Cyber Hackers Can Mess With Google – Are You Afraid For Your Business?

If you have been reading the news lately and picking up on all the commotion around hack attacks on some of the big guns like Google, Yahoo and Adobe you may be experiencing a twinge of anxiety over the security for your own business. You may have believed your network was invincible so this news could leave you feeling shaky. You have good reason to feel this way – according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald the number of hackers tampering with private financial information belonging to Australian business is on the rise. Obviously using the internet and intranet for business has become a viable solution to accomplishing company objectives, but on the downside the criminal faction sees just as much opportunity.

Australia is a Frequent Target for Cyber Crime

Symantec, a data security firm reported that Australian and New Zealand businesses suffer 75% more security breaches than the global average with 89% of the companies polled in the last 12 months admitting at least one intrusion. Hackers are not necessarily going after the major companies where they can make off with large sums of money. Like any other thief, they go where the risk is low and they can get in and out of a system quickly and without detection. The fact is you don’t have to be at any particular level of business profitability to be targeted. Smaller companies tend to use less comprehensive IT security making them more susceptible. In general, hackers are interested in easy money.

Google and Other Large Corporations are Not Exempt

The threat does not always revolve around banking information or sensitive intellectual property. As Google discovered in December 2009, issues such as human rights are at stake in cyber attacks. The advertising and search giant was appalled that a highly organized effort dubbed “Aurora” was being made to hack into the Gmail accounts of Chinese human right activists. They managed to infiltrate only two accounts and were not able to see the account holders’ actual correspondence. The action put Google in the position where it felt it necessary to warn the Chinese human rights community of the attack and to prepare to withdraw business ties with China. Officials at Google did not directly accuse the Chinese government of being the perpetrators but they decided to review doing business with the country based its attempts to limit free speech on the internet. Google stated concern for the safety of the Chinese citizens and the potential for them to be interrogated and imprisoned.

There were at least 20 other large internet, media, finance and technology companies included in the attack: Yahoo, Adobe, Symantec, Dow Chemical and Northrop Grumman to name a few. It was accomplished through a technique called “spear phishing.” This resembles an attack against 100 IT companies in July 2009 where company employees were targeted with infected email attachments.

Small and Midsize Businesses have Minimal Defense

Most businesses are totally defenseless against these sophisticated attacks. They use instant messages and emails that seem innocent at first because the senders appear to be friends and trusted colleagues. The messages are fine-tuned to evade the anti-virus programs designed for these applications. Evidently the best practices for IT security that have successfully held attackers at bay for many years are no longer sufficient. There is an innovative caliber of attacks circulating around the globe using custom malware written specifically for individual companies. The hackers don’t seem to mind if it takes longer to get around the antivirus software in use by the large corporations. They continue painstakingly to tweak their malware until it is effective. Smaller companies that don’t have the budget for a large scale security have not stood a chance. The hackers have the ability to commandeer only one employee’s laptop and make it a gateway for total administrative access to the company’s entire network.

The security firm, iSec Partners that investigated the attack on Google and ensuing corporations recommend we make fundamental changes to the way we protect our networks. They say we have simply not been prepared for the level of sophistication demonstrated by the new cyber criminals.

Hacker Stories in the Australian News

Internet news sites report the direct effects of cyber hacking on Australia. Today Online posted a news article about a hacker called “Ghostbuster” that has been targeting Melbourne businesses as a response to violence against Indians. The person behind the attacks has been sending threatening emails stating Australian servers will be hacked until racism against Indian nationals is ended. The action came in the wake of the murder of a 21-year-old Punjabi student in January 2010. Several Melbourne businesses were victimized when their entire networks were thrown into chaos.

In the technology section of The Age is a report describing the effects on government websites by hackers associated with the group “Anonymous”, known for its attacks on Scientology. This is the same group that temporarily blasted pornography across Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s website. On the morning of February 10, 2010 a number of government sites were down. The attack was in opposition to the government’s plans for internet censorship. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was not happy with the fact that Australian citizens could not obtain needed services online and felt it was irresponsible on the part of the hackers.

In the Sydney Morning Herald one journalist mentions the statistics that there are now more mobile devices in the country than Australians. It is not unusual for an individual to own two or three. The rising use of wireless broadband provides accessibility and convenience for subscribers but it also expands the territory for cyber criminals. Currently there are more barriers to cyber hacking wireless devices than terrestrial networks, such as the cost of making a phone call. However with the advances in mobile device technology to the point where it can replace the need for owning a laptop computer the potential for being targeted by hackers exists. The actual devices may be secure but the Wi-Fi network, often free and faster for users in public places is a temptation for cyber criminals. You may believe you have connected to a site operated by an airport, hotel or coffee shop, but there is no way of knowing for sure who controls the IP address that now has access to everything in your computer or mobile device. It is not that difficult for hackers to present a fake website you feel you can trust that they can use to steal from your network at any time in the future.

Millions of dollars are stolen everyday from individuals and businesses that use the internet. We are warned frequently about viruses, worms and phishing scam but somehow we get caught anyway. The situation is getting worse as hackers become better adept at breaking down the unique systems designed to keep them out. If you are still experiencing discomfort about the vulnerability of your network it will pay off to attend to your gut feeling.

Challenges for The Supply Chain Management In India

The average supply chain cost in the U.S is almost 8.5 % of its entire GDP. On the contrary, the average supply chain cost in India is as high as 13.5 % of its entire GDP.”

But wait a minute! cause the bad news does not end here. In 2018, India’s rank on World Bank’s Global Logistic Performance Index(LPI ), one of the most recognized way of measuring the ease of doing business based on the condition of existing supply chain and logistics infrastructure in a particular country, went down to 44 from her earlier position of 35 in 2017.

Whereas countries like Germany, Netherland, Belgium and UK which always tend to eliminate all sorts of disruptions in their entire national and international supply chain management system successfully acquired first, second, third and fourth rank respectively.

All of these above-mentioned factors do not show any bright side of Indian Economy. According to the latest survey, the net worth of losses that are occurring, especially because of poor supply chain infrastructure and lack of proper managerial strategies, are nearly around $65 billion. Clearly, the supply chain and logistics management companies in India are definitely suffering from a lot of challenges.

Problems and Challenges:

In India, Supply chain & logistics management is facing both the demand side challenges and supply side challenges which are explained below.

Demand Side Challenges:

Demand-side challenges are basically related to the unstable price factors and the differentiating varieties if consumer requirements. We all know that India is a country of infinite contradictions and full of unimaginable diversity.

You can simply understand this fact by just taking a ride from one state to another. You will be able to recognize new culture, new languages, new dialects, new food style and above all idiosyncratic traditions, just after crossing almost every 40-50 km geographical distance.

As a result, it is not quite possible for a single manufacturer or even for a small group of industrialists to satisfy such a varying and highly differentiated set of consumer requirements.

What we require in this context is a bridge or more precisely a perfect organized supply chain collaboration system between the manufacturers, distributors, local agents and retailers who are directly connected with the domestic consumers.

Supply-side challenges:

There are dozens of Supply-side challenges which basically hamper the entire supply and distribution system. Some of them are listed as follows:

1-Poor Distribution System

2-Inadequate Infrastructure.

3-Amature 3PL companies

4-Complexities in Taxation

5-Stringent Trade policies

6-Closed Economic Policies

7-Dispersed Market

8-Old & outdated technologies.

9-Lack of Skill & professionalism.

