3 Musical Staycations You Cannot Afford To Miss This Month!

Rock lovers in love with the all new vernacular fusion indie scene across India!

Here’s your chance to live in the moment as you see some of India’s greatest bands grow and emerge out of the ashes of many sleepless night spent writing and scripting their great melodies.

Be a complete roadie with Rocknaama as they power up to perform all night for you at the Heritage Village Resort & Spa, Manesar by Select Hotels!

electric_guitar_vector_6815902 27th August Rocknaama

And here’s the cool part, you get to live life to the fullest when you stay overnight at the Heritage Village Resort & Spa along with the stars!

What’s so cool about that? Imagine a grand Rajasthani Haveli style resort with all the modern amenities hosting an Indie Rock concert for you!

Ready? Presenting…

Rocknaama FB Ad

Soul Stirring Saturdays @ INR 12,500 + taxes

A quick musical staycation at the Heritage property with a rock band playing all night for you while the food and beverages flow non stop! Limited rooms only, duh! :)

Inclusions

- Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 2.17.14 PM  Accommodation in well-appointed rooms

- Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 2.18.58 PM Breakfast, lunch & dinner buffet meals

- music-vector-62 Passes to the in-house musical rock band show, snacks & beverages (including alcoholic)

Organizer – Select Hotels

Convinced? Book here – 011-66764115 or click here!

Testimonial!

Here’s what one of the attendees told us – Mr. Sunil – “Excellent, beyond imagination! Special thanks to Mr. Gopal and team. I’ve been to many properties, but this was by far one of the best. Hospitality was very warm. Music was excellent, will be back soon!”

Here’s what one of the attendees told us – Mr. Sumit – “Awesome place to have a relaxed event, staff was very good, budget for 2 persons was perfect! Very good experience! Will come again in September!”

Can’t make it? We’ve got more staycations coming up -

electric_guitar_vector_6815902 10th September with “Tarkash” the band playing!

electric_guitar_vector_681590224th September with “Aayudh” the band playing!

Soul Stirring Saturdays are presented and operated by Select Hotels!

Proof of the pudding is in the tasting! Have a look at some amazing shots from previous nights –

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The entire gang.

 

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When you fall in love with the sound of your own voice

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Subdued applause before you get comfy enough to let your hair down

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When you feel like Jay Z.

14047353_10154429977057929_7027783248468458213_o

The humble beginning.

Weekend Getaways from Mumbai? Here we come!

Weekend getaways can be a perfect way to break free from the daily grind before it gets on your nerve. A short vacation where you can relax and rejuvenate, can help you to reinvigorate your senses, thereby helping you ease the pressure of work and daily existence.

Fortunately, for those of us staying in Mumbai, most beautiful destinations are just a short drive away which makes them a perfect weekend getaway. The state of Maharashtra offers you a range of options that you can explore along with the best view of nature and major attractions.

There are beaches, waterfalls, forts, mountains, hills and more that encompasses every corner of this state and places that will leave you mesmerised by its simplistic grandeur.

Now, if you are planning on a weekend getaway from Mumbai, but have no idea where to go, then this stunning infographic will help you decide on the best place to visit in Mumbai for your weekend retreat.

This infographic is an ultimate weekend getaway guide that explains comprehensively the 55+ popular destinations in Mumbai that you can visit. This guide is categorically divided on the basis of distance and provides you information such as the best time to visit a particular place, major attractions and more.

Alternatively, if you’re not looking to head out of Mumbai, we’ve got you covered! Check out SeekSherpa’s amazing line up of Weekend activities for Mumbai here!

In addition, you can also download a printable PDF of this guide and keep it for your reference.

So take a look at this stunning post and plan a perfect weekend trip with your family or friends!

55+ Weekend Getaways from Mumbai by the team at ZaraHutke.in

Best Weekend Getaways from Mumbai

Credits – Guest post by Nirav Dave from Zarahutke

#TakeOff: Andaman Nicobar, 7 offbeat things you have to do.

#TakeOff: Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 7 offbeat things you have to do.

Hawaii is too far away, Bali is too unrealistic. I have limited money and little time. If you’re looking for some holiday summer romance, whatever your reason is, the Andamans seem like a perfect place to take off to.

Here, I’m going to tell you how to get there and 7 really offbeat things to do. I’ll give you the space to write back the remaining 3 once you’ve actually been to the Andamans and we can exchange notes.

    airplane-57-32 – Port Blair is what you’re looking for when you’re booking your flight and hopefully you’ve got yourself a great deal. If you haven’t yet, check out what American Express has in store here.

