Thursday, June 30, 2016

Privacy that never was!

“All your posts can become public tomorrow. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste
Better safe than sorry is right.………..

If you are seeing this weird privacy message on your friends’ timelines, there is no need to panic. Just like “Modi declared the most popular PM by the UN” or “Apple claiming iPhones could be recharged in a household microwave”, this message too is a HOAX! Although the message quite convincingly claims to protect a user’s content by warning him or her against a non-existent Facebook policy to make private posts public, it’s is not the first time the ‘Facebook Privacy Notice Scam’ has cropped up its ugly head on the most widely used social networking platform worldwide. This can be of concern for many of us; quite amusingly, can even be a life changing situation for many who breathe, eat and live on Social Media all the time!

The new message reads like this: “I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute).

NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates.”
The other variety of the hoax doing rounds reads something like -- “Channel 13 News was just talking about this change in Facebook’s privacy policy,” and then adds the privacy message to it to make it more believable.

The same hoax appeared in 2012, 2014, 2015, and now being circulated on the social media site again, with no changes to the format at all. Facebook, being a public company, doesn’t mean the privacy policy changes and goes for a toss; neither can they use your photos for ads. However, for those paranoid about their Facebook privacy, go to settings and turn everything to ‘only me’, so that not even your friends could see what you post. Frankly, that might turn out to be more effective than sharing this ‘Privacy’ protection update.

Having said all this, what remains the most interesting fact is that one’s absolute privacy ended the very day their Social Media accounts were created. Then why’s all this hue and cry???

- Mr. Sumit Chakravarty, Faculty, INLEAD

Monday, June 27, 2016

The World Celebrates ‘International Day of Yoga’

“President, PM join thousands in celebrating International Yoga Day” read one of the news headlines in a leading daily. June 21, 2016 marked the celebration of Yoga on a worldwide scale. Yoga is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice having its origin in India, which aims at transforming both body and mind. On December 11 in 2014, the United Nations General Assembly, following the call for the adoption of June 21st as International Day of Yoga by Hon’ble Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, declared June 21st as the ‘International Day of Yoga’. During his address to the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014, he stated: "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature." While suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Mr. Modi said, "The date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world."

Stress has become a chronic aspect of life for many of us; and it takes its toll. With our brains over-stimulated and our bodies more sedentary than ever, many of us suffer from the fatigue and imbalance that comes from chronic stress without sufficient recovery. Practicing Yoga is an excellent way to soothe nerves that are in a constant state of overdrive. Yoga can help give us the ability to live healthy amidst our hectic schedules and bustling environments.

It is no wonder yoga has soared to such heights of popularity. Through yoga practice we begin to find a sense of wholeness. We become more aware. We create balance in our bodies, in our minds, in our lives. As we evolve individually and come closer to an open, authentic state of being, we also evolve as a species, creating a better world for us all.

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” – The Bhagwat Gita

-          Sumit Chakravarty, Faculty, INLEAD

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Rise of Coffee Culture in India

Changes in lifestyle of the urban population have given rise to the coffee culture in India. Contributing to the growth is also globalization and changing pockets. The coffee culture has now percolated from metros to tier – II and tier – III cities. Coffee earlier was considered to be expensive indulgence and also coffee cafes were places for socializing or for holding business meetings. Major chunks of the urban population live in a nuclear set-up and also fall in the DINKS (Double Income No Kids) segment. This target clientele would not mind to replace a meal with coffee and a snack, which could be a sandwich, wrap or doughnuts. Comparing the growth to the last decade there has been a significant increase in the consumption basket too.

The new age coffee brand primarily target corporate and students. According to TechSci Research’s report  titled ‘India Coffee Shops/ Café’s Market Forecast, Consumer Survey and Opportunities, 2021’, coffee shops market in India is projected to grow at CGR of over 11% during 2016 – 2021, on account of the growing coffee culture among young population, increasing urbanization, rising disposable income levels and changing lifestyles preferences of consumers. There has been a significant change also in the way people work now (virtual offices), most of the coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi and entertainment zones. The demand for coffee brands is huge from New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. While they are expanding here at a break neck speed, the coffee chains are also targeting expansion to tier II and tier III cities.

