Taboo: The East India Company And The True Horrors of Empire

first_imgWhen you left London the East India Company was a trading company,” Tom Hardy’s troubled anti-hero James Delaney is warned in the second episode of the BBC’s prime-time drama Taboo. “Now it is God Almighty.” Discussing the show before it aired, writer Stephen Knight referred to the East India Company as “the equivalent of the CIA, the NSA and the biggest, baddest multinational corporation on earth, all rolled into one self-righteous, religiously motivated monolith”.The East India Company (EIC) was certainly both economically and politically powerful in early 19th-century Britain. With large swathes of the Indian subcontinent under its control by 1818 and financial clout in London exceeded only by that of the Bank of England, the EIC didn’t get where it was by playing nicely.“We’ve screwed Maharajas, and we’ve screwed Moghuls” the EIC’s fictional chairman, Sir Stuart Strange, declares in episode three — something to which the numerous delegations from Indian rulers arriving in London in the first half of the 19th century could attest. These rulers believed that if they could present evidence of broken treaties, annexed lands and non-payment of obligations in the imperial capital, they would receive redress for the EIC’s bad faith. They were wrong. The slow encroachment of the East India Company on Indian land, resources and political authority continued unabated until it was violently cut short by the Indian Uprising of 1857.Absent IndiaBut India is strangely absent from Taboo’s depiction of early 19th-century London. London’s multi-ethnic foreshore features Africans, Chinese, a “Malay” and even a Maori, but there is little sign of the Indian lascars (sailors) and dockworkers who would also have populated the banks of the Thames. The EIC is positioned as an all-powerful antagonist, but the subcontinent from which it drew most of its wealth and power is alluded to only briefly, in vague references to a dispute between it and the Crown over Bombay. More airtime is given to its (historically non-existent) “Africa Desk”, while the plot centers around the trade in sea otter pelts from Vancouver to Canton and the anachronistic involvement of a Company ship in the transatlantic slave trade.In 1804, when the slave voyage that forms a narrative cornerstone of Taboo is supposed to have taken place, the slave trade was still legal. So the ill-fated voyage of the Cornwallis is presented not as a breach of national law, but of East India Company policy.Presumably, this is to get around the fact that the EIC was not involved in the transatlantic trade in this period. The last known voyage of an EIC slave vessel left Cabinda in Angola in 1765, nearly 50 years before the action in Taboo. That human cargo was headed for Bengkulu in Indonesia, not the sugar plantations of the West Indies. The EIC’s involvement in slave trafficking is a story that deserves to be told, but it was largely confined to 17th and early 18th centuries, and to the Indian, rather than the Atlantic Ocean.John Pinkerton’s map of India, published 1818.Pedantry over historical accuracy is exactly why my husband won’t watch period dramas with me anymore. The use of a supposed outbreak of cholera to cover up various illicit goings on in 1814 might be jarring given that the disease did not reach Britain until 1831, but ultimately the anomaly does not detract from enjoyment of the drama.Similarly, much of Taboo’s plot exposition regarding the nefarious activities of the East India Company goes on under the protection of the “raised hand”, which when raised in meetings excludes key revelations from the official minutes, and so from the historical archive. We do not know if this ever really happened, but is a clever device that creates space for some dramatic historical flights of fancy. As a historian of the period, I found it an evocative reminder of the silences in the historical record and the limitations on what we can glean about how the Company functioned from its voluminous manuscript records.What we know about the way the EIC operated, and how it related to parliament, the crown and its colonies does conflict with its representation in Taboo. But of course, in historical research there is always the potential for “unknown unknowns.”Imperial VillainsBut I do find other elements more significantly problematic. Particularly, the way in which Taboo inflates the role of the EIC as a global power, while simultaneously erasing its most significant sphere of influence and its most profound impacts.The East India Company is presented both as more powerful than it actually was and as guilty of atrocities it was not responsible for. Meanwhile, many of the crimes it actually did commit, such as facilitating the opium trade, exacerbating rural poverty and famine, and aggressively extracting revenue in India are written out of the narrative.Admittedly, the institutionalized exploitation of colonial resources through over-taxation and the slow drain of wealth are not particularly televisual, but they had long-lasting consequences for Indian society and economy. The silences and exaggerations in the depiction of this period of Britain’s colonial past are also important because they speak directly to how we understand the relationship between colonial exploitation and Britain’s social, economic and political development.In a world in which jingoistic nationalism and imperial nostalgia are becoming increasingly potent forces, Taboo’s portrayal of the dark heart of colonial expansion is a timely reminder of the violent, ambivalent and amoral origins of globalization. There is no doubt that there are some very “bad hombres” in this show, including Delaney himself (whose character seems to be symbolic of both British colonial violence and imperial paranoia about supposed “native” savagery).Yet by focusing on these Machiavellian figures as the movers and shakers of empire, Taboo allows the viewer to disassociate imperial misdeeds from mainstream British history. In doing so, it overlooks the pervasiveness of the imperial connection, its importance to the development of modern Britain, and the deep structural inequalities that resulted from Britain’s global expansion.Far from being the preserve of pantomime villains and all-powerful and unethical corporations, the impetus for – and profits from – slavery and colonial exploitation were deeply embedded in everyday life. They are therefore fundamentally entwined with our modern prosperity.The author is associate professor in British Colonial History, University of Leeds— The Conversation Related Itemslast_img read more

India’s Congress Party Used Cambridge Analytica Services, Says Whistleblower

first_imgCambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie said that he “believed” that India’s Congress party had used the controversial data analytics firm’s services for regional political campaigns and that the company had worked extensively in India. Wylie made the remarks while testifying before the United Kingdom Parliament on March 27.Wylie was deposing before the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS). The 28-year-old data analytics expert told the lawmakers that Cambridge Analytica has offices and employees in India, and offered to hand over relevant “documentation” to the Parliamentary committee investigating the matter.“They (Cambridge Analytica) worked extensively in India. They have an office in India… I believe their client was Congress but I know that they have done all kinds of projects. I don’t remember a national project but I know regionally. India’s so big that one state can be as big as Britain. But they do have offices there, they do have staff,” Wylie said under oath.#CambridgeAnalytica Whistleblower Names @INCIndiaCambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie has told #BritishParliament that #CambridgeAnalytica worked extensively in #India for #CongressParty— Sachin Singh (@sachinsingh1010) March 27, 2018At the hearing, personal data protection expert Paul-Olivier Dehaye said that an Indian billionaire paid SCL Group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, to make sure Congress lost the elections. He said that SCL Group’s former head of elections, Dan Muresan, was “pretending to work for one party but actually paid underhand by someone else,” according to the Times of India.Wylie also corroborated this partly, saying that Muresan, a Romanian national, was working in India before dying in Kenya under mysterious circumstances.India’s biggest national parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC), have been blaming each other for using Cambridge Analytica.The Congress asked Cambridge Analytica to name the NRI businessman who hired the firm to ensure Congress’ defeat in 2014. “BJP needs to answer. Who was the NRI businessman who hired Cambridge Analytica in the run-up to 2014 polls to manufacture false surveys, to ask leading questions and to bring down the government?,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, according to the Economic Times. “It is preposterous to assume that a company which was used by an NRI businessman to bring down the Congress government in 2014 will be used by the Congress,” Surjewala said.The BJP, on its part, demanded an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi over the issue. “The whistleblower has publicly confirmed that the Congress was indeed their client,” Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. “Rahul Gandhi had been trying to divert attention. Today, he stands exposed. The Congress and Rahul Gandhi must apologize to the nation.”Wylie said that data from 50 million Facebook accounts was sold to them at Cambridge Analytica, which then profiled the data and delivered pro-Donald Trump material for the 2016 United States elections. He said that Cambridge Analytica was also used in countries that are struggling democracies, which he called “an example of what modern-day colonialism looks like.”He added: “You have a wealthy company from a developed nation going into an economy or democracy that’s still struggling to get its feet on the ground – and taking advantage of that to profit from that.”Meanwhile, the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a notice to Cambridge Analytica asking for information related to data of Indians collected by the company or its associates.The revelations by Wylie over the last few days have put Facebook in a precarious position since the data used by Cambridge Analytica was leaked from the social media company. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has since then issued a statement apologizing for the mistake.The revelation has also worried lawmakers in the United States and the United Kingdom about the extent to which Cambridge Analytica influenced voters during the 2016 U.S. elections and the Brexit referendum earlier that year. Related ItemsCambridge Analyticachristopher wyliecongress partylast_img read more

