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Metis Talent Management brand new website goes live

Last fortnight was a joy, as we came to the launch of Metis Talent Management's website. Metis is a Singapore based organisation that advises clients on Talent Management with a primary focus on Talent Development and Organisation Design. Best wishes to team Metis!

The other great thing is how folks at Metis approached this by going in for a full overhaul, including getting a new logo and brand colours. Do leave your comments on what you feel about the website and the logo!!

Anil Kumble's latest Sobriquet: AK37

While driving to work this morning, I noticed a used car dealership hoarding on Chamiers Road -Cenotaph Road crossing. It read:

India's Latest Weapon - AK37

Capt. Anil KumbleAge 37 - AK37

Wonder what the cool Capt. of Indian cricket team has to say on his latest sobriquet!


Leanest Inventory Management Practice in Retail

Not too long ago, I was listening to a captivating talk by Rajeev Karwal, CEO of Milagrow and one of India's most prominent names in Retail. Rajeev was talking at IIT Madras, and his argument was why and how the small retailer will continue to thrive in India.

Well, my wife and I were at a shopping complex here in Chennai and we stopped at a footwear shop. My wife picked up something that caught her attention, which was fancy looking footwear on display. She wanted to try it out, and so she asked for the second piece of the pair ( not a different pair but the left foot one, while the right one was in her hand).

The shopkeeper cum salesman stepped out, walked out to a shop across the lane and then appeared back with the left foot fancy chappal and gave it to her. "It was on display in my brother's shop", he said matter-of-factly.

Think about that. He did not even have one pair of chappal but half a pair. We heard about back-to-back ordering etc but no one ever boasted o…

Branding Business Goes Forward- Satyam @ Fifa World Cup

Companies using sports to promote their brands is not new, not even in the field of IT. CSC has a Cycling team, SAP has been associated with Formula One car racing and Tennis, Accenture uses Tiger Woods very effectively to drive home the point and so on. However, it may be noted that most of these sports are niche in nature and none matches the reach and spread of Fifa Soccer World Cup, save for the Olympics.

While Indian companies have never shied away from sponsoring sports, the spend has mostly been around cricket, and the target audience being India and Indians. This time, we notice that this barrier stands broken, with Satyam (NYSE: SAY) having signed up as a sponsor of Fifa World Cup 2010 , to be played in South Africa. Perhaps it is true in line with Indian IT companies, which have spread themselves across the world, when it comes to serving customers, hunting talent and setting up bases. It is also very proud to see an Indian company logo standing next to the usual bigtime spen…

Digital Marketing and Prosumers, what a mix!

When I read the term Prosumer in Wikinomics by Dan Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams, it hit me hard. To be fair, the term Prosumer was first used by Toffler in 1980 itself. But Wikinomics, provides great insights into mass collaboration with numerous examples, set me thinking. I started looking for examples for Prosumption around me.

Prosumer (Producer+Consumer) is a term that signifies how even traditional media such as print (a little slow) , TV and online are adapting in involving common folks like me and you in creating content for them, and thereby building more content and greater involvement, and maybe credibility too.

I was a little befuddled recently when this blog started getting some visitors refered by the good old Wall Street Journal website. When I went to the source page, I found that on WSJ has an article on Digital Marketing on which I had written a post too and WSJ has used Sphere to pick it up and so nicely provide a link to my post.Maybe this is a very normal thing,…

Rafael Nadal coming to Chennai Open 2008

It is an exciting buildup at Chennai Open Tennis Open. The 2008 edition is in January and World No 2 Rafael Nadal has confirmed that he is looking forward to it. Infact he has nice words for the Tennis lovers of Chennai, who packed SDAT stadium last year to see him in the semis. In his own words,

"I like the crowd and their enthusiasm and support and they always push you to give your best".

I could not see the last year event as tickets were all sold by the time I realized I would be in Chennai that time, I am moving for tickets rightway. However, I did see Nadal earlier, and also old legends such as Vijay Amritraj and others.


PageRank Mayhem, Infosys, Accenture downgraded too.

