You Believe in Afterlife, I Do: Give Me the Console

This post is simply to be at the Redbull and Blogadda supported Red Bull Thre3style National Finals. If there’s an afterlife, well, music it is for me. Period. Have always wanted to make music. My idea would be simple, get the DJ to spin beats, get 3 dholis to funk it up. Get the tabla to mix and the flute to create the magic.

Now, what else is needed? Well, for me to get to this workshop and learn my passion!

26/11 and We Move On With New Dreams, New Strength

Today is 26/11, a date in India’s history which we will all remember for times to come. One fateful night when the country was shaken by a few young men who took hostage poor souls who had absolutely nothing to do with them or with any of their motives.

While writing this, I am filled with mixed emotions, enraged yet trying to calm myself. Tearful for the many people who lost their lives, their loved ones, and yet being strong at hwo we have out grown the past and we are surging ahead.

YES, I DAMN those few cowards….those bast***s, who have nothing else worthwhile to do in life and then we have a kasab asking for forgiveness and showing emotions by writing to his mother

The PAST is no more and we all have moved on, but memories still remain, forever and ever….and I think my emotions and answer is well captured below:

I salute our brave soldiers, the great souls, the relatives who are still there and with a tear of happiness, rememberance, future but NO FEAR in my eye, I dedicate my support, to my life – my India!!

Jai Hind!!

Find the Right Job(s) in the Niche Mobile VAS Industry at VASJobs(dot)com

In the ever cluttered Online Jobs portal domain, much of the niche domain jobs go un-noticed, which is what Sidhartha Bezbora, Founder, VASJobs.com says when I asked him the reason and the concept behind VASJobs.

A seasoned telecom professional, Sidhartha has been a key figure in the Indian Mobile VAS space and has over a decade of experience in the Telecom industry, globally.

VASJobs started as a portal, aimed at creating the right value for the Mobile VAS industry which is niche and hence demands top class talent, which becomes a time consuming activity in itself. VASJobs fills this need-gap in the market, Says Sidhartha.

With the VAS industry growing and the decreasing ARPU’s, innovation is bound to increase and there will be an ever expanding need for professionals who move with the times and own a good understanding of the domain. This is what we aim at leveraging through VASJobs.com, said Sidhartha, while on phone from Assam.

Commenting upon the existing platform, Sidhartha showed, some of the most noted names in the Indian Mobile VAS domain to be listing jobs on the site and says from his experience that the concept has been proven now, that there surely is an existing Gap, which will keep increasing and needs to be answered to, so that companies innovate and create services for the Billion Mobile users we will have in India int he coming years.

The start-up experience is nothing new for Sidhartha, but the excitement is still in full flow, as Sidhartha talks about how a team of 3 is managing the portal and he is looking at expading fast. Interstingly Sidhartha, also mentions how VASJobs is parnering with events, creating much value for them, providing access to the relevant market.

With the proven success story in WirelessDuniya, Sidhartha is on track with creating another online success with VASJobs.com and I wish him all the luck.

EXPOSED:Branding and Obscenity are Pretty Much the same – Why Online Marketing Did not Work for You

Well, I am back from a very good trip to Bangalore. Met some old entrepreneur friends, some interesting people. Connected with some very established people and re-fueled my engine for my entrepreneurial journey ahead!

Though while on the way I connected with some online marketers on the flight back and here I am writing a piece which I have wanted to since sometime now!

Let me start by saying: Branding and Obscenity are Pretty Much the Same

Why do I say this? Well, the guy sitting right next to me looked at a book I was reading, which was about Branding and how radical concepts have changed consumer perception overtime. I was reading a few case studies and making notes, for a couple of Offline Branding Campaigns I am working on. Now suddenly this guy shoots, about how he is an Online Marketer and does handles campaigns online and how his firm has been doing lots of work.

Without an introduction, I heard him as a client, and asked queries, and he started telling me about how Google helps, SEO, PPC and SMM works. Especially SMM, which we also know by Social Media Marketing. Since I was in the Case Study mode, I posed a question:

Give me 4 solid case studies with the ROI that you have generated for the client or where you have actually gone back to the client telling him that he needed offline/ other marketing techniques as well, and how did you execute it!

And this gentleman starts discussing the best works he has done. A viral campaign, which had x number of hits…Helped a company generate these many leads online (which he had no ideas, of how much was the conversion).

Anyway, being a good listener, I patiently heard him, and then asked another question:

What is the difference between Branding and Marketing and why did some of his campaigns did not survive and what he then suggested to those clients?