U.S. Justice Dept Supports Asian American Students in Racial Bias Case Against Harvard

first_imgThe U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has shown its support to the Asian American students who have filed a case against Harvard University, alleging racial discrimination in the admission process.The justice department has filed a Statement of Interest in the case, defending the claim that “Harvard intentionally discriminates on the basis of race in admissions,” according to an official statement.Justice Department Files Statement of Interest in Harvard Discrimination Case Defending Claim That Harvard Intentionally Discriminates on the Basis of Race in Admissions— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) August 30, 2018Citing the “compelling evidence” presented by the students and parents behind the suit, that accuses Harvard of racial bias against Asian American candidates, the U.S. government urged the court to grant the plaintiffs the opportunity to prove their claims at trial.“No American should be denied admission to school because of their race,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in the Statement of Interest.“As a recipient of taxpayer dollars, Harvard has a responsibility to conduct its admissions policy without racial discrimination by using meaningful admissions criteria that meet lawful requirements. The Department of Justice has the responsibility to protect the civil rights of the American people. This case is significant because the admissions policies at our colleges and universities are important and must be conducted lawfully,” he added.Harvard also issued a statement on Aug. 30, saying, “We are deeply disappointed that the Department of Justice has taken the side of Edward Blum and Students for Fair Admissions, recycling the same misleading and hollow arguments that prove nothing more than the emptiness of the case against Harvard.”Edward Blum is the president of Students for Fair Admissions, an Asian American students’ group that filed the suit against Harvard in 2014 alleging discrimination in its admission process.The DOJ said that it had started a parallel investigation after it received a complaint by more than 60 Asian American organizations last year. These organizations included the Global Organization of Persons of Indian Origin, National Federation of Indian-American Associations, American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin, and BITS Sindri Alumni Association of North India, according to IANS.The papers submitted in the court by DOJ said that Harvard admits that it uses race to decide whether to admit certain applicants to the college. It stressed that as per a Supreme Court precedent, Harvard must demonstrate that the usage of race does not result in illegal discrimination, but the institution has failed to do so.“While Harvard admits to using race in its admissions process, it has failed to provide any meaningful criteria to explain how it weighs race against other factors in a candidate’s application (e.g., test scores and extracurricular activities), and how it limits its use of race to ensure that no illegal discrimination occurs. Supreme Court precedent requires Harvard to provide such an explanation, which it has failed to do in this case,” the government said.However, Harvard defended the use of applicant’s race in admission process, saying, “Harvard does not discriminate against applicants from any group, and will continue to vigorously defend the legal right of every college and university to consider race as one factor among many in college admissions, which the Supreme Court has consistently upheld for more than 40 years.”The government submission also underlined the practice of “personal rating” during admissions and said that it may be biased against Asian Americans, as based merely on a review of the applicant’s file, Harvard rates its applicants based on “subjective” factors such as “likability” and being a “good person” with “human qualities.”Earlier, Asian Americans groups were up in arms when the review by Harvard’s Office of Institutional Research revealed that, on average, it scores Asian American applicants lower on “personal rating” than applicants from other ethnicity.Harvard called this interpretation of “personal rating” totally wrong, and said, “ The personal rating reflects a wide range of applicant information, such as personal essays, which Harvard uses to understand the applicant’s full life story, for example, where the student grew up, what opportunities or challenges they faced in their families and communities, and what impact they might have both at Harvard and after they graduate, as citizens and leaders out in the world.”The DOJ, in its submission, opposed the attempts of “racial balance” in admissions, which it said, have resulted in stable racial demographics in Harvard’s admitted classes from year to year. It also alleged that “Harvard—while using race to make admissions decisions for more than 45 years—has never seriously considered alternative, race-neutral ways to compile a diverse student body, which it is required to do under existing law.”The trial in this case will start in Boston in October, CNN reported. Related ItemsacademicsAsian AmericansHarvardlast_img read more

Sikh Temple Could Build Bridge Between India And Pakistan

first_imgRising above a placid stretch of rice paddies and wheat fields in southern Punjab province is a graceful white-domed temple. To followers of the Sikh religion, 21 million of whom live in next-door India, it is a sacred site where Guru Nanak Devji, a founder of Sikhism, spent the last decade of his life and was buried after his death, nearly 550 years ago.For the past 70 years, though, the site has remained either shuttered or mostly empty – captive to the historic enmity stemming from Partition, the process that violently sundered India in 1947 and created Pakistan as a Muslim homeland.The temple sits just three miles from the border with India, but the psychological distance is much greater. It is one of the most tense, militarized boundaries in the world, with thousands of troops guarding both sides of razor-wire fences. The countries have fought two wars, and shootings often erupt across the “line of control” that divides the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.Indian Sikh pilgrims who want to visit the temple on special occasions, such as Guru Nanak’s death anniversary, must obtain a Pakistani visa, walk across the only official border opening 75 miles away and travel two hours by bus to reach the isolated temple. Others find it easier to visit a designated spot on the other side, where they can view it through binoculars.But now, the Pakistani government has announced plans to open a new border crossing directly across from the temple and build a connecting road scheduled to open in November. It is a modest but high-profile gesture that officials said they hope will help improve relations with Pakistan’s Hindu-led, nuclear-armed adversary next door.The idea sprang from a conversation between Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, and an Indian Sikh politician and former cricket star, Navjot Singh Sidhu, at the inauguration of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in August. On Nov. 28, both officials joined Khan at a groundbreaking ceremony outside the temple, along with foreign ambassadors and Indian journalists.Making an emotional plea for rapprochement, Khan told the crowd that Pakistan’s government, army and political parties “are all on one page. We want to move forward.” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a strong Hindu nationalist, reciprocated in kind. “Did anyone ever think that the Berlin Wall would fall?” Modi said in a statement. “Maybe with the blessings of Guru Nanak Devji, this corridor . . . will act as a bridge between the peoples of the two countries.”But years of deep-seated animosity soon intruded on the hopeful moment. India’s foreign minister declined to attend the ceremony, citing “prior commitments,” and sent two lower-ranking officials who are Sikhs. The Hindu and Sikh religions have common roots in India, but Sikhs believe in a single deity, while Hindus worship a variety of human and animal gods.Pakistan’s foreign minister accused India of playing politics with the issue. Modi blamed his internal opposition Congress party for “letting Kartarpur go” in 1947 and cutting off the temple from India. Khan complained that the Indian media had disparaged his gesture as a stunt.Despite the high-level wrangling, many Pakistanis expressed strong support for the border opening here, saying they hoped it could ease the long-standing tensions that have kept two neighboring armies on alert and the specter of nuclear war hanging over the region.Members of Pakistan’s small Sikh community, which numbered several million before Partition but has now dwindled to about 30,000, were especially excited. Many said they visit the temple at least once a year, and explained that it holds a strong place in their emotions and beliefs.“It takes me to another world. I feel a calmness there like nowhere else,” said Sarbir Singh, 41, who owns a bridal shop at a crowded bazaar in Rawalpindi city. “All of us want both countries to be at peace and their people to mingle,” he said. “This is a first step, and God willing it will lead to more.”The lane to the temple in Kartarpur, off a bumpy farm road, is marked with a sign in English, Urdu and Hindi Sanskrit. The grounds are surrounded by sugar cane fields, and the border is just over the horizon, with bulldozers at work to build the new road.On a recent Wednesday, a small stream of visitors arrived to tour the site, a walled compound that was built in 1921. Inside are neatly tended gardens, pristine tiled pavilions, and a carved white building containing vividly decorated chambers for praying and reading from Sikhism’s holy book, the guru granth.Most of the visitors were Pakistani Muslims, who said they had come partly out of curiosity, and partly to pay their respects. Saima Afzal, 34, drove from Lahore in a minivan with her children and other relatives.“We have heard since childhood about this guru, that he was a great thinker who cared about humanity,” Afzal said. “We are Muslims but we respect him. We want to see more trade with India, and more understanding. When people meet, they start to know each other.”The temple is managed by a Pakistani Sikh, Govind Singh. A fountain of information on Sikh history, he has lived in the temple compound since 2000, when the site was reopened after being shuttered since 1947.Singh said that all previous Pakistani governments had respected the Sikh religion, and that Pakistanis had never shown the ill-will to Sikhs that historically tarred their relations with Hindus. But even since the temple reopened, he said, only about 15,000 Sikhs a year have managed to come from abroad, including about 4,000 from India, because it was so difficult to reach.Now, Singh said, “Sikhs all over the world are full of happiness. We pray that the bridge to Kartarpur will bring them all here.”(c) 2018, The Washington Post Related Itemslast_img read more

