Money Money Money: Financial planning for couples

Image result for Money Money Money: Financial planning for couplesFinancial planning is required at every stage in life to realise your goals and this exercise takes new dimensions when there is a life partner in the picture.

So how should couples look at aligning their ideas goals and finances? What are the dos and don’ts that can help you move forward on the path of financial independence and fulfilment?

CNBC-TV18’s Surabhi Upadhyay is in conversation with personal finance expert Amit Kukreja and Aarti Dewan & Saurav Dey, couple that has chosen the financial planning path to secure their future.

[“source=cnbctv18”]

Creative planning with Mike and Maria Kanellis in the WWE

Mike (left) & Maria Kanellis (image courtesy WWE.com)Bengaluru, July 3: Maria Kanellis is an extremely talented female performer in all of sports entertainment. She made a name for herself during her career in the WWE between 2004 and 2010. The company used her as an interviewer but she adapted the wrestling capacity, as well. Later, Maria was inserted in numerous storylines and feuds in the company before getting released. Once she departed, her wrestling went on an all-time high note in different promotions all over the world. With her glamour and wrestling capability, she easily became the first lady in Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro-Wrestling and more.

The same gimmick was carried in the WWE, as well. She returned in the company after seven years alongside her husband, Mike Bennett who now adopted her wife’s name and known as Mike Kanellis. The couple is here to show the world what “Power of Love” is all about.

Now, prior to this, the actual planning with the couple was to make them debut on the NXT roster. A lot of people have thought that it would be a far better idea to establish a newcomer like Bennett.
But, the creative insisted him to drop the surname Bennett and go by her wife’s name who is already a known face to the WWE Universe. This would help her heel character to establish in the Smackdown roster. His in-ring works will do the rest for them.
According to the updates from Inquisitr.com, WWE has not signed Maria Kanellis in a full-time performer’s deal. It means that she will be working as a valet to her husband. This would a similar role to that of Maryse has been doing for The Miz since she returned, last year. Due to the same gimmick, Miz has recently created the faction named The Entourage.
Mike, on the other hand, will be a regular performer who will be working on matches on weekly basis doing house shows as well as the televised shows. As for now, they will emphasize on cutting promos to set up their character. Furthermore, he will set up a future feud with Sami Zayn to make in-ring debut at the Battleground PPV.

[“Source-oneindia”]

“Creative Strategy Generation” Reveals the True Art of Planning

Usefulness
Content
Freshness

Summary


If you KNOW that you need to take a new fresh new look at your strategic planning and what you’ve seen out there so far has left you uninspired, then “Creative Strategy Generation” will give you a fresh new look at creating a business strategy that not only inspires you, but engages your team and disrupts your competition.

creative strategy generation

Did you ever wonder how some of the companies or leaders that you admire came up with the strategies that have made their businesses so successful? You’re not alone.

Author Bob Caporale (@bobcaporale) wondered the same thing. As he looked around the business strategy landscape, he noticed that there are three primary ways to approach corporate strategy; there is the academic, case study approach, the consultative approach and the personal experience approach.

In “Creative Strategy Generation: Using Passion and Creativity to Compose Business Strategies That Inspire Action and Growth” Caporale explores a fourth way of looking at strategy — applying your own creative process to the art of strategic planning.

An Interesting New Way to Think About Strategic Planning

“Creative Strategy Generation” explores the connections between theoretical and functional techniques and demystifies the complexities of developing a strategic plan. The book will show you how to:

    • Clear your mind for new ideas by condensing and organizing your existing business knowledge, data and beliefs;
    • Find your strategic inspiration and turn it into the vision, goals and objectives that will drive your plan;
    • Deeply understand your target customers and formulate strategies that address their needs and wants;
    • Use storytelling to create messages and generate interest and engagement by establishing an emotional connection.

The author leans heavily on his experience as both a composer and a business strategist to draw parallels between inspired music and business strategy.

About the Author

Caporale describes himself as an “Author, Composer, Speaker.” He isn’t just a business strategist. He’s a music composer as well. In fact, his musical expertise and experience heavily influenced this book. Caporale’s compositions can be heard on the Web and in a variety of corporate and video soundtracks.

He is also the president of Sequent Learning Networks, a New York City-based training and advisory firm specializing in product management, product marketing and strategic planning.

Caporale has held leadership and executive roles in engineering, marketing, product management and general management for multi-billion dollar companies. It’s this broad base of experience that lends such practicality and depth to “Creative Strategy Generation.”

