Sunday, February 3, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The only slight disappointment - it should have been on the first page rather than the last.
Source: Times of India - Bombay Times- Last page - 16 January 2013
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Saturday, October 13, 2012
This ad deserves to be on the front page of a leading daily newspaper or its centre-spread. Not because it has a great creative but because of the objective with which it is made.
Renault has had a very slow start in India. Their partnership with Mahindra & Mahindra resulted in Logan but it did not last long enough. Seems the synergies did not work out between the between the Tractor-behemoth and the French elegance. Renault rejuvenated itself and we see this awesome ensemble (Renault Koleos, Renault Pulse, Renault Fluence, Renault Scala & Renault Duster) from the design houses in France. This ad showcases what Renault has to offer and thus had to have a bold visibility to take effect. Rather this ad was languishing on the last page of Hindustan Times and one of the middle pages in Mumbai Mirror eschewing the whole objective. And what's worse, it was just a half page ad.
Wonder if their agency Law & Kenneth had any say in the size and placement of the ad because they would have not agreed with what eventually happened.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Source: Times of India - Mumbai edition - 09 August 2012.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Source: Economic Times 28th March 2012 Page 13
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
If there is one thing in India that can overshadow the budget session, which is followed with much interest, then that thing has to be cricket. Last week as the Indian Finance minister was busy reading out the script, an unwritten script was unfolding. Although this was expected a lot earlier, one would say “better late than never”.
I am of course talking about Sachin Tendulkar eclipsing the Mount Everest and making his own peak for others. A peak others won’t dare let alone think of. My mind though wanders on the diverse opinions made by the connoisseurs. Some want him to retire now, some wanted him to retire after the world cup, some want him to play till he feels he wants to play, some feel the selectors should adopt a touch stand and make him toe the line on his retirement plans so that the team can be built for the future and the opinions continue unabated.
I could draw an analogy to a corporate executive who has served his company for over 3 decades has risen from the rank of a trainee to the chief executive. When the trainee climbs up the ladder with his outstanding talent, he is given the room to experiment. This blossoms him further catapulting the company into high growth and making that employee the celebrity. Same is the case of Sachin Tendulkar. As a prodigy, he showed India how to be aggressive yet maintain its demeanor. The growth was phenomenal. Just like a novice to the highest echelons of power. He has everything at his mercy.
Law of nature though has to take its own course. With age, Sachin’s mastery started diminishing. Just as the Chief Executive’s decisions did not work as before. The market changed and so did the though process. Sachin’s age took toll and bowlers/ captains started getting a measure of him, albeit to a very less extent. Now the chief executive started becoming a liability. Fresh ideas needed to be included but who would ‘bell the cat’ and tell the CEO to hang up his boots. Who will tell Sachin Tendulkar to retire?
In a company, grapevine would probably used to tell the CEO that he is no longer the force to reckon with. In Sachin’s case, the media does that job. The CEO has achieved everything, topline-bottomline-profits-new products- innovations- acquisitions- you name it and that’s been achieved. Just like Sachin. Anything achieved more will not make much of a difference to the already burgeoned cabinet. A Cabinet with invisible accolades.
Borrowing from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, both have reached the self-actualization stage. Both live to contribute towards others. In Sachin’s case, it’s the country and for the CEO, its his company. Let them be where they are. They know when is the right time to call it quits. They would be the first one to accept it when they see the runs drying up or the strategies being not as effective as was construed.
Its very easy to criticize but very difficult to sustain excellence over a period of long time. Just like Sachin or the CEO, pointing about the lack of contribution after a spectacular career would amount to being called an opportunist or some one who uses people till their sell-by date and then removes them unceremoniously. As they say in cricket, “form is temporary, class is permanent”. Sachin should decide when he has to go. Similarly the CEO too would know his sell-by date. Hankering after them to quit would be gross injustice to their contribution.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
The deregulation of saving account interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India has suddenly livened up the banking sector. We are seeing aggressive advertising campaigns by Kotak Bank followed by even more aggression by Yes Bank. Kotak must have got the first mover advantage but it was short-lived since Yes Bank overtook them immediately in its offerings. 6% by Kotak vs 7% by Yes Bank.
