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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why GDP growth might endanger the economy of India: A commonsense POV

I’m not an economist. I’m not a financial maverick either. So whatever I say and write about economics and finance might not be right, essentially. At the same time, that is not wrong, automatically. “For, the opposite of right is not always wrong.” Just like the opposite of light is not always darkness, as darkness is nothing but a huge scarcity of light and the huge scarcity of light is not opposite to light.

Exactly in the same way, GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth doesn’t necessarily mean the growth of an economy unless and until the income (real and relative) of people gets increased in a country.

There are many arguments that can be put forth to prove the ineptness of GDP for an economic growth. However, in my humble opinion, SUBSTITUTION EFFECT is a much better way to do that – since, it’s very easy to comprehend.

But easy comprehension doesn’t guarantee that something is unquestionable or doubtless; hence, no such claim or presumption should be made that SUBSTITUTION EFFECT is a full-proof mechanism.

Let’s take for granted:
a)      q1 = superior goods’ price and q2 = inferior goods’ price
b)      One’s income (p1) is fixed, thinking it’s only his real income minus any relative component attached to that

Now, assume one consumes 11-unit of goods at q1 and 8-unit of goods at q2 per month – which is shown with the point (A) on the indifference curve. The tangent onto this curve is the initial budget line for the consumer.

[See the graph below]

In case, there is an increase at q1 as against q2, q3, q4, etc., a change occurs in the consumption pattern due to which the point (A) becomes the point (E).

In that situation, the consumer consumes 4-unit of superior goods and 10-unit of inferior goods and his budget line gets shifted drastically adjusting to the price change happened along q1, as well as to his income change, since, the moment he was compelled to use inferior products he turned worse off than before.

However, that is not considered given the assumption that his real income (p1) is fixed. The shifted and subsequent budget line is the tangent onto the indifference curve on which (E) is established.

But, as the real income is fixed, the consumer tries to further adjust to the situation by balancing between the initial budget line and the subsequent budget line with his disposable income, because, in an economy, everyone always tries to get better off i.e. to use superior goods.

So, the consumer pushes his consumption of superiors goods close to 8-unit along q1 from 4 that consequently increases the consumption of inferior goods close to 15-unit from 10 along q2.

That is shown with the point (G) on the same indifference curve which holds the point (A) because the real income is fixed. The tangent drawn onto the curve touching the point (G) and parallel to the subsequent budget line becomes the ‘ideal budget line’ in the changing or testing condition while a price rise (of superior goods only by default) takes place.

The difference between the point (E) and the point (G) is the ‘substitution effect’, consumers often indulge in, even during inflation, that eventually helps the GDP growth. Whereas such growth doesn’t mean any increase in the real income thereby hardly helps one’s savings. And if savings is not possible, one cannot invest in Education because scholarships are not available at every standard and to everyone. Once investment is not done in Education, Human Capital tends to become non-productive and in the process, a nation’s overall productivity and intelligence hampers so does the Economy.  

This boils down to the fact that if without increasing the real income options i.e. employments, if only GDP growth is targeted through consumerism, the economy of a nation can never grow. Instead, that economy turns brittle and obscure, and always remains developing being perpetually underdeveloped.

Make no mistake that is THE danger, Indian Economy is exposed to. Unless, of course, India seriously thinks to increase its employment elasticity by patronising manufacturing sector more and more that will eventually help the service industries like IT, Telecom, Banking, et al.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Idea Cellular's latest TVC maintains the Brand's PHONY ideas to change lives.

Idea Cellular rolls out its new TVC in line with the Brand's core idea 'What an Idea'. 

As believed, Idea always addresses a social issue - be it environment protection or caste; politics or birth control - in a big way with its campaigns, this time also it has done nothing different to alienate the brand-core from its audience. 

Although Idea has dropped Junior Bachchan from the commercial which is of course a welcome change, to say the least. 

With the commercial, Idea tries to address, attend and solve a marital discord - often takes place between two 'we-love-to-war-for-nothing' parties called husband and wife.  

