Archive for the ‘Interesting’ Category

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.

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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!!

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.

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

Why am I writing this?

January 8, 2008

I started this blog with the sole objective of penning my random thoughts, ideas and mainly links which I liked for myself (something like my own Digg this space) and was happily surprised to know that some of friends regularly read it, even though they did not comment.

Lead me to think…..Has Social Media really arrived in India? Maybe yes and Maybe no. But a quick glance around the webspace leads me to believe we are getting there and…..fast.

The rules of customer engagement have changed and companies are waking up fast. A good example are the virals I talked about in my earlier post, then came Sunsilk with its great interactive website (I’m sure you have heard of the Sunsilk Gang of Girls)  and recently, Skoda instead of actually talking about their soon to be launched car… Fabia.. or extolling the many features and car comparisons in their print ads… chose to just mention their web address in the print copy …. purely to engage the customer. I don’t think they have done a great job in the “engagement part” beacuse the contest page doesn’t seem to mention the rules of participation and is a dead end, but neverthless, we are getting there.

Are our companies ready for the Social Web and its effect on our brands and buying behaviour? Have we budgeted for this? More importantly, how do we measure this impact? Start clicking around and you’ll be surprised.

I love my photos…

January 8, 2008

Last week, I needed to send some logos and pictures which were being thought up for a new promotion and I didn’t them to be mis-used. I wanted to put watermarks or some copyright information so that these could not be edited, so what did I do? I found this excellent website that allows you and me and anyone else to upload, edit and then save your photos from anywhere for FREE and you don’t even have to be a member and there are no forms to fill. It was a breeze. I loved it.

Picnik lets you edit and tweak your photos online by allowing you to change, put special effects and more (regular features of photo editing software) besides helping you put copyright information as well as watermarks to your images.

I think it was swell. The UI was excellent. Photojojo recommends them too. Considering  the number of photos I had from the new year’s party which needed touch up, I gave it a try and really liked the results.

I forgot to add, I loved the way the website keeps you engaged even while the interface is loading….rather than the regular 10% or 20% loaded… they sow the seeds, then grow the grass, then water the plants, pick the strawberries……. very nice touch. Check it out.

Yummmy!!!

January 2, 2008

The New Year Party was a Blast, a Big BonfireBeer and more Beer, Barbecue and Biryani….. and yep Confetti Bombs …. that was a cool idea. While chewing on the succulent pieces of meat, I couldn’t help thinking of this amazing (I guess so, as I always salivate when I look at it) seasoning idea I looked up the other day. BACON + SALT = BACONSALT

Yep all you foodies; think of the taste of melted bacon and salt combined together …. oooohh… man it must be awesome. “Justin and Dave” chucked their jobs and combined Bacon and Salt to create Bacon Salt; which as per them is VEGETARIAN and yes.. ZERO calorie seasoning salt. What a zany idea. I just loved it. Slurp Slurp. Please send me some if you order for yourself….. Cheffy .. are you listening??

This is what I would call a “flavour-bomb” (A flavour bomb being any food recipe which when combined together in its first bite would give you an refreshing, explosive, multi sensory tasting experience)

Are you ready for Umami – the fifth taste ??

I am hungry now….

Let’s Jiggy Wit It…

December 26, 2007

I recently saw this interesting question at LinkedIn asking if there was a technique in solving a Jigsaw Puzzle. Mine used to be starting out with the corners, then color coordinating and then fitting in the biggest – easy looking pieces, wow, it used to be Super Fun.

Memories of me and my brother trying to clock the fastest in a 180 piece puzzle came back. Even though both of us had solved it many times, it used to be such a challenge trying to do it all over again. I saw the old box on one of my visit’s back home to Mom and Dad and couldn’t help sitting down to solve it once again…. It looked something like this after 15 minutes….

Jigsaw

I also found these amazing sites where you could solve Jigsaw puzzles online…yippeee….

Jigsawland and Jigzone 

The guys at Jigzone even give you an option of embedding one in your blog besides feeding a new puzzle out to you everyday. I loved both the sites and I am sure there are many more such online. So go on try your luck and send me some links if you find more…

Lets Jiggy Wit It !!