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Monday, February 12, 2018

Smart Gaon | Rural Development through a Mobile App

A rural Indian village transforms with Mobile Technology to become a SmartGaon

Two IT professionals, with a dream to transform the lives of thousands in rural India, have developed an app called ‘SmartGaon’, that not only connects an entire village population internally and with the developed world, but also serves as a knowledge and information centre, a marketplace, a helpline and a holistic development tool to make their ‘gaon’ a ‘SmartGaon’.
Taudhakpur (Mirzapur Urf Taudhakpur), which has been a remote village with limited amenities in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh is now growing at the speed of light! Within a span of 48 hours, the village has built 242 toilets, cracking the highest track record in the state of UP. From setting up CCTV cameras at various junctions, setting up Public Address Systems, Dustbins and Street lights at various junctions, this village is getting Smarter by the day. Apart from basic facilities and infrastructure the villagers have been able to set up Adarsh Primary Schools, conduct regular health checkup events in Primary School for students and Community health centers. Not only that the village has a Wifi Zone in addition to 18-20 hours power Supply. All of the development has been achievable owing to a vision, which transcended into a Mobile App called SmartGaon, wherein all initiatives undertaken are updated, recorded, tracked and monitored, ensuring the free flow of information and bringing about community wellbeing.

Although rural India faces a plethora of challenges, right from the regulation of electricity and water supply to farming and transportation of the product to the markets to bringing in a reform through education and development, technology coupled with a vision can bring in a sea change to the rural landscape of the country. Yogesh Sahu, a young entrepreneur from Mumbai, delivering IT solutions to small & medium businesses, along with his friend Rajnish Bajpai, who is a Software professional working abroad, together envisaged creating a transformation in rural India, knowing that Mobile Technology & IoT (Internet of Things) are the future of growth and development.

Mobile internet penetration, has taken the country by a storm! With around 420 million mobile internet users, the rural areas are witnessing a growth of 26% per annum. 

Developing mobile apps for start-ups and SMEs, Yogesh evaluated the power that the mobile phone possesses in our country with 68.9% of rural population. 

The Mobile app has key features like the villagers’ directory, news and events calendar, health center, information center, etc. in English as well as Hindi. It is aimed at reconstructing Indian villages for people to lead a vital life in them, as in the cities. SMART stands for S- social security schemes M- modern urban amenities A- adoption of smart agriculture practices R- roads infrastructure & transportation T- tech savvy for the all-round development of rural India, whereas ‘gaon’ means village in Hindi.



The main trigger point of this initiative was Prime Minister Modiji’s speech at San Jose SAP center where he said, "Sometimes in my country, we used to hear people say that something has to be done to stop this ‘brain drain’- this needs to stop. The land of India produces a lot of gems. We have continued to produce brain after brain, a growth of brains. This ‘brain drain’ can also become a ‘brain gain’. 

Therefore, I have a different way of looking at this. What people see as a brain drain, I see as a ‘brain deposit’. And this brain that we have put on deposit is looking for opportunities, and the day it finds an opportunity, this brain is going to be used for the benefit of Mother India with interest."
This speech inspired Rajnish Bajpai so much who attended Indian Community reception at SAP Centre and he decided to do something for India. He discussed with his close friend Yogesh Sahu on various social improvement ideas and then after various brainstorm sessions, both come up with SmartGaon idea to improve quality of life of villagers.



The village authorities including Kartikay Shankar Bajpai (Gram Pradhan), DM, CDO Raebareli have been instrumental in the success of this initiative along with a strong support extended by all villagers of Taudhakpur who work relentlessly together in converting the remote village to a SmartGaon, thereby being a part of the tech revolution.


“With the successful laying of our first brick, we further wish to transform 10 more villages in the next 2 years. We already have 1 village where activities have been initiated. The next step is to spread awareness amongst urban citizens, NRIs and corporates to come forward and support this cause. Together, we can build a better India!”, says Yogesh Sahu.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How Renting Makes a Better 'Investment' in Today's Time

There is a very famous saying The only thing that is CONSTANT in life is CHANGE’. What this means is that changes happen from time to time and it is always wise to adapt to these changes. For example, in the 90’s, owning a four-wheeler was a dream for many households since it was considered as a luxury and not many banks were offering ‘vehicle loans’ to the working-class Indians.

