Decorating Ideas for Any Room With Wall Art Stickers

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Wall art stickers have become a very popular and simple way to decorate a home. No matter what your preference is you can find wall art stickers and decals that will work for you. There are many options available that include everything form simple words and phrases to popular comic book characters. They can be used to brighten a dull room or to express your personality. Use them to create a comfortable and fun place for your kids to play or simply to show off your personal attitude.

One of the most popular ways to use wall art stickers is with simple words. You can create your own personal phrase to welcome friends and guests to your home or to motivate all who see them. Wall art phrases are great for reminding you who you really are or want to be. To keep you uplifted and always striving to be happy and do your best at all you do. If you have a rough day and come home to your favorite quote decoratively placed it can be a subtle reminder of better times and also that everything changes and good can come to your life again. The peace you can feel may be just the pick me up that you need to keep on going.

Kids love decorating their rooms and this simple approach will allow them to have that custom look and feel without the custom mural expense. As the kids grow up into teens, they will have changed their decor in their rooms more than four times. The cost of repainting and decorating can get a bit expensive. With removable wall art stickers they can be re-applied and used again anytime they want.

Another way to decorate your home or office is with Chalkboard and dry erase wall decals. You can write with chalk or a dry erase marker on your wall. A nice way to use these type wall decals is to make notes, grocery lists, to-do lists, or meeting times as a reminder for that day’s activities or to-do’s. Then simply erase what has been accomplished. They can be used many times over as well as removed and repositioned anytime.

There are so many good decorating wall decals that the possibilities to change a room’s design and look are endless. A unique cost effective way to decorate a room any style you choose in many ways as possible.

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Source by Michelle Hagey

Home Decorating Ideas to Soften a Black and White Scheme

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A black and white interior decor scheme can appear severe and sterile or warm and inviting – it truly depends on how you use your own fresh home decorating ideas to soften a harsh monochromatic palette. Neutral design needs not be boring, it can be just as exciting as any other color scheme and twice as sophisticated!

Plenty of Prints

Standard black and white rooms without any patterns or decorations often end up looking like a showroom floor. Unless you want to feel like you’re living in an IKEA advertisement, consider getting a little funky with bold prints. Many designers choose to go with striking patterned wallpaper to tie every element together, but sometimes that’s just not achievable. Instead, try throwing down a large area rug that features organic shapes, like zebra stripes or floral prints.

Apply these home decorating ideas for patterns judiciously, though. Too much chaos can make the room look even more uninviting than an empty one. Instead of choosing bold upholstery for all pieces of furniture, try to limit your use of patterns to one chair or table – or use throw pillows or blankets with fun prints on simple furnishings. A large wall print can serve the same purpose while reducing the shock of a pure white or black wall.

Tone it Down or Pump it Up

A dash of colorful home decorating ideas can make all of the difference in a room filled with stark white and rich black. Neutrals beige and tan can work wonders when softening a monochromatic scheme. Grey is a popular and versatile choice – dark shades increase visual stability, while light grey seems to be open and carefree.

Limit yourself to just one or two accent colors. Too many hues cause the eyes to jump around the room leaving an impression of disorganization. Stick with the same tones – if you choose pastel, stick with pastel; if you decide on bright and vivid, make sure that you do not introduce a tone that is dull or faded!

Textures and Shapes

You can easily soften your black and white room by adding, you guessed it, soft textures. Light, billowy window curtains can make a world of difference – but not as much as a huge fluffy area rug. Get playful when you layer textures, there are no wrong answers! Introduce organic shapes wherever possible – sculptures, pieces of driftwood, a chandelier. If you have a garden or access to a nearby park, make sure to always have a vase of fresh flowers on hand for an instant room makeover. Wild flowers are the cheapest home decorating ideas to work with.

Your black and white room does not have to look like a laboratory! Monochromatic schemes can be just as interesting and playful as any other design – it just takes a little experimentation. One thing is for certain: your boring room will not brighten itself up! Use these home decorating ideas and make up some of your own to turn your black and white room into an oasis of personal expression.

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Source by Monika Kay

Creative New Home Electrical Ideas

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The best part about building your own home? All the possibilities for customization. The worst part? All the possibilities for customization. It sounds crazy, but sometimes having complete power and freedom is overwhelming. No matter how many recommendations you get or how many hours you spend perusing Pinterest, you’re bound to forget something. So let’s make it a little simpler by focusing our attention on one aspect of your new home: the electric. We’ve got some ingenious new home electrical ideas that will have you running to your electrician. Not only are they cool and creative, but they will also make your home amazingly convenient and efficient.

The Basics

  1. Before you install drywall, take pictures of the walls once your wiring is up. These pictures will be vital in future years when projects require that you tap into existing wires. Your future electrician will thank you.
  2. Decide how you will arrange rooms before the house is complete and approve every last outlet.
  3. Do you like to decorate for the holidays? Think about where you’ll be placing your Christmas lights and where you would like to turn them on. You can have an outlet installed along the eaves below the roofline that connects to a light-switch in a more convenient place like in the garage or beside the front door.
  4. Add extra wires for cable and phone capacity. You may need them later and it’s cheaper to install them during the construction phase.
  5. Place a light-switch for the attic in the hallway below so that you don’t have to wander around your dark, steamy attic looking for the switch.
  6. Place a light-switch beside your bed so that you don’t have to get up to turn off the light.

