Latest Job Announcements at HSBC

Job Title Country Action
Senior Manager Regulatory Compliance HOST & Global Function (GF) UAE View & Apply
Business Development Processing Officer Qatar View & Apply
Anti Money Laundering Manager Kuwait View & Apply
Manager, Financial Crime Compliance – GB&M UAE View & Apply
Receptionist – Emaar Square Receptionist UAE View & Apply
Manager, AML Compliance-Global Banking & Markets (GBM) UAE View & Apply
Receptionist UAE View & Apply
Receptionist, DIC office, Dubai UAE View & Apply
Regional Head of Reputational Risk & Client Selection (RRCS), MENA UAE View & Apply
Senior Project Manager, HOST Global Banking and Markets, Dubai UAE View & Apply
Teller Officer Egypt View & Apply

Disclaimer: I am only re-producing the job ads I get from different sources as is. Please send you CVs directly to the given email address. I have no more knowledge about the jobs or the companies. Thanks.

 

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Dell Aquire’s EMC: Would it be a case of Indigestion?

yourstory-Dell-EMC-merger-1This is probably one of the most significant acquisitions in the recent history of tech since the HP-Compaq merger in 2002. AOL-Time Warner merger which happened in 2000 was bigger at $164Bn price tag but it was more about the consumer entertainment industry rather than enterprise technology.

I had an interesting discussion with friends and colleagues about this important event and decided to write a post to capture what I make of it. So here it goes, why it is not a good idea based on the following factors.

  1. Most acquisitions are done at a premium, except in the case when a company has to be saved or salvaged from imminent demise. The scenario is this case is somewhat like this; The market capitalization of EMC on Sep 29th was $44.52bn, it was $54.55bn on Oct 12th, where as since March the average cap was around $51bn. Now Dell paid $67bn for EMC. So on the Sep 29th price they paid 51% premium, on Oct 12th price they paid 23% premium and on the average price since March they paid somewhere between 23% and 30% premium. Now do you know what that means, this means Dell think they can run EMC at least 23% better or on the upper side 50% better. Think of any organization’s growth in today’s market or any market, can it be 22% to 50%, specially by a new management. On top EMC’s culture is far more stronger and they are far stronger in enterprise market, Dell has always struggled to get into enterprise with their range of servers. So when a weaker company raises debt to buy a stronger company, in the short term the share holders of the stronger company can benefit by the premium price but in the long term its a bleak prospect.
  2. Meg Whitman, CEO of HP, sent out an email to all HP employees hoping to rally the troops by pointing out the downsides of this merger. Whitman who was reportedly in talks with EMC for a possible merger last year, walked away when the two CEOs couldn’t agree on price. From the sound of those news reports about the HP-EMC deal, the negotiations went far, meaning HP probably got a good look at EMC’s books. She pointed out in her email that Dell was taking on an awful lot of debt to make this deal happen. The total debt is $50 billion that the new combined company will have on their balance sheet, Dell will need to pay roughly $2.5 billion a year in interest alone. That’s $2.5 billion that they could allocate to R&D and other business critical activities.
  3. Any merger creates confusion within the two companies and in the market place. Specially when the companies are big and have a large customer base. It is seen that competition takes benefit of the situation because customers are unsure of the future. The total merger plays out over a considerable period of time usually more than a year and that is a time full of chaos and uncertainty in the companies.
  4. A more obvious outcome is that after the merger you have two people for every position and you can’t mix and match people from two different cultures on day one. A lot of good talent leaves due to this upheaval. There ought to be insecurities that play out not in the benefit of the new combined organization.

Having stated the above factors, I am confident that these mergers can work if handled very carefully by a dedicated management whose Golden Parachutes don’t make them jump as soon as they can. The best strategy could be to leave the two companies as is, in this case three; Dell, EMC and VMware. Synergies should be identified and played upon at a reasonable pace that does not affect business. Clear and to-the-point Communications plays a vital role both inside and outside the organization. The pressure of the shareholders & Wall street has to be managed since the appetite of the investor wants results, the very next quarter. In conclusion a long drawn thoughtful integration strategy is the only way to make such mergers a success.

