Popup catering over Eid

first_imgEid meals ready for deliveryEverything shuts down for the Eid holidays, even most eateries. So those who normally eat out or buy their meals on the way home, are forced to cook for themselves during Eid or depend on friends and relatives for their meals. For those who cooking is not a routine task, this becomes quite a hassle.But that’s what business is all about, supplying where there is a demand. And so Mekhla, Salsa Bili and Sharmin Jahan and others like them grab the opportunity to cook and home deliver food during Eid and other holidays when the city comes to a standstill.These culinary entrepreneurs pop up on the social media. A news media person, Sirajum Munira, posted a note on an online shopping platform asking if anyone could deliver food on Eid and the day after.She said, “All food shops close down for Eid. But for us who work throughout the holidays, this can be a problem. That’s why I looked for someone who can supply meals at this time.”Sirajum Munira’s post revealed many who were ready to home deliver food during Eid. Salsa Bili Jannat was one of them. Salsa Bili used to be a presenter and a researcher. As a mother of a young child, it is much easier for her to work from home. Her business is quite new, meeting the demand for those who need cooked meals. Now she has opened her own online page.She said, “I cooked for about 40 people during Eid. I have similar orders for the day after Eid too.”How does it feel having to work while everyone else is on holiday? Salsa Bili said, “I would be cooking anyway for my own family, so I just cook a bit more. That solves the customers’ problems and I can earn some money too.”Salsa’s customers are her acquaintances. Housewife Bijoya is a regular client. She said, “We get perfect homemade food here and it’s a big help during the holidays when everything is closed.”Like Salsa Bili, Sharmeen Jahan Chowdhury is also an entrepreneur. She used to be quite happy cooking at home and looking after her family. She never imagined taking up any such initiative. It was her son, a university student, who first hit upon the idea of channelling his mother’s skills into a business. He opened a Facebook page for her. Just two months into the business, Sharmeen Chowdhury’s kitchen already supplied 20 persons’ meals for Eid and has another 40 orders for the day after.“It feels good to be doing something,” said Sharmeen.“My customers come back again and again with orders. I feel a connection with them and it also feels good to be able to cook for them on Eid,” she added.Mekhla is there for those stranded without such food facilities on Eid. She is hearing-impaired but her husband Mahdi Masud was determined not to let this interfere with her work. She has a Facebook page now, Mekhla’s kitchen and regularly gets orders. Her husband and two sons deliver the food. She received meal orders for 300 people this Eid. “Mekhla began the food service just out of fun, but the business is now flourishing. This is an income for the family and it has also built us good relations with so many people,” said Mahdi.Delivering food to the homes is one of the main problems of this business. The existing courier services are unwilling to deliver food. So either the client has to come and pick up the food or the supplier delivers it. That’s why the business doesn’t expand too much, but they are happy with the way things are.Jesmin Akhter makes sweets, halwa and other desserts. Her daughter Salwa Mustafa lives abroad, and so Jesmin found herself with ample spare time on hand. That’s when she started making desserts. Her daughter opened a Facebook page for her called Mithai Monda. She makes the sweets and delivers them herself by car.Jesmin said, “I would make sweets for my daughter when she lived here, now my customers are my kids! They love my sweets on various festivals and that makes me happy.”*The report has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabirlast_img read more

12 Sly Web Tricks That Put You in Control

first_imgAugust 26, 2008 Crack a Windows PasswordThe problem: You lost your Windows password (or you want to discover someone else’s). Now you have no way to fully access your account without getting it back.The trick: Download Ophcrack Live CD and burn it to a disc; then restart your computer and boot from the CD. Point Ophcrack at the hard drive where Windows is installed, and it’ll start cracking your Windows password.The effect: The shorter and simpler the Windows password, the more quickly and easily Ophcrack will break it. But Ophcrack can only crack alphanumeric passwords. If the password contains other characters or symbols (like “@”), Ophcrack won’t do the job.Read Books on the D.L. at WorkThe problem: Whether or not you’ve got any work to do, most employers frown on cracking a book at your desk.The trick: Web site Read at Work is a full-screen Flash application that mimics a Windows desktop and serves up public-domain works in a format that resembles PowerPoint presentations. Classics by Twain, Fitzgerald, Dickinson, and Tolstoy are all yours to read on company time. (Well, if it’s Tolstoy, you might rather just work).The effectiveness: To the casual onlooker, Read at Work convincingly looks like a standard Windows XP window. Whether or not your boss will believe that the Oscar Wilde you’re reading is actually a PowerPoint presentation depends on your boss. And it helps if reading PowerPoint presentations is actually part of your job.Say It With Self-Destructing E-MailThe problem: E-mail is forever. If