Advent of Foreign Law Firms in India

The opening of a legal firm by a Nigerian in Delhi has not only lawyers up in arms against the unauthorized practice but has also revived the decade-and-a-half-old debate over the more important question – should foreign lawyers be allowed entry into India?

It is often asserted that India has the potential to become one of the world’s great legal centers in the 21st century, alongside London and New York. It has innate advantages in its common law traditions and English language capability. But until very recently India had not recognized the role that advisory legal services have to play in attracting foreign investment and developing a broader-based services economy.

India being a signatory to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) which is an organ of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is under an obligation to open up the service sector to Member Nations.

“Services” would include any service in any sector except services supplied in the exercise of governmental authorities as defined in GATS. “A service supplied in the exercise of governmental authorities” is also defined to mean any service that is supplied neither on a commercial basis nor in competition with one or more service suppliers.

Legal profession is also taken to be one of the services which is included in GATS. With the liberalization and globalization policy followed in India, multinationals and foreign corporations are increasingly entering India. Foreign financial institutions and business concerns are also entering India in a fairly large number. Their business transactions in India are obviously governed by the Indian law and the foreign law firms (FLF’s) and foreign legal consultants (FLC’s) being not fully conversant with the Indian legislation require the assistance of lawyers enrolled and practicing in India. This has led to the idea of entry of foreign legal consultants and liberalization of legal practices in India in keeping with the guidelines evolved by the International Bar Association (IBA) and the GATS. If this idea is to be put into practice, the Advocates Act, 1961 which governs legal practice in India needs to be amended.

Legal “practice” is not defined in the Advocates Act but a reading of Sections 30 and 33 indicates that practice is limited to appearance before any court, tribunal or authority. It does not include legal advice, documentation, alternative methods of resolving disputes and such other services. Section 24 (i)(a) of the Act provides that a person shall be qualified to be admitted as an Advocate on the State Roll if he is a citizen of India provided that subject to this Act a national of any other country may be admitted as an Advocate on the State Roll if the citizens of India duly qualified are permitted to practice law in that other country.

Section 47 of the Act provides that where a country specified by the Central Govt. in this behalf by a notification in the Official Gazette prevents the citizens of India from practicing the profession of law subjects them to unfair discrimination in that country, no subject of any such country shall be entitled to practice that profession of law in India.

The basic principles set out by IBA on the question of validity of FLC’s are fairness, uniform and non-discriminatory treatment, clarity and transparency, professional responsibility, reality and flexibility. The guidelines laid down by the IBA are as follows:

“Legal consultant means a person qualified to practice law in a country (home country) and who desires to be licensed to practice law as a legal consultant without being examined by a body or an authority to regulate the legal profession in a country (host country) other than a home country, such a person has to apply to the host authority for a license by following the procedure for obtaining a license subject to the reasonable conditions imposed by the host authority on the issue of licenses. This license requires renewal. A legal consultant has to submit an undertaking alongwith his application not to accept, hold, transfer, deal with a client found or assigned unless the legal consultant does so in a manner authorized by the host authority to agree and abide by the code of ethics applicable to host jurisdiction besides to abide by all the rules and regulations of both the home and host jurisdiction.

It is open to the host authority to impose the requirement of reciprocity and to impose reasonable restrictions on the practice of FLC’s in the host country, that the FLC’s may not appear as an attorney or plead in any court or tribunal in the host country and the FLC’s may not prepare any documents or instruments whose preparation or performance of other services, is specifically reserved by the host authority for performance by its local members.

Many experts have given their views on entry of FLF’s and FLC’s in India pursuant to GATS. They are not opposed to the idea but it is suggested by them that some restrictions, adequate safeguards and qualifications should be provided for besides reciprocity.

The restrictions, if any, will have to be reasonable. Obtaining Indian law degree and practicing Indian law for a period to be stipulated for entry may be the only reasonable restrictions. Canadian model of University training, examination and articleship administered through a joint committee accreditation may be a viable solution. To follow the principle of non-discrimination, it may not be possible to impose any onerous restriction limiting the clientele, the nature of legal work, the fees to be marked, the form of fees (Rupees or foreign currency) etc. So far as reciprocity is concerned level playing field and uniform code of conduct will have to be worked out. Many western nations allow their lawyers to advertise whereas in India the lawyers are not allowed to do so. In California the FLF’s were only permitted to deal in laws not specific to California. Even in countries like Singapore, Hong-Kong and Japan the FLC’s are restricted to servicing only foreign firms. The treatment meted out to FLC’s and FLF’s in other countries and the rules, regulations made to govern their practice in the foreign country should be thoroughly scrutinized before allowing the entry in India.

Even if reciprocity were allowed, no Indian firm would go abroad to conduct legal business not because it has no talent, competency or efficiency but economically it would not be a viable proposition. The Indian lawyers have no resources to set up an establishment in a foreign country nor will the Indian Government render any assistance to them to promote their business in a foreign country. Even the large population of non-resident Indians would not desire to patronize the Indian lawyers even though they may be experts in their own field because the resident lawyers having full knowledge of the law of the country would be available to them at reasonable price because for the legal experts from India apart from the fees charged for the legal consultancy/service they may have to spend on their traveling expense also. The legal service by calling Indian experts would be very expensive for the non-resident Indians and they may not get full effective service since the Indian legal consultants may not be very conversant with the laws applicable there. It is only if any Indian party is concerned in a dispute and the question relates also to Indian law that Indian legal Consultant would be invited to a foreign country and not otherwise. Such occasions will be rare. The picture is different in case of foreign firms who do business across national borders, due to globalization. They demand foreign lawyers since they like to rely on the services of professionals in their own country who are already familiar with the firm’s business. If the foreign firms carrying on business in India require advice here on home country law, that can be made available to them by the Indian law firms or the Indian legal consultants. They can also prepare the legal documentation or provide the advisory service for corporate restructuring, mergers, acquisitions, intellectual property rights or financial instruments required by the foreign firms. These aspects will have to be seriously considered while considering the principle of reciprocity. Reciprocity should therefore be clearly defined and must be effective. It should be ensured that the rules and/or regulations laid down should be strictly complied with otherwise as is the experience, the rules remain on paper and what is practiced is totally different. The authorities either do not pay any heed to the violations or they overlook or ignore it as in the case of the Foreign law firms in India in the Enron deal, the permissions for such law firms to set up liaison offices came from the RBI which reports directly to the Finance Ministry. When these law firms violated the very conditions of being liaison offices the RBI overlooked or ignored it.

Some are of the view that instead of being perceived as a threat to lawyers, this should be seen as a move to raising standards within the profession but with reciprocal arrangements. The legal profession as it was practiced years before by the legal stalwarts did have a very high standard. However, today that standard of profession is nowhere to be seen or experienced. Legal profession has also become totally commercialized with no human or moral values. The standard has gone down considerably. However, the fees charged have tremendously increased, disproportionately to the service rendered to the clients. No effort is being made in any corner to set the wrong or malpractices which have crept in in the legal profession. On this background, what would be the “raised standards”? If at all the standards are raised, would the entire class of legal practitioners in India benefit or will it be only a small section of the legal practitioners who would be able to take advantage of the new situation? In that case, can this move be said to be in the interest of the legal practitioners? The situation so far as the FLC’s are concerned would be completely different since all the FLC’s who aspire to come to India will get equal treatment whereas the Indian legal practitioners would be deprived of equality in profession. Besides the FLC’s will have foreign clients and even though they are allowed to practice in India with a reasonable restriction of obtaining law degree in India, for some time definitely they will need Indian lawyers to get their work done. With the resources at their end and with the higher exchange rate in currency, they will be able to hire and retain young lawyers with substantial pay packages, though as compared to their fees in their country it would be much lower, with the result that good reputed Attorney’s/Solicitor’s Firms in India would lose their good hands and their work may suffer. Law Firms in U.S.A have funds equal to the annual budget of the State of Maharashtra. With such resources, in a short time, such FLF’s would do away with the existing law firms in India. On this background would our law firms withstand the competition and the quality of service, is an important question to be examined.

