Gone are the days when we had to stand in queues for booking train/bus or even Flight tickets. With the rise of OTA, it has not only become convenient for customers to book tickets but also get great discounts on them. Today we have an article by Rohit who works for  Coupon Lava & his awesome customer experience with MMT gave rise to this article where he touches upon “The success of MakeMyTrip”. He can be reached on Google+

Initial Days of MakeMyTrip

Many might think that MakeMyTrip [ henceforth referred as MMT ]is yet another website founded in the early 2010’s. But it is certainly not so. MMT became the traditional online travel-booking site of India a few years ago. It was founded on the 1st of April in 2000 by Deep Kalra, a successful agency businessman from Haryana. The website was almost untouched till 2002 and then, advertisements triggered a revolution in the field of tours and travels. MMT is funded by Helion Ventures, Sierra Ventures and SAIF Partners and the amount is nearly Rs. 13,000,000.

Sweet taste of Success

According to some official surveys and accounts of the Indian Airspace, it was inferred that nearly 1/12th of all the domestic flight bookings was done using this website in the year 2009. Initially, MMT was just an intermediate between the passengers and the ticket counters for air travel. Subsequently, as time moved on, the website experts and the IT technicians decided to boost the privileges and started online booking for railway trains, registered government bus services and international airways.

After 2005’s incredible success, the developers started focusing on e-tickets. Today, the e-ticket is processed in less than 30 minutes and is immediately emailed to the concerned passenger. Bookings of domestic flights, international flights, hotels, packages like ‘flight plus hotel’, holidays, taxi cabs, private cars, bus and railways are the services offered by the company.

Some critiques and journalists say that online travel booking is totally unsafe as the discounts have no relevant roots behind them. The companies never tell the source of discount and subsidies. To curb this problem, MMT added trusted brand-ambassadors and increased the advertisement frequencies to let everyone know about their genuine and reliable methods of operation. Also, they have consistently provided great MakeMyTrip coupons which can be easily found at coupon websites like Coupon Lava, CouponCabin etc. Also, in the quest to provide economical travelling solutions to its customers, MMT launched the ‘Trip Rewards’. According to this deal, a passenger earns a certain number of reward points after (s)he books a relevant travel plan with the online mega-company. These reward points can be used as discounts for all the future transactions.

MMT is also one of the first Indian websites to accept online payments via PayPal.  The payments can be made via many accounts. More than 70 employees are engaged in website development, consumer support and customer relations.

The history, revolutionary development and the present success of this e-company is capable enough to make us believe in the bright future of this company.

If you had an awesome experience with any OTA, please share them in the comments section …

For many people, working at a startup is the holy grail of employment, and it’s not hard to understand why. You can get in on the ground floor, be a part of something exciting, and maybe even be a part of huge growth. That’s why it’s so cool to work for a startup, but that’s also why it’s so hard to actually get a job with one: everyone else wants to do it too. Competition is fierce, but with the right knowledge and approach, you can find a way to make the cut. Read on, and you’ll discover 33 insider tips that can help you land a coveted job at a hot startup.

Find a startup you love
Identify a startup you can really connect with, and the rest is easy. With the right fit, you’ll be better poised to connect with the startup’s culture, vision, goals, and needs.

Present yourself as an innovator
Startups are always ravenous for fresh and creative ideas. You can really stand out if you come to your interview prepared with ideas for growing and improving the business.

Show that you’re well-rounded
Do you have side projects that demonstrate your interest and passion for technology? Discuss what you’ve been working on and your dedication will be clear.

Identify what makes you unique and valuable
Getting a job means being a great salesperson, and every great salesperson knows you’ve got to have a unique selling point (USP). What’s yours? Be sure it’s the star of your resume and cover letter.

Engage in startup-related chatter
Check in on Quora and other great sites featuring startup discussions, and do your best to answer questions impressively. By being a part of the conversation, you just might catch the attention of a startup that’s hiring.

Don’t wait to see a job posting
Actual startup job postings may not show up for quite some time, especially among those in the early stage. Rather than waiting to see if they’ll pop up, get engaged with the startup early on to express your interest.

Go big or go home
Go into the application process with the mindset of leaving it all on the table. Successful startup hires have created infographics, catchy slideshows, even interesting websites to stand out in the crowd.

Be flexible
Working at a startup isn’t like working at a 9 to 5, usually. You may have weird hours, unusual commitments, and strange tasks. Be willing to take them in stride and don’t be shocked when you’re asked how you’d feel about taking them on in the interview.

