Development is in our blood. Sometimes we donate it.

Ganart Team and the Blood Drive Certificate

Ganart Team India and Certificate of Appreciation

Our team gives back to the community from time to time. Our profession deals with transactions of value and benefit to humankind. Last month the Ganart team in India was awarded recognition for a transaction of human value, unrelated to the global monetary system.

Blood Drive

Abhijeet Iraj, Rahul Durge, Harshad Pattalwar and Vikas Gore actively participated in a Blood Donation Camp on August 20th 2015 at Pune IT Park, which is organized by Dr. Atul Kulkarni, Director in-charge “Janakalyan Raktapedhi” body of Regional Blood Transfusion Centre, Pune.

As a token of gratitude, they issued a “Letter of Appreciation” along with a certificate to display in our Pune office.

Development beyond the code

We work diligently at Ganart. To use the old adage, blood, sweat and tears is an understatement to the development work we do.

But when we were informed about the blood drive, we got introspective about something bigger than all of us. We got a chance to be a part of saving lives. Our team got bigger in heart. Who knows where the donation will go and to whom? Who knows what effect the donation will have on society or the world? We become part of the code of life.

The smallest things can have the biggest effect

We know all too well, that in the development world, one coding error can bring a whole system crash. In the world we serve, regardless of technology or not, donating blood is an act that has a bigger effect to human good. There is a transcendence, out of our day to day focus, to focus on that needle going in and watching that bag fill up.

Joking aside, it’s a chance to develop humankind where we know the outcome is good and not wasted. We may not know what kind of good the outcome is, and that dives us crazy as Computer Scientists, but it has a good effect. We accept the outcome of good as our goal.

And as software developers, we know that constant retesting of the process is necessary to see if the system breaks.

Dr. Kulkami, bring on the blood drives as soon as we can donate again. It’s in our blood to test it to make sure it keeps working.

money and ideas

Money Rose

Author John Boitnott did the hard work in collecting quotes about money, really good ones that put into perspective what money is. I can’t disagree with them. They are truisms. Now, they’re worth reviewing.

Why then is the world economy in another era of irresponsibility so soon? It’s greed. Maybe we’re wired that way. It’s an obviously bad idea. Greed makes you stupid. Ask any thief in prison. “Greed is good” is a falsism.

I think the 25 quotes are good tools to fundamentally change things for the better. Sadly, people forget them. They don’t get passed down.

Money is an idea too.

Work, Pay and Money

I look at money in a classic way. It’s an exchange instrument. It’s a symbol of whatever I’ve done or have, is worth a certain amount of money people will pay for. In turn I can take this representation of worth and exchange it for something else of value. Money frees up trade. I may be able to trade my writing skills for a hamburger, but more likely I’ll earn cash and eat with more flexible menu options.

From there complexity builds if you shift away from the above thought. You start playing with risk. The allure is powerful. Before playing, review the 25 quotes.

Then ask yourself these questions.

If you veer off, are you smart enough to pull it off? Are you playing with folks that know the rules better than you? Are you playing with some who are making their own up? Are you playing with those who take? Are you playing with those who share? Are you playing with those who give? Are you trying to play with those who aren’t playing? Do you know who you are playing with?

Sometimes, to earn money, you have to play with everyone. Sometimes it’s by not playing at all when it’s wrong. You have to ask these questions over and over since all  the answers change dynamically. These aren’t the only questions, obviously.

Change the idea.

Sir Karl Popper knew that ideas can become reality and thus an idea itself is real. World 3 is what he called it. The concept frames our human reality and actual reality. Be careful with ideas.

Ideas, good ones, make humankind better.

Working for good ideas is earning worth towards making a better life for yourself and others. Money can be the result.

Some improve humankind through work and ideas that money can’t define- improving at the moment or improving for the future, turning their back on the money. To them it’s a transaction of value to humankind and the world.

Ask yourself how fulfilling is it to work for a bad idea? What do you call it?

