Category Archives: Web 2.0

3 Common Problems Fixed With Elevator Maintenance

When someone thinks of an elevator breaking down, there are usually two very different scenarios that come to mind. One would be the scene from Tower of Terror where the elevator plummets thirteen stories causing the demise of everyone on board. The other scenario is much happier and has been portrayed in many television shows where two people are stuck in the elevator for hours and find that a new, passionate romance is blossoming between them. Both cases are far too dramatic and are extremely unlikely to happen in the little known, but extremely important, world of escalator and elevator maintenance specification. A trusted company will provide repair services for many common types of problems. No one wants to spend twenty minutes in the morning waiting for the elevator to take them from the twenty-third floor of their apartment building to the first. Long wait times are the most common complaint received. There are several possibilities as to what can be causing this. Defective relays and an old system are the two most likely culprits. An elevator system is much like a person: as it ages it no longer wants to climb up twenty-three flights. This should be when a building owner calls to have it replaced. The relays are the parts that instruct the elevator to go up and down and what floor to stop at. If it becomes old or damaged an elevator maintenance company can replace it with new ones that are guaranteed to help with the overall performance. Another problem is high energy costs. It takes something to power all of the elevators of the world, and electricity is usually what gets the job done. Just like an air conditioning unit, if the lift is too small or outdated, it will require more energy to power it, and, consequently, more money applied toward the electric bill. A company can repair and replace the motors and other parts of the system to help alleviate this costly problem. Overheating is the number one cause of a complete breakdown. The position of the control or mechanical system has much to do with this. Many are located outside of the buildings in which the lift is located. This can be a drastic problem when Mother Nature unleashes her fury. On warm days, it is extremely likely (since most mechanical rooms do not have central heating and air) that the system will become too hot and possibly cause someone to become stuck somewhere between floors. Having the company to relocate the mechanical system indoors in a room with adequate ventilation and humidity control will help decrease the amount of breakdowns from overheating tremendously. Elevator maintenance is a must for any building owner. It is extremely important in order to get everyone to the floor they need and, most importantly, it helps keep them safe whenever they are riding. With a trusted company doing the work, everyone’s minds can be at ease whenever those elevator doors close.

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SEOlympics: Top Marketing Blogs of India

Recently, Search Engine Journal decided to see what kind of content is being discussed and shared in India. Following several hours of research, they compiled a list of marketer blogs located in India based on subjective criteria like voice, content strategy, and quality.

I am glad to share with you that themarketingblog has made it to the list of Top Marketing Blogs in India published by Search Engine Journal. Considering that I haven’t been blogging regularly, the news comes across as a surprise to me. Perhaps, they would have also looked into the past content and conversations fueling from that.

I think the list includes some really good names, including a couple of blogs which are doing it for a living. Perhaps, the ranking comes as a wake-up call to rejig my blogging efforts.

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Panel Discussion at Social Media Week Bengaluru

This is coming in tad late, but I guess it’s still worth sharing :)

Earlier in February, I was invited by the Social Media Week team to curate few sessions on behalf of the Travel partner Lonely Planet India.

I curated 3 interesting sessions for the panel:

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The last session i.e. the Debate on Sponsored Content and its usage in Social Media was hosted by yours truly. I had the company of industry stalwarts for this session and it turned out to be an exciting one indeed.

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Vikram Ahuja from Byond Travels talked about how their travel start-up is using Social Media.

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Jackson Fernandez, MD of WeGo India had some interesting thoughts on why “Paid Marketing” holds forte in Social Media Marketing.

 

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Some iphone 5 Accessories for you :)

iPhone 5 is one of the most stunning phones in the market right now and a desire for many. While it boasts of cools specs and features, there’re some issues like low battery-life etc. Here are some iPhone accessories that help me to get more from this device.

Battery Love: Mophie Juice Pack

If you own an iPhone 5, you must be suffering from low battery woes. The battery really dies fast and if you’re on a 3G connection then it is even worse. I had read about juice packs that power your phone in in-flight magazines. However, I found out those juice-packs to be bulky and nothing less than a hassle for frequent usage. I thought someone somewhere would have made a juice pack which matches up with the iPhone 5 itself.

Thankfully there’s one in the form of Mophie juice pack. Unfortunately, these guys don’t ship to India so be prepared to shell-out some good money on shipping if you plan to own this one. As for me, a kind buddy Sandeep Oruganti was generous to ship it all the way to India and gift this pack to me :)

It does make the phone tall and bulky :)

It does make the phone tall and bulky :)

Mophie Juice Pack

Rear view of Mophie Juice Back: Those little dots are the LED indicators.

