Emerging Skills for 2020 (India)

LinkedIn released its 2020 Emerging Jobs Report for India few days ago. As a consistent learner, I always want to learn new skills. So, I wanted to list the skills mentioned in the report with emerging Jobs.

However, skills listed here sometimes don’t suffice for the job or just not required. For instance, you don’t have to learn both Node.js and Django to be a back-end developer.

The visualization for the results:

created at TagCrowd.com

Short Analysis based on word cloud:

  1. Marketing and JavaScript seems to be most popular and both of them are good marketable skill for inspiring freelancer.
  2. LinkedIn tends to favor AngularJS more than ReactJS, exactly the opposite of global trend. I think it’s because Enterprises tend to use AngularJS more often than React.
  3. Javascript is the language of choice if you are thinking about becoming a Web developer.
  4. Automation seems to be the trend of the year. There are many vendor specific skills such as UiPath and Automation Anywhere where certification from vendor should help to break into the Automation field.

Emerging Jobs and Skills Data

1. Blockchain Developer

Required Skills

  • Hyperledger
  • Solidiity
  • Node.js
  • Smart Contract

2. Artificial Intelligence Specialist

Required Skills

  • Machine Learning
  • Deep Learning
  • Tensor Flow
  • Python
  • NLP (Natural Language Processing)

3. Javascript Developer

Required Skills

  • AngularJS
  • Node.js
  • React.js
  • React Native
  • MongoDB

4. Robotic Process Automation Consultant

Required Skills

  • UiPath
  • Automation Anywhere
  • Blue Prism
  • Process Automation
  • SQL

5. Back-end Developer

Required Skills

  • Node.js
  • MongoDB
  • Javascript
  • Django
  • MySQL

6. Growth Manager

Required Skills

  • Business Development
  • Team Management
  • Growth Strategies
  • Market Research
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Digital Marketing

7. Site Reliability Engineer

Required Skills

  • AWS (Amazon Web Services)
  • Ansible
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • Jenkins

8. Customer Success Specialist

Required Skills

  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
  • Team Management
  • Customer Retention
  • Saas (Software as a Service)
  • Account Management

9. Full Stack Engineer

Required Skills

  • AngularJS
  • Node.js
  • Javascript
  • React.js
  • MongoDB

10. Robotics Engineer (Software)

Required Skills

  • RPA (Robotics Process Automation)
  • UiPath
  • Blue Prism
  • Automation Anywhere
  • Robotics
  • SQL

11. Cybersecurity Specialist

Required Skills

  • Vulnerability assessment
  • SIEM (Security Information and Event Management)
  • Penetration Testing
  • Information Security
  • Network Security

12. Python Developer

Required Skills

  • Django
  • Flask
  • MySQL
  • Javascript
  • HTML

13. Digital Marketing Specialist

Required Skills

  • MySQL
  • HTML
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Google Ads
  • SMO (Social Media Optimization)
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
  • Google Analytics

14. Front-end Engineer

Required Skills

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
  • Bootstrap
  • Javascript
  • HTML5
  • AngularJS

15. Lead Generation Specialist

Required Skills

  • Market Research
  • Email Marketing
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
  • Business Development
  • Digital Marketing

So, a lot to learn in 2020. What are you going to learn this year? I would love your opinion.

How to market a new online store?

If I were to start an online store, this is how I would promote it. Most of the medium mentioned here are free or doesn’t break your bank balance. But before doing promotion, I’ll make sure to

  1. Work on the ‘differentiator’ or the ‘selling point’ of the store. The store should be doing something better than competitors.
  2. Make the store easier to use and order. Basic conversion optimization will be done.
  3. Install Google Analytics on the store and it will be configured to track every useful (Ecommerce tracking, events, search tracking etc) data.

Market a New store
The article omits the basics sometimes.

1 . Influencer Marketing

I’ll first email or tweet to bloggers, youtubers, instagrammers covering Startups, ecommerce, news or industry where which my store targets.

The message will be short, passionate and will ask them to have a quick look. Just something to start the conversation. It should be personal, shouldn’t look like a copied template and shouldn’t be spammy.

Once someone shows interest, I would ask them to feature the store. I would be also open to offer demo products, paid incentives or special promotions for their audience.

The process looks simple but requires a good amount of hustling. These are some good resources on this form of marketing:

2. Content Marketing

The store will have a blog. It will be self-hosted and will use WordPress (one can also use Blogspot, tumblr or Medium. I prefer WordPress because of simplicity and more control).

As I am not really good with content creation part, I will hire someone to take care of that. The blog will publish useful, interesting targeted information on a regular basis.