The U.S and some other advanced countries have large law firms operating on International scales which are primarily business organizations designed to promote commercial interest of their giant client corporations. The size, power, influence and economical standards of these large international law firms would definitely affect the legal system of our country adversely. We cannot match howsoever far we may stretch it, their size, power and most importantly economical standard. There is a limitation here on the number of partners in an Attorney’s/Solicitor’s firm. The number is restricted to 20 under the Partnership Act, which restriction is non-existent in a foreign law firm. To bring uniformity this limitation will have to be removed allowing for more partners, increasing of funding and manpower.

Moreover the FLF’s have “single window services” meaning services which not only include legal but also accountancy, management, financial and other advice to their clients. The multidisciplinary partnerships will cater to the needs of the clients in the above-mentioned different fields. Such partnerships may endanger the ethics of the legal profession as confidential information may be passed out within the partnership to the non-lawyer professionals. This would prejudicially affect not only the clients but also the lawyers since the independence of the lawyers would be compromised. Once the FLF’s and FLC’s are allowed entry into India the Bar Council of India will have to make rules and regulations also for such multidisciplinary partnerships or single window services. The multidisciplinary partnerships may look attractive but the crucial question is whether the quality of services and accountability of systems can be maintained? The code of ethics needs review to bring international legal practice under its purview.

The Foreign law firms may seek license for full and regular legal practice like that of Indian lawyers or they may come for a limited practice of consultancy for foreign partners on home country laws. Accordingly the rules and regulations will have to be framed to meet both these situations. The FLF’s who intend to come for regular legal practice may have to be subjected to immigration and citizenship laws. Those who seek limited practice may enter into partnerships with the home country law firms without any scrutiny from the organized legal profession. It is therefore necessary that a transparent, fair and accountable system be evolved to regulate and control the internationalization of legal practice.

With the globalization and liberalization policy not only foreign businessmen have come to India for investment but even the foreign goods and products such as agricultural products and other goods have entered the Indian market. The Indian goods and products have to face a tough competition with these foreign products which are cheaper though may not be better in quality. The result is that the Indian agriculturists and merchants are seriously prejudiced in their business. We also have the example of Enron which was in news where the Indian law was modified without probably realizing the adverse effect it would have on the electrical companies in the State. The agreements signed with Enron do not appear to be in the interest of the State or the Nation. However, such matters are thought of only later and not when the actual action is taken. With the present experience, it is felt that we should not be carried away with the idea of raising our standards or of being on par with the other developed countries where the guideline of reciprocity may be followed and the FLC’s and FLF’s would be allowed to enter the country. We have to be very alert and watchful and think well in advance to do away with any lacunas or loopholes in the rules and regulations that may be introduced to safeguard the interest of the lawyers in our country.

One more point which may need consideration is about the countries who would be interested in India. Would these countries be the members of the World Trade Organization or would even the non-member countries be allowed to enter India? If the entry is restricted to only the members of the WTO and if any non-member country desires to enter India, would the entry be denied merely on the ground that it is not the member of the WTO or whether the non-member would be allowed entry to show our fairness and equality of treatment? Thus many countries may be interested in coming to India due to the liberalization; globalization and privatization policy followed in India but the chances of the Indian firms going out of India to enter any foreign country would be remote. The principle of reciprocity may be introduced on paper but may not be effectively followed.

It may be mentioned here that the “Lawyer’s Collective” has filed a public interest litigation before the Mumbai High Court questioning the phrase “practice the profession of law” under section 29 of the Advocates Act. The respondents in their petition include some of the FLF’s which had set up their own liaison offices in India. It is needless to point out that all the above points may be discussed and examined in the above petition, the result of which is awaited.

The Indian legal profession has, in recent years, undergone a significant change, emerging as highly competitive and ready to move along with the ongoing wave of globalization. The interest of foreign law firms to open shop in India therefore is hardly surprising, since India offers a full range of legal services, of comparable quality, at literally a fraction of the price that would otherwise have to be paid. The rather conservative and if one may use the word, “protectionist” stand of the Bar Council of India on the matter has, however, prohibited foreign law firms from operating in India. A number of the more established ones, perhaps unable to resist the immense potential of the Indian legal markets, and in anticipation of the “globalization of legal services” under the aegis of the WTO, are slowly (and quite discreetly) establishing their presence in India, this in a considerable number of cases taking the form of their entering into associations with Indian firms, and in the process, literally operating in India indirectly, despite the prohibitions against the same. An issue that has therefore started to attract the attention of not simply Indian lawyers, but also law school grads, is the likely consequences of the entry of foreign firms in India. Shall this help an already growing Indian legal market, or shall it only mean a job loss for Indian law grads?

The fact remains that India is in the process of globalizing its economy. In the process, the legal market opening up to competition from the international legal market is rather inevitable. Instead of deliberating about the advantages and disadvantages of the legal markets being opened up to foreign firms, it is perhaps more sensible to accept that the entry of foreign firms in India is only a matter of time. However, this should not mean that their operations should nor be regulated, since otherwise they may just push out the Indian firms. For law school grads, their presence in India could well translate into an increasing range of job opportunities, apart from their presence in India significantly influencing the way in which the Indian legal market evolves in the 21st century.

Future of Online News Portals

No one thought that internet which began in the early 1990’s would have such a bright future that it will eventually hold such a powerful impact on our lives. Internet which is basically a global system of interconnected networks was made to serve billions of people worldwide irrespective of cast; creed or religion has today replaced many standard conventions of our daily lives. There is no surprise to the fact that most of the traditional media has also been reshaped.

For instance newspaper publishing has been remodeled to Web Sites, blogging and web feeds. When it all started, people were skeptical about the very whole idea of internet let alone forget about the news being remodeled. But as of now there are over a hundred million websites with billions of web pages. People are continuously switching to online media for news and entertainment related content, the reason being that nobody wants to pay for a thing that he/she can get foe free easily. As a result there is a constant slump (including some real big players of the industry) in the sales of the print editions of newspapers.

The online news sites often bring content that belongs to a particular geographical area but no one is complaining. For instance online gateways like India Report present select content from India. This kind of coverage gives the necessary focus which is required for such news related purposes and choice to people. The promise is reflected in the entertainment and sports section of these sites where the videos too are from local milieu keeping in mind the interests and preferences of people.

This kind of strategy of Online News Portals has a good chance of succeeding in near future with newspapers and the television media still lagging behind the online media. There will always be blogs and web feeds to supplement a newspaper or a news channel. Moreover news related content is available to the user as it happens, so no delay in reporting makes it a user friendly platform. Apart from serving news to the local public such portals are also reviving the interest of young generation in news and politics.

They continuously engage their audience by the means of polls, attracting attention with blogs and have an eye-catching photo gallery. As for entertainment these portals offer the content to the user at their convenience and in a crystal clear format with excellent sound quality making user experience an exciting one. The print and the electronic media have their task cut out. The online media have time going for them and there is no stopping them in near future also.

