Inspiring Story: Can’t go to vote, then vote on the go - Right2Vote

Inspiring Stories

17 May 2017

Inspiring Story: Can’t go to vote, then vote on the go - Right2Vote

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

#Inspiringstories@Awfis is an initiative by Awfis Editorial Team to showcase the brilliant business ideas and the journey of our startup member community.

Neeraj Gutgutia believes in doing what is right, whether at work, or in his personal life.

Right2Vote, shared work space
Team Right2Vote

It was in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, while working with Prashant Kishore, a political strategist, that he realised the many limitations people face when asked to cast their vote. Even the most responsible among his friends faced hurdles and obstacles that prevented them from being a responsible citizen.

The reasons varied from the mundane like unable to take time off from work, the distance and being unwell, to the more serious issues like lack of a voter id card, being registered in a different city, or worse, finding out that someone has already voted in their name.

An entrepreneur by heart, Neeraj gave much thought to the problem, and eventually came to the conclusion that the physical voting booth was central to the issue. Instead of bringing the voter to the booth, why not bring the booth, albeit, a virtual one, to the voter?

This was the idea and the foundation upon which Right2Vote came into existence.

With his experience of 14 years in a corporate set-up with leading corporates like Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Hiranandani Group, Neeraj, a Chartered Accountant and MBA from IIM Indore by qualification, decided to take this plunge. He, along with his 12-member team had already forayed into banking authentication, security and transactions, and realised that the best practises from banking industry can easily be replicated on to Right2Vote, which is today the world’s first mobile verified voting platform.

Interestingly, this platform need not be limited to political elections, and can also be deployed by large corporates to help come to decisions which involve the whole company. Top management, which doesn’t always know ground reality, can unknowingly take flawed decisions that are rarely countered by juniors. With this platform, corporate decision-making gets simplified. This platform can also be used for professional body election, college election, housing society election among others.

Neeraj asks, “If everything has moved to the mobile today – shopping, banking, bill payment – then why not voting?” Fair thought, we say.

Right2Vote is a B2B2C company where people pay to hold their election on this platform and for the required election management. Voters have to pay nothing, and instead, they get the ease and convenience of voting from wherever they are.

Customers can save up to 90% of their cost, time and effort, while enjoying greater voter participation, 10x better verification and 10x better security. The payment procedure is simple. Billing is on a PAAS (Platform As A Service) model, where customers pay as per features used and the number of people invited to vote.
To give an example, a high-end poll with Aadhar-based verification and high-end encryption, the platform costs just Rs 10 per voter. Now compare that to Rs 1000 plus  per voter in booth-based voting!

When asked about the viability of the service, Neeraj is confident that the idea will pick up. “It is not a question of whether it will happen or not. It is only a matter of when.” Mobile voting is the future and when customers see advantages like a 90% fall in voter drop-out rate, 90% saving in cost, time and effort, as well as greater security, they are bound to see the merit in shifting from a traditional booth-based voting model to the mobile app.

Neeraj and his team hope to help conduct the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on this platform. When he crunched the number for us, this is what we saw: $5 billion, 2 months and the physical effort of over 1 crore people go into a successful Lok Sabha election. With this platform, the team guarantees to bring it down to less than 1/10th the cost, 1/30th the time and 1/1,00,00,000 the human effort.

Talking about his vision Neeraj said, “Our vision is to ‘Make Democracy Real’. Right now, a substantial percentage of the population is denied its voting right due to booth-based voting and then voters are blamed for not voting. By providing voters the facility to cast their vote from a secure mobile device, the accessibility problem will end.”

Right2Vote is an essential service that is strongly rooted in an existing need. Neeraj’s heart is in the right place, and his and his team’s experience and passion to make voting through smartphones a reality will see them achieve success very soon.

We at Awfis think Right2Vote is solving a real world problem with an innovative approach and it is awesome to have such inspiring ideas brewing within our Pro-working centres. We wish Right2Vote luck in their journey.

What Steve Jobs Taught Us About Making Stunning Presentations

Business How To’s

15 November 2018

What Steve Jobs Taught Us About Making Stunning Presentations

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Who doesn’t love a good story? A well-delivered narration has the power to keep us enthralled and to inspire us long after the mesmerising session is over.

At some point in our lives we’ve all been witness to talented speakers who have perfected the art of storytelling. And yet no one can really stake claim to the spot that was once occupied by Steve Jobs. One of the world’s greatest corporate storytellers, he has inspired hundreds of thousands of viewers with his spellbinding presentations.

We need more leaders like him, especially when companies are required to launch new variations of their existing products frequently. How can they create a need in an already saturated market?

By inspiring the world; by learning to wow our audiences like Jobs did. (And no, this does not mean imitating his dressing style, although it might help.) This article has handpicked presentation techniques from Steve Jobs’ iPhone launch alone. If you too wish to inspire, entertain and inform your audience, read on:

Express your passion

Steve Jobs was passionate about design. (Anybody who has ever held an Apple device, and there aren’t many who haven’t, knows that.) And his audience saw it too. He came on stage, at the iPhone launch, with a large smile on his face, immediately impressing his audience with his eagerness.

