Top 5 entrepreneurs worth taking inspiration from

It always takes me by surprise, the way people keep searching for magic potions and shortcuts to success while the only real way is to stare right back into its eyes and go all the way: real entrepreneurs who start real businesses that employ real people who provide real products and services to real customers.

Yes, it’s hard and involves a lot of work, but that’s how life is. Besides, look at the bright side: you are not answerable to anyone and can do as per your will. But there’s a catch. You have got to be smart and make sure your investments turn into profits at some point in time.

The only way I think one can get started is by learning at least one marketable skill and getting started.  Also, you must make sure you’re heard by the right people and can present yourself well.

If you wish to do entrepreneurship right, here are 5 people whose companies are spoken about more than their own selves.

Pierre Omidyar

In 1995, when Pierre was 28, he first started with the coding of a personal project, an online venture which would involve person to person selling of goods, auctioned by them. He launched his website called AuctionWeb on Labour Day, 4th September 1995. He had created a simple prototype on his personal webpage. It collected so much revenue that he had to eventually hire employees for sorting the finances and fees of the company. The website had to be registered as an Internet business website. It is now popularly known as eBay. According to Forbes, his net worth was $8.5 billion, making him the 123rd richest person in the world. He became a billionaire at the age of 31 with eBay's 1998 initial public offering (IPO). Omidyar and his wife Pamela are well-known philanthropists who founded Omidyar Network in 2004 in order to expand their efforts beyond nonprofits to include for-profits and public policy.

Howard Schultz

Howard once took a trip to Milan and was astounded by the espresso coffee all over Italy, and as they also served as meeting places or public squares. It compelled him to make sure that such coffee is present in his city too! His employer most definitely had zero interests in owning coffee shops but was pleased by Schultz’s zeal. His employer was ready to finance him and his start-up. This coffee that we all pay huge bucks for is called, Starbucks. In 2016, Forbes magazine ranked Schultz as the 595th richest person in the United States, with a net worth of $2.9 Billion.

Oprah Winfrey

Best known as the Queen of all media, the lead woman in the multi-award winning chat show—the highest rated talk show of its kind, the creator of “The Oprah Winfrey show.”

She was born in the poverty stricken rural Mississippi to a single teenage mother. She has often spoken about the hardships she faced in her childhood, and about being raped at the tender age of 9 and 13. She couldn’t tolerate the abuse further and eventually, ran away from home. She became a billionaire at 32 when her talk show went national. Forbes' International rich list has listed her as the world's only black billionaire from 2004 to 2006 and as the first black woman billionaire in world history.

 Li Ka-shing

This Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, is the richest person in Asia, with a net worth of $31.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

He was born in China and was forced to leave school and take his family’s responsibility after his father’s death when he was just 15.  He found labor work at a plastic trading company and work there 16-hours each day, only to create Cheung Kong Industries.

Li's business covers almost every facet of life in Hong Kong today—from electricity to telecommunications, from real estate to retail, from shipping to the Internet. The Cheung Kong Group operates in 55 countries and employs over 260,000 staff globally.

Dhirubhai Ambani

An anecdote from the founder of Reliance Industry is that, in his childhood he once bought a tin of groundnut oil on credit from a local vendor and sold the oil in retail to a pedestrian. He earned a few pennies as profit from this transaction. Apparently, whenever he got a holiday from school, he would set up food stalls in the village fair to make ends meet at home.

At 17, he visited Yemen and worked as a dispatch clerk at A. Besse in 1949. A few years later, the company became a distributor of shell products, and Ambani always wished to initiate his own oil company which he later realized with his petrochemicals venture. After returning to India, he started his first textile mill in Ahemadnagar. By 2007, the combined fortune of the Ambani family stood at $60 billion, making them the second richest family in the world.

The world is full of infinite opportunities and the doors will never close unless you close them yourself. Your career and time is extremely short, which means that you must do what you must in as lesser time as possible. This is your time, your moment. Just decide for once, and go for it. That’s how real entrepreneurs start.


