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

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shortage of time is shortage of energy... to dream, do and deliver.


It's time to understand one simple thing that 'time' is a 'definite resource'. Because, time is 24 hours a day for everyone in this world. However, your energy is not. It's basically stretchable and infinite. 

So, what takes a toll on you is not time, but it's your 'energy' that depletes. 

In physics, as you know, energy is defined as the capacity to work... that means, your capacity to work is at risk while you complain of time often. 

For that, the need of the hour for you is to 'regain energy and reclaim yourself'. 

Energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: Body, Mind, Emotion and Spirit. When any of the four is disturbed or stressed, or does malfunction, energy level automatically reduces. As a result, you are bound to feel the heat and, in the process, things will start to take a toll on you. 

Apparently, it seems everything is cool and awesome; you have been doing fabulously well; things are happening and falling in place at a jet-setting speed, but is it so? 

Frankly, I have my reservation, because going with the flow, even at a lightning speed, is not necessarily surging ahead. And there, somewhat I guess, you do compromise on different situations in the name of adjustment.

If my guess was right, even in percentage, then, owing to that compromise, three of your four wellsprings - mind, emotion and spirit - get unfavourably affected. Therefore, the energy you draw from yourself almost always remains lesser than required. 

The moment, the capacity to work begins to quiver, obviously, the productivity gets reduced, and once that happens, reeling under time pressure becomes inevitable. 

Which is why, I earnestly request you to take care of yourself first and foremost, leveraging 'ESA: Emotional Self-awareness', for, that's the most important thing to do before dreaming, doing and delivering anything.


Frankly, without that ESA, the value of time could never be realised. Time is never an expenditure. It's rather a fixed capital or deposit for an assured return of interest per day until you die. 

After all, don't blame time for the shortage of it because time is never short but you are not long enough to outgrow yourself, everyday.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How Mumbai based NGO, APNALAYA India, can leverage its logo better.

APNALAYA India - is a Mumbai based NGO that has been working relentlessly for the betterment of lives... "Building self-sustaining communities since 1973."

Their activities are governed by the principle and philosophy of encouraging ordinary men and women to believe in themselves and in their abilities to change their life (lives) for the better. 

To know more about them and their operation, you can visit their website: http://apnalaya.org/ 

In case this little piece of information helps, then for your kind knowledge, Ms. Annabel Mehta - who is none other than Sachin Tendulkar's mother-in-law - is the President of APNALAYA. 

Now, coming back to the crux of the matter, in light of marketing communication, I think they are doing pretty good, but not going overboard to use social work as a PR trumpet for that matter. 

If I consider this NGO as a Social Brand, certainly, its tone and content of communication draws respect rather naturally. Whatever they are communicating, they are doing that very smoothly with a touch of sophistication, dignity, integrity and ease that is neither heavy on mind nor coming across as bragging. All through, the poise and balance is very well maintained by them. 

However, I am not very convinced with their existing and new logo unveiled by Ms. Anjali Tendulkar. 



No doubt, visually this logo is very good, so are its colour connotations, but, when it boils down to complementing the payoff: "Building self-sustaining communities since 1973", in my humble opinion, it's failing and falling short. 

From the said logo, the essence of neither Apna(pan) nor Communities is really coming out. Though, yes, it's duly and aptly substantiating the words: 'Alaya' (Home / Asylum / Shelter / Refuge) and 'self-sustaining'. Somewhat, to me at least, the warmth, the resilience, the sweetness of sweat and the perseverance are missing in the logo. Basically, those are the virtues that make 'rags to riches' possible. Hence, the logo of a Social Brand that heralds a change for the better in and across society should ideally be more promising, direct and communicative. 

Give this, I have prepared a logo, so as to convey the entire value proposition of APNALAYA. Please look below where I have shared the scratch version of it:



In this logo, I have created the honeycomb in yellow in the form of a flower to establish a direct relation between APNALAYA and Slums on the basis of transformation that APNALAYA wants to happen and makes sure it does through hope, optimism, positivism, mind and intellect. The honeybees, I have used to express how 'self-sustaining communities' are built by the warmth, the resilience, the sweetness of sweat and the perseverance. I wrote APNALAYA in blue to denote trust and peace, which also suggests loyalty and integrity. I introduced the green line and stretched it both ways more than necessary to offer balance and growth based on self-reliance. Then I wrote the payoff text in grey to communicate impartiality and adjusting nature of APNALAYA.

Frankly, I am not sure whether it's possible for them to change their current logo. Nevertheless, I thought it's my duty to try to support them the way I can. 

So, I tried. 

If that helps them, I would be very happy and delighted!

Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ten things one can learn from Sachin Tendulkar and his farewell speech.

Well, the world is filled with Gurus. Who preach but hardly teach because preaching is more fashionable than teaching. In this scenario, when leadership, precisely 'thought leadership' is so scarce everywhere, the growth of leadership coaches is mushrooming. Additionally, best-selling books and blogs on motivation and performance are all around, and everyone knows how to be or make others successful in a flash. And, since all those books and blogs are becoming best-sellers, continuously, it proves the point success is basically nowhere... apart from mistaking the chase for success as success.

What to do then? How to achieve success? 

Frankly, I don't know. I don't have even the slightest of idea... how to manufacture success. All I can say is, success is Sachin Tendulkar, and if you can learn and follow 10 simple things from his life on the basis of his farewell speech at Wankhede, you might succeed in your life as well. 