The Amazing

  1. If you and your electronics are attached at the hip, consider including a “charging station” in your new home plans. It will eliminate messy cords and lost electronics and work to charge everything from phones and iPods to cameras and tablets.
  2. Add outlets inside your pantry and closets. These can be useful for appliances that need to be charged for use (like a cordless vacuum) and for appliances that don’t leave the closet (like an iron, perhaps).
  3. Also think about adding outlets inside bathroom drawers and cabinets to plug in devices like electric toothbrushes, razors, and blow dryers.
  4. Set up audio wires in the backyard that can be turned on from both inside and out.
  5. Make your bathroom warm and toasty in the winter months by adding heated floors and towel racks.
  6. Recess your outlets in places where plugs might protrude and disturb furniture, like behind bookshelves and beds.
  7. Add a surge protector that can be pulled up from your countertop and used to plug in appliances that don’t live there permanently.

These new home electrical ideas will add a new level of convenience to your dream home and hopefully minimize some of the stress.

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Source by Nick Altrup

Curtain Ideas – How to Make Curtains the Easy Way

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You’re looking for curtain ideas to give you some inspiration. So how can you get fantastic looking modern curtains made to fit your windows for just a few dollars.

1. You know your room needs redecorating and bringing up to date.

2. You have windows that are the wrong size for ready made curtains.

3. Or you simply can’t find the right color or design.

So you keep putting it off because it’s going to cost big money to get them custom made.

Well it doesn’t have to break the bank to turn your curtain ideas into reality. So what kind of window treatments am I talking about that are made to measure and don’t cost a fortune. Well they are called “Wave curtains” because they hang into pleats that fold in to a wave shape.

They are a really modern and contemporary style but can fit in most homes depending on the fabric they are made from. The beauty of this style of curtains is,

1. The look obviously.

2. The way they fall naturally into their special “wave pleats” when they are either open or closed. No more time dressing your curtains every time you move them.

So your probably thinking how do you get them for so little. The answer is simple “You make them yourself”.

This is the point your finger heads for the back button, well stop right there.

Don’t panic, you don’t need to sew or even know a thing about curtains. It’s so simple anyone can do this (even a grown man like me). How do I know, have I read about it somewhere and decided to share it with you.

No I have been there done it and have the evidence hanging in my own home. I have also written up full simple step by step instructions with photos. So you can repeat it yourself with no big expenses. Most people have the tools they need to make these around their homes already. If you need anything it won’t cost you much, or you can borrow it from family or neighbors.

The only things you will need are the fabric to make your “wave curtains” and the stuff to create the header and seams.

So your asking how do you make curtains like this. Well the first step is:

1. Side seams and hem are created using fusible web tape. The stuff you use to re-hem a skirt or trousers. You fix this with a domestic steam iron, the kind we all have at home. Believe me if you apply this tape properly it sticks rock solid. You will find it very difficult to pull the fabrics apart.

2. The header that creates the wave effect on the top of your curtains is created using fusible 5 or 6 inch wide buckram. This stuff again is fixed in place using a steam iron. Again it sticks really well.

3. Finally you will need pin hooks to hang this style of curtain. These hooks pierce the fabric and buckram allowing you to put them exactly where they are needed.

That in a nutshell is how it all works. They are super easy and can be made to fit any size window. So have a go yourself and turn these curtain ideas in a reality.

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Source by Lee Stevens

Creative Marketing Ideas For Hardware Stores

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With large nationwide chains that dominate the market, small hardware stores sometimes have a difficult time being competitive. The key is to find a unique selling proposition for your business and to capitalize on it so customers see the value in choosing you over one of the bigger stores. Here are some great ways to make your business stand out.

  1. Giveaways-When your store first opens (or even if you’re just looking for an extra push), offer small giveaways to your customers with their purchase. These will be tools or products they can use that are branded with your store’s information-hammers, tape measures, levels, etc. When a customer is using this product and runs out of something or determines the need to visit a hardware store, they’ll see your information and immediately head your way!
  2. In-Store Classes-Hardware stores often form a bit of a culture and social atmosphere, so find ways to play this up. One great choice is to sponsor training classes and educational seminars in your store. Work with your vendors to provide information that your customers will find valuable. Even your employees can instruct these classes-anything from minor home renovation products to full-scale remodeling. List the classes you’re offering that month above your cash registers with a large, visible vinyl banner which clearly-informs customers of their opportunities to expand their skills.
  3. Charity Donations-Offer your products to charity groups and organizations in-town which build or repair homes for the less-fortunate. This is great PR for your business, it makes you look more-credible, and in return you’re often able to advertise at the home-site using a banner or yard sign. When customers see that you’re giving back to your community, they are more-inclined to shop with you.
  4. Ladies Night-Most hardware stores predominantly-market towards men. While the majority of your customers are probably male, don’t neglect the ladies. Host a “Ladies Night” at your store that offers your educational classes and even a special discount on purchases made by women. Use removable window clings to give your store a slight feminine touch. There’s a huge potential market here that is somewhat-untapped, and with the right approach, female customers can dramatically affect your business.
  5. Personal Shoppers-Some customers complain that hardware or home improvement stores are overwhelming. Counter this objection by providing customers with a personal shopping service. Your employees already help customers find products daily anyway, but creating a formal program provides a revenue opportunity. Customers can have one of your employees guide them around the store and help them find exactly what they need for their project, or for even-more convenience, your employee can preselect the products they need so that when the customer arrives, all they have to do is check out.

