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Companies Which Became Successes Despite Almost Failing

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A major chunk of the companies who are successful today have faced their fair share of breakdowns and failures, giving the world the impression they may not recover from the blow. However, with all the effort the CEOs put into bringing these companies back on track, it is noteworthy to see the way these companies have turned out. Here’s a list of companies which bounced back from almost ceasing to exist to becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world.

1. Apple (Steve Jobs) 

Probably one of the most successful stories of a startup bouncing back from destruction, Apple had a tough time coming back from the dead. When Apple hired Steve Jobs back as the interim CEO, he turned out to be the man who made the impossible possible. Steve Jobs realised one of the major things going against Apple was they were not thinking of doing something great with the company and were just stuck in the production phase for a long time. The moment he got back as the CEO, the first thing Jobs did was reduce the number of projects from 350 to 50 and then, to 10. A move that made him instantly famous with Apple’s Board of Directors, Jobs joined back as a full time CEO in 1997. Post this, he launched a series of new inventions like the iPod, the first ever iMac, iTunes and the iPhone! Increasing Apple’s stock by more than 9,000 %, Jobs was instrumental in bringing back Apple from near destruction. Today, Apple stands at a valuation of a trillion dollars. Unfortunately, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer and breathed his last in 2011, before he could see Apple become the revolution it is today.

2.Hewlett Packard (Mark Hurd)

When Mark Hurd took over for Carly Forina as the CEO of HP in 2005, he realised the company was in bad shape. At the time, HP had more people on their roster than they knew what to do. Further, this was also the point where HP was recovering from the extremely infamous Compaq acquisition of 2002. Hurd’s first move at ensuring the stability of HP was by decentralizing the staff and increasing the emphasis on field training, improving efficiency and increasing customer support. This move proved to be extremely favorable and from the years 2006 to 2009, HP’s profits increased to $ 80 billion, with the value of the shares doubling from its rate at the point. On a side note, despite ensuring the success of HP, Hurd was forced to step down as the CEO in 2010 post several allegations of sexual harassment.

3. Yahoo! (Terry Semel)

With companies plummeting into sure fire destruction, Yahoo! was one of the websites which suffered the most during the dot com bubble burst. Despite launching to a stupendous fan base before the burst, the mail platform just could not take off the right way. Terry Semel joined the board of Yahoo! as a CEO in the year 2001, with a wealth of experience as the Chairman of Warner Bros. When Semel came on board as the CEO, the company morale was at an all time low and the previous year had ended with a loss of $ 93 million. Semel realised one of the ways to bring back the company was by shifting focus. He changed Yahoo’s business plan and made it a platform which distributed news and user based content through channels like Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance and Flickr. Within a year of Semel becoming Yahoo’s CEO, not only was there a massive turn around with an eradication of all the losses, Yahoo! recorded an impressive profit of $ 43 million. With a successful reign of 6 years, Semel stepped down as the CEO in 2007.

4.McDonald’s (James. R Cantalupo)

When James Cantalupo retired as the CEO of McDonald’s in the year 2001, the company realised they needed him far more than they thought. A short year after Cantalupo stepped down as CEO, stocks started plummeting, with customers across the world complaining about McDonald’s unhealthy menu. When Cantalupo joined back as the CEO in 2002, the first thing he did was to introduce a low on carbs menu in select countries. With a focus on consumers who wanted to eat healthier, the menu changed completely and the results of Cantalupo’s efforts were clearly showing. Within a year, the profits increased massively and in the year 2003, McDonald’s recorded a whopping profit of $ 327.4 million, almost a $ 100 million more than the previous year. Unfortunately, before Cantalupo could use his Midas’s touch for good, the highly effective CEO passed away in 2004 as a result of a massive heart attack.

5. Dan Hesse (Sprint)

Dan Hesse came on board as the CEO of Sprint in 2007, a period when the company was majorly free falling into destruction. It didn’t take long for Hesse to realise that the biggest problem Sprint was facing was the fact that consumers thought the prices were extremely high. One of Hesse’s first moves as the CEO was to introduce the Simply Everything plan, a strategy which redefined the way Sprint functioned. However, unlike other turnarounds, it took Hesse quite a while to restructure the profits of this particular company. It wasn’t till 2010, after a series of takeovers by Sprint and the introduction of new plans, that the company saw its first profit. By the year 2012, Sprint had recorded a massive profit of $ 35.3 billion, as opposed to the previous year’s profits of $ 33.7 billion. Hesse still continues to serve as the CEO of the company.

