Google+ Consumer Psyche: April 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Long way to go

I tread along a narrow path
A path rugged, dark and low
For there was hardly anyone
That I would know
The road meandered through hills and plains
And I kept walking along
With the desire to know every end
Of this journey far and long.

--- Unknown

Fake it, Make it

Though it is premature to state that it has become a cult, I would like to risk it. Well I am talking about a new blog that climbing up the charts like the temperature this summer. Its Fake IPL Player! Posing as some one in the team and describing in detail what happens in team meetings, individual differences and what not this blog has more than what comes around in the press. The infamous blogger reveals info about what happens in the dressing room, the conversations between SRK, the coach and the team. At present this blog has nore than 4800 followers along with numerous visitors who visit it daily. Each character inj the blog have been given funny names and this is firing up the blog even more. Some claim this is a player in the IPL while some claim Sharukh has figured out a way to get free publicity. Only time will tell. Till then happy reading.

For those who are new here are few names and equivalant---

Gilli danda : Ashok Dinda
Bhookha Naan : John Buchanan
Boy George - BRAD HODGE
Style bhai spinner - Murali Karthik
Lord Almighty = Ganguly
Phoren baba = Mccullum (also Gayle & Hodge when used in plural ?)
Calypso king = Gayle
Vinnie Dildo / Badshah Dildo = Shahrukh Khan
Kishen Kanhaiyya = Ravi Shastri
Sandy: Mandira Bedi
Sultan of tweak = Warne
Sparrow / parrott = McGrath
Bevdaa team = BRC (Mallya’s Team)
Big Sister’s team = RR (Shilpa Shetty’s team)
Mr. Bativala = Vijay Mallya
RDB = Ranadeb Bose ?
Prince Charles of Patiala = Yuvraj
Prince of Patiala = Yuvraj
Little Monster = Little Master / Sachin
The Rajputs = RR
Pedophile Priest = Gilchrist
Little John = Ishant Sharma
Very very special friend Ram = VVS Laxman
Kaan Moolo = Agarkar
Former India fast bowler who will remain a former India fast bowler = Agarkar
Bangla Tiger = Mortaza
Appam C = Sreesanth
Junta Tormentor = Ajanta Mendis
India’s best fast bowler = Ishant Sharma

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama vs Capitalism

I'm not going to get into what's fair. That's for individual bondholders to decide," explained new GM CEO (and former CFO) Fritz Henderson. Fair? There's nothing fair about doing business with the government or the unions.

Few people, especially in government and big business, seem to remember one of the founding principles of Western civilization and capitalism: private property. If you borrow someone's private property, you have to pay it back. It's not optional. GM has borrowed $27 billion from its bondholders - and Fritz Henderson was the person who arranged nearly all of these loans while he was CFO. Fritz promised lenders they would be repaid. If GM cannot repay these debts on time with interest, then according to all the laws of this country and 1,000 years of common-law tradition, GM's assets are legally transferred from the company's equity investors to the bondholders through bankruptcy. Them's the rules. But apparently, OBAMA! has other ideas about how things should work.

OBAMA! is demanding a 50% equity stake in the restructured GM. That's not a misprint. The government wants half of the new company. For what? Yes, the government has put $15 billion into the company - but it did so only after GM should have filed for bankruptcy. In other words, without the government's "help," the bondholders would have gotten 100% of the new company. Now, even though they're still owed $27 billion (almost twice what the government is owed), they're being asked to accept only 10% of the equity in the new GM. Where's the rest of the equity going to be "spread around"? The union expects a 39% stake. And Fritz even plans to give existing shareholders a 1% stake. Everyone, it seems, is going to get a large stake in the new GM - except for the company's legitimate creditors.

Memo to OBAMA!: Capitalism doesn't work when debts aren't repaid. Capitalism doesn't work when legitimate creditors are put last in line - behind the union. If you think the way to restart the financial system is to allow the government to steal 50% of GM's assets and give the rest to the union, you're nuts. Nobody can afford to make a loan if they're forced to figure out the odds that OBAMA! will steal their collateral.

--- Porter Stansberry

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Showing up for life


The next best seller: Showing up for life. Authored by Bill Gates Sr. and contains many interesting facts and incidents about raising Bill Gates. Sneak peak at Showingupforlife.com. It also tells you why giving to charity/philanthropy is not giving back but giving forward.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Where you are

Many of the emerging services make use of the phone’s ability to reveal its physical location when tracked by the network. This means that advertising can be sent to the phone to encourage purchases and take-up of offers targeted to where the phone use is located at that time.