Café Coffee Day introduced India to the coffee culture and also considered to have pioneered the art of coffee serving. The brand plans to open 400 new outlets in the country, with an investment close to about 400 – 450 crores. While 70% would in opening up new outlets in cities they already exist and the remaining in new cities and highways. Tata Starbucks Pvt. Ltd is a 50/50 joint venture between Starbucks Corporation and Tata Global Beverage Ltd. As of now they operate 79 Starbucks store as of Feb’16, after launching in Oct’12. UK based Costa Coffee entered India in 2005 on an exclusive master franchise with Devyani International.  Costa Coffee was the 1st International coffee chain to set up operations in India. Costa currently operates 96 outlets.

Logistics is one of the biggest challenges faced by coffee retailers. Huge cost involved in supply chain restricts expansion of many coffee brands and considering that there’s a huge investment setting a new production unit, seems an expensive affair.  Location plays a very important role in steering the business towards profitability. High rentals are also one among the many challenges faced by them. Brands are focusing more on making coffee culture a profitable business rather than increase the counts.

Indian and International coffee chains should be able to cater to the local flavors. With the existing competition one needs to incorporate specific regional preferences in their menu. While coffee chains operating in the country are taking pro-active steps to change the perception and overcome the challenges, at the same time somewhere, someone is enjoying their cup of cappuccino and thanking all the coffee retailers for making coffee a stress buster / pick me up /wake me up drink.

- Ms. Bindu Menon
  Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

Monday, June 20, 2016

Censorship to ‘Sense’-orship: A flight to Freedom of Expression

The recent controversy surrounding the Bollywood film Udta Punjab  caused a lot of stir and uproar among cine-lovers. The entire clamor started when the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), headed by Chairman Pahlaj Nihalani asked the film to cut 89 scenes and even remove the word ‘Punjab’ from the title. This made the producers move the Bombay High Court, where Justice S C Dharmadhikari announced on June 13 that only one scene should be cut and a disclaimer included, stating that the Indian audience is mature enough to decide what to watch and what not.

This was a huge blow to the so called Censorship body whose role is only to certify a film in accordance with The Cinematograph Act, 1952, The Cinematograph (certification) Rules, 1983, and the guidelines issued by the Central government u/s 5 (B) under 4 categories: U - Unrestricted Public Exhibition, U/A - Unrestricted Public Exhibition - but with a word of caution that Parental discretion required for children below 12 years, A - Restricted to adults and S - Restricted to any special class of persons.

For decades, an issue that has been plaguing the Indian film industry is censorship. Way back in 1973, a film ran into trouble with the Censor Board because it dealt with religious issues and India’s partition, another volatile issue. Films like Andhi, Fire, Bandit Queen and Amu also had to battle censorship. Freedom of expression in Indian films is a complicated area. In the words of George Washington, “If freedom of speech and expression are taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
Nevertheless, Udta Punjab was released countrywide on Friday and saw a massive opening, despite being leaked online just two days ahead of its release. This is clearly indicative of the fact that the youth of today holds its own opinion towards various issues that affect them. Be it drug addiction, politics, sports or LGBTQ rights, there is an uprising amongst the youth who no longer wants to be told what to do or to be policed morally.

-Mr. Sumit Chakravarty

 Faculty, INLEAD

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Orlando, Brussels, Syria...The inhumanity of it all..

The trending hashtags on Twitter are #PulseShooting #Orlandoshooting #PrayforOrlando

Let’s pray for Orlando, for Kabul for Istanbul, for India for Syria, for Iraq and for all those nations that are fighting a bitter battle against a bunch of freaks who seem to be running a grim soap opera of bloodbath and bombing.

