'Jumboking', one of India’s most trusted QSR brands has opened it's food truck at the Pune railway station premises. The brands’ interesting and varied choice of menu suits all tastes. Passengers can choose from the best of combo deals, burgers, fries, wraps, coke and thick shakes. Also, the JK super saver combo and JK loaded sides are a must have.
Dheeraj Gupta, founder of Jumboking says, “ the vision of the IRSDC and Indian Railways has always been to serve the passengers. Indian Railway Stations Development Cooperation Ltd. (IRSDC) has been at the forefront of transforming the landscape of Indian Railways. Going further, we hope to be of service to the IRSDC, which promises to be an integral force in launching many more unique initiatives and services for the improved satisfaction of the passengers.”
Sanjeev Lohia, Managing Director and CEO, IRSDC said, " We are proud of what IRSDC has achieved so far in Facility management segment.We have launched some of the firsts in Indian Railways like ‘Air to Water kiosk‘at Secunderabad railway station, Fit India Squat kiosk’ & ‘Digital Cloak Room’ at Anand Vihar station in New Delhi. Going further, we are committed to work for passenger satisfaction and offer them best of amenities at affordable prices. We are also working steadfastly towards station re/development i.e. building rail malls across the country. With the support of MoR, we shall achieve our mission in near future."
Jumboking is India’s largest chain of homegrown Quick Service Restaurants, incepted on 23rd August 2001 by Dheeraj Gupta. This asset-light company is one of the pioneers in franchising in India.
Jumboking is a favourite on-the-go eating option in Mumbai, among college students and young working professionals, with 115+ outlets in Mumbai, New Bombay, Thane & Pune. In 2019, Lucknow became a new market for the company.
The company leverages technology to propel its customer facing and internal control systems, and has delivery tie-ups with Swiggy and Zomato to service out -of-store orders.
IBM has been conducting the Digital Developer Conference on a regular basis. Those who has taken part in their previous year’s activities or those who are regular in their #CallForCode campaign or those who follow their social media pages would know this for sure.
Cloud was the theme for last year and for this year, it is Data and AI (Artificial Intelligence). For a software programmer/developer, this event is like a ritual since this sees the participation from all over the country with bright minds trying to compete with each other, in their respective domain.
I was lucky to be a participant of The Hindu Businessline and The Weather Company (an IBM Company) conference on how the weather impacts the business and how does AI help them to overcome the shortfalls and unexpected events. This event saw the participation from industry stalwarts which included DR R S Sodhi, Chairman of Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) which owns the brand Amul and Mr P C Musthafa, CEO and Co-Founder of ID fresh foods. The discussion gave some great insights on how these major brands being in the Dairy and Fresh Foods industry which are highly perishable and with lesser shelf life overcome the hurdles with the help of AI. Mr Musthafa said that they have the data of the past 10 years wherein they know as to how many packs of their brand would be sold in a particular shop on a particular day. This helps them to avoid wastage/returns. Their returns are pegged at just 2% in Bengaluru. This shows how AI helps them in leveraging the data.
The above example was given just to give a bigger picture as to how the technology could be put to great use. Now that we have the Digital Developer Conference coming up on 24th November, 2020, there is no better time or better platform to showcase your skills in this field. This would not only help you to bring it to reality, the ideas you have conceived which could help the community in a much bigger and better way.
You may ask, “What’s in it for me”?
This is where, it gets even more interesting. To start with, you could get a Date & AI Essentials badge. All you need to do is to visit the site and perform these steps:
· Successful completion of a face-to-face Data & AI Essentials workshop delivered by the IBM Client Developer Advocate team, which includes hands-on labs.
· Complete and pass the badge quiz on Cognitive Class. (Note: The quiz link is made available at the end of the face-to-face class or at the end of the online course).
Post this, flaunt the badge on your website/cv and on your social media channels.
You may keep browsing the site for more info or come back without fail on the 24th of November 2020 when the actual conference happens. Attend it and post completing the conference, you are entitled for a FREE Course on Coursera worth US$800. Can it get any better than this? The courses can be redeemed anytime until March 30,2021. These are the following courses on offer which you can avail.
