CBO- An Unheard Job Title

How do you feel when a salesperson is pushing you to buy a product from a particular brand (May be, because he receives highest commission on that brand, but not definitely), or when he has inadequate information regarding a product in which you are interested.

The reality is when we are buying a product for the very first time we are generally clueless about its specifications, or may not possess the technical knowledge related to its functioning, or don’t even know which all brands sell that product. We are confused and rely on the salesman to tell us which product is really good. And we take the salesman’s piece of advice and buy what he says.

Why do you buy this product at all? Who exactly is this salesman to you that you readily take his advice? A distant relative, may be? No! Exactly! No one! Still you bought this product. How did you even trust that sales guy whom you met at a store only few minutes ago? It is common knowledge that you shouldn’t accept things from strangers and you bought a television set because it is new on the shelf and hot-selling. Did you burn a big hole in your pocket? But you don’t think all this. You bring the television set home and cannot wait to call your electrician guy to install it.

Let’s rewind when I mentioned ‘a salesperson is pushing you to buy a product from a particular brand’. The word ‘push’ always creates a negative impact. But I will clear the air in the next few lines. The part where you, have installed the television set and are more than delighted. You want to thank the sales guy for making you buy this brand. When he said that this product was selling like hot cakes, what did that mean? People are buying that product because right now it’s the best you can buy in the market. The sales guy knows that this product will not fail in the market. It will not disappoint you when you buy it. This sales guy BELIEVES in this product.

Let us flip the coin. It is silly but an everyday story at ladies gathering where this particular woman in the very same gathering will act as an agent to sell the products (Since mentioning the brands is not a good idea, we will stick to calling it cosmetics and plastic-ware.). She shares her goody-goody experience with you and you buy it. The product does not suit you and you cannot stop cursing the company because you paid a price.

The salesperson in both the situations BELIEVED in their product because that product did not let them down as per their past experience. You feel the need to use a product, you are going to buy it anyhow, whether someone shares their experience or gives a demonstration or there is a sales offer. You will buy the product anyway. But when you do not have the need of the product or when the product is new and the demand has not caught up. What then? This very BELIEF of the sales personnel pays off.

Chief Belief Officer (CBO)

Devdutt Pattanaik is the Chief Belief Officer (CBO) at Futures Group. This designation is unique because it is not found at any other company. We have come across strategies like ‘Think Global, Act Local’, but Chief Belief Officer is something absolutely out-of-the-box. Kishore Biyani, the pioneer of the Future Group, in the awe of attracting the customers, buying from the mom and pops store, to his retail outlets, created this designation. He wanted to create a new experience for these customers, so it was crucial to understand these customers. You can find Big Bazaar stores all over India and in Biyani’s book, he describes how he selected the franchisee on two principles. First, the punctuality to open the store at the mentioned time and second, attaining to the customers first. With the principle of ‘Customer is God’, it is the need to create a designation like a CBO.

In Devdutt’s words, the work of CBO is (extracted from Devdutt’s blog) “to draw attention to the value of ‘belief’ in business. Modern Management Theory is based on the belief that objectivity and logic has all the answers to problems. Belief is subjective truth and is the cornerstone of mythology, and plays a key role in business. Belief can be religious as well as secular. My role is to draw attention to this invisible cultural lever that shapes our decision.”

The future group has come up with a new model called, ‘The Three B’ model: Belief, Business and Behaviour.

He divides the customers for a company into two categories depending upon the behaviour patterns: the Behaviour of External Customer and the Behaviour of Internal Customer.What should it be? The Behaviour or the Belief? To explain further, Devdutt mentions the ‘carrot and stick’ approach to influence the behaviour to achieve the desired results. But Belief still has an upper hand at influencing the behaviour of both the internal customers and the external customers. That’s why, Belief is pressed upon and belief alignment is considered. The CBO’s job is to make these customers believe in the business. If any of the customers lack in believing in the business, the firm will not be able to sell its products.

 

Article by Divyanka Gangurde

Why MBA: The Real Reason (Placements or Learning)

Every year in India, more than two hundred thousand students appear for various MBA entrance exams; compete with each other to secure one seat out of few thousands availed by very good B-schools across India.

Preparing for the entrance exam: Check

Scoring high in the entrance exam: Check

Receiving a GD/PI call: Check

Preparing for PI:

When you start preparing for your personal interview, you begin with the most common questions which will be asked by the interviewers such as ‘tell us about yourself’, ‘tell us something which is not there in the form/ your resume’, ‘run me through your resume’, ‘tell me your three strengths and three weaknesses’, ‘where do you see yourself in after 5 years’, ‘why would you like to do MBA from our institute’ and one of the most common questions amongst others “WHY MBA?”

The true answer is well-known, but we choose not to be truthful. We reply, “I wish to learn”. The interviewers accept your reply with a smile, whereas even they know this answer is a cliché. The truth is we want to do an MBA because we have seen all the top notch executives who lead the successful companies, have done their MBAs from these elite B-schools and landed themselves in that position. And you feel only an MBA can give you better prospects, better opportunities and a better job.

