Tag Archives: India

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Valley app creator’s GLTYR helps market skills, products

Ahwatukee resident Subra “Dr. S.”Sudhakar, co-founder of GLTYR, said he developed the app to help people, schools and small businesses more easily market their skills and products.

GLTYR, which is pronounced “glitter”and stands for “Give Life To Your Reality,”is a content-creation app which was originally launched as a way for people to create a multimedia résuméon the fly from a mobile device, Sudhakar said. But soon people began using the app for dating profiles, greeting cards, recipes, job postings, classified ads and more.

“People want to show themselves off as a real person,”Sudhakar said.

Sudhakar, 46, was born in India, where he did his undergraduate studies in metallurgical engineering. He moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and earned masters degrees in electrical engineering and materials science and a doctorate degree in materials engineering and operations research at the University of Southern California.

In 1996, he met his co-founder, Ram Iyer. They always brainstormed crazy ideas together, Sudhakar said. Iyer is the technologist who built the GLTYR platform, while Sudhakar is responsible for taking it to market, Sudhakar said. They believed that they could build anything in the world, he said.

“Our philosophy is 2-by-2: Give me $2 million or two years, we will build anything you want,”Sudhakar said.

Since moving to Arizona in 1998, Sudhakar worked at Microsoft for nine years before he co-founded his first venture, SchoolCues. SchoolCues is a mobile app intended to create engaging communication between small schools and parents, according to the SchoolCues website.

Sudhakar said he enjoys working with customers and solving everyday problems in people’s lives.

“I love to hear bad news from customers because bad news is good news,”he said. “It gives you an opportunity to solve problems.”

Sudhakar and Iyer came up with the idea for GLTYR last year when they realized that people need to be able to market their skills efficiently and inexpensively, Sudhakar said. GLTYR originally stood for “Give Life To Your Résumé,”but after seeing the many uses for the app they decided to rename it, he said.

The app, which allows the user to add a photo, brief summary and contact details as well as 30 seconds of audio and 30 seconds of video, is meant to be easy to use while establishing trust, Sudhakar said.

“Your email or your paper communication does not build that, but if you add a picture to that message, a picture is worth a thousand words,”Sudhakar said. “To that picture if you add audio or voice it’s the next higher degree of trust. And to that voice or audio you add a video, it’s the highest form.”

Social media and other websites do not allow one to establish trust the same way, he said, and many small businesses do not have the money to market products. With GLTYR, a small business owner can share their product with as many people as they want at little to no cost, Sudhakar said.

“That’s my vision,”he said. “That’s why we created GLTYR.”

GLTYR already has a diverse customer base, despite the fact that Sudhakar has yet to begin officially marketing the product beyond word-of-mouth advertising, he said.

Sadha Parasuraman, who teaches scripture and art from his home, uses the app to connect with students and share lesson plans. He said he likes that it creates a Web page that he can update at any time and that his students can access from any platform.

“It’s a very concise Web page that gives you just the right amount of words, just the right amount of things that you need to let them know without being verbose,”Parasuraman said.

It’s a “landing place”for students to see homework assignments, class notes and announcements, he said. All he has to do is send a link to his students, he said.

“I can update that Web page dynamically whenever I find time, from my smartphone, wherever I want to,”Parasuraman said.

He said the app also has personal uses, such as sending invites to birthdays and social events.

Barbara Danielson, who teaches voice and piano lessons, said she uses GLTYR to advertise her abilities to potential students. She said the app has already brought her two new students just from posting her GLTYR link on Facebook.

“What I liked was the fact that you could actually have them go and hear my voice so that they know that I have had the background I’ve had, because I’ve done opera, etc.,”Danielson said.

GLTYR is currently a minimum viable product, which is the most basic product a consumer can use, Sudhakar said. In order for the product to progress, people must find value in it, be willing to use it, and be willing to pay for it, he said.

“It’s yes to all three, so now we go to the next version,”he said. “We are frantically and feverishly working toward the next version.”

Sudhakar said that they plan to have an enhanced version of the app done by Thanksgiving in order to be ready for the holiday season. There will also be a payment engine added, with a subscription price of $99 per year, he said. Sudhakar said he thinks the price is justifiable for small businesses and schools on a tight budget because every GLTYR link is a multimedia Web page and setting up a website can be very expensive.

“My whole goal is, I like to build products which have a purpose in life that people can use and find value and repeatedly use it,”Sudhakar said. “That is my metric for success.”