   
The things which I reckon one must not dare to miss in Sachin's magic potion are: 

1. Love. I have not used the word 'passion' for love because, with love, comes responsibility and, with responsibility, comes greatness. And that's what required for one to excel in his profession, as well as in personal life.  

2. Dreams. If you can't think big, you can't do big. At the same time, thinking big doesn't mean thinking of big things only all the time. Instead, it's more about thinking of small things also in an extraordinary way. A pinch of salt makes a huge difference in the taste of palatable, mind it. 

3. Deed. A dream - small, medium, big - is nothing without doing things in the direction of realizing it. In dream, 'nothing is impossible' or 'impossible is nothing', but in reality, 'everything is impossible' or 'impossible is everything' and there lies in the challenge. Travelling from Mumbai to Delhi is a dream unless someone travels the distance. Simple. 

4. Practice. No deed would be good enough to be great, eventually, if it's not practiced for umpteen times. Homework sets the tone of classwork and good performance in classwork builds up the confidence for exams. Talent is a privilege, a gift, hence, it's nothing and can't be called own or to be proud of. 

5. Patience. Nothing is real-time in real life. Even the sun takes 12 long hours to reappear. A baby takes 9 months to appear. Hence patience is the key, even while it depresses and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Basically, in those situations, patience is what that helps one adjust his vision in the darkness and see through instead of banging head for lights.

6. Perseverance. It's very difficult to do and achieve anything minus persistence. Flash in the pan activity, or even thinking is of no use. In fact, one way, perseverance helps to dream and do the same thing again and again without being bored. Honestly, even when practice and patience fail short, it's perseverance that helps one sail through. Being in a situation to hang around in spite of adversity is what really counts. Plus, it leaves no room for complacency. 

7. Values. Price is what you pay and value is what you get. But, values are what you create for generations. You may buy a watch at a certain price and get the right time on it as value, but, unless you realize and help your next generation realize the essence of punctuality, well, then no values got created by you. Then it's a big issue because there's no legacy to be taken forward.

8. Gratitude. You are made by your parents. Yes, technically. Thanks to their love making. For that, it's wise to accept from the word go, you are not self-made. Then there are many people: teacher, mentor, coach, and many things, who and what help you to be made, even if you are an orphan. That's why, it's prudent to remain grateful all the time for whatever you get or achieve. Without a loser, you can't be a winner, so never ignore and underestimate the power of gratitude.


9. Family. The influence of family and extended family is massive. For, we are social beings after all. The contribution of family and extended family to your growth is certainly not in your hand but, in case you get that, never ever deprive yourself of the good-luck bestowed upon you. 

10. Friends. Nobody can give you more hopes even in no hope situations than friends do. They are your punching bags, hit-me dolls. So invest in friendship, because the return you will get, you might not even think of. Unlucky is the person who has no good friend. A friend in need is not a friend indeed; rather a good friend is your need.  

The full version of Sachin's speech is right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQejvPuOgwE   

Friday, November 8, 2013

MBlaze: MTS India's broken promise and egg shells on customers' face



MTS India, India’s one of the leading Mobile and Internet Service providers does basically thrive on three factors:

(1) Lies 
(2) Deception
(3) Procrastination 

In the business, this Brand is actually the egg shell operating as a boiled egg right under the nose of the Government of India, as well as many State Governments.

How they are doing so, asking that question is of no use, since, it’s an open secret by now how such dubious Mobile and Internet Service providers work across India.

With their Unlimited Recharge Plans that come with MBlaze, they make sure people fall into the trap and then become the victim of the ‘speed-cap’ and thereby get robbed of their precious time and money.

Read on… to know how it works:

a)      Say, you have recharged your Internet account with Rs. 798/- for your unlimited usage. Of course, you know beforehand that after 5GB of usage the normal speed of 3.1 Mbps (maximum) will come down to the ‘capped’ 144Kbps (maximum). Please note, neither 3.1Mbps nor 144Kbps speed does give you the guarantee that it’s an assured speed which you will get, constantly. No, it’s not the case, instead, it’s a hope (against hope) that you might get ‘up to’ 3.1 Mbps or 144 Kbps of speed – like a donkey chasing the dangling carrot.

b)      Once you are done with the unlimited recharge, you won’t get any information on your Data usage even if you bang your head on screen to check your balance. Then, all of a sudden, you will get to know, your 5GB Data limit is over and therefore the dreaded ‘speed cap’ of 144Kbps (maximum) is getting inflicted upon your usage until the 30-days validity period finishes.

c)      Under the ‘speed-cap’, all you can afford to do is log in and then keep watching the white screen in front of you. You can definitely get to see a webpage, if you have the patience to welcome Ram after he comes back home from his exile. Otherwise, you can consult a psychologist in case the prevalent frustration pushes you to depression... losing out invaluably valuable time and money – if your business or study is information dependent.

d)     Inevitably, in order to get rid of the devilish ‘speed-cap’, you will try to recharge your Internet account with another recharge option, being fully unaware of the fact that you can’t benefit from that unless and until the agonising validity period of 30-days of the unlimited recharge is over. Rather intentionally, MTS India doesn’t provide you with this IMPORTANT INFORMATION. As a result, you do another recharge but to no avail, so MTS India gets the money but you won’t get the speed you require.

e)      That means, MTS India manages to ensure you recharge twice within 30-days while, in reality, you will be able to use the net for 10 days maximum.