What Happens When You Use Left and Right Brain Thinking?

The best thing about this book has to be the unusual comparison between composing a musical piece and creating a business strategy. This is something that only someone with enough experience in both can do, but that all of us can appreciate.

Another element I really liked was the appendix in the back of the book. “Creative Strategy Generation” has many processes that are hard to keep track of, so the appendix in the back is a really useful add-on and will help you and your team work through each of the elements of Caporale’s planning process.

Written for Experienced Planners

“Creative Strategy Generation” is primarily written for medium sized businesses with employees and infrastructure. The tone and style of the book is directed at business owners, product managers and professional marketers who have some experience in strategic planning.

If you are a newbie or a startup with limited experience, you’ll enjoy this book for the context and general information, but you might find some elements of it to feel overwhelming.

Reimagining Stale Planning Elements Opens Up New Opportunities

You’ll want to read “Creative Strategy Generation” for the sheer curiosity of seeing how Caporale intertwines foundational principles of music composition with strategic planning. I was blown away by how my brain immediately went to new ideas and new possibilities for differentiation from competitors.

For example, in the section on the typical “SWOT” analysis in Chapter 3, Caporale re-frames this tired process by simply adding elements of time (present and future) and the structure of internal and external. These simple additions instantly elevate this tired exercise and lead you to a more constructive and useful outcome.

Experienced strategic planners will LOVE “Creative Strategy Generation” because it takes a familiar topic and puts it in a context that you’ve never really thought of before.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

How CarDekho is planning to redefine car ownership business

Anurag Jain, chief operating officer of CarDekho, says he expects the automobile portal to become a unicorn by 2017.

Anurag Jain, chief operating officer of CarDekho, says he expects the automobile portal to become a unicorn by 2017.

New Delhi: Brothers Amit and Anurag Jain, founders of the automobile portal CarDekho.com, went from stall to stall at the Delhi Auto Expo in 2008, patiently collecting all the brochures they could lay their hands on.

“With all the data in the brochures, we went live with CarDekho.com in two months,” Anurag, who at 36 is two years younger than Amit, said in a recent interview in Jaipur, where the brothers’ Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd is based.

“We created a model to compare cars, read specifications. Then we got the data team to look at that information in brochures and put it up in a structured format.”

For a website with such modest beginnings, CarDekho went on to be valued at $300 million in January 2015 when it raised $50 million from Hillhouse Capital, Tybourne Capital and Sequoia Capital. Tata Group’s chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and HDFC Bank Ltd provided more funding.

On 22 March, Girnar Software said it had raised more money from Google Capital and Hillhouse. It didn’t disclose the amount of funding, which it will use to enhance technology, research and development efforts and for geographical expansion.

After investments from Google Capital, CarDekho’s valuation has gone up to $380 million.

“The team is led by savvy entrepreneurs with a strong product orientation, who have positioned the company perfectly in a rapidly growing market,” said David Lawee, partner, Google Capital, in a statement.

In the recent interview, Anurag Jain, chief operating officer of CarDekho, said he expects the automobile portal to become a unicorn by 2017.

“We shall be able to reach $1 billion (in valuation) by next year,” he said.

Unicorn is a term popularized by venture investor Aileen Lee for start-ups valued at $1 billion or more. If his confidence is borne out and CarDekho indeed becomes a $1 billion firm, it will join the league of home-grown unicorns such as Flipkart, Ola, InMobi, Quikr, MuSigma, Snapdeal, Zomato and mobile wallet start-up Paytm.

In recent months, Indian start-ups have struggled to raise funds as investors become more choosy and a perception gains ground that start-up valuations have run ahead of themselves.

In February, Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust, a minority investor in Flipkart, disclosed a write-down in the value of its holdings in the firm by as much as 27%, implying that it valued the firm at $11 billion, down from $15 billion in June when the e-commerce platform received $700 million from Tiger Global Management, Qatar Investment Authority and other investors.

Anurag’s confidence is based on a business plan he and his brother have charted for CarDekho that includes providing car-purchase leads for original equipment manufacturers, used car sales, vehicle finance and valuations, and handling customer relationship management for car dealers.

CarDekho has also expanded in the online auto classified business with key buyouts such as Zigwheels.com and Gaadi.com that have left its nearest rival CarTrade.com a distant second.

