Data Assisted Decision Making and the Enterprise Bard

Filed Under (Business) by Rajesh Kumar on 07-11-2011

Thus goes the story. While getting ready for office in the morning, an enterprise bard had two watches in his house to choose from. The first watch was with drained out batteries that had stopped at 3.37 several months back, and the second one was five minutes slower than the standard local time. Since this enterprise bard never took a decision without analyzing the data, he quickly put data in a table before setting about for the zero error decision making he always professed in his organization.  Being the mathematical genius he was, he ‘backthought’ 30 days data for the two watches.



The above graph clearly established which watch was superior to the other. Watch 1, that was not moving due to drained out batteries was showing correct time twice a day. Watch 2 on the other hand was slower by 5 minutes all days the entire month and therefore did not show correct time even once in a day.

However, he wanted to be sure from all perspectives and with further analysis, he got more decision support insights.

slide 2


This was the eureka moment all data driven managers get. Watch 1, not just showed correct time 60 times a day, its average mean error was zero. However, the Watch 2, showed incorrect time all through and had an average mean error of 5 minutes. It did not require analysis any further. Clincher, the corporate bard thought. He tightened his tie and wore Watch 1 to office.

Brilliant Cartoon on Google vs China

Filed Under (Business) by Rajesh Kumar on 04-04-2010

I came across this excellent cartoon on Vikram Nandwani’s blog and liked it.

It is the same Google that the darling of the websphere for a long time. Actually too long a time!

Found Myself on TV

Filed Under (Business) by Rajesh Kumar on 03-04-2010

This particular clip covers Milagrow’s distinguished CEO and and transformational business leader Rajeev Karwal at the unique CSR activity, called Venture Doctors. The programme shows a short clip of a MSME entrepreneur taking Rajeev’s advice on his business venture ( a sort of Shaadi. com for rural masses). Once a month, all consultants in the company devote their time for counselling such MSME Entrepreneurs. To my mind, this is the most unique CSR one can think of. I am proud to have devoted few days of my time to this activity and what a happiness one gets!

Coming back to the clip. The visiting crew also decided to take a short clipping of some of us, and I found myself in the final clip that went on air. I realized in the process that speaking business in Hindi is far tougher than running a Hindi blog! Take look!!




To me, having worked with Rajeev and participated in Venture Doctors is the quiet reward for me. That I feature in the clip is incidental.

A Tryst with Carlos Ghosn, the most fancied Auto CEO globally.

Filed Under (Business, People) by Rajesh Kumar on 23-03-2010

I happened to be at a lecture cum interaction by none other than the CEO of Nissan-Renault Alliance, Carlos Ghosn in Chennai on 18th March 2010. Having read a lot about him and having read his book ‘The Shift’ way back in 2006, I was really very keen to see and hear the great man himself. One of the boons of living in IIT Madras campus.


True to expectation, the ‘Cost Cutter’ did not disappoint anyone.  He was witty, sharp and fully there.

I had read earlier that he was very good with numbers and he gave a vivid demonstration of the that by rattling back whatever the Director of IIT Madras, Dr Ananth had told him few minutes back(So many lakhs sat in JEE, only so many got selected, so many boys, so many girls etc). Some samples from the Q&A.


Q: You have so many alliances in India? What is the strategy behind them? It seems to be so confusing!

A: All the alliances have a specific purpose which is different from another. The Indian market is so much unlike any other market. We are learning from all our partners and it is like having so many teachers teaching you different you aspects of the market. Like you have a teacher to teach you physics and another to teach you math and so on. Do you get confused by having so many teachers?


Q. The Indian government is not giving subsidy on electric cars..

A: The fact is that vehicle type adoption is largely governed by what the governments want to let happen in their markets. That’s why you have diesel vehicles in Europe and none in US and Japan. I would expect the electric cars to take market first in USA, EU and Japan. Remember, we are talking the same about just 10 % electric vehicles market after 20 years. That leaves out 90% and there is tremendous scope for evolution of technology.


On the whole, it was a great event. The only disappointment was NDTV’s Siddharth, who was looking very handsome indeed, but that’s about it.

Helpful Link: My review of Mr. Ghosn’s book ‘The Shift’.

Discounts Don’t Work …Always

Filed Under (Business) by Rajesh Kumar on 20-11-2009

Just see the picture below and think if you ever saw a bigger discount before. I had not, till I saw this in Gurgaon few days back. This is one of the busy malls at MG Road. However, the large discount seem to attract no footfalls.

DSC00974 In fact, the attendants inside were busy chatting as there was no customer inside.







Learning: Never discount your brand like this, won’t get you any customers.

Pertinent Thoughts on Sales & What Works

Filed Under (Business) by Rajesh Kumar on 24-06-2009

Should your sales funnel have 100:1 ratio or 5:1? Should you aim only for the CXO connect or even reach out to the Managers and Application Owners?

Inside CRM argues that generating more leads does not necessary lead to more sales, it is the quality of leads really matter. Essential truth about a well differentiated offering chasing dollars based on good understanding of buying behavior in a well segmented market. Blind lead chasing results in tower fabrication company brochure reaching a broker’s mailbox. Don’t compound by following up with a call and seeking a meeting. Stop!

‘Reach the decision-maker’- Am sure anyone in sales selling a high value product or service would have heard this sermon from his boss. CustomerThink poses the question, “Is "Call on the CXO" a Winning Strategy for Salespeople? ” I am not sure I agree with the premise in this article. At least, completely.

The long and short of any complex sale is that there are a set of influencers, a set of buyers and a set of decision makers.Sometimes these roles overlap as well so, it is not A vs B, but A and B.

