Google+ Consumer Psyche: January 2009

Leader

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Numerology

Shall I say that it is human to be curious to know what would happen in future? Here is a way to do that. If this question has been bogging you down off late, we get you the answers right here! Check out how your number fares Numeroscope Check out how your number fares in 2009. Numerologists Bhavesh Patni and Raj Khattar delve into the number game.

Hard days night...

It's been a hard day's night, and I been working like a dog 
It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log 
But when I get home to you I'll find the things that you do 
Will make me feel alright 

You know I work all day to get you money to buy you things 
And it's worth it just to hear you say you're going to give me 
everything 
So why on earth should I moan, 'cause when I get you alone 
You know I feel ok 

When I'm home everything seems to be right 
When I'm home feeling you holding me tight, tight 

Owww! 

So why on earth should I moan, 'cause when I get you alone 
You know I feel ok 

You know I feel alright 
You know I feel alright 

--- The Beatles

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fringe anyone?


In the 1960s, actress Sadhana styled her hair with a fringe and it became a craze. Now more than four decades later Deepika Padukone has rekindled the magic of this bygone hairstyle with her recently released movie "Chandni Chowk To China".

"Sporting a fringe will be the coolest thing of this year as the style is back in vogue. Fringe hides your age and makes you look younger. Fringe goes well for people who have a broad forehead - when fringes fall on their forehead, it gives a definite shape to their face cut," said stylist Mallika Bhat. Bhat had styled Deepika's look for "Chandni Chowk To China". Though the film isn't doing well at the box office, Bhat says the fringe is a hit among young girls and they have already started copying the cut. Fringes or horizontal bangs are a shaped cut of the front part of the hair so that it falls on the forehead. A typical fringe is cut fairly straight above the eyebrows. 

Javed Habib says hair texture plays an important role in deciding whether a person should go in for a fringe or not. So wanna try?

Crisis Explained

India & China: Saviors of the world economy

TOIChina and India — the only sizeable economies likely to record growth rates of over 5% — will prevent the world from recording negative growth in 2009, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday. 

The IMF's update to its World Economic Outlook is a sharp downward revision from the 2.2% growth in global output it had projected as recently as November last year. It now estimates the Chinese economy will grow at 6.7% rather than the 8.5% anticipated in November, while the forecast for India has been pared from 6.3% to 5.1%.

That is some good news after all. This growth rate is being attributed to Indian 'thrift' habits. Indians on an average save almost 34% of their earnings. If you are not, then better start now.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Global feel

To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography. 

George Santayana

Hence think globally, act locally

The Home-grown terrorist

What a shame you keep blaming the neighbour about the extremities being committed! We are no less. Here is a first hand example and what a pity, you try it on yourself! It only keeps getting worse. Intolerance is a stain that is spreading deep and fast in our country. Violent attacks by hoodlums inspired by extreme ideologies - be it regional chauvinism, religious bigotry or a warped sense of Indian tradition and ethos - are becoming an alarmingly frequent feature of our times. The incident last weekend in Mangalore, in which women were physically assaulted by a bunch of goons bearing allegiance to whomsoever is disgusting. 

Is beating up women also part of this culture? Our culture and traditions are neither static nor singular. Through the centuries, they have been shaped and reshaped by historic events and interactions with other cultures. Today, there could be more than a billion ways of being Indian.

It's worrying that small groups of people can hold the public to ransom and assault our collective liberties with such apparent ease. More troubling is the fact that our state and central governments seem ill-equipped and unwilling to crack down swiftly on such groups. Be it against Raj Thackeray in Mumbai or similar troublemakers elsewhere, administrations move too slowly and feebly, undermining citizens' faith in their ability to secure law and order. Those responsible for attacks on churches and prayer halls last year in Mangalore have not all been brought to book yet.

I think they are no different from the terrorists who created havoc in Mumbai in November 08.
May be some researcher or psychologist can explain why people behave in this way. We don't need any foreign terrorists, we can grow a few here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Smile Pinki


Will Pinki smile?

R. Venkataraman passes away

The former president passed away today (27.01.2009). He was 98. Mr. Venkataraman, who was elevated from Vice-Presidency, assumed the office of the President on July 25, 1987 and his term lasted till July 25, 1992. Earlier, as Minister in the Union Cabinet, he held the key portfolios of Defence and Finance. He was also Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. Mr. Venkataraman was a member of the constituent assembly that drafted the Constitution. 

Mr. Venkataraman was a true patriot who served with distinction in various capacities in public life and rose to occupy the highest office of the nation. Mr. Ansari said Mr. Venkataraman “left a distinct mark in society and in the polity with his innate simplicity, vast erudition and experience and deep sensitivity for the poor and the deprived.”