you fire off an angry or ill-thought-out message, the recipient could hold onto it–and hold it against you–indefinitely.The trick: Send a self-destructing e-mail message by going to the Web site DestructingMessage. Just specify how much time you want to give the recipient before the message implodes (15 seconds to 5 minutes), write your message, and send it.The effect: DestructingMessage can send the e-mail anonymously, or you can send a link to the message yourself. Either way, the recipient has a limited time to read it before it’s gone for good. If the recipient is quick on her feet, though, she could grab a screen shot before it’s gone forever.Go Straight to VoicemailThe problem: Everybody’s been there. You’d rather leave a voicemail than deal with a drawn-out phone conversation. Or you’re a coward with bad news to deliver.The trick: SlyDial connects you directly with your contacts’ voicemail–whether they’ve got their phone turned on or not. Just dial 267-SLYDIAL, enter the number you want to leave a voicemail with, and then, when prompted, just leave your message.The effect: SlyDial works exactly as advertised. Use SlyDial gratis as much as you want, but if you tire of the in-call advertising, premium plans get you to voicemail faster and ad-free. SlyDial voicemails, however, do not self-destruct–I guess they haven’t thought of that yet.Spoof Your E-Mail AddressThe problem: You want to send e-mail from a bogus account.The trick: Forge an e-mail address with your desktop e-mail client. In Thunderbird, all you need is a working SMTP server and a fake account. As long as the SMTP server can send e-mail without requiring authentification, you can use your fake e-mail address as much as you want.The effect: To most people, your spoofed e-mail will appear indistinguishable from a real one. The catch: You won’t get any replies, and a look at the message’s headers can reveal to the recipient that you’re using an unusual SMTP server for that e-mail address.Browse the Net Without Leaving a TraceThe problem: Web sites you visit are tracked by your Web browser in several ways that aren’t immediately obvious–such as browser history, cookies, or cached files. Whether you’re doing some online shopping on a shared computer or visiting Web sites that are, let’s say, embarrassing, it’s hard to make sure that a browsing session doesn’t leave a trace.The trick: Go off the record when you want browsing privacy with the Stealther Firefox extension. Enabled, Stealther makes sure that your browsing history, downloads, disk cache, saved form information, and cookies aren’t saved to your browser.The effect: Stealther works in every respect. Whenever you want to go off the record with your browsing, just go to Tools, Stealther. When you’re ready to go back on the record (after all, browser history and cookies can be very useful), just turn off Stealther. Muahahahahaha!!! Crack a Windows Password 10 min read Brought to you by PCWorld Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. So it’s Friday afternoon, the weekend is just around the corner, and you’re up to no good. Rather than waste your time turning monitors upside down around the office, why not update your tech arsenal? If you have a computer or cell phone on hand, you’re more than ready to beef up your weapons and spy kit with these 12 sly tricks. We’ll teach you why and how (and with what) to do them, and tell you how well you can expect them to work. And you will forget where you heard this information…Turn Wi-Fi Thieves’ Worlds Upside DownThe problem: You took the time and expense to set up a wireless Internet connection at your place. But you’re pretty sure that the cheap bastard next door is stealing it–that is, connecting to the Internet on your dime. Sure, you could take the easy step of password-protecting your network, but what fun is settling for a little common-sense measure like that?The trick: With the help of a lovely little service called Upside-Down-Ternet, you can turn that Wi-Fi thief’s free Internet scheme upside down–literally. With a little clever scripting, every image the thief views via your connection is flipped upside down on his monitor and mirrored, making Web browsing difficult to say the least. You can also redirect every Web request the thief makes to a particular site–the author of the hack suggests Kittenwar. Pretty good, but I would go with an old standby.The effect: The trick takes a little work to set up right, but if you can pull it off, it works perfectly. And doing right by one’s neighbor just makes you feel good inside.Never Be ‘Away’ With Your AIM BotThe problem: Some employers use IM clients to track their workers and ensure they’re keeping their noses to the grindstone–but, hey, you don’t like Big Brother staring over your shoulder.The trick: Create your own AIM bot with the Web site RunABot. An AIM bot is an automated chat robot that resembles any other AIM user, and–if you set it up well–it responds to messages like a real person. Once you register with RunABot, the site walks you through setting up your bare-bones bot; then it’s up to you to make your bot believable.The effect: In the time it takes to customize your bot to fool your boss in all situations, you could probably finish several work projects and earn a few promotions. With just a few minutes of setup time, however, the “hardworker” bot I put together can convincingly participate in simple workplace conversations.Make a Laptop Thief Regret ItThe problem: Every time you leave your table at the bookstore for another cup