Paying hobbies
Any interaction or debate involving job, career and work essentially involves references to stress, cut-throat competition and continuous slogging. This is the essential baggage that all those successful corporate honchos and wannabes lug in each day as they walk into their C-suites or B-cabins or D-desks for that matter.

Leading the way
The broadcast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to students on Teacher’s Day struck a chord with youngsters. It was after a long time that a Prime Minister had reached out to the young minds and carried out a conversation that turned into a cozy chat.

smart strategy: know your plus points
Are you a manager or a leader?
It is a known fact that people who do what they are good at are happier people. As a happy adjunct — happier people tend to be better at what they do! Interestingly, the amount of satisfaction that qualified people derive from their jobs depends on whether they are managers or leaders. “Is there an essential difference?” you may ask yourself. “After all, managers lead people, don’t they?” Technically, this may be true.

Thinkstockphotos/Getty imagesemerging fields: content marketing
Marketing a winning strategy
Content marketing is the new catchword in the field of marketing these days. Marketers are giving importance to this new tactic of marketing which helps strongly in acquiring and retaining customers. In India also, content marketing is catching up fast and marketers have started giving attention to this concept of marketing for reaching out to the existing and prospective customers.

The recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus in Africa are an area of study of medical geographers subject matter: medical geography
Trace the geographical roots of diseases
Geography has been a much maligned, and often considered the least important subject in school. Yet the study of geography is a fascinating introduction to a range of insightful knowledge about the physical world we live in and how we can learn to use it to our advantage.
The recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus in Africa are an area of study of medical geographers

Career sweetener
Failure, a positive perspective
How long can you dance to someone else’s tune, it’s time that you try dancing to your own tune. Go through the records of most successful people and you would discover that some of them were branded as failures at one or another time in their life’s journey.

Shweta Sachani, CEO, Make-up India Making success ride on a hobby
Shweta Sachani, a computer graduate gave a ‘makeover’ to her career by switching tracks and stepping into the field of make up which was always her passion. After working as a project manager with an MNC for a long time she decided to go to Milan to do Fashion Makeup course and launched a make-up chain — Makeup India — on her return.

Shweta Sachani, CEO, Make-up India


Yes, I don’t have a BE, but with my degree in literature I can give a creative touch to your software writing.

Pervin Malhotra

  • Recipe for success
  • Recruitment for TCs
  • How can I enter foreign exchange trading?
  • Where can I get more info on organic chemistry?










Paying hobbies
If you have the zest, drive and the perseverance then you can script a successful career story from your hobby too.
Geetu Vaid

Any interaction or debate involving job, career and work essentially involves references to stress, cut-throat competition and continuous slogging. This is the essential baggage that all those successful corporate honchos and wannabes lug in each day as they walk into their C-suites or B-cabins or D-desks for that matter.

Most of the youngsters are conditioned to be a part of the career rat race by parents, peer group and societal pressures. As a result they grow up compartmentalising their interests and their jobs and never dare to see the bridges between the two that can make work fun and not a drudgery. No wonder, thus, that for many the fat pay cheques come wrapped in the gloomy envelops of stress, depression and lifestyle diseases.

While motivation gurus often recite the mantra of “you will love what you do when you do what you love” to the over-stressed corporate ladder climbers, there are very few who practise what these new-age gurus preach in well modulated voices in air conditioned convention halls. Doing what you love is a sure shot pill to keep the stress and “work” part out of your career choices and it is not an impossible dream. Sometimes even one’s hobby can lead to a quirky business idea which, in turn, prepares he pitch for a great entrepreneur. Gaming, gardening, baking and traveling for instance are a few hobbies that earlier served only as stress busters, but are today earning individuals a fortune as more and more people are investing in their interests. If you have the zest, drive and the perseverance then you can script a successful career story from your hobby too. Here are the success stories of some entrepreneurs who can serve as role models for all those who want material success, work satisfaction and loads of fun.

Ridhima Arora, Founder, Caramella by Ridhima Arora

The protagonist

Baking was something that always ‘warmed up’ the heart of Ridhima Arora and got her a lot of compliments from friends and family. After working for a year in an event management company she realised that her real calling was in the field of cakes and confectionary. This made her launch Caramella by Ridhima Arora about six years back which is today a flourishing business making this pretty entrepreneur have her cake and eat it too.

The genesis

“Market analysis combined with my own passion for baking cakes and desserts motivated me to enter this field with the aim of providing the best quality at the lowest possible prices. The process began with securing the best quality ingredients, highly trained staff, setting the best recipes, participating in exhibitions and working long hours”.

Road to success

“Securing trained staff was one of the most important challenges faced while setting up my business. Also intially due to overload of orders we had to work long hours to set the systems in place. I also had to do a lot of market research for setting up my recipes and to attain a perfect combination of looks and taste for my designer cakes.

Word of advice

Customer is the king treat him right. Hard work combined with respect for your clients can never go wrong. Be passionate about your work and revolve all your business goals and aims around your customers. Always take feedback regarding your product and service and make sure that no client goes back disheartened.

Kunal Mittal, founder and CEO,

The protagonist

Kunal Mittal is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for launching and executing innovative business ventures that add value and convenience for customers. After completing his graduation from Delhi University, Kunal started working with a trading company in Mumbai. However, he soon realised that his natural flair and penchant lay in running self-powered businesses. He started P3party in Delhi, a company that organises various events and shows which revolutionised the nightlife and clubbing scene of the capital. Thanks to his work profile and the nature of his businesses, Kunal travelled extensively over the last 15 years. Hence the idea of an innovative and unique platform for selling travel products emerged and was born. As the founder and CEO of, Kunal incubated the business idea and has been closely involved in every stage of the escalation of the company.


