Follow Your Heart. Lead Your Mind. You'll find a window everywhere.

Monday, January 10, 2011

KKR - The SRK Circus!

In case I’m not wrong, KKR is Kolkata Knight Riders, right? Happened to be the most high-voltage, heavy-watt, glamour-emitting team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) T-20 cricket, since its inception.

What had that team done so far?

Played enough cricket to disappoint its die-hard supporters, as well as its franchise.

As a result, in the auction for the IPL4, an all new team is formed and firmed up, which, according to the spokesperson of KKR, is sure to ruin all other teams to win this version of IPL.

Even SRK from South Africa was quoted as saying, “Kolkata must get their cup of joy!”

Indeed. Kolkata is glad and proud to have such a caring and concerned franchise on and off the block of KKR!

The celluloid Caesar turned cricket tycoon also mentioned, “It's a new team, a new set-up. Decisions are taken by a lot of people including coach Dav Whatmore. Jacques Kallis is ‘my favourite’ cricketer; Gautam Gambhir is the ‘in-form’ batsman and Yusuf Pathan is a ‘clear match-winner’. We gave a lot of thought as to how we will go about strategising at the auction and I am hopeful this team will do well.”

“Remember, when we sign players, we have to ‘carry’ them for three years,” SRK continued to justify why KKR needs young or fresh legs.

Now, based on those above comments, some questions are spurring on my mind that I would like to share.

Before the name of ‘Jacques Kallis’ was the qualifying tag ‘my favourite’ really called for? Does a cricketer like Kallis need anyone’s favouritism for that matter, if cricketing abilities of the players are the prime factors for the team selection?

Same way, when law-of-average bothers everyone in cricket, is there any guarantee that Gautam Gambhir’s form will continue as expected? And when was the last time Yusuf Pathan instrumented his earlier team Rajasthan Royals’ series of wins, clearly and constantly?

Also, I’m mighty curious to know whether a franchise does have any quality whatsoever to ‘carry’ a team or it’s simply the other way round where the cricketers actually carry him and his team!

Even if the inclusions of Kallis, Gambhir and Pathan are given a thumb’s up on the basis of cricketing merit and justification, my curiosity continues to know on what parameters Bret Lee made a cut into the KKR squad!

A bowler who’s always been driven and taken apart (with 48 strike rate) by the opponents in almost all the matches he played in the IPL is likely to spearhead the bowling attack of KKR when the team is trying to make its fans believe that it’s making a champion side this year!

Interesting, isn’t it?

If cricketing sense prevails, and if the team composition of KKR is looked at and into with proper reasoning, it’s certain to give us nightmares and reveries in tandem; especially when the team’s bowling department is put under scanner.

Perhaps KKR’s so much talked about and distinguished strategy is ‘let the bowlers splurge runs and make the batters chase them.’

Quite a sporting spirit; must admit!

SRK didn’t deter to comment again that Sourav asked him to change the team completely, so he did the same. Quite an obedient franchise, isn’t it?

And his obedience continued so much so that he even made sure that Sourav was expelled from the KKR team. And then he would call up Sourav to propose if Dada could take the mentor’s role in the team.

I’m sure for such modesty and obedience, if any director changes his entire casting list for a film given SRK’s proposal and also drops SRK too, later on SRK will also accept the mentor’s role in that very film of that very director to train other actors to do well!

Besides, a ballpark notion has been filling up the air for quite some time that the franchises are investing money on the teams thus they don’t want to lose their money.

Fair enough.

However, the question remains, if a franchise is so apprehensive of losing his money why is he investing in the first place then? And, if he thinks that he’s carrying the cricketers; who has asked him to be a Good Samaritan to the willow and leather bearers?

If SRK believes in the fact that he’s lost his money due to the dismal performances of KKR for the last three years, why is he re-investing to play the same game of bat and ball, which is somewhat like gamble owing to the game’s nature?

Had SRK invested the money then what had the Brands such as Nokia, Sprite done for KKR?

I sincerely feel that the time has come for us – all the KKR fans – to understand that KKR will never win notwithstanding the team management’s tall and hollow claims.

