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Friends are just around the corner

Dear trust7 members,

last Saturday was a really grey and rainy day and I felt a bit sad and lonesome, although I am happily married, living in my home country/city with many friends and a dog, a cat and 2 parrots laugh.

Then I thought about our community and that many of you are far away from home, apart from the families and friends and even if you have your family around, you are still in another country, with a strange language and not always nice people. 

What about looking for some friends? Maybe a fellow countryman is living in the same city or some other trust7 member faces a similar situation.

Go ahead and post a message in our Special Forum Life is a lot easier if you have someone to talk, to do some activities together. You know this, maybe you just need this little push from me.

The possibilities are unlimited, your ideas are needed Get together and bring the sun into the German Autumn and Winter!

Detlef

Work Permit - Prior Approval

I realized that this topic is discussed again and again, so I want to give you short but important information about getting a prior approval for your visa/work permit!

The prior approval will shorten the whole application process immensely!

1. The employer has to apply for it!

2. If your salary will be less than 47.600,- € per year the ZAV has to be involved (Central Employment Agency)

3. If your salary is above 47.600,- € the ZAV is not important any more and your future employer can apply directly at his local foreigner office for a so called 'Vorabzustimmung'.

4. The employer needs the employment contract, your passport copy and a copy of your University degree. This should do it.

5. Documents needed for ZAV approval you will find when you follow the link below

http://www.arbeitsagentur.de/

 

Good luck

 

Detlef

 

German Language - again

Meanwhile we published many articles about the importance of the German language for job seekers!

Now we have some postings in our forum which give a very good example of this topic..

http://www.trust7.com/forum/-/message_boards/view_message/799537

Thanks to the members who shared their experiences!

Detlef

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan live in Concert

Hi t7 members,

today I received a call from an agent who asked me to help to advertise a concert in Rotterdam.

Well, why not smiley

As Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has huge followers, we know they would love to come to his concert. 

In order to create more awareness I would like to request some more exposure via your social networks in regards to our show in the Netherlands.

We also will offer a Bus/ Coach service from different parts of Germany to Rotterdam Ahoy.

For tickets please log on to - www.ticketmaster.nl and type in Rahat 

Ticket hotline number - 0031 687874221

For more information please log on to www.rahatahoy.nl  or check our facebook pages: 
Manchester Asian Events.

Money for YOU

Honestly, would you leave money on the road or would you pick it up?

I would pick it up and if possible return it to the one who lost it. If not possible, I would just be happy laugh

Maybe there is some money for you to pick up!

trust7 is active in some fields, see our Consulting page for example, and if you recommend us a new client, you will get a fair commission!

Example: You know that your employer is looking for new engineers. You recommend trust7!

Example 2: You know a company who wants to join the German market. You recommend trust7!

Thanks and good luck!

Detlef

Personal Agent Service

trust7 is probably the only consultancy that offers a personal agent to the highly qualified experts. Be it sportsmen, artists or models, they all have personal agents. Now it's your turn and we hope to provide the same service to you.

Are you looking for brighter and newer challenges? Do you intend to give a much needed boost to your career? Are you ready for an interesting job role, lucrative salary, better perks or to simply break free from the mundane 9 to 5 job that no longer gives you pleasure, and to lay your hands on something that truly brings out the best in you? We are at your doorstep, bringing you a plethora of career opportunities. So what are you waiting for? All you need to do is, “just order me!” I will be your personal agent.

All your data will be kept confidential, meaning, you will stay anonymous, neither your current company nor your future client will know your name until the new contract is signed or until you want to disclose.

With the reputation I have build in the last 15 years of working for trust7, I hereby guarantee you that all your data will be kept strictly confidential.  We are here to make a difference, and together we will make a difference. Then good luck, and remember, the sky is the limit, you can reach unlimited heights, if you have a right mentor by your side. 

Detlef von Hellfeld

trust7-hr.com

trust7 ist wahrscheinlich die einzige Consulting Agentur die einen persönlichen Manager für hoch qualifizierte Experten anbietet. Sportler, Künstler und Models, alle haben sie einen persönlichen Agenten. Nun ist es soweit und wir bieten Ihnen den gleichen Service.

 

Suchen Sie nach neuen und interessanten Herausforderungen? Sind Sie bereit, Ihrer Karriere den längst überfälligen Schub zu geben? Sind Sie bereit für eine neue Aufgabe, ein lukratives Gehalt, bessere Konditionen oder wollen Sie einfach ausbrechen aus dem Alltagstrott und etwas versuchen, das das beste in Ihnen zu Vorschein bringt?

 

Wir sind bereit, Ihnen eine Fülle an Karriere Möglichkeiten zu eröffnen. Worauf warten Sie noch? Alles was Sie tun müssen, ist unseren Service zu buchen! Ich werde Ihr persönlicher Agent.

 

Ihre Daten werden streng vertraulich behandelt, das heißt, Sie bleiben anonym, weder Ihre aktuelle Firma noch Ihr zukünftiger Arbeitgeber erfahren Ihren Namen bis der Vertrag unterzeichnet ist oder Sie ihn selbst bekannt geben.

 

Mit der Reputation, die ich mir in den letzten 15 Jahren mit der Arbeit für trust7 erworben habe, garantiere ich Ihnen, dass all Ihre Daten streng vertraulich behandelt werden. Wir sind hier um den Unterschied zu machen und gemeinsam werden wir den Unterschied machen!

 

Also dann, viel Glück und denken Sie daran, der Himmel ist die Grenze, Sie können ungeahnte Höhen erreichen, mit dem richtigen Berater an Ihrer Seite.

 

Detlef von Hellfeld

trust7-hr.com

Why is Germany called the nation of renters

It's an established fact that Germans don't bother themselves about owning houses. Europe's most thriving economy boasts of renting rather than buying property. Germany's home ownership rate ranks among the lowest in the developed world. Strange as it may seem, apparently the German populace seems quite content with the whole system of renting. Let's take a look at the ‘whys and hows’ of this intriguing rental model?

 

 

The obvious question that comes to mind is, ‘isn't home ownership a vital criterion needed for a healthier and stable economy?' I would say, 'not really....German policies were penned down differently yet practically.’

 

Over the last 10 years, while the residential prices in UK have almost doubled, in Germany they have barely risen by 2% to 3%. What keeps the rents so low? Below are listed a few of the many factors that are responsible for low rents:

 

  1. Germany's rental market is staunchly regulated, and these regulations are pretty much in favour of renters, e.g., the German legislation allows state governments to cap rent increases at not more than 15-20% over duration of three years. Unlimited contracts are standard and tenants, if given notice, can demand continuation.

  2. The Govt.'s lack of encouragement towards house ownership by not letting the home-owners deduct mortgage interest payments from their taxes, explains why the Germans are less likely to buy houses. Without this deduction the advantages of owning and renting are in a way evenly balanced out. The home owners as well as the landlords are barely subsidized.

  3. There is a surplus of good quality rental accommodation. The supply of rental housing in Germany is relatively higher owing to decentralized and regional approach to planning. The German housing associations along with municipal authorities hold about 12% of the stock, private housing companies nearly 10% and property funds around 1%. The rest is held by the private investors.