Before
The Washington Post suffered it. Amit Agarwal talks about it. Rishi Raj laments it. Mani Karthik says he does not care. A zillion posts are already up on Google's recent PageRank update.
After


While the web is full of commentary on Google's recent PageRank update, here's some food for thought. We compared the PageRank of some of the leading IT Companies corporate websites in June and October. It is quite puzzling that Infosys.com and Accenture.com suffered a PR drop by one notch from 8 & 9 respectively to 7 & 8 now. In the same timeframe, TCS.com has gone up one level from 7 to 8 level. It is also notable that in the same period the Google reported inbound link to Infosys.com has dropped, which is quite mystifying.

When one compares the Google reported backlink figures among the top names in IT industry, IBM has seen its backlink numbers jump from a high figure of 62,100 to astounding 1,11,000 which perhaps explains its PR 9, before and after.

Most people have sp…

Shelfari - Book lovers' great social networking tool

While there are a zillion sites in the social networking genre and hundreds spring up by the week, Bibliophiles would love this social networking site called Shelfari.

This is a space to find out what is being read by others on different subjects, what's really hot in terms of the latest bestsellers and to discover what others are saying on books you have read or plan to read.

An absolutely delightful sight that lets you discover and discuss books with book lovers worldwide. You can also build your 'to read' list based on reviews by others, as well as join(or form) a community around a specific subject or them. Click here or the image below for my virtual bookshelf.

Shelfari: My virtual book world

Wikinomics by Dan Tapscott is absolute delight

Sukumar has done a post on a lecture by Dan Tapscott who has authored Wikinomics ( The full title is Wikinomics- How mass collaboration changes everything ) with Anthony Williams. Actually this book has been in my to read list for almost a year and it is only now that I have been able to lay my hands on a copy - thanks to Odyssey. One of my old agonies with bookstores in India is that they don't get books till it is branded as a success in the western world. Somehow, in this respect, the world is not flat yet!

Though I am just forty pages deep into it and hope to post again once I am done reading, I remain quite convinced on how IT enabled mass collaboration is changing the world as we know it- come on, we knew it even before we started reading this book - Wikinomics appears to give our own thoughts that much more backbone of reasoning to make it more believable.(In the below Video, Dan talks at Google on the thoughts that make Wikinomics).





I shall be back once I am done reading, b…

Buying Behaviour of an Errant Husband

Buying behaviour can be crazy and difficult to comprehend.Look at this one.The fat lady was uttering frighteningly within my earshot," This Patiala wasn't good. I want a larger one". The guy serving her was stunned, and all he could mumble was,"This was the best we have sold. We will see how we can make it better". Then he vanished behind the counter only to return after five minutes with another stack of salwar suits- yes, you guessed it, yet more Patialas.

Till I went to shop with my wife this Dussehra, I erroneously believed that large Patialas represent a serving of a certain type of liquid, which only the connoisseurs could partake in the company of their best friends. Neither did I know how happy a shopping experience could be, for a husband, when the wife is busy buying dresses. I never knew ladies stores have become so advanced, that they have figured out the need and the mantra to keep the man happily engaged, while the wife keeps on telling the shop a…

Nature's Call and the new media!

Voice & Data reports that a furniture store in South Africa till recently used to lock up its employees in the workshop so that they focus on their work. Nothing too much till you realize that the workshop did not have appropriate rest room facilities so when the workers needed to go to the rest room, they had to send in their p-petition to their managers via SMS, who would come and unlock them. That gives rise to the horrendous possibilities:

Imagine worker X 's phone has weak network coverage.
Worker Y ran of his phone's pre-paid charge, now how does he discharge?
S'pose worker Z's phone battery drains out - now how will he!However, all this will pale, if you think the possibilities if the manager's phone suffers from any of the above. What a blast.

PS: The govt moved in to stop this, naturally.

Jagdish Sheth at MMA - What a treat!

Dr Jagdish Sheth, renowned thought leader was at Madras Management Association on 15th Oct and as a member I had the privilege of attending his talk, which I can describe as simple and mind boggling. Dr Sheth spoke on Seven Self Destructive Habits of Good Companies which is published as a book. Dr Sheth pointed out at the beginning of his presentation that a third of the companies listed in Fortune 500 in 1970 had vanished by 1983!

