MARIJUANA INDUSTRY BOOMING LIKE NEVER BEFORE

Whether you’re working in an ancillary business serving the pot industry or running a dispensary, cannabis is set to take off.

As more and more states and countries are legalizing marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, the cannabis industry is nothing but a hot $50 monster. The legal sales of marijuana are expected to grow to more than $20 billion by 2022, from approximately $10 billion in 2018, according to Marijuana Business Daily. Further, Michigan, Utah, and Oklahoma may vote on cannabis reform this year, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. Counting both legal and black market sales, the total demand for pot is approximately $52.5 billion, Marijuana Business Daily found. And the best part? It generates tax revenue. During fiscal 2017, Washington state collected $219 million in legal pot income and licensing fees.

The point I’m trying to make here is that the cannabis industry is about to take off at a whole new level with ridiculously gasping rates. And one of the most in-demand positions is the “Budtenders”. It’s nothing but a sales job. Without qualified budtenders, the industry won’t see the insane sales growth that is projected because when a customer enters a pot shop they don’t pick their order off a shelf and take it to the cashier. Instead, they approach a counter and speak to a budtender. Some customers know their order, but others want to chat or ask about the house specialty.

Within the marijuana world, it’s widely believed that different marijuana products produce different effects. To the extent this is accurate, a good budtender will have a nuanced understanding of the inventory available at a given time and help steer patients to something they’ll like

Eager customers are not enough to bake the cake this time, dispensaries need knowledgeable pot pushers to put as many grams, edibles, oils etc. into the bags of the hundreds of customers they serve each day.

People who are enthusiastic about cannabis can make up to $35-40K in the first year itself. Some dispensaries start their sales staff out at between $12-$14 per hour, while others pay a higher wage. It’s good work if you can get it without having to slog one’s life in investing a Masters’ degree and then a Ph.D.

The cannabis industry is determined to present an image that goes against the grain of the stoner stereotype. So avoiding tie-dyed clothing, nappy dreadlocks, and blazing red eyes during the interview process might be best. These rules are not written in stone, mind you. They are just something to consider.

Hope, you had a good read!

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Evolution of rickshaws in India

Noisy and ungainly, India’s three-wheeled auto rickshaws are an iconic form of urban transport that can be hard to love. But despite their flaws, rickshaws have become an essential ingredient in the transportation stew of India’s cities: they account for 20% of motorized trips in some cities, provide jobs to tens of thousands of drivers, are inexpensive to buy and operate, and are an elegant solution to the problem of affordable, short-distance urban transportation for the middle class.

In the past, auto rickshaws’ flaws stemmed from low rates of usage, an inability to identify demand and supply in real time, and inefficient pricing that often left both sides dissatisfied. The opportunity to address these issues by leveraging the one billion mobile phones (and counting!) in India was clear.

Rickshaw hail businesses started out tracking the real-time availability and location of drivers through a makeshift system of drivers self-reporting their availability via text messages. With the growing penetration of smartphones, tracking was elevated to GPS in the last few years, but the improvements were similar: a new ability to connect riders and drivers in a timely, reliable way. Today, new players can tap into this previously inaccessible sector. Logistics and hyperlocal delivery startups are exploring whether these trackable auto rickshaws can be utilized in non-peak hours.

The rickshaw revolution shows how existing solutions can be improved without major disruption. In the global South, where most of the world’s poor live, solutions tend to be hyperlocal, with an extremely low-profit margin. The key question is whether we can use modern technology to enhance these solutions without adding cost or cutting access. Improving systems such as India’s urban auto rickshaw service requires a deep understanding of how they grew and how they work. Even slightly improved (but still low) profit margins can be enough to lift rickshaw drivers out of poverty, making them better citizens and customers and enriching the areas where they live and work.

The essential point of this modern mash-up is to use technology to make marginal improvements in existing technology. There is enormous value to be captured by innovation that is more tinkering and crafting than game-changing.

SERENA WILLIAMS SNOWBALLED INTO A MASSIVE CONTROVERSY

The US Open Final 2018 between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka led to a drama-filled conclusion rich with storylines. Though Serena Williams wasn’t raised to play tennis like everyone else, throughout her 23-year pro career she has been winning! 23 Grand Slam singles titles, four Olympic Gold medals among an unprecedented trophy haul and breaking Steffi Graf’s Open Era record. She has surely redefined women’s tennis ushering in a new era of power and skill.

Well, but it turned ugly whilst Serena was living a nightmare. There was one trigger which turned the match into a chaotic finish which was filled with screaming, tears, and jeers casting a cloud of what should have been. This trigger leads to dramatic events that followed, where Williams was left stranded.

Trigger: First Violation- Coaching

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) rules state: “Players shall not receive coaching of any kind during a match.” The communications could be of any nature, audible or visible between a player and a coach may be construed as coaching.