Argentine Tourist Dies After Freak Bull Attack in Jaipur

first_imgA tourist from Argentina was mauled to death by a bull in Jaipur on Nov. 19. The man was taken to the hospital immediately but he died after suffering injuries on the neck.John Pablo, 29, was visiting the pink city with another tourist when he was hit by a bull, the police said. He was taken to a government hospital where he died. The incident took place at the area under Manak Chowk Police Station. He had arrived in India on Oct. 27. The Embassy of Argentina was informed about the incident, the police said.The Jaipur Municipal Corporation reportedly cracked down on illegal dairies running in the city after Pablo’s death, according to Times Now.Tourist arrivals in Rajasthan during 2015-16 (up to December 2015) were 36.66 million, according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) — a trust established by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is part of the golden triangle of tourism, which also includes Agra and Delhi. One can easily do the tour of the three cities in 4-5 days.#Jaipur: A foreign national dies after being attacked by a bull in Manak Chowk police station area. He was rushed to a hospital after injuries, and later succumbed— ANI (@ANI) November 19, 2017In July, 2017, a bike rider was horrifically injured after a bull charged at him in Hanumangarh, Rajasthan. The bull tackled the man, who fell from his bike, and lay in a pool of blood before being taken to the hospital.The accidental death of a British tourist recently also exposed the unpredictable situations that can arise in India. In October, British national Roger James, 58, fell off a height of 30-35 feet from the second floor of the famous Laxmi temple at Orchha in Madhya Pardesh while taking a selfie. James was with his wife when the incident took place.“Other tourists and officials on duty called an ambulance and he was taken to the Orchha government hospital and from there he was referred to Jhansi, looking at the seriousness of his injuries,” Tikamgarh Additional SP Rajesh Khaka had said then. “However, his wife insisted that he be taken to Ram Raja hospital in Orchha, where he died during treatment.” Related ItemsGolden TriangleJaipurRajasthanlast_img read more

Sikh Youth From Overseas Being Trained by Pakistan’s ISI: Indian Govt

first_imgSikh youth from abroad are being trained by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to carry out terror attacks in India, according to a report by the Indian home ministry that was tabled in Parliament on March 19.Some Sikhs living in Europe, Canada and the United States are being instigated against India with false and malicious propaganda, the report said. The ISI is pressuring “commanders” of terror groups in Pakistan to expand terror plant in Punjab and other parts of India.“Sikh youth are being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan. Interdictions and interrogations have revealed use of jailed cadres, unemployed youth, criminals and smugglers by Pakistan-based Sikh terror groups for facilitating terror attacks,” the report said, according to the Press Trust of India.Radicalization of youth by terrorist groups through misuse of the internet and social media has become a big challenge, according officials of the home ministry, the report, called “Central armed police forces and internal security challenges-evaluation and response mechanism,” said. There have been developments on the Sikh militancy front, it added.“The problem is further accentuated by the fact that the terror groups have started using secure social media platforms and proxy servers etc. to avoid detection by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Activities of radicalized people returning from conflict areas and threat of lone wolf attack are also a challenge,” it said.The ministry added that India is still the main focus of terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) and a faction of Indian Mujahideen besides groups like SIMI and Al-Unmah, all of which are based in Pakistan.The report further added that new life is being give to JeM in Pakistan to attack India while the Islamic State and al-Qaida have started creating new challenges. It also mentioned a group that was perpetuating violence and posing a threat to internal security. The ministry said, “Since its formation in September 2004, CPI(Maoist) has emerged as the most potent among the LWE outfits active in the country.”Recently, Indian officials were banned from gurdwaras in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Relations between a section of the Sikh diaspora and India have been fraught with friction over the Khalistan issue and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Related Itemsindia pakistan relationskhalistanTerrorismlast_img read more

31 Businesspersons Under CBI Investigation Absconding from India, Says Govt

first_imgAs many as 31 businessmen from India are absconding and are under investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), New Delhi, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.The list includes Vijay Mallya, Jatin Mehta, Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi. The five fugitive Indians are among the 12 absconding businessmen being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).“The Ministry of External Affairs received extradition requests from CBI in respect of Mallya, Ashish Jobanputra, Pushpesh Kumar Baid, Sanjay Kalra, Varsha Kalra and Arti Kalra which have been sent to the concerned foreign countries for their consideration,” Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar said in the Lok Sabha on March 14 in reply to a question by Badaruddoza Khan.“The extradition request from CBI in respect of Sunny Kalra is under process by the Ministry of External Affairs,” he added.In reply to another question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said that the extradition proposals for fugitives Raymond Andrew Varley, Ravi Shankaran, Ajay Prasad Khaitan, Virendra Kumar Rastogi and Anand Kumar Jain, JK Angurala and Asha Rani Angurala and Jakkula Srinivas have been rejected by the UK government. A UK court also declined to issue warrants for arrest of Rishikesh Surendra Kardile, Patrick Charles Bowering and Kartik Venugopal, on the ground of insufficient evidence of extradition offence.In the last three years, only one fugitive — Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel — has been extradited from the United Kingdom. Patel was extradited on Oct. 18, 2016 based on the extradition treaty between India and the United Kingdom. Currently, there are 16 extradition requests in respect of fugitives pending with the UK government.To stop businessmen from leaving the country after committing fraud, the Indian government has decided to introduce the ‘Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018’ in parliament. The Bill would help in laying down measures to deter fugitive economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law. It provides for expeditious confiscation of proceeds of crime and properties of the fugitive economic offender with an aim to make him submit to the jurisdiction of courts in India.The government of India has come under pressure to implement stringent policies in place after high-profile cases like those involving Mallya, Modi and Choksi came to light. The government has also made mandatory for businessmen borrowing Rs 50 crore or more to provide passport details. Related ItemsCBIEnforcement DirectorateExtraditionlast_img read more

