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Adventure has always been a well anticipated respite from the humdrum of daily affairs. Hence, the popularity of adventure sports have grown by leaps and bound, be it for bungee jumping, sky diving or others, with people accepting such activities as a regular rejuvenator. Especially in a land that is as conservative as India, where the norm was more concentrated cultural diversity and not risk taking activities.

The bond India has with sports goes back to the age of the Vedas. In prehistoric India, physical exercise was an indispensable feature of the lifestyle of the people. Yet the modern Indian demands for activities that are more challenging, to add a sense of validation and accomplishment in completing them. With globalization, the mindset has shifted to trying newer things in search of that rush of adrenaline.

Additional to this, the rising Indian GDP gives substantial increase in the amount of readily dispensable cash, leading to people splurging on such engaging outings.

One can contribute the endless scope of adventure tourism in India to its diverse topography and climate- factors that have been famed for drawing in tourists. On land and water, under water and in the air, one can enjoy a veritable bouquet of adventure, fit for personal levels of thrill. It can be considered as one of the greatest opportunities to leave all inhibitions behind and just let go.

This has brought a great deal of economy to even the remotest regions like Himachal Pradesh. In fact, the hilly districts of the nation have received additional boost from the advent of such activities. Regions like Rishikesh have aced the adventure sports wave by hosting a plethora of diverse activities in its serene environs.

Today, business tour combined with active sports has become a highly popular trend across organisations; this is now a global corporate strategy for employee entertainment and well being. Moreover, rise of national and international championships such as Cricket World Cup, Soccer World Cup, Wimbledon, Commonwealth Games 2010, Delhi have lead to a hike in sports, encouraging the government to take a note of this emerging industry.

The government enabled initiations have done their fair bit in uplifting the cause. The ministry of tourism and culture have added weightage to the cause through their campaign- ‘Incredible India!’ A campaign that promotes the diversity and quirks in Indian culture. This has given a tremendous boost to adventure tourism in India, through its bespoke advertisements urging people to take India as a place to experience life. This has further led to an increase in curiosity from both, locals as well as international citizens to witness all this at a firsthand basis.

Therefore, it won’t be incorrect to say that, India has limitless potential when it comes to adventure sports. However, with all the opportunities attached, India comes with its share of shortcomings as well. Lack of safety, infrastructure and awareness are the key inhibitors of the same. India, being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, should focus attention more on promoting adventure sports as a way of life. To bridge this gap and harness the power of endless opportunities, I have come up with Jumping Heights, a revolutionary platform to take adventure sports to its original glory.



Written by Rahul Nigam, Founder and Managing Director of Jumpin Heights

Saturday, 23 September 2017 00:00

5 Social Media mistakes you need to avoid

These days, brands in all shapes and sizes are posting actively on social media sites, trying to get their market’s attention. If you’re launching a new brand or business, you need to prepare to fight for some of the social user’s precious browsing time. Get ready to use your digital space the right way.

Social media marketing goes far beyond sharing photos, streaming live videos, or posting news. Even a combination of brilliant timing, insightful knowledge, and sharp wit cannot always guarantee success. So, if competition is tough, careful planning is necessary.

Here are five of the most common misguided marketing practices on social media today:

Misunderstanding Your Target Market

Take the case of Dove’s marketing team, for instance. They thought it would be a good idea to ask women to pick the right shape of soap bottle that matches their body type. The campaign drew a lot of flak from social media users. Dove misunderstood its market, because it failed to consider what women don’t want: being categorized and labelled.

The same thing applies in social media marketing. Knowing the market demographics means barely scratching the surface of your market profile. It is necessary to study your targets market’s principles and goals. Understanding your market means knowing what they value and why.

Sharing Fake News

It’s bad enough that the internet is teeming with fake reports and alternate facts, but we live in a world where social media users are too lazy to verify the accuracy of a ‘shocking’ news before spreading it out. If you have to share news and current affairs, do it methodically. Run a bit of research. Study the reputation of the publication that originally published the story. You will lose your market’s trust if they cannot trust you to sort fact from fiction.

Redundancy

Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other accounts are probably followed by the same readers. So, instead of posting the same thing across all channels, think of ways to make your post unique for each platform.

Some digital advisers would even advise against having accounts in all the social media channels. For your market to stay close to you, you should really focus on them one social channel at a time.

Flooding

If there’s a developing story (say, you’re reacting to a live broadcast or a big news), your series of relevant tweets and status updates would be acceptable to some extent. On normal days, however, stick to a minimum of three posts a day, with a maximum of six.