Renewable Energy: Can India Realize Its Unlimited Potential?

Driven by it increasing appetite for energy to fuel its economic engine, an over dependence on fossil fuels, increasing pollution levels across its major cities and a rising fuel import bill, India’s need to adopt and propagate the use renewable sources is more pressing than most.

To its credit, India has already made rapid strides towards achieving its core objectives in the renewable energy development domain. As a result of the concerted efforts put in by the central government and its Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in tandem with several state bodies and NGOs, India today is a leading global player in terms of its total installed wind power capacity and decentralized solar energy projects.

Solar energy is fast becoming the preferred option in the generation segment across a large number of states, driven largely by the ample sunlight across most parts of the country and multiple government incentives like tax holidays and capital subsidies.

Key factors like rapid improvements in technology, entry of fully integrated players and the sheer economics of scale have all combined to reduce capital costs of solar energy projects significantly in recent years. With this, several renewable energy projects including solar are expected to achieve grid parity as early as next year, when compared with costly to fuels such as LNG and imported coal.

According to the global clean energy communications and consulting firm, Mercom Capital, Indian solar installations are forecasted to be approximately 2,200 megawatt (MW) by the end of this year while its wind energy market is expected to attract investments totalling INR 1,00,000 crore ($15.7 bn) by the year 2020 while wind power capacity in the country is expected to almost double from over 23,000 MW in June 2015, with an estimated capacity augmentation of around 4,000 MW p.a over the next five years.

Realising its vast potential, the new Indian government has also announced a slew of big ticket programmes aimed at providing a new impetus to the Indian renewable energy development story. A list headlined by the announcement of a massive renewable energy power production target of 175,000 MW by 2022 (100,000 MW-solar, 60,000 MW-wind, 10,000 MW-biomass, 5,000 MW-small hydro power projects).

Other key initiatives include: announcing the National Wind Energy policy, approval for 15,000 MW of grid-connected solar power projects by the NTPC and the inclusion of the renewable energy under priority sector lending (PSL) by the RBI which has paved the way for banks to provide loans upto US$ 2.36 mn to borrowers for renewable energy projects.

Clearly, if things go as planned, India looks well set to occupy its rightful place as a leading producer of clean energy and a shining example for the rest of the world to follow.

Welspun Renewables is one of India’s leading players in the clean energy domain and is committed to establishing mega renewable energy projects in the country.

India Should Move With Caution On The Fijian Coup

India has done the right thing by reacting in a very cautious way to the coup in Fiji. The statement of the External Affairs Ministry is a pointer to this. The spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs, Navtej Sarna, said, “We are saddened to learn about the turn of events in Fiji and hope that the rule of law will prevail and power will be returned to the people at the earliest.” In a brief statement, Sarna said, “India greatly values its relations with Republic of Fiji Islands, a country with which we share historical and cultural links.”

New Delhi’s cautious response to the crisis in the South Pacific islands was based on the fact that this is the first coup which is not directed against the Indian community in Fiji. The issues, which have led to the coup, are two crucial bills the Prime Minister Laisinia Qarase sought to introduce. The first one was to provide amnesty to participants in the previous coup which had ousted the previous legitimate of Dr Mahendra Chaudhry, while the other related to fishing rights in coastal areas being given to indigenous Fijian Tribal landowners. If this two bills were passed it would have resulted in the people of Indian origin becoming a second rate citizen of that country. As land owing and fishing rights would have deprived the Indian community of its traditional business. Granting amnesty to the previous coup participants would have resulted in the political venerability of the Indian community. After coups in 1987 and 2000, over 100,000 Fijians of Indian origin have emigrated from Fiji between 1987 and April 2004, mainly to Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada. Prior to the 1987 coup the Indian community formed 51 % of the total population today it has come down to 44%.

The Indian community forms the backbone of the Fijian economy as most of them are in business related to tourism, sugar industry, plantations etc the rest are professionals. Passing of these two bills would have resulted the total isolation of the Indian community, as they would have become the object of hate and target .Now that the coup has been staged India should play its role well. Shrewd and fine art of diplomacy is the need of the hour for India now in relation to Fiji. India has to tread her path very cautiously as the coup have resulted in the overthrow of a democratically elected government at the same time she has to keep in mind the interest of the Indian community.

Fiji’s multi-government comprised Qarase’s Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) and the Fiji Labor Party (FLP) led by former Indo-Fijian Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry. Qarase, in a state-of-the-nation address around the same time as Bainimarama’s announcement, however rejected the military takeover and said that he was still very much in charge. “Let me assure you, categorically, that under no circumstances will I resign as prime minister, or give advice to His Excellency (President Ratu Josefa Iloilo) to dissolve parliament. I am the democratically elected prime minister, appointed in accordance with the constitution, and the general election in May gave my party a clear majority in parliament.”

Already Australia and New Zealand has imposed sanctions on Fiji after the coup .The United Nation has threatened to pull out the Fijian troops from UN peacekeeping mission and Britain has threatened to expel Fiji from the commonwealth. It is now time for the Indian government to act at the international level to ensure that democracy is restored in Fiji soon at the same time India should not loose the opportunity to bargain hard with the military controlled interim government there to restore the traditional rights of the Indian community so that they can get back their previous political and economic space in the Fijian society. The return of the Fijian Indians who left that country after the previous coups also should be settled once for all. Till India is able to achieve the rights of the people of Indian origin she should use all her diplomatic skills to ensure that Fiji is not isolated within the International community including the commonwealth as this could prove to very dangerous for the safety of the people of Indian origin in that country.

Digital Marketing Skills Are Requisite for Marketing Jobs, Find Out Why!

So you are a fresher and looking for marketing jobs? Here is a good piece of news for you! As per the India Skills Report 2014, there would be an increase of 18-23 percent of fresher hiring in sectors across. Companies are readily seeking fresh graduates to bolster productivity and growth. Also, the India Skills report is the joint effort of teams from Wheebox, PeopleStrong, HR Services, LinkedIn and Confederation of Indian Industry.

Let us now take a closer look as why a marketing aspirant needs to be familiar with the world of digital marketing.

As per the survey of industry body, Associated Chambers of commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), only 10 percent MBA’s in India are employable in reality. The prime reasons behind such a situation are the gap between industry specific skills and education. These days, marketing employers are not interested in candidate’s internships or grades; all they want is industry specific skills.

Today, the marketing landscape has changed drastically. If we talk about the present scenario, digital marketing is the booming industry that is expected to create 1.5 lakh jobs in the next five years. There is a huge demand of digital marketers, but still there is paucity of talent and professionals. Below listed are the five compelling reasons as why a marketing aspirant needs to have skills in online advertising.

Digital marketing is the future of marketing

There have been ample surveys and reports which claim that online marketing would be the future of marketing. This is a digital age. The tech savvy present age generation and the ever-growing internet population has the paved the path of digital marketing.

The rising popularity of Smartphone’s, tablets, smart TVs and so on have compelled the businesses to target and engage their potential audience through these digital channels.

Digital marketing skills are high in demand

Online marketing has been recognized as the top five careers to look out for. The hiring managers are readily looking for marketing candidates with the knowledge and skills in digital marketing. Be it real estate, hospitality, B2B businesses, retail, consultancy, manufacturing, export-import and many other industries are keen on hiring professionals with relevant skills in this domain.