This blog is straight from my heart which is bursting with angst at the insanity of it all! Ain’t it ironic, it’s become just that convenient to pick up a firearm from a place where you can buy potatoes. It’s become just that convenient to take aim and kill innocents. It’s like, we kill to please! It’s like, the assassins are leading a life of “Call of Duty” outside their Xboxes & PlayStations!

We debated a while back about Aamir Khan’s statement of how intolerant we have become as a country. Well I beg to differ and would like to say that we have become intolerant as a human race.  Reality is rather dark, when we read about youngsters getting radicalized or those who just out of some phobia go on a shooting rampage.

We, the citizens of this planet Earth tolerate a lot and we tolerate the craziness of such societies which seemingly has abandoned its children, abandoned the homes that make children feel safe and secure. The absence of a stable home, a strong support system drives people towards the cowards who immortalize the concept of moksha, of a life after death that would be more glorious, of happiness that can be derived only from killing.

We all suffer from frustrations & worries, from the fear of the unknown and the known. We all suffer the crazy chaos that has become a hallmark of our claustrophobic lives. Locked in a pigeon hole called home, humans have become matchsticks ready to incinerate at the strike of a match. None of this, in any way justifies the killing of dozens and hundreds in the name of God, homophobia or honour.

It’s time our society shook itself and looked after the Kasabs, and the Omars; Prevented them from going astray, getting them the help that’s timely and not too late. As humans, and we agree we are that, don’t we; we are, social animals. Somehow we have chosen the animal and put away the social. We have locked ourselves within four walls and secluded our thoughts away from the beauty of life. Death whether our own or someone else’s seems to be the ultimate solution.

Trust me when I say, it’s the worst solution. It’s not a solution at all. It’s but a constant, a full stop. Sure we can’t escape it, but hastening towards it using methods of madness, hurting the unwarranted and the blameless, is inhuman and beyond any shred of reasoning.

So wake up people and look after each other, before we lose another.

Ms. Monica Mor
Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Marketing Hackathon by ClickMyDay

The current startup culture in India needs a lot of support from Angel investors, Digital agencies and the media to be able to create a mark. Funding is very limited but opportunities are galore. In light of this, a startup ClickMyDay organized a Marketing Hackathon to share information and tactics with wannabe startups.

The event began with a session taken by Adobe’s Marketing Cloud Division Head, who spoke at length about the importance of Digital Analytics. He explained the various technical terms like impressions, bounce rate, clicks, etc and the importance of each of those to understand success of Apps &/or websites.

This was followed by an Angel Investor who focused on the importance of capital adequacy and financials of any business model. This was the first step towards getting funding.

Soon after OLA’s Marketing Manager spoke about the tactics that helped OLA to be the largest cab service provider in India and the huge number of downloads of their apps across different smartphone devices.
The session winded up with an ideation session where the various entrepreneurs came together to ideate and plan around their business models.

What made this event an even more special outing for INLEAD and INLEADers was that, Ms. Janvee Garg, one of the co-founders of ClickMyDay, is a former INLEADer, and seeing her achieve such massive success in the entrepreneurial world was a real inspiration for all the current INLEADers.

Jaya Anand, INBM Apr’15 MBA: “The event gave us an opportunity to interact with many startup entrepreneurs who were participating in the event.”

Jeevan Thakur, INBM Apr’16 PGDM: “I learnt lot about digital analytics from the speaker from Adobe and the various marketing strategies followed by OLA .”

Block the Clock Season 2

In order to provide a glittering welcome to the new April ’16 batch and a breather from the daily routine to all the other currently functional batches, INLEAD recently organized LEAD Activity – Block the Clock. The activity promised a day full of unlimited fun and fevour.

The LEAD activity – Block the Clock was conducted as an Orientation activity for the New April ’16 batch, however, saw participation from students of all the programs of EMPR, HEAD, INHM,INBM  Jan. ’15, Apr. ’15, Jul. ’15, Oct. ’15 and Apr. ’16 Batches.