Constantly thinking of ideas and following good truths about money will get you out of the mud even if you are up to your neck. It can guide you from failure to success. It may even shape reality for all. Make sure it’s a good idea if it’s going to affect others.

Did the ideas of the 25 quotes become real? They are. Some have obviously lasted for centuries. More people have to understand them to change things for the better. They’re all worth relearning, and as John put it, live by.

Send in your money quotes or ideas that were passed down to you, or ones you remember.

 

A prawn is not a lobster, and Money Earned is not a Loan!

By Wayne McHugh

Alleppey India Kerala boat sunset

Serene river vista in Alleppey, Kerala India. The temperature was in the low 80’s.

I just recently had the opportunity, while traveling in India on business, to carve away 48 hours and experience the natural wonder of the famous backwaters on a kettuvallam (Kerala houseboat) in Alleppey, referred to as the “Venice of the East”. It has a large network of canals that meander in and around India’s longest lake, Vembanad. For those not in the know, this is in the in the southern state of Kerala and is referred to as God’s Own Country. Accompanying me on this adventure was my friend and co-worker who also happens to be Ganart’s CTO, Safir Salihu, who grew up in Kerala and provided information, history and a seamless channel to ask our crew any question I had.

Venice of the East

The physical beauty an lushness of this tropical area was equally matched by the diversity of the wildlife all around us. Woven into this pristine setting were entire communities and commerce. Mile after mile, on either side of us were riverbanks.

Safir and I have taken control!

Safir and I have taken control!

Barely 10-20‘ wide in most sections, they held small homes on one side and small businesses on the other including eco cottages for tourists, small supply stores and even an ice cream bar! It was amazing seeing small children, dressed in school uniforms, marching in procession along the banks to one of several water taxi stops which ran with extreme efficiency. Their commute was a lengthy one, but all were excited (so it seemed) to be heading to school. Beyond the houses, on the other side of the banks were paddy fields as far as the eye could see. Along another canal, we saw the remnants of 2,000 acres of over-farmed coconut and cinnamon tress. It looked like something out of a Stephen King novel with equally haunting stories.

Ice Cream and Red Bull

While cruising in the afternoon heat, a small skiff motored up to us with an industrious young man pitching goods for sale. Opportunity commerce at its finest! Believe it or not I picked up some mango ice cream (my favorite) and had to buy a Red Bull….yes, Red Bull on the backwater which almost seemed like a contradiction. But then again, how many people are you going to meet that can say they bought and drank a Red Bull on the backwaters of Kerala?

Lobster?

As evening approached, we decided to buy rather than catch our dinner. We stopped at an area with several small storefronts which were grouped together and went shopping. We decided on prawns and redfish to be the main course.

Freshwater prawn from the backwaters of Alleppey India. I had two.

Freshwater prawn from the backwaters of Alleppey India. I had two.

Choosing menu items by size

Choosing menu items by size

The size of the prawns were amazing. Coming from New England, at very first glance, they looked liked a very small chicken lobsters. After picking up our main course and some soft-drinks, we found our docking space which also happened to be the home of the houseboat owner. Later, we sat down for our feast, cooked at the spice level locally consumed, after much convincing from Safir that I actually welcomed the spiciest they could bring. Red fish in curry sauce, spicy fried shrimp, local vegetables, fried plantains and naan. Spicy, delicious and very filling.

Money Earned

While sitting back after dinner and looking at the photos we took, including those of the prawns, we drew a comparison of the prawn being mistaken for a lobster. The comparison involved our Money Earned product (as it usually does). Often mistaken as loan or an advance, we have used other comparisons while educating businesses, such as if a loan is a duck, we are more akin to a swan and so on. While this trip was an amazing little adventure half way around the world, it’s funny that no matter where and what you experience, it is all relatable no matter where you live or what you do.

So, the four things I took back or rediscovered:

  • The backwaters of Kerala are amazing and bucket-list worthy for a visit.
  • Red Bull is everywhere
  • A prawn is not a lobster, no matter how big
  • Money Earned…is still not a loan.