The firm has expanded to 25 countries, with a focus on South-East Asian markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. “The business seems to have great potential. They are into the new car as well as used car business, which in value terms are equal. However, the challenges that they will face are in the assessment of used cars. People are relying on the website for their purchase decision and if they are sold lemons, promoters will be blamed,” said Harish H.V, partner, Grant Thornton India.

Not a valuation game

Amit and Anurag were born on the same date two years apart. Anurag followed his elder brother to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, and later to Texas in the US where they worked at different information technology firms.

The brothers nursed the idea of a start-up from their IIT days and registered a company named SteerTech that remained on paper.

A family situation forced the brothers to return from the US to Jaipur and join the family business of precious stones that they closed after clearing the inventory to pursue their passion for technology and automobiles.

In 2007, the brothers started IT services firm Girnar Software, named after a town in Gujarat that’s a place of pilgrimage for the Jain community. GirnarSoft started building products for healthcare and telecom firms in Europe and the US.

“The intention was always to become a product company,” Anurag said.

Then came the visit in 2008 to the Delhi Auto Expo, where Ratan Tata unveiled the Nano, billed as the world’s cheapest car, and the launch of CarDekho

“We never started the firm to raise funds or have investors on board with us. We created the company to build a fundamentally sound business. So whatever money we used to make from services, we put in the product side,” said Anurag.

The first investor, Sequoia Capital, came on board in 2013 when the Jains raised $15 million, six years after CarDekho’s founding. Anurag insisted the company is not in the valuation game.

“We are still very particular about our equity. We still hold 60% of equity. It is the only Internet company where founders still own the majority,” he said. “Dandha dandhe ke liye karte hain hum log. Investor ke liye nahi karte (We do business for business. We do not do it for investors).”

CarDekho wants to create an ecosystem around automotives in India that will capture the technology requirements of all stakeholders such as auto firms, dealers and consumers. The focus is on mobile apps, car apps, connected cars, international expansion, car pricing, insurance, finance and accessories.

“The main thing is you buy a car once in four years but these (add-ons) are things that you are going to get every now and then. We are getting into the car owner business because then you can talk to the guy every month. We want to talk to your car engine and tell you that your car could run for only these many kilometres, fuel station is on the way, why don’t you fill up,” Anurag said.

For dealerships, digital leads are the cheapest mode of customer acquisition. “The guy goes to a showroom only after doing his research on the Internet. We want to give them a platform where dealers can start engaging with customers very early,” he said.

Future growth

For used car dealers, CarDekho is creating a platform to test the road-worthiness of used cars and offer quick quotations. The company will issue a valuation certificate that banks will accept to clear a loan without inspecting the vehicle.

“We will have tie-ups with banks and based on our valuation, banks will tell us immediately if a person will get finance or not. The vision is to have a loan disbursed in 30 minutes once he walks into the showroom. This will change the game fundamentally,” Anurag said.

A Deloitte report released in February estimates the used car market to be the same size as the new car market currently. It adds that 67% of used car customers are in the age group of 26-35 years, highlighting that first-time buyers are increasingly opting for pre-owned cars, largely due to their preference for bigger vehicles at the price of an entry-level car.

At least 70% of new cars are financed, while only 25% used cars are. The numbers for used car finance is low because of the non-availability of finance options.

“This market is totally untapped today. That’s what excited HDFC Bank (to invest in CarDekho) more than anything else,” he said.

CarDekho works with Tata Motors Ltd, General Motors India Pvt. Ltd, Renault India Pvt. Ltd, Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. “Barring the top three, we work with all of them. We manage all their digital leads, arrange for their test drives. We are running their dealership technology for them… we understand tech as well as auto,” Anurag said.

For its international business, CarDekho plans to raise funds separately and work on research and build data until it starts to gain traction in overseas markets. “We are in talks with people to do M&A (merger and acquisition) deals and set up local teams there. We will allocate a small fund and try to raise money in those entities and see how it goes,” Anurag said.

Today, there are three major sources of generating revenue today: media sales, dealership lead sales and used cars. The firm has also begun collegedekho.com as it thinks of itself as an IT conglomerate 10 years down the line.

“(But) first goal is to meet the future funding requirements through revenue accruals. We have started to do a lot of marketing so we are not profitable now. In FY13, we were profitable in every single quarter until the focus shifted to building the brand,” Anurag said.

Priyanka Sahay contributed to this story.

[“Source-Livemint”]