What You Believe About Your Pricing

first_imgWhat you believe about your pricing as a salesperson is what your prospective clients will believe about your pricing.You’re Hiding SomethingEven if you never say out loud that you believe your prices are too high, your body language, your lack of confidence, and the caution in your voice will tell your prospect that you don’t believe you are worth paying more.If you refuse to discuss pricing when asked, it looks like you want to avoid the subject, that you are uncomfortable discussing it. Your avoidance can cause your client to believe that you are afraid to tell them the price because the sticker shock is going to cause them to cut off the conversation. Because you don’t believe the value, they don’t either, and then they do try to end the conversation quickly.Why Your Price Is HigherIf your price is higher than your competitor’s, then it’s higher. Pretending that it is not, or trying to avoid talking about your pricing destroys any confidence in you and your product, service, or solution. You can’t be a trusted advisor and be afraid to “go there” with your clients.The choice to have a higher price is a strategic decision. Higher prices allow companies to create greater value and the kind of meaningful differentiation that produces more significant results—as well as creating a preference for those companies.The right choice is to embrace your high price as the advantage that it is. That higher price allows you to produce better results than your competitors. It allows you to invest money in areas where your competitors are hampered by their lower price, often including the people necessary to serve clients well. It allows you to do things that differentiate you in a crowded market.You Transfer Your BeliefsIf you believe your price is too high, then so will your prospective clients. You will transfer that belief to them through words said or unsaid, and actions taken and avoided.If you believe your higher price is a bargain for the value that you create, then you will transfer that healthier belief to your prospective clients. It’s true that not everybody is going to believe that your price accurately reflects the value you create; that is why we call what we do selling. That said, if someone doesn’t value what you do enough to pay for it, then they aren’t really your client.last_img read more

Allowing Issues to Find Their Way to the Highest Level of Competency

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now If there is an issue plaguing sales organizations large and small universally, it may be role clarity. The issues may be accelerating due to the continued Taylorism we apply to roles, slicing them ever thinner, or maybe it’s been a problem all along, exacerbated now by today’s challenges. Whatever the cause, service issues seem to find their way to the highest level of competence inside the sales organization.The operations team makes a mistake that sneaks by whatever quality controls are in place, or the client struggles to produce some result. The issue comes to customer service, and they struggle to handle the issue effectively, especially when the problem is systemic, and the client is angry. The customer service person, struggling to please the client, escalates the problem to the Account Manager of the customer success team. When the Account Manager of Client Success person struggles, they hand the issue off to the salesperson or Account Executive or whatever title you prefer, the person who is accountable for the outcomes they sold—and who is now responsible for the task, whatever that may be.This broad generalization describes why all the people in the chain above have taken one step to the left, occupying the role of the person who appears before them in the chain. Naturally, when it comes to difficult customer conversations, the salesperson may be the person with the greatest competency to resolve the issue, as well as being the person who may indeed be necessary for the large, systemic challenges their business experiences, as well as the issues that occur when the client doesn’t do what is required to produce the result (for more on this conversation, see The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales).Many of the issues, however, are not systemic challenges or the client’s failure to do what they promised. More often than not, the problems are the day-to-day routine challenges. Salespeople end up looking up an order because the client couldn’t get the answer they needed from the customer service person or Client Success Manager fast enough. Salespeople end up producing reports because someone in the chain of players above doesn’t know how to generate the reports.The challenge for the salesperson and the sales organization employing them is that their focus needs to go toward opportunity creation and opportunity capture. It’s not that they can’t play the critical role on the systemic and strategic challenges that come with execution, but that they should be reserved for a position in line with the function you want them to play for your clients. If you want them to be consultative, a peer, and a trusted advisor, you may not want to confuse your client by also having them be the person who chases down orders and prints reports, something that happens when you allow service issues to find their way up to the highest level of competence in handling client issues. Instead, reserve that for the biggest, nastiest, foulest, and most strategic challenges.last_img read more