Like many other things in the world, there are certain exceptions to this. For instance, a student from a very rich family will answer the “Why MBA” question in a completely different manner. S/he will say, “My family owns a certain business. And after certain number of years its responsibility will be on my shoulders and my duty would be to manage every little task in my firm. In order to be able to manage the tasks and people working for me, I would like to do an MBA”. These exceptions also hold true for the people, who wish to be entrepreneurs, people who are not satisfied with their current jobs and people who actuallywish to learn.

The main motto of establishing the first set of Indian B-schools was to build professionals who would manage the PSUs (Public Sector Units). Well, there is a shift from people applying to the secure and steady public sector posts, to the leading public sector firms and the startups. In fact, looking at the job market conditions prevailing in 2013, the motto might have slightly shifted to job creation. But the answer to the “Why MBA” question has always been the same i.e. to learn. If you happen to fall in the first category of the students who hide the truth by answering the question “I wish to learn” and at the end of all the turmoil, you make it to the premium B-school, then on the first day itself, you will realize, ‘Yes! It is all about learning.’

You meet various kinds of students, when you step into a B-school: Freshers, people with work experience, studious, all-rounders, people who are going-to inherit family business, people who want to startup their own business, people who already have a successful startup and the list never ends. The reason to join a B-school differs from student-to-student. But there is one thing in common among these students: These students are inspired to learn. These are the crème of the initial two hundred thousand students who appeared for the entrance exams, beat down the rest and secured a seat. These people may have their own reasons but these are the open-minded people with a broad lookout and are here in the B-school, to learn.

The curriculum of the B-schools is structured in such way that it facilitates learning. The most common are the class participation points and relative grading. Since you have come so far after facing such great competition from your peers, you won’t give up easily and will try to beat the heat. You will prepare for case studies, articles and presentations. You will try to be ahead of the class. In this process, the bi-products to facing competition are numerous.

Learnings

First is, you gain knowledge of the subject. You may also develop keen interest in the subject and may choose it as specialization in the 2nd year. Second is Skills. Skills such as leadership, teamwork, fluency, listening ability, train of thoughts and clear thinking are tested when one appears for GD/PI, but if you happen to lack any of these skills, you have a real time chance to develop and harness these skills when in B-schools. Third is attitude. One’s attitude matters a lot. How does one perform in a team? How does one perform individually? One’s ability to spot minute intricacies in the case study, one’s ability to handle the pressure and the workload, one’s ability to multi-task, one’s lookout towards its group mates and classmates, one’s enthusiasm to participate, one’s enthusiasm to take up new things, one’s ability to balance study and play, one’s creativity and ability to think out of box. All these are the disguised bi-products of facing competition in a B-school.

The most eminent consequences will be a degree, a better job opportunity leading to a better pay and better lifestyle and most importantly, Networking!

What stands crucial is to learn. The ROI (Return on Investment)will be, surely, higher for the job opportunity which comes across after doing an MBA. However, it is important to keep the learning curve positive and the move must be exponential.

 

Article by Divyanka Gangurde

All You Need Is To Be Motivated!

Have a hunger for knowledge and arms wide spread for challenging experience? Then IBS Bangalore is the best college to fit in. No more long lectures, no more text book by-hearting … read, learn, talk and explore yourself!

It was during one of those free times during UG life that I came to know about IBS Bangalore. And let me be frank; it was a sudden decision to choose IBS for my Post Graduation. And now completing the first semester in IBS I pat myself on my back for that sudden decision I made. As a person who has completed graduation in Visual Communication and aspires to have a career in the field of marketing, I would say IBS is the best platform for management studies.

What is it that makes IBS special? I would say it is the motivating and inspiring college environment. Once you are inside the college, from the Director to the security staff, everyone instigates and motivates you. (This is not an exaggeration … we do have security staff like that!) I was in fact longing for something different, other than long ‘one man show lectures’ by the teachers and endless assignments; and I wished for things were really different here. The college welcomed us with a DJ night, followed by various cultural, sports and management fests and Entrepreneur Cell programs. By that time, everybody was adapting to the college environment and was ready for a new learning experience; and the excellent set of our faculty members were ready to facilitate this. Classes in IBS are not long lectures. They are a platform for discussions and across-the-board learning. In addition to this, guest lectures and workshops are conducted, which help us in knowing the industry better.

The list of people who motivate me does not end with faculties and guest faculties. Batch-mates who are “divided by culture and united by IBS”( as we call it!) play a coal and ice role in my IBS life. To put it in simple terms, I am motivated by IBS … I am inspired by the IBS life and I am sure IBS can make me a successful marketing manager! That is the confidence the college has developed in me.

Contributed by Arathi K V (Batch 2014, IBS Bangalore)

Public Relations

In the recent years, the Public Relations field has gained a huge overwhelming attention. From authors to actors, from company to its products, from scams to CEOs, from sportsmen to politicians: every communication made to the public is planned by the publicist. A publicist is a person who is responsible for publicising. In simple words, Public Relation is the management of communication between the client and the public.

