process.” With the phenomenal reach and contacts he developed, he became a ‘one-point-connectivity’ in Belgium for Indians, in particular, and Asians, in general. His knowledge of the Dutch language helped him in becoming a most-sought-after man there.
A turning point came when he, a strict vegetarian, bought the non-vegetarian restaurant he worked at on weekends as a waiter to earn early bucks. “I told the Dutch owner that although I wanted to buy the restaurant, I had no money at all to pay him. The property was rented and the restaurant had goodwill. As part of the deal, I convinced him to receive daily instalments! In all, I paid him €200,000 in two years.” Soon, he bought another restaurant. For this unique deal, “I made the chefs my unofficial partners to sustain this business. A local Indian chef used to cook my vegetarian meals in my own non-vegetarian restaurant.”
Parekh used to help a friend clear garbage from his grocery shop which gave him the idea of waste disposal. “Unlike in India, we had to pay for waste disposal from our shops or offices in Europe.” He studied the waste collection, disposal and recycling at municipal bodies there and how some of those in business used to export this waste. “I shipped my first consignment of waste in 1999. Some Indians realised the potential in this business. So I decided not to just trade the waste but to have my own recycling facility.”

INSPIRED BY PITRODA

For this, he needed funds. He set up a company in the UK and returned to Brussels for two years. “At a function in Brussels, Pitroda spotted me, discovered I was a fellow Gujarati and very soon I was showing him around the Belgian capital in my car. When he found what I did, he advised me to set up the waste business in India,” he says
This led to the foundation of the business brand, www.pastiwala.com, in January 2010, owned by his company, Sort India Enviro Solutions Ltd, which now has five verticals. A new vertical to deal with biomedical waste will soon be launched. He says the real value addition is done at the very bottom of the pyramid where waste collectors’ work begins. The middlemen above them are mere financiers who charge 10 per cent interest on a daily basis. Thus garbage collectors are the backbone of this business.
“We have, therefore, directly contacted them and removed the middlemen. We advertised on the local radios about the services and rates we offer. My drivers, wearing company uniform and carrying identity card also collect this waste, weigh it on electronic scale like professionals and observe total transparency. Waste collectors, too, come to us directly.” The company, which has created about 500 direct and indirect jobs, now owns 25 big trucks and 35 other vehicles. It has warehouses and five recycling facilities.
In Vadodara alone, the company has a customer base of 4.88 lakh (including individuals and industries) where it collects waste at their doorsteps. Parekh has empowered the waste collectors in a unique manner. “I introduced nearly 125 waste collectors to the banks, got their accounts opened there with ATM cards given to them and stood guarantee for them. We deposit their payments directly in their accounts as part of our effort at socio-economic inclusion.”

TENDER PROCESS

Asked how he cuts through the tender process for volumes. “I never fill any tender as I have open rates to collect waste. It is the companies that directly contact me to pick waste.”
This is how his company collects 2,500 tonnes of waste every month. Its recycled products are then resold to those who need them. For instance, recycled paper is sold to paper-making firms.
(This interview was published on July 28, 2013 Business Line)


Evolution of various ecommerce business models


Snapdeal buys Freecharge in biggest startup M&A 

Snapdeal has acquired mobile recharge platform Freecharge in a deal that is billed as the largest Indian buy out so far in the consumer Internet space. The company did not disclose the deal size, which according to sources could be over $400 million in cash and stock. 

"Together we represent the largest m-commerce company in the country now," said Kunal Bahl, CEO & Co-founder of Snapdeal.

ET had reported that the ecommerce major is in advanced talks to buy online mobile recharge platform Freecharge for $450 million (Rs 2,800 crore) on March 12. The deal is larger than Flipkart's $300 million acquisition of its smaller rival Myntra in May last year.

Close to $116 million from investors including San Francisco-based head fund Valiant 
Capital Management, Hong Kong-based hedge fund Tybourne Capital Management, Sequoia Capital, RuNet and Sofina. The Mumbai based company was founded in 2010 by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon. 

