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Indo-Madagascar Connection

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by Aurosikha Priyadarshini

We all have come across the name Madagascar either in movies, school textbooks. And who does not know about the famous Madagascar movie. Everyone does, but is that the only identity? Do we really know what is its origin and from where it has come from? The most amazing fact about this country is that it has geographical, economic and social-cultural relations with India.

Let me discuss it in fragments.

Discovery: The original name of Madagascar is the Republic of Madagascar. It is the fourth-largest island in the world. Besides, it is the poorest countries of the world with diverse flora and fauna. As per the current estimation, its population is over 20 million. Madagascar along with India split from Africa and South America and then from Australia and Antarctica. This was the result of the movement of the Earth’s crust. India crashed into Asia and Madagascar has been on its own for the past million years. Madagascar remained maroon in the Indian Ocean. The country’s diversity is a result of its geographic lineage.

Location: Madagascar is situated in the south-western Indian Ocean and spanning the Mozambique Channel, covering an area of 587,041 It is one of the beautiful islands of the world with unique and diverse species of flora and fauna.

Political Relation: The devastation in Madagascar caused due to tropical cyclone ‘Haruna’ in 2013 was not looked away by India. The government of India provided financial assistance of US $ 100,000 as a disaster relief.

Economic Relation: As earlier mentioned, Madagascar has total population of over 20 million; half of the population consists of people of Indian origin. Some of the Indian people have permanently settled there and some are temporary citizens. The Indian community in Madagascar plays a significant role in economic development of the country. The Indians by and large trade there and their contribution to the GDP growth of the country is significant. The trade relation between India and Madagascar has been growing. Madagascar is rich in mineral resources like Graphite, Nickel, Gold, Oil and other precious and semi-precious stones and hardwood. The country’s export of its minerals contributes to the growth. There is a steady growth in the import of sugar, pharmaceuticals, petroleum products, steel, and textile from India by Madagascar. The give and take relation between the two countries has benefitted both the countries economically. The important product that India imports from Madagascar includes coffee, cinnamon, shellfish, and cloves and so on. The maritime link between India and Madagascar has led to the growth of trade.

Social and Cultural Relation: The Indian Diaspora plays a major role in promoting Indian culture and traditions in a Foreign land. The Indian Community celebrates Indian festivals in Madagascar. The Indian people even enjoy watching Indian channels. It shows that the people of the two nations respect each other’s cultural and social values. The Embassy also organizes cultural programmes that are well attended by both Indians and Malagasies.

The students of Madagascar look forward to India as a destination for higher education.

Food Habits: Like the people of India, the people of Madagascar love to eat Rice. Rice is their staple food served with an addition of a curry that tastes luscious. The curry is either made out of vegetables or chicken, sea food. The food customs are almost similar between the two countries. The food eaten replicates the influence of Indian migrants that have settled in Madagascar.

The two countries share a very genial relationship. Even in the past, there were cordial cultural and political visits by high officials of the two nations. The Indo-Madagascar connection has been since ages and will continue. The people of the two countries play a major role in setting up the relation.

  • I can say in my home town of Mahajanga there is a large Indian community and they work close with the Malagasy, helping the poor with bags of rice.

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Why Migrating Magento to Shopify is Becoming More Popular

Change for some people is daunting and challenging but for some the experience of changing to a new platform and discovering it is refreshing and energizing.

cHINA, MOON, shopify
A moon is seen behind the construction site of China Zun in Beijing's central business area. VOA

BusinessThere are many different problems a merchant has to take care of every day when selling online such as orders, marketing, inventory, delivery, and other business commitments. For this reason, many merchants look towards technology for a helping hand. Magento was a useful, flexible and dominant e-commerce platform for small-to-medium sized businesses. But since last year alternatives to Magento enterprise such as Shopify became more famous for SMB (small-to-medium business) sized merchants, that for a good reason.  

Current SMB cannot afford the high progress, hosting and executive costs of Magento platform. This makes Magento a practical and feasible platform for only large business owners and clients because they can afford the expenses. There has been a fascinating shift from Magento to Shopify over the years.

The Growth Of Shopify

Shopify is a hosted e-commerce platform that has been in the market since many years but recently gained popularity in the smaller merchant market among many other great alternatives to Magento enterprise, by developing and providing user-friendly, easy to navigate and manage online shop platforms. It might not be the most top-notch hosted e-commerce platform, but it has the essential power and facilities that help emerging small businesses to excel and grow in the market.

Shopify is no less and allows you to control and organize catalog, orders, products, and customers over many different Shopify stores using back-end web-based applications.

Shopify has put in a lot of effort and worked towards enhancing and developing its facilities, features and level of customizations over the past two years. The hard work has proved fruitful as it has gained the lion’s share of the smaller merchant market and has become a competition to Magento and sent Magento worrying for its market share of active online merchants.  

Although there is still room for improvement, Shopify is undoubtedly on the list of the best alternatives to Magento enterprise because it takes care of hosting, performance and security for the merchant. So that the merchant can focus his energy and time on building and growing his business.

Shopify As a Competitor of Magento

The rise of different alternatives to Magento enterprise including Shopify didn’t go unnoticed and alarmed Magento that took immediate action and in April 2016 at the annual Magento Imagine Conference, Magento did the inauguration of a new hosted platform for enterprise-level merchants and clients.

The Magento platform is for large enterprises and businesses because it requires constant updating and customization to produce effective and efficient results and become a productive solution to the problem of merchants such as managing hosting. This continuous improvement and updating work can cost a lot making Magento an expensive choice.

Magento 1 was improved, and as a result, Magento 2 was launched which is significantly better, but there is still a need for improvement as it experiences continued bugs which affect its performance and productivity. Another problem for Magento 2 is that there are very few certified developers for it. But due to the importance of staying updated, relevant and secure in the market, transforming from Magento 1 to Magento 2 has become a necessity for merchants.

However, it is important to note that upgrading from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is not an easy and fast process. To migrate products customers and orders from Magento 1 to Magento 2, you will have to buy and download new applications and programs specially designed for Magneto 2.  

During this process, some data from Magento 1 could be lost or deleted due to the incompatibility of the data with the new program. You will also have to recreate your theme and design all over again which can be a time demanding and tiring process.

Magento, Shopify
There are greater hosting obligations for Magento 2 as compared to Magento 1.

Also, there are greater hosting obligations for Magento 2 as compared to Magento 1. All of the above-stated points add to the cost of managing your Magento Platform making it very expensive.

Shifting to Shopify

Due to the costs, problems, and difficulties in functioning an SMB (small-to-medium business) shop using Magento, there has been a significant rise in the number of Magento-to-Shopify migrations. And according to the statistics, these numbers aren’t falling anytime soon.

Shopify is a hosted platform that is patched and updated automatically without the need of employing developers; this makes it an excellent choice for burgeoning enterprises. Also features like theme design and incorporations are much easier to do using Shopify which reduces the cost.

There is no doubt that Magento is a superior platform when it comes to multi-store construction which is easy to manage with a single back-end. But Shopify is no less and allows you to control and organize catalog, orders, products, and customers over many different Shopify stores using back-end web-based applications.

Also Read: Hiring for Your Business? Get it Right First Time

Effective change

Change for some people is daunting and challenging but for some the experience of changing to a new platform and discovering it is refreshing and energizing. Especially when they understand and feel the enhanced usability of Shopify’s back-end interface.