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Traffic Jams- How to Utilise Them

The country's competitiveness and GDP can grow if we do the following (choose any two) during a traffic jam.

Invent a new product. Who says you have to be sitting on the "think tank" in order to think? You can use a traffic jam.

Think of 5 ways to kill your boss-he's the one hampering your productivity, right? (We didn't promise that it would be good for you-only for the country)

Throw apples at the passersby..the demand for apples will directly go up..you can also choose tomatoes, if they are selling at 100 bucks a kilo.

Honk until your battery goes dead..demand for car towing services will increase, and therefore,....

Order a takeaway pizza and desrcibe your location as the ---- jam..he'll understand, he'll deliver..you have managed to contribute your mite to mitigate the unemployment problem.

Write a resume/autobiography/poem/..circulate them to the other people in the jam.you may get lucky and find a publisher among them..or an employer..

Digital Marketing Course- Second Edition

Just started teaching the Digital Marketing course for its second run. In between last year and this year, two important things happened.. a team of our students (Kalaivani and team) won the Google Online Marketing Challenge for Asia Pacific..I happened to be their mentor. Second, I ran an MDP at IIM Indore on Digital Marketing, attended by several participants from industry.

Looks like we are going great guns with this year's edition too. Should be exciting, with a lot of exercises packed into the course, including creating a blog and populating it. And making a video ad film. Nothing like live projects to liven up a course, as I learnt during my MBA!

This course also runs at our Mumbai campus for part-time and full time students. Looking forward to that too.


Marketing Research Presentations Humour

Marketing-speak

On Keeping a Beard

Why do people grow a beard? This question has haunted me and Gillette for decades. Not sure of Gillette, but my research points at the following-

To save on shaving expenses and pain (sorry, Gillette)

To study the growth of microbes, bacteria in a bearded environment, right under your nose

To look like your bearded hero (who they are eludes me for the moment)

To differentiate youself (a beardo) from a weirdo

To keep the total hair (neck upwards) constant, particularly as you advance in age -heck, I must be in this category now, just had a birthday too.

So what do I do? To grow or not to grow, THAT is the question.


These are a few of my Favourite Things

Exquisite PJs..my first love.

Newspaper. From the days when writer quality was excellent.

Mirchi bajji..all Andhravadus like this.

Sabudana khichdi/vada..all ghatis are fond of this.

Single Malts- an acquired taste.

Tea- Fits me to a 't'- Irani chai is the best.

Biryani- inevitable Hyderabadi addiction

Humour- Love it. Ultimate test of people. Wodehouse and Asterix, ah!

Books- mystery, non-fiction.

Pics- They tell a story.

Chats. FB is fine. Real ones are even better.

Cinema- Bollywood -with all its warts- comes first. Next is world cinema, Bergman, Irani films, Japanese films, Hollywood,..

Gaane- especially Kishore Kumar.



Chef- Film Review

This is the one starring Saif Ali Khan and Padmapriya. My major motivation was to watch the latter in action (she was my student at KIAMS), and I came away impressed. There is a simplicity to the plot (it is not original, but a remake of an English film), that makes it an easy and enjoyable watch.

The parts of Kerala you glimpse in various shots add to the charm. At one level, you could call it a story about Father-son bonding. It is also about a relationship gone sour but one that both partners are dealing with to the best of their ability, putting the son first when they can, while pursuing their own dreams.

The film picks up steam once the food truck/bus comes in, and becomes a kind of road trip which gives some scope to introduce Goa and Raghu Dixit into the script. The song that results is fun ( a lungi song?) and natural.

Having lived in Calicut, I was able to connect to the Labour Union demands and the toddy shop (yes, I have visited one). Must mention Milind Soman, and the ac…

Reconnecting With the Past

The past has a way of coming back. You meet people again, sometimes in unexpected ways. Here is a partial list of people I have met again (not counting online meetings) at least once.

Ram Seshu, Narendranath, from Hyderabad Public School

Mukesh, Jimmy, Chittaranjan, Siddhartha, Shveta, Savitha, Achint, Nidhi, Padmapriya, Anu Bhoopathy, Jogeswari, Vidya, Smita Mohan, Dheeraj, Swapna, Jacob from KIAMS

Venu, Nagarjuna, Phani, Basudev, Ramesh, KS Murthy, G Sreenivas, C Srinivasa Murthy, Krishnamurthy, Huma, Nagabhushanam from OU Engineering college

Mohan Gopalratnam from XIMB

Abhinav Kamal, Meghna, Animesh, Supriya Jain, Manjari, Nikita Kumar, Ratnashree, Aditi, Pallavi, Vrinda, Divya Singh, Shafique, Bhawana Sahay from IMT Nagpur

Jimmy Jain from IIMK

Anne from the US/France, Anil, Suresh, from the US

Sowmyashree, Viju Varghese, Mrunal and Aishwarya from PESIT

Sapna, Bhuvneet, Saumya, from IIM Indore.

Neetika, Varsha, Vinay, Ritu Pai, Shailaja, Nisha, Shobhna, Shalina, Kailash and Amar…

The Economy

The economist talks about the monetary policy, fiscal policy, Industrial indexes of Production, Purchase, interest rates, global shocks, quantitative easing,...

The common man understands it as the price of petrol, onions, tomatoes, cars, scooters, availability of public transport, non-collapsing bridges/overbridges, trains which run on their given tracks, and the bribes that he pays (or doesn't) to do what he needs to do.