f)       You will try to lodge a complaint against this deceit by calling up the customer care and/or by emailing to the same. While you do so, more often than not, you will get to know the toll-free number doesn’t exist, so you will have no choice but to call up the chargeable number. Means, you have to waste more money.

g)      By the stroke of luck and wasting more than enough time and money on the ridiculous IVR, if you manage to reach a customer care executive, you have to lodge your complaint ideally in Hebrew. For, neither your English nor your Hindi can complement their unique comprehension and communication.

h)      After 5-7 minutes of interaction (read verbal duel), you will get to know the customer care executive is thankful because you called up MTS and you must clean and clear temporary internet files, history, cookies, etc.
 
i)        Bleeding through your mouth and sweating out profusely, if you manage to get your complaint registered for a technical assistance, you will receive a call from a technical person, generally after 48 hours, who will offer you a solution which has nothing to do with your complaint, or is bizarre enough to forget your original complaint or a blatant lie that the issue is resolved whereas nothing is done.

j)        In case you email to the customer care department, you will receive some templated and scripted replies full of inane lines but good enough to frustrate you so much that you will stop writing back. Because it’s really tough to beat an idiot with intelligence.

k)      Once you give up and surrender, you receive either a call or an email from MTS India proclaiming your problem is resolved, so the case is closed.

l)        Being dejected, if you wish to escalate the issue to the Appellate Authority or the Chief Customer Service Delivery Officer, you might experience no better result because corruption happens from top to bottom and unless the senior allows no junior has the audacity to do a mischief.  

m)    Finally, either you have to concede the switching cost and take another service provider’s connection, hoping (against hoping) again that it might be better. However, there is no guarantee, so, as a customer, you get ready to be ‘hanged unto death’ unless of course you are moving to consumer court because you have plenty of time and resources to follow up and stick to your case, religiously.

In a nutshell: If you are willing to be robbed by MTS India of your time and money, use its MBlaze connection. Otherwise, simply drop it and let MTS India face the consequence on the balance-sheet.

To know more about customer experience and how MTS India throws egg shells at customers' face with MBlaze, open this link of reviews: http://www.mouthshut.com/internet-service-providers/MTS-MBlaze-reviews-925592844

Thursday, November 7, 2013

No culture can protect Indian Classical Music unless it helps culture.


On November 04, 2013, Kaushiki Chakraborty – one of the prodigies of Indian Classical Music, who’s been known and admired for her outstanding vocal prowess – tweeted to gauge whether Kolkata – the cultural capital of India has lost its passion for Indian Classical Music (ICM).

Post her concert at Nashik where she witnessed unprecedented involvement of people with ICM, she realised the same kind of yearning is not prevalent anymore in Kolkata.

Not surprising that she floated her concern on the social media. It’s good that she did so unlike many others who sulk and brood in their own circle but feel it’s not politically correct to worry in public because that might give the impression they are regressive and not ready to embrace the professed modernity in line with the digital era where even cacophonies like Kolaveri Di, Lungi Dance, Pyar Ki Pungi Baja Kar, etc. are considered as songs topping the list of favourites on different FM channels; on several TV channels; and at various events on ground.  

The moot question that Kaushiki asked was, if not Indian Classical Music then what Kolkata is passionate about at present!

The question definitely has merit in it and certainly deserves an answer. Not just an answer as a mere reaction but rather an answer which got to be thoughtful for an action.

Though Kaushiki’s question provides with a loose end to jump into the conclusion… as if she meant unless one is passionate about ICM in Kolkata then chances are remote that s/he can’t be passionate about anything else in the city of joy.

But, in my humble opinion, surely, she didn’t mean that.

For a while, if ICM is put aside and the word ‘passion’ is allowed to take the centre stage, it would be much easier to understand that the word ‘passion’ has actually lost and is rapidly losing its meaning in every walk of life to ‘infatuation’ and ‘reaction’. And needless to point out, it’s not the case happening only in Kolkata, in isolation, but it’s the trend almost everywhere across India with a few exceptions here and there, perhaps.

In any society, a cultural change for the better or for the worse doesn’t occur overnight. Such changes go through a process on the basis of socio-economic condition; education; employment; and, last but not least, the value-system – both inherited and imbibed. More than inherited, it’s imbibed values that influence culture and cultural changes in a big way.

Though there has always been a tendency, and still is, to believe that a cultural change takes place suddenly in one generation or culture is the privilege of the elite class, but that’s not true.

Every culture has a heritage and the adaptability to change complementing time in order to be not outdated or ultra-modern.

No culture should ideally be evaluated in light of only music, movie, literature, fashion, etc, instead, ‘day to day behaviour of people’ – involving every class, predominantly the middle-class – in their private life as well as in public needs to be taken into consideration as the yardstick to evaluate culture and its shift or transformation.

Notwithstanding the notion that one’s behaviour depends on his gene, numerous research papers have proven and published that one’s behaviour is mainly governed by his ‘thinking process’ and that thinking process is almost entirely dependent on his ‘personality traits’.

And the biggest challenge is almost nobody knows what their personality traits are, and even if they know they are reluctant to accept, understand and realise that – especially the Neuroticism i.e the ‘emotional instability’ part which affects behaviour rather negatively turning things worse, culturally.

The moment uncultured and unethical behaviour of people at large takes place as a socially acceptable form of protest, performance, communication, education, emotion or entertainment, duly backed up by mainstream and new age media, the decay and decomposition of culture is inevitable irrespective of people’s penchant for a particular genre of music or movie.  

