‘Art’ is considered one of the most powerful forms of communication since the artist has the creative liberty to express his/her thoughts through artistic mediums like audio, visual, etc. When we discuss ‘visual creativity’, one form that makes a tremendous impact is ‘Painting’. However, as mentioned by Edgar Degas, a famous French artist – ‘Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do and you can understand the true beauty of an art form when you look at the art from an artists’ perspective.

Image Source

India has always been famous for its creative diversity, whether it is the traditional Indian paintings or the modern art that was begun in Kolkata in the late nineteenth century. Celebrated Indian painter Raja Rajiv Varma is considered the father of Modern Indian Art who drew on Western traditions and techniques including oil painting and easel painting. Oil painting has definitely emerged as one of the leading art forms when it comes to oil painting on canvas or some other surface. Let’s have a look at important aspects of Oil Painting.

Oil Painting – Origin, Advantages

Though Oil Paint existed since the 11th century, it gained prominence in the 15th century after advantages of using Oil Paint became widely known to the artists. During the 10th & 11th centuries, it was used for making Buddhist paintings by Indian & Chinese painters in western Afghanistan. Some of the primary advantages of Oil Paint are

  • Provides more depth of color.
  • Takes more time to dry when compared to acrylic paint, due to which artists can work on the other aspects of painting while the color dries up.
  • Can be used with other media like varnishes, resins, etc. which aid in adjusting the translucency and other important aspects of the painting.
  • Oil paints can be used on different surfaces like Fabric, Wood, Paper, Canvas, Linen, etc.

Due to these advantages, Oil paint is considered a preferred medium for painting and ‘art collectors’ & ‘art enthusiasts’ also treasure oil paintings by well-known artists!

Oil Painting – Drawing methodologies

Artists using Oil Paint normally begin by sketching the main subject on canvas, with charcoal or thinned paint. Oil paint is usually mixed with linseed oil, artist grade mineral spirits, or other solvents to make the paint thinner. Traditionally, artists use paintbrushes for drawing, but there are other tools like palette knives, rags, etc. that are increasingly being used by them. By using hog-bristle brushes along with the above mentioned tools and techniques, oil painters are able to create pigment textures that enhance the beauty of the painting.

How to buy authentic Oil Paintings online

Art collectors are passionate about art and are always on the look for oil paintings online and acrylic paintings online since treasuring art is one feeling that only a ‘art lovers’ can understand. Likewise, talented artists find it difficult to take their artwork to the audience, now with a platform like Gallerist.in; they have the option of putting their oil paintings on sale.

Gallerist.in is an online art gallery with close to 7,000+ artists, a place where art collectors & art lovers can buy oil painting without any hassles. You can also find other traditional Indian art forms on gallerist.in, which makes it a ‘go-to’ destination for someone who is passionate about art!

References – 1

The value of digitally influenced spending in emerging markets will approach $4 trillion by 2022, amounting to about 50% of all retail spending in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. But the dynamics will vary widely between markets, requiring B2C companies to ‘de-average’ their offerings in order to succeed, according to a report by The Boston Consulting Group [BCG] that was presented at the World Economic Forum. The report is titled Digital Consumers, Emerging Markets, and the $4 Trillion Future.

Image Source – Digital Influence

Half of the population in emerging markets worldwide is now connected to the internet, the report says – a stunning increase from 2010, when fewer than a quarter of those in emerging markets were online. In addition, by 2022, nearly 900 million more emerging-market consumers will be online, versus just 80 million new internet users in developed markets. That means that more than 90% of all internet newcomers during the next four years will be from emerging markets.

Smartphone penetration doubled in emerging markets between 2013 and 2017, from 22% to 44%, and smartphones are the preferred way for people in these markets to access the internet. The report was led by BCG’s Center for Customer Insights [CCI] and is based on a survey of more than 15,000 urban internet users in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, the Philippines, and South Africa.

Nimisha Jain, a BCG partner in New Delhi, who leads CCI in emerging markets, said

Emerging markets are on the brink of a major digital revolution. The share of digitally influenced retail in total retail spending will surge from 33% in 2017 to 47% by 2022. There are major differences across emerging markets, however – and in order to succeed in those markets, B2C companies will have to approach each one differently.

