Do What Is Difficult

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now It’s easy to reduce your price and eliminate it as an obstacle to a deal. It’s difficult to increase your price once you have established a lower price, even when you create greater value.It’s easy to avoid dealing with a challenging customer issue, hoping against hope that it resolves itself in time. It’s difficult to have tough conversations, but it’s even more difficult to successfully recover from a challenge the longer it goes unaddressed.It’s easy to give your client what they believe they want, like a price quote or a response to an RFP. It’s difficult to have the conversations about why you don’t want to give them what they believe they want and how doing so will actually hurt them.It’s easy to wait for inbound marketing, channel partners, or social media to bring you the opportunities you need. It’s difficult to do the prospecting work that produces real results, like picking up the phone and calling your dream clients.Its easy to send an email. It’s difficult to gain the commitments you really need.It’s easy to wing it and show up for a sales call without preparing. You’ve made hundreds or thousands of calls. It’s difficult to make the call as successful for you and as valuable for your client after you’ve already made your first impression.It’s easy to hit the snooze button and sink back into the warm comfort of sleep. It’s difficult get up and get to work, unless you are so committed to your mission that sleep makes you uncomfortable.Success is found in doing what is difficult, in doing what other people avoid. Choose to do what is difficult.last_img read more

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A Lack of Growth and The Failures of Accountability

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now When people write about the fact that less than fifty-percent of salespeople reach their quota, they often intimate that salespeople are somehow getting worse. Maybe they are getting worse, perhaps they aren’t. But if they are failing, pointing the bony finger of indignation at the salespeople is to avoid placing the blame where it belongs. The lack of growth for most sales organizations starts with a lack of accountability.Growth and Development“We can’t make our people take the training. We can’t take them out of the field. We don’t have time to coach. They already know how to sell.” You can have your excuses, or you can have the better results you need. You cannot, however, have both.There may have never been a time when training and development were needed as much as they are now. It turns out the idea of social selling was a lot less than people made it out to be. Instead, the internet and the proliferation of information, the smartphone, the new business models based on organizing underutilized assets, and the glut of competitors in every market made selling much more difficult than earlier times.It’s never been true that someone’s experience in sales guaranteed their performance. It’s always been true that people in any human endeavor who train and develop their teams produce better results. If you are not holding your people and yourself accountable for growing and developing, you are neglecting your single most valuable assets. If you want your people to get better, you have to make it a priority and hold them accountable.Prospecting for New Business“I can’t make my salesforce prospect. No one wants to make cold calls. My senior salespeople are too valuable to prospect.” If you are unwilling to hold people accountable for prospecting, how will you acquire the new opportunities you need? Salespeople only do two things: 1) create new opportunities, and 2) capture opportunities. The laws of the Universe require that one create opportunities as the prerequisite to capturing those opportunities. It’s the law of the farm.High performing sales organizations have a hunter culture. They are not only focused on acquiring new opportunities, but they target and pursue the most valuable prospects, i.e., Dream Clients. They are intentional in what they want and the actions they take. But the reason the culture exists is that these salespeople are held accountable for generating new opportunities.Selling Effectively“They have their own style. They’ve sold for a long time. I can’t tell them how to sell.” Losing isn’t a style. Selling poorly, as widespread as it is, also isn’t a style. We know a lot about how to sell successfully in the 21st Century. We know even more about what one should avoid.Your sales processes and methodologies are only suggestions if you allow them to be. Even though the sales conversation is nonlinear, it doesn’t mean that you should skip good discovery and the consensus that is now required if you want to win deals. Who allows a salesperson to have an hour-long phone conversation followed by an emailed pricing proposal and expects their team to win new business? If your salespeople are allowed to avoid doing the things necessary to acquire new clients or customers, many will do so.Opportunities are too hard to come by to do anything less than your best work pursuing them. If you want to win them, you need your team to sell effectively. You have to create accountability for excellence in selling.CRM Hygiene“They don’t want to use the CRM. I can’t make them. They don’t even know how to use it.” Let me offer some help with how to use a CRM. In the box that is titled “First Name,” you type in a contact’s first name. In the box titled, “Last Name,” you enter the contact’s last name. If your sales force doesn’t use the CRM, it is because they are allowed not to, not because they don’t know how.You depend on data and information to run your business. For many, forecasting is necessary to ensure they have the resources to serve their clients. If you are going to have meaningful discussions around opportunities, especially your deal strategy, it’s helpful to have the context necessary to make good decisions. There is nothing more important than your relationships, and there is no reason not to maintain the records of these relationships.There is no reason such a useful tool should be optional, and there should be no fear of holding people accountable for using the now long accepted tools of the trade.Disqualifying Bad Business“They have opportunities. How can they reach their number if we disqualify their deals?”The reason leaders fail to hold people accountable for disqualifying bad business is that it decimates most pipelines (sometimes referred to as “pipe-lies”). Leaders worry about not having the coverage they believe they need to reach their goals, so they allow some salespeople to hold on to hope while being even more hopeful themselves. Because these reps are allowed to keep their non-opportunities, they don’t have to create real—and better—opportunities.Non-deals are not better than no deals. They are the same, as neither produces any revenue and if a bad deal does, it comes at too great a cost. We have already dealt with the root cause here, prospecting. If you want a pipeline, you first need accountability.Reaching GoalsHow can you possibly hold people accountable to their goals, when you can’t get them to put their deals in your CRM? How do you make them responsible for their number when you don’t hold them accountable to create new opportunities?The same salespeople that fail for one leader succeed for another. The people you believe don’t want to perform better do want to improve, and they know they need to prospect. They want to sell more effectively, they want good business, and they want to reach their goals. But it isn’t easy for many, which is why they require your leadership.If you want your people to be accountable, you have to go first and hold yourself responsible for requiring what is necessary for your team to succeed.last_img read more