LuLu Chairman, Unilever Honcho Named Top Indian Business Owner, Executive in Arab World: Forbes

first_imgYusuff Ali MA, the chairman and managing director of the LuLu Group International, is the topmost Indian business owners in the Middle East, according to a recent list released by Forbes Middle East. BR Shetty, the founder-chairman of BRS Ventures, and Ravi Pillai, the founder-chairman of RP Group of Companies, figure at the second and third spot, respectively, in the list of  follow Yusuff Ali in the magazine’s list of “Top 100 Indian Business Owners in The Arab World 2018.”Indian-origin billionaires based in Gulf have a collective net worth of $30.8 billion, according to Forbes’ World’s Billionaires 2018.Forbes Middle East also released two more lists — “Top 50 Indian Executives In The Arab World 2018,” and “Top Indian Leaders: Next Generation 2018” — to acknowledge the contribution of the Indian diaspora in the Arab world.Sanjeev Kakkar, executive vice president, Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus of Unilever, was named as the topmost Indian executive in the Middle East, followed by Kalyana Sivagnanam, president/ regional vice president of Nissan Middle East/ Africa, Middle East and India.“The Indian community is the most populous expat community in the Gulf, and probably the most successful too,” the publication said. “Many are long time residents of the region, having come to the Gulf much before the advent of oil that prospered the local economies.”The Forbes magazine also acknowledged the next generation of Indian leaders in the Gulf, who will carry forward their parents’ legacies, and play an active role in their family businesses. The list was topped by Binay Shetty, vice chairman and CEO of BRS Ventures, followed by Ganesh Ravi Pillai, vice president of RP GRoup.Top 10 Indian Business Owners in the Arab World 2018:Yusuff Ali M.A., Chairman and Managing Director of LuLu GroupB.R.Shetty, Founder and Chairman of the BRS VenturesRavi Pillai, Founder and Chairman of RP Group of Companies.Sunil Vaswani, Group Chairman of the Stallion Group.Sunny Varkey, Chairman of Global Education Management Systems (GEMS)Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman and Managing Director of VPS HealthcareJoy Alukkas, Chairman and Managing Director of Alukkas Group.Rizwan Sajan, Founder and Chairman of Danube Group.Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman of Mulk Holdings.Basheer Kunhiparambath, Chairman of Western International Group Top 50 Indian Executives in the Arab World 2018:Sanjeev Kakka (Unilever)Kalyana Sivagnanam (Nissan)Adnan Chilwan (Dubai Islamic Bank)Amit Jain (Emaar Properties)Prasanth Manghat (NMC Health)Amit Kaushal (Dubai Holdings)Sunil Kaushal (Standard Chartered)Arun Khehar (Oracle)Raghu Malhotra (MasterCard)Tariq Chauhan (EFS Facilities Services Group) Top Indian Leaders: Next Generation 2018 in the Middle East: Binay Shetty, BRS VenturesGanesh Ravi Pillai, RP Group of CompaniesDino Varkey, GEMS EducationJohn Paul Alukkas, Joyalukkas GroupAdel Sajan, Danube HomeAdnan Ul Mulk, Mulk HoldingsAkbar Moideen Thumbay, Thumbay GroupNizar TN, Western International GroupNawas Basheer, Western International GroupAlisha Moopen, Clinics and Hospitals GCC of Aster DM Healthcare Related Itemsforbes listGulfLuLu Grouplast_img read more

Lexus in India: What lies ahead for Toyota’s premium brand?

first_imgIt has been quite some time since news spread of the Lexus brand coming to India. But now after many years of contemplating, Lexus is officially here in India. So what is Lexus and how is it any special from the plethora of other brands existing around the world? Lexus, to start with, is the luxury car division of the Toyota.The Lexus marque is marketed in more than 70 countries worldwide and has become Japan’s largest-selling make of premium cars. Lexus originated from a corporate project to develop a new premium sedan, which began in 1983 and culminated in the launch of the Lexus LS in 1989. Lexus did not exist as a brand in its home market until 2005 and all vehicles marketed internationally as Lexus from 1989 to 2005 were released in Japan under the Toyota brand name.Lexus vehicles are largely produced in Japan but Canada got an assembly plant lately as well. So now that we are done with the history lesson, let’s tell you about the models which have been launched here in India and those which are coming soon.Price:At a recent event Lexus announced that they are entering the Indian market with three models. This includes the RX 450h SUV, the ES 300h sedan and the LX 450d SUV. While the RX 450h is priced at Rs 1.07 crore, the F-Sport variant of the RX will cost 1.10 crore. The ES 300h is priced at Rs 55.3 lakh. The third model in the pipeline, the LX 450d is expected to cost in upwards of Rs 2 crore (all prices ex-showroom). So the one thing which is pretty clear is that the Lexus brand will cater to a very niche audience. Now let’s get to the cars one by one.advertisementLexus RX 450hThe RX 450h is a hybrid SUV which measures in at under five meters and in general should compete with the Audi Q5. However looking at the price tag, the only viable competition here in India will be the Porsche Macan. The RX 450h uses a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine which churns out 308bhp and 335Nm of torque.Lexus RX 450hLexus RX 450hIn addition there are multiple permanent magnet motors which take care of propulsion as well. Power is fed to these motors using a 37kW battery pack. This AWD hybrid SUV therefore can sprint to 100kmph in 7.9 seconds and has a top speed of 180kmph. The RX 450h comes loaded with luxury features which justify the price as well.Lexus RX 450hLexus ES 300hThe second car launched is the ES 300h. As most of you might have guessed that the ‘h’ at the end of the name means that it is a hybrid and you are right. The ES300h features the brand’s razor sharp styling which gives it a unique look. But to be honest under all that fancy bodywork hides a Toyota Camry hybrid. All that flash and especially the Lexus badge slot it right below the existing BMW 5-Series sedan.Lexus ES 300hSurprisingly the powertrain is also identical to the Camry hybrid which sells in India. So under the bonnet resides a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor, mated to a CVT gearbox, for a combined output of 200bhp.Lexus LX450dThe third entrant will be the LX450d which is not a hybrid. It is actually a re-skinned Toyota Land Cruiser and the price is expected to be over Rs 2 crore.Lexus LX450dSo what does this ultra-expensive SUV offer? The LX will be available as a diesel-only model and will use the same 269bhp, 4.5-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel motor found on the Land Cruiser LC200. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic and Lexus claims a 0-100kph sprint time of 8.6 seconds.Sales and ServiceMoving onto the sales and service bit of Lexus. The company will start CBU operations here in India with four dealers in four metros. Additionally four service centres will also be operational in Chandigarh, Kochi, Hyderabad and Chennai.ALSO READ:Lexus enters India in style; launches ES300h, RX Luxury and RX F-Sport ALSO READ:Lexus range in India: Everything you need to knowlast_img read more