Public Relation handles the appearance of the client to the outside world. This outside world consist the client’s investors, customers, followers, employees and many other stakeholders. The client can be an individual, a company or even a brand. It is very important to understand the value of portraying oneself in front of the public. What do you say? How do you say it? How the public does comprehends it? What is public’s reaction? Are they happy or annoyed? Everything matters!

If you annoy your customers by stating something they don’t like, you’re going to lose your sales and the customers for eternity. In today’s world, brand loyalty is precious. You want to build a brand, capture the market share, increase the product sales but at the same time, build brand loyalty. By no means, you would like to lose your customers to your competitors. You want your customers to make repeat purchases for your product. This is a very common site when it comes to online shopping where there are many players. When visit their site for the very first time, they offer you discount for registering with them. You make a purchase with them, you get a discount. They even give you customer loyalty points which can be redeemed. It is as simple as that. They do not want to lose you to their counterparts who offer the same products at more or less the same price.

You hire an external agency to represent you, your company or your brand. What this external agency really does is, it reflects your brand in every press release or events. For example, Maybelline India has roped in Alia Bhatt as their brand ambassador in all their campaigns. Since her first day in Bollywood, Alia has been known for her carefree attitude and chic style, just as classy as the Maybelline brand is.

Public Relation also helps in managing media relations for a company. Usually, CEOs are very shy to be interviewed by reporters. They doubt how the reporters would assess these individuals’ performance depending upon their prior experience and credibility. This shyness and skepticism can be overcome by the help of a publicist. This publicist can guide the CEOs on how to answer the questions and build credibility in front of the public.

From press release, speech writing, promotions and holding various events to release information in the public domain, Public Relations has moved to a new platform of online PR. You will find many CEO Blogs. These blogs are written by their PR personnel. The things posted in these blogs are exactly what they want the public to perceive the CEO as.

I happened to watch an episode of one the most beloved show on Indian television, ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’. The guest was Rajat Sharma, one of the greatest personalities in Media, who came to promote his show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’. The comedy show’s set was changed slightly by including a witness box mainly found in a court, the exact setup of Rajat’s show. Even the pattern of the show was changed as Rajat interviewed Kapil which is usually vice-a-versa. This interview was held to promote the relaunch of Rajat’s show.

There is a term called ‘ghost writing’ which is pretty unfamiliar to the public. However, this concept exists since the early 19th century. Ghost writing is also one of the stunts of Public Relation. A ghost writer is hired to edit or write a book, a play or a song for somebody else. This is common when an autobiography is written of any famous personality. The ghost writer is anon to the public. The content written is to give a good picture of the person to its readers. This is even followed across the music industry when the singers by themselves are unable to come up with any good lyrics.

The number of benefits derived by employing Public Relation cannot be counted on the finger tips. First is building an image. For example, a small town boy makes it to the Indian Cricket Team. If he hires a PR for himself, the PR will instruct him which events to attend, when to give an interview, what should he say, which brands he should sign to advertise, amongst many other things. This is building an image. Same goes for Building a Brand. The advantage of having a good brand in the market is that it becomes easy to launch a new brand under the successful brand umbrella. The French cosmetic brand L’Oreal has been successful in launching brands under L’Oreal Group such as YSL, Giorgio Armani, Lancome, Ralph Lauren, Diesel, Garnier, Matrix, Vichy, Body Shop and the list goes on.

Public Relation has helped many celebrities to stay out of trouble. But, Public Relation personnel are also being hired to get them out of trouble i.e. Crisis Management. In fact, PR can also help in reviving the lost reputation. The most common technique of reviving lost reputation or publicity can be found on Indian Television. The celebs that are not to be seen on the screen for years now, come back to host dance competitions or participate in reality shows.

PR is the most useful way to reach the public and communicate with them effectively. It also helps in changing the perception of the public towards the company or the individual. Hold a press conference where the public representatives (the media reporters) are present to ask questions. The questions are satisfactorily answered by the individuals and their publicist. Through this, one can easily handle the public affairs and the investor interests are also not jeopardised.

So, Go Ahead and Hire a PR!

 

Article by Divyanka Gangurde

My Journey Of Finding Excellence

When people ask me about my college life at IBS-Ahmedabad, my answer is “Always busy, yet enjoying it”.

IBS-Ahmedabad campus has become my second home as i spend a lot of time here, exploring various things. Every aspect of a B-school life is perfectly taken care of at IBS.A great mixture of academics and extracurricular activities is what makes IBS class apart.

Starting from 9.30am to 7.00pm in the evening, students and faculties both indulge into working towards one simple goal of achieving excellence. Experienced and skilled faculties, Case based method of learning, Linking theories with reality and a strong conviction towards work are the weapons used here at IBS-Ahmedabad. The always happening environment of the campus keeps students so busy and active that they automatically learn to manage time. The first Quote which I heard at IBS-Ahmedabad was of Prof.Toby Mammen-“Life is Multi-Dimensional”. It seems like IBS is taking care of almost every dimension of a PGPM student.