This network-driven targeting has already been used to promote cheap petrol, trade services, retail discounts, entertainment venue offers and the like via local directories. This gives you a chance to stay updated and in sync without missing on the current opportunities. No one looks at the ads any more and decides to purchase. Its the relevant ones that are checked. In this case it matches the need and place. What is more, it is free too.

Tag them

Have you ever seen luggage bags of people who do not remove the stickers of Airways by which they traveled even after 4 months of arrival? Well I think the association is so close and dear that they do not want to get rid of it.

Building associations which the customer do not want to break away from is difficult and takes a lot of time and effort. The other option is to stick tot he fundamentals of being successful in business. Promise a great experience, fulfill it and give something to remind them about the experience. This should be so effortless like the sticker on the luggage. If the promise is good and the experience matches it. Bingo! You have the consumer on your side.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Happy Customers

Happy Customers...
  • Stay longer
  • Buy more
  • Tell more people
  • Use more
  • Upgrade easily
  • Trust more
  • Easier to serve
  • Are loyal
  • Bring friends
  • Write reviews
  • Return
  • Negotiate less

Pleasant Noise

Staying in Anekal hostel for almost an year has helped me ignore the train sound when it passes next to the campus. I guess this is because of the repetition and I grew out of it. Also because the noise is from the same train, every day. Trains are boring. Same sound, purpose, tempo. Hence comfortably ignored. Once I know what your brand is about I tend to ignore. Because it is the same, boring stuff that I am being exposed to.

If the train comes at irregular intervals, chirping, singing or doing something else that would attract my attention. but it would take much more than that to make me sit up and notice. Vodafone's new ad concept is one such example. I know the brand, the message but the theme is different. The story board is different. How about your brand and its communique?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Never quit


So what if you need to face problems? If you are a winner you will find a way to be one. Rashpal Kaur is an example.

Ode to a skylark

"We look before and after
And pine for what is not
Our sincerest laughter
with some pain is fraught
Our sweetest songs are those
That tell of saddest thought"


- Ode to a skylark by P.B.Shelly

Give vs Get

One of the biggest challenges in relationships comes from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take. But once they get what they want they find it difficult to stay in the bond and break away. But if the foundation is built on a give-give equation, it holds.

If all you want is a transaction I would leave you out. But if you think I add something to your brand I would choose to stay in.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Retail + Apparel

Working on my dissertation and came across these facts...
  • Organized retail market in India is expected to reach US$ 50 Billion mark by 2011
  • Number of shopping malls is expected to increase at a CAGR of more than 18.9% from 2007 to 2015
  • Rural market is projected to dominate the retail industry landscape in India by 2012 with total market share of above 50%
  • Organized retailing of mobile handset and accessories is expected to reach close to Rs. 5000 Crore by 2010
  • Driven by the expanding retail market, third party logistic market is forecasted to reach US$ 20 Billion by 2011
  • Apparel, along with food and grocery, will lead the organized retailing in India

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lessons from Domino's

Marketers are getting an instant lesson in the dangers of an online world where just about anyone with a video camera and a grudge can bring a company to its knees with lightning speed. Nothing is local anymore which is a challenge of the Web world. Anyone with a video camera and an idea can damage the reputation of a 50-year-old brand. Nothing is personal or sentimental or guarded anymore.

Michael Anthony Setzer, 32, and Kristy Lynn Hammonds, 31 have been charged for food tampering, a felony in North Carolina. They shot to fame after they posted a video on YouTube on Monday that shows one of them doing gross things to a Domino's sandwich he is making. Among them: sticking cheese pieces up his nose. The video had been viewed more than 720,000 times by Thursday. The video reflects some of the worst fears consumers have about food purchased from restaurants and fast food joints. This video and discussion have moved on to Facebook, Twitter and dozens of other social-networking sites. Domino's is planning a lawsuit on both of them.

What should a company do to stop similar catastrophe?
  • Keep monitoring social media: Actively observe Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social sites to track conversations that involve them
  • Respond quickly like Domino's. It responded within hours. The faster you respond the better
  • Respond responsibly, officially. Domino's first responded on consumer affairs blog the Consumerist, whose activist readers helped track down the store and employees who made the video. Then it responded on the Twitter site and other networking sites.
  • Re-institute trust where it was lost
  • Educate employees/customers. Train, teach and warn
  • Build a positive culture. Check on satisfaction levels of employees/customers and try to improve them
If you can't stop people talking, don't give a chance.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Monday blues: Do good

Hi all,

Its Monday again. Monday is my favorite day. I like meeting schedules, challenges, deadlines and opportunities. Just a thought for today. At your office try this.