6 Ways to Cut Your Credit Card Interest Payments

first_imgFrom the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,There’s a specific conversation I frequently have with people around my age. As they get closer to middle adulthood and look back on everything they’ve learned about money, they start to wonder – why didn’t they teach us this stuff… Full Story,Depending on what you look for in a card, one of these may be a perfect fit your do-it-yourself projects. Follow along to learn more about these top five credit cards for DIYers. Full Story,In many ways, our credit determines our power as consumers. The strength of our credit profile and score enable us to rent an apartment, take out a car loan, and sign up for a cell phone number. Can you imagine… Full Story,Travel credit cards are available with a wide array of rewards, redemption options, fees, and bonuses. Weeding through so many general and branded travel rewards cards can be tough, so we picked out some favorites for a wide range of travel styles – so you can find the best travel credit card for your wallet.Full Story,Traveling abroad carries with it all sorts of potential credit issues. Some are just mildly annoying, but some can leave you stranded in Amsterdam, relying on the help of a broke friend you haven’t seen since high school. To avoid those issues and everything in between, here are some tips for using credit abroad. Full Story,The top reward credit cards cater to an array of desires. Whether you want to get cash back or earn miles and points toward free travel, the cards below are all a great place to get started.Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated by some of the links that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint Partners were added after the creation… Full Storylast_img read more

Food Storage 101: How to Properly Store Meat, Dairy, and Produce for Maximum Savings

first_imgWhen summer farmer’s markets start filling up, it’s easy to buy too much of a good thing. Or at least, too much for your family to eat before it goes bad.In fact, Americans throw out 14% of the food they buy, not counting table scraps and leftovers, according to government estimates. But you can easily cut that figure back.Step 1: Become a better meal planner, which allows for better assessments of how much to buy.Step 2: Organize your pantry and refrigerator to better showcase ingredients, so that lunch meat never gets lost in the back of the fridge.Step 3: Figure out the typical shelf life for items you buy, so you know what’s on the critical must-cook list, and what can wait until tomorrow.For help, try our handy (updated) storage guide below, compiled with data from the USDA,, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, Food52, LifeHacker,,, Self magazine and the Food Marketing Institute, among other sources:MeatsBeefStore on the bottom shelf in the fridge. As a general rule of thumb, ground meat keeps well for one to two days, and roasts and steaks are safe for three to five days.PoultryStore on the bottom shelf in the fridge, with a few paper towels underneath to catch any drips. Keep no more than one to two days.FishStore in the coldest part of the fridge for no more than two days, according to the University of Arizona. Even there, it’ll keep better on a bed of ice.PorkStore on the bottom shelf in the fridge. Per USDA guidelines, fresh pork liver and other organ meats can be safely refrigerated for one to two days; roast, steaks, chops and ribs for three to five days.Prepared MeatsOnce opened, a package of hot dogs can be safely refrigerated for up to a week. (Unopened packs can last for up to two weeks.) Deli-sliced lunch meats stay fresh for three to five days, and bacon, up to seven days.DairyMilkKeep milk and other dairy items at the back of the fridge’s top shelf, where the temperature is more constant. That keeps them fresher longer.CheeseWrap in waxed paper and then place in a plastic bag. Stored in the fridge, it can last five to eight days.EggsDon’t use the handy egg-specific door storage. Store in their carton, on a fridge shelf, where they can last up to five weeks. ProduceApplesStore on the counter. Move any uneaten apples to the refrigerator after seven days. In the fridge or out, don’t store near most other uncovered fruits or vegetables — the ethylene gases produced by apples can ruin them (making carrots bitter, for example). The exception: if you want to ripen plums, pears and other fruits quickly, put an apple nearby for a day or so.ArtichokesRefrigerate in the vegetable crisper whole for up to two weeks.AsparagusStore upright in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with either an inch of water or with a damp towel wrapped around the base, just like you would have flowers in a vase. They’ll last three to four days that way.AvocadosRipen on the counter. Can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days once ripe.BananasStore on the counter. Refrigerate only when ripe — they’ll last for another two days or so.BeetsRemove green tops an inch or two above the crown. Refrigerate beets in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss, which leads to wilting. (They’ll last seven to 10 days.) Refrigerate greens separately, also in a plastic bag. Best in the vegetable crisper.BerriesGrower Driscoll’s recommends refrigerating berries in the crisper, unwashed and in their original container. Blueberries and strawberries should keep for five to seven days; more fragile raspberries and blackberries up to two days.BroccoliRefrigerate in the vegetable crisper in a sealed plastic bag. It’ll keep for three to five days.CarrotsRefrigerate in the vegetable crisper in a sealed plastic bag for up to three weeks.CauliflowerRefrigerate in the vegetable crisper, stem side down, in a sealed plastic bag. It’ll last three to five days.CeleryRefrigerate in the vegetable crisper one to two weeks in a sealed bag. Keep in the front of the refrigerator, where it’s less apt to freeze.Citrus fruitsStore oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit on the counter. They can last up to two weeks.CornRefrigerate ears still in the husk. They’ll last up to two days.CucumbersRefrigerate, either in the crisper or in a plastic bag elsewhere in the fridge. They’ll last four to five days.GarlicStore in the pantry, or any similar location away from heat and light. It’ll last up to four months.Green beansRefrigerate in the vegetable crisper in a plastic bag for three to four days.Green onionsRefrigerate in the vegetable crisper for up to two weeks.HerbsFresh herbs can last seven to 10 days in the refrigerator. Store in air-tight containers with a damp paper towel on the top and bottom.Leafy greensRefrigerate unwashed in the vegetable crisper. Full heads will last five to seven days that way, instead of three to four days for a thoroughly drained one. Avoid storing in the same drawer as apples, pears or bananas, which release ethylene gases that act as a natural ripening agent.MushroomsTake out of the package and store in a paper bag in the refrigerator, or place on a tray and cover with a wet paper towel. They’ll last two to three days.OnionsStored in the pantry, away from light and heat, they’ll last three to four weeks.PeachesRipen on the counter in a paper bag punched with holes, away from sunlight. Keep peaches (as well as plums and nectarines) on the counter until ripe, and then refrigerate. They’ll last another three to four days.PearsStore on the counter, ideally, in a bowl with bananas and apples, and then refrigerate after ripening. They’ll last another three to four days.PeasRefrigerated in the vegetable crisper in a plastic bag perforated with holes, they’ll last three to five days.PeppersRefrigerated in the vegetable crisper, they’ll last four to five days.PotatoesStore them in the pantry away from sunlight and heat, and they’ll last two to three months.RadishesRefrigerate in the vegetable crisper. They’ll last 10 to 14 days.Summer squashRefrigerate in a perforated plastic bag. They’ll last four to five days.TomatoesSpread them out on the counter out of direct sunlight for even ripening. After ripening, store stem side down in the refrigerator and they’ll last two to three days.Tropical fruitMangoes, papayas, pineapples and kiwi fruit should be ripened on the counter.WatermelonKept at room temperature on the counter, it’ll last up to two weeks.Winter squashesStore on the counter for up to two weeks.Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedBest Tips for Shopping at the Grocery Store on a BudgetJuly 24, 2019In “Food Budgets”Goal Setting: How to Become A Better SaverSeptember 4, 2019In “Financial Goals”How Much Should Your Monthly Grocery Budget Be?October 22, 2019In “Food Budgets” Post navigationlast_img read more