Hope you enjoy the photos!

me – a registered trademark

We’ve added ® to our logo me. It’s a milestone of branding that many young brands never achieve. There are big responsibilities to go with it though.

The way we look at it is the “circle r” is the reminder for us to always revere all people, especially our customers that trust our services. Revere them by not just saying so or having a feeling about it, but to serve reverence through constant action and improvement of service to make their lives easier and better.

Over time, it’s our goal to make the me brand register as a positive and intimate helper for each person who uses it.

And if we do this right, customers may someday revere me. That’s worth all of the hard work.

A big thanks to the whole Ganart Team for the achievement.

Do you know Ms. M and Mr. C?

What do you envision when you read the following?

Financial Education
Financial Responsibility
Financial Planning

Like so many other phrases, they mean different things to different types of people. For the sake of this story, consider “Mr. C” and “Ms. M”: a couple of “30-somethings” making “20 something” a year and working on the American Dream. Now, I could have chosen different people, however they represent tens of millions of people living and working in the US today. So Mr. C and Ms. M it shall be.

For a large swath of the population under say 40, their financial education begins right around the time they are introduced to that glorious electronic babysitter we call the T.V. They are bombarded with what they should have or could have or can’t live without. Their education advances throughout high school, college and into the working world via PC’s, laptops, tablets, and smart phones, so they can rest assured they are plugged in 24X7 for any “emergency requirements”. Oh wait, they may have been lectured by their parents at some point that you work hard for what you want and don’t ever get overextended using credit. Almost forgot about that one.

Being in their 30’s they may be or may have been married. They may be out on their own or in the process of moving out of, or back into their parents home. In any event, they have bills, which calls for financial responsibility – which in their world also calls into play financial planning. For far too many, financial planning for retirement begins far too late. Responsibility and planning for this extremely large group is measured in weeks. Paycheck to paycheck, and all too often, day to day.

Financial reaction, the current financial planning.

Ms. M is a single mom and has all the usual bills a single mom has…too many for her income. She does (or is supposed to) get a monthly child support payment from her ex-husband which almost closes the gap, but ultimately something always needs to slip or she will go without this or that to make it through her month and her world. She finds herself in a bad month, the storms of last week meant she was out of work for two days watching her kids with no pay. She has to make her rent and car payment AND find enough gas money to make it to work. She calls her ex to ensure not only this month’s check comes in, but he will need to catch up some on past months or she will need to call her lawyer (more cost and pressure) as she needs to take care of her bills. She is assured that a check is coming in at the end of the week, but only for what he can swing. She will be $80 short. What can she do? She, like so many others today, goes to a payday lender. She knows it is not what she wants to do, but she has little choice and is hopeful her ex will make good on his promise to catch up.

Under the Roof

Mr. C’s version of responsibility and planning marches to a different tune. Living at home (still) he has no rent or utilities. His clothes are done for him as well as his meals. However, he has “dug himself a pretty good hole” between his new car and his maxed out credit cards. Although he has a job which should allow him to save and save well, he has chosen instant gratification over Financial Responsibility and Planning. However, when the collection calls start coming in and his parents get the calls, he’s told he must straighten out or get out. It’s a true reality check. Like Ms. M, Mr. C decides to go to a payday lender. It’s only $800 and with the bonus everyone at work is talking about coming in soon, he figures he can get things in order and back on track in no time at all.

Both Ms. M and Mr. C took action based on what they thought was going to happen. In the end the child support check did not come in time for Ms. M, and that bonus never materialized for Mr. C. So begins the debt spiral.

These “stories” actually happen every single day. It’s the reason that payday lenders are the fastest growing financial sector. There are more payday lender storefronts in the U.S. than Starbucks and McDonald’s….combined!

The fact is that bills do not line up with paycheck dates. Neither does life’s little gotchas, like needing $40 for gas three days before payday. So what options are out there for the Ms. M’s and Mr. C’s of the world?

