It is so difficult to know something and not speak up. What when what you know is said by someone of someone, both of whom are your closest pals... What when the statement conveyed could alter things beyond a point of no return. What when, you wish you dint know what you know. What when this information is so critical that you feel you are committing a crime by keeping it yourself. What when this information is so confidential that relaying of this info is not just unethical but also unasked for... It is these moments that you realise the meaning of butterflies in the stomach – it’s so uneasy keeping quiet and so easy blurting out “secrets”, but once out, the situations could spiral out of control in lieu of the information leak. If the matters aren’t complicated enuf, there will always be this X-ray vision of the subject that every time you connect eye-to-eye, you avert them lest these be the window to your soul. And then begins the game of cat and mice till the time the mice are in the open and at peace with the cat or else the cat gives up looking for the mice. It is this game that I’ve now become an expert in and have been playing for the past few days...
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
After an intense, a true-to-my-heart post, I’m back to my miniscule musings. This is one of those posts, where I forget my originality principle and copy the basic theme.
Just another of my arbit searches... I stumbled onto this cartoon strip.
I’ve so often felt being the Science-Man and lost to the aqua dude and every time I end up asking myself, is it worth it? Shouldn’t I be more the Aquaman and be “cool”. Well it wudn’t take me long to be him but It wouldn’t be me. I love my identity. I love being the science dude – the guy who not just knows the “What”s but also wants to the know the “Why”s.
Ab koi khush ho ya ho khafa, Hum nahi badlenge apni adaa, samjhe na samjhe koi, Hum yahi kahenge – Hum to bhai jaise hain waise rahenge...
Monday, January 26, 2009
To let the heart go without a fight
But then, if it were to happen,
What better day than tonight
I’m an introspective person, actually more a retrospective person. I do things and think if they were right. I choose not to speak for fear of repercussions hold me back. But some day the Hoover Dam was destined to break... And that it did.
It was always a monologue, my line
The feeling expressed was truly mine
As usual, in a moment it all changed
As usual, I pretended to be fine
I’m silent when it is not my way
For a moment I chose to speak
Fell back and see everything go away
Wonder if I lost at my own game
Wonder if it’ll ever be the same
I’m a blood-flesh human being
A body attached to my name
I ask for one more chance
Give me that one soft glance
The time shall turn backwards
It shall all be just one bad trance
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Well, not that I’ve never gone to dance classes before, as a matter of fact, I have. Learnt Bharatnatyam for quite some time in secondary school but back then, it was by force. Yday was the first of my own accord and the difference was there to be seen. I loved every minute of it. The final story will remain that I cannot dance but then, it dint matter for the time that I attempted to do so :)
The cultural society in campus gave shape to what’s being planned for the past term – the dance classes. Hardly anything XL starts on time, this was no exception to the rule, but yeah, I’m yet to see so many people gather in time for the End-Term!!! The instructor is a cool chap from Calcutta with the typical Calcutta accent of Hindi and English.
We start off with Salsa... The basic movements – I think again – Am I in the right place? Should I be going through this? Did I put myself into a wrong position!!! I’m sure Popu, if he’s reading this, would have scoffed and rolled around at this idea of Pudunath attending Salsa!!! But then I look around, “Hey, not too bad. Guys do appear to come from the military school (OK thr’s one sailor who is different...)” After a lot of demos and unintended innuendos, we start on the music... performing the basic routine, shifting partners as we go by... It’s fun after all. Who cares (OK I don’t) if I’m not Michael Jackson on the moon... :)
To end the day, a fast step (ISDT or whatever it was called) sans couples... Attitude and fun combined.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The positives first... It was the second round of Nokia Coliseum, my first corporate presentation – a novice attempt, I must say. I generally have starting problems but today was also my first presentation to a packed hall and I did not stutter in the intro - Did I get the message across, I'm still waiting for someone to tell me tht!!!
The first round was a good success with the video getting a good number of hits on youtube and even getting rated in “top ten (#2)” of videos under the category “Education”!!! The second round, well the results are not out as yet, but according to me, the presentation did not exactly convey the preparation. I had done a lot of data mining to identify segments, their attractiveness and the touchpoints for potential N97 customers. These however were not clear from the presentation. There were a few other shortcomings and thanks to many reviews and suggestions by the seniors, I’m richer in experience if not the 5800!!! How much I appreciate a true critical remark! Win or lose, here comes my first CV point in XL ;-)
And now in one line the negative– I bunked class but was not absent for the first time in life!!!