Simply put, such behaviour can hardly be controlled, reduced and eliminated unless people are aware of their personality traits to be and remain ‘emotionally self-aware’, so as to leverage ESA: EMOTIONAL SELF-AWARENESS, without which ‘Self-management’; ‘Social awareness’ and ‘Relationship management’ are simply impossible to create and establish an ecology of culture for excellence and growth.

As a matter of fact, minus ESA, one is always likely to be the victim of ‘psychological pressure’ – as inflicted by family, peers, media, society, nation and the world. Once that starts to happen, it becomes impossible to guard own ground and, since, none can live alone in a human society, willingly or otherwise, a person begins to succumb; his behaviour begins to change, mostly for the worse, so does his culture.

However, it’s a ‘catch 22’ situation, for, one’s ‘personality traits’, which are the basis of his ESA, depend on the factors like morals, ethics, values, beliefs and, of course, gene. Nevertheless, the effect or impact of gene can become insignificant – and rightly so, because none is responsible for his own birth – if the other factors are developed and keep evolving for the better, continuously. This can only be possible, if the socio-economic condition is good; there is the right education (besides and beyond mere literacy and certification); there are enough employment options; and there are enough people who are ‘emotionally self-aware’ to create good values and share them with peers and the next generation.

It means, even if the people of Kolkata turn passionate about ICM that doesn’t necessarily mean they will become culturally rich, automatically.

In fact, it’s the other way round. That is, if the people from a particular place are not culturally rich, it’s tough for them to get passionate about ICM or any other good thing in life.

Hence, the need of the hour is not to make people passionate about just ICM or anything else, which is perceived as good, but to help them realise what culture is all about and, in the process, turn them passionate about it, so they keep improving the same to ensure richness and finesse without compromising on the quality for cheap popularity or any short-term gain.

To do that, what it requires to be done is, develop and evolve ‘Thought Leadership’ in people, so they can ‘lead from within’ without letting their brains get picked up by fundamentalists, clergies, politicians, celebrities, media, brands and technology (but science).

The development and evolution of thought leadership should ideally be instrumented from the nascent stage. That is from schools.

Here, music, precisely Indian Classical Music, could basically be the game changer that can change one’s life and thereby people’s life and culture, for that matter, for the better.

The spatial memory of a child, which boosts his cognitive skills that facilitate his workable memory, comprehension, analysis, creativity, calculation, language, communication and behaviour, could be improved like anything through music.

And if that music is ICM, nothing like it, given its uncompromising ‘Philosophy and Principle’ constructed by ‘Discipline’, ‘Devotion’, ‘Practice’ and ‘Perseverance’ – the four main factors that never let anyone take his talent for granted, or settle for less in case there is not much talent in the first place.

The ground reality is, as long as ICM will remain just a form of music to entertain and enthrall a selective set of people or people at large, it can never unleash its immense power to change things or culture for an productive outcome.

But, if it’s ready to get out of its comfort zone and reach the grassroots level – class, section, caste, creed, community, religion and language inconsequential – things could be totally different and look very promising and positive, gradually.

For that, it’s high time Indian Classical Music maestros and practitioners come forward and get down to the basics of sociology and economics, if they are really willing to protect ICM and create a rich culture for and around it.

Maintaining a safe distance and complaining about the corrosion of culture on the mainstream media or on the social media, frankly, will change nothing. At the most that might be good for PR (Public Relations) because, today, public can very easily relate to someone who helps them indulge in a blame game... believing they are saints but everyone else is a devil spreading evil. 

“We must do something” has long become a clich├ęd phrase of no use – where nobody knows who are we and what needs to be done.

After all, if someone is seriously keen to leverage Indian Classical Music (ICM) for the enrichment of culture across India for socio-economic growth, may feel free to contact us at QESEQ International to be an integral part of a big dream being fully awake and aware before it’s too late.

Our email id is: qeseq.international@gmail.com and my personal id is: rana12feb@gmail.com      

Monday, October 7, 2013

Yes! I'm biased toward Kaushiki Chakraborty. Do you know why?

An informal adda. I was sitting with a Brand Manager of a well-known company and an editor of a newspaper's entertainment page. During our free-whirling and candid conversation, I said, "Shreya is today's Ashaji, while Kaushiki is today's Lataji though no such comparison should be made between people from two different eras." 

Listening to that, both the guys expressed their dissent - especially they are not willing to accept Kaushiki's supremacy. Not only that but also they started to mock me and accused me - though jokingly - of being biased toward Kaushiki

Okay, I don't mind being biased toward Kaushiki; like I have always been biased toward Sourav, Leander, Sunil Gavaskar, Maradona, Kishore Kumar, Satyajit Ray and Charlie Chaplin. 

For a simple reason; each one of them had and has the leadership quality that's hardly been restricted to their own achievements and glories but also inspired many, many others to rebel, be able, and find their own vistas and ways. 

Plus, each of them had and has the capacity to relate to a child and an aged person with an equal penchant. And this is something, not everyone had or has, or can develop just like that by magic. 

In my humble opinion - which anyone can consider as my proclamation or dogmatism though - Kaushiki certainly has that leadership quality that, if exploited properly, can do a world of good across society in India and beyond the national boundary, musically.


Here is my argument to explain why I so strongly feel and believe Kaushiki Chakraborty can help the world change for the better. 

I begin and end with each letter of the word: LEADERSHIP. 

