Err… Excuse Me?

December 8, 2010
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Perspective – Use It or Lose It

July 27, 2010

It has been one of my most favourite lines of all times – perspective – use it or lose it. I chanced upon a TED Talk today where Sheena Iyengar talks beautifully on the power of choice.

Loved her perspective.

Where the hell are YOU?

March 13, 2009

While reading about Tactical Marketing, I came across this amazing concept which just made me smile real wide.

Stride Gum, chanced upon Matt Harding’s dancing and decided to sponsor him to do his dance around the world. It became viral because of it’s pure simplicity and the rest is history….. and all they did was mention their name just once at the credits….

Matt danced a lot and has done three videos. I don’t know anyone till now, who doesn’t smile while watching him do his funny moves…

This was him in 2006…

…. and the recent one in 2008

You can get to know him better at his site …..

So where are YOU today?

And what are you doing today to smile 🙂

Hope you are chewing gum 😉

DLF Emporio is now OPEN!!

January 10, 2009

August 2008 > whoooosh > January 2009 = DLF Emporio.

Luxury Retail in India has always been wanting of a destinantion that is true to itself. The answer till now was the tried and tested five star hotels, borrowing their prestige and catering to their well heeled cliebt base.

Welcome to DLF Emporio!!

DLF Emporio

Highly visible from Nelson Mandela road, in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, the “DLF Emporio Experience” begins when you enter the property. Palm tree lined drives lead to a cobbled driveway, with a sensational fountain in the centre, creating an elegant sense of arrival. the landscape design provides a lush, inviting compliment to the building’s architecture, incorporating blooming bushes and plants. DLF Emporio raises the bar in retail development by transforming shopping into a multi sensory experience through its beautiful architecture and distinctive design. Conceptualized around two dramatic atriums with palm trees, a courtyard with an egraved stained skylight, a sense of openness is the central theme. Public spaces offer wide corridors, rich materials like Italian marble, brass detailing, artful lighting and larger than life chandeliers. retail spaces are generously proportioned with high ceilings and large display windows to showcase merchandise.

DLF Emporio offers a dazzling selection of International retailers, including Louis Vuitton, Dior, jimmy Choo, fendi, cartier, Burberry, Giorgio Armani, salvatore Ferragamo, Tod’s and Gucci and many more on the Ground and the First Floor, as well as some of the most in demand Indian designers, such as Tarun tahiliani, Rohit Bal, Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla, Surekha Jain, Alpana Gujral, Ranna Gill, Ganjam and many more on the Second and Third floors.

Finally, we are there, DLF has re-defined the luxury retailscape in India and I’m proud to have brought this baby upto its feet. From the time we did the soft opening in August to now, it was a whirlwind of store openings, promotions, activities and setting up the entire marketing plan, it was great fun. Some earlier photos.

Besides the Kingfisher Calendar 2009 launch tomorrow, I’m getting busy to accelarate the mall to its next level of opening.

With a promise to myself to be back to blogging in 2009 and a desire to understand the luxury space in India, I’m back in action!!

Not Aeroflot..It’s Coroflot!!

August 6, 2008

I realised today that one of the things I just have to do is to start posting about the many cool things I have picked up over the last month. All my bookmarked lists that runneth over have to be translated or catalogued into this space.

It hasn’t been easy as work has kept me travelling and busy through and through.

So today when I came across the cool creative space blog where Carl talks about cultivating our creative skill set, I had to pen it down. Coroflot is a great space I discovered while checking a portfolio out, where one can make a creative space and talk about it. Flaunt it and sell it as a portfolio and even earn some moolah. Worth a check out, if you are looking for design jobs!! Similar to 99 Designs but more interactive. They even have an e-zine!!

Happy Designing!!

Raster Faster

June 29, 2008

To Raster and that also Faster, let me show you to your Master!!

No, these are no lines from an upcoming sci-fi movie, it’s just a cool thingie I looked up on the internet the other day, but just couldn’t blog earlier about. Last month’s been pretty busy travelling and doing feasability studies!!

