Dr. Wilson Gachiri Accounting & Finance
United Arab Emirates (UAE) is reported to be the second-largest economy in the MENA region with a gross domestic product (GDP) of 434 billion as of 2018. In the past, for example in 2012, oil revenues contributed a third of the GDP or 70 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). This is, however, is likely to reduce as a result of recent fall oil prices. The fall in oil prices has made the UAE economy to no longer depend on oil revenues for sustained growth. The UAE government has embarked on policies aimed at diversifying its economy, for example, the 10-year visa for private investors, designed to encourage private investment and attract a wider range of economic activities.
Non–oil revenues are expected to propel and accelerate economic growth in UAE in response to the government's newly introduced policies. Oxford Economics is forecasting non-oil GDP growth of 3.6 per cent in 2019, up from 3 per cent the previous year. By 2015 sectors such as the media, tourism and other non-traditional revenue earners increased to 70 percent of the UAE's GDP. The travel and tourism sector in 2015 directly contributed USD 18.7 billion which is equivalent to 5.2 per cent of the total GDP, and with the diversification policies, the economy is expected to grow at higher levels. It is estimated that by 2021, international tourists will spend $43.8 billion (Dh160 billion) on bags, shoes, jewellery, and other items at retail shops across Dubai, making the city one of the world’s top shopping destinations. However, the recently introduced 5 % value-added tax (VAT) in the untested territory, is likely to result in unprecedented impacts in the retail market.
The tax is argued might act as a disincentive to shop in popular retail outlets with unlikely purges in retail sales . To safeguard against a possible backlash in sales, the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced a tax refund scheme for eligible tourists. Starting in November 2018, international tourists may request refunds of value-added tax (VAT) incurred on their purchases from registered retail outlets. Tourists will be able to claim back 85 per cent their VAT on goods they have purchased in the UAE. The remaining 15 per cent will be charged in administration fees to Planet, the global operator of the refund system. Posters on the storefronts of registered stores will be displayed for easier visibility to the visitors with minimum spending of Dh 250 to claim a tax refund. Tourists can claim the refund within 90 days of their purchase. The FTA explained that a special device has been created at the point of departure where refunds will be received from purchases of registered outlets.
Documents required include the tax invoice from the 4000 registered retail outlets, along with copies of their passport and credit cards. Departing tourists will have the option of getting their refunds in dirhams or deposited their credit cards. The scheme is designed “to attract and retain larger numbers of tourists and allows them to enjoy the UAE's unique tourism offering, especially in retail shopping" sentiments expressed by Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director-general-FTA  Oxford Economics is a leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis comprising more than 1,500 international corporations, financial institutions, government organizations, and universities.  Data was from Dubai Chamber of Commerce  UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) is responsible for collecting of federal receipts.
Dr. Wilson Gachiri From Different Corners
UAE recently hosted a series of international forums on Non-communicable diseases (NCD’s). The Third Global NCD (Non-Communicable Diseases) Alliance Forum 2020 was under the theme of "Bridging the Gaps" was inaugurated by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. Sheikh Sultan previously highlighted the extreme need to hold an international gathering of like-minded individuals from across the globe, saying that NCDs have become a burden to every country. His Highness stressed the need to combine efforts that protect people’s health and wellbeing by promoting healthy habits and promoting campaigns against bad lifestyle choices. Jose Luis Castro, President of the NCD Alliance, in his speech drew attention to the crucial role of civil society to stimulate equitable progress by 2025 and 2030: “Here in Sharjah, we took critical steps as a movement to identify how we can accelerate the implementation of life-saving and transformative policies; and how to strengthen our movement to deliver change”.
Chronic diseases require long term, costly and specialist treatment.
Combating NCDs remains a major economic challenge to countries celebrating an increase in life expectancy rates as a result of improved economic status, but are bemoaning increases in the so-called lifestyle diseases. Approximately 300 million people in the world have diabetes, with the number predicted to rise above 435 million by the year 2030 (IDF, 2013) In the Gulf Corporation Council region (GCC) investments made in healthcare since the first oil boom has started paying dividends. GCC nationals are enjoying much longer lives where average life expectancy across the region has increased from 60 years in the late '70s to 75 years in 2012 (IDF, 2013; Hu, 2011). However, the same GCC nationals are likely to suffer from health complications where the Western lifestyle has replaced the traditional lives and traditional eating habits.