This isn’t over yet. The event will see eminent speakers and product specialists which includes:
1. Aaron Baughman
2. Bill Higgins
3. Dale Davis
4. David Bartram-Shaw
5. David Carew
6. Don Scott
7. Fernando Perez
8. Francesca Rossi
9. Greg Bramble among others. Well, the list is real long (almost 35 speakers in total).
Do you know?
You can even host a watch party of this conference and watch it along with your friends.
There is a short video for you to watch to get to know more about this prestigious event.
Most importantly, for the developers, these sessions are made available On-Demand at launch. There is also a competition with Prize Money of US$5000 for Call for Code Spot Challenge on Wildfires. Ge your team together. Register for the Conference and be ready to take the world by storm, with your coding.
I have had always lived under the impression that writing a book is enough. I would be getting media attention and will find my book in any random book store of India. But the reality is way different than dreams. And authors are no exception to this. Immediate fame and instant bestsellers – all these feats are real – but it happens only with a handful of authors in a decade or so. The last two authors who got this feat in the last decade in India are, I think everyone knows them, Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi.
The list is fairly long enough to do some research on this topic i.e. how to become a national bestseller author. Well, I did some terrific research and found out that those who are writing books/novels consistently are now giving tough competition to Chetan Bhagat books. For example Preeti Shenoy, Durjoy Datta, Nikita Singh, Ravinder Singh, Ajay Pandey, and some more names.
Consistent authors with remarkable success are igniting hopes in millions of struggling and new and aspiring authors like me. So, the point is not to lose hope and keep writing good books.
So the journey began! I wrote a book! A fiction–novel. I prepared synopsis and blurb for the back cover. Also wrote an author bio. Polished first 3 chapters. Next, I made a list of traditional publishers of India. I sent them email, with valid attachments. It’s a history now. I never got reply and I couldn’t find a literary agent as well. As an author, I felt I am too lonely to get published via a right and traditional method.
Another side of the publishing industry is seeking best and trustable self-publishing companies. As soon as I Googled best self-publishing companies in India, I got to see only sponsored company names like Notion Press, White Falcon Publishing, Blue Rose Publishers, and a few more. I browsed their websites, one by one. Their offered packages were higher for my set budget. I emailed them but did not get proper response. But one thing was common, all these companies asked me to take their premium package for a gamut of facilities and good sales record. I took my time and did some research on each one of them. I found something startling – these companies were not marketing their books properly. I could hardly find blog reviews or coverage on Goodreads or Quora. On the name of book marketing, I found some coming soon/released now book posters and teasers on YouTube. I was not convinced. I tried Pothi…but their paper quality was too bad…they just printed books on bond paper, in addition to that they offered around 5 rupees royalty on a book priced at INR 150.
I made a list of self-publishing companies in India and browsed their websites and social media accounts. Checked some reviews on Google. All these companies were forcing me to opt for premium packages. I gave up on these big names. My next search option was Quora. I did extensive research and stumbled upon BookMedia Publishing Company, to my surprise it has many offices in India. I checked some of the books published by them have substantial social media coverage with relevant #hashtags and blog reviews were cool.
From the website, I got the number. I called and explained my motive. Immediately, I got response on WhatsApp. I chose to pick up a starter package due to my budget constraint. They had no problem, rather encouraged me to take that. First thing I realized that they are here for longer duration and are not greedy. My basic concern with them was book marketing support and publishing assistance. They happily provided me the following things:
· Cover design and typesetting with ISBN number.
· They provided two rounds of copy editing.
· My royalty was set 80 percent. So, on a Kindle when my book was priced as 100. Amazon took 30 rupees. From the 70 rupees, I got my royalty as 56 INR. It was fair enough.
· For the book marketing, they did cover my book on Amazon, Goodreads, Instagram, Book Review Blogs, Press Release and Author Interview on a news portal website, with YouTube teaser video. In addition, they did promote my book on more than 50 Facebook groups with relevant keywords. My book had healthy sales.
