Announcing MarketingTech

Filed Under (Op-Ed) by Rajesh Kumar on 21-02-2013

For last few years, this blog has served as the refuge of all my thoughts, irrespective of the subject -ranging from books, technology, humour and everything else that came to my mind.

I have started a blog exclusively dedicated to Marketing of Technology and Technology of Marketing. I have chosen to call it MarketingTech. It is in very nascent stage but I invite all to visit it. It is here. I look forward to your feedback.

Book reviews would resume here when I can.

New Year Wishes n Desires!

Filed Under (Op-Ed) by Rajesh Kumar on 02-01-2011

Action on this blog has been considerably slow in 2010. I have also entertained thoughts that encourage me to split this blog into two different ones. One that would focus completely onto Book Reviews. The second one would be on all things marketing.
Personal blogging, or anything other than these two area can perhaps,  wait.

Will I do it? Its a little iffy as of now.  What I am sure is that I have great warmth and best wishes for readers of this blog. Happy New Year 2011 folks!

My Country India has Stepped Forward and Seized the Opportunity!

Filed Under (Op-Ed) by Rajesh Kumar on 30-09-2010

Tagged Under :

My faith in India (and in myself) went up several times after the mature way this country received the most awaited judicial verdict in the history of this country. If this is India, then I don’t mind a Kalmadi or a two. We can live with them. Thank God, this is India!

image

Now lets move on to deal with the less important things such as  pollution, H1N1 and Lalu. Together!

Goodbye Dr Prahalad. A Reader will miss you.

Filed Under (Op-Ed) by Rajesh Kumar on 19-04-2010

Dr C.K.Prahalad is no more. One had taken it for granted that he would keep coming out with one masterpiece of a book after another for eternity. Sadly, we make the same mistake of underestimating fate again and again.

I could hardly bring myself to agree to the idea of BOP in the way and manner I read it in the book. Angered, I made this post titled Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid – What I liked what I didn’t. Till I saw CK’s present this very convincingly at an event in Chennai. It changed my idea somewhat.

The New Age of Innovation, IMHO, was a bigger paradigm changer, though BOP got far greater popular acclaim. I felt that at least in part was due to the anecdotes on very popular brands in India in BOP. I felt that The New Age of Innovation should be a mandatory read for all CXOs, because, IMHO, the book sought to bring IT out of the closet to the boardroom. A path breaking idea, because I have myself seen how many a CXOs (except for the CTO and the CIO) think IT is a non-core and back room item.  I had even raised the question why modern day managers are scared of technology. My broader views on the New Age of Innovation were captured in this post here.

At Pan IIT 2008, I happened to watch Dr CKP. moderate a panel discussion involving some Tata group CEOs. At the end of the discussion, I managed to seek Dr C.K. Prahalad’s autograph on my copy of the New Age of Innovation.  I thought I would be the only one who has brought his copy, I found a dozen or so folks had done so. He asked me why I liked the book. I replied saying that this is the only mainstream management book that talks about IT. He looked at me straight and half dismissively said,”Yeah?”. My (then) seven year old daughter tried to take a picture and below is my treasure.

 

 

R.I.P Dr Prahalad. Let the debates started by you rage on. We will miss you.

MeVotes:Aam Aadmi goes out to vote

Filed Under (Op-Ed) by Rajesh Kumar on 13-05-2009

This morning, I went to participate in the festival of democracy, also called general elections of India. I am speaking of the month long parliamentary elections in India, where I went to ‘cast my vote’. To be honest, I am not tremendously proud of the crop of politicians in this country or even heavily convinced about the ability of the traditional media to get into issues(and not personalities), which I sadly cannot follow much. But, I remain eagerly watchful for the arrival of the polling day- more than I perhaps waited for my birthday when I was growing up (Things have changed since I grew up. Now I absolutely detest the progressive arrival of my next birthday which inevitably happens, but then that is another matter!).

Having undergone a change of residence  between the last elections in 2004 and now, I had followed a long process to have my name shifted to the voters list in the new area. I have always been, and remain so on this date, very possessive of seeing my name in this list.

So, this morning, I appear at the polling both, a few hundred yards from my house, and decide to take my wife’s bycycle, instead of walking. When I reach the polling station with my EPIC, I get convinced I did a good thing by coming out to vote.