China is leading other emerging-market countries in internet usage, with 20% of its retail sales already coming from e-commerce. But e-commerce is advancing in other emerging economies, too. Overall, e-commerce in emerging markets will grow from about 15% of all retail sales in 2017 to 20% of all retail sales in 2022. The online portion of retail in China already exceeds that of the United Kingdom [16%], the United States [13%], and Germany and France [11% each].

A Shift in Consumer Behavior

Even more dramatic in emerging markets will be the growth of digital influence—the effect of information that consumers collect online, often by smartphone, on their online and offline purchases. By 2022, there will be $3.9 trillion in digitally influenced expenditures in emerging markets, BCG forecasts. That huge number represents both a challenge and an opportunity for B2C companies, the authors say.

How digital influences consumer behavior differs by country and by category. The report identifies three stages of digital evolution: digitally aware, digitally advancing, and—farthest along – digitally evolved. People in China [now in the digitally evolved category] are the most apt to turn to the internet for help in making a retail purchase; 39% percent of retail spending in China is digitally influenced. Brazil, India, and Indonesia [which are in the middle category, digitally advancing] have high levels of digital influence [35%, 14%, and 12%, respectively], but relatively low levels of online spending [between 3% and 5%]. Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and the Philippines are in the first category, digitally aware. In these early-stage countries, a variety of factors, from modest-size middle classes to a relatively undeveloped fintech ecosystem, have constrained the growth of e-commerce.

When a country’s markets advance from one digital stage to the next, consumer behaviors change, too, the report shows. One such change is in the expectation of a better experience, whether that takes the form of something practical like a good recommendation engine or something fun like the ability to see oneself in a shirt or hat that one is considering buying.

Altogether, 81% of people in digitally evolved markets say that they look for a fun or enjoyable experience in deciding where to buy. In contrast, the shopping experience matters to only about one in four people in digitally aware markets, and to only one in ten people in digitally advancing markets.

Another difference relates to how people pay for their online purchases. In less advanced digital markets, cash on delivery is still common – used by 88% of Filipinos, 86% of Moroccans, 58% of Kenyans, and 54% of Nigerians. In more advanced digital markets, buyers almost always pay for online purchases digitally – whether through an online mobile wallet or a credit or debit card. For instance, 94% of Chinese use a digital method of payment, as do more than three-quarters of Brazilians. In addition, Chinese consumers make 70% of their online purchases through smartphones, a level of mobile commerce that sharply exceeds the level in developed countries. In 2016, Chinese mobile payments were nearly 50 times as great as those in the US.

Jeff Walters, a BCG partner and CCI’s leader in Greater China, said

One lesson of this study is that emerging market consumers aren’t uniform in their behaviors. Different markets have distinct requirements. This is something any online seller would learn if it tried to enter China without appreciating the need to create a fun experience or if it tried to do business in parts of Asia or Africa without understanding the workings of cash on delivery.

Developing Economies’ Use of Social Media

Social media is a big part of digital influence in emerging markets. In CCI’s survey, 95% of Filipinos and 74% and 73%, respectively, of Kenyans and Moroccans say they sometimes use social media to guide their retail purchases. At 37%, Indian consumers are the least apt of all emerging-market consumers to use social media to guide them in making a retail purchase; if they are looking for an online source of information, internet users in India are much more inclined to go to a shopping website.

Social media is also popular as a venue for direct e-commerce, whether through a brand’s social media account or in peer-to-peer transactions in which consumers buy and sell from one another with no intermediary. Peer-to-peer transactions over social media are especially popular in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.

In all emerging markets, air travel is the category most subject to digital influence and the product or service most likely to be bought online, with mobile phones a close second, the survey shows. But countries can be outliers in certain product categories. For instance, Brazilian consumers are much likelier than Indian or Indonesian consumers to buy a small appliance online. And Indian consumers don’t book their holidays online at anything like the same frequency that Brazilian consumers do.

BCG’s report comes at a time when emerging markets are growing at three times the rate of developed markets and contributing much of the world’s growth. In the last two decades, according to the World Bank, emerging markets’ share of the world’s gross domestic product has risen from 11% to 28%, and their share of global household consumption expenditures has risen from 11% to 24%.