  4. Since buying a house is a relief against the shooting rents, the stability of German rents results in fewer home buyers and a subsequently lower home ownership rate.

  5. The policy of German banks is to ensure that there isn't an easy availability of housing finance. Lenders are risk averse and generally require a deposit of 20% or considerable collateral and a proof of good income history. The banks have made mortgages not only harder but also more exorbitant to get.

  6. In contrast to societies afflicted with economic catastrophes in recent years, Germany's rental plan looks quite sturdy in the long run. Germany's taxation is not particularly favourable for property owners. There are very likely chances that the Grunderwerbsteuer (property transfer tax) might soon rise to about 5% in a lot of states- an average increase of about 1%. So also is Grundsteuer (annual land tax) expected to increase, it is at present about 13% of the value of single residential properties.

  7.  The transparency of the entire renting model in Germany is acknowledgeable. You can easily check if your rent is fair using the rental index or Mietspiegel. It helps in keeping the unfair practices grounded. The Mietspiegel is generally published by the Municipalities on a yearly basis. More so, the renters can even join the association of renters known as 'Mieterverein'.

The economists are of the view that Germany's housing policy is in a better position to strike a balance between government involvement and private investment than most of the other countries. Nearly, 93% of the Germans believe that their current renting scenario is the best in the world. They like being referred to as 'the Nation of Renters'.

 

To understand the intricacies of Germany's unique rental market, one has to go through the pages of history. Germany's unconditional surrender in May 1945 during the Second World War led to a series of serious introspections needed to rebuild Germany. At that point of time more than 20% of German housing stock was rubble. In order to accommodate the homeless, some sort of government program was the need of the hour.

 

Immediately after West Germany was re-erected in 1949, the government passed its first housing law. The law aimed at promoting the construction of houses which in terms of their rents were more appropriate for the population at large. This plan worked out very well due to the combination of direct subsidies and generous tax exemptions accessible to the public, non-profit and private organizations. Thereby, a vast majority of new units that came into being were rentals which were primarily due to:

 

  1. Large demand from the potential buyers.

  2. The German mortgage market was at an all-time low and banks required borrowers to place down large down payments. And only a few Germans had enough money.

 

Since the rental model worked out superbly during the era of reconstruction and rehabilitation, Germany has remained loyal to it and the plan seems to be working just as good as before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Irrational Ideas That Limit Personal Success

This is an article from Mr. Andreas von der Heydt and I got his friendly permission to publish this here on trust7. 

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Last week at an advanced coaching training course which I attended we spoke a lot about the human growth potential and possible factors holding it back.


In this context we also discussed in depth the Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT
which was created and developed by the American psychotherapist and psychologist Albert Ellis. REBT is a practical, action-oriented approach to coping with problems and enhancing personal growth. It places a good deal of its focus on the present: on currently-held attitudes, painful emotions and maladaptive behaviors that can sabotage a fuller experience of life. 

One of the fundamental premises of REBT is that humans, in most cases, do not merely get upset by unfortunate adversities, but also by how they construct their views of reality through their language, evaluative beliefs, meanings and philosophies about the world, themselves and others.

REBT argues that the following 12 core irrational ideas, which have been observed and analyzed over many years, are at the root of the most self-limiting thinking and believing factors:

  • The idea that it is a dire necessity for adults to be loved by significant others for almost everything they do — instead of their concentrating on their own self-respect, on winning approval for practical purposes, and on loving rather than on being loved.
  • The idea that certain acts are awful or wicked, and that people who perform such acts should be severely damned — instead of the idea that certain acts are self-defeating or antisocial, and that people who perform such acts are behaving stupidly, or ignorantly, and would be better helped to change.
  • The idea that it is horrible when things are not the way we like them to be — instead of the idea that it is too bad, that we would better try to change or control bad conditions so that they become more satisfactory, and, if that is not possible, we had better temporarily accept and gracefully lump their existence.
  • The idea that human misery is invariably externally caused and is forced on us by outside people and events — instead of the idea that it is largely caused by the view that we take of unfortunate conditions.
  • The idea that if something is or may be dangerous or fearsome we should be terribly upset and endlessly obsessed about it — instead of the idea that one would better frankly face it and render it non-dangerous and, when that is not possible, accept the inevitable.
  • The idea that it is easier to avoid than to face life difficulties and self - responsibilities — instead of the idea that the so-called easy way is usually much harder in the long run.
  • The idea that we absolutely need something other or stronger or greater than ourselves on which to rely — instead of the idea that it is better to take the risks of thinking and acting less dependently.
  • The idea that we should be thoroughly competent, intelligent, and achieving in all possible respects — instead of the idea that we would better do rather than always need to do well and accept ourselves as a quite imperfect creature, who has general human limitations and specific fallibilities.
  • The idea that because something once strongly affected our life, it should indefinitely affect it — instead of the idea that we can learn from our past experiences but not be overly-attached to or prejudiced by them.
  • The idea that we must have certain and perfect control over things — instead of the idea that the world is full of probability and chance and that we can still enjoy life despite this.
  • The idea that human happiness can be achieved by inertia and inaction — instead of the idea that we tend to be happiest when we are vitally absorbed in creative pursuits, or when we are devoting ourselves to people or projects outside ourselves.
  • The idea that we have virtually no control over our emotions and that we cannot help feeling disturbed about things — instead of the idea that we have real control over our destructive emotions if we choose to work at changing the musturbatory hypotheses which we often employ to create them.

What do you think? Do you limit yourself by similar ideas? Or how do you avoid having such ideas and thoughts? What is your thinking and belief pattern of personal growth and success?

Best regards,

Andreas von der Heydt

*****

Andreas von der Heydt is the Country Manager of Amazon BuyVIP in Germany. Before that he hold senior management positions at L'Oréal. He´s a leadership expert, executive coach and NLP master. He also founded Consumer Goods Club. Andreas worked and lived in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

Here is the source of the original article:

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131223152817-175081329-12-irrational-ideas-that-limit-personal-success

Germany; the abode of peace and democracy

Stenches of the decaying copses,

wailing of the victims;

the wars encapsulating lands,

claiming innocent lives,

that leave not a soul spared.

The morality lies shrouded before our eyes and

humanity in tatters.

Sufferings,sufferings and more sufferings.

Is there any respite?

As you and I watch with crossed fingers

hoping for a new dawn to arise,

where there is no greed and no hatred.

 

 

With the debacle of peace in the world today, O! mankind regard my humble plea -'Do not use religion as an excuse to slay one another. Religion came 'to reform and to unite, not to deform and to divide.'

 

But men will be men and continue to err, without ever learning from the past. Sometimes, I question myself, are we even worth being called humans?If yes, then why are we so indifferent towards the agony of millions who are being mercilessly bombed and killed each day? If God exists, why does He seem so silent and so distant in this treacherous ordeal of humanity with tyranny? Last night, as I kept thinking and lamenting the horrific effects of war on our civilization, I found an answer to my query on God. We have probably angered Him way too much by our misdeeds and selfishness, that he abandoned us long time back to settle our own scores in this world, and what better way of settling scores than by killing one another to attain our vested interests. Bravo! Humans you have slain humanity after all.