“My hobby is to travel, and I got the inspiration for my business through my travelling insights and experiences. I am a passionate traveller and have traveled across the globe. I had an idea to offer travel related and other various products through the model of real time auctions. This not only makes the way of offering unique but the cost of the offering is also decided only by the users. This led to the birth of venture”.

Growth trajectory

Though the venture is in its initial stages as yet, it has seen a healthy growth. “We’ve approximately 10K active users on our site in just a couple of months’ time

Road to success

“The execution was not that easy in the initial phase and it was really difficult to educate the users about our concept as well. But my team tackled both the issues very smartly and the number of users has shown a steady growth”.

Word of advice

Stay focused and keep your mind open for crazy thoughts. Always filter your best ideas in the process of innovation.

Future plans

We are targeting to get one lakh users on with a year. Also we are coming up with some very unique categories on

Manishankar Ghosh, Founder & MD, Questrails Adventure Pvt Ltd

The protagonist

Though armed with an MBA degree from Jiwaji University, Gwalior, Manishankar Ghosh could not find solace in AC boardrooms. Originally from Assam, this young man had the love for nature and the spirit of adventures running in his veins and this love for adventure and outdoors made him start his venture Questrails Adventure that offers products and services as diverse as team-building programmes for corporate houses to educational holiday programmes for schools.

The genesis

“I discovered adventure quite early in life. I won the President’s Award as part of Bharat Scouts and Guides in 1987 and since then, adventure has been my middle name. After completing my MBA in 1998, I joined a Delhi-based adventure outfitter, with my first assignment at the company’s river-rafting campsite on the banks of the Ganga at Rishikesh and I fell in love with this all new outdoor adventure from day one — from an apprentice, to a licensed river runner to forming a Questrails Adventure Pvt Ltd in 2000, I owe it all to the mighty river and the growing number of enthusiasts for white water river rafting.

Road to success

Unfortunately, unlike institutes like the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi, and Indian Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling that offer highly specialised mountaineering courses, till date there is no institute that offers specialised river-rafting course in India. However, our own pioneers in this adventure sport took their classes from qualified foreign river runners who came to run our great rivers like the Ganga, Zanskar, Satluj and the Brahmaputra. A few who could afford, took their course from rafting institutes abroad. I learnt the ropes from some of the best Indian river runners who have successfully led several expeditions down the most challenging rivers in the country, and hold a commercial licence from the Uttarakhand Tourism Department as a river runner. So, it is still about passing on the expertise from one qualified river guide to an apprentice on the job.

The other hiccup was procuring the right equipment in India.

Back in 2000, virtually nothing was available in India. We had to import it from USA and a few other countries. There were no subsidies given by the government. The entire adventure industry across the country has grown on individual effort and of course we had a tremendous support from our clients.

This adventure sport is capital intensive: an 8-seater raft cost almost as much as a Santro car, for instance. The infrastructure, logistics and qualified manpower required to ensure safety and security to river rafting clients are much more elaborate and costlier than most of the other outdoor options.

Growth trajectory

I have been running the rivers for a decade or so, noticing the growing popularity and the expanding range of enthusiasts. But I dare say we have just about set the foundation as compared to other countries where this adventure sport is a well organised operation. I started by opening our first adventure camp in Rishikesh and today we operate four adventure camps — three in Uttarakhand and one in Himachal Pradesh.

Ten years back, there was hardly any popularity for this great adventure sport. I read this growing popularity of adventure sports amongst the young enthusiasts as the outcome of their free access to information and heightened awareness.

Word of advice

My advice to budding entrepreneurs is: believe in yourself. If you have a dream, then follow it with lot of passion and perseverance. Along with this, in today’s cut- throat business environment one has to be more dynamic and proactive. Ideas can only work if these are marketed well.

Future plans

We are opening a very high-end resort in Uttarakhand next year. And right now in the short term, the plan is to do what we do best and be one of the better known and safest outfitter in the adventure travel industry.



Leading the way
Inspiring leadership is in short supply. If we do not politically dissect Modi’s speech, and just concentrate on the lessons to be learnt, it shows us all how it can be done.
Gauri Chhabra

The broadcast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to students on Teacher’s Day struck a chord with youngsters. It was after a long time that a Prime Minister had reached out to the young minds and carried out a conversation that turned into a cozy chat.

Although the address elicited bitter-sweet response with many giving a political colour to it, there were, like with many other landmark events, lessons in leadership to be learnt from Modi’s this move — lessons that many of our leaders, CEOs and managers need to learn. Here are some of those:

Leadership is embracing diversity

Many times leaders intimidate their colleagues with their title and power when they walk into a room. There is a certain set of people who feel left out and marginalised on account of their birth, origin or just lack of resources. Successful leaders deflect attention away from themselves and encourage others to voice their opinions. They are experts at making others feel safe to speak-up and confidently share their perspectives and points of view. They use their executive presence to create an approachable environment.

Fourteen tribal students from south Chhattisgarh’s restive Dantewada district got the chance to interact live with the Prime Minister. Dantewada, a hotbed of Naxal terrorism, is among the seven districts whose students were allowed to ask the Prime Minister questions. The interaction conveyed a strong message of goodwill since the region is largely perceived as a conflict zone.

It is about dialogue

Great leaders go beyond the process of just sharing information with the people they lead. They are interested in a dialogue, a conversation — a memorable connection. Leadership in general is all about people. So, as a leader you have to ask yourself, “Is my message about me or about them?” It’s really easy to get caught up in our own world and what matters to us, but a great leader is a connector — connecting people and not leaving them behind in his effort to deliver his message. The question-answer round in Mod’s address encouraged students to ask questions and indulge in a dialogue.

