Page 1


08

Technology in Business

Location-Based Services: The Next Technology Evolution for the Middle East’s Retail Industry

SME Tech

38

Thinking Innovation in Business: Every Entrepreneur’s Responsibility

48

Consumer Concerns: A Threat to Robotics Revolution

10

Future of Warehouse

Envisioning the Warehouse of the Future

CONTENTS

12

Sales and Marketing The Key to Ranking First in Google

16

Business Management The Art of Multiple Business Management Deciphered

20

14

Revealed! The Secret of Affordable Content Marketing

Entrepreneurial Wisdom to Keep your Dreams Blazing

Sales and Marketing

2

www.theintelligentsme.com

Inspiration


SPI Group

24

Investment Insights

Investment and Business Insights From Warren Buffett

www.spigroup.ae www.theintelligentsme.com www.robustrak.com www.innovationandtech.ae www.innovationsummit.ae www.dubai-gbs.com www.smeworld.ae www.madeinuae.com

22

35

Lessons from Small Businesses to Big Guys

E-commerce Industry in the Region:What your Customers Really Want?

Consulting Editor:

26

40

Content Manager:

Close Gender Gap to Retain Top Talent

Turning CRM into a Cornerstone for Digital Transformation

Expert Contributors:

SME Focus

Human Resources

E Commerce

CRM

28

43

Rewire your Business Thoughts to Fuel Success

Can SME benefit from Blockchain Strategy?

Leadership

BlockChain Technology

Publisher & CEO: Shantanu A.P.

Ramakrishnan Jayaraman

Priyanka Kotoky

Harish Krishnamoorthi Radhika Iyer Diksha Vohra Mohamed Khan Rohan Nathan Sirish Kumar

Designer :

30

46

Rahul A. Chauhan

Technology Addiction Blurs the Chances of Success

The Future of Technologically Charged Financial Revolution

Jerry P. Sam

Technology Addiction

Finance

32

Smart Workplaces

Designing Smart Workplaces in the Middle East is about Giving Users what they Expect

Distribution Department

Disclaimer SPI Publishing has endeavoured to bring out a publication that is reliable and informative. This is true to the best of our knowledge. The opinions presented are those of individual writers and not necessarily endorsed by SPI Publishing. The content in this magazine is protected by copyright law and is copyright to SPI Publishing unless credited otherwise, and may not be copied, reproduced or republished for any commercial purpose or financial gain.


EDITOR'S NOTE

CLICK THE LIKE BUTTON @TheIntelligentSME

"Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice."

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @IntelligentSME

-Peter Drucker Shantanu Phansalkar Publisher, SPI Group

Dear Readers, The world of business had always fascinated entrepreneurs. The heady mix of technological innovation has made it all the more alluring. But one question in the business game always remains. How do you go about it all?

www.theintelligentsme.com

SEND US AN EMAIL TODAY WITH YOUR THOUGHTS response@spiholding.net

We at Intelligent SME are here to give you that answer.

Subscription &

This issue of Intelligent SME focuses on the next evolution for Middle East’s Retail industry, the Future of Warehouse and Turning CRM into a Cornerstone for Digital Transformation, etc. There is more to just these in between the pages of this magazine that is all about you, the entrepreneur who wants to make it big in the industry.

Phone: 04 240 8173 Mail: response@spiholding.net

The Intelligent SME magazine with its well informed articles will keep your entrepreneurial interests vibrating with a powerhouse of information by the best minds in the industry. Happy Reading! 4

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO GET THE LATEST NEWS

www.theintelligentsme.com

Advertising Enquiries

Editorial Enquiries & Contributions

Phone: 04 240 8173 Mail: knowledgeexchange@ spiholding.net

SPI Publishing

Suite 2106, Bayswater,Burj khalifa area, Business Bay Dubai. PO Box: 89735 Phone: 04 240 8173


Intelligent SME | June 2018

5


TECHNOLOGY IN BUSINESS

Location-Based Services: The Next Technology Evolution for the Middle East’s Retail Industry 6

www.theintelligentsme.com


TECHNOLOGY IN BUSINESS

M

obile devices have changed how we work and navigate daily life, which means there’s a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on the growing use of mobile apps. Location-based services mean that retailers can leverage mobile devices and Bluetooth technology to provide offers to customers and prospects, help customers and employees navigate within locations, and locate friends, assets and services. Deploying location services, however, can present some challenges. IT may have to learn new technologies and processes, as most retailers have little to no experience implementing these types of solutions. And some solutions may require IT to purchase and manage dedicated infrastructure. The good news is that in many cases, organizations already possess the technology needed to deploy location services. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is prevalent on popular iOS and Android devices, and meets the required accuracy and latency demands for multiple use cases. In addition, Wi-Fi is now pervasive in all malls and retail outlets. The Middle East retail industry is a fast adopter of technology. While they have adapted to e-commerce, they’ve equally improved their brick-and-mortar experiences. But until recently, technology hasn’t kept pace with these crucial arms of the retail business. That’s changing with advances in location-based services. Regional retailers are beginning to implement locationbased solutions, but need to keep in mind the following key features that address customer experience and operational needs:

Cutting-Edge Analytics The adoption of smartphones gives retailers an opportunity to leverage their existing Wi-Fi network to extract actionable location data. In-store experiences are dramatically improved through the adoption of the most advanced location-based solutions that allow for an array of analytics. This results in better customer experiences as well as operational effectiveness. For example, a customer would be frustrated when after joining a loyalty program, he/ she discovers a favorite product is always missing from the aisle. With analytics from your loyalty app, you can focus attention on items your best customers purchase to keep them stocked. By providing visualizations, dwell times and other metrics, analytics can tell you whether temporary displays are attracting purchases, or are an annoying traffic impediment, so you can take appropriate

Intelligent SME | June 2018

7


TECHNOLOGY IN BUSINESS action. Clearly, the faster an underperforming display gets remediated, the faster sales get made. Longer term, visualizing what works best, in which locations and at what time of year, can help you replicate successes to maximize daily and seasonal sales. Beyond the personalization and relevance benefits, here’s yet another reason to deploy BLE-enabled location-ready infrastructure: You can rapidly take advantage of new experience innovations already in the pipeline to keep you ahead of your competition.

Personalized Navigation Map-enabled, indoor, turn-by-turn navigation via a customer’s mobile app is swiftly becoming a competitive differentiator as customers can get easily frustrated when looking for particular retail outlet in a massive mall for example. A frustrating experience could be the ultimate deal-breaker.

Associate Location/ Find-a Friend More sophisticated location solutions go further by offering assistance empowerment, also known as location sharing. With this capability, customers can consult your shopping app to visually find nearby associates if they want help. Clicking an associate’s icon enables sending that individual a pre-defined text. If the associate is occupied, they can respond with an availability estimate while also suggesting the consumer continue shopping because the associate can find them. With location-based services, all employees – including minimally-trained seasonal workers – can quickly assist customers or restock goods, minimizing two perennial productivity drains.

8

www.theintelligentsme.com

When an associate needs help, find-a-friend works the same way for them. Reducing these types of frictions can also significantly lower employee frustration, leading to less turnover and improved brand affinity. Moving forward, location awareness will be key to other innovations, such as deploying bots for shelf scanning.

Asset Tracking The latest location-based solutions offer specialized sensors for tracking high-value items and inventory, ranging from carts and ladders to POS devices and pallets of goods. Easy-to-use mobile apps ensure that staff can quickly configure asset tags and then locate the physical assets within an indoor location. Here is an example of how asset tracking is helpful. When customers encounter an empty merchandise slot, they frequently consult an associate and learn the item just arrived. Then, your associate walks the length of the store, where they’re confronted with several possible pallets. Equipping pallets with an asset tracking sensor enables associates to pull up a goods list for each pallet and retrieve the wanted item, rather than returning to the customer a dozen minutes later empty handed. This is just one way asset tags can assist with personalized and relevant customer service. Others include quickly locating a ladder to get items off of a shelf or finding a cart capable of handling bulky merchandise. Beyond these applications, location-based services can offer many more benefits. In addition to staying competitive today, deploying such infrastructure will reap rewards as innovations evolve for years to come.

Ahmed Ibrahim Mohamed Aruba


CONTENTS

verybody is talking about us

et us do the talking for you now

Intelligent SME | June 2018

9


FUTURE OF WAREHOUSE

Envisioning the Warehouse of the Future T The urban distribution centre must be configured to support same-day delivery or customer pickup through some combination of autonomous vehicles, robotic picking and loading, drones and mobile pickup points.

10

www.theintelligentsme.com

he world has changed profoundly over the last couple of years. New technologies stride ahead, changing our lifestyle and also evolving many business models. The concept of Industry 4.0 becomes more and more important in intralogistics as well as the warehousing landscape has been changing significantly. Twelve years ago, when e-commerce was still in its infancy, most of us were unfamiliar with the term omni-channel. Things have come a long way since then. And with the constant influx of information in today’s digital world, change is happening faster than ever before. In such a scenario, trying to predict how your business will be organised and operate in 20-30 years in the future will be even more difficult. Yet, having a vision of where things are going in the future can help a business make better decisions in the present. Not only that, if one analyses closely what is happening in the present, this can provide powerful clues as to what is coming—even as far as 10,30,50 years into the future. Like many other industries, the logistics and manufacturing sector is constantly changing as well. Many businesses rely on smart and fast delivery of goods and services, so businesses operating in this segment need to be ready for the future as well. The Industry 4.0 concept brings a lot of innovative, adaptive and smart solutions that help warehouses


FUTURE OF WAREHOUSE improve efficiency in the face of constantly changing market requirements.

In this context, here are some societal and technology trends that are emerging today and that businesses should keep in mind: - Globally, the population is becoming more urban and incomes are rising. In developed countries, the population is aging, and the workforce is shrinking while those trends are reversed in developing countries where birth rates are higher. - There are significant technological developments emerging today that will shape the warehouse of the future. Those include predictive analytics and machine learning, autonomous vehicles and drones, robotics, and 3D printing amongst others. - The changes in consumer behaviour we see today can also be extrapolated into the future. These include the growth in omni-channel retail in which consumers move seamlessly across channels and choose what to purchase and how based on their specific circumstances at the time of purchase. They will also continue to demand greater personalisation and customisation while looking for highquality products and services. And they will have even less tolerance for delivery delays. When they purchase something, regardless of channel, they will expect to receive it the same day.

