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Video Marketing Has-Been and Will-Be Around

It’s funny, how small things in life don’t make any sense when they happen, but you could relate them, years later.

My younger brother learnt playing games and counting number even before he went to school.

In those days, gaming was not as popular and a limited number of companies manufactured such units.

Era Old Gaming…

If I remember correctly, it was a stiff competition between Atari and Nintendo. Atari being famous for their joystick controller and Nintendo for better graphics.

Anyways, the crust of the matter is that my brother would play these games or watch me play, and then learn where things needed to progress were, try to find different things he could do, and learn alphabets and numbers to track game progress and password to continue from a saved timeline.

Considering the age, less than 3 years, no one actually thought it was that important or was helping his growth. In fact, we were scolded for spending too much time playing video games.

Fast forward x 20, to this day. Thinking, out of the blue, I realised the impact those games had and can have. A little more analysis, and I was quick to spot the visual aid in learning.

Do You See The Connection?

Don’t worry, you will, soon.

Rather than going through the books or listening to someone telling you, a person is able to grab things when assisted with visuals. The vision, through eyes, gets registered in the mind, faster than we know. Weird, ehh?

Adding Life To These Visuals…

I wouldn’t even ask you to select between a series of print outs and a video, to present something. Guess, you know which is better.

The idea of watching something as against images, is always luring.

The voice, the tone, the music in the background – could be used to create a situation, relevant to the content. The voices, indicate our mind to put more focus, and can pump the heart rate – think of a horror movie or an action sequence.

Ever watched a drama or an intense movie?

The voice and the way in which the actor delivers the speech, gets us involved and we feel we are part of the happiness or the sorrow that actor is going through. It hits our emotional chords.

Tell Me A Story…

That’s the power, you can create with a video.

The content, the sound, the linking – the broader story; that’s what gets to your customers.

There is so much you can say and tell, with advancement in technology – you can use various graphics and sounds.

The same video can be transmitted over multiple channels to reach millions of people out there, worldwide.

To connect with customers and to create an impact – create an awesome video. But first, create a story to show in that video! ~ P.R.

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How Not To Spend More And Still Sell The Product: Influencer Marketing

During the good ole days, newspapers, pamphlets, and television ads were the most used marketing channels. To some extent, they still are!

Mind Tricks!

Reflecting back, could you list some of the ads you remember still? And, why?

We tend to remember (ads promoting) things which,

  1. We could related to ourselves
  2. Had a brilliant concept
  3. Had a familiar face in it

 

Whether you think about your childhood or think about children now, you would notice how we are lured in to buying things, even if we don’t need it, just because it was promoted using a person or character we followed. Spiderman, Movie actors, cartoon characters (Doremon, Peppa Pig) – ring a bell?!

 

But, did you really think

  • Pierce Brosnan would eat betel nut just because he was in the ad?
  • Kareena would use lux soap?
  • Chota Bheem/Peppa Pig actually went to school with all that bag and pencil box?

 

It’s because they are known and have a following, these people or characters are used to promote products; which would make people to believe

  • The product is used by the person, perhaps
  • The product is endorsed/backed by a known person and hence safe to use
  • The product is better than other similar ones, since it is being promoted by a well-known person

The Influencing Act!

These well-known people (influencers) are there to influence your decision, make you believe which you otherwise wouldn’t, and are able to reach to mass or fans – instantly; thereby making a larger impact than those marketing agencies would make, following other practices.

In this era, people have so many social media channels on which they are active, and connect with their fans and followers.

Each of these followers further have a circle of people connected to them, so on and so forth. Virtually, you are connected to millions of people around the globe.

Theoretically, the chances of getting a response or someone buying/trying a product which you promote, are more.

Modern marketers are tapping on this trend!

The cost of engaging a creative ad agency, getting people to perform in it, getting the prime TV slots, and so many other associated costs are reduced. Not to mention the time and effort in getting the ad to market.

Now think, I’ve a million followers on three different social channels. If I say or promote anything on it, it will reach countless people within a few seconds – thanks to the internet!

Even if a percentage of those followers buy the product eventually, it’s a huge profit for the company; considering the amount they would spend on getting me to promote it online.

And this, my friends, is nothing but Influencer Marketing!

Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole.” – Wiki

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you.” – Tapinfluence.com

 

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What is CMS? Explain That To A 5 Years Old. Here’s Why?

So, you just had a glimpse of the post or heading and started scrolling away. Just when you thought it was nothing, you couldn’t let go of this feeling – Why would you want to explain CMS to a 5 years old?

 

I can give you many reasons, but let’s just say the psychology of a client responsible for an IT programme is similar to that of a child.

 

Like a child,

  1. The client would be hard to get convinced, especially when he is unaware of something new.
  2. The client would have qualms about moving to another thing, in this case a new platform.
  3. The client would want more for what he gives. Like a child, who only agrees to share his toys when he gets more in return.
  4. Last but not the least, the time a client would be willing to listen to you, as he would have many things going-on in his mind.

 

So on and so forth…

 

So…

What is a CMS? ..Or.. What is a Content Management System?

If you know this already, please skip to next part – which I promise is much more exciting than this one.

 

If you are still here with me, then you must want to know about it.

 

CMS, is nothing but an application or a platform which allows you to drive your digital content, from a centralised (server) location.

 

All your templates, pages, and assets are at a common place; which along with components can be used across site and markets (which are copies of one master site).

 

So, if you were to launch your site at multiple locations across the globe, then you could have the same layout, use same assets (where possible), yet make modifications where needed.

 

The best part, you can achieve that from a single server and rollout any change across these sites, just by modifying it in the master copy. Moreover, you can make specific changes to these live copies, at will.

 

Now then, that was a brief about the CMS. I hope you got a fair bit of idea.

Or was it not what you were looking for?

Nonetheless… Let’s move on!

How to explain a CMS to a 5 years old?

  • It’s like a train set. You can align the tracks anyway you want, place the station wherever you want, and latch any bogeys with the engine to run the track.

 

How you design it, it’s your imagination.

 

However, these basic building blocks should sync to make it work, otherwise the engine would derail and never reach the station.

 

  • You know that painting book you got or the stencil which you use, it has pre-outlined figures which you can readily use to draw and paint.

 

There is a suggested design or the colour pattern, should you follow. However, the creativity is yours.

 

  • Imagine, you have multiple cut outs of a flower which you can colour differently and then place them on a sheet to create an image of a bouquet or a garden.

 

The content management system is similar to that; it provides various building blocks which you can use one or more time to create a page or a list of pages, so that you don’t have to create them afresh, time and again.

 

The only difference is, you use computer software instead of white paper.

 

[Good luck explaining what a computer and a software is. Look at the bright side, you have something to communicate and engage with the kid.]

 

With this kick starter, let’s see how many ways or different approaches you can come up with, to convince a child and make him understand.

 

Age is just a number!

But…

If you can convince a 5 years old, you can convince a nagging client!

 

#YesICan #Negotiation #ArtOfConvincing #Leadership #Communication

 

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4 Steps: How Not To Stick Your Face In A Piece Of Cake: Content Migration Strategy

What is the most common or important thing any marketing person would tell you?

If you want to have a greater reach, have a great content!

In an age of #DigitalTransformation, we all rely on the browsing patterns, customer behaviour, and similar giveaways which help us define our strategy.

However, the customer engages only when he can relate to what you present.

Your content speaks for you, where you can’t be physically present.

Most of the organisations think a lot before chalking out the IT budget or roadmap.

A bulk of them, start small, migrate a section of their existing site on to the new Content Management System (CMS).

The size of this content migration may vary!

There are sites which have informational content only. Then again, there are sites which have certain level of user interactions.

From a 100-200 pages to over 5000 pages, there is no limit to it.

It depends on the products are services you provide, the customers who actively use them and would need information about, and the driver for you to be online, in the first place.

How to prepare a strategy for content migration?

Well, if you thought it was as simple as any content editor or content specialist or any person with such a role copy pasting the content and be done with it, then you wouldn’t possibly have worked on such a project.

The fundamentals never change – the planning, the design, the implementation, and the delivery.

1. The big plan!

Planning should have been the phase where most discussions happened; only if we were not in so much hurry to deliver!

The approach, of how you would present the content, the related information you would need, and whether it’ll be across multiple break points, is all to be given a deep thought.

