Google+ Consumer Psyche: December 2008


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Dear All,

Thank you all for visiting my blog and keeping it going. What an year it was! I did many things that I only wished I could previously. Exams, classes, projects, discussions, presentations, blogging, sleeping and most of all enjoying to the core. It passed as if it was one single day. Hope it was a good year for you too.

I wish you and your family a wonderful new year. Have lots of wishes, dreams, aspirations and strive hard to make them come true. I always believe in hard work done in a smart fashion, passion, integrity and hope. Hope you get the strength from HIM to overcome all obstacles and reach your goals. But life is short and don't forget to have fun and help others too.

Keep visiting my blog and commenting! Am off to party! Good night and God bless!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Think again

One also thought that having eminent academics from the world’s top business schools as independent directors provided some degree of comfort to the investors. One thought a company with a large holding from financial institutions somehow will be better governed.

One listened to the lectures of professors in eminent business schools with such awe. One expected so much more from such academics in their roles as directors on boards. One wonders, given the handsome compensation independent board members receive, shouldn’t the regulators lay down more stringent and more formal expectations from the independent directors to hold them more accountable for their lapses?

It is perhaps time the Indian corporate sector as a whole sat up and asked itself some searching questions.

We have been routinely listed among the most corrupt countries in the world in virtually all surveys. Recently, we were listed as the fourth most corrupt country in the world in offering inducements outside our own boundaries, even without the World Bank’s indictment of one of our top companies. Could it be that from being victims of political and bureaucratic corruption at home, we are after all proactively corrupting officials elsewhere? Wouldn’t the actions of even one of us impact all of us collectively? Who should make the first move towards reversing the trend of our corruption? Do companies have a role in nation-building and setting benchmarks? Could companies succeed where our politicians and bureaucrats have failed us?

V. Raghunathan is a former professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mobile Ads

As much as 25% to 30% of the $100 billion spent each year on brand advertising will find its way onto the mobile screen" and according to OVUM "mobile phone advertising market [is] expected to grow to $1.26billion by 2009"

Open letter to the PM

Scores of journalists have published details of the terror network including names and addresses and every time, the Pakistani government has brazenly denied them. Don’t forget it denied the existence of its nuclear programme, too, for years. How can you expect it to suddenly confess, when for most of the previous two decades, ISI and Pakistan’s army have nurtured jihadis to fight its proxy wars in Kashmir and Afghanistan? Today, the monster is so big that ISI can’t control it even if it wants to.

Even with the most sophisticated intelligence and security systems, history suggests that you cannot stop an indoctrinated suicide bomber. But that doesn’t mean we don’t put those systems in place, at least to serve as deterrents to many more who would otherwise be tempted to take a shot. Convince the nation, give us one good reason to believe that such an attack won’t happen again.

We don’t need a Rambo today, so please don’t attack Pakistan in the heat of the moment, for we all know the limits of hard power after the US misadventure in Iraq. Can you not pour money into technology and arm our security agencies (the Chinese spent $6 billion on security during the Olympics alone), invest in setting up a highly sophisticated counter-intelligence agency, get the Mossad to train our commandos, step up the diplomatic offensive at every forum to isolate Pakistan and, most importantly, come down heavily on corruption at all levels, starting with your cabinet? Can you not ensure simple reforms in the criminal justice system (which scores of committees such as Malimath have outlined) to ensure certainty of punishment for any offence from pickpocketery to terror? Can you not lead legislation to keep criminals out of politics and try to stem the flow of illegal money into campaign funding?

If not, then what use is it being a prime minister if, even after reaching the very top, you can’t do a damn in an hour of national crisis? Soon, all this will be forgotten and it will be back to business as usual. But then, history will judge you. If you have some conscience left, please do something. Don’t forget, “mind without heart, intelligence without conduct, cleverness without goodness are all tools, but only for mischief”.

Read more here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ghajini's inspiration!

There was a discussion among our friends that Gajini is an excellent movie and what an original thought! I beg to differ. Here is Christopher Nolan's 'Mementoes' which was Murugadoss's inspiration to make Tamil Ghajini.

But Murugadoss aptly changed some parts of the original story to make it 'saleable' to the Indian audience. Its how well you present and adapt to suit the customer that counts. But I still hold the original should have been given a credit. We do it all the time. Indian directors are good at this. Hope this copy culture changes and some original movies are made.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


A small quiz...

1) How long was the 100 yr war?
A) 116
B) 99
C) 100
D) 150

2) In which country are the Panama hats made?

3) In which month do the Russians celebrate the October Revolution?


4) Which of these was King George VI first name?