Just start working
One of Square’s earliest employees was initially denied an interview at the company. But he brushed it off and took it upon himself to acquire card readers and use them to sign up 10 new merchants for the service in one day. It’s a bold move, one that got him noticed, and hired, by the startup.

Say thank you
Sure, it’s impressive to create high tech, attention-getting media to woo your potential employer, and if you have the skills, by all means, do it. But startups are made up of regular people too, and everyone, yes, everyone appreciates a good, old-fashioned hand-written thank you note. Do this, and you’ll really stand out.

Fill multiple needs
Being great at one thing is impressive, but it’s much more likely to get you a job at a big company where they can afford to have one employee for one task. At a startup, needs tend to be much broader, as each employee is expected to take on a wide variety of tasks. Show that you can contribute with a wide skill set that fills multiple needs.

Know everything there is to know
Don’t just check out the company’s website a few hours before your interview. Really spend time getting to know what the startup is all about. Do extensive research, connect with their social media outlets, and learn about their development. Go beyond the surface so that you’ll be able to stand out as knowledgeable and intensely interested in what the startup stands for.

Don’t try to share any BS
Entrepreneurs tend to have great BS detectors. Don’t give them a reason to lose faith in you by trying to feed them any. If you don’t know the answer, own up to it and offer to find out and follow up with them.

Be a part of the community
Be visible in all the right circles. Attend meetups, hackathons, and launch parties. Take the time to make connections and nurture your network. Connect with the right people, and it’s likely to lead you to a great startup job.

Be personal
Joining a small startup means lots of one on one time with the first people with boots on the ground. If you don’t click personally, chances are, you’re not getting hired. Do you fit in with the company’s culture? Get along with the founders? If you think you do, make sure that you let your personality shine through so they will recognize it as well.

Have your own questions
Be really impressive by showing that you’ve taken the time to contemplate what the startup is all about. Come to the interview with your own questions, ones beyond salary, hours, and benefits, that really demonstrate an understanding, appreciation, and willingness to explore the company.

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There is no dearth of chat cum audio/video applications namely Nimbuzz, TalkBox, WhatsApp with WhatsApp being the most popular [at least in India :)], today we review an interesting app named WeChat. WeChat is a robust, fast-performing, 100% free mobile voice, video and text messaging application with the strength of over 200 million users worldwide. For doing the review, we downloaded the app for Android from here. In the review, we look into the features of WeChat & compare with it’s close competitor WhatsApp.

Gist of “WeChat”

As mentioned above, WeChat is a free voice, video & text messaging application. Among the many features that this app has, the friend-discovery location based social features and shared streaming photo feeds from friends’ personal photo albums are something which is very unique to this. The user has the option to add contacts who are using WeChat or invite/connect with users using a unique id called QQ ID

Key Features of “WeChat”

Some interesting features of the app are:

  1. Video/Voice Calling, Text messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, broadcast (one-to-many) messaging, photo/video sharing, location sharing, and contact information exchange.
  2. Offers engaging one-on-one and group chat sessions with an extensive range of animated and custom emoticon and emoji art. The user can beautify the chat’s with customizable backgrounds.
  3. Supports social networking via shared streaming content feeds and location-based social plug-ins [Shake & Look Around] to chat with and befriend local and international WeChat users.
  4. Shake: Exchange ‘contact information exchange’ with nearby WeChat users, or connect with WeChat users worldwide who are eager to make new friends. I tried the “Shake” feature & could find couple of users from Korea who were shaking their device at the same time. Don’t know how useful this feature this unless you have a handful number of known people using this feature simultaneously.
  5. Look Around: Connect with nearby WeChat community members who are also looking around. This feature is quite interesting since I could find couple of my “NearBy” friends who were using WeChat.

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WeChat vis-a-vis WhatsApp

When I used WeChat, the obvious comparison that came to mind is WhatsApp. There are couple of features in WeChat which are interesting when compared to WhatsApp namely – Drift Bottle : Write a message or talk, put the message in a bottle, and throw it to the virtual sea. Soon or later a random person will take the bottle with your message & (s)he could reply to you or add you in his/her contact list. Though this feature looks interesting but just like the “Shake”  feature we could not find it usable !!!

Walkie-Talkie Feature : WeChat offers the “Walkie Talkie” feature where a person can easily talk by pressing the “Tap to Talk” button. Also, if the audio is not clear; the user has the option delete that particular chat transcript.

