Happy Diwali

Wishing everyone a very Happy Diwali

Presntation for Fund Raising

Want to raise money. look at this.

rikisuch sent you a video: “The Perfect Marketing Strategy”

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Words from the Master

Marketing Strategies

Want to attract more customers to your business. Watch this for some great ideas

Emotional Branding by Marc Gobe

Check this out for all branding needs
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Thanks and regards
Rakesh
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‘Disposable’ kids helpless victims of womb-for-rent business

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Thanks and regards
Rakesh
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Waht If Disaster Hits your company

Tragedy can strike anyone at anytime. In fact, no company or family can escape some crisis at one time or another. First, let’s define crisis. It’s any unplanned event, occurrence or sequence of events that you have not had to deal with before. What we have learned about recovery and resilience during and after crises come from studying large and small population groups after disasters such as Katrina, 9/11, the Tsunami of 2004, and earthquakes.

It might be external to the business, an economic downturn, a hurricane, terrorism, and earthquakes or internal, the death or disability of the founder, workplace violence, product failure, management failure. Whatever the cause, the key to survival is planning and the ability to ‘take the long view’. Traditionally, family businesses have been more able to do this and, as a result, are often more resilient. For example, the Rubensteins, owners of a family-owned clothing store in the heart of New Orleans were the first to open their business just seven weeks after Katrina hit. They credit their recovery to “a lot of luck, meticulous planning, and a large dose of determination.” See their inspiring story in “Family Business Magazine”, Spring 2006.

Just imagine that you got a call in the middle of the night from the town’s fire department telling you that your building was in flames that were spreading quickly. Imagine that you began to suspect your CFO of manipulating the books to pad her own pockets. What are you doing to prepare for any of these?

Too farfetched? Just imagine that on your way to work tomorrow you have a pain in your chest and down your left arm. You ignore it until lunch when your assistant, worried about how you look, insists on calling the doctor. You are rushed to the hospital and, soon after, die in the operating room in a futile attempt to save your life. What does your family and business do to survive your sudden death? What have you done to plan for this?

Let look at some of the things you can do to plan and prepare.

Planning Obviously, prevention is best. The irony is that the very definition of a crisis is that it is an event that can’t be fully planned for. However, there are things you can do. For example, you can evaluate the ways in which your family or company are most vulnerable to a catastrophe. Try to identify possible risks and what can cause them, evaluating the probability of such an event. Any company should have an internal ‘alarm system’. In the best companies, bad news travels up fast. Pay attention to the warnings about product problems, about fire hazards, about bizarre employee behavior, and employees’ concerns about a succession plan for the founder.
Preparation: Put a crisis plan in place before one is needed. In fact, the Marsh Crisis Academy cited two studies. http://www.marshcrisisacademy.com One found that the cost of preparing for a natural disaster was 1/7 the cost incurred without preparation. The second compare the costs of providing humanitarian services before and after the crisis. “Every dollar spent ahead saved $6 after the crisis.” So, it pays to plan. Here are recommendations for the two types of crises, internal and external:
A disaster, natural or man-made, affecting the entire community as well as your company. Here are practical suggestions, some offered by the Rubenstein family members, mentioned earlier, who have survived Katrina:
Create a crisis management team and identify the spokesperson who is prepared beforehand to be the ideal company spokesperson. To the stakeholders, public, clients, suppliers, etc.
Develop a crisis manual describing what is done and who does what in the event of a crisis.
Always keep an up-to-date employee contact list, and make sure key executives have copies of that list on their cell phones, in their wallets. Rubenstein laminates a wallet-sized card for each manager with contact information for several employees.
Consider establishing a company phone number outside of the immediate area code for employees to contact for updates.
Evaluated your company data and where you back it up. If possible, store important information related to customer records, inventory, accounts payable, sales, insurance and auditing off-site.
If you are forced to evacuate, take as many forms of communication as possible with you. Laptops, PDAs, and cell phones are all valuable tools in getting in touch with employees. They stress, “The more avenues of communication, the better.”
If possible, pay your employees to help retain them. Establish direct-deposit payroll accounts for all employees, ideally managed by an off-site payroll.
Make sure you review your insurance policies annually and know what your coverage includes, especially in the event of a catastrophe. “Read those policies carefully”, cautions second generation chairman Andre Rubenstein. (Family Business Magazine, Spring 2006)
Be accountable to and for all you employees. Plan for methods to reassure employees and to account for missing employees, if necessary. Identify alternative places to work. Counseling may be needed, immediately and longer term.
Keep your crisis plans current.