Inspired from the TV game show – “Minute to Win it”, the activity comprised 15 fun-filled and energetic games. The students enjoyed participating in the games like ‘Key to success’, ‘Nose Dive’, ‘Noodling Around’, ‘Blow ‘em away’ and ‘Popcorn Garland’ to name a few. The frolic and excitement with which the students participated in these games was worth a sight.

Though it was a competitive activity, the students showed great sense of sportsmanship.  The activity organizers worked tirelessly to make the event a success. There were 13 winners in total and they, along with the Organizers were awarded with prizes by Mr. Deepak Sharma - Dean, INLEAD, Ms. Bindu Menon – Sr. Faculty, INLEAD, Ms. Monica Mor – Sr. Faculty, INLEAD.

The event was drawn to culmination with the crowning of Mr. & Ms. Fresher April ’16 which went to Mr. Jeevan Lal Thakur (International Business Management) and Dr. Gowthami (Healthcare Administration) respectively.

Mr. Sumit Chakravarty, Faculty, INLEAD, described the event as a “high energy and action packed activity that focused on giving a pleasant break for the students from their regular routine and encourage them to participate in a competitive environment.”

Thursday, June 9, 2016

SMART CITY- Smarter solution for a better tomorrow

The first question that arises in our mind is, what exactly is a smart city?

Well, there is no particular definition for smart city. The definition of smart city varies from person to person, cities to cities and country to country depending on the development and willingness to change and aspirations of the residents. Smart city has different goals in India as compared to other countries, say USA or Singapore. Smart city is represented through four pillars:  institutional, social, physical and economic infrastructure.

The 2nd smart city conference was recently held in Delhi at Pragati Maidan, and we as INLEADers got a chance to be a part of the insightful conference. During the conference, we came to know about the entire Smart city project and how it aims to make 100 cities smart. The main focus area of this conference was water and waste management, environment, IT & communications, security and safety, disaster management, smart education, smart health, smart multi- model transport, clean energy, smart building.

Many speakers were in the conference. I am sharing below excerpts from their speeches:

Mr. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu (Railway Minister of India). According to him, “there are two important things that should be maintained - natural resources and energy.” He said that under the smart city project stations will be redeveloped and that the people would get smart railways.

The other speaker was Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy. He mainly focused on three issues energy, waste and water. According to him “people’s participation is another main ingredient to make the smart city project sustainable.” He also talked about segregation of the waste material, smart meters that will update the status of water usage in a house, power costs which can be reduced to 83% by the use of LED bulbs. This way India can save Rs.6.5 billion per year. Definition of smart city stated by him “anything you do to improve the lifestyle of people.”

Commenting on the expo, Ravinder Pal Singh, Director, Solutions Strategy & Business Development, (IoT, Smart Cities & Digitization) Dell India, said “smart work has to be done in order to improve the technology. And has to have open architecture and scalability.” For smart city, people also have to become smart and consider that it is their duty to keep their city clean as their houses. He also said that government should keep record of everything. One example he cited was of GIS meter which is used to control water flowing.

Meenakshi Lekhi (Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, India) pointed some very important facts in order make a city smart and sustain it. As, in terms of financial structure, utility based model, waste management model, water management, education system, infrastructure. She said that without making any strategy regarding these terms, the goal of making cities as smart city cannot be achieved.

To demonstrate huge international interest towards India’s mission of Smart Cities, the expo hosted 4 individual countries Holland, Poland, Sweden, and Taiwan and participants from 40 other countries.

H.E. Mr. Chung-Kwang Tien (Ambassador to India, Embassy of Taiwan) gave example of some of the technology and facts about Taiwan which might be introduced in India as well such as “smart water meter” which gives the information about water quality and its usage. Also the information is connected to cloud for easily access. Other example was of usage of LED in traffic lights. Thus Taiwan will help India in terms of technology.

H.E. Mr. Harald Sandberg (Ambassador to India, Embassy of Sweden) focused on renewable energy and sustainable urban development. He also gave the information that 15 Swedish companies are participating in smart city project to work in areas of solar energy, water, traffic, parking, biogas, etc.