Things you HAVE TO DO.

1. Sun Bathing!

Continue reading “#TakeOff: Andaman Nicobar, 7 offbeat things you have to do.”

#TakeOff – In Your City – 7 Nooks and crannies of Delhi

#TakeOff – In Your City – 7 Nooks and crannies of Delhi

Every weekend there’s this struggle of what to do, where to go eat, what event to attend, what food festival to hunt for. Annoyed with this overwhelming need to do the usual I’ve spent the last few weekends snuggled in my couch watching Newsroom and Sherlock alternatively. Oh Benedict, as much as I love you, I also crave a little bit of the outside world. No more will I spend any more free time doing nothing.

With that resolve, I set out to look for the parts of Delhi that are yet to be discovered by the likes of me. It’s funny really, having lived here most my life you’d think I would know this place better. Alas, I couldn’t be more wrong!

I’ve put together a list of 7 places in the hidden nooks and crannies of Delhi that you HAVE TO VISIT! Read on to learn things you never knew existed.

Continue reading “#TakeOff – In Your City – 7 Nooks and crannies of Delhi”

Golden Glows – 3 Surreal Places To See Mumbai’s Sun Set.

The Golden Glows

3 awesome places to be in Mumbai at sunset

– Guest Post By Sherpa Sachin Jain – Host to the Picturesque Bandra Heritage Walk

North-South is a perfect orientation for an island city to have, sunset-wise. So it is no surprise that the Greater Mumbai metropolitan area offers an interesting mix of westward-facing beaches, promenades, forts and jetties to see Surya say his eveningly Tata OK Bye to this heaving and steaming 440-square-kilometer megalopolis. Sunset and not sunrise in particular because the city’s Eastern seaboard, home to its Naval docks since the days of the East India Company, are inaccessible to the common man. Even Bombay Castle, that fateful first edifice, lurks somewhere behind the Asiatic Central library, frustratingly out of bounds. However, opportunities to contemplate the sunrise over the Thane creek that separates Mumbai from mainland India, are present: the Wall by the Gateway of India, the flamingo-famous Sewri mudflats and the fish-basket cacophony of Sassoon Dock are three examples. Nevertheless, this piece focusses on the sunset also because of Bombay’s moniker as a city that never sleeps. She slips into her silky kimono just as the hitherto oppressive ball of fire lowers itself tranquilly into the saffron squiggles of the Arabian sea. Note that I have excluded some spectacular hotel rooftop bars that afford splendid vistas of the city and the sunset, in order to restrict the trio of locations to public spaces where anyone could go.

What does make a sunset spectacular? The actual view of the sunset, the vantage point from which it is seen, and the potential to catch the phenomenon down to the moment the last bit of remaining arc descends below the horizonthe latter may preclude non-seaboard locales like Borivali National Park and Powai Lake, which, though exquisite at this hour, seldom proffer an unobscured view from ground level. The architecture that frames the phenomenon brings character and spontaneity: glass and chrome facades ablaze in angular rays caught at a particular moment and angle; silhouettes of skyscrapers or iconic structures; glimpses of golden rays filtered through mangroves, the huge orange bindi crossed by a beautiful V-shaped flock of birds on their way home, an aeroplane approaching in the distance. The ambience: the sounds, the people who inhabit that place at that hour, the mood the particular concatenation of sound, smell and sight evokes, creates a poignant je ne sais quoi – somewhere in that border world between light and dark, between night and day, amid the kitsch bedding and Polaroid ramblings: we take a pause to contemplate this eternal ritual, reminding us of our significance (or insignificance) as human beings, the universality of our rhythms and cycles despite our (17 million-strong) protestations of Mumbaikar individuality, and the ephemeral nature of beauty itself.

Keeping in mind these factors, I have chosen three diverse locales. Some (maybe silly) advice: before embarking on a sunset odyssey, search for “Mumbai sunset time” on the internet, and plan to show up at your locale 30 minutes ahead of that time, in order to have a leisurely stroll, take in the mahaul and find yourself a great spot to contemplate cross-legged on a parapet. Never underestimate how long it takes to get around in Mumbai, so better early than twilit! An interesting tidbit: if the sun sets at 6:48pm in Mumbai, it had set at 5:24pm in Itanagar, capital of India’s easternmost province, Arunachal Pradesh. Trivia-dharma fulfilled, let’s now bring out the medals podium:

#3 Gorai jetty

Getting there and away: From Borivali train station (West side), BEST bus 294 or 247for (3.8km distance, Rs. 12) to Gorai ‘khāḍi’ (15min).