Ads in games!

Having led the way through an unprecedented online social networking strategy, the Obama campaign can now claim another first: the first major Presidential campaign to advertise in games.Obama advertising has been appearing in the Xbox 360 racing game Burnout Paradise. The ads appear on billboards within the game, as shown in the picture right. 

Next you would find Advani doing it in Indian games, may be.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Heaven of freedom

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

- Rabindranath Tagore.

Jai Ho India

Don't bother about the controversies that surround the PILs on whether its slum dog or slum dash! Rahman's Jai Ho is ringing out at all places in Republic Day celebrations. Seems we have a new anthem. Its a good song. Perhaps you should watch Slumdog Millionaire! Happy Republic day.

Republic Day!

A few weeks ago, at a family dinner table three generations discussed morality, integrity and our times. The almost octogenarian grandparent lamented the decline in values and the evident, distressful acceptance of dishonesty as a part of every day life. The mid-generation mother talked about new awareness - the rights of women and the role of the media in highlighting social issues. The teenager felt that increasing trends of extra-marital relationships indicated a growing ability of people to honestly define their real commitments. Certain values are almost irrelevant of context. They must be held strong for any society to truly grow and prosper.

Today, the 26th of January 2009, I stood amongst many and was touched by the words, the sentiments and the pride around me as the flag was unfurled. These thoughts ran in my mind.

What should you do?

Stop at the red light, even if you are the only one. Stand in queue, even if nobody else will. Save water, even if you aren't noticed or rewarded. Help people achieve their goals, even if you just had to speak and motivate. Pay your taxes. As for bills when you buy. Stop unfair practices, bribing, cheating, lying and using loopholes. Don't worry if people think you are crazy or foolish. Be an everyday hero. Be a responsible Indian.

Happy republic day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Roots? I ain't veggie...

Ustad Ali Khan has rightly said that the traditional music is being sacrificed at the altar of modernity. It pains to see how the western music and themes dominate Indian music scenario. But Indian music has been very accommodate to the pressures and intermissions by the other versions of music. Be it Persian, Mughal or the latest entrant western, Indian music mixes with them and imbibes in them its rich texture and sensitive touch and inturn infuses new spirit in to the traditional one.

But sometimes I feel that my generation had more inclination towards the traditional raagas which we grew up listening to and bring a nostalgic feeling even now or should I call it makes us feel more Indian. I also think this is just a phase and we will oscillate back to the traditional tunes. The best proof of this is my 10 month neice Dimpu who stops crying when her grandmother hums 'thodi raaga' or the traditional folk songs but hits the highest possible notes when we watch MTV. The Ustad is right in saying we should never forget our roots as we draw strength from them.

Is Chiranjeevi the Obama of AP?

Over-zealous media and thinkers in the Praja Rajyam Party are hurriying to make comparisons between Obama and Chiranjeevi. Like Obama, Chiranjeevi is being portrayed as a brand for change and social justice by people. Like Obama became the representative of a voice all over America to the White House, Chirajeevi is being shown as a saviour of all the people and the solution to the problems. But the brand should have similar reflections in all its communication. Obama stayed close to the 'change' and 'hope' while Chiranjeevi is trying all the options to stay in the fray. Let see how the opposition fights this out.

nwo





The photographs were taken by Hal Brindley, an American wildlife photographer, who was supposed to be taking pictures of hippos from his car in the Kruger National Park. The giant cat raced out of cover provided by scrub and bushes to surprise the crocodile, which was swimming nearby. A terrible and bloody struggle ensued. Eventually, onlookers were amazed to see the leopard drag the crocodile from the water as the reptile fought back. In the past, there have been reports of crocodiles killing leopards, but this is believed to the first time that the reverse scenario has been observed.
May be this is the new world order, the change in the consumer psyche, the change in the food chain! Be ready for unusual leaders.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

B'coz of u

You gave me wings and made me fly 
You touched my hand I could touch the sky 
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me 
You said no star was out of reach 
You stood by me and I stood tall 
I had your love I had it all 
I'm grateful for each day you gave me 
Maybe I don't know that much 
But I know this much is true 
I was blessed because I was loved by you 

Friday, January 23, 2009

New 'avatar' of discounts

Discounts are donning a new avatar. It’s no longer just the price war for retailers but also about grabbing customer attention instantly.

One has to create excitement around shopping. Customers are usually more aware about your brand if there are novel campaigns doing the rounds. Every month, we try and come up with some creative ideas. This phenomenon is quite common in far eastern and western countries and we are trying to practice the same in India too. Most of the retailers are replicating western strategies on home turf. And it has rewarded them back too. Experts feel that its not only slowdown but the power of the competition which is driving such sale techniques.

