There are so many things that may have an impact on how a brand is perceived in the market. One of the main things in this regard is the way in which it responds to customers who are unhappy with their products or services and thus have complaints. Customer service has always been a major component of creating brand loyalty. In fact, it was customer service that helped companies such as Zappos and Nordstrom’s to do well in the long run. These days, people have more power to let others know what is going on with their lives with the proliferation of social media in specific and internet in general. In such a scenario it has become even more critical for these companies to provide the kind of service that people want. There is just no room for error anymore.
The ways in a nutshell
There are some things that you need to do in order to make sure that as an ecommerce entity you are not making any mistakes at all. They may be enumerated as below:
Making sure that you are absolutely efficient
Making use of codes and numbers
Point no. 1
As an ecommerce service provider you need to make sure that you are absolutely efficient yourself. Otherwise you will not be able to provide the kind of error free service that you need to do in order to maintain a positive brand reputation. At the same time it is also important that you are able to show your efficiency at the right place and time. If you are selling products and services on the web marketplace you need to dispatch your orders at the right time. Every later stage of delivery that follows this one depends on the marketplace.
There are certain things that need to be done in this regard – maintaining an inventory and proper packaging. Your logistical work as an ecommerce seller starts with a proper maintenance of your stock as well as latest updated records regarding the same. This is why you need to view your sales reports properly anerrord thus identify the kind of sales that you are likely to get in a month. Once you are sure that you have enough to meet the demand you need to focus on processing your orders. You need to make sure that you are aware of the orders that are coming to you.
Now, if you are active across several markets it could get really tricky to keep track of the orders and this could mean more chances of delays. However, thankfully enough, ecommerce has gone to a point where it is possible for people to keep track of all their orders at once. There are plenty of companies these days that have created specialized software that permits ecommerce owners to do all this and so much more as well. With such technology at your disposal you get the edge that you need in your business since you can complete all your important work in a lot less time and in business time gained is money earned.
Packaging is also an important part of ecommerce. You need to determine what kind and how much packaging you need in case of a product. Now, no two products can – and should – be packaged the same way. However, these days most products have a standard size and as such packaging them properly should not be a headache really. In case of fragile items such as glassware your packaging needs to be safe and you need to include specific directions as well. This is not something that you need in case of items such as clothes.
International Yoga Day should be an important day in our lives considering the rich heritage that India has in this regard and the importance of this form of exercise around the world right now. However, in order to truly understand the significance of this particular day it is very necessary that you have some idea as to what yoga is. The system of yoga was developed in ancient times in India by sages in order to ensure that people were mentally and physically fit. It was supposed to help people slow down the process of ageing to the maximum extent possible. This remains an integral part of India’s culture still now.
How do yogic practices help you?
The practices mentioned in yoga are all about bringing about a complete change in your system. It includes your mind, your body, and your overall energy system. Yoga is like any other scientific theory out there – as a technique yoga is very practical and systematic. According to yoga, everything in the cosmos is full of life. It could be the biggest of celestial bodies or even the tiniest of bacteria. Modern science also agrees with yoga on many counts like the assertion that even in the tiniest of atoms you get a whole lot of movement.
The theory of yoga
The theory is that if there is movement in an atom, irrespective of its extent, there must be some energy somewhere in there. As per yoga, energy is the basis of all life. Yoga says that all matter is bubbling with energy. This energy itself can be interpreted as consciousness and this consciousness is a part of super consciousness also referred to as God reality. This energy can be found in all life forms out there. It is just that the appearance varies from one life form to another.
Position of man in the ladder
Humans are regarded as the highest as far as the ladder of evolution is concerned because it is only them who are capable of increasing their awareness to the maximum level and reach the state also known as enlightenment. This is the stage where he becomes one with Super Consciousness. According to yoga, in order to reach that stage man has to reach the highest level of consciousness and this can only be done when life is lead in a structured manner and with emphasis on self discipline.
Emphasis on principles
The main emphasis in this case needs to be given on principles such as simple living and high thinking. In this case equal significance needs to be given to development of our bodies, minds, and energies. The physical body is supposed to remain active. Your lifestyle should be such that your muscles and joints get enough exercise. It is very important that the exercise does not tire you out and also benefits you. Hatha yoga is such a sort of exercise whereby you stretch your body to the maximum by way of slow movements. In this case, there is a specific time period for which a posture has to be maintained.
