Monday, May 10, 2010


Last evening while driving home my friend called to excuse our scheduled tea party meet today. He reasoned it with the arrival of his cousin and their family. Probing further he told me that they are from Rajasthan (Indian state) and in Dubai on medical grounds. Their bubbly cute 3 year old boy cannot speak due to his inability to hear since childhood. As he was narrating the agony and frustration he sees in the boys eyes my heart sank

The boy’s parents couldn’t afford 1.5 Million medical treatment necessary to bring smiles and joy to him – on a perspective was thinking so wish can connect with either India’s PM or health ministry and request them to focus on basic healthcare, such was the rush of blood

Was trying to attribute his words to where I stand in his life. Some strange force brought us together. We do all we can for the ones close to us. Have promised myself to have a SIP linked fund which I wish to dedicate to healthcare and basic education of any one in need. May be it’s a small step but I felt relived after my plan

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


To experience true merits of a media vehicle the best way is to experiment it and then collect vintage. Have tried to imbibe the same principles and started tweeting from my twitter account. I found it so different from other social media avenues available. It is quite exponential and surprised to see the quantum of learning's available by simply following people. We can connect to any one across the globe and I am glad to be following people across the globe.

From politicians to actors, writers, social marketers, yoga gurus, counselors, doctors and even bankers on my list.

I am quite pleased to see a local bank in UAE on twitter this week. Especially at this time when customers of several banks are complaining and exploring avenues to contact banks and hound them with complaints, here is one bank which opened its twitter account and is soliciting its customers feedback and at the same time selling its products and services.

Impressive track record of being the best in service excellence, may have triggered the bank to have the open access on its twitter account. For once even I tweeted negative on their creative's. Not only to test but also voiced my concerns as a fellow marketer. Their response was equally positive and must say convincing

I do not understand the financial model of twitter account but then it is a challenge to connect,communicate and convince people in less than 140 characters. Diganta Barua my earlier boss in advertising once told me, make sure you get a black and white creative done for your ad - if you can sell it then color makes it convincing.

It is important to mention here how a senior citizen manages her twitter account so well. She is quite a geek so to speak and learnt a lesson or two from her too. You can follow her if you have a twitter id on @mita56

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Up In The Air

The recession may be short or long; jobs may come back to financial services or not. Some sectors may even do well in a recession. The truth is that no one knows.

In the end, the answers to macro questions like these don’t much matter, because career transition in good times or bad is always an individual journey. The way to discover the kind of work you want to do — or might be available to you

After watching Up in the Air by George Clooney sure the question may prop up on being fired - the state of mind which plays in every ones heart - what will I say to my children? - how will I be able to pay my mortgage EMI - how will I ever take care of my ageing parents - how will I meet my daily chores and still stay positive

What George Clooney portrays in the movie was about an astute, cynical professional whose job is to make people redundant. It is. indeed a painful move- many may survive sheerly by their hard work, their affinity to the bosses or by sheer luck

The most important thing I learned last year was not to wait until the ax falls to start building relationships. It’s hard to “network” unless you have exercised those networking muscles well before the pink slip arrives. Take full advantage of social networking resources whether they are online or over a cup of coffee. Help other people as much as you can, even if it’s just by being a listener.

As said by one of my earlier Human Resources head - ex-employees are the best brand ambassadors - never stay negative about your company - in these tough times what matters the most is how well you evolve from the difficult scenarios posed
May be few months later you may consider this as an opportunity in disguise - never let the ambition and passion die

One mantra which I believe is a killer is to be optimistic and keep things in perspective — things could be worse. And I know it’s a cliche but it’s true: don’t burn bridges.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Stop Press

Last week Indian Press was after the Prime Ministers Office and also on a Minstry for publishing a full page press advert on Girl Child education with a wrong image of a Pakistani Army General.This indeed is a big blunder and few scribes did further research on the ad agency which created the the advertisement. However, the blunder no doubt is unacceptable what is important is to probe on why did this happen?

No federal departments are ad savvy similar to FMCG's or banks and I beleive the honorable minister was releasing her first advert in her 30+ year career and thanks to the blunder sure she would lose her job in the next cabinet reshuffle

Noticed some thing very similar here in Dubai but this time a large centre spread double page ad from the the largest bank in UAE promoting their new brand with a tag line - where the world comes to bank - the blunderthis time being next to their logo they even carried a competitive banks building along with their logo. Though it was too small to be noticed but then it is indeed a major blunder. The visual looks quite cliched as well with a photoshop work showing all major landmarks across the globe to connect to their tag line and no relevanceto the new brand or its core pillars

Who needs to own up? We cannot shoot the messenger and in this case the media agency or the publishers but definitelythe onus should be on the communications team ( both at client and agencies end) which vetted this prior publishing. As some times the agency does place dummy visuals till such time the client approves the concept and the text and in the hurry of meeting the publishers deadline I am positive this would have been ignored

However, other than getting compliance and the unit head to cross check the visual it is always important for the marketingteam to fine comb the creative before pressing 'ok' from their outlooks.

Corporate campaigns should reflect on the brand and messaging should be anchored around their core pillars - than being too cliched.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lesson (1) learnt from my Everest Base Camp Trek programme

As a prelude to my earlier blog on new years resolution I initiated a trek to Everest Base camp this year with a scheduled summit date as 15th August. Motivated few friends to join me for this as I wanted to do it for a cause - which would help me close on this years resolution of charity work.

Thanks to google and the numerous web sites which guide a novice like me to do the difficult task I' ve found some thing very useful - Walk like a Nepali. As in get into their shoes, feel their motivation and walk. As walking is at the very heart of the adventure and some attention should be given to the way it is performed. "Walking like a Nepali" is the best way to enjoy the adventure. Highlanders! - Most paths follow the shortest possible way between two points regardless the slopes. It is tiring, but unless the trekker is ready to create new paths, that’s the only option. Such an approach demands a different type of walk. A Nepali kind of walk.

For some one in Business Intelligence or in marketing a customer is just a number. We measure him by means of quantum of deposits he has with our bank or with the number of different product relations he has but we never get into his shoes and think about him

Ive promised myself to be closer to customers, hear them, understand them and then establish channels to connect with them