Good marketing acts as an incentive to entice customers in favour of a particular brand. There is a certain joy and recall value when a customer gets a freebie. No wonder, even stores based on the Everyday Low Price Format (EDLP) are going in for promotional activities," reasons Arvind Singhal, chairman of global management consulting firm Technopak. Did we hear someone say novelty is King? It sure is. 

Read the full article.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Attention

First-year students at Texas A & M's Vet school were attending their first Anatomy class, with a real dead pig.

They all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a White sheet. The professor started the class by telling them, 'In Veterinary Medicine it is necessary to have two important qualities as a Doctor: The first is that you not be disgusted by anything involving the Animal body'. For an example, the Professor pulled back the sheet, touched his finger in the mouth of the dead pig, withdrew it and put his Finger in his mouth. 'Go ahead and do the same thing,' he told his students.

The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes. But eventually took turns putting their finger in the mouth of the dead pig and tasted in their mouth. 

When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and said, 'The Second most important quality is observation. I touched with my middle Finger and tasted on my index finger

So learn to pay attention.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

O-BA-MA

The hands that hold the keys to the future of the world. They have a great responsibility and power. The dawn of a new presidency is always a time of awe and anxiety. The awe comes in bearing witness to the peaceful transfer of power as a new chapter of national history unfolds. The anxiety speaks to an untested new leader and the challenges he will face. The swearing-in today of the nation's 44th president is a moment of particular extremes: enormous joy, great hope, deep fears. 

Let us see how he would use them.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

For the sake of it

Are you complaining just for the sake of it? Are you acting as an obstacle or as a ladder? I think the later is more popular, acceptable and satisfying. Its your call.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Move on Mario, Wii is here

Super Mario Bros was a lovable game for the first video games: 2D, 3D and when computers took over. It was interesting to take him across different worlds with your hands swinging in the air, holding you breath to see him finish his jump and your score go up. Maneuver him under water, in air and what not. Children loved it. Parents loved it because they could get different things like drinking milk, home work to small household chores would get done if they allowed the child to play Mario for an hour. Students discussed it in classes, compared scores and traded tricks on how to score more in exchange for toffees. There were school-level, city-level, locality-level tournaments too. With over 40.24 million units, Super Mario Bros is the most popular video game ever till 10th January 2009. 

As of now Super Mario Bros has finally been dethroned. Mario has been replaced by the best selling video game of all time: Wii. The response of children who got a Wii for Christmas can be seen here. Industry sources expect Wii to rule the video gaming area till something else replaces it, which they say is not so near. When children shift from one game to the other it is a hard task for the firm to achieve as it needs to build the same acceptance level among kids which would make them adopt the new option over the other. That's a tough task and Nintendo did it, again.

My way

Found this at My Way. Similar to most of the successful blogs.

No banners. No pop-ups. No kidding. No ads.

Steal an ad


Steal an ad? Amul does it royally and makes it look so nice and clear that the viewer knows what Amul is talking about. Every time there is an issue or event Amul comes up with cartoon styled ads that twist the story to suit its products and advertise. Simple, yet effective. Can you guess which movies these ads refer to?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Witness

It's time. The earth, the sky, the wintry sunlight, the nip in the air, the fire in the heart, all tell you it's time to step out of the old and reach for the new. So after half a decade with you right here, 'I Witness' is stepping down. It's time to recharge batteries. 'I Witness' started when the excitement over 'India Shining' was at its peak, in the last days of the BJP-led NDA government. Since then you and I have witnessed momentous events and vast changes. We have seen the devastating tsunami, escalating terror, inescapable recession. In five years, without moving an inch, we have changed residences, lifestyles and identities. Your house is twice as expensive. You shop for packaged stuff at supermarkets, neglecting fresh fare from the neighbourhood grocer. You spend more time stuck in traffic jams and more money on lifestyle enhancing therapy. You live in a proud nuclear state, as a pal of the US. You don't represent a developing nation, you represent a regional superpower. 

As Sophocles said, "There is no witness so terrible, no accuser so powerful as conscience that dwells within us." Till we meet again, I leave with you that precious witness. Do nurture it. 

Antara Dev Sen's last article for The Week.

Crisis Heroes

Flight 1549 apparently flew into a flock of geese, disabling at least one engine, according to MSNBC. Authorities quickly reported that terrorism was not suspected, and no casualties were immediately reported. Many volunteer and working rescuers is credited with saving the lives of everybody on board US Airways Flight 1549, the New York Times reports. Within minutes of the plane hitting the Hudson river, ferries, cruise boats and conventional rescue boats converged on the scene to quickly pluck passengers to safety from the wings of the slowly sinking jet. 