Delhi-based Jasper Infotech which owns Snapdeal has announced smaller acquisitions in the past. But this will be a first for the company which competes with Bangalore based Flipkart, Amazon and Softbank backed Paytm.

Snapdeal had earlier acquired Exclusively.in in February, fashion discovery startup Doozton and Wishpicker in 2014. Rival Flipkart is also expected to acquire more companies in 2015, as it looks to clock $8 billion in gross merchandise value (total value of goods sold) this year

"More niche acquisitions are likely to happen this year as companies like Flipkart grow in areas such as grocery and sports," said Sharda Balaji of Bengaluru based Novojuris Legal which works with multiple ecommerce startups.

Indian ecommerce sector has seen over $2 billion in investment in 2014 as it looks fend off Amazon's entry into the market and corner a share of the $600 billion retail industry. Growing middle class income and urbanization is expected to push the retail industry to a size of $1 trillion by 2020, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group and Retailers Association of India in February. By then, the ecommerce is expected to be over $60 billion in size. 



E-commerce websites moving towards mobile apps from web sites

Bengaluru: India’s largest e-commerce firm Flipkart Ltd and its unit Myntra have both shut their mobile websites in their first big move toward becoming a mobile app-only shopping platform. Mint first reported on 4 March that Flipkart was considering shutting its mobile site as well as its desktop-based website to move sales entirely to the mobile app. Spokespersons for Flipkart and Myntra confirmed that the companies had shut their mobile websites. The desktop-based sites are still functional though both companies are considering shutting them over time, two people familiar with the matter said. “Over the past year we have come to believe that we can serve our users much better through our apps simply due to the flexibility it offers. With the app, customers can stay logged in to Flipkart at all times. This helps them save time and get smoother and faster checkouts. Our app is designed to work relatively well even in low bandwidth conditions compared to the m-site,” the Flipkart spokesperson said by email. Myntra already generates more than 90% of its traffic and 70% of its orders from its mobile app, said Prasad Kompalli, head of its ecommerce platform. “The app is the best way of offering a seamless, personalized shopping experience to the consumer. We don’t want to compromise on the customer experience, so we’ve shut the mobile website. Going forward, we will be launching many innovations on the app that will make the shopping experience even more seamless and personalized,” Kompalli said. He confirmed that Myntra may shut its desktop-based website, too. “Mobile and desktop websites are increasingly becoming more and more irrelevant and Indian consumers have showed that they are adopting the app way faster than consumers in the US and even China,” he said. Apart from being able to offer a more personalized shopping experience than websites, mobile apps allow companies to save costs on deploying people and technology on other platforms. Apps also enable companies to advertise and market to customers more accurately than websites, collect more detailed user data and potentially increase customer loyalty. “Some firms have stopped investing in the website and put all their technology resources behind the app,” said Harminder Sahni, managing director at Wazir Advisors, a consultancy. “This only increases the gap between the superior experience on the app versus the website. So it’s better to shut down the site rather than lose customers because of a shoddy website offering. The move will also force people to download their app if they haven’t already. I think it is the right decision over the long-term.” Although most of the country’s online retailers, including Snapdeal and Amazon, get a majority of their traffic from the mobile, Flipkart has taken the lead toward becoming an app-only shopping platform. Over the past few months, Flipkart and Myntra both launched initiatives to shift shoppers toward their apps, including giving app-only discounts and offers. Earlier this month Flipkart hired former Google Inc. executive Punit Soni as head of products, partly to accelerate its push into mobile commerce and move sales away from web browser-based platforms. Flipkart is in advanced talks to buy mobile marketing technology firm DSYN Technologies, Mint reported on 12 March. DSYN’s product Appiterate helps clients increase downloads of their mobile apps and drive higher spending on apps by targeting users more efficiently. There is data to support Flipkart’s move toward becoming app-only: India is expected to have more than 500 million Internet users by 2018 from roughly 200 million currently, and a majority of these users will access the Internet on their smartphones, according to estimates by analysts. However, in a market as competitive as India’s it is far from clear whether Flipkart can risk losing any kind of sales, however small, to rivals by being absent from any consumer-facing platform.
LiveMint.com


