From Tragedy to comedy: Indian media

It looks like a box, takes a fixed position in the living room and has the power to hold individuals for enormously long period of times. A box that can completely turn upside down think tank, change perceptions and turn positives to negatives; television nowadays has the ability to make individuals looking west look east.  The spectrum of Indian television is wide and fast growing; from the mega starrer movie channels, to the harmony of saints of god, to the generation X love and spice shows and last but by no means the least the reality shows which have a big question mark always hanging on their reality part. But one thing that has been rock solid and growing exponentially is the Indian comedy industry. From times of jaspal bhatti’s incisive wit in the flop show, to the era of 5th floor cuff parade of sarabhai’s and now the diverse multi-lingual comedy soaps of SAB TV. The Indian media market has never been short of its share of comedy.  The television industry has cut trough social, economic and religious lines and now is a common denominator.

 The last decade of Indian television has seen some of the very famous comedy shows that went on-air. While the oldies like sarabhai vs. sarabhai or shriman shrimati have their own remembrance the new shows have created an intense new market for themselves. The stand up comedy which was really not much into liking of the Indian society has now become the dinner time sweet without which the dinner almost feels incomplete. Those stand-up comedians who barely got a gig on the television now have weekly running soaps with TRP’s increasing quicker than the dollar price. While channels like SAB branding themselves as an all comedy channel we can be rest assured that comedy in Indian television media is not stopping. Different viewers have different reasons for their thrust towards these comedy shows. The basic silver lining is the aam aadmi is relating himself easily to these kinds of shows rather than the INR 29 figure of poverty line of the government. Whether we talk about the days of Taarak Mehta acting like a true Indian bride, or the babuji of the chidiya ghar with his true gandhigiri the comedy connection is running big guns. The society which used to see themselves in the kahani or kyunki of kapoors has started relating themselves to the daya or bakula of sab TV. With a confirmed happy ending always, the fear of failure is completely wiped out from the minds of the individuals and the audience prefers the linkage. While the kyunki of Kapoor’s had all the masala spices to induce a negative rani laxmi bai in all the married females, flip side the laughter of adhikari brothers has got the orthodox solution to almost all the major family problems. With less popular or almost new characters and little or no past media rumors about the character; the character image becomes more like one from the public. The sense of humour in country has changed. From the days of slapstick humour we have changed to an era where people have started laughing on themselves. The liking of comedian like Russel petters has grown and we are becoming more or less ready for the silent or the observational comedy. The same skewness towards comedy can be observed on other medias also. With the dismal economy condition Mrs. Gandhi and Mr. Singh have become the undisputed cartoon characters for the media. Comedy which used to cover a side block in the middle section of the newspaper can find itself some space in the front page also.

The great words of Sir Lewis black “It’s absolutely stupid that we live without an ozone layer. We have men, we’ve got rockets, and we’ve got saran wrap – FIX IT!!!”  

How to be a Faster Programmer

Note: This is not targeted at seasoned professionals who would find most of the stuff mentioned here very basic. Instead this is for beginners who unfortunately do not have good mentors.

Know your tools

To start of, there is nothing more important than knowing all the capabilities of your tools, be it an IDE, a report generator, database, text editor or the operating system itself. This will help to:

  • Know what is possible, thus saving time wondering how to do something
  • Know what is the best tool to do something

Know yourself

Know your most productive times and plan your day around that. Avoid any disturbances, meetings etc. during your peak times. Get other things, like documentation or responding to mails etc., done during non peak time.

Learn something new

You are proficient in that language of your choice, great! But there are several others out there. Learn about them, it helps. Every language has it set of specialties, which is the reason it is surviving. But how does that help?

  • It introduces a new way of thinking
  • Make you explore the limits of the language of your choice
  • You know which is the best tool (language) for a task

Organize

Organize your desk and your disk. Keep thing that you need often in easy to reach locations, and remove all unnecessary things from there. This will reduce the clutter and make things easier to find. Include your mail box in this exercise. Organize your browser favorites so that the list of resources that you use often are easily available.

Automate

Great, following the advice above, you have a shortcut to your IDE, your folder containing the specs etc on your desktop or a panel. But these things are used only once a while. Think of the task you do over and over again and which take lot more that just double clicking. Here are a few things that help you save time

CODE COMPLETION: Any IDE worth its salt has a code completion feature. Learn the shortcuts, as well create your own. If your IDE does not have it either get a plug-in that provides it or ditch the IDE.