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Parrikar likely to contest from Panaji Assembly seat

first_imgPanaji: Following speculations about the possibility of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar contesting assembly election from the Curchorem constituency of South Goa, the Chief Minister now reportedly likely to choose the Panaji seat.Sources close to Panaji MLA Siddarth Kuncalienker told The Hindu on Monday that it was now “sure” that Mr. Parrikar will contest from Panaji. Mr. Kuncalienker will have to vacate the seat for the Chief Minister.Sources in the BJP said that Mr. Parrikar has been holding meetings with party workers and well-wishers from Panaji and has decided to contest from this constituency, though a formal announcement may take some time.Mr. Parrikar was sworn in as Chief Minister on March 14 after the results of State Assembly elections held on February 4 were announced. He has to get elected to the State Assembly by September 14. At present, the former Defence Minister is a Rajya Sabha Member from Lucknow.Mr. Parrikar represented the Panaji constituency in the Assembly for five consecutive terms till 2012, having been elected for the first time in 1994. He resigned as an MLA after he took over as Defence Minister in 2014.Mr. Kuncalienker, a former aide of Mr. Parrikar, won the 2015 by-election as well as the 2017 Assembly election from Panaji. Curchorem BJP MLA Nilesh Cabral had recently offered to resign as MLA to allow Mr. Parrikar to contest from his constituency.last_img read more

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Tabs to watch over truant teachers

first_imgBunking school could become tougher for government teachers in some States, with the Centre set to launch a new programme under which their attendance would be tracked by a GPS-enabled tablet device. Ready for launch in four States in August, the plan will also help create a national real-time education database. The data points that it will cover include school-level infrastructure and quality of teaching and learning. Teacher absenteeism is 25% on an average in government schools and a key reason for poor learning outcomes, said Anil Swarup, Secretary (School Education and Literacy), Human Resources Development Ministry. While the initial plan was to roll out the tablet trackers across Chhattisgarh in August, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have also decided to join the effort without seeking Central funds. Rajasthan will use smartphones, not tablets. “We will start with four States and after studying the performance for three months, consider rolling it out nationally,” Mr. Swarup told The Hindu. States believe the investment will pay for itself as teachers will not be paid during unauthorised absence. The tablet devices will monitor parameters such as dropout rates and aspects like availability of drinking water, toilets and laboratories. Eventually, they could deliver training content. Another official said the teacher attendance module would need biometric details that can be stored locally instead of using Aadhaar-based authentication as 3G connectivity could be weak.Geotags for checks “We will geotag the tablet devices so that teachers cannot mark their attendance from external locations, and a biometric check linked to a State-level teacher database can be done,” the official said.last_img read more