Mint Money Diary: Coffee Habits and Long Dinners

first_imgA Day in My Mint Money Diary 7:30 am – Wake up and decide that I need coffee, Starbucks specifically. I own a coffee maker and live literally next door to a local coffee shop, but Starbucks is engrained in my brain as my morning drink and nothing else will do.7:45 am – Crawl out of bed and notice that there is ice on my bedroom window. Make a mental note that I need to dry clean my winter jacket and sweaters before it gets any colder, they’ve been collecting dust and weird smells in my closet since March.8:00 am – It’s too cold to walk to get coffee, so I head out to my car in my pajamas and Ugg slippers, which I’m usually too embarrassed to wear outside of the house. Desperate times.8:15 am – I drive to the Starbucks that’s further away but has a drive-thru. I’m almost out of gas, but I decide that it can wait. Venti Iced Latte with an extra shot: $4.85.8:30 am – I finally have the emotional fortitude (read: espresso shots) to shower and get ready for work.9:15 am – Walk to work. I recently moved and almost doubled my rent, but I now live within walking distance to work and downtown. The money is worth the convenience.9:30 am – 3 pm – Work. Work. Work. Drink 3 Diet Cokes at my desk because I lack self control.3:15 pm – Walk back home to finish working and eat lunch. I felt very ambitious at the grocery store earlier this week and told myself that I was going to make all of my meals. I don’t actually enjoy cooking and eat half a block of blue cheese instead.6:00 pm – Make another Starbucks run. It’s sleeting outside now and I decide that I’m definitely not leaving my house the rest of the night. Venti Iced Latte with an extra shot: $4.85.7:30 pm – My old roommate and his boyfriend invite me to dinner. I initially say no, but they guilt me and say that they haven’t seen me in months (we hung out last week.) I wonder if I’m wasting my 20’s staying in on Friday night and binge watching Criminal Minds, so I decide to go.8:00 pm – I head out to pick everyone up for dinner. My gas light is blinking more aggressively so I finally stop to get gas. I’m late to dinner (as usual) and tempted to just get enough to make it to the restaurant and back, but remember that my dad told me it’s important to always have a full tank in the winter. I’m not sure if gas can actually freeze in your tank, but I fill up anyway. Gas: $35.428:30 pm – 11 pm – I LOVE long dinners, much to the detriment of most servers and my wallet. Dinner, drinks and an espresso night cap: $42.97 + tip. I leave some extra tip money because the server listened to my friends and I talk about robots for 3 hours and I appreciate his patience.11:30 pm – Drive home and discover that my car has heated seats. I’m glad that I filled up earlier so I can blast the heat with the windows down, which I realize is wasteful and probably bad for the environment but feels incredible. The after dinner espresso may have been a poor choice and I binge watch Criminal Minds for a few hours. Maybe you can have it all. Whether you’re a super saver or supreme spender, the accountability of tracking your money will get you thinking about how you’re spending. Send us your Money Diary and get it published anonymously on the Mint Life Blog! Editor_Mint@intuit.comShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Occupation: Social Media ManagerIndustry: Digital MarketingAge: 26Location: Indianapolis, INPaycheck: $2,500/month after health/vision insurance deductionsMonthly ExpensesRent: $700Car Insurance: $65Renters Insurance: $16Utilities: $75 (Internet, Electric, Gas)Dental Insurance (not through work): $15Hulu: $10Spotify: $10Gym Membership: $39 Post navigationcenter_img Total: $88.09 Additional ExpensesCredit Card Payment: $305 I usually pick one bill to put on my credit card and pay it off in full each month. This month was my trip to the orthodontist. Student Loans: $29,000last_img read more

The 4 P’s of Email: How to Find Success With This “Dead” Marketing Tool

first_img Email Marketing: Trends, Tools, and Tactics for 2014 and Beyond From Michael BarberHave you tried following the “new” four P’s in your email marketing? How’s it worked for you? Share your experiences with us in the comments. Email Marketing Originally published Apr 18, 2014 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Topics: Some people think email is dead. They say that it’s become so cluttered and spammy that it should be swapped in favor for newer, flashier ways of communicating. Well, hate to break it to you, but those folks are wrong. And I’ve got a SlideShare presentation to back me up.Michael Barber, VP of Strategy at COHN, Inc. put together the presentation below on the email trends, tools, and tactics you should know this year. I won’t steal all of Michael’s thunder, but he’ll explain why the platform is thriving and give you a new way of looking at email strategies by using McKinsey’s framework for the new four P’s. If you’re looking to give your email marketing an overhaul or just tweak it slightly to perform better this year (and beyond), flip through the slides below. You’ll also get some examples of brands who are currently rocking this framework in their email marketing strategies.So go on, get inspired and informed on the latest and greatest in email marketing. last_img read more

A Simple Guide to Web Traffic Terms

first_img Originally published Jul 15, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Views, visits, visitors — it’s all the same, right? Not so fast, speed racer. If that’s your way of thinking, you could be misinterpreting your traffic data and making some ill-informed decisions.  Because lots of people tend to throw these various terms around all willy-nilly, I’ve compiled a nice little cheat sheet so you can truly understand what’s what, interpret your website analytics correctly, and make well-informed, data-backed decisions about your marketing. Before you read on, it’s important to note that various analytics tools may have slightly different definitions of the following terms. It’s best to consult your particular tool’s documentation to understand exactly how each is calculated.Pageviews/ViewsA pageview (in Google Analytics) or a view (in HubSpot) is counted when a page on your site is loaded by a browser. It is counted every time the respective tool’s tracking code is loaded. In other words, if a person were to view a page on your site and reload the page in their browser, that would count as two views. If a person viewed one page, viewed a second page on your website, and then returned to the original page, that would count as three views.Pageview data is great for understanding your site’s stickiness. Are they visiting one page and then bouncing? Or are they sticking around to check out more of your website’s content?Unique PageviewsA calculation you’ll find in Google Analytics, unique pageviews aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session (see definition of session below). A unique pageview is the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times. So if a person viewed the same page twice (or more times) during an individual session, unique pageviews would only count that pageview once.VisitsIn general, a visit is when someone reaches your website from a referring source outside your website domain. Usually, analytics tools only attribute one visit even if a person goes to multiple pages on your site while they’re there. In other words, a person can accrue multiple pageviews during one visit. This is why pageview counts are generally larger than visit counts.In HubSpot’s software specifically, if a person were to visit your website, click a link that took them to another website, and then come back to your website, that would count as two visits.SessionsA session — which is specific to Google Analytics — is a group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. In other words, a session is the container for the actions a user takes on your site within that time frame. While similar to visits in that one session can involve multiple pageviews, it’s this additional layer of timing that makes sessions unique. By default, sessions in Google Analytics last 30 minutes, but you can adjust this length to last just a few seconds or a few hours at a time. A session ends and a new session starts for a user when either A) there has been 30 minutes of inactivity and the user becomes active again, B) the clock strikes midnight, or C) a user arrives via one campaign, leaves, and then comes back via a different campaign.In contrast to HubSpot’s definition of visits, if a person comes your site, leaves, but returns within 30 minutes, Google Analytics will count it as one session, not two. In addition, if a person is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity on your site is attributed to a new session, even if they’ve never left your site. This is why HubSpot users may see a discrepancy between visits in HubSpot and sessions in Google Analytics. Visitors/UsersA visitor, or a user in Google Analytics, is someone who visits your site. Keep in mind that a single visitor/user can have multiple visits to your site, (or sessions in Google Analytics). In HubSpot’s software, for example, a visitor is tracked by the cookie placed in their browser by the HubSpot tracking code installed on your website. In Google Analytics, how users are calculated is a bit more complicated. If you were to segment your analytics by a particular time frame, for example, the visitors/users count would tell you how many different individual people visited your site during that period of time. New vs. Returning Users/VisitorsA report you’ll find in Google Analytics, this shows the ratio of new to returning users by number of sessions and percentage of sessions. A new user has never been to your site before, whereas a returning user has visited your site in the past. These metrics are great for getting a sense of how well you’re retaining your visitors, and how effective you are in attracting net new visitors at the top of the funnel.Just keep in mind that, because Google Analytics uses cookies to track visitors, the report won’t be 100% accurate in distinguishing new from returning visitors. For example, if a person visits your site via their mobile phone and then on their personal computer, they’ll be counted as new visitors on both occasions (unless you’re using Google’s Universal Analytics capabilities).Got it? Good. 😉 Web Analytics Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How Much Money Should You Be Making? [Infographic]