Urbanization and rising personal wealth, for example, have prompted many a local population to reject active outside activities and instead embraced fondness of processed foods and detestation of physical exercises. Chronic diseases and obesity-related illness, previously uncommon in this region are on the rise. The US management consultant McKinsey & Company forecasts that the total cost of healthcare delivery in the Gulf will increase to nearly $60bn by 2025, up from $12bn in 2007 (Rahim, Sibai, Khader, et al, 2014).
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - a major economic powerhouse in the Gulf region- recent data suggest that 20% of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes and another 18% are at risk of developing it. Diabetes rates in UAE and the Gulf region are forecast to triple by 2030, from 1.5 million cases in 2000 to 4 million in 2030 representing the second-highest prevalence rates in the world (Ibid). The health cost of diabetes management is likely to rise to 43 billion dollars imposing a substantial financial burden not only on the UAE economy but also on many households in the country. The forum (in one of its series) concluded by observing that civil society has the mandate of working with governments to enact policies that promote healthy lifestyles for example increased physical activities and improved diets.
The World Health Organization estimated deaths from NCDs in the UAE to be 65 per cent out of 9,700 deaths. In 2017, the Ministry of Finance in the UAE introduced fiscal policies (value-added taxes) on selected goods and services. Such taxes are imposed for the primary purpose of achieving better health outcomes for the entire population. It is estimated that the UAE could raise a revenue of about 1.6 per cent of GDP from VAT in the first year following its introduction. The proceeds of the food-related taxes could be used to fund or subsidize health programs and health insurance, diversify the government’s health spending away from the government’s direct payout. It is envisaged that taxes on sugar-related items like sodas and tobacco products will reduce consumption of sodas and tobacco products, eventually lowering levels of diabetes and diseases related to tobacco use for example lung cancer.
Fast forward to February of 2020, the UAE government through the Ministry of Health, reduced the prices of 573 medicines, between 2 per cent and 74 per cent- the largest in quantity and quality for chronic diseases. It is expected the reduced prices of medicines will ease the financial burden on patients and contribute to their access to the world's best and most modern drugs at affordable prices, especially those with chronic diseases.
The 2020 forum was organized by the NCD Alliance in partnership with the local host organization, Friends of Cancer Patients. Nearly 400 delegates from 80 countries attended the Forum from 9-11 February in Sharjah, UAE. Delegates included representatives from 53 national and regional NCD alliances, civil society from cross-cutting areas relating to NCDs, youth leaders, academia, and people living with NCDs, NCD Alliance supporters, global stakeholders, and recognized champions. Over the course of three days, the delegates participated in 5 plenaries and 18 workshops, discussing NCD advocacy, building synergies, and sharing tools and strategies to further the NCD response.
Hu, F.B. (2011). Globalization of diabetes: the role of diet, lifestyle, and genes. Diabetes Care,
International Diabetes Federation (2013). Diabetes Atlas. 6th ed. International Diabetes Federation.
Rahim, H.F., Sibai, A., Khader, Y., Hwalla, N., Fadhil, I., Alsiyabi, H., Mataria, A., Mendis, S., Mokdad, A.H., & Husseini, A. (2014). Non-communicable diseases in the Arab world. The Lancet; 383(9914):356-67.
World Health Organization (2008). Nine voluntary global targets with a framework of 25 indicators to curtail the escalation of the chronic disease.
 Gulf News Feb 2020
 Third NCD Alliance Sharjah 2020
 Shailesh Jha, an economist at ADCB Gulf News, June 2017
 Ministry of Health bulletin Gulf News Feb 2020.
 NCD Alliance report 2020
Dr. Petr Svoboda From Different Corners
There are a lot of different investment opportunities in 2020 and because everyone’s resources are limited, people have to make a decision on where to invest their time and money. This decision is to a large extent depending on a potential return, but mostly on the need, willingness, and ability to take a risk.
The highest potential return and the lowest risk at the same time can be achieved if people decide to invest in themselves. Investing time and money into any form of education is usually the best investment people can make, especially when they are young. Learning a useful skill such as picking up a new language, designing a website, or developing an application for Android can bring a better paying job in the future, or even opportunity for starting their own business with less risk involved and greater success rate.