 

What are we trying to prove to the world? The extent of destruction we can cause in one go or flaunting the quantity of lethal weaponry we posses or to show how lives are at the mercy of our command? I think we can not fall any lower than this. I'd like to challenge such nations, if they have so much in hoard then why not kill the real perpetrators and cleanse the earth of their menace? But why do they show the teaser of their nuclear might by targeting innocents; the helpless women and children. This is something, I completely fail to comprehend. Kill the terrorists, wipe out the mafia, put an end to the corrupt politicians and help resuscitate humanity. But no, we all want to be a part of this bloodied game of supremacy, so as to be at the top, to be able to dictate our terms, and force the rest of the world to kneel down before us, and satisfy our corrupt and selfish ego. We take pride in seeing countries trembling before us, and to fulfil our wild ambitions, we have resorted to all unethical means. Hardly do we realise, that greed is doomed forever. I earnestly hope that such malignant terms like- oppression and suppression, be erased from the world and peace be restored....that's my silent prayer.

 

Let's forsake the current wave of global unrest for sometime, and talk about mightier concepts we have grown up reading, say for example, terms like democracy. Despite, growing up in the world's largest democracy, I have always been sceptical regarding its real implementation. Ironically in India, democracy is nothing more than a chimerical phenomenon. Even in a socially conservative country like mine, voters are being enticed by all means, booze, bribes, journalistic lies, to name a few; all sponsored by our dear politicians. During the 2014 elections, it is reported that the election officials seized around 22.5 million litres of illegal liquor, $52 million in cash, in addition, 400,000 pounds of marijuana and heroin- all illicit tactics to woo and buy the voters. Investigations are on for a further 3,553 allegations that the political candidates bribed media to give them positive coverage, the practice referred to as 'paid news'. Keeping aside politics, and talking about day to day life, democracy seems to be beneficial only for the rich or the 'haves' of the society. In general, any country where your rights are being constantly denied to you, where you can't freely walk, where you can't freely express your views lest you be caught and thrashed, where women are not safe, where there is an exploitation of the poor or the 'have-nots' and, where all the rules and laws are enforced upon the middle class while the rich are exempted, where you are killed in the name of honour if you dare to fall in love etc, etc, how can such a society boast of being democratic? And here, I am talking about the so called real democracy whose definition we have been mugging up since childhood. I now realise, what we read and parroted all these years, was nothing but a hypocritical idea of democracy; a preposterous notion!

 

 

As I was getting convinced that no such thing as 'ideal democracy' exists, I happened to land up in Germany and things began falling into place. Not that it was my first encounter with Europe, previously too, I had lived in Europe but those countries were predominantly Catholic, not very acceptive of other religions. Germany proved to be a complete contrast, very accommodative of people irrespective of their religion or no religion. Here, I can be myself without having to worry about what I wear or whom I hang out with; in other words, Germany ensures you, your own time and space, which we all need but seldom get. As part of my profession, I read a lot and believe me, the more I do research on present day Germany, the more and more I keep falling in love with it. The sense of freedom and security which I have experienced here is no match to all the lands I have lived or travelled so far.

 

Last year, I followed the federal elections of Germany closely. I was so impressed by the straightforward and no false promises manifestos of different political parties. Angela Merkel's election posters depicted her in her usual dignified de meaner with a plain yet so effective party slogan- ' Successful together'. 'Together ' which implied collectively all the people, not barring a few or including a few, no! together stood for all the citizens of Germany, no matter what caste, what creed, what religion, they belong to. The entire elections reflected no mud slinging, no blame games, no misuse of resources, just a simple and a direct electoral procedure.

 

Germany's non participation in global arms race or its abstinence from the league of nuclear superpowers is another worth mentioning feature. A few days back, out of curiosity I google searched the list of most peaceful countries of the world based on peace index. The list that popped up brought a sarcastic smile on my face, and the next moment, I decided to close the page. The countries that topped the chart of being the most peaceful were clearly the ones that have robed away the peace of so many other countries. Bottom line- not everything on the internet can be trusted.

 

Since, I live in Germany I would rather talk about life here. What I truly admire about this country is the uniform set of rules for all, irrespective of the class, in other words, rich enjoy no special privileges. Everyone is equal before the law.

 

And who says diplomacy is bad, it is the trait of the intelligent. I live in Aachen which borders with Netherlands and Belgium, but never have I seen any check post barriers along its borders with Netherlands and Belgium, or the Polizei vans being deployed. The Germans, the Dutch and the Belgians, live in complete harmony with one another. Even during the FIFA world cup, I saw the flags of so many other participating countries in Aachen and not a single case of violence. This is what is meant by 'peaceful coexistence' which comes from tolerance and acceptance of others irrespective of their origin, religion or culture. Further, the Deutsch-Fußballmannschaft (Germany's football team)has set a perfect example of multiculturalism. It comprises players of different ethnicities and backgrounds, coming together and playing as one team, for one nation in a truly remarkable, and an absolutely delightful manner. I observed that all the countries that played in the world cup relied too much on their master players except for Germany that relied entirely on its team and eventually lifted the world cup trophy. That is the spirit of Germany and we are all proud of it.

 

 

To all those who single out Germany and repeatedly attack it for its harrowing past, I would simply like to tell them; One-it's politically incorrect to forever drag Germany in the picture, even when there is no co relation. Two- judge anything by its present not by its past. Every nation has produced home grown tyrants and many have produced in surplus, refer to history if you lack knowledge. Present day Germany stands firm and tall on its belief to be a peacemaker in the world. It is one of the few countries that shows olive branch for restoration of peace and harmony in the world.

 

Buying a German Company

There are many firms considering the possibility of expanding their businesses into Germany and there are various ways of doing so.

In my previous articles, I expounded on how you could set up a branch of your company and recommended a strategy that can be implemented step by step.

Today I will show you another method, a kind of insider tip!

Germany is a country with a generational problem. Check out the link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/population_ageing

Without delving too deep into this subject, let us see how a foreign business can take this as a chance to expand into Germany.

Growing older with the passage of time is not something that affects employees but employers as well, many of whom lack heirs who can eventually take over the business. This creates an excellent opportunity for one to acquire an already existing business either partially or entirely.

The advantages: Germans are very conservative and everyone who has tried to acquire new clients in Germany will have realized that. Therefore, as it is so difficult even for a German company with a German salesperson to find new contacts, imagine how much harder it can be for a foreigner without native language knowledge!

This is almost impossible. However, if you buy a German entity, you buy the clients, the German employees and the reputation of many years of successful business! You can thereafter add your own innovations, your own ideas and grow the business at your own pace. Moreover, you will be operating within the most successful economy in Europe from one day to the next!

How do you find the suitable company to acquire? You need an insider, preferably a German, who knows about business in Germany, has many years of experience and the right communication skills.

You can search the net and you will typically come across many agencies willing to offer you their services as well as their databases of clients seeking to sell their businesses. Though this generic approach certainly works to their corporate advantage, it may not be the best choice for you.

Alternatively, you could book my personalized service as I have sound command in this industry. My service is tailored to give you independence, plus the support of my experience and a reliable reputation. You will be well connected to all the key sources such that you will be able to precisely identify the entity most suited to your needs. As a seasoned contact person who is in a situation similar to yours, I can perfectly negotiate with the business owner(s) thereby simplifying the way for you to acquire their firm.

