Internet Marketing through Youtube

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Marketing through Youtube

With the advent of digital video technology, internet based marketing of digital videos has become the order of the day. Business opportunities are enormous on YouTube and other websites.

Videos are made and uploaded to YouTube accounts and once it becomes popular (as the number of visitors increases), it provides the owner of the YouTube account to become an affiliate by becoming the YouTube Partner Program.

Once the account is made a partner, YouTube puts advertisement when somebody click on the video,  the revenue generated is thus shared with the account holders.

Many have made ‘howto’ kind of videos and made millions out of YouTube sites.  Anything innovative and interesting to audience is generating good viewership. Video should be not very long. Anything from 3 minutes to 6 minute is best for this kind of stuff.

Old movies which were hits, new movie songs etc can be uploaded by producers and get a decent revenue from these program. Many Indian companies are making good money out of YouTube.

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My encounter with Internet

Evolution of  Internet / Email in India

Looking back at the Email and internet evolution in India, I felt it would be ideal to share some of my experiences with you.

I had the chance to use email in the year 1993, if my memory is correct. Those days internet was not available.  Email alone was available from a few licensed companies.  Something which ends in a ‘dish’ was my email service provider. I used to type the messages off line, and once a message or two was ready, the line is dialed and message sent. Emails were charged for every minute of usage. Very few companies had emails those days. Personal Emails were not there.

Internet was introduced in India  starting with Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and Pune on 15 August 1995. Internet connection was taken by our start-up company in  February 1996, if my gray cells are right.  (Himalayan Internet Services, where I worked was closed in 1998. Our domain chennaiweb dot com (format of website name changed to avoid link to that site, which seems to be for sale now) was also not renewed by us when we closed the business.)

Windows 95 was released on August 24, 1995 (after much delays by Microsoft), which made Internet popular with its ease of use. Previous versions of windows like windows 3.1 and earlier versions  of  windows were not that user friendly.

My friends;  Ramesh, Velmurugan and Sainathan; bought a book ‘Learn HTML in 14 days‘ from the ‘Pongal Trade fair’ in 2nd week of January 1996 and they suggested ‘why can’t we start Internet business?’  Even though I was experienced in some of the  computer programming languages like Foxpro, Clipper (both DOS Operating system based database programming languages), Oracle ( version 6 was the one used those days without GUI ; Oracle 7.0 was  the first Graphical User Interface  version database  from Oracle Corporation), Power-builder (a frond-end application development software with GUI; competitor to Visual Basic those days) and C;  internet was something which was new to me. My friends also had no idea as to what is computer programming, except for some data entry experience, mainly in accounts departments where they worked. I assured them that I will take up the challenge. And I completed the task in a month or so, even though I was per-occupied with my software development task for a finance company. The syntax of HTML, with its tag structure, was something new to me, compared to other programming languages I knew.

Before taking the internet connection and starting the business, to know about the internet, we went to a net cafe opposite to Hotel Chola Sheraton, Chennai.  It was the only  cafe those days. The charges were 100 Rupees per hour or so and there were  4 or 5 computers. Being  novice users, we didn’t know what to look for.  Saw ‘Filmfare’ magazine website or some other newspaper sites and came out after sitting and browsing with the slow connection.

After having got the feel of internet, I with my friends Ramesh, Sainathan, Velmurugan, along with Ramesh’s relatives, decided that it is time to get into this business. We took an office in Price Plaza, Eggmore, Chennai. We got the application for internet connection from BSNL; the only service provider that time.  As there were a long backlog of applications, we had to to take a veteran M.L.A. (6 or 7 times continuous winner those days ; who expired a few years back) to the BSNL office twice or thrice, to get the internet connection.

Do not loose your conscience on hearing the amount charged those days! 100 hours  cost a whopping 10000 Rupees!!! That is rupees 100 per hour! Once that was exhausted, one has to again take an advance DD for 10000.  And the internet connection speeds were in KB those days, compared to standard  2- 8 Mbps these days. No post paid billing facility was available in the initial years.

Within a few weeks/month, we were flooded with request from companies, asking us to design their web pages.  And they were mainly for sub-domains. That is their site names comes under our site name. Our sites were hosted at dezines.com (seems non-existent for the last 2/3 years) , Canada. Making the payment was the funniest part. Advance DD for 12000/- per site was taken and copy was faxed to them, to get the site activated. The original DD was then couriered through DHL at rupees 1200 per cover.  And to get the DD amount in dollars, we needed Reserve Bank of India’s  permission in some Form (Form number 9 or something which I did not recollect correctly).