More on Hatha yoga
The main purpose of Hatha yoga is to make you more flexible. As long as you are able to keep your body flexible it will remain young. The main focus of yoga is on the spine, which is the axis of the physical body. It can be interpreted as the primary telegraphic pole from which the entire nervous system spreads its wings. If your spine is strong and agile your blood circulation will never be disrupted and there would be sufficient amounts of oxygen and nutrients all across your body.
When it is the monsoon time, the changes in the weather make us all vulnerable to different types of health disorders. Due to this reason, it is necessary to follow a number of precautions to keep the body healthy. Here are some ways in which you can prevent health issues in the monsoon season.
During the monsoon or the rainy season, water borne illnesses are actually quite common. Therefore it is always important to drink safe water. People of all ages should drink only boiled water as this prevents any disease from affecting the body. Alternately, water purifiers can also be used at home for drinking clean water. Once can also use alum for getting purified water.
Mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue are also very common in the rainy season. Therefore it is necessary to use mosquito nets and repellents so that they do not bite under any circumstances. It is to be remembered that dengue transmitting mosquitoes generally bite during the day time; either during the early morning hours or in the late evening. Malaria mosquitoes generally bite at night. Make sure that there is no stagnant water in your home or areas of water logging nearby as they can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Use DDT powder in the drains and sewages near your home.
It is always better to avoid eating junk foods during this time of the year as they can cause illness or enhance the possibilities of contamination.
Do not store foods for a long period of time as pre-cut fruits, salads and vegetables or uncooked foods may go through contamination. By avoiding such foods, you can reduce chances of digestive problems to a great degree. Instead, stick to fresh fruits as much as possible.
Make sure that you wash all vegetables and fruits thoroughly before consuming them. Also when you are buying these vegetables and fruits see to it that they are fresh. Before consuming them, soak them properly in salt-water for about 5 to 7 minutes and then rinse them thoroughly with lukewarm fresh water before eating.
Change your hand towels and sanitation napkins after every alternate day’s use. Make sure to use hand sanitizers when you are travelling.
Cover your nose and mouth properly with a handkerchief before sneezing or coughing.
Consume as much water as possible since it helps to remove toxins out of the body. Drink warm water after every 2 hours and make sure to carry home-boiled water when you are travelling.
Make sure that you keep away your soggy and wet shoes and clothes away from all the dry garments
Avoid getting wet or drenched in the rain.
Make sure that you cover your nose properly while travelling on a vehicle in order to prevent the smoke and dirt from entering your lungs.
Stay away from crowded places like theatres or exhibitions as they may lead to infections.
Use different types of spices and herbs regularly in your diet. Herbs can help in boosting immunity against diseases during the rainy season. Consume herbs like Tulsi, Mint, Lemongrass, Turmeric, Ginger and on a daily basis.
Make sure that you always maintain your personal hygiene as this can help you to avoid diseases and contamination of food. Wear clean clothes at all times and wash hands properly prior to handling food.
Consume as much citrus fruits as possible as they can help to enhance immunity. Some popular forms of citrus fruits include lemon, orange and gooseberry. The vitamin C in these fruits can strengthen the immunity system and help the body fight against cough and cold.
Consult a Doctor immediately if you are experiencing persistent cough, fever or other any complaints.
If you are someone who really loves to travel, then you probably already know that there is nothing that can offer as much joy as planning for a vacation overseas. It is the thought of visiting the best sightseeing attractions in a foreign land, immersing yourself within a new culture, taste the best of international cuisine and visiting the shops that are carefully tucked within the cozy corners of cobblestone roads that can make you all excited and rearing to go. Planning a foreign trip is not just about buying air tickets; there is a lot of planning that needs to be done as well. Here we will discuss some of the things that you will need to take care of when you are planning an international trip.
Getting all your necessary paperwork ready
Before you actually plan on going for a trip in a foreign country, the first thing that you need to do is check whether your passport date has expired or not. You should have at least 6 months of valid time in your passport from the day you step into a foreign land. If that is not the case, make sure that you renew your passport before you commence your journey. To learn more about the paperwork that you must need for foreign or overseas travel, make sure that you get in touch with the embassy of the foreign country.
Arrange for your finances
Arranging your finances is one of the most important things that you will need to take care of when you are looking to travel in a foreign land. You should get in touch with your bank as well as credit card providers and let them know that you will be traveling abroad. Your bank may freeze your card if it sees foreign charges without knowing that you are abroad. This can make it very difficult for you to pay for your expenses overboard. You should also be aware of exchange rates in foreign soils and learn about the general pricing of things in these places as it will help you to get an idea about how much you will need to spend.