Advantages of online education in rural India

Sarika Shlke comes home from college at 3:30pm, switches on her PC, plugs in her headphones. The teacher is on screen at 4pm, very far away from her house in Dhule.  This gives her a virtual classroom and she is fully prepared to get started with her scheduled class.

For Sarika, preparing for her Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) exam to get into the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is a better move than traveling to a bigger city and spending on the travel, food, and a junior college.

Distance Learning on the rise

Entrance Exam preparations through distance learning is catching the attention of students from small towns including Dhule, Jalgaon, Rajgarh, Aurangabad, Nashik, Kolhapur and many others.

These towns have seen at least a 10-12% rise in enrolments since 2014 for distance learning courses, mainly online.

Course providers say that they have had an increase of 10,000 enrolments from Tier III and IV cities in Maharashtra in the last four years. The trend shows that students from rural sectors of India are taking to online education to prepare for competitive examinations, including GATE, IIT-JEE, Common Admission Test (CAT) and others.

"Online lectures are extremely beneficial as they allow me to view them at my convenience, I can record them, and I don’t have to travel. Concentrating on my junior college studies is easy as the online lectures are held just four times a week and I save up a lot of time on travelling," says Sarika.

There are over 70,000 enrolments at GATE under free subscription, and officials said that most number of enrolments were from Tier III and IV cities.

Facilities provided to enhance rural sector enrolments

The director of the academy said that they have witnessed 100% enrolment from Tier III cities for the distance and online learning programs. Academies now-a-days offer online lectures on the PC, or lectures on phones or tablets, or a cell phone which has all the prerecorded lectures. Thus we realize how Indians today strive to educate the unfortunate. The participation of students from smaller towns is growing rapidly.

When these academies commenced their endeavor to teach India, most of them would target the city-audience as they seem to be the only ones interested. But it is the other way round; Students from the rural areas enrolled the most for these distance programs. Apart from online learning, applications for cell phones are their motive now, as these are available to all, while PCs may not be.

It is definitely a cost saver, as a normal course would cost over a lac per year. An online course would cost just one-third of the normal fee structure.

The improvements

Aditi Avasthi, chief executive officer and founder, embibe.com, said, "A sharp change has been noted in the enrolment structure from the rural sections of the country.  We have been studying the performance structures of students and the toppers are mostly from the rural sectors. Hence, it is not only about the enrolment but about the percentage of engagement in the course. It is safe to conclude that the students from these sectors are more enthusiastic than their counterparts, but the facilities keep them lagging behind."

 


7 Benefits of Distance Learning compared to Traditional Classroom Learning

There are quite a few advantages if you choose to educate yourself through distance learning. As its popularity is increasing, a lot many people are keeping their options open.

The biggest benefit is that you don’t have to adjust your job with your night school. You can easily manage a job along with distance learning and travel only when exams and assignments are necessary to be submitted in person.

Here are the 7 pros of Distance Learning:

Affordability

Distance learning is affordable as you only have to pay the admission fees and the exam fees. At times, universities also have the option of EMIs if the course is too elaborate and expensive. Universities offering International degrees and programs, mostly have the option of paying fees by EMI. The travel cost and the time both, is saved and can be used for other productive activities.

Pace

Distance Education enables students to study and work at their own pace. The exams, assignments and practicals can be submitted and performed when you have the time to. There are no specific timelines given by the college or university for you to follow. If you are working at an organization or are pursuing another course elsewhere, you have the liberty to complete the distance education course at your own pace.

Earn your degree, certificate, or diploma

Learning at your own pace, time and space allows you to go ahead and earn another degree while studying the program you have already enrolled in. If you go for distance education, you have the liberty to enroll for other courses, be it degree courses, or certificate courses. Or you can also immerse yourself in developing your hobbies that you had once developed and could never learn them well, like to learn a language, or a dance style etc.

Continue to work full or part time

Many a times, your organization is ready to reimburse your tuition fees. Your employers would always encourage you to learn more and refine your skills so that you excel at your job and in turn it benefits the organization. Hence, enrolling in a distance learning program is well accepted by companies as they know you won’t skip a work day to attend classes, as distance education is pretty flexible as a learning tool.