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Nitish Kumar faction stakes claim for JD(U) symbol

first_imgEven as a delegation of the Nitish Kumar faction of the Janata Dal(U) met the Election Commission on Friday to offer evidence to back their claim for the party symbol, the Sharad Yadav group announced a parallel national executive meeting of the party on September 17.Each faction has been claiming to be the real JD(U). JD(U) leaders K.C. Tyagi, R.C.P. Singh, Lallan Singh and Sanjay Jha met the three Election Commissioners, and submitted affidavits of support from MPs, MLAs, MLCs, National Council members and State unit chiefs of the party to stake claim to the symbol.“We have submitted affidavits of support from all 71 MLAs, all 30 MLCs, seven out of nine Rajya Sabha members, both Lok Sabha members, 143 out of 180 National Council members and 16 out of 22 State unit presidents to the Election Commission,” Mr. Tyagi told The Hindu.The JD(U) delegation also cited the example of the Samajwadi Party months ago when Akhilesh Yadav got the party symbol despite Mulayam Singh being the party president because most MLAs were with him.Meanwhile, Mr. Yadav’s faction has announced that it will hold its national executive meet on September 17.last_img read more

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CBI files charge sheet against Hooda in Manesar land scam case

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday filed a charge sheet against former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and 33 others in the Manesar land scam case.The charge sheet has been filed before the Special Court in Panchkula. Among those named as accused are the then senior IAS officials Chattar Singh, M.L. Tayal and S.S. Dhillon , who had worked under Mr. Hooda in various capacities. Atul Bansal, promoter of the Gurgaon-based ABW Builders, has also been named.The CBI had registered the case in 2015 following allegations that private builders, in conspiracy with some State government officials, had bought about 400 acres of land in and around Manesar at throwaway prices, causing a loss of about Rs.1,500 crore to the owners.The State government had earlier issued orders that the land parcels in question would be acquired. They were, however, excluded from the acquisition process later, after the owners had sold them to the private builders.It is alleged that the owners were forced to sell their land fearing that the government would acquire them and they would not get due compensation.last_img read more

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UP, Bihar by-polls set to test parties’ might before 2019 polls