So, what does this mean for businesses and how they should organise the warehouse of the future? The warehouse must move closer to the customers it serves. In the future, one expects growth in urban distribution centres that stage products close to users within large cities to enable faster delivery and a more seamless omni-channel

experience. The obvious challenge to this scenario will be the space limitations and relatively high real estate costs inherent in urban markets. This will dictate compact and efficient warehouses with limited inventories that are optimised using predictive analytics, robotics technology and supported by other innovative solutions. The space constraints imposed by urban environments will likely also impose a shared service model in which multiple sellers share space in the same facility with products from these sellers consolidated for delivery similar to how parcel shippers consolidate packages today. The urban warehouse must be equipped to produce products as well as store and ship them. With greater customisation on the horizon and the continuing maturation of 3D printing technology, the urban distribution centre will be well positioned to “print� products on demand and then package and deliver them just as they do products from inventory. The urban distribution centre must be configured to support same-day delivery or customer pickup through some combination of autonomous vehicles, robotic picking and loading, drones and mobile pickup points. Technology will play a significant role in delivering the speed and efficiency required and automating the movement of products from large regional warehouses to the urban distribution centres while enabling faster picking, loading and delivery of these products.

supply chain and management professionals make the smart decisions based on the trends we witness today. One of such trends is the development and evolution of the Internet that has evolved into a space of sheer limitless possibilities. It is gradually breathing intelligence into every single aspect of our life. In recent years the Internet of Things has become more meaningful in industrial processes leading to the wide adoption of terminology like Industry 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing. The underlying idea is the end-to-end digitalisation of intralogistics and production. Machine control systems and sensors are connected with the classic production and intralogistic applications like WES or WMS and exchange information, independent of their location, through software services. Thanks to this merging, Industry 4.0 technology optimises the entire value chain of a company. In the age of Industry 4.0, logistics systems themselves are becoming clever organisational talents. Recording all movements in the warehouse, for example, makes it easy to detect risks early on to avoid conducting facility maintenance during peak times. The list of benefits new Industry 4.0 technologies offer for warehouse operations goes on and on. To sum up, rigid logistics is a thing of the past. The Warehouse of the Future is one where intralogistics evolves from large, rigid systems into modular, flexible software-driven solutions that are robot-supported and selfoptimising.

The journey into the smart future has begun Predicting today what will most likely happen tomorrow is a great strategy that helps

Alain Kaddoum

Swisslog Middle East

Intelligent SME | June 2018

11


SALES AND MARKETING

The Key to Ranking First in Google sections of your website that might work.

C

ontent is an important part of every business. But not every business can always see itself being featured in the first page of Google. It is possible that you might have the best of the writers, writers who are better in every sense than the ones that feature continuously on the first page, still your company might miss out on being the number one. The fact that there is more to content than just marketing and language is what makes entrepreneurs lag behind. The good news is that there are many ways that an entrepreneur can fix this problem. The world of digital marketing is very complicated but if you follow the rules everything would fall in your lap. The companies that has a high ranking on the Google page focus not only on their content substance and language only but on various other things. Here is a list of things that you can do to bring your content to feature in the first page of Google Search Engine.

1. Link your Articles Internally: Linking articles internally can do wonders to a website page. Link your articles with two to three links pointing to it from a website. You can include blog posts or other

12

www.theintelligentsme.com

The links in an article can make your article rank higher in Google because that makes it seem to make Google think that your article is valuable. Pick at least two to three links in an article to the target post that would add value also to the reader.

2. Resize Images: What connection does an image have with an article ranking in the first page? Well, a lot! The size of an image affects the page loading speed. The ideal time for a page to load must not be more than 5 seconds. The large size of an image usually increases the loading time of a page. A page that has images that has 150 KB or less works to load easily.

3. Pop-Ups: Pop-Ups are something that increase the bounce rate in a website. It is important that you take care to remove pop-ups that come up the moment a visitor visits a page. The fact that they are difficult to cancel make audiences quite uninterested in reading what’s in the content page. The poor user experience makes the page even more uninteresting. Naturally it cannot gather the amount of clicks that can put it in the first page.

4. Include Guest Posts: Guest blogging works great for your website page. The fact that it brings with it links from websites


SALES AND MARKETING that has a high domain authority makes your page seem quite valuable. One does not need to start with a high authority website. A middle-tier blog also works wonders for a website page. It is possible that you might need to invest a lot of time to write a guest post for a high authority or a middle-tier blog but the link equity that you can gain makes up for all the effort.

5. Make the First Paragraph Accessible to Get Attention: It is important that you make the first paragraph accessible to the readers. The fact that most readers do not get a glimpse of what is inside an article often make them lose the context. An interesting article has what it takes in the first few paragraphs and reading that attracts to it more audiences. While working on content make sure that the content is not covered by the folds but are visible to the readers.

6. Run Heatmaps to test Engagement of Articles: Heat maps are a great way to assess how your content is doing. Heatmaps give actual insight on how a particular article is doing. It lets a writer know if people are reading the article or bouncing off after just visiting the page. Tools like Hot jar and the likes work great to help one have an insight about an article.

7. Google Page Insights can help to optimize a site: There are many things that slow down a page like caching, CSS and Javascript loading issues. The use of Google Page Insights and GTmetrix can help tocheck on these issues. Google Page Insights grades one’s website and tells the exact technical problem that one needs to fix. They also come with the

optimized code assets that helps to download and replace one’s code. GTMetrix works to grade a website and give information about the errors Google page insights tool shows you. Content has more to it than just good content. However, it does not make the fact less that you do need good content to start with. One cannot completely ignore the quality of content to get rankings using other techniques. To complete this article here are two quotes that can further guide you on your aspiration to rank high in Google Search Page. ‘I think marketers are very message-focused. They know what they want people to hear. They have to work backwards from there to figure out how to make that happen. What they should do is to find the thing that’s unique or interesting that captures people’s attention. Figure out what that thing is; don’t worry about the message right now. Just find the interesting part, and then figure out how to link that to the message.’ – Andy Weir “When creating content, be the best answer on the internet.” Andy Crestodina When we create something, we think, ‘Will our customers thank us for this?’ I think it’s important for all of us to be thinking about whatever marketing we’re creating; is it really useful to our customers? Will they thank us for it? I think if you think of things through that lens, it just clarifies what you’re doing in such a simple, elegant way. – Ann Handley Content Marketing has more to it than what one sees at a first glance. Go deeper into the basics of the techniques and see your content make a difference.

SPI Thinktank

Intelligent SME | June 2018

13


INSPIRATION

Entrepreneurial Wisdom to Keep your Dreams Blazing

W

hen great minds come together there is a fireworks of powerhouse ideas. Entrepreneurs who are tuned to the vibration of these great people need not look anywhere else. However, not every busy entrepreneur get to hobnob with the best minds in businesses. But they can always reach out to platforms where they have left their pearls of business wisdom to share with the business world. The great minds often come together to motivate people through their speeches to universities or meetings. Then there are those talks that are aired on television. Entrepreneurs struggle on a daily basis. They are the ones who need the most motivation to get through their work and business. A motivation however can be found anywhere. One can look at the daily wage labourer who has hope in his heart or one can look at the big minds in the business world, whose success has reached such a

14

www.theintelligentsme.com

height that people no longer relate the struggle that he/she had to face when starting off with him/her. The struggle of these resilient people are all but fables that can be told to the future generations. They do tell their stories to their future generations. The business lectures at Harvard or the simple college addresses that they give hold a great lot of wisdom that all can gain from. Here are some great advice from the great minds that has in some way shaped the business world.

1. Bill Gates, Harvard University, 2007: Humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discoveries — but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity. Whether through democracy, strong public education, quality healthcare, or broad economic opportunity — reducing inequity is the highest human achievement … I talk to sceptics who claim there is no hope. They say: ‘Inequity has been with us since the beginning, and will be with us till the end because people just don’t care. I completely disagree. I believe

we have more caring than we know what to do with.”

2. Director Steven Spielberg, Harvard University, 2016: “Your intuition is different from your conscience. They work in tandem, but here’s the distinction: Your conscience shouts, ‘Here’s what you should do,’ while your intuition whispers, ‘Here’s what you could do.’ Listen to that voice that tells you what you could do. Nothing will define your character more than that.”

3. President Barack Obama, Barnard College, 2012: “Whether it’s starting a business, or running for office, or raising a amazing family, remember that making your mark on the world is hard. It takes patience. It takes commitment. It comes with plenty of setbacks, and it comes with plenty of failures. But whenever you feel that creeping cynicism, whenever you hear those voices say you can’t make a difference, whenever somebody tells


INSPIRATION

you to set your sights lower the trajectory of this country should give you hope. Previous generations should give you hope. What young generations have done before should give you hope. Young folks who marched and mobilized and stood up and sat in, from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall, didn’t just do it for themselves; they did it for other people.”

4. Steve Jobs, Stanford University, 2005: “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

5. Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments, USC, 2015: “There are so few originals. I believe one of the greatest compliments you can ever receive is ‘I’ve never met anyone like you.’ Being unique starts with forming your own opinions. It helps if you reach for questions and push for answers. If you bring that attitude to your work, you won’t just advance, you will advance mankind.”

6. Stephen Colbert, University of Virginia, 2013: “You must find your own path, and we have left you no easy path. Decide now to choose the hard path that leads to the life and the world you want. And don’t worry if we don’t approve of your choices. In our benign self-absorption, I believe we have given you a gift, a particular form of independence, because you do not owe the previous generation anything.”

7. Actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani, Grinnell College, 2017: “Nobody is paying attention to your failure. The world is full of people failing. People are failing all around you. Failure is boring. Your failure will not be so spectacular that people will write articles about your failure or even remember your failure.” The wisdom hidden in the words of these people have been derived from experience. Experience that has followed a lot of success. Entrepreneurs who feel that they are having a difficult time must look at the lives of these people and understand that the answers they are seeking are hidden in these entrepreneurial struggles. It is easy to give up when you are facing an entrepreneurial challenge but success never came to those who did not persist. Persistence and hope are what can pave the way to your success. It is important that as a leader and an entrepreneur you always keep your mind open to failures and hopeful towards success. Empower yourself with the wisdom of the people who had made it big and you will surely reach success.

SPI Thinktank Intelligent SME | June 2018

15


BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

The Art of Multiple Business Management Deciphered

16

www.theintelligentsme.com


BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

T

here are many entrepreneurs who run more than one business. It might seem to be an impossible task for those who are still struggling with just one business. But it is possible.

Why run two three businesses you might ask? Well, running two three businesses together comes with the following benefits:

1. It improves your financial security 2. It makes you use your skills and this keeps your business mind in shape 3. It gives you more chance of realizing your dreams Entrepreneurs who had been thinking that maybe they might venture into another business need not think that they are aiming at the impossible. A little effort would go a long way in helping them to reach a state where they are successfully managing many businesses together and gaining the most out of it. Here is how you can make your work easier.

1. Write down Everything: The entrepreneurs of the past carried a pen and paper with them. Some of the successful ones of today like Richard Branson still do. He has also famously have gone to say that his notebook is his most prized possession. If you are not one of those pen and paper types maybe you can write everything a notepad. There are many benefits of writing things down when it comes to handling

Intelligent SME | June 2018

17


BUSINESS MANAGEMENT businesses. To quote the Greek Shipping Billionaire Aristotle Onassis about it he said, “Always carry a notebook. Write everything down. When you have an idea, write it down. When you meet someone new, write down everything you know about them. That way, you will know how much time they are worth. When you hear something interesting, write it down. Writing it down will make you act upon it. If you don’t write it down you will forget it. That is a million-dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school!”