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When the umpire, Carlos Ramos spotted Patrick Mouratoglou ( Serena’s coach)  holding his hands apart, indicating to Williams that she should be playing a little closer to the baseline, Carlos didn’t hesitate in handing her a code violation. Although it was Mouratoglou who was the one communicating with Williams, the rules also say that players are responsible for the conduct of their parties, and so Williams was punished.

And the worst part was, Patrick Mouratoglou admitted to ESPN that he was coaching. Serena tried to defend herself by saying, ‘I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose. I’m just letting you know’.

Serena William: I am not a cheat

The match continued for barely 10 minutes before Williams was handed a second violation and penalized a point for smashing her racquet. In the course of these allegations, Williams accused umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism after she was handed a series of code violations during Saturday’s match. She called the umpire a thief, who stole her points and this aggravated the whole scenario.

 

The fury bled into the crowd, which booed during the trophy presentation. Williams called for calm and put her arm around a distraught Osaka, but the damage was done. The saddest part of the fiasco is that young Osaka stood with her head bowed in tears at the post-match presentation.

It should have been her moment of glory after spending her entire life dedicated to raising one of the most revered trophies in tennis. Instead, she looked like an embarrassed kid not knowing where to stand in an hour when the stadium should have been hers.

Trophy ceremony with Naomi and Serena

Williams isn’t the only tennis player to find herself at the center of a gender-focused controversy. French tennis player Alize Cornet received a code violation a few weeks ago for briefly taking off her shirt on the court. During a 10-minute break from the blistering heat at Flushing Meadows, Cornet rushed off-court to change her shirt. When she returned, she realized that she was wearing it the wrong way and fixed her top. However, male players have changed shirts many times on court without a problem. On Tuesday, John Isner changed his shirt 11 times throughout his three-plus hour match against Juan Martin del Potro.

Well, to some extent i do agree with Serena but let’s see what the juries have in store for her.

 

 

 

FLIPKART’S MASTER MOVE FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Flipkart played its first move and launched ‘Flipkart First’ as an annual subscription service for frequent shoppers in the year 2016. Back then, Amazon Prime was only available in the U.S and despite the first mover advantage it never really took off. Let it be the untimely delivery of the promised products or non-availability during early access, customers were disappointed. This lead to abandoning the entire subscription service within a year itself. Similar to the other initiatives by Flipkart like Flyte, music service and Digiflip, the label for digital accessories, it went back home being pulverized with deep burnt pockets.

Flipkart is now back with a bang and has injected fresh life into its loyalty program all over again. In the constant race of being the market leader and the need to battle with Amazon fiercely, this was a much awaited and needed move to keep going ahead. All set to launch on 15th August, “Flipkart Plus” is a new no-fee membership program.

Yes FREE! Before you go all gaga over it, allow me to throw some light so you don’t miss the catch. It primarily offers five things – free Plus Fast Delivery, early Plus exclusive access to sales, early Plus exchange coins for offers and superior Plus priority for customer support.

Sounds a little similar to Amazon Prime, isn’t it? Well, as per the announcement, the entire program would be based on loyalty “Plus Coins”. With every order you place on Flipkart, you earn “Plus Coins” and unlock the benefits and rewards redeemable through their partnered platforms like Hotstar, Zomato, BookMyShow, Café Coffee Day etc.

They’ve surely had their set of learning from their previous initiatives but I am absolutely in awe of this program. Looking at the design choices that they’ve made, like keeping the currency at the center of it and providing benefits not just on the platform but also to the external ones is a commendable thought altogether.

Though Flipkart’s program is aimed at taking over its rival Amazon Prime’s service and reduces their dominance in the market, has it already been too late to catch the loyalty bus?  While Amazon kept on adding new features like on-demand entertainment and music into their basket. It has proven to be one of the big hits and this is something which sets them apart from everyone else in the market.

Flipkart, with its deeper reach and better customer recall than niche players, expects to swoop in and build a small yet profitable business.  The difference now is that Flipkart has the backing of an ally that even Amazon will be wary of- Walmart.

Hopefully, 2018 is the year Flipkart to seizes the market.

 

 

 

WHAT AN IKEA SIRJIII ! – IKEA’S UNIQUE MARKETING STRATEGIES

Ikea opened its first store in Hyderabad on 9th of August,2018 and we can’t keep calm already! With more than 276 stores in 25 plus countries, this company has expanded enormously. The Swedish furniture-making company has entered the Indian market with a bang and I’m sure this home ware giant is soon carving the path towards dominating the global market.

The inauguration ceremony of this store was full of pomp and galore. Telangana’s cabinet minister KT Rama Rao and Sweden’s Ambassador Klas Molin inaugurated this enormous 4 lakh square feet store. No stone was left unturned to make the first customers of Ikea feel special. While these customers walked in the store, the enthusiasm of the staff was easily palpable! They cheered and sang and waved flags of India and Sweden. The initiative to create an instant bond and connect with the people is highly commendable.