of coffee, you’ve got to choose what to do with your laptop. You’ll only be gone for a few seconds, so lugging it with you is a pain. Still, the guy with a double espresso has been eyeing your gear since you sat down, and he looks like he could have sticky fingers.The trick: Install an antitheft program on your laptop that monitors unusual behavior when you’re away, setting off an alarm whenever it detects a possible theft. The freeware Windows application Laptop Alarm sounds an alarm whenever your laptop’s power cable is unplugged, the mouse is moved, or the laptop is shut down. Mac users should check out iAlertU , a freeware app that uses your MacBook’s built-in accelerometer to set off the alarm and snag a Webcam picture whenever someone so much as moves your laptop. You can smoothly disable the alarm with your Apple remote like a proper car alarm.The effect: Under the right circumstances, these applications can be enough to deter a thief from running off with your laptop. Neither application is foolproof, however: Don’t consider these apps as anything more than deterrents.Spoof Your Caller ID The problem: Before caller ID became standard on every phone, making an anonymous call meant little more than dialing the number. Today it’s easy to screen calls and send unknown numbers to voicemail. If you’re looking to make an old-fashioned prank call (heavy breathing optional) or simply surprise the person you’re calling, the ubiquity of caller ID has ruined the fun.The trick: Several caller ID spoofing services are available online that not only hide your number from the recipient’s caller ID, they also make the call appear to be coming from another phone number altogether. Even better, you decide what number you want to show up when you call. I tested this trick at SpoofCard, one of many such services. Just give SpoofCard your number, the number you want to call, and the number you want to show up in the caller ID; SpoofCard takes care of rest.The effect: SpoofCard was very easy to use, and it did exactly what it advertised. In my test, that meant spoofing with Tommy Tu-Tone’s 867-5309 without a hitch. SpoofCard offers free trial calls, which is probably enough for most users.Did They Read Your E-Mail? When?The problem: You send out an important e-mail message reminding your coworker to bring copies of your PowerPoint presentation to the big meeting. You get there, and he doesn’t have them. His excuse: He never got your e-mail. Possible, but questionable; anyway, you want to know for sure.The trick: Send messages you want to monitor through DidTheyReadIt. The Web site embeds a tiny image in each e-mail it sends. When the e-mail is opened, the recipient’s e-mail client, in many cases, will automatically send a request for the embedded image; when that request is made, DidTheyRead then knows that the e-mail was indeed opened, when it was opened, and for how long it was open.The effect: If you really need to be sure that someone received a particular message, DidTheyReadIt works as advertised. The only catch: If the recipient’s e-mail client doesn’t automatically download embedded images, DidTheyReadIt’s tracking mechanism may not work.Create a Web-Streaming SpycamThe problem: You want to keep a closer eye on your kids when you’re away without having to buy a nanny cam.The trick: The free application WebcamXP streams video from your Webcam over the Internet so you can keep an eye on your home from anywhere. If you have a Webcam with a tracking motor, WebcamXP can even control the pan and tilt of the camera over the Internet, giving you full control over what you’re seeing.The effect: The application works very well, though the free version supports just one video source. Upgrading to one of the shareware versions gives you motion detection, and the ability to hook up and view feeds from multiple Webcams. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more

Collettes Doug Patterson says poaching groups from agents is in the past

first_imgTags: Collette << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Share Cindy Sosroutomo TORONTO — Travel is an industry based on relationships, and few are more important than the one between Travel Agent and Supplier. Ask any agent and they’ll tell you that working with a reputable, honest and loyal tour operator is paramount to their business, and they’ll easily fire off names of companies they regard as preferred and trusted.So when this valued relationship breaks down for any number of reasons, the damage can be irreparable. But Collette, which has a reputation for slighting travel agents in the past, is hoping this isn’t the case. After a short period in its nearly 100-year-old history during which it often poached group business from agencies, the family-owned company is now doing its best to right its wrongs and reverse the damage it has done to its retail relationships.