2. Focus on Location: It is important that entrepreneurs understand the benefit of having a close proximity to all the business locations that he/she handles. Some entrepreneurs are lucky enough to run their businesses from home. For those who are not can always decide on having the offices close to each other. To give an example, the headquarters of Square and Twitter are across the street in San Francisco. Needless to say it works quite well for Jack Dorsey. Be wise on choosing a location. The right location can help you save time and lot of money.

4. Pick Your Projects: It is important that you choose what projects work for you and leave what does not work for you. Spending time on something that you know won’t work for you anyway is a waste of time. To quote Richard Branson on this, “You need to learn when to go forward and when to say no, which can be difficult, especially if you prefer to say yes, like I do!” Always evaluate what is working for you. If there is anything that is possibly draining your money and time do not waste time on it. Focus on cutting down your losses and then move ahead.

5. Build a Team that is Efficient:

Yes, even if you are handling a lot of businesses together it is important that you know that you are doing all for yourself. You should therefore focus on your own well-being. Find time out for yourself when you can unwind and relax. Prioritize your health and things that matter to you. This will surely keep you energized enough to face the challenges stronger. Entrepreneurs who do not make time for themselves have a lot to lose out on. They are the ones who have an early burn out and have to get themselves treated to be able to recover and handle the work at hand. Always remember that it is your dream you are working for and for that dream to be materialized you need to be the first person to be okay.

“My role is to make sure they have the environment where their talents can form. I work with a great team.”

6. Prioritise Yourself:

SPI Group Thinktank

A company must have a team that has the following qualities in its members. - Hire the employees that match your businesses need - Establish clear work processes - Create a workplace that encourage learning

Following a schedule always helps. The big guys of business have been made into the business inspiration that they are because of the maintained schedules.

A great team helps you to lighten your work pressure immensely. The successful people in business do not do everything on their own but rely a lot on their team.

www.theintelligentsme.com

It is important that you prioritise yourself. It is not easy to provide for others when you yourself are struggling.

Running one business is not easy and running two three businesses together might seem like an impossible thing to think about. But there are people who are doing it and excelling in it. The passion and the dream is what keeps them going. While it is important to be focused and work hard, it is also important that one takes time off. This would help you to have the perfect mix of work life balance and also work on your dream with a rejuvenated energy. Give yourself time, plan out your schedule and stick to it. Back yourself with a good team and never let go of your vision. You have a dream because you have the capacity in you to make it true. Entrepreneurs who are thinking of running more than one business must go ahead after their dreams.

3. Follow a Schedule:

While handling two-three companies together, it is important that you stick to a schedule and follow up on the work like that. Keep your employees and the work plans in sync with your schedule and never move away from

18

it. This will help you to reach targets on time, manage things properly and also give you that extra hours that you might need if in case you have messed up in your work.

To quote Elon Musk,


Chartered Accountants

• Experts of Accounting, Audit, Taxes and Advisory • Detailed knowledge and practical experience in IFRS, US GAAP and Taxation • Decades of combined team experience in Big 4 firms • Strong association with VAT-expert (UK and European) firms • Dedicated Advisory Board with experts from diverse industries • International network, local expertise • Holistic approach with attention to details • Time-bound, cost-effective solutions • In-depth industry know-how and exposure

+971 54 7014700 +971 4 2443221 info@prodigyway.com www.prodigyway.com Intelligent SME | June 2018

19


SALES AND MARKETING

Revealed! The Secret of Affordable Content Marketing 1. Reuse your Old Content in an Innovative Way:

C

ontent Marketing is imperative for a business success. It is one of the most co-efficient marketing strategy that can easily take a business from ‘a struggle to be known’ to ‘the high of being a brand.’ As it is very common in the business world nothing that is good comes cheap. Content marketing is in itself is a very costly procedure that requires a lot of money from a company. Where there is high quality content, there is going to be a price tag! Companies usually resort to in-house personnel or go to the experienced firms that can provide them the excellent work. In either case, there is a lot of money involved. However, there is another way to creating a great marketing strategy that entrepreneurs can use to make sure that their company has that great visibility without the finances of the company going low. Here is a look.

20

www.theintelligentsme.com

Reusing an article might sound not very lucrative, but there are ways that you can make this into a profitable habit. Every company has some blog posts that might have somehow created the exact interest from the audience. The amount of traffic that it brought in still would hold a year or two later. The best part is if it is something that would ring with the audience even now, then chances are that you will be able to bring in the same traffic again. But you should be careful! It would really put people off if they see that you are posting the same article. Before you proceed to try this, make sure that the article that you are reusing is at least a year old. Make some changes to the body in terms of the language so that it makes a connection to the present audience and does not give away the fact that it is an old article. Change the headline. Make internal changes, etc. However you must be very careful about not changing the URL. Changing the URL will make you lose all the SEO profits that you had made earlier. After these basic changes you are good to go!

2. Reimagine an Article in Different Mediums: An article that has been successfully used can be reimagined in different mediums. Maybe your company has a blog post that did well. One can use that blogpost in a different medium like an infographic. One can also focus on creating a features article with an author’s bio with it. The idea is to reimagine the article in different ways and then create different ways to which one can attract SEO. This saves a lot of money and time too. Moreover you do not need to spend a lot of money on each article. It gives you the visibility without having to spend an amount that would create holes in your company pocket.


SALES AND MARKETING 3. Advertising is Key: It must be old news for experienced entrepreneurs that advertising your content is a key element for a business success. Creating an article, publishing it and making the regular edits is just the first step to content marketing. Without the necessary advertising and promotion, an article remains unexplored. A piece of content can bring to you the necessary profits only when it is promoted through the proper channels. Although it must be a known fact for the experienced, I repeat here for those who still do not think that advertising content is an important part that you should showcase your piece across all your company Social Media. This should be followed by sending paid ads and conducting influencer marketing to take the piece to its highest potential.

following month. If it is a good piece it would get people’s interest. The fact that the later part would be published the following month will keep them interested in your next monthly update.

5. Interviews: Interviews are a great source of insight to a subject and also a great filler for content. It is also a very powerful way of creating content because it gives your company an exposure that is backed by the important people in business. It gives your company the boost to work and also a great standing in the market. The fact that you only need to create a questionnaire and not spend hours on brainstorming for content makes it all the more alluring. The entry-level videos and audio equipment’s are a one-

time investment. The best part is that you can convert the video into a video, audio feeds or even a written transcript.

6. Guest-Contributors: There are a lot of people in the market who want to be featured. People who has ideas that they want to share and ideas that can really improve the quality of your content. Guest writers write simply for the exposure. Your company can benefit with the high quality content that they provide. You do not need to pay for anything either. Content Marketing is an important part of a business. You cannot do away with it, but you can surely do it in a money friendly way. Explore the world of content and lower your expenses.

SPI Group Thinktank

4. A Monthly Series: Who does not get comfortable with something to look out for every week? This expectation builds the interest and works like magic to give a boost to a content that was unheard of before. Creating new content every month is something that is financially taxing. Needless to say coming up with new content every month also lets you to sometimes give out low quality content that does not create the required buzz. Entrepreneurs who are going that way must think of creating a monthly series with the content in hand. One can simply turn a piece of content into a template that would be featured in continuation every month. For example, you can feature an article like 20 ways to do something into two parts. One would come previously followed by the later part in the

Intelligent SME | June 2018

21


SME FOCUS

Lessons from Small Businesses to Big Guys

P

eople have a belief that once they reach a certain higher stage in life, they have nothing to learn from those who are still making the journey. The same rule applies in the business world where the big guys in business believe that when they have reached the level of being called a large corporation, they have nothing to learn from the small companies. But this is not wise. There is always a lot to learn and one cannot actually say that maybe someone who is struggling has less to teach. Sometimes it is the simplest of lessons coming from the humblest of beginnings that provide the solution to a big problem. Following up from this note, the big guys in business must not imagine that they know it all. The small businesses has a lot to teach them. Here’s Why?

- Small businesses has a fresh approach to the old things in life - They are open to experiment - Small Businesses have the adventure in their organisation to take a calculated risk that might change the way we know the business world

22

www.theintelligentsme.com

Here is a look at how small businesses are handling the problems of the big corporations in a better way than the big guys can even think possible.

Hiring and Retention: Hiring and Retention is one of the most important part of a business. It is the quality of people in business that decides the future of the company and it is very important that businesses hire the right people and retain the good ones from moving on. Retention is one of the most difficult challenges that every company faces. How do small companies retain their employees and what can large corporations learn from them? Hiring in small companies is not as mechanical as it is in the large companies. Small companies make sure that they are hiring the right person in the first place. A small company is always brimming with a lot of passion and this passion in the organisation helps the management to decide whether they are hiring people who are equally passionate about their work. It is old news that people who love their work has higher chances of excelling in it and getting compatible easily with the company culture. Small Companies make sure that they are hiring the right person with the right inclination towards their business culture. One can say that maybe it is the size of the company that help them to choose the right person easily. The small business family is a close knit one with everyone knowing the other a little more. It understands that things like paid vacation, parental leave, sale bonuses and other such things help to keep employees happy. They go that extra mile in their own way and create a bond that transcends beyond the organisation.

What can the big guys learn from them? It is important to interact and personalize some things in the company. A company that feels like family, a company that recognizes people as human and a company that truly takes care like a guardian


SME FOCUS would naturally have employees wanting to stay.

2. Welcoming New Technology: Small businesses are more open to adopting new technology than the larger ones. The reason is small companies do not need to make a quite a lot of changes to accommodate the new technology.To give an example, the simple task of switching from the traditional storage on servers to moving to cloud in itself is an enormous task for the big businesses. The small businesses however do not need to go through a lot to make the shift. Small companies given the fact that they are always looking at improvising are welcome to accept the new opportunities in business. Big corporations having established themselves are a little slow while welcoming new technology. The approach is cautious and because of the big size the process is long.

What can the big guys learn from them? The big guys can learn to be more welcoming towards new technology. It is old news that technology shapes the business world at a very fast pace. Big corporations should keep in mind this and make their corporation able to implement technical solutions as flexibly as the small corporations.

3. Time Management: Time management is something that all organisations struggle

with. The small organisations need to struggle a little more because of the need to perform, the cutting edge competition that threats their business and the passion to emerge as an established organisation that keep on egging them to do more. The pressure of bringing their act together is more complicated than what the big corporations might face. This comfort brings about a laziness in big corporations and even after years of establishment big organisations still struggle with time management. The small companies geared with the passion to improve and make the mark keep a tab of all the things that needs to be done. The things that do not matter they do not lose much time on that but immediately remove it from their to-do-lists.

What can the big guys learn from them? The big corporations must learn that no matter how established they are they still need to keep a tab of things that matter and not waste more time focusing on things that do not matter to them. Big corporations often find themselves in situations where they spend endless hours focusing on working out things that they know they won’t follow up with anyway. The small organisations have a lot to teach the business world. It is not wise to assume that big corporations know better. Things evolve everyday and the small companies are the ones that evolve with the changing times. Be it a technology or an attitude, the small companies have a lot to teach the one who has gone before them. The small companies moreover are teeming with fresh ideas and talent and a passion that routine has still not being able to simmer. This makes them the perfect business coach.