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Source by Michael K Allen

Kitchen Design Ideas

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Kitchens have so many design options that they are literally never ending. Kitchen design ideas include features such as cabinetry, tiles, counter tops, appliances, hardware and fixtures. Each feature on its own has a multitude of design options and the possible combinations are endless. Two identical kitchens with only one different feature can look like very different kitchens when finished. Because of the vast number of design options, thoroughly research what products are available on the market and get a fairly good idea what it is you are looking for.

The main feature in any kitchen is the cabinetry. It is more often than not the first thing that people notice in a kitchen. The layout of the cabinetry is unique to each kitchen. Measure the size of your kitchen and determine the types of cabinets and where you would like them placed. If you have a solid wall with no windows, doors or appliances opt for floor to ceiling cabinets full of drawers for storage. Include a broom or cleaning closet in these cupboards. Glass fronts in corner cabinets are a popular design feature. Cabinets have a wide variety of door styles. There are recessed, flat paneled and raised cabinet doors. Each of these options comes with several design choices. Once you have picked the design of your cabinets you need to decide on the stain that suits your kitchen space. Opt for lighter colored stains for smaller kitchens to keep them feeling open and spacious.

Counter tops are also an important feature in a kitchen. They too are highly visible. Counter tops should be chosen for durability as well as looks. Granite counter tops are the most popular choice today. You may also choose from engineered stone, ceramic tile, laminates, wood and stainless steel. The material and colour of your counter tops should compliment your cabinetry, backslash and tiles. If your kitchen is a large room but does not have a lot of counter space you might want to consider adding an island for additional space. Not only does an island adds counter space but also storage space.

Flooring is an integral kitchen feature. Most kitchens are done with ceramic tile flooring but wood floors and laminates are growing in popularity. Many kitchens have tiled backslashes. Be sure that the tiles used in your backslash compliment the flooring. Besides the type of flooring you use, you must also pick a color of tile, wood or laminate as well as texture. Quite often a kitchen with light coloured cabinetry will look best with a slightly darker floor and vice-versa. Contrast between the cabinetry and the flooring, no matter how small, creates the illusion of depth.

The kitchen design ideas listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. We haven’t even touched on cabinet hardware, lighting fixtures, sinks and taps, paint colors or appliances. Matching appliances are ideal in any kitchen. Stainless steel appliances are a favorite because they match just about any kitchen design. Families with small children may wish to consider black appliances since stainless steel shows fingerprints. Put as much thought into the small features as you do the larger ones. Something as simple as buying the wrong cabinet hardware can ruin the look of the completed project.

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Source by D Mondal

10 Reasons Why You Should Manage Your Business Ethically

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Why are ethics in business so important? Isn’t it enough to comply with the letter of the law and the rules of society? What’s in it for the business enterprise?

These are all interesting questions. Many business owners feel that maximizing profits is the chief obligation of the firm. Other owners feel that operating a business in a transparent, ethical manner is also important. Both business management and business ethics are about making the right decisions. Does one have to exist to the exclusion of the other?

I think not, and here are the reasons why managing a business ethically is important:

1. It sends the right message to customers and clients. With all the choices available nowadays, who wants to do business with a shady, ethically-challenged company?

2. It sets the right example for the firm’s employees. The temptation to cut corners or behave illegally, immorally, or unethically is reduced if employees are familiar with the firm’s code of ethical conduct and the certainty of its enforcement.

3. It can make the firm a desirable place to work. Recruiting, and then keeping, high-quality employees is far less costly than managing a turnstile where people come and go in bulk quantities.

4. It establishes a prism through which a company views not just normal business dealings, but the handling of extraordinary events or crises. When all options have been considered, asking “What is the right thing to do?” ultimately becomes the basis for action.

5. It provides a clearer focus for the firm. That clear focus is found not just in the tactical day-to-day operations, but in the firm’s strategic planning, as well.

6. It helps protect the interests of the firm. Ethical behavior doesn’t always insulate a firm from lawsuits, bad publicity, or other such negative and costly conditions, but it can certainly reduce the probabilities or mitigate the damage.

7. It helps protect the interests of everyone with whom the firm comes into contact. Will suppliers become more reliable if they know they will get paid on time? Will regulatory agencies be more helpful and accommodating? Will clients be more trusting? There is an obvious higher likelihood of the foregoing answers becoming “Yes” with a company who is seen as highly ethical, than with one who is not.