Team work, the most crucial factor in everyone’s career, is a daily routine of IBS. I am learning a lot from working in teams and groups at IBS-A. Industrial visits, Live Projects and Field based Assignments are some of the largest knowledge resources provided at IBS. I thank all my faculties, seniors and colleagues for their constant support and motivation. I am feeling awesome being a part of a Legacy called IBS.

Contributed by Pankaj Baheti (Batch 2015, IBS Ahmedabad)

Is Being An Entrepreneur Always About Taking Risk?

We usually associate the characteristic of risk taking with an entrepreneur. But is risk taking the only characteristic required to be a successful entrepreneur? Or are there other qualities too? Or it is not about just being a risk taker but about something else?

We have many friends who have this amazing product idea and want to turn it into a profitable one by taking it ahead as an entrepreneur. In fact, many of us may feel that may be not today or tomorrow, but somewhere in the near future, would like to be a successful entrepreneur. Today, you are being prudent. You plan your life. First, you are going to take a good job which will pay you sufficient to take care of your expenses and also help you save for your future endeavours. Secondly, you are going to start working on a business idea. At the same time, you are going to gain as much experience as possible related to different domains.

But what about those people who never planned all these things? They had a business idea and just took their chance and went ahead with it. And Bang On! They were successful. Bill Gates, his love and passion for coding computer software programs has made him the wealthiest person in the world. He never thought of getting a good job to fund his business and gaining knowledge in all the other fields. He did not walk on the prudent path. He dropped out of Harvard. Can you believe a college dropout now owning a multi-billion dollar company? A company, in which all the aspiring software engineers and MBAs desire to work, is built by a college dropout.

What did Bill Gates do different? He did have exceptional skills. He had love for machine. He had passion for programming. He saw an opportunity and grabbed it. Can a lame man do the same? Can anybody get up from their sleep and start chasing their dreams? Bill Gates had a dream. But this very dream he chased was backed by his skills, love and passion, and vision. What if he had no vision? He saw a dream and randomly decided he wanted to start his own computer software company. What if he had not seen an opportunity which was knocking and decided to start a firm? People would have said he was just lucky, and the luck does not shine every time. But, if there was no such opportunity and he would have decided to start a firm with his friend. Then? He would have failed miserably, his dream would have been crushed, enrolled back in college and would have worked for some successful company. Most importantly, Microsoft would not have existed. Can anybody of us imagine making a presentation or a normal report without using Microsoft Office? Is there any other software that can replace MS Office? Not that I cannot think of any!

Let us talk about the prudent way. We say we will do business, but let us save to fund it. Or we say, ‘I don’t have an idea right now. I am going to wait for the right time.’ But after securing a good job and getting comfortable with the current lifestyle, we see an opportunity but how many of us seize it? How many of us are ready to let go off the steady and fixed income for one business idea. After getting too comfortable with the 9 am to 5 pm job, we find this risk ridiculous.

Dhirubhai Ambani would have got comfortable with the way things going at Majing Corp., but he did not. He parted ways with his partner, Champaklal Damani, for simple reasons. Their style of doing business was different. Damani was prudent. Ambani was a risk taker. But Ambani was not just a risk taker. He had an eye. He built up inventories because he anticipated a price rise, sold the inventories at a higher price and made huge profits.

What differentiates an entrepreneur from a risk-taker is his eye. The vision of anticipating the future market trends, to foresee and move forward with a decision. We have seen many people losing their money on stocks in the anticipation of price rise, but their stocks fail them. These investors anticipate the price rise correctly or they do follow someone’s advice. But where do they go wrong? They did anticipate the price rise but did not know when to exit the stock. They see the rise, they can see the stock has given returns above their expectations but they feel the price will raise more and are ready to take the risk. However, instead of rising, the price goes down steeply, washing out all the returns they could have cashed in.

Here is the difference between an entrepreneur and a risk-taker. An entrepreneur has seen the market trends and knows where to exit. A risk taker jumps at the situation when there is more at stake for a very less return. For an entrepreneur, returns do matter, but he is good at calculating the return for every pound of risk.

You may argue that entrepreneurs do make losses in the initial phase of the life cycle of the business, so why not exit. But which business doesn’t make losses in the initial phase. It is a common phenomenon. But what does not fail or disappoint the budding entrepreneur, is his belief in his idea that will work out. This belief pushes him forward to tackle the obstacles he faces. A belief can exist in many ways, sometimes even externally. For instance, Ekta Kapoor, when she started her television endeavour, she named her every television serial starting with the alphabet ‘K’. Her belief came externally. But over the years, she has scrapped out the letter ‘K’ belief and has been successful both on television and in movies.

