‘Meeting’ is something that is applicable in our day to day lives, more so in a professional’s life. Many times, corporate employees have to spend the entire day in meetings and some of them might turn out to be entirely pointless. We already see many of you nodding their heads ūüôā

Image Source – Meetings

Sticking to the agenda of a meeting becomes very critical since it not only involves you but also a set of team members attending the meeting. Hence, it is the collective responsibility of the meeting attendees to ensure that they do not digress from the core agenda in order to make the meeting super-productive.

Meetings can sometimes be quite hectic and an unproductive meeting at the start of your workday could ruin your remaining time in office. It becomes imperative to decide whether you really want to call for a meeting or¬†whether¬†you can do away with ‘that’ meeting by using some effective project management tools so that you can collaborate with your team in a much better manner.¬†In order to be an effective planner of your activities, you need to use the right set of¬†free [or premium] project management tools that can also be used for cross-site teams. Better project planning could eventually result in far lesser face to face meetings!

Wrike, a work management & collaboration platform used by high-performance teams has come up with a very informative infographic titled Should we have a meeting. We liked the overall presentation which is in the form of a flowchart with the core being ‘go vs. no go’ for a meeting. We hope that you use it for executing a ‘productive’ meeting!

Infographic brought to you by Wrike free project management tool

Should We Have This Meeting? - by Wrike project management tools

What are some of the methods you follow to have an effective meeting, do leave your suggestion in the comments section…

Uber the largest on demand ridesharing company have announced the completion of 500 million trips, a key milestone in its four year journey in India. This also comes at a time when the company announced marking double digit growth in the country, and almost 2.5x YoY growth as of June’ 2017.

Commenting on the occasion, Amit Jain, President, Uber India & South Asia said

This is a significant landmark for Uber in India. Four years ago, India was the 18th country in the world to experience the magic of ‘push a button and get a ride’, when we launched in Bangalore with just 3 employees. Today, we are over a 1000 member team who share the common vision of redefining the future of urban mobility. Achieving new milestones and continuing our exponential growth journey is a reflection of a strong business we’re building in India. I‚Äôm humbled at the pace at which Uber has grown and the impact we continue to make to the lives of our riders, driver partners and the cities we operate in.

A look at the journey so far…

Growth with impact

Since August 2013, the growing number of driver partners and riders who embraced the new idea of ridesharing and disruptive technology is remarkable. Ever since, the pace of adoption across the country has been truly exceptional. In 4 years, Uber expanded its service to 29 cities across the country.From providing riders with multiple choices to creating micro-entrepreneurship opportunities, more and more people continue to rely on the service for their daily commute and livelihood, which resulted in double digit growth in the country with the business growing by 2.5x in June 2017 YoY.

Partners in growth

4,50,000 registered driver partners – the magnitude of their commitment and ambition is commendable. Four years in, Uber has created flexible working opportunities for tens of thousands of driver partners. Through UberSHAAN, Uber aims to create 1 million livelihood opportunities as micro-entrepreneurs in India by 2018. Today, they are carving out better, more secure futures for their families by making the pivotal switch to be an independent entrepreneur. They keep cities moving every day, helping riders get to where they need to be. Today, over 80% Uber rides are rated a 5-star experience, none of which would have been possible without their commitment and dedication.

Riders who trust in Uber

Riders and driver-partners have travelled over 5,791,025,961 Km together! With over 5 million weekly active riders in the country, India continues to be one of the biggest markets for Uber, outside the U.S. Whether it’s a ride to work, or one after a night out, Uber is committed to provide a service so reliable and affordable that it drives a fundamental shift from the prevailing paradigm of private car ownership to one of shared commute.

Infographic – Uber-completes 500 million trips

Multiple vehicle options

Every geographic region has its own unique transportation requirements and challenges, and the same reflects in Uber’s diverse product portfolio for the Indian-market. With seven vehicle options, Uber offers cities low cost, flexible solutions that cater to various needs. First/last mile ride to the metro station on an uberMOTO, longer duration trips in UberHIRE or a shared ride in an uberPOOL, the aim is to reduce congestion by complementing public transit systems and eliminating the use private vehicle over time.

Shared mobility

Launched in Bengaluru in September 2015, uberPOOL is now available in Delhi Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Pune. Today, over 25% of Uber rides are taken on uberPOOL. This has resulted in saving over 480,00,000 kms, which equals to 62 trips to the moon and back; 23,00,000 litres of fuel saved and prevented the emission of over 53,00,000 kgs of CO2, that would have otherwise required 4500 acres of forest a year to remove. Backed by technology, Uber is working towards getting more people into fewer cars and helping cities reduce congestion and pollution over time.

