Sunday, 19 December, 2010

Socializing with your Ads

Google is an advertising platform, not a merely a search engine..

Come tomorrow, what we are going to say is...

“ Facebook is an advertising platform and not a Social Network.. ”

Let’s look at some statistics – Google is already raking revenues of $ 23 Billion a Year

Facebook which publishes 50 billion ads per month is slated to earn about 2 billion approx next year.

More than 2 mil. Websites have integrated with Facebook , including over 80 of ComScore's U.S. Top 100 websites and over half of ComScore's Global Top 100 websites.

I’m not concerned with numbers, what I’m more concerned about is the possibilities..

The possibilities of growth for Facebook to serve ads beyond it’s own platform.

Now suppose these websites (which are commercial) start showing ads via Facebook. So while reading an article about Manchester United on the New York Times, there will be an ad on the side saying that 4 of your friends Like this or could even show its ( Man Untd. Page’s) latest update. You maybe reading an e-book and it’ll show an Ad of the other books that your friends Like.

These ads could also show up on Wordpress blogs (Google might not really want it on Blogger) Personally I would feel these to be much less intruding than the current Flash ads and I myself might publish Facebook Ads on my Personal blog [ as if any one reads it ;) ] which otherwise I would have despised.

So even here we could have the same ads along beside an article on Nokia or a Samsung , with the ad showing their respective Likes or recent updates.

What does this do to Facebook?! Well it simply brings in more dough and for us bloggers/publishers its makes the ads more social, neat, sophisticated or any good adjective one might want to glorify this with.

So think again .. is Facebook a social Networking Site or a Social Advertising Platform, depends on which side of the coin you are looking at.

Saturday, 3 July, 2010

Uruguay steal a win.. Most Treasured Red Card ever

While looking at wiki to check Uruguay's population this is what i Found...
Someone was really quick at it i must say ...

Simply put.. had Uruguay's Suarez not fouled .. Ghana would have won..

So there goes Africa's last team..

and Uruguay move on to the semi-final where they might have to play all their 3 Goalkeepers.

Tweepl are not mighty pleased .. here are some reactions..

@BTVision #URU win, a bit of an injustice after #GHA's extra-time performance.

@karen_e_eaton Sometimes cheaters do win. #uruguay #worldcup

@anandmahindra Whoever coined the phrase 'cruel fate' had Team Ghana in mind.Who would join Uruguay's undeserved celebration?I weep alongside Africa

Well that just sums it up..

Update : The Wiki for Uruguay just got corrected ... but you have the proof above..

Friday, 2 July, 2010

I have lost (#Brazil ) and it seems so has @twitter

The above are screen shots of Tweeps wondering why twitter Fail Whale appears soo much..

If you are a co. with 100 + million users sending across more than a billion tweets , you need to scale up people..

This is a common occurrence whenever there is a major international event ..
Today saw the exist of Brazil from the World Cup..
people do take out their joy and frustration on twitter..
but it just ducks under the pressure..and seems to me it has become a habit with @twitter

If i'm a co. going to invest money on promoted tweets i need to make sure that i'm visible at the critical moments when people are most involved..
That's the whole point of Social Media Marketing..that's what will bring some sort of revenue for twitter.

But twitter is being casual about it ... have we made someone too big too soon..
Will the Fail Whale prove to be twitter's Achilles heel..
I hope not.. i love @twitter.. but the whale is better off in the water
...not on my computer screen..

Tuesday, 22 June, 2010

It's not Advertising ... It's the Boring Distribution..

Why is it that all Marketing Strategy articles in business papers or by self proclaimed analysts talk about only how advertising has helped the blue-chip companies..the advise they give, the examples they cite do not have much relevance to actual sales..Why do we tend to forget that marketing is not a synonym for advertising rather advertising is a part of marketing as a whole..

So few other important aspects , include Packaging, Distribution etc.

Advertising is a tool to create brand awareness in 99% cases it does just that(we have zillion reports stating this obvious fact) whereas a Purchase decision by an individual is a result of a good dose of other factors.

Distribution is one such factor which is mostly overlooked( not given its due importance) and if done smartly can really work out for your Brand's success..

Let's talk practically..

ITC came out with Bingo an new brand of chips in this over crowded/competitive market..and evidently they rolled out a massive Ad- Campaign ,With some really down right stupid ads,their Ads solved only for one purpose, that of buliding Brand awareness and and they did manage to achive that.The ads were so abstract and bland that they could hardly entice the consumer to buy.