No fancy benches or promenades here; what you have is a slippery tide-soaked jetty poking into the dark tidal zone. Cries of home-bound birds, desultory conversations of fisherfolk returning with their catch, and the spluttering engines of tyre-bound local ferries plying across the Gorai creek (called khāḍi in Marathi) are the only sounds you’ll hear. The rickety yet hardy boats release rainbow-swirls of oil onto the placid waters and puffs of adulterated kerosene fumes into the air. Look around: power transmission line towers stand dutifully in the middle of the creek, gingerly wading like giant memsahibs daintily stranded in a twice-daily monsoonal flash-flood. Look closely around your feet at the mudflats and concrete, absolutely teeming with crabs and the minutest of ocean fauna, scurrying in and out of millions of tiny holes drilled at a uniform distance. Around you, the mangroves darken, and the trilling crickets get progressively conspiratorial. But the pièce de resistance is the Vipassana Global Pagoda up ahead in the distance across the creek. Rising majestically, shining golden, then in silhouette against the setting sun. You may be lucky and capture its spire actually bisecting the sun’s sphere at the correct angle of descent. Consider taking the ferry, then following the signs to the pagoda, and enjoying the sunset from there as well.

Sunset in Gorai, Mumbai
The ball of fire rests in Gorai, Mumbai

#2 Bandra Fort & Bandstand

Getting there and away: From Bandra train station (West side), take BEST bus 211 down Hill Road to the last stop Land’s End, 20 minutes, Rs. 12)

Clamber atop the Bandra Fort. To your left, the curvy, sleek Bandra-Worli sea-link, completed in the year 2010, with cars starting to turn on their headlights as they purr by. In the rains, the belligerent tides  crash against the bridge’s pylons, in a seasonal game of dare. Around you, the ruins of the ramparts of Castilla de Aguada, the Portuguese-built fort from 1505, heralding the beginning of the European history of Bombay. Shining on this incongruous juxtaposition across 505 years: the sun, melting into the sea Arabian sea, tiny ships on the horizon barely visible, a temporary oil rig of Bombay High somewhere in the distance. Hold onto the fort ramparts, and crane your neck (with deference to the unambiguous “Danger, do not jump” sign on the wall), to see fisherfolk mending nets down below, the black rocks awash in the golden glow. Catch the foliage-filtered spectacle of sunset atop this Forte de Bandora, discreetly gliding past privacy-starved lovers (now dissuaded by terse signs mandating ‘decent behavior’). Stop to smell the fragrant lotuses in the well-maintained ponds, and take any of the labyrinth of stone steps past the Jaane tu ya jaane na stone amphitheater. Saunter down to Bandstand, and face the gawker’s eternal quandary: Shahrukh /Rekha / Salman’s house or ‘o pôr do sol’? Keep toodling down Bandstand, immortalized in countless Hindi film songs right from Kisi Ki Muskurahaton (Anari, 1959) and chomp on a butta (charcoal-roasted, lemon and chilly-spiced ear of corn). Befriend one of the collared, eternally tranquil canines resting on the staggered, curving benches, and get sentimental listening to strains of Kenny G playing from a grilled-up jukebox installed on the promenade by enterprising local residents. Metal sculptures of Raj Kapoor, and a half-hearted Star & Handprints Walk of Fame didn’t have the same luck – they’ve been removed. Finish your walk at another gem of Picturesque Bandra, St. Andrew’s Church, celebrating its 400th year and vying with the Taj Mahal for pre-eminence in antiquity.

Bandra Sunset Point
Catch the foliage-filtered spectacle of sunset atop this Forte de Bandora.

#1 Nariman Point & Marine Drive

Getting there and away: From Churchgate train station (West side), walk 100m(3min)  to Marine Drive, then turn left for the 1km seaside walk (15min) to NCPA, Nariman Point.

