Author: Anthony M. Smith

Sometimes you might find yourself on vacation wondering what sort of souvenir you’d like to bring home for yourself. Then you see it. A whole shelf dedicated to cheap bongs with creative and funky designs, reminiscent of wherever it is you happen to be. What could possibly help you soak up all the memories you made on vacation more than a brand new bong to remind you of it all with every single fat rip of herb you take out of it? This or something similar like a little bubbler or a nice wooden pipe can make an excellent souvenir for sre, but you’re going to want to be a little bit careful about bringing it home.
Image result for Pipes And Bongs

Mainly, you just need to make sure that you don’t use it with any herb that you somehow manage to find wherever you’re vacationing. Most places where you stay in a resort and not so much near the actual local communities you wouldn’t be able to find any unless you tried really hard, but in Thailand I was able to find some good old mary-jane a couple times. If you go somewhere similar and you do the same, absolutely refrain from using any new cheap bongs or pipes that you pick yourself up there and intend to bring home.

Airport security can’t generally stop and trouble you in most places of the world for a simple pipe or bong unless of course it is contaminated by even just a small speck of residue on the inside or outside. The only thing that makes an object like this illegal is if it was clearly used for the smoking of illegal drugs like cannabis. When you make sure that your souvenir stays clean before you go home with it, it means that nobody can argue the intention to use it for tobacco, which is exactly what makes these sort of things legal in North America. If you do find some green and spark up that brand new cheap bong made with local love, do be sure to clean it thoroughly before returning home with it. You’d likely only get it confiscated and embarrass yourself a bit, but depending on where you’re going and where you’re coming from, you could certainly land yourself in some more trouble.

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Two get life imprisonment for killing teacher

Kanpur: Three people, including students Varun Yadav and Ajay Singh, were convicted by the Essential Commodity Act Court, Kanpur, on Friday for committing the murder of a retired teacher and punished to undergo life imprisonment. The third person was identified as Shafiq Alam.
The three forcibly entered the house of Jagdamba Prasad Mishra, retired principal of polytechnic on October 29, 2011, in Saketnagar with an intention to commit loot. They cut the throat of Jagdamba Prasad and his wife Laxmi Mishra when old couple offered resistance. Judge Anupam Kumar held them guilty of murder. TNN



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The multi-billion dollar deals clinched during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the recent BRICS summit at Goa can be expected to breathe new life into the India-Russia relationship. In a world of shifting global alliances and especially in the context of India seeking to diversify its weapons purchases and build a close relationship with the United States, and Russia exploring a new cooperation with Pakistan that includes sale of MI-35 attack helicopters and joint military exercises, it did seem that India and Russia were drifting apart and that their decades-old partnership was in jeopardy. Such apprehensions are likely to have been allayed in Delhi and Moscow following the Goa meeting. The deals sealed in Goa will see Russia selling India five S-400 Triumf air defence systems costing $4.5 billion and four Krivak class stealth frigates costing over $3 billion. In addition, India and Russia plan to set up a joint venture in India to manufacture Kamov-226T helicopters. These will not only strengthen the India-Russia relationship and enhance India’s defences – the S-400 systems, for instance, are capable of destroying incoming enemy aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km – but also, the Make-in-India component of the deals provides a shot in the arm to Indian manufacturing. The deals underscore the fact that despite Delhi’s defence purchase diversification, Russia remains India’s top supplier of military hardware.

The robustness of their military relationship notwithstanding, there is a reason for concern over India-Russia ties. Non-military trade is in trouble. It is estimated to be worth less than $10 billion. If decades ago, Mo-scow was India’s major trading partner, today it does not figure in the list of India’s top 30 trading partners. Ambitious targets have been set; India and Russia pledged last year to bump up trade to $25 billion in a decade. But little is being done to achieve this goal. There has been the talk of reviving the old rupee-rouble trade and working on the International North-South Transport Corridor.

While defence ties remain robust, India and Russia need to stand by each other more resolutely. Just as India stood by Moscow on the Crimean crisis, Moscow could be more strongly supportive to India on issues undermining the latter’s security. Its failure to rally BRICS members to show more solidarity with India’s problems with terrorism emanating from Pakistan, for instance, was disappointing. This is a matter that India must raise with the Russians.