CODE GENERATION: Again lot of IDEs have it, learn it and customize it. There are other ways of code generation as well. My favorite is test manipulation is a editor that can do ‘regular expression’ search-replace. And if you do not know how to use regex, learn it now!

SNIPPETS: Keep a handy list of snippets that you use regularly, be it SQL queries you run often, or those 4 lines of code that is needed to integrate your application with something else.

SCRIPTS: Doing the same thing over and over again? Consider writing a script to do it. For e.g.
Unit test scripts, batch scripts to check in , check out, build, backup etc. And if you take my advice of learning about a few more languages, you’d agree that a few languages are better suited for such adhoc scripts.

Get a faster computer

Well there is nothing like a faster computer with loads of RAM to make you faster. This will reduce the build time significantly. And while you are it, add another monitor to it. But that’s easier said than done. So the second best approach is to make your computer faster.

There are several utilities that help you do that, so I will provide a few pointer only

  • Close unused applications
  • Disable unused features of your IDE / OS
  • Make sure your PC is spyware / virus free (or switch to Linux)

Learn to use the keyboard

There is no bigger time waster that using the mouse where handy keyboard shortcuts are available. Print the key combination of the tool you use most often and stick it right next to your monitor. Try to give up your mouse addiction. And if you can’t then there is no better cure that to unplug the mouse for a day!

Get help

Stuck with a problem that you just can’t figure out. Seek help. But know who is the right person to ask. Know the strength of your colleagues and leverage them. Don’t go ask someone just because he is your buddy, but because he has a much better chance of knowing the solution. Keep your questions succinct and to the point, so that you don’t waste a lot of time explaining the problem. And in the bargain diminish your chances of getting help the next time.

Work 8 hours a day

There is nothing you can’t do in 8 hours that you can in 10. So avoid long days, they will only reduce your productivity. Its a different matter to do long hours for a couple of weeks for an impending deadline, but making it an habit is a strict no. If you find yourself sitting until late everyday, step back and think of the reasons.

Are you wasting a lot of time in the morning because you don’t feel productive?

Talk to your manager if it OK that you come in late. And as mentioned above try to get not critical thing done when you do not feel productive.

Are you being over burdened?

If this is a constant thing, talk to your manager about it. If all fails get a new job.

Do you routinely under estimate the effort?

Learn from your past experiences. Get help while estimating. If all else fails, start multiplying the effort with a factor you think you normally underestimate by.

Do you have a lot of distractions?

Get rid of the instant messenger, the mail notification and buddies who have nothing better to do. Do not entertain personal calls. Save up all this time and leave office early. You will have enough time to do all social interaction after office hours, especially since you are able to leave office early.

And finally.. think!

I saved the most important bit for the last. Understand the requirements, think through the solution. Scribble on paper. And write code only when you have the complete idea of what you have to do. There isn’t a bigger waste of time than writing code for hours and finally scrapping it because the requirement understanding / design / approach was wrong.

So what do you think? Leave your tips below.

Contributed by Hitesh Sarda (Batch 2001, IBS Hyderabad). Find out more about him on Linkedin.

“Are Marriages Becoming a Financial Transaction these days?”

A few days back I was watching this newly hyped show of one of the legendary Khan’s of Bollywood tinsel town. This Khan has recently started a new series of philanthropy with one of the leading television channels.  Well this literature is not about this particular series nor am I planning to bore you with details on it, as I know half of you who read this would be following the show.

It was though for the first time that I was watching the show and at the end of the show Khansaheeb asks a question on the public domain which we are supposed to answer with a yes or no by sending an SMS to a special number, and in this manner, doing some philanthropy for our telecom service provider also.

Well I too wanted to answer this question of his, but wanted to answer it in a detailed manner. Hence I thought just giving a Yes to this answer would not be the justified opinion.

The question that he was asking in this episode was “ARE MARRAIGES BECOMING A FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS THESE DAYS?”

Well my answer to this particular question is of course a big big YES, but as every coin has two different sides (unless it’s a Sholay coin), this question, or to be precise my answer has two different aspects attached to it.

The first one being the most popular one- DOWRY. Guys this term or this phenomena is still prevailing in the Indian culture. Even Mr. Khan gave very good details about the same. Any NGO or other institutes in favour of eradicating dowry would give you many details about the ratio of dowry cases present in India. This justifies half of my answer of saying YES MARRAIGES ARE BECOMING A FINANCIAL TRANSACTION.