Dr Sheth spoke about the seven habits as:
Denial (of realities)Arrogance (Often success breeds this)Complacency (When companies have tasted the fruits of success and don't feel the need to better themselves)Competence Dependence (When they have something they have identified as a core skill which seem to have worked for them - the requirement for the skill may get washed out due to disruptive change, maybe technology led)Competitive myopia (Identifying your competition incorrectly and then refusing to see the truth)Volume obsession ( "Let's giv…

More is not always better

This is my 100th post. It has taken me 2 years to reach to this milestone. I started blogging as an item to satisfy my curiosity (Let me be honest -my mean interest was to get a Gmail account - I had heard they were offering Gmail accounts to select bloggers with 1 GM space. My hope was to be one of them. I did not get a Gmail account this way but got sort of fascinated by this media). And by the way another blogger obliged me by sending a Gmail invite.

Interestingly, this is not my first experiment with web content.Way back in 1999 I had created a website which though not updated since 2000, to my utter surprise, still exists and can be accessed. I don't have the password to the update the contents to have to let it R.I.P.

In two years of blogging, my blogposts have wandered from what's happening in Chennai (the city I live in), business books that I liked, to marketing, and even an occasional bit of technology. The posts that have got me the highest visitor response have been…

Dear Great Grandson of Dr Laboomba..

(Of late I have been receiving incessant emails from 'children' and 'widows' of former presidents of some countries in other geographies, who require my business advice, acumen and assistance in salvaging the treasure which the late dictator bequeathed upon them..My response to them, once and for all , is below)

Dear Great Grandson of Dr Laboomba,

I am in receipt of your email dated 6th October containing the urgent and confidential business proposal worth a sum of dollars 10,00,000. I am also in receipt of a kind email from your great grand mother indicating the importance of the international business proposal that you wish to pursue with my humble self. However, I am not exactly sure if the said wife of the late Dr Laboomba is your exact great grandmother. After all, your great grandfather, the late Dr Laboomba was a rather prolific specimen of mankind, and traces of his combination of x-y chromosomes is found in the genome structure of children who came f…

Mahesh Murthy's Eight SEM Predictions at SearchCamp

Mahesh Murthy, one of India's greatest experts on digital media marketing, was at unconference in Chennnai this morning. The house full audience was all ears as Mahesh laid out his eight predictions for 2008. Mahesh's eight trends for 2008, as he forsees them:
It is not just about Search alone: As per Mahesh, companies would like one agency to handle all digital marketing handled by one agency, which could include SEO, SMS, online marketing etc. Right now companies go to different vendors for different initiatives within digital marketing.
It won't just be about Google: Mahesh feels, over time, a set of competitors would emerge to Google. Marketers would have to evaluate choices from others such as Yahoo, MSN, and local leaders such as Baidu in China, and others in Korea, Australia, Russia. It will require expertise to target specific markets, which is good news for SEO professionals.SERP formula would be broken: It is now possible to create a site and guess about…

Simplifly the Air Deccan way!

(With due apologies to Capt Gopinath, who has made flying possible at our personal expense. Put in plain English, we don’t have to fly only when on an official trip, or when the NRI techie sends in a ticket for his parents. Simplifly!) When I went to Chennai airport this afternoon to receive some personal guests, the Air Deccan flight was still in the air. As per the notice board, it was five minutes past the scheduled arrival time, and the flight was reportedly on time, but has still not landed. Mysteriously so. No sweat.
Very few people were at the gate to receive the Deccan flight passengers, forcing me to infer, either, Air Deccan passengers do not get folks to receive them, or, no one expects a Deccan flight to land on time, so maybe the folks will turn up after some time to receive their near and dear ones. Meaning, they will come when they realistically think the flight would be landing. They only have to guess, since the flight status on the Air Deccan website was ‘unavailable’.…

Tim Harford's Undercover Economist

Okay, I admit this upfront.Tim Harford's Undercover Economist is a must read. Read the below to see a real life problem.

Mayor of Moscow :Tell me, who's in charge of the supply of bread to the city of London?

British Host: No one.

I should have read Tim Harford's Undercover Economist long ago. This book seeks to find, analyse and explain for a layman, economic sense (blended with copious supply of common sense) behind some of the most ordinary phenomenon from real life. Well, some have compared this to Freakonomics, but I would say my experience with TUE as much superior.

Economics is a field of study which , as some great light said, predicts the past. It tends to be drab, and academic, due to which most of us do not even want to spend (waste?) our time in understanding the economic phenomenon. This would be quite different, if the teacher the Tim Harford.