Social media users generally log on to their social accounts around brunch, lunch, and dinner time. These are great timings for posting new updates. Even if you’re posting just three items a day, your reach will be good enough as long as you follow the right schedule for posting stories.

Poor Support Communication

Being on social media does not only mean you would be promoting your brand. It also means you will be opening your door to anyone who can leave a comment on your page. Make sure you can reply to the comments right away.

Should you receive some form of complaint on your page, make sure you could address the issue in a calm and professional way. This way, other followers could see that you are able to handle concerns in a professional and timely manner.

 

Written by Manish Agarwal, Brand Head at Zee Entertainment Enterprises and a Digital and Social Media Strategist from IIM Calcutta.

Apple celebrated the 10th anniversary of the iPhone with both updates to its existing product lineup and the opening of the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, CA on its new campus with the much-anticipated doughnut or spaceship building.

Apple generates its revenue from selling hardware or products with most of the revenue from iPhones. Convincing consumers both to upgrade and adopt new products is challenging. Moreover, experiences with products are ever more dependent on its ecosystem of partners for content and services. Apple (as always) did an outstanding job of showcasing the experiences consumers can have with its products. It also dropped the price on older (yet still very new) devices to make them more affordable.

Here’s my take on Apple’s three big product announcements of the day:

Series 3 Watch: The Apple Watch has already overtaken the Rolex as the number one selling watch in the world. With the Series 3, Apple continued to build out health and fitness capabilities, and this year’s enhancements focused on the heart – the monitor, EKG’s and more. The combination of fitness apps, GPS, waterproofing, seamless syncing with apps and more makes this a compelling fitness device. Apple also added a cellular radio to the Watch to allow consumers to make/receive phone calls, use Siri, and access the Internet to stream music, for example. The Watch will share a phone number with the iPhone. What isn’t yet clear is if it will demand extra service charges from the carrier.

The Watch keeps getting better and the fitness enthusiast in me can’t wait to get the Series 3. I’m completely hooked on the magic of the existing use cases such as paying, tracking speed and swim laps, getting notifications and more. I look forward to leaving both my wallet and smartphone at home. However, these experiences are unlikely to offer a compelling enough experience that the Watch crosses the chasm from “nice to have” to “I can’t leave home without it” for the vast majority of consumers. Apple needs that to happen to turn the Watch into a substantial revenue stream.

AppleTV: The new AppleTV will have 4K including apps for live sports with personalization features. Apple will also upgrade users’ content libraries free of charge. Apple experiences depend more and more on the quality of content and services from its ecosystem partners. Consumers will be more willing to pay for content whether it is an app, music, video and more if they can use it seamlessly across their own ecosystem of devices in the home, car and on-the-go. The more components or devices a consumer owns, the less likely they are to switch brands. The open question will be the role of apps and how ubiquitous they become across platforms. In addition to Google, Apple competes against Amazon as well as both content and service providers in the home.

iPhone X: The updates to the iPhone 8/8S was the appetizer – and everyone in the audience knew it. After discussing the usual updates, Tim Cook then announced the ‘future of the smartphone’ and key new features weren’t far from the press leaks. Apple’s iPhone X new features include more advanced cameras, FaceID, an AI chip to make the magic happen on the hardware, and more gesture or swipe-based controls. These features will have the most impact on how consumers use the phone for photography (the technology will make us all look like professionals), communication (Animoji), finding/opening apps and gaming. I’m in love with portrait-mode photos and selfies – now portrait-mode selfies – killer. And, finally, Apple introduced its users to wireless charging.

Each time the price increases on the smartphones, we question whether consumers will ante up for new devices. Is there enough new there? Apple has a loyal base of users who will – its customers are accustomed to paying a premium and appreciate the quality of the experience and the seamless integration with other devices they own.

Apple excels at demonstrating the experience consumers can have with its devices. Getting consumers to upgrade devices isn’t easy, and experience improvements will be more subtle as we go forward and are more dependent on AI. Consumers won’t pick up the new iPhoneX necessarily and think it is so much better, but in 2019 they will look back at the iPhone7 and earlier models and think to themselves, “This experience is so much better than the one I had before.”

 

Written by Julie Ask,Vice President, Principal Analyst at Forrester

The event witnessed participation from Industry Leaders, Thought Leaders and Policy Makers from around the world.

