Friday, June 25, 2010

Whom do you consider as a role model in your life (Part III)

One major hurdle in my dad's mission  of making me an english literate man was cleared. But the actual test was a test of survival. I had read it somewhere that actual test was not getting into an IIM but surviving in one. And I think that appears to all the institutions.

 Everybody in my home were happy that I had cleared the test and I was going to join the school. But my dad not stop with that. Once again my dad proved that he was indeed a hero and why he is so special. He took me aside that day and told me "See  you know that reason why I wanted you to go to that school. Now that you have cleared the entrance test and you are going to the school, there is something I want to tell you. It may not be all that easy for you to cope up with other students. Remember that they have all been studying English for four to five years, whereas you are just about to start. Promise me that you won't feel bad, irrespective of what happens in that school. I am sure that you can top the class very soon. But be prepared to face the situation in-case you fail and loose an year. I want to you to know that loosing an year doesn't impact you in the long run, but learning good english definitely will....". That was a short(incomplete) talk. It did scare me a little, but it helped me get close to the reality. 

And that was my third lesson in management : When you motivate somebody to try something unconventional make sure that they are ready to face rejection and they are ready to face the burden of failure.

Once he was sure that I was ready to face the worst, he continued "In-spite of all this I want you to give your best shot and I am sure that you can top the class by the end of the year." Whether he had so much confidence in me I am not sure, but those words did encourage me and enthuse me. And that was my fourth lesson in management : Be prepared to face the worst, and then try for the best.

Now that I was all set, my Dad gave me a tip "Since you know that you are not the best(at-least as of now), make sure that you are the best prepared. Always be two chapters ahead of your teacher in every subject and that will ease your tension a lot. You will not feel left out even if you are not able to follow the teacher in your class. Work hard, be prepared and be ready to face the worst". And that was my fifth lesson in management : Fortune favors the brave mind. When you know that you are not the best, make sure that at-least you are the best-prepared.

I personally like the last line "When you know that you are not the best, make sure that at-least you are the best-prepared". Though I came out with this line , I would attribute it to my dad because it was from him that I learnt it.

Whom do you consider as a role model in your life (Part II)

The next incident came after a gap of 2-3 years. I had just completed Class 4. I had decided to switch to an english medium school(May be what that uncle in Part I told had an impact on me). But which school i should  join was still in debate. All the options were listed. The advantages and disavdvantages of joining various schools were brainstormed. We had even made a few visits to schools to get the first hand information. But nothing had materialized. It was at this moment that some-one recommended an ICSE school called Jyothi Vidya Niketan to him.

I had studied in a kannada medium school where English was just one subject(all other subjects were taught in kannada) and that too it started only from standard 3. I had just completed standard 4. So I had two years experience in the language of English. All that I had learned till then was A for Apple,B for Ball,.....Z for Zebra. And there was a chapter at the end of the text book in standard 4. It was the story of two sheep trying to cross a bridge. I still remember those days a small kid when I used to turn pages to the last chapter in the book, stare at the images of two sheep crossing the bridge, unable to read or understand what the random jumble of those 26 alphabets of English, in various combinations and permutations meant. But whenever I turned to that particular chapter I always felt that one day I should be able to read and write English in such a brilliant way that these words should appear to me like a piece of cake-walk.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Utopia : The search for a perfect society

Man is a social animal
This was probably the first quotation that had caught my attention as a school going kid. Though I hadn't pondered over this quote, it had definitely made an impact. It had left a scar on my mind, which I would come back and visit after many years. Here I am today trying to dig back, examine the scar again and see what it means to me now after so many years.(Thanks to the Time's Mock CAT passage which touched this topic and gave me some more insight)

Though the topic of this article is "Utopia : The search for a perfect society", I started with this quote because it tells us that the very definition of man is incomplete without mentioning society, and hence stresses the importance of society in man's life.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Whom do you consider as a role model in your life

This was the topic given to us during the English test that was given to us.That was an year back. I don't remember the essay exactly but the essay goes something like this.

Of-course my dad. Who else can it be. I am actually amazed at how fast i decided on the person who was my role model. I had not even completed reading the question but I had already decided on the answer. At every stage of my life i have been amazed by his nature and attitude. Most of the things that i have learned from him are not the ones he has told me, but the ones that i have learnt from him looking at him handle his daily situations.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What would you loose if you earn 300 Rs in an year for nothing ( mGinger : The concept of targeted marketing)

Welcome to the information age where information is wealth, time is money and customer is the king. Every second of customer attention is so valued as there are so many marketing companies out there who are competing to get your attention. Remember that you(the customer) are creating so many marketing jobs and you are the reason that so many marketing guys out there are getting fat fat salaries and bonuses. But the irony is that the same marketing guys makes fools out of you by making you buy something which is of absolutely no use to you. They are mocking at you by using Salman Khan's to image to sell a Wheel detergent powder and Hrithik's fan following to sell a hide and seek chota biscuit pack.

Its time that we the customers(cum ad viewers) show that we are smart enough. Its time we show those so called marketing gurus that our choice is based on the true brand value and utility. And not on the brand value that any Bollywood actor brings along. I see targeted advertisement as a way to do it. Targeted advertising is advertising to the prospective buyer. What happens in mass marketing is that most of the ads that you watch are related to the products which we might never intend to use.(Just remember the Whisper,Kotex..... adso we see gusy.. ;) ) Whereas targeted advertising is a selective marketing strategy, where you first decide who your prospective buyer is and then try selling your product to them. It doesn't take a genius to realize that this has better probability of succeeding and hence better ROI. When mGinger introduced this concept in India, I was still a student then, and I was pretty much impressed with the idea. The inherent beauty of this idea is that all the three parties in action get to benefit. 
  1. The advertiser is happy because he get better return on investments. 
  2. The middle men(mGinger) is happy because they are making money by meeting the other two parties meet. 
  3. The consumer is happy because he is respected. (Salman Khan doesnt try to sell Wheel to him)

What makes it more interesting is that customer is getting paid for reading the ads. In an era where attention spans of the consumers are very less and loyalty is short lived, marketers had to find something to keep the consumers motivated. And they chose to go with the best motivation that man has always found very difficult to resist : money.  Though we(customers) always knew that our attention was always valued, getting paid for that takes it a step further and proves us with proof that indeed the marketers do really value our attention.

For  more details on mGinger click on mGinger