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack We’ve all wondered it before. Maybe we’ve Googled in hope of finding an answer. Maybe we’ve asked someone for help. Maybe we’ve just worried in silence. How much should I be paid for my job?It’s a tricky question to answer. Even if you know all the factors to consider, it can be hard to uncover the right data you need to come to a solid conclusion. (And even if you knew them all, calculating your answer is tricky.)Click here to download our free guide on how to succeed in your new marketing job.That’s why we conducted some research to help marketers uncover the average salaries in their areas for different levels of experience. After collecting over five thousand responses, we were able to uncover some nationwide salary trends. And thanks to our friends at ColumnFive, we’ve compiled our results in the infographic below. So if you’re curious about what kind of salaries marketers make all over the U.S., keep on reading.  Originally published Jan 25, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated August 27 2017 Recruiting Tipslast_img read more

Learn From a Google Rater: The Impact of Intents and Results Diversity in Content Strategy

first_img Originally published Jul 26, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated July 26 2018 For about 10 years now, Google has relied on an army of human evaluators to provide feedback and critical insights on countless experiments run by the search engine. The core of the job is to rate the relevance of search results based on a user’s search query and, to assign a rating, Google raters must strictly follow the instructions provided in a document known as General Guidelines.Since 2015, Google has released to the public the full version of its search quality rater’s guidelines whenever an update is available. As expected, many marketers and SEO strategists have tried to use that document as a reference for their optimization strategies. However, those guidelines were not created for that purpose — they’re too broad and not actionable for marketers.Click here to get everything you need to get your website ranking in search.I’ve been doing search quality rating for Google for over three years. Being ranked in the top 5% of raters for most of this time has given me some confidence that I know what Google is looking for in terms of relevance. So I decided to transform this expertise into actionable pieces of advice to the SEO and content marketing community.My objective with this series, “Learn From a Google Rater”, is to teach you how to approach search through the lens of a seasoned evaluator, so that you can use this knowledge to the benefit of your own content marketing strategy. The concepts and techniques you will learn here are the same that I put together in the SEA Model, a search evaluator course that I created to be used as a supplementary resource to Google’s guidelines.Let’s begin.Understanding User IntentEvery search occurs because of a need from the user that must be fulfilled. We will call this either user intent or query intent. These terms can be used interchangeably.Sometimes, it’s very easy to infer what the user intent is, based on the query they used. For example, “I want to order pizza”. What’s the user intent? To order pizza, most likely from nearby restaurants.”Pizza delivery”. What’s the user intent? To order pizza to be delivered, most likely from nearby restaurants.In these examples, the user intent is very clear. Whenever the user intent is very clear, we call this intent the correct intent.What about this query: “pizza”. What is the user intent?This query is not as clear as the previous examples. It is possible that the user is looking for pizzerias nearby, pizza recipes, images of pizza, etc.In these cases, we say that the query intent is somewhat clear. Although it’s hard to tell what exactly the user is looking for, we are still able to think of several different results that could be relevant or useful to them.Classifying Intents by LikelihoodWhen the user intent is just somewhat clear, it means that there are several possible things they could be looking for – several possible intents. Some of them are more likely, some are less likely, and some very unlikely.Approaching possible intents through these three basic levels of likelihood helps you get an idea as to whether your content stands a chance of ranking well in the SERP for certain queries.Let’s illustrate with an example.Assume that you own a travel blog. You like to produce content that is original and of high quality — after all, your blog is known for providing interesting and in-depth information on travel topics.Recently, you decided to launch a section about dishes that are popular for representing specific regions of the world. Your objective is to provide detailed information about the history of the dish along with the real, ‘original’ recipe.Although you include a recipe in these articles, you are not looking to just rank for recipes. You are targeting curious individuals who like to increase their cultural knowledge by reading your posts, and you want to provide the most interesting information available on the web regarding that specific dish you are writing about (its origins, history, variations, etc.).You are currently looking for a representative of the Italian cuisine and you realize there are two dishes you’d have a lot of interesting things to write about: pizza and tiramisu (an Italian dessert).As a matter of habit, you go to Keyword Planner to check the expected search volume in English for the keywords “pizza” and “tiramisu”. 7.5M for pizza and 1.5M for tiramisu.One common mistake many people make in these cases is assuming the topic pizza would attract more viewers simply because the keyword pizza is more popular. You don’t want to be that person!First and foremost, instead of just looking for the search volume of the keyword pizza, you should try to find information about more specific, intent-driven keywords, like “pizza recipe” (165K monthly searches), “pizza dough recipe” (246K monthly searches) “history of pizza” (10K monthly searches), etc. These are the keywords that represent the exact type of content you are looking to create.Then, for the broader keyword pizza, a helpful technique is to convert keyword into query and assume those 7.5M people are issuing the query “pizza” to Google. Based on that information, you need to try to figure out possible types of content they would be looking for with this query, and this is when classifying intents by likelihood comes in handy.More likely intents for the query pizza:Find pizzerias nearby,Order pizza,Etc.Less likely intents for the query pizza:Look for info about pizza (history, types, etc.)*,Look for pizza recipes*,Look for images of pizza,Etc.(*) intents addressed by the content we are looking to createVery unlikely intents for the query pizza:Look for info about, or watch any of the films titled “pizza”Etc.I like to include ‘etc.’ because there could be countless possible intents associated with a query, and we shouldn’t bother trying to figure out all those possible intents. What is most important here is to list those intents that come up to us naturally and try to classify the intent(s) that are going to be addressed by the content we are looking to create.Now, let’s do the same thing for the keyword “tiramisu”. We will approach it as if it were a query and classify possible intents.‘More likely’ intents for the query tiramisu:Look for tiramisu recipes*Look for info about tiramisu (origin, history, etc.)*Look for images of tiramisuFind restaurants that serve tiramisu**Order tiramisu**Etc.(*) intents addressed by the content we are looking to create(**) intents that would occur on larger cities with a good variety of Italian restaurantsPlease note that I classified all the intents as ‘more likely’ intents. The reason is that none of these intents seem to really stand out from the others. They are all similarly likely.Why Understanding Intent is CrucialGoogle exists to provide results that are relevant to the user. In other words, the search engine’s purpose is to satisfy the user intent. When the query is just somewhat clear — meaning, it has many possible intents — it’s reasonable to expect that Google will try to prioritize results that address intents which are ‘more likely’.In light of this, a smart strategy is to aim to rank for queries for which your content addresses the correct intent, if there is one, or any of the more likely intents, if there is more than one more likely intent.Introducing DiversityIf result relevance is intrinsically connected to the likelihood of the intent they are addressing, the relevance of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is also affected by the diversity of intents addressed by the results displayed. In other words, a helpful SERP not only prioritizes results that address most likely intents, but it also includes results that would satisfy other intents, as well. However, this depends on the amount of different results for the most likely intents.For instance, if there are many different results to satisfy ‘more likely’ intents, a helpful, diversified SERP would probably only prioritize results addressing ‘more likely’ intents. In such cases, results addressing intents that are ‘less likely’ would possibly be relegated to much lower positions, maybe on the second page or beyond.On the other hand, if there are few different results to address more likely intents, a helpful, diversified SERP would also display results that address less likely intents in prominent positions.So … Write About Pizza or Tiramisu?From the perspective of a content strategist, I think writing about tiramisu would be a better idea. Even though the keyword pizza is much more popular, most people searching for pizza have other intents in mind and the results that are prioritized by Google will most certainly try to reflect the likelihood of those intents. There are pizzerias everywhere, and people are much more interested in eating pizza than looking for historical or more general information about it.With tiramisu, it’s a bit different. Since this dish is not as popular as pizza, many people looking for results about the Italian dessert would likely be interested in more detailed information about it, which is exactly the kind of content you are looking to provide. As I mentioned previously, “a smart strategy is to aim to rank for queries, and keywords, for which your content addresses the correct intent, if there is one, or any of the more likely intents, if there is more than one most likely intent”.Tiramisu would allow you to rank well for more specific, intent-driven keywords like “what is tiramisu” and also for the generic term “tiramisu”, something that wouldn’t be nearly as easy with pizza. Furthermore, since your article would also include a recipe, it would be addressing a ‘more likely’ “look for recipe” intent with tiramisu, but only a ‘less likely’ “look for recipe” intent with pizza. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! SEO and Content Marketinglast_img read more

