October 2007 - Page 2 of 3 -

Possible Merger

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Reports from the ‘The Times’ suggest that The British Airways are looking for a possible merger. The reports also said that BA is holding talks with bmi, for possible purchase of the carrier. But all records point to the fact BA is very much interested in talks with American Airlines, though the earlier talks fell through. British Airways sees potential and profitable partnership with American Airlines, and are denying any possible talks with bmi.

The merger is aimed to create a trans-atlantic super-carrier. All eyes are on BA and AA to see if this time the talks materializes and an all

Oil woes

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Oil yielded a little on Wednesday. Oil Prices slipped to 87.48 after its record high of $88. Oil has been on the upward surge, due to mounting tension in Northern Iraq. The world economy is tensed over the possible outcome but a correction might be expected in the future. It gives little solace to know that oil has been gaining 10% over the past six days.

Adding to the political tension is the climatic demand experienced the world over due to the onset of Winter. Reuters reports that the oil has been overvalued by $10 due to theNorthern Iraq tension and that it is bound to come off within the week. Turkish Government’s decision to launch an attack on Wednesday, may have an adverse effect on Oil exports of Iraq.

This geopolitical and climatic conditions seems to decide the oil prices right now. Need to wait and the see if the overvalued price settles a little!

Surging China Index

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According to the news by Reuters, China’s composite index rose by 1% on Tuesday. The rise can be attributed to Merchant’s Bank announcement that the earning this quarter will be much more than expected. The Shanghai Composite Index rose above the 6000 point level for the first time. This rise was attributed with the fact that the risk was also rising with the rising stock index

The positive news is that the China would triple the long term ceiling for foreign investments. It is also expected that the State taking into account the political scenario would also not put in a strong action to cool the market. Meanwhile the analysts expect the index to keep going up in the near future, though some volatility may also be expected. What is more the analyst also expect the Index to touch the 8000 points by th end of the year!

Technology for a cause

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It is small things that make a difference. Microsoft’s small gesture, might mean a lot to the deserving lot. According to CNet News Microsoft has come up with a new technology called as Multitouch. The advantage of Multitouch is that many students can use the same computer. It is a great investment in education, especially those having limited resources but many willing minds!

This is quite useful in classrooms having one computer. The south East Asian countries which are still lagging behind in technology have great use for this one!

Retargeting your Customers:

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Any entrepreneur who owns an online business thrives on the webpage stats. The number of hits, number of users and those who visited but did not buy anything! The last figure at times are high and this really brings a frown. Well to ease this frown Chad Little, CEO of Fetch back comes to your rescue. How does the Fetchback act;-To address this in a single phrase “ Retarget Advertising”. The definition of Retargeted Advertising is to “convert people who are already interested (in your product) to buyers”.
In Little’s word “ We are enabling companies to reconnect with a lost customer”

There are many in this field but Fetchback does it differently. No wonder that Fetchback is featured in Business 2.0 in “What’s Next: The Top 10 products”. How do they do it? well in the CEO’s own words “You are much more likely to convert customers if you’re consistently in front of them”. Accordingly the first 30 days of windows shopping of one’s product is crucial as the thoughts of what you have already bought and the experience with it is still fresh in the customers mind. The business plan is quite simple surfers who visit a clients site will receive one to five targeted ads during the next 30 days and each time trying to increase the value of its special offer. How do they target the customer. Simple and quite an old technique actually, example is when someone visits a flower bouquet store online then he would get more ads regarding ‘red blooms’.

The figure of Fetchback is quite interesting, it already has signed up 20 clients in 3months time period. The good news is that Fetchback charges only for the click through. The mantra “ The better the ad. Performs, the cheaper those clicks are-and the easier it becomes to cyber stalk your customers.”

The Transition

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The transitions from Desktop to Notebooks, Personal Computers and Mobile Devices have been phenomenal and fast, observed Michael Dell. The growth has been much more than what was predicted by Gartner, Dell told a gathering organized by Gartner. The growth has been especially more in emerging economies. The trend has been fuelled by increase in small business and consumers outside the U.S market. The low price of the PC’s and wireless access has been one deciding factor for the increase in the transistion from Desktop to Notebooks and PC’s. The demand for Mobile has been growing leaps and bounds especially in the growing economies. It is predicted that the emerging market would average about 18.6% growth this year.

Changes required!