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A larger-than-life show

Paresh Maity’s first memory of dabbling in art is mak ing things with clay as a seven-year-old in Tamluk. “No one in my family was associated with arts in any way, and I didn’t have art classes in school.But for as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an artist,” says Maity, who is currently showcasing a collection of his works that date from 1976 (when he was barely 12) to 2016 at Gallery Sumukha in the city.
Titled `Beyond Horizons’, the exhibition, in Maity’s words, is “less of a retrospective and more a selected compilation of all my works over my 40-year journey”.Drawings on paper, water colors, oil on canvas and large bronze sculptures feature in this journey.
Maity’s school years saw him dabbling in paint with no guidance, “I’d buy water colours and brushes and paint by myself,” says Maity, whose unexplained love for the fine arts guided him to do a BFA at the Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata, and an MFA from College of Art, Delhi. “I would travel 200km every day back and forth, from my home (in Tamluk) to Kolkata. I’d take the train at 6am, attend college and return home at midnight and I did it for seven years,” recalls Maity, whose life has taken a charmed turn over the years.
Maity is no longer that small town boy. A celebrated artist who has had his work shown across the globe, the 51-year-old Padma Shri awardee recently enjoyed a stint at the Rashtrapati Bhavan as an artist-in-residence along with his wife, artist Jayasri Burman My Update Web.
On what has changed and what has stayed the same in his career, Maity says, “The way I was, as a person. I am still the same 12-year-old boy, loyal to his roots but my art has changed, it has evolved with time owing to all my travels and experiences.”
A noticeable aspect of his work, whether painting or sculpture, is size. “The canvases have been getting larger than life because that is more fun. It is a bigger challenge to handle a big canvas or a 600kg sculpture. You tend to enjoy the experimenting that a big canvas allows,” signs off Maity .



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Playing to its strengths will help India improve its global perception rankings, according to nation branding expert and marketing guru David Reibstein of Wharton School, US.

“India is perceived as economically, politically and culturally influential, but needs to improve on entrepreneurship, citizenship, quality of life and being more open for business,” the William Stewart Woodside Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School said.

He was addressing the 5th edition of the Dean’s Speaker Series at the Indian School of Business (ISB). The topic of his speech was ‘Why Nations Need to Brand – The Way Forward for India’.

Reibstein presented the findings of his study that ranked nation brands of 60 countries across the world and in particular the outcomes for India. Over 16,000 respondents from around the world, including business experts, participated in the study, ISB said in a note My Update System.

“Nations have brands whether they like it or not and the perception of a nation’s brand has a direct influence on its economy, foreign trade, external relations and several other aspects,” Reibstein said, taking the audience through his findings.

These rankings were based on nine parameters such as influence, power, open for business, movers, citizenship, entrepreneurship, quality of life, heritage, and adventure.

According to the findings, India has been ranked on top in the category of “mover” – perceived as distinctive, different and unique and 39th on “citizenship”.

It stood at the 29th spot when it comes to being “open for business” – having an economical manufacturing cost and a favorable environment.

A country’s brand is the result of how it is perceived by its citizens as well those from other countries, which are based on their experiences and perceptions — as tourists, through use of products from that country, trade and investments in that country, and through the happenings and news of that country, the note said.



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SEO is one of those terms that people Try Updates  throw around without knowing much about. Sure, most business owners know that SEO helps drive traffic to their websites via search engines. But how does SEO work? How much does it cost? And does your business really need it? In this blog, we’ll boil SEO down to its basics to give you a rudimentary understanding of this complex, yet crucial practice.

First of all, what is SEO?
Short for “search engine optimization,” SEO is a methodology used to boost the ranking or frequency of a website on search engine result pages, with the end goal of directing more traffic toward the site. SEO is a natural, or organic, way of improving a website’s visibility on search engines, as opposed to “paid search,” which involves paying search engines directly for prime real estate.

How does it work?
Say you’re looking for a new pair of sunglasses, and you want to explore different brands and styles on the Internet. Conventional wisdom will likely lead you to a search engine like Google. To initiate your search, you’ll probably type “sunglasses” into the search bar. A quick glance at the results will reveal everything you need to know about a website’s SEO prowess. Websites with the best SEO will appear first, while websites with poorer SEO will appear on secondary pages My Update Studio.

Why should I care where my website is ranked?
No matter the purpose of your website, being on Page 1 of search engines for search terms most relevant to your business is essential. According to studies, Page 1 garners 92 percent of all traffic from the average search. The higher you’re listed on Page 1, the better. On average, the top ranked result for any given search scores 32.5 percent of traffic share, while the second ranked result gets 17.6 percent. The drop-off gets even steeper from there.