The complete report can be downloaded here

ACT Fibernet [Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd.] India’s largest fiber-focused wired broadband ISP announced its partnership with Flipkart to offer Fiber broadband plans to smart TV buyers on the Flipkart platform.

With the aim to provide a holistic home entertainment experience to all smart TV owners backed by uninterrupted and super-fast internet broadband speed, ACT Fibernet has launched the ‘smart tv ka smart choice’ plan. As part of this, customers purchasing any smart TV on Flipkart will be able to enjoy exciting offers and discounts on the company’s internet broadband plans.

ACT Fibernet will offer every eligible customer, upon purchase of a 6 months subscription, two months free internet subscription with an additional 1500 GB data and a free wireless router. Offer valid on all Smart TV purchases made on Flipkart beginning 3rd September 2018 to 30th November 2018 across all 15 cities where the company has presence.

How to avail the offer

  1. Customer to provide proof of purchase – Flipkart Order ID, Flipkart Invoice date along with Name, Mobile, Email, Complete Address on ACT website
  2. ACT Fibernet to verify the purchase with Flipkart and out-call the customer, confirm the offer, check for feasibility in customer location and proceed with installation.
  3. ACT Fibernet to provide new connection within a period of 10 working days.
  4. Existing customers of ACT Fibernet are also eligible for the upgrade sans the router
  5. Offer to be redeemed before 31st December 2018.
  6. Customer is also free to choose any other offer from ACT Fibernet that is currently available in their respective market.

The below table captures the plan details across cities

For more information on the offer log on here.

India, as a country is undergoing a significant change and progressing at a very rapid pace. The GDP [Gross Domestic Product] is showing an upswing and there have been a lot of sectors where India has shown the world that we are no longer ‘just another progressing country’, but we can also be leaders in the fields of technology, sports, entertainment, etc. Though GDP is one way to look at a country’s progress, the other measure could be the amount of money being spent on healthcare.

Image Source – Fitness

Though the socio-economic conditions have improved, problems like obesity, anxiety, Diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. are very common even with Indians who are in their early 30’s. As per a report, India currently represents around 49% of the world’s diabetes burden, expected to almost double to 134 million by 2025. This is a serious matter of concern for a ‘Young India’ that is ready to take on the world with all guns blazing but it could be plagiarized with poor health/fitness.

It is primarily important to maintain a healthy diet which is a combination of nutrition & taste, but in case you are suffering from diabetes/high blood sugar levels, it is always recommended to have the best glucometer available in India. For a diabetic patient, self-testing your blood sugar is important in order to avoid further diabetes complications and this is where the ‘glucose meter’ [glucometer] can be handy to measure sugar level at the comfort of your home. There are a lot of brands that make glucometers, namely Omron, Bayer, Accu Check, One Touch, etc. but you have to make a conscious decision of buying the best glucometer in India that suits your requirements. To use the meter, use the lancet to draw a small amount of blood from your finger, put it onto the strip and then insert the strip in the meter. The results are accurate and the strips are also available at affordable prices.

Though health is considered the real wealth, most of us seem to have forgotten it and tend to follow a laid-back or sedentary lifestyle. There are many who start their day by playing games on their smart-devices whereas the ideal way should be to do some exercise so that it enriches the body and mind. Due to this, many men & women gain weight, which might also negatively impact their confidence & personality.

Physical fitness has become much more important than before; else the cases of obesity, risk to deadly diseases, etc. could plagiarize our generation and the forthcoming generation. If you are someone who is focused on fitness, having a weighing scale always helps as you can also keep a track of your weight while you follow your daily fitness regime. Depending on your budget and requirements, you can opt to purchase a weighing scale online so that you can track weight, along with other important parameters like steps taken, calories burnt, hydration levels, etc. and experience a holistic ‘fitness experience’.

To summarize, let’s make a conscious effort to make the slogan ‘Hum Fit to India Fit‘ a reality!

Enakshi, an online apparel brand for women has closed their first round of seed fund of 80 Lakhs from a private investor. The brand is also in talks with a clutch of other investors to secure a total funding of $1 million over the next two years to build on its distribution network.

