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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Shenoy takes the bugs out of Web sites of flea markets

Inspiration comes from strange places.

In Kat Shenoy’s case, it came from a flea market in Solebury, Bucks County.

Shenoy, the president and CEO of Blue Bell software developer E-SoftSys Ltd., had always thought flea markets were small-time affairs with maybe two dozen vendors, tops. As a result, it had never occurred to him to develop software for the people who run them.

Both things changed in early 2001 when he visited Rice’s Market, which says on its Web site that it hosts as many as 700 vendors and 15,000 shoppers.

The manager, Chuck Kane, is a friend of Shenoy’s. And he told Shenoy that there were no good software packages for running markets like Rice’s and that there were plenty of markets like Rice’s around the country.

That was all Shenoy needed to hear. He had E-SoftSys, which he had founded the previous year, develop software for running flea markets. The company sold it to Rice’s and then sent representatives to the National Flea Market Association’s next annual convention where they landed some other big markets as customers.

“Based on the success of this, I started looking for other, smaller industries where people rent space,” Shenoy said.

He found two — the trade-show industry and the self-storage industry — and had E-SoftSys send people to conventions for both. As Shenoy suspected, both industries had software requirements that were similar to each other and to the flea-market industry. So he had E-SoftSys come up with software for both of them.

“What we focused on was the technology and the customer support,” he said. “My philosophy is, you provide the best customer support possible and the product will sell itself based on referrals from other customers.”

That philosophy appears to be working. E-SoftSys has grown to 100 employees and, although it still gets half its revenue from custom software development, the other half comes from its flea-market, trade-show and self-storage management software.

E-SoftSys recently landed a big customer in the last industry when Stor-All Management Ltd. of Deerfield Beach, Fla., which has more than 29,000 units in 44 locations, implemented its Self Storage Manager software.

“It’s not often you get a company with 44 sites switching their applications,” Shenoy said.

Jeff Anderson, Stor-All’s CEO, said his company evaluated all the leading self-storage management systems available.

“With the exception of Self Storage Manager, none came close to meeting our key requirements,” he said.

Among other things, Stor-All needed to be able to smoothly import the information about its tenants from its old software and to keep its management operations up and running after a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Shenoy attributes Self Storage Manager’s popularity in part to its architecture, which features both a centralized database and databases at each site. That gives self-storage companies the ability to centrally control prices and programs, as well as generate reports, while allowing individual sites to be able to keep operating when the Internet connection to their headquarters is down.

“Individual sites can do all the operations they need to do,” he said.

E-SoftSys’ background is also a plus. Because it started out as a custom software developer and still does custom software projects, it’s willing to customize its products for flea-market, trade-show and self-storage customers in ways its competitors often aren’t, Shenoy said.

It also does search-engine optimization and Web-site development for its customers, including the National Flea Market Association and Rice’s, which it developed Web sites for.

“Our clients like the fact that we are a one-stop shop for all [information-technology] services,” Shenoy said.

Manipal Institute of Technology Makes India Proud by Launching “Formula Manipal”

Manipal Institute of Technology’s students had crossed a spectacular mile stone in the History of India. A team of 15 students of MIT dreamt of making a racing car when they were in Second year of engineering. They formed a team named FORMULA MANIPAL, from various engineering branches.

Manipal Formula car was unveiled on the 4th of September 2008, at the Manipal University Main building (MAHE building) at 10 AM. Dr.Ramdas Pai Chairman, Manipal Education * Medical Group Flagged off the Event.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ramdas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Education & Medical Group, said “" One small step for Manipal, but one giant leap for Indian engineering…

The car has been designed, conceived and fabricated by the students themselves and will take part in the prestigious Formula SAE –FORMULA SOCIETY OF AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERS.

Competition to be held in Italy from 20th to 22nd of September. 200 universities from world over will participate in this international competition. The event will be held at the Ferrari Fiorano Racetrack in Italy. This is the only Indian and the only Asian team to take part in the Italy event.

Dr. Pabla, Director M.I.T- "Couple of years back, the team had approached us with the idea for designing and manufacturing of this race car. At first we were a little skeptical and apprehensive whether this is possible at Manipal. But I am glad that the students have erased all doubts from our mind and will do themselves, Manipal University and more importantly the country proud at Italy".

It was a jam-packed event with the audience comprising of students and faculty members from Manipal Institute of Technology and including prominent dignitaries, the audience were astonished that their college mates could pull off such a massive project, and went berserk once the car was started.

Team members:

1. Kausik Mani
2. Shelav Jain
3. Vineet Jain
4. Siddhartha Jain
5. Arjun Samara Divakera
6. Ankit Kumar Banka
7. Srikanth Toppaladodi
8. Ratnesh Kumar
9. Aditya Raghunandan
10. Sagnik Niyogi
11. Rachit Mathur
12. Nishant Jain
13. Eklavya Singh
14. Aayush Gupta
15. Dhawal Bavishi
Driver Name – Ankit Banka

Narayana Karvi inducted as president of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy

The newly appointed president of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy Mr. Narayana Karvi(60) took over the charge during the function held today 4th of September 2008 at 5 p.m at the Konkani Sahitya Academy office premises.