Sales candidates for Oracle Cloud for UAE

GTS Oracle Platinum partner is looking for Sales candidates for Oracle Cloud for UAE. Expected experience is in IT consulting sales in UAE for 5-7 years. This is immediate requirement. They can reach Mr Murali on 0554505108 or email mmurali@gtsuae.com.

Please circulate to those who might be interested.

Disclaimer: I am only re-producing the job ads I get from different sources as is. Please send you CVs directly to the given email address. I have no more knowledge about the jobs or the companies. Thanks.

Ask Me!!

imagesBesides requests for jobs in the UAE, I receive quite a few questions and requests for career and work related advice. Like in the case of jobs, I can’t reply to most of the people. That makes me feel bad. In order to somehow address my rudeness for not responding to many of you. I am starting this ‘Ask Me’ page. You can send me your questions on adnan.siddiqui@gmail.com or on Facebook. I will pick some of the questions which are of benefit to most and I can answer based on my knowledge and experience. I also plan to invite some of my industry colleagues to answer these questions for you. I will start with some questions that are already in my inbox. Take care and ask what you want to.

Job(s) Advertised on Oct 6th

One Accounting opening in Saudi for logistics company. Salary based on experience. Please send CVs to Jobhunt.subbu@gmail.com

Disclaimer: I am only re-producing the job ads I get from different sources as is. Please send you CVs directly to the given email address. Thanks.

Job(s) Advertised on Oct 4th

HIRING…! . Senior Account Manager . Information Technology . Send your CV.

A.alyahya@respeedsa.com

Follow the Stars

Man on the stairsEvery organization has a set of informal groups which cut across functional boundaries and hierarchy. These informal social linkages are the real reason for any kind of changes happening in an organization. Emails or official meetings don’t do it, they only formalize which has already been decided in these informal groups. Now I have probably made it sound like a conspiracy to make appointed management ineffective, or interest groups lobbying, no such things. I am only hinting at the human factor in play here. People talk to people, they like and dislike, they want to belong to a certain ‘group’ of people. They want reassurances in time of doubt, they want to celebrate in times of victory. I don’t think I should go too deep into human phycology here. The bottom line is informal social groups are more powerful than any organized entity.

So if that’s how things are done, so are you doomed? My answer is, It depends on where you belong. One natural instinct is to belong with people of your kind, I mean language, stature, liking but that may not give you the entry into the club that matters. If you want to be successful in life, or I should say corporate life, you have to ‘Follow the Stars’. Look for them in your organization, develop rapport with them, take cues from them, make yourself useful, be available. Every body likes to be admired, likes to be followed (not stalked 🙂 ), they are humans like you with egos sometimes bloated to match the size of their offices. They like to feel needed and important. These individuals are your gateway to the right fraternity.

How do you get close to these high potential, influential coworkers, and be remembered. I have a few ideas but first lets identify who to follow and then how.

The Blue Eyed Boy (Girl): Look for that flamboyant personality who usually hangs out with people of influence in the organization. He is the one who is on his way up to the corner office or that coveted corridor at least. He is probably loud but popular. He is usually part of middle management or a super sales performer.

The Communicator: Being a good communicator is a mandatory requirement for success. One surefire sign of a star is his communications skills and confidence. If he is a good communicator, he will be able to get his message across easily. He is understood easily and admired for his use of words. He makes sure there is no noise in the medium when he communicates.  Guess how important such a person could be to your future growth if he uses the same communications skills, to promote you, that he is so admired for.

The Passionate Believer: This guy has an undying faith in the organization, its culture and products. He wants to be part of something bigger. He is a visionary and always sees the glass half full. They are sometimes too loyal to the company for their own good, but he is your man.

The Connector: This blog post is all about who you know? Well, it’s who you know, along with who your target stars know, and to whom they are willing to introduce you. The Connector willingly opens up their network to help move you forward. The Connector is one of the most valuable mentoring assets you can have.