Better pay in digital marketing jobs

Online advertising is indeed a lucrative career domain. I will tell you how. In online advertising, you can directly connect with your prospective client/customer and generate leads and sales in real-time. Since, professionals in this industry are involved in revenue generation, they are paid handsome salaries.

Wide variety of jobs in digital marketing

The prominent areas of employment include search engine optimization, social media marketing search engine marketing, content writing and so on.

So if you wish to land in your dream marketing job, make sure that you’re armed with digital marketing skills as it will give you an edge over your competitors. On a conclusive note, it would be good to say that a job in booming online marketing field will help you to carve a niche career.

The Textile Industry of Surat

Surat, an emerging city in the state of Gujarat, is known as the textile city of Gujarat. And, the epithet is perfectly suited to the city. The textile industry is one of the oldest and the most widespread industries in Surat. A major part of the city’s population is associated with the textile industry.

Overview of the Surat textile industry

The textile industry in Surat is mainly engaged in the activities of yarn production, weaving, processing as well as embroidery.

Surat is well known for its synthetic products market. It is mainly engaged in the production and trading of synthetic textile products.

Nearly 30 million metres of raw fabric and 25 million metres of processed fabric are produced in Surat daily. The city has several textile markets that exist since times immemorial. Zampa Bazaar, Bombay Market, JJ Textile Market and Jash Market are among them. Katat Gam, Magdalla and Udhana are the areas of Surat where manufacturing is mainly concentrated. In the course of time, people from various other places like Rajasthan and Kolkata settled in Surat in order to carry out their textile business.

Brands from Surat

The famous brands of Garden and Vimal textiles evolved from Surat. A few other brands like Parag and Prafful from Surat did become famous for a short time, but failed to create a lasting impression in the market.

Major markets

The main market for Surat’s textile products are India and other Asian countries. Around 90% of polyester used in India comes from Surat. However, international demand for its products is not very significant. The Middle East is the major export market for Surat’s textile products. According to experts, more improvisation in the quality is required to cater to the demands of the international market.


The Surat textile industry has grown considerably over time. As per recent figures, textile production in Surat has grown by 10% in the last 5 years, while the market for embroidery has grown from an almost negligible amount to around Rs. 30000 million over the same period.


One of the main reasons behind the growth of Surat’s textile industry is the city’s ability to adapt to changes and the latest trends. The city is quick to respond to any changes in the preferences of people. The industrialists here have strong entrepreneurial skills.

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The Duke of Wellesley’s Military Campaigns in India

History of the world is the history of warfare and India is no exception. Right from the times of the ancient epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, war as a culture has dominated Indian history. To start with there was what is known as the Hindu period, when Hindu kings ruled almost the entire sub-continent and beyond, like Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia.This was followed by the Muslim period, when progressively over a period of 9 centuries the Hindus became the ruled and the Muslims the rulers.

The Muslim period ended when the British came to India to trade, by forming the East India Company. It is one of the wonders of history that a company that came to trade, within a matter of 100 years became rulers of the sub-continent. This was by a superior application of military technology as well as a single mind devotion to the King of England and country. This was another period in Indian history when the war was the epitome of domination.War was the centerpiece and the clue to domination by the East India Company. It was only in 1858, after the mutiny in 1857 by a few sepoys of the Company’s army that Company rule was abolished and the crown itself took up the administration of the sub-continent. Queen Victoria was then designated Empress of Hindustan.

The English became the rulers of this vast area that at that time had a population of about 250 million. The English produced soldiers of caliber, who adapted to Indian conditions better than the Indians themselves. By means of superior tactics and devotion, they were able to defeat the Indians ( Both Muslims and Hindus) decisively. There were some men who played more than a greater part in this establishment of English rule and two of the foremost are Sir Robert Clive and two brothers Richard and Arthur Wellesley.

The Wellesley’s

The role of the Wellesley’s is something of which legends are made. They had no Indian blood, yet both deserve the epithet ” great”. Richard Wellesley was the Governor General of India while his brother Arthur Wellesley was a military genius. Arthur Wellesley became later the first Duke of Wellington and led the English and Prussian force as a Field Marshal against Napoleon at Waterloo ( 1815) and defeated him. The Napoleonic years ended and later Arthur Wellesley also later became Prime Minister of England.

Richard Wellesley was always a bit jealous of his brother, yet his contribution to British rule in India was immense. He presided over the English domain in India from Calcutta and proved that he was a genius himself. In his plan to wrest India from Indians, he was assisted by his brother Arthur, who put into practice the dream of Richard and in a series of military campaigns defeated the foremost Indian kings at that time. This was in the 18th/early 19th century.

Arthur Wellesley is bracketed along with the greats of world history in the pantheon of great warriors and conquerors like Alexander the Great and Chengiz Khan. He was however a chivalrous soldier who fought a war as a noble profession and treated the vanquished with compassion.The only act for which he can be held guilty was his order to shoot the tigers kept by Tippu as pets. All the tigers were shot dead.

Arthur Wellesley landed in India towards the end of the 18th century. He had a head start as his brother was the Governor General. This was the time when Tippu Sultan had spread terror among Hindus and Christians in the Malabar region. His father Hyder Ali had deposed the Hindu ruler of Mysore and crowned himself as Sultan. He had also attacked Madras. The English had no love for Tippu Sultan and a decision was taken to remove him. Part of this decision was the culmination of representations by Hindus to the Governor General complaining of atrocities on them by Tippu.

Campaigns of the Ist Duke of Wellesley in India

Arthur Wellesley started his military career in 1787 as a commissioned officer in the infantry. In 1796 he set sail for India and landed in Madras. His decision was influenced to a great extent by the fact that his brother was Governor General of India. He was part of the 33rd Infantry regiment which was moved to India to combat Tippu Sultan who had let loose a reign of terror.

Arthur Wellesley on arrival took stock of the situation and made an assessment of the military capability of Tippu Sultan. In a service paper which was presented at the Staff College, it was informed that his opinion of Tippu was of a bigoted ruler and on the advice of his brother he was tasked to defeat Tippu and restore the Hindu dynasty. He was also of the opinion that Tippu had little or no concept of tactics of offense and initiative in a campaign. He was proved right.

Arthur Wellesley got his act together and got ready for what is known as the 4th Anglo-Mysore War(1799). In this campaign Wellesley marched with his force from Madras towards Mysore. The army covered 10-15 miles a day and was accompanied by servants, comfort women, shopkeepers and cooks. Tippu heard of the advancing army, but decided to shut himself in his fortress. This is an action difficult to comprehend as offence is the best form of defence. He could have moved against the Company force, but his playing a waiting game by holing up in his fortress gave the initiative to the Company army.

Wellesley surrounded the fortress of Seringapatnam and he ordered an assault. the fort was breached and Tippu died fighting. Wellesley had removed the greatest obstacle to English rule in the South. He was appointed as governor of Seringapatam and also promoted to Major- General. It was a great victory. The Hindu ruler was reinstated and Arthur was congratulated by his brother Richard.

A look at the map of South India will show that Wellesley marched nearly 300 km from Madras to battle Tippu and there is no doubt that despite coming from a cold area like England, he adjusted to the rigors of the sub -continent and heat of South India in particular with aplomb.

Arthur was now tasked by his brother to destroy the Maratha Confederacy. The mantle of rulers of India had fallen on the Maratha’s after Mughal rule had collapsed and they had to be checked. The Duke took part in the Second Maratha war ( 1803-5) and once again showed his military genius.