first_imgThree Lok Sabha by-polls on March 11 in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar – the two states with 120 seats that helped the BJP win a majority in 2014 – will offer a peek into how the key contestants are faring in these populous states ahead of the next general elections.The two seats in UP – Gorakhpur and Phulpur – have fallen vacant as the BJP’s 2014 winners here – Yogi Adityanath and Keshav Prasad Maurya – are now the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively.In Bihar, the Araria seat fell vacant with the death of Rashtriya Janata Dal strongman Mohammed Taslimuddin.In what may be bad news for hopes of a grand opposition alliance in UP against the BJP in 2019, the SP and Congress have failed to close ranks here.Announced on Monday, the names of the BJP’s candidates in UP suggest an attempt to balance caste and political rivalries in the state.In Gorakhpur, the party has fielded its region head Upendra Shukla, a Brahmin, to defend the seat that Yogi Adityanath, the head of the Gorakhnath Peeth, won for it five times.Significantly, Mr. Shukla is considered close to Union minister Shiv Pratap Shukla, with whom Mr. Adityanath has had a history of political rivalry.Mr. Shukla’s candidature is being seen as an attempt to reach out to Brahmins, an influential caste in the region. Together accounting for about 19% of UP’s population, Brahmins and Thakurs have been seen as influential and competing groups in the state.The SP has fielded Praveen Nishad from Gorakhpur, seeking to add the most backward caste’s support to its Yadav and Muslim votes. Mr. Nishad is son of Sanjay Nishad, founder of Nishad Party, an ally of the SP. In Phulpur, which the BJP won for the first time in 2014 on the Modi wave, the party has fielded former Varanasi mayor Kaushalendra Singh Patel, an OBC Kurmi leader and an organisation man.The SP has fielded Nagendra Singh Patel, another Kurmi, on this seat where all winners from 1984 to 1999 were Kurmis.Phulpur, once the constituency of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, comprises Allahabad’s urban upper caste bastions and sizeable rural OBC voters. The Congress is also in the fray in both Phulpur and Gorakhpur, rendering the opposition a divided house.In Bihar, the RJD has fielded Sarfaraz Alam, son of late MP Mr. Taslimuddin, to take on the BJP’s Pradeep Singh in Araria, which has a powerful Muslim population.In 2014, Mr. Taslimuddin had defeated Mr. Singh by 2.65 lakh votes. While the RJD is hoping to gain from a sympathy wave for Mr. Taslimddin, Bihar BJP leaders claim the combined votes of BJP and JD(U), alongside a Hindu-Muslim polarisation, can facilitate a victory for Mr. Singh.In the Jehanabad Assembly by-poll, rendered necessary by the death of the RJD’s Mundrika Singh Yadav, the party has fielded his son Kumar Krishna Mohan Suday Yadav against the JD(U)’s Abhiram Sharma.On the Bhabua seat going to the polls after BJP MLA Anand Bhushan Pandey’s death, the party has fielded his widow Rinki Rani Pandey to take on Congress candidate Shambhu Patel, who is also supported by ally RJD.Sympathy votes are likely to be a powerful factor on these seats, observers feel.last_img read more

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SUV crushes nine children in Bihar

first_imgAt least nine school children died and 14 were injured when a speeding SUV ran over them on Saturday when they were crossing the road after school in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar. The condition of four of the injured children is said to be critical, the police said. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered an investigation and announced ex gratia of ₹4 lakh each to the families of the deceased. Police officers said students of the Dharampur government middle school were returning home after school when they were hit by the vehicle.“Nine students were killed on the spot. The injured were admitted to the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur,” said Vivek Kumar, Muzaffarpur Superintendent of Police. Locals blocked National Highway 77 in protest. The school is located along the highway.The vehicle rammed into a tree after hitting the children, but the driver managed to get away. Rashtriya Janata Dal MLA from Minapur Munna Yadav, who visited the site, alleged that the driver was drunk. “Despite prohibition, liquor is available everywhere to everyone,” he said.An eyewitness said a truck had hit a woman on the national highway a little earlier and people were running about when the SUV came from the opposite direction.last_img read more

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Rahul Gandhi misled nation, says Narendra Modi

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said Rahul Gandhi’s ‘childishness’ had been exposed in the manner in which he was raking up the Rafale deal and asserted that the Congress leader was misleading the country on defence procurement.“You must have seen how the country’s first woman Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman elucidated a critical subject like defence and her inner truth in Parliament yesterday using her skill and competence,” Mr. Modi said at a public rally here. “I congratulate Nirmalaji for the accomplishment,” he added.“The Defence Minister has exposed the intentions of those who misled the country, played politics with national security and used Parliament for their own entertainment, besides their childishness, before the country,” Mr. Modi said.Sustaining his attack on the Congress over defence procurement, Mr. Modi said: “Now, the country can see through how a conspiracy was hatched to weaken our defence sector between 2004 and 2014 and figure out all finer points of the plot. When our government is bringing the defence personnel from the clutches of the conspirators, it is stinging them like thorns.”The Prime Minister also returned the fire on ‘chowkidar chor hai’ barb of the Congress president saying, “at any cost they want to get rid of the ‘chowkidar’ from their path. Anywhere, ‘choron ki jamat’ [troop of thieves] in a society or house or in an apartment tries to remove the security guard first.‘Secret is out’“The truth is now stinging them because their secret is getting exposed. Recently, media reported about a middleman in helicopter purchase… Christian Michel, who had been extradited from abroad. One of his letters has come out in public domain. It reveals that he had contacts with top leadership of Congress and ministers,” Mr. Modi said.“He had access to the Prime Minister’s Office. He used to have knowledge of every file movement in the PMO. Perhaps, the middlemen had more information than the Prime Minister used to have. Moreover, proceedings of Cabinet Committee on Security, which takes crucial decisions on national security and procurement of weapons, were being supplied to the middlemen. He used to send the information overseas and sell details of decisions taken by Ministers outside,” alleged the PM.“It cannot be understood if Congress had run a government or managed durbar [court] of Michel mama [uncle]. I am now making it clear that that those who had a role in safeguarding interests of middlemen instead of the country would be taken to task.“My government is constantly taking big and important decisions. Should we not rectify the wrong decisions taken by previous governments? Should not those who had done injustice to defence personnel be taken to task? I assure you that law will not spare anybody,” said Mr. Modi.last_img read more