One of our customers, Skylift cargo, wanted some forms, so that their potential customers (tourists) can fill up those and they can be contacted. Many sites were just text with some images. Many leading business houses gave us the order.  Recently listed Olympics cards, Sri Krishna Sweets, Shylift cargo (an IATA/Cargo company), Some real estate companies, many shipping companies, etc., were some of our initial customers.

I feel that we were little ahead in the website business that time. Customers were not aware of internet and its benefits. We had to explain what is internet to  the customers. Many a times, they came with their entire families; grant parents, children, grand children…

Even though I left the internet web design work for an assignment in Kuwait in 1998 end, (to work on a contract for the refineries of  Kuwait National Petroleum Company on their Laboratory Information Management System – SQL*LIMS software installation, customization,Sun Solaris Server admin,etc.), I returned to India after around 30 months and again started working as a freelancer on web technologies.

E-commerce web sites and Internet Marketing

E-commerce and Internet Marketing

 

Websites with e-commerce integration into the sites are the order of the day. In today’s world there are no boundaries to business. With proper internet marketing techniques and logistics, delivery of product is possible anywhere in the world.

First the web application development needs to be done with proper product details inserted into the web page. Once the web site is made to appear in the first pages of Search engines, it is time to go for internet based sales.

Approach a payment gateway that best suits your turnover and support. Once the terms are finalizes and the initial amount is paid, the gatewy companies provide the integration required. In case of problem they will support through their call centers. It is basically some copying, installation of J2EE (java) code into the web server and some configuration settings needs to be made. Shopping cart is installed that way. Once this is done you are ready for web site based shopping.

There are a few providers in India for this. Some private banks, Paypal, other third parties provide the payment gateway services.Check their service standards and ease of funds transfer, with somebody who is already running the service.

Investing in LIC’s Bima Bachat – Good tax saving scheme on one time premium payment

LIC’s Bima Bhachat – Good tax saving and investment Insurance plan

Life Insurance Corporation of India

Life Insurance Corporation of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have come across a good tax saving product from LIC, Bima Bachat, even though the insurance coverage is not very high. It is available in 9/12/15 years terms. Minimum entry age is 15 years completed and maximum is 65 years next birth day (and maximum age on maturity should be 75 next birth day. ie. 65 year old can join only for the 9 year scheme.).

This product Bima Bachat -Table 175- gives 15 % of Sum Assured (S.A.) once in every three years as survival benefit. On maturity, initial amount invested plus Loyalty Addition (L.A.) is returned. This translates to 22.37 % returns in every three years ( 15000/67058 * 100) or 7.5 % every year (tax free). This compares well with even bank fixed deposits which are taxable.. Reinvesting the above mentioned money received in the same scheme for another 12/9 year period or bank deposits will boost the returns by another two to three percentage making a total of minimum 9.5 % per year. This makes the scheme one of the best investment product with best tax saving option.

The above mentioned 15 % of sum assured payment once in three years and maturity amount is guaranteed and written on policy document and on lic’s official web site. Final year Loyalty addition is guaranteed in policy document (but amount is not written. It will vary from year to year and the given amount of 8000 by me below is only for illustration.)

To illustrate, a 35 year old pays Rs. 67058 (68271 for a 45 year old; returns remains the same for any age. only premium changes for age) for one lack Sum Assured for 15 years. He or She gets 15000/- every three years (15 % of sum assured). On maturity, Loyalty Addition of Rs 8000 is received (Assuming 80 Rs per thousand of sum asured for 15 year policy(normally LIC give 70-95 rupees per 1000 rupees of sum assured for plans of 15 year term) and Initial Amount invested (Rs 67058) is returned.

Assuming one is in the 10 % tax bracket (2 lack plus to upto 5 lacks annual income), at the time of investment, one saves Rs 8717 as 10 % of premium amount as tax (6705 + Edcuation Cess @2% plus Additional Education Cess @1% =2012). On 3rd/6th/9th/12th year one’s saving comes to Rs 15450 as tax (15000 + 3 surcharge on tax). Finally the maturity amount (ie the amount paid initially) Rs 67058 is tax free. Also the Loyalty addition of Rs 8000 is tax free.

If one is in the 20 % tax bracket ( 5 lack plus to upto 10 lacks annual income ), 20 % tax plus 3 % surcharge on tax is saved.