How I am I in a similar situation? Well, I am 65 years now and I hope to run my consultancy for many more years to come. However, I am realistic too, and so there is the lingering expectation that the work may end at some point in time.

Therefore, as far as possible, I wish to keep my business from being over when I am over. One reason for this is a financial one (support for my family) and another is that I love my work and I want it to continue even after I am gone!

Therefore, I too seek for an investor - someone who knows the business, who is prepared to use my existing contacts as well as my reputation in order to create streams of revenue and enhance it with many more viable ideas and plans.

The conclusion, as you may have well received by now, is that I am exceptionally positioned to establish the suitable basis of communication between you and prospective business owners!

So if you plan on joining the German market, regardless of what the nature or size of your business is, get in touch with me for further information!

Job Search Visa

Did you know that there is a possibility to apply for a so called 6 month 'Job Search Visa':

Third-country nationals in possession of a German university degree or a recognised or equivalent university degree from a foreign country may, however, apply for a residence title pursuant to Section 18c of the German Residence Act designed to allow skilled workers to seek employment. This entitles the holder to stay in Germany for up to six months for the purpose of seeking employment commensurate with her or his qualifications. Subsistence for this period of time must be ensured, as the residence title pursuant to Section 18c of the German Residence Act does not entitle the holder to take up employment. If the search for employment is successful, the residence title can be changed to a residence title for the purpose of employment.

 
This can be of great help if you want to find a job in Germany. But as always, if you do not prepare yourself it can be just a waste of money!
 
Let me try to give some tips. 1st you should check if you fulfil the mandatory requirements. Is your degree recognized? 
 
Do you have enough funds to proof  that you can afford a 6 month stay in Germany? You should call your local German Embassy/Consulate and ask how to proof it. At the end it is in the discretion of the visa officer to accept or deny your application.
 
If you managed to get the visa you should prepare your stay in Germany as good as possible! Do you have any friends or relatives who are already in Germany? If yes - perfect. Try to get their help, accomodation, tips, connections. Maybe you remember of some former colleagues who got a job in Germany?
 
If you are not so lucky to have such contacts you should even work harder to make your visit a success:
 
Try to learn German!!! Take a crash course, online course or what ever. You can also try to combine your job search stay with the participation at a language school in Germany. You will not search for a job 8 hours per day, so you can manage to go to school and search for jobs!
 
For many big companies it is mandatory to speak German, even for IT-professionals!
 
Try to figure out possible employers via online job search before you go!
 
When you look for a place to stay do not choose the city with the most expensive apartments like Munich or Frankfurt. You can even live in a small town with less expensive rents, because Germany has a very good infrastructure you can go by train from north to south in 1 day, easily!
 
Your apartment should have internet connection included and if it is close to public transport - perfect. 
 
Like everywhere in the world, there are areas which I would not recommend to foreigners. This is a shame but also a fact, so keep it in mind before you book an apartment.
 
This is just a short try to help and please do not ask me personally for detailed information, but you are invited to join our community of experts and ask them for insider tips!
 
Good luck
 
Detlef  smiley

German Language Problem

hi t7 members,

I talked about this topic very often but I want to repeat it again and again...

If you are planning to come to Germany and if you want to make the most out of it, learn German!

It will improve your chances to find a job and even if you got a job already, it will help you to make a fantastic career!

For those of you who already know German I go on in German, just for this article smiley

Ich würde sicher öfter mal einen Artikel schreiben, aber in Englisch zu schreiben kostet mich doch ziemlich viel Mühe. Darum heute, ganz ausnahmsweise, schreibe ich etwas in Deutsch:

Das Glück in Deutschland zu leben!

Egal ob ich im TV die Nachrichten sehe oder in der Zeitung lese, was ich über den 'Rest der Welt' erfahre deprimiert mich geradezu. In Brasilien startet die Fußball Weltmeisterschaft und vor den Stadien demonstrieren die Menschen gegen Korruption und mangelnde Infrastruktur, was Bildung und Gesundheit betrifft.

Während die Ukraine gerade noch einem Bürgerkrieg zu entgehen scheint, geht in Syrien die Vernichtung des eigenen Volkes weiter, wahnsinnige 'Gotteskrieger' erobern den Irak und schlachten 'Ungläubige' und auch Ihre eigenen Glaubensbrüder ab und in Afghanistan und Pakistan haben die Taliban und ähnliche Idioten immer noch das 'Sagen'.

Die Waffenhändler, die von diesem Wahnsinn profitieren, reiben sich vergnügt die Hände und wissen garnicht wohin mit dem Geld und in dem übergeordneten Level, bei dem Staaten die Waffen exportieren, festigt die Bundesrepublik Deutschland ihre Spitzenposition

Da tröstet es kaum, dass die Chinesen immer weniger Hunde verspeisen, nicht zuletzt weil der Widerstand dagegen im eigenen Land wächst.

Es ist einfach alles deprimierend! Ich verstehe nicht wie man nachts schlafen kann, wenn man als Waffen- oder Drogenhändler, als korrupter oder dämlicher Politiker, vom Leid anderer Menschen profitiert!

Um auf meinen Ausgangspunkt zurück zu kommen, ich bin dankbar, dass ich in Deutschland geboren wurde und hier lebe! Bei all den Problemen die es hier natürlich auch gibt, verglichen mit den Problemen in anderen Ländern ist es hier doch wie im Paradies und wenn wir jammern, dann jammern wir auf hohem Niveau.

Ich befürchte das nächste 'Hochniveau Jammern' steht kurz bevor, wenn unsere Nationalmannschaft bei der WM ausscheidet!

Detlef

 

Criticism of German Visa Policy for Families

Criticism of German visa policy concerning visitor´ s visa for parents of highly skilled people

This is the situation: Germany relies on skilled and competent employees especially in the IT-sector. They are highly appreciated in the German economy and well paid.

After they matched the criteria for a German unlimited residence permit or even a German passport they find themselves well in Germany. Of course family wants to visit the daughter or son that works in Germany, especially the parents.

In general this should be easily possible.

But we heard and hear about so many difficulties in getting a visitor ´s visa for family members, mostly when the parent is a widow or a widower.

One could extremely wonder why, since they ask for an understandable wish to get to know their children´ s other new “home” abroad? Still German authorities tend to give them a hard time getting a visa:

At first they have to prove enough means of living in their home countries to manifest their intention to return. Especially when parents are major and widows or widowers authorities often doubt and fear a permanent stay in Germany of the parent.

Secondly financial means themselves have to be proved to be in the account in the home country. And of course often they will be provided by the well earning child in Germany. The authorities don’t accept that or at least question that. It ´s really a lack of respect arguing like that. In a lot of societies by tradition the children pay for their parents. Parents invested in their children` s studies to have financial support when they are pensioners. This should be accepted and highly appreciated.

And finally strong family bindings should be proved which are very often denied when parents are widows or widowers.

The efforts for getting the visa proving to have property, financial means and tough family bindings by preparing lists of relatives and documents, giving so much inside in personal data and intimacy often end in a long-term court´ s process. Very often the results are positive then, and me as a lawyer I am very happy to get to help people to achieve their rights, but on the other hand, I feel so bad and I am asking myself why it could have not been issued in the embassy directly. In most of the cases it would be helpful just to improve the communication between the visa officer and the applicant. When documents are missing then to ask for them instead of refusing the visa immediately. Not all the documents are taken by the officers and case workers at the front desk in the Embassy.