Art deco buildings sweep along the Queen’s necklace in an arc, the shimmering streetlights gracefully curve to either side. Cars race between traffic lights on Marine Drive, eager to make it back home before rush hour truly (ha!) begins. Look around you: Fitbit-toting locals counting strides, kitted-out expats striding purposefully with Sennheiser headphones, tourists from every Indian province in gorgeous colourful garb chatting excitedly, an office-goer staring at the ocean, catching a breather between the schizophrenia of the day’s office politics and the upcoming drama at home, both familial and TV; lovers intoxicated on nothing more than the fresh cool breeze, unmindful of the lathi-toting immigrant watchman’s doleful, envious eye; selfie-obsessed college kids munching chana-jor-garam, imbibing chai (and surely, ecological bad karma) from styrofoam cups… Marine Drive is as much an anthropological expedition as it is a venue for a gorgeous the sunset. During the summers, the sun moves duly northward and sets behind the governor’s house on the protruding end of the claw-shaped Backbay Reclamation, giving the buildings an alluring silhouette; at other times it is visible till it goes down into the water. Lay on the katta (parapet) with your head on a towel, or simply dangle your feet down toward the tetrapods, as iconic as the art deco buildings themselves (but mind your cellphone!). Like indolent, post-prandial sea-lions reclining on the Pacific coasts, tetrapods, these 6,500 concrete bulwarks, made by the French ‘Laboratoire Dauphinois d’Hydraulique’ and imported in 1958, allow Mumbaikars to temporarily suspend their disbelief about how impossibly low-lying and ephemeral their expensive, reclaimed (un)real estate is. It’s poignant to remember that till a mere 4 centuries ago this was all sea, just water, almost 150 meters into the ocean from the Esplanade of Bombay Island of yore, from the British Fortress That Once Was, with all the land in between cleared out and guns pointed at potential seafaring invaders in the waters. Walk down to the end of the promenade, to NCPA apartments, where, the hapless horses driving the lit-up, plastic-flower-festooned Victoria buggies take a breather. At its very tip, symbolizing the unceasing quest for lucre and acquisition that define the city, the promenade too extends out a cement finger, pointing accusingly at the ocean, demanding from it more land. Look up at the pink streaks in the clouds, the neon-signs beginning to flicker on above the skyscrapers… and get ready to welcome the night.

Sunset at Nariman Point, Marine Drive, Mumbai
Nariman Point sunset, get ready to welcome the night.

Of course, with just 3 places on my list, I have left out at least a dozen other close contenders for the medal podium – and I can totally understand leaving out a few among them may be sacrilege to their fans: the pearl-like Haji Ali mosque and its low-tide submerged approach road, as seen from Hornby Vellard Road; the bracing, expansive (and expensive) Worli sea-face and the Bandra-Worli sea-link, playing on the setting sun like a harp; the serene, Buddhist-themed, stupa-adorned Chaityabhumi in Dadar West; the ever-popular, coconut-fronded, lip-smacking street-food-paradise of Juhu beach (or the less crowded but beautiful beaches of Versova, Manori, Madh, Marve and Gorai, all within the Greater Mumbai city limits); cutesie Jogger’s Park with its legions of circumambulating joggeratti; Carter Road with canoodling couples, homes of Bollywood legends, amphitheaters hosting B-Boppers to hula-hoopers, and surprisingly dense mangroves along the coast.

So what’s your favourite Mumbai sunset spot and why? Do share in the comments section!

Introducing Sherpa Sachin Jain, our very own Spanish conquistador and Sherpa extraordinaire (he speaks French, Hindi, and Marathi too!). Sherpa Sachin has wowed many a companion with his wit, charm, and serious knowledge (MA in Indian philosophy – no kidding) on the ins and outs of the maze that is Bandra. True to character, he conducts two slick experiences titled  “La pintoresca Bandra“ (Picturesque Bandra for the rest of us) and ”Mumbai Magnifique” ( Even we know that means magnificent Mumbai).

 

Celebrating women and whiskey – Women’s Day special!

6 7 Powerful Women & How They Like Their Whiskey

Whiskey, often seen as a man’s drink, stereotyped well enough through a series of film references, is a full bodied drink with enough legacy and power to knock the wind out of you. But Whiskey or whisky has a strong presence in the feminine world as well, contrary to the vodka stereotype.

Here’s how 7 powerful women like their Whiskey -

1. AVA GARDNER

Ava_Gardner
Ava Gardner

Oscar-nominated actress Ava Gardner had only one request: “I wish to live to 150 years old, but the day I die, I wish it to be with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other.”

Though she passed away at the age of 67, it’s never too late to raise a toast in her honor.

Fame – Brilliant actor, and one of the more beautiful women of the 40s and 50s, wife of Frank Sinatra – read her IMDB profile here.

2. CHRISTINA HENDRICKS

Christina Hendricks
Christina Hendricks

Fans of Mad Men better watch out because Christina Hendricks who plays Joan on the show is a real life whiskey aficionado. Her husband introduced her to Whiskey and over time she fell in love with not only the taste but also the entire distillation and blending process. Soon enough, the world leader in Scotch production – Johnnie Walker – invited her as a spokesperson for their brand. Watch out Don Draper!