The other side of this question, which is not much into media or not taken care by any NGOs is the Financial Transactions done for breaking marriages. Yes guys I am talking about the divorce maintenances or the alimonies which parents of the bride are happily looting from the groom or his family.

In recent past, I have seen many marriages happening just for the sake of breaking it and getting alimonies out of the husband’s pocket.  A few wives or the so called wives also dare enough to break a marriage relationship within a day or two of marriage and with the help of the female biased Divorce laws, legally get handsome money from the groom, which is almost equal to his two to three years’ salary.

When talking about dowry, people say how can a person take money from his father –in –law and how can even his parents support him in doing so? And yes it is very shameful to know that there are people who can really put aside all their shame or chivalry to take dowry.  On the other side, there are even daughters and parents also who are not ashamed in looting divorce alimony from their son –in-law. These parents very well support and motivate their daughter in doing so. But there aren’t any figures or facts’ regarding this in any website or any materials, as it is hard to track the number of false divorce cases registered in the family court.

I was born up learning the Indian culture, which said that “KanyaDaan” (getting your daughter married successfully) is the most precious deed that a parent of a girl can do. With the concept of dowry coming into picture, the scenario suggested that in order to gain the fortune of doing “Kanyadaan” you need to invest some lakhs. But with the phenomena of Divorce alimony, the term “Kanyadaan” itself is nullified. A parent who indulges in taking divorce alimony from his son-in –law is a fateful person who even after having a daughter has not got a chance of doing “Kanyadaan”. He just used his “Kanya” (daughter) as a face mask for his villainous intentions. And this to me is even more shameful and piteous then dowry.

Unlike, dowry being one factor which needs to be eradicated from a developing country like India, this factor also needs to be removed somehow.

Hence having this in mind the other half of my answer is justified. That YES MARRIAGES ARE BECOMING A FINANCIAL TRANSACTION, NOT ONLY FOR MALES BUT ALSO FOR FEMALES.

Well my main aim was just to answer the Khan’s question in a better manner and may be help him in showing some bitter truths of the developing Indian society.

Would like to end it with a very good quote said by the Khan itself while ending his show.” Apni Shaadi ko ek Atom Bomb mat banao jo kuch hi seconds mein phat jaaye, but ise ek Agarbatti banao, jiski mahek samay ke saath badhti jaaye”.

Contributed by Chirag Vaishnav(Batch 2006, IBS Bangalore)

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Coding is like Cricket

I am sure cricket needs no introduction, so let me get on with what I have learnt from mostly watching, and very little playing, cricket.

Uncertainty, the name of the game

Cricket is the game glorious of uncertainties, and developers’ lives are no less uncertain, just not glorious. Both cricketers and developers need to be flexible and adjust to new situations. Be it change in requirements or the target score. Deal with the uncertainties of the pitch or the legacy code base.

Team work is important

Although there could be solo efforts that can steal the limelight, the fact remains that you need a team to win. You might think that a solo developer can deliver, but I will like to remind that, invariably this solo developer is building on works of thousands of other developers by using other libraries or frameworks.

Different skills make the difference

It takes all type to win the game. You might have all-rounders which add value, but specialists are also needed as there are very few all-rounder that are better than the best specialists. Similarly all kinds of skills are needed for coding, and rarely is there a developer with all skills. Talking of skills, I believe, you are born with the needed skills, but it takes years of practise to master those skills.

With skills you need attitude, that state of mind, which drives your actions. These are the common and opposing personalities that we encounter and each is needed as much as the other.

  • The blaster and the wall
  • The meticulous and the flamboyant
  • The artist and the scientist

The Game Play

There is a definite need to be agile, to take stock of the burn-down or the run-rate after each over, and to revise your strategy accordingly. Breaking the target into sprints or sessions and finally, being time bound.

How to succeed

Like any thing in life, both coding and cricket need passion and commitment to succeed. There are only a few professions, where you do in the weekend, what you do during the week. You need continuously work on your skills even when not in office or a tournament.

There is a need for continuous improvement and to keep abreast with changed rules and strategies. The core tools remain the same, but the way you yield them differ over time.

One more thing

Both are literally back-breaking works but both pay well!

There is a conscious effort to remove the ‘male only’ label and involve the women as well, with good success.

Contributed by Hitesh Sarda (Batch 2001, IBS Hyderabad). Find out more about him on Linkedin.