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When your thoughts are voiced through an international organization, it feels good. Yes I am referring to the report by OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) which I came across in FT today. According to the reports, if India has to reach the double digit figure of growth rate, then it necessarily needs to bring about a change in reforms like in the ‘Industrial Dispute Act’ and infrastructure.

India is the third largest growing economy next to U.S.A, China and slightly above Japan! This is really incredible, especially when the growth rate is at 7.5% at present. The S&P forecast is at 8.6% for India in the current fiscal year. With such an increase in growth rate it is only necessary that some more investment in physical and social infrastructure, cutting fuel and food subsidies, more privatization happens. These are my exact sentiments especially with regard to Infrastructure improvement, I feel we can take immense advantage of the present boom and can be nearly in sync with the likes of China if only more investment in case of Infrastructure is made. I hope the Central Government realizes the need of the hour and brings about this much needed change.

News around the world

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With the initial fear of U.S recession receding, the Asian stocks rose. The dollar was also on the high. Japan’s Nikkei rose by around 1%, the largest contributor being Advantest. Australian S&P rose around 0.2%.

The good news is that worries about U.S economic downturn finally receded and this led to a rise in the indices. Though the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 0.16%, NASDAQ increased by about 0.25%.

According to Reuters, the third quarter corporate earnings of Alcoa will be released on Tuesday, this is sure to bring about change.

U.S Crude futures edged to $79.10 per barrel. Good news is that Google Inc. crossed the $600 mark on Monday, raising the investor’s confidence. From being portrayed as ‘search engine’, Google has diversified itself into web video and other web applications over the years. Some see Google touch the $700 figure soon.

Cloud Computing

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How many of us would have wished that we could learn or at least experience the amount of computing that goes into google. Well both IBM and GOOGLE seems to have realized the need for this, have created a large data bank called as ‘cloud computing’. Here data’s are available for many students and aspirants to draw patterns/data for computing purpose. This is infact a huge effort taken by both the giants. According to the article featured in ‘CNN News’, the need for such a databank which stores scores of processors and libraries of data are felt by both the student community and the government. Six universities are involved in building this initiative, they are the University of Carnegie and MIT. Google is building such data centers at undisclosed places. IBM can be resourceful in fields like that of building and managing large data centers.

Guess many of the students and researchers would definitely find this research facility a great boon and are already on cloud 9!

Negotiation

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Negotiations

As an entrepreneur, I know the importance of negotiation in any business deal. Negotiation can make or break a deal, it is very important to learn from every business deal a lesson or two about negotiation. This particular article in “Harvard Business Review” titled Investigative Negotiations was really interesting. While not dwelling very deep into the article, I would like to brief you about the five prominent principle of Investigative Negotiation as given by Deepak Malhotra and Max H Bazerman in their article.

• “Beating Assumptions”: Accordingly Malhotra and Bazerman discuss that while we many assume that the other party in discussion has given importance to factors like price etc, it may not be the case at all; it may turn out that they are on a look out for something else. Therefore never assume, instead find out what the other party is looking for!

• “Seek to understand and mitigate the other side’s constraint”: The writers have reiterated the fact that outside forces can limit our ability to negotiate effectively, and hence it becomes more pertinent to find out what the other side’s constraint are and how effectively it can be removed to bring about a consensus.

• “To Interpret demand as opportunities”: In other words instead of looking at demands put across by the other side as mere irritants, an investigative negotiator always tries to find information to create and capture value. It is important to “Investigate opportunities behind the demand”.

• “Create common ground with adversaries”: The authors have stated the “The commodity purchase” example to explain this principle. For example there is one seller and five buyers, it becomes economically viable for the five buyers with different requirement for the product to team together and buy the product!
Explaining this in detail, example of egg is taken; if there are 100,000 eggs and one of them needs 70,000 and other 60,000 how is it possible to meet both their demands, the answer is actually quite simple one of the buyer might have requirement for the yolk and other for the white and effectively they can buy the eggs and meet their requirement too!

• “Continue to investigate even if the deal appears to be lost”: This is one principle which when followed can really yield good results; it is important to find the reason for loosing the deal than simply let it go, who knows this might help us to renegotiate or put the learning to better use for our next negotiation.

I agree with the writers when they say that a investigative negotiator places very strong focus on the other sides needs and priorities, this would go a long way in clinching a deal. “Information is wealth” and in case of negotiation there are no second thought about this saying!

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