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can,
In all the ways you can, in all the places you can,
At all times you can, to all the people you can,
As long as you can!
--- (John Wesley, 1703-1791)

What is bad in doing good? Just a little to start with...

Change for good

Meera Sanyal (banker), Capt Gopinath and Sarath are to be watched keenly in this election. If young, vibrant and democratic India realises the genuine need for self-less leaders to be chosen, they all should win. But, for the past two decades or more, we have been suffering with dirty coalition politics resulting in uncertainty and inconsistency; which is hampering parliamentary governance being commercialised.

In the big fight between three or four major political fronts, some times ideologies are also changing fast. Leftists support a govt for four and half years and leave only to be substituted by Samajwadi duo of Mulayam and Amar Singh; which again is short lived. Lalu, Paswan, Ambumani, Sharad Pawar, et al are all sitting on the fence. Reforms, Recession, Development, Globalisation, GDP, Income, Employment, Exports, Exchange rates, Stock Market fluctuations, etc are neglected in vote bank politics focusing corruption, caste, regionalism, nepotism, factionalism, power, money and what not?

The typical middle class (educated/employed) would helplessly watch elections after elections; let us hope Sarath, Meera and Gopinath would change the direction in this election and show to the world what Indian Democracy is all about!

Courtesy: Progressive Banker

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Designing a store

Commuters, passing your location on a regular basis to & from work, can provide a major source of business. Position, visibility and access are key in attracting commuters. A position on the going-home side of the street strategically located in regards to competition is usually best. Certain early-day businesses may consider the going-to-work side of the street. Most commuter business is drop-in, and thus visibility and access are essential considerations.

Visibility describes how easy or difficult it is for potential customers to notice your business. Obviously, for new locations, you must make this judgment without the benefit of having the actual signage and building. Visibility is more question of discrimination than the distance from which one can first see the sign or building. Have enough to show your existence and route.

The ease or convenience of getting to your store is a measure of its accessibility. Access is most commonly defined in terms of the ease or difficulty to reach, coming to the store or its parking area and leaving the store or its parking area, from the major exit points. At both the occasions the plan should be perfect causing minimal hassles. No one likes waiting for traffic to clear out in the parking lot when they leave or spend 10 minutes to find a parking spot for their vehicle.

Facebook vs Myspace

Facebook is catching up with MySpace in the U.S., according to comScore.

The social network added about 4 million unique visitors in March to reach 61.2 million and close within 9 million of MySpace, the top social network in the U.S. But while MySpace's audience of 70.2 million has shrunk by 4% in the last year, Facebook's has jumped 72%.

At the current rate of growth, Facebook is poised to overtake its social networking rival in the U.S. in the next few months. The company already surpassed MySpace last year as the most-trafficked social network globally. Facebook this month announced that it crossed the 200 million mark in active users worldwide, while Facebook has an estimated 130 million. ComScore reported Wednesday that Twitter's audience nearly tripled to 9.3 million in the last month as broader media coverage of the micro-blogging phenomenon helped propel growth.

With less fanfare, AOL-owned Bebo nearly doubled its U.S. audience from 5.8 million to 10.8 million. Bebo in February gave users tools for lifestreaming, an online service that lets people post frequent updates about their lives by aggregating blog posts, status updates, online photos and other online content. Adding lifestreaming to their profiles also allows Bebo users to get updates from external sites such as Facebook and MySpace in this format.

Weed management

New weed management challenges are facing today's corn farmers, but optimizing weed management is needed to maximize yields. A research is being carried at University of Illinois by Prof. Aaron Hager about how weed can be controlled and managed.In the past five to six years weeds have been atypical and, while they have been controllable, farmers need to learn how to manage them.

Do you have weeds in your team? How do you identify them?

Weed can be the dust bag in your firm, team who is good at creating differences, buttering, groupism, etc. The productivity from a weed is nil. A weed thinks grows very fast in size, popularity and exposure. A weed creates hindrances to work, grow, change, improve.

Few lessons management can borrow:

  1. Weed interference begins to reduce yields sooner
  2. It is hard to define when the weed interference begins to reduce yields, as many factors have an impact
  3. The two key factors to prevent losses due to improper weed management are: to be cautious about what kind of weed control system to use and to scout fields and remove weed interference frequently
  4. Weed control cost is additional expense but weed control is important for profit in the end
What should you do with a weed? You just can't remove a weed just like that. Remove it at the right time and burn it.

Showers Please


There shall showers of blessing- Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys sound of abundance of rain!