Mr Kharvi was welcomed by the outgoing president of the academy Mr. Eric Ozario to the office premises when he arrived in a procession led by Mangalore's own well known Harry's Century Band. All the guests were honoured with floral bouquets.

Mr.Shiva Rudrappa registrar of Karnataka Sahitya Academy, introduced Mr. Narayana Karvi to the gathering. In his introductory speech, Mr Rudrappa explained Narayana Karvi's contribution to the growth of Konkani and thanked Mr. Eric Ozario former president of Konkani Sahitya Academy, for his sincere commitment and dedication towards the academy during his tenure.

Mr. Ozario speaking on the occasion lauded the contribution of Mr Karvi to Konkani folklore and relentlessly working towards preserving the culture among the Karvi community. "The appointment of Mr Karvi as the president has erased the Brahamanism(caste based domination) in the administration of the academy which has been headed in the past mostly by GSB or Konkani Catholics. Mr Karvis appointment is victory for the Karvi(fisherman) Community," he said. Mr Ozario also thanked everyone who have supported the organization and media for giving it a wide coverage during his tenure. He also suggested that all Konkani speaking communities be given an opportunity to lead the academy.

Dr. Edward Nazreth, Mr. Roy Castelino, Mr. Louis Pinto (President of Mandd Sobhann), Mr. Venugopal (President of Tulu Sahitya Academy) congratulated Mr. Karvi with floral bouquets and garlands. Speaking on the occasion Dr. Edward expressed his happiness over the appointment of Mr Karvi and assured his support to him.

Mr Roy Castelino speaking on the occasion said that Eric Ozario has made Konkani community proud through his commitment to the cause of language and culture. Mr Ozario believed in bringing Konkani to a stage where it is today considered as one of the optional languages in schools in the state. Mr Castelino said Karvi is a considerate and compassionate person who has tirelessly worked towards preserving Karvi Konkani culture through his immense contribution and expressed his confidence over his support in making Konkani as a compulsory language.

The President of Tulu Sahitya Academy Mr. Venugopal termed Mr Karvi a humble and a capable man. He thanked all past presidents of the academy for their support towards Tulu Sahitya Academy. "We have been organizing many events with the support from Konkani Sahitya Academy and we will continue to work together for the growth of our languages," said Mr. Venugopal assuring his support to the new president.

The president of Mandd Sobhann Mr. Louis Pinto too speaking on the occasion expressed his confidence over the new president. He recalled that when he requested Mr Ozario to continue as the president for another term, he said that he believed in Mr Karvi who was a capable person to take over the mantle and lift the Konkani flag high. "We should give equal opportunity to every Konkani speaking community," he had said.

Mr. Eric Ozario formally handed over the charges of Academy to Karvi. Mr Karvi thanked Eric for his support and encouragement in taking over the charges. "If I am taking this charge of the academy, it is due to Eric who questioned the Government why a person from minority community couldn't come to power. Hopes and dreams are like clouds, some will disappear while some bring rain," he said. "I have been given a great responsibility and I request everyone to continue supporting the academy towards its growth," he said promising to work for Konkani and its growth. He also called upon more children to come forward to take up Konkani as an optional language. Mr Karvi thanked Mr. Krishana Palemar, Raghupathi Bhat, Lalaji Mendan, Mr. Ronald Colaco and others for their support.

Mr. Eric Ozario took Mr. Karvi to his new office and handed over the President's chair to Mr. Karvi. Mr. Felix D'Souza who had arrived from Mumbai to attend the programme, on behalf of the Konkani community of Mumbai congratulated Mr. Karvi. Mnsgr. Alexnder D'Souza, Former President of Konkani Sahitya Academy was also present on the occasion. Mr. Stany Alvares compeered the entire programme.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mallya bullish on aviation industry growth prospects

UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya said on Tuesday that he was bullish about the growth prospects of the Indian aviation industry.

Speaking at the launch of the non-stop flight service from Bangalore to London, he pointed out that several airlines, including Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Lufthansa, have been seeking permission to increase frequency of flights to the country.

He noted that Indian Airlines represented just 30 per cent of all internationalflights, and there was ample opportunity to grow.

Mallya also gave a thumbsup to the much-maligned Bangalore International Airport.

‘’The roads to the airport are quite impressive. It takes me only 45 minutes from the heart of the city to the airport,’’ he added.

However, he noted that the airport could have been slightly larger.

The UB Chairman also urged the State government to lower its sales tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF). He said: ‘’Th e lowering of sales tax will stimulate air traffic growth to BIAL. The government will make up the lost revenue through increased sales.’’ On User Development Fee(UDF),Mallya said that he was opposed to any move whereby airlines will charge customers UDF on behalf of the airport. Mallya announced that Kingfisher Airlines will launch its non-stop flight from Bangalore to London from Wednesday. The first flight has already been booked to nearly 70 per cent capacity, he said.

The UB Chairman also announced that future plans include the launch of Bangalore- San Francisco, Bombay- Singapore and Bombay-Dubai flights.