In the recent times, there has been a rising trend of Indian technology workers to get fired from their jobs. Not only men and women with relatively little work experience are becoming victims of this trend but even highly experienced employees who have been working in the IT industry for the last two decades are getting fired from their jobs.
The information technology market in India grew at an astounding speed over the last 20 years, and a bulk of the employees in this industry come from poor and middle-class families. The current trend of job losses, therefore, has most employees in the IT sector worry about the future of their careers.
One of the main reasons for which the Indian it industry overgrew over the last two decades is a practice known as offshoring. This change has made the information technology sector, and all related businesses annually create revenues that exceed the $150 billion mark and offer employment to more than four million people.
The employees build and test different types of software programs, enter and analyze valuable data as well as offer technical support for numerous European and American companies that are always on the look for relatively inexpensive but high-quality labor.
However, there is a new trend that can observe in the worldwide tech industry that relies more and more on robotics, automation, machine learning, big data analytics and machine consulting. These technologies not only threaten to bypass the Indian workers but also replace them in time. Experts believe that automated processes can replace software maintenance work that is usually done by engineering professionals.
These design professionals work with simple codes and analyze different types of data to present software expertise to various foreign clients. However, such manual efforts might soon become unnecessary if the automated processes become commonplace.
While this is not going to incur a lot of financial losses for companies in US and European countries, they can certainly lead to loss of jobs for people in India with limited skill sets. The new trends of technology are also going to increase the number of US jobs onshore. While the extent of damage that will face the Indian IT job market is yet not clear, we assume that by the September of this year, there is going to be a loss of 2% of the total workforce. However, the alarming thing is that this loss of workforce might increase up to 50% to 70% by the year 2020.
While it is true that new forms of technologies are certainly going to create more new jobs, there is certainly going to be a sizeable loss for the IT job market in India. Up until now, it is still not clear as to how the artificial intelligence and automation is going to influence the global and Indian markets.
Some industry insiders believe that although these new technologies are certainly going to create a lot of jobs, many of them will be in countries outside India, such as in the United States where it will be difficult for the average Indians to go and find work. These factors are particularly right with the tighter visa regulations that have been placed by the Donald trump government.
The authorities in the Indian job markets are now reassuring people in this country that the job losses will be only minimal and that only those who fail to perform well will lose their jobs.
However, many of the people who have already lost their jobs seriously doubt that they were under performers and has led to IT employees in India worry about their job security.
India has a large rural area all across the country where the lifestyle of people is dramatically different than from people who are living in the urban areas. In these parts of India, the main sources of livelihood are farming as well as different types of small cottage industries. India has an extensive handloom and handicraft industry, most of which is managed by people coming from the rural parts of the country. These industrial make up a large part of the country’s export markets and therefore play a vital role in boosting the country’s economy. Therefore, most experts agree to the fact that these industries make up the crux of the national economy.
However, a brief look at the methods of production that are used by the people living in the rural areas would suggest that the techniques of production that are used by them are quite old and not in keeping with the needs of modern times. Most of the handlooms and handicrafts that are made in the rural areas are known for their exquisite beauty and intricate artwork. To make sure that such a quality is maintained at all times, it becomes necessary that a strict procedure is followed that has been passed down through centuries to the artisans of today. However, it is this same adherence to age old techniques that often makes it difficult for the people living in the rural areas to adopt new methods of working.
Even in some cases where new methods of production can be implemented by keeping intact the quality and richness of the work for which it is so well known, there is still a mental resistance among people living in the rural areas to adopt new technology. The reason for this is that more often than not they have limited educational qualifications and even more limited exposure to the outer world. In rural areas, life remains the same for hundreds of years which mean people usually see very little change in their day to day lives. This is quite unlike the urban areas where people are exposed to new ideas and changes in infrastructure every now and then. This leads to a natural lack of confidence among people in the rural areas to adopt new ideas and techniques. They tend to feel more at home and comfortable with working methods that are known to them and have been practiced by them for hundreds of years.
Another reason for which they tend to avoid new technology and working ways is that in most cases these would require certain financial resources which they do not have. Most rural people struggle to earn their daily bread and have little extra resources to invest in new machinery. Such factors make it increasingly difficult for them to adapt to new ways of working even when the situation so. More often than not, advanced production techniques used in other parts of the world make it difficult for them to compete. These advanced machineries and working methods can meet up larger production requirements but make it difficult for the rural people of India to match up to them.