Back to the Rasteriser!! So, you have this cute photo of you and your loved one, or this great picturesque travel photo and would like to enlarge it, say to cover up an entire wall or a portion of it…..seemingly impossible or cumbersome or expensive. Hmmmm enter the RasterBator, which can let you just that from your small office or home printer. 

Some background. Images can be of 2 types, Raster and Vector. Simply put Vector images can be enlarged without pixellating unlike Raster images. However, you could use a Vector image; pass it through a RasterBator which ratserizes the image (breaks it up into many smaller multi parts which when joined together make up your entire image). To get an idea, check out the biggest done rasterbation ever!!

I did just that with the free Rasterbator and you can see the result in my office below. Pretty Cool huh!!

The Original Picture

The Result

Pass me the ‘masala’ please!!

May 28, 2008

When Aditya called me the other day from Solutions – Digitas and told me about this new collaborative space they were thinking of launching, I raised my hand and said: Count Me In. He was nice to send me an invite, the result of which is my first post on their blog called “Masala Digital”

Its just started but I guess it should become THE place to pop by when you want to find out “all the masala” in the digital marketing world out there.

All the best to them and thanks for inviting me in!!

The Sound of Conversation!!

May 5, 2008

This ain’t new. But, definitely, it’s worth a being part of. I am talking about Pecha Kucha.

Pronounced as peh-chak-cha, literally meaning ‘the sound of conversation’ in Japanese, it was started by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham as long back as 2003 in Tokyo.

An idea presentation concept which is quite simple and effective.

Each presenter is allowed a Powerpoint show of 20 slides for 20 seconds each (Think Twenty Twenty here too) This gives a total presentation time of 6 minutes and 40 seconds and your time is up. Usually, the prsentation is pre-set to move each slide after 20 seconds and one doesn’t have much choice in the matter. What a great way to communicate. Don’t you wish all your office presentations were like this?

The cool thing is that anyone can present anything, though it originally started out as a forum for young designers to share and showcase their work. Incidentally, the Pecha Kucha virus is spreading to the business world too, with some companies trying the format.

You too can participate in the Pecha Kucha night at Delhi, the last happened at the British Council Library. I will be there on the next PKN.

Lets Chit-Chat or Gup-Shup = Pecha Kucha!!

Go Goa….aah!!

May 4, 2008

That was quite a break from blogging. First, I was away to Goa in March and then lotsa travel and work happened in April!! Anyways, more about Goa here.

It was real cool, considering this was my first time there. To start with…I met an old friend, Aseem and his wife who run Big Chill in the flight. Took some traveller tips from them, and landed at Candolim and lazed about the beach. Scootered off to Anjuna to check out the flea market. Plain old Janpath style stuff, overpriced to try to fleece all the firangis there. It had its own surprises though….what does business make us do…imagine this pallu and saree clad lady standing next to her stall chewing beetelnut and traditionally dressed suddenly saying “Hello Sir Afternoon maa’m, please have a look at my shop, excellent stuff…nothing cheaper anywhere else…why don’t you at least take a look etc etc .. I was dumbfounded…..the best part was trooping to Cafe Looda where Mr French was singing ‘sarv mangalam’ et all with the drums being played by a goan, the bass by an israeli and the guitar by mr iran….the place was packed and kingfisher draught was doing the rounds.. the breeze was scented and cool and we even had an opportunity to watch a well decorated cow…. yes a cow…do a kinda tap dance..with some head banging thrown in for extra measure that also on the beats of some old bollywood number….whoaaaaa

Jimmy gave us an excellent evening meal with some great a santoor version of ‘Hotel california’ and an awesome rendition of Chris Rea’s ‘Road to Hell’ back at Candolim. Had crabs at Amigos, saw Old Goa, Drove to the Fort and even managed a beautiful view from Jimmy Guzder’s palace. Went to the cashew market, and chanced upon some guava papad!!

The latter part of the time was spent lazing in South Goa at Benaulim. Smooth slow waves, butter garlic prawns, cycling on the beach, cadlelit dinner by the waves, playing volleyball and plain snoring away to glory after lots of beer….can’t  paint a better picture.