If we take a risk and are successful, we are rewarded. But if we take a risk and fail miserably, we call it a lesson. However, the most important lesson for an entrepreneur is the risk of letting go. For an entrepreneur, this is the most difficult part. Partly, because of the love he has for the product he created with his own hands or the outstanding idea he developed all by himself. And, partly because of his ego when he’s about to lose the control over to the new management. However, if he loves his business so much, he should not hold an ego which has been build up due to the autonomy issues and handover the business for its better management. When it comes to his love for the product which he gave birth to and took its motherly care, he should know when to sell it off or even close it down. After trying the IV shots available in his first aid to revive and develop the product, he should learn to give up if its products do not sell.

An entrepreneur may not have attended the finest business school but he may possess management skills. A person may have skills to develop a product, has love and passion and sees an opportunity, but he may not have skills to manage a business. This person should know when to sell off his business when a good deal comes his way. When you reach this stage the risk of handling the whole business by oneself is very high with a huge downfall. And this risk should be avoided. Knowing one’s capabilities is important. And if your capabilities are not excellence in all the areas from funding to selling, you should concentrate on the product.

Article by Divyanka Gangurde

The Process Of Converting Yourself Into An All Rounder

The school days and college days are ones to remember for. But management studies are the one which will create a benchmark for any student in life. The campus experience in a management college is one memory cherished for lifetime.

IBS gives a mix of both management and team work learning and a full campus experience. Campus life is not defined by the area covered by the college but rather by the activities and exposure covered by the college. IBS gives the full exposure including all various types of activities. Right from the very first day IBS has been different for me in various aspects. The activities range from cultural to management and corporate. Its all student driven and of course with the full support of the faculties. It gives an experience of leadership quality and team work. It teaches the management styles, crisis management and time management all in a very informal way. It teaches us how to befriend and adjust even in uncomfortable situations. Campus life is all about those experience of various events on stage and back stage and handling them well with the studies.

It also gives us the way to connect them to the theories and experience which gives us the motivation to reach a destination or goal. The one among the first thing a candidate looks for in any college is a good campus. A great campus is built up by the type of freedom of thought given to the students. The freedom to organize and build up ideas and being able to execute them is what makes up campus life. It not only helps a person build up various qualities but also motivates them to come up with the ideas and thoughts. IBS has a reputation of churning out good managers, the managers who are filled with goals and ambitions. The teachers at IBS encourage the students to study as well as to have fun. The communication barrier between faculty and student is narrowed down which helps a student to grow as a person. A life changing education is what a student will experience here.

These two years of management studies will make build a persona not only on the basis of the management studies, but also on the basis of the real life activities and the thrilling campus life experience will provide with the mixed experiences which will toughen up the students for corporate life.

Contributed by Rima Agarwal (Batch 2014, IBS Ahmedabad)

Importance of Effective Writing Skills

Have you ever felt what the characters of the book you are reading went through? Or could you picture a particular segment of the story coming alive in your head? Or got so hooked to the book that you could not wait to finish it? Or read one particular book over and over again? Or even finished a book but could not wait to grab the next part of the book?

If any of the above has happened with you, then the author has done his/her job very well. The author has been able to make you imagine the setup of the story, feel the emotions exactly which the characters felt and most importantly, get your eyes glued to the book.

This is being effective. The dictionary meaning of the word ‘effective’ is to be successful in producing a desired or intended result. Consider an orator. A speaker has all the attention he requires as it is rude for the audience to leave their seats. But what really differentiates a speaker from an orator is to have the audience’s attention but also their presence of mind, with their listening dedicated to the orator at the moment. An orator enchants the audience with his/ her moments, expressions, knowledge, fluency and command over the language. But what happens when one is supposed to express oneself through his writing capabilities, when there is no face to face communication, when there is no chance to clear the audience’s doubts, when there is certain change in the voice tone to express certain emotion. How will one deliver the same in their writing?

Well, very few of us are inspiring to be the next Sidney Sheldon or J. K. Rowling or even writers to get their work published in newspapers and magazines or write their own blogs to share their experience, express themselves or change others’ lives, the rest of us may feel that writing is not ‘that’ important.

But writing will always be important. Even if you happen to work in the corporate world tomorrow, you will be loaded with presentations and reports. You will have to write reports to convince your boss presenting him/her how your solutions work or analyse the numbers in qualitative terms to grope in potential clients. For every project you work upon or your every client or every meeting you have to give a presentation, you have to come up with the reports.

Your job would be to include all the correct figures and colourful charts, but what is more important is to be able express those numbers, come up with logical assumptions and clear predictions to explain how you arrived at those numbers. What are you benchmarking or who are comparing the results with? How are you able to achieve the desired target set by the company? When you write a report you need to be apt and precise, but at the same time should be able to impress the reader. The most important is to put across your thoughts. Here, you have to be effective i.e. you have to create the desired result you wanted.

All these years of schooling, we were given essays to write but we never really paid any heed to them as we were never told the importance of these essays. Anyway, it is never too late. How to develop effective writing skills?