I am NOT generalizing this, but I have been interacting with Online Marketers, majority of them in their late 20′s and early 30′s who have had no experience of raising a brand. Who have not seen the entire cycle, boasting about serving the Indian SME in scaling up.

I have been into the Social Media scene, since sometime now, and have struggled with the statistics, which I could really go back with, to a client and suggest him, this is where you should increase/ decrease your marketing spend and this is what you should look at diversifying.

I have NEVER heard from an Online Marketer that they have ever gone back to the client telling them, that look you product needs this, as this is what you customer is looking for on the internet

Majority of Online Marketing companies optimize campaigns according to what the clients are searching a product/ service with. Well, I challenge this thought. How do you that it was the right consumer who was searching this term which you just took from suggestions which Google Adwords provide you.

Branding – YES, Social Media helps You do Just That

Okay, so now I have my Branding lessons on. I get to know how Branding is established, online:

  • a page/ profile on facebook
  • an account on twitter
  • targeted Ads on blogs/ sites
  • ghost writing on discussion forums etc.
  • videos on YouTube
  • ppts on Slideshare
  • photos on flickr

And if you still cannot achieve traffic numbers, well, go and post this content on various multiple platforms which are identical, so your content will be looked upon by more and more people an chances by simple probability to achieve are higher.

Okay, so I understand probability, but I am still not convinced with this number generation method, I remarked.

I am a Social Media guy and I have a problem with how things are going in India today

Okay, so for all those, who feel I have a personal bias, I have explored the online media to a good extent and hence I write my thoughts here. Majority of bloggers, social media experts/ evangelists/ marketers, strategists, have not had any Branding experience and talk Brand all the time. I have a particular issue with this, as many a times, what they dont realize is they can grow only if their client(S) grow.

Online is the new thing – you have to get on Social Media coz DELL made 3 million dollars from twitter

This is what I have heard from every religious online marketer, I have interacted with, who is pitching to any business from technology to holiday to whatever. Coz DELL did it, hence the opportunity exists and as in India, a small company thinks, even if I can achieve 30% of this, at a low cost, well I will make decent numbers.

And what happens month on month when you go ahead with Online Marketing for your business

  • MONTH 1
    • Both the online marketing agency and the client are excited, many things happening around, online training, blogs building up, google ads, higher listing on search engines WOW
      • The marketer goes back and shares the numbers:
      • number of blogs, number of blog posts, google ads numbers, how they got the company(s) site(S) listed high on search engines on specific keywords
  • Month2
    • Create content | POST it – HOST it – Virality!
      • Lets do it! Pictures, PPTs, Blog posts, Videos and what not
      • We will post it here – there – everywhere and wallah this will happen and this
    • Conversations are not happening – says the client!
      • Lets do ghost writing
      • Lets do ghost profiles
      • Lets do ghost comments
  • Month3
    • Houston We’v got a PROBLEM
      • Firefighting mode

What did you till now, after a quarter?

Well, Sir, look at your brand, look at how many people came to this landing page, look at all of this. Sales will start happening soon.

Lets See – the client now is thinking of how to convert the contract into a pay for performance?

Well, and this is where problems start. Retainership goes down and performance kicks in, knowing well, you dont even know what GAP EXISTS (if any) between the following parties:

  • Senior management
  • Existing (employees and clients)
  • Prospective (employees and clients)

The majority of online marketers, go ahead with no such GAP analysis, and without knowing what exists in the market and what needs to be addressed, just go ahead because they have a medium to connect people with, because out of the 300 million plus people on facebook, there will always be some who will be looking for your product/ service.

Well, I have no inherent bias against anyone, but if I strongly feel, if you are not clear of something, well, dont fluke and sell, coz what you don’t realize is anyway, after 3 years, there are only the better ones, who will be having the repetitive business, because you will be out of market to which you have been marketing.

Praveen Rajpal, Author & Global Innovation Thought Leader, FICCI at Leaders In India 2009

Praveen Rajpaul, talks about Innovation and how FICCI is helping organizations to improve their productivity and how innovation is changing the riles of the game.

Innovation distinguishes between a LEADER and a follower says Mr. Rajpaul

What do you need for innovation? Its an Idea!

  1. Incremental
  2. Revolutionary
  3. Disruptive
  4. Game changer

Unless we have all these sorts if ideas, we wont’ further. But how do you generate such ideas? Is there a process? Can we make it simple? How can we simplify the process of generating the ideas? Puts forth Mr. Rajpaul to the gathering!