Death of the founder/owner/CEO As the song says, “Everybody wants to get to heaven but no one wants to die”. Death is not a subject that any of us want to dwell on, especially if it’s our own. However, founders of companies that don’t plan can create financial as well as emotional chaos in the company they have nurtured and spent their lives on. The risks are high and the problem is real. In fact, according to a Mass Mutual/Raymond Foundation survey, of the CEOs 61 years or older, who plan to retire in 5 years, 55% have not chosen any successor. In two companies we are working with now the employees are very concerned that there is no succession plan as yet for the founder/president. In fact, two excellent prospective candidates for executive positions turned down job offers because there was no succession plan. They were concerned that each of the companies would be potential ‘fire sales’ if that were to happen.
In their article “Just in case something happens to me….”, the Hoovers note: “Good steward ship is the hallmark of responsible family business ownership. It requires us to protect and care for what has been entrusted to us in our businesses. Others come to rely on owners for many things, not the least of which is our leadership during a crisis. This expectation creates an immense responsibility: to anticipate the needs of our businesses in our future, especially in the event of the ultimate crisis—our unexpected death.” Family Business Magazine, Summer 2002

Planning for the sudden death of the leader/owner of the company.

Create a short-term leadership team who will meet with advisors and stockholders. Decide who will be the spokesperson for the Leadership Team.
Develop a written document describing who does what and what is done. The Hoovers (cited above) recommend an EMT, or emergency management letter that includes the following:
Guiding Philosophy: What overriding principles of your business are important for you successors to continue?
Interim Structures: How should the company be managed, the family organized around it and ownership handled in the interim and in the future?
Direction and outside support: Who should be involved in determining key issues related to direction of the company, and how should that input be organized?
Benchmark: What metrics, or key success factors, need to be monitored—and what should those benchmarks be?
Location of Documents: Where do you keep the important personal and business documents that will be needed in handling that transition?
Appoint a spokesperson or persons to communicate with your customers, banks, and other stakeholders giving reassurance that company and family that it’s business as usual. Tell the truth and tell it fast with openness and consistency, realistically upbeat and reassuring. Be as specific as you can.
Involve the stockholders, board, executive management team and family to put into operation the plans that you have made before your death for going forward. (Note: Those plans include your succession and estate plans.)
Keep your plans current and review them regularly.
Practice, practice, and practice. Have disaster drills. Meet with your family and board. Begin the meeting with: “You have just had a phone call that I have been hit by a beer truck. I don’t survive. Now, what it the plan? Who’s going to do what, when?”

Recovery: During this phase of recovery both the emotional and the financial impact is addressed. It includes review of insurance claims, estate plans, and possibly crisis and grief counseling. How quickly both the company and the people rebound is directly related to the planning and preparation beforehand. Knowing what to do and how to do it, while in the midst of the crisis, gives everyone a sense of control and security that helps the recovery phase. As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Familes Getting into Private equity

Private equity firms, which have typically relied on banks, insurers and retail investors to raise money, now have a new source to tap—family offices, or independent companies formed to manage the wealth of families, usually through investments.

A number of family offices have been formed in India over the past two to three years as successful business families have looked to diversify their portfolios. A single-family office is dedicated to one family, while a multi-family office serves several.

Altamount Capital Management Pvt. Ltd, Evergreen Family Office and Metis Family Office Services Pvt. Ltd are some examples of multi-family offices. Banks such as Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltdand Barclays Capital, and financial services firms, including Edelweiss Capital Ltd, have also set up family offices.

“It’s only over the past few years that a lot of wealth has been generated, especially among family-run businesses,” said Richa Karpe, director, investments, Altamount Capital, a multi-family office.

India’s population of rich individuals, at 153,000, became the world’s twelfth largest in 2010, according to the World Wealth Report of Capgemini and Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, released last month.

“We do advise our families to invest in PE funds, but we usually look at funds which have strong teams with good track record and a sector focus that our families don’t get an exposure through listed opportunities,” Mr. Karpe said.

Mumbai-based PE firm Milestone Capital Advisors Ltdis raising a 5 billion rupiah ($112 million) domestic fund to invest in residential real estate, and has achieved a first close of 3.5 billion rupiah. Apart from high networth individuals, it has also raised money from Indian family offices.

“Each year, five to seven family offices are getting set up in India. This will soon be a large source of capital for PE funds,” said Ved Prakash Arya, managing director and chief executive of Milestone Capital.

Arya said investors in Milestone are all single-family offices, but declined to give their names.

Forum Synergies (India) PE Fund Managers Pvt. Ltd, a Bangalore-based PE fund, also raised money from Indian family offices at the time of its first close in December last year. The firm is raising a $135 million fund.

As they earn more money, family businesses are paying more attention to succession planning, legacy issues and wealth management. While private wealth-management services provided by banks help in money management, promoters of family-run businesses that have amassed a lot of wealth need expertise in areas of succession planning, which family offices provide.

“The demand for the business is so big,” said Sunil Shah, the founder of Evergreen Family Office.

Mr. Shah started a family office three years ago after being approached by two or three wealthy families to help them in family governance and succession planning. He takes on families with have a minimum 1 billion rupiah turnover and a minimum 500 million rupiah networth.

I.A.S. Balamurugan and Suresh Ramanujam set up Metis Family Office Services last year, which targets mid-sized family businesses in south India. Metis also provides advisory services to help promoters run the business.

Some of these family offices are already expanding. Altamount, for instance, is looking to open a Bangalore office to add to offices in Mumbai and Delhi.

