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UNIQLO Founder Takes Step Towards Women Empowerment Amid Gender Gap Issue In Japan

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UNIQLO Founder Takes Step Towards Women Empowerment,Amid Gender Gap Issue In Japan,Startup Stories,Women Empowerment,Fast Retailing Founder Tadashi Yanai,popular retailing company Fast Retailing,CEO of UNIQLO,Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,UNIQLO Founder Tadashi Yanai


Tadashi Yanai, the founder and CEO of Fast Retailing Co., and its subsidiary UNIQLO, recently expressed his desire to have a woman as his successor and the CEO of his Company.

Tadashi Yanai, who owns 44 % stake in the popular retailing company Fast Retailing, was ranked the 31st richest person in the world by Forbes in June 2019.  Yanai is also the richest person in Japan, with a net worth of $ 24.9 billion. He founded Fast Retailing in 1984, which grew to become the third largest clothing retailer in the world with an annual revenue of $ 18.9 billion in 2018.

During an interview, Tadashi Yanai told Bloomberg Japan he believes women are more suitable for the job of CEO as they are “ persevering, detail oriented and have an aesthetic sense.”  Yanai’s statement was welcomed by everyone because it was seen as a shift from the male focused corporate world.  Yanai also discussed about the future CEO of the Company and named Maki Akaida, who is currently the CEO of UNIQLO Japan, as a possible candidate.

Yanai also shared he plans to increase the ratio of female executives to more than half in his Company.  The Company, in 2018, fulfilled its goal of filling 30 % of the Company’s managerial positions with women employees.  It has 6 women in executive positions. Yanai also added women are reluctant to join managerial positions due to a fear of lifestyle change.

Tadashi Yanai and his Company’s efforts to ensure gender diversity have been praised heavily as latest reports show Japan is still behind when it comes to employing women in managerial positions.  According to a report published by the World Economic Forum, Japan ranked 110th in its Global Gender Gap Index 2018 report. The Country has a wage gap of 24.5 % between women and men in similar positions.

This issue led Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressing Japan’s shrinking workforce, a part of which is to provide better quality of work and senior positions to working women.

Although it is unclear when Yanai plans to step down from his position, the effort put in by him and Fast Retailing is a positive step for women working in the corporate sector in Japan as well as globally. 

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Uber Rides Are Going To Be Changed Forever In The Foreseeable Future Because Of COVID-19

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Uber Rides Are Going To Be Changed Forever In The Foreseeable Future Because Of COVID-19

The world has changed so much in just two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic which spread across the world.  The virus, which is highly infectious, currently has no vaccine and most optimistic estimates peg the chance of a vaccine being discovered,  at one year away.  So governments across the world quarantined entire countries by imposing lockdowns and not letting anyone come out of their homes.  This was done as a measure to break the chain of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Needless to say, this has disrupted multiple industries with airlines, travel, transportation, hospitality and the event industry bearing the brunt of it.

Swiggy and Zomato, both of which are food delivery applications, have implemented a no-contact delivery where a delivery partner will leave the package at the door and leave.  Swiggy and Zomato went further so as to certify restaurants which sanitize their kitchens regularly and show them on their app for their customers.

Ride hailing companies like Uber and Ola have not seen any business in the last two months in India and have no clarity on when the government would deem it safe for cab services to resume.  However, there can be no denying that your next Uber ride is going to be completely different to how it was before the pandemic affected countries.  Uber in particular is already making changes to how it operates by predicting consumer behaviour in light of the COVID-19 virus.

These are some of the changes Uber is going to make to their operations.

  1. Uber is making face masks mandatory for both drivers and passengers during their rides.
  2. A driver partner will not be able to log in to their account and accept rides until they upload a selfie of themselves with a face mask.  The app will detect the face mask as an object and gives access to the driver partner to accept rides.
  3. Riders must agree to sit in the rear seats and must agree to keep the windows open at all times for ventilation.
  4. Only three passengers are allowed in a single cab per ride.  It used to be four passengers before the lockdown.
  5. Both riders and drivers can cancel the trip if they do not feel safe without any penalty.  
  6. Uber would be spending $ 50 million globally to buy personal protective equipment (PPEs) for drivers including sanitisers, masks and disinfectant wipes.