SPI Group Thinktank Intelligent SME | June 2018

23


INVESTMENT INSIGHTS

Investment and Business Insights From Warren Buffett

T

he great minds in business are what lead the way for the new age entrepreneurs. Warren Buffett is one such entrepreneur who has all the practical wisdom and experience of business. The now 87 year old started on his investing career when he was only 11 years old. The business story that unfolded later is well, history. What better way for an entrepreneur to gain insight on wisdom on investments other than hear him talk with another equally experienced entrepreneur and his business partner namely Charlie Munger. The Berkshire’s shareholders meeting in Omaha is where they were seen to be sharing insights on investments. For those who could catch a glimpse of it of course had the opportunity to hone their business skills with their discussion. Here are the six important lessons that entrepreneurs can learn from Warren Buffett on Investment and his general business preference from the meeting:

1. Cryptocurrency: The word cryptocurrency has everyone in the business world talking but not these two entrepreneurs. It is interesting to note that Warren Buffett and his Partner were very clear about their ideas on cryptocurrency which was nothing but pure disinterest and lack of any positivity towards the concept. Warren Buffett has said that “cryptocurrencies will come to bad endings.” It is interesting to note that when the business world is enamoured by everything that is remotely

24

www.theintelligentsme.com


INVESTMENT INSIGHTS connected to Cryptocurrency the great entrepreneurs of the time are confident that it is just a financial bubble that would float only to burst in time. Quoting Munger, on Cryptocurrency, he said that to invest in cryptocurrency is “just dementia. It’s like somebody else is trading turds and you decide you can’t be left out.”

2. Experience Matters more than a Prestigious Degree: Everyone who knows about Warren Buffett’s famous journey knows that he was rejected from Harvard Business School. He has held strong opinions about success and a college degree from his experience. He said in the shareholders meeting that he prefers someone who has experience more than the one who has a degree. He believes that success in investment comes from discipline and experience.

3. Investment Choices: Who better than Warren Buffett to tell you entrepreneurs about what his investment choices are based on? Well, you will be surprised to know that his investment choices are based on friendships. At an age where every entrepreneur is looking at the usual profit and other things that would give an investment potential Warren Buffett says that he bases his investment choices on friendships. He was asked in the meeting why he favoured Apple Stock over Microsoft. He replied that “In the earlier years, it’s very clear, the answer is stupidity.” When he became close friends with Billionaire Bill Gates he decided to take

it off completely. He said that “I try to stay away from a few things just totally because the inference would be drawn that we might have talked, I might have talked to somebody about something.”

4. Warren Buffett on Guns and Business: While in the meeting Warren Buffett said that he was not aware of any Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries about having any holdings in companies that make firearms. He said this while in conversation with New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin. Following this conversation he said that “I do not believe on imposing my political opinions on the activities of our businesses. If you get into which of our companies are pure and which ones aren’t pure, I think it will be very difficult.”

5. Investing in Amazon: Amazon is the e-commerce giant that changed the whole way of commerce. E-commerce became popular because of this brand and people still look up to everything Amazon for everything. Any business man would love an association with this corporate giant but not Warren Buffett. The reason being Warren Buffett’s investment strategy does not accommodate the possibility of investing in something that is too good to be true. Amazon it seems falls in that category. He said that “I’ve watched Amazon from the start, and I think what Jeff Bezos has done is something close to a miracle,” he said. “The problem is that if I think something will be a miracle, I tend not to bet on it.” Warren Buffett is sure to surprise everyone with his thoughts and business sense. While entrepreneurs follow

the norm Warren Buffett seem to follow his own rules and make others wonder how he got that right.

6. Insight into Berkshire Hathaway without Buffett and Munger: In the Berkshire Hathaway meeting someone asked Buffett what he thinks of a future of the company in someone else’s rein. Buffett and Munger are very much in the company and has no plans to leave in the immediate future. But this is a possibility that might have come across their minds as a businessman. Warren Buffett replied that he was not worried about it. He said that “The reputation belongs to Berkshire now.”. “For somebody that cares about a business we absolutely are the first call and will continue to be the first call.” Reading through the response of Warren Buffett is sure to make any entrepreneur be ever more at awe with this business magnet. He seems to come from a completely different era, but his thoughts penetrate through even the most modern and young minds. It is impossible not to look up at him. The calm and the happiness that he brings around to wherever he goes is quite a motivation to entrepreneurs that you can be busy and completely immersed at work and still be calm and happy. It might seem to be a herculean task at the moment to many entrepreneurs but looking at Buffett sure makes it seem possible. The fact that he is successful makes being happy while at work even more justified. It all boils down to being passionate about what one does and following one’s heart completely. Warren Buffett’s business success seem to be based on these very foundations.

SPI Group Thinktank

Intelligent SME | June 2018

25


HUMAN RESOURCES

Close Gender Gap to Retain Top Talent

T

here are some things in business that entrepreneurs can change. The changes in the business world for the better has all been led by those forward thinking entrepreneurs who led the way without bias. Talking about women in business, well it was possible for women to break through the barriers and establish herself as an entrepreneur because some leading entrepreneurs of the time saw through the talents that a woman entrepreneur can bring to business. As an entrepreneur, you have immense power to influence, change and evolve the marketplace with your thoughts. All you need to do is have a little sensitivity to issues and be willing to take a stand. Gender pay inequality has always played a negative role in the business world. Interestingly, although the pay gap is completely illogical, no one seem to take a stand against it. For those who do take a stand they are not taken seriously. This leads to many women leaving workplaces that do not do justice to their talent and hardwork. A big corporation might think that a few women leaving is not a big deal but it is! There is an increasingly high number of

26

www.theintelligentsme.com


HUMAN RESOURCES women who understand the problem of existing gender pay gaps, can see through it and decide to take charge of her finances. The fact that there are new companies that are not based on gender pay gaps make the transition easier for women. The quality of people working in an organisation make up the culture. It is important that organisations work to retain those women employees who feel that they are well off in a company that do not have gender pay inequality. Change is brought about by a change in culture. How can you as an entrepreneur bring the change that looks down at pay gap and welcomes equality? Here is how.

1. Fight your Biases: Look at the biases that form your mind-set as a male entrepreneur. Look at the moments when you had the chance to make a difference but did not because your pay is not getting affected anyway. As an entrepreneur it is important that you set the example of welcoming women and pay equality. This would help you to open your resources to that other half of extremely talented population who would otherwise not choose to be with your organisation if you had a completely gender biased culture. The best part about being a person in position is that you can transform your work culture and set the future of the business world in motion. This is immense power to revolutionise the work place as we know it. Your company would not only be recognised as a forward thinking organisation but will also bring in a lot of hidden talents to your work force.

2. Make a Platform for Open Discussions: It is possible that you go out to set an example but half of your employees do not understand the reason behind your behaviour. Entrepreneurs who want to change the company culture must make sure that his vision is understood and shared. Many men don’t come being sensitive to gender pay gap. Many dismiss it as something that is the natural thing to do because it has been there since so long. Someone needs to explain to these people how organisations are being biased against the top talents in the industry. The future might see a lack of talent in an otherwise potential company because of this pay gap. Entrepreneurs must make their organisation a platform where people take time out to assess these issues. Discussing it, getting to the root for it and finding solutions in sync with the company rules would help people in an organisation the basic of pay gap, why it arises and how they can do away with it.

3. Recognize your Women Employee’s Contribution to Business: Many men do not take the repercussions of pay gap seriously because they feel they have nothing to lose. Employees can be replaced. Recognising women employees’ contribution to an organisation will reveal that they are actually a powerhouse of talent replacing whom can never even be thought of. To bring this thinking to employees at large and employees who are not

eager about creating a culture that has no pay gap, you must recognise your women employee’s contribution. Make sure that people understand the importance of her work, her value and why she deserves to be paid an equal amount with her male counterparts. This would surely make the transition to a great work culture easy. The business world at large understand the gender pay gap issue and how it affects the women working population. There are many companies that recognises the fact that if they do not make their organisation free from these pay gaps, they will have to compromise with a lot of talent that refuses to stay. Women naturally prefer the new age companies that do not consider these stereotypical pay gaps. The global workforce has a large number of women backing organisations. There is no dearth of a lot of women leading an organisation either. The business world is shifting towards a future that do not has gender pay gaps. More and more women are choosing to join organisations that empower them. As an entrepreneur it is important that you transform your organisation into one of those forward thinking place. You cannot bring that change overnight but as a leader you can show the way to your employees’ one person at a time, one evolution at a time. Women are an integral part of business. They bring a different perspective to everything that makes an organisation move towards the better. It is wise for entrepreneurs to understand the value of women employees in business and try to retain them. You have the power to transform your business. All you need is a willingness to address the issues and go forward with the solution. It will make your company have a great working culture.

SPI Group Thinktank Intelligent SME | June 2018

27


LEADERSHIP

Rewire your Business Thoughts to Fuel Success

E

ntrepreneurs are human. The fact that they have to manage a whole lot of things that make them push their limits do not make them anything large. They are just humans who are trying very hard to keep the show running. These are the ones who need to be motivated the most. A show of external strength and calm does not necessarily give away one’s mental state. Their calm and composure is just like the composure of ducks in a lake who look so calm above the water but are pedaling at a great pace underwater. A disturbed mind can never realise the vision that urged one to don the entrepreneurial hat in the first place. Success is always achieved through the power of a calm and composed mind and a mind that is in control. Business mind-sets are an important factor that can work to better or worse a given situation. The world is full of examples of entrepreneurs who

28

www.theintelligentsme.com

have transformed a business from a scratch to an empire, entrepreneurs who have seen through a solution when others saw problems and entrepreneurs who made it when others thought the task impossible. All these entrepreneurs have that one thing in common. A mind-set that is tuned to think in terms of success. For them failure might be a stepping stone but never the end. The power is in your thinking process. You should learn to tap its potential. Here are some ways that can help you develop a mind-set that will take you to success.

1. Stay Independent of all Expert Advice: The business world is full of people who want to help an entrepreneur. Things like coaching, training, consulting, etc. are available at the click of a button. This might seem to be very convenient for entrepreneurs but the support is just an illusion. It does help an entrepreneur but if you get addicted to the support at hand very soon you will be in a position where you are not in any state to take your own decision. People who give you an expert opinion need not necessarily understand that it is your business and that the ideas that you might have for it might work better. The fact that you reach out to these experts on a


LEADERSHIP regular basis weakens your cause and also makes you doubt your own capacity. It is wise to take a second opinion. It is wise to have an expert guide your vision. But it is not wise of you to depend on them only for your business.

2. Nothing Works Better than Your Hard Work: The technological advancements in the business world has brought many solutions that promise the people in business about the ways of making money fast. The various apps and tools that come backing these things to automate your work and management seem quite alluring at times. But the truth is nothing in the whole world can replace your direct involvement and hard work. Every large organisation that has proudly stood for decades stand proof. These establishments have flourished at an era when there was nothing technological about business. The fact that they still have a policy that help them thrive in all the changes that has shaped the business world clearly shows that it is hard work and commitment to business that has put them where they are. Technological advancements can help ease one’s work but it cannot alone drive success. This is because the usage of technology needs to be decided on. It needs to be managed. Its role in a business needs to be assessed and monitored from time to time. All these still require involvement and hard work. Including new technology in a business will not bring to you success unless you power that technology with your business policy, hard work and involvement.