Golden Principles of Innovation:

  1. COMBINE
    1. products
    2. proceesses
    3. technologies
    4. disciplines
    5. capabilities
    6. arts and science
  2. REVERSE
    1. conventions
    2. business models
    3. products
    4. processes
    5. Orthodoxing
  3. ELIMINATE
  4. ADJUST
    1. Cost
    2. Time
    3. Space
  5. DIVIDE
    1. Handling
    2. Transportation
    3. Space
  6. SUBSTITUTE
    1. Greener
    2. Lighter
    3. Faster
    4. Better
    5. Stronger
    6. Smarter
  7. UTILIZE
    1. Talent
    2. Brand
    3. Networks
    4. Waste
    5. Harmful effects
  8. MODIFY
    1. Designs
    2. Eco friendly
    3. Energy efficient
  9. UNLOCK CREATIVITY
    1. Passion

Well, there have been some real fantastic principles, that we have seen over time and some real fantastic concepts, which may be workable and may be just vague at the same time. But good to see innovatoin in my lifetime!

Panel Discussion on Post Recession Strategies and Tactics at The Leaders In India 2009

So now we have a power panel talking about recession and the current scenario and the road ahead being moderated by Steve Tappin, chair, LII 2009.

What’s happening at the Global credit Markets?

Theres’ no doubt that the US and UK are going to see slow growth and hence if you look at where the growth would really be, well, India, China are in the race. We did go through difficult times in Q1, but now we are introducing the concept of reverse integration. We are manufacturing products at price points which make sense to the masses int he country. Hence we are focusing on a whole new market segment to look at.

Corporations like us have to better how to work with the governments around the world. We as an institution have to get better at doing this as the funds today really are with the governments. We have realized that in some markets its better to partner with exsiting organizations to achieve the right and fast growth.

Now we have the Airlines industry being represented and what we are discussin are the cycles in the airlines industry. Global recession and fuel prices, have hit the industry pretyt badly. Now how do you weather a downturn like that?

I believe, what you need to do is have a very detail and deep customer focus. If you listen to your customer right, you kind of know the bad weather for which you could well be prepared. You hence start thinking on what best can be done with the customers hence delivering and creating the right value. In any industry if you do your homework and understand where the world economy is going will help you a lot.

One of the reasons the Indian airline industry is losing 1.5 billion dollars is the Me-too syndrome!

And now we are discussing the remittance industry and interesting to note that the trends in this industry are still increasing. And what we did as a company is get the slow down much faster and quickly, hence we looked at strategic growth options. We as an organization grew and looked at our corporate strategy, aligning it with the growth and then we looked at investments. We had the following two crucial pieces with us:

  1. Communicating with our stakeholders
  2. Being progressive and Aggressive than the industry – high level of execution

And now we have the IT Services business being represented from the panel and interesting to note that the comopany went ahead to drive growth within and external to the organization.

We went to our top 50 customers and understood their issues and problems and had our swot teams helping clients and helping them grow their businesses

We went to our partners to look at how we could get the right pricing models for our customers and finally we went to unions in the EU, and supported the cause of outsourcing which highly supported us in generating new business than cutting on any sources/ costs

And now we are in the Q&A mode in the panel discussion, which will be open to public view next. Interesting to share the notes here, we are discussing the defence industry as an opportunity in India. Tejpreet from GE remarks that the new and innovative products which will come, will be from India and China and emerging economies now rather than the west and this will drive growth of the market in the west.

The YouGov Survey for Entrepreneurs, Promote Entrepreneurship in India and WIN Rupees 35000

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CLICK ON THE IMAGE to Take the SURVEY

I am supporting this survey by YouGov, which is aimed at Promoting Entrepreneurship in India and getting more funds to the country, to support entrepreneurs!

I particularly want the level of primary education to increase in India and be supported by entrepreneurs.

If you share such a DREAM, I CALL UPON ENTREPRENEURS to take this survey and SHOW SUPPORT to the CAUSE of ENTREPRENEURSHIP in India!

Cheers to Entrepreneurship!

CLICK ON THE IMAGE to Take the SURVEY

A Good Dentist = Cafe Coffee Day (plus) Business Booming!

A lot can happen over coffee!! Yes I agree to it as would thousands of others who flock to these cafe shops each day and spend a chilled out time with their friends and folks.