The pilot Chelsey Sullenberger became an instant hero as he could land the place safely with minimum damage to human life. When crisis hits its those with a brave heart and a calm mind that survive longer. The Hero of Hudson did just that. See any implications in management?

 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What to pray


Naga sent me this...

Trusting in God won't make the mountain smaller, but will make climbing easier. Do not ask him for a lighter load but ask Him for a stronger back!

The top jobs of 2009

Fast Company lists the top jobs of 2009

1) Nursing & Medical Services
2) Computing & Engineering
3) Education
4) Green Jobs
5) Energy 
6) Infrastructure
7) The New Finance
8) Self-Employment & Small Business
9) Telecommuting


Are you lonesome tonight?

You need to hear this...

Are you lonesome tonight,
Do you miss me tonight? 
Are you sorry we drifted apart? 
Does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day
When I kissed you and called you sweetheart? 
Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare? 
Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there? 
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again? 
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight? 

I wonder if youre lonesome tonight
You know someone said that the worlds a stage
And each must play a part.
Fate had me playing in love you as my sweet heart.
Act one was when we met, I loved you at first glance
You read your line so cleverly and never missed a cue
Then came act two, you seemed to change and you acted strange
And why Ill never know.
Honey, you lied when you said you loved me
And I had no cause to doubt you.
But Id rather go on hearing your lies
Than go on living without you.
Now the stage is bare and Im standing there
With emptiness all around
And if you wont come back to me
Then make them bring the curtain down.

Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again? 
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?

--- Elvis Presley

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lessons from Rahman

The Marketing lesson in Rahman is a lesson of openness and adaptability. Rahman's been open to experimenting, to altering what could be seen as moving away from purist forms. He's been a collaborator and has adapted to markets where Indian music in its natural form may not have been as acceptable. The key to Rahman lies in his combination of musical genius and a mind that has had no axes to grind, a mind free from the trappings of musical tradition and rules.

BJP is online!

Its almost 100 days more before we know when India will go to polls and BJP has already started to campaign and promise. MJ explains how this is happening online. Now this is an ad by Google Adwords that keeps cropping up when I browse. BJP has launched a website with L K Advani's speech in Hindi and English urging the people for votes. 

Though I think Indians are not yet so much in to changing their voting preferences on whom they are going to vote for, i think this is a cool move as it is so prominent and innovative. I think this is the first time I am seeing a Google Adwords ad for a political party. Considering the contribution of Internet and the online population and traffic in Obama's election this might work out as a positive note for the BJP. The logo is redesigned as well to suit the tastes of the modern young population. 

Now we learn in strategy that the change in logo should be in sync with the change in internal policies, processes, methods you do business in and how you put together your product/service offering. Logo is fine, now let me see what changes you have got and tell me why should I vote for you? Smart work Advaniji and Party.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The SPECIAL lunch

Today's lunch at the Canteen was superb. The people who served had a wide smile on their face. Most of the people expressed their satisfaction. You might have faced such situation too. Once in a while the food at the place you eat is extremely good. It is not because it turned out to be good but because the cook and the management wanted it to be. Now this means that they took extra care and ensured all the ingredients were correct, used to measure and cooked with the intention to be better. And when such a thing happens the management is behind you to get the feedback that the food is good. This is called 'special' lunch. 

This can be generalized across all the services: Hospitals, artists, musicians, teachers, traffic cops, drivers, customer service agents, companies, salesmen, tele-callers, government, watchmen, and what not. Any service if it is good is because it was meant to be so. Some one took extra care to ensure that the experience was a pleasant one, exceeding or at least meeting your expectations.  In such a case they deserve the credit for the extra degree, extra effort. But my question here is why can't it be special every day? Why can't the call centre executive put in extra effort to make my experience special? Why can't the faculty prepare extra to make my learning more wholesome? Why can't the students prepare for the class in advance and push the instructor to the limits? Why can't traffic cops be more pleasant? Why doesn't the government be more responsible? The list goes on and on. 

On the other hand why can't you hire people who are passionate about making some one's life special? Engineers who want to create products which exceed customer's expectations? Why don't you make this your strategy?

It is YOUR CHOICE to make someone feel special. If only you can put in some extra effort. Loyalty is not built in a day, or is it?