Police team was led into a well-planned trap

first_imgA six-member police team, headed by a Station House Officer (SHO), was led into “a well-executed and well-planned” trap on the road connecting Anantnag with Achabal in south Kashmir on Friday, resulting in the deaths of all on board the solitary vehicle in an ambush by militants.The team had been busy all day dealing with the deteriorating law and order situation in Anantnag town, sparked by the Arwani encounter where three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were trapped in nearby area. Sources said the trap was laid by LeT commander Bashir Lashkari, whose close aide and friend since 2015, Junaid Mattoo, 24, was trapped and living his last moments at the Arwani encounter site since Friday morning.“It was a revenge attack,” said Director General of Police S.P. Vaid.The police are investigating multiple dimensions of the attack, which lead to higher casualties for the police force, including costing the life of sub-inspector Feroz Dar.The militants, the police believe, knew SHO Dar and his team were travelling in a vehicle that was not bullet-proofed, and a well-guarded Rakshak vehicle. The police department had failed to provide a Rakshak to the Achabal Police Station.As the stone-pelting subsided, the team decided to travel back to the police station. “We are investigating to find out who passed on information [to the militants] about the movement of the vehicle at such a short notice,” said the officer.In fact, there was a mild stone-pelting on the vehicle near Thajiwar, which was otherwise peaceful. “The stone-pelting was intended to halt the vehicle. Indeed, the policemen got down to chase the stone-throwers. To their surprise, they faced a volley of bullets from all sides. It was premeditated and planned,” said the police officer. Sources said the nearby houses on the roadside were vacated by their inhabitants in advance, indicating a large group of militants must have converged and alarmed them. Militants, believed to number between six to 10, were part of the attack.Weapons lootedFive AK-47s, 18 magazines and one pellet shotgun were taken away from the dying policemen, said the police official. “We are going to track the killers,” said the DGP.Referring to the attack, LeT chief Mahmood Shah said, “The plots put up by [National Security Adviser] Ajit Doval are biting the dust. The time is near when the whole Kashmiri nation will celebrate its freedom.”last_img read more

Jolt for SP as senior MLC joins BJP

first_imgIn a blow to the Samajwadi Party (SP), its MLC Sarojini Agarwal resigned from the party and joined the BJP on Friday.Her defection assumes significance as it comes barely a week afterMLCs Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh quit to join the ruling party during Amit Shah’s recent trip to Lucknow.‘Not comfortable’Ms. Agarwal, who has been associated with the SP for over two decades, said she quit the party as she was not feeling comfortable since Mulayam Singh was dethroned as president by his son Akhilesh Yadav last year. “My heart has not been into the party since Mulayam Singh ji ceased to be the national president. It was a difficult choice. I took time to decide but have finally taken the step.”U.P. Cabinet Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi was by Ms. Agarwal’s side when she announced that she was joining the BJP. Ms. Joshi, who herself defected to the BJP from the Congress before the U.P. elections, said: “Given Modi ji’s working style and Yogi government’s move towards public welfare, it is natural that people are being attracted [to the BJP].”Responding to Ms. Agarwal’s resgination, Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of sabotage. “Patthar phenko, MLC todo [Throw stones, break away MLCs],” tweeted the former U.P. CM, who has accused the ruling party of pressurising Opposition party legislators to defect.The defection of the MLCs does not bode well for the Opposition as the BSP is also under the grip of fresh turmoil.last_img read more

CM, Goyal to lay foundation of rail coach factory at Latur

first_imgChief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal will lay the foundation stone of the proposed Rail Coach Factory at Latur on Saturday. The decision to set up the factory was taken in January and it is expected to cost ₹500 crore. An Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in February during the Magnetic Maharashtra Summit between the ministry and the state government. The factory is being built on 153 hectares. The State has offered several concessions for the project. The Rail Coach Factory will manufacture EMU coaches as well as Metro coaches. During the Summit Mr. Goyal had said that the eventual plan was to create a large industrial complex of around 2,000 acres and turn Latur into a manufacturing hub for Metro coaches. The coach factory has been planned to meet the demand for Metro coaches, especially in Maharashtra.The project, which is expected to provide employment to 30,000 people in the region, will in the first phase manufacture 250 coaches annually, increasing it to 400 in Phase 2.last_img read more