At the turn of the 19th century, the Maratha’s were a divided lot. The ruler of Indore, Holkar had fled to the British for help. Arthur Wellesley was tasked with curbing the power of Peshwa Baji Rao II. Arthur commenced his campaign in 1803. He was a Major -General at that time. This is known as the Deccan campaign and he started with an assault on Ahmednagar, which he reduced on 12 August 1803. this was a significant move as Ahmednagar was a pivot for supply chain of the Maratha army.

Wellesley now marched towards Assaye with a force of 4500 soldiers. He was opposed by Scindia and the Peshwa with a force of 10500. In a bloody battle, the English carried the day and over 6000 Maratha soldiers were killed. The British also suffered 1600 dead, but this victory effectively sealed Maratha dominance. Subsequently on orders of Wellesley, the British force under Colonel Stevenson occupied Burhanpur( now in Madhya Pradesh).

The Marathas were getting ready for a last fling and Bhosle with a force of 40000 opposed the English at what is known as the Battle of Argaon. This battle on 29th November resulted in over 5000 Maratha being killed to only about 350 English dead. It was decisive victory and once again Wellington showed his genius as a soldier.

Arthur continued his march and surrounded the fortress of Bhosle and captured it. The Maratha’s again suffered heavy casualities and over 4000 were killed to a handful of English soldiers.

Wellesley decimated the Maratha’s who then sued for peace. By end of the year Scindia signed the Treaty of Arjungaon and ceded vast rights to the English.

Assessment of Arthur Wellesley’s Campaigns in India

When we study the military campaigns of Arthur Wellesley in India, we realize that he led a campaign spread over two thousand miles. Though Wellesley went back after the Second Maratha war, the effect of his military campaigns was stupendous. He beat the Indian Generals and Kings at their own game and put the East India Company Raj on a firm footing. The Company became the paramount power in India and all credit must got to the First Duke of Wellington. Later when the Duke met Napoleon in Battle, he was a Field Marshal and there also he won. So in case Tippu and the Marathas were defeated by him, it was no shame as they were confronted by a man with a razor sharp brain and military strategist. The Indian generals failed to size Arthur Wellesley who along with his brother Richard laid the foundation of the Raj.

One can debate endlessly as to whether the Raj was good or bad for India, but what can’t be debated is that men like Arthur Wellesley beat the Indians fair and square. There is no doubt that just on the strength of his military campaigns in India, the First Duke of Wellington deserves the title “great”.

Could Celebrities Be Cutting-Edge Marketers – Leading Online Business Entrepreneurs?

“Where is The Future of Online Business –

Could Celebrities be showing mainstream business the way?”

Have Your Competitors ‘Caught On” and already Talking to Your Customers in this latest marketing evolution for Web Success? (And are they doing it Auto-matically and VERY Cheaply!) SO MANY Crucial Questions to answer… please read on.

The following Report is the Cover Story for “Australian Business Solutions” magazine



There is a buzz around on the television news, radio, in the print media, at business networking groups and meetings and especially on the internet right now. There seems to be a shift of focus for how people look for products and services and then decide how they spend their money.

In terms of influence and power, the new way people search for products and services and make their buying decisions online could even rival the search engines. And it’s been said that this buzz could be the single biggest thing to happen in business since the industrial revolution!

Sounds over the top, but is there enough evidence (for you) to be a part of it too? And is this buzz a fad or could it be here to stay?

If you’ve watched TV news or listened to radio or brought a newspaper in the past 2-3 years, you will have noticed references to websites in both stories and advertising, where you can find out more – including how to get more information about a product or service and/or how to buy instructions. In more recent times nearly every news presenter, TV show host, journalist and celebrity are also promoting how you can ‘follow’ their lives, interests and activities online too – and it all seems to be centred around websites such as,,, and more, collectively known as Social Engines.

Celebrities are using these sites to raise their profile, build their brand and most importantly, solidify their popularity and [hopefully] longevity in their profession and industry. AND, these sites enable their audience (loyal army of fans) to talk directly back to them. And this is at the heart of the buzz and current shift – and why it’s so very important you read on and learn more.

On the Social Engine, Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres have more followers (fans) than the entire populations of Ireland, Norway and Panama. Their brand awareness and popularity building is personal, although as that increases, so too does their value to corporations looking for product endorsements to drive their market penetration and increase their market share.

Sporting stars like celebrities have broadened their talent base too, becoming more entrepreneurial and business savvy, seeing their name, brand and product value increase, in many cases, to a higher income level than the actual core sporting talent. In other words, acting, playing a sport, being a comedienne or whatever is their core talent is no longer their only talent. They have embraced the concept of brand building (and protection), marketplace communications and conversations – opting for direct contact via sources like online Social Engines. Here they can touch far more people quicker and easier than say a traditional autograph signing exercise.

A true business woman, leader and entrepreneur, celebrity Oprah Winfrey instantly connects and updates a loyal army of over 2 million+ people that follow her on Twitter. Her power and influence is no surprise or revolution in itself, but her army of followers are able to directly provide instant feedback and ideas to her too -and marketplace feedback is a life blood to your business growth and long term sustainability. (Try ignoring it and see where your business goes.) Everyone wants to be heard and Social Engines give you, your business and your customers a voice.

A loyal army of followers can also provide a viral effect to disseminate information quickly too, meaning they can ‘spread the word for you’ if you ask them to – this can be particularly useful if you want to spread good news and conversely if your brand comes under attack via other mainstream media mechanisms or on the Social Engines themself.

Although it might be hard to fathom, could celebrity entrepreneurs like these be showing more traditional businesses how to connect, behave, build our brand, increase our marketplace value and build our business too using these Social Engines?

Is this a valid idea and model for mainstream business or not?

Firstly, the power of Social Engines extends far beyond alone. Some of the other leading Social Engine sites sprout some pretty impressive visitor and member statistics, as well as services. – If it was a country rather than a website, it would be the world’s 3rd largest after China and India.

On Facebook there are more than 250 million active users and more than 120 million of them log on to Facebook at least once each day and more than 5 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day (worldwide). The fastest growing demographic is 35 years old and older and within that, the fastest growing segment is 55-65 year-old females. Do people 35+ and women influence the buying decision for your products and services? This is worthy of your attention.

And there’s more… more than 1 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared each week on Facebook alone and more than 2.5 million events are created and advertised each month. More than 45 million active user groups exist on the site and more than 50 language translations of that content are available on the site. The people supplying all this content include business owners and professionals, some of whom are surely in your industry and probably your competitors. And if you think because you’re a localised business that this doesn’t count, you’ll find this statistic most enlightening- 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States.

All of those statistics are just for Facebook alone (source

You can also purchase Pay Per Click and Pay Per Impression advertising on Facebook (and other Social Engines). They take your spend to a whole new level of value and ROI with their member data allowing you to display your adverts for keywords AND additional, specific demographics of the member base. For example you can display your advertising message to women, 55+ in Melbourne who are single. You can even target people specifically on their birthday with a relevant offer. – take a look at YouTube (which is owned by Google for good reason) – People are watching hundreds of millions of videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily. In fact, every minute, ten hours of video is uploaded to YouTube -including promotional videos, education, product consumption/direction videos and client testimonials for business. Plus every video you add to YouTube includes a spot on the webpage where you can put a link back to your website. PLUS you can add these videos to your blog posts, making them more interesting to your blog readers on other Social Engines too (more about blogs in a moment).