My favourite chaoters of this book remain "Who Pays for your coffee" ( an eye opener) and "The Crosstown …

Open Letter to Viswanathan Anand

Dear Vishy,

We learnt about your win in World Chess Championship in Mexico. Infact I read about it two days after you won. No, I was not in the crowd that went to welcome the Indian Twenty20 cricket team in Mumbai.Nor did I feel that all that Indian sportsmen could won has been won.

To be truthful, I was just not aware that there is any such tournament such as the aforesaid World Chess Championship happening around this time. No, I am not such horrible in following sports. I mean I did come to know when Indian boys won the Asian Hockey Championship recently. I mean, didn't they slam Srilanka or someone down by nearly or approximately 20 goals to nil. Every time the goal hit the net, the crowd was reportedly up on the toes,yelling, jumping, and laughing.Bound to happen in a spectator sport. Coming to that later.

Now,when it comes to sports, we Indians also only know two emotions, extreme happiness and horrible disappointment. You play a wonderful game called Chess. We have heard thi…

Newspapers can be so interesting sometimes!

A snapshot of a picture seen on Expressindia.com. See the caption and match it with picture.

Hutch Brand Makeover to Vodafone still incomplete

In the last ten days or so, we have seen a spate of ads, on TV, Billboards etc announcing the rebranding of Indian Telecom operator Hutch to Vodafone. Newspapers have been talking about the huge sums that has been marked for this transformation.This NDTV report event mentions about a sum of 300 crore being earmarked for this brand makeover.The entire campaign, including creative is very tasteful and simple.The blitz appears so pervasive.

However, there is branding in nooks and crannies, which is still to be done.

Look at the network signature of a visitor who visited this space last night from a handheld device on Hutch network.The network is still identified as Hutch.

Don't blame the brand managers though, this is one space that they may not think much about(or know about). Don't blame the network guys either, they are not incharge of the brand. It just goes onto show that such mammoth brand makeovers have more dimensions than a brand manager can possibly think about.

Yuvraj Singh's six sixes in the internet age

It is indeed amazing that Yuvraj Singh became the first batsman to hit six sixes in an over in nascent Twenty 20 format. But what is more amazing is the way internet has made it possible for people to see the magical moment as and when possible, at a time of your choice, and as many times.Not only did I receive an email containing a clip of this Yuvraj packing off Stuart Broad of England at Kingsmead, Durban as an attachment and folks also forwarded multiple links on various video sites. Not sure where these sites stand on the issue of Copyright violation in such cases, but at this point it is all up for folks to see.










Whoever knows the impact of today's new and emerging communication media such as Video and Blogs?

SearchCamp Chennai October Unconference, wow

I was at BlogCamp in September last year, and became a big fan of guys who were behind it. There is another event coming up coming October and this one sounds very promising too. SearchCamp is all about SEMs and SEOs, terms that are widely spoken about, but in my frank opinion, understood much lesser. SearchCamp on 6th & 7th October, (again an Unconference, wow) and promises to bridge that gap. I look forward to it, and hope to see you there.

No, Google is not distributing PR 9 as complimentary gifts here! See you there!!


Online Banking@ICICI Bank: Beware

Few months back, a friend of mine sought to transfer some money from his ICICI Bank account to to my ICICI Bank account. We choose the most convenient route, which was an online transfer. Was it that that convenient indeed?. Read on.

It so appeared that the account number I sent by mail to my friend was wrong by exactly one digit. A real costly mistake indeed. My unsuspecting friend promptly executed two transfers and the money, a sum of few thousand rupees, landed in a third account, which wasn't his intention.

As soon as we learnt of the error, we reported to ICICI Bank, and surprising enough, this completely wired bank decided that this cannot be reported to the call center. One has to visit the branch. So be it we said, and dutifully filed a written report at the ICICI Branch where my friend has his account. We were advised, that the Bank would seek to reach out the third account holder, and after his/her permission , reverse the transaction. Not so simple. For months, my friend…

Blasts in Hyderabad - What a shame

I am breaking by blogging silence (hiatius, perhaps?) by doing what all sane minded folks should do. Let's begin by saying that the Saturday blasts in Hyderabad and reported discovery of other terror devices out to be condemned in the highest terms. You do not get a good feel when anyone dies or gets hurt, least of all, when you learn that innocent folks who are enjoying an outdoor evening, including kids, failed to return home, because someone blasted a bomb.