Effectiveness

Its effectiveness is immense as the lectures are delivered online or you can go through the study material at your own convenience. There is no situation where you are forced to learn. The study material is delivered at your doorstep and can be read and studied at your comfort and time convenience. Hence, the effect this matter has compared to the traditional classroom learning with 6-7 hours of continuous lectures is very high.

Selection of Professors

Most of the distance education colleges and universities make sure they give enough of a reason for the students to pick them. They provide us with well experienced faculty and also people who are renowned in your domain so that you get an in-depth knowledge and insight about your field of interest.

Ease and simplicity

It’s extremely simple and favorable to sit at home and order your books, while enrolling into a distance education program. The books and the other study material are delivered at your house. Not just that, but your exam timetable and results can be viewed online too, on the university’s website. Usually, these websites are extremely prompt and provide the necessary information to the students with ease.


How exactly to apply the knowledge you learn at your B-school in your organization?

A lot many skills and courses are taught at a B-school. You must have made up your mind to use certain skills at your future organization to bring a few necessary changes, and give your own input so that you stand out, not just as a “fresher” but as someone who contributed for the betterment of the organization; someone who cares and takes initiative. But that also requires art. If it isn’t expressed well and if you aren’t heard by the right people, your suggestions will go in the dump.

Here’s how to apply the skills you learnt at your B-school, in your organization.

Teamwork

An integral part of any organization is the ability to work well in multiple teams. Whether this relates to group projects, managing staff or delivering presentations to a variety of people, teamwork and social skills are a necessity. Personal interaction in the classroom and in study groups is considered an essential part of the experience of the program.

MBA programs are traditionally taught in cohorts to resemble most management jobs. This is usually a tight knit group of 30-40 students who attend all classes together throughout its duration. The way you interact with your peers will determine the professional contacts you form outside of the classroom. Fellow students will come from a variety of different backgrounds with hiring authority or inner circle contacts that will be beneficial upon graduation. Being a team player and forming strong bonds with your cohort will stand you in good stead at any job in the future.

Emphasis is placed very much on working together and creating cooperative relationships rather than competing with each other.

Increased confidence

Throughout the rigorous program, the skills you will acquire will result in increased confidence in the workplace. MBA programs are designed to help you get accustomed to analyzing different business spheres from the perspective of a CEO—which is extremely beneficial for your work at the organization.

Certain management courses feature modules and extracurricular activities that are designed to improve leadership skills; this is of particular use to students who have not come from a corporate background. In a recent interview with London Business School EMBA graduate Jessica Dugan – an equine veterinarian – she highlights the confidence she developed within her cohort as one of the most significant benefits in her professional life.

“I’m usually the medical expert that people come to for advice; it’s a very quiet role, and so this was my chance to personally achieve my goal of becoming a more confident person and to be comfortable in front of crowds.”

The finer detail

Unless you’re trained in accountancy, tasks such as reading a financial statement can be somewhat daunting. Understanding balance sheets, cash flow statements and income statements are few of the essential skills in a management job, especially when determining the strengths and weakness of a business plan or analyzing a company’s operating environment.

The theoretical elements of your course will also make you more aware of crisis management and how to solve business problems on a grand scale by encouraging you to think critically while applying the practical skills acquired on other modules.

Broader work opportunities

Honing your skills at a B-school can open a variety of opportunities at work. Indeed, some students may find that they are offered new opportunities or bonuses from their respective companies as they build up their business acumen and knowledge. Employees who have acquired a management degree are highly sought after in the job market.  The skills taught, benefit employers just as significantly—companies profit from talent retention and all the new skills obtained as the program progresses.

Another advantage is the new set of business contacts you will build-up with the peers and alumni of the program in which you are enrolled. After graduation, students usually keep in touch with each other and alert their cohort to new career opportunities with their firms and industries.


How to settle down in the corporate world after a “happening” college life?

As you graduate from college, you’ll enter a totally new phase. Not only will you have to adapt to working full-time, you’ll also have to adapt to new environments outside of work.

Whether you're straight out of college or starting a new career path, that first job can be scary. You might think you know the ropes, but it's a lot more than just getting your work done. You'll probably need to start at the bottom of the totem pole even if you're an experienced worker, and integrating yourself into the company culture is a lot harder than you think. Keeping your expectations in check is a good place to start.