5) The Canary islands, in the Pacific Ocean , has its name based on which animal:

If you think you got all the answers right, check these:

1) The 100 year war lasted 116 years from 1337-1453
2) The Panama hat is made in Equador
3) The October revolution is celebrated in November
4) King George's first name was Albert. In 1936 he changed his name..
5) Puppy. The Latin name is INSULARIA CANARIA which means islands of the puppies.

Its not the obvious, not what you expect that is always right.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Strategy, 500 BC

Many of the basic principles of business strategy find their origin from military and war. The key principles behind all successful wars were enunciated by Sun Tzu around 500 B.C.

Some of the Principles are :
  • Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting
  • The best defensive strategy is the courage to attack yourself
  • Attack the enemy’s weakness
  • Strong enemy moves must be blocked
  • If you know the enemy, and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. The art of war is of vital importance to the state. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or ruin
  • In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's Ok to lie!

It's OK to lie -- just a little. Not really. Lies have an interesting way of catching up with you. Whether you are lying to your manager, co-worker or your prospects, you will find it's really much better to tell the truth -- even if you risk losing an account.

As a salesperson, your reputation and credibility is the key to success. Be truthful with everyone, even on minor issues so that you will be trusted throughout your relationships.

The Biggest Sales Lies , By: Schiffman, Stephan, Reisner, Michelle, American Salesman

I think this applies to normal people as well, across functions. Credibility and integrity are the only assets that you carry with you all the time. Its more relieving to go to bed with your conscience clear, knowing that you are not a crook.

Step lighter

Many people wish their lives were less complicated. They remember a carefree time and dream of returning to a simpler day. They yearn for more freedom. Less worry and more laughter. If only they could trade some of today's complexity for yesterday's simplicity.

American essayist and novelist Charles Dudley Warner said, "Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough."

Rudyard Kipling yearned for less when he said, "Teach us to delight in simple things."

Author Augustus Hare observed that "the greatest truths are the simplest -- and so are the greatest men."

Maybe it's time to make a decision for greatness; a decision for simplicity. Maybe it's time to let go of that which weighs you down and walk with a lighter step. Maybe it's time to love life again.

Don't remember the source.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chinese? No papa

Its official now. No more tolerance towards the Chinese mobile sets in India. Addressing security concerns, the centre has notified the customs department to only allow imports of mobile handsets after the declaration of the 'International Mobile Equipment Identity' (IMEI) numbers of each handset.

Official estimates are that more than 8 lakh phones are being sold every month for the last 3 years! these are high end cheap versions without the IMEI code with out which it is difficult to trace them. If you own one you need to get a software costing a meagre Rs100 can be downloaded into the handset for an IEMI number to be added to the handset. Check with your service provider about this.

My suggestion is sell it and get a new genuine one.

Be the Santa

It would be exciting to have Santa give away gifts to us just like when we were kids. People still flock to shopping malls for free gifts and the photo op with the old man. Many shopping malls in Bangalore have announced the timings from 4 to 9 PM today. The queues are long and tiring for a small photo shoot. I will give you another option where you will be more happy and satisfied.

Be a Santa, yourself! Brighten up a poor child's life tomorrow. Gift some toy, buy a dress, a blanket to some one who actually need it by cutting down a bit from what you shop. I bet this would bring more blessing than anything else to your home and the child would be thanking Santa all the year because of you. If you are thinking where to find one, go to hospitals, orphanages, street corners, traffic signals or just anywhere. Or just give away a good meal.

But can you be a Santa? Not every one can.

Merry Christmas.

Hang it

Ever thought how easy if some one would hold your child when you need to do something personal? Well here is the solution. Some one figured it too.

You can hold him, cuddle him and when required you could place it safe! Its called babykeeper!

Design products that fill in gaps ad you are sure to succeed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

(Irving Berlin)

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where those tree-tops glisten,
And children listen
To hear sleighbells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
With every Christmas card I write,
"May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white".

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know.
May your days may your days may your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white.

Viral + Profit

The critical element of viral marketing is this: it's built in. It was built into Hotmail and built into YouTube. The more people used the camera on their cell phones, the more the idea spread, the more people wanted a camera.

If you want to do viral marketing, you can try to come up with a viral ad, but you'll probably fail. You're better off building the viral right into the product, creating a product that spreads because you designed it that way.

Viral marketing only works well when you plan for it, when you build it in, when you organize your offering to be spreadable, interesting and to work better for everyone involved when it spreads. If I don't benefit from spreading it, why should I spread it? I won't. If you don't benefit from your users spreading the idea, it might spread, but it won't help you much. So both elements have to be present.