THE SECRET for success: “Chase your dreams and make it a Reality”

Friends my story might motivate young aspirants like you who come with a belief that by having an MBA degree we can end up with a good job.

First of all let me start with a negative approach, so that I kill all the optimism inside a young charismatic mind who thinks with MBA degree he will have all the success and with thousands of thoughts we are unstoppable. It’s true only in special cases but more often than not…….

MBA is an opportunity to interact with fresh minds, it has nothing to do with a guarantee of ending up with a monthly salary of 6 figures, at-least not when you are competing with 900 people for campus placements. The college needs to place 900 students so even they can’t find you better jobs and are in no position to bargain. So what happens is that when the companies come for placement there is a mismatch between your dreams and the offer. You always wanted a Branding Co. to pick you up or an Investment banking team to give you responsibility which you can boast about or you end up with some FMCG major as a manager, but the truth is you start as a Sales team manager or a branch executive of a bank or as an associate in the I-Bank firm and the day comes when you curse the reality because it missed your expectation.

What happens then?  20% look for switches in the very first month. 30% within a year, 75% crib about their job. There were at-least 50 people that I can recall who are doing great in their field now in terms of package and only 20 who are satisfied with their job ,but I can bet they would have done much better if they would have chased their dreams. They had brilliant ideas, brilliant thoughts, out of the box concepts, but they were scared what if it does not happen. When reality doesn’t meet expectation we are afraid of losing what we have and we accept the life as it is, that’s why we burden ourselves with the current job but we don’t like it. But all of us are special, all of us are talented and it takes some toll on character to believe what you are.

“A human aspiration is like a bird, risk is the reason, and how we know we have wings to fly and career is where we go down and take a leap to go near the sky and it’s our aspiration that inspires us to see the world from top :) Aspire and work for it we will one day be what we deserve”

I ended up with a good job, a PPO, perhaps amongst the best what they can offer but I had my own dream and I had my own expectations. We all have watched 3 idiots, when at the start of the movie it resembled me when I used to tell my friends, don’t run for marks run for knowledge, but still I realized something is incomplete though mentally I should be satisfied. The question worried me a lot and I realized I was not following my dream and it changed my life after that. I decided to risk it all and follow my passion, I chalked out my career plan and made all the calculations both on negative and positive side. What is the worse thing that can happen? One question will always haunt you when you take such impulsive decision but eventually I risked it all.

The difference between the degree of success is a trump card called “Willingness” and the Trump card comes to you with an addition to your attitude, its “Daring” . Incidentally people think it’s risking your career but its simply accepting the “Challenge” from Life. GO ahead with what you wanted because if your heart says this is not what you want to do it means you have to do what you think you are for

Coming back to my home town I started work as an equity market analyst. I got the opportunity to share my ideas on Equity Market, my area of interest and my dream to make it big on TV channel. Today I come on media whenever I want to share my ideas. I am doing what I can do best because I never learnt anything beyond this and never had any other alternative.

Now when I stand here I still know I have just begun my journey but I wake up every morning with a mental calmness that I enjoy my work. I feel if I would have not given myself a chance than I would have not had the mantra for success.

“Achieving the best outcome for your work is your commitment and the passion is the measure with which you are committed to work is your interest.”

Dear Friends Chase your dreams and make it big in future, nurture your talent and focus what you want to. At young age one feels you can play multiple roles thousands of thoughts would surround but you can be what you ought to be.  It’s the very thought when you entered the campus or you aspire to be before taking up the course or something that inspired you, attracted you.

Work for your dreams, chase your dreams you will get the opportunity if you work for it. Give yourself the chance and that’s THE SECRET FOR SUCCESS, the day you will believe you can, I assure you, you will.

And never compare the ratio of success with the package you get in comparison with your friends. You all are special in your own way it’s just that you begin your journey a bit late. Money will follow automatically with growth in career

Wish you all the best for your career. Do not let your dreams go away they came to you so that you can fly high.

Cheers!!!!!!

Contributed by Aashish Tater (Batch 2009, IBS Hyderabad). Aashish is the President-Financial Research at Fort Share Broking

Futures in your portfolio

This article was originally published in Postnoon on June 8th, 2012. Co-Author: Amulya Chirala.

http://postnoon.com/2012/06/08/futures-in-your-portfolio/52603

Srikanth: Hi professor, sorry I had to leave in the middle of our conversation on futures last week. You told me that futures are contracts that help people hedge their portfolios. Please do tell me how people like me can use futures as a part of our investment portfolio.