When thinking about starting a business, many people imagine a scary process of leaving a job and jumping into the unknown. It is important to realize that starting or running a business does not have to be a full-time activity. According to The Hartford (2018), 25% of the US citizens have some sort of a side business while continuing their full-time job. This research is suggesting that launching a side business is becoming a common practice and that in 2020 the field can become large enough for anyone to start their own venture.
To minimize risk even further, many ways of starting a business today do not require a large upfront investment. People only need to take advantage of this opportunity and implement their ideas in practice to reap the benefits in the form of extra income the business might quickly start generating.
The extra revenue generated by the side business is the most obvious reason why people launch new ventures. But the research is showing there are other reasons too. Many people feel stuck in their full-time jobs without being financially or emotionally fulfilled and the idea of starting a business offers them an opportunity to do the kind of work they enjoy.
While starting a business might still seem off-putting for some, others might realize that spending some extra hours on doing what they like thinking how to transform it into an income-generating business can eventually pay off. Moreover, the side hustle soon becomes a primary source of income and wealth for many.
When thinking about which business to start, people should first focus on their passions, talents and specific skills they have, whether work-related or not. This will increase both the motivation and experience needed to make the business successful.
While having a lot of extra money allow people to comfortably invest in a more passive, automatic way, investing in education or starting a business can be the best investment anyone can make in 2020 – whether to generate extra income or to simply spread the wings and get away from feeling stuck in the current position.
The Hartford (2018) No Business Is Too Small for Insurance. Available at: https://mms.businesswire.com/media/20180925005605/en/680213/1/TheHartford_Side_Business_Survey_InfographicFINAL.pdf.
Prof. Haitham Alzoubi From Different Corners
One of the determents of success for any person in the past was based on an intelligence test IQ, that measures memory, analytical thinking and mathematical capabilities, and thus the possibility of predicting future success in work. Recently, Emotional Intelligence also a determent of success which measure the ability to communicate with people and control feelings and skills of expression, as it contributes significantly to achieving success on many levels of life. There is no doubt that traditional intelligence and emotional intelligence play an important role in achieving professional success. But finally, in the digital transformational era and the field of Artificial Intelligence capabilities in work, and its skills for success, a new type of intelligence appeared that represent the ability of the mind to understand the changes in the environment in the right way and right time and take the proper action. The mind able to process a high level of analysis and the ability to adapt and response and deal with environmental uncertainty effectively. "Adaptive Intelligence" is not only the ability to understand new information, but also to be able to select the appropriate ones and discard useless information, as well as to overcome challenges and a conscious pursuit of change. This type of intelligence is coupled with flexibility, a passion for knowledge, courage and the ability to challenge difficulties and enjoy the skills of solving dilemmas.
Will the "Adaptive Intelligence" in the environmental uncertainty become more important for professional success compared to traditional intelligence? Technologies have dramatically changed the performance of many jobs and will continue to change. Having such skills would be better to do the work more quickly and accurately. And in order for the employee to maintain his/her role, he/she must acquire new creative skills that enable him/her to solve emerging problems as well as the ability to understand and communicate better and accountability with the use of human hyper intuition to have better performance results.
The three forms of intelligence are integrated to achieve success, as it helps the organization to overcome obstacles and improve adaptation, as the ideal approach to do what possesses traditional intelligence, emotional intelligence and adaptive intelligence together, which is not available to all, as "there are geniuses who are not creative", and intelligence without flexibility and adaptation alone makes one find it difficult to be the best. Today, organizations are looking for those who are able to adapt, where behavioral skills are the most important work today, and at the forefront of these skills is “preparing for flexibility, adapting to it and adapting to change".
Dr. Tariq Mehmood Retail and Marketing
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing provides businesses the opportunity to leverage the power of social media platforms to connect with their audience.
By publishing great content on their social media profiles, engaging with their followers on a regular basis and running social media campaigns, businesses can raise awareness, build their brand, drive traffic to their website and ultimately convert website visitors to customers.
The current major social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Youtube, Reddit, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
The Benefits of Businesses Using Social Medial Marketing:
- Ability to Reach Large Targeted Audiences
With millions of people using social media platforms. Businesses can reach a targeted pool of people that are interested in their products or services. For example, an auto repair workshop in Dubai could use social media to reach locals residents. They could target users within a certain radius or location when creating social ads. This could help bring customers to the workshop very cheaply.
