Fintech is Changing Money Management for the Better

Are you stressed about managing your money? Most of us are at one time or another. Whether you are trying to track your spending or invest spare change, fintech is here to ease your money worries. That’s the promise of the entrepreneurs and engineers working in one of Silicon Valley’s fastest growing industries.

Fintech (a combination of financial and technology) startups are introducing simple ways to invest and track your finances while established institutions are creating and using new technologies to offer personalised recommendations to customers. Using a smartphone to make a purchase or comparing loan rates online can make your life simpler and save you money, and that’s just scratching the surface of what fintech enables.

Technological innovation in finance is in substantial growth with no signs of slowing down. An Accenture report found fintech investment in the first quarter of 2016 grew by 67 percent compared to the first quarter of 2015. That’s a continuation of the year-over-year increases that’ve taken place over at least six years.

The investments are helping people at all levels of the economic spectrum. According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, even those living in extreme poverty are poised to benefit from changes in mobile banking. Over the next 15 years, it expects two billion people to open their first bank account and start saving and spending money with a phone.

 

Six Ways Fintech Can Help

There are many ways to manage your personal finances, and here are just a few examples of how fintech services could help you in everyday life.

  • Banking online.Online- and mobile-only banking can offer you limited fees, low or no minimum account balances and a relatively high-interest rate on your savings. You’ll often be able to access your money for free using an associated network of ATMs, or get reimbursed for ATM fees, and deposit money by taking a picture of a check or making an online transfer.
  • Budgeting easily and efficiently.Instead of relying on a paper notebook or spreadsheet, you can use digital budgeting apps. There are apps that sync with your bank, credit and other financial accounts to let you track your spending and savings in real time. You can even track spending in different categories, receive notifications when you exceed your budget and analyse the data to see what categories eat up most of your paycheck.
  • Saving money automatically.Online and mobile apps can make it easy to grow your savings. Some services use algorithms to calculate how much money you can afford to save at a given time, and then automatically transfer the money to your savings account.
  • Investing your money with minimal effort.Technology has made tracking and managing your investments easier. Robo-advisors are computerised investment management services that offer low fees, an easy setup and a customised investment strategy based on your information and goals. You can let a computer create and manage your investment portfolio with just a few clicks and make adjustments based on your desired risk and when you’ll want to withdraw their funds. Additionally, some companies can round up every purchase you make with your debit card and automatically invest the money with a robo advisor.
  • Getting paid back quickly.Say goodbye to the 10-minute post-meal negotiation as you and your friends try to split the check. Mobile apps linked to checking accounts let you send and receive money instantaneously. One person can pay the bill and the others can send him or her money from their phones.
  • Comparing loan offers.If you’re looking for a loan, there are services that allow you to enter your information once and receive loan offers from competing lenders. The easy-to-use shopping tools can make it easy to find out which lender will give you the lowest interest rate, saving you money over the lifetime of the loan. Choose the loan with the best terms and you may be able to complete the entire loan process online.

These are six examples of how you can use new financial technologies, but you might also be benefiting without even realising it. For example, a startup could power your bank’s online chat service or send you notifications when there’s suspicious activity on one of your accounts.

Keeping Your Funds and Financial Information Secure

Even if a new app or service seems reputable, it’s important to take steps to safeguard your finances and personal information.

  • Always research an app or service before you use it.Search the name of the app or company and look for reviews. Positive reviews by major media outlets are usually a good sign that the service is considered to be reputable and reliable.
  • Improve your password security.Password protection is a deceptively simple, but very important aspect of online security. Don’t use the same password for two accounts, financial or other. Wherever possible, use two-factor authentication, meaning security is double-layered and someone can’t log in with your password alone. For example, see Google’s password tips for more advice on keeping your accounts safe.
  • Use biometric authentication.Some banks offer various forms of biometric authentication that you can use to log into your account from your phone. Rather than type in a password, you can use the phone’s camera or microphone to verify your account with your fingerprint, eye, face or voice.
  • Enable location-based alerts.Geolocation tracking can easily add an extra layer of security to your account. With your permission, banks can use GPS data from your smartphone to verify that you’re with your card when it’s used for a purchase. As an added bonus, your bank might be able to easily notify you where the nearest fee-free ATM is and send you discounts or offers from nearby merchants.
  • Don’t put all your money in one place.Keeping your assets in several accounts can help limit your risk. Even if one account is attacked, you’ll have access to your other money while the financial institution looks into the matter and makes you whole. If you think your account has been compromised, consider the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau(CFPB)’s advice for reporting suspicious charges and avoiding future losses.