If one is in the highest 30 % tax bracket ( 10 lack plus annual income), 30 tax plus 3 % surcharge on tax is saved.

Income Tax Benefit : For Single Premium policies, 10 % of premium paid (for policies issued from April 1, 2012 onwards OR 20 % of premium paid for policies issued in between 1st day of April, 2003 and April 1, 2012 ) is exempted from tax under Section 80 C and payments received in every three years and on maturity are exempted from tax under Section 10 (10D). Please consult your tax adviser for latest and correct information. The writer is not liable for any action the reader takes, based on the information provided above.

In case of death of the policyholder, the 15 % already paid once in every 3 three years, will not be deducted from the Sum assured amount payable.

Note : Please consult your financial adviser before investing in any financial product(s). The opinion given above is purely my personal view and should not be considered as an expert advise.

Go on a tour of Manali on the foothills of Himalayas and escape from the hassle and bustle of city life.

Indian Financial Services Sector

Indian Financial Secror – Insurance, Capital Markets, Equity, Banking

Today I thought of writing about the financial services sector in India. I have worked in developing software for Non Banking Finance Companies (N.B.F.C.), Private Finance companies, Chitt companies. I have some exposure to Insurance and equity markets as an investor and agent.

Financial Services sector is currently down for nearly the last four years after booming for 6 years. Many a reforms have been carried out by regulatory bodies like I.R.D.A.(Insurance), S.E.B.I. (capital market), R.B.I. (Financial Sector in general and Banking in Particular), Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) which fined heavily the real estate/housing majors, The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), Govt. of India etc.

There are a large number of companies operating in this sector. It has become highly competitive and selling agents commission has come down drastically over the last few years.

Due to the strict vigil of the regulatory agencies, the investment cost has come down and one can hope that the returns gets improve over the years.

For those who invest in equity shares, the Annual Account Maintenance charges for demat accounts has been abolished a couple of months back for small investors who investment does not exceed INR 50000.

In the Insurance sector, the number of ULIP schemes, which has created a bad name for the sector, mainly due to mis-selling by agents with or without the the knowledge of the organization they represented , many were withdrawn or made close ended so that no fresh money is invested into these loss making schemes. The main mis-selling point was that it was sold as a short term product, whereas ULIP’s are for long term investors. It should not sold for the purpose of insurance as insurance component is not high in these products

In the Mutual Fund sector, AMFI’s recommendations has resulted in entry and exit load structure getting revamped. This has benefited the customers.

RBI’s enforcement of base rate linked interest rate on loans has resulted in better terms for the Banking customers. Also savings bank interest rates are now calculated on the daily closing balance (credited once in six months in case of most banks) compared to the previous system calculating interest on the least amount in the account between 10th and the last day of the month.

To summarize, these measures and the competition may lead to better investment climate..

Retail textile Industry in India

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Indian Retail Textile Industry


Having associated with textile retail sector for the last few years, I think it it time to share my experience with you.

It is a competitive market. there are many large players out there. Lacks of small players are also there. Each have their niche market.

The recent non-availability of labor, higher rentals and power problems have added the cost of production up considerably. Selling price of many items has gone up by 3/4 times in the last 5 years. The major south Indian production belt of Tirupur (T-shirts), Karur(Lunkies), Salem/Erode(textiles/trading) are reeling under the above mentioned problems, demand-supply gad has come under severe pressure.

Though large players survive on profits based on high turnover , it has become tough for small players. The recent mall culture has added fire to the fuel.

To summarize, it is a market, where the fittest, survives.

Indian Pharmaceutical and Surgical Indistry

My understanding of Indian Pharmaceutical and Surgical industry


Having Worked with a pharmaceutical company promoted by a friend of mine, I share some of my experiences here.

I have worked from December 2009 to February 2012, helping the company in maintaining the computer related works. I was also helping the company in marketing by accompanying the marketing staff on many days.

Medicines are prescribed by doctors only on visiting Indian hospitals and reminding them about the brand. There are many many brands available in the market and it is tough market now. Companies gives ‘offers’ to distributors, doctors etc to promote the business. Business is there only till these offers are there. Once the offer is withdrawn, except for big brands, sales comes down drastically.

I had visited many hospitals in Los Angles in connection with promotion of Surgical Instruments. This is not that competitive and marketing people of surgical instruments are much respected by doctors; may be because these instruments are used by doctors themselves. Only hindrance to business is long credit periods and huge costs involved. eg. A small screw driver costs anywhere between 3K – 10 K. Pakistan is a major supplier of surgical instruments.