- Connect Directly With Customers
The power of Social Media Marketing is that it allows businesses to connect directly with their audience. People who are interested in a business choose to follow their social media profiles. This allows businesses a very powerful means of communicating with their audience. They can get to know them better by engaging with them and providing content personalised to their interests. This results in more engagement on their page and with their business. Businesses can analyse the engagement on their page to identify how their business is perceived, what customers want and what areas the business needs to improve on. They can also use the business page to communicate directly with their customers and provide 1-on-1 contact for any issues or questions the customer may have.
“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” – Jeff Bezos
- Brand Equity
Building a brand has become a lot easier for small businesses and start-ups. By posting interesting and relevant content regularly on social platforms, businesses can increase exposure of their brand and promote brand loyalty with their audience. The more people get exposed to a business, the more they become familiar with it. Brand familiarity ultimately leads to more sales because people tend to buy from brands they recognise and trust. More than 50% of Americans are loyal to brands that they follow on social media.
Social media facilitates brand building by enabling people to share, retweet, and re-pin content on these platforms. When loyal followers share content with their friends and family, businesses get more exposure to their brand.
“You need to develop a tribe of loyal followers and super fans who want to hear what you have to say.” – Michael Hyatt
- Competitive Analysis
Businesses can keep an eye on their competitors by monitoring their social media presence. They can look at how their competitors interact with their audience, the type of content they post, how often they post, what ads they are running, level of engagement on their pages and various other competitor analysis information. Social media is an excellent way of scoping out a niche and identifying ways to become an authority in that niche.
- Increased Sales and Leads
Social media is a great inbound marketing tool that can be leveraged to collect leads, retarget website visitors and build an email list. With the correct social media marketing strategy, advertising can help increase sales. A loyal audience will respond to sales messaging and convert.
“Random social media tactics lead to random results. You need a strategy.” – Stephanie Sammons
Breakdown of Social Media traffic for Gymshark:
Social Media Insight from the Industry Experts:
The content your audience creates is invaluable to your brand, according to Kristi Kellogg, CEO, and Founder, Dazzling Digital.
“Your customers (and potential customers) find content posted by their peers far more influential, trustworthy, and compelling than the content a brand creates itself,” Kellogg said.
She said every brand can take three steps in 2020 to get more user-generated content (UGC) and earn more social proof:
- Encourage your audience to tag your brand in social posts by always reposting and/or featuring that UGC.
- Comment and interact with your audience regularly.
- Run contests that drive UGC.
(Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/2020-social-media-trends/342851/#close )
Emma Franks, Sr. Paid Social Account Manager, Hanapin Marketing, believes diversification in advertising will be a primary trend in social media.
“Facebook is no longer the one-stop-shop it used to be. Younger demographics are favouring the sister platform of Instagram, as well as TikTok and Snapchat,” Franks said. “Every ‘early-mover’ advertiser who embraces smaller networks now (e.g., Twitter, Quora, Reddit, Snapchat) will enjoy an environment of relatively low cost due to lower levels of competition.”
(Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/2020-social-media-trends/342851/#close )
Prof. Sakkthivel Annamalai Manickam Retail and Marketing
Competition is the way of life in today’s corporate world, and companies spend billions anticipating, tackling, and winning over competitors either from the same industry or a different one. It is necessary to understand that competition becomes a core for each company’s strategy, which clouds the future focus and expectations. Such screening would affect the strategic and sustainable growth of any company. So, how should a company think beyond competition and focus on future growth instead? It is important to know that running a company is not participating in a race and focusing only on winning. It should be understood that running a company is like participating in a marathon that requires endurance to ensure longevity and sustainability. Therefore, idealizing the competition as part of the strategy would distract the vision of a company for its future. So, companies need to work on a marketing strategy, excluding the competition and focusing only on assimilating, creating, and delivering value to target consumers. Each company should think of creating products/services that are distinct from other companies in the same industry, thus, avoiding direct competition but still targeting consumers. Such activity would also help the target consumers understand the distinction of the products/services offered and select suitable ones, instead of being forced to pick products/services based on prices/promotions.