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PM Modi to lay foundation stone of ₹1,938 cr highway project in West Bengal on February 8

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of ₹1,938 crore highway project in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal on Friday, the government said. The project, after completion, will reduce the distance from Salsalabari and Alipurduar to Siliguri in West Bengal by nearly 50 km.“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for the four laning of the Falakata-Salsalabari section of NH -31D in the northern part of West Bengal tomorrow (Friday),” Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement. This 41.7 km long section of National Highways falls in the Jalpaiguri district of the State, and will be constructed at a cost of about ₹1,938 crore. A faster access to Siliguri would result in better access to railways and airways, the statement said, adding that the National Highway will also facilitate better movement of tea and other agricultural produce from the region to markets. In addition, the improved connectivity will lead to an increase in tourism in the region, the statement said adding that all this in turn will give a major boost to socio-economic activity in the State, opening up employment opportunities for the local people. There will be three railway over bridges, two flyovers, three vehicular underpasses, eight major bridges and 17 minor bridges on this section of National Highway.last_img read more

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Tension grips Haryana village as demonstrators tell residents to oust Kashmiri students

first_imgTension gripped Mullana village in Haryana’s Ambala on Saturday after some demonstrators told the villagers to oust Kashmiri students who were staying on rent there.The students are pursuing courses at the Maharishi Markandeshwar University. The demonstrators are said to have told the villagers that the students’ activities were “suspicious”. They threatened to hold demonstrations outside the houses of villagers who did not send the students away within 24 hours. Announcements were made on loudspeaker too. A video of the situation in Mullana began to circulate on social media.Police have requested the university authorities to accommodate the students in a hostel on campus.Ambala Superintendent of Police Astha Modi told The Hindu over phone that the comments in the video were “misdirected” but the situation on the ground was “perfectly normal”. She said that security had been stepped up at the village and around the campus. “We are speaking to the sarpanches to ensure that no more provocative videos are shot and no one indulges in this kind of activity. We are looking into the security of these students,” said Ms. Modi, adding that there was no formal complaint registered against the shooting of the video.Sultan Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, said “We have supplied our phone numbers to students and asked them to get in touch if they face any harassment.” J.K. Sharma, the university’s dean of students welfare, said around a hundred off-campus students have now been accommodated in the hostel. He said the university had adequate security arrangements and it was safe inside the campus.Two police personnel were also deployed at the Technology Education and Research Integrated Institutions campus in Kurukshetra in Haryana. M.P. Gupta, adviser to the trust running the institutions, said there were around 15 Kashmiri students in the hostel.last_img read more

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Nursed back to health after poisoning, 30 vultures released in Assam