So now when you can spot the stars in your organization, lets see how to cultivate a strong relationship based on mutual respect and trust.

Get to know them: You should know as much as possible about these stars and their stories. Their personalities and their ambitions. Try to understand their sphere of influence in the organization. This will help you decide if you can take sides without compromising your neutrality.

Ask for Advice: Asking someone for advice is a great strategy for getting people to like you. Asking for advice shows that you value their opinion and demonstrates respect. When you make someone feel better about himself or herself, that person will most certainly end up liking you.

Ask Questions: Asking other people questions, about their lives, their interests, their passions is a definite way to make them want to talk to you again. As I said people are egocentric, they love to talk about themselves. If you’re asking questions and getting people to talk about themselves, they’ll leave the conversation trusting you. There isn’t an obvious reason but subconsciously they start liking you.

Keep Secrets: Once you are trusted, whatever you hear should remain a secret. You are not supposed to share it with anybody. This way you will strengthen your bond.

 Help them Achieve their Goals: Don’t underestimate yourself. You can be of immense help to these people further their own ambitions and goals. Be useful and rest assured you will be pulled up along.

How to be useful to these high potential stars and seen as adding quantifiable value to your organization, is a topic on its own and demands for a separate post. Till then, happy reading.

Jobs Advertised between Sep 2, 2015 to Oct 1, 2015

02/09/2015, 7:40 pm – A company in JLT urgently requires a Finance Manager to manage its group operation. Candidate should preferably have experience in Consolidation of accounts. African experience will be an advantage. Salary around 25k. Candidate who can join immidately only should apply. Interested candidates can mail their CV to jajumanish@gmail.com. Candidate must be a chartered accountant

07/09/2015, 10:10 pm – An engineering company based in Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah is hiring a Junior Office-Accounts Coordinator:

Recent Graduates are welcome
Must be well versed in Tally and MS Office
Must be well versed in Accounting procedures
Excellent communication, analytical, and communication skills
Demonstrates attention to detail
GCC experience a must
References a must
Salary expectations to be mentioned in the cover letter.

Please send your CV and cover letter to: leadauditor2015@gmail.com

Dear All,

Please note that there is an opening for the post of Accountant in my friend’s company dealing with distribution of Du products.

Role : Accountant
Experience : minimum 4 – 5 years
Qualification : Graduate & above
Salary scale : AED 7000/month

Tamil speaking guy preferred within the age of 40.

Those interested can forward the CV to my mail id.

Thanks & Regards
Prakash (Mahadevan)

20/09/2015, 6:37 am – Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging is a leading provider of souvenir imaging services. Our operation expands into Asia, Pacific, USA, UK & Middle East countries. Experience the thrill of working in an exciting, fun filled environment in a multinational organization.

We are currently looking to hire a PA and Admin for our Business Development Team on a 3 months fixed term contract. This is to cover the absence of our current PA who will be on her maternity leave for 3 months from beginning of December 2015.

The candidate should be:

· On a husband’s visa or having their own visa with NOC.
· Having previous experience in an Admin/ PA/ EA role in a corporate environment.
· Flexible, efficient, organized and a good communicator.
· IT literate and having advanced level skills in using Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

The position will cover administration support for the Business Development team and a PA to Vice President for Business Development.

We will be offering a salary of AED 12,000/- per month for the 3 months fixed term.

The office timing is from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Sunday to Thursday.

Office Location is at 1405 Grosvenor Business Tower in Tecom, Dubai.

To know more about our organization, kindly visit our website: http://www.digiphotoglobal.com. If interested, kindly send your CV to: careers.uae@digiphotoglobal.com.