Camera Love: Lenses + Tripod from Photojojo

If you’re one of those amateur photography nerds and spend your time taking a lot of random pictures from food to coffee then there’re a couple of accessories that you might want to add to your iPhone kit.

Photojojo Lens for iPhone

They’ve got a bunch of iPhone 5 lenses in the form of Macros, Fisheye, Wide angle and Telephoto etc. I’m in love with #photojojomacro lens which enables you to take those super-close macro shots with an iPhone 5.

Off-course you can never compare its quality with a DSLR but it is still very good. The macro lens comes for 20$ but again be ready to pay for the shipping duty as these guys aren’t in India yet :) I also have the telephoto lens from Photojojo but haven’t used it much as it just offers you a 2X zoom.

Some early morning shots taken in the neighbourhood park.

Some early morning shots taken in the neighbourhood park.

Photojojo flower shot

Photojojo flower shot

:) stunning no?

:) stunning no?

Test pictures with Photojojo Macro Lens

Test pictures with Photojojo Macro Lens

Gorillopod GripTight Tripod Stand

While taking those awesome pictures with buddies/family you feel that you could have been a part of them? Check this Gorillapod Stand then :) It’s perfect for self portraits and group shots. Available at photojojo for 35$ and some more for the shipping cost.

Gorillapod Clamp Stand for iPhone 5

Gorillapod Clamp Stand for iPhone 5

Handy for your group shots and self portraits :)

Handy for your group shots and self portraits :)

Music Love: Fake Beats by Dr. Dre Bluetooth Speaker

Warning: Ignore this if you’re a brand loyalist at heart :) I picked this ‘mini bluetooth speaker’ from the street market in Thailand. At the first sight, you’d be fooled by its looks since  it comes with the branding of the original Beats by Dr. Dre. The audio quality is quite good and for a speaker of this size the bass packs a considerable punch.

Give this speaker a shot before you put in big bucks to buy the real ones :)

Fake music!

Fake Beats Bluetooth speaker!

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10 Lessons of Entrepreneurship

I was recently invited by University School of Management Studies in Delhi to deliver a talk in their ongoing Entrepreneurship development program. It is always motivating to see young students pursue entrepreneurial dreams. Things have changed quite a bit compared to what they were about 5-6 years ago.

Here is the slide-deck from the day’s talk.

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Customer Service: The Cultural & Geographical Differences b/w India & Western World

This post isn’t meant to criticize our culture or our organizations. Neither is it meant to be a rant which is the outcome of frustration while dealing with a service provider! It is a reflection of an observation which explains the behavioral patterns of organizations in India when coordinating with their customers!

Perhaps this isn’t for the first time that we’re talking about the soft issue of “Customer Service”. The bottom line is that bulk of Indian companies continue to struggle on the sticky support wicket despite a tremendous opportunity due to the growth of Social Media channels.

Our recent experience with a leading provider of web-hosting is a classic case-study of the wide gap that still exists b/w India & parts of the Western World when compared on the “Customer Support” front.

In my opinion, our key learning from this experience is the existence of mind-set difference. While we consider consider customer support just like any other job and a department in the organization, for companies in States it is something that ties in with overall experience.

Our organization had recently switched over to a VPS hosting package with the idea of improving response time of hosted apps & web-pages as well as cutting down typical problems which arise with shared hosting packages! The underlying goal was to serve our customers better than ever before. During the selection process, we did our bit by researching for preferred vendors in this space across India & United States.

While the services being provided by all vendors were quite similar, we were particularly looking at someone who was strong with Services Support & was carrying a trusted name in the industry. The other problem was limited options that we had in India. Being customers of companies like BigRock and ZNet India we have had mixed experiences with them and weren’t quite keen to experiment with an unknown hosting company as it would have put the reputation of our customers’ at stake.

It was then that we learnt about a popular American hosting company that had recently started its operations in India. Since we were well aware of their unit which is among the most popular companies up in the U.S. we thought it might be a safe bet to go with their Indian arm. We freezed the option, went ahead with our order and the next step was migration of our current online assests to the new server.

That’s where it all began:

  1. To begin with, we faced severe migration problems and our company website www.iffort.com was down for ‘2’ days being in no man’s land.
  2. We faced long delays with email delivery and major down-time resulting in switch to our personal emails for the interim period.
  3. Lastly, a couple of our customer portals went down.