It is about humour

A sense of humour is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done. Many leaders, especially introverts, don’t know how to safely encourage the use of more humour at work and are unsure how to express it in their own leadership style. Humour demonstrates maturity and the ability to see the forest through the trees. You don’t have to be a stand-up comedian but well-placed humour that is clever and apropos to a business situation always enhances your position as a leader and improves your connection with your team.

Modi’s anecdotes of childhood pranks provoked laughter. “The child within us has to be kept alive always. Because that child keeps us alive. Be naughty, do ‘masti’, act your age, as you won’t get back this fun time. Work hard, play hard and sweat a lot at least four times a day,” said the PM to the children gathered at Delhi’s auditorium and the many more who had tuned in. This made the students get a peep into the child in this leader making them identify with him.

Inspiring leadership is in short supply. If we do not politically dissect Modi’s speech, and just concentrate on the lessons to be learnt, it shows us all how it can be done. You need to be a storyteller, optimistic, positive, determined, passionate, and have an unwavering belief in the power of the human spirit. And you will be a true leader.

— The writer is a Ludhiana-based career consultant

Leadership is about raising the right questions

Successful leaders love being leaders — not for the sake of power but for the meaningful and purposeful impact that they can create. When you have reached a senior level of leadership — it’s about your ability to raise the right concerns and not to run away from them. The Prime Minister emphasised the need for a young nation like India to produce many more good teachers than it does. “Why can’t we think of exporting good teachers? Why don’t our students want to become teachers these days?” he asked, feeling rueful about the fact that the respect that teachers once commanded once has now depleted.

Leadership is about connecting

Some leaders think that connecting with people is only necessary when there is a clear business purpose, for example during staff meetings. But ask yourself, when a stranger gets up to talk, how do you know you can trust what they say? How do you know whether you should take their advice or accept their proposal if you don’t know them? If you know the person on the other hand, are you not in a better position to judge whether to trust them and take their advice?

Isn’t it logical, therefore, that to get the most out of people, you need to take the time out to get to know them. You also need to show them that you genuinely care about them and that they can trust you. Unfortunately many so-called leaders do not understand this nuance. Connection is intrinsic to life and nurtures it further. It brings meaning and purpose to our lives. Without connection we as people cannot survive.

Modi’s speech was all about connecting with the young minds. It struck a direct chord with the youth of the nation who felt that the leader was not someone who spoke from the pedestal as he actually came down to their level by sharing the pranks he had played in his school days. He projected the image of a person, a leader, who had transformed his dreams into reality.



smart strategy: know your plus points
Are you a manager or a leader?
Jappreet Sethi

It is a known fact that people who do what they are good at are happier people. As a happy adjunct — happier people tend to be better at what they do! Interestingly, the amount of satisfaction that qualified people derive from their jobs depends on whether they are managers or leaders.

“Is there an essential difference?” you may ask yourself. “After all, managers lead people, don’t they?” Technically, this may be true. However, the fact is that managers are people who know how to get things done. They operate best when they surround themselves with people who have vision. They serve a vital and useful purpose, but managers are not necessarily highly creative people. Rather, good managers keep whatever processes already exist running smoothly.

Leaders, on the other hand, are creators. They are people who know precisely what to do, and they operate best when they surround themselves with people who can help them create. In a corporate setting, the act of creation may lie in opening up new business avenues or revamping current ones to make them more profitable.

For leaders, the job they do is a matter of passion, and they have the ability to use their passion to energise others. Observe anyone in your company in a leadership role. On phone calls, in meetings, or even next to the water cooler, they act passionately – and others follow suit. They have a specific vision, a specific game-plan and the capacity to organise combined effort to create something new.

To identify whether you are better at a manager’s job or are indeed leadership material, you obviously need to have a very clear picture of your abilities. Your company’s employee review is one way of finding out; however, it may not always be an accurate representation of your abilities. If the company review lacks sufficient depth, it may only be able gauge how effective you are at what you have chosen to do. It may not be able to identify leadership abilities.

There are various assessment modules and aptitude tests that can give you a very accurate picture. If you have ever experienced even a twinge of career frustration because you feel you are able to do a lot more, it makes sense to avail of them.

Over the course of our lives, we make and achieve specific career goals because we want to advance ourselves. In the process, it is possible for us to subconsciously convince ourselves that the work we do is good and that we are successful and happy. However, many people in managerial positions find themselves in situations that challenge these assumptions. At such points, they no longer love what they’re doing – and they soon lose their effectiveness.

Are you among them?

One possible reason for this could be that you have frustrated leadership abilities. You may have true passion for what you do, but are stuck in a manager’s position that limits these abilities. At such a point, it is worthwhile asking yourself if you’re in the right job at all. Changing this status quo would require a major change of mindset, because we tend to burrow ourselves into our comfort zones.

On the other hand, the passion that burns in a person with leadership qualities will make him or her challenge the status quo. If you genuinely feel you can do justice to a leadership position, you will muster the courage to ask for one within your company. If this proves ineffective, you will quit and find a job that is suited well to your abilities.

However, do all you can to establish that your leadership aspirations are not based on illusions of grandeur, but rather on real passion and vision – and the aptitude to back them up.

In the final analysis, both managers and leaders serve a vital purpose in any company’s scheme of things. Both can safely be said to be indispensable in their own right, and no company can function without either of them. Find your calling and answer to it. The trick is be able to assess your calling accurately.

— The writer is an HR & Strategy consultant and authors



emerging fields: content marketing
Marketing a winning strategy
Arupjyoti Gogoi

Content marketing is the new catchword in the field of marketing these days. Marketers are giving importance to this new tactic of marketing which helps strongly in acquiring and retaining customers. In India also, content marketing is catching up fast and marketers have started giving attention to this concept of marketing for reaching out to the existing and prospective customers.