Then what did the trick for Bingo?? well the answer lies in the massive Distribution which is infact ITC's shining armour .

You had Bingo everywhere.. n infinite places and shops which may have never even kept any chips brand...n this Distribution forte which Is ITC's strong point helped them in the end..

We can take a number of examples where the success or faliure of the brand has been due to the Distribution, Irrespective of the Ads or lack of them.

For e.g. Chevrolet - It has slowly build for itself a vast distribution network and its sales can be directly related to This very fact, not that they give 3 years of free servicing n etc..

Let me point another unique example, Have you heard of a beer called Kalyani Black Label, Those who have would agree that it is one of the finest beers ever, It has won various awards in which it had some serious local as well as global brands as competitors.

But sadly,Particularly in North India this brand now owned by UB group is hardly avaiable.. it does a brisk business in North-East ..Calcutta n Guwhati etc.

The reasons is simple UB wants to promote it's Kingfisher Brand more..

Others also do it, very famously Coca Cola did it with Thumps up, It purposely censored the distribution for Thums-up , but after years of cowardness .. Thumps-up was made available again.. and now it out sells both Coke n Pepsi in the Indian market, but even now its hard to find a Thumps-Up Can in Tier-2 cities (don't know why..or maybe the answer is below)

Another example is how these days you hardly find retailers keeping the Glass bottles of Coke ,Pepsi, Thumps- Up etc (specially in Tier 1 cities) wha you get is the Pet Bottle, this is wonderful strategy which helps them sell the larger size of their product and increase their Top-Line,just another way of what you distribute..

Ok so now from above examples you may see some merit in the notion that Distibution plays an important part in the eventual sales..

Now what I really wish to understand and learn is,

How do those companies which can't advertise ensure that they have a good distribution network?

Well there are host of companies who can't advertise, the whole unorganized sector, which is 95% of the retail sector consist of such companies and brands.

Example-- have you ever seen an Ad or even heard of the following :

JK files

Pye Tools

Jhalani Tools

Ramchandra Sahai

SS Fitting

Unique Fittings

All of the above are the market leaders in the various industries which they are in.. they are not white goods(consumer durables) It is these brands I'm more keen to learn about.

How does SKF bearings manage to Distribute it's product so well ?

How does a Pye Tools whose screwdriver is in every hardware shop?

Today its easier to sell an Audi to a customer than selling a new Biscuit Brand to the retailer.

This is precisely what is not taught at B-Schools and what is never mentioned in a Bussinesworld or an ET.

My Point is that the well known Brands can easily expand their sales with an efficient distribution network, which they really don't make the most of.

But how does a small unknown or New Brand embark on this journey to have a presence everywhere?

So what are the options:

a.Start and concentrate one place at a time

b.Expand at the expense of squeezing margin

c.Exploit existing market dynamics

Well combination of a. and c. is what we see when we go outside any city where you find these Local Brands of mineral water. They are priced the same and sell because their is no alternative.

b. Is done by a Halidram which launches it's brand of Chips, or a Tropicana to compete with Real Juice, or any non FMCG or Non- consumer durable brand like a Supreme Tools which come out with their set of screwdrivers.

I'm again back to these Co's who live in shadow markets which we don't know about.

They are more for specialists like an engineer, a mechanic, a plumber, Or a computer technician n etc.

But why I'm after these boring products well:

Min 400 shops in chawri bazaar..

Min turnover 1 Cr each

Total- 400cr..

The above is a hypothetical case, The Real turnover is in Thousands cr's a year.

Now you know why i wanna know about them...

Monday, 14 June, 2010

Advantages of Social Media To Small Business

We all are aware of the impact of social media websites. A huge amount of people have been participating in social media websites and this has resulted in increased investment in the growing field of social media marketing. A large number of small businesses today have started using social media ideas and strategies in their goals. This is because of a number of reasons.

Social media websites include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin etc. Many small businesses have become a part of these sites and have created their profile pages intending to get more traffic and new customers. It is important to remember that you cannot attract traffic just by creating a profile page; you have to actually be involved and participate in a community.