Now or Never

Now or Never: How Companies Must Change to Win the Battle for Internet Consumers

The hype and market valuations surrounding certain Internet stocks may lead one to conclude that the e-commerce race is over--or nearly so. Clearly, the Internet has caught traditional companies off guard, giving the more nimble dot coms a huge head start. But the race is far from over, says Mary Modahl, a vice president at Forrester Research. In Now or Never, she argues that we are in the first year of a "ten year transition in the way consumers shop and save," and that winning in the Internet space not only requires identifying consumers that are most likely to take their shopping online, but exploiting the new and different business models made possible by online commerce.

Modahl believes that conventional demographics, which segment populations according to their income and education, is a poor predictor of online behavior. As an alternative, she advances Forrester Research's work on "technographics," which measure consumers' attitudes toward technology. Forrester has found that 52 percent of the population is optimistic about technology and is "marching happily towards online shopping," and she shows how companies can better target their marketing strategies to meet this growing legion of consumers. In addition, Modahl considers the "post-Internet competitive environment," which she thinks will be "far more fluid and responsive to changes in supply and demand." Using examples of traditional industries that have had their business models turned upside down by Internet economies--newspapers, travel agencies, and brokerages--Modahl offers ways that the old guard can better cope with technology change, channel conflict, and their own inertia toward this new marketplace.

Modahl, an analyst at Forrester Research, has spent the past several years researching the impact of the Internet on business, using questionnaires, focus groups and interviews. To make sense of the marketplace, she has developed a concept she calls "Technographics," an approach that examines and ranks computer users by their comfort level with technology and how likely they are to use the Internet. This scheme yields three basic users: Early Adoptees, Mainstream Users and Laggards. These groups can be further broken down into such subgroups as "Handshakers, successful professionals with low technology tolerance"; "Gadget Grabbers, lower-income consumers focused on tech-based entertainment"; and "New-Age Nurturers, affluent believers in technology for family and education." Understanding this segmentation model, argues Modahl, is vital for companies eager to remain profitable. Asked how companies should organize their Internet efforts, Modahl says the answer "depends on a company's consumer Technographics, on the speed and nature of business model change in their industry, and on the ability of the organization to fund Internet set-up costs." Writing with the authority gained from her research as well as common sense from her viewpoint as an online consumer, Modahl offers persuasive arguments for both Internet startups and existing bricks-and-mortar companies to rethink their approach to online service.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Pongal



మీకు మరియు మీ కుటుంబ సభ్యులకు సంక్రాంతి శుభాకాంక్షలు

Code Bright

TOI Reports the colors that are going to rule this season. 

What are the hottest colours on campus this season? Says Naina Surana, a second year student of a fashion and design academy, “Hot pink definitely. Yellow is back in a big way. Purple too, bright and electric. A lot of people are not comfortable wearing bright colours, so it’s advisable to incorporate bright colours in their wardrobe in the form of bags or shoes. For example, a pair of purple peep-toe stilettos can look very hot and can be worn with anything! One has to look for lots of mix n match this season.” 

So ladies, it is official now: if you are going to be seen around a lot this season, be it working, partying or just soaking up some winter sun, grab that bright thing peeping out of your wardrobe and get set to dazzle the eyes!  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Talking machine

Used to be that buying a soft drink or candy bar from a vending machine felt a little bit like gambling. Well, I have a feeling that’s about to change and that we’re on the cusp of a new era in vending machines. Will there come a day when Coke machines deploy retinal scanners to automatically dispense your beverage of choice while delivering a brand experience related to your favorite rock band and sports team? It may be some time before manufacturers and retailers fully capitalize on vending machines as an additional customer touch point and relationship-building vehicle. Coke is planning to introduce a talking vending machine sometime in 2010!

Cycle seat & Impotency!

For many years there was a doubt but now it is confirmed. Bicycle's with regular nosed-seats increase the chances of impotency and noseless seats don't. Noseless bicycle seats enhance male potency and sensation while conventional seats have the reverse effect, says a new study, confirming something long suspected by five million bike riders and sexual experts. 

If you still are riding one or planning to buy one for your kid, think again.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pocket PC

The hotly anticipated VAIO P is for real, and it's coming in as the world's lightest 8-inch netbook at just 1.4 pounds. The Vista-based device packs an almost unbelievable 1,600 x 768 resolution LED-backlit XBRITE-ECO LCD display, 802.11n WiFi, 3G WWAN, Bluetooth, a battery good for four hours (eight hours with the optional high-capacity cell) and a GPS module for good measure. You'll also find an instant-on mode that launches directly into Sony's Xross Media Bar interface, and the inbuilt webcam will keep the video chats going well into the morning. It'll start shipping in early February (in garnet red, emerald green, onyx black, crystal white and classic black hues) for $900 and up, and you can peek the full release just after the break.

Slumdog or Millionaire?