The commercial is very neatly made; having an engrossing story; holding repeat view possibilities and, most importantly, as Arun Iyer - National Creative Director, Lowe Lintas & Partners - explained to, has 'telephony ideas' that can change people's life.

See the commercial here:

However, here the question arises - what's always been there in fact: "Does Idea Cellular thrive on 'telephony ideas' only or on something 'phony' too which has nothing to do with social issues in reality?"  

For instance, to save trees while digital reading on mobile phones was promoted by Idea, what was, or still is, the brand's stance on the e-waste issue, which is one of India's major environmental problems, more so, given the fact that India is one of the dump yards for e-waste to the developed countries? 

Likewise, if a tiff or differences in a relationship is needed to be solved by a 'telephone exchange' only (pun intended; however that pun will hardly be understood by anyone unless the person has read Ashwini's article on, then in order to sell their mobile connection, Idea Cellular is actually using social issues, not solving that.

Probably the brand is not aware of the fact that globally mobile phones are recognised as one of the prime contributors to spoiling human relationships.

Plus, it's also not necessary for two persons to have two identical mobile phones so as to overlook that their phones got exchanged, even if they were in a great hurry.  

So, if Idea's idea is to ride on 'phony ideas' to change people's life, as usual, the brand has hit the bull's eye. But if it claims to have created 'telephony ideas' to change people's life, or for that matter, have tried to solve a familial problem for the greater interest of society, then that was NOT the case for sure. 

Because in the said TVC, mobile phones were NOT solving a relationship problem. Instead, mobile phones were presented as 'indispensable organs like minds and hearts' for understanding human relationships. And portraying that is not only dangerous but also a manufactured effort to commercialise every relationship that people otherwise enjoy or would have enjoyed rather naturally minus phones, tablets, etc. 

Hence the content and the intent of Idea's latest TVC "Ek doosre ko samajhne ke liye telephone exchange... What an idea!" are neither positive nor pragmatic nor prudent. But yet another push selling trick, involving kids as the influencer i.e. baits.

That's it and that's all.

Finally, "the smarter the phone the dumber the people" cannot be a marketing ploy even if a creative shows that a kid was smarter enough to get two smart phones swapped between two mature (but dumb) people. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

SWOT Analysis of India vis-a-vis Narendra Modi's speech at SRCC, Delhi.

Thanks to his 'development politics' and 'vision for the youth' speech, Mr. Narendra Modi, Honourable Chief Minister, Gujarat stole the show at Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi. 

It was really heartening to watch and listen to a politician of his age who didn't use even a single word to malign an opponent or didn't talk about caste, religion, scam, corruption, rape, etc., instead simply augured a change for the better and presented a larger picture to Brand India as Super India. 

Here's the YouTube Link of his entire speech: 

However, what NaMo delivered at SRCC, Delhi was not alien to me, since, on January 06, 2013, I wrote almost the same thing on Facebook to initiate a social movement, exploiting the social media, on how to Brand India as Super India. 

And for that, I did an in-depth SWOT Analysis based on which any Political Party, Media, and Corporate House, if willing, can actually do many better things in India, for India, ushering in positive changes, courtesy which the entire world will benefit, well and truly in line with the concept of globalisation. 

Here it goes... 

Change India for the better 

SWOT analysis of India in order zero in on the Opportunity Pockets – to be created for a Social Reform based on nothing but sheer COMMONSENSE and MIND-POWER.

Though I wrote Social Reform but whatever I shared below, I did that in keeping with THE single-minded objective; that is to BRAND INDIA as SUPER INDIA for THOUGHT LEADERSHIP.