Bottom Line: Fintech is changing the way people interact with money, and there’s something for everyone. Though there are important security risks to consider, the innovative and intuitive services can help you save and manage your money.

This article is originally published on HuffingtonPost.in at 14 September 2016.

Steps Toward Starting Your Own Business

Steps Toward Starting Your Own Business

A lot of people think starting a business is hard. Too many would-be-entrepreneurs get stuck early in the process because they think only a certain type of person has what it takes to make it as a successful business owner. The reality is, most people have what it takes: a good idea, the right amount of capita and the creativity.

What most people lack, however, is the patience, determination and ability to plan. It’s easy to become overwhelmed in the early stages of starting a business. The key is to have a working plan to stick to. Use something simple to guide you along the way.

Here are seven key first steps to starting your own business:

1. Take time to brainstorm.
An idea is great, but you need to be able to give it legs. Your job as a new entrepreneur and future business owner is to think about every aspect of your business. Come up with answers to every question a stranger or potential investor might ask you. For example try to answer these questions:

Who is the target market for the product?

What could go wrong and how will you solve it?

Are there additional products or services that could tie into your main offering?

What are the main things you want your customers to know about you?

By preparing answers to these questions ahead of time, you’ll come across as a more confident and trustworthy business owner when it comes time to try to attract the attention of the right stakeholders.

2. Create a business plan.
After you’ve taken the time to answer questions about your business or product idea, put together a concrete business plan.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the main parts of a business plan include the executive summary, a company description (what makes the company unique), a market analysis (the competition and target demographics), the company’s structure, a description of the service or product line, the marketing and sales strategy, financial projections — plus any additional useful information.

Entrepreneur also has a section of free business plan templates that can help you get started.

tips for starting a small business
Image Credit: cloudnineurbanwear.com

3. Gather needed resources.
If you’re planning to start a one-person business, you don’t necessarily need to worry about hiring anyone. But it might be helpful to create a plan for the future when you want to scale the business.

No matter what the size of your business is, you’ll need a few essentials to start operating. Create a list of everything you’ll need and its approximate cost, Whether it’s an office space with a new desktop and printer or a warehouse to hold the products.

If you are purchasing something that will solely be used for business, then likely it’s tax deductible. Be sure to check with the IRS, an accountant or a tax attorney to be sure you are properly deducting expenses.

4. Launch marketing and brand-awareness campaigns.
Before you launch the business off the ground, start planning the ideas for marketing, sales, and branding efforts. Because social media is used by much of the U.S. population in most age groups and continues to grow in popularity globally, having an online presence is key.

Create a Facebook page, Twitter profile, Google+, and LinkedIn page for your business, depending on the appropriate social media channel for your company. For instance, a dry cleaner may not find a LinkedIn page useful but could connect well with a local community on Google+ and Facebook. Be sure all your web pages have a cohesive feel and are updated regularly.

All other communications with your clients should have a cohesive feel. Use the company’s brand colors and logo to create business cards, letterhead and email signatures to demonstrate to customers a professional operation.

5. Get the finances in shape.
Not setting up proper accounting, bookkeeping and tax records up front can be dangerous and costly to a business in the long run. Set up the business as an limited liability company, an S Corp or whatever structure fits best to protect personal assets. Use bookkeeping software like GoDaddy Bookkeeping or Quickbooks that make it easy to export records when doing taxes.

Hire an accountant for your business who can ensure that taxes are done correctly. While doing your own business taxes can be relatively easy when running a solo business, laws and regulations vary by state. Consult with an expert to make sure you’re in the clear.

6. Create a maintenance list.
When you finally have your business up and running, keep track of regular tasks that keep a business running, namely doing payroll, keeping up with inventory, updating the website and regularly blogging and using social media. Create a list of these regular tasks and schedule them on a project management dashboard or an online to-do list like ToDoist, which lets someone list a task’s due date as “every fourth Wednesday” and then it regularly appears on a daily task list.

This ensures you will continue the regular housekeeping tasks of the business so it runs smoothly.

7. Set future goals.
Whether your business is a day or a year old, continuously set goals in order to move your business forward.

Examine the competiton, employees, investors and peers to help you decide what new goals need to be set and what needs to happen so as to be successful.