The three-day expo comprised an exhibition with 325 national and international companies showcasing trends and technologies for integrated smart city management. The exhibiting companies include leading multinationals to innovative start-ups - Dell International, Xerox, Ericsson, 3M India, Berger Paints, Godrej Security, Grundfos Pumps, Millenium Semiconductor, Tata Projects, Volvo, Yamaha, etc. offering solutions for smart cities India.

I heard out all speakers and found myself agreeing with all of them at some level. Going further, we the future of our country, should be closely associated with the concept of Smart Cities. The future lies in technological innovation, and what better way than participating in your own country’s technological evolution.

Rashi Agarwal
Student, INLEAD

Monday, June 6, 2016

Does Raghuram Rajan deserve to get a second term?

“He is rightly deemed as one of the very best central bank governors in the world”, say El – Erian, Allianz SE’s Chief economic advisor. Many bigwigs are backing a second term for our RBI governor. And why is this discussion in the offing? Raghuram Rajan’s tenure as RBI governor is up for renewal (or not), in September 2016. An RBI governor’s tenure is for about 3 years. Discussions are abuzz all around in India and abroad about the possibility of his extension. Hardly anyone is interested in whether the governor will cut rates or not, they are keen to know if he plans to stay put or move on.

Why is a central bank governor so important to any economy?

Well, it’s because he is just that, the governor. He is responsible for the country’s monetary policy. He is responsible for managing the liquidity in the country, which is so vital to the GDP growth of the economy.

According to an article in The Economic Times, dated 6th June, this is probably the first time since liberalization of the economy began in 1991 that the prospects of the financial markets and industry have become so inextricably linked with the office of the RBI governor, or rather, who’s in it.

History of RBI guvs in India

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the chief executive of India's central bank and the ex-officio chairperson of its Central Board of Directors. Indian Rupee currency notes, issued by the RBI, bear the governor's signature. Since its establishment in 1935 by the British colonial government, the RBI has been headed by 23 governors.

The first governor was a Britisher, Sir Osborne Smith, who was the governor for 2 years and 90 days. The first Indian to hold this post was CD Deshmukh who held the post from 11th June 1943 till 30th June 1949. Dr. Manmohan Singh was the 15th RBI governor and he held his position for 2 years & 120 days.

Often the ruling political party wants to bring in their favoured RBI governor, but there has been a different trend since YV Reddy. He was appointed the governor while NDA was in power & continued to be so in the subsequent UPA government in 2004.

Impact of Rajan’s exit

There’s speculation that Raghuram Rajan may want to return to academics post September 2016. So what would be adversely affected with him not getting a second term? So far as monetary policy is concerned, it is unlikely to be affected by the ongoing controversy, especially the one created by the loud-mouthed BJP politician, Subramaniam Swamy, who has been demanding his exit. India’s economy is growing at an impressive rate of 7.9% and that is a story in itself.

Raghuram Rajan unfortunately had been elevated to a superstar status by media. He’s had his successes and his failures, all which have been covered elaborately by all sections of media. His biggest success has been on the inflation front, contributed extensively by the falling oil prices. His crackdown on large corporate defaulters have won him kudos and made him the Indian public’s hero. However, he has often spoken out more than his predecessors which hasn’t really gone down well with the ruling party.
Dr. Manmohan Singh has often described governorship as the “loneliest job in India”. Let’s see if it’s vox populi (voice of the public) or a body of work that determines the future of our current governor.

Ms. Monica Mor

Sr. Faculty, INLEAD  

Dream SHANGRI–La and the impossibility of it

The dream of Shangri la or an Independent Tibet remains a distant but obvious one. The heart of every Tibetan, who has a very strong inclination toward their roots, is filled with angst against the Chinese subjugation. They dream of an independent Tibet where they can practice their religion, their culture and this feeling of nationalism hasn't been deterred by any occupational external threat, especially from those who 'just want the land not the people'. For the unaware, Tibetan culture is very unique and different. They have their own set of customs which make them different from the Chinese. Despite having a huge number of diaspora in thirty plus countries, their culture hasn't been hindered or diluted.