How do I get my website to rank higher?
There are a number of steps you can take to improve your SEO, which in turn will boost your ranking. Updating your website content to incorporate keywords is the first step. There is really no substitute for well-written and relevant content. Optimizing your metadata and alt tags is also very important. Getting other websites to link to yours is also valued by Google’s algorithms, as it helps to establish your website’s credibility.

Alt tags? Metadata? What are those things?

An alt tag is a text alternative for an image or object on your page. Metadata is data that provides information about other data.



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NEW DELHI: President Pranab Unique Press  Mukherjee approved conferment of Padma Awards to 112 people this year. The list comprises 10 Padma Vibhushan, 19 Padma Bhushan, and 83 Padma Shri awardees. Here’s the complete list.

Padma Vibhushan Graet New
1. Ms. Yamini Krishnamurthi — Art-Classical dance — Delhi
2. Shri Rajinikanth — Art-Cinema — Tamil Nadu
3. Smt Girija Devi — Art-Classical Vocal — West Bengal
4. Shri Ramoji Rao — Literature & Education-Journalism — Andhra Pradesh
5. Dr. Viswanathan Shanta — Medicine-Oncology — Tamil Nadu
6. Shri Ravi Shankar — Others-Spiritualism — Karnataka
7. Shri Jagmohan — Public Affairs — Delhi
8. Dr. Vasudev Kalkunte Are — Science & Engineering — Karnataka
9. Shri Avinash Dixit(Foreigner) — Literature & Education — USA
10.Late Shri Dhiru Bhai Ambani (Posthumous) — Trade & Industry — Maharashtra
Padma Bhushan
11. Shri Anupam Kher — Art-Cinema — Maharashtra
12. Shri Udit Narayan Jha — Art-Playback Singing — Maharashtra
13. Shri Ram V Sutar — Art-Sculpture — Uttar Pradesh
14. Shri Heisnam Kanhailal — Art-Theatre — Manipur
15. Shri Vinod Rai — Civil Service — Kerala
16. Dr. Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad — Literature & Education — Andhra Pradesh
17. Prof NS Ramanuja Tatacharya — Literature & Education — Maharashtra
18. Dr. Barjinder Singh Hamdard — Literature & Education – Journalism — Punjab
19. Prof D Nageshwar Reddy — Medicine-Gastroenterology — Telangana
20. Swami Tejomayananda — Other-Spiritualism — Maharashtra
21. Shri Hafeez Contractor — Others-Architecture — Maharashtra
22. Shri Ravindra Chandra Bhargava — Public Affairs — Uttar Pradesh
23. Dr. Venkata Rama Rao — Alla Science & Engineering — Andhra Pradesh
24. Ms. Saina Nehwal — Sports-Badminton — Telangana
25. Ms. Sania Mirza — Sports-Tennis — Telangana
26. Ms. Indu Jain — Trade & Industry — Delhi
27. Late Swami Dayanand Sarawasati (Posthumous) — Others-Spiritualism — Uttarakhand
28. Shri Robert Blackwill (Foreigner) — Public Affairs — USA
29. Shri Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry (NRI/PIO) — Trade & Industry — Ireland
Padma Shri
30. Smt Pratibha Prahlad — Art- Classical Dance — Delhi
31. Shri Bhikhudan Gadhvi — Art- Folk Music — Gujarat
32. Shri Subhas Chandra Supakar — Art- Textile Designing — Uttar Pradesh
33. Shri Ajay Devgn — Art-Cinema — Maharashtra
34. Ms. Priyanka Chopra — Art-Cinema — Maharashtra
35. Pt Tulsidas Borkar — Art-Classical Music — Goa
36. Dr. Soma Ghosh — Art-Classical Vocal — Uttar Pradesh
37. Shri Nila Madhab Panda — Art-Film Direction and Production — Delhi
38. Shri SS Rajamouli — Art-Film Direction and Production — Karnataka
39. Shri Madhur Bhandarkar — Art-Film Direction and Production — Maharashtra
40. Prof M Venkatesh Kumar — Art-Folk Artist — Karnataka
41. Ms. Gulabi Sapera — Art-Folk Dance — Rajasthan
42. Smt Mamta Chandrakar — Art-Folk Music — Chhattisgarh
43. Ms. Malini Awasthi — Art-Folk Music — Uttar Pradesh
44. Shri Jai Prakash Lethal — Art-Miniature Painting — Delhi
45. Shri K Laxma Goud — Art-Painting — Telangana
46. Shri Bhalchandra Dattatray Monday — Art-Photography — Madhya Pradesh
47. Shri Naresh Chander Lal — Art-Theatre & Cinema — Andaman & Nicobar
48. Shri Dhirendra Nath Bezbaruah — Literature & Education — Assam