Contact Backup : With WeChat, user can also Backup the address book to QQ ID Website
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One simple yet effective feature in WhatsApp is “Double Tick” which indicates that the other person has received the message or not & might be a good feature that can be taken by WeChat 🙂 In India, WhatsApp has a wider adoption compared to WeChat & Reliance Communications offers unlimited access for GSM subscribers Apart from features, WeChat would need to focus on partnering with Telecom operators to increase it’s user base. There is already a shift happening to WeChat & we need to wait who wins the “Chat” race 🙂

This review is a part of the Sponsored Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com.

Off late, I have been facing lot of issues with my Airtel DTH service & after repeated complaints there has been no actions taken by Airtel. The worst part is that every time when I call them, I have to repeat the entire Ramayan about the the issues that I am facing i.e. There was no one-point contact to look into my issue. The crux is that “Customer Service has become more important than before especially after the advent of Social Media where any information can spread like wild-fire !!!”. The end result was that “I finally gave up Airtel DTH”; as you might have rightly guessed the focus for this article is “Customer Service“…

Today, we have a guest article from Julie Robert who is a B2B wholesale trade & B2B marketing expert. She writes frequently on the topics related to UK Wholesalers & Wholesale supplies. She gives us some tips on how to maintain excellent customer service & how to convert your one-time customers into repeated customers.

It is an undeniable fact that no retail and wholesale trade can exist without customers. For a business’ success, it is important to work closely with your customers to make sure what you are offering to them is what they want and is according to their demand.

Increasing competition forces entrepreneurs to pay more attention towards a strong customer service that helps in bringing your customers closer to your business and satisfying them. Following are a few pointers that can make your customers feel valued and help you measure and manage customer satisfaction.

Focus on direct dealings

Direct dealing with customers is the most important yet the scariest and the most stressful experience for entrepreneurs, if they are not used to this. When you are working on a special project, you must meet your customers face to face to know their requirements and demands from your offers. The process gets easier with every meeting.

Be confident while meeting your customers and ask them what their needs are and what kind of solution they seek from you. The meeting over time makes it easy for you to propose a solution and close a deal.

Keep your customers well-informed

How annoying is it to wait for days to get a response for an important email or query? Customers do not understand that it is difficult for you to deal with a number of queries within a few hours so you have to manage to at least email or call them back to satisfy them that you have received their queries and you will contact them back with a solution as soon as possible.

Even if you are busy working on another project and cannot cater to a particular set of customers, you can assure them that their issue is in your knowledge and you are working on it.

Define customer service policy

Another annoying thing for customers is when they have any problem but do not know who to turn to. You are likely to lose a customer, if you pass him from person to person without solving his problem. To avoid any such situation, you must define a sound and a comprehensive customer service policy so that both your employees and customers know exactly what to do at each stage of inquiry.

Make sure your customer service policy is visible to your employees and your customers also have access to it so that both parties know what to do and how to proceed at each stage.

Keep your promises

The most important factor that helps you run a successful business is honouring and fulfilling your promises. Experts suggest entrepreneurs should always deliver to their customers and do exactly as they promise. Never disappoint your customers. It is essential to keep your customers connected to you.

A valuable customer service can help you achieve your targets and you must practice this art continuously though it takes time and effort to master. Treat your customers well and keep them connected to your business and they will surely want to buy from you again.

About the author

Julie Robert is a B2B wholesale trade and B2B marketing expert. She writes frequently on the topics related to UK Wholesalers & Wholesale supplies.

I am sure there are many other tips to make Customers Happy & Delighted, if you are aware about any such “Mantras”, please leave them in the comments section & we would include them in the main article.

We have done lot of book review’s in the past [few of them here] most of them were on Business, Startups & Entrepreneurship but this time we digress a bit & touch upon an emotional journey penned by Vasundhara Ramanujan in her book Shades of Life

Why ME !!!

We live a peaceful, happy and a healthy life. We never appreciate much what we have, everything is taken for granted but when there is sudden twist that is when our life gets a new meaning. A very recent example to prove this point is “Yuvraj Singh” & his latest advertisement explains it all !!!

Detailed Review

The author “Vasundhara Ramanujan” takes us through the turbulent journey of her fifteen year son, Adtitya who is diagnosed with kidney failure & how he fights his way through the disease with the continuous support from his mother and his family.