Social Media Marketing is the marketing strategy used to create content for your website and displaying it on Social News and Bookmark sites. The techniques of social media marketing can benefit websites and help them to grow very quickly. To mention, some of the advantages of social media marketing for small businesses are:

1. More awareness about your brand: If you are able to create a successful social media marketing campaign, there will be a lot more talk about your brand online. When users are appealed by your message, they will spread it across which will be more effective than traditional methods.

2. Quick results: If your message is on the front page of a major news, social video and bookmark site, you will be able to drive large amounts of traffic instantly. It is not necessary that the traffic will result in conversations but momentum will be created in the right direction.

3. Cheap prices: Social media marketing can be used as a replacement for conventional advertising and this is possible at a pretty lower price. With social media marketing, you do not need to spend huge amounts of money like you would have had to with the traditional mediums like newspapers, magazines, television, radio and many more.

4. Improves ranking on search engines: Social media marketing campaigns have an effect on search engine rankings. A huge amount of back links can be attained which improve your ranking on search engines.

5. Compatible with other mediums of advertising: If you start a social media marketing campaign, it does not mean that you need to stop you traditional methods of marketing. Social media marketing can be used along with traditional advertising and marketing.

6. Role of influencers: Through social media marketing, initiators and influencers reach audiences and encourage them to choose your brand. A person will always prefer to buy something that people recommend rather than just blindly make purchase from a faceless company.

7. Sidestepping and blindness: The age old methods of advertising online such as banner ads have almost lost their significance. Social media marketing has the capability to attract large amounts of traffic to your website without the help of traditional methods of advertising because of the increase in ad blindness.

[ Some Personal Rants:

To your surprise , the Best part about a Small Business Owner is that i really don't have to Sell the idea of Social Media to them. SMB's have the advantage of quick decision making and an appetite of taking risks thus one doesn't really have to push Social Media. So after knowing the Why? they simply ask How and When to do it? whereas corporate co.'s still loose the plot by being stuck on WHY?

In-fact some SMBs in the engineering space are pushing me to start their twitter a/c's when an eCommerce sites are better bet or at-least the first step towards their Online presence.]

Well Social Media provides you a simple platform to be out there for your customer and better still with your customers. So as they say .. your next customer is just 140 characters away...

Friday, 4 June, 2010

Technology -- What , When and How??

Any SMB (small and medium-size business) works and proceeds towards growth path, obviously by reducing cost and increasing Sales (and hence profitability) . But the question remains: How to reach there? It was mentioned by Jeff Stiles, the senior VP of Small-Medium Enterprise Marketing at SAP, that the only solution for a constant growth of SMB’s is to "embrace new technologies". With the advent of technology, not only the working methodologies become trouble-free but the pace at which things can be done increases manifolds.

One of the major challenge faced while decision making by an organization is about,'what, when, and how much' to invest on a technological solution. It is very crucial for any SMB to comprehend the various facets where technology plays a vital role in their business growth. To begin with, it is essential to focus on 'increasing productivity' which is clearly determined as 'how to do more with less'. One easy way to attain ‘efficiency’ is to invest in products designed especially for SMB's, are scalable and affordable, proposing a 'plug and play' solution. Software like Dropbox, an online virtual storage utility that allows synchronization of files across various systems wherever the client is installed, is a perfect paradigm of saving time at a negligible cost. This revolutionized way to store and share files leads to a non-stop communication process as opposed to tedious methods of e-mailing and flash drives.

The launching of new technologies constantly alleviates some fundamentally essential tasks to be performed smoothly and without a hitch. Today, personal computers with a fixed work station are turning history and slowly but surely are taken over by the 'mobile revolution'. This new generation of smart phone is supported by ubiquitous high-speed web connectivity. A lot of work turns handy with such software like QuickOffice and ScannerPro, which smoothens tasks like transferring PDF, Microsoft Office and iWork files to other devices like printers, mailers, networks etc. without further ado. For SMB's, getting accustomed to these applications would not only emerge to be cost effective but also profitable by saving time on these petty tasks.

Being the biggest category of planned investment expense, technology can lead to a dramatic increase in productivity, resulting in more output, without necessarily adding to the 'staffing expense'. The emergence of online communications, with launching a great website, an awesome navigation and content, an email newsletter to reach people right in their email inboxes, blogs to foster more conversation and boost the web sites rankings in search engines is a mark of "Web 2.0" technology. Through this the organization can ensure that the website enables visitors to communicate & connect with the company as well as each other. This unified communication network is integrating the operations of ticketing portal '', who have hired, trained and developed only two technicians for this 'Search Engine Optimization'.

