How To Be More Productive: Four Simple Ideas

Written by Praneetha Aniruth on . Posted in Business, Strategy

It is too early in 2014 to declare a winner for the best quote of the year, but this one is certainly the leader in the clubhouse.It comes from Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, in an interview he did with Inc.

“When I first started working as a software engineer, I had really high standards, and I often felt other people weren’t meeting them. But over time, I realized that even if others on the team weren’t doing everything as perfectly as I wanted them to, if they got to 80 percent of the way there then that’s awesome.”

1.  Start small.

A CEO of a $5 million company has never had a personal assistant. At first there wasn’t enough work to delegate. When the company grew bigger, she refused to hire one because it “seemed pretentious” and lately the explanation has been “I really don’t want to add another direct report.”  Her New Year’s resolution is to hire one, which she will share with her second in command.

2. Take baby steps.  You can begin by adding to the responsibilities of the people you already have in place. The person in charge of the stock room can order supplies. The person at the front desk who has to deal with the over-night deliver people anyway can be in charge of the packages you send out. That sort of thing.

3. Set a price limit, if you are uncomfortable.  One of the major reasons entrepreneurs give for not delegating is the cost if something goes wrong.  If that is the case, begin by capping the spending authority of the people you delegate to.  As you grow more comfortable, you can raise the limit.

4. Diversity is good. Look to add people from different backgrounds, people with different experiences from yours, the best entrepreneurs told me.  For example, people in their early 20s will invariably suggest new technology tools you can employ to get more out of your day.

But perhaps the biggest tip is to keep re-reading Omidyar’s quote.Even if people won’t do everything as well as you do, if they come close, you will have substantial exceeded what you can do on your own.

I Love Durban Launch – Bringing the world to Durban

Written by Praneetha Aniruth on . Posted in Business, Social Media

The hottest growing community in South Africa, a 6-month-old campaign called “I Love Durban” was launched, by award winning company Carver Media, at a bespoke function last night. The I Love Durban Facebook Fan page has over 116 000 fans and a reach of more than 8 million people. The I Love Durban platforms include a website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube. CEO, Avilash Aniruth’s dream to take Durban to the world and bring the world to Durban has come true.

“Durban is an iconic world class city that is often overshadowed by Johannesburg and Capetown. I Love Durban was created to take Durban even further in promoting community pride in Durban and highlighting economic development, tourism, infrastructure, employment, entertainment, youth and more.”, he said.

The beautiful five star Beverly Hills hotel was the venue with a never before seen spectacle that saw the internationally acclaimed fashion designer Gavin Rajah team up with creative Cape Town food genius Annalize Buchanan to provide the fabulous food and a live fashion show.

The announcement of the “I Love Durban” corporate partners was received with tremendous applause as they all share the same vision to position Durban as a world-class global destination.

The event created a social media frenzy, as bloggers, guests, celebrities, fans and the community took to the platforms to share their excitement and support. Programme director for the evening model, actress and presenter, Kajal Bagwandeen, kept the proceedings in motion introducing all important,invited speakers who came to share messages of support and admiration of the brand and its purpose. Speakers such as The Head of Durban Tourism; Phillip Sithole, City councilor; Logie Naidoo and Canadian best selling author of book, Mind Power; John Kehoe. These speakers were amongst other valued partners to the brand, which included Durban staples; King Shaka International Airport, Durban ICC, Tyson Properties, Durban Tourism and Transnet, The Durban Chamber of Commerce and The Mercury.

“We welcome other partners who want to join us in our vision to make Durban a leading, innovative, global city”.

The exciting announcement for the evening was a 2014 Travel Guide to be launched next year with Gavin Rajah as guest Editor and Curator.

Avilash Aniruth, Co-Founder of I Love Durban and CEO of Carver Media shared his gratitude with his guests at the end of the night’s formalities. Speaking on his vision for the brands future and the importance of the message behind the I Love Durban brand in the city, he went on to thank his wife, ICT entrepreneur of the year award recipient, Praneetha Aniruth who is also the Co-Founder of the I Love Brand and played an important role in the growth of this online brand which has reached 8 million people to date, on its Twitter (@ILuvDBN) and Facebook (I Love Durban) platforms.

“ Little did we know, an idea sparked sitting at the back of a taxi cab in New York City, would ignite a gigantic bonfire of love for the city of Durban. “\

The future of business communication through technology tools

Written by Praneetha Aniruth on . Posted in Business, Strategy

Technology has grown tremendously over recent years. With it come a lot of opportunities and challenges alike. Of great importance is the way it has revolutionized the ways businesses conduct businesses with each other.