Fast forward now, and you can see a massive shift where at least every Indian household owns some kind of vehicle – two-wheeler or a four-wheeler. Though there is a rise in inflation, consumers are able to afford them since they have more disposable income in hands and the banks have come up with customized loan offers so that consumers can fulfil their distant dream of buying a vehicle. As a matter of fact, banks do offer loans for every purpose – business loan, home loan, vehicle loan, personal loan, etc. The major downside about ‘living on EMI’ is the huge baggage of paying the interest (and the principal) that might result in having meagre savings in hand. In a nutshell, it makes no economic sense to stay on ‘EMI’. 

There is a constant debate on rent-versus-buy and American billionaire J Paul Getty had a fairly simple solution to it - If it appreciates, buy it. If it depreciates, ease it. Buyers or consumers need to make a conscious decision on whether it makes economic sense to ‘own something’ or ‘rent out something’ since every purchase comes with a price-tag and its value either appreciates/depreciates. For example, in case you plan to buy flat in an apartment, along with the home loan, you also need to take into account expenses of interior design, electronic appliances, and other basic necessities. This point also holds good for any purchase that you are planning to make.

Many citizens also relocate to other cities for personal as well as professional reasons. In these cases, renting out a bike, renting out a car, renting out a flat, even renting out furniture makes economical sense. The other advantage of renting out such items is that you get variety without burning a huge hole in your pocket and you are not depleting your savings. Plus, you also have to shell out money for maintenance and insurance costs. In a nutshell, any purchase comes with a baggage load of ‘variable expenditures’, either planned or unplanned.

Due to these reasons; many urban Indians are shifting to a #SubscriptionLifestyle as reselling any of these items yields negligible returns with each passing day and ‘fashion & technology’ trends change at a breath-neck speed. Companies are now leveraging technology so that changing Indian consumers can rent bikes/rent cars/rent house/rent furniture, etc. at the push of a button.

RentoMojo, a Bengaluru based company, enables everyone to smartly own quality furniture, appliances and vehicles at an affordable cost. It is a trusted platform that is used by millions of consumers since they get a wide range of items like furniture, bikes, home décor, electronic appliances, cars or any other item that you can think of while ‘setting up your dream home’. With RentoMojo, you can use their products and pay the rent later. They have a very experienced team that believes in ‘customer delight’.



They have excellent packages with features such as Swap Products, Annual Cleaning, Extend/Opt-Out, Free Relocation, Damage Waiver, Ownership Transfer, etc. that suits the needs of the millennial Indians. They have fair & transparent pricing policy, where consumers pay less when the products are used more. Whether it is about the implementation of laws like RERA or announcement of central government initiatives like Demonetization, etc., RentoMojo customers can leave those worries behind.

To summarize, the on-going debate between ‘rent v/s buy’ is endless, but with changing times, there is rapid adoption of subscription lifestyle since it gives the flexibility to #SmartlyOwn items that make your ‘House’, a ‘Home’.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Edelweiss Tokio Life Wealth Plus Plan – UnYakeenable

There is nothing more important than the comfort of your loved ones, and a good life insurance will ensure that even when you are gone.
That is where we need insurance. What if someone needs an integrated plan which gives an ability to invest along with regular insurance benefit?  ULIP is a product which fulfills this requirement. Earlier ULIP was considered as one of the high-cost insurance & people used to avoid including these plans in their portfolio. Those are the gone days now because Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance has introduced a ULIP plan called WealthPlus that has unbelievable features making it a #UnYakeenable product in this segment.



Wealth Plus is the first ULIP product in the country which comes with zero allocation and administration charges, due to which 100% of your money will be invested in capital market instrument giving you benefits of growth for your entire investment.
Few of the key features are:
•             No Premium allocation & Policy administration charges.
•             Additional allocation (as a % one annualised Premium) on every premium paid and increases every 5 years
•             Extra allocations- added with every premium in 1st 5 policy years -1%
•             Premium Booster- added at the end of each year starting from the 6th policy year till the end of the premium paying term.


•             Over 20 years premium paying term, 80% of one-year premium is invested via additional allocation.
In order to get all above benefits policyholder has two follow two basic things. First Pay the premium on time & second stay invested.

