Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mutant and Proud - Lesson from X-Men


I went to watch X-Men, First Class today. It is an amazing movie. I am not a fan of movies showing people with special powers however I thouroughly enjoyed this one. However, this blog is not a review of the movie but a lesson of life which I absorbed from it.

There was a frequent line in the movie "Mutant and Proud" . The special humans felt out of place in this world so Professor X told them that they should accept the fact that they are different and be proud about it.

"Mutant and Proud" forced me to ponder. How many times in life we aspire to be somebody different ? How many times we try hard to be the other person, smart guy, handsome man, successful businessman, movie star, the face everybody knows ??!!! Each and every moment of our life is spent in becoming bigger and better. In this race to mutate ourselves we have forgotten that we are special too in our ownselves. We have to be special as we are God's gift. We too have qualities which are unique to us and need to be celebrated and appreciated. We too have the X factor just that it is not identified or not appreciated in a bid to become somebody else.

It is always good to improve but not at the expense of ourselves. We should always love ourselves the way we are, be proud of it and assimilate qualities which make us better and not different !

So next time whenever you feel an urge to copy somebody, just remember that you are losing yourself.

As for me, I will try to arrange the other parts of X-Men series and enjoy them !!!

"Mutant and Proud"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

PPGs - Boon or Bane


I recently came to know a of an acronym called PPG used in the service industry. It is not a seat higher than VIPs or VVIPs but means "Potential Problematic Guest". This is a list of people who often create ruckus at the service counters and are flagged by company in their internal systems.

Who are PPGs ? People create problem when they feel they are not getting the treatment for what they have paid or simply put they are not getting the value for their money. When I am expected to pay a bomb at a 5 star hotel then I should be treated in a 5 star way. And when people dont get it they demand for it.

Are the PPGs good for service Industry ? In my opinion they definitely are. PPGs help services company to maintain a standard. PPGs are like bottlenecks, if these can be handled then anybody can be satisfied. PPGs help to transform services to cater to the minutest detail and care.

To conclude, I would suggest that service companies should try to target PPGs and the rest will fall in place. These PPGs will create an opportunity to find out lacunae which any organization can miss.

DIRFT - Do It Right the First Time


"DIRFT Or Do It Right the First Time". Such a simple acronym yet such a powerful one. I was taught this concept as a part of process improvement in manufacturing and operations however this concept is so much relevant in our day to day life.

How many times have we simply done something just for the sake of doing it at that point of time ? How many times have we revisited the work just to amend the errors we committed the first time due to our laxity ? I guess the common answer to my questions would be many times. Dont you feel that we actually cheat ourselves by not doing things right at the first time ? We surely do and we have to stop this. Why cant we follow DIRFT everyday in our lives ? Why do we need an opportunity to rework ? DIRFT is a simple concept. It is a state of mind and involves a change in attitude. We have to build DIRFT in our day to day work and ingrain it in our DNA. Just imagine the kind of time it will save us, confidence it will give us and gather trust from others.

Let us commit to ourselves that we will make quality a way of life. Let us commit that we will not to do the same thing again and again. We will do things Right and We will Do Things Right the First Time.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

CSR - Philanthropy or a Strategy


The World Business Council for Sustainable Development defines CSR as “the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”

The new trend emerging in the philosophy of corporates is CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility. Every company is trying to put their profits in Social Projects for the welfare of mankind.

I feel that over the period of time, companies and firms have earned a reputation of mean, profit making machines with least concerns for the human kind and driven only by the growth in the bottomline. This tainted image of firms has poisoned the perception of people and any good activity done by them is also seen in bad light. I feel that CSR is the new face of the 21st century corporate houses. These corporate houses want to give back to the society in which they thrive and sustain. Cisco, ICICI etc are few examples of companies who are trying to do good for the mankind.