We would like to appeal to the competent authorities and embassies of Germany: to recognize the needs of parents to visit their children. Lower the obstacles to obtain a short term visa to visit family.!

Katja Ponert

Partner at vpmk attorneys, Berlin

-

Katja is a very experienced and competent lawyer, specalized in alien law and cooperating with trust7 for 10 years. Detlef

The Naked Truth about Germans

Because there are so many of you who are seriously thinking of moving to Germany, I want to give you some insight facts about Germans. Just a few. For those who do not know me, yes, I am a German myself, so I should know ;-

 

Germans are world champions in drinking beer and they are working hard to keep this position!

 
 

Germans are always on time, keep this in mind when you have an appointment

 

Germans think that their country is no immigration country, although we need many immigrants, because our population gets older and older and the young generation is more single and fun orientated than for a family and children.

 

Some people think that Germans do not like foreigners, but that’s not true! Sure, there are some resentments, especially on the country side and with elderly people, but the majority of us is open minded and friendly.

 

There are still a very small minority of racists, stupid, evil and ugly, like everywhere in the world.

 

Our transportation system is quite good and we think this is normal, so many people get very angry if their train has a 10 minutes delay ;-

 

This is the same with other parts of our infrastructure like hospitals, public authorities, telephone and internet, everything is on a high level compared to the ‚rest of the world‘ but Germans take this for granted and they do not pardon mistakes.

 

Many people understand and/or speak English, but you should learn German if you seriously planning to come here. Life will be a lot easier with some German language knowledge.

 

It is not easy to become friends with us, but this has nothing to do with your nationality, it is also difficult for Germans to become friend with another German. So do not take it personally if you do not get invitations every day! The good thing is, when you get an invitation nobody will be surprised when you ring the bell (happened to me in the US).

 

There are many jokes between Bavarians and ‚Berliners‘ and others from Saxons about people from Cologne and so on, but nothing really serious and nobody fights against a fellow country man just because of his origin or his religion.

 

All in all, Germany is a good place to live and I will go on doing my best to make you feel home here!

 

Detlef smiley

The Best Niche Strategies To Compete With The Goliaths

This is an article from Mr. Andreas von der Heydt and I got his friendly permission to publish this here on trust7. 

 

The Best Niche Strategies To Compete With The Goliaths

Yes, still nowadays niche companies, SMEs, and underdogs can successfully compete with the big corporations in this world. The David versus Goliath legend is alive!

At the same time, however, the Goliaths of today´s fierce and highly dynamic business world (think Google, Wal-Mart, Apple, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, etc.) have become much more innovative, agile, and aware of the need to enter attractive niches.

This article provides proven strategies and concrete action steps for smaller market players. And, believe it or not, you´ll learn what a halitophobic is and how one niche company has built its amazing success story on the concept of halitophobia!

So, embark on our journey of learning and discovering new and stimulating insights!

MASS BUSINESS VERSUS NICHE BUSINESS APPROACH

While a mass business is about selling to everyone, niche companies focus on a specific segment of consumers (defined e.g. by gender, age, ethnic background, occupation, hobbies, etc.). Musicians, pet owners, wine lovers or teenagers are examples of broadly-defined niches. Once you´ll have defined a niche, you are likely to find many other niches within it (e.g. people who die for Spanish Rioja red wines, small dog owners, piano players).

You can tailor everything from product features, distribution channels to advertising to that specific market by emphasizing the features and the benefits that appeal to that particular segment. If done well, a niche business requires less money. It also provides the benefit of flying under the radar of your competitors (might be helpful while you establish your niche). Starting in the niche doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay there.

The Internet has made the niche business model easier than ever before. However, the strategy of selling smaller quantities of a wider range of goods and earn higher margins (the so-called long-term phenomenon as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his widely acclaimed book The Tipping Point) will not help smaller companies to escape the fierce mass market competition. Unless if they have found their unique market sweet spots, i.e. offering products and services to target consumers who are willing to pay above-average prices.

THE SUCCESSFUL NICHE MARKET STRATEGY

Based on my experience there are 12 business principles which allow any organization to pursue a successfull niche market strategy.

Customer Analysis And Target Marketing

After having analyzed possible target markets and segments make sure that your products and/or services are truly different from existing options and that they meet target consumers´ wants and needs in a (much) better way. Try to find out e.g. if possible offerings are currently missing, if consumers complain about existing offers, or if you have the know-how and skills to combine various sub-offers into a combined, holistic one.

Innovation

Clearly niche businesses are not immune to competition, especially from larger market players with huge resources and bigger economies of scale. As such successful niche businesses will respond with innovation and higher-quality products, rather than cost-cutting exercises.

Proto Labs which is s a leading online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer of custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. They market their high-quality products to product developers worldwide, who are under increasing pressure to bring their finished products to market faster than ever before. They utilize computer numerical control, or CNC, machining, injection molding, and 3D printing to manufacture custom parts for their customers. You can very easily get a quote on their homepage.

Quality Obsession

The Morgan Motor Company is the last remaining family owned and independent British car manufacturer. Morgan cars are famous for their unique blend of charisma, quality materials, craftsmanship and performance. All Morgan cars are coach built. Prospective owners are encouraged to visit the factory to watch their cars being built, and to choose from a wide range of paint and leather colours as well as optional extras that will stamp their mark on the car and make it their own. Today, the factory produces with 177 employees approximately 1,300 cars per year.

First Class Customer Service

Brands are built through every single experience customers have with them. Especially for niche brands it is crucial to deliver top-notch customer service.

Ever heard of the world´s friendliest restaurant Tim’s Place in Albuquerque, New Mexico? They do not only serve great food, but also personal hugs to any patron who desires being hugged (the hug counter on their homepage shows currently 42,730 hugs given). Tim and his team strongly believe that people have a huge appetite for being genuinely welcomed, connected with, touched, appreciated, and honestly cared for. Who wouldn´t agree?

Cost Control

Financial funds are needed to come up with innovations. As a consequence cost management is very important. Most notably your R&D, production, distribution, marketing, and HR costs should be kept under control.

In regards of R&D and production costs there are multiple ways to maintain economies of scale even when producing a relatively wide number of narrowly targeted products. Like in the automobile industry you could establish a generic product platform. Most golf companies offer their clubs and drivers with hundreds of different combinations (multiple shafts, heads, and angles). They have standardized the interconnections whilst being able to configurate the various components based on the players´ needs. Bringing distribution costs down is also key. Therefore think about options such as e-commerce, shared offline distribution (e.g. by using agents and other third party providers), producing only based on order, flexible inventory allocation, etc.

An additional option is to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This helps to create a solid infrastructure while maintaining continuous operations. Exact Globe Next and NetSuite are two sample vendors specifically designed for small and niche businesses.