(Daniel W. Whittle, 1840-1901)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Unity in Diversity


Sarah sent this...

RBI is ready to issue a new bimetallic 10 Rupee coin for circulation.

The look: The obverse side has the lion capitol with numeral 10 and year of manufacture. On reverse side, a double line cross with a dot in each pellet of cross and denomination written in Hindi and English around. The outer side metal is Nickel-Bronze and the inner side metal is Ferrous Steel. The weight of the coin would be 8 grams and the diameter would be 28 mm.

This design has been prepared by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad with the theme of Unity in Diversity.

Make a Choice

From Robin's Blog:

Sure it's important to renew. Regeneration and genuine re-creation set you up for your next level of peak performance. But I suggest it's so very important to distinguish between real renewal and idle escape. Pure wastes of time just aren't good for the soul.

When I was in New York City recently, I noted that someone caught sitting with their car idling could be fined $2000 USD. Maybe we should impose a similar sanction on ourselves when we catch ourselves doing nothing. But wasting life.

You are here to play big with your life. To radically break through your previous best and to innovate your way to excellence in your work. So that when you're done, you'll know you did your life well. You can't idle and get to great. Make a choice.

Information is free

Ars Technica Reports...

Microsoft will discontinue both its MSN Encarta reference Web sites as well as its Encarta software, which have both been surpassed by rising competitors, like Wikipedia. In a message posted on the MSN Encarta Web site, Microsoft says, “Encarta has been a popular product around the world for many years. However, the category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed. People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past.”

Online, Microsoft offered a limited selection of professionally edited content for free and a larger selection for a subscription. But the offerings paled when compared to those at sites that could use the work of thousands of contributors. Wikipedia, for instance, offers 2.7 million articles in English. Google’s Knol, which like Wikipedia depends on user-generated content, has more than 100,000. Encarta has 42,000 entries. Encarta did try to adapt, inviting users to submit suggestions for changes to articles, but those suggestions first had to be checked by a member of the Encarta staff. And Encarta did not allow users to submit new entries.

The decision to cut Encarta also comes as Microsoft looks to cut costs. The company has discontinued several products this year, including its Train Simulator game. A Microsoft spokeswoman would not say whether any jobs would be cut due to the closing of Encarta. “The decision to exit the Encarta business is one piece of a broader strategy to continue to evolve our product offerings to address the next wave of people’s search and research needs,” she said. “We will continue to evaluate online reference business opportunities and will consider how Encarta and key learnings acquired over the past nearly 20 years of developing it can inform and strengthen our future educational solutions.”

Lead India

A bit busy with my dissertation report and hence no post for today. Found this wonderful ad from TOI.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Start now

It is never too late to...
  • Turn your dream in to a reality
  • Prove all your cynics false
  • Win
  • Get a standing ovation
  • Be happy
  • Start something new
  • Believe
  • Dream

Check this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

Decipher India

Socio-cultural settings play a very important role in influencingpurchase. Its this setting that drives and reinforces human identities. Identities for people as people and as consumers. Socio-cultural environments throw up reference groups thatinfluence. These groups encircle the consumer and weigh him with their persuasive powers. The further away an entity is in the encirclement, the lesser its impact is. For example, the closest to the consumer is his family. What follows is friendship groups, then social class, subcultures and the end's rounded up by culture. What's interesting to note in this set-up is, sub-cultural influences are stronger than cultural ones. That is, identities are driven more by a sub-culture than culture. This is true in the consumer sense as much as it is to voting patterns. That is, consumers engage in purchases that match, propagate and reinforce a sub-cultural identity.

--- Buyer Behaviour

Push back please

Traveling has never seemed more costly. An usual Volvo customer I found a big difference last week. Most of the seats in Volvo were empty!

The sales at private travels in AP has registered a 10% decrease in demand for Volvo ticket sales. Most of the times the A/C Volvo travels costs 80 to 100% more than a regular push back bus. So where does this population go? Most of them have shifted to trains which provide a more convenient comfortable option at a cheaper price. Call it cost cutting, recession, job losses or just a change in trend.. it is visible. With in the bus all items have become costlier, DVD choices wider, staff friendlier... The last ten seats are what get converted to profit in a Volvo and if they aren't filled its a loss trip. Hence travel service owners are considering a reduction in prices to keep the charm and traffic consistent. The pain is reduced as the fuel prices have come down a bit. Or else I need to book a train ticket or push back.

"Bangalore busses are never vacant," I hear, "as they are full of IT personnel." The staff are hoping it would pick up faster... may be by Deewali. Amen.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Please Pappu... Vote na?