B2B website IndiaMart connecting buyers with suppliers

IndiaMART.com is India's largest online B2B marketplace for Small & Medium Size Businesses, connecting global buyers with suppliers. The company offers a platform & tools to over 1.4 million suppliers to generate business leads from over 6.5 million buyers, who use the platform to find reliable & competitive suppliers. The company has over 2800 employees located across 50+ offices in the country. Its existing investors include Intel Capital and Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

IndiaMART.com offers products that enable small & medium size businesses generate business leads (online catalogs/store-fronts), establish their credibility (third party verified trust profile) and use business information (finance, news, trade shows, tenders) for their business promotion. 

IndiaMART.com has won numerous awards and significant nominations over the years, which include coveted Red Herring Award and Emerging India Award respectively among others. The company has also been widely covered by media for its pioneering role in promoting SME business in the country.

“We have created an excellent range of product base and no matter how much of business card one prints or no matter what web commerce one puts, if you don't attract the footfall inside your showroom or inside your E-commerce site you are not able to sell. IndiaMART.com has sorted that one issue for us"

Mr. Pankaj Bhandari (Managing Director) Mantra Gold Coatings 07th February, 2014


Sell your e-book (or buy a e-book) through Amazon kindle, google play, shopify or gumroad

With Shopify.com, you gain instant access to a fully hosted ecommerce solution that takes you through the setup and operation of your online store in just minutes. While they manage the ecommerce aspects of your business, you can focus on the writing and development of your ebooks.

Their advanced platform enables order processing, inventory tracking, customer management and reporting. With secure hosting, quick servers and unlimited bandwidth, you can run your ebook ecommerce store free of hassles and limitations that will only hinder your business growth.

Your readers can write book reviews. Reviews are a great way to increase your online sales. With the Grapevine Reviews app, your customers can leave book reviews right on your site

Other website which allows online selling of digital products is https://gumroad.com/

E-commerce platfroms like online aggregators, deal sites and classifieds players brought under service tax net

From March 1 2015, online aggregators that own and manage a web-based software application came under the tax net. 
All aggregators which by means of an application and a communication device, enable a potential customer to connect with persons providing service of a particular kind under the brand name or trade name; shall fall under the service tax bracket," said a notification by the finance ministry's department of revenue, effecting the amendments to the Service Tax Rules, 1994 introduced in the budget by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday.

Until now, the service tax rules were silent on the online aggregators.

As per the new rules, even if such aggregators appoint just a liaison or country head, their officials will have to file service tax returns on the company's behalf. 

The new service tax rules will also apply to online aggregators, deal sites and classifieds players such as Quikr, Zomato, FoodPanda, Olx, Housing, Mydala, Cashkaro and Stayzilla. 

Level Playing Field between Indian and Foreign Players

As per the new rules, even if such aggregators appoint just a liaison or country head, their officials will have to file service tax returns on the company's behalf.

"If an aggregator does not have any presence, including that by way of a representative, in such a case any agent appointed by the aggregator shall pay the tax on behalf of the aggregator. This change comes into effect immediately," said Vinod Kumar, joint secretary (tax research unit) in ministry of finance, in his notification issued last week to chief commissioners of service tax in all states and union territories. 

 An OlaCabs spokesperson, however, said the increase in service tax rate is bound to impact the industry. However, he added, "But the new rules will bring others (foreign players) and us on a level-playing field."



GOSF

The Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) was created by Google India on 12 December 2012 in collaboration with a number of Indian online shopping portals. The concept of the GOSF was that the online shopping sites would give heavy discounts for one day, in order to promote their sales.