Outsourcing And Crowdsourcing

Time and internal resources might be scarce when running a niche and/or a small business. Consequently you might want to outsource non-value adding tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll, IT, and administrative support. Potentially also SEO, social marketing, design, PR, and communications. The best freelance marketplaces and outsourcing portals are oDesk (my favourite!), Freelancer, and elance. Crowdfunding, or collaborative funding via the web, is an excellent option especiall for SMEs to get access to fresh capital and investors. The leading sites are Crowdfunder (for any business), Indiegogo (broad focus, high flexibility), and Kickstarter (especially for creative projects).

Agility And Calculated Risk Taking

Niche players must be agile enough to take advantage of gaps in the market and to adapt. That said, being agile doesn’t have to mean being inconsistent. Businesses that are not flexible enough run the risk of becoming outwitted by quicker-moving competitors.

For example in Germany successful mid-sized and small companies, often being pure niche players, are grouped into the “German Mittelstand.” Leading “German Mittelstand” companies – often also referred to as Hidden Champions - are considered as the most innovative SMEs globally, and are two to three times more profitable than large enterprises. One highly innovative and agile company is Enercon. They have more than 30% of all patents worldwide in wind power generation. And they have exceptional ideas, such as the “E-ship” which uses so called Flettner-rotors to harness the power of the wind.

Networking And Collaboration

Building strong networks beyond the niche company´s boundaries should be part of its DNA. Regular exchanges with other companies, universities, research centers, etc. in order to share certain cost-intensive projects, to learn from each other, and to assist each other. The Meiko Network Japan, a company dedicated to provide best learning and teaching offers to various targeted customer segments, works closely with specific universities, organizations, franchisees, etc. to leverage know-how and resources.

Personal Branding And Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing campaigns are not suitable for most niche markets; besides they're too expensive and often not precise enough. Instead use word-of-mouth marketing (e.g. via niche spokespersons and opinion leaders), consumer-generated content (generated e.g. via a consumer forum, moderation of a LinkedIn group, etc.), social, and digital marketing.

Also Be Personal: When in 1989 Annie Withey co-founded Annie’s Homegrown, Inc. she put her own address and phone number on each box to encourage customers to connect with her. She wanted to show by example that a successful business could also be socially responsible.

Inspirational examples of excellent digital niche market campaigns are Orabrush (now learn about halitophobia!) and Method which has done an excellent job of taking on global megabrand rivals like Johnson and Johnson with a comparatively tiny budget. A fun blog helps, but the real winners are an interesting newsletter and an entertaining YouTube channel as part of the “People Against Dirty” campaign.

Employee Engagement

Everyone gets a slice of the cake at independent London-based The 7Stars media agency. All departments get together for a weekly Wednesday morning meeting, and staff members take turns in the “company bake-off” to produce a homemade treat afterwards.

Bureaucracy is banned. Nobody has to fill in a holiday form and days off are never counted. The holiday policy is to take as much time off as every employee needs. There’s a tenner for the employee whose brainwave is voted idea of the week; the bake-off was one winner, and others have included two annual “donation days” to work for a good cause. Everyone has a personal training plan and financial support for work-related qualifications. Employees keep in good health with free gym membership, monthly visits from a masseuse, and breakfast and fresh fruit provided every day.

Focus And Consistency

That´s certainly something smaller companies can and must learn from leading big companies. The biggies are crystal clear about what they are (and what they aren´t) and what they want to achieve. They are rigid and consistent. Usually they think about the long-run and show backbone when facing resistance on their way to achieve their set targets. They would not give-in easily. Instead they would try harder.

Leadership

Managing and leading niche companies is a true entrepreneurial challenge. No doubt! Nowhere else leaders need to encompass two main, and opposed characteristics: Thinking Big and Being Obsessed with Details. Thinking Big means they need to create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently, look around corners for new and alternative ways, and they love serving customers. At the same time they are able of operating on all levels. They enjoy deep diving into small details and audit frequently. No task is beneath them.

Now, it´s Your turn: What do you think? Which niche and small business strategies and tactics do you know? Any other thoughts?

Let us know in the comments here!

Best regards,

Andreas von der Heydt

*****

Andreas von der Heydt is the Country Manager of Amazon BuyVIP in Germany. Before that he hold senior management positions at L'Oréal. He´s a leadership expert, executive coach and NLP master. He also founded Consumer Goods Club. Andreas worked and lived in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

Here is the source of the original article:

 

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140216134730-175081329-the-best-niche-strategies-to-compete-with-the-goliaths

Friends Advice!

If you need an advice, whom would you ask? I guess you would ask a good friend if he knows the right person, a doctor, lawyer, tax adviser, a dentist or a barber ;-

good advise

If you are lucky your friend can give a recommendation because of his own experiences. This is no guarantee that you will be satisfied, but the chance is much better as if you choose someone just because he lives next door.

If you are not living in your home town/country it is even harder to find a good service, especially if your friends are living in another town and if you do not speak the native language.

This is the reason why we started a new section at trust7, trust7.com/consulting

Here we recommend approved specialists for different areas of our daily life and we are still looking for more people/companies that we can give you a wide range of choice for experts in the future. Of course, there is no guarantee and if you are not satisfied just let us know, that we can review our recommendation.

Detlef

The Art of Breeding Intrapreneurs

This is an article from Mr. Andreas von der Heydt and I got his friendly permission to publish this here on trust7.

The Art of Breeding Intrapreneurs

We're living in a world of unreason and high complexity, determined by supersonic speed and omnipresent competitive challenges. What is needed more than ever is a free market entrepreneurship within organizations, headed by exceptional individuals willing and capable of leading an organization's business as it were their very own. This would boost both the company's growth and the individuals' creativity, productivity, and satisfaction level.

Companies like 3M, Google, DreamWorks and Facebook have in common that they've embraced the idea of allowing their employees to become inside-entrepreneurs, so-called intrapreneurs, and capitalized on new business ideas. These intrapreneurs take new initiatives without being asked to do so. Hence, they focus on innovation and creativity, and transform an idea into a profitable venture, while operating within the organizational environment.

How to create intrapreneurs and what they look like

Let's first have a look at the required breeding ground to attract and develop existing and potential intrapreneurs. Afterwards we'll review the key characteristics of a successful intrapreneur.

Characteristics of an Intrapreneurial Organization

An Environment for Taking and Rewarding Risks
There needs to exist an environment where employees are willing to take risks. The risk tests and increases intrapreneurial conviction and drive. It binds the corporation in an implied contract not to stop the intrapreneur for any reason other than poor performance.

The Rewards of Success Must Be Shared
Pre-agreed and transparent criteria between the organization and the employee about how to split the rewards of the project are key.

Appropriate Funding
Funding a project must be comprehensive and timely so that the intrapreneur doesn't have to keep running to the board to ask for support for his initiative.

Financial Incentives
The intrapreneur should have the opportunity to build up capital, etc. The successful intrapreneur should earn in addition to his cash bonus, complete control of a definite amount of R&D funds, marketing funds, etc. – funds which he would have a completely free hand in investing on behalf of the corporation in his future projects.

Granting Independence
The corporation must let the employee-entrepreneur who has earned his independence, have it. The intrapreneur should be almost untouchable by corporate discipline, thereby allowing the independence of spirit the system was designed to create, to flourish. If he doesn't, he rapidly loses his motivation and competency to run the project.