Prof. Nikki: Futures are very powerful instruments for an investor to manage his risk. But the importance of learning about them before trading in them cannot be overstated because they can also be pretty complex. And even after reading about them, it is best to start small.

Srikanth: How would you suggest we start using futures?

Prof Nikki: I think the best way would be to start with simple contracts to hedge your position on some stock that is experiencing some volatility.

Srikanth: Whoa… That’s a lot of jargon in one sentence… Hedging? And how would you define volatility?

Prof Nikki: Ah! Once a student, always a student. I did explain hedging to you last week. As usual, you did not pay attention! Let me explain again.

Hedging refers to taking a position (or trade) to offset your initial position. Let me try and make it clearer, if you own a stock (you are long stock) , you stand to gain if the stock price goes up, therefore, by entering a trade where you stand to gain when the stock price goes down, you will offset the initial position. You can do this by entering a futures contract to sell (short position) the stock at a certain time and price in future.

Volatility is a measure of variation of prices. A more volatile instrument is one which has more drastic price movements.

Srikanth: So then we would profit both ways? And what if I do not want to sell my stock?

Prof Nikki: Don’t you wish! Unfortunately no, because which­ever way the stock moves, the gains from one position would be offset by losses from the other.

And you don’t really have to sell your stock if you don’t want to, you can either close out your po­sition by entering a contract to buy stock (long position) or if the contract allows it, you can settle by paying the equivalent cash value.

Srikanth: Hmmm… So if the losses and gains keep cancelling and doesn’t give me additional gains, why should I go through the effort of entering into a futures contract?

Prof Nikki: One reason could be that you really like a stock that you own, something that has been a good solid company, pays good dividends etc, but is presently experiencing some trouble. In this case, you do not want to sell yet, but want to protect yourself from a very sharp decline in price…so you lock in a price and wait.

Srikanth: That makes sense, I do have a few stocks like that. With the economy in doldrums, the stocks are indeed showing signs of what you call ‘volatility’.

Prof Nikki: Yes. But do remember that futures are financial instruments and not magic wands that eliminate risk. Be sure to read up on them in detail, especially about margins before you put your money in them.

Srikanth: Sure Prof!

Cross Publicity: Essentially a Boon?

Shopping, a term that is alluring and desirable to many at the same time depressing for a few. In the recent times where recession and global slowdown that seeped in, it did not note a heavy change in the decrease in the number of people moving out for shopping. Trends have changed over the years and global environment comes to play a role in the shopping mania.

Many cities have viewed, experienced and made it habitual to carry along bags to make purchases for a condition that the plastic bags are now being charged so that there could be less consumption (as viewed in many places in India). Its need was to make people consume the older means of carrying along jute and paper bags. Walking along with a cover struck up with a marketing aspect of cross publicity while shopping at one of the stores.

People carry shopping bags of one store and make purchases at another giving an idea to other shoppers about a place from where one would have made purchases. I have termed this concept as Cross Publicity. For example I visited Big Bazaar and made purchases but had been carrying a bag of UCB which means I am indirectly alluring people to make purchases from UCB. This cross publicity holds advantage of advertising for another stores and shops which may or may not be known to people. On the other hand is it essentially a boon. In the stated situation does it really benefit Big Bazaar in anyway?

In this case it has a “Non-Competitive Cross Publicity” as the two stores Big Bazaar and UCB are not directly related in terms of their products and services. Likewise two similar stores like those selling apparels, garments will face “Competitive Cross Publicity” wherein similar products and services are sold at both the stores. A thought that caught up while carrying out a leisure activity came out with a new marketing concept “Cross Publicity”. It is a term that would soon be known to every common person and become a huge concept as such.

Contributed by Anju Bafna (Batch 2010, IBS Bangalore). Anju is a freelance writer, and writes about management topics.

Marks Chimera

Initiating noble and divine preparations a good 72 hours before for my sacred examinations, I ponder at the plight of my books. I preach and practice extreme abstemiousness when it comes to books, ignoring the usual mores of student fraternity. Consequently all my books are new and pious. I entertain surreal and irresistible thoughts of maintaining the status quo. Instantaneously working out probabilities of “passing and failing” minus the preparation. I finally arrive at a logical conclusion. Even the most sanguine estimates paint a sombre picture. Passing without physical and cognitive contact with textbooks looks highly improbable.