So, here it goes –


1.     Geographically well placed, so that way not vulnerable to natural disasters or catastrophes like Japan – that is always prone to earthquakes
2.     Abundant natural resources in spite of continuous environmental changes happening worldwide
3.     Manpower for any job to execute. English speaking cost-effective workforce  
4.     Unity in diversity despite jingoism and regional or local fights – happen everywhere in the world
5.     Unprecedented level of tolerance even when everything is going against and unmatched acceptability and adaptability to any condition – hostility notwithstanding
6.     Agriculture, undoubtedly the No.1 industry still, however needs a sea-change to embrace the latest technology and process for increasing productivity and profit
7.     Joint family for greater social security – easily available at home
8.     Rich heritage and culture on account of literature, science, music, cinema, performing art, art & sculpture, spirituality and, most importantly, sex – not to forget the legacy of Kamasutra  
9.     Hinduism – Swami Vivekananda defined – but not any Subramanian Swamy defined Hindutva. That has always been in favour of ‘women liberation’ and ‘youth power’ and has maintained a perfect balance between Capitalism and Communism
10.Perhaps world’s best destination for sojourns, tours and pilgrimages
11.Steady economy, though not developed as yet, irrespective of global market fluctuations and turmoil  
12.Much higher level of IQ, EQ (Emotional Quotient), and SQ (Spiritual Quotient) on an average than the US
13.Freedom of speech and action and an overall democracy in every walk of life


1.     Zero ambition for a collective growth as a nation; tremendous amount of selfishness; and laziness to think beyond the obvious or go and do beyond the comfort zone
2.     Colonial hangover unlike an independent country
3.     Talent exodus, regionally, as well as nationally, for individual success and growth
4.     Nuclear family syndrome, thereby thinking the world is a cocoon or well
5.     Over lenience on technology and electronic gadgets like mobile and tablets – even at the age when that are not needed at all, realistically. And that too, at the cost of books. Precisely story books
6.     ‘One coat fit to all’ education system from the school level that ensures more certificates than knowledge and shows off higher literacy rate by hook or by crook on the basis of one’s signing ability only
7.     Number game and rat race everywhere, in almost every educational institute, where rank precedes experiment or innovation in any field
8.     Marriage – as a mechanism of social acceptance and privileges and generation extension and expansion
9.     Mushrooming growth of average talent in every sphere minus any depth for that matter
10.Multi-language – a barrier for intra-nation communication and comprehension
11.A huge difference in living, lifestyle and culture between the urban society and the rural lives – a mobile phone usage or a cyber café is not even near adequacy to bridge up that chasm
12.Healthcare and hygiene – totally amiss or missed in the larger part of the country
13.Religious fundamentalism and fanaticism and caste and quota ploys to create unrest among lives
14.Tremendous decay of COMMONSENSE even to address a simple problem and solve that with a simpler solution and almost zero knowledge about Indian history and its rich heritage
15.Lack of interest in playing different games, as sports forever neglected by people at large
16.Defunct constitution that actually mars almost everything from political system to law and order to legal proceedings
17.No sex education
18.Unemployment or wrong employment
19.No sense of punctuality and discipline and leadership
20.Dichotomy, hypocrisy, lies, loose morals and corruption  


1.     Corrosion in social structure and a perpetual damage to it, compromising on the middle-class values i.e. the lubricant for an increased friction between the upper-class and the lower-class
2.     Dearth of talent, courtesy talent exodus and average talent or mediocrity
3.     War between Misogyny and Feminism, when the former will rule the rural society and the latter will sway the urban society, resulting added friction but no solution
4.     Consumerism will take place but not to boost up production at home. This will rather create a need gap thereby open up more import options to exports, making India a trader market, exactly what the Brit wanted to make of India and now the US and China do and will
5.     More and more rage and outrage and reaction and problem citation but no leadership or motivation to find a solution
6.     Flood of information, mostly wrong and unwanted, as fed by media to help advertisers ride on TRPs and GRPs in line with Consumerism
7.     Hypocrisy of political parties duly exploiting the unemployed and outrageous youth with religious and caste dopes
8.     External forces like Pakistan, China, and of course the US, willing to induce terrorism, cheap quality products and volatile economy
9.     Corporate mafias who will ensure bailouts thanks to the tax people give to a state Govt., if in need, and great margins while on song, but won’t really address and attend social issues
10.Epidemic diseases, malnutrition, female infanticide, rape, trafficking, drugs, etc. – the evils will crop up
11.Injustice towards anyone weak – not only towards women and children – will be a part and parcel of life… gradually sliding towards cannibalism
12.Baba-ism, Amma-ism, Astrology, Sathsang, etc. will be deep-rooted to syndicate flesh trade, slavery, drug peddling, and trafficking under the wrap of Dharma
13.Unreasonable parental demands on children’s education to marriage to job will continue
14.Cancerous growth of electronic and digital media at the cost of print media to excite one react immediately in the name of interaction without putting much thought into an action will take place
15.Lack of confidence in the youth to think and do anything new, fresh and innovative will rise; however loads of false ego, attitude and arrogance will develop in them to exude the ‘I am cool’ image