Here are a few tips I wish someone gave me before I took my first job:

  • Stay Organized and Never miss a Deadline

Your job is nothing like school or college. Being on time, getting your work done, and keeping it all together is incredibly important at a new job.

In a lot of careers, your boss isn't really going to notice you at first unless you're doing something terribly wrong. Being on time every day, keeping your desk clean, and doing your job will ensure that you won’t be singled out right away as being unproductive. You can worry about standing out later. At first you just need to get your work done as efficiently as possible.

Keeping a track of your activities on a daily basis, and formulating a weekly planner is extremely beneficial in the long run. It might seem like a minor thing, but showing you can reliably get things done goes a long way.

  • Accept Your Newbie Status and the Work that Comes with It

When you're just out of college, it's easy to get a “big head” about what you can do in the workplace. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always turn out the way you thought it would. This means you need to show off your work ethic even if you're stuck doing tasks you don't like.

  • Ask Questions

One thing you likely learned in school that carries over to the real world: asking questions is important. Your boss and your coworkers want nothing more than for you to do your job correctly the first time, and the best way to do that is to ask questions when you're starting out. Be sure you actively listen to the answers, and ask follow-up questions to avoid miscommunication. If you're still not entirely certain you're doing a project right, give your boss simple progress reports that outline where you're at. That way, your boss can steer you back on track if you get lost.

You want to ask questions when you need to, but don't overdo it. Wanting to learn is an excellent quality. If you understand the basics and what's expected of you, don't be afraid to find your own shortcuts to get the job done, and don't pester your boss for help with every small decision.

  • Keep challenging yourself

If you find yourself bored or unchallenged at work, talk to your leaders about taking on additional assignments, getting involved in professional development activities or other ways to expand your involvement with your organization. One of the most effective ways to grow as a professional is to take on projects you haven't done before or those that ensure your growth.

  • Be aware and respectful of generational differences

The company you're working for may have a lot of young employees, but this doesn't necessarily mean your office will be just like your college campus. Be conscious of the negative stigmas associated with "millennials" (lazy, entitled, poor communication skills, social media crazed), and break away from them. Not everyone you work with cares about social media, or even has social media profiles. To build rapport with co-workers from other generations, take interest in things that are important to them rather than talking about who you're following on Twitter or what happened on the latest Bollywood award show.

  • Stay true to your values and motivators

A job and a stable career growth, is always appreciated by people. But, your morals and values will remain with you at every age and with every job. You must know your motivating factors too, that ensures consistent performance at whatever you do.

  • Create and stick to a personal budget

 For most new professionals who are used to living on a student budget, seeing that huge amount on their first salaried paycheck seems like an invitation to do all the things they couldn't afford in school —take expensive trips, purchase designer clothes, etc. If you're out on your own for the first time, it's important to create a budget to figure out how much disposable income you'll really have each month after all the bills are paid. If you're paying off student-loan debt, be careful before taking on a new debt.

  • Don't think you'll get promoted right away

Of course it can and does happen, but there are many variables that contribute to getting promoted: company size, structure and upward mobility, others leaving, financial health of the company, open opportunities, etc. In some careers, it may be typical to be promoted every couple of years, but in other industries, it may take five years or longer to earn your first promotion. Rome wasn't built in a day, and your career won't be either.

You will eventually learn to establish a fine balance between maintaining consistent work ethics, being reliable, and still giving yourself the time off you need to survive. Your first job is not only about showing that you can get the job done; it's also about forming connections and learning as many tricks of the trade as possible. This won't be your last job, and the more you take away from it the better.


Hey DJ play that song

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

Keep me dancing.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

All night long...

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Play me something for me and my darling, want you to make everything.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.