Fame – Charming actress, six Emmy award nominations, read her IMDB profile here.

3. HILLARY CLINTON

 

Maybe on of the only Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady’s to own her own Maker’s Mark stamped bottle. While she’s known for her political prowess she’s also been known to slug whiskey every now and again. In 2008, a Politico reporter caught her downing a shot of Crown Royal at a bar in Crown Point, Indiana, during her 2008 presidential bid. Now running as the Democrat candidate in 2017 US presidential elections.

 

4. LADY GAGA

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga

“I drink a lot of whiskey and I smoke a lot of weed when I write.”

Her favorite? – Jameson Irish Whiskey. Nuff Said!

Find Lady Gaga on itunes here.

5. MILA KUNIS

Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis, star of Black Swan and Friends with Benefits, was recently recruited as the ambassador of Jim Beam. Kunis said her appreciation of Bourbon was developed only a few years ago, when she told Details magazine: “I wanted something that I could sip on that was delicious. And so I started drinking bourbon. It’s hard for me to sip vodka. And bourbon has a nice warm tingle going down.”

Little known fact – her eyes are different colors, one’s green and the other’s brown!

Fame – adventurous actress, looks for the out of the ordinary, find Mila Kunis’s IMDB profile here.

6. RIHANNA

Rihanna
Rihanna

A lover of the whiskey Jameson she even dedicated a song to the brand – “Cheers to the freakin’ weekend I drink to that, yeah yeah/Oh let the Jameson sink in I drink to that,” her hit – Cheers!

Find Rihanna on itunes here.

In the mood to enjoy Whiskey? We’re celebrating number 7 –

SHERPA ANCHAL

Sherpa Anchal
Sherpa Anchal

who’s hosting the Women’s Day Special – SeekSherpa Whisky Tasting Special – A unique dinner & whisky tasting session, Let’s reverse the rules of the brick and mortar tasting. Let you not see what you eat and drink. Unravel the intricacies of flavours in good food and exquisite whiskies with your eyes shut.

When – 5th March 2016

Where – The Lodi Restaurant

Charges – INR 2500 per person (Includes whisky tastings and dinner)

Book here – SeekSherpa Whisky Tasting Session – Limited seats.

SeekSherpa Whisky Tasting Session
SeekSherpa Whisky Tasting Session

For more women’s day special tours (Pub crawls, heritage walks, and more!) visit the sections here –

a. Delhi Women’s Day Special

b. Mumbai Women’s Day Special

What does Sherpa Anchal like?

“I do tend to pick my favourite whisky depending on the occasion, who i’m with and time of the day! If its a nice afternoon and i’m unwinding with my friends over a brunch I quite like the effervescence of a Jameson & ginger ale. However with the turn of the day and company of my partner with some heady conversations the Ardbeg Uigeadail and its sweet, spicy and deep smoky flavours comes in handy. A friend sometime back picked up the Hibiki 17 Year Old on special request, we then planned a Hibiki & chocolate affair after dinner and the after taste has remained with me ever since. Then I have these very marked moments of being with myself and thats when I need a Scapa 16 Year Old or Oban 14 Year Old. I don’t down my bad days under neat drams but simply wash them away, so be it a bad day at work, bad break up of the past, a Mint Julep has always been around with Makers Mark, if its at cask strength, that makes the bad feel a lot better!”

How To Get Indian E Visa?

Travelling to India? You need to know how to get an Indian E Visa!

India, the land of many cultures, requires an E Visa for you to enter the country. A procedure that can be filled up by you alone!

To be clear, an indian E Visa is not the same as Indian Visa On Arrival. India does not offer a Visa on Arrival, so please do not be confused.

How to get an Indian E Visa?

1. Log on to indianvisaonline.gov.in with at least 4 days in hand before your intended date of travel. Example if you hope to travel on 10th Jan, make sure you’re applying on 5th or 6th Jan.

2. Click on e-Tourist Visa Application – fill in your details, pay the Indian E Visa fee and hang tight for a few days, you’ll get an email from the Indian Immigration department.

Things to keep in mind – 

1. You need to carry a copy of eTV at the time of travel.

2. Visa validity is 30 days from the date of arrival in the country (note – it’s not date of issue).

3. You must be entering India through one of the following airports – Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum & Varanasi. You can exit from wherever.