Aditya, just like any other teenager is enjoying his life to the fullest when suddenly in the winter of 1996 things begin to change. His mother takes him to the doctor when there are frequent complaints of severe headache; only to realize that his kidney’s are on the verge of complete failure.

The books reflects the unconditional love of a mother towards her son who suffers through the most of his life and the courage of the child who faces the truma of the disease for nearly thirteen years of his life. The mother not only helped her son cope with the disease but also motivated and inspired him to continue his education. The mother-son duo live through this disease with the help of their supporting family.

The book takes us through the endless doctor visits, numerous tests, long dialysis days and the hunt for a tissue match for the kidney transplant. It was impressing to see that the mother who herself had just fought breast cancer offers her kidney for the transplant. Unfortunately for some reason Aditya’s body rejects his mothers kidney this is when his elder brother Dhananjay donates his kidney to Aditya. Now, Aditya is not only hail & hearty but has achieved his Post-Doctorate in Physics.

Final Thoughts

The book is a quick read, around 150 pages & story is not only well written but also arouses “Emotional Quotient” in the reader. It conveys an important lesson – “Nothing is impossible if right action is taken at the right time”

Where to buy the book

The book is available on Flipkart here If you have read the book please share your thoughts in the comments section…

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!!!

The world is chock full of business opportunities that are ripe with the possibility of expanding your skills, increasing your bank account balance and more. Of course, there are also plenty of bogus opportunities that can eat away at your time, strip you of cash and more. The ability to distinguish the good business opportunities from the bad is critical if you want to enjoy the greatest level of success in life. So what can you look for in a business opportunity to determine if it is legitimate and may provide you with significant benefits?

Today we have a guest article from Matt Doyle [earlier post from him here] who gives us some tips on “Which business opportunities should one take very seriously”

[ PS : This article might not be useful for readers from India but would be a boon for U.K based readers.]

Financial Backing
A surety bond is typically used by companies to provide a contractor with the peace of mind that he or she will get paid on a project. A company can take out a surety bond with a third party provider, and the SBA can also assist in providing a bond guarantee if needed. You may find comfort in knowing you will get paid for your efforts when working with a company backed by a surety bond.

Consider the Motive
According to Brian Tracy, a renowned entrepreneur, you should carefully consider why a company is offering you a specific opportunity. A legitimate opportunity that is worth your time and effort working on may not be an opportunity that is offered to just anyone. If a company is making a blanket opportunity available to many people, you may want to turn the other way. When a company seeks you out for specific skills or talents, there is a good chance that the offer is legitimate.

Check the Company’s Background
It is important to check the company’s background thoroughly before you start doing any work for a company. You can check the Better Business Bureau if you are going to work with a company. If you are offered an opportunity from an individual, the Better Business Bureau may not be helpful. You can consider checking the individual’s credit rating to learn about their financial status, judgments against them and more.

Read Consumer Reviews
You should always carefully review the products, services and overall reputation of a company before working with them. Ensure that the reviews you are reading are posted by individuals rather than by individuals working for the company or by the company itself. Keep in mind that anyone can post just about anything online, so you’ll want to read through numerous reviews on several different websites to form a complete opinion about the company.

Review the Compensation Terms
There are many bogus opportunities available that provide unique compensation terms. Rather than pay you for selling a product or service or for working certain work hours, they may pay you for recruiting people into the scheme. Compensation based recruitment rather than on sales, time or other traditional methods is a likely sign that the work opportunity is a scam.

While these tips can help to steer you clear of bogus opportunities, you should also consider the final step of trusting your instincts. If you are uncomfortable with an opportunity but just cannot put your finger on why, it may be best to walk away from the opportunity.

About the author
Matt Doyle is an expert in surety bonds and when he is not writing you can find him traveling the world one random place at a time.

Getting on the “most popular” list is one of the best ways of gaining social recognition when using Instagram. This may even earn you a recognition message from the makers of Instagram which will help you get more followers.

Today we have a guest article from Steven Stretton who writes for Buy Instagram Followers – a website designed to help boost your Instagram likes & Instagram profile. Here he shares his tips which he has listed down from his personal experience on Instagram.

[ Please get in touch if you think there are some missing points, or leave your tips in the comments section ]

What is the “Most Popular” secret formula ?

Just like Coca Cola the “Most Popular” formula is not a well known secret but if you happen to get a huge number of likes within a short period of time then this will definitely increase the chances of you becoming popular. Receiving a lot of likes within a minute will definitely help you make this chart. The number of followers plays a huge part as well as working on your profile.