Create additional copies of your travel documents
Make sure that you have additional copies of the ID page of your passport stored with you in a safe place. You should also create more copies of the visas that you need to carry for your current travels. Have additional copies of your other additional documents as well, such as train ticket confirmations and hotel reservations. If you intend to keep only digital copies, make sure that you have easy access to internet as and when you need to access them.
Get medical help for your trip
Depending on where you are intending to travel, you might need to get medications and vaccines as a necessary precaution against the various types of diseases that may affect you there. There are a number of online sites that can provide you with comprehensive information on the diseases associated with every country in the world and the precautions that you need to take. It is also advisable to pack a number of medications in case you need them in an emergency situation.
Get international driving permit
Hiring a car is a great way to explore a new country. However, for that you need a valid driver’s license. It is therefore advisable that you get an international driving permit as it would help you to be on your tracks.
Find necessary electrical equipments for yourself
Whether you are just carrying your mobile phone or a laptop, you will need a range of electrical equipments when you are travelling abroad. Make sure that you stock on power banks and adaptors for utmost convenience.
Goods and services tax (GST) is an indirect tax that has been started by Indian Government. As per this new structure, the old service taxes would be combined into a single system that would be applicable across the country. It was introduced with the name Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act 2016 and came after Constitution 122nd Amendment Bill was passed. The GST Council will be looking after all aspects of the goods and services tax. The council in question is chaired by Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister of India. This indirect – and yet comprehensive – tax will be applied on the making, selling, and buying of goods and services across India.
The tax will not be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. It will be taking the place of taxes that were previously levied by Indian Government as well as state governments of the country. With the help of this new method, businesses that are registered for goods and services tax will be able to claim tax credit to the tune of the tax that they have already paid for buying goods and services that form parts of their regular commercial activities. In this case, a single authority will be responsible, administratively, for levying the tax on goods and services.
Status of exports
It is being assumed that in the new regime exports would be regarded as zero-rated supply and imports would be subjected to the same rate as goods and services made and sold within the country. In this case the authorities would be looking to follow the destination principle. Customs duty will be charged separately as it remains independent of the goods and services tax. This tax is being thought as a major step as far as reforming the structure of indirect taxation in India is concerned.
What is being expected of the tax?
Experts say that by combining the different state and central taxes into one there would be various benefits. For starters, it would restrict the effects of double or cascading taxation. It would also lead to one single market across India. Since the new tax structure is simpler it would also make it to administer and enforce it. As far as consumers are concerned the biggest advantage they would have is a reduction of the overall taxes that they end up paying in availing services and buying goods in India.
Situation of tax right now
At present, people in India pay an aggregate 25 to 30 per cent in service taxes and other indirect taxes for any and every product and service bought and availed by them. It is expected that this new tax regime would help goods to be moved freely from one state to another. They would not have to stop at state border and spend hours in order to pay things such as entry tax and state tax. Paperwork is also expected to be reduced to a huge extent compared to what happened before. The goods and services tax is supposed to come into action from July 1, 2017 onwards.
A little lesson in history
It was in 1986 that the first effort was made to reform the indirect tax structure in India. The credit in this case goes to Vishwanath Pratap Singh, who tried to come up with Modified Value Added Tax (MODVAT). The following are supposed to be included in the new goods and services tax:
central excise duty
additional customs duty
state-level value added tax
It is also expected to remove the levies that are presently applicable for transporting goods from within one state to another.
When he was campaigning to become the President of the United States of America Donald Trump had promised that under his reign the country would be following a couple of simple rules – buying American and hiring American. Recently, a new bill looking to make changes to the H-1B visa programme has been placed for consideration at the Senate. This has led to reports which state that the President is looking to sign an executive order regarding said issue.
There are a few things that Indians – especially the skilled ones – need to know about the changes that seem to be inevitable down the line. It is expected that Indians would indeed be affected to a major extent by the said changes and their prospects of working in the United States of America could be affected as well.
What do you mean by H-1B visa?
H-1B visa is based on employment and can be categorized as a non-immigrant visa. It is provided to temporary workers. In order for you to get the visa your employer needs to offer you a temporary working opportunity in the United States and also apply with the United States Immigration Department. This process can also be termed as H-1B visa petition.
Status of these visas
As far as work visas are concerned H-1B happens to be the most sought after. In 2016, as per the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, there were 236,000 applications for these visas and that too within five days of the process being opened. In the general category the maximum number of applications that can be sent is 65,000. As can be seen, this number is easily more than thrice than innigration said number.
What changes are being proposed to the same?