L for Liberation... I frankly don't know what liberation is all about; textbook definition-wise. But - if it's my certitude - let it be, I know it for sure liberation is the balance between liberty in thinking and liberalisation in doing that is very much, in fact profoundly, present in Kaushiki. Which is why, in order to augur or express women's liberation, she never has to overdo anything in the form wardrobe shrinkage on stage or in public appearance, or does hardly get confused with misandry for feminism. Her human essence is far, far greater than just woman eccentricities. In short, she has a thinking head above her shoulders, not over for that matter. No wonder her singing and musical prowess is based on sheer intelligence and purpose but not haywire or a gimmick. 

E for Empathy... I don't think Kaushiki loves the words 'sympathy' and 'apathy'. Instead, her music, as well as her communication signify 'empathy'. Without qualms, the laterlisation of her mind - connection between the left-brain and the right-brain - is of higher standard that helps Kaushiki rather naturally to create cognitive, physical and spiritual empathy with anyone with ease and elan where she remains always approachable but revered - maintaining certain distance from everyone. Means, she's noway overly sentimental but absolutely empathetic and goal oriented. Of course, it's a terrific quality. 

A for Aspiration... I think Kaushiki is not just ambitious. Rather, she has more aspiration than ambition in her. Ambition is a bit selfish, where aspiration is infectious. It's not just objective but subjective as well - a perfect balance between practicality and philosophy: A must thing to succeed and grow as an individual, and as a team. Aspiration is the fulcrum between ambition and inspiration and, no doubt, Kaushiki sits pretty on that fulcrum to enjoy the seesaw of life without being too perturbed. She means business and knows what she is up to.

D for Dream... Without dreaming, it's impossible to do anything, creatively. And what Kaushiki does is not a mundane routine work. Singing, precisely the genre she belongs to, demands higher degrees of creativity. Nonstop. Apparently, it may look all technique and practice, but I don't think so. Unless there is creative juice percolates into one's system, it's simply not possible for one to keep loving her job and performing - often beyond excellence, and that too live. Where there is no question of a retake. Such creativity can only take place if, and only if, there is a dream to do different. In her performance, Kaushiki makes a difference, every time, hence, she and her dreams definitely complement each other. 

E for Energy... Kaushiki invigorates. Yes! She does. On stage, as well as off stage. Her singing is so enchanting and engrossing that it gradually energises one with a sublime touch. It's like a pearl on velvet... an exquisite wine... a smooth surrender to self, emotionally. 

R for Rebellion... Mere submission is just not on the cards for the likes of Kaushiki. If so, she would have never reached where she is at present. Just by adhering to rules and regulation and grammar... none can achieve the feat what Kaushiki had and has already. I've heard from many in media and music fraternity that Kaushiki is bookish. Frankly, to me, that's a baseless judgement, if not an allegation, absolutely rubbish. Had she been only textbook type, she would have never been able to apply herself in several roles with so much of authority, conviction and spontaneity. I am curious to know when was the last time an artiste - who is known worldwide for her classical singing - broke into a jig on stage in a reality show on camera? If this is not rebellious but bookish, well, my continuous yawns then for the armchair critic. 

S for Sacrifice... Obviously, Kaushiki had to and has to sacrifice a lot since childhood to make her mark. Being the daughter of none other than Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty, if she had enjoyed certain privileges, on the contrary, she sure had to bear double responsibility of performing, impeccably, from her tender age. That was no joke. And still it is not. Because, as a performer of her calibre, she simply can't afford to relax; means her sacrifice in life actually has no end. 

H for Humour... Like all the people I mentioned of to exclaim my bias toward, Kaushiki too has a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. Which is dry but full of wit. On the surface, she might project herself as a very serious and no nonsense person, but is she? Well, I have my doubts. Her cheekiness is well camouflaged, which, given an opportunity, comes out at full throttle for sure.

I for Integrity... To me, integrity is the mixture of personality, honesty, principles, values, ethics and etiquette. Now, I guess, even the worst of enemies of Kaushiki can't afford to say that her personality is intimidating or weird; she is dishonest; she doesn't have principles, values and ethics; and she doesn't show etiquette. As a matter of fact, Kaushiki epitomises integrity. I am not getting into any unnecessary debate on how true it is. If it was false, there should have been a proof of it. But so far, there is nothing. So, there is no realistic reason to suspect Kaushiki's integrity. 

P for Perseverance... Where talent stops, perseverance begins. It's the one and only factor that sets a champion apart from the pack. Not necessary the champion has to be recognised by all. But what really matters is how a person looks up to self everyday to grow a notch up than what she was on the previous day. Motivating self is practically more than a Herculean task, and it needs tremendous amount of perseverance which is nothing but agonising and painful as well. The sustenance and sustainability of Kaushiki, amidst so much of competition (including setbacks and upsets), speaks volumes for her ability to persevere. 


Given all these, it goes without saying... Kaushiki can lead and literally prime move a social revolution through music... helping society - especially the youth develop and evolve into better citizens for an overall growth of ecology and economy. 

In fact, if she comes forward... getting into a leadership role, Indian Classical Music and Indian Music per se could be used to enrich lives like anything. When children, students, corporate employees, professionals, women, and people at large will benefit, immensely, from the 'Power of Music'. 

Once it's done, the socio-economic landscape will start changing... heralding a brighter future where wealth-inequality will start to reduce gradually. The demon of capitalism and consumerism will die, and peace will prevail all around. And this peace movement can go beyond India and engulf the entire world with love, compassion, respect, sanity and humanity. That are totally missing nowadays in the cauldron of deprivation, suffocation, deceit, corruption, rage and outrage. 

