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AscendersTech @ APO Workshop in Tehran, IR, Iran

Workshop on Development of Business Models for Women Entrepreneurs in Rural Communities

Ms. Jayalakshmi Thirugnanam – Director & COO of Ascenders Technologies Pvt Ltd and Joint Secretary – eWIT participated as a Resource Speaker in a Workshop conducted by the Asian Productivity Organization and implemented by the National Iranian Productivity Organization in Tehran, IR Iran. The workshop was held from 24 – 28 January 2015.

The objectives of the workshop were to enhance the knowledge of participants of different business models and essential features of successful businesses initiated and managed by women, to understand the critical enabling environment and support systems that contribute to the success of enterprises initiated and managed by women; and also to enhance knowledge of participants of critical managerial functions in different business models for women, especially in rural communities.

Several reports in the literature show that women are better poised to improve their welfare and their economic status when they are able to establish their own businesses. This enhances their security and standing in the community, and more importantly, they are able to provide or augment family incomes. Replicating such outcomes on a wider national level could empower more women to become stronger leaders and contribute more to society and their economies. However, the success of women entrepreneurs could be influenced by many factors such as their level of education, knowledge and skills in managing an enterprise, time they have to manage an enterprise on top of their domestic chores and community social obligations, access to critical resources like capital and technical assistance, and the sociocultural environment where they live. It is therefore important to familiarize women with various business models that could fit in their situation and the established best management practices for each of those models.

The participants were from India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Republic of China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand. The Indian representation consisted of a participant from Karnataka and a resource speaker (Jayalakshmi). The other three resource speakers were from Thailand, Philippines and Iran.

Speakers & Participants

               Speakers & Participants

With Joselito Bernardo - Director - Agriculture Dept, APO

With Joselito Bernardo – Director – Agriculture Dept, APO, Tokyo

A good friend Ms. Mitra Alipour Intl Affairs Officer & APO Liaison Officer, Iran

A good friend Ms. Mitra Alipour Intl Affairs Officer & APO Liaison Officer, Iran

The modules covered in the workshop were Emerging Opportunities and Challenges for Women Entrepreneurs in Asia; Different business models for women entrepreneurs (agri-based models, home-based models; e-based models; etc.); Successful programs supporting women’s entrepreneurship; Basics of business management and enterprise development; Product development and innovations; Identifying markets and marketing; Case studies of successful business models by women entrepreneurs; and Applications of ICT in business planning, management, and marketing. The Workshop also consisted of theme presentations and sharing of country specific case studies, individual/group exercises, and field visits.

The sessions held by Jayalakshmi Thirugnanam were:

  1. Participation of women in labor force and in business

An assessment of the status and trends of women participation in the labor force, in governance and in businesses in selected countries/ Asia/Global; illustrative cases of prominent/leading women successful in business, their basic philosophy, and factors for their success were discussed; and global initiatives and international organizations supporting national efforts to address gender issues and to improve the status of women in society and business organization were also touched upon for the sake of general awareness.

Resource Speaker Role

Resource Speaker Role

  1. E-based Business Models and Use of ICT and Social Networks in Marketing

This session was all about the concepts and principles of e-based business models; the trends in e-based business globally and within the Asian region or selected countries were suitably highlighted; how e-marketing is organized in general; some successful cases of e-based businesses by women were illustrated; and merits of this model through appropriate analytical tools like SWOT were analyzed.

  1. Basics of HR Management and Challenges for Women CEOs and Managers

In this session, the important concepts, principles and tools in HR management in SMEs were discussed; and also common gender issues in the workplace were and how women CEOs/managers can address them.

Country papers were presented by the participants. The papers of each country basically focused on the current trends in female participation and employment; the ratio of the urban and rural population; the ratio of male and female population; the percentage of the female labor force; the percent of males and females in the labor force that are unemployed and which sector/s are females mostly employed.

Issues and challenges faced by women were discussed in detail. The major problems of women who want to engage in small business enterprises in each country e.g. lack of access to capital, lack of knowledge and skill in starting and managing a business, limited access to training and support services, socio-cultural reasons, gender discrimination or other reasons too were highlighted.

The various government policies and program supporting women were discussed with regard to which government ministries or agencies are responsible for supporting women in the participating countries; specific government policies, programs and/or projects providing support to women to engage in business or development of women entrepreneurship were also highlighted.

Basically the most critical emerging needs of women, especially in rural communities, in each participating country in order to be gainfully employed or to be able to start a small business enterprise were discussed in detail.

23rd January marked the arrival of almost all participants and resource speakers. Each was met and received at the Khomeni International Airport in Tehran, IR Iran by staff of the National Iranian Productivity Organization. The warmth of the Iranians’ hospitality, their general soft-spoken natures, helping tendencies and their enthusiasm for life itself was inspiring. Strong friendships were made and cemented and Whatsapp groups were instantly formed to keep in touch. Being a primarily women’s group, the laughter and camaraderie was infectious.

