Sunday, April 16, 2017

IndianOil Citi Platinum Credit Card Features And Review

The IndianOil Citibank Platinum Card is a fuel credit card issued by Citi Bank in partnership with Indian Oil Corporation that can help you earn free fuel as rewards. 

The Features of and Benefits on the Card are as follows: 

1. You earn 4 turbo points for every Rs.150 worth of fuel purchased at Indian Oil retail outlets. Note that 1 turbo point is equal to Re. 1 worth of fuel, so you can use these turbo points to avail free fuel at an Indian Oil outlet. 

2. You also get a full waiver of the 2.5% fuel surcharge, when you buy fuel at an IndianOil outlet. 

3. You get 4 turbo points for every Rs.150 spent with special partner outlets. At present, the only partner in this category is MakeMyTrip. 

4. You earn 2 turbo points for every Rs. 150 spent at partner grocery and supermarket stores. 

5. On all other spends, you are also eligible for 1 turbo point for every Rs. 150 spent using your IndianOil Citibank Platinum Card. 

6. Interest rate on the card is 3.25% per month. 

7. Annual fee on the card is NIL when you spend Rs. 30000 or more with the card in a year. Otherwise, an annual fee of Rs. 1000 will be applicable. 

Restrictions on Reward Points

1. For Fuel Purchases, the turbo points would only accrue if your purchase amount does not exceed Rs. 10,000 per transaction. For transactions exceeding Rs. 10000, no turbo points would accrue to the card holder. 

2. On spends in partner grocery and supermarket stores, you earn 2 Turbo Points on spends upto Rs. 5,000 (or accrual of 67 Turbo Points) per month. Beyond that you earn 1 Turbo Point per Rs.150 spent. 

Review of the IndianOil Citi Platinum Credit Card. 

Though this card gives you fuel savings only at an Indian Oil outlet, the thing I like about this card is the fact that all reward points; whether accrued on spends at an Indian oil outlet or for any other spends, can be used to get free fuel from an Indian Oil Outlet. Moreover, each turbo point is worth Re. 1 of free fuel. 

Plus, you get a full fuel surcharge waiver. 

Also, the minimum points needed for free fuel redemption is 250.  This is reasonably low. 

If you want to redeem your accumulated turbo points elsewhere (thought I don't see the reason why you would ever want to), you can do that at partner merchant outlets or for gift vouchers from popular brands. In such case every reward point would be worth INR 0.30 approximately. So its smarter to redeem them for free fuel. 

Also, you need not pay any annual fee on the card when you spend more than Rs. 30,000 on the card during the year. Again the minimum amount to be spent for free card renewal is reasonably low. 

Overall, the Indian Oil Citi Platinum Credit Card. is a good card to have that can give you great savings on your fuel bills. The only catch is you need to use it only at an Indian Oil Outlet. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card Features And Review

The Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit card is a good choice for individuals looking to save on their Fuel, Telephone and Utility Bills. 

The Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card offers you the following benefits: 

1. A 5% cashback on Fuel purchases at all petrol pumps in India. This includes a 2.5% fuel surcharge reversal and a 2.5% cashback on the transaction amount. 

2. A 5% cashback on all Telecom payments (both prepaid and postpaid) across all service providers in India. 

3. A 5% cashback on all your Utility bill payments. So you save money on all your Electricity, Gas and Water bill payments. 

4. For all other spends across all categories, your earn 1 reward point for every Rs. 100 spent using your Super Value Titanium credit card. 

Conditions for availing the cashback offers

Note that the cashback offers, are subject to certain conditions. These are: 

1. The minimum transaction value for availing the cash back offers is Rs. 750 per transaction. 

2. The maximum cashback you can avail is restricted to Rs. 100 per eligible transaction. 

3. Also, the maximum cashback per month across all eligible transactions is restricted to Rs. 500 Per month. 


The Annual Fees on the card are as follows: 

First Year Fee: Rs 499

Renewal Fees: Rs 750 second year onwards. 

Review of the 
Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card

Note that the maximum cash you can avail on the card is restricted to Rs. 6000 per year (Rs 500 multiplied by 12 months). If you consider the annual renewal fees of Rs. 750, your net benefits would be Rs. 5250 per year. 

Now, the good thing about this is the fact that the cashback is applicable across all petrol  pumps across India be it BPCL, IOC, HPCL or Reliance. So you need not visit a specific fuel outlet to avail the offer. 

Also, you can earn reward points on spends other than Fuel, Telecom and Utility bill payments. This can be redeemed for store vouchers or merchandise. 