“We are aware of the perception that Collette has taken groups from agencies in the past. I want to make very clear that this is not our policy. In the past we may have brought a larger percentage of groups directly to Collette, but now we are really focused on working through the travel agent,” said Doug Patterson, who was appointed President, Canada of Collette earlier this year.Patterson tells Travelweek that groups at one time brought in the vast majority of Collette’s business (it’s just shy of 50% today), thanks in large part to BDMs who sought them out. This, however, sometimes led them to bring groups directly to the company, essentially cutting out agents in the process. It was never an official company policy, says Patterson, who also noted that the last incidence of ‘poaching’ he has found dates back to 2008. “Since then, our commitment to the retail channel has been significantly enhanced. Agents are vital to our success – 98% of our bookings come from agents.”But are Patterson’s assurances a case of too little, too late? Absolutely not. Collette is proving that it’s not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk to the tune of agent-specific directives. He says that although the company is still searching out groups, when it does find them it now takes the necessary steps to match them with local agents.“If it’s an independent booking or a group, we will make a concerted effort to recognize if they’ve worked with an agent in the past, and if they’re planning on doing so, we will make a recommendation of somebody in their particular area,” he says. “We believe in the agent community. They provide a great service and we believe they should be rewarded for that.”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Even more, Collette’s commitment to agents can be measured in dollars; according to Patterson, over the past five years, the company has brought over $10 million worth of group business back to agents. “I would say that’s a strong commitment,” he adds.To hammer home the message even further, Collette made the decision to not participate in the discount arena and work with agencies that slash its product prices.“If a retailer wants to discount our product, we will not work with them, whether they’re OTA or bricks and mortar. It was an expensive move walking away from accounts like this, but we believe our product stands on its own and our customers deserve the level of service provided by a dedicated travel professional,” Patterson says.Agents, so it seems, has started to take notice and are putting their faith back in Collette. One Ontario agent, who wished to remain anonymous, tells Travelweek that she’s willing to give the company another chance after it directly email marketed all members of a group her agency had booked a few years ago.“I know that the Collette rep we have here has been trying to push the fact that they are changing their ways and that things have been on an upswing,” she says. “They have been pushing everything back to the travel agent and are trying to rebrand themselves in a favourable light to agents.”On Collette’s direct marketing efforts, Pablo Keselman of Milton, Ontario, who has over 30 years of experience as a travel agent, chalks it up to simply a difference in culture.“Unlike here in Canada, American-based companies tend to bombard you with emails and are very aggressive as far as sales go, either by sending things directly to clients or sending too many emails to agents. This overloading of direct mail and brochures is a cultural thing; that’s just the way they operate in the U.S.,” he says.Keselman, who has a $20,000 group booking with Collette that’s ready for payment soon, says that he’s never had a negative impression of Collette. In fact, he’s always appreciated how the company has been upfront about their marketing tactics.“Collette certainly uses the database of my clients, who will get direct mail from them from time to time. However, when they send direct mailing to clients with a discount number or coupon attached, if they’re loyal to their agent, the assumption is they’ll call their agent to book,” he says. “I have absolute respect for Collette’s product and this has always been the case. They have a BDM that’s proactive, they will hold space for groups, and they will print your logo on marketing materials to send to clients. They’re a lot more trustworthy than they were in the past because they’ve made it clear that they want to work with us.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesPatterson, who confirms that the call-to-action on all Collette marketing materials today directs consumers back to agents, knows that misperceptions are hard to overcome and that people have long memories. So when asked what reassurances the company can give to agents that they won’t repeat ‘sins’ of the past, he is unequivocal in his answer.“Let me put it as clearly as possible – Collette will not attempt to take any group from your agency. In fact, if unfortunate circumstances arise and a direct relationship exists where an agency partner is no longer involved, we will pay the agency partner 100% of its commission due on that group and take any necessary corrective actions,” he says.And to those who are still skeptical despite his reassurances?“Call us on it. Mystery shop us. If an agent feels like this is happening let us know about it. We will always make it right.”Doug Patterson is also the star of Travelweek’s latest video series. See how else Collette is looking to work with agents: Collette’s Doug Patterson says poaching groups from agents is in the past Thursday, November 10, 2016 About Latest Posts Cindy SosroutomoDeputy Editor at TravelweekCindy is Deputy Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 2007. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Kenya, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Cindy Sosroutomo (see all) Frustrations mount over elusive consumer-pay model: Will it ever happen? – July 16, 2019 “It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay open”: Beaches Turks & Caicos will not close in 2021 – May 15, 2019 Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy – April 29, 2019last_img read more