The difference though has been the communication medium. Kotak has gone for the expensive television medium whereas Yes Bank has been content with the relatively less expensive newspaper. I may have missed Yes Bank’s TVC but I doubt if there is any TVC talking about 7% interest rates on saving accounts. Kotak’s “subbu sab jaanta hai” campaign has a smart insight which though obvious was a master stroke. Take 6% which is more than the existing 4%. I liked the “50% more” perspective. Isn’t it obvious yet none of must have thought about it. And it still seems true that in spite of all the information regarding financial products, people are convinced when an individual endorses it or rather propagates it i.e. Subbu in this case.
Anyway moving from the marketing standpoint, to the financial or economic view. I am no economist or no student of economics but having been through the crisis of 2008 and subsequent happenings in the various developed economies and financial markets, have worries about the direction banking sector is taking in India. Though tightly regulated by the RBI, hope it does keep an eye of this price war. My doubt stems from the fact that will the banks be able to sustain such a high interest rate when other banks have not followed suit. As they say “there are no free lunches”, there cannot be high returns without high risk. There is a chance that banks will or might take higher risks to be able to cater to its offerings and parallely maintain profit margins or even increase them. It might work in the short-run but there is a systemic risk like in 2008 and now in Europe.
It also should not result in the kind of price wars which are bleeding telecom companies. The customer gains at the cost of future stability of the company. It doesn’t seem likely as the larger private banks and PSUs have not entered the savings account war. It could put pressure on the mid-segment banks that would be forced to up the savings rate to keep abreast with immediate competition and increase their account holder base and spread its base wider.
The RBI as said earlier should keep itself on its toes to avoid any untoward incident happening which might result in necessity of a tax-payer funded bail out.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Isn’t it a contradictory copy? The headline says that there are 1000 reasons why you should visit a Volkswagen store else you will regret it. The body copy says that “besides superior German Engineering, there’s now a great reason to head out to ….”. It means that there are only two reasons. The ad is simply exaggerating. Moreover, I really can’t see 1000 reasons to visit a Volkswagen store. A boring attempt at an ad.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Today’s newspapers carried a quarter page public apology. This is in sharp contrast to Indian companies’ belief that all wrong doings or mistakes should be swept under the carpet. Toyota recalled its cars after a fault was detected, and Toyota Motor chief executive Akio Toyoda apologized in a press conference. RIM co-CEO and founder Mike Lazaridis apologized through a youtube video after blackberry services went kaput for a couple of days affecting its millions of users all over the world. Rupert Murdoch apologized for the phone-hacking scandal engulfing News Corp.
Cadbury India did not accept its mistake that a worm was found in its chocolate bar. It however went out of its way to give the chocolate bar extra packaging to avoid any future problems. Tata Motors did not apologize to its customers when there were fire incidents in its Tata Nano cars.
A start has been made by Airtel. Let’s see if corporate India accepts its mistakes in the future.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
According to news report a month back speculated that if the government had its way, then we may have a united telecom India, in its literal sense. The panel of ‘Babus’ of Department of Telecom (DoT) to make recommendations on strategic issues related to licensing matters, have recommended to the government to consider the entire country as a single service area or four separate zones instead of the existing 22 telecom circles.
At present, around 10 per cent of the revenue of telecom companies comes from roaming charges which from my information (unconfirmed) is in the range of Rs. 13000-14000/- for the whole industry. If this indeed is implemented, it would be wonderful for the customers but would bleed the already bleeding telecom companies who spend a fortune of communication through advertising. The tariff wars had subsided a reasonable bit and now you have news about the abolishing of roaming charges.
Anyway this is going to happen sooner rather than later. So how should telecom companies gear up for this monumental change? At the outset, believe in the first-mover advantage and start communicating about no roaming charges before the government announces it. This way, you would get a head-start in top-of-mind recall just the way Idea Cellular did with Mobile Number Portability (MNP). The advantage would not last long because the other players too would immediately jump in the fray with their communication. At least you had the pioneering advantage.
It would surely work for people who spend a high percentage of amounts on roaming. But the moot question is that whether abolition of roaming charges by an operator is good enough to change the operator. The answer is a resounding yes since we are seeing it in conjunction with MNP. Thus ‘free roaming’ and MNP together surely is a winner on your hands.