Charity begins at home, and we do it on the day of love: Jaro education visit an old age home

“These children have made us so happy! Valentine’s Day was never something we celebrated, but this one is extremely special.” — This is how the adorable, yet frail senior citizens at Assisi Bhavan, old age home responded after two hours of hearty celebration with the employees of Jaro Education. Twenty Five employees made it a point to spare two hours from this “day of love” and spend it with the lonely and feeble senior citizens at the old age home by playing games and singing with them. Dancing was something they were enthusiastic about, and they proved to be much better at it than the youth! Most of the elderly at the old age home had lost their respective partners. They shared their fond memories about the love of their lives with the Jaro employees. Of course, “Valentine’s Day” is of English origin and hence, wasn’t celebrated by the senior citizens ever. They believed everyday to be Valentine’s Day because, 24 hours aren’t enough to express the amount of love one has for their partner. They explained to us that “romantic love” isn’t the only kind, but love for family and friends, is important too.

valentine day

Many of their former professions matched with the Jaro employees, so they ended up advising them regarding their jobs too. The youth realized how modernized their approach was towards work and life, compared to the senior citizens at the old age home. In the end, the employees presented the elderly with gifts. “We are proud of Jaro for being so thoughtful and sympathetic. Our blessings will always be with them”, said Chandrakant Damle, who lived at Malad with his sons before they left to study and settle abroad. The delight and joy was clearly visible on their faces which gave great contentment to the youth. This initiative was one of the most precious ones, which brought immense joy and pleasure to the employees of Jaro. No section of society deserves to be neglected, and this is well understood by Jaro and its employees. They don’t just preach, but they practice as they preach.


Me Myself and I

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.
They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.


My tech travel setup

MacBook Pro

Robert Capa, a famous photojournalist once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” It’s not just about zooming in with your lens, either. It’s about getting physically closer to people and getting to know them better. It’s also about spending a little time with a stranger before taking their photo. That helps build the trust and comfort that’ll come through in your pictures. Walk up to your subject with a simple wave and a smile to help communicate that you mean no harm.

Ask permission to take a photo if they speak the same language as you. If you don’t share a language, try learning some basic phrases ahead of time, gesture at your camera and ask through expression. Of course if someone doesn’t want their picture taken, it’s imperative to respect their wishes and move on — people are always more important than photographs. National Geographic writes that “making great pictures is primarily a mental process.” What makes you want to photograph the person or place? How might you describe it to a friend, and what adjectives would you use? Are there details you can focus on that tell a story?

iPad/iPhone

Maybe it’s a dry, arid desert, captured by focusing on the patterns of cracked earth. Or a prairie that’s photographed with the horizon at the bottom of the frame, to help create a sense of the open sky and tranquility. Or maybe it’s the story of a deft artisan, fingernails covered in wet clay as she molds a pot. When you’re on the road it can be tough to eat right and make sure you get all the right nutrients. I started taking daily supplements of Multi-Vitamin, Fish Oil capsules and Vitamin D and it helps a lot. Especially the Vitamin D since I don’t get to see the sun a lot during the winter in Sweden.

Sennheiser HD-25 Headphones

It’s difficult to recreate the grandeur of a vast landscape in the confines of a picture frame. But one way to add a sense of depth to your photos is to compose them with objects in the foreground that support the scene. It can be as simple as a winding road through a national park, or some rocks to show off the local geology.

If you’re taking photos of people during normal daylight hours, a quick way to get more flattering light is to move the person out of direct sunlight. The light is much “softer” and doesn’t cast stark, unflattering shadows across their facial features. Even better, have someone stand next to an open door or window as the single source of light.


I am really thankful to jaro education and UBI to provide me an opportunity to do MBA in international banking. Thanking you once again.

Mr. Alok Kumar, TCS

Learn the rules first

I was recently quoted as saying, I don’t care if Instagram has more users than Twitter. If you read the article you’ll note there’s a big “if” before my not giving of said thing.
Of course, I am trivializing what Instagram is to many people. It’s a beautifully executed app that enables the creation and enjoyment of art, as well as human connection, which is often a good thing. But my rant had very little to do with it (or with Twitter). My rant was the result of increasing frustration with the one-dimensionality that those who report on, invest in, and build consumer Internet services talk about success.
Numbers are important. Number of users is important. So are lots of other things. Different services create value in different ways. Trust your gut as much (or more) than the numbers. Figure out what matters and build something good.