These days, majority of businesses practice some form of the Red Ocean Strategy. It is either when businesses enter an over-saturated marketplace, or they simply defend their current position. Traditional marketing strategies are not sufficient for any marketer trying to attract and retain new customers from the growth perspective. Content marketing is one of the marketing activities that is becoming more and more relevant and important for present day marketers.

Understanding content marketing

Content marketing is a part of marketing that enables a marketer to create and distribute relevant and valuable content to attract and acquire specific target audience. Content marketing is so powerful that customers are actually driven to take action as per the objective of the marketer and leads to profitability of the latter.

Content marketing has the ability to change the consumer behaviour by creating content which carries value and relevance to customers. It makes customers more loyal to a particular product or service.

It is different from Content writing. Content marketing is the creation of valuable content that has a marketing purpose. Copywriting is designed to get the reader to take a specific action. A few examples of content marketing are blogs, white papers, and viral videos. Sales brochures, direct mailers can be attributed to copywriting.

Realising the importance and better ROI, world’s big corporations are investing heavily on content marketing. Some smart small organisations are also using content marketing in their overall marketing strategy.

Content Marketing Specialist

Content marketing specialists are in demand globally. In India also, the demand for content marketing specialists is increasing since most of the marketers are including content marketing in their overall marketing strategy. Content marketing specialists are considered as the ingenious thinkers for the organisation since they are the brains who prepare valuable, relevant and result-oriented content for all the internal and external stakeholders. Content marketing specialist is the one who prepares and updates content on website, blog, case studies, white papers etc. Content marketing specialists work with the digital media managers, corporate communication managers, art directors to generate solid content in sync with the communication and positioning objectives of the organisation.

Required skills

In order to become a content marketing specialist, one needs to be creative and have good writing skills. A content marketing specialist must be a detail-oriented person to understand deeply about any particular subject or topic. There has to be a customer-centric approach while writing content that carries relevant and valuable information. Even though educational qualification is not a barrier, it is always better to have a degree to apply for any content marketing job. Communications or journalism background helps a lot to get an entry into this field.

There are no specialised institutes that are offering courses on content marketing in India. However, there are many digital marketing institutes both online and on-campus that teach modules pertaining to content marketing. The available short-term online courses help immensely to understand the latest insights and trends in this field.


The future for content marketing specialists is certainly bright and the industry is going to grow at a rapid pace. There are many specialised content marketing agencies in India that have started their operation and are offering content marketing services to many companies across sectors. The quality manpower required in this field would be increasing two to three folds in the next two years. Marketers are realising the fact that content marketing is the way of future marketing success. This would bring a huge change in the way content marketing strategy has been perceived by marketers over the years, and this would lead to many more opportunities for professionals in this field.


Thinkstockphotos/Getty imagesIn the present job market, finding a career as a content marketing specialist can be challenging. However, more and more companies are now discovering the value of high quality content and realising the need of good content marketing specialists. In the days to come the demand would be increasing to a great extent. The remuneration of content marketing specialists varies from company to company and also depending on the job description. In India, a content marketing professional easily earns more than Rs 20,000-Rs 25,000 at the initial stage of his career.



subject matter: medical geography
Trace the geographical roots of diseases
Usha Albuquerque

Geography has been a much maligned, and often considered the least important subject in school. Yet the study of geography is a fascinating introduction to a range of insightful knowledge about the physical world we live in and how we can learn to use it to our advantage.

Geography is the study of different factors such as land utilisation, population, climate, soil, vegetation and industries across the world, and so a blend of both social and pure sciences, that has helped scientists understand the physical structure of the earth, its different and varying physical features and their influences on the economic, political and cultural life of all creatures that inhabit the earth.

There are several aspects of Geography, and an interesting one among them is Medical Geography, sometimes called Health Geography. This is an area of medical research that incorporates geographic techniques into the study of health around the world and the spread of diseases. Medical geographers conduct research studies along with doctors and medical experts in determining the origin and spread of epidemics, and the impact of different physical and natural factors – vegetation, minerals, water supply, climate and environment on health patterns.

Medical geographers study the impact of climate and location on an individual’s health as well as the distribution of health services. It is an important field because it aims to provide an understanding of health problems and improve the health of people worldwide based on the various geographic factors influencing them. It takes into consideration the people and cultures of different regions, their social and economic conditions, and causes of diseases which occur. The recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus in Africa, dengue outbreaks in India from time to time are subjects for medical geographers. The knowledge and use of geography has helped scientists to predict and deal with natural calamities, demarcate geographical boundaries and provide logistics and remote sensing data for a range of uses.

The work

Medical Geographers study and interpret the occurrence, distribution and inter-relationship of physical and cultural elements in the world. Using field techniques, statistical methods, cartography and computerised data they analyse different natural and geographical phenomena. In understanding and making sense of the world around them, geography graduates develop skills in areas such as spatial awareness, data gathering, information retrieval, problem analysis and solving, project planning and management, and report production and presentation, both written and verbal. The spatial distribution of disease is still a matter of importance though digital mapping plays a huge role in this field along with other computerised information technologies.

Getting in

Geography is a subject that can be taken up after Plus II by the students of science, commerce or humanities streams. Most universities offer geography at the graduate and post-graduate level in both science and humanities faculties. One can do either a BA or BSc in Geography after Class XII.

But a graduate course in geography is often only a foundation for further professional studies in the area of interest.

Human or Medical Geography is offered at the master’s level, but there are not many universities that offer this course particularly in India. A student can get into Medical Geography after doing his/her MA/MSc in Geography too.