3.Tell Yourself a Story that helps you Succeed: There are many ways to look at things. These ways are broadly classified as the solution way and the problem way. Where one person looks at a situation and thinks of the opportunity that it would bring in, the other person might look at the same thing and think of how big a problem might come out of it.

Whatever you think is true. Entrepreneurs do not realize that it is their mind that has in the first place materialized their vision. A thought, the passion with it and action powered by these details has what helped him/her bring their vision into the material dimension. The same holds true for everything throughout the entrepreneurial journey. Your business is dependent on many things but the most important thing that it is dependent on is the power of your thoughts. Make sure that you lead your business the correct way with your thoughts. This might seem like a very over repeated advice. Entrepreneurs do not pay much attention to these things no matter how many times it has been told to them. This results in entrepreneurs who tend to lose their temper, over analyse a problem and maybe look at what is going wrong rather than what is going good. This makes a huge difference to a business’ health. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy job and keeping a mind that is sharp enough to look through the problems is not easy either. The work, the responsibilities and the management all work together to make an entrepreneur burn-out. Their business also go through a burn-out phase with the energy travelling through to every employee and affecting tasks. Entrepreneurs must have the correct mind-set to be able to avoid situations like these. Make a start in your own way. Bring that change in your thoughts that would allow you and your business to be successful. Your vision has the potential to materialize or it has the possibility of staying simply an untapped thought. Fuel your vision. Give your vision the power that is needed to materialize. Success will surely come to you.

SPI Group Thinktank

Intelligent SME | June 2018

29


TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION

Technology Addiction Blurs the Chances of Success

T

here are some things in business that entrepreneurs can change. The changes in the business world for the better has all been led by those forward thinking entrepreneurs who led the way without bias. Talking about women in business, well it was possible for women to break through the barriers and establish herself as an entrepreneur because some leading entrepreneurs of the time saw through the talents that a woman

entrepreneur can bring to business. As an entrepreneur, you have immense power to influence, change and evolve the marketplace with your thoughts. All you need to do is have a little sensitivity to issues and be willing to take a stand. Gender pay inequality has always played a negative role in the business world. Interestingly, although the pay gap is completely illogical, no one seem to take a stand against it. For those who do take a stand they are not taken seriously. This leads to many women leaving workplaces that do not do justice to their talent and hardwork. A big corporation might think that a few women leaving is not a big deal but it is! There is an

increasingly high number of women who understand the problem of existing gender pay gaps, can see through it and decide to take charge of her finances. The fact that there are new companies that are not based on gender pay gaps make the transition easier for women. The quality of people working in an organisation make up the culture. It is important that organisations work to retain those women employees who feel that they are well off in a company that do not have gender pay inequality. Change is brought about by a change in culture. How can you as an entrepreneur bring the change that looks down at pay gap and welcomes equality? Here is how.

1. Fight your Biases: Look at the biases that form your mind-set as a male entrepreneur. Look at the moments when you had the chance to make a difference but did not because your pay is not getting affected anyway. As an entrepreneur it is important that you set the example of welcoming women and pay equality.

30

www.theintelligentsme.com


TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION This would help you to open your resources to that other half of extremely talented population who would otherwise not choose to be with your organisation if you had a completely gender biased culture. The best part about being a person in position is that you can transform your work culture and set the future of the business world in motion. This is immense power to revolutionise the work place as we know it. Your company would not only be recognised as a forward thinking organisation but will also bring in a lot of hidden talents to your work force.

2. Make a Platform for Open Discussions: It is possible that you go out to set an example but half of your employees do not understand the reason behind your behaviour. Entrepreneurs who want to change the company culture must make sure that his vision is understood and shared. Many men don’t come being sensitive to gender pay gap. Many dismiss it as something that is the natural thing to do because it has been there since so long. Someone needs to explain to these people how organisations are being biased against the top talents in the industry. The future might see a lack of talent in an otherwise potential company because of this pay gap. Entrepreneurs must make their organisation a platform where people take time out to assess these issues. Discussing it, getting to the root for it and finding solutions in sync with the company rules would help people in an organisation the basic of pay gap, why it arises and how they can do away with it.

3. Recognize your Women Employee’s Contribution to Business: Many men do not take the repercussions of pay gap seriously because they feel they have nothing to lose. Employees can be replaced. Recognising women employees’ contribution to an organisation will reveal that they are actually a powerhouse of talent replacing whom can never even be thought of. To bring this thinking to employees at large and employees who are not eager about creating a culture that has no pay gap, you must recognise your women employee’s contribution. Make sure that people understand the importance of her work, her value and why she deserves to be paid an equal amount with her male counterparts. This would surely make the transition to a great work culture easy. The business world at large understand the gender pay gap issue and how it affects the women working population. There are many companies that recognises the fact that if they do not make their organisation free from these pay gaps, they will have to compromise with a lot of talent that refuses to stay. Women naturally prefer the new age companies that do not consider these stereotypical pay gaps. The global workforce has a large number of women

backing organisations. There is no dearth of a lot of women leading an organisation either. The business world is shifting towards a future that do not has gender pay gaps. More and more women are choosing to join organisations that empower them. As an entrepreneur it is important that you transform your organisation into one of those forward thinking place. You cannot bring that change overnight but as a leader you can show the way to your employees’ one person at a time, one evolution at a time. Women are an integral part of business. They bring a different perspective to everything that makes an organisation move towards the better. It is wise for entrepreneurs to understand the value of women employees in business and try to retain them. You have the power to transform your business. All you need is a willingness to address the issues and go forward with the solution. It will make your company have a great working culture.

SPI Group Thinktank

Intelligent SME | June 2018

31


SMART WORKPLACES

Designing Smart Workplaces in the Middle East is about Giving Users what they Expect

R

ecent research by Google supports a point I have been discussing with customers for many months now; there is no real difference between the user experience and the employee experience any more. What that means is, if you expect to schedule your Sunday with your mobile phone calendar, upload photos to cloud storage and connect with people using applications, you will expect to do pretty much the same thing on Monday, when you arrive at the office. In 2018, many of us don’t feel efficient unless we’re able to access applications on demand, and this applies to our work as much as our personal lives. Given we spend as much

32

www.theintelligentsme.com

time in our offices as we do at home, we have to consider how the workplace can become better equipped to meet our daily expectations. Designing the workplace to better incorporate technology is not about being futuristic. It’s about meeting the minimum requirements that users now have. A business that does not consider how to improve its workplace design to suit our daily habits risks alienating its employees, and ultimately decreasing productivity, losing talent, or both.

Maximising efficiency of space So how do we go about creating a better workspace? It starts with considering how to make everything more efficient. More efficient tech, more efficient space, more efficient people. A win-win solution for the business and employee would be if building designers

and technology companies collaborated on the designing of new, or redevelopment of, existing buildings. Working together to create a digital plan of each space, as well as the kind of structural, technical plans traditionally drawn up by those in the industry, could increase the chances of these spaces meeting the needs of its occupants. This could be as simple as re-arranging the furniture to give teams more of a chance to interact, with screens, docking stations and charge points to keep people productive with whatever device they are carrying. The point is, if these different viewpoints and experiences come together to create ‘smart’ workplaces, the people who work here will also be able to collaborate more – spending less time trying to find cables and connections, and more time getting the job done.


SMART WORKPLACES

A win-win solution for the business and employee would be if building designers and technology companies collaborated on the designing of new, or redevelopment of, existing buildings.

Intelligent SME | June 2018

33


SMART WORKPLACES The tech platform to improve productivity With this design in place, it’s then time to address the technology that can get the best from your workforce. Is it a VR booth or a robot assistant? No. The smart office is about getting the basics right.

Better connection, improved communication

offerings for your employees. It might sound futuristic, but steps like this are relatively simple and I think, near-term.

From here, we can start to push the boundaries using IoT. Controlling the heating of a room to your liking using your smartphone, or turning on the coffee machine remotely, are just two examples of a quicker, more personal working environment using technology. This is not only possible, but pretty affordable. And if you want to control a broader range of equipment, we are also seeing plug in multi-sensors entering the market, which use machine learning to identify the signals being sent by any number of electronic devices.

As a supplier of business connectivity, our energies are focused on managing, and securing, the explosion of traffic that will come from the digital workplace. For you, the business owner, and the employee, your task is to remove barriers to mobilefriendly working, and gradually create the kind of smart, digital environment that people really want to work in.

Access to a secure, reliable and fast Wi-Fi connection is essential for most job roles and industries now, especially for those who are office-based or working remotely. But if the future workplace is not just connected, but smart, it can become much more personalised for the workers who use it. Having user credentials that are recognised across any location or device, Very quickly, you could for example, removes the be setting up an office with unnecessary task of repeated hundreds of devices interlinked, allowing you to better logins, which over the course TB_Intelligent SME_HP_April17_Final.pdf 1 3/20/17 10:53 AM understand how those devices of days, weeks and years is an are being used, and create new enormous time saver.

34

www.theintelligentsme.com

Morten Illum Aruba


E-COMMERCE

E-commerce Industry in the Region:What your Customers Really Want?

T

here have been few game-changing developments in the e-Commerce industry in the region. One of the most significant one is the entry of Amazon with Souq acquisition. While a recent report puts Middle East as one of the fastest growing e-Commerce markets in the world, e-commerce accounts for just 2% of retail sales. That report also projects that by 2020 the sales volume of this region will expand to $22.3 billion. Gartner reported that only 15-18 percent of the businesses in the region have an online presence and 90 percent of online shopping import products from outside the region. All this shows challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the online retailers in the region.

‘Cheaper price’ is the biggest motivation to buy online As per the PwC e-Commerce report (2017) 40% respondents in the region said ‘cheaper price’ is the biggest motivation to buy online. If you look outside the region, ‘Convenience’ has always been the biggest motivation. At this stage of the industry and for its growth this wrongly placed motivation is pulling the industry in the wrong lane. The fight is to become the cheapest online store whereas other factors such as service and end-to-end user experience are taking less priority for e-commerce players.

Customers want to get the product ASAP Based on the research we have been doing for our e-commerce clients, we have seen that users are frustrated about delivery delays and lack of transparency in lead times. Many times, this has been the

deal-breaker for users wanting to get the product sooner. In most cities in the region there is no home delivery postal system so GPS technology for machine learning or automation is virtually impossible. There are no street addresses for residential or business locations. Consumers commonly provide buildings and landmarks as means of navigation. This becomes a hurdle to automate the delivery timings, estimates and planning of these deliveries to be accurate. E-commerce players have to spend a lot of time/efforts/ money in finding and working with different logistics partners.

UX is ignored Focus on cheaper product pricing, and setup costs meant UX was practically ignored as business owners want to save money. Taking readily available platforms and customising the colours, and branding was the fastest way to go to market. It still is. This is done without understanding how and if the target market is different and if they have their own specific needs or behavioural patterns.