Well are you voting this time? I was watching the news the other day and found out you no longer need to have a voter ID to vote. There are more than 200 different id proofs that can be used to vote. With India going young the vote of the youth gains more importance than ever. Its for us to choose what kind of government we want. Do it now rather than repenting later. The power to Vote defines democracy and is what makes you and me the rulers of this Nation. So will you be a Pappu and stay home or will you vote?

In tone

Especially in times if economic hardships most purchase decisions are aimed at cost-cutting, getting the maximum for the least expense.

Marketing communique, of late, has changed from stressing on features to 'more for less' style. Once this is passed on to customers in-store there is a sudden will/temptation to purchase as it would save some bucks. Conversation with consumers has changed from 'Why should you buy this?' to 'How my brand can help you' and this is a welcome sign. Almost always the communique should be about me: consumer. I don't care as to what you have got and why you are different but am interested in what I can do with you.

Its about how I can be a different person tomorrow if I use your brand.

Am I forgetting something?

Marketers are increasingly pushing the expenses on in-store ad spending and retailers expanding their private-label offerings, stores, etc. Here is the reason: Consumers make about 70% of all their buying decisions IN the store. So it makes sense to prompt a purchase right there, in the store. Most of these are direct messages which have a clear cut goal of converting a sale. Encouraging customers to spend more by doing this will help two fold: Increase the average spend at the store & Save the customer's time and effort to come back for another item. Big Bazaar has constant announcements about the offers and how I can save a trip by buying more and paying less and so on.

Auditors. Again

"This whole system is so wrong", says my friend who is being tormented by some auditors I mentioned last time.

"You do all the work and some dumb government official comes once in 6 months to check them and eats and lives on your money like a parasite. I hope he suffers from constipation, better dies."

"I am sure these people are not human> How else can some one eat so much and still be hungry for dinner?"

She lists out what they eat for lunch: Idly(16), 8 Wada, 10 Dosa, 3 plates Chicken Munchuria, 4 cups Soup, 20 Butter naan with unlimited chicken tikka masala, cool drinks(thank God), ice cream, paan and juice. OK all these are by 4 people excluding my friend. She had to pay around Rs. 1100/- per lunch for one day. And they were ready for dinner again! They were here for 5 days and given a chance she could skin them. Not that she is worried only about the money but about their 'right' to eat from my friends pocket when they should stay at the hotel and finish their work and leave. What else can you expect from people who are from the government era? How can we change this? Why do all the people who are at an inspection/valuation level so moron? Occasionally you might find a sincere officer but mostly these people squeeze the maximum out of their dependants. How sick can this be?

Why can't auditing be done real time?
Why should someone check what you are doing? Why can't this be error proof? Better let the system check most of the work.
Why can't world be a better place?
It would/could but then there would be no more fun and jokes about the morons.

Did you face any situation like this? Or know some one who did? how do you win in such a situation? Any ideas?

Scraf it

I couldn’t help but notice this new trend amongst celebrity styles. I wanted to know what fashion critics think of this new trend of wearing mufflers during the hot Indian summers as a fashion statement. Being the superstar that he is, SRK can really influence people’s wardrobes.

Most of the anchors on the small screen are sporting these mufflers as if they had been operated nd were wearing a sling too. Let me know what you think?

Bandan, Atoot



Airtel surprises me with its ads. Each time it chooses to make me stop tapping on the next button on my remote with a touching concept re-emphasizing its commitment to provide me with the best network and solutions. This time this kids ad, especially in summer when all parents and family faces this problem, is well timed and planned.

Well done Airtel.

Noise

Being at home has its own advantages. You got someone who ensures you eat, sleep and wake up at the right time. I also had the chance to watch TV and local channels. I hate to say this but all over only one topic was prominent: Elections.

More than concentrating on how to get your votes and tell voters why should some one vote for your party each of these parties in AP are eagerly trying to prove others wrong. Most of the ads were directed to prove how stupid were the offers of the other party and how their party would should and must be the best choice. Congress party had ads targeting at TDP and ridiculing how stupid was the free color TV offer and money distribution schemes? TDP's ads were aimed at proving how Congress encouraged corruption? and couldn't do what could have been done? Chiranjeevi's PRP was aimed at his charisma and asking people to give him a chance! TRS was playing the Telangana song again.