Future plans for the app include creating more extensive platforms for classified advertisements, greeting cards and multimedia profiles for executives of mid-sized companies, Sudhakar said.

“We have a lot of plans, and it’s exciting to say the least,” he said.

college_students

Record 82,000 students choose ASU

While college enrollments may have slowed in recent years, Arizona State University continues to draw record numbers of academically qualified students who are eager to learn and embark on their journey to a better life.

As the fall 2014 semester gets under way Aug. 21, the university anticipates an enrollment of more than 82,000 undergraduate and graduate students – a new record for number of students enrolled and a nearly 8 percent increase from last year. Increases also are seen in number of transfer, international and veteran and veteran dependent students, and the student body is the most diverse ever.

“Students are choosing ASU because they know we are the right choice to help open their eyes to a new world filled with possibilities. They have come here to work hard and we are committed to teaching, guiding and mentoring them along the way,” said Kent Hopkins, ASU Vice Provost for Enrollment Services. “The Sun Devil family grows stronger every year and we are looking forward to seeing what our students envision and accomplish.”

Preliminary first-day enrollment shows records set across nearly all areas. Undergraduate enrollment grew to 66,309 and graduate school enrollment grew to 15,751 for a total of 82,060.

Getting ready to start the school year is Preston Adcock, from Glendale, a junior life sciences major in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and a Barrett honors student. He has his dream set on going to medical school and working as an orthopedic surgeon or in emergency medicine. He is working in ASU Professor Carl Wagner’s organic chemistry lab.

“I like New College and West campus because it’s small enough to make friends on campus whether you live on or off campus,” Adcock said. “The professors are fantastic.”

Freshman enrollment this year grew to more than 11,000. Applications received were more than 46,000, a 25 percent increase over the previous academic year. The Fall 2014 freshman class is an academically strong group, with an average high school GPA 3.4 and average SAT score of 1113. More than half, 54 percent, are New American University Scholars at the Dean, Provost and President Scholarship levels, the most prestigious scholarships for first-time freshmen.

Transfer enrollment has grown to more than 8,800 – up nearly 13 percent from fall 2013. The transfer class is academically strong, with an average 3.1 transfer GPA.

Jonathan Williams transferred to ASU from Glendale Community College in Glendale (metro Los Angeles) California. He is currently studying communications, but plans to switch to journalism to pursue his career goal of becoming a sports journalist. He learned about the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from friends at a USC football game and decided to apply, because “it’s better than the state journalism schools in California.” He’ll be working as a news reporter at the State Press this semester.

“I’m looking forward to the resources at a major research university, and delving into writing and photography as part of my job at the State Press,” Williams said. “For me, writing is a passion, and I want to be a journalist because I want to be able to write about what’s important and going on in the world, and keep people informed.”

International campus-based enrollment increased 33.6 percent to 8,787 students. The top 10 countries for international enrollment at ASU are China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Canada, Kuwait, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Mexico. In addition, some 600 Brazilian students are calling ASU their educational home for the next academic year through their government-sponsored Brazil Scientific Mobility Program.

Viswajith Hanasoge Nataraja, from Bangalore, India, is pursuing his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering and his area of interest is fluid mechanics and energy. He is a student worker in the University Sustainability Practices office, is actively involved in the Zero Waste at ASU initiative, and is vice-president of the Indian Student Association at ASU.

“I spoke to many friends here in the U.S. and in India, and to my lecturers in India, and their top recommendation was ASU because of its infrastructure, attention to detail and quality of the faculty. It also has excellent research facilities,” he said. “I enjoy being a part of ASU’s sustainability efforts, and think that this will also give me an edge in my professional skill set.”

Other milestones: The ASU student body is the most diverse, 34 percent, ever; new graduate enrollment increased more than 10 percent; and more than 4,000 veterans and veteran dependents have enrolled– a 25 percent increase in overall enrollment and a 62 percent growth in new graduate enrollment since last year.

Patrick Harris, a senior airman in the Arizona National Guard out of Tucson, is majoring in music education with a minor in youth services leadership. A sophomore from Newport News, Va., who served in the Air Force for four-and-a-half years, he found through research that ASU is one of the top schools for supporting military veterans and for music education.