Uber is just one of the companies that is trying to adapt to the changes in consumer behavior which is bound to change after the lockdowns are lifted and life returns to normalcy.  We will have to wait and watch as to how other industries adapt to these changes in the future.

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Facebook Finally Launches Messenger Rooms Which Accommodates 50 People And Unlimited Video Calls

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Facebook Finally Launches Messenger Rooms Which Accommodates 50 People And Unlimited Video Calls

The lockdown and quarantine measures implemented in multiple countries meant that people could not commute to work or go outside for social gatherings.  This scenario hugely benefited video calling and conferencing platforms and applications.  Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts and Houseparty have seen a phenomenal spike in daily active users.  Facebook has joined the club by finally upgrading its messenger capabilities.  

Facebook Messenger is a chatting and video calling application developed by Facebook.  Facebook is finally introducing a new feature in messenger named Messenger Rooms.  The free feature will allow Facebook and Messenger users to create group video calls of up to 50 people, contrary to the eight people limit available currently.  The Messenger Room does not require a Facebook account and works similar to the Zoom meeting rooms.  Participants can join the room by clicking on a link.

ALSO READ: Zoom Video Conferencing App Downloads Dethrone Whatsapp And TikTok In India

The rooms do not have any time limit which lets people converse indefinitely.  There are a slew of other features like augmented reality filters, normal filters, virtual masks and a feature to lock the rooms.  Facebook also announced that it is doubling WhatsApp’s video call person limit from four  to eight people as well.  However the Messenger Rooms feature is not immediately available and Facebook will roll the feature out slowly in all the regions it operates.

In a company blog post,Facebook said that 700 million accounts participate in calls everyday between Facebook and WhatsApp.  Once Facebook announced this news, shares of the video calling company Zoom fell down by 5%.

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How Social Networking App Houseparty Is Entertaining Generations During Quarantine Lockdowns 

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How Social Networking App Houseparty Is Entertaining Generations During Quarantine Lockdowns 

Humans are social creatures by nature and the lockdowns implemented in multiple countries across the globe has starved them of the social company that many people crave and Houseparty managed to fill that void by letting people socialise on its platform.  The fun app is a social networking application which lets users gather around in a virtual conference call in order to socialise.  Houseparty currently has over 10 million downloads on Google Play Store and even more on Apple Store (Apple would not divulge the exact number.)  This app went on to beat every other social networking app and sits at first place on the Apple Store in 17 countries, including Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom. According to Apptopia, which tracks the performance of apps, Houseparty is currently the third most downloaded app on the iOS app store in the United States, behind Zoom and TikTok and comes top in the United Kingdom.  As millions of people around the world are confined to their homes, the socialising app quickly became the go-to app for Gen-Z and millennials beating the likes of Skype, Zoom and Hangouts.  This is because of the in app games that users can play while catching up with each other.

Some companies have even hosted ‘virtual happy hours’ and friends are catching up for some simple dinner and drinks albeit virtually.  The app lets a maximum of 8 users to get in a single group and users can play games while video conferencing. Games include quizzes, trivia and a game similar to pictionary.

Houseparty is owned by Epic Games, the developers of the popular battle royale online multiplayer game Fortnite.  This pp largely works on social spontaneity and live conversations. For example, when a user is online, his/her friends receive a push notification that they are “in the house”, the recipient may be prompted to join.  Users can also enter friends’ conversations without their permission, unless they have specifically chosen to ‘lock’ their room by pressing the padlock button on the room screen.

Houseparty was downloaded 570,000 in January and 533,000 times in February. When it comes to revenue, Houseparty jumped from $17,000 in February to $155,000 in March, representing an enormous leap of 912 per cent in user spending according to a mobile app marketing firm Sensor Tower.

However, the social networking app found itself in the middle of unwanted publicity when questions about its security popped up with concerns for user data.  Houseparty iterated that user data was safe and not sabotaged. Houseparty believes that the bad publicity was part of a paid smear campaign to spoil its reputation and has in fact offered a bounty of 1 million dollars to anyone who can prove that it was the target of a paid commercial smear campaign.

Houseparty managed to thrive during this period when multiple countries worldwide are in an unprecedented quarantine lockdown.  This has affected businesses and corporations badly and experts have forecasted an economic depression which would follow once the threat of COVID-19 passes.  However, Houseparty is a unique app which is managing to thrive in this uncertain times 

 

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