Many companies force consumers to choose the products/services based on prices/promotions rather than allowing them to think and make purchase decisions based on benefits/value. Consumers then fail to appreciate the value provided, so they select the products/services based on price benefits and promotions This leads to them becoming ‘price warriors’ rather than ‘brand loyalists.’ Companies need to work on developing and delivering products/services to suit the expectations and requirements of the target consumers, providing solutions and creating value. This activity enables the consumers to select the companies offering products/services based on the solutions they expect or require rather than prices and promotions. Price and promotions are the primary drivers of the competition and each company involves in such competition will be forced to spend billions. Avoiding such activities would save companies billions, leading to their sustainable future.
How can companies avoid getting into the competition with peer companies and what sort of strategies should be developed? It is important to understand that each industry has an association or forum in which all the peer companies usually hold membership. Such an industry association would be an ideal platform to discuss the issues and develop a consensus among peer companies to select and work on specific products/services that focus on providing value to consumers. The companies need to frequently interact among themselves and compare the notes of the products/services involved in producing/generating. Such activity would lead to a healthy environment of cooperation/co-existence, rather than dwelling in the competition mode, which leads to the destruction of each other and costing billions in the process. Ideally, each company should ensure the offering of products/services that create value to consumers, avoiding competition, ensuring cooperation and co-existence, and creating a sustainable future for all the peer companies. Leading universities offering BBA, MBA, and BSIT in UAE involved in such cooperation and co-existence activities are sharing information and intellectual capital which creates a conducive and progressive academic environment in the country.
Dr. Bashar Yaser Almansour From Different Corners
The concept of cryptocurrency has been widely recognized in the last few years. These are digital currencies that make use of encryption for verification of a transaction. Bitcoin is a digital currency that was based on public-key cryptography. The major innovation in the case of Bitcoin is the decentralization of technology. The bitcoin database is distributed across a network of contributing computers, instead of storage of transactions on a single server. The database holding bitcoin database which is called “Blockchain” where blocks are added in the chain during the process of bitcoin mining. The mining process revolves around the solution of compound computational puzzles. In doing so, the miners receive the incentive of bitcoin rewards and transaction.
The bubble behavior of bitcoin is prompted by the noise traders which imply market inefficiency to increase, hence, there is a notion of experience of “fad” by the bitcoin market. The combination of different market news and events happen to have a strong effect in price volatility of bitcoin. The bubble-like behavior explains the increased volatility as a result of increased trading. The unsophisticated noise traders of bitcoin get easily affected by expectations and behaviors of other traders which can lead to “herding behavior, prospect behavior and heuristics behavior.” Hence, the decisions are mostly made in the light of heuristics instead of incorporating actual assessments.
From the behavioral finance point of view, the crowd activity literature is titled herding. The herding is described as a decision-making approach characterized by imitating other peoples’ behavior. It is also defined as a situation in which rational investors tend to act irrationally by imitating others’ judgments when it comes to making such investment decisions. It is stated that the herding factors affect asset prices significantly which this consider a part of the capital assets pricing theory. Moreover, herding can cause some emotional biases including conformity, congruity and cognitive conflict, the home bias, and gossip theories.
Traditional finance theory states that investors’ behavior is not significantly affecting the prices of assets. The argument behind that determined by investors’ demand that will be neutralized by the arbitrageurs’ transaction and by the trades, therefore, discounts the potential influence of the investors’ sentiment or investors’ feelings. Investors believe that they make their investment decision logically and rationally. However, the behavior finance theory states that investors’ behavior is significantly affecting the prices of assets. This indicated that behavior finance factors play a significant role in affecting investment decisions made by investors in the cryptocurrency market. As a conclusion, Behavioral Finance studies the psychology of financial decision-making. Most people know that emotions affect investment decisions. The behavioral finance holds out the prospect of a better understanding of financial market behavior and scope for investors to make better investment decisions based on an understanding of the potential pitfalls. The behavior finance factors play a significant role in influencing investment decisions made by investors in the cryptocurrency market.