All the participants were put up at the Parsian Evin (a sophisticated 4 star hotel) where the workshop took place. The Asian Productivity Organization hosted the welcome dinner on day two whereas the National Iranian Productivity Organization hosted the farewell dinner on the fourth day.

The Parsian Evin Hotel, Tehran, IR, Iran

The Parsian Evin Hotel, Tehran, IR, Iran

The Workshop started on time and as scheduled and we were all welcomed by a show of snow. The Director of International and Scientific Cooperation who was an integral part of the workshop happily concluded that the snow was a symbol of an excellent start that the workshop would be a grand success. He was absolutely right. The workshop was conducted in a formal manner and all participants as well as resource speakers were prepared and well informed. Each session of the workshop, indeed the country papers as well as the site visits were full of knowledge sharing. There were plenty of takeaways for each participant.

Speaker from Philippines - Ms. Pacita Juan

Speaker from Philippines – Ms. Pacita Juan

The Iranian Speaker spoke about micro finance & credit

The Iranian Speaker spoke about micro finance & credit

Day One: Snow in Iran

In the snow with Ms. Pansiri Jones, the speaker from Thailand

In the snow with Ms. Pansiri Jones, the speaker from Thailand

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Scenic snow filled landscapes in Tehran, IR Iran

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(From L) Kashmir, India & Pakistan...

(From L) Kashmir, India & Pakistan…

(Clockwise)Taiwan, Mongolia, Philippines & India

(Clockwise)Taiwan, Mongolia, Philippines & India

Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, & India

Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, & India

Site Visits

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At a mushroom farm

At the Agricultural Association run by microfinance

       At the Agricultural Association 

The manager explaining the process of breeding mushrooms

The manager explaining the process of breeding mushrooms

At the research lab in the agricultural department

At the research lab in the agricultural department

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At a well-tended greenhouse

Farm Produce sold at the store

     Farm Produce sold at the store

There was also a Group workshop on Product development and marketing based on the learning and takeaways from the sessions held for the participants. All the participants were grouped into four teams and were given a typical Iranian produce to develop and market.

Product Development & Marketing Strategies by the groups

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Teamwork

                               Teamwork

Apart from the learning, there had been other fun filled moments as well such as the inevitable shopping sprees and the sightseeing.

Local Shopping

Shopping!

                         Shopping!

At the mall

                        At the mall

The Iranian wedding gowns

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In all, it was a very fruitful and enriching event for each participating country member.

Some of the fascinating sights like a beautiful sunset over Tehran

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Traditional Iranian breads being baked. The aroma is awesome and so is the taste!

The friendly bakers

                    The friendly bakers

In the oven

Straight from the oven!

Hot and fresh

          Steaming hot and fresh!

All those rials could buy a sim card!

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Achievements @ ASCENDERSTECH

The practice of ringing the bell loudly as a mark of achievement still continues at AscendersTech. Every achievement, however small, is recognized and given its due importance because we believe that every little drop goes on to make an ocean.

Swathi is all smiles

Swathi is all smiles

 

Bersin is a regular...

Bersin is a regular…

 

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Supriya is also a regular.

Cherian has a go...

Cherian has a go…

 

The ringleader dominates

The ringleader dominates

 

Sumathi celebrating her closures

Sumathi celebrating her closures

 

Udayasri  beaming!

Udayasri beaming!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Spectacular New Year 2013 to our Readers!

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AscendersTech New Year Bash 2012

AscendersTech had its annual New Year Bash at the Quality Inn Sabhari in T.Nagar last Friday on 28th Dec’12.

The day was pleasant and added to the festive cheer usually pervading Chennai at this time of the year. The entrants made their way to the Hotel one by one. The day was literally kick started by our CPO Mr. Kalidass.

The HR Dept in Action

The HR Dept in Action

HR had already had the agenda chalked out for the day. The Ascenders family started with the Tamil Thai vaazthu. The CEO Dr. Thiru joined the group leading the prayer.

Prayer

Prayer

The CEO also had a few words to say about relationships and their impact on our customers.

CEO Gyaan

CEO Gyaan

After the prayer, Uma and Ram took center stage to present the year’s happenings & wins in their respective fields i.e. HRO and Technology. They mulled on their teams respective achievements and then went on to state emphatically their goals for the coming year.

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And on my left is Ram – middle weight Champion…

We want a fair fight...

We want a fair fight…

Ram the middle weight Sales champion takes the first shot...

Ram the middle weight Sales champion takes the first shot…

Uma - the Heavy weight Ops Champion retaliates with a stunning blow...