The separation of role; people who could put content, from people who could verify the content, to people who can do both.

Which ones do you have, you can afford to get, and you would need to outsource.

Oh! And, before you forget – do plan who will be doing what and with what approach.

2. Getting the design right!

Set sail when the storm hits the shore!

No, we don’t want that!

So, create assets which can be re-used on similar break points.

Have a consistent layout for pages, which don’t need much modification and look almost the same across devices and platforms.

Do don’t wanna end up creating one page for each of the breakpoints/viewports (desktop, mobile, and tablet).

Decide upon the styling (the font style, size, colour, the heading group, and so on), the icons, and other elements of accessibility.

3. Putting the pieces together!

With the required elements in place, now is the time to put them all on the page.

Know the hierarchy, create the page, and check how it looks on different viewports.

Implement one page at a time, from initiation to completion, and keep track of your progress.

4. Your order is ready for Delivery!

The pages are done, grouped neatly based on the hierarchy, and compared against the existing site.

The viewports are checked, and so is the linking of pages.

If, there is any information which is needed for the tracking or marketing purposes, then ensure you have provided all the information.

If you are not sure, make use of any tools which are readily available to get you that information.

Just when you think you are ready, open it for an in-house verification session.

Limit the time and keep the intended purpose clear.

Walla … You are ready to go! – hand the site over to the customer.

 

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How Not To Be Affected By Mental Health Issues

Did you know?

People around the world are observing this week as Mental Health Awareness week.

What Is Mental Health?

According to mentalhealth.gov, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

– Having a bad day at home

– Trouble with the kids

– Peers are creating a problem

– The manager is being .. well .. not helpful

Whatever the reason be, mental issues can affect us without we realising.

It’s not necessary to have a glitch in your brain, to be a diagnosed with mental issues.

People who put others under the bus, for their own greed, are suffering from mental health issues – they just don’t know it yet!

Only you have the power to stop such abuse, such situations!!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you to get in to a fight.

But, SPEAK UP!! People don’t realise this but, “the most complex problems generally have the simplest solutions.”

Speak to a friend, a doctor, or someone whom you trust. Unload yourself of all the pain and sufferings.

We are humans, and we tend to make mistakes. Maybe, we don’t realise where we’re going wrong!

There is no shame in seeking help, no shame in accepting when you are wrong, and definitely no shame in learning to be healthy.

After all, it’s your health, your life, your well being – and it impacts everything around you!

HOW-TO: Leverage Tech Initiatives To Provide Exceptional Customer Experience – Travel & Hospitality (T&H) Industry

Whether you want to tick that item on your check-list or cross a pending item off your bucket list; whether you have to go for a business trip or take a break from that business; whether you have a reason or you want a reason; we all need a lil break time!!

It’s not always about travelling, not about making time for your family; maybe it’s only about seeking serenity or time-off from that monotonous work.

As much as we would like to plan them in advance, we never really get to it. And, most of the times we end up making plans – impromptu.

That suddenness, that itch, that adrenal rush – isn’t it exciting; too overwhelming?!

Well… it’s just the beginning of that holiday which we could do away with.

Price comparison sites, individual booking portals, and third party site and apps are always there to help us make these bookings.

With more and more people hooked on to internet, it is becoming a challenge for these companies to be competitive.

Why is it a challenge?

To start with,

  • There are so many sites and apps available to choose from
  • Then there are promotional offers provided by each of them, which leads to a price war and the need for further discounts by mainstream players
  • Of course, with many competitors lining up one needs to reduce the operating margin
  • The limited budget means there could be small or no upgrade to IT dept.

Don’t stress! Let’s take a practical scenario to understand where we are and where we could be.

Considering, I have to go to a place (like New York) and I’m currently in Miami. Now, all I have to do is open a travel booking site to select an airlines of my choice and a hotel. Alternatively, I can select the hotel from a different site or from the site of the hotel which I generally go to.

This is pretty straightforward as most of the sites have similar flow, user experience. The only different would be in cost.

Most of the hotel sites have content which is static, with an exception of booking rooms, which has dynamic data and involves some user interactions.

How can brands use wearables to improve customer experiences?