After all, the Gulab Gang is possible, if Kaushiki Chakraborty dons a new hat and gets out of her comfort zone, to make earth the paradise of roses... indeed. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

An open letter to help Sir Martin Sorrell.

On August 13, 2013, Sir Martin Sorrell wrote the piece: "Why Most of Our Business Will Be in Fast-Growth Markets and Digital Within 5 Years" http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130813113346-237838958-why-most-of-our-business-will-be-in-fast-growth-markets-and-digital-within-5-years?trk=mp-reader-card on LinkedIn to give an idea of his business expansion plan into the new market.


The last line of his article reads as: "More to come shortly, and if there’s anybody out there who wants to help us, let me know."

And since he did that I thought why not write to him because I'm always out there to help whoever asks for it! 

So here is my open letter to Sir Martin Sorrell in case that helps.


Dear Martin,

Hope, you won't mind, if I call you "Martin" but "Sir."

No disrespect intended to your ability, achievements, authority, position, pride and prudence. But I rather prefer a name to a Title or a Surname.

WHY SO?

Because a name is one's identity (Value and Values), whereas everything else is his incentive and increment (Price). And we pay the price to get the value and generate values in business or in personal life.

In this arrangement - which is comprised of psychography (no more just demography across geography) communications, behaviour, understanding, action, reaction and empathy - we basically form and firm up relationships.

To be precise, 'Human Relationships'.

If I feel, I am just commenting on Sir Martin Sorrell's article, frankly, that's no value to me. However, if I feel, I am interacting with Martin that's value to me. For, we don't sell a car or a pizza to a tablet or a smart phone, we rather sell it to a user of such smart or digital gadgets, who is a human.

So understanding him by his 'personality traits' on the basis of FFM (Five Factor Model) i.e. OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion (or Extroversion), Agreeableness and Neuroticism is much more important than knowing and understanding about him and his behaviour.

In light of that, I don't really think your business model and process is People Ready though yeah, I fully agree and buy into the fact, that your business model and process is always 'Profitable'.

However, if I look at and into any business - even if that's a grocery shop - profit is a given factor in it, which is of course valuable but not valued. (To me at least).

So, your strategy: "new markets, new media, data investment management and last but not least 'horizontality'" is not simple but very complex because it didn't EXCLAIM: 'new people!' for 'new markets'; 'new idea!' for 'new media'; 'empathy investment management!' for 'data investment management'.

Just the reason, buying into your logic of 'horizontality' is tough, since you are actually not offering any 'horizontality' but 'verticality' to ensure 'Instant Profit and Profit' only which should not necessarily be considered as 'growth' for that matter.


We must not forget, even if we are 'Number 1' in the league, "a rat in the rat race remains a rat only even after winning, everywhere."

Plus, a 'new media' shouldn't be overestimated as a 'new idea' because, in any business, none can afford to forget the Hierarchy of Needs, duly and aptly defined by Maslow, so as to convey it subtly: "Do the basics right to grow on the same."

Big Data is of no use, practically, unless it's turned into the 'right data'. And the reality is, most of the data poached online is fallible, since, we humans love to camouflage and thrive on day-to-day hypocrisy.

Having said all these, what I mean to say is, if, in your business model and process, there is no room for 'People and their EE (Emotional Excellence)' but only numbers, then, it's simply defying the basic premise of business: "Society doesn't belong to market but market belongs to society."

Therefore, if expansion counts and growth matters at all beyond the balance sheet, 'new markets' got to be defined by an 'Extreme Empathy' that will augur: "New People! New Society!"

Because only that forms Congruence which eventually ensures profit and, most importantly, growth. 


In a nutshell, CSR is the key, which, in my humble opinion: "Compassionate Selling Responsibility."

Felt like writing to you at length, because you ended your article with a sincere call to action: "More to come shortly, and if there’s anybody out there who wants to help us, let me know."

Bottom-line is: "I am ready to help, if you are open to 'new idea(s)' besides 'new media'."

More so, as India is evolving differently (or should I say indifferently) and it's certainly NOT what is palpable in mainstream media or social media.

Hence, if you wish to take this dialogue forward, feel free to write to me at: rana12feb@gmail.com.

Would be happy to help!

Regards, 

Sushovan

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Middle-class JOINT FAMILIES are the key to any Economy and Social Security.

Do you agree that economy influences social behaviour i.e one's economic state is directly proportional to his/her social behaviour? 

For instance: Today I have enough money for not to worry about anything, so my behaviour is pretty sober and sophisticated, but if tomorrow, I am forced to reel under financial pressure, my behaviour will change, and if my economic condition keeps deteriorating, it might so happen that I will end up being an anti-social in order to survive. 

I guess you too also agree to the fact that when the stomach is empty... no education, no culture, no background really matter, because an empty stomach only produces gas and gas hits one's heart and mind very badly. 

Nothing philosophical but quite practical, I reckon. 

In this situation, people, I am talking about retail investors, precisely the middle-class, need to save first and then invest for wealth generation, so as to create some hedging for their future and then try to make the future brighter. 

But what it seems, at least if I go by the burgeoning consumerism, the spending is getting higher everyday, whilst no substantial growth in real income is visible.

If it continues like that, the middle-class will slide down to the lower-class, while the upper-class will grow fatter. 