What is it about Tibet?

Since ancient times, the Tibetan plateau was enjoying its sovereignty and good relationships with different countries. The famous silk route was one of the prominent trade points of every nation. In the year 1959, the Chinese government led by Mao began an assault on the Tibetan kingdom which led to a series of fierce fighting between both parties and resulted in genocide of tens of thousands of innocent Tibetans. Around twice the number left the chaotic region and moved to the neighboring countries. Eventually, Tibetans were unable to withstand the Chinese assault, and they surrendered, realizing the imperialistic desire of Mao. The Chinese intentions were such that they wanted to abduct the spiritual guru, His holiness Dalai lama but were unsuccessful as the Tibetan guru in disguise fled the country taking asylum in India in Dharamshala where he is still there and running the government in exile with the help of Indian authorities and his staunch followers.

The Battle for Independence…

Since then, there have been a series of cases of human rights violation in Tibet and its ironical that while there are strong evidences of it, nothing has been done so far, even by the United Nations. Self-immolations of Tibetan monks, farmers and student altogether has become a common phenomenon. The capital, Lhasa, has become a highly fortified town and one of the highly militarized zones in the whole world. Without Beijing’s permission nobody is allowed to visit there, foreign media is banned, and the Tibetan people who are holding high positions in the Chinese government and are loyal to the state are also subjected to discrimination. Even to visit Tibet for family reunification, the Tibetan people living outside find it very cumbersome. The Chinese government is highly skeptical about every outsider visiting Tibet and hence most of them generally give up.

The situation now…

Because of the Chinese military and the faltering economy most countries are reluctant to step in and the native Tibetans are dying a slow death from the oppressions of Chinese. World powers have been silent on these issues as they might face the ire of the Chinese government which will effect economic as well as the Geo politics of the countries.

As we, the people of a humanely united world, we should do something which can stop this mayhem and make the world a more peaceful to live. One of the most famous and beloved Presidents of U.S.A Mr. Abraham Lincoln once said “Force is all conquering but it's victories are short lived”. The expansionist policy of any country will not be successful in a long run someday and it will for sure backfire. Motto of “live and let others live” should be followed by every human civilization.

-Mr. Prateek
 Student, INLEAD
 Batch: April 2016 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Legal Aspects of Multi-National Corporations- Industry Expert Session

Mr. Pranav Mahajan - India Legal Manager, BBC Global News India Pvt. Ltd, recently graced the INLEAD Campus to give INLEADers useful insights on the various Legal Aspects of Multi-National Corporations.

The session started with Mr. Mahajan speaking about the many legal stipulations in our country and the loop holes that make some of those ineffective. He shared some anecdotes from his personal experience as well as the issues that he faced while working across different organisations.

Mr. Mahajan then progressed towards giving a complete lowdown of the various acts governing an organization such as Companies Act, 2013; Labour law (EPF, gratuity,  minimum wages act, contract labour) Act. He also elaborated on the Intellectual Property laws and laws governing trademark, copyrights and patents. He gave students a flavour of the Indian constitution and revealed a startling fact that currently India has approximately 5000 central laws. Till date, around 3 crore cases are pending in Lower courts and 45 lakhs in High courts. He also gave real-life examples of the cases involving fraudulent practices like those in Satyam, Sahara etc. Another interesting fact he mentioned was the fact that out of every 400 working women, 70 women face some kind of sexual harassment from their peers or superiors in workplace and for that he Indian constitution has made it mandatory to have a harassment committee in all organizations. About this, he cited examples from the Tarun Tejpal case. 

All in all he spoke in great length across a diverse range of legal topics that kept the audience quite engrossed and made his session an insightful treat for everyone present.

Sahil Sangwan, October 2015, INBM: “The session was a unique one where we got to know a little more about the legalities that govern our business.

Ashish Kumar, October 2015, INBM: “I especially liked the bit on Intellectual property right. We didn’t know a lot of things that he shared with us.”

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