YouTube’s user base is broad in age range, 18-55, evenly divided between males and females, and spanning all geographies. Fifty-one percent of users go to YouTube weekly or more often, and 52 percent of 18-34 year-olds share videos often with friends and colleagues.

And could this be the good reason Google brought YouTube? It’s the 2nd largest search engine in the world today, 2nd only to If you want to connect with your marketplace on volume, this is worthy of your attention. – let’s take a statistical look at that quickly too. Twitter’s footprint has expanded impressively in the first half of 2009, reaching 10.7 percent of all active Internet users in June with 83.1% of users over the age of 25. In July 2009, the Twitter website recorded 23,284,395 unique visitors – who else wants to be ‘front-of-mind’ to an audience of that size? Does your target market include people 25+? This is worthy of your attention.

Twitter has been described as the “Pulse of the Planet” given its instant, viral spread-the-word-to-the-world-instantly nature. It has boosted box office numbers and it’s killed them too, just ask the makers of the movie “Bruno” – overnight ticket sales dropped by more than half thanks to the frank and instant feedback from those that had just seen it. It was so quick too because 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices. People update anywhere, anytime – imagine what that means for bad customer experiences and you!

Do you let your customers walk away with a bad experience, only to stand out the front of your store or hang up the phone and blast their frustration and disappointment to hundreds, thousands maybe millions of people -in the ‘heat of the moment’?

The true power of Social Engines is not to be feared, it is to be embraced and when done well, you can influence large numbers of people in the ways you want them to know and represent you. This is worthy of your attention.

Understanding the nature of Social Engine participation is important and the question to answer is – What are people doing on these Social Engines? They are looking for ideas, insights, invites, offers, information, inspiration and conversation.

Savvy business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals are providing it all to them and at the same time, in a more passive or softer way than conventional advertising, promoting their business, building their reputation and ultimately getting more leads and customers to their web sites. These business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals are using resources within services like Facebook that include a Personal Profile Page, Business and Product Pages, Fan Clubs, Groups, Time-sensitive Events/Promotions, Classified Advertising (PPC) and more… and the really smart ones are sharing content direct from their website blog feed too (more about that in a moment).

Then there are sites like LinkedIn, a professional social network and directory of business owners and professionals who can communicate quickly and easily with one another. In a 2009 survey, 80% of businesses and companies who are members were using LinkedIn as a primary recruitment tool to find new employees. This is worthy of your attention.

On these Social Engines, people can say what they want about you and it’s uncensored. What do you do about it? Ignore it and hope the customers and prospects that really matter to you don’t see it? Should you take a proactive approach and start by monitoring what’s been said about you and then start providing your brand of information, insights, ideas and inspiration to your marketplace and control the information flow you want through them?

We are living in an era now where what happens in Vegas goes ON and STAYS ON YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and more.

“Because of the speed in which social media enables communication, WORD of mouth has become WORLD of mouth.”

Love them or hate them, social engines are here to stay simply because ‘the people’ love them and trust others on them. Facebook and MySpace are among the most popular destinations on the web. And even though they can be extremely annoying, there is one inescapable fact: the most irritating thing about Facebook is the 200m-strong army of people who use it.

And here’s the final enlightening point- Social Engine participation has overtaken pornography as the #1 activity on the Web.

SO Do you get involved or not? And if so, how do you do it easily and cheaply but still ‘play the game’ like a Celebrity with a 2m+ loyal army of followers?

The reality is that even if you’re not involved, your customers and prospects AND competitors probably are – and they’re talking to one another, perhaps about you and without you so the sooner you start, the better chance you have to becoming both a part of the conversation and then lead it.

The answer for businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals is automation – this is the single biggest break-through strategy and tactic that very few people have worked out, including many larger corporations who are successfully using Social Engines but they are not leveraged with automation, also known as things happening ‘auto-magically‘.

In many cases, businesses are employing specialist online staff on top of web masters and advertising/SEO experts. With automation, you can do a whole lot for very little extra time and virtually no money.


At its essence or core are six words that will transform the way you generate leads and make repeat sales online – those words are YOUR WEBLOG FEED PLUS SOCIAL ENGINES.

A Weblog or blog as it’s more commonly known is a type of website or part of an existing website that allows you to add content as blog posts or articles and display them on your website – content like information, ideas, insights, offers, news, invites, images and more and you can create blog posts quickly and easily without ever needing to get a webmaster to do it for you.

There are over 200,000,000 Blogs online today and that number grows every day. Again, not all blogs and blog owners are equal, many are neglecting to include automation and leverage and integration with Social Engines so there are many nay-sayers about blogging, but that attitude is changing as more people are enlightened.

A Feed or RSS Feed as it’s more commonly known will distribute your blog posts well beyond just displaying them on your website. Feeds permit subscription to regular updates of your blog posts, delivered ‘auto-magically‘ via a web portal, news reader, or in some cases good old email. Feeds also make it possible for your content (information) to be packaged into “widgets,” “gadgets,” mobile devices, and other technologies as shortened or full length messages, which Social Engines happen to LOVE. Your Feed makes it possible to display blog posts just about anywhere on the web or web connected device and most importantly directly to the millions of people online every day.

That means a Blog with an RSS Feed can ‘auto-magically‘ distribute information you create about you, your business, your products and your services quickly and easily across thousands of sites on the web. And you only have to create your pieces of content once!

A blog is a powerful code (invisible to the human, non-techie eye) and every time you add content to an existing or new blog post, like you would add content to a word document, it is distributed around the web in seconds and is fed directly into the biggest marketplaces and communities of people online every day.

What makes a blog with a feed even more powerful is that it reaches the biggest sources of people (leads) online – who by the way are not just using Search Engines anymore to find out about products and services, they are also using the “Social Engines”. PLUS your Blog Feed can also ‘auto-magically‘ update Google and Yahoo about your site too, so you still stay connected with the Search Engines for no more extra work, or money.

Now if you’re anything like me, when I first heard about these Social Engines, I dismissed them as not being a viable business and marketing channel because they appeared to be for personal networking and friendship (and they are indeed used for those reasons). Whilst many businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals are using these engines and winning new business – only a handful are doing it easily and quickly, because most of them do not know about the power of connecting your Weblog RSS Feed and how it fits in with using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg and hundreds more Social Engines.

In my own experience, I was wrong to not get involved with Blogs and Social Engines sooner (like many business owners and professional managers still are) as my competitors began to build an edge I did not have with my marketplace, simply because I did not understand and connect these two key points about connecting your blog directly to Social Engines. If you want to find new customers quickly and easily and build better sales from existing customers:

  1. Your website must be a Blog with a Feed and/or include one as part of your website
  2. Your online marketing mix and strategy must include sharing your blog post information with people on Social Engines like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg etc.

And here’s why…

Your competitors have possibly already figured out that social engines are where they can connect with people who include your customers and potential customers because the Social Engines are where your customers and potential customers are going online – and they’re going to these Engines regularly and for long periods of time. And people are making buying decisions based on the conversation they are having and the feedback they are hearing.

Even if you [believe you] have no competition, you’re not connecting with your marketplace as directly and as easily as you can, if you are not using the true power of Social Engines. These online sources or marketplaces attract people 24/7/365, who stay for a while each time. How could you NOT promote you, your business and your products and services there?

Every time you add content to your blog, it is circulated out to many Social Engines, once you set up a FREE account with them… people at these Engines who have an interest in what your business offers then come to your website to find out more.