Don’t be afraid of your enthusiasm. If you are excited, your audience will catch on to it and project the same excitement back at you. If you are not passionate about your idea, why would anybody else be?

A twitter-friendly headline

Try the technique that Jobs perfected; create a one-sentence summary of your main message. And use that in every possible place, in every possible way when you talk about your product or idea. When he revealed the first iPhone, Jobs told the audience that ‘Apple will reinvent the phone.’ The same line was carried across news articles and blogs that covered the launch event. The search for this phrase turns up 25,000 links even today.

The rule of three

Time stamp: 1:49 – 2:42

If you observe Jobs’ presentations, you will notice his preference for the number ‘3’. You can see this in his iPhone presentation. Divided into three sections, it even seemed to speak of three different products: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and lastly a breakthrough Internet communications device. And then he revealed that it wasn’t three, but one product.

You’d agree that a list of 3 things is far more captivating than a list of 2, and most certainly easier to remember than one of 20!

Is there a villain?

We all love a villain, especially one that is going to be vanquished. Highlight a problem, and then offer a solution.

Steve Jobs’ presentation in 2007 did just that. How do you create the need for another mobile phone, that too from Apple? Jobs did that by introducing a problem of smartphones that are tough to use. The solution was the iPhone – simpler, smarter than any mobile device till date.

And then bring in the hero

Don’t just sell your product or idea; sell the benefit, your hero. How does the hero make life better for your audience?

The iPhone introduced the revolutionary multi-touch user interface. You didn’t need a stylus, and it was far more accurate and intuitive than anything that had been seen before.

Simple visual slides

Steve Jobs’ iPhone presentation used all of 21 words across 12 slides and that was in the first three minutes of the presentation. Remember, your PowerPoint presentation is just the trigger; you are the actual presentation.

Tell a story

Build up to the actual event. Entertain your audience with a short anecdote. Use it to relax them and make them more receptive to your final big idea. Tell them a story. It could be a personal incident, a customer moment or even a brand story. This will help move things along effortlessly.

Practise. Practise. Practise.

Many people believe that they can never be as smooth as Steve Jobs. Well, guess what! Steve himself wasn’t as smooth. He would spend hours upon hours practicing and rehearsing on stage so that he would appear polished and effortless on the final day. He knew every tiny detail of his iPhone presentation which is what made it flawless.

Do not read from notes

And when you practise relentlessly, you don’t need notes or a teleprompter. The iPhone launch lasted around 80 minutes; not once did Steve Jobs break contact with the audience to look at any cards. The presentation is an actual conversation with your audience, and it is this connection that makes an impact.

Inspire your audience

Leave your audience with an inspiring thought at the end of the presentation. And tie it back to the ethos at your company. At the end of his iPhone presentation, Jobs said, “I didn’t sleep a wink last night. I’ve been so excited about today… There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ We’ve always tried to do that at Apple since the very, very beginning. And we always will.”

 

Lastly, have fun!

Don’t take yourself too seriously. When you have fun, your audience relaxes and is more receptive to your ideas. Create fun moments in the presentation, and you will be more memorable. You don’t need to conduct stand-up comedy, but an occasional joke never hurt anyone.

Every presentation is an opportunity to make a stronger connection with your audience. It does require planning, time and some amount of creativity, but the payoff is totally worth the effort.

Uber’s Flying Taxis – are you ready to fly to work?

Inspiring Stories

01 November 2018

Uber’s Flying Taxis – are you ready to fly to work?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

 

In ‘Back to the Future Part II’ when Marty McFly is sent 30 years into the future, he arrives at a time when people ride hover-boards to zip around, they wear self-lacing shoes and flying cars are everywhere.

The date in the movie? October 21, 2015.

Cut to the present, and we’re just three years behind schedule. And like an advertisement in the movie says, ‘now you don’t have to worry about traffic’. 

Worsening traffic conditions, the world over

Do you know that peak hour traffic in major Indian cities almost doubles the amount of time spent travelling, especially on the more popular routes? It is no thanks to these conditions that India holds the dubious distinction of being the most traffic-afflicted city in Asia. But misery seeks company, and you will find solace in knowing that this is not just the terrible truth of our lives in India; other countries, including the United States of America, fare no better.

Is this to be our fate, forever? Is this the price for wanting to live and work in some of the more bustling cities in the world?

Perhaps not; not if Uber had its way. If you’ve been following the news over the last few months you must have come across Uber’s Flying Taxis. And India has been selected as one of the 5 countries that Uber plans to test-launch its Flying Taxis.

The future is already here

Yes, flying cabs will no longer be restricted to sci-fi films. The day isn’t far when you will be able to book a cab and see your ride come flying down from the skies instead of from down the road.