A R Rahman becomes the first Indian musician to win The Golden Globe Award. Slumdog Millionaire made merry at this years version of the awards and won four of them. Hoping this would have a similar effect at the Oscars Rahman said it would be an honour for India, not just for him. The film captures the throbbing pulse of Mumbai. It is about suffering, hope and redemption. If Rahman's music in SM has made an impact in the West, it’s because it’s projected effectively. Though some of the songs are in Hindi, nobody complained about them being boring or incomprehensible. Jai Ho, the song which has been nominated for The Golden Globe, O Saya ... and Ringa Ringa ... which are influenced by Choli Ke Peeche are, for them, in a foreign language, yet they loved it.

It’s the way director, Danny Boyle, has put the film together. All the artist in the movie come up with extraordinary performances, especially the kids. At present it is at # 10 of the top 10 hollywood flicks of the week. Hope it continues a golden run at the Academy Awards and Rahman would be able to bring home the much awaited Oscar.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dark Chocolate!

Encouraged by antioxidant health claims and its sophisticated adult perception, many more consumers are embracing dark chocolate. With major confectionery players extending their countlines to include a dark variant, research published in 2006 estimated that the UK dark chocolate market will double in size by 2010. To tap into the market’s growth and profitability, Cadbury briefed Design Bridge to maximise the potential of its 100-year-old Bournville brand: stable, familiar and trusted but dated and with an older consumer base.

The contemporary solution includes a spontaneous chocolate-coloured splash on Bournville’s trademark red. Bournville’s stylishly extrovert personality is reinforced by the new Deeply Dark sub-brand, which connects with younger consumers. Design Bridge has managed to reinvent our grandparents’ favourite brand whilst reinforcing its ability to meet today’s lifestyle choices, a century since entering the market.


Cadbury's new Dark Chocolate's design

Top 10 this week

Top 10 @ Hollywood this week...

1. Marley & Me
2. Bedtime Stories
3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
4. Valkyrie
5. Yes Man
6. Seven Pounds
7. The Tale of Despereaux
8. The Day the Earth Stood Still
9. Doubt
10.Slumdog Millionaire

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I don't want to miss you

I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
While youre far away dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure

Dont want to close my eyes
I dont want to fall asleep
Cause Id miss you baby
And I dont want to miss a thing
Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
Id still miss you baby
And I dont want to miss a thing

Lying close to you feeling your heart beating
And Im wondering what youre dreaming
Wondering if its me youre seeing
Then I kiss your eyes
And thank God were together
I just want to stay with you in this moment forever
Forever and ever

Dont want to close my eyes
I dont want to fall asleep
Cause Id miss you baby
And I dont want to miss a thing
Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
Id still miss you baby
And I dont want to miss a thing

I dont want to miss one smile
I dont want to miss one kiss
I just want to be with you
Right here with you, just like this
I just want to hold you close
Feel your heart so close to mine
And just stay here in this moment
For all the rest of time

Dont want to close my eyes
I dont want to fall asleep
Cause Id miss you baby
And I dont want to miss a thing
Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
Id still miss you baby
And I dont want to miss a thing

Dont want to close my eyes
I dont want to fall asleep
I dont want to miss a thing

-- Aerosmith

Friday, January 9, 2009

The +ve side of Stayam

In times of struggle and adversity its rare you find something positive being spoken or written about. Here is one of those incidents when some employee of Satyam writes positively about what happened.

A msg from unknown Satyamite…

Dear all of my Satyamites,

Yesterday will be a memorable day to us throughout our life. Little bit of business & human nature knowledge is forcing me to write few of my thoughts (Please ignore them if they doesn’t make any sense). Ask yourself who is worst affected by all this mayhem. Is it u & me (employees), Govt or Satyam & Ramalingaraju ?. My conviction says that employees of any MNC are associated to that company as long as they don’t have any better option, the best thing government can do for a company is to keep itself away from it. But there was a visionary who created wealth for a nation for 20 years, the only thing that cannot be separated from Satyam for these 20 years & ahead also if Satyam remains was\is a name called “Ramalinga Raju”. Fortunately I got some 15 min of time talking to him when i was an ELTP. He’s much softer then we see him. Imagine what would be going on in his mind when he was writing yesterday’s letter accepting all the things which he did only to save his company. All have made him scapegoat for what has happened & left the company keeping their integrity intact. He was cursed badly for putting the money of a public limited company into his family driven company but it only now clear that how he was transferrring the risk from 50,000 people to his two sons & his known-integrity.