The 'augmented reality' of trends in applications also implies in depth awareness about ‘outgrowing’ of current tech solution for a SMB. Consequently, while investing in a technology it is more important to implement it in an efficient manner. The investment in right kind of technology can help the business reach the next higher level and retain more customers. Along with a right choice, it is also essential to integrate it with various aspects like CRM, supply chain management, billing/payment, innovation tools and R&D processes. It is equally important to train and develop the workforce to make sure an optimum use of technology and an overall advantage for the company’s expansion. The amalgamation of cheap and abundant knowledge available to the customer along with skilled personnel is another key to a successful technological investment.

During recession a lot of businesses were forced to 'retrench'. Most of the "growth companies" claimed the usage of online payment methods like 'PayPal', during the economic downturn, as compared to the "staying afloat" or the "sinking ship" companies. This method ensured an immediate payment, while keeping the cash afloat in the market. The simple adaptation of online invoicing and payment method helped these businesses to use customer generated funds to fuel their overall growth. The credit card companies are also introducing ‘payment via swipe on mobile phone’, which could mean a big changes for small businesses, part-time vendors, boutique owners and even small individuals like a florist.

I have seen people handling Multi-crore Business without a single computer installed (yes this is India, everything is possible) and witnessed a vegetable vendor sending e-cards on Diwali. Both knew Technology is important the latter was using it without any precedence whereas the former didn't in-spite of a imminent need.

The simple fact is people still don't know how and whom to approach to fully benefit form technology. This gives a huge opportunity to IT Co.'s ( i hope they are listening) to tap the SMB sector which account for 40 % of all exports. The winner amongst the IT co.'s would be the one who reaches out to SMB's , as there are lot of services available but people just do not know about them.

A computer peripherals co.'s CEO used to courier CD's of Posters and Catalogs to its Branches office till recently , before they knew about a . Well i personally feel that, this is one service which has lot of scope for a software co.'s to look into and most of them are going into the "Cloud"

The mantra, in that way, is to learn the basic principles of leveraging technology to make the business stay: prolonged, flourishing and on the rise. Only adequate and appropriate investments can help in reaping big rewards, now and in future. Updating technology, thus, helps in collaborate the our efforts to meet customer needs by 'serving' them better and as for the IT co's they just need to stamp their products straight on to our face for us to notice them.

Friday, 14 May, 2010

People First..

Most people work-hard either for personal fulfillment or love. Others have certain goals and aspirations to contribute to something bigger. Some fill their empty time with an activity, a change or a challenge to cater to. Others fulfill their particular needs through accomplishment of some pre-stated missions.

Companies often overestimate their employee's satisfaction level by limiting it to the monetary rewards. In an article, "The Ten Ironies of Motivation", by Bob Nelson, he states that, "More than anything else, employees want to be valued for a job well done by those they hold in high esteem". A simple sign of appreciation and gratitude like 'thank you', by a supervisor or manager, on completion of a humiliating task performed well, acts as an effective motivational tool. It is important, as quoted by Traci Fenton, founder & CEO, WorldBlu, "The organisation should not treat some people like ‘somebodies’ and other people like ‘nobodies’".

Binding the workforce to the organization is no more limited to a "network selling" or a "direct selling company". Personnel turnover is an essential parameter for any organization to take care of. A lot of surveys consistently illustrate that "more than 40 percent of people who quit do so because they feel they weren't appreciated for their contributions", clearly undermining the importance of recognition and attention from supervisors.

A simple "caught you at your best program", allows employees to thank or acknowledge others for doing exceptional work. A handwritten note with a specific detail about a praiseworthy attitude exhibiting instant recognition fosters esprit de corpse - the spirit of a group that makes all its members succeed.

To celebrate and value the employees well as a crucial asset is also important. By using one-size-fits-all approach in terms of salary, recognition, praise or benefits, the company actually punishes the best performers. As Vince Lombardi is reputed to have said, "There is nothing more unequal that the equal treatment of unequals." An overall involvement of supervisors in the performance review process along with a productive feedback can more likely improve the performance of an employee. The company can also restructure the KRAs (key responsibility areas) of its employees according to their respective passions.