This article is originally published on entrepreneur.com

Self-Driven People Make Good Leaders

Self-Driven People Make Good Leaders

I’ve often found that self-driven people make good leaders. After all, they usually are harder on themselves than anyone else could ever be, which drives them towards success. Because of this, they act as their own accountability partners and they rarely need to be pushed. They also are not afraid of hard work; perfection must be reached, regardless of the hours. While self-drivers possess many qualities that help them climb the management ladder, they also might struggle when leading people who operate from different motivators. Here are three keys for self-driven leaders to remember:

  1. There is no such thing as perfect.

For the self-driven leader, it’s not uncommon for them to demand perfection from themselves. The target is a benchmark that is impossibly lofty, but as a high achiever, you sometimes manage to reach it. The problem is when you try to hold your team to the same stringent standards as you do for yourself. People are never perfect. To err is human.

When perfectionists expect their teams to approach goals with the same degree of precision, the employees are doomed to never meet expectations. Not only that, this type of leader will tend to get annoyed by even the most inconsequential imperfections, causing enormous frustration.

Does this mean that lowering expectations is the answer? Not necessarily. It’s a combination of choosing what to focus on and looking past stylistic differences. The perfectionist by definition wants everything to be just right. This can result in focusing too much attention towards what isn’t going right — even if it is not a key result area of your business. While you should not ignore an important constraint, ask yourself if it’s really where your attention should be concentrated. If not, focusing on the bigger picture can help you steer your team in the right direction.

Shifting emphasis away from the minor imperfections also can give your team more leeway to operate within their own style preferences versus strictly adopting yours. This can be tremendously valuable in not only getting the most out of each individual team member, but also in the discovery of better approaches you otherwise might not have pursued.

  1. Your drivers may differ from your team’s.

One aspect self-driven leaders often share is that they know exactly where they want to go and are in a hurry to get there. Whether it’s a big promotion, an income target or a juicy assignment — your motivators are clear and compelling. While this surely works for you, it’s very likely your team is going to be comprised of individuals with lots of other drivers. Great leaders don’t operate under a one style fits all model. They get to know the team first and work with each individual to put together a mutually beneficial plan.

  1. Others may need your ability to push yourself.

One of the reasons some people rise up the ranks faster than others is because they are naturally able to grasp concepts quickly and apply them without much supervision. These individuals are able to produce prodigious results, whether their leader is exceptional or not. They are successful and have been promoted in many ways because they can operate largely in a self-sufficient manner. Through years of experience, these individuals have learned how to motivate themselves.

Upon being asked to lead others, these individuals can become frustrated that their teams do not have the same skill sets. This should not be mistaken for either a lack of effort or disinterest. It’s more likely they need someone to help hold them accountable. They require the occasional nudge, pat on the back or kick in the rear. Gradually, they can reach a level of greater self-sufficiency, but it needs to be coached, learned and practiced.

The best leaders have the ability to relate to each member of their team, regardless of their diversity. Remembering that every member is unique — and allowing for such differences — can help determine whether you become a great versus good organization.

This article is originally published on entrepreneur.com

Become A Successful Millennial Entrepreneur

Many successful entrepreneurs embrace the mantra of Jeffrey Hayzlett’s best-selling book Think Big, ACT Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless. In scientific terms, this is the thought-action theory in effect, great achievement is preceded by a positive, ambitious idea. How can a young entrepreneur learn to build this type of muscle into their daily life and business model? Here are insights from Hayzlett, CEO of the Hayzlett Group, 2015 National Speakers Association’s Hall of Fame winner and C-Suite Network Host.

Jeffrey Hayzlett/TallGrass Public Relations
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Hayzlett/TallGrass Public Relations

What’s your best kept secret advice for millennial entrepreneurs?

All entrepreneurs, regardless of age, progress through three stages of development in their careers: individual, accruing devout followers, and retaining skilled technicians, experts, and professionals.

Be focused and be consistent. Ask yourself, what is the overall condition of satisfaction I’m trying to drive? What problem am I solving?

Your clients’ primary concern is how they’ll benefit from your product or service. Millennials often like to explain their motivation for their business. As a consumer I just want assurance your product or service will do what you’ve promised at an acceptable level of service. Your motivation is just icing on the cake. You should have a service mentality, the clients come first.

What is the most effective way an entrepreneur can present themselves to receive financial backing from investors?

Do your homework. Be receptive to new ideas and concepts. It’s impressive when you see someone who knows their stuff and they’re humble. Don’t be a know-it-all. You don’t have to be an expert in the subject but you should have more than a general knowledge of the topic. Can you go more than six questions deep?