4. The Visa is single entry only!

Some more points as per the Indian Immigration Office -

Eligibility

1. International Travellers with the sole objective of visiting India for recreation, medical treatment, or casual business visit.
2. Passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India. The passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.

Read up from the website in detail here.

Citizens of the following countries are eligible for getting an Indian E Visa -

Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Island,Chile, China, China- SAR Hongkong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand,Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam.

Hope this helps in answering how to get an Indian e visa!

While you’re here, make sure you check out some awesome walking tours with SeekSherpa. You can also call them at +91-9643982934.

10X Employee Productivity – 7 Hacks that #BreakTheRoutine

Increase employee productivity at work! Here are 7 hacks that #BreakTheRoutine while improving productivity 10x! 

I’m a serious believer in productivity and automation.

The best part is you can do little things that make life better and faster for everyone around you.

Flipkart today employs around 40000 people while close second rival – Snapdeal – employs just about 7500. That’s roughly 5 times larger workforce for Flipkart while the revenue is just about twice.

Ceteris paribus, would you agree that Snapdeal is more productive per employee? YES!

While we don’t know what magic potion they’re brewing, I’ve got some great suggestions on improving employee productivity for you right here. My research team and I spent about a week in finding these. We called up and hunted down people for information regarding techniques to improve employee productivity and we’ve really got a good list below.

Enjoy –

1. Exercise! Hack 1 to improve employee productivity. 

Clif Bar (OTB) pays for its people to exercise 2.5 hours a week. But, even with that perk in place, it would be human nature for someone to be nervous about being viewed as the slacker who leaves the office in the middle of the day to go workout. For this reason, GPTW 2015 keynote speaker Kevin Cleary, Clif Bar’s CEO, makes sure that Clif Bar people see him at the office in his sweaty gym clothes after a midday run, and he encourages his leadership team to be equally visible in their workout gear. Walk the walk.

What can you do? India doesn’t really provide a very helpful gymming or sports atmosphere, but it’s definitely possible to break sweat over a game of TT or pool. A table starts as low as INR 10,000. Go get it!

2. Learning wallet! Hack 2 to improve employee productivity.

Everybody at InMobi gets $800 annually as a ‘learning wallet’ which they can utilise to do anything — cooking classes, scuba-diving lessons, learning a new language or simply mastering new technologies. WOAH!

What can you do? Ermm..Hello. That’s what SeekSherpa is here for. Visit us and find an experience you want to take your employees on. Write us at getmesherpa@seeksherpa.com and get yourself an account manager assigned to look into your needs specifically.

3. Say Thank You! Hack 3 to improve employee productivity.

DHL Express takes employee engagement seriously in the office, on the roads and in the air. It has an incredible culture of thanking employees, whether that’s through monetary rewards, honouring top performers at its annual Hollywood-style black-tie event or pinning notes of appreciation on the company corkboard.

Recommended - Google has the concept of a Peer bonus. It’s an incredible way of saying thank you when a colleague helps you out. E.g. Employee Divya is working on a tough project, reaches out to Employee Rajesh for help. Rajesh, out of his niceness stays back to help Divya. In a normal scenario, no one would notice. In the event of a Peer Bonus, Divya can refer Rajesh for a peer bonus. The award can be a small monetary award or a BU wide appreciation mail. TRY IT!

4. Learn your product. Hack 4 to improve employee productivity. 

At Green Mountain Coffee Roasters they sent employees to Guatemala to learn more about the coffee-making process!

Isn’t that amazing?

What can you do? In today’s day and age it means – make your sales and tech team work close by. Yes, we all need war rooms but ultimately, when people talk, true sparks fly.

5. Be transparent. Hack 5 to improve employee productivity. 

Whole Foods Market not only lets employees see each other’s salaries, but the company also sends staff on trips to meet suppliers so they learn more about where their products come from and how much they cost.

What can you do? Most Indian companies are very hush hush about compensation. That’s fair to some extent given the high degree of hierarchy indian business setups have. But why not try it? Be a routine breaker!

6. Be what you are! Hack 6 to improve employee productivity. 

Reebok: “CrossFit Box”

Reebok was looking to reinforce its new mission “to get consumers moving.” They figured the best way to do that was to first get their employees in motion. In an effort to align their people with their vision, the athletic apparel brand converted one of their warehouses into a CrossFit workout center, exclusively for Reebok employees. Participants collectively lost over 4000 pounds during 2011. Globally, 1000 Reebok employees are now CrossFitters.

Why it works: This initiative helped build engagement on many levels. Reebok didn’t just sell a lifestyle, it lived it. To deliver the full customer experience, they promoted a culture of health and wellness within their organisation, making employees stakeholders in the company’s vision and mission.