The reason for this post is that viral marketing is getting a bad name, largely from clueless marketing agencies and clueless marketers. Here's what they do: they get a lame product, or a semi-lame product, and they don't have enough time or money to run a nationwide ad campaign. So, instead, they slap some goofy viral thing on top of it and wait for it to spread. And if it doesn't spread, they create a faux controversy or engage a PR firm or some bloggers and then it still doesn't work.

Being viral isn't the hard part. The hard part is making that viral element actually produce something of value, not just entertainment for the client or your boss.

: Seth's Blog

Monday, December 22, 2008

Leaf art

Have you ever heard how ads get okayed before they go live on TV? Well it happens in closed doors but here is an Indian Company 'Sulekha classifieds' which thought it would be better if it could try checking the response online first and uploaded it on YouTube.

The ad was picked up and is going viral. The concept is that Arjun going for his swayamvara faces a lot of problems and overcomes them by shooting cursor shaped arrows into the sky which is later revealed as the "" page.The ad also shows even gods shooting at the webpage!

The theme used is a leaf art theme almost extinct now where in leaf is used as a canvas.
Shortly you would be able to different versions on TV too.
Good idea Sulekha team.

Top 50 powerful people in the world, 2008-09

The list goes here..

1: Barack Obama
2: Hu Jintao
3: Nicolas Sarkozy
4-5-6: Economic Triumvirate
7: Gordon Brown
8: Angela Merkel
9: Vladimir Putin
10: Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud
11: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
12: Kim Jong Il
13-14: The Clintons
15: Timothy Geithner
16: Gen. David Petraeus
17: Sonia Gandhi
18: Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
19: Warren Buffett
20: Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
21: Nuri al-Maliki
22-23: The Philanthropists
24: Nancy Pelosi
25: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
26: Mike Duke
27: Rahm Emanuel
28: Eric Schmidt
29: Jamie Dimon
30-31: Friends of Barack
32: Dominique Strauss-Kahn
33: Rex Tillerson
34: Steve Jobs
35: John Lasseter
36: Michael Bloomberg
37: Pope Benedict XVI
38: Katsuaki Watanabe
39: Rupert Murdoch
40: Jeff Bezos
41: Shahrukh Khan
42: Osama bin Laden
43: Hassan Nasrallah
44: Dr. Margaret Chan
45: Carlos Slim Helú
46: The Dalai Lama
47: Oprah Winfrey
48: Amr Khaled
49: E. A. Adeboye
50: Jim Rogers

Full story here.

Bullets vs India

India is a land of great resilience that has learned, over arduous millenniums, to cope with tragedy. Bombs and bullets alone cannot destroy it, because Indians will pick their way through the rubble and carry on as they have done throughout history. But what can destroy India is a change in the spirit of its people, away from the pluralism and coexistence that has been our greatest strength. The prime minister's call for calm and restraint in the face of murderous rampage is vital. If these tragic events lead to the demonisation of the Muslims of India, the terrorists will have won. For India to be India, its gateway - to the multiple Indias within, and the heaving seas without - must always remain open.

Shashi Tharoor

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Top 10 @ Hollywood, this week

Top 10 this week @ Hollywood
  1. The Day the Earth Stood Still
  2. Four Christmases
  3. Twilight
  4. Bolt
  5. Australia
  6. Quantum Of Solace
  7. Nothing Like the Holidays
  8. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
  9. Milk
  10. Transporter 3
You know what to do :)

Clone Aamir

"Marketing has to be an innovative process and which I have always been involved in," said Aamir.

As far as promotional campaigns go, Ghajini has managed to generate the much-hoped-for hype. So, will they be hanging out the house-full sign at the box office? At any rate, the man of the moment is not talking.

Aamir Khan is leaving no stone unturned in marketing his next film Ghajini and in the process he's managed to bring to the fore sculptors who have been hard at work, creating replicas of the newly toned Khan. Aamir has got now 50 of the mannequins grace as many multiplexes across the country.

He did the same thing with JTJN for by placing cut-outs (this was at Forum) of Imran Khan for people to get photographed with him and it worked. Lets see how this would turn out.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Li Shangyin's poem 'Willow' is the source of the line 'Counting the leaves which tremble at dawn' in 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun'. Like Waters' other lines about 'swallows resting' and 'lotuses yearning', this line points to a deep agitation which belies the stillness of the time just before sunrise.

However, the original poem is far from disturbing. In fact, it has an element of sensuality and playfulness that come through rather vividly in translation. The poet is praising in a subtle but quite unmistakeable way the physical charms of the woman who is the subject of the poem. (The tone suggests a poem of a public nature.)