Most people I know who are failing haven’t done their research and it shows very quickly. I’ve bought and sold over 250 businesses in my career and I can see patterns quickly. I can see early on if the person hasn’t thought the idea through to fruition or have the experience to execute it.

What is the one thing you’ve learned from experience you wish you’d known when you were younger?

Don’t pay too much attention to what people think. We get focused on every review or comment as if it’s the end of the world as we know it. Those comments hurt, but they can be motivating at the same time. You have to understand they are at the extreme ends of the spectrum.

I’ve been a professional speaker for some time. I used to pour over reviews night after night and try to adjust the way I delivered my message until one day I realized the bottom 10% and the top 10% are irrelevant. The bottom 10% are going to hate you anyway. If you’re not pushing something you’re not going to have haters because you’re not causing tension. At the same time, you’ll have devout followers who’ll drink the Kool-Aid no matter what you say.

You know, your mother is still going to love you, and still say these wonderful things but she’s probably not your target demographic. If you remove the bottom and top reviews, you’ll have an accurate reflection of the impact you’re having. Even when I was the CMO at Kodak, social media had just emerged, people would say ‘Look at these tweets, we’ve got to do something!’ I would tell them wait until it adds a zero then come back and talk to me. What I mean by that is if there are 3 people complaining wait until it’s 30, if it’s 30 people complaining wait until it’s 300, then we have an issue worth addressing. Until then, it’s just someone’s opinion.

How important is authenticity for an entrepreneur?

One of my greatest strengths is being me. The more authentic you can be the better you’ll be. If you’re yourself, if you live it and breath it, that’s very important. As an entrepreneur you need to walk the walk in all aspects of your business. I know the basic operations for all facets of my business. Am I as good as the expert I’ve hired? No, but when someone comes to me and says ‘It can’t be done.’ I know it can, because I’m really good at it. If someone says ‘We can’t do this on social media.’ I know that’s not true because I’ve done it. Knowledge in those areas makes me a leader because I can guide others on their entrepreneurial journey.

Decide between fame and fortune, because you can’t have both. I pursued fortune first. If you’re good at what you do, success will come, and fame will follow for free. If not, you’ll have the capital to buy it if that’s what you desire. Most business comes because of great word of mouth.

Which social media platform is the most important for millennial entrepreneurs and why?

The ones your customers are using. I don’t want to build a baseball field in the middle of Iowa and nobody shows up. In this case, I want to go to the social media platform my customers are already using because it’s richer, more engaged for my customers, therefore I’ll reap similar rewards.

How important is public speaking for an entrepreneur?

It’s definitely an advantage. You are the personification of the company. You must be able to communicate orally, visually or verbally. If you can’t cite your elevator pitch you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur. Look at great entrepreneurs in history like Lee Iacocca and Richard Branson. When you see him you see Virgin, when you see Virgin you see him.

Why did you join the National Speakers Association?

If you want to be a lawyer you should join the bar association. If I wanted to be the best speaker in the world I should go where the best speakers are and that happened to be the NSA. You owe it to yourself to join in with other that are like you and to learn from them and share. You give and take.

How realistic is work/life balance for an entrepreneur?

Balance it a wonderful thing to strive for, but in many ways it’s unattainable because we’re constantly making choices and re-prioritizing things in our lives. Steve Covey, an old friend of mine, and the author of ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People’ said you have to establish a balance between work, spirituality, family, and friends. It’s difficult to balance all of that. You prioritize one at the sake of the other. You’re going to have to make choices and be happy with the choices you’ve made. If you say ‘I’m going to have balance’ in the traditional sense something will inevitably suffer.

Entrepreneurs must redefine balance, it’s not always 50/50. There are two week stretches when I work 24/7, then I’ll take my family on a two-week or month vacation to Europe. If you look for balance, it’s not balance in the moment, but it evens out over time. You’re going to miss things. As entrepreneurs we define a ‘new balance.’ that works for us and those most important to us.

Source: forbes | how to be a successful millennial entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs also need productivity tips – here they are!

Entrepreneurs also need productivity tips – here they are!

A lot has been written about how employees can attain the optimum level of productivity at their workplaces. But comparatively, there isn’t much that addresses employer productivity. As an entrepreneur, how do you quantify your productivity at the workplace? Are there any measures that can elaborate the amount of work you do or the efforts you put into building an organisation on a day-to-day basis? Is there any productivity tracker that can judge your annual performance?

There have been many cases in the past where investors have taken a call on non-performing organisation founders. While this predicament in a company’s organisational structure is often disguised as a ’strategic decision’, we all know the reality and often prefer not speaking about it.