7. Let people do what they like best. Hack 7 to improve employee productivity. 

Google is a master of this. The 20% project that it allows all employees to indulge in gave birth the the world’s largest mailing service – Gmail.com :)

What can you do? Give your guys a day a fortnight off to start with to allow them to do whatever they want. The whole office needn’t be off and this can be done in rotation.

I really hope the above hacks work out for you. I feel they would. Call me at +91-96439-82934 if you want to talk more.

– Dhruv (SeekSherpa.com)

7 quirky hiring techniques that #BreakTheRoutine

Hiring? Check out these 7 Hiring Techniques that are quirky and powerful!

1) Hire People From Your Community – Hiring Techniques 101

At DuckDuckGo, an anonymous search engine based outside Philadelphia, new employees always come from the community of users and hackers already using the product. “As a small, tight-knit team, culture fit is the most important thing and that’s why we only hire full-time staff from within,” says Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo. “I call this process ‘inbound hiring.’”

Your AI – Go through your mailers “careers@yourcompany.com” and “info@yourcompany.com” and your twitter feed to locate prospects. You should also use mailers to your community every time jobs open up. These are people who LOVE your product, what better hiring technique could there be!

2) One of them. – Hiring Techniques 101

This is a really interesting story – “I had a fun interview at McKinsey & Co. We were 8 interviewees in a conference room, with pizzas in front of us. There were two interviewers in isolated rooms, who were calling us one at a time. One of the interviewers arrived an hour late, so effectively there were going to be 7 interviews before lunch, and 9 after. We interviewees did not know this — and everyone, except me, got interviewed before lunch.

No one really understood why I wasn’t interviewed yet. Long story short, we started having lunch. I assumed we should be using forks and knives to eat the pizza — this was McKinsey & Co. Apparently, it was only me who was using silverware.

We started talking, discussing old-heard stories of bizarre McKinsey interviews, and how I haven’t been called yet, wherein I made a remark — “How would you guys feel if I was an interviewer, and have been observing you for the past 3 hours?”. If I remember correctly, 2 slices of pizza landed on the floor, 3 of the interviewees immediately picked up silverware, and the other 2 almost ran out of the conference room!”

Sourced from Quora!

Your AI – Why not? Try it. In the room your candidates are sitting, plant your person, have them observe the candidates.

3) Zappos.com – Hiring for Culture fit – Hiring Techniques 101

Zappos has two sets of interviews: the skills interview and the culture interview, and candidates must pass both. The culture interview is based on Zappos’ 10 Core Values.

If an applicant doesn’t pass it, they don’t move forward in the process, regardless of how much of a technical fit they may be. Past behaviors and touchpoints that come up during the interview that are contrary to the core values are red flags. Read more.

Your AI – Establish your 360 culture report and what being a fit means. Select someone who knows your culture well. Have them conduct the culture interview.

4) Oneday@yumist – Hiring Techniques 101

The new kid on the block in food tech – Yumist – welcomes you to work at Yumist for a day as a part of the hiring process.

It’s a pre offer process where you work in the office in your specific job role or similar job role that day allowing the company to understand how good you are at your work and at interacting with fellow team mates.

Your AI – Figure out jobs you can do this for, do it.

5) Ask Full-Time Recruits To Start Part-Time – Hiring Techniques 101

According to Kik CEO Ted Livingston. “Kik has a very different approach. We still do interviews, but the most important part of our decision is our part-time process. When we have candidates we’re seriously considering, we offer them the opportunity to work with us on a part-time basis on a project related to what they would be doing if they joined the team full-time. We pay them for their time, and we set it up so that they work side by side with their potential future colleagues. They join us for the meals we bring each day, so they have a real chance to get to know the company—and we get to know them at the same time.”

Wow.

Our only doubt is how often is this feasible?

Your AI – Look at job roles where a perfect fit is most important. Devise a way in which it can work out full time. Execute.

6) Zomato Trial Week – Hiring Techniques 101

This is what the website reads – “Are you (almost) a fresh BE/BS/BTech CS grad? Take a dive into the deep end by spending a week at Zomato, working with our engineering and product teams on real, live projects that are a part of our development pipeline. Go ahead and apply, because once you’ve been picked, we take care of everything – your travel to and from our headquarters in Gurgaon, your stay here, and food (obviously).”

Isn’t that amazing? Get a chance to know your potential hires up close. Have them work on Ghost projects.