We are currently hiring FLA/Teller for our exchange house company; the candidate is required to have a minimum experience of 1-2 years in the same field. Candidate should be capable of handling day to day transaction. You may forward your CV at: islamic.services8@gmail.com.
20/09/2015, 6:37 am – Subbu: I am looking for civil engineers and supervisors with experience in oil and gas industry. 6 nos each. Posting in abu dhabi. GASCO Experience will be advantageous.
Pls forward cvs to
Sasindranpks@hotmail.com
21/09/2015, 7:19 am – Shipping Accountant required in JLT, Dubai. Handling all general accounting works. A full job description is available. Shipping Experience is an advantage. Please send your CV to hr@ikonpetroleum.com. Salary is 4000 – 8000AED plus medical and ticket Please do not comment as I wont respond, please just send your CV to the address hr@ikonpetroleum.com show less
21/09/2015, 7:19 am – Subbu: Looking to Recruit Accountant 2-5 years of local experience working with any Auto industry in UAE. Manage accounts up to finalization. Required to look in to Banking and Auditing. Salary: 9-10K+ Benefits. Qualified CA/CPA/CMA/ ACCA/M.com Open for all nationalities please send CV to sasmcae@gmail.com
22/09/2015, 9:41 am – Shipping Accountant required in JLT, Dubai. Handling all general accounting works. A full job description is available. Shipping Experience is an advantage. Please send your CV to hr@ikonpetroleum.com. Salary is 4000 – 8000AED plus medical and ticket Please do not comment as I wont respond, please just send your CV to the address hr@ikonpetroleum.com show less
22/09/2015, 9:41 am – Guys pleaee apply this…few guys got interview from our group

28/09/2015, 7:34 am – Urgent requirement
2-3 Yrs exp in receivables. 7-8 Lacs package imm.. required in. HP bangalore.
28/09/2015, 7:34 am – Finance dept ( Accts receivables )
28/09/2015, 7:34 am – Vijaybs1@gmail.com
28/09/2015, 7:34 am – Pls send cv to this id
28/09/2015, 3:45 pm –  1.     Need Indian PRO for a UK based company in Dubai, with minimum 3 years of pro experience in a Dubai based company. English communication had to be really good and must know to speak and write Arabic and Hindi. Must know ms office. Email CV to cvsfze@gmail.com and mention PRO in the subject line.

2.     IT Administrator for Immediate opening. Degree holder. Minimum 6 years experience (preferably UAE Experience). Comprehensive knowledge in LAN, WAN, Telecommunications system, hardware and software installations etc.

 

3.       Looking for full time trainer CMA qualified.  Interested candidates please send cv to s.antony@highstepstraining.com

4.     We have some opening please find below and circulate to who is looking for a job
I am working with Ingram Micro in Internet City. I am looking for civil engineers and supervisors with experience in oil and gas industry. 6 nos each. Posting in abu dhabi. GASCO Experience will be advantageous. Pls forward cvs to Sasindranpks@hotmail.com

5.
Require sales man south Indian for kitchen cleaning products.  Car will be provided require to meet the target. Apply to info@siriusbms.com

6.
Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging is a leading provider of souvenir imaging services. Our operation expands into Asia, Pacific, USA, UK & Middle East countries. Experience the thrill of working in an exciting, fun filled environment in a multinational organization.

We are currently looking to hire a PA and Admin for our Business Development Team on a 3 months fixed term contract. This is to cover the absence of our current PA who will be on her maternity leave for 3 months from beginning of December 2015.

The candidate should be:

·       On a husband’s visa or having their own visa with NOC.
·       Having previous experience in an Admin/ PA/ EA role in a corporate environment.
·       Flexible, efficient, organized and a good communicator.
·       IT literate and having advanced level skills in using Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

The position will cover administration support for the Business Development team and a PA to Vice President for Business Development.

We will be offering a salary of AED 12,000/- per month for the 3 months fixed term.

The office timing is from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Sunday to Thursday.

Office Location is at 1405 Grosvenor Business Tower in Tecom, Dubai.

To know more about our organization, kindly visit our website: www.digiphotoglobal.com.  If interested, kindly send your CV to : careers.uae@digiphotoglobal.com.

 

7.     We are currently hiring FLA/Teller for our exchange house company; the candidate is required to have a minimum experience of 1-2 years in the same field. Candidate should be capable of handling day to day transaction.  You may forward your CV at:islamic.services8@gmail.com.

