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Journalist by profession. I have been writing for various publications for seven years. I have also taught for two years. My interests lie in the business sector, and I also like to cover the fashion industry. I analyze, research and write feature pieces and comprehensive stories regarding business.
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  • Carbonated Beverages VS Healthier Options- Let The Race Begin!

    The industry trends are changing, with consumers becoming health savvy. Consumer preferences have changed from carbonated beverages to low-calorie healthy drinks, for two reasons- weight control, and adopting a healthy lifestyle. However, neither Coca-Cola, with its Diet Coke, or PepsiCo, with its Diet Pepsi, have been able to discover an alternative to natural cane sugar.
    Carbonated drinks have been losing ground, with their sales going up to only 2.2% year-over-year in 2012. Companies making such beverages have been losing their market position, with consumers moving from carbonated drinks to beverages like sports drinks and ready-to-drink tea. With that stated, there is a boom in the bottled water category. Consumers are now opting for flavored water over harmful carbonated beverages. The energy drinks industry is growing four times more, as compared to the carbonated drinks industry.
    Coke manufactured in Mexico has a consumer base in American. Americans are of the view that it has a much better taste as compared to the Coke sold in their cities. Hence, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo maintain their typical ingredients in the Mexican and Thailand markets. On the flip side, Coca-Cola is investing in research and development so as to provide healthy options to its consumers. PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper Snapple are following Coca-Cola's lead.
    The beverage industry thrives on volumetric earnings. One is of the view that if they invest in healthier options for the consumers, they could maintain their market share. The diet soft drinks industry has experienced a volumetric growth, as compared to the non-diet segment. Coca-Cola is at the top of the game, with the usage of Stevia and Coke Zero. Since the consumers are bending towards low-calorie options, Coca-Cola introduced Stevia in its Coke Zero brands, with the claim that it contains 60% less calories as compared to other sweeteners. However, Pepsi is of the view that Stevia doesn't gel well with carbonated beverages, and while it looks for other alternatives, Diet Coke takes the bigger chunk of the market in terms of sales.
    Statistics suggest the average American drinks about 42 gallons of carbonated soft drinks a year. The consumer preferences might have changed, but clearly, there is always room for a bottle of Coke in their fridges. However, with the change in choices, it must be noted that the carbonated beverage companies need to strategize so as to provide healthier alternatives to their consumers. This is the only way they'd preserve their reputation.
    Fresh juices and low-fat milk are being marketed in schools, restaurants and hospitals at a rapid pace. The American Medical Association banned the marketing of carbonated energy drinks to those under 18 years of age. This would result in low market share, thinner profits and a decrease in consumers. Moreover, Coca-Cola and Pepsi cannot deny the court battle of The New York City Health Department, which is fighting for a ban of sugary drinks in restaurants. This goes to show that, with the changes in consumer trends and preferences, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo need to strategize, develop, research and produce healthier options. There are no two ways about it.

    Oct 25 9:48 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Marissa Mayer Plays Her Cards Right

    Google Inc.'s triumph is remarkable. The expression, 'Just Google It,' could be considered as a part of the English dictionary. However, its biggest competitor, Yahoo! Inc, beat the company by driving unique traffic to its search engines in US.
    Yahoo had outdone Google back in May 2011, and history repeated itself in July 2013. Yahoo received 196.5m unique visitors in the US, while Google had 192.3m. Yahoo's stock price rose up to 3.1% when the news broke into the market. This event raised three questions- is Yahoo going to make a comeback? Will it take over the lion's share as the most efficient search engine? Also, is Marissa Mayer, who was a part of Google Search, Google Email, Google Images etc a major success, the key player behind this?
    Marissa Mayer was one of the first thirty Google employees. Presently, she is the CEO of Yahoo. Her goal involves four basic procedures: "People, then products, then traffic, then revenue."
    She held a conference call during the second quarter of fiscal year 2013. Marissa Mayer announced that her vision is to focus on four essential areas- mobile, display, search and video. Her gameplay revolves around buying talent - buy smaller companies in order to shut them down, and utilize their best talent at Yahoo.
    Mayer's vision was to revamp Yahoo Apps for smartphones. This was done successfully, as in July 2013, requests for Yahoo's mobile search services increased 5% on a sequential basis. Her employment as CEO boosted the confidence of the stakeholders of Yahoo. Her plans were to restructure Yahoo, and she did so. Yahoo's homepage was redesigned, and services like Flickr, Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Weather were revamped. The company's stock price has increased up to 70% since Mayer took over.
    Yahoo has developed in terms of unique visitors and revenues ever since Mayer's employment. Her biggest acquisition is Tumblr, which has an ever-growing mobile user base, and has reached up to $1.1 billion.