Kamal Karnath, MD of Kelly Services, on undertaking his team to climb Garur Maachi, a fort near Pune, stated the importance of off-sites, which according to him helps "handle the disgruntled employees". Karnath, further says that firms have even started hiring third-party consulting agencies to check on staff satisfaction levels and report to the respective heads.

At Brainpark, in San Francisco, employees can vote the CEO and senior leaders out of their position if they feel they are not doing a good job. Such cases are not be common in India, but companies are trying to make a difference. HCL Technologies, with nearly 60,000 employees’ world-wide, calls their management approach, ‘Employees First, Customers Second’.

Employees’ delivers value to customers, customer brings growth to organization, and growth offers opportunities to employees. Thereby, employees’ forms a part of asset group that provides a future economic benefit to the company. And, therefore, it is very important to build a protected and progressive environment for them to nurture them.

Recently i met an a highly successful entrepreneur who said" i started my co. with two things - People & Service " and as his organization becomes a multi-million enterprise he's come a full circle with " re-energizing the core strength- People "

Another entrepreneur of whose start-up faced problems in retaining the employees was analysed to be because they didn't have proper induction program. "We thought providing them the freedom to work as per their own free will was enough, when they(employees) were looking for a clear direction and process."

So being the next google as the "best place to work with" requires more than just the intent or incentives..

Sunday, 25 April, 2010

Execution is the Idea...

It has been rightly said, "Ideas are easy. It's the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats", (by Thomas Jefferson).

Let it be the arena of a sports, entertainment, politics or business, but the question is not -"Will the new strategy work or not?" On the contrary, it is the successful execution of the idea that determines the fortune of any strategy. A great execution can make a shoddy plan successful, but a shoddy execution can fail any great plan, however innovative it may be.

An Accenture and the Economist Intelligence Unit's study indicates that "although executives are confident in their growth strategies, they are less confident in their companies’ ability to execute those strategies". The survey results reported that, only 30-35 percent respondent companies' are effective in executing growth initiatives and innovation strategies.

Another research performed in cooperation with the Centre for Strategy Research (CSR), confirmed this gap between strategy and execution. The study involved detailed conversations with about two dozen executives of Fortune 1000 companies, who associated the importance of innovation very strongly to the successful implementation of growth strategies. However, they resonated to common notions when it came to constraints on execution namely, "budget shortages, absence of experienced resources and so on".

A major reason for failure in execution is the constant shift in focus of strategy. When HP acquired Compaq, to compete with Dell, it shifted its focus every week competing on price, service, technology etc. and forgot completely the highly priced channels. While HP fought for the perfect strategy, Dell succeeded instantly with a powerful execution of customization and "Just In Time (JIT)" strategies. Execution, thereby, is nothing but the art of synchronization, i.e., "getting the right product at the right time to the right customer".

Execution is most important when innovation is at the heart of the strategy. It is most important then to experiment, learn and adapt. In a new business model, even a well thought out strategy lapse in value, while dealing with uncertainty. As quoted by Mr. Ankur Mittal, MD of Ordell Education, the key to success for a creative business model like his is to "analyze every step, adapt to the real environment, than to make a same mistake twice". Adding on, he mentioned the importance of implementation of ideas more than the ideas themselves. According to him, it is more important to "re-evaluate, re-learn and re-execute the strategies as you get your business rolling". Hence, constantly questioned strategies and rewritten solutions forms the backbone of any innovation.

Even the tried and tested strategies do not work in a different environment. It is important to study factors influencing the culture, society, value systems and beliefs of the new environment. The customers' mindset evaluates the perceived benefits in terms of price or/and performance and not technology. So, innovation not merely imply new ideas, but, improved cost positions, better product and enhanced benefits, increasing the overall value for the customer.

For the businesses', innovation implies a better margins position as compared to the competitors. Perfect execution directly equates to the increased financial meter by an improved top line, higher revenues, and a higher return on investments. The focus of companies should, thereby, shift towards the practical implementation than theoretical formulation of creative ideas.

Tuesday, 13 April, 2010


Finally twitter got down to do some business. It's taking the first step to earn some Ad revenue..
via Promoted tweets..

What does this mean ..will we get unnecessary spam on twitter too..

Well according to starbucks.. it won't be intrusive or spam..

I'm all for twitter monetizing itself.. in the process it can show
promoted tweet #pt
but they must not come in my twitter feed..

could be a small box on the right .. with text ads.. wont mind that..
I'm looking forward to how co.'s like sony , apple or zappos use them..