Few skeptics would argue that these CSR initiatives are marketing strategies in the garb of well being for all. I would think otherwise. How many kids supported by Melinda and Bill Gates ,in a poor village of UP, would know of Microsoft.Some would argue that it is not the direct beneficiaries but the audience to these CSR that are influenced by the goodwill gesture.I really doubt the claim. The dipping growth of Microsoft, the losing share of Yahoo etc do not suggest the same story.

Business strategy suggests that CSR can be leveraged by the company in the following four ways:
1. As a source of competitive advantage
2. For improving operational efficiency
3. As an image buidling exercise
4. As a reactive strategy.

My argument would be that strategy or not a strategy, till the time it is doing good for the people, CSR is well accepted. It is better to have a firm which undertakes CSR and adds to its bottomline rather than which doesn't take CSR initiatives at all. Lets not see CSR with any preconceived notions.

Dream on a Desert - Dubai


Dubai is a marvel of modern architecture.Atlantis hotel, Burk Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeriah etc are the most beautiful buidlings and hotels I have ever seen. Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world is visible from any part of the city. My first week of stay here has made me realize how even the most difficult of places to stay on the earth can be conquered and made beautiful by human endeavour. The tallest and most often incomplete buildings stand proud on the heart of the desert. Dubai heat is killing and it is difficult to imagine how much toil and sweat would have gone in the construction of these tall ones. I am yet to explore the city but the few visits outside have enthralled me. Dubai is truly a dream on a desert.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Say bye to Symbian.. Meego is here !!!


Nokia has decided to stop using Symbian OS for its high end phones and shift to Linux based Meego which is jointly developed by Intel and Nokia. In fact N8 will be the last N Series Phone to use Symbian.

(Source : http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/sectors/telecoms-and-it/nokia-to-drop-symbian-for-smartphones/3015145.article)

What can be the business implications of this ?

Positives
  • Application developer's did not find Symbian very user friendly and hence wanted a new OS. This will give a boost to application development by tech freaks.
  • Since Meego is on Linux platform so the speed of new smart phones would definetely be good.
  • If Meego becomes a hit then it can overshadow the Google Android phones which are continously capturing the market from Nokia.
Negatives
  • Lotof people (Older Age group who are not willing to experiment) use Nokia because of its common UI across all phones. If Meebo provides a diiferent UI then there would be no incentive toswitch from one nokia phone to another. They can as well shift to other smart phones.
  • Application developer's might take some time to get used to Meego and hence the new phones will have to manage with custom supplied apps.
I feel this is a good move by Nokia. In the smart phone sections, users had become wary of Nokia and wanted to experiment with Apple and Google phone. The new Meego will help Nokia to break its shell , bring in a uniqueness and differentiate itself from other smart phone makers. However, Performance is the bottomline. If Nokia Meego smartphones are fast with no hiccups then I feel Nokia will hit a jackpot.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Next Shopping Hub - Delhi International Airport.


Delhi International Airport can take a cue from Heathrow Airport which is starting a campaign to project itself as the cheapest shopping hub.

Delhi International Airport which is poised to become the third largest airport after Russia and China is the busiest Indian airport catering to around 34 million flyers. It connects India to around 100 destinations across the globe. With the emerging of a strong services industry the traffic is bound to increase.

DIA can also position itself as a shopping hub and attract revenue from the flyers. It can adopt the following strategies :
  1. Bring a flavour of the local market like Kashmiri shawls,assam tea,mysore sandal etc along with premium brands already available.
  2. Insignias of Taj Mahal, Lal Kila etc can be sold. This will attract tourist as they will trust the brand and will not be fooled by touts at these historical places.
  3. Travellers can be given incentive like 5Kgs extra luggage if they shop from these stores. So travellers who are flying with extra luggage would like to buy the insignia and gain 5Kgs rather than paying penalty for extra luggage.
  4. Travellers can be given discount coupon for entry in Taj if they buy Taj Insignia.
  5. Rates can be comparable to outside stores but high quality needs to be maintained.
These recommendations can bring in more revenue for the airport. If this idea succeeds then benefits can be pushed to Indian flyers by reducing airport tax. This will be a win - win situation for all.