Innovating in India, for India and the world

India is a global priority for Uber, in terms of investment, growth as well as innovation. Uber launched Asia’s first Engineering Center in Bengaluru (Bangalore) in January 2016, a testament to Uber’s commitment to investing in India. With over 100 engineers spread across Bangalore and Hyderabad, several India-first initiatives like uberDOST, Emergency Button, Cash and Dial an Uber have also been launched in countries around the world. In 2015, Uber also set up a CoE in Hyderabad, with nearly 400 employees who focus on providing the best customer support to our riders and driver partners, including a dedicated Incident Response Team that manages critical incidents.

The future – leapfrogging car ownership

Despite very low rates of car ownership-just 18 vehicles per 1,000 people in India compared to 797 in the US, cities in India suffer from some of the worst congestion problems in the world with average speeds falling to 15 kmph and slated to reduce to 5 kmph by 2020 in major cities. Tackling alarming pollution and congestion levels requires concerted action and as responsible corporate citizens, Uber aims to be a part of the solution. Complementing government‚Äôs efforts around tackling congestion and encouraging the adoption of carpooling with the help of technology [UberPOOL], Uber is enabling several people¬†travelling in the same direction to share a ride ‚Äď essentially turning the car into a public good. There is a huge appetite for reliable, efficient and affordable ways to get to and from a particular destination, especially around commuting routes underserved by public transit.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated service of driver partners and loyalty of our riders. To say thanks and express gratitude, Uber is giving each of the lucky 176 driver partners INR 5000 and the lucky riders Uber credits worth INR 500.

Moving forward, Uber is more focused than ever before on building features for riders & drivers that will help the company get to the next five hundred million.

There is a very good saying A Boss says ‘Go’ whereas a Leader says ‘Let’s Go’. Though the only difference between the two of them is the use of the word Let’s, it changes the entire tone of the sentence. The boss is ‘ordering’ his team whereas the leader is ‘leading’ his team! There is a vast amount of difference between a ‘Boss’ and ‘Leader’, you might be a good boss but that does not equate to being a good leader.

Image Source – Boss Vs Leader

Good leaders motivate their team members and they are a source of inspiration. They encourage their employees to improve their skills so that they can take the organization to the next well. They always have a deep sense of understanding as to when they need to manage, lead or pitch in a discussion. There are tons of differences between leaders and bosses; right from the manner they make crucial decisions, manage teams using project management tools, collaborate activities between cross-site teams using cloud collaboration tools, pitch to customers for contracts, handle employee feedback and appraisals, etc.

In very simplified terms, Leaders are respected by people whereas Bosses are forced to be respected by people. We recently came across this very informative Infographic from Wrike (a work management & collaboration platform used by high-performance teams) that highlights the glaring difference between a Boss and a Leader.

Infographic brought to you by Wrike cloud collaboration tools

Boss vs. Leader: The Never-Ending Battle Between Power and Leadership

What according to you should be the traits of a good leader, do leave your suggestions in the comments section…

Your company has won a new contract and you are gearing to start the project. As a business project manager, before you chalk down the set of activities, tentative deliverables, roles & responsibilities of team members, risks, etc. it is very important to have a Kick-off meeting for the project. Kick-off meeting is an enthusiasm-generator for the customer and the team members involved in the project. As a project manager, you need to pull up your sleeves and plan activities using effective & productive project management tools so that you can focus on planning as well as execution.

One such platform is Wrike, a work management & collaboration platform used by high-performance teams. It is ideal for managing localized project teams as well as distritubuted teams. So, before you start working on your project planning, let’s have a look at some interesting tips for setting up a successful project kick-off!

10 Steps to a Kickass Project Kickoff: A Checklist for Project Managers

Infographic brought to you by Wrike business project manager

Spam calls have been on the rise ever since the advent of mobile phones. In its strive towards protecting its users from unwanted calls and potential fraud, Truecaller released a report revealing the top 20 countries that have been most affected by spam calls in 2017.

Image Source – Spam Calls

One of the revelations that came from this report was that an overwhelming majority of spam calls were received by India. According to the report,¬†India’s topped this list¬†because its spam call issue majorly lies with operators and financial services, most of whom are seeking to provide special offers for free data, or unlimited calls.

Tying in for second place amongst top spam-plagued countries are The United States and Brazil. The report also divulges into common categories that tie all these spam calls together. These range over, operator, debt collection, bank, political, health, spam, telemarketing, financial service, scam and insurance.

top 100 spammers in each region for the month of May.