The focus was on creating a roadmap for the power sector and envisioning energy security for the country 

Network18 hosted the India Power Conclave, an Idea Leadership Forum on the energy sector, yesterday at Hyatt Regency in New Delhi. The day-long conclave witnessed key stakeholders from the Central and State Governments and some of the biggest and most influential leaders from the industry – all of them were present together on a common platform to chalk out a roadmap for the sector and envision energy security for the country.

Moderated by Senior editors from Network18 including Shereen Bhan, Manisha Natarajan, Nithya Balakrishnan, Anshu Sharma and Shruti Mishra, the conclave was designed to carry out conversations around the future, the new-age practices introduced and at the same time, analyse the significant changes seen so far - factors that have contributed to the development of the power industry.

The different sessions took a holistic look at the energy perspective in Indian states, energising DISCOMs, next-gen technologies, energy entrepreneurs, renewable energy, global best practices and more, with participation of CXOs from public and private companies in the power sector.

The Chief Guest of the day, Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India shared his vision on the Indian power sector in an interaction with the Industry Leaders present at the conclave.

Some of the key statements made at the India Power Conclave:

R.K. Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy:

We were given about 18,000 villages, which were not electrified. We have already covered 15,400. Govt will be calling in bids for 20,000 MW of wind and solar energy.As the India growth story advances, the demand for power will grow. This is a good time to invest in India. Expect a major announcement regarding the power sector from PM Modi on the 25th of September.

Shrikant Sharma, Energy Minister, Uttar Pradesh:

We have a commitment to give power to all, under the vision of PM Modi and our UP Chief Minister. Earlier electricity was provided in only five districts of Uttar Pradesh, which has increased to 75 districts now. Our vision is to light up all villages in UP by 2018. Power theft is a national crime. Legal action will be taken against people who try to hinder it. PM Modi's Digital India dream will now come true as all energy related facilities are being made available online.
Before October 2018, under the Power for All scheme, 1 crore 10 lakh un-electrified families and 59,000 primary schools will be provided with electricity.

Some of the key statements made by other speakers were:

Peter Nicholls, Fellow, Perth USAsia Centre - India can be a hub of innovation in the power sector. The issue is not investment, its mindset and determination.

Nina Vaskunlahti, Ambassador of Finland to India - India needs to be more innovative to answer the challenges of the power sector. Surroundings and needs defer, hence solutions need to differ to answer demands.

Dr. Rahul Tongia, Fellow, Brookings India - Commercial and industrial tariffs for power in India are too high. The richest states in India have some of the highest residential subsidies.

MM Nayak, CMD, Southern Power Distribution Company of AP Ltd - Franchising in the power sector focuses more on urban areas, we need to focus on rural areas too.

Dayal Nathan, Founder, Energyly - The challenge of the power industry is awareness and incentives. This needs to be addressed.
New-age entrepreneurs can’t compete with the big players. They need to focus more on technology.

Vikram Kailas, CEO, Mytrah - Powering a Billion Dreams - There is a fourth revolution going on in the energy sector. We should look into the future and invest in batteries, electric vehicles, renewable energy, which will in turn address a gamut of issues.

Sunil Jain, CEO, Hero Future Energies - Large scale adoption of waste to energy technologies in Smart Cities is a must.

Along with Indian leaders and experts, the Conclave witnessed participation from 10 international speakers and delegates from over 20 countries. India Power Conclave’s official partners included top Indian and International organizations such as Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), McKinsey & Company, Brookings India, India Smart Grid Forum, WBCSD and International Solar Alliance. Finland was the Country Partner for the conclave and Andhra Pradesh was the State Partner.

Friday, 22 September 2017 00:00

News18 India Presents ‘Shri Ram Yatra’

A Special Series on the Journey of Lord Ram from Ayodhya to Sri Lanka

Starting 23rd September, News18 India has lined up a special series - ‘Shri Ram Yatra’, which will trace Lord Rama’s journey, exploring places as described in the seven kands of Ramayana. The channel’s team will bring stories from Ayodhya, the birth place of Lord Ram, historical sites like Chitrakoot, the first stop during his exile; from Panchavat in Nashiki, where Sita was abducted, and Ashok Vatika in Sri Lanka, where Sita was kept captive.

Shot in a documentary style, the series, spanning 4 episodes, will be a captivating mix of past and present, showcasing many untold tales for the first time on television. Remembering the stories associated with these places, the show promises to present a gripping narrative which will be both - informative and engaging.

Watch ‘Shri Ram Yatra’, from 23rd September till 14th October, every Saturday & Sunday at 9 PM on News18 India

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