Besides the US, Uber Elevate – as the program is called – will bring these flying taxis to India, Japan, Australia, Brazil and France.

Uber Elevate will rise above traffic congestion, literally, and a commute that now takes a few hours will be completed in a matter of minutes. It promises to be an innovative transportation solution that will ease traffic instead of adding to it.

Currently the plan is undergoing a feasibility study, and if all goes well, Indian cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru will see the pilot project in about 5 years.

Uber isn’t doing this all alone. The company has already partnered with Audi to develop flying cars, and it is also in the process of joining forces with several automakers, real estate developers and technology giants to turn this plan into reality.

How will it work?

Once in place, customers will be able to push a button and get a flight on demand. The initial fares are projected at Rs 200 for a kilometer, but those could very quickly fall to as low as Rs 50 a kilometer.

The taxi concept is purely electric, and each cab will be able to seat 4 people, besides the pilot, all in one file in a cylindrical body with large windows. You need the view, however short the ride, right?

The flying taxis will take off from sky ports built on top of high rises which will also function as taxi stations. The taxi will cruise between 150 to 200 miles an hour, at a flying height of 2000 ft. The cab will be able to cover 60 miles (about 96 kilometers) in one charge, and the technology is such that it will take just a little over 5 minutes to top up the batteries between flights.

Before you take off

However, and yes, there is a however, there are challenges to be overcome before this dream takes off in India.

For starters, this isn’t yet a mass market idea. The initial target will be high-income people. Yes, Uber will eventually introduce off-peak time to encourage greater consumer adoption, but that is still a long way off.

Then there are infrastructural issues. Since the concept is entirely electrical, India will need to up the ante on its electrical grid structures and capabilities in offering battery-charging stations. There is also the rather large need for building sky ports, a herculean task indeed.

And finally, even after landing at a port, commuters will still need to find transport that will connect them to their destination. India’s severely challenged public transport system will need a complete makeover to match up to this project.

Conclusion

Uber has a selection criteria and India meets the requirements on all counts: sizeable market, local commitment and enabling conditions. It is, therefore, simply a matter of time before India’s traffic problems, at least in the larger cities, could soon be a thing of the past.

 

 

 

#AwfisMoments: Having a reel good time

Inspiring Stories

24 October 2018

#AwfisMoments: Having a reel good time

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

All work and no play can make things dull, and dull is the last thing one would associate with our vibrant Awfis spaces. Thanks to our community of like-minded, and often varied-minded, professionals and entrepreneurs, the co-working environment at Awfis frequently transforms into a cauldron of fun and merriment.

It is these moments that truly capture the brand ethos of ‘where work meets life’.

So, when we announced a Bollywood theme for the next #AwfisMoments edition, it came as no surprise that it was greeted with unbridled enthusiasm.

The #AwfisCommunity showcases its filmy personality at #AwfisMoments – Bollywood Edition!

People have come to equate #AwfisMoments with an experience like no other.

The week leading up to the Bollywood party was jam-packed with games like dumb charades, antakshri and mimicry sessions held across all our centres.

As the day drew close, the building excitement was palpable! Finally, on the day of the party, the centres were decorated to resemble a Bollywood set – film star cutouts, photo booths, et al. The community too arrived dressed for the theme, in their filmy best.

The usually quiet co-working spaces throbbed with the latest and some evergreen dance numbers, coaxing even the most introverted ones on to the dance floor eventually.

The Delhi edition had a poker room set up by Poker High while the Mumbai edition had a Bollywood-themed menu by Yumlane. Our Bangalore centres saw the community break out into a spontaneous garba session.

Shaking a leg and showing the right moves at #AwfisMoments – Bollywood Edition!

Behind the Scene: the making of #AwfisMoments Bollywood Edition.

At Awfis, everybody is a celebrity. #officeparty #community

Conversations flowed, drinks flowed harder and the delicious spread was demolished in no time.

Awfis Moments gives an already tight-knit community a chance to further get to know each other, make friends and maybe even nurse hangovers together the next day.

With this Edition, we tapped into our community’s love for everything Bollywood and while the lights may have dimmed, and the cameras packed away; the action continues.

Awfis – Naam toh suna hi hoga!

Awfis, naam toh suna hi hoga? Ab ek jhalak bhi dekh lo. #AwfisCommunity brings out their filmy best, and shakes a leg at the #AwfisMoments – Bollywood Edition!

My Awfis यांनी वर पोस्ट केले शुक्रवार, २१ सप्टेंबर, २०१८

The community that parties together, works together at #AwfisMoments

Awfis Moments – Ek Jhalak

Presenting the making of #AwfisMoments Bollywood Edition. Starring the bindaas #AwfisCommunity and powered by #Yumlane and PokerHigh India. Stay tuned for more!

My Awfis यांनी वर पोस्ट केले गुरुवार, १३ सप्टेंबर, २०१८

What happens at #AwfisMoments gets shared with the world