Afaqs! makes a mark on the global map

Updated: Dec 12 2008, 04:02am hrs
Afaqs!, the erstwhile agencyfaqs!, which was launched nine years ago as an advertising, media and marketing website, was recently certified by ABC Electronic as the worlds largest website in its chosen space. The websites traffic was recorded at 2.67 million page impressions a month, surging ahead of previous world leaders, US website and UK website

Sreekant Khandekar, the co-founder and director, afaqs! says, Three years ago, when we got our first ABC certification, we realised that we were the worlds second-most viewed website in the field of advertising, media and marketing. Since then we have been determined to reach the top slot in the world. Afaqs!, whose certified page views have grown by more than 35% since 2007, was started nine years ago in a New Delhi garage by three people.

We, as a nine-year-old website, are proud to have achieved the top slot, considering the fact that the western sites operate in developed markets, are far better funded and have been in this space for decades, Khandekar says. Not only are we determined to keep growing, but also feel encouraged to explore opportunities outside India

GEs Katragadda pens the story of innovation

Even after six of independence, the population that works with its hands does not have the education and the population that has education does not work with its hands. This hampers innovation in the country. Gopichand Katragadda, general manager of India Engineering Operations for GE Energy, has delved into the problem of innovation in India and has come up with timely solutions to overcome the same in his forthcoming book SMASH Innovation: Smashing the Hand-Mind-Market Barrier.

Published by Wiley India, the book presents the history of global innovation and the patterns of success. There are detailed examples of Indian innovation and individual and organisational approaches to develop a strategy and a culture tuned to innovation. The author suggests various barriers to innovation and best practices to overcome them and organisational processes to manage innovation with case studies for creating an idea-rich environment.

Katragadda and his team of 1,600 engineers in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai produce next-generation designs for higher efficiency and environment-friendly energy solutions. Previously, as the operations manager for GE Global Research in Bangalore, he worked with the GEGR-B technology team of 400 researchers to deliver growth through innovation. The team filed over 225 US patents in just three years.

Katragadda is a certified GE Six-Sigma Master Black Belt. He is also on the Innovation task Force of the Confederation of Indian Industries.

Restaurant chain gets hungry for more guests

Food and beverages firm JSM Corp, which owns the exclusive franchise for the Hard Rock Cafe chain and hi-end restaurants such as Shiro and IndoChine, is mulling to expand in metropolitan cities and launch new formats and cuisines. By the middle of next year Delhi will have its own Hard Rock Cafe and we are planning to open Hard

Rock in other metro cities as well, Jay Singh, co-founder and executive director with JSM says.

The company is also planning to expand HRC, Singapore-based IndoChine restaurant and open its in-house Japanese restaurant Shiro in other metropolitan cities. It is considering to introduce several other brands in fine dining.

HRC will come up in metropolitan cities of Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi by next year. At the present it is located in places like Bengalaru and at the Hyderabad International Airport. JSM will also be expanding its business operations to manning and managing spaces within airports, malls and other public utilities. The company currently owns and manages Shiro in Mumbai, PitStop in Bangalore and IndoChine in New Delhi. They have aggressive plans to launch Shiro in Bangalore.

Contributed by Simran Arora & Vikram Chaudhury