49. Shri Prahlad Chandra Tasa — Literature & Education — Assam
50. Dr. Ravindra Nagar — Literature & Education — Delhi
51. Shri Dahyabhai Shastri — Literature & Education — Gujarat
52. Dr. Santeshivara Bhyrappa — Literature & Education — Karnataka
53. Shri Haldar Nag — Literature & Education — Odisha
54. Shri Kameshwaram Brahma — Literature & Education -Journalism — Assam
55. Prof Pushpesh Pant — Literature & Education-Journalism — Delhi
56. Shri Jawaharlal Kaul — Literature & Education-Journalism — Jammu & Kashmir
57. Shri Ashok Malik — Literature & Education — Delhi
58. Dr. Mannam Gopi Chand — Medicine-Cardio Thoracic Surgery — Telangana
59. Prof Ravi Kant — Medicine-Surgery — Uttar Pradesh
60. Prof Ram Harsh Singh — Medicine- Ayurveda — Uttar Pradesh
61. Prof Shiv Narain Kureel — Medicine- Paediatric Surgery — Uttar Pradesh
62. Dr. Sabya Sachi Sarkar — Medicine -Radiology — Uttar Pradesh
63. Dr. Alla Gopala Krishna Gokhale — Medicine-Cardiac Surgery — Andhra Pradesh
64. Prof TK Lahiri — Medicine-Cardio Thoracic Surgery — Uttar Pradesh
65. Dr. Praveen Chandra — Medicine-Cardiology — Delhi
66. Prof (Dr) Daljeet Singh Gambhir — Medicine-Cardiology — Uttar Pradesh
67. Dr. Chandrasekar Shesadri Thoguluva — Medicine-Gastroenterology — Tamil Nadu
68. Dr (Mrs) Anil Kumari Malhotra — Medicine-Homeopathy — Delhi
69. Prof MV Padma Srivastava — Medicine-Neurology — Delhi
70. Dr. Sudhir V Shah — Medicine-Neurology — Gujarat
71. Dr. MM Joshi — Medicine-Ophthalmology — Karnataka
72. Prof (Dr) John Ebnezar — Medicine-Orthopaedic Surgery — Karnataka
73. Dr. Nayudamma Yarlagadda — Medicine-Paediatric Surgery — Andhra Pradesh
74. Shri Simon Orton — Other -Environment Conservation — Jharkhand
75. Shri Imtiaz Qureshi — Other-Culinary — Delhi
76. Shri Piyush Pandey — Others-Advertising & Communication — Maharashtra
77. Shri Subhash Palekar — Others-Farming — Maharashtra
78. Shri Ravinder Kumar Sinha — Others-Wildlife Conservation — Bihar
79. Dr. HR Nagendra — Others-Yoga — Karnataka
80. Shri MC Mehta — Public Affairs — Delhi
81. Shri MN Krishna Mani — Public Affairs — Delhi
82. Shri Ujjwal Nikam — Public Affairs — Maharashtra
83. Shri Tokheho Sema — Public Affairs — Nagaland
84. Dr. Satish Kumar — Science & Engineering — Delhi
85. Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai — Science & Engineering — Karnataka
86. Prof Dipankar Chatterji — Science & Engineering — Karnataka
87. Prof(Dr) Ganapati Dadasaheb Yadav — Science & Engineering — Maharashtra
88. Set (Prof) Veena Tandon — Science & Engineering — Meghalaya
89. Shri Onkar Nath Srivastava — Science and Engineering — Uttar Pradesh
90. Ms. Sunita Krishnan — Social Work — Andhra Pradesh
91. Shri Ajoy Kumar Dutta — Social Work — Assam
92. Shri M Pandit Dasa — Social Work — Karnataka
93. Shri PP Gopinathan Nair — Social Work — Kerala
94. St Madeleine Herman de Blic — Social Work — Puducherry
95. Shri Srinivasan Jamal Kandalai — Social work — Tamil Nadu
96. Shri Sudhakar Ole — Social Work — Maharashtra
97. Dr. TV Narayana — Social Work — Telangana
98. Shri Arunachalam Murugantham — Social Work — Tamil Nadu
99. Ms. Deepika Kumari — Sports-Archery — Jharkhand
100. S Shri Sushil Doshi — Sports-commentary — Madhya Pradesh
101. Shri Mahesh Sharma — Trade & Industry — Delhi
102. Shri Saurabh Srivastava — Trade & Industry — Delhi
103. Sh Dilip Sanghvi — Trade & Industry — Maharashtra
104. Dr. Keki Hormusji Gharda — Trade & Industry — Maharashtra
105. Late Shri Prakash Chand Surana (Posthumous) — Art -Classical Music — Rajasthan
106. Late Shri Saeed Jaffrey (NRI/PIO/Posthumous) — Art-Cinema — UK
107. Shri Michael Postel (Foreigner) — Art-Archaeology — France
108. Shri Salman Amin Sal Khan (NRI/PIO) — Literature & Education — the USA
109. Set Hui Lan Zhang (Foreigner) — Others-Yoga — China
110. Shri Predrag K Nikic (Foreigner) — Others-Yoga — Serbia
111. Dr. Sundar Aditya Menon (NRI/PIO) — Social Work — UAE
112. Shri Ajaypal Singh Banga (NRI/PIO) — Trade & Industry — US