The bombs would certainly not asked for anyone's religion, ideology, age or profession before hitting them and that is the whole tragedy. While law enforcement is surely going to nail these faceless terrorists in due course, it is only a resolute public opinion that would perhaps deter such attacks.

My humble homage to all those who left us on Saturday, and remembrance to all those who have elsewhere died in terror violence in the past, either as innocent victims, or those who died fighting the terrorists, such as the secu…

ICL has a Great Communication Opportunity Ahead

In earlier posts we discussed how communication has become conversational and flat. In yet another post, we discussed how cricket boards across the world such as Pakistan and Australia, have chosen to create their websites, and also those such as BCCI have, chosen not to have their websites.

The essential challenge is for organizations, cricket boards included, is to reach out to all key stakeholders via all available means of communication. The current unpopularity of BCCI is partly due to its inability to think of cricket lovers beyond just ticket buyers/ TV viewers. This has meant that cricket has been sold as a commodity, not as a well cultivated brand .

I hope folks at ICL will soon realize that a great communication advantage awaits them, if they choose to engage cricket lovers via the web.

That essentially means, get an ICL website up very soon. A website that breathes and lives. This is no rocket science wisdom, but merely common sense. The engagement possibilities remain practic…

My wishlist on GApps

GApps, earlier known as Google Apps for your domain, is a service by which you can primarily create simple webpages as well as run your own email service, using Gmail engine. Fellow blogger Nirmal has a post on '7 Reasons Why you Should be Using Google Apps'.

Google has both free and paid versions of this service, targeted towards Organizations, Schools, Families etc. I was pleasantly surprised that even former President Abdul Kalam is a user of GApps (Check out an MX lookup on www.abdulkalam.com). Wow, what an endorsement!

As an admin of GApps for my alumni network, I give good marks to email service. I have the following wishlist:

Improve the Email List (aka Distribution list) management. Currently if you have to create a 200 member DL, it is quite a pain.
Credentials Distribution: If you upload a CSV, GApps does a good job of creating the users. However, you are left with an CSV sheet where you have to mailmerge and inform the users through email. Very tedious task. Ideally, I …

The BOP Debate Rages On!

In my post titled Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid - What I liked and what I didn'tI wrote about my impressions on Dr CK Prahalad's work titled 'The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid'.

Frankly when I read the book, I did not come out fully convinced.It all sounded very nice, but not very pursuasive. My curiousity led me to search a bit more on this debate. I came across a paper by Prof. Aneel Karnani published in California Management Review. The paper titled Fortune at the Bottom of Pyramid: A Mirage comes out hard on the BOP concept as enunciated in Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid by Dr Prahalad.

While Dr Prahalad's work focusses on how corporations can make money selling even to the marginal wage earner, Dr Karnani questions the viability of such a proposition, even talks on issues such as affordability of this segment of consumers. He even questions the suitability of the cases used to substantiate the BOP proposition (such as Annapurna salt).Frankly …

Abdul Kalam Tomorrow

President is set to retire in a week's time. Rajdeep Sardesai post on the president at one of his last official engagements is all about the magnetism of this simple looking man. There are talks about him becoming involved with various academic initiatives. Anna University in Chennai is preparing for his return to the campus, and Nitish Kumar is planning to offer him the Visitor position of the revived Nalanda University. Whatever finally happens, it is clear that Kalam is not fading away. That's reassuring. For me, this is double happiness, since I trace my roots to Nalanda area and live in Chennai. BTW, his future website is already being readied and will go live on 25 July 2007. The site seems to be hosted by NIC. Even Google seems to be saluting him, since, the site has no content yet, but seems to be enjoying PR of 4. Interestingly, there is less talk of India's incoming president in blogosphere, more or the outgoing one.So much for hamara President.

Relat…

The Marketing Counterpoint on Conversational Marketing

In response to my previous post on Conversational Marketing as discussed by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel in their book, I received a counterpoint from my friend Rajeev John, who is a marketing professional with one of India's truly home grown and respected consumer goods company.
"Its like the Star Wars program. Extremely relevant for 2020 but irrelevant now with internet penetration still in single digits in our India.There are still (& sadly so) a lot of marketeers who think marketing is a tool to attract SEC A + consumers only. They forget (or are simply not aware) that 75% OF POPULATION STILL LIVES IN VILLAGES. Now reaching out to them & bringing into the branded fold is the real challenge."John, many thanks for the reminding us of the brutal truth. I am sure that there are others who might want to side your argument, like me.