“The experience at ASU has been getting even better, especially as I take advantage of the opportunities to get involved in activities and organizations. I’m part of the Sigma Alpha Lambda fraternity, and am involved with the marching band at Marco de Niza High School in Tempe, Scottsdale and Mesa Community Colleges’ bands, and Sonic Brass Band,” said Harris. “I’ve always wanted to teach music, and knew that I needed a degree to do so. I wanted to put in the work to achieve my dream.”

molina

Molina sells diamond for record $21.5M

Phoenix jeweler Alfredo J. Molina set a world record for the sale of a diamond.

Christie’s auctioned off Molina’s Archduke Joseph Diamond for nearly $21.5 million Tuesday night, a world auction record price per carat for a colorless diamond.

The Archduke Joseph Diamond went for $21,474,525 including commission at Christie’s auction. That was well above the expected $15 million and more than triple the price paid for it at auction almost two decades ago. The 76.02-carat diamond, with perfect color and internally flawless clarity, came from the ancient Golconda mines in India.

Molina, owner of Molina Fine Jewelers in Phoenix, said immediately afterward that there were two main bidders and that he was delighted with the result. Molina said the winning bidder, who wished to remain anonymous, is going to donate the diamond for display at a museum.

“It’s a great price for a stone of this quality,” Molina told The Associated Press. “It’s one of a kind, so it’s like saying ‘Are you pleased when you sell the Mona Lisa?’ Or ‘Are you pleased when you sell the Hope Diamond?’ It’s all what the market will bear, and the stone sold for a very serious price.”

Named for Archduke Joseph August of Austria, the great-grandson of both a Holy Roman emperor and a French king, the diamond passed to his son, Archduke Joseph Francis, who put it in a bank vault, then to an anonymous buyer who kept it in a safe during World War II. From there it surfaced at a London auction in 1961, then at a Geneva auction in 1993, when Christie’s sold it for $6.5 million.

Girl reading book, Photo: Flickr, o5com

Intriguing Reads: Memoirs, Diaries And Biographies To Read

1.

The Diary of a Young Girl

The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank

Author: Anne Frank

“Riches, prestige, everything can be lost. But happiness in your own heart can only be dimmed; it will always be there, as long as you live, to make you happy again.”

Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father and sole survivor of the family, recovered his daughter’s diary after the war from the small apartment above his old business, where they hid for over two years. The diary begins on June 12, 1942, Anne’s 13th birthday, and tells the story of her family and the Van Daan’s as they lived and hid in that small apartment with little contact with the outside world.

2.

Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson

Author: Greg Mortenson

“The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest.”

Three Cups of Tea is about adventure and philanthropy. Greg Mortenson, a mountaineer, finds himself in a remote village in Pakistani after losing his way and falling ill in 1993. After that, it became Mortenson’s mission to build them a school. It’s a compelling story and an effort to rid the region of poverty and bring education to the children in a fight against a warring world.

3.

Eat, Pray, Love

Eat Pray Love, Photo by 飞鱼Calibre

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

“You are after all what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”

Many will immediately recognize this as “that movie that Julia Roberts was in.”  Elizabeth Gilbert, the character played by Roberts, is a real person though with a real story to tell. This book is an interesting blend of self-discovery and travel.

Gilbert is 32 years old when she begins her journey. She divorces her husband, enters into a relationship with another man, which doesn’t work out either, and then decides to take the next year to travel the world — four months in Italy to eat and enjoy life, four more in India developing her spirituality, and the remainder of the time in Bali trying to balance the two.

4.

Swallow The Ocean: A Memoir

Swallow The Ocean, Laura Flynn

Author: Laura Flynn

“People talk about how fast life can go from good to bad. How one day you’re happy, everything is going fine, and then something happens. Someone dies or someone leaves. There’s an illness or an accident. Life as you know it slips away. But it can go the other way too. You can go from god-awful to pretty OK in a single day. That’s what happened to us, and it was just as jarring.”


This memoir is about Laura Flynn’s life growing up with a paranoid schizophrenic mother. It takes the reader through the dread of having a parent who slowly becomes unhinged and what that can do to a family.  Flynn’s experience is one that readers are inspired by.

5.

Marley & Me

Marley & Me, John Grogan

Author: John Grogan

“He was a big, loving dope of a dog whose defense strategy against intruders would surely have been to lick them to death.”

Who doesn’t like a story about a dog? This true story of a lovable and unique canine, and how he changed a family, has warmed the hearts of many. John Grogan goes into details about life with a dog that any dog owner would find familiar, and yet Marley’s story stands out from the rest. He is a 97-pound Labrador Retriever that had more to teach Grogan and his family than they managed to teach his wild spirit.