  • ReadEvidently, reading helps to gain knowledge and to open up your mind towards different point of views expressed by people about the same topic/ issue. If you are writing a report, it will help you to base your assumptions, include economic conditions and conflicting views, also the recent trends and future predictions.
  • Research: One should have complete idea of the topic on which he/ she is supposed to write. So research is a very important part of writing. Research also helps to form one’s own opinions on the topic which is very important, rather than researching and only stating facts which are expressed and experimented by others but only collated and stated in different words by you.
  • Do not take a stand in the beginning: This is a very important point, Do Not Take a Stand in the Beginning. Many writers take a stand in the very beginning of their article/ piece. It is a different thing if you are planning to share your certain experience regarding a particular thing. If you happen to hold a strong viewpoint even before researching, then the whole research turns out to be finding work in favour of your viewpoint. When you do this, you somewhat disappoint your readers. You are not able to clear your readers’ doubts by not showing the other side of the coin. So when your research, create an outline. Then go about collecting information which is in favour and not in favour of the topic. Then form your opinion.
  • Express: Like I have mentioned earlier, express your opinion rather than stating facts. If you fail to express your opinion, then the document would be just a piece that you made collating others work and facts; which anyone can do. Do not just express your opinion; back it up with experience or assumptions or logic, so your words are not looked upon as empty words.
  • Keep the reader in mind: When you begin your topic, do keep the understanding of the audience. A silly example of this would be, if you happen to write for children, obviously, you would avoid using words which are long and are above the kids’ understanding. Your storyline would not be complicated but will be simpler and easy to comprehend. Thus, keeping the reader in mind is very important.
  • State you’re Experience: Your experience counts when you are writing a review for a product or had an encounter relating to the topic. If you happen to state your opinion without any experience it is very difficult for your readers to digest, especially those who have a conflicting view. Your experience stands to explain the reasoning behind your views.
  • Practice: It is very important to arrange the information which you have collected and align the same with the opinions you have formed along the way. Practice writing on certain topics on which you are supposed to give your opinions. Start with simpler topics and then move to critical ones. Incorporate others opinions and state if you agree with the same or not, also give the explanation why you do or don’t.

Article by Divyanka Gangurde

Somebody sue this celebrity!

As per the latest Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC) guidelines, if products do not give results as promised in advertisements, consumers can now claim compensation not only from advertisers but also from celebrities endorsing such products.

So folks, partly due to laziness and partly because i do not use any of these products, I’ve prepared a list of celebrities who are definitely advertising products which do not give results as promised. If you are equally annoyed, and feel duped by such dastardly acts, don’t wait any longer, somebody sue this celebrity!

 

1. Shahrukh Khan

Well king khan definitely had it coming. I used to like this guy when Fauji & Circus took over the Indian television, and actually rooted for him in the earlier stages of his career when he was a small star taking on the Kapoors and what not, to establish himself in Bollywood.

Well mission accomplished.

SRK started annoying me, when he started appearing in almost every film and became a phenomenon much bigger than himself. The peak of this nuisance was definitely when he bought an IPL team and soon integrated Cricket with mindless masala entertainment (and then Extraaa Innings topped his effort). But, that’s just my opinion and I do not intend to diminish his achievements, after all they are stellar achievements.

Then again, just watch this ridiculous ad he’s made!

As though fairness creams were not retarded enough as a concept, the product team at Emami went ahead and made it much worse by customizing a cream for men. Of course, it’s a large market segment for there are many (millions) of dark skinned men in India, but selling them a cream promising fairness (and playing on their existing insecurities), just seems, wrong?

But, then again, I digress.

The point is not the Ad but the celebrity endorsing it. In this Ad he claims, ”Zyaada izzat, Zyaada shaurat, Zyaada friends” (Extra respect, Extra prosperity, Extra friends) all possible if you apply Emami Fair and Handsome – Kuch Zyaada(Something Extra)!

So there you have it. Have you used this awesome product? Have you become considerably fairer? Which has of course resulted in increased Respect, Wealth and Friends?? No? Then please sue this celebrity!

 

2. Kareena Kapoor

Where do I start with this woman, oh yes, I preferred her sister! It really surprises me how Kareena Kapoor has managed to become one of bollywood’s biggest actors. Notwithstanding her acting skills, I just do not like her. But I’m not an avid bollywood movie-watcher, so who cares any which way.

So this particular Ad isn’t as rubbish as the majority of the Ads we are exposed to, but one line in particular caught my attention.

“1 stroke is all it takes”?!

So the Ad claims that by using this Lakme Eyeconic product, you get “Iconic eyes everyday” or “Eyeconic eyes every day” or even “Iconic I’s everyday”. Basically, the eyes of an icon. So if you are a consumer, who feels cheated because your eyes / I’s are in no way iconic / eyeconic, then please, sue this celebrity!

I know it’s a weak argument, but hey it’s Kareena. I don’t think I need to work very hard to get somebody to sue her! And Saif is another headache altogether.

 

3.  Akshay Kumar

The action star has always made ridiculous over-the-top stunt-filled Ads, and I have no problem with that. He’s managed to become a powerhouse of Bollywood and was even part of a successful (was it?) TV reality show. The Ad I’m presenting however, is not at all an action-based execution and relies more on Mr. Akshay Kumar’s acting prowess (Laughable, I know).