What if there were different way for Mr. C and Ms. M to pay their bills when due (before payday)?

What about having access to funds for critical need, like gasoline to get to work, without ever having to go to a payday lender or find themselves trapped in a debt spiral?

At Ganart, we’ve invented a way to help the tens of millions Mr. C’s and Ms. M’s.

Bringing financial options to the direct workforce.

WPSMEHZ

We call it the Workplace Solution. It is a self-service multifunction financial and value transaction center called Money Everywhere.

The Workplace Solution can also be tailored with the right services that matter to the workforce. None of the Ganart services are set up to ever entrap or exploit.

Money Earned Button

When a Mr. C or Ms. M get in a cash crisis, they can touch the Money Earned button on the me and get access to the money they have already earned. Since they’ve earned it, they’re good for it.

What they take out is automatically deducted from their next paycheck. A convenience fee is all that’s charged. No borrowing, contracts or paperwork. No interest either and they can take out as little as $20.

An average Money Earned transaction takes less than a 30 seconds and the me machine remembers this and all other transactions that a Mr. C or Ms. M make regularly.

At the same time, the Workplace Solution helps the workforce keep attention on profitable tasks instead of worrying about financial matters that take time and mind away from work. A minute during a break and a financial worry can be solved.

Financial Planning and Rewards

Not only does the me Workplace Solution effectively modify users personal financial responsibility by giving them much more convenient and cost-effective access to their money, but it rewards them for continued financial responsibility.

We now offer Money Earned as a payment source. So when a bill is due on Wednesday and payday is not until Friday, our clients can opt to pay that bill with with funds that are coming, keeping the lights on or the phone connected without the onslaught of late payment fees, reconnection expense and all of the stress associated with it.

cash and me

We are creating a reward program for clients who choose to pay their bills via the Workplace Solution. In addition to the 100’s of thousands of dollars we have already saved our clients vs. traditional payday loans, we will be launching a direct rewards program that will provide additional savings and monetary rewards.

A company sponsored benefit without the price tag

The Workplace Solution brings several benefits never before offered to direct employees within their workplace. It is delivered, deployed and managed at zero cost to the employer by Ganart. Knowing that there is no such thing as a free lunch, it will require an organization to work with Ganart to provide some initial information and to auto-send an “hours worked” file daily (just raw info, no need to refine) and the ability to take and process a deductions file. A company can manage the on-boarding of new hires or the removal of employees no longer there via a web based portal, OR it can be completely handled by customer service folks at Ganart.

If you you would like to help your Ms. M’s and Mr. C’s, contact Ganart Technologies and see how you can help your direct workforce become more focused and more financially responsible. www.workplaceme.com www.ganart.com

Wayne McHugh
Managing Director – Sales
Ganart Technologies Inc.
wmchugh@ganart.com

Unexpected fees equate to fleeing

At Ganart, we knew this to be the case, (link to article) and thankfully the trend is to correct the wrongs that made so many angry, and serve customers with products they’ll actually pay for, not be fined for.

Customers are also modifying their behavior, thus the trend explained in the article.

Where and what they migrate to is the opportunity.

Banks, AFS, new players like money everywhere and Walmart are listening, creating and inventing new era products that cost less and are relevant to the customer.

Sharks, Calculator and Profiler

I happened upon a New Zealand article about loan sharking. It was enlightening in that even thousands of miles from America, people can get into traps that are nearly impossible to get out of. This particular scheme of insurance upon a loan explained within the article is especially spooky.

Sharks

It gave some sensible alternatives to explore before getting into this rapture.

Within the article there’s a link that will take you to an easy to use loan calculator.

Get Into Debt Calculator

If you know the APR of a loan, plug it in with the amount you want to borrow and then be amazed.

Within the sorted.org links to the left, Money Personality got my attention.

Money Personality

My results were…

It profiled me pretty well.