Senators of the United States of America have brought about various bills that have sought to make different changes to the H-1B visas, as well as the L-1 visas. They have asked to double the minimum salary of visa holders to 130,000 dollars. 20 per cent of the visas are supposed to be set apart for employers of startups and smaller enterprises. They have also said that the “per country” cap should be done away with so that equal distribution of same can be ensured.
Firms that are now hiring holders of H-1B visas first need to make a concerted effort to hire an American. Students who have been educated in the United States need to be given preference instead of using the computerized lottery system. Outsourcing companies that get in workers for temporary training and then send them back to their home countries in order to do the same work are now going to face tough times if the proposed changes are agreed upon.
In the same way, spouses of people who have H-1B visas may not be given permission to work in the United States of America. If a company has more than 50 employees and if at least 50 per cent of them have L-1 or H-1B visas then they would be barred from hiring more people on H-1B visas. The Department of Labor will also be asked to tighten its vetting and audit rules in order to come down on misuse or fraud of these visa applications.
Who are looking for reforms?
Darrell Issa, a Republican Congressman from California, is one of the first people to have spoken out on the issue. He has revived a legislation in order to plug the loopholes that are there in the immigration of high-skilled professionals and make sure that American jobs are not going outside the country. Also in this list are Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, and Richard Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois.
One of the perennial issues that keep a frowning expression on our face is the ever increasing fuel price in India. And from May 1, there is going to be trial run of a new rule in five cities- daily revision of fuel price. There are different schools of thoughts regarding the consumers getting benefit out of this scheme. However, the market experts think this is an existing practice in many developed countries and have a positive effect on the pocket of common man. Majority of petrol pumps are owned by state-owned fuel retailers like Indian Oil Corp, HPCL, BPCL etc and they have planned to execute a trial run of daily revision of fuel price, initially in five cities- Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. And gradually it will be extended to the entire country.
Presently, fuel prices are revised fortnightly which means 1st and 16th of every month. But with the new change, this revision will be done every day. Analysts think that this will bring more stability in the income. Also, the power of the oil companies will be enhanced as with the daily revision there will be little outer interventions in an effort to bring any gradual change in fuel price. Another positive aspect of this change will be visible in the inventory management. In many cases, in an anticipation of sharp rise or fall after revision of fuel price, dealers stock their inventory accordingly. This results in incurring loss due to the fluctuation in currency exchange in the global market. So, this everyday drill of petroleum prices will give a cushion to these OMCs. Experts are of opinion that this step is going to be beneficial for both the consumers and the dealers.
The analysts as well as the dealers agree that this is going to be a really tough call and before implementation it would have been better if some works were done in the infrastructure. For example, not even in the urban cities, all petrol pumps are automated which should be the first criteria to put this drill in practice. That is the reason that this new policy will be implemented in five cities in its first phase. Once the practical glitches and problems are mapped out, steps would be taken to straighten them out prior to implement it in rest of the country.
There is no second thought that this will be a beneficial step for the consumers but we would not see it coming right away. It will take time to kick in. Till then it will be subjected to introspection. Making common people understand that this revision of prices is completely different from the central government announced price hikes and inflation will be a Herculean task. It is to wait and watch that even with this practice, will government keep on incurring the state and central levies because this will be dampen all the efforts to make benefit out of softening of crude oil prices globally.
When Delhi government implemented odd-even policy to control pollution in the city for fifteen days, there was a lot of hue and cry and anticipations and apprehensions. But once in practice, even people facing problem could not deny the positive aspects. Traffic was suddenly smooth, honking and blaring horns were reduced almost magically and conveyance was suddenly comfortable. There were initial hiccups like confusion, crowded metros and other public transports etc, but pieces fell in place ultimately. Let us hope, the new fuel price revision policy too becomes a success and is implemented country-wide with applauds.
Medical tourism is quite a popular term in India’s health sector. People of small towns have always travelled to big cities in hope for better facilities. But medical tourism does not stop here. People from all over India and many parts of the world, travel to south Indian hospitals because they are sure of getting better treatment there. For the family member of every ailing patient, south India seems to be the Mecca. No matter what the problem is, if it has even a smaller lever of complication, family members would not rest until they get the final verdict from a doctor of Chennai, Bangalore, or Vellore.