 

8.     We are looking for below position for our Dubai & Jebel Ali Office:

1) Marketing Executive – Male / Female – With or without experience (freight forwarding industry)

2) Receptionist – Fresher

3) Marketing Manager – With minimum 5 – 7 years of experience in freight forwarding industry.

Nationality preferred – Indians & Philippines
Qualification – Graduate
Company Details – Above positions are for a leading freight forwarding company in Dubai for their new office in Jebel Ali.

Please send your CV to: jason@gulfirst.com

 

9.     We have a vacancy for the position of Accounts Assistant, male, B.Com, with 3 years’ experience and knowledge of tally.  Please apply with photograph to fax no.: 04–2942671

10.  One of Dubai’s leading & most prestigious nurseries is seeking native English speaking, qualified Teachers. Experience is preferable. Candidates should be enthusiastic, friendly, nurturing and have a passion for working with children!

We offer a very competitive package as well as a wonderful & cohesive working atmosphere. The facilities are spacious and the activities fun and varied.

We are also seeking an Office Administrator who is fluent in English and in Arabic – both spoken and written. The candidate should also have good communication and organisational skills as well as being proficient in MS computer applications.

Kindly forward your CV and photograph to: info@thepalacenursery.ae

11.  A Dubai based company is seeking to hire Sales & Marketing Manager.

Requirements:
Bachelor’s Degree preferred or equivalent
4-7 years of strong experience in Sales & Marketing
Excellent communication skills
Enthusiastic, dynamic and self-motivated
Valid UAE driver’s license

Interested candidates with above skills may please send their CV’s to: recruitment.dxb2009@gmail.com

Following openings are available in UAE
1. senior accountant.
2. junior accountant.

To apply:- Qualified candidates may forward their CV on or before 1 Oct, 2015 to
harshnarang29@gmail.com

More Details / Apply visit

http://www.utrustus.org

http://www.utrustus.org/jobopening.asp
01/10/2015, 7:02 am – Subbu: IMG-20151001-WA0000.jpg (file attached)

IMG-20150903-WA0008 IMG-20150919-WA0000 IMG-20150920-WA0000 IMG-20151001-WA0000

Jobs in UAE.

download

I have been approached by a lot of people through different mediums; social media, reference, personal contacts etc etc asking for help to get them a job in UAE. I feel myself quite incapable of helping any significant number of these people, although I want to. In the meanwhile I got in touch with a gentleman who does just that, using only a Whatsapp group. He has got his contacts who send him his requirements and he posts on the group. So I thought I can help by putting these jobs regularly on my blog & other social media properties so that they can reach a broader audience. So here you go…. I am posting the Whatsapp messages as is.

The Experience I want. Regards, Your Customer.

customer_experience_journeyConcepts, ideas, technology all reinvent themselves over the course of history. Science fiction becomes reality after a few decades. Virtualization was a craze in the last decade and now a established way of managing your IT resources, though it was first introduced by IBM in 1972 and thus has a rich 43 years of history behind it. Customer Experience, Employee Experience etc are just the basics of application development. Since the inception of computer programming to write apps for everyday consumers, experience enhancement is a constant effort. This effort keeps getting help on this journey by ever evolving programming concepts, devices, telecommunications and data management. Lets see how this practice has evolved over the years.

Customer Experience or CE, , is the outcome of the efforts of an organization to improve its value chain to take advantage of the latest available technology and customers’ preferred way of engaging with the organization. Lets not go too far back in history and start with the famous Green Screen, those of you who have been in the field of IT since late 80s and early 90s would remember the text based, huge monitors that showed text in only green. Since those days programmers have been trying to improve the user interface to make their applications more user-friendly. This struggle continued during the days of client-server computing, visual programming, the internet & less costly bandwidth and finally today in the era of mobile. So, is making your UI better the only way to improve your customer experience and is that all that you need to do for a better experience? The answer is, No.