8. It promotes mutual respect and integrity. This can happen both within the company and from those whom the company deals with.

9. It promotes accountability. This can occur not just within the ranks of the employees, but with the top executives and owners, as well.

10. It can yield a reputation in the marketplace that can be beneficial and sustaining. Isn’t this a desirable condition for any company? If it isn’t, it certainly should be.

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Source by Gerald Gillis

Fraternity House Decoration Ideas

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Okay, so, decorating your frat house might not be absolutely at the top of your list of things to do, but have a nicely put-together place can make everyone more comfortable, and it can even make parties more fun. We’re not going to go all Martha Stewart on you. These ideas will be quick, cheap, and easy, and they’ll add some character to that lifeless place that is probably now full of dust and bachelor grossness.

1. Clean up. Dirty socks and beer cans do not count as decoration. You don’t have to actually set rules about this or anything, but just make sure everyone does his part to keep things picked up around your frat house. And once a week or so, you should actually clean the kitchen, dust, and clean the bathrooms so that girls aren’t totally grossed out every time you host a party.

2. Throw on some paint. Painting is one of the cheapest, simplest ways to make a room look better. Your furniture doesn’t all have to match, and you don’t have to have nice curtains. Just buy a can of paint in an interesting color, and go to town. You can do an entire room in a bright – but not neon – color, or you can use a bold, deep color on a few accent walls.

3. Add a few – a very few – decorative pieces. Nothing makes for a more interesting conversation piece than an original piece of artwork. Head over to your school’s art department to see if anyone is willing to make a custom painting or sculpture for your frat house. Don’t go with anything too fragile or girly. You can get some really cool impressionistic or modernist pieces now, and buying a piece from a fellow student will save tons of cash.

Instead of using lots of small pieces on different walls, try a simple look with just one huge painting on the main wall of your living area. This makes everything more streamlined, and it gives you less stuff to dust, too. The same thing goes for other pieces of decoration. Just get a few big, sturdy, interesting pieces instead of a whole bunch of little, breakable, dust-gathering pieces.

4. Don’t use a theme, but pick out a few colors to stick to. Obviously, you don’t really want to worry too much about everyone’s bedrooms, since that would be overboard. When it comes to living areas and kitchens and such, though, you can go a long way just by choosing a few colors to stick to. Use complementary colors like blues and oranges, or go with colors that are similar, like two different shades of green.

Can’t decide? Head to your local hardware store and pick up a bunch of paint chips. You don’t necessarily have to sort through every single little variation in shade, but you can take a quick majority vote to see which colors you’ll use throughout your frat house.

It’s going to take a bit of effort to make your frat house look decent, but it’ll be well worth it. It will feel more like a house than a den, and it will also keep your girlfriends, girl friends, and potential girlfriends happier when they come over to visit.

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Source by Crystal Galbus

Insurance Law – An Indian Perspective

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INTRODUCTION

“Insurance should be bought to protect you against a calamity that would otherwise be financially devastating.”

In simple terms, insurance allows someone who suffers a loss or accident to be compensated for the effects of their misfortune. It lets you protect yourself against everyday risks to your health, home and financial situation.

Insurance in India started without any regulation in the Nineteenth Century. It was a typical story of a colonial epoch: few British insurance companies dominating the market serving mostly large urban centers. After the independence, it took a theatrical turn. Insurance was nationalized. First, the life insurance companies were nationalized in 1956, and then the general insurance business was nationalized in 1972. It was only in 1999 that the private insurance companies have been allowed back into the business of insurance with a maximum of 26% of foreign holding.

“The insurance industry is enormous and can be quite intimidating. Insurance is being sold for almost anything and everything you can imagine. Determining what’s right for you can be a very daunting task.”

Concepts of insurance have been extended beyond the coverage of tangible asset. Now the risk of losses due to sudden changes in currency exchange rates, political disturbance, negligence and liability for the damages can also be covered.

But if a person thoughtfully invests in insurance for his property prior to any unexpected contingency then he will be suitably compensated for his loss as soon as the extent of damage is ascertained.

The entry of the State Bank of India with its proposal of bank assurance brings a new dynamics in the game. The collective experience of the other countries in Asia has already deregulated their markets and has allowed foreign companies to participate. If the experience of the other countries is any guide, the dominance of the Life Insurance Corporation and the General Insurance Corporation is not going to disappear any time soon.

The aim of all insurance is to compensate the owner against loss arising from a variety of risks, which he anticipates, to his life, property and business. Insurance is mainly of two types: life insurance and general insurance. General insurance means Fire, Marine and Miscellaneous insurance which includes insurance against burglary or theft, fidelity guarantee, insurance for employer’s liability, and insurance of motor vehicles, livestock and crops.

LIFE INSURANCE IN INDIA

“Life insurance is the heartfelt love letter ever written.

It calms down the crying of a hungry baby at night. It relieves the heart of a bereaved widow.

It is the comforting whisper in the dark silent hours of the night.”