Check the comments for the English translation.

Pride Forever!

Alliance Pride Forever store is offering upto 30% off on its merchandise on New Year's Eve. This has been due to the public demand and the festival mood setting in.

Its official that Chanda Kochar is the next CEO of ICICI Bank, the youngest, first woman.


The Taj Mahal seems to be a prominent place for Indian movie goers to be attracted to Hollywood movies. Most of the Indian releases of the movies from Hollywood have the Taj on them like I mentioned in my previous post on Hancock. Talk of customization!

SRK, the ISI brand of success

The team of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is delighted with grand opening. Released on Dec 12, ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ has grossed approximately Rs. 60Crores worldwide releasing 1200 prints. The most sensational fact is that the film has surpassed Dhoom-2 that was regarded as one of highest collections of all times. ET reports that the movie was a complete Sharukh show and hence the expectations of the audience post the Mumbai terror attacks were high enough to pull the crowds. He has some strong marketeers working for him to keep the charisma going.

The film sees SRK playing Surinder Sahni (Suri) a regular office-going guy, who lives a quiet life and married a girl Taani (Anuksha Sharma proves to be a good find), who had just lost the guy she wanted to marry. Obviously, she doesn't love him. But he does, and decides to win her with an alter ego called Raj.

Yes, Raj is back!

But this Raj is totally unlike DDLJ's Raj, who would never run away with the girl. This Raj is all for running away. He is Taani's dance partner in a musical competition she participates in, by day and her husband Suri by night!

In DDLJ, Pardes and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, SRK was stealing the other guy's girl. In this one, he is stealing her from himself!

Sharukh is one of the few over used personalities on the TV and the big screen and yet remain a luring success. Many wrote him off when he started endorsing multiple brands and yet he managed to survive and kindle interest in the consumer. He callshimself an ISI mark on a product. Must be when the vehicle is credible the product it offers has similar effect on it too.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Staying at Anekal has its own advantages. The town is so near that many people walk to it, daily. Chethan and myself go to the small Nayars restaurant which is like a 100 year old antique piece, the Nayar Sr started it in1905 here. You get to eat Raagi Muddai (you need to take a small ball of the muddai and dip it in boiling hot soup and then swallow it, no chewing) with hot chicken soup and chicken fry(the best chicken till date in Bangalore sparing Ohris), then comes the SP parota. 

What does SP stand for? No its not the usual Special Parota. It stands for Ceylon Parota! When Ceylon starts with a 'C' how come this is 'SP'. After some research we found that some restaurant was run by a Tamil chap from Srilanka who used to make butter-coated parotas at Majestic and called them 'Seylon Parotas' and 'SP' in short and the lingo spread all over. People started to ask for the SP/Ceylon Parota and hence the name. Everywhere else the name is forgotten except in this small town where the language (pure Kannada) and culture is intact.

So next time ask for SP parota and know what it means!

Njoy it Backwards

Being a VIP(Very Into Pizza) member of Pizza Hut, I was expecting them to send me a mail with fabulous discounts which would go light on my pocket still leave a nice taste. But this new design with a catchy tag line asks me to try it out. It also has an offer and the price isn't mentioned. I think this is a nice move. Pizza Hut has found a nice way to attract the innovators in the idea-diffusion curve to come and taste its pizzas. So the next time I am in town, I would be trying it.

It need not always be a discount that can pull customers to your store/product/service. It can be a new design that will lift the customer's mind off the wallet. Good move Pizza Hut.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shut up, Page 3!

There have been many Page 3 personalities recently mouthing what seemed to be the best they can do in their small piece of lime light. Everyone including Shahrukh Khan came up with interesting yet unreasonable solutions on what India should do about the terror attacks on Mumbai. And all the news channels kept airing these episodes again and again. This is sickening to think what they would do to get those TRPs.

Lets look at the celebrities to begin. I think the only sensible comment came from Big B in his blog. Ridiculous suggestion even a possible war were made. My take on this is, Dear Page 3, please shut up and concentrate on what you are supposed to do, make better movies, if you can.

About the media and the news channels who reported the Mumbai attach with unending zeal, passion and delight that they had the biggest thing in the last decade on TV to Hollywood fed brain dead people who enjoy the hostage situations in those movies like the recent Die Hard 4 where in the hero comes in the end to save the day. Sadly my friends this doesn't always happen in real life. The bravery of the few journos who stood the cold weather, possible bullets or bombs and report continuously for hours and days together under tense situations is admirable. 3 cheers for Indian Journalism. Don't make real life reel. Some channel dumbo came up with this idea of comparing the attack at Mumbai to 911 and with in minutes all the channels started to use the term. Same happened to the 7/7 last year. Sandeep and me were watching the news live and the thought sickened us. How can you talk of a continuous attacks on a peace loving, tolerate nation to an off attack on the US? If you can't think of something better please remain silent. Don't make everything a point to score TRPs.