first_imgThirty endangered vultures nursed back to health after poisoning due to feeding on pesticide-laced cattle carcass were released in the wild near eastern Assam’s Sivasagar town on April 9.These vultures had undergone treatment at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) at Kaziranga, about 200 km east of Guwahati.“These vultures were among 34 brought to our centre on the night of March 29 from a village near Demow where they had been poisoned. Three died during treatment, while one is still in a critical condition,” Rathin Barman, joint director of Wildlife Trust of India and head of CWRC, said.Demow, in Sivasagar district, is about 180 km east of where CWRC is located.The release of the vultures belonging to three species — Himalayan griffon, white-backed, and slender-billed — has enthused wildlife activists who have been facing hurdles in efforts to conserve the big scavenging birds crucial for maintaining the ecological balance.A study by Bombay Natural History Society and other organisations in the 1990s found that the population of vultures found in India and Nepal declined by 99.9% from about 40 million in two decades.“We carry out awareness campaigns on the importance of the vulture, a much-derided bird. But poisoning of the birds keep happening from time to time,” Sachin Ranade of the Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre at Rani near Guwahati said.The 30 vultures revived at CWRC were among some 70 that were poisoned at Bam Rajabari village in Sivasagar district on March 29. These birds had fed on a cattle carcass that was apparently poisoned to kill feral dogs.Mr. Ranade said 37 vultures died that day before members of a wildlife rescue team could reach them. Bam Rajabari is about 15 km from Udaipur village where 20 vultures died similarly in April last year.last_img read more

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Goa’s Serendipity Arts Festival announces new set of curators

first_imgThe fourth edition of the annual Serendipity Arts Festival, with a vision of energising arts production, awareness and practice across South Asia, has announced the line-up of curators for its annual outreach.The festival is organised by Serendipity Arts Foundation, a not for profit organisation. As a multi-disciplinary arts festival, Serendipity is curated across seven disciplines — craft, music, theatre, dance, culinary arts, visual arts and photography. The dates for the festival are December 15-22, 2019, and will take place in the city.The curators include Aneesh Pradhan and Sneha Khanwalkar for music, Leela Samson and Mayuri Upadhyaya for dance, Atul Kumar and Arundhati Nag for theatre, Rahul Akerkar and Prahlad Sukhtankar for culinary arts, Rahaab Allana and Ravi Agarwal for photography; Jyotindra Jain and Sudarshan Shetty for visual arts and Pramod KG for crafts.Additionally, there are also the host of special projects across disciplines that will be curated by HH Art Spaces, St+art India Foundation, Vishal K. Dar, Vidya Shivadas, Anurupa Roy and Nancy Adajania, among others. “We are aiming at bringing back the magic of art into the mundane realities of life, by making the festival experiential, inclusive, accessible, experimental and educational. It is a peoples’ festival which has been working towards breaking the exclusivity and broaden the footprint of art and culture in the region,” said Sunil Kant Munjal, founder, SAF. SAF intends to and create platforms for creativity and providing the wider public with a unique source of contemporary art and culture. “We are aiming to host an immersive, experimental and inclusive festival keeping in mind the diaspora of South Asia,” Ms. Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, SAF, said.Some of the institutions that will join the outreach effort as project partners include Institut Français (India), Pro Helvetia, Neemrana Foundation and the British Council. The SAF has recently launched a digital campaign #LookToSee, which urges the public to introspect on and observe the finer nuances of life.last_img read more

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Rahul Gandhi continues his NRI outreach, to visit Malaysia and Singapore this week

first_imgBriefly after returning from his holi-break in Italy, Congress President Rahul Gandhi is once again going on a three-day foreign tour.Rahul Gandhi will travel to Singapore on March 8 and 9, while on 10 March he will visit Malaysia. In his 2-day visit to Singapore, Rahul Gandhi will address people of Indian origin. Besides, he will also have a close door meeting in which he will meet industrialists of Indian origin professionals.Rahul Rahul will address the people of Indian origin in his 1 day tour of Malaysia. There are large number of Indians living in Malaysia who are doing successful business there. Also there is a significant presence of workers doing blue-collar jobs. Rahul will be addressing all of them.Read it at DNA Related Itemslast_img

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Jobless And Foodless is The New Normal For Students in Tasmania

first_img“Disappointed and dejected,” is how 29-year-old Damandeep Singh describes his life in Australia.Riding on the dream of making it big in a foreign land, the otherwise buoyant Mr Singh who is a qualified civil engineer from Ludhiana city in Punjab landed in Melbourne nearly sixteen months ago, along with his wife Dolly, who is on a student visa.Read it at SBS Related Itemslast_img