Life insurance made its debut in India well over 100 years ago. Its salient features are not as widely understood in our country as they ought to be. There is no statutory definition of life insurance, but it has been defined as a contract of insurance whereby the insured agrees to pay certain sums called premiums, at specified time, and in consideration thereof the insurer agreed to pay certain sums of money on certain condition sand in specified way upon happening of a particular event contingent upon the duration of human life.

Life insurance is superior to other forms of savings!

“There is no death. Life Insurance exalts life and defeats death.

It is the premium we pay for the freedom of living after death.”

Savings through life insurance guarantee full protection against risk of death of the saver. In life insurance, on death, the full sum assured is payable (with bonuses wherever applicable) whereas in other savings schemes, only the amount saved (with interest) is payable.

The essential features of life insurance are a) it is a contract relating to human life, which b) provides for payment of lump-sum amount, and c) the amount is paid after the expiry of certain period or on the death of the assured. The very purpose and object of the assured in taking policies from life insurance companies is to safeguard the interest of his dependents viz., wife and children as the case may be, in the even of premature death of the assured as a result of the happening in any contingency. A life insurance policy is also generally accepted as security for even a commercial loan.

NON-LIFE INSURANCE

“Every asset has a value and the business of general insurance is related to the protection of economic value of assets.”

Non-life insurance means insurance other than life insurance such as fire, marine, accident, medical, motor vehicle and household insurance. Assets would have been created through the efforts of owner, which can be in the form of building, vehicles, machinery and other tangible properties. Since tangible property has a physical shape and consistency, it is subject to many risks ranging from fire, allied perils to theft and robbery.

Few of the General Insurance policies are:

Property Insurance: The home is most valued possession. The policy is designed to cover the various risks under a single policy. It provides protection for property and interest of the insured and family.

Health Insurance: It provides cover, which takes care of medical expenses following hospitalization from sudden illness or accident.

Personal Accident Insurance: This insurance policy provides compensation for loss of life or injury (partial or permanent) caused by an accident. This includes reimbursement of cost of treatment and the use of hospital facilities for the treatment.

Travel Insurance: The policy covers the insured against various eventualities while traveling abroad. It covers the insured against personal accident, medical expenses and repatriation, loss of checked baggage, passport etc.

Liability Insurance: This policy indemnifies the Directors or Officers or other professionals against loss arising from claims made against them by reason of any wrongful Act in their Official capacity.

Motor Insurance: Motor Vehicles Act states that every motor vehicle plying on the road has to be insured, with at least Liability only policy. There are two types of policy one covering the act of liability, while other covers insurers all liability and damage caused to one’s vehicles.

JOURNEY FROM AN INFANT TO ADOLESCENCE!

Historical Perspective

The history of life insurance in India dates back to 1818 when it was conceived as a means to provide for English Widows. Interestingly in those days a higher premium was charged for Indian lives than the non-Indian lives as Indian lives were considered more risky for coverage.

The Bombay Mutual Life Insurance Society started its business in 1870. It was the first company to charge same premium for both Indian and non-Indian lives. The Oriental Assurance Company was established in 1880. The General insurance business in India, on the other hand, can trace its roots to the Triton (Tital) Insurance Company Limited, the first general insurance company established in the year 1850 in Calcutta by the British. Till the end of nineteenth century insurance business was almost entirely in the hands of overseas companies.

Insurance regulation formally began in India with the passing of the Life Insurance Companies Act of 1912 and the Provident Fund Act of 1912. Several frauds during 20’s and 30’s desecrated insurance business in India. By 1938 there were 176 insurance companies. The first comprehensive legislation was introduced with the Insurance Act of 1938 that provided strict State Control over insurance business. The insurance business grew at a faster pace after independence. Indian companies strengthened their hold on this business but despite the growth that was witnessed, insurance remained an urban phenomenon.

The Government of India in 1956, brought together over 240 private life insurers and provident societies under one nationalized monopoly corporation and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) was born. Nationalization was justified on the grounds that it would create much needed funds for rapid industrialization. This was in conformity with the Government’s chosen path of State lead planning and development.

The (non-life) insurance business continued to prosper with the private sector till 1972. Their operations were restricted to organized trade and industry in large cities. The general insurance industry was nationalized in 1972. With this, nearly 107 insurers were amalgamated and grouped into four companies – National Insurance Company, New India Assurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company. These were subsidiaries of the General Insurance Company (GIC).

The life insurance industry was nationalized under the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) Act of India. In some ways, the LIC has become very flourishing. Regardless of being a monopoly, it has some 60-70 million policyholders. Given that the Indian middle-class is around 250-300 million, the LIC has managed to capture some 30 odd percent of it. Around 48% of the customers of the LIC are from rural and semi-urban areas. This probably would not have happened had the charter of the LIC not specifically set out the goal of serving the rural areas. A high saving rate in India is one of the exogenous factors that have helped the LIC to grow rapidly in recent years. Despite the saving rate being high in India (compared with other countries with a similar level of development), Indians display high degree of risk aversion. Thus, nearly half of the investments are in physical assets (like property and gold). Around twenty three percent are in (low yielding but safe) bank deposits. In addition, some 1.3 percent of the GDP are in life insurance related savings vehicles. This figure has doubled between 1985 and 1995.