User Interface (UI) Design focuses on anticipating what users might need to do and ensuring that the interface has elements that are easy to access, understand, and use to facilitate those actions. We cannot substitute this definition for defining CE, this is just a part of it. As I mentioned earlier the other important elements of a desirable customer experience together complete the value chain. An organization on the CE journey should ask itself the following questions (I am also mentioning the technical solutions through which these capabilities are achieved).

  1. Are you aware of your customer’s preferences, demographics etc and can you make sense of all the data you have about your customer and related environment. (Customer Analytics)
  2. How the customer is made aware of your products and offerings? (Digital Marketing)
  3. How and through which channels the customer can get engaged with your organization, either digital or brick & mortar? (Omni Channel e-commerce)
  4. How easy and enjoyable is the user’s experience of this engagement? (Omni Channel Customer Engagement)
  5. Does the information he gets through these channels, updated in real-time, personalized, authentic and seamless across all of your channels?  (Real-Time Personalization)
  6. Can he pay for it in a secured manner without any third-party exposure? (e-payment)
  7. Is your organization’s supply chain setup in a way to facilitate manufacturing for quick turn around? (B2B Integration, e-Procurement)
  8. Is your delivery mechanism, transparent and efficient? (Shipment & Returns)
  9. Do you resolve your customer issues in the same manner and urgency as you sell to them? (After Sales Support, Customer Fulfilment)

If the answer to any of the above questions is “no” or “not exactly” then your customer wont have the desired customer experience. So unless the whole cycle of a transaction starting from awareness to purchase and to customer support does not work in tandem to provide an exceptional CE, your customer might become some one else’s customer.

So why is Customer Experience so important? All the media, technology gurus and vendors agree that, the differentiation in most industries and product categories have decreased rapidly since the post WWII industrial revolution. Most of the products that at one point had no competition started facing competition from new companies, new economies emerged to challenge the dominance of established ones, industry boundaries started vanishing and companies in completely unrelated industries started offering alternates to established ones. In such a situation where a differential advantage remains an advantage for a short time, companies have to keep innovating not only in their product design but also the way that product is delivered to the customer.

The first time a bank started night banking, retail customers thronged to it because of the differentiation it offered that was of immense utility to consumers. So, delivering an exceptional and superior customer experience is the effort to create a differential advantage which is not easy to emulate. A lot of companies can provide a better UI but providing a comprehensive CE which encompasses the whole value chain is way more difficult and requires a lot of efforts and changes in organizational culture.

One of the first steps in this regard is creating an empowered workforce through creating a culture of digital collaboration, which I will discuss in another post soon.

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

Smarter than you thinkI found this book just at the time when I was worrying a lot about my own life long addiction to technology, social media and electronic gadgets and also about my kids obsession with their iphones and ipads. The jury is still out on how the increasing use of internet and social media is affecting our lives. Is it for better or worse? What kind of human beings our children are going to be when they grow up with social media and technology being so much part of their lives?

We find most of the commentators whether qualified or not, suggesting that this attack of technology is bad for us, just like they did at the advent of every significant change brought about by technology. Like always there is another side of this story which is more believable because of what history tells us about such changes in our lives. Clive Thompson in this book has told us how we adopt new technologies and then how they become an extension of our own selves.

Since the day humans started writing on dried leaves we have been supplementing our basic human faculties. Paper, recorders, hard drives all have been extending our memories and thus augmenting our minds. Social Media has become a dominant force in its own right, the way we learn has changed completely, more knowledge and information is now available to students. Having made a case for all these technologies, Clive stresses that we must be able to manage the use of these tools for our benefit rather than let them become an agent for mental capability degradation. 

“Smarter Than You Think (..) It’s about our future. How are computers improving our memory? How will our social “sixth sense” change the way we learn? Which tools are boosting our intelligence—and which ones are hindering our progress? Smarter Than You Think embraces and interrogates this transformation, offering a provocative vision of our shifting cognitive landscape.”

http://smarterthanyouthink.net/book/

Social Media for Social Change: Ushahidi

UshahidiSome time back I read the book, “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better” by Clive Thompson. This is an amazing book and I will write its review soon. One live case that really attracted me was of ‘Ushahidi‘ of Kenya. Ushahidi is a crowd mapping application that came about after Kenyan activist Ory Okolloh send out a plea on her blog for techies who can help her map out the violence & destruction to create a better picture. The government was suppressing the news and extent of violence, there was no way for NGOs and relief workers to know where and what kind of assistance is needed. Ory Okolloh used Social Media to help gather correct information from far flung areas of the country.