In order to help the rural people of India adapt to new technological methods, steps should be taken to enhance their self respect and confidence as that can go a long way in making them open to new technology. They should also be taught about the benefits of new technology and how it can help them to grow as a community. Additional government policies should be adapted so that they can earn more from their own efforts and be self reliant. This will further encourage them to invest in new technology.
Instant messaging apps have completely transformed the way we converse with each other. While SMS messaging was once the most well-liked way to stay connected, it is nowadays considered outdated. On the other hand, these messaging apps offer a range of features that allow users to interact in real time and share different types of media files.
Here is a brief look at the top 5 instant messaging applications for smartphones that are available right now.
WhatsApp is currently one of the world’s most extensively used mobile messaging apps. The app offers a range of useful features such as remarkably easy installation and setup, automatic syncing with all phone contacts as well as feature-rich and ad-free user experience. Such facts combine together to make WhatsApp an extremely popular messaging app for mobiles. The users can send photos, text, voice and even short video clips to the contacts in their WhatsApp friend list. The app also continuously adds various new features to it, like emoji and fully encrypted messaging options between the WhatsApp users. As the app requires phone functionality, it won’t function on all devices. Although once WhatsApp used to come with a subscription fee, now the fee has been waived off completely and it’s free.
Viber is a mobile messaging application for Android and iOS and it is easy to install and use the app. It offers a range of options that makes communication easier. Viber uses the user’s phone number as the login. The app also syncs with the phone to help seek all Viber-using contacts. The Viber app can be used for sending text, emoticons, stickers, photos, voice messages and video messages to all other Viber users. The services offered by Viber are all available for free. The Viber Out option allows users to call non-Viber numbers as well as landline phones worldwide in exchange for a fee. Viber has also recently introduced secured encrypted messaging features along with color-coded icon that indicates chat encryption and security. A user will need phone functionality and a SIM card to chat with Viber.
Telegram is a mobile messaging app that is particularly aimed at all security conscious users. Telegram features encrypted and fast chat messaging features, with top notch client-server encryption that comes with all standard chats. The Secure Chat mode offers end-to-end encryption to make sure that only the two users involved can read it. The messages can even be set to self-destruct. It also allows users to share documents and videos and also participate in extensive group chats consisting of 200 users.
Google has come up with a very user friendly messaging app that allows people to make the best of AI assistant functions that comes with traditional SMS and chat features. Google Allo is made for Android and iOS and comes with common mobile messaging features like chat, stickers, photo messaging, emoji, and also a doodle cum annotation tool for images. However, the addition that makes this app stand out from all others is Google Assistant, an AI-powered assistant that is capable of suggesting quick messaging replies and find information that is relevant to the chat conversations, like the weather report, nearby restaurants and more. The app also offers an Incognito chat mode which offers end-to-end encryption along with self-destructing messages and private notifications.
WeChat is the mobile chat application that literally dominates the Chinese web mobile market with nearly 700 million users. WeChat offers users with excellent free mobile messaging facilities, group chat, video calls and voice calls, multimedia messaging (video, images, stickers, audio, etc). WeChat also includes numerous quirky features like “People Nearby”, “Friend Radar,” and “Shake” in order to find new people quickly to chat with.
When it comes to the effective marketing and promotion of a business, it is highly significant at the present time to have a well developed website that can serve as a portal of communication between the business owners and their patrons. However, it is not just enough to invest in creating a website for a business. A company should also promote the website in the most effective way so that it enjoys the maximum level of traffic. This is something that can be achieved with the help of search engine marketing. Having a result driven search engine marketing strategy can create new leads and boost the number of conversions within a given period. Compared to many other means or types of advertising and marketing techniques, search engine marketing is often very cost effective. It is due to this reason that most business firms nowadays focus on availing high end Search Engine Marketing or SEM services.
With the help of search engine marketing, it is possible for companies to increase the value and effectiveness of their web promotion strategy to a great extent. The website of the business owner can have maximum exposure in the online world through search engine marketing and this can increase the number of visitors that it has within a specific period of time. Since organic search rankings can be availed free of cost, the search engines can be used by the business owner to effectively discover the business based on specific keywords. This can make it easier for the target audience to discover the site and boost its traffic. There are different forms of search engine marketing methods, such as pay pre click marketing and organic search engine optimization that can be used in unique ways to get the attention of the target customers.