A World viewpoint – Life Insurance in India

In many countries, insurance has been a form of savings. In many developed countries, a significant fraction of domestic saving is in the form of donation insurance plans. This is not surprising. The prominence of some developing countries is more surprising. For example, South Africa features at the number two spot. India is nestled between Chile and Italy. This is even more surprising given the levels of economic development in Chile and Italy. Thus, we can conclude that there is an insurance culture in India despite a low per capita income. This promises well for future growth. Specifically, when the income level improves, insurance (especially life) is likely to grow rapidly.

INSURANCE SECTOR REFORM:

Committee Reports: One Known, One Anonymous!

Although Indian markets were privatized and opened up to foreign companies in a number of sectors in 1991, insurance remained out of bounds on both counts. The government wanted to proceed with caution. With pressure from the opposition, the government (at the time, dominated by the Congress Party) decided to set up a committee headed by Mr. R. N. Malhotra (the then Governor of the Reserve Bank of India).

Malhotra Committee

Liberalization of the Indian insurance market was suggested in a report released in 1994 by the Malhotra Committee, indicating that the market should be opened to private-sector competition, and eventually, foreign private-sector competition. It also investigated the level of satisfaction of the customers of the LIC. Inquisitively, the level of customer satisfaction seemed to be high.

In 1993, Malhotra Committee – headed by former Finance Secretary and RBI Governor Mr. R. N. Malhotra – was formed to evaluate the Indian insurance industry and recommend its future course. The Malhotra committee was set up with the aim of complementing the reforms initiated in the financial sector. The reforms were aimed at creating a more efficient and competitive financial system suitable for the needs of the economy keeping in mind the structural changes presently happening and recognizing that insurance is an important part of the overall financial system where it was necessary to address the need for similar reforms. In 1994, the committee submitted the report and some of the key recommendations included:

o Structure

Government bet in the insurance Companies to be brought down to 50%. Government should take over the holdings of GIC and its subsidiaries so that these subsidiaries can act as independent corporations. All the insurance companies should be given greater freedom to operate.

Competition

Private Companies with a minimum paid up capital of Rs.1 billion should be allowed to enter the sector. No Company should deal in both Life and General Insurance through a single entity. Foreign companies may be allowed to enter the industry in collaboration with the domestic companies. Postal Life Insurance should be allowed to operate in the rural market. Only one State Level Life Insurance Company should be allowed to operate in each state.

o Regulatory Body

The Insurance Act should be changed. An Insurance Regulatory body should be set up. Controller of Insurance – a part of the Finance Ministry- should be made Independent.

o Investments

Compulsory Investments of LIC Life Fund in government securities to be reduced from 75% to 50%. GIC and its subsidiaries are not to hold more than 5% in any company (there current holdings to be brought down to this level over a period of time).

o Customer Service

LIC should pay interest on delays in payments beyond 30 days. Insurance companies must be encouraged to set up unit linked pension plans. Computerization of operations and updating of technology to be carried out in the insurance industry. The committee accentuated that in order to improve the customer services and increase the coverage of insurance policies, industry should be opened up to competition. But at the same time, the committee felt the need to exercise caution as any failure on the part of new competitors could ruin the public confidence in the industry. Hence, it was decided to allow competition in a limited way by stipulating the minimum capital requirement of Rs.100 crores.

The committee felt the need to provide greater autonomy to insurance companies in order to improve their performance and enable them to act as independent companies with economic motives. For this purpose, it had proposed setting up an independent regulatory body – The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.

Reforms in the Insurance sector were initiated with the passage of the IRDA Bill in Parliament in December 1999. The IRDA since its incorporation as a statutory body in April 2000 has meticulously stuck to its schedule of framing regulations and registering the private sector insurance companies.

Since being set up as an independent statutory body the IRDA has put in a framework of globally compatible regulations. The other decision taken at the same time to provide the supporting systems to the insurance sector and in particular the life insurance companies was the launch of the IRDA online service for issue and renewal of licenses to agents. The approval of institutions for imparting training to agents has also ensured that the insurance companies would have a trained workforce of insurance agents in place to sell their products.

The Government of India liberalized the insurance sector in March 2000 with the passage of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Bill, lifting all entry restrictions for private players and allowing foreign players to enter the market with some limits on direct foreign ownership. Under the current guidelines, there is a 26 percent equity lid for foreign partners in an insurance company. There is a proposal to increase this limit to 49 percent.

The opening up of the sector is likely to lead to greater spread and deepening of insurance in India and this may also include restructuring and revitalizing of the public sector companies. In the private sector 12 life insurance and 8 general insurance companies have been registered. A host of private Insurance companies operating in both life and non-life segments have started selling their insurance policies since 2001

Mukherjee Committee

Immediately after the publication of the Malhotra Committee Report, a new committee, Mukherjee Committee was set up to make concrete plans for the requirements of the newly formed insurance companies. Recommendations of the Mukherjee Committee were never disclosed to the public. But, from the information that filtered out it became clear that the committee recommended the inclusion of certain ratios in insurance company balance sheets to ensure transparency in accounting. But the Finance Minister objected to it and it was argued by him, probably on the advice of some of the potential competitors, that it could affect the prospects of a developing insurance company.