It’s not because Sourav is out of the team but just because cricket is not a circus (or cinema) – in whichever format it’s played… test or 50 overs or T-20.

It’s a game of brains, skills, techniques, utilities and, most importantly, class – which is permanent unlike form that’s temporary.

And to say the least, this KKR team has got no class to field in on any turf but offering some gimmicks that have nothing to do with cricket.

So, let’s enjoy KKR playing as the SRK circus!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Travel by trains. Kiss. And get pregnant! Genuinely, ONLINE.

‘Cobwebs are certain to be formed on your Brand(s) unless it / they is / are on web nowadays!’

In case the abovementioned statement seems to be any megalomaniac blabber or jibe of a narcissist Internet Marketer, well, in that case also your understanding needs a little bit of reshuffle, if it’s the question of leveraging the maximum benefits through your marketing communications for the Brand(s) – you own / market / sell.

Web or Mobile or other digitally bolstered gadgets / mediums have never been, still aren’t, and will hardly be the nemesis of the conventional media or consumer touch points such as Television; Print; and OOH. Instead, those Web based and Internet led mediums make sure you and your Brand(s) gain the best of solutions for your Marcom (marketing communications)… by ensuring not only greater Interactivity with your TGs (target groups) but also better ROI (return on investment) with almost 100% transparency on the basis of the TGs’ consumption habits / patterns of Internet usages vis-à-vis your Brand’s communications.

In addition, Web based or Internet led communications – happening on one’s PC / Laptop / Mobile – actually help a Brand customise its communication like anything in no real time or labour as such, whenever needed, and that too, involving just some insignificant sum comparing to the cost spent on mainstream media.

Believe it or not, from mere 25,000 Internet users in 1998 the number of users has increased to 100 million in 2010 and this growth is ever increasing… in India.

As against the total population in India, if Brand penetrations into the lives of active Internet users are to be considered till 2010, it’s only 8.4% – a tremendously under-utilised rate awaiting Brands for more exploration, experiment and excellence on Web.

According to a recent survey report, Brands in India have got just 1.1% penetration rate among 13,188,580 Facebook users till August 31, 2010. Don’t think this figure is anyway helping the new media innovation and invasion.

These statistics are indeed soggy notwithstanding the fact that in the Internet users’ rank India’s position is warmly 3rd… just after China and USA.

In fact in India, 40 million access the net through mobile phones whereas it’s only 8% of those carrying mobile phones. So, GPRS enabled sets at a comfortable price and user friendly features can grin here, ear to ear, for sure!

However, irrespective of so much hidden, as well as overt potentialities on Web the upload and download connection speeds in India are factually below dismal. Where even in South Korea the average upload and download speeds are 37.00 Mb/s and 20.36Mb/s, they are 1.42Mb/s and 0.70 Mb/s, respectively. Fair enough reasons for consumers to believe that they are cheated once again – which is nothing new though but yet another de-value addition to them and their expectations for a service.

If consumption patterns of consumers make sense to Brands so as to formulate and chart out their communications on Web to reach the right audience at the right time with the right content, here is a roadmap to them –

Indians go online for: E-mailing (94%); Music Downloading (72%); Instant Message / Chatting (56%); PC to (free) SMS (55%); Social Networking (54%); Info Search Engine (52%); Watching Videos (52%); Screen Savers / Wallpapers Downloading (50%); Online Communities (50%).

Frankly the abovementioned info are not the ultimate means to do the needful but at least with them a distinct indication is made for a micro-level understanding and action – from minute planning to mega execution – where there is no dearth of ‘me-toos’ in any market / category / segment save for a few across India.

Interestingly, when from every nook and corner in India, one techie or the other is claiming everyday to be the SEO (search engine optimisation) Expert by keyword-search, it’s shown – as per a world famous search engine’s survey report for 2008, 2009 and 2010 – that Katrina Kaif; Aruna Shields; How to Kiss; How to Get Pregnant; and IRCTC (India Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited) are the most popular keyword-search options.

Guess that Brands have got pretty handy chances to travel by trains, kiss Indian (or expat) consumers and get pregnant with success! Genuinely, ONLINE.