Characteristics of a Successful Intrapreneur

Turning Opportunities and Ideas into Sellable Products
A successful intrapreneur knows how to spot opportunities, to conduct proper market research, to design products, to acquire needed resources and to organize the business.

Behavioral Aspects
He is naturally inclined to take initiatives. He's creative and results-focused. Equipped with a very high resilience level, an extraordinary strong ownership attitude, and driven fierce by bias for action.

Social responsibility
He would ensure that there is an active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards and international norms. If not, even the most promising project will not be sustainable and supported.

Networking
Both entrepreneur and intrapreneur must master this skill, the only difference being that in the intrapreneur’s environment, "office politics" play a bigger part. Bottom-line, in the corporate environment, you can’t get somewhere without a powerful support network.

Organization and Process Management
A successful intrapreneur prefers working with a small number of very good people on key projects – the smaller the better. There should exist a short, straightforward document (up to 3 pages) and/ or a simple drawing explaining the project. Required reports should be kept to a minimum, but important work must be recorded thoroughly.

Intrapreneurship is a key to successful growth and inspiring change, and offers an excellent opportunity to develop the leadership skills and career perspectives of an organization's top employees.

How would you define the term "intrapreneur?" How relevant do you think it is?

Looking forward to receiving your feedback. Join the discussion!

-------------------------------

Andreas von der Heydt is the Country Manager of Amazon BuyVIP in Germany. Before that he hold senior management positions at L'Oréal. He´s a leadership expert, management coach and NLP master. He also founded Consumer Goods Club. Andreas worked and lived in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

Here is the source of the original article:

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130926093853-175081329-the-art-of-breeding-intrapreneurs

How To Build Relationships Of Trust! by Andreas von der Heydt

This is an article from Mr. Andreas von der Heydt and I got his friendly permission to publish this here on trust7, because that's the way we act...

How To Build Relationships Of Trust!

Trust is a core ingredient to build successful relationships. Both personal and professional ones. It is a major leadership characteristic. However, you can´t take it for granted. You need to work hard to earn trust and to keep it.

Isaac Watts once said that "Learning to trust is one of life's most difficult tasks.“ If you´re not seen as a trustworthy person you can´t neither form engaged relationships nor high performing teams. And without them you can´t become a successful leader and manager. If you were not careful, you can lose trust within days or even hours.

In today´s article I´d like to share with you my thoughts and what I consider being the most important principles to build, regain, and sustain trust:

Walk Your Talk. Mean what you say and keep your word. Deliver your committed tasks and duties on time and in full. Be consistent and reliable. Arrive promptly to meetings. If you might risk missing an agreed timeline, proactively communicate and explain it, apologize and come forward with a new proposal. Try not missing it a second time to protect your reputation. Lead by example and permanently demonstrate that you deliver on your promises and that others can count on you.

Communicate Frequently And Openly. Direct, quick, accurate, and honest communication builds trust. Share regularly with others. This underlines that you have no hidden agenda. Address possible trust issues within a team in an open and prompt manner. In this context also crucial to develop and possess good active listening skills.

Tell The Truth And Take A Stand. Be honest and don´t lie. This is not as easy as it might sound. Of course, we wouldn´t admit it, would we? Anyway, it´s key not leaving out relevant facts, figures, and opinions when discussing and arguing. Even, and especially, when it´s awkward and painful. People will appreciate it. Also be willing to say no. You can´t be everything to everyone. Taking a stand based on sound arguments - well and politely articulated - will earn you respect and trust.

Be Transparent And Unite. Share your objectives, strategy, agenda, and values. People want to know what you think and believe and to understand how they might fit into the picture. This gives them security and confidence in you and your intentions. Create a common identity and establish a sense of companionship.

Show People That You Care About Them. Be out for others and not primarily for yourself. Appreciate all people you´re dealing with. Show sensitivity to their interests, wishes, and needs. Value them and thank them. Express sincere gratitude rather two times too often than missing it just once. Do it from the heart.

Empower Others. Show people that you trust them. Grant flexibility, stimulate initiative- taking, and ask for regular feedback. Have faith in others skills and capabilities. Be willing to let go and to share power. "The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them" (E. Hemingway).

Focus On The Positives. Don´t punish mistakes. As they can happen think and speak about them in a results-oriented and forward-looking way. Jointly look with others for solutions and implement actions to avoid that they´ll happen again.

Coach And Train Others. Guide people around you and assist them in finding their way and the right solutions for themselves. Don´t tell them what to do. Instead ask them for their opinions. Support them in becoming great and outstanding.

Follow High Ethical Standards. Do the right things. Even, and especially, when it might be hard. People will like, respect, and trust your integrity.

Admit Mistakes And Weaknesses. Fortunately, you´re only human. So, when you don’t do the right thing, admit it. Be transparent, authentic and willing to talk about your mistakes and faults in a constructive manner. When you are vulnerable and have nothing to hide you radiate 
trust. That´s what people love.


Establish Long Term Relationships. Trust is usually not the result of short term actions and profits. It´s stemming from deeper values, ethics, and fundamental principles. Take your time and don´t rush. Be willing to let trust evolve and flourish. The best trust fertilizer is to "give without any strings attached.“ Don´t expect always something in return.

What do you think? How do you build trust?

Best regards,

Andreas von der Heydt

Source: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140330130915-175081329-how-to-become-a-leader-of-trust?trk=mp-reader-card

 

En route.

Did you know, Germany had no proper intercity buses till 2012. Sounds rather shocking, because even in many developing countries, inter city buses have been on roads for so long, functioning freely without any opposition. Why was the private bus/coach sector banned in Germany? We will find out in the following paragraphs.

 

How would you define an ideal conveyance? One that can provide a hassle free, less strenuous and decently comfortable movement from one junction to the other. What if some other free facilities get added to the above mode of transport? Welcome to the world of newer and brighter intercity buses and coaches which have hit the roads, and are all set to woo the prospective travellers with some surprising facilities like- free Wi-Fi, comfortable seats and sometimes even serving free beverages to ensure that your journey is truly relaxing and thoroughly satisfying. The best part however is, the cheap cost of travelling which is the main USP ( Unique Selling Proposition) of the rising demand of such buses over other modes of public transport. One can say, the bus market in Germany has finally started flourishing as more and more providers for long-distance bus services have come up nationwide.

 

But why has the limelight suddenly shifted to these buses? Just because they are vibrant in colour and services, thus, capturing the attention of the commuters, seems an unsatisfactory answer. To begin with, plenitude of private intercity buses had been striving to gain entry into the market since a long time, but in order to secure the prerogative of the railway company Deutsche Bahn, the government kept the noose tightened around the private buses. Therefore, until the end of 2012, the coach services were kept minimal. But then in Jan 2013, a revolutionary decision was taken regarding the liberalisation of the regional coach market. Ever since, the coach services were given a green signal, the competition between various operators has turned fierce due to the increased demand in the transport sector. In truth, the competition is but the survival of the best at nominal rates.

 

Initially, only a handful of long route bus services were permitted, and that too mostly the DB subsidiaries. But today, such restrictions have been lifted and any company can trade its services in the regional coach market for distances of at least 50 kilometers and the routes with the minimum of one hour between stops. Providers like- Mein Fernbus have created 25 long distance bus routes with 85 buses on its own in a span of just 14 months.