All in all, t’was great fun. Even found a shop which said – No other place to buy “Genuine Fakes”

I’ll go back soon!!

TripShots

 

“Improv”e yourself!!

March 5, 2008

When I finished reading “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell, one of the few things I decided to check out was Improv.

Improv (improvisional theatre) is essentially theatre where no script is used. Even if you are not a theatre person, it’s a fantastic tool to think differently, ideate and generally have loads of fun in a group. Remember “Whose Line Is It Anyway??” It could be a pre-cursor to training workshops etc however, I see it more as a tool to collaborate, learn and grow.

All of us use improv in some part daily whenever we interact with people. Words, Tones and Body Language leads conversations to be interpreted by all of us; in our own ways and we distill this information to reply or react. However, we don’t do this in an active coherent postive way always, because we don’t think about it. Wouldn’t it be great if you could use “improv” techniques / games to lead sales pitches, interviews, daily interactions to your advantage. Improvise or perish….where did I read that?

A absolutely awesome place to start is The Improv Page which lists the history, meaning and fab links to get to know Improv. Dan Goldstein offers some great tips on how to be a great improvisor. Some fun games and loads of exercises can be found at Improv Encyclopedia!!

Reminds me of the time we used to make “clever satirical talk” (hehehehe) in college with Sid and gang and later in hotels with Chef Mandaar. Oh boy, we sure had loads of fun with language and how it could be mis-interpreted for humour.

Lets Improv-e!!

Johnnie Walker.. I was there….

March 5, 2008

Johnnie Walker ClassicJohnnie Walker ClassicLast year when I came to know that the Johnnie Walker Classic Tour would be coming to India for the first time and that also at Gurgaon, I was surely excited. Having developed a keen interest in the game of golf, I don’t miss an opportunity to learn a few tips and tricks and try to play whenever I get a chance. This was definitely not worth missing.

Even though it was incredibly hot during the weekend when the pros started playing for the last round, I tailed players like Jyoti Randhawa, Vijay Singh, Adam Scott and Jeev Milkha Singh. For anyone who knows or plays the game, its a treat to be able to watch these world class players from an arm’s length and then obviously analyse their fine nuances at the game.

It was an incredible finish to the game with Mark Brown from Australia winning by a three stroke lead which he managed in the last 5 holes very very close to Kiyota and Strange. Kapur managed to be in the top 10. The crowd clapped and cheered with the kids shouting for free balls. It was a super weekend.

Current Rankings and Prize Money!!

The venue was amongst the best in the world and the Johnnie Walker Gold was quite good.

Cheers to a great game of golf!!

Johnnie Walker Classic

Are you LinkedIn? Yet?

February 28, 2008

LinkedIn 

LinkedIn …. Are YOU there?

What perhaps started out as a site to encourage networking with the premise of finding the right job for the many passive job seekers out there, has today beome the hottest business networking site. So much so that if you don’t have a LI profile, you really haven’t arrived. Their philosophy is simple. “Relationships Matter”  and the numbers speak for themselves.

An online network of more than 19 million people from 150 industries and growing…. wowiekazowie…. hey that sure is big and India seems to be growing exponentially over other countries. So how does that help me? or YOU?

For one, its a fantastic place to get noticed. They have fab features and the online pool available to help you with your questions (one of the coolest sections on LI) is worth checking out.

While I check the great Q and A page almost daily, (I have a personal selection of bookmarked answers that I refer to often) I have been so impressed with the quality of answers online at times, that I wanted to present these together at one place to share with like minded people.

Zale Tabakman has done exactly that and an awesome job at it. I LinkedIn with Zale some time back and loved the feature on his website where he talks about “Success though Balance” Don’t miss his presentation on how to use LinkedIn. His latest post also mentions my response on one of his questions, which is cool. Great idea Zale.

Closer home, Ajay Jain has just finished writing a book on “Lets Connect: using LinkedIn to get ahead at work” You can read some of the excerpts and learn from the fab stuff he’s presented. Hope to get my hands on his book and review it. He has been instrumental in starting (perhaps the first) LinkedIn Face 2 Face meet (Linkedin f2f) and hopes to collaborate from his network. Great work!!