Overall its a good card to have, which can give you decent savings on your Fuel, Telecom and Utility bills. 

40 Small Business Ideas In India

Small business Ideas to help you get started on your entrepreneurial journey in India!

1. Start a Blog

You can start a blog on a tropic that interests you, build a readership by creating content that adds value and then monetizing your blog by placing advertisements on it. 

2. Create a YouTube Channel

Did you know that you can make money by creating videos on YouTube through your very own YouTube channel? You start by creating videos on a particular niche and once you have a decent number of subscribers, you can monetize your videos through Google Adsense

I also have a list of YouTube Channel Ideas for you to get started.  

3. Intra-city Logistics. 

You can start a small-scale logistics service that specializes in moving goods within a city. To start up, you would need to invest in one or two vehicles to move goods from one place to another. 

Your customers would both be individuals who might be shifting to a new residence within the city and need to move their furniture and appliances; as well as corporate clients. 

4. Toy Store

Children and their affinity for toys go beyond times and starting a toy store is small business idea worth exploring in India. 

5. Recruitment Firm

Starting a boutique requirement firm can be a great small business idea in India. A boutique requirement firm is a niche requirement firm that caters to a specific industry. A recruitment firm earns revenue by helps companies hire for specific positions. 

6. Wedding Planners

Wedding planners provide end to end wedding planning services. A wedding planner would help families decide and book wedding venues, secure accommodation for guests who would be flying in, decide the wedding theme and oversee other wedding day arrangements including food and music.

7. Mobile Ice Cream Parlour

Help people beat the heat with a mobile ice-cream parlour. You can take your mobile ice-cream truck to schools and colleges or park it outside office complexes. The same ice-cream truck can double up as a food truck at night and during winters. 

8.  Content Writing Services

With most businesses now committed to online marketing, there is a great demand for content writing agencies. Content writing agencies help companies create content for their press releases, promotional ebooks, business blogs and social media channels. 

9. Juice Shop

A juice shop serving delicious and healthy juices and refreshing mocktails - all in a hygienic and comfortable setting is likely to be a big hit with the Indian youth. Keep experimenting with various flavours and include variety to your menu. 

10. Investment Advisory

An Investment advisor will recommend various financial products (Stocks, Mutual Funds, Fixed Interest and Insurance products) to their clients based on their financial position, goals and risk appetite. Investment advisory firms generally charge a fee from their clients to provide investment advisory services as well as earn commission on the financial products sold based on their recommendations. 

11. Dance School.

If you are skilled dancer or have a good understanding of dance forms, you could start your very own dance school to train students in different dance-forms. The location of your school as well as the quality of the instructors are important factors upon which the success of your dance school would depend. 

12. Online Advertisement Management Agencies

Online Advertisement Management agencies help plan, execute and manage online advertisement campaigns for their clients. 

13. Book Store

Even with the growing popularity of ebooks and readers like Kindle, the joy that readers derive from holding a book physically in their hands is next to nothing in this world. For a country like India which is known for its sheer number of book lovers, the demand for hardbacks and paperbacks will always remain. 

You can also sell text books and educational books through your very own book store. 

14. Sports Goods Store

For a sport loving young country like India, a Sports Goods Store is an ideal small business idea. 

15. Social Media Management Services

A Social Media management firm would help corporate clients plan, execute and manage their social media campaigns.

16. Home Painting Solutions

A home painting company that provides quick and hassle-free home painting solutions at competitive rates is a great small business idea worth exploring in India. 

17. Yoga Classes

The power of Yoga to heal the mind and the body is acknowledged by all. Start a yoga school that provides a harmonious and peaceful environment to experience the powers of Yoga. 

18. Stationery Supply

You can set up a small business that supplies stationery products to schools, educational institutes and corporate houses. 

19. Car-pool services

A small business that provides reliable car-pooling solutions for both school kids and office goers is sure to have many takers. You can even start with just one vehicle and scale up as the demand for your services grow. 

20. Music School. 

We Indians love music and a music school that imparts quality training is sure to have many takers. 

21. Health and Fitness Centre

Indian youth are more fitness conscious these days than ever before and a health and Fitness centre or a Gym can be a great business idea to capitalise on this craze. 

22. A Niche Travel Agency. 

While there are many travel agencies in India, there are not many niche travel agencies that specialize in one or more specific activities. For example you could start a niche travel agency that specializes in organising Jungle Safaris. 

23. Antique Dealer. 

If you have an eye for relics, you could start a business of dealing in antique goods. 