My chimerical canvas of marks galore suddenly seems a cosmic illusion. But then isn’t management all about extracting maximum from minimum resources? So how do I solve this conundrum? This is when I remember the illustrious lines of a forgettable poet. Forgettable poets leave behind unforgettable lines like this couplet-

Illusions work impenetrable,

Weaving Webs innumerable,

Her gay pictures never fail,

Covering each other, Veil on Veil,

Charmer who will be believed,

By someone; who thirsts to be deceived.

I am certainly not the one who “thirsts to be deceived”. Hence I turn onto my eclectic group of friends to cadge their humble opinion. Quite understandably and much to my envy, I find all of them immersed in tomes. “End your cramming expedition! Haven’t you guys heard of question papers being set out of syllabus?” I beseech fervently at my cogent best. Anticipating a fusillade of voracious responses and hoping against hope, I prepare my ears for a glib consensus. “Yes, but we don’t want to subject our hapless self’s to some megrim of a question setter” they reply en masse. “Besides serendipity should ideally be the last resort in an event as capricious as management examinations” retorted the one with the dour face, voluntarily choosing to sum it up on behalf of the discerning coterie.

Piqued and exasperated at the outright lambasting of my quixotic proposition, I retaliated making a riposte “You guys are ordained to fail despite your best efforts.”

Recovering from the unpleasant interaction, I decided not to get influenced by ignorant souls. I soon found refuge in the age old adage” Greatest risk in life is to risk nothing”. In addition, isn’t leadership all about individualistic decision making – factoring in the risk involved? It was high time I put these noble thoughts into practice.

It took another 24 hours for the epiphanic realization to find its way into my frazzled mind. I suddenly realized alike many other lesser mortals, I am too much in love with materialistic pleasures in life (read marks). Alas ! Moksha remains a distant dream as of now..

Contributed by Varun Arora (Batch 2008-10, IBS Hyderabad)

TRANSCREATION

I recently came across a very interesting article in 4P’s (Vol . v Issue 9 ) titled ‘What translated into bigger profits?’ The article highlighted the importance of transcreation.  Transcreation means adapting marketing communication to local cultures, tradition, language and practices.  Every country is unique as regards to tradition & cultures. Consequently, one size fits all phenomena does not work across all borders. To succeed one has to adapt. Trancreation essentially talks about this adaptability.

Marketers have to practice extreme discretion especially when stretches are being considered to take product and services global or beyond local markets.  An ad-campaigns great success in one country does not ensure its success in all markets. Since each market is different. Hence, it makes sense to be ‘culturally sensitive’.  For a mere innocuous emulation might result in a serious Faux Pas. The consequences are dire from failure of perceptibly great ad campaign to seriousness of a brand taking a hit. Following are some social blunders committed by marquee brands:-

1. American Airlines spent huge sums of money reupholstering seats in their entire fleet. Naturally they spent vast sums of money on ad campaigns promulgating their USP. They ran ad campaigns in leading news papers and magazines saying ‘Now fly in leather’.   Bolstered by overwhelming response, airline decided to duplicate campaigns success in Spanish market. However, much to airline’s disappointment, campaign did not go well with Spaniards and it failed miserably. Ensuing investigations revealed that Spanish translation had changed their snappy headline from ‘Fly in leather’ to ‘Fly naked’.

2. Parker Pens landed in trouble when the ads which originally were to convey ‘It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you’ ended up saying ‘It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant’.

3. Dairy Milk Association’s hugely popular campaign ‘Got Milk’ popularized the benefits of milk in US. Company decided to emulate success in Mexico and ended up translating ‘Got Milk’ as ‘Are you lactating’?

4. Coors beer claimed ‘Turn it loose’ with their tagline. The Spaniards were not pleased when they saw a beer that helped you ‘Get loose Bowels’.

5. A drink in China promised to ‘Bring your ancestors back from the dead’. This did not go well with Chinese (hugely populated) as they dint want to bring their ancestors back.

6. Volkswagen realized that ‘Jetta’ in Italian was pronounced as ‘letta’ which means ‘misfortune’.

7. A Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer tried to sell vaccum cleaners in US with tagline’ Nothing sucks like Electrolux’.

Coca Cola’s hugely popular campaign Thanda Matlab- Coca Cola must have been a work of a transcreator. The campaign connected well with Indian audiences who might not have liked dowdy American tagline which read Coca Cola ‘The real Thing’.