1.     Spreading Hinduism minus any fundamentalism, fanaticism or extremism of Hindutva among people to embrace the good things of Islamism, Buddhism and Christianity to create an open religion that’s plain and simple Humanism for Humanity for Humans
2.     Increasing the SQ – Spiritual Quotient based on day to experience of life, mostly to get rid of greed and the fear factor that makes one insecure of everything and everyone including self
3.     Creating n-number of micro societies, kind of a co-operative, to help, support and co-operate, say 200 people at a given locality. This will help get back the ‘joint family’ system to some extent minimizing one’s tension for social security
4.     Expanding the employment opportunities rather exponentially by taking care of and patronizing sports, music, art, performing art, cinema, advertising, media, healthcare, hospitality and tourism like anything because all these have a global acceptance
5.     If the abovementioned point is looked after, the pressure on regular or mainstream academics would be reduced, so people will get proper education, not just certificates
6.     The modernization of agriculture cannot be possible unless the basic infrastructure is in place. And for that, construction of roads is the most essential whereas it will also pave the way for industrialization as a whole  
7.     Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) towards healthcare, education, sports, music, art, visual and performing art, hospitality and tourism, and various social issues got to be redefined, so people rather become ‘Brand Evangelist’ to just customers and take a Brand worldwide wherever they go. Time for corporates to understand, customers belong to society more than society belongs to customers
8.     Web, precisely Social Media like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, for the urban audience and radio for both the urban and rural audience hold immense potentiality to becoming a parallel media for ‘Responsible Journalism’ reducing the fabricated tension and hoopla catered to lives on the Idiot Box. And if that was done, people’s reaction would be controlled and get manifested into substantial action, solutions and LEADERSHIP. This can also create employment opportunity, if corporates know how to exploit that for their PR gain, plus that will put grapevine channels under serious threats to offer only believable and true news. In the process, this parallel media will be a great help to Police and administration as well
9.     Positive reporting to negative news – highlighting the good news more and in lion proportions than covering the negative news. For, as per criminal psychology it’s often experienced, criminals are generally blunt, their shrewdness notwithstanding, so there is a tendency among them to delve into the idea whatever gets a media mention is perhaps a great thing to do or indulge in to gain power    
10.Understanding marriage, not as a social label or hallmark to qualify a relationship happens between a man and a woman, in order to reduce the number of dowry deaths or divorces
11.Proliferation of sexology and sex education to minimize the mental disorder or perversion like rape, gang rape, paedophile, incest, etc. There is no need to control sex, but the burning need is to educate, organize and streamline sex as an integral part and a good habit of life minus packaging and marketing that as a sin or taboo or any flesh fair to be precise   
12.Entrepreneurship over a cushy or secure job, even if starts from home, should be pushed, favoured and propelled by all, to help it get organized… so that it can eventually become an employment option for 5-10 people at least  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oh, Yes, Abhi, JWT must hire a genuine creative team for Pepsi.

With due respect to Sharon Stone and her cross legs, one cannot help but think – in case he or she can think – that Basic Instinct is no pro bono. Instead, it IS a (bad) quality or trait which suits animals the most. However, to be precise, that doesn’t even suit the animals like Tigers, Lions, Elephants, etc. who belong to the upper echelon of the animal kingdom and use their brains to get a job done – be it hunting for food, or fighting against an enemy to survive, or simply to protect themselves or the clan.  

This underlines the fact that in order to react and act, productively, one needs to think first. And no such thinking is possible unless one has some patience in him or her to do that.