Post-graduate studies in specialist areas of geography are offered at the Centre for Study of Regional development at JNU, New Delhi, the Delhi School of Economics, Pune University, Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Meerut University. Universities offering master’s programmes in geography include –

  • Madras University
  • MS University Baroda
  • Dr. HS Gaur Sagar University, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh
  • Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi

Job prospects

Geography offers various career options to those interested in learning different features of the earth. Medical Geographers can seek placement in research agencies such as those handling environmental issues, population studies and rural development. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO are among the major employers for medical geographers.

Medical geographers can also work in Public Health and medical Organisations, including the Indian Council for Medical Research (I.C.M.R.), and the Institutes for Immunology and Health and Family Welfare and other such Medical Institutions.

Pharmaceutical companies, research centers, and public health agencies also recruit medical geographers. This skill set is primarily used in the pharmaceutical industry to explore use of the native healing plants. Those qualified in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can also expand their employment scope to work for organisations dealing with power and telecommunications, health, pollution monitoring, water resources management, disaster management and urban planning and so on.

Medical geography is a growing field in today’s interconnected world, but those getting into this career also need to be prepared for some obstacles to overcome when gathering data such as recording a disease’s location and an accurate diagnosis, when often people, especially in remote and rural areas do not always go to a doctor or report its presence.

With the increased awareness and growing opportunities there are huge possibilities for this career. Studies indicate that in India alone, the growing incidence of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and many others can be controlled, if not prevented, by timely intervention and lifestyle changes. This is the role of medical geographers. So if you have a keen interest in the world around you, a love for exploration and outdoor work, an inquiring mind with a scientific approach, strong powers of observation and an interest in geography, you can certainly choose a worthwhile career in medical geography.



Career sweetener
Failure, a positive perspective
Susan Boyle’s story

How long can you dance to someone else’s tune, it’s time that you try dancing to your own tune. Go through the records of most successful people and you would discover that some of them were branded as failures at one or another time in their life’s journey.

They could have sulked, cried and taken the opinion of the few naysayers to their heart to relinquish their dream. The victorious choose a different way; they see failure as an opinion and not a reality.

Susan Boyle is a story of a middle-aged, not so highly educated woman who has been recently diagnosed to be suffering from Asperger’s syndrome, a form of Autism. Susan by her sheer determination catapulted herself in five minutes to an international arena mostly reserved for the glitterati. The church volunteer from a small Scottish town became a global sensation when she sang the “Les Miserable” number “I Dreamed a Dream” on TV contest “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009. The clip of her audition in Britain’s Got Talent has been viewed more than 500 million times; probably making it one of the most viewed ones in the history of web. Her debut album titled “I Dreamed a Dream” was a super hit; along with her subsequent releases she has sold more than 14 million albums worldwide

Who is Susan Boyle?

Susan Boyle was a small town girl raised in the unknown town of Blackburn, Scotland. Her Father was a miner and a veteran of the Second World and her mother was a shorthand typist. Susan Boyle was the youngest of nine siblings – four brothers and five sisters. It is said that she was briefly deprived of oxygen during a difficult birth resulting in a learning disability. Boyle says she was bullied as a child, and was nicknamed “Susie Simple” at school. In an interview she told one newspaper that her classmates’ jibes left behind the kind of scars that don’t heal. She did not have an easy life, for most of her adult life she was unemployed and earned a living by performing at local churches and pubs. Nevertheless she won numerous awards at the local level. Boyle is unmarried, and she dedicated herself to care for her ageing mother until she died in 2007 at the age of 91, just before her daughter’s seemingly overnight success.

It is said that Boyle abandoned an audition for The X Factor because she believed people were being chosen for their looks. She almost abandoned her plan to enter Britain’s Got Talent believing she was too old, but her coach O’Neil persuaded her to audition. Susan Boyle says that she entered the musical career to make her mom’s wishes come true and pay tribute to her. That was her calling — so it didn’t matter what others were saying about her looks, age or societal status. She was focused on what she wanted and overturned all the odds to make a new life for herself. Susan says - “I made a promise to my mum that I would do something with my life, spiritually, she’s with me all the time. She has had a word with someone upstairs because I wouldn’t have had this otherwise.”

If you watch the audition video on the you tube channel ,you would notice the sneers, looks, judgments, and assumptions that nearly everyone makes – including the respective judges when Susan Boyle comes to the stage. Susan Boyle in her audition declared to the judges and the audience that her dream was to become a professional singer. Everyone frowned including the judges. This did not unnerve her; in fact, it made her will stronger to make it happen. Within 7 days her audition video had been watched more than 66 million times. Within three years she had sold 14 million records and earned more than US $25m. Is anybody laughing at her now?

Career Tips from . Follow on twitter @CareerSweetener

7 lessons from Susan’s life

  • Don’t make age an excuse for not doing something great
  • Don’t use your medical condition as crutches - Everything is possible
  • Never give up, Never give up, Never give up
  • Believe in your dreams big time - make it happen
  • Be focused on what you are doing, don’t let other’s comments derail your plans
  • God has gifted all of us, in one way or another – We need discover it
  • Be grateful to God - He has plans for everyone
  • Vince Lombardi said “ The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.”

Human spirit is indomitable by design; we set our targets high or low. What is stopping you from dreaming and making it big in life like Susan Boyle?



Making success ride on a hobby
The protagonist

Shweta Sachani, a computer graduate gave a ‘makeover’ to her career by switching tracks and stepping into the field of make up which was always her passion. After working as a project manager with an MNC for a long time she decided to go to Milan to do Fashion Makeup course and launched a make-up chain — Makeup India — on her return. Besides specialising in bridal make-ups, cocktail and party make-ups, her chain also provides trainings — formally known as the Indian School of Makeup.