Image Source – Funding

Founded in March 2018, by young founders in their early 20s, Maharsh Shah & Namya Patel, launched Enakshi, a virtual boutique for modern women that offers only exclusive pieces of garments with no two pieces alike. The brand plans to utilize the funding amount to increase the brand’s visibility, improve their existing logistics & technology and to empanel more designers from across the nation. Enakshi also plans to expand their business into brick and mortar stores as a next step to giving its customers a first-hand experience of their favorite Enakshi garments.

Enakshi was launched to address two primary concerns of modern women

  • Their everyday worry of ‘what to wear tomorrow’
  • Their need for exclusivity and novelty in their wardrobe

The virtual boutique helps women explore and discover fashion that is as unique as their individuality. With efficient logistics in place, the brand promises a quick turnaround time by ensuring dispatch on the very same day so that the customers get the garment of their choice sooner than anticipated.

Enakshi ensures novelty by launching a new collection every 21 days, where each collection is designed by a different pool of designers, empaneled by the brand from across the nation. Through this unique approach, the brand also aims at disrupting the fashion industry by providing a platform to many talented yet underappreciated designers from across the nation, to collaboratively showcase their creativity befitting the theme of the collection.

Enakshi Founders – Maharsh Shah [R], Namya Patel [L]

Maharsh Shah, Co-founder Enakshi, said

With the largest social media savvy youth population in the world, India as a market is becoming increasingly fashion conscious. With decades of experience in the women apparel industry through our parent brand Deepkala in Ahmedabad, we noticed that increasing number of women have now started seeking novelty in their every buy and aspire to create a wardrobe that showcases their own individuality. This catapulted the launch of brand Enakshi.

Namya Patel, Co-founder, Enakshi further added

At Enakshi, we brief our empaneled designers to create designs to suit the modern women’s preferences. Our primary target audience is women in the age group of 18-48 yr, that don many hats in their daily lives and pride over their individuality. Our designs, therefore, are fluid, to adorn the multiple roles of these women and our philosophy of ‘One Woman, One Design, One Garment’ ensures that there is only one distinctive piece per design. Our tech ensure that every design ordered is altered in the requested size and dispatched for delivery the same day to keep up with the paced life of a modern woman.

About Enakshi

Enakshi is an apparel brand catering to the modern women. The brand offers a virtual boutique for women to explore and discover fashion that is as unique as them.The designs on order have been created by a hand-picked pool of designers shortlisted by Enakshi and then further curated to suit the brand’s style and vision. Enakshi offers only fresh designs and no two designs are alike, which means only one distinctive piece per design. The company was launched in March, 2018 and is headquartered in Ahmedabad. Enakshi was conceptualized and created by Nilay Shah, Maharsh Shah, and Namya Patel. The early twenties Founders chose to launch from Ahmedabad since it is the hub for fashion designing and also their hometown.

Subscription box services are a huge trend in e-commerce. Whether the contents are carefully selected by the customer [Blue Apron, Dollar Shave Club] or come in the form of a mystery box [Ipsy, Bark Box], people love this business model.

Image Source – Subscription Box Business

Buyers love the personalized surprise every month, while sellers love the predictable income due to recurring fees. It’s also satisfying to source specialty items and cater to a specific niche of discerning customers.

Why It’s a Blockbuster Idea to Start a Subscription Service

The subscription e-commerce market has jumped 100 percent annually for the past five years. According to a recent Forbes article, e-commerce subscribers are in the sweet 25 to 44-year-old demographic and bring home $50,000 to $100,000 a year. Although many current subscribers live in urban environments of the northeastern U.S., the market is growing exponentially. In fact, about 15 percent of online shoppers have one or more subscriptions to get products via monthly box services.

Women make up 60 percent of subscribers, but men are the ones most likely to have at least three active subscriptions to avoid trips to the store. Let’s look at the types of box services currently available in the market.

Three Types of Subscription Box Services

The different box types appeal to the core reasons people love getting them. Some subscribers want a monthly surprise, while others want to pick out each item for an uber-customized package.

  1. Build-A-Box – Customers choose each item from a list. Food and meal plan businesses often work off this model to provide variety and flexibility to clients.
  2. Mystery Box – Subscribers don’t know what they’ll get each month. The box includes regularly available merchandise as well as limited edition products. It provides a rewarding customer experience that increases profits and moves inventory quickly.
  3. Membership Model – This subscription resembles a Costco membership for a monthly fee. It grants access and purchase ability at the store. Membership models build customer loyalty and up-sell capabilities.