Besides the many ways you learn and benefit from being on LinkedIn, you also get to grow your professional network and come in contact with some amazing think tanks.

So are YOU on LinkedIn? Yet? I am!!!

How would you want it served??

February 18, 2008

Information.

Ideas.

Strategy.

Anything that YOU find useful and could use to your advantage. How do you get it to yourself? Do you read online, emails, articles, books or subscribe to RSS feeds that interest you. I surf the web almost daily to find new stuff I may like.

Today I found out about FastCompany.

A cool learning place to find great topics to subscribe to and they have a platform built around to share ideas of forward thinking business leaders. I sure signed up. Laughed at Ruth Sherman’s recent post.

On another note, last week, I found this classy way to share my stuff. That is my blog posts using Odiogo (pronounced so as to sound as audio-go). Just click on the Odiogo button on my blog (right hand side) and you can; not only listen to my blogposts as a podcast immediately, you can even subscribe to them or download to listen later. How cool is that.

So how would you like your information served??

Lets “Go to the Market”!!

February 18, 2008

I yearn to learn everyday and recently came across this wondefully written book by Larry Friedman on “go to market” strategies. Now what exactly is a “GTM – Go To Market strategy”?

A concise and clearly articulated strategy which defines market entry and growth driven through compelling messages to the end customer to retain and grow their loyalty. It sounds quite nice when you write about it, but day before; when I ended up plotting various Go To Market channels for a new product (whose presentation I had been given), I found the discussion enriching. We came up with lots of ideas using lots of possible channels to take the product to the market, but which one was the most feasible?? Cost effective?? Considering that by the time the product actually reaches the end customer, his / her preferences and expectations have changed, as the market is really dynamic.

I thought to myself that an excellent Go To Market strategy should solve the following: Maximum number of product Exposures to reach our customers the Fastest. How do we reach the critcal mass required to have enough people sitting up and taking notice and creating buzz about our products / services? I don’t think we pay that close attention to our GTM strategy. Add to this the fact that there really cannot be ONE correct Go To market strategy….. it has to be dynamic and should hit a chord with our customers.

Go me thinking….do I have a defined GTM strategy for my business? Any thoughts??

Lets “Go to the Market”!!

क्या अंदाज़ है?

January 31, 2008

AnDaaz : अंदाज़

The Urdu word meaning style, actually your personal style. That’s the new brand name chosen by Hyatt Hotels for their new age hotels reflecting warmth, home spaces as well as a hotel experience like no other.

I am truly impressed by their choice as well as the philosophy being built around it. Launched in April 2007, the first Andaz hotel  is the refurbished Great Eastern Hotel in London. Three more hotels are expected to come up soon.

They have even launched Andaz Music to be synchronous with the kind of sensory experience that you can expect at any Andaz hotel. Great brand association.

Recommended ipod music collections every month. What an interesting way to market your new AnDaaz : अंदाज़!! Your personal style hotel.

7.3 out of 10 … not a bad start….

January 30, 2008

Shift Happens…. when I first saw that presentation, it seemed interesting. I was reminded of the page where it says that “who were we asking over a billion questions every month before Google?”

A lot of people who I talk to and tell them I have started writing a blog say “Wow” but that’s the most they will say, as I imagine that they may think of it as being too cumbersome, or plain gobbledygook. But hey, we don’t realise how dependant we have become of the www because, even though we may not buy online or chat online or blog, we certainly check out everything online.

Help is a Google away!!

Today, I came across Ted who has authored various books on how important it is to effectively manage OUR online presence. He talks about basics like what do you get when you google yourself? You’ll be surprised. 

“If you do not exist online, do you really exist??”  What’s your Google Quotient??

Take this simple online quiz to find out your online presence score or download his free e-book and I am sure you will realise the importance of managing your own online presence.

7.3 out of 10 as a score from the quiz didn’t seem that bad.

Whooosh!! Let me Change This!!