Shelter home rape case: NGOs offer to surrender contracts

first_imgIn the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case and Aasra short-stay home case in Patna, Non-Government Organisations managing the government-funded 110 such homes in Bihar are offering to surrender their contract with the State’s Social Welfare Department. The CBI, investigating the Muzaffarpur sexual abuse case, has speeded up the investigation.TISS reportEarlier, in its 100-page report, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) had raised fingers at several NGOs running shelter and short-stay homes in different districts of Bihar where instances of sexual and physical abuse with the inmates were reported. Besides Muzaffarpur, the TISS social audit report had red-flagged 14 other such homes for abuse.Among the several NGOs which have offered to surrender their contract with the State Social Welfare Department is the one managed by Padma Shri award winner Sister Sudha Varghese. Sister Varghese runs an NGO to manage a shelter home for trafficked women and girls in the border district of Purnia. “I’ve written to the Social Welfare Department that I want to surrender my contract for Purnia shelter home as I feel it is difficult to manage that from Patna… if something unpleasant happens, I cannot reach there before 8 hours… so I decided to surrender my contract,” Ms. Varghese told local journalists. The Purnia shelter home run by her keeps about 65 girls, some of them trafficked, some mentally challenged and sick. Ms. Varghese was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006 for her pioneering work with the marginalised section of society. She also runs an adoption agency in Danapaur locality, near Patna.23 contracts cancelled“Until now, six NGOs have offered to surrender their contracts with the Department… this has come in the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home and Aasra short-stay home controversies,” said Department Director Raj Kumar. The Department, he said, has also cancelled contracts of 23 NGOs running shelter homes for girls, boys and beggars in the State in the past few months. He added that some Department officials too have been trying to get transferred to other departments. “We’ve asked the NGOs to continue till alternative arrangements are being made and we’ve also floated tender for a new set-up managed by the government,” he said. Earlier, the State government had announced that it would run all shelter and short-stay homes.Meanwhile, the CBI has speeded up its probe and conducted searches at several places and questioned many people. State Urban Development Department Minister Suresh Sharma, though, has refused to resign from his post as demanded by the Opposition RJD leader, Tejaswi Yadav. Mr. Yadav also ‘threatened’ to ‘expose’ if Mr. Sharma did not resign.“I’ll file a defamation suit against Tejaswi Yadav for dragging my name into the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case,” said Mr. Sharma who represents the Muzaffarpur Assembly seat on a BJP ticket.last_img read more

Senior CPI(M) leader joins BJP in Tripura

first_imgIn a major blow to the CPI(M), its senior leader and former legislator from Khowai, Biswajit Datta, joined the ruling BJP in Tripura on Friday. Mr. Datta has been staying away from the party affairs after he was dropped from candidature on ‘health grounds’ in the February Assembly elections.The CPI(M) claimed that Mr. Datta was unable to put up a strong fight in Khowai, and thus was removed on the last day of withdrawal of nomination. The party’s second choice, Nirmal Biswas, however, defeated BJP’s Amit Rakshit by a comfortable margin.Mr. Datta, who had to be admitted to hospital in the run-up to Assembly elections over health issues, termed his exclusion fallout of a ‘conspiracy’ hatched by a section of leaders. He claimed that he was fit enough to contest and retain his seat.Mr. Datta joined the BJP at a rally in Khowai in the presence of BJP national secretary Sunil Deodhar .About 100 CPI(M) supporters also switched sides. Mr. Deodhar hinted that several CPI(M) leaders were in touch with him to join the BJP.Earlier, two senior CPI(M) leaders, Jitendra Sarkar and Monaranjan Acharjee, had joined the BJP. A large number of local leaders and local body representatives made their entry into the saffron party.last_img read more