How to Build a Subscription Box Business in Eight Steps

Let’s look at each stage of building a subscription box business.

  1. Start with a great idea – Think of products and services that would appeal to a specific market. Common themes are makeup, fitness, or food. When figuring out your niche, get as specific as you can. For example, the categories above can be segmented further into glamour makeup, martial arts equipment, and workout snacks.
  2. Research potential customers – The more honed-in each box is, the easier it is to sell to a specific group of customers. This lets you optimize retention and customer experience.
  3. Develop a prototype box – Try out prototypes in sample markets to get feedback on each component. The idea is to develop a product your target customer will be delighted to receive every month.
  4. Pre-launch by building a community that can get the word out – Use online content, contests, and other strategies to generate buzz and collect email addresses.
  5. Pre-sales phase – This is where you convert test markets and leads to your first paying subscribers.
  6. Show me the money – Presales revenue lets you build and ship the first month’s boxes.
  7. Build – Grow your target demographic to achieve predictable monthly revenue. Use smart tools to manage your inventory and figure out the right quantities to buy. There are free economic order quantity [EOQ] calculators online that can help.
  8. Encourage word of mouth, shares and referrals. If your product is great, people will come back, but it’s equally important to get new customers in the early stages.

Two Manufacturing and Supplier Tips

The production of items for your boxes is a major consideration. Will you outsource this or handle it in-house?

  1. Negotiate – One of the most difficult things to negotiate is what percentage of the subscriber fee the supplier gets. Consider a per unit, per click, or per minute model that’s appropriate for your industry.
  2. Do it yourself – In the subscription business model, the more you can do yourself, the better. In-house sourcing is streamlined and gives an entrepreneur more control over quality and productivity. It comes down to cost and efficiency, but if you have the wherewithal to do so, this is the preferred sourcing.

Two Important Lessons from Successful Subscription Businesses

  1. Price it right – Establishing a price point involves how much you offer and how often, which lets you predict costs. it takes some research to stay competitive and set a realistic margin expectation based on the local market.
  2. Focus on both growth and retention – Customer retention is vital once you establish a steady subscriber base. Business owners must watch competitors and gather feedback from current subscribers. Product development and services should embrace new technology to enhances both the brand image and bottom line. Take Netflix for example. The subscription-based business constantly adapts to ensure growth.

Conclusion

Ultimately, you need to convince your customers that your products or services are worth paying a monthly charge. The way to do this involves maintaining the speed, quality and customer service your subscribers deserve. Then, it’s a no-brainer, and you’re on your way to becoming a sought-after brand with no problem turning a one-time interaction into a continuing relationship.

References1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

About the Author

Laura Gayle is a full-time blogger at BussinessWomanGuide. She regularly writes on business, entrepreneurship, & e-commerce. You can contact Laura here.

After months of small scale rollouts, WebEngage has been roped in by OTA major Goibibo to power the brand’s User & Partner engagement strategy and execution. The Mumbai based SaaS company is touted as one of the leading Marketing Automation platforms to come out of India, having over 40k businesses around the world under their belt. Esteemed brands such as Flipkart, Ebay, Avaya, Sendgrid, Pluralsight, Souq trust WebEngage with their user engagement.

Image Source – WebEngage

As India’s leading online travel brand, millions of Goibibo customers frequent their platform to book flights, train tickets, hotels and outstation cab rides every month. They identified the need for an engagement platform to enhance the overall user experience and increase the number of bookings using Personalization and Contextual cross-channel Communication.

Goibibo CTO, Vikalp Sahni, furthered this view saying

We at Goibibo are strong believers in the power of creating an unparalleled user experience. Giving users a brand experience that helps them solve a problem and creates value for them is the end goal. For that reason, we identified WebEngage as the right platform that will help us get to the goal. Their Journey Designer tool has been a revelation, helping us create lifecycle marketing campaigns at scale while maintaining contextual relevance with hyper-personalization capabilities.