Please don't clutter my brain with your ideas which are borrowed and let me think. Because if you don't I will accept everything that you say with a pinch of salt and your credibility will be lost.

Xmz, Again

Its Exam time, again for PGP IIs. 6 subjects tested over 8 days in 3 hour exams.
Am working hard(as you can see). Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Advertising more

Contrary to the popular belief from many marketeers about the decreasing conversion rates from TV ads, TAM India reports that the volume of ads on TV had a 28% increase in Jan-Sep' 08 compared to last year. Hope this works for them. Incidentally what I feel is slog which mean you do everything desperately to keep it going, stop it from dying. They could have been invested in some other marketing tool which could have pushed the sales.

Ads, especially on TV just take the consumer from Awareness to Desire stage in the AIDA framework but doesn't make him buy it unless giving him a good reason to.

Hard kaur!

Taran Kaur Dhillon never understood what it was to be a twelve-year-old. Traumatic experiences took her to a cold U.K., where she was bullied around for her skin colour. Today, she is defining hip hop in India and the U.K."Nobody can bully me into singing what I hate. I eat, sleep, s*** hip hop and I want to keep it just that way", says the U.K.-based star popularly known as Hard Kaur, who is now defining hip hop music in India. Yes her name is Hard Kaur and pronounced 'Hard Core.' Quite a name!

She is the same person whose "Move Your Body" (Johnny Gaddar) is on air. Hard Kaur has worked on her music independently and featured on global club hits including "Ek Glassy", which is still the number-one club anthem of India. Her songs are about a woman's place in a male-dominated world, with the urban desi experience thrown in. She is associated with Breakthrough, an organization working on HIV and domestic violence issues, and has written a song for women's empowerment. After singing on the Bollywood soundtrack for Johnny Gaddar, she is working on other projects with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. She even got the opportunity to share the stage with stars like Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams! On her first solo record, Supa Woman, she works with promising international producers including 45 WAX, D-Boy, Urban, AC Burrell, Asif (Fusing Naked Beats) and Tigerstyle.

Courtesy: The Statesman

Kiss you, Dog!

Many of you have already seen Bush ducking like a professional when a journo threw his shoes at him. Now this is a picture taken from the front just as he was doing it. What Bush did was great. He bahaved like a gentleman: composed, quick and thoughtful! In fact I was expecting him to get angry at the least. He did not. And his comment that the size was 10 was very cheerful.

Was this a publicity stunt?
Or a symbolic action?
Momentary anger?

Well the media reported it in such a way that they equated it with how people bet Saddam Hussein's statue with soles when he was ousted. It takes a lot of strength to stand up to what you feel and do, own your actions. Bush has had quite happening presidency and took some strong decisions on Iraq, Afghanistan and policies. Let's see how many of them will have good results.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's OK, It's complimentary

I was talking to a friend who shared her experience when she went to have dinner with her family at Mainland China, Bangalore about the Customer Service crisis she had faced but they succeeded in making it a pleasant one in the end.

There was a bug in the dish served and my friend found it just as she was about to consume. Sensing that there were many people having their food she gestured the waiter to replace the dish. When the waiter found the worm he took the plate to the kitchen. Then quickly removed all the other plates of the dish at the table. The dish was prepared and served with an apology. It took some time and the manager was very concerned and kept on informing them what time it would take for the new dish to be prepared. After the dinner they were served with ice cream (four different flavored scoops. You should have seen her eyes lit up when she spoke of how they poured molten chocolate over the scoops till the cup was full). When they tried stopping the waiters as they didn't order any ice cream they were told in hushed tone, "Its OK, it is complimentary."

And then came the time to pay the final bill and the manager apologized to them and refused to accept the bill too. Under normal circumstances she wouldn't go there again but now Mainland China is her favorite place.

Thats CRM for you at the best.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pain is fun

Everyone knows its bad. Let's not think about it and pray it doesn't hit me is the feeling now. The feeling is too scary for many people. It means you can't pay your EMI, rent, electricity bill, phone bill, tuition fees, school fees, eat out, or sometimes eat at all! Can't drive to office, no new dresses, no New Year, no parties and above all can't sleep properly. So what should you do about it?

Some of the best minds in the IT industries have found a way. Laugh it off. And this has been the theme for many mails that have been forwarded to their friends and colleagues. Hope this New Year actually becomes as happy as all those were.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I Dream, I Will

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream

I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness still another mile
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream
I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream
I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream

--- ABBA

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What I am gonna do...