Your AI – Identify areas in your product cycle that can use this sort of support and ideation, put it in the open during trial week.

7) Breaking Bread – Hiring Techniques 101

You’re most conscious when you eat. Figure out your comrades best when you go out for a meal. Be it momos at the corner or a full blow fine dine. This is specially popular with consultants. :)

Your AI – Identify three quirky food places, go for dinner with prospects there. See if there is a change in your hiring ability. Roll out.

 

 

 

Unique And Exciting Things To Do In Jaipur!

Things to do in Jaipur – Beyond the obvious!

Update – Find a list of bookable things to do in Jaipur on SeekSherpa.com/Jaipur.

1. Explore Jaipur on a cycle!

Things to do in Jaipur - Cycling Tour
Things to do in Jaipur – Cycling Tour

 

Take this tour to experience Jaipur to the fullest on a bicycle! You will witness the monuments, the colorful bazaars and the narrow alleys. Who said walking tours or driving tours are the only way to exploring a city? This cycling tour of Jaipur is a wonderful thing to do in Jaipur and will make you feel like a true local.

2. Pottery Making in Jaipur

Things to do in Jaipur - Pottery
Things to do in Jaipur – Pottery

Pottery is often compared to meditation, as one gets extremely involved in it. This pottery making workshop is conducted with two methods – Wheel Pottery and Hand Pottery. One can make different pots with this workshop and can also take them home! This is a thing to do in Jaipur that will leave you humbled and relaxed.

3. Cooking Classes in Jaipur

Things to do in Jaipur - Cooking Classes
Things to do in Jaipur – Cooking Classes

What’s so different about this cooking class in Jaipur? Well, it’s conducted by someone who is an excellent cook and expert on authentic Indian and Ayurvedic cooking. It is conducted in a homely environment and one can learn how to cook basic Indian snacks to traditional Rajasthani dishes. Trust us this is one of the fabulous things to do in Jaipur and you shouldn’t miss it.

4. A visit to the Elephant Farms in Jaipur

Things to do in Jaipur - Elephant Visit
Things to do in Jaipur – Elephant Visit

Visit an elephant farm to interact and play with the elephants! You will be introduced to the elephants and taught their language. You can then feed the elephants, paint them, take a shower with them and enjoy a bare-back elephant ride. This experience will end with an Indian Meal cooked specially for you! This comes from the list of things to do in Jaipur that are often kept in the secret corners of the review book or library.

5. Walking Tour – Beyond the forts and monuments

Things to do in Jaipur - Haveli and Temple Tour
Things to do in Jaipur – Haveli and Temple Tour

 

Jaipur is not just about towering forts! Take this tour to experience the religious side of the locals by visiting temples and witnessing Hindu religious ceremonies. Not only this, explore the Havelis of Jaipur that have been there since the times of the Rajputs. Things to do in Jaipur like the walking tour have been inviting hordes of travellers for years. It is truly exciting and refreshing.

6. Art and Crafts workshop in Jaipur

Things to do in Jaipur - Art and Craft
Things to do in Jaipur – Art and Craft

You can take local art and craft workshops in Jaipur! These workshops will give you hands on experiences of the local art and craft and the raw materials used! You will also learn the development of these arts and crafts over time and saleable value that they fetch. This is a perfect way to satiate your hunger for local arts and crafts and indulge in things to do in Jaipur which are beyond the obvious

7. Hand Bloc Printing Workshop

Things to do in Jaipur - Bloc Prinitng
Things to do in Jaipur – Bloc Prinitng

You will be taken around the factory and explained the different types of vegetable dyes. You will be taught how to make wooden blocks, how to do bagru printing and how to make colour naturally! You will also be allowed to take the finished fabric sample along with you!

8. Jaipur – Beyond the architectural glory

Things to do in Jaipur - Food Tour
Things to do in Jaipur – Food Tour

Jaipur – Forts, temples, Havelis, workshops. What’s left? Food! Take this tour to experience the sagacious food of Jaipur. Try out some of Jaipur’s best culinary delights – Ranging from sweet to sour, from veg to non-veg and from food to drinks. You will be sampling items like Samosa Kachori, Kulfi, Lassi and other lip smacking dishes. Indulging in fine food is definetely one of the more popular things to do in Jaipur.

If you want these amazing things to do in Jaipur, simply reach out to us at makemesherpa@seeksherpa.com or call us at +91-96439-82934 and we’ll get them arranged. Our prices are very nominal and start at INR 500 to 700 per person. You can also check out more things to do on SeekSherpa.com. See you!