Most of my informal business meetings and many a times, startups that I consult have just one thing to say: hey lets catch up at CCD (whatever place) and we will talk.

Though this post is not to promote this coffee chain in either way. What I am talking about is how the positioning of a particular franchisee of the coffee house affects sales for the franchisee.

Positioning, yes I already know it, this post is much late in todays time!

Yes, I know it is, but hold your horses.

Can a good dentist be responsible for the Cafe store’s business booming?

Good thought? Well, I am undergoing a treatment at a well known Dental Surgeon in south Delhi. Now after each sitting, I am instructed to not have anything solid or warm for at least 1-1.5 hours and have only liquids during this time. Moreover since I am numbed with anesthesia, thus for the next 3-4 hours at least I am not supposed to be eating anything.

Let me describe you how the dentist is positioned. The dentist’s clinic is on the 1st floor, facing the market entry and there is a Cafe Coffee Day at the ground floor, and with the human eye if you are standing 7-10 feet away at the ground floor, in a single vision you can both of them.

OK, GOOD, but how does that affect CCD’s business?

Well, I said hold your horses’. After every sitting when I am told to just consume cold liquids, the first thing I do is to go to the CCD and order a cold coffee. And not just me, almost each time I am at the coffee house, which is as small in size as you could think of, I see at least 5-6 people who were sharing space with me at the dentists’ a few minutes back!

In the world of Online Media

In this world of online media, proper positioning for your brand is a an ultimate necessity. Brand positioning is affected with the message that you devise for your client’s client. You need to get out of the advertising clutter and make sure that your brand has exclusive access and a good eyeball time by the intended target audience.

Positioning matters for your brand.

ParitoshSharma.com Announces Exclusive Brand Showcase Opportunities With the Launch of The Freshest Dope from The Digital Adversiting and Marketing Industry – HORN-OK-PLEASE (The Digital Foreplay)

hornokplease

There already is so much of Brand Clutter out there, that reaching out to the relevant market and getting the right eyeballs for the sufficient time is becoming increasingly difficult.

In the race to make easy money, advertising platforms are becoming more and more cash unfriendly and provide not much of an option to the advertiser to really showcase the BRAND DIFFERENTIATION and ENGAGE his target audience.

ParitoshSharma.com cuts through the clutter

paritoshsharma.com announces exclusive Brand Showcase opportunities for Brands to showcase their entirety and engage and start a meaningful dialogue with their audience.

  • How?
    • Limited Advertising Space – Only TWO (2) brands at any given time

      • ParitoshSharma.com limits the advertising space to only two advertisers at any given time on the Home Page of the blog
    • No Google Ads – Only targeted and specific advertising
      • We dont do Google Ad’s just to earn a few bucks. We believe in creating value for the customer and help our advertisers engage their customers
  • How can you advertise?

pscom-ads

Ohh, so what’s the big deal? Ad’s are given by everyone?

That’s right and that’s why ParitoshSharma.com provides you access to eyeballs as there is no Ad clutter. Only limited space with unlimited access and focused eyeballs.

Do you provide something else other than this?

Yes! We have 3 advertising packages, which can be further customized:

  1. HORN (package 1)
    • Advertising Space (Banner Advertising) + 2 Blog posts about your brand/ PR/ Announcements a month + Brand pormotion on facebook and twitter by Paritosh Sharma
      • INR 24,999
  2. OK (package 2)
    • Advertising Space (Left Sidebar Advertising) + 2 Blog posts about your brand/ PR/ Announcements a month + Brand pormotion on facebook and twitter by Paritosh Sharma
      • INR 16,999
  3. PLEASE (package 3)
    • Advertising Space on (HORN – OK – PLEASE – The Digital Foreplay (The Freshest Dope from the Digital Advertising and Marketing Industry)) + 2 Blog posts about your brand/ PR/ Announcements a month + Brand promotion on facebook and twitter by Paritosh Sharma
      • INR 7,999

Since this is exclusive access and focused advertising, the brands advertising, shall be entertained only post strong brand check on social media.

The Billion Dollar Shoe – Zappos.com, the Founder speaks

Yes, I know it sounds weird – The Billion Dollar Shoe, but well, its true, from being an online startup and looking at times both hard and paying, Zappos has today become a billion dollar enterprise with one of the biggest differentiators, which is GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE!!

Here I present an exclusive with the guy who is literally in the Shoe!

EOtv – Episode 24 – Week of March 16, 2009 from Entrepreneurs Organization on Vimeo.