How can I bring innovation to this?

Let’s rewind this a bit, shall we?

The moment I had to plan for a booking, I would like to initiate the voice assistant on my phone (like Siri) and say something like “Let’s plan a vacation.”, and Siri would reply, “Which app would you like to access?”

If I have set a preferred app already, then this would not be asked and the app would be launched.

The moment that app is launched or the website is pulled up, the chat bot on the site should ask certain question like, “Where are you headed?”, “When are you leaving and returning?”, and similar question but keeping the interaction to bare minimum and fetching the best results. Then, of course, the data could be filtered out to make a selection.

With my booking done for flight and hotel, I’m all set to go.

Now comes the futuristic bit.

The smartness of these chat bots or voice assistants comes in, when they book a cab (or suggest to book) since I would be needing it, both from current location to airport or train station, and then from destination airport to destination hotel.

Right from reminding me that I’m supposed to leave that day, to my cab approaching in 15 minutes, to route to airport. And then, flight number flashing on my smart watch or the mobile app, to taxi number and contact details of the driver waiting for me at the destination airport, and the route to destination hotel – engaging, informative, relevant, and unique experience.

The taxi could be booked by the person or provided by the hotel, but the door-to-door updates, information received would be such a different and refreshing experience for the traveller.

All along the way, give out vouchers, discounts, conduct surveys, promotional events, or whatever way you can think of engaging and rewarding customer.

I will talk about more of these in my next blog, so keep reading…

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Game of Theories: How Not To Be Played Down

If you have been following Prison Break, a popular US TV series, then you would know about the latest season which has come out after a very long time.

 

Well, watching the series this time, I never thought I would come across something which would intrigue me so much and so instantly. It is something which Sara discusses with (her husband) Jacob in relation to Michael, and he says it is a classic Game Theory approach.

 

Made Me Wonder, What This Game Theory Is?

Been in existence for over six decades, was originally thought to be related to zero-sum game – where one gains at the loss of other. However, it’s now an umbrella term referred in relation to logical decision making.

 

Seems like a lot of effort and research has been carried out over the years, which has resulted in various situations and fields in which this theory has been applied and evolved.

 

We All Start With “Imperfect Information” …

As I start reading the different types of game theories, I was astonished to learn, although these are mathematical or economics based models, these can prove to be lifesaving in real life situations. And, how being knowledgeable about such theories can help you identify potentially un-friendly tango [military term used for target or opponent].

 

In a world full of deceptive people, it’s almost unlikely to attain all or complete information, which is correct or perfect – resulting in favourable outcome. Most of the games/situations, thus, are played with imperfect information, from the onset.

 

In A Perfect World …

In a perfect world, there would be one controller or dictator who would hold all the cards and would know the outcome. Seldom, is the case!

 

Therefore, till a decision or an outcome is reached, think of it as a continuous game which feeds on the outcomes of many players, who may or may not be set in motion by the one calling all the shots or actually playing the game.

 

Lifesaver!

Moments back, I mentioned these theories could be lifesaver. Let’s see how?

 

Whether you are hiring a person, making a business deal, or presenting your case – knowing as much about other person or company would be beneficial. That’s a given, whenever we go out for an interview, isn’t it?

 

Whether that information comes handy or not, the moral advantage it gives you, can’t be matched. Moreover, at a higher level, it’s the leverage you have on other person which decides which way the deal or negotiation would go.

 

The Cooperative and Non-Cooperative game types would tell you that your chances of success would improve considerably if you are able to form alliances; doesn’t matter if they are with mutual agreement or enforced.

 

With the assumptions and the need of bargaining power over others eliminated, that’s two less things to worry about.

 

Still… In a business, where things can get uglier than your imagination, it’s advised to still have that bargaining power; humans are unpredictable!

 

In order to reach a goal, we break the whole journey in to smaller milestones. And, the outcomes would densely depend on the outcomes of the strategies devised for these milestones. If these milestones are people dependent then it’s asymmetric, and if the people can be replaced in a way that only outcome matters then it’s symmetric game play.

 

“A symmetric game is a game where the payoffs for playing a particular strategy depend only on the other strategies employed, not on who is playing them.” – Wiki

 

Keeping a holistic view, these theories should guide you to take an educated course of action.