It’s often believed and tried to establish that THE YOUTH cannot be patient. Rather they are expected to be impatient, always.

Does that mean, THE YOUTH are not even animals of the higher class, so are not entitled or qualified to think thanks to their IMPATIENCE before a reaction and/or an action?

The answer is, a BIG and EMPHATIC “NO”, right? Then what’s the ulterior motive and vested interest of an Iconic Youth Brand like Pepsi to thrive on the BIG IDEA: IMPATIENCE (in the Youth of India) by rolling out a TVC and the entire campaign called: Oh, Yes, Abhi (Oh, Yes, Right Now)?

Had it been any other Brand but Pepsi then a benefit of doubt could have been offered, buying into the logic that the said Brand doesn’t have much idea of Human Psychology and Behaviour.

Whereas that logic doesn’t really work as an alibi for Pepsi, which is neither a new entrant in India nor naïve about things like: consumer insight, cultural change and social impact.  

For that, it automatically becomes hard to believe that Pepsi didn’t or doesn’t understand the Lifecycle of IMPATIENCE in one's life that flows – irrespective of geography or demography – like this: Impatience in Baby = Cuteness > Impatience in Child = Activity > Impatience in Kid = Inattentiveness > Impatience in YOUTH = STUPIDITY > Impatience in Elder = Immaturity > Impatience in Old = Insanity.

In fact, it needs NO rocket science or rocket scientist... so as to realise, ‘glory, success, achievements, accomplishment, etc.’ have NEVER been, nor can ever be the manifestation of one's IMPATIENCE.

That’s why; while Deepika Warrier, VP - Marketing, beverages, PepsiCo India, explained that 'Oh, Yes, Abhi' translated into 'Live for the present as tomorrow is too late', it rather spoke volumes for the hollowness – quite palpable in the thought process.

Surjo Dutt, ECD – JWT India (the creative agency that crafted this campaign), may also defend the idea for over 1000 times, if not more, by quoting, "Pepsi is not a guru; it's a mirror. It mirrors what the youth are feeling already. The youth feel the way they feel; for them, impatience is already a virtue. Brands that can catch onto what they are feeling are the ones that connect with the youth." But then, he probably has NO idea that a mirror hardly reflects a truth.

Being an advertising professional for ages and being an ECD – Executive Creative Director, he should’ve had the PATIENCE, not IMPATIENCE, to understand that in a mirror, one gets to see his/her left hand as the right hand; means an EXTREME OPPOSITE to the reality.

Plus, if IMPATIENCE in the YOUTH is already a ‘virtue’, THE virtue should ideally NEVER have been projected and presented in a TVC – having three super stars: Priyanka Chopra, Ranbir Kapoor and Mahendra Singh Dhoni – just to showcase an impromptu zig towards a dance floor to get into the groove, or  a new haircut on a girl, or a tattoo in making, or a mad rush braving an unnerving traffic jam for some junk food, or hitting a sixer to dance on field...

Effervescence, fizz and coolness of Pepsi doesn’t really boil down to doing something as mindless as shown in the ‘Oh, Yes, Abhi’ TVC… being zombies to impulses or sudden rush of blood i.e. IMPATIENCE. Not to mention, that rush of blood is already a taken positioning and overused by the rival camp’s Thums Up in the same product category.

However, if Pepsi was really serious about exploiting IMPATIENCE... “the trait turned virtue” in line with JWT’s claim, the Brand would’ve done a far, far, far better job than the current, not even mediocre, TVC. And to do so, IMPATIENCE could have jolly well been used as: Impatience to negotiate > Impatience to care > Impatience to solve > Impatience to lead > Impatience to accomplish... duly complementing the YOUTH of India’s real aspirations today that seek BIGGER ROLES.

Otherwise, not only Coca-Cola will beat Pepsi again in the race of India's most trusted Brand in Aerated Soft drinks but also some Nimbu Paani might do the same, if commonsense prevails and the YOUTH of India deny to act as puppets of consumerism anymore.

So, “Oh, Yes, Abhi, JWT must hire a genuine creative team to handle Pepsi.”