Prof. Sakkthivel Annamalai Manickam Retail and Marketing
Consumers today can access products and services from all the world, thanks to the globalization drive, which is uniting most of the countries. Thanks to the Internet, which created an information explosion and enabled the consumers to be aware about the latest products and services available from the different parts of the globe.This helps in the purchase decisions and assists in obtaining contemporary products and services to suit consumers' needs. With this, global companies come under serious pressure of selling the latest products and services to global consumers negating the effect of the Ansoff matrix for mapping markets and products, which enabled the companies to become international and global companies by taking the existing products to different countries. Consumers expect contemporary products and services, but how can companies meet this expectation? What sort of strategies to be developed and adopted to address the challenges given the fact that products and services may not be suitable for all consumers? This may lead companies to develop ‘product-market mapping matrix’ to identify and develop new products or sell the existing products or services. However, such practice would exert pressure on the companies to develop products and services for each new market, thus, increasing the expenses. Moreover, the companies could not sell all the existing products to different markets. So, how can companies overcome the challenges and develop and sell products and services to suit the requirements of the host markets (refers to the markets where the global companies intend to do business). Take for instance BMW, with Germany as the home market, and which wishes to do business in the UAE, the host market.
Looking at the existing practices of leading global companies, these companies develop products and services for key markets (markets with high market potential, revenues, profits, growth options, long term stability, etc.) and move the same to different markets with either minimal or maximum modifications suitable to such markets. This practice is called ‘Localization’. However, such modifications will incur moderate to high cost for the companies, depending on the degree of modifications required for each market. Thus, the companies always intend to balance the continuum of standardization vs localization appropriate to host markets. However, such a balancing effect would never be stable due to the dynamic behavior of consumers in the host markets. So, it throws the companies in a dilemma on how to combat the ever-changing behavior of consumers, develop and sell products or services that would entice the consumers to buy. What should these companies do to manage the dynamic consumer behavior and deliver products and services suitable to such situation without incurring the additional cost of modifications or revisions? The global companies need to work on an inclusive marketing strategy of finding the requirements and expectations of consumers from host markets. Usually, the global companies travel the extra mile to understand the requirements and expectations of such consumers and sometimes end up developing new products and services. However, such practices are costly and exert financial pressure on the companies from the beginning. Therefore, the companies need to educate the local consumers on the different aspects of products and services and portray its usage across different countries (most the developed countries) through initial communication strategy such as television commercials highlighting such usage across the Globe. This practice would help the companies position the products and services selected to host markets, in the minds of host consumers, and relate themselves with the consumers from developed countries. Such a relationship would provide a vital vantage point for the global companies to position the intended products or services as global products or services, and sell the same with minimal modification such as the use of local language for the labels of the packaging. If such practices lead to failure, then the companies need to work on changing the names of the brand to suit the local markets, change the ingredients to suit the local taste, and involve celebrities as a part of the communication strategy. Such revisions cause one to incur minimal cost and avoid focusing on developing new products or services which are costly. Therefore, the companies need to involve consumers in this practice of inclusive marketing strategy and make them brand ambassadors by becoming a part of a global product/service/brand. In the academic fields, the leading universities in the UAE offering BBA, BSIT, and MBA programs include the suggestions and expectations from students while revising the curriculum to suit the ever-changing global and UAE based business scenario.
Prof. Raid Al-Adaileh Information Systems
With 2.3 billion users, Facebook is the most popular social media platform today. YouTube, Instagram, and WeChat follow with more than a billion users. Tumblr and TikTok come next, with over half a billion users (Statista Report, 2019). Furthermore, almost 4.48 billion people were active internet users as of October 2019, encompassing 58 percent of the global population. These figures are remarkably growing daily. This will surely have huge consequences on the business and is already creating new business paradigms. Social media is becoming an unescapable form of technology today. The rapid adoption of such technology is changing the nature of our behavior, the way we communicate and interact with others as well as our views concerning the business and the way it should be run. The new emerging and drastically changing business environment that is led by communication technologies development is expected to shape and lead the scope and nature of business organizations of the future. Business core concepts like marketing and sales, business visibility, competition, and customer relationship management are at the heart of confrontation and change. Regardless of the huge debate regarding its positive and negative impact on societies in general, lots of benefits are expected due to the effective use of social media for business purposes. Brand building, more effective and efficient communication, cost reduction, and the never-ending flow of information are among the cited benefits of what is so-called social media business models.