The concept of a one-day online sale originated in the United States, where many online shopping sites offer discounts on "Cyber Monday", the first Monday after the so-called Black Friday, the day that follows the U.S. Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday started in 2005 and the concept has spread to several countries including Canada, Japan, Australia, Colombia, and the U.K.. In China a similar day of online shopping is observed on November 11, which is known as "Singles Day".
The first Great Online Shopping Festival in 2012 was advertised on YouTube and via posts on Google Plus. For the event, Google partnered with a number of ecommerce sites such as Flipkart,HomeShop18SnapdealIndiatimes shopping, and Makemytrip, which would participate in the GOSF.The ecommerce sites created dedicated landing pages for GOSF. GOSF site engaged users through games and showing offers and eventually it redirected users to the dedicated landing pages of ecommerce sites to do the transactions.
According to critics, the first GOSF left some consumers a little disappointed as the discounts were marginal or nonexistent.
According to the official website, the Great Online Shopping Festival is going to fall on 11, 12 and 13 December 2013. Google hopes for 20 million buyers during GOSF 2013. It was extended by a day to 14 december in view of the overwhelming response.


Black Friday And Cyber Monday not doing well
Article cover image
Black Friday profits were down this year, pretty dramatically. Bloomberg reports that sales were down by 11 percent compared to last year (which was down from the year before that), as six million fewer shoppers showed up.
That decline certainly isn't attributed to the economy. While wages haven't increased much the past two years, America's unemployment rate has steadily dropped from 8.6 percent in November of 2011 to 5.8 percent in October of this year (the latest stats available).
When I saw those numbers, I assumed customers were going online, and Cyber Monday would be a big hit. While it is true that more customers are going online, theNational Retail Federation expects fewer people to shop online on Cyber Monday this year compared to last, with Forbes suggesting this could be the last year of the promotion.
What's happening is not a drop in shopping; but instead, a drop in shopping on particular days that companies strongly suggest we should shop on. Why? Because consumers are more empowered than ever, and frankly, they don't have to shop when a company says anymore.
The Specific Reason For Failure
Often, there is a specific reason something failed, which is part of a broader trend. The specific reason Black Friday fizzled and why I believe Cyber Monday may soon go away is because of one word: competition.
Originally, Black Friday was a day where you could get really good deals, if you were willing to wait hours in a line. That was a time with much less internet shopping and less competition where a few giant retailers could act as a cartel of sorts; with them all opening at the same time and creating the Black Friday experience.
But what happened is that the retailers stopped following the same rules, as they began opening up earlier and earlier to the point that some stores advertised "Black Friday Week" starting on the Monday before Thanksgiving. Additionally, online shopping exploded and companies were offering Black Friday deals accessible from the comfort of your own living room, so people no longer had to wait hours in line for a good deal.
The only thing Black Friday really has left to offer is an experience (and, in some cases, a tradition): for some people, it is exciting (or tradition) to wait in one of those big lines, rush madly into the store and get the best deals (which are probably available online). However, with less people partaking in Black Friday, the experience that goes with the retail-created "holiday" might soon fade as well.
Cyber Monday will probably fizzle out for the exact same reason. Companies will start holding "Cyber Monday" deals a week or two the actual Cyber Monday and soon the lines will become so blurred that the term will lose all real value. Again, it isn't as if online shopping will plummet, but instead, that online shopping on a day selected by retail overlords will drop.
The Broader Takeaway
The last section dealt with the specific reasons Black Friday and Cyber Monday are suffering. But those specific reasons are part of a broader trend that retailers must heed: customers are more empowered than ever before, so the retail experience needs to be something truly remarkable to stand out.
For some, the Black Friday experience is remarkable, as they enjoy everything that goes with it. But for many more, the idea of waiting six hours with a bunch of deal-obsessed strangers isn't exactly their idea of fun.
Amazon, which always seems to be on the forefront of everything, understands this perfectly. The ecommerce giant is using its massive database to make its site as customized as possible for each user, so people are only seeing exactly what they want to see. They're proving that their most valuable asset might be their data, as they vie to create a shopping experience similar to what Tom Cruise experienced in Minority Report.
But they've already been doing that. What's new is that Amazon has begun openingphysical locations in major cities for the holiday season that feature items people prefer to touch – such as clothes and shoes. However, it will just be essentially a showroom, where people will select an item and then buy it online (shipping is both "fast and free").
But what really makes the stores unique is that they feature free food, drinks and entertainment, along with a giant fake Christmas tree and fake snow in the parking lot (even at their Las Vegas location). Again, it is about selling an experience, not just a product.
The lesson
Consumers, with access to thousands of competitors within a few clicks, have more options and information than ever today. Gone is the effectiveness of traditional advertising and retail-created events like Black Friday; in is content marketing, customized sites and fake snow in Las Vegas, all focused on creating a great experience for the customer.
That's great for customers, as they get lower prices and a better shopping experience. But it is scary for businesses, because if they don't continue to evolve and offer something truly remarkable, they'll be pushed out faster than ever before.
Paul Petrone ,Communications Director at VoiceGlance, LinedIn