Now stepping aside this argument for a minute, let's see that there are several companies that are selling their products or servi…

Naked Conversations - Why marketers don't get it

I was reading Robert Scoble and Shel Israel's great but slightly old(well, in tech arena, one year is fairly old) book titled Naked Conversations(Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers) The book is such captivating read, and no, time had no effect on the relevance of the contents, which is blogging as a medium of communication.
At some point NC tries raises the question on whether (corporate) blogs can be equated with Marketing. A new term conversational marketing emerges, and I feel it is quite apt. I tried hard to think of reasons on why in today's world blogs are getting adopted as a medium for individual or group communication, but not so quicky as a channel for corporate communications. The following is my hypothesis:
The campaign mindset:Conventional marketers like to send cues through regular media (print, TV, outdoors, packaging) and wait for the agency to tell them if it worked. Blogs are a two way communication channel, a mar…

Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid - What I liked and what I didn't

As I wrote in my earlier post, I read C. K. Prahalad's thoughts on Eradicating Poverty Through Profits through the lenses of the book titled "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid" ( Wharton School Publishing).
As is my habit, I started by reading the preface where I was pleasantly surprised to see the name of a former colleague of mine, Praveen Suthrum, who went to be Dr. Prahalad's student and contributed to this book.
The central premise of this book appears to be that one need not be in the developed world to create a world class enterprise - there are companies that have created a niche in their own ways wherever they are. And while doing things differently, they have not sacrificed the profit motive - they are hugely successful, famous and respected.The book has studied some very successful and homegrown companies in South America and India and attempted to bring out what made them successful.
This book is a break for Indian B-School students, who for generatio…

Subroto Bagchi's talk at MMA

Subroto Bagchi was at Madras Management Association Forum yesterday and gave a captivating talk on High Performance Entrepreneurship. I would have expected a usual stuff on Entrepreneurship laced with lofty terms such as passion, idea etc only if I hadn't been following his a-spade-is-a-spade columns in magazines. Perhaps others too had, since it was a housefull. And Subroto did not disappoint them at all. With true elan, he began by asking the audience what is the foremost quality needed in an entrepreneur. Lots of hands went up, and audience provided predictable answers such as passion, idea, marketable IP such as an invention. Subrato dismissed these at once and stated that that one quality was the love for money!

He ran a thirty minute film that featured three modern day entrepreneurs of very diverse type - V G Siddartha of Cafe Coffee Day, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon and Capt G R Gopinath of Deccan Aviation. The background and the triggers for these three to take to the jour…

Indian idol peaks up

Let me begin with a confession. I have not been a great fan of the idiot box for last fifteen years. My viewing is limited to 10 PM show on Discovery where I have followed the episodes on the latest defence aircraft(They even showed a C130 landing on an aircraft carrier once - it was a one way ticket, the plane had to be dismantled to be taken ashore!) to the giant dams being built. The 9 PM stories of family politics, so keenly followed across India, unfortunately have never caught mine or my wife's attention. In that sense, the prime time in my house is reserved for TV to be left in power off mode.
A little tough nowadays though. has begun to govern the dinner timings in my home. Initially one felt Anu Malik was a little brusque with the II wannabes but the dynamics between the judges and the show hosts Mini Mathur and Hussain have become quite smooth and the entire production is quite, quite slick. The show has reached its peak. Like possibly lakhs of ho…

Humour:A conversation between Presidents Kalam and Musharraf that never happened

(Indian President A.P.J Abdul Kalam invited President Musharraf of Pakistan to a meeting. For good measure he suggested the meeting be organized over video-conference. Since Aiwan-e-Sadr did not have VC facilities. Bush bailed him once again and Musharraf took a flight to DC to take the VC from the White House)
It was 6:30 PM IST, which was 9 AM EST.

Kalam: Good morning Your Excellency.