 

It is one thing to be uninformed, and another to be informed. Then again, what you do with that information or the lack of it, decides the outcome.

 

First, you use them to get relevant information, and then, you use that information to get to them! ~ P.R.

 

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How To Eliminate Competition: From Flipping Karts to Flipping Bay

When Flipkart started the online furore, selling books, no one had thought where this company will head. The market was raw, in this part of the world, and the gold was there for digging, for early birds.

 

Since then, the company has come a long way, surpassing the expectations of veterans and market pundits, and raised some serious money.

 

It must have been a fairy tale when the company grew to where it is now, in terms of size and valuation.

 

At the time, there was a big market pie, which was untapped, and for a company like Flipkart – it was huge potential for a foreseeable future.

 

Once you tap on to something new, you can’t hide it from the world. Gradually, other companies started bidding on this new trend, as well.

 

Within a few years, the pie not left solely for Flipkart, but other players like Amazon, Snapdeal, and others as well.

 

Interestingly, ebay had operations in India long before any other big market player, we know today, had put steps here.

 

However, they failed to make that much of an impact or control the market share.

 

A decade in to existence and operations, Flipkart has now taken control of ebay’s India operations, which was unexpected, but is a smart move!

 

Why Now?

The timing couldn’t have been better!

 

Just last year, there was so much going on with the company (Flipkart), in terms of losing valuation, reshuffle at the top layer, and constant fight to remain market leader; with Amazon keeping them on their toes.

 

Why Do It At All?

If you are aware of the subject: Mergers and Acquisitions, then you would be able to relate this move.

 

  • Synergy: Since both the organisations were operating in the same field, with different associations with vendors and different strategies, this move would give them a platform to mix the best of both.
  • Growth or Bigger Market Share: Without having to make those transactions, efforts from sales team, or any other resource utilisation, they’ll get a bigger market share to operate in; both vendors and customers.
  • Increase Supply-Chain: The workforce could be combined to restructure the supply-chain mechanism and deliver the products in much organised fashion. Thus, improve the customer satisfaction and increase the customer retention/loyalty.
  • Eliminate Competition: With one less enemy to look out for, the competition just got smaller. However, the increased forces would be enough to fend off challenges, or perhaps, go on the offensive for a while.

 

ebay, was not going to be profitable anyways, as we have seen for so many years. For them, hooking on to a better ship should look like a saviour in sight.

 

However, with another merger (Flipkart-Snapdeal) doing the rounds, the future holds ontogenesis or decay, it is to be seen!

 

How do you make money? Spinoffs, split-ups, liquidations, mergers and acquisitions. ~ Mario Gabelli

 

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How To Break The Team To Make It Work

There was this game which we used to play during our childhood days; chose a word and then form as many words out of it as you can. The more words you got, the better.

 

I don’t know who came up with that game, and it sure would sound silly if I ask you to play it now!

 

And not because you wouldn’t have time for it, but you might be too sheepish to play such a naive game.

Are you really that busy or ashamed?

C’mon! I bet it’ll only take a couple of minutes. Alright! Alright! Five minutes at max.

 

I knew you’re too lazy to do that. No? Well, even if you did .. You would have come up with few of these.

Am | Me | At

Tea | Eat | Ate | Met

Team | Mate | Meta | Meat | Tame

You notice something odd there?

Me! There’s a “Me” which is odd. The ME which represents each one of us. The ME who is there in every team!

 

There is I in there as well, or I’ AM. But, I prefer not to use this “I” as it sounds to me bit self-centred and arrogant.

 

There are times when I should take the front seat, but not when it’s about the team.

 

So, you would have to jumble up yourself or break yourself to form ME, who drives the team.

 

Every word you make out of it could mean something so powerful, if you associate it with the team.

 

Every member is like a Meta data or Meta property of the team. They HAVE to work in conjunction or the whole machinery would wear and tear out, even before you know it.

Like,

The ME has to take care of my mate(s), that’s a British slang used to refer to a friend, a buddy, or a known person.

Me has to ask them if they have had something to eat or eat with them.

Me never tame(s) his mate(s), or offer someone as meat to step up.