Blogging is the only thing I recommend for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) along with basic on-site optimization and faster site load.

I’ll also allocate some resources on the Guest Posting on other blogs. Guest blogging is very effective to build initial visitor base at zero cost.

Some resources on content marketing:

3. Social media

I would set up a profile on major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc. The purpose of social media presence will not be just about selling but building an engaging community. It will be used for sharing useful (and interesting) contents from our blog or other places.

Social sites also act as a wonderful support and review platform. Many businesses also use social media to run a contest to gather some buzz. There has been some updates on social commerce too (Facebook Shop with Shopify).

In short, I’ll make sure that the store has a very active social media presence and it is well monetized.

Resources:

4. Email List Building

I am a big of good old emails. Email marketing still offers the best return on your investment and it’s not going to change very soon.

The list building be done by the usual practices like offering signup incentives, blog subscription, abandonment emails and customers list. The purpose of email campaigns will be similar to social media and will send existing and potential customers information about the new product, offers or any useful content.

I’ll use proper segmentation of list though. I’ll make sure that there is an autoresponder setup to onboard new subscriber. The process will be automated and Drip and other services are very good at doing that.

Resources:

5. Affiliate Marketing

I’ll setup an affiliate campaign with ShareASale. Affiliate marketing or referral marketing is basically a subset of influencer marketing discussed at the beginning of this article. You pay publishers, influencers and coupon aggregators etc a commission on orders.

Affiliate marketing is easy to setup and its performance (you only pay after the sale) based nature makes it cost effective.  I’ll make sure to onboard new affiliates and provide them with useful resources. Drip will be again used here to guide affiliates.

Resources:

6. Paid Advertising

Finally we have the paid medium. I am pretty sure that I will be bootstrapping with tight marketing budget. Therefore, the paid advertising gets the lowest ranking. However paid advertising is still the fastest way to get qualified traffic without any doubts.

Paid advertising has two major purpose- Find new audience and re-marketing. I’ll be focused more on the re-marketing (also known as retargeting).

Did you ever notice some of the sites you visited recently in your Facebook feed? That’s because of a remarketing campaign. You target people who already visited your site via ad platforms such as Google, Facebook, Youtube, twitter etc.

A Remarketing campaign has usually higher conversion rate and it’s cheaper than standard paid marketing.

I’ll be also doing some Product Listing ads. They are very targeted and usually offer better ROI as well.

Resources:

That’s it folks! Let me know if I am missing something or made a mistake. Thanks for reading!

Ankit

 

Why I love Zerodha (Review)?

I am a casual trader and investor. Zerodha is the my primary broker. So, I thought of writing a small review comparing Zerodha to my old Broker, Axis Direct, and standard brokers out there.

These are the reasons why I love Zerodha and recommend.

1) Stock Investment is brokerage free

Zerodha Review

Industry standard brokerage is 0.5% of the amount invested but Zerodha went free last year.

You just pay government and exchange a small fee. The Zero Brokerage might save few hundreds each year for a beginner.

However they don’t offer mutual funds investment right now but it’s under pipeline.

2) Trading brokerage is flat priced.

Zerodha charges 20 rupees per trade (buy or sell) for options or equity/future intraday.

Industry standard is 0.05% of the transaction amount (Equity/Futures) and 100 rupees per lot (Options).

This alone made me switch to Zerodha. I traded a lot at start of my trading journey and ended up paying thousands in brokerage to Axis Direct.

3) Higher Intraday Margin

Zerodha offers higher margin than most of the competitors for intraday trades. Margin is very important for small traders to take higher positions.

Axis Direct was offering 5 times of my trading amount for blue chip stocks while Zerodha offers 10 times.

4) Kite- A beautiful browser-based trading app

dashboard

Kite is very simple and intuitive browser-based trading platform. A good match for my non-window Mac and BlackBerry. It’s so promising that Zerodha is pushing it to make a platform itself.

Axis Direct had a horrible browser-based platform and other brokerages firms are not different.

5) Pi– Fast and Most powerful desktop software

Unknown

There is no trading software like Pi in India. Pi is very fast and packed with Advanced charting, alerts, Analysis, Back-testing and you-name-it feature. Once you are on Pi, you can never go back.

Most brokerage firms are still in 2000s. Their desktop softwares are complicated, less powerful and badly interfaced.

6) Quant

Zerodha Quant analyzes your historical trades and provides insights to make you more data-driven trader. You can see your current profitable streak (A challenge), Best day to Trade, Optimal position size etc via Quant.

quant-mac

7) Always with New Features

One of the things I love about Zerodha is their constant addition of new features and services.