Uma – the Heavy weight Ops Champion retaliates with a stunning blow…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The intention was plain and simple. The AscendersTech focused scheme of things for the New Year would revolve around the company’s new brand Tagline – ROI from ERP.

It was made clear that the company was moving slowly but steadily in the ERP Arena armed not only with the strength of Technology but also with the vigor of HRO. Together they presented the game plan of AscendersTech along with the newly acquired business from the US in this space i.e. Oracle Apps.

Ram made it very clear that there would be a twist to this presentation wherein the audience would get a Q&A session at intervals and the Qs would be thrown by the presenters and the As would have to come from the audience. It was a hit in the sense that the audience remained alert and responsive, evening earning themselves a few prizes for right answers!

Q&A Time...

Q&A Time…

The Alertness of the audience earned them prizes!

The Alertness of the audience earned them prizes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After this rejuvenating session, the Ascenders were enthralled by a workshop presented by Mr. Shivakumar a HR Consultant & Trainer specially invited for the occasion.

Mr. Shivakumar in the ring!

Mr. Shivakumar in the ring!

He taught the Ascenders brilliantly crafted lessons on succeeding, thinking out of the box, listening, judging and believing. All the lessons were left deeply entrenched in each and every Ascender’s mind and heart because of the awe-inspiring practical demonstrations!

Ringa ringa roses, pocket full of posies...

Ringa ringa roses, pocket full of posies…

And we DON'T fall down!

And we DON’T fall down!

90 Kgs Taj Mahal...

90 Kgs Taj Mahal…

Up, up & away!

Up, up & away!

Intertwined on chairs...

Intertwined on chairs…

Intertwined but in the air!

Intertwined but in the air!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The session as such left an everlasting impression on the Ascenders family and we were shaken out of our ignorant complacency; everyone was literally reenergized to face the New Year and whatever challenges it was holding for us all either personal or professional.

A delicious lunch spread followed. After the refreshing and rather filling meal, the ISO certification ceremony followed. Our auditor, none other than Mr. Karthikeyan of Quest International, made his appearance to do us the honours. He was very clear that the ISO 9001:2008 recertification of AscendersTech was well deserved and he touched upon the various experiences he had while conducting audits. During the ceremony, Ascenders Business Solutions too received its ISO certification.

ISO in the presence of our Guests of Honour

ISO in the presence of our Guests of Honour

Mr. Ari (Arivazhagan – Director of IIPM) and Mr. Malli J. Shivakumar (Ex CEO of Sundaram Infotech Solutions Ltd. and present CEO of Pebblestone Technologies) were the guests of honour for the occasion and they made us proud as they recounted their relationships with Dr. Thiru and AscendersTech in general.

After this celebratory event, the Ascenders relaxed as the afternoon informally slipped into a fun and frolic atmosphere charged with the day’s activities

Song & Dance - parallel tracks...

Song & Dance – parallel tracks…

 

The CEO gets some free dance lessons…

But can't get it right like the guys here...

But just can’t get it right like the guys here…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ascenders Super Singer...

Ascenders Super Singer…

The Desi Backstreet Boys (or) Kollapakkam Pasangu

The Desi Backstreet Boys (or) Kollapakkam Pasangu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to us...

Happy Birthday to us…

 

 

Kuyile,Kuyile...

Kuyile,Kuyile…

Nenu Chandramukhi! Lakalakalakakala....

Nenu Chandramukhi! Lakalakalakakala….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thalaiva...

Thalaiva…

 

 

 

Whatever...

Whatever…

 

 

 

The early bird gets the...?

The early bird gets the…?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Telegu connection...

The Telegu connection…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some seriousness...

Some seriousness…

 

Some more seriousness...

Some more seriousness…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then some!

And then some real New Year Bashing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayudha Pooja @ AscendersTech 2012

The week had been brimming with various activities that finally culminated withe the Ayudha Pooja celebrations on 23rd October.

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All set to celebrate

 

 

 

The entire office had been decorated the traditional way with sandalwood paste, kumkum and flowers. The actual Pooja was conducted solemnly by one of our seniors Mr. Harikrishnan.

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Mr. Harikrishnan donning a different role…

 

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…and pretty good at it too!

The prayers were followed by the distribution of the quintessential fruits, puffed rice, sweetmeats and the annual gift which this year was the AscendersTech backpack.

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The Pooja begins…

Prayers for and by the Ascenders. 

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Special guest – Lady in Red

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In the sidelines…

 

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Interlude – An event to remember – Bersin completing 4 years!