Tuesday, 30 March, 2010

Tweet Tweet...

twitter has come up with itz new homepage... It has added new bling to itz homepage.
So one can see who's on twitter,
some top tweets..
trending topics is now scrolling across the page..
and even a Tab to guide how one can use twitter for business..

Sign of new things to come?????

Wednesday, 24 March, 2010

Govt. Goes Social

Look who's logged on to Facebook.. The Govt. of India.

Well Dept Of Science and Technology's NSTEDB along with Dell India have come up with The Technology and Mentorship Forum to foster entrepreneurship in India.

They are actively advertising on Facebook ..urging users to unleash the enterpenuer within themselves , with Top Industry Leaders as Mentors to guide them.

Anthem Academy is the Knowledge partner for this initiative. Anurag Gambhir of Anthem Academy Says " Social Media is where the founders of new start-ups , next generation entrepreneurs are, so its a logical choice to tap this platform and spread the word"

Well now this is one Socialist move which many would welcome...

Monday, 15 March, 2010

Billion $$ Ad Space.

The above is the screen shot of Google's Indian homepage

Google is trying to garner maximum mileage from the Indian Premier League
With Cricket fever at it's peak YouTube is streaming the IPL matches (with a 5 mins Delay) and google aims to drive maximum traffic to it via the most sought after advertising space in the web.

The start of IPL had been a trending topic on twitter ,I'm not surprised at that.

IPL is a multi-billion $ enterprise and has been a huge draw for advertisers.

Well Cricket Fever is at it's peak.
What a way of acknowledging that by Google...

Monday, 22 February, 2010

Jugaads: Innovation we Indians do..

Well we all do Jugaads/Innovations in our daily life.. we find simple solutions to our daily life tasks.
we all fix our broken tail lights by applying some adhesive or cello-tape , a professor may just use the same old pen broken into two by taping it, milk man arrives on his bullet motorcycle with Milk Cans Hanging on the back, we students paying the call center cabs driver a mere 10 bucks rather than taking
an auto for the same route costing 100 Bucks.. we all must have seen rickshaws with a old Bajaj scooter engine attached to it, n number of things we do in our day to day life..

Well some think "Out Of The Box" and use it commercially ,some famous cases are a Transportation Medium Called "Jugaad" , small roadside Dhabbas(Resturants) using a Washing Machine to prepare Lassi( a Drink Made by churning Yogurt and Milk)..

N here's a list of great articles where one can understand the whole world of Jugaads That Indians do...

The motorcycle crop sprayer

Jugaad at work: Two engineering students with their invention – charging the cellular phone by using the smoke from the bike, in Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh.

A Jugaad vehicle made with water pumpsets

A nice blog On Indian Jugaads/Innovation

Indian Export To the rest of the World - JUGAAD

So keep on innovating people...or as we say be Jugaadu

Wednesday, 27 January, 2010

I'm n Indian... n u??

Ya i do at times call a guy bihari .. if he acts stupid..

Kashmiri friend of mine calls me Bhaiya gone mod.. coz i Hail from UP but apparently listen to coldplay n he is fond of Bhaiya ji type songs..

I say I'm a punjabi..

I call my roommate Assami.. though hez a marwari...

My other roommate can't tell a diff between a Sikh n a Punjabi..

Another great friend of mine is called Luknawi nazakat...

classic ol' roommate n bro.. A British passport holder.. Baniya by cast .. Jaini at heart..i still ask him not to revoke his British passport..

I Pity my bro Karan ..coz he'll just be called a Typical Delhite...(lol)
so r we all racists or does it make any of us less worthy to travel anywhere..
work anywhere..
My buddy Bal would miss the likes of Ambani's who r there Headquartered in Bombay..
(common man's roads are paid by many such co.'s situated practically outside Maharashtra)
for their Main assets like outside his BOMBAY..

We all are Indians... including this dude Balasaheb.. though he's an embarrassment no doubt..

Unity in diversity is what we are proud of...

This is what makes India Unique... our diff traits associate us with diff adjectives..

India Rocks( Jai Hind)

P.S. - I'll write a surprising counterview to this

Sunday, 17 January, 2010

Great article on Quantam Physics

I'm the biggest fool around..

Let me prove it to you..