The politician who understands this the best, and achieves ease of doing business for the common man (not just for businesses) would probably achieve great success in coming years. After all, the big buzzwords are of no use unless they ease the pain of an average citizen.

We had a combination of good economics and politics in 1991 with the Narasimha Rao-Manmohan Singh team. Hope that happens once again, and India achieves 10% growth in its GDP, and not just 7%.

Lalithaa Jewellery- Advertising Strategy

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The biggest thing to hit Hyderabad, it seems, is a bald guy trying to persuade people to buy jewellery at a store called Lalithaa Jewellery. The pic above shows him. These hoardings are all over the city, and you can't miss them. The shot below is of the huge store at the Somajiguda junction. Great advertising, which urges consumers to take an estimate for any piece of jewellery along with a pic of the same, and go compare prices at a few OTHER stores..and buy wherever they find the best value/price. Giving celebrity ads a run for their money.

Hyderabad (Photographic) Diaries 2017

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Practising Selfie-taking skills. With Shobha (sister), Hari (BIL), Anjali (their daughter), Pooja (mine) and Anuradha.
 Young engineers from 1977-82. with Phani, Basudev Paul, Ramesh, Nagarjuna and Srinivasa Murthy.
 Mr. Bhave (Uncle), 85, and me and Hari at the 85th celebration.
 Young cricketers- Anjali, Akshar.
Akshar, his mom Nisha (we go back a long time), Hari, and his sister Shikha.

The Expected and the Unexpected

Life is a balance between the two. We wake up wanting some things (like we breathing) to be the same, and expecting some surprises to liven the proceedings (just breathing can't make you breathless with excitement?).

So it was. Some planned events, and some unplanned comprised this visit to my favourite place (actually I now have many, wherever I can meet old friends and new), Hyderabad. Though it was a very short visit, managed to meet a few of my engineer friends (classmates from O.U., or Osmaniacs) and visited the Hyderabad Boat Club for the first time. They have a lake-facing restaurant at Tank Bund-couldn't see any boats though.

Also ran into Bhawana Sahay, ex-student, with whom I was only in touch on fb so far..feels great to meet someone in person, and put a face to the DP (she has been an award winner at my DP Awards).

Also met some old friends from Singareni Collieries -the coal miner- who were visiting Hyderabad on vacation from Bangalore. To more such coincidences!…

Newton- Film Review

A full house for a film with no Khans or Roshans is in itself a great thing. Not to take away from star charisma, but there are other films which deserve a viewing. This is one of them. Please avoid it if you want masala entertainment.

But if you want an honest look at what may be happening in relation to social issues in a place such as Chhattisgarh (could be anywhere, actually), then you may want a look-in. It reminded me of two films that I have seen earlier- Govind Nihalani's Aakrosh, and the more recent Peepli Live.

It is produced by Aanand Rai. The director's name was new to me (he is a kar-Masurkar!), but he has handled a difficult subject very well. The casting is perfect- Rajkumar Rao is brilliant, and so is his counterfoil-the army officer. The tribal girl's character has some meaningful dialogues too. The editing (my favourite punching bag) is spot-on.

Good, meaningful cinema, which cautions you that social problems are solvable, but solutions are not easy. In …

Hrishikesh Mukherjee- Birth Anniversary Tribute

He was, in my view, one of the finest directors of films. His sense of what worked on screen was impeccable. Watch any of his classics, and you might agree. Anand, for instance, is forever etched in my mind, though I first saw it in the early 70s when it was released. Every scene is a lesson in film-making. The dialogue, the acting, and everything else seems perfect. He was minimalistic, and no scene stretched beyond what was needed.

It is no joke to make a comedy. It was not one, but many that he made, in a fashion I have not seen since then. Gol Maal with Amol Palekar in a "double character" (and a manic Utpal Dutt) can make you roll on the floor. So can Chupke Chupke. He was also good in serious cinema, like Namak Haraam, or Abhimaan.

His early films, like Biwi aur Makaan were good, though not as popular as his other films. Satyakaam was one about a man who never gave up his principles in life-played very convincingly by Dharmendra. Bawarchi was a later film about a warr…

Pukar Revisited- Film Review

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This is a review of the film Pukar written in 1983, still vivid (!) and readable. The film literally comes alive, as if on screen in 70 mm. First published on the wall magazine at IIMB. Re-published with permission.

Why I am a Dev Anand Fan

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It is because of his attitude towards life. In a word, carefree. Or if you prefer the hyphens, happy-go-lucky. In Hindi/Urdu, zinda-dil.



He was an actor, producer, director. What may not be so well-known is that he and Guru Dutt were good friends who started in the industry around the same time. But of course, they took different paths, Dev Anand a much longer one but to my mind, no less distiguished.

His film persona usually matched his real self- he was debonair, self-confident, incurably romantic (his autobiography is titled Romancing With Life too). Some of his characters were unforgettable. The guy who sang Main zindagi ka saath nibhaata chala gaya, har fikr ko dhuen mein udaata chala gaya in Hum Dono. Or Yeh dil na hota bechara in Jewel Thief.

Hema Malini's first big hit, many years later, was with him in Johny Mera Naam. O mere raja is a great hit from the film. He would also sing another duet with her in Shareef Badmaash- Neend Churake raaton mein, humne baaton baaton mei…