There are several online communication tools most of which are free. iTrust has observed a few of which are in great use in today’s business world. Top in the list is the use of email services to communicate. Several email service providers such as Microsoft, yahoo and Google offer free email services.

Skype is second. One is able to chat and video call others on Skype. With credit, one can call directly to other mobile service providers. Google has also developed great tools for communication. Services such as Google Talk are free and enable video call between individuals and businesses.

Social media sites, also called Web 2.0 are also great communication tools. These include, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Wassup among others. Their main advantage is that they enable the business to communicate instantly to masses.

There are other businesses to business communication tools that are not freely available on the internet. These include web video conferencing, Voice over IP (VOIP) and business class instant messaging. One has to install certain equipment and software to use such tools.

Below are included some advantages that come with the use of online communication tools for businesses.

Increased efficiency

An efficient business is the one that is able to respond to clients and other partners promptly. Business is about communication. Online communication tools enhance efficiency by, Instant feedback; less time is taken to respond to inquiries and complains.

Lower business costs

Firms that embraced the use of online communication tools lowered the cost of doing business drastically.

Increased business

The ability to connect and communicate with partners fast has brought in more business. For example, the ability of an IT firm to offer remote support would attract potential clients even from far whose systems would need such support. Social media is known to bring in huge numbers of potential clients to the business. Clients can also give feedback on the services procured in confidence. Firms would use the information to improve their services.

Saving time

online communication tools save business valuable time. Videoconferencing saves managers and sales executives’ time that would have been spent travelling.
Firms today may need to consider taking advantage of business communication tools in order to grow business with technology

Marketing at the Speed of Social

Written by Praneetha Aniruth on . Posted in Business, Social Media

Social marketing now drives a faster everything. In fact, social forces marketers to go faster, not the other way around. It’s for this exact reason that businesses are afraid to become a social business. Take Uber for example. Their vision was simple in creating a service that put the power of seamless ‘right now’ transportation into the palm of our hands. How about Apple? Steve Wozniak talked about how they originally set out with a simple vision to build a personal computer. They built the first personal computer that delivered a word processor. It turned out that the computer called for the networking, which quickly grew into the need for the internet. We needed a way to see the new clusters of information created on the internet, so search engines were born. And now, social commerce is enabled. Steve says “we did not build a computer knowing all this was going to happen, we started with a simple vision.”

As consumers, we all purchase something because a product or service solved a problem in a way that no one else has been able to solve. This also translates through experiences. As with Uber, it isn’t the fact that we want to take a ride in a nice black car, which frankly is more expensive than a taxi. What it solves for consumers is the ability to be in control of their transportation immediately. Everything else about the experience Uber delivers is just the cherry on top.

Socially businesses are few and far between, only because the complexities and data is so overwhelming. Becoming a business that perpetuates creative problem solving powered by social today means you first have to listen in order to keep up. It’s important that businesses use social to co-create ideas and innovation. We still need leadership and vision, but the power of one top-down voice is gone. Finally, it’s no secret that creating shareable experiences through storytelling has changed. Strategically speaking, giving your brand, product or service more shareable experiences means putting more thought into creative ingenuity like never before. Humans can detect carefully crafted and unique experiences through authentic storytelling. They respect it more!

5 steps to fix a broken process

Written by Praneetha Aniruth on . Posted in Business

Broken is broken. Prompt action is necessary to avoid the negative effects of a broken process to propagate throughout the business. Processes are like highways in your business. Any clog could be damaging.

Diagnose problem
Gather information on the problem by speaking with the people involved in the process. Observe and understand the pain points. Separate the effects from the causes. Investigate and identify the root cause of the broken process.

Collect data
Collect data on volume, processing time, delay, and other relevant measurements that could be useful for sizing the problem. It is important to understand the magnitude of effects, which affects the type and choice of the solution.

Brainstorm options
List potential solutions for fixing the process. The solution could be a partial fix for the short-term or a full solution that requires extensive work. Vet the options with the people who do the work to ensure that they make sense. Assess the costs and benefits.

Implement solution
Follow a detail plan for implementation. Communicate the purpose and how, provide relevant and appropriate training, offer support on change, and apply common sense throughout the implementation.

Finetune solution
Monitor improvements and determine if modifications are necessary. Perfection is not the goal but you want to eliminate the deficiencies to achieve the intended improvements. Finetune the solution to enhance results.