Intelligent SME | June 2018

35


E-COMMERCE

Unless business owners spend time in understanding their niche target and addressing their needs before crafting an experience for them, it will still be a problem area. We are yet to come across an innovation in the User Experience in this part of the world.

Loyalty factor Loyalty is still a myth with price and delivery as the primary drivers for users in the region, sticking to one platform remains a challenge. Almost

36

www.theintelligentsme.com

none of the major platforms offer any loyalty schemes or incentives for repeat customers. Few brick and mortar retailers have tried to link their offline loyalty programs to their e-Commerce stores as well. However, that hasn’t resulted in making loyal customers. Users still lack a platform which rewards them for being loyal. Just personalised newsletters or product matches are not going to cut it anymore.

Omni-Channel game

There are two categories of e-commerce players in the region. Pure-play and Brick & Mortar retailers’ platforms. Pure-plays have been leveraging the advantages they have so far, and now with ‘Omni-Channel’ being the buzzword, Brick & Mortar businesses are trying to create their differentiation through that. But no one has the Omni-Channel experience of any substantial quality just yet. E-commerce players need to catch up with today’s user who is more Omni-Channel than they are.


E-COMMERCE

Loyalty is still a myth with price and delivery as the primary drivers for users in the region, sticking to one platform remains a challenge.

Gathering right metric/ insights E-commerce players do not spend enough efforts and time to know their users. There is no real personalisation for Product Discovery existent in the region yet and rich relevance is barely used as a strategy. Businesses do not spend enough time in gathering right metric/insights from proper channels. Qualitative/ quantitative research methods, tools to understand real user

patterns, data and other insights are still not used effectively to target users. e-Commerce players are yet coming to terms with following these insights, using them effectively for conversion rate optimisation methodologies and ultimately make every user feel unique by personalising the journey for that user. Apart from these challenges, businesses still face other challenges such as business setup, payment technologies, lack of good

talent in this field and other back-end issues. But even after considering these challenges, e-commerce in the Middle East is still poised for growth, and these are exciting times to be related to this field.

For more www.rbbideas.com

Amol Kadam RBBi

Intelligent SME | June 2018

37


SME TECH

Thinking Innovation in Business: Every Entrepreneur’s Responsibility

I

nnovation is a word that has always got the ears of ambitious entrepreneurs perked up, but somehow it has always been shoved away as something that has something to do with the technology people broadly speaking. The business world that we have known it as has dramatically changed with the technology and innovation shaping everything business. Given this scenario it is very important that entrepreneurs who want to lead their company towards a successful future in a technologically buzzing business landscape must look at innovation as something that they need to get involved into completely and get their hands dirty. There are many questions that arise when entrepreneurs attempt at getting involved into that part of business that seem to look good only with the experts in it. It is important that organisations understand that every entrepreneur and every employee now needs to understand innovation in an organisation. Maybe the more technical part can always be taken over by the technology team in the house, but it is imperative that everyone who makes up the corporation must look at innovation as an important part of the job role.

38

www.theintelligentsme.com


SME TECH Here are the three reasons why you as an entrepreneur must include innovation as part of your job role.

1. If your company has scope of improvement you must have a team and a leader in your organisation that thinks the innovation way: Every company has a scope for improvement. There is always a better way of doing and managing things. The very fact that people now look up at Alexa and Siri and think of better ways of giving out tasks to robots to make use of the human resources for more useful tasks is proof to it. Alexa and Siri has not only been implemented by the struggling companies but by the big guys of the business world. If the big guys who seem to have nothing to improvise on can innovate and look for things to better, it is natural that other businesses would also likely have some things to be improvised on. Everything boils down to whether you want to do something or not. Many entrepreneurs are cautious and are against making new changes. This is because when something is running smooth, why affect the flow. But the question is maybe there is scope to run things even smoother. Read – Alexa in workspaces. An aversion towards trying something innovative would naturally make a company lag far behind in the market with their peers working on improvising everything with the help of technology. Moreover, once something innovative works well in a company, others do not wait any longer to implement the same. So, it is very important that entrepreneurs take an

active role in keeping his/her thoughts on innovation and not depend entirely on the in-house tech team. One can also create an environment of innovation culture where ideas from employees and entrepreneurs alike are discussed to make sure that the company is in sync with the advancements in the market place.

2. Do you want you robot proof your business? If yes, you should think the innovation way: It is old news that there is a threat to repetitive and mechanical work by robots. Robots are mostly threatening to take over the administrative and repetitive rule-based jobs. Robots have still not been able to tackle creative jobs that needs a lot of human intervention. Being an entrepreneur it is important that you think of protecting your company from being completely robotised. Enhancing your creative problem solving way in the organisation will help you do so. A company that has a unique way of solving creative problems can stay robot proof. How can one make his/her company robot proof? Well, by simply flexing their innovative muscles a little harder. If you are against innovation and want to stick to the old way of doing things, very soon, your organisation will run out of the need to hire humans. There will be companies on the other hand who would emphasise on staying ahead of the game while you stick to the old way of life. This will leave you far behind in the business game. Innovation is not only important for your company’s progress but it is also needed for your company’s future existence.

3. Do you want to push your comfort zone? If yes, you should go the innovation way: Growth has always been found on the other side of the comfort zone. If you are an entrepreneur who want to run things the way that it had been without any change to routine then you are at a risk of being extinct. The business world is changing every business minute and entrepreneurs who refuse to accept this will never be able to keep pace with the changes that are needed for surviving in the first place. Given the scenario where maybe every company would have something like Alexa or Siri for their tasks it is important that you too go their way. If possible find something better. Anything that is outdated would be naturally termed as inconvenient to people who are used to enjoying the conveniences of the bots. Organisations that do not evolve would lose out on customers, business and naturally money. What is the point in existing as a business then? Thinking about innovation and developing innovation as a company culture is something that is very important. It is no longer the domain of the technology department only but everyone who makes a company. An entrepreneur has all the more responsibility to think the innovation way. The business world has experienced innovation and is completely in love with how it shapes it. There is no looking back now. Innovative businesses and people are recognised and looked up to in this technology crazy world. If you want your business to thrive in the future of business, it is important that you develop a culture that attracts innovation. Give your company the freshness of innovation and let it reach success.

SPI Group Thinktank

Intelligent SME | June 2018

39


CRM

Turning CRM into a Cornerstone for Digital Transformation

A

lthough it has been an industry buzzword for over two years now, it has been a challenge to find a definition of Digital transformation that all industry experts agree on. This isn’t a surprise are the digital transformation can mean different things to different industries and therefore leads each organization down a unique IT roadmap. One thing we can all agree on however, is that the driving force behind the digital transformation, stated in its simplest form, is the need to constantly enhance customer experience.

40

www.theintelligentsme.com

Following logically from this, it makes sense therefore that companies looking to begin their digital transformation journey should optimize and evolve the solution they rely on to manage all the relationships and interactions they have with their customers- their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. Traditionally CRM has been about marketing and sales, but by realizing its potential as a platform for Customer Experience (CE), organizations can gain the ability to anticipate and proactively engage customers across the full lifecycle of their relationships.

Need for a CE Strategy Today’s customer is vastly more tech-savvy and selfsufficient than was the case just

a decade ago. This ‘Customer 2.0’ is informed and socially engaged, knows where to find the information he/she needs and values businesses not just on price, but on the ‘relationship’ they offer. This brand loyalty is no longer influenced by a single channel such as an interaction with a salesperson or an email to the support team. It takes root from their first visit to the company’s website, continues through their interactions with sales teams and is solidified in their engagements with support teams. The Harvard Business Review insightfully summarized that “[Customer experience] is the sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just in a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer.”


CRM This means correctly managing and anticipating customer expectations over a highly extended period and requires organizations to do a number of things in order to achieve success. This means first working with the marketing, service and technology departments to outline the current CE journey and then, by identifying areas for improvement, defining the ideal CE map. Marketing and sales teams must then work together to correctly set and manage customer expectations which will also involve anticipating any causes for concern and proactively informing/educating customers in anticipation of these threats. Creating an exceptional experience across this entire journey requires exceptional insight and actionable intelligence that can drive proactive customer engagement.

Evolution of CRM CRM solutions have traditionally been IT-centric systems, utilized to track interactions between the company and its customers. This includes monitoring the number of executed calls, emails and meetings, and also delivering insight history about customers by tracking email or phone calls made by sales persons, or marketing campaigns customers interacted with. However, even marketleading CRM solution with feature sets that extend well beyond this have one fundamental drawback- almost all CRM activities are still reactive. Developing meaningful and actionable steps from the data being collected is the fundamental enabler of enhancing customer

experience. The wealth of information and mapping that comes from the CRM dataset must be used to identify pain points, mitigate negative customer experience, and reduce silos between departments so that objectives are aligned. Innovative CRM vendors such as Salesforce have been quick to recognize the change in customer mentality and the potential for their CRM systems to deliver a competitive advantage in customer experience. By acknowledging the need for proactivity, they have extended their offerings from sales, service and marketing to deliver holistic and seamless customer experience.

Identifying a CE driven CRM Solution Customer Experience expands the traditional CRM to be proactive across the end-to-end customer lifetime. To achieve this, the CRM system has to understand the customers’ experience across all channels such as from the initial enquiry to the sale, to the use and billing via linkage to internal operational databases. The solution must be able to apply analytics and automation to automatically trigger events that enhance the customer experience rather than only providing historical data to refute customer complaints. Here too Salesforce serves as an example of a CRM solution that combines automation and analytics to create a system that not only improves customer relationships, but also improves itself through continued use. To truly enhance customer experience, the CRM system must be tightly linked with

all the major databases across the company using a common identifier. Extending on this is the need for interoperability. Today’s customer is likely to be influenced and served by solutions delivered by a myriad of vendors whose systems need to be compatible and easily integrated. However, as each vendor pushes for higher standards and greater feature sets to achieve diversification, they introduce complexity and change the underlying platforms independent of each other. To avoid this complexity, cloudbased solutions are a clear solution as they offer easily integrated APIs for integration. Because cloud solutions abstract the service from the underlying technology, companies are freed from the cost of maintenance while being assured a robust CRM system. Thus, to unlock the power of CRM for customer experience, organizations must find a cloud-based platform that provides applications for sales, marketing, and customer service management. Features or addons to look for include predictive analytics, case management, and application development. As IT budgets could potentially be a constraint for Small to Medium size businesses (SMBs), the platform should be cost effective, fully and easily integrated, scalable such that it meets long-term future requirements, and intuitive enough for users to be compelled to pick it up and leverage it.

Conclusion Customer experience will not only continue to shape the way organizations define their digital transformations, it will directly impact their bottom line. Delighted customers are more likely to remain loyal and share their positive feedback and recommendations with potential customers. Thus, market

Intelligent SME | June 2018

41


CRM share, customer churn, and ultimately profitability, will all be increasingly influenced by customer experience. Organizations must realize that CRM is no longer a reactive component but can instead be the enabler of proactive customer engagement. By recognizing and partnering with cloud-based CRM providers

42

www.theintelligentsme.com

that have evolved their solutions to address the needs of the customer experience revolution, these organizations will set themselves on the path for success.