The polling station, like it mostly happens, was setup in a school. The heat was unbearable. The polling staff was in sweat and a few police constables we minding the orderliness of the queue which was about two dozen long and steady. There was no AC for the staff to work in, something that we take so much granted at our workplace. They did not have any laptops or any handheld devices either. Neither did they have any magnetic card reader or any RFID enabled card reader, which could quickly read my id from my EPIC, match it with a database and return a validation.

Rather, very patiently, a polling staff member saw my EPIC, located my name in the voters list which was in  the form of a book and called my name aloud. To the uninitiated, this practice of calling my name aloud is to allow the different party agents (who sit in the back row of the polling hall) to know who is in to vote, and to challenge in case an agent feels the person is not who he claims to be. Those agents sit with their own printouts of voters list and have usually done the groundwork in that neighbourhood to know most of the voters. Of course, nobody challenged me, but even in the crudeness of this process, I was mightly impressed that they were actually doing what they seem to be sitting there for.

After my name was located in the voters list, I was asked to move to the next table, where another polling official asked for an identification and a signature, onto a long notebook, something that we call as register in India. He also put an indelible ink mark, more a tradition than a purpose, on my left hand index finger. He did not have a pen type marker, but just a bottle with a basic brush, with which he was repeating with every voter.

Then came the moment. I was directed to take my position in the polling booth and make my choice. Those rough looking EVMs somehow seem to be a wonder to me. These machines are modular, and externally wired to each other and the presiding officer seems to have a control – he enables exactly one vote for every person. Once I pressed my selection, I heard a beep, and I was done.

What we generally miss to acknowledge is the massive force of polling officials across the country who generally travel to another area ( in the interest of neutrality perhaps), carry the voting machines (EVMs) with less than optimum resources (logistics and allowances), and repeat the process of voting from morning to evening for each and every person coming in. They travel by buses, climb mountains, even travel behind came backs in states such as Rajasthan. They begin several days early, usually stay away from their families for weeks and have no great arrangement for food or stay . Yet, they do succesfully manage to bring back  the opinion of India’s aam admi.

I go to cast my vote for these folks and they remain my winners. To those who did not bother to have their names enlisted in the voters list or did not consider stepping out to vote for one of these crazy reasons, bad luck pal. You missed something in life.

M&A Activity at my blogs

Filed Under (Op-Ed) by Rajesh Kumar on 04-04-2009

Certainly 2009 has seen very few posts. Today I woke up and realized that I am unnecessarily running two URLs – one on Blogger where I ran this blog earlier and had some 150 odd posts, and the second one being this one.

I have decided to merge the contents (my first experience at M&A, even if they both acquirer and acquirer aka target are mine!). So you would find lot more categories on the right panel and some of my very old posts.

I invite you to read one of my favourite posts, which is based on an imaginary conversation between ex-Presidents of India and Pakistan, the venerable Dr Kalam and Pervez Musharraf. Of course, this is humour and please take it that way.

Sholay, Satyam and the Sardar

Filed Under (Op-Ed) by Rajesh Kumar on 25-01-2009

I completely refrain from commenting on my workplace matters on this space but in the last fortnight have been absolutely bombarded from friends asking how I felt at  the corporate governance scandal at Satyam. When I tell them that I felt bad, some of friends feel quite disappointed. “You mean you are just feeling bad? You must be quite devastated, buddy”, some of them suggest helpfully. Others probe even further.

How does wife feel?

She’s alright.

And parents?

They’re supportive.

And how about in-laws?

They are calm?

What does your brother say? Is his company hiring?

I have not asked him and he has not told me.

And what are you doing about it?

Haven’t thought about it. Just came back from work.

Work? You mean you still have, mmmmm………..

At this point I cut them off. Can I call you later? I am rushing to a party.

Party? You have to hear the shock from the other side. As if gangrene has been discovered in my limbs and I am shaking a leg in party instead of wailing in pain inside an ICU.

I see the possibility of Sholay inspired dialogue sequence on this episode. This goes to all my friends.

Arre O Samba?

Ji Sardar.

Kitne Aadmi the?

Teen Sardar.

Teen, kewal teen?