These CEOS have turned the world around and given their contemporaries a new milestone to achieve. Who’s your favourite CEO? Comment and let us know.

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5 Successful Indian Startups Founded By Women

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The workplace has undergone massive changes in the last century.  At the turn of the Industrial Revolution, any workplace was dominated by men while the women were delegated to run the homes.  However, with the advent of the internet and new and exciting technologies, workplaces have undergone a tectonic shift.  Women are no longer comfortable staying at home and are instead opting to lead teams and organisations.  As every year passes, we get closer to true gender equality, women have proven time and again that they are equally capable to get the job done if not better in some instances.  Names like Wolfe Herd (Bumble founder,) Kylie Jenner     (Kylie Cosmetics founder,)  Masaba Gupta (Masaba clothing label founder) are just some of the names who are known for leading world famous brands with their unique style of leadership. 

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, we bring to you five women founders who run world famous and successful startups.

1) Upasana Taku-MobiKwik

If you are an Indian and are used to doing online shopping, more often than not at the time of payment, you would be directed to a payment gateway.  One of these gateways would normally be MobiKwik.  The startup is a well known name in the digital payments and digital wallet space.  MobiKwik was founded by Upasana Taku in 2009, who prior to founding MobiKwik used to work with PayPal.  Today Upasana Taku is also in charge of bank partnerships, business operations, and talent acquisition at MobiKwik.

2) Richa Kar-Zivame

An enthusiastic MBA student, Richa Kar, developed an online lingerie shopping platform in the year 2011.  Currently, Zivame is India’s leading online lingerie store with a valuation of more than $ 100 million.  The brilliant idea for her own lingerie business came to light when Richa tracked Victoria’s Secret’s sales, who was one of her clients when she was working at SAP.  She observed the lingerie sales figures reached peaks overseas but, Indian women were not provided with the similar innerwear.  While Richa was studying the Indian lingerie market, she realized the social embarrassment in India surrounding lingerie shopping.  Today Richa Kar could be credited with destigmatising the uneasiness surrounding lingerie shopping in India.

3) Falguna Nayar-Nykaa

After a long stint as an investment banker, Falguni Nayar founded Nykaa.com in the year 2013. An online one stop shop for beauty products from Indian and international brands, Nykaa changed the world of online shopping.  Who would have ever thought buying makeup online would be so easy? Falguni Nayar proved many critics wrong and created a brand new place for people who love experimenting with styles, designs and colors.

ALSO READ: Zivame: Founding Story

4) Sabina Chopra-Yatra.com

Yatra.com is a popular Indian website for making flight and hotel bookings.  Sabina Chopra was instrumental in identifying the potential for travel commerce in India and people moving towards cheaper or easier travel.  By the time, people started looking to make bookings, Sabina made sure Yatra.com was already in place.  Sabina was the former Head of India Operations of eBookers, which is also an online travel company based in Europe.  Along with this, she was also working with Japan Airlines which further adds to her experience in the travel industry.

5) Rashmi Sinha-SlideShare

SlideShare allows people to upload and access their presentations online.  While this feature is presently available everywhere, SlideShare was one of the first players in making this happen.  Rashmi Sinha was one of the founders of the presentation sharing platform SlideShare.  The company became so successful that in 2012, LinkedIn acquired the company for an amount of $100 million.

Let us know in the comments if you know any other wonderful women who have become leaders of their right or have started up and are doing extraordinary things.  We at Startup Stories wish a wonderful Women’s Day to all the women in the world who are changemakers.

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5 Reasons Why Telegram Founder Pavel Durov Thinks Whatsapp Is Dangerous

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Whatsapp found itself in the midst of a public relations nightmare over its latest privacy policy update.  Data privacy is currently a widely debated topic worldwide and Whatsapp has found itself in the midst of this debate time and again.  However the latest update seems to have irked a lot of people enough for them to make the shift to Telegram and the much recent app, Signal.  Telegram Messenger was launched in 2013 and although it is not as well known as Whatsapp, it enjoys quite an amount of popularity owing to its data security and encryption.

Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram Messenger, is no fan of Whatsapp and he believes Whatsapp is dangerous and not safe.  Elucidating more on the topic, Durov made his reasons known in a blogpost he published in late 2020.  Here are the five reasons why Pavel Durov thinks Whatsapp is dangerous.

1) If Jeff Bezos’ phone can be hacked via Whatsapp then nobody is safe.

One of the richest men in the world and the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos’ phone was allegedly hacked by Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.  Some of Bezos’s private communications and images were taken during the hack following which Whatsapp’s security was questioned.

2) The United Nations recommends its officials to remove Whatsapp from their devices

The United Nations recommends its officials to not use Whatsapp because it thinks Whatsapp is not a secure mode of communication.  In June 2019, a U.N., spokesman Farhan Haq said, “The senior officials at the U.N. have been instructed not to use WhatsApp, it’s not supported as a secure mechanism (sic.)”  This directive came when independent U.N. experts found a possible involvement of Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, in the alleged cyber attack of Jeff Bexos’ phone in 2018.

3) End to end encryption does not guarantee security.

Durov says “in their marketing, WhatsApp uses the words “end-to-end encryption” as some magic incantation that alone is supposed to automatically make all communications secure. However, this technology is not a silver bullet that can guarantee you absolute privacy by itself (sic.)”

ALSO READ: Users Flock To Signal Messaging App After Whatsapp’s Latest Privacy Policy Update

4) Chat backups on Android and Apple cloud are not encrypted.

Pavel Durov does not believe chat backups in the cloud are safe and says “Users don’t want to lose their chats when they change devices, so they back up the chats in services like iCloud – often without realizing their backups are not encrypted.  The fact that Apple was forced by the FBI to abandon encryption plans for iCloud is telling (sic.)”

5) Backdoors continue to exist in Whatsapp

“There are backdoors.  Enforcement agencies are not too happy with encryption, forcing app developers to secretly plant vulnerabilities in their apps.  I know that because we’ve been approached by some of them – and refused to cooperate.  As a result, Telegram is banned in some countries where WhatsApp has no issues with authorities, most suspiciously in Russia and Iran (sic,)” claims Durov in his blogpost.

As data privacy is becoming more and more important in the current day and age of the internet, we wonder what messaging application is totally safe.  

 

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Five Free design Tools For Startups And Students

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Creative design is an integral part of any organisation as it is used for various purposes and by various functions within an organization.  Be it for sales brochures, marketing collateral, presentations and product labels creative design is an integral part.  Creative designs help tell a story or a narrative better with images or videos.  For students, design can be used in their project thesis, dissertation defence, creative resumes and many more.

However, design tools are usually expensive and require an expensive hardware setup to render the final product.  This means a lot of expenditure for students or startups looking to make creative designs.  However, there are various alternatives which do the same job with almost the same quality which can be a blessing for startups and students.

In this article we give you a list of five free design tools for startups and students.  Read below to find out the list of free design tools.

1) Canva

Canva is a graphic design platform which comes with preloaded templates and can be used to create posters, documents, presentations and other visual content for free.  Paid subscriptions can be purchased for additional functionality but the free version does a good job.

2) Pixlr

Pixlr is an online photo editing tool which lets users edit pictures for free.  Pixlr’s photo editing is intuitive and is complemented by artificial intelligence for quick and personalized editing.

3) PicMonkey

PicMonkey is another free online editing tool which can be accessed via a web browser.  Free users can access most of the features and tools while a membership is needed for accessing the entire design workflow.  PicMonkey lets users access design templates for wedding invitations, announcements, thank you cards, business cards and many more.

ALSO READ: 8 Best Free CRM Solutions For Startups

4) Crello

Crello is a tool which offers both video and graphic editing for free.   Crello can help you create visuals for social media in just a few minutes, design a business card or a flyer, create marketing collateral for print, social and blogs, as well as create long-form content like presentations.

5) Gravit Designer

Gravi Designer is a vector based design tool which works on both online and offline platforms.  Gravit Designer is highly preferred for Linux users and the developers are known to listen to feedback from users and integrate good suggestions onto their tool.  Gravit Designer can be used to design websites, or create interfaces, and also to make illustrations or design the artworks of entire games.

This concludes the list of top free design tools for startups and students.  Let us know if you are already using any of these design tools or plan on using them in the future in the comments below.

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