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Single Investment Regime in The Works For NRIs

first_imgIndia may soon have one investment avenue for non-resident Indians (NRIs). A Securities and Exchange Board of India panel is set to suggest that the NRI and portfolio investment scheme (PIS) routes be merged with that of foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). The move is aimed at having a uniform regime for all foreign portfolio investors, said three people close to the development. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

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Passage to Oak Tree Road

first_imgIn her novel, Desirable Daughters, author Bharati Mukherjee describes Jackson Heights, NY, thus: “sidewalks full of Indians, every face is Indian, every shop and storefront features Indian jewelry, Indian clothing, Indian travel, Indian food and spices, Indian sweets and restaurants. The smells and the noises are familiar; Seventy-eighth Street and all the side streets are clogged by double-parked cars and delivery vans.” These days, that same description can be fittingly applied to Edison, New Jersey, undoubtedly the “home to thousands of Indian immigrants landing at Newark and JFK.”Indian immigrants, especially along the Eastern seaboard, are familiar with Edison, NJ, as the location of Oak Tree Road, the one-stop shopping destination for all things Indian. In Suburban Sahibs, an incisive book on the growth of Indian immigrants in Central New Jersey, Washington Post reporter S. Mitra Kalita follows the lives of three very different Indian families all pursuing the American dream in Edison.“Perhaps Edison is the Central New Jersey town best known among Americans, for being the place where Thomas Alva Edison invented the light bulb in 1876,” says Kalita. Today, Edison mirrors New Jersey on the whole, which has witnessed a burgeoning Indian population.  Between 1990 and 2000, for example, the Indian population in Edison nearly tripled from nearly 6,000 to about 17,000. Sanjay ShahKalita chooses three representative families she hopes will hreflect the socio-economic diversity of the Indians making Edison their home: there is long-time resident Pradip (Peter) Kothari, a local businessman and wannabe politician, Harish Patel and his family, who are struggling to stay afloat on the minimum wage, and newer residents Lipi and Sanku Sarma trying to dodge uncertain economic times on H-1B visas.Kalita expertly follows these families over the course of one year – from October 2000 to Election Day, 2001. Kalita rightly observes that this one year was probably the best to observe the effects of momentous events on lives: the 2000 Presidential elections that lasted nearly a month, the economic downturn that started right around the time, the massive earthquake that hit Gujarat, and of course, the events of Sept. 11.Carefully interspersing past histories with current facts, Kalita expertly chronicles the lives of the families she follows. Pradip Kothari came to America in 1972 and soon settled with his family in New Jersey. A long-time resident of Edison, Kothari has seen the effects simmering race relations can have on the political climate of the state and town. Kothari was around when the infamous “Dotbusters” made their mark in New Jersey. When Pradip first set up shop in Edison, he was greeted with broken store windows. That was when he decided to “take action” to get involved locally and galvanize the growing Indian population into taking measures for change. Soon enough, Kothari stood for elections in local state government and Kalita traces his run expertly in these pages.The Sarmas, Lipi and Sanku, immigrated to America at a time when skilled technical labor was in high demand, during the late ’90’s. Entering the USA on H-1B visas, the Sarmas were fully aware that they were inextricably tied to the fortunes of one company, the one they were assigned to. In tough times, if they were to be laid off, visa regulations would require them to leave the country immediately. Suburban Sahibs documents the Sarmas’ roller coaster ride as they face economic downturns together.Probably the most poignant and touching story in Suburban Sahibs is that of Harish Patel and his family, all trying to eke out an existence in a rundown apartment complex in Edison, Hilltop Estates. Theirs is the story of the elusive American dream and about barely making do. “Among his jobs in the United States, he pumped gas, packed boxes, filled pill bottles rolling off an assembly line, watched for shoplifters, and sold newspapers,” says Kalita of Harish Patel, “his two brothers who had preceded him to the States never told him of the hardship that came with living in there. Instead, their stories of America – the cars, the jeans, the money – impressed Harish Patel enough to lure him away from home. Since then, Harish had spent every day in America convincing himself the greater opportunity, especially the chance for his daughters to get a good education, was worth turning his back on home.”In Suburban Sahibs, Kalita skillfully narrates the families’ stories within the larger context of their past lives and their coming to America. She also expertly hints at larger issues: the division amongst Indians in America into multi-regional groups (Lipi once remarks that she had never had so many Assamese friends even in India!), the effects of a “model minority” on local school systems and the tensions even between successive waves of Indian immigrants.In the end, Pradip Kothari runs in a local election and loses, the Sarmas hold on to precarious jobs here, and the Patels are still struggling along, with daughter Kajal also working at the local Shop Rite.Kalita often suggests in the book that Suburban Sahibs is part of a larger phenomenon – it is but a small snapshot of the immigrant experience and shows America as a nation of suburbs. While this phenomenon is true and rightly observed, it is often tough to make that logical extension from Kalita’s tightly focused work on the Indian community. Broader generalizations need more examples from without. Suburban Sahibs is a wonderful piece of journalism and a long overdue book. It grants New Jersey, specifically Edison, the rightful place as the launching pad for many an Indian immigrant. That even the Indians who live there occupy different rungs on the socio-economic ladder, should surprise nobody, even those of us who only visit to eat bhelpuri and to stock up on bhindi from Oak Tree Road.  Related Itemslast_img read more

