Archive for the ‘People’ 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!!

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!!

“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!!!

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.

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….

Welcome 2008….

December 31, 2007

Wishing you and your loved ones a Super Duper Fantabulous 2008!!!

Happy New Year

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 !!

So where was I?

December 23, 2007

my-booze.jpg

Does this give you a hint? T’was some serious partying since the last two weeks. Sid got married, got to meet everyone from college. It was great fun.

RE-FRESH your dictionary…

December 10, 2007

trends.png

Now those are some of the words you should be mapping ,,,, huh?

One of my favourite sites that maps upcoming trends, whats going to be in vogue and what’s already happened…. a storehouse from where I get lots of ideas is TrendWatching.

Now a couple of these fellas started compiling trends and sending a synopsis way back in 2002, and it became an instant hit and yep, if you still haven’t heard of them, guess where does that leave you in this zoom info age?

Catch their latest briefing which is one their nice ways to send you “intel” to be “In the Know” or plain vanilla subscribe to their mailing list.

I guarantee you will want to contribute and become a Spring Spotter. I am already one.

If you really like it….buy me a copy of their 2008 Trend Report…. its really cool…. infact so much so that they have recently started mapping India big time and mention it in their recent Trend Report.

Don’t miss their Free Tips. Happy Reading.

Buzz Marketing

November 29, 2007

I am sure many of you who are in the echelons of Marketing as a function find yourself face to face with words like “Buzz and or Viral Marketing” I have recently seen many discussions on LinkedIn talking about how to create this so called “Buzz”

So how do we create this Buzz?? Like Seth Godin talks about finding our “Purple Cow” and then introducing it to early adopters / sneezers / seeders who then spread the good word around, I wonder how easy it is to zero down on our true differentiator…. I guess it’s not that easy, considering the overlaps in “me-too” products and similar services present out there. But if we start thinking in that direction, I am sure there are answers waiting to be found. Good starting point for that next brainstorming session.

Yesterday, I came across a brilliantly written blog post by Peter Delegge about how Apple recently said Thank You to the early customers of the iphone. Must Read.

Plus, if you are someone like me who’s still learning on the job, I am sure you’ll get the Buzz on this presentation….

A little “birdie” on the ground

November 27, 2007

Yipppeee…  I got a couple of birdie’s…. hehehe before you think further …. I got them at the TERI Golf course this last weekend. For amateurs like me, who are just three months into this great game, it meant a lot. Particularly because t’was at the TERI Golf Course which in fact is a small course which makes it unforgiving. You better hit straight and nice or … well you are OB (out of bounds)

golf-5.jpg

It’s such a great feeling to play a round of Golf which goes well and is immensely satisfying. It pretty much levels out considering the frustration if your next round goes bad. But overall, I am kicked with my performance. The coolest thing about Golf for me is that you play against yourself and there is always room to be better.

Some great help for you wannabee’s is to check out these free Golf Videos amongst the others. Though there is nothing to beat a “pro” to guide you and loads of practise. Dew kissed grass, birds chirping, the ocassional peacock in the distance and a great game where you get a couple of birdie’s. I liked my weekend.

“MB-O”

November 21, 2007

While reading last weeks “Corporate Dossier” I came across this wonderfully written article by Devdutt Pattanaik where he draws parallels with Ram and Ravana and the nature of Knowledge Management.

Quote – “Over the past decade, a whole new business process known as knowledge management has evolved that seeks to harness, store, transmit knowledge within an organisation. Every CEO agrees that it is a valuable business process, that investment in it is critical. This sounds very logical but most organisations do not do this. The effort involved is huge and the rewards are neither immediate nor tangible. Everyone in an organisation, are repositories of great wisdom – not only knowledge of things that work but also knowledge of things that do not work. Conscious efforts must be made to capture as much of it as possible.”

I was reminded of a different kind of MBO – Management By Observation. It’s leadership driven and essential for the health of any organisation. The best way to manage is to observe and work on the interplay of human behaviour to ensure the best for everyone. It’s quite a tight-rope walk, but well worth its effort. Talk to everyone and smile a lot. Reminds me of my hotel sales days, where it was so important to judge personalities / behaviour interplay and look at problem resolution quickly to make customers happy.

Grab My RSS Feed….

November 17, 2007

Yep, I got my RSS chicklet and yes you can now add my feed to your feedreader. Get updated content. Not that anyone’s subscribing as of now. Waaaah!!!  

Part of me not doing this earlier is that I also felt who’s going to check out all the gobbledygook about codes and html and so on to learn more about RSS. Even though there’s not much to learn.

 rss_button1.jpg 

For those of you who are saying “Huh – whats this?” It’s real simple.  RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. The easiest way to put your blog infront of more eyeballs is by making it easier for people to be able to add your blog feed to their feed reader. This essentially means that every time content is updated on any site whose feed you subscribe to, your feedreader automatically upates it at one place for you to quickly skim through.

The best place to start to know more is Feed Burner.

You could also check out Alex Barnett’s RSS 101 podcast or FeedBurner’s silent movie or read more at the RSS Learning Center 

Next step… Google Adsense…