Let’s face it, at the end of the day, we are human beings, and we do need our fair share of ‘meandering’ time. As an entrepreneur, you may have worked hard to establish an organisation that bagged a huge amount of funds, and you are now capable of hiring the best talents in the industry. Now, you may be willing to take a backseat and just observe. But would this aid your vision of making it big in the long run? Is hiring a competent team enough for your company to grow and excel in the industry? You are the foundation of the business, and there will always be a few tasks and responsibilities that cannot be done by anyone else but you. Of course, you deserve to take some time off and enjoy a good vacation, but once you are at work, it better be about delivering with your best efforts.

Coming back to the point, if you have been accused of not performing well or if you yourself have felt the lack of enthusiasm in you to achieve your targets, these 5 productivity tips will help you get back on your feet in no time.

Work in batches

Multitasking can often leave you distracted and can hamper your productivity. It is advised to divide your day into 30-minute blocks, so you can focus on one task at a time. Create a weekly timetable and follow it sincerely. At the end of the week, you’ll be able to track your performance and accountability.

In the words of Nido Qubein, a businessman, motivational speaker, and the president of High Point University since 2005, “Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets.”

Be accurate with deliverables

Over-promising yourself will not lead you anywhere. Rather, it will create an atmosphere of stress leading to procrastination in many situations. Always consider both existing and unforeseen circumstances and be accurate with deadlines.

Set clear goals

While doing your share of work, you also need to keep a track of what your employees are doing. If you have assigned them tasks that directly impact your deliveries, make sure to put a reminder so that both the parties are on the same page. Post-its can be your friend here.

Tackle easy tasks first

This is just the opposite of prioritising. There are always some small, non-important and easy tasks that often take a backseat for days, and sometimes, get totally forgotten. Always wrap up these tasks as soon as they are assigned to you and check them out of your list first.

Cut back on meetings

Being a founder doesn’t mean that you need to be a part of every meeting that happens in your company. Let managers take charge of team meetings. The idea here is to avoid wasting time on meetings that do not add any value to your profile. As an entrepreneur, your task is to maximise  profits and bring more business to the company. As for internal meetings, you are already paying a chunk of your revenue to business managers whose job it is to manage your company’s day-to-day operations.

Perhaps it is important for a founder or a co-founder to work as much as their employees do and deliver results that are expected of them. If your company has been funded, the need to show results with your performance increases manifold. You have it in you, and your flourishing business is proof enough that you have potential. So focus on what you can do and the rest will follow.

Source: yourstory

Steps for Aligning Your Organizational Goals

Steps for Aligning Your Organizational Goals

Most of us are familiar with the concept of SMART goals — goals that are specificmeasurableachievablerealistic and timely. But specifying SMART goals on a larger scale is more difficult, especially in terms of organizational goals. The main problem? It’s rare to have everyone on the same page.

Related: 6 Ways to Motivate Individuals to Become a Winning Team

In September 2015, Achievers released The Greatness Gap: The State of Employee Disengagement report with some startling finds: The majority — more than 60 percent — of the 397 employees surveyed said they didn’t know their company’s mission, vision or values.

This illustrated the staggering disconnect that plagues workplaces today: Employers are failing to align employees with their organizational goals.

When employees don’t know their company’s mission, vision or core values, they are left with a lack of direction. Instead, they need to be aware of how their projects fit into the overall organizational framework and how their specific contributions impact company strategy.

The key here is alignment. Employees at all levels need to be aligned on their companies’ larger goals, and those goals need to be broken down to a smaller scale to ensure that people remain engaged in day-to-day operations.

Here are the elements for building a successful organizational-goal alignment strategy:

  1. Feedback is consistent.

Managers who consistently provide feedback can help keep employees focused on their performance. Feedback acts as a reminder. Without it, employees get too caught up in their daily tasks and lose sight of the bigger picture.

Feedback about performance typically looks at how someone’s work affects other people in that employee’s job area. An effective discussion will include and address the company’s overall strategy.

Related: 3 Simple Steps for Company Goal Setting

Employees see the value in feedback, as well. Workboard found that 72 percent of employees surveyed thought their performance would improve with more feedback. Job feedback should focus on growth and forward thinking by and how employees can learn from their mistakes.

In other words, feedback should be corrective. In a January 2014 survey, the Harvard Business Review found that 57 percent of 899 respondents preferred corrective feedback, and 72 percent said their performance would improve if managers provided such corrective feedback.