Ji Sardar?

Woh Teen aur tum tirpan hazaar! Woh teen aur tum tirpan hazaar?!

Sharm aani chahiye. 

Ji Sardar.

Kitna Inam rakhe hain sarkar

Saat Hajaar Karore.

Saat Hajaar Karore?

Woh teen aur tum tirpan hazaar.Fir bhi kha gaye. Poora ka poora.

Ha. Ha. Ha.Ha.Ha

(And the Sardar drops dead in anguished laughter.  Compounded by his worthlessness and despair in only a pachis hajaar bounty on his head. R.I.P.)

Reflection Mumbai 26/11

Filed Under (Op-Ed) by Rajesh Kumar on 29-11-2008

I remember my very first trip to Mumbai. The year was 1993, and among my prized possession from that trip is a photograph of me standing next to the Gateway with the heritage section of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in the background.I was a student a that time and was home for a vacation when the family had to go to Mumbai. I have been to Mumbai numerous times after that have visited that spot for the awe inspiring view several time sometimes even for a few minutes. I had great curiosity to see this hotel from inside and last year I got my chance, when I went to meet someone on work. I loved the corridors and the interiors of this hotel. In recent times they showed this hotel on the TV as part of some travel series and me and my wife loved watching it. We even discussed jokingly that we should save enough for a vacation in which we stay in a sea facing room at the Taj Mahal Hotel. One day, we said.

I hardly enjoyed the coverage this hotel got in last 3 days over TV. This time I wanted to switch off the TV not because I could not bear the sight of the fire, the sound of the gun and pain inflicted by a bunch of mad men. The walls will be rebuilt, the furniture and draperies and the chandeliers would be back too but the sight of Taj Mahal Hotel has changed forever. 200 people have died. The ‘common man’ died.

It brought the worst of some men and it brought the best out of others. I would never have known NSG Major Sandep Unnikrishnan or Havaldar Gajendra Singh, but after their supreme sacrifice in this Mumbai tragedy, I felt connected to both of them. The Fire Service men, the policemen, the soldiers, the staff at the hotels. I personally felt very-very small, almost miniscule, resulting from by my sofa set view of TV vs their action on the ground. You guys live, we are dead.

India lives on. And remembers its dead. We will be back in business soon. Jai Hind.

The scorn of Chandrayaan fans

Filed Under (Op-Ed) by Rajesh Kumar on 20-11-2008

A year back, when Chandrayaan was a less known item, I happened to read about it somewhere, and wrote a critical post doubting its journey to the moon. Some folks left comments calling me names (mostly anonymous, which I rejected). Others were more charitable, who merely doubted the knowledge of my imbecile self. I even picked up issues with one of them till I decided to put a tap on my own mouth.

 

Chand

 

Post the success of Chandrayaan, there is yet another set of comments that have poured in, on that old post, this time rightfully cheering hurrah for Chandrayaan and more scorn for me. I have allowed most of them to go through, except those in which I had concerns on decency. I want to let all those folks know that I am as thrilled on Chandrayan success as they are. In fact, I have written a subsequent post on Chandrayaan launch that they may want to check out. Cheers to Chandrayan.

Links:

Sourav Ganguly Retires, Is Mamata taking any hint?

Filed Under (Op-Ed) by Rajesh Kumar on 09-10-2008

First the similarities:

  • Both hail from the state of West Bengal .
  • Both have a connection with the masses.
  • Sourav floored the Lords, Mamata floored the Lords too.
  • Both are all over TV.
  • Both are in and out of the team.
  • Both have the grit to take the opponents head on.

 

But then there are differences:

  • Sourav is a sportsman, Mamata is a politician.
  • One brought laurels to the country, the other brought, well, how do you spell s-h-a-m-e?
  • People switch channels to see one and switch channels to avoid the other.
  • You buy ticket to watch one, and buy (train) ticket to escape seeing another.
  • Both are winners. But one led an Indian team against foreign teams, the other led a team against Indians.
  • One feels slighted, the other slights others. 
  • When Sourav wins, India wins. When Mamta wins, well, you guessed it right.

 

Ganguly dada has announced his retirement. Is Mamta didi taking any hints here? Wish some people could give their country this small little precious gift.


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