24. Risk Consultants

A risk consultancy would help businesses identify and address risks inherent in their business operations. 

25. A Bakery

Help your customers experience the heavenly aroma and taste of freshly baked cakes and breads by starting a small scale bakery of your own. 

26. Event Management Services.

An event management service helps both individuals and corporate houses organise events of varying scale. You need to have good communication and problem solving skills to be a successful event manager. 

27. Food delivery to home and office

With jobs getting more and more demanding these days,  people are left with very little time to cook.  Also, people migrating to a new city to pursue an education or a job feel the need for home cooked food. 

Start a small food delivery business that delivers quality home cooked and nutritious food to clients at their homes and offices.  

28. A small Coffee Shop. 

Help people get conversations going with a coffee shop of your own. 

29. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is a form of referral marketing wherein you earn a commission for every purchase someone makes based on your recommendation of the affiliate's products or services. 

You can either sign up with an affiliate network like vCommission or sign up for affiliate programs of internet companies like Flipkart or Amazon. 

The most common way of promoting an affiliate's Products or Services is through a blog or website. Other channels include email and social media. 

30. Foreign Trade Consultants. 

Foreign trade consultants help businesses comply with the various rules and regulations (including paperwork requirements) involving import or export of goods from one country to another. 

31. Web Development.

Web development is the art of developing websites for clients. There is always a very high demand for talented web developers and if you are skilled in web development you can start your very own web development company in India. 

32. Tuition Classes. 

If you like teaching, you could set up a Tuition Centre to impart quality education to students. You can either do this alone or in partnership with other teachers in your area. 

33. Real Estate Consultants. 

Real Estate consultants help clients buy or sell properties and earn a commission upon the finalization of deals. The commission is often based on the value of the property bought or sold. Your clients could both be individuals and corporate houses. 

34. Sell on Amazon

You can set up your own online business by selling goods on Amazon. All you need to do is to sign up on Amazon and list the products that you would like to sell. The best part is that amazon takes care of shipping and delivery so that you can focus on your business. 

35. Skills Development Website. 

Create a website that helps people acquire a skill online (for example learn to play the guitar). This will primarily be a video based content delivery service. You can make money based on registrations to such courses. 

36. Graphic Designing Services

Graphic Designing enterprises provide their services in the areas of branding, publication and communication design and design for the Digital medium. This would include designing promotional materials for clients such as ebooks, infographics, pdfs and banners. 

37. Start a Creche

Start a creche which takes care of kids while parents go to work. Note that a parent will trust their child with you only when they feel safe enough to do so. The overall quality and spaciousness of the facility plus the presence of qualified and well trained staff members are factors that are likely to impress a parent. 

38. Soft Skills training

A soft skills training academy trains individuals in soft skills to make them job ready. You could also tie up with corporate houses to impart job relevant soft skill training to their staff members. How you market your business is going to be a key factor for your success.

39. Candle Manufacturing

You could set up a candle manufacturing unit in India at a low cost. Focus both on candles for general use as well as on aromatic candles and candles for decorative use. 

40. Soft Toy Manufacturing Unit

A soft toy manufacturing unit can be a lucrative small business idea in India. You can set up a soft toy manufacturing unit at a very low initial investment. Focus on the quality of the toys you manufacture.  You can also sell your toys under your own brand name online. 

Thanks for your time. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Tips For Budding Entreprenuers

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." 

This is the time for you to take action and put your ideas to the test. And, to help you get started, we have compiled a list of tips for budding entrepreneurs like you! 

Read on...  

1. Understand your business. Make sure you have a good understanding of the various aspects of a new business before entering one. If there are any grey areas, sort them out before taking the plunge. 

2. Get a skill upgrade. Invest in a skill that you believe would help you manage your business better. 

3. Don't shy away from professional help. As a budding entrepreneur, it is not possible for you to know everything about everything. So whenever you are in doubt, seek professional help. 

4. Plan Ahead. A plan is a statement of your objectives and the way to achieve them. 

5. Differentiate and deliver value. Differentiate your products or services from those of your competitors' in a way that you deliver more value every time. And, its not just the quality of products or services that I am taking about here. It is about the entire customer experience. 

6. Avoid Shortcuts. Remember there are no shortcuts to success. 

7. Set the right expectations. Do not start a business expecting overnight success. Set realistic expectations and be prepared for some degree of grind. 

8. Believe in yourself and keep faith your ideas. 

9. Keep a business pitch ready and rehearse it well. Who knows where you will meet your 'angel' investor. 

10. Hire the right people. People that you believe have the right attitude and with whom you can work comfortably.  

11. Be Compliant with all rules and regulations that impact your business. 

12. Don't be afraid of speaking to your customers. They can give you valuable insights that can help improve your business. 