Among all this clutter and clever subtle double entendre filled jabs at each other they forgot the basic rule of communication. Its not about you stupid. Its about me and my vote! What would I get if I vote for you? What can you do for me if I choose to select you as a public servant. You may spend crores of rupees but I would vote only for someone who would be eligible and not because you had a great ad and promotional campaign on TV or Internet. You should have been here long time ago.. for the last 5 years.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Salvation

Over the years Terminator has become a household name and draws awe from young and old when it comes to special effects and story line. Three outings later, each one out performing its predecessor and winning more audience, its here for the fourth edition. Hitting the theaters in the hot summer of 2009 its sure to be a massive hit.

Here is a first look at the trailer.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Too comfortable

When making a choice people tend to pick the one that is easier than what can be more challenging. Obviously the rewards are proportionate to the kind of effort you put in. Or is it the other way round? Sometimes you need to listen to your heart and not what your mind or body says. Sometimes its better to listen to what your parents, mentors, friends and well wishers say. I need to agree here that they may give you a different insight than what you might be thinking.

Mentoring is a tough job to do. You got to make it dawn on the person that his(er) decision is not the right one. All this while you need make sure that (s)he isn't offended. You may be hated for what you do and (s)he might even hate you for what you are doing but if its best for the other person... go ahead and do it.

Easier choices vs tougher ones is a debate that goes on. The fact that people exist to guide you though you may not like it says you have people thinking about you.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Do you change your color?



Some people are like this... Keep changing colors as the need arises. Though they are too good at this for once they would have to display what the real color is and then the game is over. Its better to stay in one color: The original one. After all this is just another game. May be I am wrong and its a trick, a survival strategy that some of them perfected. May be its a strategy, part of the game.

But I would love to go to sleep happy and with a clear conscience rather than changing colors in the real life while being color blind in my dreams. I would choose to dream of colors and create some rather than change shamelessly. What do you say?

Auditors from the past

The dust bags of socialist structure can't understand the nuances of capitalism and what it brings with it: Change, passion, opportunity, accomplishment, recognition... to name a few.

Speaking about some age old auditors who are in her firm for auditing, a friend said this: 'These people still have a lost of .... in them and shamelessly are proud of it! What can be completed in about 4 days by 3 people is being dragged for over a week. All they do is sit, talk, eat, eat, eat.. sometimes drink as the company pays it!'

I could only sympathize. Many people feel its their moral right to eat-drink out of the company money and 'feel' by being in the office they 'are' working! The worst part is that no one questions. A lot has changed in the last decade and in another one all these dust bags would be over the wall. But new ones form.

Auditing or inspection or for that matter anything is important but that doesn't mean you can keep idling and expect your peers to just sit and stare. This is a tech-driven world and you better hurry up as this is no place for people who pass time. Capitalism denotes change: for good, for speed, for better results with lower costs and more value. Are you adding value to your job?

Friday, April 10, 2009

You should listen to...

Seth Godin: The critics are never going to be happy with you, that's why they're critics. You might bore them by doing what they say... but that won't turn them into fans, it will merely encourage them to go criticize someone else.

It doesn't matter what Groucho or Elvis or Britney or any other one-name performer does or did... the critics won't be placated. Changing your act to make them happy is a fool's game.

Here's a surprising thought, though. You should ignore your fans as well.

Your fans don't want you to change, your fans want you to maintain the essence of what you bring them but add a laundry list of features. Your fans want lower prices and more contributions, bigger portions and more frequent deliveries.

So, who should you listen to?

Your sneezers.

You should listen to the people who tell the most people about you. Listen to the people who thrive on sharing your good works with others. If you delight these people, you grow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sweet Swiss

  • 13 times the size of India's total debt!
  • 1 lakh to every poor man!
  • Catapult India to the top 10 richest nations!
  • More than Twice the size of Indian GDP!
This isn't an election manifesto or promise. It is the reality. The amount stashed away in Swiss Bank from India exceeds all the amount from all countries put together! Ah! the weight of guilt...

Don't you think this should be released back to India and all the people behind this money be taxed.. may be 50%? If this eradicates all the evils in terms of poverty, unemployment, disease, etc. in India, then why not?

Think. Vote. Matter.

where the hell is...


Common cause with little expense and a hit to fame makes this work. The act being so simple that everyone can do it gives a chance. If your cause crosses all barriers of language, culture and other things that restrict adaptation then you have something that would appeal to every one. Matt figured it out i.e. succeeded.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Target touch 10 crore

BJP managers claim that with close to half the voting population connected by mobiles, this campaign is now a must. They agreed that the party was looking forward to a sustained effort by Sangh organisations to reach and motive both the faithful and sympathisers. Party sources said this would be accompanied by a massive SMS campaign which hopes to ultimately reach 10 crore voters.