I read this great article about Quantum Physics... it tells how Photons respond to each other from miles away and that any communication between them, if at all ,has to take place at 10,000 times the speed of light....(i wont write more u gotta read it...its truly fascinating)

So i read this on On a newspaper called my college Library.. hence din tear it out to keep for myself..i just thought would get it over the net..

so i forget about it for a month.. n then when i tried to search for it over the net on i couldn't just find it.. google din seem to have any clue either...
Believe me ..try the keywords yourself.. nothing worked...

Today finally after 6-7 months of searching maybe once a in 15 days i got the link...

n where.. on the site of Wall Street Journal.. ya.. a partner of MINT newspaper.

One of my fav stuff in Science...
n it's very well explained..
if a Dumb Ass like me can understand it.. u sure can..

Tata - Why is the most loved comany soo Bad

Yes .. you read it right.. Below i'll be listing why is Tata such a plain old Bad Company,,
Well this is a blog i had written 2 months back and publishing just today because of the final nail in the coffin has been hammered..
Most would disagree with me..99% would.. but just hear me out..

Tata is every where.. right from Salt to Steel , From Telecom to Technology , From FMCG products to Automobiles( now Jag n Land Rover included) ..from Supermarket to Hotels..
Tata has 114 companies.. and is a $ 77 Billion Co. (Jan 2010)

I have tasted and tried most of its product if we speak in terms of categories.. so we all have had Tata salt n tea.. My Family has owned a Tata Car( one day Jag will also come..i wish)
I have personally experienced dealing with Tata Steel.. had a connection of Tata Indicom n now Using Tata Sky.. I've eaten n partied at many of the Taj's across India

Now lets see why i'm an unsatisfied Customer..
well to put it in one line .. Service of Tata is that of an Indian PSU...
if u want to experience it.. go to Taj Palace Hotel in Delhi.. It has that old rusty feeling to it..
even worse is Taj Ambassador.. but it happens to have one of my fav cafe "Yellow Bricks"

Ok.. here we go..
My first Brush with Tata was when we bought Tata Indigo.. It was a very competitively priced car.. but came with the worst engineering ever.. after almost 8 months of taking it back n forth from the service staition we sold it to a poor fellow..i Really pity that guy..

Then came Tata Steel.. when during my little stint at at my dad's business i got to oversee the procurement of raw material.. Let me put it straight Tata Steel is of the best quality..
then why do i grumble.. Well It's the market leader in India and it practically dictates Prices.. and the Small Manufacturers using steel as raw material get bullied big time.. Tata Steel has it's own Iron Ore reserves.. which is the basic raw material for manufacturing Steel..
so logically Tata Steel's products must be available cheaply.. but the fact is they are always priced higher than SAIL(a govt, owned co.) and Tata Steel does jack up the prices at it's own whims and fancy...which is really bad not only for the manufacturing industry but also to other industries which use steel products...n finally to us consumers..

Then came my experience with Tata Indicom.. a decent product .. which i primarily used for Internet connection ... but soon replaced it once broadband was available from it's competitors at half the price and double the speed..

Most recently I'm using Tata Sky .. again i must say it is the best product available in the market..i have to an extent tried all others..Airtel, Big tv , Dish..
The fact is that Tata Sky is actually most user friendly and the designing is very Tasteful..
But again..i guess mine n Tata's stars don't align..
The Tata Sky that i have back home(i hav one in Delhi too) is used usually when I'm there on Saturdays..
my parents still like that cable thingy..
anyway.. My mom got it recharged for the whole year ..when seeing that it was usually out of subscription whenver I'm back home.. i watch only two things on Saturdays.. Football n Joey..
Both come on channels which have to paid extra for.. the charges for the channels are around 65 Rs extra every month..
now the problem is .. the minimum denomination of recharge is only Rs 200 which lasts for a month.. that means i end up paying Rs.135 extra.. over n above the Rs. @250 that my mom had paid in taking the yearly subscription..
so my total one month expense is Rs. 450 .. surely not cheap by any standards..
n as i found out there's no way out.. i couldn't even find the no. to call the customer the page which says the contact no. is a blank blue screen.. i got the no. over the net.. n tried to reason with the patient sleepy guy across the phone.. but sorry is all that i got...

The thing is I have come to believe that Tata is the least customer friendly co.
They are very slow in making progress.. Tata does have the best quality products ..
but because the name Tata is synonymous to being "Good" or "Best" or even "Humane" as far as India is concerned we tend to overlook what "Bad" stuff or rather "Stupidity" the company is doing..

