Saturday, September 10, 2016

Disowned Bappa

The view of this site reminded me of Bollywood movie scene where unmarried mother puts her baby in a dustbin. She is helpless. After all she is an unmarried mother. Who are we to disown the Bappa in same fashion?

So I have decided that from next year I will make my own Bappa and will not abandon him like this or even drown not to dissolve either. 

Treat Bappa as a member of your family and have proper preparations for his arrival, stay and please avoid such unceremonious farewell. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Will more awareness improve sports performance in India?

An afternoon lunch with friend, while Rio Olympics topic was talk of the town, led to an interesting debate - Will viewership improve sports performance in India and score at Olympics?
My friend Abhishek, being an optimistic person, chose to take on the side of YES. And I had an obligation to support NO as I wanted to have a good discussion. ‘Talking while eating is not good’ is a myth, in my opinion. If you are exercising your jaws for chewing then might talk as well. 
His first point for YES claim was - more awareness means more viewership, more viewership means more sponsorship, more sponsorship means more funding for sports, more money means lucrative career opportunity and good career means encouragement from parents to make sports as primary source of living. Very valid and logical point. My counterclaim was simple - are parents considering Cricket as means of living for their kids in India despite it being one of the richest sports? Result tie. 
His second assertion came in - more awareness means more interest. People will at least take a taste of that sports which might become their passion later. Again a superb pitch. If we are not even trying then we can’t improve our winning. My take was simple again - has more news channel helped improve the interest in news as compared to daily soaps? (Note: I am not claiming that watching news is superior to watching melodramatic series.) Result tie, again. 
And there were several other rounds of reasonings. But result was still a tie. 
He was representing the positivity of the society and I was advocating the negativity. When I took the side of NO I started with an assumption that for a thing like sports mere financial support, job security or spark of an interest is not enough to make India as world champion. It needs a change of the mindset of the society at large and deep passion about sports. But while the result of the debate remained tie towards the end of our meal, I was convinced that positivity around sports can really make wonders if we have to excel at it and awareness can help create it. He didn’t specify this point explicitly but throughout his debate he was living it. 
Today is his birthday so this is my way of wishing him a happy birthday. Keep thinking positive!

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Modern practice for modern god

If you walk on the roads of Maharashtra (India) these days, you wouldn’t miss the fervour of Ganapati celebrations. And why not? He is a modern god according to me. He represents medical advancements, in the form of head transplantation, during very early days when only gods used to populate the earth. He can only be stood second to Lord Krishna in his practical dealings of the situations. 
But what fills my heart with sorrow is a fact that all of his devotees have gone too practical and become very much modern. This love for god has really turned in to a great drama. 
People are selling Ganapati Bappa (as he’s called fondly) on roads cloaked in very mean raincoat in the form plastic bags. Few goes on to bargain a price of the god on the steets. Who are we to put a price tag to him! People who are paying premium for an eco-friendly idol of Bappa are glittering their homes with plastics and chinese decorative lamps. What a double standard approach!
The god who made us capable to earn and gave us roof is being bought and sheltered!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Personalization gone wrong

Today I have received another email from Robin Sharma (remember ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’). No, he doesn’t know me but I get his mailers on a regular basis because I have subscribed to his newsletter. The content is worth reading and I take out time from my schedule to go through it word by word.

This time my marketing antennae caught something weird in his mailer which was directed at my inbox with an aim of trying to soothe or connect with me. We marketers believe that the best form of personalizing an email is to greet a person with his name and our job is done. So even this mail opened like ‘Hi Mandar, …’ but lost sense of personalization in subsequent paragraph. It reads ‘Those of you who have secured your seats from across the planet…’ This clearly tells me that he or his marketing team doesn’t know whether I have subscribed to his upcoming event. So he/they chose to address everybody by leaving the personalization to greeting part of the email only.

They could have easily done two lists, one who have subscribed for the event and other for people who aren’t subscribed, and written two separate copies. But choosing to save little time exposed their gimmick of personalization. Nothing bad with this. This is better than lot many others who don’t even know who have subscribed for their content. But this was not expected something from Robin. Anyways, it’s a great learning for other fellow marketers!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Time is of the essense

If you are in service industry then there's no other option for you but to respond on time. I know I would not sound wise when I say that. But such small and petty things are tossed big time in some organizations. It is really difficult for me to fathom 'why people do that?'

If you are not equipped with information as to what needs to be responded to client or any other stakeholder then I can probably understand. However, when you have everything that is required to notify the other person and yet you don't do that then it raises a question on your ability to work in professional setup and sensitivity towards other people who are waiting for your response.

I remember one such incidence when one of the department was expected to respond to some client query. The function got this update on day 0. The news got circulated to concerned people internally on day 1. The required information and the solution was provided back to the team with all other required explanation on same day i.e. day 1. Nothing happened on day 2. The person who should have sent the information on day 1 offloaded the responsibility of response to somebody else on day 3. And I really don't know when client actually received the information.

Such things would pose a great difficult for the growth of the organization. And organization that will work on such small and little human things will succeed for sure.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Agile team at work

Few things we see and experience on a daily basis and that make us blind or ignorant about them. We start taking them for granted. We never think about gravity every time. We just know that whatever goes up is bound to come down. We slowly forget cause and remember only effect. 

I had some work with another team working in my office. As part of my job I interact with different teams and people on a daily basis. So today I approached a person from this team for work. He was occupied with some client work and it was not possible for him to help me with my task. He then asked his teammate a favor. A 'favor' because his teammate was not bound to help him on this request. His teammate nodded and my task was passed on to him. Such a simple thing. But wait. 

Things that appear simple have complex systems working behind them silently. I am sure this kind of experience is not new for many of us. But we have become ignorant about the great spirit that goes in to building these agile and connected. Let’s dissect. 

  • The team members had respect for each other. And hence respect for each other’s commitment. 
  • There was no reason for a guy to take shoulder some other guy’s responsibility. Could be an investment for return favor but I can pass that as a positive sign. 
  • The guy who offered help was not proficient at task I was asking for but he agreed to jump in. He demonstrated risk taking ability. 
  • The first guy had courage to give the task to another guy when he knew that other guy is not as good as him at it. And even if another guy was doing the job his name would be tagged with the deliverable. This shows faith in ability of fellow team members. 
  • One guy takes job and understands the concept and another guy works on it calls for same vocabulary. Unless they interpret things in right way they can’t deliver the output. 

So many things are at play here. So next time you see any cohesive team give it a thought. Unless you understand what makes a great team you can’t build yours. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tattoo and a job

One of my LinkedIn contact posted that her candidate lost a job because of full-body tattoo and asked whether this is right or wrong. I know what she must be feeling but I am of an opinion that it completely depends what her client company thinks of their brand and the position.

If your job involves meeting people with different ethnicity, culture and mindset then neutral appearance is always good (except for hospitality industry/function where you might have a theme for your dressing style). You would certainly not want to offend your prospect with your attire or the way you carry yourself. If you are working as a back-office employee or developer then you can have a leisure of wearing anything that pleases you and which is decent enough. But people-facing jobs demand more from you. You have to impress people with your work and you have appeal to them too.