How good is your English?
For that matter your teachers?
Colleagues? Employees? HRs?

We have got enough mail forwards about the blunders made on public posters in China and Japan during the Football world cup and Olympics. I think we need to look seriously in our backyard. An official billboard released by Kolkata Municipal Corporation has two spelling mistakes! Its good that they are only two.

Time to send these guys to school, again. May be some should go for the first time. Or at least teach them to use spell check.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Desi-beats, triangles and Kareena!

The campaign, which breaks on television today, will show Kapoor as a simple girl who finds her own stature as a young vibrant Indian woman after her fairy godmother introducing her to Desi Beats. Pepsi is bullish on Kapoor’s chiming ‘No fun without desipan’ campaign to take the market by storm.

“Desi Beats is our answer to the triangle proposition in the market. Kapoor’s vibrant persona, pan-India appeal and confident attitude make her the right fit for endorsing this new Frito Lays creation,’’ says Gautham Mukkavilli, the managing director of FritoLay and now also the president (India region) of Pepsi.

For Kapoor, 28 and one of the highest paid actresses in filmdom, Pepsi is the eighth endorsement to fall in her kitty this year, making her the highest paid actress from tinsel town in the ad world. After a brief hiatus from films last year, Kapoor returned with her newly sculpted figure last year and the cash counters haven’t stopped ringing for her since then both in terms of films and endorsements.

Brands dealing in cosmetics, personal care products, jewelry and lifestyle products have lapped up the opportunity to leverage her star power given her connect with the youth. This year she was roped in by brands like ITC for its Vivel soap, Head & Shoulders, Globus, D D’mas for Geetanjali, Anne French and Emami and Airtel, even as her contracts with ICI Paints and Citizen Watches drew to a close. Her contract with ITC, which at Rs 5 crore was thought to be the highest for her this year, has now been topped by Pepsi, putting her in a commanding position in her peer group. You could call it Kapoor power.

Read more here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stay Mad

Mad stands for Make A Difference. At KFC they keep a board and a marker which asks for suggestions unlike the regular feedback book that is available at other places. KFC has a feedback and suggestion book as well. I got to see that most customers have mentioned their feedback here on this board which is then transferred to the suggestion book. Once the same is implemented the person who suggests it will be notified and sent a coupon.

Do your organization treat the feedback and suggestion given by the customers or does that go un-noticed? History has several examples of companies which followed and used customer feedback eveolve as the best ompanies as their focus was on what the customer wanted and not what they had to offer. This made them move towards the customer.

So are you MAD?
Is your organization MAD?

Chanda Kochar, CEO, ICICI Bank

If everything goes well, She might be ICICI Bank's next CEO.

46 Years Old, Ms. Chanda D. Kochhar holds a management degree from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai and a degree in cost and works accountancy from the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India. She started her career in 1984 with ICICI in its project finance department and has worked in the areas of corporate credit, infrastructure financing, e-commerce, strategy and retail finance. Ms. Kochhar was designated a Senior General Manager of ICICI in 2000 .

Ms Kochhar is also responsible for the global treasury, principal investments & trading, risk management and legal functions. She joined the erstwhile ICICI as a management trainee in 1984, and has handled major business streams like retail, corporate and international banking in the past few years.

The appointment of the next CEO would free up a board berth, and among the senior officials who could be considered for the slot are ICICI Lombard ED Vishakha Mulye, and NS Kannan and Bhargav Dasgupta, EDs of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance. The bank had chosen a long and unconventional process of picking the new CEO. Mr Kamath had taken the help of professor Wayne Brockbank of University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business to obtain independent data on the leadership attributes of senior officials shortlisted for the job.

Initially, Mr Vaghul, along with Mr Kamath, had created a list of 12 senior officials in the ICICI group who were perceived as potential candidates.

Monday, December 8, 2008

To Contradict

Chethan got a new tee(in pic) which claimed Blue Jeans! The tee was in orange. Eye-catchy and funny.

Contradicting any existing principle, belief will lead to instant attention. Its kind of cool too.

Any new ideas?
  • Hot ice-cream
  • Ice-cream pakoda
  • Sweet Pickle
Can you add more?

Dual standards

Its how you treat your heroes that makes you as a nation.

When Abhinav Bindra won a gold medal in a game at Olympics, shooting some mud targets Government of India gave him 5 crores and his picture was all over the media for almost a month. Remember the support and prizes that the Indian team got when we won the 20-20 world cup?