13. Spend Wisely. I have seen promising businesses closing down because they have burned up cash way too fast. This is where prudent financial planning comes into the picture. 

14. Deliver more than you promise. Every time!

15. Take the Initiative. Often you don't get as long as you don't ask. 

16. Don't be afraid of trying. Richard Branson once said, "You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”

Thanks for your time!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sales Promotion Techniques For Your Business

Sales promotion refers to “those activities other than personal selling, advertising and publicity that encourages the purchase or sale of a particular product (or service)”. 

Sales Promotion is often seen as a short term tactic to boost sales and can be aimed at both consumers as well as intermediaries (dealers etc).

Sales promotional techniques often effect an immediate increase in sales and, given the fact that its impact is almost immediate, measuring the effectiveness of sales promotion techniques is often easier when compared to some of the other promotional tactics employed by businesses.

 The following are the different sales promotion techniques you can use for your business.

1. Price-off Offers or Discounts – This involves offering your products at a price lower than your normal price.

2. Quantity-off Offers – This involves offering more quantity of your product at the same (or slightly higher) price.

3. Premiums – This involves offering any merchandise for free to those who purchase your products.

4. Coupons – Coupons are discount certificates which can be redeemed by the customer at the time of payment (for your product or service). Coupons may be distributed via mail or social media channels, published in newspapers, contained inside packaged products or handed over by dealers or salesmen.

5. Refund / Cash Back Offers – This involves offering a refund of money to customers for sending in a “proof-of-purchase.”

6. Customer contests and Lucky draws – Contests and Lucky draws can be organized with the intention of offering free samples or products at a discounted price to the winners (of such contests or draws).

7. Trading Stamps / Loyalty Points – These incentives are generally offered by retail chains and eCommerce websites. Consumers are credited with loyalty points with every purchase and these points can be redeemed either for free merchandise upon reaching the threshold limit or claimed as discounts against the next purchase.

8. Trade Discount / Allowances – Discounts are offered to dealers to encourage them to stock more of your products.

9. Dealer Contests – This involves offering rewards to dealers based on their sales performance. For example you offer to give away a brand new Laptop to those (dealers) who are able to achieve a predetermined sales target. 

10. Premium or Push Money – This concerns offering additional compensation to salesmen who are able to surpass their target levels.

From The Maharaja's Travel Diaries - Vintage Air India Posters

Created by Bobby Kooka and Umesh Rao, India's most loved Mascot; the Maharajah made his first appearance in the year 1946 and has since then captivated the imagination of Art Lovers worldwide.

Today, we bring to you a few snapshots from the Maharaja's Travel Diaries! These Vintage Air India Posters explore the adventures of the Mustachioed Maharaja in Foreign Lands. Enjoy!

Maharaja's Adventures in Cairo!

Maharaja and his Cart full of Flowers in Europe!

Maharaja Enjoying Winter Sports in Europe!

The Maharaja with Little Kids in Hong Kong!

The Maharaja Busy Reading In London.

The Maharaja's Adventures in Moscow!

Maharaja Having the Time of his Life in Osaka!

The Maharaja Explores Rome!

The Many Adventures of the Maharaja in Singapore!

The Maharaja Travels through Middle East!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

How Does Quora Make Money? The Revenue Model Of Quora

Quora is the world's most popular question and answer website. Quora provides a platform where users like you and me can ask a question or answer questions asked by others. 

Quora's mission is to "connect the people who have knowledge to the people who need it."

What differentiates Quora from similar Questions & Answers website is the fact that is that they have many experts on board. 

For example, on Quora, you can find Vinod Koshla himself answering a question on what keeps his Motivated..

Having understood what Quora is, we will now move towards the real object of this post i.e understanding how Quora makes money. 

The Revenue Model Of Quora. 

Well, it might surprise you to learn that till very recently Quora did not generate any revenue. 

Yes, you heard it right; No Revenue!

But recently they have started experimenting with text advertisements. 

You can find text ads showing just below the question or between two answers. Refer the screenshot below:

Text Advertisement on Quora Just below the Question.
You can also find ads at the end of the post. 

So for now text ads are the only source of revenue for Quora. 

Given the fact that Quora is a text heavy website with a lot of emphasis on user experience, I don't see them experimenting with display ads. 

Whether the Quora team will discover some other way of monetizing their website.. only time will tell. 

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