The wealth-inequality will be greater, and thanks to the extinct of the middle-class, the servility in profession, in business and in society will increase. 

This will spawn and spur a severe social unrest, leading to social wars in every nook and corner of India, as well as across the world.

So, what apparently seems to be nothing is actually a sleeping volcano, which all of us are fueling up with our 'why should I care' attitude and approach. 

However, we are forgetting one simple thing that our respective families belong to society and a political environment, but it's not the other way round.

 
Which is why, unless and until society and that political environment are fit and healthy enough, the safety and security of ours is on tenterhooks. More so, as not everyone of us can be in the upper-class, for, it never happens that way, since the real-life is not made in Bollywood or Hollywood for that matter.   

WHAT TO DO THEN? 

Of course, there is one and only remedy and that is to protect the middle-class and their interest by hook or by crook, so their economic state remains stable; they are able to save and invest, and, in the process, their social behaviour remains value-driven, as it has always been, but not just money-driven. 

To do so, a retrospective outlook and action is a must, which will help the social construct get rebuilt on the basis of JOINT FAMILY.

 
Because, only that can help retail investors come back to the market for wealth generation through more savings and investment, and if they do so, the wealth-inequality will start to reduce, promising more social security on the basis of people's 'positive social behaviour'.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Without the Congruent EQ and EE, a Brand is DEAD today on demography and big data.

Given the digital hype, hoopla and hysteria, and the penetration of the Internet into lives, especially due to the proliferation of social media - though sporadic and overestimated in light of Big Data - I don't think, category-drive by 'demographic' market segmentation is sane anymore.

'Psychography', in place of demography, is an absolute must if a brand is really eager to capitalise on the present scenario, as well as willing to create a future instead of just reacting to the future - near or distant. 

One thing, which I have been watching very closely, is that almost no brand is game to comprehend the very basic that society doesn't belong to market but it's just the other way round. So, the 'product-push' for trying to create an environment of consumerism is fine because sales is much needed, but at the same time, only sales can never save a brand - irrespective of its size and volume. 

Another thing, brands are failing to take into account is... 'internal communication and training' to make business 'people ready'. For, no product or service is getting sold to zombies or robots but humans, hence big data is not even 20% of the job, needed to be done, unless proper understanding of 'consumer behaviour' is there. 

Which is why, 'congruent emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) and emotional excellence (EE)' for management, for employees, for stake holders, and for market is a must, minus which productivity and growth are bound to suffer, today or tomorrow. 

Without the 'congruent EQ and EE', it's simply impossible to leverage on the CRM, ignoring which is yet another trap brands do open rather unknowingly or by riding on their pomp, if not pomposity, so as to reach their graves in no real time. 

It needs no rocket science to understand actually and factually that 'employees and channel partners' are the best and most loyal customers a brand can afford to have, whereas, on the other hand, customers vis-a-vis consumers (prospects included) are the real sales force awaiting to turn into brand evangelists, if served and satisfied at an emotional level via functional offerings. 

Just the reason, investing on Training, Internal Communications, CRM and CSR are imperative today for a brand's sustainability and growth through 'people readiness', exploiting science, psychology, and, to some extent, philosophy, that are neither templated nor just technology. 

It requires a different kind of investment on TIME (which is more precious than Money is, because one moment lost is lost forever, but one Rupee lost can be earned later on even as 100 Rupees), IDEA, INTENT, and, most importantly, EMOTION (which is no sentimental outbursts though; thus should be devoid of 'Neuroticism' i.e. Emotional Instability). 

In case you care to know, understand and realise these 'sure success' things in a bit dipstick way, please look at and into the snaps below: 

(Click on them to enlarge)



 
I reckon they have given a fair idea what needs to be done for a business / brand in modern times. 

In short, marketing and marketing communications are all great things to do, provided you are open to accept that it's not IIMs that made or make you happen, but it's you and many others like you i.e. 'Humans' who made and make IIMs tick, drawing people's awe to the Brand IIM. 

Give this, if you are interested to make things happen, productively, eliminating all the chances of going haywire in the name of marketing and marketing communications, think of Training, seriously and sincerely. 

And for that, we, at QESEQ International in association with Teamcoach International (Malaysia), are ready to get things done 'with you for you'... in order to help you leverage on the 'Congruent EQ and EE' through the LPI -Leonard Personality Inventory - which is based on FFM (Five Factor Model) of Personality Trait Identification and Decoding, and is much better than the MBTI Personality Test Model which is incomplete, incompetent and doesn't even address the most important factor of one's Personality i.e. 'Neuroticism'.

To reach us, all you need to do is, just send an email at qeseq.international@gmail.com

PS: You may not write to us immediately, if you have enough time, money, energy and emotion to waste and can watch, happily, how others, including your competitors, succeed for sure.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Becoming a loafer from a copy writer wasn't easy. Modelling is a tough thing.


If a man grows his muscles, precisely biceps, and a woman reduces her waistline and begins to show her 2-4" cleavage, here and there, it's a general notion, what I have been seeing post 2002, that ‎#Modelling is the profession one can opt for and make lots of money, attain fame, attend Page 3 parties, do some bed-warming at Hotel Kenilworth, Kolkata and think Bollywood is the next destination. 

No harm in dreaming big, in fact it is good, even if reveries, but one simple thing needs to be understood that Modelling in ads (not adds, okay?) is 180-degree opposite to doing the Catwalk on the ramp.