The worst which can happen to we the employees is that we are out of our current job, jobless for time being & then again getting a job which we deserve & our families will be worried for us(as they are always). But a relatively bitter truth will be for the Raju-family who will be annoyed for ages & will be treated as miscreants by those who do not know the truth or more about Greedy investors & money market. And the truth is that he has not stolen some thousand crores rupees into his own pocket, it was a bubble he created which busted. (And every other company on earth does so, being wary of not getting trapped)



One more thing which annoys me is does a philanthropist guy deserve this disgraceful exit ? I really feel sad about the way he’s been portrait in the media. Our rustic fellows have already started comparing him with Harshad Mehta. Tell me any incident in corporate India where any chairman has dared to confess such irregularities in his own firm. And believe me it takes hell lot of guts to accept all this publicly. And as I read the news today morning it was published there that even his community members have suggested him not to tell anything and later on he can play with the Indian laws as every politician does in India . But as he mentioned it was all deep regret in his conscience which lead him to confess all this.

I am not at all saying that he’s totally innocent and unaware of what’s been going there but a person who has started a journey called Satyam 20 yrs ago with few associates and made it 4th largest IT Company in India , done all this for sake of his 50000 Satyam family members. In the end i’ll ask only one question to all of my friends,” for whom he has created this bubble, if it was he who was going bankrupt? ”

The day before all this mayhem started, we all were proud to be called as Satyamites and were wearing the Satyam tag displaying our esteem to others, and now due to a single incidence u are feeling awkward to show the same Satyam tag in public?? I don’t know about others, but still I am proud to be a SATYAMITE!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fill it up!

Oil is suddenly on the demand in India due to the strike by employees. The strike is spearheaded by the Oil Sector Officers’ Association, or OSOA, an umbrella group that is demanding a pay increase for the 55,000 employees it represents.

While services in the power, fertilizer, steel and aviation sectors were affected, the Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance government stuck to its stand and public sector units sacked 67 executives for joining the strike.

It seems this will take some time to settle so better fill your vehicles up and use less fuel.What a fields day mechanics and petty vendors have during this time! With the queues getting longer and longer at the outlets the demand for fuel sold in black has almost doubled. The price is close to Rs. 90/- per litre.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Satyam Dies

The word is final. Satyam's CEO has resigned and admits the presence of gaps in the company. I saw a copy of the mail sent by him to the employees. Check this out.




Rural India buying

Data released by market researcher ORG-GFK on Thursday showed that television sales rose 29.3% to 10.3 million sets, while growth in refrigerator sales was 12%. Washing machines sales grew 15% while microwave ovens and air conditioners grew 26% and 17%, respectively.

Industry officials say the growth is on the back of entry-level products and largely driven by rural and semi-urban markets. “Acceptance of branded products in the rural market, which is largely driven by first-time purchases and replacement, has resulted in higher sales of entry-level products,” said Samsung India Electronics deputy managing director Ravinder Zutshi.

Read more.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Who am I?

The usage of the westernized names when assisting a broken microwave or replacing a RAM drive has a defining toll on the person. But over time it kind of grows on you. The same happens when you try to replace change Venkata Srinivasa Subramanya Sastry to Venky or Sastry for your friends. But at heart there is a soft corner for some one calling you Chotu, Chintu, Bujji or just the full name.

I think the whole thing is a circle. Indians spoke of George Washington, Abe Lincoln. Later we heard Americans speaking about Gandhi, Ramanujan, etc. Same way I wouldn't be surprised when I call my Kingfisher customer care and find a funny Hindi accent from some Srinivasa Subramanyam sitting in Canada checking my reservation and telling me how he liked Aamir's fighting scenes in Gajini or the way Gambhir's batting has improved over time but having no clue what it means.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Myths about Pakistan

Here they go:
  • Pakistan controls the jihadis
  • Musharraf was in control, Zardari is not
  • Pakistan and its loose nukes
  • Pakistan is a failed state
  • It is a deeply religious country
  • All Pakistanis hate India
  • Training camps
  • RAW would never do what ISI does
  • Pakistan is poor, India is rich

2 Indias?

Kalita Mitra in her last post for Mint explains the evils for the evils of disparity in India: bad schools, bad roads, no health care, no adequate political representation for a starter.

She continues..
For almost two years now, I’ve pondered and offered various explanations in this space, including the need to follow opportunity eastward, to the country that birthed my parents but never seemed big enough for their ambitions.

In the process, I’ve delved into not just the two Indias, but the countless Indias that perplexed me, yet ultimately define me.

Its the same reason why we still are called under-developed, in fact we are too developed in some areas and un-developed in the other. Isn't this a 'wider angle' in itself? The day we bring it closer to each other or may be one nearer to the other, the day people here start doing something themselves and stop depending on the external help from Government, NRIs, loans, help will this happen. As your uncle rightly pointed out this would happen when there are: Good schools, good roads, good health care ad representation in the politics.