#MeToo: Christian body assures fair hearing for Shillong sexual abuse victim

first_imgThe Congregation of Christian Brothers in India (CCBI) has assured “just and fair hearing” to a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy in Meghalaya capital Shillong almost three decades ago.In a statement issued on Tuesday, the CCBI said the “Christian Brothers stand in solidarity with and in support of any survivor of sexual abuse”. This followed a Facebook post as part of the #MeToo movement against one of its members.In her post a few days ago, 40-year-old Mary Therese Kurkalang had named two Catholic priests – Brother Francis Gale of St. Edmund’s School and Brother Muscat of Don Bosco – as having sexually abused her when she was a child.The CCBI statement did not make it clear which of the two Brothers the congregation has referred to.“We are committed to a just and fair hearing to both the complainant and the alleged abuser, through a formal process as laid out in our protection policy – Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults. This policy looks into all cases of abuse, past and present, so as to ascertain with compassion the truth and support the survivor towards achieving a peaceful closure while taking appropriate action against the alleged abuser, if found guilty,” the statement from Brother J. Johnson, society protection officer of CCBI’s Profession Ethics Commission, said.“Accordingly, a due procedure will be initiated as laid out in our said policy to take this serious allegation forward towards arriving at the truth and assisting the survivor with necessary help to attain due closure. Even as these internal processes are carried out, we stand committed to cooperating with the agencies of the law,” the statement said.Ms Kurkalang took to Facebook last week to write: “Three years ago, at the age of 37, I finally decided that I needed professional help and found a wonderful counsellor. Through the months of counselling, there is one session that stands out for me, where I felt literally like someone lifted this huge boulder lodged in my chest that was there since I was 5 years old.“What she said to me at that session was that as a child, from a broken family, an economically poor background, left to my own defences, I made the ‘ideal profile’ of the victim for a sexual predator. Even though as an adult, I understand and can differentiate that I was not responsible, it is hard to really feel and live that knowledge, to not blame myself. What my counsellor said to me that day answered the ‘why’ I have asked over and over again ‘why me’ and it gave me such huge relief to have finally found an answer that I knew to be true. It’s a long journey and an ongoing one to stay whole, balanced, sane as someone who was sexually abused through my childhood, age 5 till age 12.”She said she had attempted suicide thrice as a teenager and young adult, twice landing in hospital in a serious condition. “Through the years I have struggled to find comfort and sanity in spirituality, immersing myself in work, and later, in a close circle of friends I trust, these have helped me pull through. There will always be a part of me that is a big gaping hole of sorrow and darkness – of a childhood I did not know, of an innocence I never knew, of the fear and deep shame I have lived with for so long, and for not being believed, not being protected, and for the deep injustice I felt,” she said.She went on to name Brothers Gale and Muscat, recollecting the many ways in which they abused her.last_img read more

The things it carried: Rocket explosion destroys numerous science experiments

first_imgA suite of scientific experiments was lost yesterday evening when the Antares rocket headed to the International Space Station (ISS) exploded 6 seconds after liftoff. The NASA-commissioned rocket, built by Orbital Sciences Corp., exploded on the launch pad at Wallops Island, Virginia, incinerating the scientific experiments on board as well as 748 kg of supplies for the six astronauts stationed on the ISS.Among the losses was an experiment designed by students at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas, to determine the optimal lighting conditions for growing pea shoots in outer space. The plants’ rapid growth and high concentration of nutrients make them promising food sources for extended missions in space.Another casualty was an experiment using a high-resolution camera to observe the chemical composition of meteors entering Earth’s atmosphere. Meteors are relatively rare and difficult to observe from the ground; one way to solve that problem is to hunt for them from the top down. The camera, developed by the Southwest Research Institute, would have peered out of a window on the ISS to record the light spectrum of the rocks as they streaked through Earth’s atmosphere.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Research into solar sails also experienced a setback due to the explosion. Solar sails are incredibly thin sheets of reflective materials that can harness pressure differences in space caused by the sun to propel a spacecraft without burning fuel. The experiment was intended to test different materials for their suitability as solar sails.Another experiment dubbed Brain Drain would’ve fitted astronauts on the ISS with high-tech collars to monitor the blood flow in their necks. Astronauts often report headaches and other neurological disorders during their time in space, and scientists from the Italian Space Agency had hoped to learn how blood drains from the brain back toward the heart in the absence of gravity.The explosion also destroyed 18 experiments by students from across the United States and Canada. The experiments ranged from an investigation of the effectiveness of composting in space to observing how mosquitoes develop in microgravity.last_img read more

US FDA approval puts India on the global map of biosimilars

first_imgBillionaire Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw’s Biocon Ltd recently became the first company to have a biosimilar approved in the US for Roche’s drug Trastuzumab, which is marketed as Herceptin and used in treating certain breast and stomach cancers.The biosimilar, to be sold under the brand name Ogivri, brings Biocon a step closer to building a truly original bio-drug, or ‘novel biologic’ as it’s called, for various markets. Biocon already has two novel biologics—Nimotuzumab for treating head and neck cancer and Itolizumab for treating psoriasis—that it markets in India, says Mazumdar-Shaw, 64, the company’s chairperson and managing director. From an earnings perspective, the bigger prize is to build biologics for America and Europe, and Biocon is working on a pipeline.Read it at Forbes Related Itemslast_img read more