The message Ory Okolloh sent out on her blog “Kenyan Pundit” was: “Any techies out there willing to do a mashup of where the violence and destruction is occurring using Google Maps?” Okolloh’s simple query on January 3, 2008 inspired a group of bloggers to collaborate over the weekend to turn her dream into a reality. On January 9, Ushahidi, meaning ‘witness or testimony’ in Swahili, was born, enabling Kenyans, and people around the world, to report and map incidents of violence via SMS or the web.

The disconnect between local media coverage and information Ory Okolloh received directly from her sources sparked the call for Ushahidi. She saw the need for those inside the country to have information-sharing technology to communicate with each other and those seeking to help victims. On the release of Ushahidi, Okolloh announced on her blog, “We believe that the number of deaths being reported by the government, police, and media is grossly underreported. We also don’t think we have a true picture of what is really going on – reports that all of us have heard from family and friends in affected areas suggests that things are much worse than what we have heard in the media.”

Ushahidi allowed Kenyans to create a more accurate picture of the violence occurring. The platform is simple. As events occur in the field, witnesses send SMS messages to a designated phone number or submit a report online. Ushahidi administrators can view the reports, which are stored in a secure database. Administrators prioritize urgent messages, fact-check and confirm each submission before posting it in near real time. Each report is posted with a title, description, and most importantly, exact GPS coordinates onto an interactive Google map. Each report is categorized by type of incident – for example, fire, rape, or looting. The Ushahidi platform compiles full analytical reports and alerts that identify areas with high levels of activity. In addition, the platform can compile a full timeline of events. NGOs, relief workers and civic activists can easily access data to identify where assistance is needed and what type of response is required.

Following are some of the examples of the use of Ushahidi across the world that I collected from the internet.

Soon after its initial use in Kenya, the Ushahidi software was used to create a similar site to track anti-immigrant violence in South Africa, in May 2008. The software has since been used to map violence in eastern Congo, beginning in November 2008. Ushahidi is used in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia in June 2009 to track pharmacy stock outs in several Southeast African countries. It was also used to monitor elections in Mexico and India, among other projects. It was used by Al Jazeera to collect eyewitness reports during the 2008–09 Gaza War.

In Haiti & Chile in 2010, Ushahidi was used after devastating earthquakes. Only in Haiti nearly 40,000 independent reports were sent to the Ushahidi Project of which nearly 4,000 distinct events were plotted.

On 20th April 2010 BP’s offshore Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded precipitating the largest accidental offshore oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. On 3rd May the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) publicly released the Oil Spill Crisis Map, the first application of the Ushahidi platform in a humanitarian response in the United States. Ushahidi was also used in Russia to set up a “map of help” for voluntary workers needed after the 2010 Russian wildfires.

Using Ushahidi, the Christchurch Recovery Map website was launched less than 24 hours after the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. The site maps locations of services such as food, water, toilets, fuel, ATMs, and medical care. This software also allowed pro-democracy demonstrators across the Middle East to organise and communicate what was happening around them in early 2011.

India Citizen Reports has been using Ushahidi since 2011 to collect and disseminate reports in various categories like civic problems, crimes and corruption. TelecomMap.com uses Ushahidi to map 3G network quality and Wi-Fi hotspots. Australian Broadcasting Corporation used Ushahidi to map the Queensland floods in January. The MightyMoRiver Project used Ushahidi’s hosted service Crowdmap to track the Missouri River floods of 2011.