“Make-up was something that had always interested me and I always wanted to do something of my own. I started on a small scale by doing only makeups and make-up trainings. It was unlike a complete Salon setup, so less investment and infrastructure was required. Through this venture I also promote women entrepreneurship. We give out franchises, especially to women who want to do something of their own”.

Road to success

“Initial challenges were, of course, the money that was needed for the start-up. The fact that women in India are not taken seriously as entrepreneurs was another big challenge. Persistence is what it takes to deal with these challenges. You have to really keep at it. I started freelancing before I started my studios. Freelancing is pure profit since you are not investing money in any infrastructure or setup. I saved money and started my own studio”.

Growth trajectory

“We now have three studios and are planning to open two more shortly. Initially, we were importing a few brands for sale in India through our studios. Now we have launched our own professional makeup range”.

Word of advice

“Persistence pays and there is always a way around any problem that one faces initially in one’s venture. I would like to advise new entrepreneurs to not focus on investing a lot of money at the initial stage, instead focus on doing sales. Because sales is what generates revenue. You have to focus on areas that earn you money rather than areas where you spend money”.



Pervin Malhotra

Recipe for success

Thinkstockphotos/Getty imagesQ. I am a Chandigarh-based housewife. Besides being very creative with home decoration I am also very fond of cooking. My friends always praise the way I decorate my table when they’re invited for parties at my home, but I’m not sure how that translates into a job since I don’t have any formal qualification. As I have plenty of free time, I am keen to take up some work but am not too sure how to get started. Please suggest something useful that I could do related to my interest in cooking. — Meera Veersingh

A. One offbeat career that comes to mind is that of a food stylist. As a food stylist, you will dress up food to be professionally photographed. Whether it’s for a magazine spread, cookery books, food shows on TV, ads, hoardings or restaurant menus, a food stylist is today quite indispensable. In time, you’ll develop a number of tricks to make the food appear appetizing. Harsh camera lights would make the ice cream melt, so pronto... you’ll replace ice cream with mashed potato!

Similarly, motor oil can substitute for honey while that dense froth on the coffee can be created using detergent and chalk. Get the picture?

With your experience as a cook all you need to do is add a dash of creativity and in no time you’ll stir up a feast for the eyes.

Unlike the fashion stylist, you’ll be spared the starry nakhras of models besides getting to work at your own pace. You can work with advertising agencies, women’s magazines, film and TV production houses, publishing houses or freelance. You need good communication and networking skills to develop contacts. The key ingredients for success are of course creative and artistic ability, attention to detail coupled with some practical business sense. While you may take a short-term course in photography to translate your food art into perfect pictures, you could co-ordinate with the photographer to achieve the desired effect.

Best of all, there are just a handful of food stylists in India presently. Even a beginner can earn close to Rs 10,000 - 20,000 per shoot. So even if work is not available on a regular basis, you can make a tidy sum. Once you’ve established yourself as a professional you can earn much more.

There aren’t too many formal courses that teach you how to style food in India. The best way to get started would be to take a shot at styling food on your own. Get yourself some useful props (bowls, table linen, cutlery etc) that can add colour and style. Then in the comfort of your kitchen, play around with pasta and plates to make food look simply yummy.

Team up with a photographer to create a start-to-finish portfolio of all that you make in the kitchen, beginning with salads, appetizers, moving on to the other in-between courses, and ending with seductive desserts… Don’t be afraid to experiment. Another good way of getting noticed is to create your own blog, FB page or website.

So there you are – ready to get going – armed with the recipe for success!

Recruitment for TCs

Q. Can you please tell me how Ticket Collectors are recruited in the Indian Railways? — Diwakar Lohana

A. As many as 50 per cent of Ticket Collectors / Ticket Examiners in the Indian Railways are recruited directly through the concerned Railway Recruitment Board (RRB); The Academic Qualification for direct recruitment is Class X with minimum 50 per cent aggregate.

Age: 18-30 years

Due to the large number of applicants, selection is done through a written test, at times followed by a second stage test for which approximately ten times as many candidates as the number of actual vacancies are short-listed by the concerned RRB (there are 21).

You’ll undergo a month of training during which you’ll be paid a stipend. With experience, you’ll qualify for promotion to the following higher grade posts:

  • Senior Ticket Collector / Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE),
  • Head Ticket Collector / Sr Travelling Ticket Examiner / Conductor
  • Travelling Ticket Inspector (TTI)/ Conductor,
  • Chief Ticket Inspector (CTI).
  • Ticket Collectors are also eligible for promotion as Goods Guards and Enquiry-cum-Reservation Clerks.

While you need to be constantly on the lookout for defaulting passengers, the job is also a very sensitive one as it entails maximum interaction with passengers. And being the visible face of the railway establishment, you must always come across as helpful and courteous while discharging your professional duties.

In addition, 33?% of TCs are recruited by way of promotion through selection from the eligible Group 'D' category of staff and 16?% by promotion entirely on merit of Matriculate Group 'D' employees of the eligible categories specified by the Zonal Railways for (ii) above, with at least 2 years of regular service in the unit on the basis of a competitive Written Test (85 marks) and Record of Service (15 marks). You could also check out the website:

How can I enter foreign exchange trading?

. Can you please tell me something about foreign exchange trading. I am a commerce graduate with a keen interest in finance. How can I enter this field? — Sanjay Upreti

A. The global financial crisis has resulted in huge volatility amongst major currency pairs. While India has a large pool of fresh graduates looking at entering the finance industry that has a huge growth potential, the need for talent in FX trading in the coming decade is increasing worldwide. One of the most critical aspects of FX trading, for both financial firms as well as independent traders/dealers, is the complete skill-set to trade under all market conditions. As the currency market is subject to constant fluctuations within very short time frames (measured in seconds), especially during London trading hours, a thorough understanding of the mechanics of the FX markets is essential.