New business models that are based on the use of social media are emerging and starting to gain some popularity. Numerous questions are challenging traditional business strategies and marketing operations. Can old business models and typical mentalities of the past and present survive in managing the future business? Can we bridge the gap between our current ways of running the business and the new technology-driven generation? Can current business managers understand the emerging and continually changing needs of the new generation? It seems there is a need for a paradigm shift in the way of running a business. Additionally, the preparation of an organization for the successful use of social media for business purposes seems highly important to improve the readiness level of the organization. The current state of the art concerning the business use of social media is still fragmented and underutilized. The rapid diffusion of social media in modern societies is calling for more consideration of social media as a means to enhance business competitiveness. Social media-based business models are therefore receiving an intense concern in the business literature. Disagreement is apparent and the lack of a holistic framework concerning the influential factors seems obvious. Issues like trust, transparency, security, and privacy are at the core of the picture. Moreover, the need for more research exploring social media-based business models, as one could argue, is still under-researched considering the potential business opportunities and the skeptical nature of social media in general.
For businesses to attain sustainability and to gain strategic competitive advantage, they require a business strategy the makes the best use of available technologies including social media. Acting and pro-acting are both necessary to challenge businesses to transform their operations and to re-think their fundamentals in ways that support and invest in new emerging trends. New and different skills will soon be required to effectively utilize the dancing technologies of today.
Dr. Manas Pradhan Information Systems
Any disease is generally caused to humans because of biological disorders. These diseases may be an infection from external factors due to deficiency in chemical components, physiological changes or heredity. The objective is to find the right drug for curable and chronic diseases. The drug is a combination of various chemical compounds that suit biological deformation inside the human metabolic system. Many Pharmaceutical companies worldwide have been trying their best to invest in rational drug design processes to avail of a suitable drug in the market.
The investment is typically in terms of chemicals used and human resources. The research and development efforts are sometimes not incurred because the clinical trial and error method of preparing a newly designed drug takes more time and money. The drug design is tried with a combination of chemical components in many possible ways and then tested through a clinical trial. It is also frustrating not to get the right drug after spending so much time. In this context, the use of computer-aided tools has been fruitful in finding the best chemical compounds and their properties that can be tested in a biological lab by reducing the chemical cost and time of resource engagement.
The Computer-Aided Drug Design uses the chemical databases which contain numerous atoms and molecules and their combinatory properties. It uses structural prediction of molecules which is easier for the researchers and biochemical labs to predict the best chemical compound that can be used for drug discovery. The CADD is a Molecular Dynamic simulation software tool.
Currently, there are two types of approaches used by CADD. The first one is Structure-Based Drug Design (SBDD) which uses 3-dimensional structure prediction of protein to identify key biological functions responsible for particular diseases. The second one is Ligand-Based Drug Design (LBDD) which used antibiotic ligand for judging biological reactions depend on the method where one molecule or atom that joins with another to create relations.
Various molecular simulation tools that supported drug design are CHARMM, AMBER, NAMD, GROMACS, and OpenMM. These programs run on a multicore central processing unit (CPU) and recently being operated as well on graphics processing units (GPU) to visualize as video simulation. The 3D structure of the biological molecules is obtained from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) which is funded by the National Science Foundation, USA. The online web-server called as SWISS-MODEL facilitated various 3D structures as well. The database screening techniques encapsulate the appropriate hit to particular chemical molecule. The databases used in various CADD are part of Cheminformatics and Bioinformatics knowledge bases. These knowledge bases help in identifying and producing diverse library which can cluster only drug-like compounds.
The in silico representation of chemical structures facilitates drug design by implementing Chemical Markup Language format which often stores large chemical databases. Therefore, computational approaches such as data mining techniques, structural prediction, and combinatorial statistics are helpful to interpret and suggest experiments to expedite the drug discovery and design process.
Pharmaceutical and Biochemical industries are now mobilizing the key potential area called pharmacology looking at CADD services. Some of the prominent market leaders who emphasize the end-to-end CADD services are Allesh Biosciences Labs, Comp Chem Solutions, Evotec, Gfree Bio, GVK Biosciences, Quantitative Medicine, etc. No doubt CADD solutions and services have been significantly reduced the cost and time spent in early-stage drug discovery, which is leading the way to find critical drugs for life-threating diseases in less consuming time.