Sotheby’s Sends India Head on Leave Pending Probe Into #MeToo Claims

first_imgAuction house Sotheby’s has sent its top India executive on a leave of absence pending a probe into anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct.Gaurav Bhatia, the managing director of Sotheby’s India, has agreed to take leave of absence as a formal inquiry is underway into anonymous allegations on social media, Sotheby’s said in a statement, just days ahead of its first auction in the country.Read it at US News Related Itemslast_img

Delivering Amazon Packages to the Top of the World

first_imgPerched high in the Himalayas, near India’s border with China, the tiny town of Leh sometimes seems as if it has been left behind by modern technology. Internet and cellphone service is spotty, the two roads to the outside world are snowed in every winter, and Buddhist monasteries compete with military outposts for prime mountaintop locations.But early each morning, the convenience of the digital age arrives, by way of a plane carrying 15 to 20 bags of packages from Amazon.com. At an elevation of 11,562 feet, Leh is the highest spot in the world where the company offers speedy delivery.When the plane arrives from New Delhi, it is met by employees from Amazon’s local delivery partner, Incredible Himalaya, who then shuttle the packages by van to a modest warehouse nearby. Eshay Rangdol, 26, the nephew of the owner, helps oversee the sorting of the packages and delivers many of them himself.The couriers must follow exacting standards set by Amazon, from wearing closed-toe shoes and being neatly groomed to displaying their ID cards and carrying a fully charged cellphone.Amazon began offering doorstep delivery in this region last fall, as part of an effort to better serve the remotest corners of India. Sales volume in Leh is up twelvefold since Incredible Himalaya took over deliveries from the postal service, which was much slower and required customers to pick up packages at the post office.Local delivery partners like Incredible Himalaya are vital to the U.S. company’s global strategy, especially as it tries to diversify beyond traditional package delivery companies like UPS or FedEx. Last week, Amazon announced a program to entice more small businesses to join the company’s delivery network in the United States.Leh is geographically and culturally close to Tibet, a region controlled by China. Buddhist monasteries tend to the religious needs of the town’s 30,000 residents, while military units guard the still-disputed border with China.A motorcycle makes it easier for Eshay Rangdol, a courier for Amazon, to get around, especially with all the bumps — not to mention the cows — in the roads, in the Himalayan town of Leh, India, May 22, 2018. Photo Credit: Atul Loke/The New York TimesRangdol and the other couriers get to the shoppers via motorcycle and scooter. When the snow is heavy in the winter, they will occasionally use a car. But two wheels are generally better than four to navigate Leh’s narrow, bumpy roads and dodge the ubiquitous cows.Skalzing Dolma, a frequent Amazon customer, was Rangdol’s first stop on a recent day, receiving a delivery of bedsheets and eye shadow.Dolma has bought everything from clothing to kitchen appliances on Amazon and estimated that she has spent a total of 100,000 rupees, or around $1,500, on the site. With few choices in Leh stores, cosmetics and clothing are popular categories for Amazon here.Orders typically arrive in five to seven days, slower than the two-day delivery that Amazon’s big-city customers receive but quicker than the monthlong journey they often took with the post office.With a baby due in July, Rigzin Dolker, who used to work at call centers in Delhi, finds Amazon to be far more convenient than trekking into town. She has been buying baby clothes and makeup from the company.Fortunately for Amazon, local soldiers and monks are big customers. Thinley Odzer, a monk at the tiny Kartse Monastery, received a backpack. In the past, he has bought mobile phone cases and parts for his motorbike.Leh hardly seems like the kind of market that would appeal to a global e-commerce giant like Amazon. Internet service — essential to placing an order — cuts out frequently during the best of times and goes down entirely for weeks or months during winter, when the trunk line to Srinagar, the state capital, is damaged under the snow.But Amazon takes the long view. E-commerce is spreading globally, and India is a prime battleground, where customers are just beginning to shop online and loyalties are not yet established. Walmart recently announced plans to buy a controlling interest in India’s leading e-commerce company, Flipkart, allowing it to challenge Amazon directly for the wallets of Indian consumers.Amazon may never make money shipping products by air to customers in Leh. But the idea is that profits from dense urban areas like Mumbai and Delhi will subsidize service to more remote ones.“We want to make delivery convenient to where our customers are,” said Tim Collins, Amazon’s vice president of global logistics. “Over time, the economics will work themselves out.”The strategy rankles Leh merchants like Nawang Shispa, owner of Tsering Electronics, who said his sales of phones and accessories had dropped 10 percent since Amazon started quicker delivery to the community.Still, his salesmen compensate. One of them sold a new Oppo smartphone to Jigmat Amo, 16, by slightly undercutting Amazon’s price. Amo said she was a bit leery of Amazon after buying a handbag and a pair of ballet shoes from the site that did not look like the pictures.Liyaqat Ali, owner of the Singay General Store in the main town square, figured that there is room enough for both him and Amazon. He does a brisk business selling groceries and sundries like diapers, which people typically need right away.“Amazon is new to Leh and the internet is not so good,” he said. “And if you order something like diapers, you have to wait a week to 10 days.”Eshay Rangdol, a courier for Amazon, uses his motorcycle to deliver packages in the Himalayan town of Leh, India, May 22, 2018. Photo Credit: Atul Loke/The New York TimesRangdol said that in addition to delivering packages and managing the delivery warehouse, he taught people how to order on Amazon.“Before I joined Amazon, my friends called me Eshay,” he said. “Now they call me Amazon.”Working with the company is certainly better than his previous job leading tourists on long treks up cold mountains — although he still has to do a bit of climbing with a heavy pack.© 2018 New York Times News Service Related ItemsAmazoneCommerceLadakhlast_img read more