They recently went free for equity investing, started offering collateral margin against your holding, turned Kite into a platform etc. They also have a very active trading forum called tradingqna.

Tell me, who doesn’t love new things?

8) Excellent Support

zerodha support

The customer on-boarding experience was wonderful. Zerodha Support was very helpful in the migration period from my old broker.

Your queries are resolved via Phone or email quickly and you can also call-to-trade.

Conclusion

Without any doubts, Zerodha is the one of the best discount brokerage firm. If you are looking to trade with ease, save money on your brokerages and need support once in a while, Zerodha deserves a trial. The closes competitor is RKSV but I haven’t tried it yet.

Disclaimer: Trading and Investment are risky and you should trust your own gut before any making any decisions . I am not responsible for any financial or any kind of losses.
I am a Zerodha Associate too and I get paid based on referrals.

How to setup an eCommerce Store in India?

I have divided this mini-guide (sounds better than just an article) into many small sub-topics.

  • Platform and Payment Gateways
  • Shipping Logistics
  • Legal and Taxation

Setting Up Store

I am not going to focus on ‘why do you need an online store’ part. If you have already made up your mind and wanted to dive into the ecommerce boom, congrats and let’s move forward. Why have you made that decision, it’s totally up to you and I’m pretty cool about it.

You’ve two options when it comes to selling online:

  1. Sell on Marketplaces like Snapdeal, Amazon, ShopClues, Flipkart, PayTM (and other big names in this field)
  2. Build your own store

Marketplace vs You Own Store

Each has its pros and cons. Marketplaces have more money, better infrastructure and more customers. They invest heavily in marketing, infrastructure and take care of support and other important stuff. So, you can just upload your products there and wait for them to promote your products.

However your own store helps to build a brand. You are not lost in the marketplaces with other merchants. You also have better control on inventory, marketing and end-user experience. Marketplace might be a cheap option at start but their fee might be a problem in long run.

How about a hybrid approach? Introducing ‘Multi-channel Retailing’- Build your own store and get more customers and orders via those marketplace. We will be focusing on multi-channel retailing in a bit.

Ecommerce Platforms or Softwares

You have decided to build your own store and want to choose the best platform out there. One thing to understand – None of them is the perfect and each one has its of limitation and advantages.

My two favourites are Shopify and WooCommerce. Other popular alternatives are Zepo, KartRocket and Magento.

One thing to remember here- I am focusing on platforms for small business or one man operation.  If you are big enough, I would recommend building something from scratch.

Shopify brief review

Type- Hosted

Payment Gateways- PayU, PayUMoney, AirPay, CitrusPayments

Shopify-logo

Shopify comes at the top of my list of recommendation to a new store owner. Why? Because it’s the simplest platform out there with excellent customization. Period. I love this platform and will try not to be a big fan.

Shopify is DIY (Do It Yourself) hosted platform with affordable pricing (Plans start from just $29/month). You don’t have to think about designing, development, hosting or anything. Just choose one of the theme, upload products add payment gateway and you have your operation.

You don’t have to be a programmer or even hire a programmer to build your store. Its knowledge base is extensive and support guys are awesome and help you at every point.

Recently they added support for multi-channel selling. You can now sell directly on your Facebook Page, A different web site, Facebook Messenger, Pinterest and Twitter using Shopify.

Its App and theme Marketplace (Which is lacked helps you to add new feature or use a new design for free or added cost.

Scaling is easy. You don’t have to worry about switching boats when you get large, just opt for higher plan and you’re done.

M-Commerce or Mobile Commerce is very important and Shopify got you covered out there. All of Shopify themes are responsive and it’s checkout is optimized well for mobile devices.

It’s being used by more than 150,000 stores and the list is getting bigger every day. Just look at this chart from BuiltWith about new stores using Shopify.

Shopify Growth

Pros

  1. Easier to start
  2. Minimum Setup cost
  3. Affordable
  4. Awesome Support
  5. Owner friendly (Better UI than competitors and easier to adapt)
  6. Feature Packed
  7. Extensible with App Marketplace
  8. Scalable
  9. Mobile friendly
  10. Excellent support
  11. Good ecosystem

Cons

Shopify used to have a single payment gateway support before but that’s not the case anymore. Also it’s not as much as Customizable as WooCommerce.

Shopify Resources

  1. Shopify Trial 14 days
  2. Shopify Stores in India

WooCommerce brief review

Type- Self-hosted

Payment Gateways- PayU and CCAvenue

WooCommerce

You have probably heard of WordPress and ease of use for publishing. WooCommerce is just a WordPress plugin which adds the Ecommerce part.