LAW COMMISSION OF INDIA ON REVISION OF THE INSURANCE ACT 1938 – 190th Law Commission Report

The Law Commission on 16th June 2003 released a Consultation Paper on the Revision of the Insurance Act, 1938. The previous exercise to amend the Insurance Act, 1938 was undertaken in 1999 at the time of enactment of the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority Act, 1999 (IRDA Act).

The Commission undertook the present exercise in the context of the changed policy that has permitted private insurance companies both in the life and non-life sectors. A need has been felt to toughen the regulatory mechanism even while streamlining the existing legislation with a view to removing portions that have become superfluous as a consequence of the recent changes.

Among the major areas of changes, the Consultation paper suggested the following:

a. merging of the provisions of the IRDA Act with the Insurance Act to avoid multiplicity of legislations;

b. deletion of redundant and transitory provisions in the Insurance Act, 1938;

c. Amendments reflect the changed policy of permitting private insurance companies and strengthening the regulatory mechanism;

d. Providing for stringent norms regarding maintenance of ‘solvency margin’ and investments by both public sector and private sector insurance companies;

e. Providing for a full-fledged grievance redressal mechanism that includes:

o The constitution of Grievance Redressal Authorities (GRAs) comprising one judicial and two technical members to deal with complaints/claims of policyholders against insurers (the GRAs are expected to replace the present system of insurer appointed Ombudsman);

o Appointment of adjudicating officers by the IRDA to determine and levy penalties on defaulting insurers, insurance intermediaries and insurance agents;

o Providing for an appeal against the decisions of the IRDA, GRAs and adjudicating officers to an Insurance Appellate Tribunal (IAT) comprising a judge (sitting or retired) of the Supreme Court/Chief Justice of a High Court as presiding officer and two other members having sufficient experience in insurance matters;

o Providing for a statutory appeal to the Supreme Court against the decisions of the IAT.

LIFE & NON-LIFE INSURANCE – Development and Growth!

The year 2006 turned out to be a momentous year for the insurance sector as regulator the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority Act, laid the foundation for free pricing general insurance from 2007, while many companies announced plans to attack into the sector.

Both domestic and foreign players robustly pursued their long-pending demand for increasing the FDI limit from 26 per cent to 49 per cent and toward the fag end of the year, the Government sent the Comprehensive Insurance Bill to Group of Ministers for consideration amid strong reservation from Left parties. The Bill is likely to be taken up in the Budget session of Parliament.

The infiltration rates of health and other non-life insurances in India are well below the international level. These facts indicate immense growth potential of the insurance sector. The hike in FDI limit to 49 per cent was proposed by the Government last year. This has not been operationalized as legislative changes are required for such hike. Since opening up of the insurance sector in 1999, foreign investments of Rs. 8.7 billion have tipped into the Indian market and 21 private companies have been granted licenses.

The involvement of the private insurers in various industry segments has increased on account of both their capturing a part of the business which was earlier underwritten by the public sector insurers and also creating additional business boulevards. To this effect, the public sector insurers have been unable to draw upon their inherent strengths to capture additional premium. Of the growth in premium in 2004-05, 66.27 per cent has been captured by the private insurers despite having 20 per cent market share.

The life insurance industry recorded a premium income of Rs.82854.80 crore during the financial year 2004-05 as against Rs.66653.75 crore in the previous financial year, recording a growth of 24.31 per cent. The contribution of first year premium, single premium and renewal premium to the total premium was Rs.15881.33 crore (19.16 per cent); Rs.10336.30 crore (12.47 per cent); and Rs.56637.16 crore (68.36 per cent), respectively. In the year 2000-01, when the industry was opened up to the private players, the life insurance premium was Rs.34,898.48 crore which constituted of Rs. 6996.95 crore of first year premium, Rs. 25191.07 crore of renewal premium and Rs. 2740.45 crore of single premium. Post opening up, single premium had declined from Rs.9, 194.07 crore in the year 2001-02 to Rs.5674.14 crore in 2002-03 with the withdrawal of the guaranteed return policies. Though it went up marginally in 2003-04 to Rs.5936.50 crore (4.62 per cent growth) 2004-05, however, witnessed a significant shift with the single premium income rising to Rs. 10336.30 crore showing 74.11 per cent growth over 2003-04.

The size of life insurance market increased on the strength of growth in the economy and concomitant increase in per capita income. This resulted in a favourable growth in total premium both for LIC (18.25 per cent) and to the new insurers (147.65 per cent) in 2004-05. The higher growth for the new insurers is to be viewed in the context of a low base in 2003- 04. However, the new insurers have improved their market share from 4.68 in 2003-04 to 9.33 in 2004-05.