Souphien Akhrif

Managing Director at Cloudworks


BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

Can SME benefit from Blockchain Strategy? Tips for governments and enterprises on how to implement blockchain solutions and what needs to be done first to avoid implementation issues.

B

usinesses and governments are looking to blockchain technology as an innovation to facilitate organizational efficiency, but before implementation, the main challenge for organizations is in coming up with a unified blockchain

strategy. A holistic adoption strategy sets the stage for organization/countrywide implementation of blockchain with the objective of unifying the economy to build trust, increase efficiency, and reduce operational friction.

Data consolidation within organizations is a key factor in blockchain adoption.

2018 marks the beginning of a shift to a new era of innovation powered by changes in computing architectures, governance, manufacturing and how we power our economy. The technologies which will facilitate these changes, although still nascent today, will soon rise to ubiquity. For organizations to compete effectively in this era, they need to begin the shift right now. This paradigm brings blockchain technology to our

Intelligent SME | June 2018

43


BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

attention; for many, this technology is perceived to be the ‘enabler’ of this new era of innovation. However, many are asking themselves where do they start with their blockchain strategy.

Take it Easy! As the hype around blockchain finally comes to the fore for management than to the technical stakeholders, governments and enterprises are in a rush to gain a deeper understanding of the technology and learn about how the impact it has on their organization, industry and economy. However, in their haste to introduce blockchain,

44

www.theintelligentsme.com

they may be coming unstuck with implementational issues that will later cause process clogs when attempts are made to unify their systems.

Challenges to blockchain adoption Implementation timeline are not only delayed by application development, but the challenge of communicating and making transactions across government departments also presents itself as a barrier. Every department has its own set of data with its own representation schema, which does not translate to other departments’ databases and processes.

Making adoption less challenging Blockchain is adding a new dimension to Master Data Management (MDM), causing a shift from centralized MDM to decentralized. A blockchain approach means centralized consensus, which can be contrasted against registry centralizаtion. Since everyone inputs data onto a shared blockchain, it enforces a standardized way of representing that data. So instead of keeping separate, siloed sets of data definitions in each individual application that the system has to flick


BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY at all times. Distributed ledger technology at heart is data reproduction to create a common database across the system as a whole and with this it imposes one single language for all data concepts. Some may assert that MDM does achieve users to have a single set of data, serving as a single source of truth (SSOT). However, by design it is not able to solve issues where there are different languages for the same thing that subsequently need to be translated to and from between systems to be understood. As such, we end up with a situation where we have unified data, but no unified language.

Use case

between, the blockchain places the data onto a single, shared transaction ledger.

Blockchain use in MDM “Blockchain is not only Master of the Data, but that it also controls the language used to communicate between endpoints.� The Blockchain Killer Use Case, Benedikt Herudek With standard MDM, even if the organization manages to establish a single, central datastore that everyone can rely on, it still takes real effort to maintain data synchronisation throughout

Imagine, an individual needs to have their degree certificate attested and validated by the relevant government authority; the process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to about a couple of months and costs a pretty penny. Why is there so much friction? it doesn’t make any economic sense for the process to be delayed to such an extent. If the ecosystem of validating an educational qualification is on one shared ledger, the stakeholders can interact and participate as per agreed and pre-defined rights. Multiple government departments can participate in recording and validating in order to complete the verification in a matter of minutes, and issue the attestation to the individual without undue delay. Presently the process takes about 2-6 months and about a 1000$.

Blockchain in action The citizen applies for attestation and submits the requisite documentation. An officer with the relevant authority reviews the initial application. Meanwhile, the citizen makes a payment for processing and attestation fees. The officers are provided the authority to review, verify and accept the application. In processing the application the officers audit the documentation submitted by the citizen and are able to make requests to external departments to verify certain data related to the application or request further documentation or certificates from other departments to complete their audit. As all steps are completed, the attestation is authorized and issued to the citizen. When blockchain is fully integrated across all departments then organizations will really see the full advantages of the technology; immutable and verifiable data becomes the foundation for all interdepartmental transactions. Meanwhile, the more transactions and data we input into the ledger, the more the benefits there will be. The main idea is to have single, all-encompassing registries for businesses and citizens. In the beginning factions will resist exchanging information with each other, but this is a gradual transition process: over time we will see adoption on the scale of the internet.

Muhammed Arafath Apla

Intelligent SME | June 2018

45


FINANCES

The Future of Technologically Charged Financial Revolution

T

echnology has revolutionized the way we do business. It has also reshaped the way we make payments. The emergence of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum along with the other applications of the Blockchain Technology that is regularly changing the financial landscape of the business world is sure to make a difference. It is very possible that the future would see the Blockchain Technology filter into the mainstream business world. While it is important to keep a track of the changes it is also important that an entrepreneur prepare his/her company to match with the changing face of the financial world. Here is a look at the six ways that the financial world will change in terms of the way people in business receive and make payments.

1. Regulation: Everyone in the business

46

www.theintelligentsme.com

world knows that there was an extreme popularity about cryptocurrency but it plummeted because of the lack of regulation. This led to a lot of confusion and concern among all the financial regulators in the world. It is therefore very possible that cryptocurrencies will need to come under government regulation. While talking about Cryptocurrency the IMF chief Christine Lagarde has also said that “it’s inevitable”. The fact that the top government officials had expressed concern at the World Economic Forum shows what the future of Cryptocurrency would be.

2.P2P Payments via Blockchain: There has been a lot of different type of Cryptocurrency in the market ever since its inception. The new one called the Stable coin is something that aims at solving the problem that a Bitcoin has. Namely that of its unpredictability. There has been a rise of many companies that aim at making the use of cryptocurrency stable. People are looking at collateralizing their tokens with the real world assets of the world. Some other are looking at utilizing complex

economic models to manage the supply and demand in business.It is very possible that with these developments the tokens of some cryptocurrency experts would gain more traction. This would naturally lead to salary and general payments being paid through cryptocurrency in the future. Stable coins will surely have some effect on the financial world of business because it comes with the power of cryptocurrency while doing away with the unpredictability element.

3. Consumers will Warm Up to Cryptocurrency like Business: The consumers would warm up to Cryptocurrency once its popularity increases in the business world. Bitcoin and Ethereum has a total volume of $500 million dollars. But the fact that most merchants do not accept them give people less opportunity to use cryptocurrency. It is safe to say that the Blockchain world is still at a very early stage and there is a long way to go. This problem has not gone unnoticed and there are a lot of start-ups that are working


FINANCES

on that. There is a Silicon Valley Start-up that holds a lot of promise. It is called the OPEN Platform and it is in the process of creating an Application Programming Interface or API that will help application developers to connect to OPEN API’s and begin the process of accepting Cryptocurrency without having any technical knowledge. OPEN API can be looked at something like Stripe. While Stripe made credit card payments easy with an easy to implement API, OPEN plans to simplify the payment process of Blockchain.

4. Payments that are Generation-Z Friendly: The future naturally would have a generation that has not seen the world before Google or the Internet. It is very possible that the future of finances would also move that way. This would bring in finances focusing on user experience and making UX designs valuable to businesses. This is something that would naturally be wanted by the future generation and there is no other way around it. The future of finances will have to be future generation friendly. Customer experience is something that would make all

the difference. Making Simple payment possible will be the future.

allows a great centralized control of many things in an environment and makes interaction easy.

5.Mobile Payments:

Amazon has already brought about the new era of Internet of Things and Financial Transactions by popularising the statement: ‘If you want to buy something just tell Alexa.’ It is possible that the future would see Internet of Things being used for making financial transactions easy. This would naturally be followed up with finances being connected to other devices that might emerge in the financial world.

Mobile Payments are already popular in the business world with the emergence of platforms like Venmo that has made money transfers very simple. Following this there are many entrepreneurs who are looking at providing these solutions to the consumers. The payment of goods, the possibility of paying one another or splitting bills on the go is something that is becoming mainstream. The fact that people do not need to wait for a long time to do these tasks make it all the more alluring for consumers. The convenience of mobile payments will only become more popular. Entrepreneurs who want to stay ahead of the financial game must make it a point to go the popular way.

6. The Internet-ofThings and Financial Transactions: The Internet-Of-Things has been very popular in the business world. Internet of Things works to integrate devices at home, in public and in stores using the internet. This

The world of business is changing every moment and entrepreneurs who want to stay ahead and thrive in the future must keep a track of it. Entrepreneurs who lag behind would find themselves in a future where no one would understand their business process. Entrepreneurs must try and make the necessary changes that is needed to accommodate the change in their business. The world of finance has already been transformed and the future would only see more transformations shaping it. The business world runs because of the finances. Keep yourself up to date with the developments in the financial world and make success in the future an achievable possibility.

SPI Group Thinktank Intelligent SME | June 2018

47


SME TECH

Consumer Concerns: A Threat to Robotics Revolution T

he possibility of a robot revolution has always been cherished and feared. While the business world seems to be enamoured by everything technological, there has also been those who had been cautious about contributing to bring forth this revolution. The enthusiasm is justified and so is the concern. The flying car that debuted last year namely the AeroMobil 3.0 has put even more scoop to the debate.

48

www.theintelligentsme.com

Following this Airbus and Uber has expressed their interest in taking this dream further to reality. Airbus has pledged to develop an autonomous car and a system that would allow these flying cars to safely navigate through cities. Uber has on the other hand announced its vision to have flying taxis in operation from the year 2020. The buzz and discussion that started after the introduction of a flying car and corporates showing an interest to chase the dream to make it a reality revealed the fact that the materialisation of a flying car was possible many years back. It was the lack of trust and a concern with the new technology that has delayed

the materialisation of the flying car. The result of the research by University of Michigan’s Survey of Public Opinion said that two thirds of the people surveyed said that they were concerned about flying cars. Another 80% said that flying cars should come equipped with parachutes. The Robot Revolution as one can see is clearly been delayed by the concerns of humans. The Artificial Intelligence can make the world a better place with self-driving machines, quality-control robots, etc., but people do not exactly believe that AI means only good. The world is aware of the various technological developments that has been misused against


SME TECH humanity. This experience is what makes humans of today unsure about welcoming the AI Revolution. The words by Vladimir Putin on Artificial Intelligence, though inspiring also throws light on the not so comfortable aspect of it. He said, “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia but for all humankind. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.” It is old news that the countries like Russia, China and United States are all trying to empower themselves with the AI weapons and national security systems that would allow them to become a superpower that is armed with the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence. Tom Simonite of WIRED explained that “The AI race among the world’s three largest military powers differs from earlier competitions like those to deploy nuclear weapons or stealth technology because much artificial intelligence technology can be used for both commercial and military applications.” The latest Cambridge Analytica Breach and others that time and again make news do not let the debate to reach a final point. This brings in a lot of problems for those entrepreneurs who are trying to usher in the robotics

revolution. They face the complaints from clients of not being tech-savvy enough if they take a step back. They face the wrath of the same clients who question them about the possible security breaches that a new technology in business might bring about. Are you one of those entrepreneurs who want to contribute through your business in the robotic revolution but stay undecided because of the undecided relation that your consumers have with technology in business? Here is how you can go with your business:

1. Make Robots Affordable: Yes, you have heard it right. The access to the new technology and robots is only limited to a few because of the huge price tags that it comes with. This results in people being only able to discuss about what the new robot would bring in and not experience the real thing. This makes it impossible for companies to drive sense into the speculative discussions of consumers. Well, how do you trust something that you do not have access to? For the robotics revolution to take shape, it is important that you as an entrepreneur make it possible for mainstream consumers to experience the technology.