Category Key

  • Nuisance: Due to this being a broad spectrum of calls, it is generally calls that is unwanted, disturbance for users, harassment, pranks.
  • Telemarketing: Promotional calls from companies, surveys, political/robo calls, new client outreach for services, subscriptions, etc.
  • Operator: Telecom companies upselling data plans, promotions, etc.
  • Financial service: Banks, credit unions, credit card companies etc.
  • Scam: Fraud attempts, money swindling, unknown links, etc.
  • Insurance: Companies that specialize in selling different types of insurances.
  • Debt collection: Organizations that specialize in payments of¬†debts¬†owed by individuals or businesses, bounty hunters.
  • Political: Campaign calls to secure votes for parties, robocalls.
  • Health: Hospitals, private practices.

Further information can be found on the TrueCaller Blog

Leading global travel search engine, Skyscanner¬†[earlier coverage here] has analysed two years’ worth of travel search data from over 60 million monthly users to answer the one questions that always puzzles travellers: When is the best time to book flights?

A recent survey of Indian travellers revealed 72% do not know when is the best time to book flights. Skyscanner’s survey further unveiled 69% of travellers incorrectly estimate the best air fares can be found less than 12 weeks before departure, when in fact the best deals are snapped up by travellers who plan in advance. Traveller’s eyeing up Bali for their summer trip can save up to 51% on flight tickets by booking 25 weeks in advance or risk paying 27% more than the average fare when they leave booking to the last minute.

The same trend appears for air fares to Indian traveller’s favourite summer destinations, traveller’s looking to vacation in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok can grab flights for 35% and 33% less than the average fare, respectively, when booking 24 weeks prior to departure.

Skyscanner recommends booking 24 weeks in advance for travellers venturing to Europe or the USA for their summer vacations for savings of 22% and 18%, respectively.

Skyscanner also revealed the most inexpensive months to travel to visit some of Indian travellers’ favourite locations. November is the cheapest month to travel to Bangkok when flights 10% cheaper than the average fare, while visa-friendly Bali can be best enjoyed in April with a 10% saving on the average fare.

Commenting on the findings, Reshmi Roy, Senior Growth Manager, Skyscanner India said

We hope Skyscanner’s data can provide travellers with clarity on how and when to get the best deal on flights and what to expect if booking is left to the last minute. After reviewing flight prices from the last two years, we can clearly see that it pays to plan. Booking at the right time can make a huge difference to one‚Äôs expenditure on their trip, up to 51% in some cases.

About SkyScanner

Skyscanner is a leading global travel search company providing free search of flights, hotels and car hire. Founded in 2003, Skyscanner helps meet the travel planning needs of over 50 million people each month.¬†Skyscanner’s highly-rated free mobile apps have been downloaded over 40 million times. The privately-owned company employs over 700 staff and has ten global offices in Edinburgh, London, Singapore, Beijing, Shenzhen, Miami, Barcelona, Glasgow, Sofia and Budapest.¬†For more information, please visit¬†Skyscanner

Quikr¬†has released an interesting & insightful¬†report¬†titled ‘Used¬†mobile¬†phone¬†market¬†in India’.

Some of the key highlights from the report are below:

  • Quikr¬†offers two services for¬†used¬†mobile¬†phone¬†transactions : a)¬†Quikr¬†Doorstep: Service to ensure secure transactions between two consumers with delivery handled by¬†Quikr ¬†b)¬†Quikr¬†certified:¬†Quikr¬†Certified phones go through 35+¬†points rigorous quality checks and come¬†with replacement guarantee.
  • Mobile¬†Post Ad grew by 216% from 2016 vs 2014 indicating an¬†increase in online supply of second hand phones
  • As newer technologies come, consumers are changing their habits and looking to upgrade phones sooner resulting in¬†shorter replacement cycles

The report throws light on the most preferred brands and the cities that are most active in used phone market. It also spots trends such as Р4G becoming popular, selfie phones not going out of fashion and increase in demand for high end phones.

Quikr Used Mobile Report

 

Jigsaw Academy, India’s top online school for analytics, and Analytics Vidhya, India’s largest analytics and data science community have launched the Analytics India Industry Report 2017 ‚Äď Salaries & Trends. While automation is spelling doom for IT services professionals in India [and worldwide], this report comes as a life saver to many. With the recent flurry of layoffs by major IT players, the report suggests that adding analytics skills to their kitty will not only save careers for IT professionals, but also help them get a bump in their pay.