Here’s an example of how your website Blog, its Feed and these Social Engines work together. (Note this diagram also includes the two largest Search engines -let’s not forget them. Using your Blog and RSS Feed, you can ‘auto-magically’ update them too.)

At the centre of this relationship are your website blog and its RSS Feed. Every time you add content to your blog, the Feed distributes it out to the Social and Search Engines with a link back to your website. People on the Social Engines instantly see a summary of your blog post and a link back to your blog/website. If they are interested in you, they click on the link and follow it back to your website to find out more about you and move forward with you.

“Although we like to feed information to the Search Engines for free listings, the Social Engines outperform them in providing INSTANT, FREE traffic (people) to your website… meaning Social Engines host millions of people live online at any given time who are exposed to your blog post instantly… and not only will they follow your link back to your blog/website if they are interested, they also have the power to make your Feed ‘viral’ – voluntarily passing it on to their friends who in turn pass it on… and so on.

The Social Engines and the people on them help you grow your prospect and customer base quickly, easily and cheaply – you can’t get any cheaper than free!”

The Social Engines are places where people go to and stay at; whereas Search Engines are places people only pass through ‘in search of’ a final site destination. This is the major difference and the significant extra power you’re missing out on if you are not involving your business in the Social Engines. Remember though, the Blog Feed is vital to ensuring your participation is mostly ‘auto-magic’ otherwise participating in them could over run your day, your week and your life!

The Blog Feed allows you to ‘auto-magically‘ update the Social Engines, minimizing the ‘air time’ you personally allocate to this.

So, who’s already taking this seriously and using Social Engines as a powerful, quick, cheap and easy tool and media to generate free leads quickly too?

Firstly, no matter your business, products and services, you’ll find prospects and possibly existing clients already participating in these sites on a regular basis. You are bound to find your competitors there too, it makes good business sense to be present on an Engine where millions of people congregate, converse and seek out people with the products and services they require – someone in your industry is probably joining them and being ‘front-of-mind’ and it should be you.

Everyone that gets it commits to it. These world-wide companies, brands and industry leaders have dedicated resources to connect and cultivate relationships with prospects and clients on the Social Engines with reportable, measurable results:

Motor Vehicle Industry: Chevrolet, Ford, General Motors, Honda

Travel and Tourism Industry: JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Luxor Las Vegas, Marriott International Hotels and Resorts, Carnival Cruise Lines, Hertz Car Hire

Sporting Teams: Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego Chargers

Entertainment: 92Y, The Travel Channel, ComCast, Marvel Entertainment, Direct TV, Pop Caps, TV Guide

Finance: Wachovia, H&R Block, Intuit

Retail: Best Buy, The Home Depot, American Apparel, Rubbermaid, Whole Foods,

Food and Beverage: Starbucks, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, Popeye’s Chicken, Tastidlite, Kraft Foods (see Vegemite Case Study below)

Other Global brands: Dell Computers, EMC and Kodak – all benefitting by directly connecting with their target marketplace – whether that’s existing customers and/or potential customers.

Case Study:

Kraft Foods have taken an interesting Corporation-Consumer collaborative approach to product promotion and development using Social Engines. Here’s what they say about their social engine strategy:

For many of our strong brands such as Vegemite – we acknowledged that we are simply (proud) brand custodians and that the brand is owned by ‘the people’. We focused our first two years of social engine participation on simply listening and asking questions.

Two of these questions were:

  1. How do you individually like your Vegemite?
  2. If there ever was to be a Vegemite variation what would this be?

Recently Kraft launched their latest product “Name me” a vegemite plus cream cheese experience. Here’s how they are using Social Engines to develop it.

“This is a work in progress; we spent two years listening and now with the product on shelves the Kraft Communications team is engaging with Vegemite loyalists and cynics alike on the 12 top social engines. They are engaging and getting samples out on and off line- and encouraging debate on the new products. There are a number of Facebook groups sitting in the following camps: pro original, pro new flavour and anti new flavour.”

This is just one way Social Engines are helping businesses already to grow brand, product and corporate awareness. There are many other ways to use it too that can and do lead to direct and immediate sales. No matter the size of your business and marketplace, Social Engines, like the internet at large give you a level playing field with industry leaders like Kraft Foods and the others mentioned here.

Your website with a blog and feed will provide regular content to the Social Engines ‘auto-magically’. You need to support that by also visiting the main Social Engines and engaging people on a weekly basis, as it forms part of your marketing, CRM and all the other pay-offs mentioned previously.

Adding content regularly to your Blog Feed, ‘auto-magically‘ keeps you in touch and front of mind to millions of people around the world, on the Social Engines (and Search Engines) so they can access your business, products and services quickly and easily.

The buzz appears to be more than a fad so for your business it becomes not a question of ‘if’ these Social Engines are going to be a valuable marketing tool for business. Rather, the question now is:

“How quickly will you get your business on the Social Engines

… to Capture Your Competitors Clients too?”


Here’s a checklist to help you get started with your new, exciting and FREE Social Engine Strategy:

1) Get a Blog website with a domain name of your choice OR if you already have a website, get a new sub domain or folder added called blog

2) Open an account with at Google, Feedburner, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, and LinkedIn.

3) Install an RSS Blog Feed and set up a Pinging list on it then add your Blog feed to the Search and Social Engine accounts you created in the step above.

4) Create content-rich education videos that can be added to your YouTube account and your Blog – that is then ‘auto-magically‘ added to your Search and Social Engine accounts.

5) Actively participate in or create new Facebook Groups, Events and Pages.

6) Make promotional videos about you, your business, your products, how you help and support people and upload them to your YouTube Channel then add them to your blog posts.

To really make this all work well for you, you need to know there is a big secret in succeeding with growing your business using Social Engines. You’ve read this far, so here it is: Social Engine success rest largely with you getting to grips with:

  1. Being a ‘face’ of your business and allowing people to connect with your ‘authenticity’ as a person ahead of a product, and
  2. the need to ‘listen’ to your marketplace, innovate with change to meet their ever-changing needs and then share information that will help them, rather than push product.

Millions of dollars are spent monthly with pay per click advertising on these sites and more millions are paid to ‘search engine specialists’ who supposedly help you reach number 1 ranking on keywords relevant to your business. It’s a fierce fight between serious players for top spots on search engines, both free and paid listings. An entire industry is built on it and around it. But you now know how to become a leader in your industry on the most powerful Social (and Search) Engines online today and how to do it Quickly, Cheaply, Easily and Auto-Magically.

In some cases, target market demographics may not be using Social Engines; therefore it would not be worthwhile. Consider these statistics when making your evaluation:

78% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Do you rely on 3rd party endorsements to build buyer confidence? If this is not a necessary part of your marketing and sale process, you may be able to ignore Social Engine Marketing.

Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like David Ogilvy – Listening first, selling second. Would your competitors be prepared to connect and listen to your prospects and customers directly to discover what they want, and then give it to them? If not, then you may be able to ignore Social Engine Marketing… and least for a little while.

The worst part is the first part. When you start, your ‘following’ could be small but that is far better than not monitoring what’s been said about you at all! The only way to change that is to get in the game!

Get started right now, before your competitors do -it’s the future of marketing your business online, because that is where the people you want as your customers are going online. It’s only a matter of time before someone in your industry emerges as the leader on the Social Engines – get you and your business front-of-mind first. Enjoy the experience and I’ll ‘meet and tweet you’ on the Social Engines of the World!

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