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Nice Concept, Lousy Taste

first_imgThe idea of substituting Vodka for pani in that classic Indian chat pani puri is likely to evoke disdain from some within the Indian American community. It is probably deemed extraordinarily innovative by some others. But most, we suspect, are just bemused by it, just as we are by hamburger dosa or bacon kachuri.The range of reactions toward the Vodka twist to the pani puri, recently introduced at an Indian lounge in New York, is a telling window to the evolving Indian American identity.Our encounters with America have been transforming for us, individually and collectively. They alter, to varying degrees, our looks, our accents, our tastes, our likes and dislikes, just about everything.We have been transformed whether we want it, or like it, or know it.Some Indians immerse themselves into America with a passion that even natives would have difficulty matching. It’s out with Bollywood, Aishwarya Rai, masala dosa, and cricket. Say hello to Britney Spears, Steven Spielberg, quarter pounder with cheese and the NFL.If their skin color, and ever so occasionally, at least for the first generation, the strain in the accent, did not betray them, you might never know they are Indian. Indeed, over the telephone you might well be deceived.For some other Indians, the American encounter has been transforming in quite the reverse manner. They have discovered Ustad Vilayat Khan and Bharat Natyam. They find themselves soaking in dense encyclopedias on Hindu civilization and and ever so often organizing Diwali and Navratri celebrations.Indians who might never have set foot in a mandir before coming to America, are now leading fund raising campaigns for temples, not to say holding classes on language and culture for their children.Thinking outside the pani puri is the perfect metaphor for what we do at Little India. We see the magazine as the community’s interpretive agent. We seek to make conscious the often unconscious process of identity transformation.Over the years, we have been among the first to chronicle the community’s expansion into new states, such as New Jersey and Georgia; the impact on Indian American health and diet; the fusion food, culture and entertainment; the shift in family life and gender and generational roles; the trend toward Anglicization of Indian names; the rise and fall and rise again of Indian techies, entrepreneurs and professionals. We peered into space with Kalpana Chawla and we went behind the sets of Broadway.The most significant lesson we have hopefully celebrated in our role as the community peeping toms, is that Indian Americans have a multiplicity of identities. The only identity relevant and valid for you is that with which you are most comfortable.You are uniquely privileged to feast on two great experiences and histories; pick whatever suits your fancy.    If attending a baseball game with its attendant hot dog is a chore, drop it. On the other hand, if your kids forever seem pushing excuses for skipping those Gujarati classes, ease up on them, will you?If you are wrestling with your identity, that is your biggest problem.Abandon the struggle and your identity will discover you.If you are like me, you don’t quite go hunting for pani puri, and if you should encounter it, you likely prefer the pani to not be quite as spicy as you once did.And yes, you might want to give that vodka pani puri a try for novelty’s sake, although ….Ugghh, it tastes real lousy.Nice concept though, don’t you think?  Related Itemslast_img read more

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