Transparency Watch Project is using the Ushahidi platform to track corruption reported cases in the Republic of Macedonia. Citizens can report cases of corruption by sending SMS from their mobile phones, sending an email, using the web form, the hashtag #korupcijaMK on Twitter or by reporting via phone call. Al Jazeera Balkans deployed Ushahidi crisis mapping platform on 5 February 2012 to track the snow/cold emergency in the Balkans.

Conclusion: In Pakistan we have a cell phone subscriber base of more than 100 million, internet penetration is also quite high at least in the urban areas. We can use Social Media to help us resolve many of our problems. Crowd mapping is only one such example. I witnessed the chaos after the earthquake of October 2005. Like many underdeveloped countries we had no coordination between our civic and military relief agencies. There was no SoPs written and practiced for a disaster of this magnitude or any magnitude. In the presence of this void, citizens with cell phones could have made the difference. The same is true for the 2013 general elections where some of the irregularities were highlighted by media but print and electronic media does not have the bandwidth or capability to highlight more than a few cases. When irregularities are everywhere in a country of 180 million people, only the people themselves can raise their voice through organized collaboration using Social Media.

By increasing transparency and accountability through active citizen participation in the electoral process, this kind of project seeks to leverage on traditional activities around electoral observation, such as those carried out by the Elections Observer Group (ELOG) or other monitoring agencies. Ushahidi project can assist in the creation of a more rapid reporting and alert system, as well as bring in the voice of citizens as a new dimension in electoral monitoring through crowd sourcing of data.

We know that the parties of status quo would never want to have transparent elections or they will loose so we should not expect something like this from the government. The beauty of this idea is that it can be implemented by a small team of dedicated volunteers. Ushahidi is available for free use for projects all over the world.

Decisive by Dan and Chip Heath

Decisive I am a chronic book lover and as such I can fall in love with a book just by looking at it or sometimes just by the way it feels in my hands but this book by two brothers Dan and Chip Heath is a must read for everybody in general but specially for young upcoming professionals who will be making a lot of difficult and quick decisions in their lives.

I learnt all or part of it in the trenches with my seniors still I can never claim that when I make decisions I take care of all these aspects of successful decision making, which have been illustrated in this book.

Dan & Heath have a way with words, simple and concise. In this book they describe that to make better choices, we must avoid the most common decision-making biases. Being aware of these biases isn’t sufficient to avoid them, but a process can help. Following this process doesn’t guarantee making the right decisions but the quality of your decision making will definitely increase and so will the probability of better decision outcomes.

http://heathbrothers.com/books/decisive/

The Illusion of Right Priorities!!

The illusion of right prioritiesThe biggest illusion for an individual could be his misplaced confidence in the righteousness of his priorities in life. Identifying these priorities early and then setting your goals accordingly is the key to a happy and fulfilled life.

Most of us mistake our ambitions for what we want in life. We sometimes mess up the meaning of happiness and falsely equate it to the achievement of our short-term goals. These goals are nothing but momentary spikes in our otherwise monotonous struggle to realize our ambitions. We realize this only after achieving our ambitions and if we are lucky, sometimes earlier. Still, it takes a lot of effort and energy to steer your life towards a happier and satisfied future. That is why it is so important to find our real priorities in life as early as possible?

Your priority could be anything you value in life and you know that it will make you happy. There can be trade offs between two competing priorities but in the end you have to know what matters more to you. Ask yourself, is it money? Is it family? Is it just laying low and sustain? Some people want to make it big in a field of their choice, irrespective of money and any other consideration. I am not saying that one of the above is better to choose than others and by no means it is an exhaustive list. Whatever it is that makes you happy should be your priority. Identify it quickly and make a plan to achieve it. Don’t fool yourself with one when actually you long for the other.

I know of a case where someone was offered a better job with more money, perks and responsibility and she always wanted such a job but when she realized that this new job would mean less time with her husband and for the things she loved doing, she turned down the offer. So she realized her priority was better quality of life with her family than the job she always wanted. You can very well guess what would have happened if she were not able to decipher her feelings to understand her real priority in life.

So ask yourself today, what is your priority in life? You might be surprised with the answer.