 

However, these private intercity buses are facing some tough challenges such as lack of support by local authorities. Most of these buses have no proper bus stops or covered bus shelters due to the deliberate negligence on the part of municipality which fails to recognise the potential of these bus services. In other words, the municipality offers strict resistance to the private bus companies. Despite the limitations, the success rate of the newly approved sector is phenomenal.

 

According to the latest transport ministry statistics, due to greater commuter demand, within one year the intercity bus links have nearly tripled to 221. In other words, the long distance inter city coach market has witnessed a speedy growth of 12.5% since its deregulation a year back. The analysts suggest that it is a thriving and a very dynamic upcoming market. The commuters are enamoured of the intercity buses which are sleek, comfy and cost about half the train fare. Technically, it can be said to be an arch rival of our pet cars. It is a good alternative to cars as it relieves you of driving stress and high petrol/diesel costs. These buses mostly attract the students and the elderly, who acknowledge the convenience of straight connections, which are missing in trains, where you have to frequently change trains hence, quite tiring and time consuming.

 

Unlike the conventional ones, these new buses operate on smart technology. The laudable feature about Germany is its constant experimentation and implementation of newer and refiner technological developments which are environmentally safer. Thereby, winning over the support of environmentalists. So these highly talked about bus companies routinely highlight and advertise their purpose of ' travel safe and save your environment'. With a relatively lower per passenger fuel consumption and Carbon footprint than any car journey, these buses are eco friendly.

 

The German Federal Ministry of Transport has voiced out that ' Consumers can now travel affordably and in an environmentally friendly way over long distances'. With another 40 routes waiting for government's 'go ahead' signal, the existing competitive market is turning ever challenging with each passing day. Some of the big players in the bus market are-

  • The Eurolines- it is Europe's number one and longest pan European coach service brand. Eurolines services are actually low cost without any of the hidden booking extras that other transport operators mostly apply. It offers to its customers generous baggage allowance of upto 2 medium sized suitcases per adult along with a carry on hand luggage; all included in the ticket.

  • Mein Fernbus- it has already driven nearly 30 green buses on eight long routes in 26 cities. After the lifting of ban on private intercity buses, Mein Fernbus is all set to launch even bigger number of its high quality buses on various routes.

     

  • Der Fern Bus- gunstig, komfortable und umweltschonend. To it goes the credit of 30 national and 25 international bus lines.

     

  • ADAC Post Bus- you can easily travel from Hannover- Hamburg just for Euro 9 or from Hamburg to Frankfurt, buy a ticket for only Euro 21.

     

  • The Berlinlinienbus connects Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, Munich, Frankfurt and many other German cities. Its large route network currently consists of over 35 national and international long distance buses. Etc.

The ever ascending graph of the mobility granted by private bus and coach sector clearly indicates what new heights it can reach if allowed to operate unperturbed. In fact, the Berlin research institute, IGES, has formulated that in near future almost 10% of the total traffic on roads would comprise long distance coach services. In spite of the legislative hindrances and the monopoly of DB, private bus and coach sector is here to stay following its great demand and even greater supply....it has become a necessity now.

 

After all, necessity is nothing but a creation of mind....and the mind wants tension free living and commuting!

 

 

 

Is Germany gearing up to be the next big academic hub?

If statistics and surveys are to be believed, the day is not too far behind when Germany would take over UK and US as the top destination of international students. The shift has already begun. Germany is turning out to be the clear winner in the competition by attracting the world's best brains. The revelation might have taken many of you by surprise, but this how the whole scenario is rapidly changing.

 

Now the question that comes to mind is, what has led to this sudden change in trend? Well, the answer lies in the below points which have greatly boosted Germany's image internationally, and are continuously enticing foreign students at large.

  • the concept of internationalism followed by the universities.

  • overall personality development in the multicultural environment.

  • comparatively lower living costs

  • good global reputation

  • outstanding teaching and training

  • advanced research facilities

  • better exchange programmes

  • higher prospects of finding long term employment

  • very little or no tuition fees in Germany

Apart from the above factors, the increasing availability in German universities of courses taught entirely in English has further removed hesitation from the hearts of overseas students. In fact, many a time, they are not even required to speak in German during the whole length of their degree programme. They can off course, but certainly there is no hard and fast rule. So much so, many of the students say that Germany offers better teaching courses in English than in universities in English speaking countries. The flexibility offered with respect to the use of language at various levels of the degree course has helped in changing the global perception about Germany. An international survey named Germany as the most supportive country for  international students.

 

Like mentioned afore, the most prominent factor which has struck a cord with the world outside is the fact, the overseas students don't have to pay any more in tuition fees than home students. Unlike other countries, in Germany there is no disparity in imparting education. Even the best of the lot German universities don't charge any tuition fees, thus extending open arms policy towards foreign students. Not to mention, the high quality education...thus Germany provides the best deal ever...grab the bargain!

 

In 2011, international student enrolment in Germany touched the mark of over a quarter million, making it the fourth most desired study destination worldwide and the appeal is ever increasing. It is often said, the best way any university can advertise itself is through the word of mouth of its passed out students. German Universities exude such an aura of contentment in the minds of their ex students that they firmly promote their alma mater wherever they go. Hence, German education gets all the more promoted and all the more popular.

 

Nowadays, increasing number of Indian students are getting accommodated in various German courses at the Bachelors and Masters levels. Besides, the German ambassador to India has set a target that by 2017, around one million Indian students would have become familiar with basic German. It has been brought to light that governments of India and Germany have signed bilateral agreements. One such agreement focusses on promoting the teaching of German language in wider India. The second aim is to maintain a close liaison with the education and research in the two countries.

 

Also, the current wave of economic instability in many countries in Europe has favoured Germany to be chased by masses in search of more secure employment. One of the leading newspapers in UK, 'The Telegraph' has reported a higher tendency among British students to opt for German institutions. Also, in the race to Germany, China surpasses everyone. The classic destinations US and UK have a strong contender in Germany which through its unique policies like- low or no tuition fees, post-study work rights for overseas students etc. is turning out to be a clear winner and a new trend setter.

 

Such relaxation of rules for the international students by the German Department of Education points towards their excellent diplomacy. German government seeks to draw more and more expats to even the gap left by the shortage of skilled labour. By announcing the Blue Card scheme, it is surely winning its motive. In brief, Blue card opens up your gateways to Europe. It is primarily designed to entice the best brains towards EU. With the exception of UK, Denmark and Ireland, the rest of all EU member states actively participate in the Blue card scheme. Interestingly, the top claimants for the Blue card are- India, China, Russia and the US.

 

In order to retain and to continually improve its current stature in the global academic arena, Germany is leaving no stone unturned to accomplish the mission of becoming the top academic master. In order to foster scientific and academic growth, Germany hopes to attract international talents by-

  • scholarships and stipends for the meritorious local and international students.

  • extending DAAD's (German Academic Exchange Service)network of branch offices, information centres and German language assistance throughout the length and breath of the world.

  • training staff in multiculturalism so as to establish international partnerships.

Through its sound educational reforms like- flexibility in learning and minimal fees policy, Germany hopes to become the first preference globally rather than the mere second option.

 

 

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