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It’s a no-brainer that getting Universe Inform  funded is a great achievement. You can hire the best of talent, move into a proper workplace, and invest more in improving your product.Digital-marketing-for-start
Also, now you can go all-out marketing yourself, and that is where the problem begins.
Once you get funded, there’s an irresistible desire to explore all marketing options which you were not able to afford previously. And that is perfectly understandable. We all want to grow and start marketing ourselves to our target audience, but a careful approach here will ensure that you reach them with maximum effectiveness while burning considerably less amount of money.
Let’s a dive deeper and find out how you can optimize your approach towards marketing so that you can get better results.
Hire a senior digital marketing resource
Instead of going for a digital marketing executive, I would strongly suggest that you go with a senior resource who has seven to ten years of experience in handling overall digital marketing for startups/brands.
You will be coming up with a marketing strategy at this time and his/her insights will help you a lot in charting a long-term plan. While hiring the marketing person, make sure that he/she is good with all the major digital channels like SEO, SEM, social media marketing, email marketing and digital PR; a good knowledge of analytics is also must.

From my personal experience, however, I have noticed that people who come from digital marketing agencies don’t live up to the expectation; possibly because agencies have different teams handling all the above digital channels. I would suggest that you hire people from other startups/brands that are in the same niche as yours or somewhat related.
PS: I am suggesting a marketing resource in digital because it has a low entry barrier. Traditional marketing channels are very expensive and you will blow up your money in no time.
Work on your branding
Once you have decided to kickstart your marketing activities, you need to start working on your communication.
Coming up with a brand personality will help you define an identity for your brand. This, in turn, will develop an emotional connect with your customers and also help you stand apart from your competitors.
Once you have this in place, you will find that coming up with a tweet, an ad-copy for SEM campaign, or even the copy of a landing page becomes the lot easier.
To read up more on this, please refer to my earlier column on why startups must have a brand personality.
Start creating remarkable content
Content marketing is the most reliable way to make an impact on your audience. Having good content writers on board will make sure that you are coming up with content that people like and share. More than that, it will ensure that people get to know you and adopt your product/service.
This is a very big playground and you can dabble with so many options here. From videos to infographics, to blog posts and downloadable content; there are N number of ways you can create and share content.
However, you should stay away from fluffy content if all it gets is page views but no leads/sales. There’s no point in having a blog that shares listicles on food and lifestyle while you are dealing in real estate.
So keep analyzing the impact of your content strategy on your KPIs (brand awareness, leads, sales, etc.) on a regular basis. You should always see content as a way to increase more sales, and not just a channel to get more likes or pageviews Graet Report.
Focus on product marketing
While the initial version of your product was about giving customers a good experience, you should now look at maximizing your returns from the customer’s usage of your product.
We all know that product marketing is a good way to spread the word organically and it saves a lot of money, but many startups wait till they hire a good growth hacker to get started with this. However, this shouldn’t be the case.
Numerous case studies have pointed out that simple tweaks can lead to good returns, and your senior marketing resource should be able to pull this off (with some training, if required).
Work on your landing pages
Since you will be beginning with your paid marketing campaigns, you must have a landing page that converts like a charm. Being the first point of interaction of the customer with your brand, it becomes imperative that you focus on delivering a great experience to them.
Instead of going with a template and letting it run on auto-pilot, you should run A/B tests on all the aspects that are crucial to conversion (headlines, text, CTA, button, color scheme, etc.). This should be an ongoing process and not a one-time affair.