Amidst all these, we were using all possible means to connect with their India team to understand the crux of the problem. Be it Online Chat, Email, Twitter, Facebook or Phone, we used all of them. Honestly, we had strong doubts whether the team actually understood our problem.

Perhaps they were new, perhaps they were taking time to setup in an structured manner but whatever the reason was, we knew that our organization was suffering due to all this. After constant cross-talk, Sunny did manage to hook-up with the team’s India Director. Alas we had to threaten them of dire consequences and send numerous emails. Finally, we received a reply from their India director that he was in-charge of key issues and was himself traveling out of India.

But I think one of our emails served as a trigger in their mind and what followed then was a rescue operation led by their India Director & everything was restored to normal overnight.

What caused this action?

Like I mentioned, it was one of those emails. That one email where we had marked the group’s global CEO who was based out of United States.

So finally the problem was solved, things were restored but that didn’t stop us from exploring our options because all the love had already been lost. Damage had been in the form of what we’d experienced over the course of “2” weeks.

All in all we had lost faith to do business with the company! We wanted to switch to a different provider and deal with a new set people all-together. After a lot of introspection, we moved to a new company!

But here was the catch: We were will sticking with the same brand & were just moving over to their team in United States which was legally a different company! It was ironical that our experience with their US team was absolutely contrasting and diametrically opposite to the local team.

Here is what the group’s CEO had to say in an email:

I agree, they’re very new and with it being staffed just by Indian support there is going to be a learning curve. Eventually we’ll need to figure out a better system so that US support has access and can help when they are messing up. I’m very sorry for this.

What’s your take on this? Do you think India still has a long way to go when it comes to actually understanding the whole meaning and implications of Customer Service! What is your experience like!

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Entrepreneurship Knows No Age Boundaries

The Restaurant - Tea & You

Exhausted with the day’s work routine, we wanted to sign off the night on a good note by having a nice & quite dinner. Since we were too tired and had an early morning flight to Delhi, we were really not in a mood to travel the distance in Bangalore.

With all that in our mind, we started hunting for the nearby restaurants in HSR Layout, Bangalore on zomato.com. It was then that I l stumbled on a uniquely named restaurant called “Tea & You”. At the first instance, it seemed that it was a tea joint.

But then I still thought of exploring them further and called up the listed number. I asked the gentleman on other side about the menu and he politely told me that they did have north Indian food on their menu.

That was it and we were there at the place in about 10 mts. time. The parking was empty and while the restaurant was on the 2nd floor, a quick look at the dark ground floor could make one feel that the restaurant was completely deserted.

To my surprise, I found that the place was buzzing with loads of energy and reminded me of our college canteen days. The crowd was dominanted by youth from NIFT and perhaps we were the odd ones out atleast at that time.

After some puzzling moments which included some waiting time at the lounge area and a small photoshoot experiment, we were able to get a table which fitted our size [i.e. the number of members]. While we were still contemplating our decision and waiting to place the order, we were gently greeted by an elderly couple who introduced themselves as the owners of the restaurant.

That was followed by a conversation which threw some interesting insights and learnings from two entreprenuer. It was quite ironic that they were very young in terms of their experience and perhaps a shade old with their age.

The restaurant had started barely a couple of months ago, but ever since its launch it’s popularity has picked up immensly. Certainly one can attribute all the common factors like the quality of food, its central location and the fact that is very close to NIFT. But, beyond these I think the initial success has been laid down by the humble and “social” attidude of its founders.

One can hardly find a restaurant where the owners are standing alongside each table for minutes, treating customers as their friends and taking their opinion in real time about the quality of the food. You would rarely come across a restaurant owner who has himself prepared the food for all customers during the initial period. You won’t find a restaurant where the owner is spending more time in the kitchen than on the cash counter.

The epic story translates into a dream when the owner tells you that he has started this business after getting retirement from his government job. It is very inspiring as the husband-wife duo is fully supported by their sons who are seasoned IT professionals with India’s top software companies.

Overall wehad a great time at Tea & You and thoroughly enjoyed the food & the conversations  and the amazing HOSPITALITY. Lastly, we requested Mr. & Mrs. Sharma for a couple of pics as I told them that I would be talking about them on my blog and social stream :)

Mr. K.R. Sharma - T&Y Owner

The Proud Entrepreneur Couple

If you are in Bangalore or are going to be there in the near future, I would strongly suggest that you should check out this place :)

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