Business Models : Make to Stock Vs Make to Order


Make to Stock

In MTS (Make to Stock), products are manufactured based on demand forecasts. Since accuracy of the forecasts will prevent excess inventory and opportunity loss due to stockout, the issue here is how to forecast demands accurately.

MTS (Make to Stock) literally means to manufacture products for stock based on demand forecasts, which can be regarded as push-type production. MTS has been required to prevent opportunity loss due to stockout and minimize excess inventory using accurate forecasts. In the industrialized society of mass production and mass marketing, this forecast mass production urged standardization and efficient business management such as cost reduction.

As an economy expands, the income of consumers increases and so demand also continuously increases. Demand changes according to the boom and bust cycle of the economy. Even if demand decreases and inventory increases, inventory will turn into cash one day when demand recovers. Therefore, the main theme of business management is how to predict the future based on the demand fluctuation cycle of the past. In specific, the development of a production/inventory management system is needed to improve management efficiency by, for example, setting safety stock, optimal production, and ordering points based on lead times of material procurement, production, and delivery as well as demand forecasts.

If demand can be accurately forecasted to some extent then there is no problem in creating a forecast production schedule. If MTO (Make To Order) is like an elevator because MTO starts by receiving an order as an elevator starts by pressing a button, MTS (Make to Stock) is like a train schedule (supply schedule) for which the number of passengers (forecast demand) for each time period can be prospected from the past data. Most of daily necessities such as processed foods, sundries, and textiles are MTS-type products and quick response to consumers' needs (i.e. filling retailer's inventory) will minimize opportunity loss.

One issue of MTS is to handle supply management so as not to have excess inventory. Therefore, small-batch supply should be frequently performed by pull-type demand such as QR (quick response), ECR (efficient consumer response), CRP (continuous replenishment program), and VMI (vendor managed inventory). By doing so, product flow will accelerate and cash flow will increase. Changing push-type MTS to pull-type supply chain models such as CRP and VMI is the key to successful supply chain management.

Make to Order
 Order)

MTO (Make to Order) is a manufacturing process in which manufacturing starts only after a customer's order is received. Forms of MTO vary, for example, an assembly process starts when demand actually occurs or manufacturing starts with development planning.

Manufacturing after receiving customer's orders means to start a pull-type supply chain operation because manufacturing is performed when demand is confirmed, i.e. being pulled by demand. The opposite business model is to manufacture products for stock MTS (Make to Stock), which is push-type production. There are also BTO (Build to Order) and ATO (Assemble To Order) in which assembly starts according to demand.

There are various models for Make To Order. For example, in some cases, the process of assembling prepared parts starts when actual demand occurs. Or, in other cases, the production process starts with the obtaining of materials and parts, or further back from development designing (engineering).

Assembling after receiving a customer's orders is "ATO (Assemble To Order)" and starting with development designing is "ETO (Engineer To Order)". Construction by general contractors and plant construction by engineering companies are categorized as ETO.

Pull-type production, such as MTO, BTO, ATO, and ETO, is a business model of the assembly industry in which the quantity to produce per product specification is one or only a few. For example, construction, plant construction, aircraft, vessels, bridges, and so on. From the viewpoint of supply chain management, it has been proven that those who can satisfy due dates promised with customers and can shorten lead times will have an competitive advantage. Even if the production quantity increases, if push-type products that are manufactured by MTS can be manufactured by pull-type production such as MTO and ATO models using SCM software or information technology, then there will be greater business opportunities.