Graduates majoring in economics, finance, mathematics and statistics, as well as engineering and psychology are eligible to enter this field. Any experience in a trading environment or any work that demonstrates ability to work hard, make fast and accurate decisions and familiarity with numbers and decision-making skills are an asset.

A good course in Forex Trading or Treasury & Forex would equip you to get started. Here are some you could check out:

  • Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), National Stock Exchange, Mumbai,
  • Thakur Institute of Mgt Studies & Research and NMIMS, Mumbai (in collaboration with Six Capital).

Where can I get more info on organic chemistry?

Q. I’m a student of Class XII (non-med). I have developed a keen interest in chemistry, particularly organic chemistry. Please suggest a source from where I can get some authentic information about this field? — Raghuveer Sharma

A. Besides the plethora of information available on the Net, the American Chemical Society has a wealth of info on the career prospects. ACS is a congressionally chartered independent membership organization that represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry.

Here’s the relevant link: I’m sure you’ll find it very useful (particularly, their ‘education and outreach’ section.

Email your queries to [email protected]




S.N Bose Scholars Student Exchange Programme

The Science & Engineering Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST) of Government of India, the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) announces exchange programme between premier institutions in India and the US. This programme provides an opportunity to Indian students to experience world-class research facilities in leading US institutions. The scholarship is open to students of atmospheric and earth sciences; chemical sciences; engineering sciences; mathematical and computational sciences; and physical sciences to take up research as a career.

Students currently pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a recognised institution of higher education and learning in India can apply for the scholarship. Last date to apply is 31 October, 2014.

Eligibility: Indian citizens currently pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a recognised institution of higher education and learning in India.

Open to students of Atmospheric and Earth Sciences; Chemical Sciences; Engineering Sciences; Mathematical and Computational Sciences; and, Physical Sciences. The applicant should have a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 8.0 or higher (Percentage equivalent: 80 per cent and higher). Only those candidates who shall be completing their degree programme on or after May 2014, are eligible to apply.

Details: It covers

  • Stipend
  • Accommodation
  • Airfare

How to apply: Applications are to be submitted by post

Deadline: October 31, 2014.

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Future leaders programme

The Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program (AFLSP) is offering scholarships for pursuing undergraduate, master, doctoral and professional degree programmes at Kyoto University. AFLSP is a full-scholarship program designed to promote interaction among the young people of Asia. It was established through the generosity of Mr. Ronald K. Y. Chao (vice chairman, Novel Enterprises Limited) of Hong Kong, and is administered by Bai Xian Education Foundation Limited and Bai Xian Asia Institute Limited. Commencing operation in 2014, AFLSP aims to support young Asians wishing to undertake study abroad within the Asia-Pacific region, advance cross-cultural understanding, and foster individuals capable of contributing to goodwill and development both in Asia and globally in the future. Six universities in Japan and China, including Kyoto University, have been chosen as anchor universities for the AFLSP. These universities, together with other institutions participating in the programme, shall select the scholarship recipients each year.

Eligibility: Applicants going to enroll as a regular (degree-seeking) student (master’s, post-doctoral, doctoral, 5-year doctoral, professional degree programme) at a graduate school of Kyoto University in October 2014 or April 2015, and planning to complete that degree programme in the standard number of years are eligible for these scholarships.

They should be:

  • Citizens of an Asian country other than Japan
  • Under 35 years of age at the time of application.
  • Completed a bachelor’s degree at a designated institution (Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Xi’an Jiao Tong University, Nanjing University, University of Science and Technology of China), or expecting to complete such a degree by the beginning of the scholarship term.
  • Recommended by a supervising university professor or by an individual of equivalent status.
  • Capable of communicating in either Japanese or English.
  • In genuine need of financial support.

Details: $25,000.

n The total scholarship amount shall be divided into the monthly stipends and the amount equivalent to tuition fee. The monthly stipend shall be paid into the recipient’s bank account in monthly installments. The amount equivalent to the tuition fee shall be paid in two installments together with the monthly stipend in May and November. The recipient’s enrollment status shall be checked each month prior to payment.

Number of awards: Approximately 15.

Duration: Two years.

Selection criteria: Recipients shall be selected by a screening of their application documents, followed by interviews.

How to apply: The mode of applying is by email.

Deadline: September 15, 2014.

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Don Bradman Scholarship

University of Wollongong, Australia, has announced the Sir Don Bradman Scholarship for undergraduate students in India in collaboration with the Bradman Foundation for year 2014. The scholarship, exclusively for an Indian student each year to study at University of Wollongong, is valued at 50 per cent of the total fee for the course and aims to promote cricket. The scholarship, named in honour of the world's greatest-ever cricketer, Sir Donald Bradman, is for an Indian student - male or female - who has completed secondary school and who demonstrates a combination of academic, sporting, personal and social skills, as well as strong participation in cricket.

Eligibility: Candidates must be Indian nationals and resident in India and eligible for overseas tuition fees (non EU). Candidates must have completed secondary education at an Indian school and achieved 75 per cent marks in at least three academic subjects (see application form for full details)

Must have a club or higher level of participation in the sport of cricket. Additional selection criteria apply. See the application form for the full terms and conditions, eligibility and selection criteria.