January 29, 2008

Yes, I have been away. Viral fever helped me become Mr Grumpy last week and he never wanted to communicate. Come to think of it, I wanted so much to write but ended up procrastinating. The trigger for Mr Grumpy was the bad traffic management at the newly opened toll plaza on NH 8. Sometimes, when a lot of these feelings well up, one sheds the Mr Grumpy coat and starts all over. It’s the threshold. Critical mass attained.

Today was that day for me. For no particular reason.

So I decided to change from Mr Grumpy. It was not easy. Web 2.0 was help at hand. Let me explain.

What do we usually do with our thoughts all day long? Mind Chatter is constant and ideas keep popping. I handle part of this by talking, communicating. Blogging is also part of this communication effort.

I found an amazing way to use this medium by getting to know ChangeThis. How do YOU promote your logical and rational thinking into a communication that can be shared and will have effect on others?

Simple….use ChangeThis. Make your manifesto or read the many available absolutely great ones online. Share and spread the word. You have manifestos from Guy Kawasaki, Tom Peters, Seth Godin and yes Hugh Macleod is also there with his HTBC (How to be Creative) thoughts.

And whooosh!! Mr Grumpy vanished. Some of the manifesto’s are so awesome that you would want to download them (for free). I loved the concept and the way its turned out to be in the websphere.

Miss it and be left out… Go ChangeThis !! 

From this to that…

January 17, 2008

I recently spoke with some of my friends asking them about their favourite author and quite a few mentioned: Malcolm Gladwell. So I trooped down to the relevant section at the British Council Library during my regular visits there and looked up his famous book “The Tipping Point” Unfortunately it was out.

Neverthless, I got his other book issued called “Blink” It’s a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that appear to be made in an instant – in the blink of an eye. Very interesting read till now. Still reading.

I even thought up an analogy to how books are read nowadays. First the author pens his thoughts to paper: INK. The reader then reads the book and develops an understanding of all these thoughts together: LINK. Soon after one has read the book, we move on looking at more fodder for our brain, and don’t necessarily put our learnings into action. It’s gone then: BLINK.

INK > LINK > BLINK

Have you ever looked at a complete word and thought of how many words you could make out of that one word? That’s what got me thinking. Blink. Blink.

Surfin’ bird…

January 15, 2008

Queer, ain’t it? While thinking of an apt title of this post, I don’t know why I thought of the song Surfin’ Bird…. now those of you don’t know.. it’s actually a really old song but has been re-done in various versions… why I remember it so vividly is because it has no lyrics (almost)….and its not an instrumental song….. The Trashmen who performed it just babble away in a catchy tune that one can’t forget easily.

Back to the post. Surfin’ Bird came to my mind when I re-looked up Gaping Void. If you don’t know Hugh Macleod… well you are missing out on something. Now I have been looking up the various doodles and cartoons that he does on the back of visiting cards, for quite some time and some of them are real swell like the one’s below.

wolf-vs-sheep.jpg

I must point out that I really recommend you read his HTBC (How to be Creative) page. Its probably the most read page on his website. Also, don’t miss the HughTrain

And in case you haven’t noticed, he’s quite popular on the webspace. I have come to believe that its probably because I like this kind of humour, direct, sometimes very dry yet understated. Remember I also like Dilbert.

Another one here, before I sign off…

stupid.jpg

Attributed to: Hugh Macleod: Gapingvoid.com

I see a Winner here!!

January 8, 2008

Do you know what these words mean??

Fugleman? Cur? Repartee? ok ok may be you know Hokum? or Sully? Try this: Brusque?

Words that you may want to know the meaning of? Hmmmm…..

My earlier post talked about engaging the customer. I think Poverty.com have got themselves a winner. What a great concept.

You love a challenge when it comes to your language → You would love to learn more and become better in your English → Just click on the choices of the meanings of the word → Get the answers right and for every word that you get right, they will donate 100 grains of rice through the United Nations.

Free Rice, yep.

The advertisers pay for the rice and you (an engaged customer) actually becomes a contributor to a social cause. Brilliant.

True Engagement for a Social cause using Web 2.0

free.jpg