2. Make Misconceptions Part of an Open Discussion: Misconceptions start small but the moment that it is allowed to stay it becomes a part of the consumer mind that they find it difficult to replace. Make sure that you do not allow misconceptions to stay long. The moment that you hear of it make sure that it is sorted.

Create legislation that treats AI as partner and not as something that people need to be cautious of. Discussing the misconceptions openly while talking about the responsibilities that robots would be given, how those would affect unions, labour organisations and human rights can go a long way to make AI seem friendly to humans.

3. Make Security a Priority: Privacy and security – these two elements have been very important to consumers. The technological revolution has always threatened these two elements. This fact does not make AI seem trustworthy to humans. Entrepreneurs must make sure that the technology that they bring in has no security or privacy problems. They should also think about investing in security technology that would protect AI Technology. The doubts that humans have on the robots revolution is not without reason. There has been many instances when technology has been misused. It is natural that people would look at technology with a little awe and a lot of questions. This is natural. But staying in the crossroads without making any decision will not lead you anywhere. The business world requires that entrepreneurs move with the technology that is shaping this dimension. Entrepreneurs must understand that being cautious about a technology that has the potential and intelligence of humans is natural. They must move ahead by addressing these concerns. Consumers who feel that they are heard and understood would never want to cloud your vision of a brighter future if you show them the potential. Power your business with technology and win your consumers with trust. This will lead us to a balanced robotic revolution era.

SPI Group Thinktank

Intelligent SME | June 2018

49


CHAUMET PARIS

Introducing Bee My Love Collectable Bracelets Following the stackable Bee my Love rings, a cheeky nod to the Maison’s imperial past, Chaumet had an irresistible desire to enlarge the graphic bands and create an ensemble of collectable bangles. Express who you are with one, five, ten or more! The new language of bracelets is about strong design and a sign of recognition. A life-long piece of jewellery and a symbol of belonging since time immemorial, the bracelet is the identity object with which we celebrate our happiest moments. It is also a universal lucky charm, a cherished protective talisman never to be taken off. It is, by nature, a stackable piece of jewellery. Imagine your own associations according to your personal story and tastes, composing a collection of intimate visual and sonorous memories bracelet by bracelet. It’s a collection just for you, familiar and reassuring to all, since it affirms who you are and expresses your personality. In white, yellow or rose gold, plain or set with diamonds in every other hexagonal cell, Bee my Love bracelets hold the promise of limitless combinations. From the delicacy of a single bangle to the generosity of a very personal accumulation, the infinite possibilities are yours to discover. “

"Bee My Love" ‫الكشف عن مجموعة أساور‬ ،‫متراص ًة والتي تع ّبر بتصميمها الجريء عن الماضي اإلمبراطوري للدار‬ ‫" التي يمكن ارتداؤها‬Bee My Love" ‫بعد خواتم‬ ّ ً ‫ وهكذا تع ّبرون عن ذوقكم‬.‫ملح ًة في تكبير األربطة الغرافيكية وابتكار مجموعة من األساور التي يمكن ارتداؤها م ًعا‬ ‫راودَ ت شوميه‬ ّ ‫رغبة‬ َ .‫بقطعة واحدة أو خمسة أو عشرة أو أكثر! فلغة األساور الجديدة تعني تصمي ًما ملف ًتا وعالمة تقدير‬ ُ ً ‫قطعة مجوهرات ُتقتنى مدى الحياة وتش ّكل‬ ‫ وهو الغرض المم ّيز الذي نحتاج إليه لالحتفال بأسعد‬،‫رمزا لالنتماء منذ القدم‬ ‫السوار‬ .‫ كما أ ّنه تعويذة عالمية لجلب الحظ وإبعاد األذى ال يمكن نزعه أبدًا‬.‫لحظاتنا‬ ً ‫ تخ ّيلوا‬.‫ قطعة مجوهرات يمكن ارتداؤها لوحدها أو ضمن مجموعة‬،‫ بحكم تصميمه‬،‫وهو‬ ‫مثل تشكيلتكم الخاصة بكم بحسب حكايتكم‬ ‫ مألوفة‬،‫مخصصة لكم فقط‬ ‫ وهي مجموعة‬.‫ ستش ّكلون مجموعة ذكريات مرئ ّية ور ّنانة تالمس القلب‬،‫فسوارا بعد سوار‬ .‫وأذواقكم‬ ّ ً .‫ أل ّنها تع ّبر عن ذاتكم وشخصيتكم‬،‫ومطمئنة للجميع‬ ‫" بتركيبات غير محدودة كونها مصنوعة من الذهب األبيض أو األصفر أو الوردي أو العادي أو‬Bee My Love" ‫وتعدكم أساور‬ ‫ فإنّ االحتماالت الالنهائية موضوعة بين أيديكم‬،‫ ومن ر ّقة كل سوار إلى سخاء التكديس الشخصي‬.‫مرصعة بالماس في كل ّ خلية سداسية‬ ّ " .‫الكتشافها‬

50

www.theintelligentsme.com


CHAUMET PARIS

Intelligent SME | June 2018

51


EDITORIAL THINKTANK Mishal Kanoo, Deputy Chairman, The Kanoo Group

Mishal Kanoo serves as the Deputy Chairman of The Kanoo Group, one of the largest, independent and longest running family-owned group of companies in the Gulf region. He is also one of the most iconic business figures in the Middle East, featured on various magazines and listed in the ‘Top 100 Powerful Arabs 2013’, and ‘The 15 Wealthiest Arab Businessmen in the World 2012’, among others. Subsequently, he worked at Arthur Andersen in Dubai as an auditor before taking up his current position in 1997. Mishal Kanoo adheres to family values and ideals in pursuit for quality and excellence which has greatly influenced his corporate policies and goals for ‘The Kanoo Group’ as a reputable company.

Rizwan Sajan, Founder & Chairman, Danube Group

The Danube Group was founded and established by Mr. Rizwan Sajan in 1993. Over the last 22 years, the group has come a long way since its humble beginnings of a small trading shop in Deira to being the region’s leader in construction, building materials, home interiors and shop fitting industries. The head office & logistics facilities are present at the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA). Danube has coursed a path that transformed only one shop with three employees to over 40 locations in nine countries worldwide including UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Africa and India, in addition to procurement offices in China with employee strength of over 2,200 people. Being a top ranking business icon, Mr. Rizwan Sajan has been a source of inspiration for driving Danube’s business by leaps and bounds. source of inspiration for driving Danube’s business by leaps and bounds.

Akram Miknas, Chairman & Founder, PROMOSEVEN HOLDINGS B.S.C.C. (P7H)

Akram Miknas is known to be one of the pillars of modern marketing communications in the Middle East. His involvement in real estate development, especially after the successful completion of the Pearl Towers (Abraj Al Lulu), anchored him as a leading accomplished developer in the Gulf. In early 2000, he branched into the hospitality business and successfully managed and built several hotels and outlets in Bahrain. His success in this business was crowned by becoming the franchisee of McDonald’s in Lebanon; where he built the business from seven to 26 restaurants in just five years.

Dr. Uzman Zafar, Board Advisor & Smart City Expert, Skillz ME

Dr. Uzman Zafar is an accomplished UAE based Business Management and Technology Executive who has a successful track record in building and transforming result oriented professional organizations by implementing complex programs & business change initiatives with full P&L responsibility. His extensive experience and remarkable accomplishments in both private and public sector have recently gained a lot of exposure in the region. Dr. Zafar is a trusted advisor to both the government as well as privately owned enterprises and he has been collaborating with various organizations in the UK, Europe, Canada and the US, implementing channel management strategies to increase the organizations’ profitability and enhance business operations in order to achieve their fullest potential.

52

www.theintelligentsme.com


EDITORIAL THINKTANK Deepak J Babani, CEO, Eros Group

Deepak Babani has been with Eros Group for over 30 years. Mr. Babani has spearheaded the growth of Eros Group from a turnover of Dhs six million in 1981 to over Dhs four Billion in 2010. Under his leadership, Eros Group has established itself as the leading distributor for Consumer Electronics, Home Appliances, Telecom, IT and Air-conditioning products in the UAE, GCC and East African regions. Mr. Babani joined Eros as Marketing Manager and was promoted to General Manager in 1988 and subsequently to CEO in 2002. and subsequently to CEO in 2002.

K. Rajaram, CEO, Al Nabooda Automobiles

K. Rajaram has more than three decades of experience in the automotive industry, starting his career in Oman in 1983. He moved to the UAE in 1996 to lead Al Nabooda Automobiles, the exclusive dealer of Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Under his leadership, Al Nabooda Automobiles has changed the face of the UAE automotive market by setting the highest benchmarks in customer service and pioneering the automobile ownership experience.

Alexandar Williams, Director, Business Development, Department of Economic Development (DED)

Alexandar Mathew Williams is presently the Director, Business Development, Department of Economic Development (DED), Government of Dubai. He has more than 20 years of experience in SME development and business creation. He is interested in the life cycle dynamics of firm growth and mentoring entrepreneurs. In his current job, Alexander is responsible for developing new initiatives for DED to take it to the next level as a knowledgedriven economic development agency.

Reg Athwal, Founding Partner & MD, RTS Global Partners

Reg Athwal is the Chairman of RAW Group and the Founding Partner & MD of RTS Global Partners, the leading family business advisory firm in Africa, Middle East and Asia. The company has been supporting hundreds of clients in over 150 disciplines spread across 57 countries with offices in Dubai, UAE and Nairobi, Kenya. Reg’s vision is to grow into a major company of 1000 members in 22 countries by the year 2022 with the primary aim of transforming 22,000+ family businesses and impacting millions on the way.

Ajay Bindroo, CEO & Managing Partner, Clasico Brands

Within a span of 18 months, Ajay has established a global venture that caters to consumer goods ranging from beauty and personal care, grooming products to oral care, bath and hygiene, hair care and homecare products. Under the flagship of “CLÁSICO BRANDS”, over a dozen brands have been created and are in the process of being launched worldwide. Ajay is a true visionary and makes sure that the company's concept and strategies are right on track.

Intelligent SME | June 2018

53


Intelligent sme june  

Intelligent SME is an award-winning magazine for entrepreneurs. The content focuses on helping entrepreneurs build great businesses. It has...

Intelligent sme june  

Intelligent SME is an award-winning magazine for entrepreneurs. The content focuses on helping entrepreneurs build great businesses. It has...

Advertisement