ATO (Assemble To Order) of computers by Dell Inc. and production of sports bicycle by National Bicycle Industrial Co., Ltd. are examples of creating a new business model by matching the diversification of products with ATO, BTO, ETO, and with new-style marketing.
National Bicycle Industrial Co., Ltd. says
"We can deliver a custom-made bicycle to you within two weeks."
Solectron Corporation says
"We can assemble the computer you requested and deliver it within a week."
These are examples of business models in which new supply chain models are created as marketing models.




ShopClues launches vendor financing platform

ShopClues, a leading managed marketplace, has announced the launch of Capital Wings, a financing platform for its vendors. 

The marketplace has tied up with third party finance providers (nationalised banks and non-banking finance companies) to offer working capital to vendors at competitive rates and without any collateral. "The objective is to enable merchants with ambition to scale their business to newer heights," 
ShopClues said. 

ShopClues has partnered with Capital Float for this initiative by inking an official agreement in its initial phase. The marketplace has said it is also in talks with other players in this domain to offer more choices in financing solutions to its sellers. 

"The pilot project has been successfully completed and now ShopClues is ready to launch the platform in a phased manner for its merchant base of over 1,50,000 vendors," it said. 

"Merchant satisfaction is a very important business metric for us at ShopClues. They are equal stakeholders in our success and we wish to help them infuse new blood and energy into their businesses with this financing platform," said ShopClues co-founder and CEO Sanjay Sethi. 

"Those who aspire to grow their ventures manifold will be provided with a convenient platform where the process from application to loan amount disbursement will be complete within a week," he stated. "The merchants can apply for loans on the vendor dashboard by clicking on the merchant financing section," ShopClues said. 

"After the online application, on the basis of the merchant's past performance and his rating on ShopClues, the merchant will be eligible for the loan amount which will be processed in the speediest and most hassle-free ways," it claimed. 





 Big Bazaar app is going to offer instant credits if you find lower price anywhere else.



 Kishore Biyani is taking the discount battle to the enemy. Big Bazaar will go live next month with an app to combat the rapid adoption of ecommerce in India to try and beat online retailers at a price-cutting strategy that brick-and-mortar stores have been struggling to come to terms with.

"We are launching a price-match offer where if you shop from us and anybody else is selling cheaper than us at that moment, we will automatically give credits in your account — anything online or offline," Biyani said in an interview. Apart from this, Biyani's Future Group is also seeking to harness its presence on the ground to complement its push to counter online retail.

In the past two years, Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and others have been offering lower prices to lure consumers, hurting organised retailers, already feeling the squeeze of an economic slowdown. Flush with funding, ecommerce firms have the kind of cash needed to persist with this strategy. E-tailers may have shelled out discounts worth hundreds of millions of dollars around Diwali alone, according to the trade.

Amazon has just launched a Summer Sale, offering "deals that'll make you dance".

Biyani , who's just struck a deal to take over Bharti Retail, said he doesn't worry too much about ecommerce, because it won't be able to match real-world stores in terms of overall volume.

"Who is afraid of ecommerce?" Biyani asked. "Even if you open 10 sites in 10 years, it will be 10% (of the total organised retail market). Secondly, worldwide, multichannel is the way. Traditional retailers doing multichannel is a bigger thing than pure online in any which way."

Big Bazaar, a hypermarket that sell brands across categories from smartphones, electronics and furniture to grocery and general merchandise, is testing the app that will let consumers compare prices offered by online and other offline retailers. Customers will have a week from the date of purchase to make the price comparison.

Apart from this, Future will soon conduct an omni-channel pilot programme in which its Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar stores will deliver goods to customers in Mumbai an hour after they place their orders.

The price comparison app is currently being tested by Future Group employees at the Food Bazaar store in Vikhroli in Mumbai.

The so-called FutureOfMarketing initiative "will give customers the confidence to shop at Big Bazaar without worrying if any competition is advertising products cheaper than us," said an internal e-mail sent to Future Group employees.

The app, which will be available for public use in Mumbai in the coming weeks, will go nationwide in the coming months. Future's acquisition of Bharti Retail in an all stock deal valued the latter at Rs 500 crore.