Avlesh Singh, CEO of WebEngage, said

Partnering with one of the leaders of the OTA industry is a huge positive validation of our platform, and its capabilities. We are happy to learn that Indian marketers have advanced in the maturity scale, and are embracing innovative tools like the Journey Designer to create beautiful and highly effective marketing strategies that resonate directly with the end user. This partnership recognizes the need for Marketing Automation in the industry, and how our positioning is perfectly poised to cater to that need diligently.

About WebEngage

WebEngage was founded by Avlesh Singh and Ankit Utreja in 2011. It is a full-stack marketing automation platform that helps B2C companies drive more revenue from their existing customers and anonymous users.

It is a cross-channel user engagement platform which intelligently automates communication across users’ life-cycle. It enables companies to enhance their brand experience with contextual, personalised user engagement via In-App Messages, Push Notifications, Emails and Text Messages and Web Messages [notification, survey and feedback].

METRO Cash & Carry, India’s largest organized wholesale and food specialist announced an exclusive partnership with the technology start-up Chqbook to offer a wide range of financial products and solutions to METRO’s above 3 million transacting customer base across its 25 wholesale stores in the country. In line with its commitment to be a ‘Champion for Independent Business’, METRO has partnered with Chqbook to provide inclusive financial solutions to all small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] within the METRO eco-system. The initiative will give SMEs access to best rates, lower fees, and more cashback on credit & debit cards with exceptional customer service.

Commenting on the strategic alliance, Arvind Mediratta, MD & CEO, METRO Cash & Carry India said

At METRO, we are committed to deliver tremendous value to our SME and Kirana value chain. The Indian Government has paved the way for a Digital India through its numerous initiatives and schemes for SMEs. Our partnership with Chqbook.com will provide a large financial marketplace to our 3 million customer base.

It has been our constant endeavor to deliver the best technological and financial support to SMEs to augment the efficiency of their business operations. This partnership is aligned with our mission statement of being a ‘Champion for Independent Business’ as we firmly believe that we are an integral part of their growth and success story in India.

Chqbook’s marketplace will provide financial services to METRO customers in the B2B sector exclusively. It brings competitive rates and fees from 40+ Banks, NBFC’s and Credit Card companies, allowing easier comparisons, instant eligibility checks and quick approvals. It also operates a network of 400+ experts across 15+ cities in the country to provide appointments within 4 hours for document pickups and same day or next day approval for loans & credit cards. Chqbook.com will work with banks and payment providers to bring cash-backs, zero EMI products and pay-later schemes, making purchasing at Metro seamless and helping SME’s and others save financing costs.

Chqbook.com will also offer pre–approved products for METRO customers across Home Loans, Business Loans, Personal Loans, Insurance, Credit Cards, and other Financial Services. It’s recommendation algorithm automatically suggests the right products between various categories, giving customers instant approval, paperless documentation and a digital on–boarding experience resulting in quick disbursals and issuance.

Speaking about the initiative, Vipul Sharma, MD & CEO of Chqbook.com, said

We found a synergy in METRO and Chqbook.com’s approach of unlocking customer value through marketplaces. Our technology, understanding of the financial services sector and our deep commitment to customer service are the cornerstone to create a world class financial service platform. With METRO, we have found a partner who champions the cause of independent businesses similar to our own mission.

This alliance will help both existing and new customers as they will benefit from the cashback programs, personal finance, insurance and a range of products & solutions that Chqbook.com is offering. We are very excited about this partnership and are enthused to work with METRO to bring more innovations and solutions to the evolving SME universe.

About Chqbook

Chqbook is India’s largest market place for AI based personalized financial services. It’s the winner of the SuperStartup Asia 2018 award and currently has over 35+ credit cards, 21 Home Loan providers and 17 Personal loan and Business loan providers listed on it’s platform. Chqbook.com uses it’s proprietary TARA AI journey which provides customers instant and personalized recommendations of products best suited to their credit score, profile and demographics.

It also pulls in data from card issuers, banks and credit bureaus to fine-tune recommendations in real time. Chqbook.com has built the next generation marketplace and provides comparisons, eligibility and a seamless application process across 40 banks and credit card companies. It’s rapidly expanding marketplace brings pre-approved loans, credit cards, insurance and mutual funds to the country’s gen next with a sharp focus on a magical customer experience each and every time. For further information, log on to Chqbook.com