It was developed by WooThemes and recently got acquired by Automattic, the company behind WordPress. WooCommerce became very popular since its inception due to WordPress ecosystem and open source nature.

WooCommerce Growth

WooCommerce is self-hosted platform. So, you have to host it at your own server/hosting account and manage it yourself. That has its own set of pros and cons.

The positive things about WooCommerce and other self-hosted platform are they offer more control over your own site, it’s bit cheaper than hosted platform and offers more customization using unlimited plugins for almost anything. That’s the power of WordPress.

The negative of self-hosting is that it makes the setup and management bit harder for newbies. You have to understand and bother with frequent updates, plugins and performance optimization which is already taken care in platforms like Shopify.

However WooCommerce is very simple to use after the initial setup. It

WooCommerce and Shopify comparison come close when you compare the features. If you don’t mind a hosted platform, Go for Shopify or else choose WooCommerce.

Pros

  1. Cheaper than Hosted Platforms
  2. Unlimited customizability
  3. WordPress ecosystem
  4. Simple to use
  5. Scalable
  6. Mobile friendly with responsive themes

Cons

WooCommerce has higher setup costs, requires maintenance and paying for many plugins might be annoying.

Hosting/Server for WooCommerce

My favourite is  SiteGround.

SiteGround is a good choice if you need excellent 24*7 support, Fast server and easy user interface at affordable price (starts from $4/month).

StudioPress offers Hosting plus good looking themes in one package.

WooCommerce Resources

  1. WooCommerce Plugin
  2.  SiteGround
  3. WooCommerce Themes Free and Paid

KartRocket and Zepo

They are new Indian player and trying to be the Shopify of India. Honestly, they still need to evolve more to bridge the gap between their Canadian counterpart (Shopify).

One can think about using them because of their tight integration (Special pricing for the merchants) with Payment Gateways and Logistics and Indian Support.

I have heard good things about Zepo team. No direct experience with KartRocket but recent investments in the company gives good hope. I’ll write about KartRocket is depth when I have reviewed it.

Magento

Magento is the big brother. It is the most popular ecommerce platform. However it is not suitable for a single man operation and bulky for small stores. Setup cost is much higher than any other platform listed here.

Shipping and Order Fulfilment 

You will need a courier service to deliver your products to the customers.     Boom in Ecommerce has also helped the Shipping and Logistics business and there are many new players (Delhivery, Ecom Express, GoJavas etc) in this field now.

No clear winner here. I am just going to list the popular ones and contact their local representative and get the best deal.

  1. Bluedart
  2. Fedex
  3. DTDC
  4. Aramex
  5. Delhivery
  6. Ecomexpress
  7. GoJavas
  8. FirstFlight
  9. UPS

You also might want to offer the Shipment tracking to your customers. These are some Shipment tracker and Logistic solutions to help you out.

  1. Aftership
  2. ShipRocket
  3. Mypacco

Multi-channel Retailing

I mentioned about the Multi-channel retailing at the start. It might be a good way to generate more revenue and customers using those big players.

How do you do it?

You can upload your products to the marketplaces directly and manually manage inventory at your store backend. However the task is daunting and therefore we have integration to automate this.

Two of the popular names here are BrownTape and Unicommerce. No Direct experience again (Meh! So much for being an ecommerce consultant) but choose the one which integrates with your store software.

Legals and Taxation

It’s not required to set up a company to do ecommerce. You can be registered as a sole proprietor and that should be enough. However some payment gateways asks for Business ownership documentation, so it’s better to just register an LLP. I have been a partner in LLP and it’s very easy to setup.

You can also consult your Lawyer friend or a CA for more detail.

You can get details about taxation here and here.

Did I miss anything? Do you have something to add? What would you want me to write about next? Use the comment box below.

I finally updated this post. You won’t believe how hard it was for a compulsive procrastinator :). Please let me know if you have any suggestion or want to add anything as comment.

How much does it cost to run this blog?

$15/year- Yes, you read it right. I just have to pay for the domain renewal each year. It could have been even lower if I switched to a different domain registrar.

I use GitHub Pages for hosting. It is free and reliable with great uptime.

My CMS (Content Management System) Jekyll, integrated beautifully with GitHub Pages. Thanks to the static files, The blog is amazingly faster than it used to be on WordPress. If you know how to use GitHub and MarkDown syntax. you will love Jekyll.

If you are not very technical, just get a domain and use Blogger or Tumblr. Both of them are ad free (unlike WordPress.com) and reliable.

I use Jetpack subscription for email marketing.

Some other tools being used are InspectletGoogle Tag Manager and Google Analytics. All of them are free (except Inspectlet) and recommended.