Ikea carried out three innovative approaches of marketing this new store. And I am truly exhilarated by them! Now, I believe in sharing and I’m not going to hold back now, so fasten your seat belts because, now I am going to introduce you to these brilliant techniques!

The first one took place at the airport, on the conveyor belt. Wondering how? Well, the company left empty Ikea boxes at the Hyderabad Airport announcing the store opening. I loved the fact that it was such a subtle yet an impactful way of resonating with the brand. Twitter as well as Instagram was loaded with welcome notes, happiness and simply describing their ‘out-of-box’ thinking. What an IKEA Sirjii!

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The second beautiful thing they did was decked up a bus shelter around the city with trendy and bright colored furniture, rugs. This made people stop and visit them. They not only experienced the different kinds of furniture but also captured them with a few selfies.  What an IKEA Sirjii!

And the last one is when Ikea transformed the ordinary auto rickshaws. How? Well, the company revamped it by painting it with blue and yellow to sync with the brand’s color and the roof was covered with a dazzling floral print. That’s not the end. Adding to it, they also had Virtual Reality glasses in each of these auto rickshaws which gave them a creative virtual look of the new store.  Again, what an IKEA Sirjii!

 

I believe Ikea has tweaked its business model especially for the Indians and truly understands the concept of ‘fortune at the bottom of the pyramid’.  It knows the fact that the average annual salary is even less than $2000 and 1000 of its products displayed at its new store cost even less than Rs200. Yes you heard that right!

With India being the most consistent sourcing material for its global operations for the past three decades, it is one of the toughest market for them in terms of affordability. The company is soon planning to 25 new stores in India at various cities including Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi by the end of 2025.

 

 

 

 

 

WHY SHOULD YOU BE A MOTHER IN FINLAND?

Deciding to be a parent is a HUGE decision. It’s a perfect pack of thrill and adventure. You gather your energy and focus on nurturing, teaching, educating and loving your child but simultaneously manage the pressurizing and hectic jobs. Well, we are slowly and gradually entering the phase where the couple now relies on dual income to get the family going, unlike the sole bread earner.

Finland doesn’t just offer the maternity leave of about 105 working days, which is close to 5months but also a paternity leave for almost 2 and a half months. And guess what? It is also applied to those parents who adopt children. Okay, I’m not yet done. After the child turns three, the parents can take parental or partial care leave with a homecare allowance to keep things running smoothly. And this lasts until the child starts his second grade of education. Amidst all this, the parents are paid 70-90% of their salary.

Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL?

I believe it’s a beautiful step taken towards feminism which Finland undertook right back in 1938. They are truly time-honored packages throughout the world. It especially benefits the low-income workers. It reduces the rate of turnover and we could clearly see that when Google extended the maternity leave from 12 to 18 weeks, there was a 50% drop in the new moms leaving the company. And the most important part- 1 in every 7 women are expected to experience depression during the year of birth given. The Asian countries witness 65% + cases among the new mothers. Postpartum depression is a global issue. Sadly, these diseases are much more than the statistics and number it portrays. The impact of the mental health is ruining us as a country.

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Well, it’s no wonder why Finland was ranked as one of the top countries in the world to be a mother. It offers maternity and paternity packages that the US can only dream of. Well, there’s much more to Finland’s success, according to 2018 World Happiness Report, Finland has beaten Norway to be the named as the Happiest Nation in the World.

What do you think?

FRIENDS ARE NOT FRIENDS AND SHARING IS NOT SHARING…

When was the last time you did something for someone and didn’t really expect anything?

Never! Hahahah. But if you have, then kudos to you! You’ve already taken a step towards becoming a saint.

 

Well, practically, transactionality has always been a part of the human nature. We invest our time, energy and money on things which we feel may benefit us.  Relationships are highly getting transactional in nature. The idea of reciprocity has always been our strong base for a long time. One of the quickest ways to get things done, let it be from your spouse, friends or parents! “If you do this, then I will do this”. The whole universe seems like a market that we have created which comes along with an exchange rate. One acts only if he gets something in return.  But the actual question is- Aren’t we creating a bunch of selfish people?

 

It’s a dilemma! I remember being taught ‘when you give and don’t expect anything in return it’s called love’! Well, let me just say one thing to that- Bullshit. Ask that friend who has been in a relationship and hasn’t been out on a fancy dinner once a week. She’d tell you the entire list of things she expects from her boyfriend.  Similarly, friends do things for their friends expecting some ‘favors’ to be received in return. Ever helped a friend complete her assignment and then asked her to help you out? Ever behaved well to a sweet but crazy teacher just to expect decent grades?

 

This whole framework is based on an interwoven support which, to be honest, may not be a bad thing. But it gets worse when one starts keeping a score and finally comes to an end when the transaction is over.

 

What do you think?