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Showing posts from July, 2007

Abdul Kalam Tomorrow

President Abdul Kalam 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

The Marketing Counterpoint on Conversational Marketing

In response to my previous pos t 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 s

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 chann

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 genera

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 th