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This year’s Ayudha Pooja gift

Everyone enjoyed hot evening snacks after this. We called it a day after the festivity got over…

 

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Rewards for AscendersTech employees

Rewards for AscendersTech employees

Prasath the Deserving

NEW YEAR BASH 2011 @ ASCENDERSTECH

While rains whip lashed Chennai and other neighboring territories on 30th December, AscendersTech went ahead welcoming in the New Year with as much gusto as the storm outside. As a matter of fact, we kicked up a storm inside the premises of AscendersTech down in the Conference Hall booked specially for the occasion. The festivity started a bit late thanks to  Cyclone Thane but the Ascenders were undeterred.

Mr. Aravindan and Mr. Solomon sharing the dias as Dr. Thiru introduces them

The Ascenders trooped in one by one, wet but excited to get the celebrations underway. We initiated the celebrations with a set of pre lunch activities such as formal introductions of the CMO, vCFO and CPO.

CMO & CPO

The Chief People’s Officer Mr. G. Kalidass presented his plan of activities from the HR perspective. He has already initiated the streamlining process of the HR policies. His presentation on the role of the Human Resources in an organization was well coordinated and full of interesting content. He had the audience interacting actively.

Mr. Kalidass offering interesting and thought provoking gyaan

The Virtual Chief Finance Office represented by Mr. Aravindan Ashok briefly introduced himself and his partner Mr. Ganesh.

Aravindan and Solomon share the dias...

The Chief Marketing Office consisting of Mr. G. Krishnamurthy and Mr. Rajashekhara Reddy had a whale of a time interacting with the youngsters.

Mr. G. Krishnamurthy a.k.a. GK officially kicked off the celebrations by presenting a hilarious Chaplin clipping.

GK offering his mesmerizing presentation...

There was after that, a popular video that brought tears to everyone’s eyes as we witnessed the courage and perseverance of a handful of iron willed individuals as they fought against all odds to stand out of the crowd and to establish their striking presence.

He also had a brilliantly conceived presentation about the start and growth of the career of any average youngster foraying into the world of sales. The entire presentation revolved around popular Tamil comedy clippings; GK chose to casually correlate (in Tamil) his vast experience in sales with the carefully handpicked funny episodes that drove home the point. It was a unique and entertaining presentation that got the audience thinking apart from the initial reaction of ROTFL.

Comedy used to drive home a point!

A suitably mesmerized audience!

The theme for the New Year ‘Be the Transformation’ was put forth by our CEO Dr. Thiru by a thoughtfully composed audio-video presentation. The birth and growth of AscendersTech has been beautifully compared to the life cycle of a butterfly and this was the founding concept of the video. The fact that each and every true Ascender needs to transform himself/ herself to fit into the role that would ultimately transform AscendersTech in every sense had been highlighted in the seamlessly crafted video blended with inspiring music in the backdrop.

Camaderie in the Campus!

The morning session had everyone suitably pumped up with energy and enthusiasm to begin the New Year on a fresh footing. The fun and games began with our Events Manager Mr. Muralikrishnan taking over the stage for our eager participants who had come prepared to frolic their way into 2012.

The Master Director giving his touch...

The very first event was the ice breaker i.e. ‘Lawyers & Liars’ and then after an hour or so of riotous statements and ensuing guffaws, we had people ready and raring to go!

The Anchor of the day - Muralikrishnan alias 'Don'

Our Compere for the day - Nasreen alias 'The Spring'

Birthday Blast!

Thiru & Raj - warning - this is NOT a duet!

The hair dressing / hair raising competition...

HR doing their job

Off stage rehearsal by Dhaks

Getting ready for Sabithamukhi - Part I

The lawyers-liars community has assembled...

After a sumptuous lunch of vegetarian and non vegetarian biriyanis, the crowd was back on its feet with their own hastily choreographed movements and sheer team work along with the current musical hits.

And the winner issssss.....HEMJIT- upcoming Tamil singer!

The drunken monks in Kolaveri mood!

Bravo!!!

Grins Unlimited...

A golden - oldie by Solomon!

The Boy Band at work...

Mimicry by Swathi

A group event where the group was clueless...

The Telegu bit...

The dancing troupe

The boys taking over

In the midst of the boisterous events, we welcomed Group Captain Vijaykumar of the Madurai Management Association and Mr. Purushottaman, Regional Director of NASSCOM as our esteemed guests for the day. They motivated AscendersTech not only by their gracious presence and speeches but also by their kind gesture of giving away the Quarter’s awards and rewards.

Our guests - Mr. Vijaykumar & Mr. Purushottaman

Finally our Events Manager Mr. Muralikrishnan was called upon to reward the most enthusiastic and participative Ascenders for the event.

A tired but undaunted Team Ascenders dispersed happily from the offices of AscendersTech and the many, merry voices resounding “Happy New Year!” were heard echoing throughout the building…

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