So Honda scooters give a mileage of 60 KMPL?! Well I call bulls***!

None of the gearless scooters in India can manage that type of performance on Indian roads, especially Activa, Dio and Aviator! There is of course a very incongruous disclaimer –

*Based on internal Honda riding mode considering various simulated actual riding conditions

Gentlemen, brace yourselves- it’s simulated, yet somehow it is actual! Voila. What exactly are these riding conditions?! Do they even use an actual road for testing?

By giving such an ambiguous disclaimer, Honda is literally begging for scrutiny. This is nothing new, as almost all leading Car/Bike Manufacturers provide unrealistic figures for mileage (Remember Bajaj Platina and the 108 KMPL promise?). However, I think it’s about time they stopped doing this, and now with the CCPC standing behind consumers, somebody should raise this issue and hold auto-makers responsible for spreading misinformation. Somebody.

Somebody, who has a Honda Dio, maybe? Which does NOT give 60 KMPL ever, well here’s your chance at fame, sue this celebrity!

 

4. Salman Khan

So where do we begin, with the enigmatic, yet child-like Sallu Bhai? Not with the fans, that’s where. From my experience of dealing with hardcore loyalists (Modi Mania, AAPtards) and fans (Rajni/Sachin), I can honestly say, Salman fans fall into the ‘insane’ category. It’s just incredible how excited, protective, overbearing and angry (all at the same instant, mind you) they get when the subject of Salman Khan is brought up.

However, he already has enough problems with the Law (Hunting Black bucks, dead homeless people etc) so I wouldn’t actually advice anybody to sue him. (Yes, I do not want to mess with Salman Khan fans)

So here’s a stupid Ad he did for Relaxo, laugh along and smile if there are any Salman fans around you, and you should be fine.

 

5. Amitabh Bachchan

How can such an illustrious list not include the biggest name in Bollywood?! The actor who rose to stardom as the ‘angry young man’ of Indian cinema and made a comeback of sorts in the last decade, starting with hosting the popular show ‘Kaun banega crorepati(KBC)’.

Also he became an absolute sell out. Seriously, there have been times when I wonder if he declines any offer to endorse a product?! From cars to pens to chocolates and hair oil, he seems to be endorsing every product there is!

So here is the Big B himself, advertising for Navratna hair oil.

Sorry for the bad audio mix, I’m assuming that’s an issue with this particular video and not the original ad. Hopefully.

The ad is a bit old and not really as nauseating as some other recent ads, but it does provide a ripe opportunity to cry foul. Do you have any unwarranted tensions in your life? Is your Job too stressful? Is the Girl friend or wife nagging you too much? Are Bullies getting the better of you?

Well have you tried Navratna hair oil!?! You must. And then, if your tension does not dissipate, or if you do not feel so ‘Thanda Thanda Cool Cool’. Sue this celebrity!

 

To anyone reading this, I’ve tried to list out few celebrities, who I think are getting away with endorsing random products, just for their personal gain. However, I request you to look around and find many more.

The new CPCC guidelines are prominent stepping stones to empowering the consumer. If we, as responsible citizens, do not let our opinions be heard, we will be subjected to the whims of few big ad agencies. Who will continue to make rubbish advertisements and shove it in our face, during our favourite show/program. It really surprises me how so many numb-skull advertisements have been approved and allowed to be aired!

Of course, not all advertising is as bad as the ones we are subjected to.

Here’s an example of an ad for Thai Life Insurance:

 

Beautiful wasn’t it?

Here is another heartwarming ad for Binani Cements:

 

Of course these 2 ads play more on emotions, rather than promote or advertise the product, but it does leave a favourable image regarding the brand doesn’t it?

Before I sign off, I’d like to broach on another subject. With the elections approaching, for the first time I’ve noticed the big political parties of India making Television commercials!

 

Here is Congress’ ad which was a constant pain-in-the-backside for anyone who used Youtube from India:

 

Rocket Science, Rocket Science, Rocket Science, Rocket Science – Shut up Congress!

And during the recently held ICC T20 world cup, BJP started broadcasting ads during the matches! Here’s one specimen:

 

Let’s not forget the ‘Ab ki baar Modi sarcar’ phenomenon. Funny how an entire nation gets together over silly jingles, annoying tunes and catchphrases, while hindutva and regionalism divide us. Remember Idea’s Honey bunny and No ullu banaoing?

However, are these political advertisements subject to the CPCC guidelines as well?

Can we hold the parties accountable if they fail to action the points touched upon during their campaigning phase?

Everyone seems to know and accept the fact that once the campaigning is done and election phases complete across the country, the politicians will return to doing what they do best.

Absolutely Nothing.

I think these guys are celebrities in their own rights, and I would love to see them being sued for misinformation and general non-performance!

I’m going to leave the definition of ‘Politic’ here, so you can smile at the irony on your way out.