The web-bases campaign has modest targets but is perhaps the most interesting part of the party's poll efforts. It begins by hoping to enroll a lakh of volunteers online in addition to some 40,000 who have signed up. Those who sign up will be asked to organize small neighborhood or drawing room discussions on politics and will be provided videos and presentations by the BJP.

The attempt to reach voters who usually do not turn up at polling booths is driven by an estimate that many of them might share BJP’s vision for a strong Centre and a "nationalist" approach to security that includes "hard" views on anti-terror laws and illegal infiltration. These groups could motivate people to shed both their cynicism and lethargy to actually go to the polling stations.The BJP's print campaign will focus on spelling out its programme which is expected to be replete with feel-good offers like targeted schemes for girl children, cheap foodgrain, lower farm loan rates and several sops for the urban vote.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Society before self

Madhura Chatrapathy was at Alliance today to address PGP students. I happened to meet her at Manipal Institute of Management, Manipal to participate in the International Conference on "Harnessing Entrepreneurial Potential of Women for Economic Growth" organized by Manipal Institute of Management, Manipal (Check that post here). Prof. Chowdari followed and ensured this was possible. She mesmerized the students and it was a rare honour to listen to her speak.

Here is a glimpse.


Will post about the whole event soon.

Come to me...

And the seven sea's you sail
All the winding road you're on
Leave you lost and feeling all alone
Let my heart be your beacon home

--- Celine Dion

User driven Content

During my last visit to Forum, I happened to walk in to prominent gift shop to get a Birthday card. Here were some 10 girls trying to select a card and gift for their friend. After rummaging through the limited collection of the cards they left. The comment was that the content/message was not that good if the card was good and vice versa. I guess they were right as I walked out too.

The content seemed stale and superficial. The greeting card business is not there to send a card but to send warmth, feelings and wishes. Unless the message or content echoes that you can't make me buy. Also your product should be fresh/current in tune with present changes and lingo. Else you wouldn't make the cut. The same applies to music, literature, apparel, radio, cuisine, etc. Market research would tell you what is happening and what you should do. This would help you change according to fashion or create one. Adapt or perish is the new rule of the game.

For the problem mentioned above I picked up a card at a much less glamorous store which allowed me to write my own stuff and print it in different fonts yet remain stylish. Customized, compact and easy. Last heard USER is defining the content.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Twitter stats you can use

Few stats from the PEW study regarding the demographic of twitter users:
  • 19% of online adults age 18-24 have used twitter or something like it
  • 20% of online adults age 25-34 have used twitter or something like it
  • 10% of online adults age 35-44
  • 5% of online adults age 45-54
  • 4% of online adults age 55-64
  • 2% of online adults 65+
Other interesting twitter stats:
  • 35% of twitter users live in urban areas
  • 9% live in rural areas
  • Online American who live in lower income housing are more likely to use twitter
  • 17% of internet users in households earning less than $30,000 tweet
  • 10% of internet users in households earning more than $75,000 tweet
  • 76% of twitter users use the Internet wirelessly
Are you using it? Your business? If yes, good. If no, better start.

Voting n tribals

PV Krishna Rao in Indian Express: Tribal’s are perceived to be ‘uncivilized.’ Many ‘educated’ look down upon them with utter disdain, citing their ‘unhygienic’ life in ‘inhospitable’ jungles. If you are one of the so-called ‘educated’ class, think again. For one thing, you are too lazy to enroll yourselves in the electoral rolls. Even if you do have the voter card, you are too lazy to take the trouble to vote, preferring to stay at home (election day is a holiday) and shaking your head at the state-of-affairs.

Listen to Kattula Ramireddy, a resident of Chilakamamidi village in Rampachodavaram Agency area, who is here for the weekly shandy to buy provisions: “We have to walk three km to reach the polling station at Butchiguda. But we don’t mind at all. Why should we miss the opportunity of voting?” He fails to understand why you do not vote! “All the voters in our village set out early in the day and reach the polling station.

We go as a group and cast our votes,” he says. Now, don’t be a cynic and say, they are “following their local neta.” Read on. Reading is a good habit. Have you ever thought, leave alone feel, that you are honored to vote? “We feel a sense of loss if our names are missing in the rolls. We take pride in voting. Many of us believe we are dead if we do not find our names in the electoral rolls,” explains Ramireddy. It’s that important to them.

Another tribal Kattula Suggureddy of Nuripudi village chips in: “The nearest polling station to our village is in Sunnampadu, six km away.” He doesn’t mind walking that extra mile. “That is what we do everyday anyway,” he laughs. Most of the tribal’s have the same problem as the authorities find it difficult to take polling stations closer to their habitations because of logistical problems. How about the aged? The youth take the responsibility of carrying the aged on their shoulders.