When three warriors fought off terrorists and gave their lives facing real bullets in the recent Mumbai attack the same Government gave 5 lakhs each (I wonder why they gave this big amount). And every one, including you and me, the media have already forgotten them! Every one except their families. And you call them heroes!

This is high time to increase the salaries and compensation of the military, police and other forces in the country. Hope the politicians would take this step before the the families die waiting for the pension and wondering if they could get back their loved ones in exchange for the money they got. And thinking what un-grateful people we are.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Inner worth

A Fox had by some means got into the store-room of a theatre. Suddenly he observed a face glaring down on him and began to be very frightened; but looking more closely he found it was only a Mask such as actors use to put over their face. ‘Ah,’ said the Fox, ‘you look very fine; it is a pity you have not got any brains.’

Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth.

-- Aesop's Fables

Is your inner worth matching your outer show? Or do you need to do something about it?
If it is matching, are you satisfied? No one is interested in stagnant water.

Everyday heroes

Sandeep Unnikrishnan (March 17, 1977 – November 28, 2008) was a Major in the Indian Army serving in the elite National Security Guards (NSG) who was led his life in an encounter with terrorists in November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

“Do not come up, I will handle them.” These were probably the last words which Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan told his men as he was hit by bullets while engaging terrorists inside the Taj Hotel, Mumbai during the Black Tornado operation.

During the operation, when a commando got injured Major Unnikrishnan arranged for his evacuation and started chasing the terrorists himself. The terrorists escaped to another floor of the hotel and during the chase Major Unnikrishnan was seriously injured and succumbed to his injuries.

Its common people like this who keep pitching in for the good againist the evil that make us safer and to these everyday heroes we need to be grateful. That may be in any form - a bus conductor, a doctor, a vendor, a mother, a teacher or just anyone, but they have this quality of human compassion and selflessness that sets them apart. This is a rare breed and they dont make men and women like this often.

Pics are from his Orkut album from the July' 08 trip he took to Hampi.

I Need You To Turn To...

You're not a ship to carry my life
You are nailed to my love in many lonely nights
I've strayed from the cottages and found myself here
For I need your love your love protects my fears

And I wonder sometimes and I know I'm unkind
But I need you to turn to when I act so blind
And I need you to turn to when I lose control
You're my guardian angel who keeps out the cold

Did you paint your smile on, well I said I knew
That my reason for living was for loving you
We're related in feeling but you're high above
You're pure and you're gentle with the grace of a dove

--- Elton John

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Recession effecting marriages

"NO! Not a software engineer even with out dowry. Find a small government employee. I need guaranteed salary!"


Seth Godin calls persuading someone to start a blog is evolution marketing. Lots of people have been brainwashed that they have nothing to say, or can't say it, or aren't allowed to say it. And you rarely see someone become an overnight blogging success.

All you need to do is be patient and produce post after post of good quality, useful material that people want to read and know. And day after day someone some where would be directed to your blog and if they like it refer to others. Slowly your readership increases. Just imagine having 100 people who listen to what you say, day in and day out. My blog also started after listening to Prof. Ray. What are you waiting for?

Start blogging now.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ethically right?

We each have opportunities to choose to do what is right or to do what is wrong. But there is a third choice - to do nothing! Back in the 1700's, Edmund Burke coined a phrase that has been used many times since: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Wow! What a profound statement! But what does it look like in action?

I think it means that we are willing to be out of step with the majority in order to do what we know is right.

Do you have it in you?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pride forever

Is there a bigger sentiment than your Alma mater? Can you think of a market opportunity here? Pride forever did. Pride Forever™ is the “official academia licensing company” focused towards branding of educational institutes. They emerged to create a wide range of licensed academia merchandises via retail chains at schools, colleges and several other reputed institutes.

At Alliance Business School, Anekal, Bangalore a new store is shaping up. Several items like teddy bears, tees, coffee mugs, iPod covers, caps, pen stands, etc are already available and will be open for sale shortly. Pushkar and myself visited the store and were the first customers to see. A deluge of students followed and by what seems to be affordable price Pride offers a wide range of products that share our pride with all our school or college mates anywhere and everywhere. It is also time to reminisce and cherish each and every moment that the institutions have instilled and suffused with indelible and unforgettable memories.

The positioning and the target selection is awesome. If you want them to set up a store at your college let me know.