Additionally, employers should seek feedback from their staff. If employees feel that they aren’t informed properly or are missing information, they should be able to speak up.

If, for example, a tenured employee finds new directives to be off track, he or she should be able to express concerns and ask how a particular project contributes to the overall organizational goals.

  1. Tasks are properly allocated.

Employees should know their role in each of their projects. To help them do this, you can use visuals to explain the company’s overall strategy and how each role advances toward its goals. Some project-management platforms provide real-time goal-tracking and present it in charts and graphs to demonstrate individual and group progress.

It’s also important to assign the right tasks to the right people. Use feedback and performance reviews to understand each employee’s level of competency and what his or her strengths are, to maintain and even improve productivity. If particular employees excel at closing sales deals, put them on the front line on client presentations.

Tasks, further, should challenge an employee to grow. Consistent feedback lets employers know their employees’ plan to evolve, which in turn informs the assignment of projects. If, for example, a tenured employee wants to expand his or her skill set and learn more about research and development, the employer can integrate that individual’s role with that department.

Bottom line: Great companies help employees set and achieve their individual goals and align those personal goals with the overall goals of the organization. The best-case scenario is a team of employees who are engaged enough to want to grow within the company and help it evolve toward the vision that’s been set.

  1. Everyone gets recognized.

In the 2015 Employee Recognition Report by the Society for Human Resource Management and Globoforce, 90 percent of the 823 HR professionals surveyed said an employee recognition program positively impacted engagement.

Engagement is essential to keep a company growing and reaching for its vision. When employees aren’t recognized, they lose track of their purpose. But in contrast, when wins are celebrated, employees want to win more.

A simple expression of gratitude, such as a thank-you note or gift, shows employees that management is paying attention and notices that they are consistently working hard and succeeding at their individual goals.

When recognizing top talent, explain how employees’ efforts are pushing the company toward large-scale goals. Show how their performance is meeting and exceeding expectations to encourage more hard work and dedication.

Related: Setting Goals: 3 Steps to Igniting Workplace Engagement

It’s not easy to translate large, wide-reaching organizational goals into smaller, everyday tasks while not losing sight of the big picture. But it’s not impossible, either. Consistently checking in with employees individually, recognizing their efforts and reminding them of their purpose is what constitutes a successful organizational goal-alignment strategy.

Source: entrepreneur.com | Andre Lavoie

Apple to set up startup accelerator in Bangalore

Tim Cook’s India visit: Apple to set up startup accelerator in Bangalore

Tim Cook's India visit
image Credit: economictimes.indiatimes.com

BANGALORE: Apple has launched an ambitious plan to tap into India’s startup ecosystem with the iPhone maker announcing plans to set up what it calls a “design and development” startup accelerator in India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru , at a time when the company is doubling down on India.

Apple CEO Tim Cook , who landed in India late on Tuesday night, said that the new accelerator facility would help iOS developers create innovative apps for the company’s customers globally and that the new facility would provide resources to support entrepreneurs.

Full Coverage: Apple CEO Tim Cook’s maiden visit to India

ET had first reported on May 16 that Apple would announce plans for a new accelerator program during Cook’s maiden India trip. Apple said that the accelerator is expected to open in early 2017.

“India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement. “With the opening of this new facility in Bengaluru, we’re giving developers access to tools which will help them create innovative apps for customers around the world.”

Apple said that it would work closely with app developers to “hone their skills” and bring them up to speed with the company’s global standards and best practices.

“This is a huge vote of confidence in India’s developer community and a tremendous opportunity to gain world-class design and development expertise,” said Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal. “Apple’s support will help drive growth and accelerate progress among the country’s vast talent pool.”

Apple said that the company’s in-house experts would lead briefings and provide one-on-one app reviews for developers, while the accelerator would also provide support and guidance on Apple’s programming language Swift. “Swift enables developers to write safer, more reliable code, save time and create richer app experiences,” Apple said.

Apple’s accelerator plans for India comes at a time when CEO Cook is betting on India to become a multi-billion dollar market for the company, amid a global slowdown in smartphone sales and also a slump in the growth of its flagship iPhone in key markets such as the US. Apple currently has around 3% volume share of the Indian smartphone market while by value it is around 11%, according to Counterpoint Research. However, in the premium segment or handsets priced over Rs 30,000, both Samsung and Apple are neck and neck, together accounting for more than 95% of the segment.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

Read More On » Tim Cook | Startup Accelerator | Bengaluru | Apple