Here are some of the common SEM methods that are used by the various business firms and their websites.
Organic Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of applying specific techniques for maximizing a site’s ranking in the organic or the natural search results. The organic search results represent the rankings of the web pages that are showed by search engines when people search for some specific phrase or word, also known as a “keyword phrase” or a “keyword”.
Local search results are important to businesses that mainly cater to a specific market that is focused locally, instead of nationally or internationally. Business firms that mainly cater to the locals can easily get listed by the cities in the search engines and directories. The people staying in the local area can easily find the business through the local search results as they appear in the search engines. This can help the business firm to beat local competition and boost profits.
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
Pay Per Click Advertising is a method of placing adverts for a website with the leading search engines like Google or Yahoo. The ads are published by a site that gets a payment from the client site based on the number of clicks that the ad generates. The amount that the client website is willing to pay for per click is decided in advance. The more is the amount of the bid, the higher is the ad going to appear in search engine results. In the recent times, Google AdWords has also implemented another factor that determines the ranking of the adverts. This is based on relevancy or importance of the ad that Google puts on the site. This is a factor that is rather difficult to control or manipulate. PPC ads are known to deliver fast results.
Recently people who used Google Docs and Gmail were victims of a phishing scam that was carried out on a widespread basis. In response to it Google has said that it will be coming out with a new security feature for the Gmail application on Android phones. It is expected to warn users regarding links that happen to be suspicious in nature. However, experts are saying that even this feature may not be enough to prevent such attacks since it involved a Google Docs app that was false and malicious in intent. The app in question was hosted on the own domain of Google itself.
A step in the right direction
However, it is still being said that this particular feature represents a correct step considering the number of people who use Google regularly on their Android smartphones. The fact that these phishing attacks are only becoming more sophisticated with each passing day also makes this a right step to take in the present situation. These attacks have improved to an extent where even users, who happen to be extremely tech savvy, are being fooled. As part of said attack people received emails from their contacts where it was said that the sender in question was sharing a document with them.
When people clicked to open the document they saw a webpage that was being hosted by Google itself and for all intents and purposes was harmless in appearance. The page does not ask your password, instead listing all your Google accounts so that you can click them. In this attack your permission is also sought in order to provide permission to the Google Docs app. The only catch in this case was that the app was a fake one. Once it was able to gain the necessary access the virus started to spread to each and every one that was there on your Gmail contact list.
The new protection
With the new system being installed in the Gmail app on Android phones there is significant reliance on the Safe Browsing technology of Google. With this technology the users will be warned any time they visit a webpage that is actually a fake and just imitating another legitimate website. Example of such websites could include online stores, banks, or just about any other site where your username and password details are being asked. There is a definite message that will be shown on Gmail in case you are trying to open a suspicious link that has been sent to your email. The warning message would read as below:
“The site you are trying to visit has been identified as a forgery, intended to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information.”
You will then be informed that in case you wish to go ahead and open the site in question you are doing so at your own risk.
What else has Google done?
Google has also acted against the perpetrators of said phishing attack. It has disabled the accounts that were used to carry out the operation, done away with the false pages, and also, with the help of its abuse team and the Safe Browsing technology, pushed the updates through. The tech giant has also asked its users to come forth and report any thing that they suspect as a phishing attack on the Gmail app. Considering how these phishing scams have become more convincing, it is expected that the new feature by Google will be of immense help to the people who use said app on their Android phones. Google itself is also hopeful that now more people would be careful about clicking on these links.
As far as social media optimization is concerned Facebook ranks right up there as the very-best option that you have in this regard. It has at least 1.59 billion users. As far as social platforms are concerned it makes up the largest demographic blend. It gives your business a fantastic medium where you can get in touch with your customers – existing and prospective – all across the world.
As far as advertising is concerned, managing Facebook is the easiest thing to do. Facebook also provides you the best platform to target people. Facebook ads can be used to match its current buyers with more than two million similar prospects that have the same characteristics. They are then taken to an opt-in page where their name and emails can be captured.