Image Credit – Jigsaw Academy

The Indian IT industry has for the better part been services focused. While that worked a decade ago, it is no longer the need of the industry. Weighing in on this, Gaurav Vohra, CEO & Co-founder of Jigsaw Academy said

We have long talked about moving up the value chain in terms of the services we offer to the world. We now have a chance to become the intelligence hub for the world. The IT industry can transform itself into IT 2.0 by riding on the big data wave. But they need to move fast if they have to stay relevant.

The report also has extremely interesting insights on the kind of salaries currently being offered to professionals with analytics skills. The bet on Machine Learning is finally paying off and it is the best paying analytics skill in the market currently, with an average pay of Rs. 10.43 LPA, even beating Big Data to the top spot, which comes in close with an average pay of Rs. 9.93 LPA. However, what companies seem to cherish are professionals with both these skill sets, a combination which fetches a cool Rs. 13.94 LPA on an average.

Image Source – Analytics Report

A huge change, as per the report, is the industry wide adoption and use of open source tools. In fact, for the first time this year, top tools that can help professionals get into analytics are R and Python, both of which are wildly popular open source tools. This points to the fact that popularity of expensive analytics computing software is on a steady decline. The salaries based on tools too seems to reflect this.

R and Python skills alone pay better than SAS, with average pay of Rs. 10.40 LPA and Rs. 10.12 LPA respectively. But here too, it is the combination of multiple skill-sets seems to pay the best. The best paid professionals are the ones with SAS + R + Python proficiency, with an average pay of Rs. 12.91 LPA. The report also includes more salary insights based on city, company size, experience, and domain.

Speaking about the report, Kunal Jain, Founder & CEO of Analytics Vidhya said

Open source tools combined with machine learning techniques have become the focus of the industry. It is evident from the report that companies prefer people who embrace the open source ecosystem and have high agility to learn new tools and techniques-a trend we see across our competitions and job portal. Companies are looking out for well-rounded professionals who can apply Machine Learning & Big Data to solve real business problems.

The report states that Machine Learning algorithms are dominating the business projects landscape with regression as the lone crusader fighting the battle for traditional statistical techniques. In fact, the top algorithms that organizations want people to pick up are Machine Learning ones.

Image Source – Analytics Report

This is not to say Big Data has lost any steam. Big Data Analytics roles have evolved and the last 18 months has seen some level of consolidation in terms of techniques and tool knowledge needed. As per the report, Hadoop skills, in combination with Spark and Tableau, and along with knowledge of popular databases like Mongo and Cassandra, makes for that rare big data unicorn. The analytics industry has always favoured people with knowledge of multiple tools and that still stands true. The industry is on the lookout for specialists in different areas of analytics who can work on a project end-to-end. Going by the report, this is the age of the analytics specialist.

Image Source – Analytics Report

Sarita Digumarti, COO & co-founder of Jigsaw Academy said

Easy access to Big Data and massive processing power has made Machine Learning techniques more popular than ever amongst data scientists. Businesses now have learnt to harness the immense power of machine learning and are ready to put faith in abstract machine learning models that they probably don’t even understand.

Analytics, Big Data, and Machine Learning skills are making people stand out and get hired at handsome pay packages. It is time to pivot towards these for a future proof career.

The annual report by Jigsaw Academy and Analytics Vidhya is compiled to cater to the needs of aspirants, analytics professionals, and employers. Based on information collected from 65,000+ analytics professionals with advanced analytics/data science skills, the report explains in detail the industry and salary trends for the upcoming year.

The detailed report can be downloaded from here

About Jigsaw Academy

Jigsaw Academy is a premier online analytics training institute headquartered in Bengaluru, India. Founded by the duo of Gaurav Vohra and Sarita Digumarti, and funded by Manipal Global Education Services [MaGE], Jigsaw Academy has helped over 45,000 students in 30+ countries to build a successful career in analytics with their specialized industry oriented courses. Jigsaw Academy has collaborated with two world class international universities viz. University of Chicago, USA and University of Bocconi, Italy to offer specialized blended learning certification programs. For more information, please visit JigSaw Academy

About Analytics Vidhya

Analytics Vidhya is India’s largest Analytics and Data Science community. They run a portal which helps people in learning data science, interact with industry experts, compete in hackathons, and find job opportunities in data science.¬†Analytics Vidhya also conducts various meetups, webinars, and conference across the country. The aim behind this platform is to create a passionate community of analytics enthusiasts. For more information, please visit Analytics Vidhya