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Showing posts from March, 2008

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!!

Has the TOI- The Hindu outdoor war started already?

Okay, I agree I have been giving too much of this blog's prime real estate to the Times of India upcoming launch in Chennai. Not that I have a great love for current day TOI, but as a graduate of marketing, I feel competition in this media would make the readers great benefits. And yes, I would get to see my childhood newspaper, in my city.To be fair, others have tried to challenge the Hindu in Chennai , the Deccan Chronicle and the New Indian Express are there too, but have not been able to come up anywhere near the market leader.As I suspected, the outdoor action has started. I noticed this advertising hoarding yesterday on my way to office. The traffic at the Turnbulls Road curve was standstill, giving ample time to click this snap.  While it does not say about what product it is advertising, the hints are that it is a Times of India ad, which is seeking attention and acting as the teaser for something to follow. The artwork is a collage of some newspaper, presumably, the TOI. …

Indian Government Organisations take baby steps to blogging

This morning I noticed Google Reader was recommending a feed of from one of India's largest telecom service company - BSNL. This company is an example of a corporation being formed out of what was earlier a government department- though its business is to facilitate conversations, it certainly is not one known for having conversations with its own customers - you would know that if you have been a BSNL service subscriber yourself. Needless to say, I quickly added this feed to my list. What attracted me even more was that there were over 70 subscribers already - okay, not very high, but interesting.  I had also noticed the term 'blog' on Indian Income Tax Department main website, as well as Police Blogs, and this whole phenomenon of Government Departments and Government Owned Companies moving towards 'conversation' appeared attractive enough to check out.Cut to BSNL blog. It is actually a news feed, and not a full fledged blog with its own crisp URL (such as blog.bs…

Pankaj Ghemawat takes the globalisation debate further

The debate on globalisation moves forward. Move over Tom Friendman, here comes Prof Pankaj Ghemawat. To be frank, when I had read Tom Friedman's The World is Flat in 2005 at the height of its frenzy, my first thought was that it is an over hyped reporting, rather than something really based on facts and figures. It is good to hear that a scholar such as Pankaj says the same in this interview with Economic Times. Not that I am an accomplished scholar as Prof Ghemawat to be able to counter Tom Friedman's oh-so-adored theory, but simply put, it appeared to further a romantic idea of globalisation which everyone wanted to hear, rather than something based on facts. I had done a post on this subject on this blog, which incidentally, was among my first blog posts.While I have not read Prof. Ghemawat book Redefining Global Strategy yet, certainly waiting for it to appear in the shelves in India. So what if it was published in Sept 2007- the world is so flat yet.

CIO India is launched but wondering who gets copies.

While International Media GroupIDG has brought one of its most popular IT publications for managers CIO, subscribing to it is a pain. The first issue of CIO India was published in Nov 2005 and according to IDG, currently distributes 6000 copies across India. I wonder who gets them.Having followed US edition of CIO (It is absolutely first rate) for a while now, I was quite delighted to know there is an Indian edition too. However, try to subscribe to a paper copy. First, there is no concept of paid subscription. One need to register a request for a print subscription, and that begins an endless wait to hear whether your subscription was approved or not. (I registered in May 2007 and am still waiting to hear back from them!). And no, CIO does not sell off the shelf, it only comes into your letter box.I wish this subscription request and acceptance process is improved significantly if CIO India has to indeed make a mark. I have sent multiple emails over the last three quarters and follow…

Virgin Mobile India Ads - Ethics Anyone?

Richard Branson may have managed to see his Virgin Mobile being 'launched' in India via an arrangement with telecom operator Tata Indicom, but the ads being used to promote the brand are perhaps crossing the soft line of irreverence.In its quest to reach out to young audience the ads have young characters in the centre but then look at the values being propagated. In one ad a teenaged girl is seen trying to get her parents encourage her to go to Goa with a boy. Nothing wrong with the intent perhaps, but whole effort is around misleading the parents.The second ad is far more questionable. It shows a teenager hauled by a policeman for a traffic violation setting up his friend as his father and then using his friend to get away from the police. Actually between them they con the Policeman. Certainly not something to really encourage.See the below video on YouTube. (Copyright as applicable)Ethics Anyone?Related video: Richard Branson's launch stunt for Virgin Mobile in India h…

TOI Chennai Launch - How would the Hindu react?

Of course this post is speculative in nature but then isn't that the case with lot of things :)

The question is, how will market leader the Hindu react to the Times of India's proposed launch in Chennai:

Do nothing, no one can shake me - 0% probability.
Do nothing on the surface, work on the distribution control - 10 % probability.Start outdoors before the TOI does, buy hoarding spaces - moderate probability.Go for a drastic price cut and start a price war - almost certain to happen ( Do remember price positioning is not good but then you just lost the chance)Make the paper better - which means not saying a leading star hotel in Nungambakkam but saying Taj Coromandal instead- 10 % probability.Start publishing more color photos- 50 % probability.
In all we would be keen to watch whether the Hindu would adopt a defensive strategy and try to save the turf or a very aggressive strategy and try to kill the new edition of the TOI. And how about no strategy as a strategy?

Waiting for Times of India's Chennai launch

Newspaper launches are never easy, especially in markets such as Chennai where you have a fully entrenched leader, who, for all practical purposes, has not faced any meaningful competition in a while now, and one who controls the trade with its so significant ability to influence everything connected with it. Nevertheless, having fed on Dainik Bhaskar's now legendary launch in Jaipur to challenge Rajasthan Patrika while at IMT, I am certainly keen to watch this round.We stopped taking a daily newspaper at our house few months back. Plain and simple, web appeared a good alternative option. And personally speaking, the left leaning thoughts of the Hindu did not resonate with me. Last six months have been without a newspaper for me. Cut to 1988. I was in Delhi and a school student, and Times of India was the morning breakfast with R.K. Laxman's cartoon being the opening bite. It was lobbed with clinical precision into the balcony of our 4th floor apartment by the delivery boy who…

So why has Maggi Club has vanished without trace?

Few posts back I promised to talk about conversational brand properties in India and specifically mentioned about Maggi Club, which I had noticed on one of the packs few months back. The idea sounded exciting and for curiosity sake, I even tried to register that time, but I found I need to be in a certain age band to be able to register. However, the link www.maggiclub.com is broken and there is no site hosted at this URL. I have been checking periodically and looks like the Maggi Club site has been pulled off.

To be sure, I verified the domain is still registered in the name of Nestle.

Is this the case of the low net penetration in India making such a property commercially difficult to justify?