Twitter is one platform where your posts have the potential to go viral. When people share your posts and your content is re-tweeted you are likely to gain more followers. Most of the times companies share their recent news, articles, and updates that they normally upload on other major media channels. If you use hash tags you can have a major difference in building momentum for what you are posting on the platform.
So, when you are posting on Twitter you need to be aware of the topics that are trending on the micro-blogging platform. You need to include hash tags that are relevant in the present context. Quite often you can also re-tweet people with many followers as in that case some of those followers may follow you as well.
In case you are working in a field that can be classed as being a business-to-business (B2B) one, you can do worse than use LinkedIn for social media optimization. In this regard LinkedIn is what your focus should be on. LinkedIn is the best platform to connect with professionals from various industries. You can easily target them using categories such as job title, and industry to name a few. Just like any other social media platforms building relationships is the main priority on this platform as well. You should prioritize building connections as opposed to starting off with a sales pitch.
LinkedIn Groups is one of the best features that you can have with regards to businesses. As a business you should establish groups that come within your niche category – you can invite others as well. These people must be there in the target market. Companies that have been successful in this regard normally focus on building new relationships with the best prospects. They normally work by identifying the professional titles of the people in question.
As a photo-sharing platform Instagram happens to be really popular – in fact the most popular. A lot of companies use this platform at tradeshows and events as part of their social media optimization strategy. When they host events they provide incentives to attendees to post photos on Instagram and use the hash tag for the event. At times, raffles and other free giveaways are also provided to people who take part in such events.
You should only use Pinterest when you have some fantastic images to share. This site has the capability to make high-quality images go viral and much of this can be credited to its visual nature. In case your image happens to be pinned by a member who is highly followed it can potentially be viewed by millions of people. It is also a great platform for promoting products. There are several companies that post photos of images and book covers that have quotes. These quotes are attributed to their authors and this helps in promoting their books.
You can also use Yelp and YouTube for social media optimization work.
As businesses it is always important to keep acquiring new customers on a regular basis in order to stay in the hunt for as long as may be possible. It is the responsibility of the companies to make sure that their products and services are working, that they are giving people what they want. There could be a few users of your product who are paying a lot of money or there may be thousands of people who are visiting your store and website without paying any money. It does not matter how you get customers and then keep them. All that matters is that you do so.
Being ready for the customers
However, organizations really need to ask themselves – are they ready for the customers that they are looking to get? They need to see if their teams are really equipped to handle a glut of users heading straight for their products and services. Moreover, they need to be able to evaluate their promotional strategy and its overall worth. Are they going to use the public relations methods that have been used traditionally or are they looking for inbound marketing? The first hard question that needs to be asked in this regard is if their product is ready to be bought by the user.
Judging the product quality vis-à-vis the buyers
Mark Zuckerberg has a famous quote – “move fast and break things”. For some startups this could be very-useful advice. However, when it comes to acquiring customers this might not be the soundest advice. It is always better to give customers the respect that they deserve. You must have spent plenty of time in developing your product. You should also devote a similar time in order to acquire consumers for the same. The strategy needs to be thought out with plenty of care and consideration.
Shopping is one aspect of our lives that has been impacted the most because of the technological advancements that we see around ourselves today. In fact, most of the tools that you use for shopping now may become obsolete five years down the line. Right now could be the best time to be a shopper. You have so much information around you that a wrong decision feels like a criminal act. The prices are so transparent that it is perfect and you are getting flooded with special offers every now and then. The retailers on the other hand may be experiencing nightmares right now.
How are the retailers feeling right now?
There are already plenty of names in the United States of America such as Tower Records, Linens ’n Things, Circuit City, and Borders that have fallen by the wayside. More are expected to follow suit quite soon. The retail sector experiences such disruption every five decades or so. 150 years back the modern departmental store came into being because of increase of railroad networks as well as spurt of big cities across the United States of America. 50 years after this we saw the automobile industry that spurted out cars by the millions.
History of retail sector
This was followed 50 years later by shopping malls that were full of specialty retailers. They were mainly there in the suburbs that were forming slowly at that time. They posed a major challenge the departmental stores that were operating in the cities. Discount chains such as Kmart and Wal-Mart started to spread around during the 60s and 70s. They were followed by what were known as the big-box category killers such as Home Depot and Circuit City. All these either transformed or undermined the old malls.