It takes time for them to cover the distance. “We carry gruel in cans and stop for a while for lunch somewhere in the jungles,” says Bhumireddy of Gurumamidi village in Y Ramavaram mandal. Aren’t they afraid of the Maoists? You and I stay put at the slightest hint of a protest somewhere on the route. Bhumireddy says, “they give their own explanation for poll boycott. But we believe that since we are living in this country, it is our responsibility to vote.” Do you?

Is it really 'Green'

Food, Car, bedsheets, sustainable flooring, recycled glass, bottles, water... this list is endless. The words hint at something lovely and healthy, but what do they mean exactly? Do people try to cheat you when they say this is 'Green' stuff and you need to shell out more money when buying these products? How can you be sure about that? Well read on...

  • Check about the brand before you buy at home
  • Energy consumption when using a product should be less
  • Look for an authentic story to tell, something of substantial
  • Look for certificates/labels by UN, WTO, etc.
  • Don't buy if the product tries to tell a confusing, hard to believe, vague story

Dance out of depression

LA Times reports that song and dances in movies improve a persons mood and this might be one of the reasons why economic recession was bailed out. Studies of the 1930s have shown how the economic meltdown was accompanied by psychological depression: loss of morale, a sense of despair, grave fears for the future. Going to the movies or listening to the radio could not solve these problems, but they could ease them in the same way that President Franklin D. Roosevelt's intimate fireside chats boosted morale and restored confidence.

If we look at the arts as a life-giving form of social therapy, many other fads and fashions of the 1930s fall into place. Once they dance, a swirling poetry of movement takes over. The public also loved comedies about the very rich. Everyone could feel superior to their silliness, the weightlessness of their lives, yet live vicariously through their energy, irresponsibility and freedom, the snap of their delicious dialogue. Meanwhile, musical standards created a seductive dreamland, somewhere "over the rainbow," a better world where cloudy skies and rainy days somehow promised "pennies from heaven."

Movie-going has already increased by almost 16% this year. The arts can be a lifeline as well as a pleasant diversion, a source of optimism and energy as well as peerless insight, especially when so many people are stymied or perplexed by the unexpected changes in their world. As our troubles worsen, as stress morphs into anxiety and depression, we may desperately need the mixture of the real and the fantastic, the sober and the silly, that only the arts can bring us.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Today...

Today is an important day. That problem you solve, that decision you make, that time you enjoy can shape your whole life. The way you and I ap­proach today, and each day, is crucial. Our lives are built by a series of days like today.

So what are you going to do Today?

Never quit

The Catalina Island is twenty-one miles away from the coast of California, and many people have taken the challenge to swim across it. On July 4th 1952, Florence Chadwick stepped into the water off Catalina Island to swim across to the California coast. She started well and on course, but later fatigue set in, and the weather became cold. She persisted, but fifteen hours later, numb and cold, she asked to be taken out of the water. After she recovered, she was told that she had been pulled out only half a mile away from the coast. She commented that she could have made it, if the fog had not affected her vision and she would have just seen the land. She promised that this would be the only time that she would ever quit. She went back to her rigorous training. And two months later she swam that same channel. The same thing happened. The fatigue set in, and the fog obscured her view, but this time she swam with faith and vision of the land in her mind. She knew that somewhere behind the fog was land.

She succeeded and became the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel. She even broke the men’s record by two hours. Never quit! Have a goal and pursue it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Coke divides to rule

The Coca-Cola Co. has launched a multi-media marketing campaign aimed at the nation’s 45 million Hispanics. The tagline “Destapa Tus SueƱos,” or “Unleash Your Dreams,” is the Hispanic adaptation of the Atlanta-based beverage giant’s “Open Happiness” global integrated marketing campaign that began in January. The campaign began airing a new television commercial on March 20, and will expand its media presence with a strong showing during Univision’s highest rated program “Premio Lo Nuestro” music awards, on March 26. The new ad will run on Spanish language networks including Univision, Telemundo and TeleFutura.


Also, beginning in May, Coca-Cola will start national marketing, advertising and public relations campaign featuring the Mexican National Team in the United States. It will offer several opportunities for soccer fans, including a soccer clinic with Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa; attending friendly matches of the Mexican National Team in the United States; in-game experience as part of Coca-Cola “Ball Kids” program in Mexican National Team matches; collectible premiums and more. The campaign was developed with Ogilvy & Mather, the Hispanic marketing and advertising agency of record for Coca-Cola North America.