Globally, family offices actively invest in PE funds. These family offices were formed after families that amassed a large amount of wealth from their businesses either sold it or looked at fresh avenues to invest for future generations. Examples include Rockefeller and Co., GenSpring Family Offices and Ford Family Office. “Initially, most of these family offices were single-family offices, and later went on to become multi-family offices,” said Mr. Karpe of Altamount.

Foreign family offices that actively invest in Indian PE funds include Belgium’s Verlinvest SA, Guggenheim Capital Management (Asia) Pvt. Ltd, the investment arm of the US-based Guggenheim family, and Quilvest, among others.

Some of these also look at making direct investments instead of routing it through a PE fund. For instance, in November last year, Verlinvest invested $15 million in India’s largest wine maker Nashik Vintners Pvt. Ltd, known for its Sulabrand.

Samir Inamdar, co-founder and chief executive of Forum Synergies, said that compared with other investors, family offices are more flexible and quicker in decision-making. “Their risk appetite is also more as they themselves have run businesses of their own.”

However, one of the biggest challenges that family offices face in India is getting the trust of the families. “In many cases, it has taken us six months and 15 meetings to make a family do business with us,” said Mr. Balamurugan of Metis.

Mr. Shah of Evergreen has also advised clients to invest in PE. He, however, cautions that these are early days, and returns from these PE investments will play an important role in determining the future of this budding partnership.

Budget Hotel Private Equity

Several Indian budget and midrange hotel chains are scouting for private equity money to fuel growth and expansion.

Global and domestic investors are optimistic about India’s emerging branded budget hotels, though the overall hospitality sector is yet to recover from the downturn of 2008-09, analysts said.

“It wouldn’t be difficult to raise money because for investors, India is one of the largest target markets for budget hotels,” said Akshay Kulkarni, executive director, hospitality services, Cushman and Wakefield India, a property advisory.

Peppermint Hotel

Peppermint Hotels is preparing to boost its valuation before raising funds.
.”Economy hotels help to hedge risk by playing the volume game and the investments don’t need to be very big in the beginning.”

PE firms invested $226 million (10 billion rupees) in five hospitality deals in India in the first six months of this year, compared with $146 million in four deals in all of 2010, according to Venture Intelligence, which tracks PE and venture capital deals across sectors.

Hotel groups, sensing the potential for branded low-fare chains, a relatively new business in the country, are striving for large volumes in both metros and small cities.

Samhi Hotels Pvt. Ltd, a hotel and investment firm that’s set to close its first round of fund raising of about $120 million, will deploy most of the money in the economy hotel segment, said Ashish Jakhanwala, managing director and chief executive officer.

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.”The mandate we took to our investors is to acquire good-quality assets and build hotels,” he said. “The biggest challenge in raising money is the track record of hospitality companies in India because only a few have delivered.”

Keys Hotels, the mid-market brand of Berggruen Hotels Pvt. Ltd, and Peppermint Hotels are seeking money for their next phase of growth.

Keys needs to deploy about $65 million of fresh equity for 8-10 properties, said Sanjay Sethi, managing director and CEO, Berggruen Hotels.

Peppermint Hotels is preparing to boost its valuation before raising funds.

“We were talking to PE funds,” said Arjun Baljee, managing director, Peppermint Hotels. “We have three operational hotels and want to build 10 more over the next few months, after which we would get a better valuation and will be in a better position to raise money.”

Among the advantages in the budget hospitality business are “the possibility to scale up quickly… and higher returns on investments,” said Achin Khanna, associate director, consulting services, HVS Hospitality Services, a consultancy.

Of the 89,000 hotel rooms that are being constructed in India now, Mr. Khanna said about 35,000 will be in the mid-segment category.

The Lemon Tree and Red Fox brands are aiming for 4,000 rooms by 2013. “I would look at an IPO then, once I hit the 4,000 mark,” said Patu Keswani, chairman and managing director, Lemon Tree Hotels, which owns the two brands.

Lemon Tree Hotels was one of the country’s earliest budget hotel chains to receive global funding when Warburg Pincus picked up a 27% stake for 2.8 billion rupees in 2006.

“The budget and mid-market hospitality segment in India presents a large and under-explored opportunity,” said Niten Malhan, managing director, Warburg Pincus India Pvt. Ltd. “Surging domestic business travel and tourism across India should create an interesting growth opportunity for hotels that are able to offer consumers a high quality product-service mix at reasonable rates.”

Analysts also see competition increasing in the space, and say hotel companies will have to offer value propositions along with the right location to survive.

Hospitality fund Duet India Hotels Group, which has tied up with the UK-based InterContinentalHotels Group Plcto develop its economy brand Holiday InnExpress in India, will invest about $300 million through a combination of debt and equity to build about 3,300 rooms across 19 hotels in India over the next three years.

“We have closed four property deals and are looking at six more,” said Navneet Bali, chief investment officer, Duet India. “Location is a key factor and the property has to be in the vicinity of a good catchment area.”