We never associate "Innovation" with Tata..
we never associate "Being Young" or "Youthfulness" with the Brand "Tata"

I'm a great admirer of what good Tata as a industrial house has done for India both economically and socially..
That is why I'm concerned.. this is the reason i care to worry about what the future holds for Tata..
No doubt it will be a huge co. for generations to come.. but i suspect that the share of it's Consumer Products would we very less..
Tata Steel will continue... but will Tata Motor's or a Tata Indicomm survive.. that's in question..
n these are the verticals where they have invested heavily for the future..

Just because Tata has bought VSNL(a gov't co.) doesn't mean it can't revamp the customer service.. I'm using a Tata Broadband right now to write this blog.. yes it's expensive than what i could get..but I'm using it because there is no other option in my locality..
The Internet speed is amazing.. but service damn poor.. I had to spend three days to enable 3 computers use the connection simultaneoulsy...
I have to go out 4 miles n spend atleast 1.5 hrs(to n fro) to make the journey to pay the bill..
as they apparently don't collect cash from home n my room-mate on whose name the connection is cannot pay via cheque nor do we have a credit card..n Tata won't accept Debit Card..

Ya that's the reality of Indian consumers.. who still buy online tickets thorough travel agent's because we don't have credit cards..

So companies have to move on the same highway that we consumers do n make it better for us rather than building road-blocks..

Tell me will u rather buy a Tata connection for your mobile phone.. well to majority this option doesn't even cross their mind... how many use it's co-promoted Virgin.. n how many will use Docomo ..time will tell..

I have a thing for Hotels... I have stayed in a Taj .. in Delhi and Bombay...
I always dread to enter a Taj in Delhi.. the Bombay one is tooo Icon in itself ...

Please Tata Wake up.. an Icon is what Brand Tata is today..for me ..for n no. of Indian consumers... but when i go to shop... I say "TATA" (pun intended) to you..
n I'm afraid many would start to do the same...

Monday, 11 January, 2010

Make Competition Irrelevant

Try n forget about your competition and following their every move..
Success lies not in being better than your competition but making it irrelevant..

Now here's a company whose sales grew by 90% and it's Profit by 77%
I'm talking about Nintendo .. and its ausome success Wii

Nintendo didn't just beat off it's comepetitor Sony.. it just crushed it
Nintendo makes $ 40 profit for every console sold,,
and PlayStation a loss of $ 200

and Nintendo didn't spend billions of $$ in R&D unlike Sony, it just did things differently and created a product which gave birth to a whole new category in itself..

So what should we learn from this.. and what should our new products be..

We should take note of the following

a.Competing in Traditional Markets
b. Exploiting existing demand
c. Choosing Between differentiation
or Low Cost
d. Trying to Beat our Competition

a. Create new Markets
b. Capture and create New Demand
c. Differentiation and Low Cost
d. Make competition Irrelevant

Many Companies have done this before and continue to do this.
e-bay came out with an online market place which anybody could connect to easily.It's growth lies squarely in the hand of it's customers.

Amazon has done this through Kindle which has changed the way people stack up books( ok ok read books) Apple Inc did it with It's i-pod n then the i-phone..
Google keeps on doing it .. with Adsense and Adwords the most successful examples..

Facebook has done it to social media.. 350 million users ..."Facebook Connect" being used by 60 million users to connect to various websites..

n Twitter has done it perfectly with its 140.. i really admire Twitter.. it's not a typical social networking site.. its beyond that..its a DIY tool for anything from garnering Knowledge to twepeeping on paris hilton.. and it will co-exist with Facebook..
So will LinkedIn..

What these companies have in common is that they are actually Different from their competitors..
n they have answered the right questions..

  • What factors should be eliminated which the Industry takes for granted?
  • What factors should be reduced well below industry standards?
  • What factors should be raised well above industry standards?
  • Which factors should be created that industry has never offered before?

@xploreROYalself once tweeted .. what differentiates smart from brilliant is : smart knows what to do and brilliant knows what not to

So these Brilliant companies Know the answer to those of the above question relevant to them and have worked on that..

Hence for all of us Innovation is the key.. be different not because it's a Fad..
But because you can deliver something worthwhile..

Then you just sleep easy..for who cares for competition... its irrelevant...