Indian-Origin Woman, Partner Held For Kidnap, Alleged Links to ISIS in South Africa

first_imgAn Indian-origin woman named Fatima Patel and her partner Safydeen Aslam Del Vecchio were arrested and brought before court recently at Vryheid, South Africa, in connection with the disappearance of a British couple. Patel and Del Vecchio are also facing terrorism charges for their alleged links with the Islamic State group.Patel and Del Vecchio were charged with robbery, theft, possible murder, and contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism and Related Activities Act for hoisting an ISIS flag at a modest homestead in a rural area, the Sunday Times reported quoting the chargesheet mentioned on their court appearance. Del Vecchio further faces charges for his alleged participation in extremist web forums that support ISIS and offering to supply phone numbers and sim cards that are not traceable.The robbery charges against the two are due to allegations that they used the British couple’s credit cards to get jewelry, camping equipment and electronic devices that were found at the location where the ISIS flag was hoisted.The details of how the missing couple met the pair have been unclear, the Times Select reported.The British couple had checked into the bush lodge at KwaZulu-Natal, three days after leaving Cape Town.  The couple stayed only one night, an employee at the lodge was reported as saying. They reportedly paid in cash and left in a hurry.It is unclear whether the couple is alive or dead. Their vehicle was found 300 km from the bush lodge, where they were last seen on Feb. 9.  Due to the sensitive nature of the case, the South African elite police Hawks have refused to divulge more information.Yousha Tayob, the lawyer representing  27-year-old Patel and 38-year-old Del Vecchio, confirmed their appearance in court. They have been remanded in custody at Westville Prison in KwaZulu-Natal province. Patel was earlier arrested along with her brother Ebrahim in July 2016 in counter-terrorism raids, Times Live reported. Police had seized 20 rounds of ammunition and a stun grenade from her residence back then. She had been out on bail until she was arrested again. The 2016 case is still awaiting judgement.According to sources quoted by TimesLIVE, Del Vecchio and Patel were found in possession of Islamic State recruiting material as well. The report quotes Hawks spokesman Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi as saying that during their surveillance of Patel and her partner, operatives had gathered information allegedly linking them to the missing British couple.This incident prompted the UK government to issue a travel advisory about possible terrorist attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa. They released a statement on Feb. 19, saying: “Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in South Africa. Attacks could be indiscriminate‚ including in places visited by foreigners such as shopping areas in major cities. The main threat is from extremists linked to Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL). In February 2018‚ two South African-British nationals were kidnapped.” Related ItemsISISSouth AfricaTerrorismlast_img read more