Politic ˈpɒlɪtɪk/

adjective

(of an action) seeming sensible and judicious in the circumstances.

“I did not think it politic to express my reservations”

This post was originally published here: http://abishekganesh.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/somebody-sue-this-celebrity/

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Bricks V/s Clicks

The term ‘Bricks and Mortar’ was first used in 1992 and was evolved in contrast to the business model of selling goods and services online i.e. Clicks and Clicks. Bricks and Mortar refers to the physical presence of a company such as buildings, stores and warehouses. This is a place where the customer comes face to face with his seller before making the purchase. We all are aware of this traditional model and have made purchases from such stores almost every now and then leaving us with numerous examples including retail outlets, mom and pops stores and  showrooms.

Let’s shift our focus to the Bricks and Clicks model. The Bricks and Clicks model is simple. These companies sell their products in both ways i.e. online (referred as Clicks) and offline (referred as Bricks). This is a lethal combination. Usually, not adopted by many companies and prefer sticking to either of the one channels of distribution. Talking about Clicks and Clicks, you will come across many websites which adopt this model and operate only online. For instance, Amazon.com commenced as an online book store but entered various other segments like retail goods, electronics, games, digital content etcetera.

We see a lateral shift from Bricks and Mortar model to Bricks and Clicks model to cover the market and make their presence felt on the whole. However, this shift has still not gained any attention from their consumers who favour shopping through the bricks more than the clicks. Many of the online stores of such companies are poorly managed which ride the potential customers away. Also, many companies are comfortable with the bricks model and fear the cannibalization of their current distribution channel which drives their profitability. Backed by many other benefits provided to the customers by the Bricks model, the need to eliminate the bricks model and practice the clicks is unfavourable.

Firstly, the touch and feel. Consumers want to touch and feel the product before buying it. If it is an electronic product, consumers wish to receive a demonstration to know how the product works, its size and shape.However, the businesses following the clicks model have started giving a ‘try and buy’ offer to their customers. For instance, you wish to buy shoes online you ask for a trial, if may try the shoes, know whether it fits right and go ahead with the purchase decision.

Secondly, consumers wish to negotiate the price with the seller by asking for discounts or reduction in price. This is possible when the transaction is over the counter (OTC). But Ebay has been able to provide its customers with the bidding option where the customers will bid to pay for the particular product depending upon their understanding of prices. Following price negotiation is the instant order fulfillment. You pay cash and the product is standing ready to be taken home, immediately. But, in case of the clicks model, order fulfillment takes time as first, the order is processed, second, the transaction validity is checked and lastly the product is couriered to the respective address. This conventional model might also come to halt if Amazon’s prime air project proves feasible to deliver products under five pounds in 60 minutes.

Next is the returns and exchange option. It is feasible for the customers to return and exchange faulty, defective goods in a bricks model rather than clicks. But the online selling players have also come to a solution for this by giving buyers the flexibility of 30 days to return a product with a no question asked policy. When we look at the clicks model, the reach of technology plays the crucial role. When we look at rural areas where the mobile technology is flourished but internet is yet to be penetrated, the clicks model fails giving way to the Bricks model. The model also fails when we talk about the fresh products market. But we do see Amazon coming up with the delivery of organic food and Greencart.in with the delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables. The feasibility of the clicks model is shortened when the number of the products to be bought is large. Also, the clicks websites are not the one stop solution for all the goods. This point can be reiterated when we see a number of households still opting to buy their monthly groceries from super/hyper markets rather than Healthkart.com. The best part of the mom and pops store is that they provide free home delivery and credit system as opposed to that of clicks model.

There are certain advantages of the Clicks model which cannot go unseen. The operating expenses for this model are very low. No store maintenance costs, no rent, no additional staff; only warehousing. It also saves conveyance expense on the customer front. The clicks stores provide their buyers with numerous sellers helping them to make the purchase decision depending on the number of units required, price, quality and warranty. The buyer can now acquire the product at lower price than from a Bricks store. Also, the buyer can compare the prices and the additional benefits received across different Bricks stores. The payment options are also debatable since the clicks stores provide COD (Cash on Delivery) option and EMI (Equated Monthly Instalments) schemes for credit card holders.

There are certain areas where only the Bricks model can be operated. For instance, if we look at selling insurance policies online, yes, you can select a policy by entering your age, habits, occupation and so on, but underwriting will be a problem. For underwriting purpose, you will have to visit the company’s office to get tested by the medical officers. Thus, it is not feasible to complete insurance transactions online from start to end. This is not applicable to all the services. If we look at making transactions through your Demat account, you need not meet the company managers or the agency you have your account with.

There are companies who sail with one leg in one both and another leg in other both. It is challenging to handle both the channels effectively. Like mentioned previously, there is a fear of cannibalizing the already existing physical distribution channel. Adapting to clicks will also create unrest among the distributors and will oppose this step. Hewlett-Packard is one of the very few companies who have been able sail in both the boats efficiently by protecting their existing physical distribution channels and step by step implementing the clicks model.

Article by Divyanka Gangurde