I have nothing to say about the ramp because Fashion has never been my domain. But since, ‎#advertising is very much my domain and where I have the authority to say, whatever I wish to, my humble suggestion is: "It's always wiser to learn 'how to manipulate expressions' before facing the camera, especially to make a portfolio, which, over 90% cases, creative directors in various ad agencies across India, just throw away."

At least I simply send those portfolios to the bin where I see a girl's eyes-lips coordination is all over the place, or she is showing her flesh but giving the expression of a nun, as if praying to Jesus for an assignment. Or a guy in dhoti-punjabi is sporting a look, as if he has gobbled a sardine alive without water.

In commercials, be it TVC or Corporate Films, still there are scopes to portray the right expression but in still ads there is hardly any scope to give the right expression unless one understands what the character in the communication demands.

In ads, modelling is even tougher than acting in a film, to some extent. And there... looks, make-ups, boobs, biceps, etc. come much later but what comes first is understanding the communication need and then the character in it.

For example: One fine evening, I got a call from Subhendhu, who's now with Response, but earlier was with Inner Circle, throwing a modelling challenge to me  for next day early morning. And Subhendhu - the then art director of Inner Circle - hardly gives any opportunity to negotiate or say, "No" to him.

The character was of a loafer - the elements who are seen in every nook and corner of India, especially in Kolkata, and who actually become glorified with an opportunity to raise their collars at the drop of a hat and think they are the Alexanders when asked to organize and look after any event... from a Shradh to a Puja.

Plus, the character needed to deliver a dialogue that would be used as verbatim.

And my experience in front of camera was limited to passport-size photographs then, while behind the camera experience doesn't really help one act in front. Moreover, in such a short notice without seeing any layout even.

So not only the butterfly but also the insect kingdom, I was feeling inside my stomach. And that too, under the spell of Subhendhu's grilling.

Then I just closed myself from me. I got into the character. I forgot who the fuck I'm, actually.

Once I'm done with the characterization in my mind, I started to think of my shortcomings. I realized my hands are a real problem, because they are disproportionate and longer than necessary. My eyes are overtly expressive and big to fit in the character. And the T-shirt I wore didn't have the collar which could remain raised automatically. And after a goodnight sleep my face got a bit heavy, if not swollen that way.

So, what I did was, I used one of my hands to raise the collar of my T and the other to emphasize on the airy 'atti-cum-confi' part... harping on the words 'Behspati Tunge' (luck is shining on us / me). And I angled the elbow in a manner that it got rid of the excessive length of my hand. I also kept the thumb up, so as to complement the overconfidence 'Ebar aamrai pabo' (this time we'll get it for sure) of winning the competition. In the process, I delivered the dialogue rather manipulatively and held on to the expression for longer for the shutter to drop, so my big eyes got shrunk and the face lost its heaviness.

The take was okay and everyone got satisfied within 15 minutes.

The ad came out in the newspaper, as well as on the hoarding across Kolkata and made my life quite miserable, consequently, for two to three months when I became an object of laughter to anyone, everyone on road.

I felt like sharing this once again to give a real-life case-study on how to manipulate expression character-wise. But of course not to pat on my back. I actually had more than enough of those pats in my life, so require no more.

But in case it helps, I will be glad!

Last, but not the least, Modelling is NOT projecting your assets. Instead, it's all about presenting a character believably meeting a communication need, by hiding your liabilities.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

ABCDE, 5 points, how Indian advertising can get over Cannes Lions 2013 WHITEWASH


#Cannes 2013:

No #Film Shortlists for India. Of the 3125 Film entries received this year, 285 have been shortlisted. These don't include any Indian entries. 

NOTE: In India, the calibre of a #creative guy is always measured by his #TVC churning ability. 

Now, 5 Indian entries make it to the Film #Craft shortlist. 

What is this 'Film Craft' all about? 

Drooling over mere #execution minus any #idea.

But, both clients and agencies know advertising is about BIG IDEA first and then the creative execution.





#Advertising is no DTP #Business. That its growth can be measured by Billing Amount.

It's a #creative business to ensure a #brand sails through despite all adversities in a market or in different markets.

So, the role of an advertising agency is not anymore the role of an agency.

Today, an agency has to deliver like a business partner, getting itself involved in the#marketing process from the word go, bearing more responsibilities to justify its scale of service and solutions and its fee.

Otherwise, clients DO NOT need any BIG agency #network for that matter.

Also, #InternalCommunication and #Training are a must, because without that a brand is going to lose its face and loose its belt to consumer and to customer, thereby sending the #CRM process for a toss - despite gathering the world of data and investing on the latest business analytics, software and tools.

In this regard, funny #demography works no more. Time to implement #psychography - for employees first and then for customers.

And on the rewards and awards front, the need of the hour is to plan for a different system altogether. Which should keep the following points on mind, rather engrave in mind:

A) To reward through awards only consumer / customer effectiveness - without that advertising is either art or poetry; sorry, neither of them helps selling or sales

B) To organize a Bigger Award show than Cannes in India to set an 'indigenous global standard' than trying to ape others doing the monkey business which is not advertising, anyway

C) To value ideas first then execution in a creative - one needs eggs or chickens first to make omelettes or chicken curries

D) To evaluate a creative person based on his depth and understanding of advertising, not by how many TVCs he has in his portfolio or how many times has run on the beach in Goa or Cannes

E) To make passionate ad people in-house alongside making good ads. Who are not passionate should be sacked on an immediate basis, because their EMI hunger is not helping the business