Monday, January 19, 2009
MBA is all turning waste to gold... or at least selling it as one. That requires a special talent which all MBAs develop over time. Some do that by being too technical and sweeping the other guy off his feet by a simple statement of unstated and often unknown facts. Many try to create qualities that don’t exist. A few small numbers actually try to tell the customer about the product and hope that the product is good enough. The most number however, manages the sale through special use of King’s English. And this is what most B-Schools teach (though unintentional and inadvertent) the best. With the emphasis on learning through classes, a huge window of opportunity opens up for the future managers to practice and hone their selected talented and methodology. This is what constituted class-participation at first... and later took the shape of DCP. But is doing DCP so easy?? Often many attempts go unnoticed. It is these attempts that I plan to capture and burn to memory and recognition. It is these efforts that will get rewarded.
Thus, I (in association with another classmate) announce the launch of the DCP almanac. On a post in late March, we shall have a collection of the DCP attempts and a vote shall decide the winner. Attractive prizes to be won ;).
- Q. What happens when a person goes on sea in ship? Which law is applicable?
A.” The territorial boundaries of India extend upto 12 nautical miles.”
- On Intel Strategy and brand repositioning: “It’s not about tangible things but about tangible and intangible things. After 20-25 yrs, no one would like to change their own name.”
- On Satyam problem: “It is an extreme manifestation of the agency problem.”
P.S.: For non-XLers: DCP has been explained in one of the comments. Please read through
Friday, January 16, 2009
It’s the oldest marketing research fair in India (or the world, I’m not so sure) and requires people to participate for its very existence. And for us to know that people are participating, we need to sell tickets to required people of specific socio-economic class... Now this is no easy task for reasons more than one... Why would anyone pay to be a part of a marketing research, ain’t it being treated like a guinea-pig!!! It’s a Sunday and there are a million other interesting things you could do. It is in one corner of the city which is hardly visited, let alone frequented, by anyone. What is in it for me, a small gift which I could surely do without!!! There is no celebrity endorsing... it’s just another small fest that students have to amuse themselves for a weekend. Its MBA students, the fair must also be for students, in short, I’ll just be the cliche square peg in the round hole.
Convincing them takes a lot of effort... Many cases we gotta tell them it’s not what they think it is. In many other cases, you gotta tell them it’s more than they think it is... In short, market the fair in its grandest form... create impressions that you want them to have; In some cases, correct the correct impression they have to the one you want them to have.
Anyways, what can be termed a not-so-good-not-so-bad type sale, we were able to sell 26 tickets in the specified SEC. Must I add, in a large measure, thanks to my (outspoken) good (looking) partner who used all the prior experience of door-to-door selling into today’s sales... ;)
P.S.: BTW my partner must have been pretty confused today... one lady saw a kid while a gentleman got offended when his wife was referred as ‘aunty’ remarking, "She is not as elder to you".
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Wiki says it is the day the sun travels towards the north on the celestial sphere. But I thought, we were taught in class eight that the sun is over the Tropic of Capricorn on Dec 22nd (Winter Solstice). So by definition, the Sun travels north on every day after that. Why is it that we celebrate the “Uttar”ayan on Jan 14th? And, if the logic is that the sun enters the northern hemisphere on Jan 14th, it can’t be true as the sun only reaches the equator on the equinox, i.e., March 21st. Also, it cannot be said that the Sun travels northwards over India (it is majorly an Indian festival) as India lies completely in the Northern hemisphere and thus when the sun has not even crossed the equator, it cannot be over India. Then, sun travels to the north of what is the question that remains unanswered.
Ironically, while most Indian festivals are based on the lunar calendar, this is based on the solar calendar (few others include Vishwakarma Jayanti). I conclude that this festival is just another harvest festival and an attempt was made to give it a scientific meaning by the pundits (no disrespect meant). Of course, contradicting views with references are invited.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
It’s a part of every subject. It’s a part of being an MBA. It’s a part of working as a manager. It’s a part of being a social being. It’s a part of life. You cannot work alone... God created the man and then realised man’s identity could be harmful for the weaker, his mistakes, and the errors in the otherwise six-sigma universe. He then thought, “Let me create the need for social recognition, the need for affiliation.” Just to ensure his point was well hammered, he also created one Maslow and then a few OB teachers who taught man the importance of group work. And thus, individual pursuit of excellence was curbed to make way for group development.