Transcreation & India – Transcreation particularly make sense in a country with diverse cultures and traditions as India. India still largely remains an intolerant society. We Indians take offence for anything and everything that supposedly hurts our fragile self esteem. Numerous PIL’s for artistic freedom of expression lying pending in our courts stands as a testimony to this fact. In a nutshell, moderation in emotional response is hard to find in India. A recent incident in Select city walk, Delhi , instigated a huge hue and cry. An international Ice Cream brand had put up a sign board which read ‘Preview Only for International Travellers.’ This is obviously a sensitive issue for Indians and a direct reminder of the Raj period when Indians and dogs weren’t allowed into clubs and other ‘white’ places. Hence, marketers has to tread with caution and no wonder then that first thing marketers have to check is how their marketing communication, brand name , campaigns et all will work in Indian context. 

US research agency CSA (Common Sense Advisory) says Transcreation will be the highest demanded service for reaching new markets and has huge growth potential.

Transcreation is a new buzz word that prevents brands from becoming a laughing stock and instead enables them to laugh all the way to their banks!

Contributed by Varun Arora (Batch 2008-10, IBS Hyderabad)

Interaction!!Interaction!! everywhere…Do I stop anywhere :-

The context for the Blog is on Facilitation

Chanchal Chawla (some one very new to facilitation) is very disturbed after conducting a session on ‘Conflict management‘, today. She had done extensive preparation for her session, was extremely thorough with the concepts and had structured the flow of the session. However, to her utter surprise, her session was completely hi-jacked by the participants. What started out as a simple answer to a question on ―How does one handle conflicting situations, suddenly turned into a heated discussion among the participants. At first, Chanchal allowed the interaction to build and did not intervene, a little latter she was tempted to, but didn‘t because she thought it is only going to help her do the debrief. However by the time she intervened (which was after 15-20 minutes) she realized that it was immensely difficult to get anyone to stop and had to literally shout at the top of her voice to get the participant’s attention. Even after the discussions had stopped, there were people who were not ready to listen to zero down on ―the solution for handling conflict. Chanchal somehow managed to wind up the session and was very unhappy with the way the entire session went, also one of the common feedback she received from everyone was that she allowed the session to digress. Chanchal is completely at sea; she is not sure what could she have done better to keep the interaction on track and where do draw the line between learner‘s interaction and her own intervention.

Have you faced this situation before? Have you ever wondered where to draw that ― “Laxman Rekha” and say, ―now I take over? well, a lot of time this problem arises because as facilitators we are fighting the battle of being people pleasers. We are so concerned about how people perceive us that we find it very difficult to ask them to stop. We are always thinking about being part of a virtual popularity contest and wanting to win it. As facilitators we need to break this virtual popularity game contest first in our mind and then in the session. The trick is to tell ourselves that there will be a few people who will not be pally with me personally at the end of the session and I am ok with that incompatibility. I am, as a facilitator, a custodian of the process of learning and I will be true to my role. As a custodian of the process to en-sure effective interaction, I am supposed to do the following things:

1. Detail out clear instructions to the participants. The instructions should contain your expectations from the participants and things that they should ideally want to steer clear off while sharing their thoughts.

2. It is very important to come in and stop the group from digressing into any unnecessary discussion. For example, the participants (provided they have a common source of pain) might focus so much on the doer that they lose out on discussing the cause and solution. The discussion might venture from sharing the person‘s qualities (either good or bad), to sharing a lot of, uncalled for, incidents. This discussion, although very interactive, would not help you achieve the objective of the discussion.

3. Always try and ensure that learners are not getting personal during the interaction. As this might lead to bad blood between the participants, and create animosity. This in turn has a negative impact on the learning environment

4. Be very sure about why you want a discussion? A lot of time facilitators gets into a discussion just for the heck of it. People have a discussion because they want to kill time, they don‘t have anything better to do etc. Till the time you are not dead sure about why you want to do the discussion, it will lead to negative outcomes.

Understand the pulse of the group and try to pitch in at least to close/summarize aspects of discussions and get them thinking about a newer area.

Excess of anything leads to a pitfall and that holds true for interaction during a training session as well. Be smart and draw the line when you can……

(The writer is a certified Instructional designer and Facilitates behavioral learning interventions and can be reached at sumeshkhatua@gmail.com)

Contributed by Sumesh Kumar Khatua (Class of 2005, IBS Gurgaon)

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