Invest in great tools
Now that you have the funds, you should start looking at working with premium tools that do a better job than the free ones that you’ve been using all this time.
There are many good tools out there that can help you with SEO, lead generation, project management, and analytics. Give their free trials a spin and see which ones fit your requirements.
Suggested tools: Moz Pro, Crazy Egg, Webengage, SumoMe, Wishpond, Mixpanel or Kissmetrics.
Follow Pareto’s principle
In your eagerness to market yourself aggressively, it would be wise if you don’t spread yourself too thin here. You don’t need to do everything to build up your sales funnel. More often than not, you will see a handful of marketing activities giving you maximum returns.
Once you begin your marketing activities, you will start seeing the effectiveness of various channels. Invest in the ones that are more impactful than others. May be it is SEO, or SEM, or product marketing – it can be anything.
Running after every marketing channel is not going to help you. Stay focussed.
Work on your employer branding
Since you will only be growing more in the coming months, you should invest in branding yourself as a good place to work at.
Hiring is a lot of pain and trusts me, there are very few talented people out there. This makes employer branding all the more important for you. Having a nice team page and a company blog always helps, but nothing beats tapping into the contacts of your current team via social media.
When people see their friends having a great time at their workplace, they start aspiring of a workplace like yours. This positive perception of your brand comes into force when you ask your team members to share the current job openings in your brand within their network.
I hope the above pointers were of help to you and gave some direction to your marketing aspirations. In case if you have any queries please feel free to comment below, I will do my best to answer them at the earliest.



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Subir MukherjeeThe fintech ecosystem in India Vinzite has been blossoming since the last couple of years. While payment tech firms have existed for over a decade now, there has been a lot of development in other FinTech verticals as well. The subject of discussion here is the insurance tech space, where online companies are cutting short the lengthy process of negotiating with brokers and banks followed by endless documentation exchange, to allow consumers to buy insurance policies with just a few clicks.

Insurance 2015 to 2020, reaching Rs 15,000 crore. This indicates the opportunity being created by technology, which is organizing the scattered space of insurance retail. At present two of the leading firms in this space are Policybazaar and Cover fx, 1.5 million and 350,000 visits on a monthly basis, as per SimilarWeb. They are also the most funded firms in their segment with $69.6 million and $14 million raised till date.

In the midst of these established firms, there are startups which are gradually carving out a share of the total market opportunity by building their own USP. The larger objective is still to make insurance buying easier for all users through technology. Subir Mukherjee founded GIBL in 2014 with a similar aim, to eradicate the miss-selling of insurance policies through an easy informative web & mobile app based procurement platform.

An Introduction to GIBL

Subir’s own bad experience in dealing with health insurance brokers, and ‘nightmarish’ paperwork, led to him establish GreenLife Insurance Broking Pvt. Ltd. The company is building an intuitive web and mobile platform to enable customers to make their own decisions for policy buying, through a tech guided and personalized process. GIBL isn’t only an aggregator, it has a broking license from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority as well.

“We are giving customers the option to see multiple quotes & the features at their finger tips. So within few minutes they can understand what is good or not so good for them and take decision accordingly. It removes the dependency on what the agents are saying and accepting the price they are quoting.” says Subir.

About the Product

The product curates quote from over 25 insurance providers across segments and allow users to review them as per their requirement. Additionally, understanding the need to present documents repeatedly to redeem or renew policies, the mobile app in particular acts as a policy vault to store all policies, claim history etc.
The company claims to have tied up with insurance firms to give a better price to its customers, with an option to buy policies instantly without uploading their documents.