 BigBazarDirect - a new E-commerce model with online mobile and offline presence of one lakh franchises....If only it can improve merchandise they dont have dearth of ideas and formats.Definetely big opportunity for young Entrepreneurs with one lakh non-refundable and 2 lakhs refundable capital

Future Group scripting e-com enabled direct selling for its hypermarket with Big Bazaar Direct

Big Bazaar Direct is a direct selling platform that will enable customers to place orders with the company’s franchisees, after which they will receive their orders in three-seven days.


Future Retail Ltd, which houses a string of retail chain formats, has launched a new venture called Big Bazaar Direct which seeks to create an e-commerce enabled direct selling business for its flagship hypermarket Big Bazaar. Big Bazaar currently does not have an e-commerce interface though customers have the option to order products for home delivery over the phone.

With the new venture the firm is potentially targeting customers who may not necessarily have a computer or be savvy enough to access an online interface to buy the products. This is through leveraging a tablet based e-commerce backend.

Big Bazaar Direct is basically a direct selling platform that will enable customers to place orders with the company’s franchisees, post which they will receive their orders in three-seven days.

Wannabe entrepreneurs or direct sellers can sign up by filling a franchisee application form on BigBazaarDirect.com, after which they will need to send their Know Your Customer (KYC) documents and an application fee of Rs 1,000. For sealing the deal, an investment of Rs 3 lakh will be have to be made by the franchisees that includes Rs 1 lakh each as non-interest bearing refundable security deposit; initial advance that is to be used for placing orders; and set up charges for Big Bazaar Direct tablet, initial branding, one year training, and launch material, etc.

Franchisees need to simply take orders from the customer on the tablet provided by the company, post which customers will receive a confirmation SMS and will need to make the payment to the franchisee. Customers will also be offered over 1,000 deals by Big Bazaar.

In addition, franchisees don't need to stock and deliver goods; Big Bazaar will handle the same. The company will also provide a dedicated team for franchisee and customer support; in case of any product related issue, Big Bazaar Direct will arrange for the return pick up. Franchisees will get a cut of every order placed via their tablets.

The franchisees or direct sellers are being added by Future Value Retail Ltd, a wholly owned arm of Future Retail Ltd which is being merged with its parent company as part of a larger group restructuring.

According to Afaqs, Big Bazaar is aiming to have 100,000 franchisees in two years. This roughly translates into Rs 3,010 crore in direct cash flow (in addition to the sales of products) for the company, considering the amount it is charging for setting up a single franchisee.

There are already many direct selling firms such as Amway and Tupperware but their product basket is limited in scope and largely revolves around private label lifestyle and personal care products. In contrast, Big Bazaar Direct with its assortment of products could yet evolve into a big direct selling move.

While all of this does look good on paper, the niggling issue is the delivery period of three-seven days. Even assuming that consumers would bypass the nearest kirana store and purchase the products from Big Bazaar Direct, existing grocery e-tailers offer much swifter deliveries with some promising same-day home delivery.

There are players like AaramShop, BigBasket, ZopNow, MyGrahak, LocalBanya and Ekstop which offer online interface for ordering products similar to Big Bazaar. Big Bazaar Direct's advantage would be much larger product basket to choose from and its reach in multiple cities as against limited reach of a few cities or mono-city operations of some of these online grocers. But it would need to up its game with faster delivery if it seeks to make its venture a big success.

So what’s in it for Big Bazaar? The firm can also potentially retain its regular customers who currently drive to the stores once a month for shopping. Big Bazaar stores already faces a challenge, especially during the weekends, with rush at the payment counter and the new venture could possibly try and build revenues without generating as many physical foot-falls to its hypermarkets.

The big question is why not simultaneously build a direct e-com site? After all the company will be handling its own logistics even with Big Bazaar Direct and has to also share a part of the revenues with its franchisees as against running its own e-com site. The answer could lie in making a success of its direct sales model which, besides bringing in upfront one-time cash from the franchisee, also gives it inroads into a wider base of mass consumers.

BY  SONAM GULATI (Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson) VCCircle.com