Check out: Students interested in applying for a scholarship at University of Wollongang can visit for details

LIC Golden Jubilee Scholarship

Application process for LIC Golden Jubilee Scholarship is open. The scholarship is for students belonging economically weaker families for pursuing higher studies. The scholarship is to be awarded for studies in India in a government or private college/university. It will also cover technical and vocational courses in Industrial Training Institutes/ Industrial Training Centres affiliated with the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) of classes at Graduation level.

Eligibility: Students who have passed Class XII exam or its equivalent in the academic year 2013-14 and are interested to pursue higher education in the fields of

i) Medicine, Engineering, Graduation in any discipline, Diploma Course in any field or other equivalent courses.

ii) Vocational Courses through Government recognized Colleges/Institutes or courses in Industrial Training Institutes (ITI).

For i) Candidates who have passed Class XII exam or equivalent in the Academic year 2013-14 with at least 60 per cenr marks or equivalent grade and annual income of whose parents/guardian from all sources does not exceed ` 1,00,000/- per annum.

For ii) above The basic educational qualification is relaxed to Class X or equivalent with at least 60% marks in the Academic year 2013-14 subject to income ceiling of parents/guardians.

Duration: Scholarship shall be provided for the entire duration of the course subject to the candidate fulfilling the requisite eligibility conditions for renewal.

Details: An amount of Rs 10,000 per annum will be awarded to the selected candidate which is payable in ten monthly installments of Rs 1,000 each.

How to apply: Online.

Deadline: September 23, 2014

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Global entrepreneurship and family business PG programme

IE Business School, Currently ranked #1 in Europe by Financial Times in B-School rankings of 2013, has launched the first global Entrepreneurship and Family Business Post Graduate Programme in Management in India through its Executive Education Division - The IE Program in General Management (IE PGM), in partnership with Northwest Executive Education at its centres in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. The programme builds on the strength and reputation of IE as a center of excellence and research in the areas of Family Business and Entrepreneurship.

The programme will cover all areas of managing an enterprise like strategy, marketing, HR and team motivation, finance, etc. akin to a General Management Programme. It then distinguishes itself from other business programmes in focusing on areas such as change management, family wealth management, conflict resolution, and entrepreneurial decision-making. It also has a strong emphasis on the growth of an enterprise through innovation, disruptive change, going global and planning for transitions.

The course: IE PGM is organised in 6 in-class modules of two weeks each, organised in 6 of the important global economic locations within countries such as Germany, UAE (Dubai), India, China, Spain and USA, and a project to be completed in the course of a year. An optional immersion experience may be conducted in New York, US. Admission follows step-by-step process (a rolling admissions process and participant applications are evaluated as soon as they are received).

Duration: One year

How to apply: Online.

Fees: The tuition fee for the program is Euro 25,000 plus applicable service taxes.

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Institute of Rural Management IRMA Anand

Institute of Rural Management, Anand, invites applications for admission to the Postgraduate Programme in Rural Management (PRM 2015-17) and Fellow Programme in Rural Management (FPRM 2015) for academic year 2015-16.


PRM: A graduate from any discipline, with a minimum of 15 years (10+2+3) of education, having 50 per cent (45 per cent for SC/ST/dap*) aggregate marks or an equivalent GPA from recognised university / institution at the graduation level are eligible to apply.

Applicants, who expect to fulfill the eligibility requirements before, June 2015, may also apply.

FPRM: Applicants with any one of the following: (i) Post graduation in any discipline from a recognised Institution with 55% marks, and 50% marks at graduation level; (ii) PGDRM from IRMA; (iii) Four-year professional degree (engineering, agricultural sciences etc.) with 60% marks and at least three years’ work experience; (iv) Five-year professional degree (medicine, veterinary science, architecture etc.) with 60% marks and at least one year work experience; (v) Applicants who have valid score of UGC JRF (NET) / CSIR in relevant disciplines (management, economics, social work, sociology, psychology, commerce, etc.); are eligible for admission to FPRM 2015. SC / ST / OBC / dap* applicants are eligible for 5% relaxation in the marks specified above.

How to apply: Online or by post.

Deadline: To be notified.

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1. Name the government’s financial inclusion scheme under which lakhs of bank accounts were opened across the country recently.

2. Which ancient international centre for learning in Bihar held classes after a break of over 800 years with 15 students recently?

3. Name the Prime Minister of Japan.

4. Which Indian city will be developed as a “smart city” in partnership with the Japanese city of Kyoto?

5. Name Indian Navy’s largest patrolling vessel that was commissioned recently.

6. On which river is the city of Jammu situated?

7. How many times has Sania Mirza won the mixed-doubles tennis Grand Slam titles?

8. Who has been appointed the new captain of Germany’s football team?

9. Which footballer recently entered the Guinness Book of World Records for scoring the longest-ever goal?

10. Who has become India’s most successful one-day international skipper?

— Tarun Sharma

Winners of quiz 471: The first prize by draw of lots goes to Manvi Sekhri Class: X; BBMB DAV Public School, Nangal township; district Ropar; Pin Code — 140124

Second: Sunidhi Garg; Class X Rose; St Xavier High School; Rampura Phul; district Bathinda; Pin Code — 151103

Third: Kriti Kaushesh; Class IV-B; Eicher School, Sector 46; Faridabad, Haryana; Pin Code — 121003

Answers to quiz 471: INS Kolkata; Sir Richard Attenborough; Irom Sharmila; Armed Forces Special Powers Act; Imran Khan; Robin Williams; Jammu and Kashmir; Five; Mahela Jayawardene; Mary Kom

Cash awards of Rs 400, 300 and 200 are given to the first, second and third prize winners, respectively. These are sent at the school address.

Note: Kindly mention the pincode of your place on the letter/postcard to facilitate the delivery of the prize money.

Answers can also be sent at [email protected]



School address......................................................