One of the #UnYakeenable features is the cashback you get on your premium payment by way of contributing additional units on every premium paid during the insurance period. The additional advantage is the cashback starts from 1% of the premium payment for the first five years, increasing to 3%, 5%, and 7% respectively for next three years. The total effective cashback sums up to 80% of the 1-year premium over a twenty-year premium paying term thereby resulting in accelerated wealth accumulation.
The plan is conceptualized with enhanced features based on the customer feedback on Policy Baazar.

An additional feature of the Wealth Plus plan is the Rising Star Benefit which ensures that the child’s future is protected. This benefit allows proposer to invest in the name of his or her minor child. In addition to this, a lump sum amount is paid to the family in the event of any casualty of the proposer. Also, all the future premiums payable will immediately get invested in the fund and additional allocations are added annually as required in order to make the corpus grow faster.


As ULIPs are primarily insurance products. Fund managers take smart decisions while using investment strategies which make ULIP less risky than other investment options.The WealthPlus plan gives you an option to choose either one of the two investment strategies based on individual profile and Risk appetite.



Option 1- Life Stage and Duration Based



Option 2- Self Managed:


Along with all above #UnYakeenable benefits, this plan comes with tremendous flexibilities.  The policyholder can change the PPT (Premium Paying Term) along with unlimited switches between funds, which makes it much better investment option than a mutual fund or any other investment products as you get an advantage of life cover as well. Additionally, this plan also gives the option of partial withdrawal and Top-up premiums.
So if you are planning to create a comprehensive insurance portfolio for different purposes, Wealth Plus can be the best option for you. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Zee Classic celebrates the best of ‘Musical Entertainer’ Nasir Hussain

Today In this post I will be talking about one of the best & the legendary producer-director, Nasir Hussain who has given Indian audiences hit after hit. He was also known as a major trendsetter in the history of Bollywood. The man known to be the founder of the Indian masala film did not just set a trend but paved a path for commercial Indian cinema as it stands today. With movies like Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Teesri Manzil, Hum Kisise Kum Nahin or even his magnum opus Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, this visionary producer-director used the formula of great music + high impact drama + star power to catapult his movies to become major box-office successes and winning him the title of ‘Musical Entertainer’.

Born on 16th November 1926, Nasir Hussain’s has had a career that spans over five decades in which he has brought entertaining, dramatic and path-breaking movies to the silver screen. With several superhit films to his credit, Nasir Hussain had seldom created a movie that has failed to impress. Celebrating his journey in the industry, Zee Classic, with its proposition Woh Zamana Kare Deewana, has curated over a month-long series of Nasir Hussain’s greatest hits under the banner 'Nasir Hussain Film Festival'.This series that airs every Sunday at 12 noon, starting 7th January; will take viewers on a journey highlighting his long and illustrious career.







Nasir Hussain was the father of Mansoor Khan, uncle of Aamir Khan and grand-father of Imran Khan. Although the ‘Musical Entertainer’ is no longer with us, his movies still live on.
The ‘Nasir Hussain Film Festival’ will kick off with his debut formula film ‘Yaadon Ki Baaraat’ starring Dharmendra and Zeenat Aman as the main leads. Combining elements of action, drama, romance, musical, crime and thriller, this iconic movie became the first of what we now consider truly Bollywood-esque movies. This movie was also the start to an extremely profitable relationship between Nasir Hussain and R.D Burman and features classic melodies like Chura Liya Hai Tum Ne Jo DIl Ko, Lekar Hum Deewana Dil and of course the title track Yaadon Ki Baarat. Yaadon Ki Baarat was not just Nasir Hussain’s debut film, it was also the debut film for Aamir Khan who has risen to be one of the biggest actor-producers of the country.

Next in line is the 1977 Super-hit Hum Kisise Kum Nahin starring Rishi Kapoor, Kaajal Kiran, Tariq Khan, Amjad Khan, Zeenat Aman, Om Shivpuri, Jalal Agha and Tom Alter. This movie features songs by veteran singers Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle including Bachna Ae Haseeno, Yeh Ladka Hai Allah Kaisa Hai,  Hai Agar Dushman (Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahi) and Mil Gaya Hum Ko Saathi to name a few. While the music of Mamamia was used as the inspiration for Mil Gaya Hum Ko Saathi, ABBA’s Honey Honey also features in the movie and can be seen playing in the background just before the song ‘Kya Hua Tera Waada’ begins. 