    Yahoo earns 74% of its revenues from the US. . In America, ex-TAC revenues in the second quarter of 2013 increased 2% YoY. However, the year-over-year (YoY) growth in gross revenues was 2%, while net revenues (ex-Traffic Acquisition Costs** (NYSE:TAC)) are on the same page. Under Mayer's supervision, ex-TAC revenues for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific regions experienced an 8% YoY decline.
    Marissa Mayer's overall vision is about focusing on mobility and social media, the two key trends that make the digital world go round. Since Yahoo's image has changed under Mayer's positive influence, it can be safely stated that she has brought on board the best talent.
    However, there is a doubt regarding Yahoo's performance in the future. Nevertheless, our analysis suggests that if Marissa Mayer continues to stay firm on her vision, Yahoo could surpass Google as far as unique visitors are concerned. This would result in active advertising, and a boost in revenues. This raises a question- does Google need to up its game?

    Tags: GOOG, YHOO, Technology
    Oct 25 9:48 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Verizon Takes The Bigger Slice Of The Cake In Postpaid Smartphone Subscribers

    Smartphones and tablets are the new mode of communication. Ericsson Research is of the view that in 2015, 95% of mobile revenues will revolve around wireless data utilization. Every five years, the revenue per user for wireless date is increasing at an annual rate of 16%. This is the reason companies providing wireless services are focusing on postpaid consumers.
    With smartphones taking over the industry, the companies providing wireless services are on their toes. Postpaid customers are said to be more data friendly, as compared to the prepaid ones. Verizon has bagged the wireless market in America, with 37% of all devices sold in the US during the last three months being under it.
    AT&T and Verizon are tied in competition, with Verizon leading the race. In 2007, AT&T was given marketing rights for iPhone and Apple Inc. However, Verizon started selling iPhones in 2011, and outdid AT&T by four million units. AT&T is far behind Verizon as far as revenue is concerned. It has a CAGR of 25%, whereas Verizon is at 32%. As far as wireless subscribers are concerned, AT&T has taken the bigger slice of the cake, with 107 million wireless subscribers.
    These two companies are of the view wireless telecom services are essential as the industry trends evolve and move towards smartphones, tablets and gadgets. They work with 4G LTE networks, that make way for customers as far as fast and easily accessible content is concerned. Verizon was the first company to position its 4G LTE network. This is the prime reason behind Verizon's market share maintenance. Verizon's postpaid subscribers go up to 93 million. Furthermore, Verizon has a customer base of 98 million, with 65% using its services on smartphones.
    One is sure that Verizon will be benefitting as data revenues are flourishing at a rapid pace. The reason why Verizon is steps ahead of AT&T is transparent. As compared to AT&T, Verizon has a stronger market position in data revenues, which are likely to grow at a rapid pace. This would result in a stronger market share for Verizon, which is in high demand for its data. One is sure Verizon will go further, with better quality 4G LTE services. This is the reason Verizon has customer loyalty- users tend to stick to providers that have a strong position in the market. Verizon is, by far, known as the best, most reliable, easily accessible, and quality focused.

    Tags: T, VZ, Telecom
    Oct 25 9:48 AM | Link | Comment!
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