When asked about why would a consumer download an app for policy buying, Subir responded “Our App lets our customers have the flexibility to purchase a policy or do the research on the go. It will store their required policy documents, claim details, motor RC copy and all related documents at their finger tips. Now e-Policy for motor is being accepted, so no need to carry the hardcopy.“

The platform is built on Microsoft MVC technology, and take pride on their integrated work-flow and customer relationship management system. “We integrated continuous machine learning, profiling and pattern matching algorithm in our integrated system which brings automated sales suggestions to our team and help them bring more sales,” says Subir.

Progress Till Date

The company claims to have approximately 500,000 registered users and is seeing around 20,000+ monthly transactions. Subir says that they are growing at a 50% rate month on month. It acquires most of its users through content marketing and SEO efforts. In FY15-16 GIBL claims to have seen a growth of 5000% over the last financial year.

Additionally, the company is seeing a 90-95% renewal rate for policies bought through its platform.

Challenges in Building an Insurance Tech Firm in India

“I think our biggest challenge is the people’s faith in God and karma. As a nation, we believe if we do good, nothing bad could happen to us as god is watching. So they feel they are already safe-guarded by God and he will protect them from any disaster. As the result, they think they don’t need any insurance protection from any company.” shares Subir. “Most people in India will prefer more to take the chance than being insured. It is kind of an extension of the Jugaad mentality. So educating the mass is still the pivotal challenge.” he adds.

Most of the people might not think of purchasing insurance unless they buy something new, or come in close contact with a health or accidental mishap. The traditional path of buying insurance is also tedious, there’s no straightforward way nor are the consumers aware of a go-to the person or a destination who would guide them right. The aforementioned research by BCG also predicts that in 2020, 25% of insurance buying decisions would be influenced by digital.

Related Read: The Two Biggest Mistakes I Made As a Founder-CEO
The startup is operating as a customer-first broker, educating them and guiding them wherever required. They are aiming at making policy buying, and claim settlement a piece of cake. Subir shares, ‘Recently we fought against two mighty insurers and settled more than Rs 15 lacs claim for our customers. They were delighted and their smile makes our job so easy.’

On Competition and Market

Considering that the investor funded companies have been able to build a name among consumers, we asked how will a new player like GIBL will sustain in the space, to which Subir responded “There are few companies out there, who have raised fund in this space. But current status of most of these companies is just like their other eCommerce peers. They are in big loss and if you dig deep, you will find out that, they are struggling for their existence. Spending money on advertisements can create the brand but this doesn’t guarantee revenue. Their current revenue is not justifying the big spending. The burn rate of these companies is really high.”

Also, quoting the above-mentioned prediction of the Rs 15000 crore market size by 2020, Subir opines “Online insurance is very fragmented and still there is not a single player with more than 10% of the existing market.” hence there is a lot of opportunities for more companies to start-up in this space. With that said, the online insurance industry indeed has a lot of players in the market such as Policybachat, EasyPolicy, NammaPolicy, InsuringIndia, PolicyX and more.

“Being an insurance broker it gives us the advantage to design our own policy and able to expand both offline & online. The industry will take its own time to go totally online, so we are moving at our own pace. We are building up our niche and our special customer-centric process, which will be keeping us ahead in the competition.” says Subir.



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Here's What Really Matters for SEO in 2016To many people, SEO is a Vlogger Faire  minefield of misinformation and conflicting advice.
Trust me, I’ve been there. When I Googled “SEO” for the first time, I was quickly overwhelmed with a mountain of anecdotes, case studies and “best practices”. I picked up a few tips, but for the most part, I couldn’t make heads or tails of what I read.
After years of in-the-trenches online marketing and PR work, I eventually put the pieces of the puzzles together. But I’m no SEO guru. In fact, most of my best SEO successes have come from old-school PR. That’s because, when you do it right, PR equates to link building or the practice of building backlinks to your site to get higher rankings in search engines.