All fine till now. But then, as with all other things, man took this noble intention to the extreme and decided he needed to build and enforce this group behaviour in every aspect of life and in MBA terms, part of every course evaluation. Thus were born groups and group assignments in management. With those groups came the complex group dynamics. Who forms the groups? Who takes the initiative and includes whom in the group? Including one person may not mean anything but saying no to anyone means doubting his capacities and what is more, it demonstrates your unwillingness to work with a friend if not your inability to work in a team. But including a person means alienating someone else who does not want to be with that person or in not-so-rare and not-so-extreme cases actually doubts him/her. And caught in this are those people who simply do not care what group they are in!!! Their sole objective is to ensure the best they can do individually, enrich the group that they are in and few cases, try to cover-up for the weaklings should there be any. This does not mean that they do not want to be with their favourite group (the concept of impartiality is slightly flawed by its very definition) but that they would be equally comfortable with anyone else...
Thankfully, despite all his efforts, God could not embed a culture of group discussions in humans and thus these were used as differentiating points for recruitment!!!
Waiting for a group-less course,
It was the break after the second term I was SACked one day. Nokia had a event Coliseum and selected B-Schools were invited to create a publicity concept and build thereon. The stage one involved building and briefly communicating the concept. As is so very usual, dint start working on it till the last day!!! Then a brief stroke of the creative genius in me appeared and we got the concept. My teammates (must say, much more capable in the field than me) developed the concept into a full-fledged opportunity for an advt.
Then started the work and I realised what the Bollywood missed, XL gained ;) One guy who Rocks On, balances Baddy, his Hep Job and the beautiful partner... He’s surely no less than a hero!!! None of us were accomplished in the area of video recording or editing, nevertheless we set on the mission of making an ad, however good or bad... It turned to be a very crude video with little or no editing (due to shortage of time). However, upto here was very routine and expected...
Then I uploaded the video after some techie stuff... Within the first 1 hour, the video had been seen 30+ times... Out of curiousity I checked wat others had done... And to my surprise, at least some 30-40 videos in the past hour were uploaded which concerned the Nokia N97!!! Ambush marketing at its best... Using B-Schoolers to run campaigns on youtube without letting them knw tht we were actually being used as the advt channel, also free of cost. Also, this ensured that N97 was shown and will be, in the coming few weeks to the perfect target segment – the young rich who have lots of income to spend... the ones who will graduate out of these famous B-Schools and immediately look to buying their first phone bought with their own money. A few of the videos I saw were actually brilliant (both concept and execution) and wud give the pros a run for their money. All-in-All, a very good marketing strategy by Nokia to give itself a very good pre-launch publicity...
My Video: Good Concept but not so good editing... obviously nokia, with all its professional setup, should be able to better it... We call the concept (click on the link to see the video):
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
First of all, mixed feelings getting back to XL... Just when I thought I was settling down and felt there was no difference, I went to the mess!!! Ya this is not the same. Aloo and paneer are back!!!
Getting here was prob more interesting than being here... I thought I’ll travel to Hyd, finish off some job, meet some family friends and then fly to Kolkata. All fine till the planning...
The day of the travel (today) started fine... Got up early and caught the airbus to the airport. And then, at check-in I was informed that the flight was just landing at B’lore while I thought I was late for the flight at Hyd! I was joined by two of my friends and all of us were to catch the train at 2:30pm from Cal to Jampot. Now if the flight were to start any later than noon, the train was sure to leave without us on board. Thankfully, the announcement was made at 11:00 that the flight landed in Hyd; I was a little more assured. As I expected, we took off from Hyd and reached Cal at 1:30 pm. But as usual, Murphy’s Law applied and the luggage took its time!!! We started in a pre-paid taxi (at quite an exorbitant price) from the airport at 1:52 (by my watch which has been adjusted for the one second delay at the New Year). Initially we covered distance fast and then as we entered the city limits, the driver gave up hope... We almost jumped many traffic signals and entered opposite one-ways... As we drew closer to MG Rd, I knew we would make it as the famous Howrah Bridge and the station is quite close. But I was only partially right... We entered the station and with some external help reached the train. My watch showed 2:29. But then the adrenaline took me a lil further... While the train is still standing, I thought I could cover as much as I can on the platform and tried moving towards the coach I was supposed to be travelling in!!! And the signal turned green and without warning the train started moving... Got into the coach that was very close to mine :) Luckily the jounrney thence was not such eventful barring one particularly peculiar comment about a kid (this is for the kid, if she is reading it) ;)