Teesri Manzil, another box office success and features prominently amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films by Indiatimes Movies. The movie starring Shammi Kapoor, Asha Parekh, along with Premnath, Prem Chopra and Helen. The movie once again underscores Nasir Hussain’s title as the musical entertainer with 70’s pop classics like Oh Mere Sona Re Sona Re and O Haseena Zulfonwali Jaane Jahan. Salim Khan prolific screen writer and Salman Khan’s father, plays a cameo role as Shammi Kapoor's musician friend who pretends to be Rocky in the musical number ‘Oh Haseena zulfon waali’.
Zamaane Ko Dikhana Hai was Padmini Kolhapure’s debut movie and featured Rishi Kapoor as the main lead. The music of the movie, composed by Rahul Dev (R.D.) Burman features evergreen hits like Dil Lena Khel Hai Dildar Ka, Hoga Tumse Pyaara Kaun and Poocho Na Yaar Kya Hua amongst others. 
While Dil Lena Khel Hai Dildar Ka was one of the lesser known hits from the movie, it became a rage in the late 80’s and 90’s as a very futuristic electro / techno hit.

No tribute to Nasir Hussain would be complete without featuring his magnum opus - the 1988 release Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. This cult classic propelled the lead pair Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla to superstars overnight. Each song from the movie be it Papa Kehte Hai, Ae Mere Humsafar, Akele Hai to Kya Ghum Hai or Gazab Ka Hai Din resonate deeply and became 80’s iconic hits that have been references in movies even today. The iconic Papa Kehte Hai has featured in more than three movies besides the original including Hum Saath Saath Hai, Andaz Apna Apna and Student of the Year.



One could go one forever reminiscing the memories that Nasir Hussain movies invoke, however why waste time when we can watch the best from the best and relive those memories 😉

“Musical Entertainer” Nasir Hussain
 Date
Time
Yaadon Ki Baarat
07-Jan
12 noon
Hum Kisise Kum Nahin
14-Jan
12 noon
Teesri Manzil
21-Jan
12 noon
Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai
28-Jan
12 noon
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
04-Feb
12 noon
Manzil Manzil 
11-Feb
12 noon

To entertain viewers with unheard stories of Nasir Hussian and enhance their movie-viewing experience, Zee Classic has also curated special features revolving around the life of the legendary filmmaker. It includes views of stalwarts of Indian cinema like Salim Khan, Javed Akhtar, Juhi Chawla, Ayesha Jhulka, Prem Chopra, Dalip Tahil, and Lalit Pandit amongst others. These special features along with additional exclusive interviews will be showcased during the telecast of movies on Zee Classic

Actress Juhi Chawla who shot to fame with Nasir Hussain’s classic, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak said, “I met Nasir sir for the first time when he invited me to his office for Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. To me Nasir Hussain was a very big name at that time, he made grand films and the music was always amazing, so I didn’t question him and signed the contract. Nasir sir took a big decision of producing a film with new actors, new musicians and songs that were very different from those people heard during the time of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. The movie had some magic in it.

Actor Dalip Tahil, “I am very fortunate to have worked with Nasir Hussain at the beginning of my Bollywood journey which was a good break for me and transformed my career completely. Nasir Hussain had written the story of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak himself and he was confident that it will impress the audience. It is because of the content that the movie performed exceptionally well and is now termed as a classic. He considered every nitty-gritty of the movie like the romance and dialogue delivery and blended it so beautifully, the movie seemed picture perfect,” shared his thoughts.

Remising some of the actor’s great work, writer Salim Khan said, “I have a lot of respect for him as filmmaker, director, and producer. He is the first person to give love stories a comic twist and made highly entertaining movies. Prior to that romantic actors had a tragic appearance. It was always a pleasure to work with Nasir Hussain and as a writer himself; he would understand what I was trying to say. He also had a good sense of humour and his strength was incorporating that sense of humor in his work and movies. The best movie of Nasir Hussain according to me is Yaadon Ki Baaraat and he would say the same himself.


Watch ‘Nasir Hussain Film Festival’ starting 7th January, every Sunday at 12 noon only on Zee Classic
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