What Is a Data Breach? A 1-Minute Rundown

first_imgOn the surface, it might seem like Yahoo, Marriott, and Adult Friend Finder have nothing in common. Surprisingly, though, they actually do. But, unfortunately, what they share common ground on is something no company would ever wish on their worst enemy — a data breach.Free Download: Crisis Management Plan & Communication TemplatesYahoo, Marriott, and Adult Friend Finder experienced the three largest data breaches of all time, all occurring from 2013 and beyond. And between the three of them, almost 4 billion user accounts were compromised.If you work at a smaller company, however, you might think a data breach will never affect you. Cybercriminals usually only target huge corporations when they try to steal people’s data. But that doesn’t mean data breaches aren’t a possibility at smaller companies.In 2017, the Identity Theft Resource Center reported a record-high 1,579 data breaches, which is 44.7% more incidents than the previous record high recorded just one year before. Coupled with IBM’s discovery that the average cost of a data breach is a whopping $3.86 million, this prevalent cybercrime could not only plummet consumer trust in your brand but it could also wreak havoc on your bottom line.Data Breach DefinitionA data breach occurs when there’s an unauthorized entry point into a corporation’s database that enables cybercriminals to access customers’ personal data, like passwords, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, banking information, passport numbers, driver’s license numbers, and medical records. These cybercriminals use this information for fraud and identity theft purposes.There are two types of data breaches — breaches of companies that people trust to secure their personal information, like retailers and banks, and breaches of companies that obtain people’s personal information through second-party data partnerships, like credit bureaus and marketing firms.Unfortunately, most data breaches don’t occur because cybercriminals are leveraging intricate hacking methods to infiltrate companies’ database. They occur because companies are turning a blind eye to patchable rifts in their security, like outdated software vulnerabilities, weak passwords, and malware attacks.To avoid turning into the next Yahoo, Marriott, or Adult Friend Finder, it’s crucial you prioritize security at your company by focusing efforts on data protection, and giving your security team the resources needed to shield your customers’ and company’s data from malicious cybercriminals at all times. Cyber Security Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Jan 11, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated May 13 2019last_img read more

Middle India

first_imgBabulal Gaur: Jan Sangh to unsung?Former Madhya Pradesh CM Babulal Gaur, 89, passed away in Bhopal on August 21 after spending a few weeks in hospital. Gaur, was one of the last of the old order of the BJP, who came to the party from the Jan Sangh. He ran the show in the BJP in Bhopal for many years, controlling MLAs and corporators. With him being dropped from the Cabinet in June 2016, and not contesting the Vidhan Sabha elections in 2018, he had been out of the political scene. What is the political legacy he leaves behind in Bhopal?Gaur’s daughter-inlaw, former Bhopal Mayor Krishna Gaur, who replaced him as the BJP candidate in Govindpura in 2018, is now the MLA from the seat and won by a handsome margin.There is however no guarantee that she will be re-nominated from Govindpura, one of the safest seats for the BJP, which has many takers.Bhopal Mayor Alok Sharma will complete his term in office later this year and would be looking for a safe seat. Another BJP leader, Tapan Bhaumik, has been working in the area too and with Babulal Gaur not around, Krishna will not find it easy to secure a re-nomination unless she can quell the intra-party competition. With most BJP MLAs in the city from the same age group, there is bound to be fierce competition. Is she upto the task? We will know after a few months.Babulal Gaur’s other legacy is that of pursuing urban development in Bhopal with missionary zeal. Former MLA Surendra Nath Singh, has been campaigning to protect encroachers.advertisementGaur’s stand onthe issue was very clear they could not be allowed to take root. Another BJP MLA, Vishvas Sarang, has a car show room operating out of his house, in violation of land-use norms. The Congress government is not looking into it for its own reasons, but local BJP leaders should think about the legacy Gaur left behind.Police promotion rowThe Madhya Pradesh government has decided to reintroduce the practice of out-of-turn promotions to policemen who engage successfully in anti-naxal or anti-terror operations. The previous government stopped the practice in 2012 after many complaints of fake encounters being staged to secure promotions.In fact, some promotions were even revoked. Gallantry awards have also been set aside consequently. The state police decided to review the policy on out-of-turn promotions. The first beneficiaries of the amended policy would be 18 personnel of the state police who were part of an operation in which one naxal was killed in Balaghat district in July.All 18 will get out-of-turn promotion.Will Scindia switch parties?The political grapevine in MP has been agog with the story that star Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia is joining the BJP. The rumour has, however, refused to go away.That Scindia was a contender for the top-job in MP before the Assembly polls is well known. That he and the duo of CM Kamal Nath and former CM Digvijaya Singh are not really on the same page on certain issues is also known and has been the case for many years now.How did this rumour begin and intensify? The speculation began after Scindia praised the scrapping of article 370. Also, the BJP is on a roll, getting people to join it across the country, in Karnataka, in Sikkim and Maharashtra. Scindia, is on the other side’ in the Congress in MP and is perceived as someone who could go’ to the BJP for being upset. The MP government is placed precariously and, in many quarters, the Scindia-could-go-tothe-BJP theory is part of the narrative to speculate on the stability of the government.A planned tour of the Gwalior region was cancelled adding to the speculation and was cited as a sign. Scindia commands the loyalty of about 25 MLAs and has about eight of his nominees as minister in the MP Cabinet. There are also many reasons for Scindia to not join the BJP. Getting the top-job in MP would be easier for him being in the Congress than in the BJP.Meanwhile, amidst the rumours, the AICC appointed Scindia as the chairman of the screening committee for the Maharashtra Assembly elections.A rare encounterThe Madhya Pradesh police on August 19 shot dead two alleged criminals in Narsinghpur district. The duo, Vijay Yadav and Sameer Khan had close to 20 cases including that of murder and arms act registered against them in Jabalpur.The encounter is the first such prominent action by police after October 2016 when eight alleged members of Students Islamic Movement of India were shot dead after a jail break.advertisementIn the Narsinghpur case, the family members of those killed have alleged foul play accusing Narsinghpur Additional SP Rajesh Tiwari of having staged the encounter. The MP Human Rights Commission has asked for a report from the IG and SP. The police claim two weapons have been recovered from the alleged criminals and have been sent for forensic tests and that all processes have been followed in the case.Run Rameshwar, run!A video on social media that showed a youth from Shivpuri clocking 11 seconds in a 100 m sprint went viral last week. A day later, the MP Sports Minister Jitu Patwari was told about Rameshwar Gurjar’s feat as was Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju. On August 19, Gurjar was in Bhopal and the minister went personally to see his performance which by all accounts turned out to be damp squib. Gurjar could barely time 14 seconds and said that it happened because he was made to wear shoes and run.last_img read more