Just like in Twitter, you can get a lot of followers by actually doing some following on your part. The best thing remains working on your profile and making it better.

The Instagram team needs to improve their current formula since it awards a few people who have a lot more users. This makes it hard to discover new users this only a few people can join the “Popular.”

Here are a few basics on how you can go about boosting your Instagram profile

Who you are

It is essential for you to have names or nick names which are unique and easy to remember. Better to maintain a uniform nickname across all your social platforms so that the users can easily check how popular you are on other platforms & what you have lately been upto.

Your Profile picture

People who are handsome or beautiful will have no problem here. If you are not so sure, sun glasses will give you some confidence.

It is good to have a good sense of humour, humility and humanity because these are aspects that people are bound to find appealing.

Getting into “Most Popular” List

There are several effects that will be great boosts when it comes to getting into the “Most Popular”

1.  The quality and uniqueness of your photos will definitely earn you points. Make sure you take your time editing & coming up with creative and original photos.

2.  The information about your photos i.e. The titles, types of effects you employ & basically the style you use on your photos that is unique to you.

3.  Location Geo-tagging & linking your account to Foursquare can help with identifying the location.

4.  Knowledge you transmit to users: Users will only follow you if you have something to offer that adds value to their life.

5.  Your interest in the users – The time you spend on Instagram is dependent on the size of your group. If it is a big group then you will certainly spend more time communicating with them.

6.  Make use of emoticons in nicks & comments and this will make people recognize you.

7.  Organize original contests – This may take some time but it is a good method that is known to work.

8.  Make sure you thank your followers & celebrate your hits. Congratulate them as well. An example is when you thank your followers for helping you reach a certain milestone for example a certain number of followers.

Just like other social networks, your time zone at the time of posting is important. It is good for you to post at a time when a lot of people in your time zone have woken up and are free. This will give you more followers and help you make it to the “Most Populars. ” Doing it too early or too late may earn you followers from different time zones.

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Whether you are into a job or doing some business; it is very important to be credible. In this post, we have guest author Matt Doyle who gives us tips on “Improving the Credibility of Business”.

When starting a new business, one of the big challenges that companies often have is making themselves look credible to customers and suppliers. Unless you can gain some level of credibility, you’re going to have a hard time being successful in any industry. If you’re interested in improving the credibility of your business, here are five tips to keep in mind.

Explore Surety Bonds

Buying a surety bond can be a good way to put your customer’s fears at ease when doing business. In some cases, you may be required to have a surety bond anyway. According to the Small Business Administration, you may be contractually obligated to maintain a surety bond to guarantee your performance. With surety bonds, you take the financial risk off of your customer and put it back on you and your surety company. The customer will feel much more comfortable as a result of having this on hand.

Give More Information

Secrecy doesn’t lend itself to credibility. If you want to be able to build some credibility with your customers, give them more information. According to Dun & Bradstreet, you should “provide your customers with a real address for your business & not a P.O. Box.” You should also include information such as a business history, a privacy statement, and other measures to give your customers information about your company.

Credentials

If you want to boost the credibility of your company, you may want to explore the possibility of certification or credentials. One of the best ways for small businesses to gain credibility is via credentials & certifications. Look for ways that you can get certified or join an organization in your field. This makes your company look a lot more legitimate compared to companies that do not have these certifications and organizational memberships. It makes it look like you are serious about your craft.

Online Credibility

When you have a business website, there are ways that you can improve your credibility online as well. According to Dun & Bradstreet, a site that contains real testimonials from satisfied customers will do better than one that doesn’t. You may want to use graphics from online verification services to lend yourself a little bit of credibility as well. If you can find some positive reviews of your products or services online, you may want to link to them from your website. If you’re a member of the Better Business Bureau, include a link to your profile on their site as well. This can go a long way toward making yourself look more credible.

Get Published

Being published in a major publication is perhaps the single best way to achieve credibility. For example, if you can write an article that is published in an industry magazine or on a popular website, this can give you a lot of credibility overall. It shows people in your industry that you are a serious contributor, and it shows your customers that you are a legitimate source of information.

Overall, the process of gaining credibility is not easy. However, if you will keep doing a little bit every day toward making yourself and your business more credible, it can pay big dividends in the future.

About the Author

Matt Doyle is an expert in surety bonds and when he is not writing you can find him traveling the world one random place at a time.

Image Courtesy
http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=484010