 

You have to passionate, yet selfless. You have to be willing to learn, yet impart knowledge to others. You have to be successful as a team, yet achieve your own goals.

 

We all have some qualities and some weaknesses, and we look out for each other; otherwise it’s not a team we’re part of.

 

Otherwise it’s just AM who’s gonna take control. And when that happens, you know how ugly it could get.

Here’s another food for thought, do you work with a team or in a team?

Working in a team, is like working in silos where someone would tell you what to do and you do it; plain and simple. You don’t question, you don’t challenge, and you don’t push boundaries. Of course, you do work hard to achieve something, personal and/or professional.

 

However, working with a team is like holding everyone accountable and responsible. People have similar frequency and everyone works towards a common goal first.

 

Funny, how words, as small as these, could make a huge shift in perspective.

 

Whether you think – “I am part of the team” or “me who is in the team” or “me who makes the team” – the choice is yours, and so is the success of it!

 

It’s not easy, and it can take years to learn. Anyone who says he is a team player, ask them this – do you know how to break a team to make it work?

 

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Creating Sustainable Livelihood: To Make Our Lives Better, Eventually

Travel the world while you are young; don’t we all aspire to do that?

The nature has so much to offer, and combine that with the efforts people put in to make a place desirable – priceless!

 

Some people are born at such places, while others work towards that dream. Thank god for giving you, or your parents the ability to make that happen for you.

 

Nobody wants to live poor – that’s a given. And, any child coming into this world has no control over where he’s born.

 

Let’s keep destiny aside for a moment and ponder over things like

  • Why do people desire to go abroad?
  • Why is there so much brain drain?
  • Why people are not doing something to improve conditions at home?

 

So on and so forth …

 

The most common reply you would come across is – there’s no will to make things better and everyone wants to make money themselves.

 

Isn’t that true?

Everyone wants to make money, to survive, to enjoy the comforts which comes along.

 

If you think hard or follow the stats, you would realise that survival is first and foremost criteria for majority of the population, everywhere in this world.

 

You might have come across NGOs which support various causes like; clean water, education, child support, cancer support, and many more. These exist, because they are selfless and want to bring a change.

 

Arguably, some of these are front face of certain god forbidden activities. But, it would be like labelling a community wrong if a fraction of it go the other way.

 

Then again, who’s asking you to trust blindly?

In today’s world, where information is available in abundance, you can always get more details and make an informed judgement.

 

If you want a clean environment, start cleaning your house and set an example. Then motivate others to follow. Gradually, you would have a team of people willing to clean the community, the area around, and create a larger impact.

 

The willingness, the adamancy, and the support of like-minded people is all you need to kick start; to bring about the change you seek around you.

 

BTGT (Bridging The Gap Together), is one such organisation who has made that temperament in to a mission: a mission to provide teaching/training to people who have the desire but no means, to ensure those people become capable to find a reputable job than wander off to path of darkness and indulge in offensive activities.

 

Even if you are a business person, or not, you would know the concept of Supply-and-Demand

Every year, there are hundreds of thousands of people in search of job, but not all of them end up getting what they want – the reason being the skill gap in what employee has to offer and what employer requires.

 

BTGT, is playing that intermediary who understand what firm or organisations are looking for, and provides skilled training to people which can help them cater to such organisational needs; be a good fit.

 

Why work with EWS?

On top of my head, I can give you few reasons

  1. They don’t have any support or guidance, and are most gullible to go the wrong way
  2. These are the people we later complain about, causing havoc or mischief – prone to become scapegoats
  3. Educating them, will in turn help each and every one of us to bring the change we long for
  4. The educated and experienced are more expensive, and organisations are not able to create jobs in lieu of that (increasing operating cost)
  5. Last but not the least, the open needs are not fulfilled because the organisations see a skill gap and are reluctant to fill those needs – eventually the need becomes burden on existing staff; leading to loss of need, extra work, no work life balance

 

Now… Think hard, and think again – who will benefit or what impact it will have, if people around us are more literate, have a job that pays off, and are not manipulated by others for their mean motives?

 

We can sit at our home, complain about the law and order, blame the government or the private organisations, and do nothing ourselves. Or, support such causes and make lives around us better, to make our own life better.

 

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