But over the last few months, I’ve read that “link building is dead” and that “Google doesn’t care about keywords anymore.” Instead, the search engine is supposedly more concerned with high-quality content, schema markup and social media shares. I’ve been busy with my startup, so I haven’t had time to keep up with the latest trends in the SEO world.
Fortunately, someone else recently took the time to make sense of the topsy-turvy SEO landscape. Brian Dean and a team of data partners at Backlinko recently analyzed 1 million Google results to see which ranking factors are important for SEO in 2016.
Here’s what they found:
Backlinks are still (very) important
Of the 20-ish ranking factors Dean looked at, he found that backlinks are still the no. 1 most important ranking signal that Google uses. But not just any backlinks. This study found that you need backlinks from a bunch of different domains.
In other words, if you get 100 backlinks from the same domain, it’s not going to blast you to the top of Google. But if you get 100 backlinks from 100 different domains, you’re in business.
The question is: how do you get these backlinks? Spam 10,000 site with blog comments. Just kidding 🙂
In my opinion, the best links you can get are contextual mentions from authoritative media outlets.
Not only are these links highly-valued by Google, but they can bring in a boatload of traffic to boot. Here’s a guide I wrote that will help you get links using PR.
More bounces equal lower rankings
This study also found that bounces aren’t just bad for your bottom line: they can throw a monkey wrench into your SEO efforts.
Using data from SimilarWeb, the study found that sites with a high bounce rate tended to rank lower in Google than sites with a low bounce rate.
This data suggests bounce rates may cause lower rankings.
After all, if people bounce off of your site like a trampoline, it sends a pretty clear message to Google that people don’t like reading your content. So it makes sense that Google may downrank sites with lots of bounces.
However, Dean mentions in the report that a low bounce rate might be a byproduct of excellent content in general. In other words, if you write a kick-butt article, people are going to stick around longer.

How do you decrease your bounce rate, you ask? It’s not rocket science. On my blog I just make sure that my content is above the fold — and that the first few sentences draw people in. If you can hook them quickly, they’re significantly more likely to view another page.
Another way you can improve bounce rate is to break your content up into small chunks. In my experience, walls of text make users run for their lives. But when you break your content into two to three sentence paragraphs it becomes much easier to digest.

Bottom line? Spend some time improving your bounce rate. It definitely won’t hurt your SEO (or conversions), so it makes sense to invest some time in improving it.
Long-form content ranks better (surprise, surprise).
“People online have short attention spans.”
How many times have you read that?
Yes, there are certain people who live and breathe to;do (i.e. too long, didn’t read). But you don’t want to architect your content marketing strategy around this group. Think about it: if you found a 3,000-word article on the topic of “why you’re so awesome,” would you skim it? Of course not! You’d read every word.

While that’s an extreme example, it goes to show that people ARE willing to read long-form content. Just look at the runaway success of, which publishes posts that clock in at more than 10,000 words!.
And the study points out that not only do people like reading long-form content, but it tends to rank better in Google:
According to Dean’s data, the average first page results in Google boasts 1,890 words. That’s a helluva lot more than your average 400-word blog post.
Obviously, if you use long-form, you need to write well.
So when you can combine compelling writing with long-form content you have a one-two punch that’s very powerful.

In fact, other studies (like this one by BuzzSumo) found that longer content tended to get more shares on social media:
And I’ve found the same phenomenon on my blog. When I look at the content that brought in the most shares (and get the most Google traffic), they tend to be more than 2,000 words:
Does the increase in social shares explain the association between long-form content and rankings?
It’s impossible to say from this study because it only looked at correlations.
Like with bounce rate, publishing long-form content definitely won’t hurt you. And it will probably help. So give it a shot.
In-depth, focused content outperforms content about 10 different topics
Like I said, you can’t publish 1,890 words of fluff and expect to light the world on fire.
And this study found the same thing. They discovered that content rated by software as “topically relevant” ranked above content with a low content score:
So what does this mean, exactly?
It means that when you write about something, cover one topic in-depth.
For example, here’s a post about building an email list from the Buffer blog.
In this post, they write about one thing and one thing only: how to grow your email list. They don’t meander off and talk about social media. Or content. Or blogging. Or building relationships.
It’s 110 percent about getting more emails. That’s it.

That focus is one of the reasons that the post ranks #4 in Google for the keyword “list building”.
That’s what you want to do with every post that you write. In my experience, this approach produces flat out better content in general. And it may also boost your rankings.

That’s what you want to do with every post that you write. In my experience, this approach produces flat out better content in general. And it may also boost your rankings.
Site speed makes a difference
You’ve probably heard that Google prefers fast-loading websites. In fact, Google has emphasized that they use site speed as part of their algorithm.

According to this study, this appears to be the case:
How can you make your site load faster?
At Criminally Prolific I use a (free) plugin called WP Super Cache. I’ve to notice that it makes a huge difference in my loading speed. And it takes about 5.3 seconds to set up. Other programs people use include WP Rocket, WP Smush, and Max CDN.



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