People from different part of the country have their own set of problems in getting the patient treated in their own home town or nearest big city. If you sit in any leading hospital in Chennai, you will find more Bengali speaking people getting treated there rather than Tamil. When asked, they would complain either of wrong diagnosis or unapproachable doctors. While wrong diagnosis is something very unfortunate and doctors cannot be blamed all the time, but being unreachable to the patient is something in doctor’s control. There is no dearth of dedicated and efficient doctors in Kolkata, but they would rarely be available on phone or be ready to consult long distance. On the contrary, doctors in Vellore, Chennai or Hyderabad give their personal mobile numbers and insist that rather than making things worse by being a doctor yourself, contact them. This makes a huge difference in the psychology of the family members of the patient. Patients from northern India think treatment is much cheaper and the method is transparent in south Indian hospitals compared to the super specialty hospitals there.
Reasons behind Medical Tourism
First reason is obviously the correct diagnosis and best part is, sometimes it comes cheaper even when compared to the added cost of travelling and staying. But how is it possible? For past few decades, Tamil Nadu has been the health care capital of the country. Hospitals like Shankar Netralaya and Apollo Hospitals are visited by thousands of patients every month and the number is ever increasing. This has given rise to more such super specialty hospitals in Chennai and other cities in rest three states. Vellore is another preferred location. With so many options, the cost automatically comes down. Seeing this as a business opportunity, many guest houses and serviced apartments have been developed in the vicinity of hospitals where the family members can stay and cook their own food. This further cuts down their expenses. This is a win-win condition for everyone.
But foremost reason is the dedicated faculty members and best infrastructure. While nuclear medicine is still a very unpopular department in most of the metro cities, you will find it in almost all the hospitals in Vellore, Bangalore or Chennai. Thirty years back, scan and X-Rays had a similar past in the northern and eastern cities but even during those days, they were readily available in the later cities. If you look for ten best hospitals in India, at least five would be from south India.
Less than a decade ago, a new hospital opened in the suburbs of Chennai which employed doctors who had degrees from overseas universities but wanted to serve the country. While in other cities, such ambitious doctors give up their dreams due to the red-tapism, Chennai opened a brand new facility for them. This is where it gets different. Patients get peace of mind once they are treated by a doctor in Vellore, Chennai, Hyderabad or Bangalore. And it didn’t happen in one day. It took years of dedication and willpower to perform better and the result is before everyone.
As much as you want to, it may not be really easy to do retirement planning in India. Inflation shows no signs of receding and keeping pace with that our demands are forever increasing as well. This has also made the national economy grow at a lower rate than before. A lot of people also like to buy gold for their preference for this diminishing natural resource. There are also a lot of financial products available these days and that can make you really confused. The situation has been further complicated by financial institutions such as banks that are not doing their work properly enough.
Planning for retirement
There are two phases in retirement – distribution and accumulation. Accumulation is the phase when we gather the amount needed for our life after we retire. Distribution is the phase when we have to pay up the money we have collected in the accumulation phase. The main aim here is to make sure that we do not face any problem in our lives after retirement. Financial products can be classed into two distinct categories – pre-retirement products and post-retirement products. The New Pension Scheme or NPS is one pre-retirement saving product.
New Pension Scheme
The New Pension Scheme can be availed by any and everyone, and can be defined as the right product for retirement. In the last four years people who have invested in the programme are getting returns of almost 10 per cent. In fact, as far as government employees are concerned, investment in the programme is a mandatory one. Ones who manage this fund can get exposure to equity instruments and other related investment options. This is a good sign for the programme in the long run as far as experts are concerned.
It can provide you tax benefits as well under Section 80C. You also have to buy annuity that is worth 40 per cent of the sum you have accumulated in the said programme. This is mandatory and needs to be done at the time of retirement. You can use pension calculators provided by the Indian Government and find out how much pension you and your family can receive. You can also find out about pension commuted from these calculators.
Employee’s Provident Fund
Also referred to as EPF, the Employee’s Provident Fund happens to be among the most popular retirement saving plans in India. It was started primarily as a product for retirement planning. However, the common consensus in India does not consider it to be one. The rate of return that you get from the Employee’s Provident Fund is pegged at around 8.5 per cent. By investing in the Employee’s Provident Fund you can get tax deduction as per Section 80C. At present the upper limit for tax benefit is INR 1 lakh. The interest that you get from this is tax free.
You can also withdraw from the said programme if you have gone on investing in it for five years at a stretch. It is different from the New Pension Scheme in the sense that there is no restriction or limit with respect to purchasing annuity. Experts would advise you to keep investing in the programme. You can do that even in case you change your job by asking for a transfer of the Employee’s Provident Fund. This would make sure that with the strength of compounding you would also get guaranteed returns. This is a major benefit of these plans.
As far as returns on investment are concerned equities happen to be right there at the top. It is better than any and every financial instrument in India in that particular respect. Mutual funds and stocks are the biggest examples of such investment.