The segment wise break up of fire, marine and miscellaneous segments in case of the public sector insurers was Rs.2411.38 crore, Rs.982.99 crore and Rs.10578.59 crore, i.e., a growth of (-)1.43 per cent, 1.81 per cent and 6.58 per cent. The public sector insurers reported growth in Motor and Health segments (9 and 24 per cent). These segments accounted for 45 and 10 per cent of the business underwritten by the public sector insurers. Fire and “Others” accounted for 17.26 and 11 per cent of the premium underwritten. Aviation, Liability, “Others” and Fire recorded negative growth of 29, 21, 3.58 and 1.43 per cent. In no other country that opened at the same time as India have foreign companies been able to grab a 22 per cent market share in the life segment and about 20 per cent in the general insurance segment. The share of foreign insurers in other competing Asian markets is not more than 5 to 10 per cent.

The life insurance sector grew new premium at a rate not seen before while the general insurance sector grew at a faster rate. Two new players entered into life insurance – Shriram Life and Bharti Axa Life – taking the total number of life players to 16. There was one new entrant to the non-life sector in the form of a standalone health insurance company – Star Health and Allied Insurance, taking the non-life players to 14.

A large number of companies, mostly nationalized banks (about 14) such as Bank of India and Punjab National Bank, have announced plans to enter the insurance sector and some of them have also formed joint ventures.

The proposed change in FDI cap is part of the comprehensive amendments to insurance laws – The Insurance Act of 1999, LIC Act, 1956 and IRDA Act, 1999. After the proposed amendments in the insurance laws LIC would be able to maintain reserves while insurance companies would be able to raise resources other than equity.

About 14 banks are in queue to enter insurance sector and the year 2006 saw several joint venture announcements while others scout partners. Bank of India has teamed up with Union Bank and Japanese insurance major Dai-ichi Mutual Life while PNB tied up with Vijaya Bank and Principal for foraying into life insurance. Allahabad Bank, Karnataka Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Dabur Investment Corporation and Sompo Japan Insurance Inc have tied up for forming a non-life insurance company while Bank of Maharashtra has tied up with Shriram Group and South Africa’s Sanlam group for non-life insurance venture.

CONCLUSION

It seems cynical that the LIC and the GIC will wither and die within the next decade or two. The IRDA has taken “at a snail’s pace” approach. It has been very cautious in granting licenses. It has set up fairly strict standards for all aspects of the insurance business (with the probable exception of the disclosure requirements). The regulators always walk a fine line. Too many regulations kill the motivation of the newcomers; too relaxed regulations may induce failure and fraud that led to nationalization in the first place. India is not unique among the developing countries where the insurance business has been opened up to foreign competitors.

The insurance business is at a critical stage in India. Over the next couple of decades we are likely to witness high growth in the insurance sector for two reasons namely; financial deregulation always speeds up the development of the insurance sector and growth in per capita GDP also helps the insurance business to grow.

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Source by Sowmya Suman

Rebranding And Remodelling Ideas For Your Nightclub

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Has your nightclub been doing well? Is your place considered the town’s party mecca? Do tourists enjoy the place and they always come back when they’re in town? If you’ve answered yes to all of the questions, then your business is looking good. But what if after 3 or 5 years, your club attendance suddenly diminishes or declines? And no matter what promotion you do, you just can’t back on your feet? Do you think it’s time to close up? Or do you think there’s another way to be on top again?

Nightclub consulting firms say that establishments such as bars have different factors in maintaining their longevity. The market size is one crucial factor that needs to be paid attention to. If you’re living in a big city, it’s a given fact that the competition is tough. Therefore, your chances of operating for 10 years or longer are slim. On the other hand, running a business in small town is more advantageous. You can expect little competition, and if you’re a good manager, then you can expect your business to be running smoothly for long.

Another main factor that could affect the longevity of your business is your customers. They are very important for your business and you should take care of them very well. Customers have different wants so you should be familiar with the latest trends. To keep your customers loyal to you, you should be able to offer them the thrills that would keep them coming back for more.

Thinking of remodelling and re-branding your nightclub? Remember these few factors:

· Examine your books. The way to find out if your business is slacking on sales is through checking out your sales. Compare your previous to current month sales.

· Check out your staff. Quality is of utmost importance. If your employees are not performing well, this could be a factor causing your customers to find a different hang out place.

· Protect your best employees. Some customers come back because they love the customer service. If you have a good employee, protect them by treating them well. Don’t let them be poached by a competitor.

· A good way to find out what’s good for your business is to ask your customers. Get feedback on what techniques have worked and what haven’t.

If you want to get back on your feet, you need to come up with the most unique marketing ideas for nightclubs as soon as possible. These ideas may help:

· Promote on social networking sites. This is a very effective marketing strategy today for any business. If you’ve got a new event, then promote it on social networking sites. This is one way to boost your popularity.

· Host unique contests. Unique – meaning not every bar out there has already thought of this contest. Something like “be a bartender for the night,” or “create a cocktail of your own.”

· Offer complementary products. Don’t just offer the usual beer, offer something else; like a beer mug or a shot glass.

Majority of nightclubs that experienced decline in sales found re-branding and remodelling effective in getting back on their feet. But remember, re-branding should always be done with remodelling. Doing one without the other isn’t effective.

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Source by Willie F Brodson