Mahindra Satyam identity already under attack by Cybersquatters

Filed Under (Business) by Rajesh Kumar on 22-06-2009

It is only yesterday that the new brand identity Mahindra Satyam was announced but it seems Cyber Squatters have been on the job for a while now.

 SatyamMahindraAfter ICANN developed a mechanism to resolve such squatting, one would be tempted to believe that it is sunset for squatters of corporate brand assets, but clearly not everyone believes so. For instance the domain has been registered the same day the new identity announced. Clearly, the expectation is that the natural traffic arriving would get them some revenues on the parked page and also to possibly make some quick buck in case the company gets interested in acquiring this squatted domain.

If the above domain was booked on June 21, 2009, the domain was booked by a Gulf based cyber-squatter on May 08 itself. 


This was even before the announcement of Tech Mahindra becoming coming out the eventual winner was made. Clearly, someone was just taking chance in the hope of making good money.


What is common to the both the cases that both the registrants have not chosen the privacy protection option usually provided by domain registrars, normally, at a small fee. Clearly, both want to be reachable in case someone gets interested.

Mahindra Satyam should move internet governing body ICANN and dispute the ownership of these two domains for reclaiming these two domains. With appropriate documentation, reclaiming should not be so tough.

Updated: Very pertinent Computerworld article on cybersquatting and how to deal with them.

Only one word for PAN IIT 2008 – Magnificent

Filed Under (Business, People) by Rajesh Kumar on 05-01-2009

If there is one word that I have for the recently concluded PAN IIT 2008 conference, it is magnificent.Recently Updated There were multiple tracks, and spread over 2 days and I happened to attend a few. The collage on the left actually captures Chess World Champion Vishwanathan Anand playing simultaneously on 16 boards at PAN IIT Conference which was organized at IIT Madras in December. Anand and his wife Aruna also took some questions from the crowd that was in attendance at Pan IIT 2008. Anand was at his witty self. Imagine the world Chess Champion being asked whether arranged marriage is better over love marriage. Anand responded by saying this is best answered by someone who has experienced both!

If you thought PAN IIT 2008 was completely indoor affair, see the below picture of the resplendent Gajendra Circle. Frankly speaking, the picture hardly does any justice to the beauty and grace of the GC.


Frankly, when I entered the conference hall expecting to see social networking site founder Orkut Buyukkokten in person, I was a little disappointed to see him join via video. It turned out, I had not read the program sheet carefully, which happened to mention it. That disappointment vanished once the interaction began. Then came the typical Indian question -Why does Orkut not facilitate matrimonials?! Even Orkut Buyukkokten could not stop his smile and answered that still he gets pictures of babies asking for suggestion on names as the parents happened to meet via


What I really liked as the panel discussion on innovation, where Ramadorai, CEO of TCS, Muthuraman of Tata Steel, and Ravi Kant of Tata Motors were spoke on innovation moderated by C.K.Prahalad. I had a rather selfish motive in attending this session, which was to get my copy of Dr Prahalad’s book on innovation autographed. Needless to say, there was crowd around, this is the best picture that my eight year old daughter could take. Do you know any morphing technique that would make my face look complete?!


You could also read my post of the book on innovation by Dr Prahalad here.

The grand finale was without doubt was the electrifying presence of Dr Amartya Sen and his talk. True to expectations, Dr Sen kept extolling those present to work on the basic issues of poverty, basic healthcare etc. Personally I felt it was a lifetime opportunity to see and to listen to Dr Amartya Sen, the Nobel laureate.


An excellent ending to an excellent programme. I can go writing on and on, but would stop now. Meanwhile, if you would like to check out the PAN IIT 2008 event site, click here.

Excellence, Inspiration, World Beater

Filed Under (Business) by Rajesh Kumar on 19-11-2008

A man once visited a temple under construction where he saw a sculptor making an idol of a deity. Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby.

Surprised, he asked the sculptor “Do you need two statues of the same deity?”

“No,” said the sculptor without looking up, “We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage.”

The gentleman examined the idol and found no apparent damage.

“Where is the damage?”, he asked.

“There is a scratch on the nose of the idol”, said the sculptor, still busy with his work.

“Where are you going to install the idol?”, asked the passer by.

The sculptor replied that it would be installed on a pillar twenty feet high.

“If the idol is that far, who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?”, the gentleman asked.

The sculptor stopped his work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, “I will know!”

Information Overload? Look at this Video

Filed Under (Business) by Rajesh Kumar on 18-11-2008

I am no great fan of pre-stitched clothes. I prefer the old Indian way of buying the dress material from one shop and then going to my favourite tailor, who would usually give my trousers or shirt after a week or two, depending on his load. Everytime he insists on talking out an old notebook that has the age old measurements,which he compares with real measurements and writes again on another sheet of paper before stapling it onto the dress material and lobbing across to someone in the mezzanine.  I keep wondering why the old ‘master’ refers to the age old measurements at all, especially when it takes in more than few minutes locating the wrinkled & dirty notebook with my records! I have given this suggestion to the ‘master’ quite a few times, but that gives considerable discomfort to him. Is the old ‘master’ Prisoner of information insecurity??

I noticed an excellent slideshow on YouTube via Edelman Digital blog. It is quite an eye opener on the kind of information overload we are suffering. Perhaps not just suffering, but the mindless bytes of data we are creating all around.


About Rajesh Kumar. Rajesh is based in Chennai, where he works for Defiance Technologies in Marketing. The views on this blog are his own. Rajesh Kumar