· Their distribution is great! I never saw my book getting out of stock on Amazon. Whenever my friends ordered, they get it on time. It means they maintain a strong inventory of books.
I personally liked their response or TAT (turn around time).
Overall, I fairly had a good time with BookMedia publishing company. Now I am about to finish my next book and will go with them once again. Anyone looking for an honest publishing deal can definitely pick them up. You can know more about them at their website: https://bookmedia.co/
1. What motivates you to write?
a. To tell a good story when the lead characters are having a need, along with the obstacles and conflict the character is about to face. Try to solve the obstacles gives me the motivation to write by infusing character arcs to the main characters.
2. How did you feel after publishing your books?
a. Great. It feels awesome, having published my book.
3. What are some of your favourite novels and authors?
a. Sei Samay by Sunil Gangopadhay
b. 1984 by George Orwell
c. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
d. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
e. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
4. Is there a specific reason for naming your novel?
a. Yes. While writing the story, I didn’t have any title in my mind. But after finishing it, I had few names in my mind but decided on the title, “The Paradise Conflict”
b. The story is about finding the lost Paradise by the Rebels and they are facing the obstacles by the Civil Imperial Regime. The conflict between the Rebels and the Civil Imperial Regime, the core conflict in the story. Thus, the title, “The Paradise Conflict”
5. Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beachside or the hills?
a. Not exactly. I had my inspiration from the real world issues around the world and took a step further in the future.
b. For example, 2019 Amazon Rainforest, Water crisis in the developing and the underdeveloped countries, excessive mining in the mountain areas.
6. What inspired you to write the books(in general)? Any tales to tell…
a. I have taken inspiration from few notable books in terms of structuring the protagonists and the antagonists from the books, 1984 by George Orwell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell.
7. What was your biggest learning experience throughout the writing process?
a. Structuring the story in a proper manner in three act structure.
i. Introducing the main characters, the world building
ii. The conflict in the main story and the obstacles
iii. Resolution to the situation by keeping the characters facing the obastacles
b. Character arcs to the main characters.
c. Maintaining continuity to the story
d. Telling the story with the necessary plot points
8. Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?
a. I always have the tendency to tell a story by introducing the character with a complexity and having an arc in three parts.
b. For example, Mitra was a bounty hunter of Imperial Regime and he is being paid for it. He hates the rebels and also he does not like the atrocities done by the Civil Imperial Regime.
c. Judy, who is a rebel spy, she killed Jaina to cover her tracks initially, so that the investigation can go on a different. She has a heart to save the world, she feels for the people, yet she had the complexity and the dilemma in her mind.
9. Any best piece of writing advice that you would like to share with new or struggling writers?
a. Read more. Understand the writing structure. I am still learning how to tell a better story.
b. I have written few short stories, with non-linear structures.
c. Experiment with the writing
10. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
a. I am a huge film buff too. For writing the action scenes in the book, I have read the scripts of few blockbuster and indie movies to write the hand to hand combat and chase sequences.
11. Any future books that you would like to discuss now?
a. Most probably, I will write a sequel to my current book.
b. My next book will a corporate espionage thriller, a gritty and grounded thriller with minimal action. More on investigation and character drama.
12. What other profession excites you the most?
13. Any special mention about your reader (be it with reviews/feedback or anything else)
a. Readers are always, always shall be the lifeline of a writer.
14. Do you write the story at a stretch or you take your time to complete it? If you take a longer time, wouldn’t you be forgetting the story? How do you tackle it?
a. I write at a stretch. I took six months to complete the First draft of The Paradise Conflict. Two months for the second Draft. Final draft took another six months, after discussions with my editor about the changes and additions.
15. Traditional or Self-Publishing? Why?
a. Self- Publishing. Because of the facilities provided in the package regarding the copyright.
16. How is the response so far for the book?
a. Till now the reviews and the feedback by the reviewers are extremely good. Let’s see, how it fares well in terms of sales.