Musharraf: Good morning President (Musharraf forgot the time difference). Kashmir…..(cut short by Kalam)

Kalam: Yes, Kashmir. Few minutes back I was in the herbal garden of Rashtrapati Bhawan, where we have some of the herbs especially brought from Kashmir. The ancient science of Ayurveda, emphasized a lot on the importance of herbs in our life. They give you vitality(pauses and sips something, which he emphasizes is Kashmiri drink Kehwa, organically grown). Infact, you must take a pledge that you would only consume herbal products. I have a pledge for you(picks up a card next to him but is cut short by M…

Coming up next - C.K.Prahalad

I heard CKP at an academic event couple of years back and was stuck by a mesmerizing presentation he gave on what appeared in the bookstore later as "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid". As a logical sequel, this book appeared on the shelves of a colleague a months back, and I have helpfully borrowed it, without giving my colleague the chance to say no. So next few days, I will have this highly talked about book for bedtime reading. Shall certainly write when I finish, which I am hoping will be by end of next week.

Updated: Here is the post.

A beautiful parable

My friend Rajeev Singh sent me this beautiful parable from Durban.Cannot resist posting this, since this shows the true contrast between good communication and better communication. The beauty in the message is its sheer simplicity.Here it goes.
A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: "I am blind, please help." There were only a few coins in the hat.
A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.
Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were u the one who changed my sign this morning? What did u write?"
The man said, "I only wrote the truth. I said what u said but in…

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Programme

Based on feedback received from scholarly observers of the game of cricket, ICC has made some changes in the upcoming 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.The tournament will be kicked off by vivid culturals, followed by the Award Ceremony, where the cup would be presented to Australia.

Open Source moves on, and c,mm,n, here's a car

Wikipedia defines Open Source as follows:
"Open source is a set of principles and practices that promote access to the production and design process for various goods, products, resources and technical conclusions or advice."

Note the broad definition.However, in common terms, Open Source is widely perceived to be something related to software, worse still, Microsoft vs Redhat.

So, when I read about a car being made 'Open Source', I halted to read about it. At the Dutch auto-fair Auto RAI 2007, The Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment and the three technical universities of Delft, Eindhoven and Twente launched what was termed as their stimulating vision on mobility. In plain language, three universities have come together to design a car on the collaborative movement called Open Source. The car of the future is called c,mm,n (pronounced 'Common'). Essentially, that would mean, collaborative, shared designing of a car('a car' -isn't that an…

If only Microsoft makes iPods

A friend of mine forwarded this link to a hilarious, but very professionally made video on what would happen to some elements of branding if iPods were to be made by Microsoft instead of Apple. Worth every second of your time. If you a marketing professional and appreciate subtle humour, cannot afford not to view the entire clip.





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Calling for a unified Do-Not-Call registry in India

Like most of us who get unsolicited and unwanted telemarketing calls selling everything from a personal loan to credit card to a new telephone connection, I too get such calls everyday, whether I am in meeting, travelling, or working on document etc. Many such calls come from India's leading banks.The interesting part is that, I have already registered for DNC on their website. While some of these companies give you a request number, others merely say thanks, and you get nothing, no email confirmation, no request number. These companies also helpfully add that it might take them 3 months to remove the number from their list. The calls do not stop though. Consider this. At eleven AM I get a call from some telecaller, who wants to sell credit cards to me. First of all, they ask me if I hold a credit card from another bank. It really cheeses me off. Why should be I talking about my financial arrangements to any TDH who calls me without invitation.That's when I ask them if they hea…

ISRO Chandrayan landing on the moon indeed?

The newspapers, television and radio are screaming- Indian Space Programme goes commercial and likes. Indeed, after decades of research, our scientists are all set to do a commercial launch- a 309 kg Italian satellite would be lobbed into a polar orbit this afternoon on board a PSLV rocket. This is a low orbit satellite would find its position somewhere 300 kms above the ground and orbit earth every 90 minutes or so. Communication satellites of any real worth - running communication channels and costing megabucks - operate in geo stationary orbit at about 36000 kms, and they must be transported to 8000 kms by rockets.These satellites weigh 3-4 tonnes.This is where the real money is. The US space programme and Arianne rockets compete heavily in this commercial space. China and Japan have their own programmes and at least China does not outsource the launches though not sure about Japan. India's own GSLV is far from ready, even after burning time and money and couple of Russian engi…