My December

This is my December, this is my time of the year

This is my December, this is all so clear

This is my December, this is my snow covered home

This is my December, this is me alone

And I

(Just wish that I didn't feel like there was something I missed)

And I

(Take back all the things I said to make you feel like that)

And I

(Just wish that I didn't feel like there was something I missed)

And I

(Take back all the things that I said to you)

And I'd give it all away

Just to have somewhere to go to

Give it all away

To have someone to come home to

This is my December

These are my snow covered trees

This is me pretending

This is all I need

And I

(Just wish that I didn't feel like there was something I missed)

And I

(Take back all the things I said to make you feel like that)

And I

(Just wish that I didn't feel like there was something I missed)

And I

(Take back all the things that I said to you)

And I'd give it all away

Just to have somewhere to go to

Give it all away

To have someone to come home to

This is my December

This is my time of the year

This is my December

This is all so clear
Align Center

Give it all away

Just to have somewhere to go to

Give it all away

To have someone to come home to


New hot stock options

Security systems provider companies witnessed a sudden action in terms of both orders/enquiries as well as stock changes in the last 3 days.

Companies providing Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) solutions in India and internationally. It also offers Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) solutions, smart cards, and point of sale solutions. Also technological development such as access control, building management, crowd management, patrol management, retail security, campus management, canteen management, library management, application tracking, vehicle tracking, warehouse management, work-in-progress tracking, siren management, inventory management, job costing, consignment tracking, field service automation, sales force automation, and fleet management are in huge demand now after the Mumbai Terror attack.

Aversion to rules

You might have seen many such signs torn, disfigured when they speak of some rule. What amazes me is the universality of the concept. People hate rules. I mean when you get a chance you are ready to break it. Does it need a great restraint to stop breaking them? If yes why don't we have it. Any one can break a rule but it takes a lot of pain to follow them.

I agree that the thrill in breaking a rule is too good, in the short term. I would like to see who is breaking the rule, how would he break it, why, when, how frequent, what is the motivation, how can I make products and services to lure him. On the other hand I would like to do the same with the other one who doesn't break the rule. Applying the concept of sustainability in Business Ethics to this context its advisable to follow the rules and develop a character that makes you adhere as you would be benefited in the long run.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Don't know what you've got till it's gone

When you find a service or establishment or product that gives you joy, it's tempting to keep it to yourself. Perhaps it's uncomfortable to recommend it to a friend (after all, you might seem silly) and even more uncomfortable to recommend it to a stranger (after all, you might seem like a shill).

Plenty of people hesitate before spreading the word about a political candidate or a business. We're worried that we'll look silly, or that the place will end up being too crowded and now we won't be able to get in. Or perhaps we're concerned about losing our uniqueness...

Anyway, the outcry that accompanies the closing of one of these businesses should be enough to remind you that your hesitation has a cost.

: Seth's Blog

A rude awakening

No matter how 'big'/'old' you become there is always a need for improving. Many times people get carried away and do things that is demeaning to their stature and is least expected of them. In such situations its good to have a friend/mentor to give you a dressing down, a rude awakening to the reality. So don't think the other person is jealous of you or cannot understand you. As the saying goes, "A good friend hurts to help but an enemy praises to ruin."

Its never too late to learn.

Enough is enough

This is no time to demonstrate gesture. This is the time for me to listen to a leader that shall strongly assure me of what needs to be done and will do it ! This is the time for each citizen of this country to act and behave in a dictated disciplined profile. This is the time for those that lead, to educate us all in a common curriculum bearing a common code of conduct. A code that shall bind us all as one collective strength. If the invader has been psychologically brain washed into believing that what he is doing to us is ordained through divine intervention, then let him face 1.2 billion brains that have been ordained in unison to ‘teach’ him how horribly wrong he is.

For too long we have remained the servile submissive nation. There has been no strong adjective to describe our character. When you meet an Indian abroad and when you ask where he is from he invariably states the State he comes from, not the country. A motorist on a street in Mumbai will willingly open the door of his car and decorate the road with his colorful mucus lined spit. Same motorist in Singapore will not dare to perform similar feat. A cyclist at 2 in the morning on a deserted street in London shall respect the red light at a signal and wait for it to turn green before crossing it. He not only depicts discipline, he reflects the character of his country. Here even in the busiest moments of the day, the red light at a crossing is an indicator to ‘GO’ !!

You know why the Indian Cricket team has had its phenomenal run of successes in recent times ? Its because it has shown character and attitude. Yes, of course it has the talent, but its body language and behavior on the pitch is rattling the opponent. When a Gambhir elbows his response to continuous sledging of the foulest tongue, I like that. It is a fault and it is up for penalization, but I simply loved his statement thereafter, that he ‘did not regret doing it’. When a Harbhajan challenges a Symonds and walks up to exchange words, when Yuvraj back answers his English opponent and follows it up with 6 sixes in one over, it shows character.

--- Big Blog