Three Indian-Origin Men Among Five Jailed in UK Over £10 Million Drugs Plot

first_imgFive men were sentenced to a combined total of 95 years in jail by a UK court on March 26 for being part of a plot to import heroin and cocaine worth more than £10 million.Among the five accused, Jagdish Patel, 51, was found guilty of conspiracy to import cocaine and heroin, and conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin for which he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Wembley resident Paulvinder Randhawa, 47, admitted, at the beginning of the trial, to conspiracy to supply heroin and was sentenced to 18 years in prison, while 55-year-old Ravindra Modha of Thurmaston was found guilty of conspiracy to import cocaine and will spend 16 years behind bars.The other two persons convicted in the case are of Pakistani origin, PTI reported. Talib Hussain, 59, from Birmingham, received 24-year prison term, while Ayaz Hussain, 28, of Wembley, who admitted to conspiracy to supply cocaine during the trial, will be sent to jail for 12-and-a-half years, the Leicestershire Police said in a statement.The men were part of a Leicester-based organized crime gang involved in importing heroin and cocaine hidden in purpose-built secret compartments in furniture, industrial bolts and clothes, according to the police. The men were involved in a plot to flood the streets of United Kingdom with more than £10 million worth of class A drugs, classified as crack cocaine, cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA), heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms, methadone, methamphetamine or crystal meth.“Today’s sentencing marks the end of a very long and complex investigation that was undertaken over a number of months. The communities of Leicestershire should be reassured that a significant amount of drugs have been prevented from reaching the streets,” detective inspector Harry Rai said.The East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) launched the investigation after a batch of bolts with heroin hidden inside was uncovered by the Metropolitan Police Service. After examination, it was found that the bolts had been drilled hollow, and heroin was stuffed inside, the Leicester Mercury reported.The five men were involved in the entire process, from arranging, managing and overseeing the drugs that were imported, to distributing them in the United Kingdom so they could be peddled on the streets. Related ItemsDrugsLeicestershireUKlast_img read more

Sale of Kashmir apples picks up pace, Diwali may boost it further

first_imgThe export of Kashmir’s famed apples is finally picking up pace, with growers from the volatile Anantnag area in south Kashmir topping the list of beneficiaries of the government-introduced Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) this year. About 4.46 lakh metric tonnes of apples, around 25% of the total produce, have already been transported outside the State despite the uncertain situation on the ground. All eyes are now on Diwali for a further hike in the sales.According to the figures of the State’s Horticulture Planning and Marketing Department, the MIS centre at Batengo in Anantnag has been able to export 70,178 boxes (worth ₹456.50 lakh) of apples, followed by the Sopore pick-up centre at 3,721 boxes (worth ₹22.14 lakh) and Srinagar at 2,510 boxes (worth ₹18.9 lakh) till October 9. However, the militancy-dominated district of Shopian witnessed the export of just 2,381 boxes worth ₹10.13 lakh. The MIS was introduced by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) in a rare move to help the farmers in distress due to the lockdown and communication blockade imposed in Kashmir on August 5 after the Centre’s move to revoke J&K’s special status. The scheme has been able to pick up apples worth ₹5 crore so far.“The MIS was introduced to provide an option to the growers. It was able to make the market competitive. There was no compulsion to sell the fruit under the MIS only. We are expecting more farmers to come forward after the revision of prices,” Horticulture Planning and Marketing Department director G.M. Dar told The Hindu.Price revisionUnder the MIS scheme, there was a price revision and hike of ₹8 to 10 per kg for all the varieties of apples. “The new prices were offered after making the Delhi mandi as a baseline. This attempt is also a move to provide the farmers an option to come up with quality grading against good prices,” said Mr. Dar.The government is also asking the farmers to prepare high-quality boxes for upcoming festival of Diwali. “The box will be offered at ₹70 per kg. All eyes are on Diwali. Over 75% apple crop is still in the Valley. The market is likely is see an upward trend. Exports are picking up,” said Mr. Dar.Nazeer Ahmad, a farmer in Shopian, said his crop was sold out in June itself when buyers from Delhi visited the Valley. “I decided to sell only to traditional buyers and not the MIS as it will keep the back-and-forth linkages, established over decades, intact,” he said.last_img read more