May be you can do something about it, may be I can. But the fact is some one should and only then we can say our home is a Home. Who but you should clean your Home?

Women dominance

Bollywood stars featured in 47% of all the ads in 2008 of which only 13% is contributed by male stars. Kareena kapoor, Katrina Kapoor and Deepika are the big three, both in terms of earning and in terms of the number of ads. Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh and Sachin top the mens list. The acceptance level of women selling the products seems to be increasing and these figures speak for that.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Parizaad's account of the Mumbai terror attack

“I want you all to stay calm. Listen to me, there is nothing to worry about. The first bullet will go through me, I’m leading you out,” our commando said.

We heard later that many police personnel and some of the hotel staff lost their lives. We’re probably alive because of them.

Read a first hand account of what happened on 26th November here.

Look at how the hotel staff, commandos behaved. Hats off!

Can't buy? Borrow!

TOI Reports that young men are the worst spenders. The men spent some 28% more than the fairer sex and ended up in debt more often. The study was conducted by a debt collection company called Dun & Bradstreet which observed the attitude towards debt and the purchasing behaviour of both men and women. It also advises that in the present situation its always advisable to spend less and keep a rein on those purchasing sprees. The study does not mention as to what were the items bought and for whom. Is there a chance for the women to buy on the man's bill? Are men's purchases for the family (read wife, children, parents, groceries, etc. which are paid by the plastic) counted as his purchases?

I agree with the advise about the holding the rein idea. As my Dad always says: "Never borrow, never lend."

OMG! I got a wii!

A steal from Seth's Blog: A collection of about 50 children opening up their Christmas (or other holiday presents only to be surprised by getting a Nintendo Wii under the wrapping paper. Some laugh, some cry, some faint, but most go crazy and scream.


Now as if this is not enough check the parody

Evidence?


Source: TOI

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Placements Pulse?

Elaborating on the changes in the type of employers, Patra said: “We have witnessed an increase in the number of consultancy, manufacturing and FMCG companies.” Similarly, IIT-Kanpur has seen an increase in profiles offered in marketing and consultancy, especially enterprise resource planning (ERP) and domain consultancy. “In fact, the profiles offered in these fields are better compared to last year,” said the placement committee member.

Further, Kanwar said that GIM students have even been offered jobs in investment banking as well. Kanwar added: “Looking at the current scenario for I-banking, this is very good news.” Placements at NMIMS, too, witnessed an increase in FMCG and marketing profiles. “The best thing about placements this year is probably the fact that some of these companies are offering much better profiles than those offered by I-banks.

Read more here.

Where is the party?

Indian film industry churns out more movies than Hollywood. So there is a high chance that any of the movies released would be missed in the clutter. So what do you need to do to stay on top and reach that audience you are targeting? Here many movies miss out on what they are targeting and try to be everything to everyone and turn out being nothing to anyone. And no wonder Prof. Ray mocks the creativity of Indian Cinema. The lack on genuine acting, story and ability to show real stuff in an interesting way is clearly.

But there are exceptions. Some films do ensure they get noticed by going for clear segments of audience. Have a number that will be played a zillion times in all pubs and parties, hit that note of mass audience with a lot of beat, slithery sensous dance and the traditional theen mar and chances are that you will be noted. No one cares what the lyrics are as long as they can count on the trance they get from the beat. Here is a song from Silambattam which is the present top list in Tamilnadu and slowly catching up with pub audience all over south India.

So where is the party?

Motivate

"A goal is a dream with a deadline."

- Dr. Napoleon Hill 

"Dream big dreams! Imagine that you have no limitations and then decide what's right before you decide what's possible."

- Brian Tracy

Friday, January 2, 2009

Women Entrepreneurs?

Right from Yashoda who managed to bring up the naughty little Krishna and Balarama to Kunthi who was the God mother for all the Pandavas in their struggle to cleanse the world from evil Kauravas to the modern day Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Mayawati, Rabri Devi, Jayalalitha, Brinda Karat, from Oneke Obavva, Jhansi Lakshmi Bai to the modern day Kalawati who dug a pond on her own and figured in Rahul Gandhi’s speech, Kiran Majumdar Shaw, Shehnaz Hussain, Vinita Bali, Kalpana Morparia, Chanda Kochar, Medha Patkar to Mother Theresa: women have proved that entrepreneurship is not only a mans word. Women have handled tough situations with equal and sometimes better ease. What keeps it going in India? Are we celebrating few success stories or is the system wrong?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day 1

What will I do this year? What would I like to change? Achieve? 

What are you going to do?

Adapt