CCR – Do you know what this means?
Credence Clearwater Revival (CCR) inspired me to write this blog. If you haven’t heard CCR, I suggest you do – its immortal rock music that will heal your soul.
So, what’s in name? Would you call your band ‘Credence Clearwater Revival’? Try saying the name fast. Or if were a food entrepreneur, would I call my restaurant Mc Kejriwal? What on earth does ‘Lays’ chips mean? I don’t care where Altoids came from. Oh my God, my ketchup is called Heinz and my cereal is called Kellogg’s. What do I make of The Oberoi, or The Hyatt? Hell I want a coffee really badly.. Starbucks here I come…hmmm…that’s hardly the appropriate name of a place that would sell coffee! I love Sony…. Please just explain the brand name to me one day. Honda, Toyota, Samsung, Yahoo et al, we know today because of their amazing products and services. Not because their name got us to buy them.
Posted in Start-Up, VC & Corporate Stuff
Tagged Advertising, Base line, Brands, CCR, Dominos, Heinz, Hertz, Honda, Jet Airways, Lays, logo's, Samsung, Toyota
I swear (on GOD), that I can just about manage to run a Company, keep investors happy, drive cars on both sides of roads and even identify a western classical musical piece, but I just cannot understand my mobile bill.
Consider this simple chart:
In Mumbai (Maharashtra), if you want to get a post-paid connection, these are some of the options: (haven’t considered some of the latest entrants):
|No of schemes
||Total Items on the ‘Confusion Menu’
So, lets assume that you go to a gas station driving your car, harried, late for a meeting and ask the pump attendant to ‘fill her up’. ‘Sure!’ he says and gives 116 options to choose from (what I call the item on the confusion menu in the table above). ‘Sir!’ he says, please tell me if you want ‘ super 149 or saver 99 or gold 599 or Lifetime of …… (brand names of the 116 choices)’
Posted in Internet, Media, Mobile and Tech, Start-Up, VC & Corporate Stuff
Tagged Business Models, Confusion Pricing, Free Markets, India Mobile Consumers, Mobile Bills, Mobile Portability, Telcos
My long standing driver – Yadav aka ‘Maharaj’ is a rather decent bloke. He is demure, soft spoken and usually never has an opinion. All he loves to do is drive and polish the car. Yet, when I call him on his mobile phone (provided by me) for logistical coordination and other errands, the caller tune he forces me to hear makes me go insane. He has chosen the choicest of bawdy, vulgar and obscene bollywood songs available as his caller ring back tunes. If Hugh Hefner called Maharaj, he would probably never kiss a Playboy bunny again. Maharaj has taken mobile embarrassment to a nuclear level.
Hearing is believing!
The least gratifying part of this story is that I pay his mobile bills and hence I am actually funding this spectacular entertainment strategy of his.
So what makes me do something so stupid?
A few weeks back I invested a princely sum of money to buy my Airmax 2010 Nike shoes from the flagship store in San Francisco. Last week, just before traveling again, I washed my shoes and was aghast to see a big hole on the inside lining of my brand new shoes. I photographed it and sent the complaint to the marketing folks at Nike India – got ‘Shunya’ (zero) response. This made me madder. Armed with the receipt and with war in mind, I stormed into the New York store determined to make a fuss and noise. This was the ‘Indian’ consumer psyche kicking in – ready to fight and draw blood to set right what should not have gone wrong!
The ‘returns’ counter had a very pleasant girl who greeted me and asked me my problem. When I snarlingly showed her the hole, she shrugged, said ‘oops’, and asked if I wanted my money back? Her reaction took less than 7 seconds. I melted. Yet the Indian consumer was still kicking. ‘Yeah- gimme my money back’ I grumbled. She did and then pulled out her trump card – she gave me a 20% discount on any purchase bought within the hour in that store. Well, you guessed it – I bought the same pair of shoes (new color), pocketed enough dollars for a great dinner, walked out feeling like a prince and started doing social marketing for Nike!
I am obsessed with Pasta. Ever since I traveled to Italy to get trained in the factories there (I used to work in my father’s socks factory), I cannot get Pasta, its permutations, shapes and sizes and of course how it is cooked – out of my mind.
In the context of Pasta, Al Dente in Italian literally means ‘To the tooth’. This refers to that ‘perfect’ moment when the Pasta is firm, strong, crisp and cooked – but not soft and supple. It’s just the way it should be. The best way to get your Pasta to be Al Dente is to keep nibbling on a piece of Penne or the Fettuccini while it is boiling. The very moment you can bite into the pasta and yet feel its firmness, it’s ‘Al Dente’. Immediately drain, add whatever you have to into your Pasta and enjoy (I like it with very little garlic and mushrooms sautéed in olive oil with mixed Italian herbs and top it with grated parmesan cheese). Buona Appetito!
Pasta a la ‘Rodinhood’ (Image and recipe courtesy – Chhavi Kejriwal)
Now, observing the ‘Al Dente’ method has inspired me to think of ‘perfect moments’ as they appear in an Entrepreneur’s life. As they say, you can never time anything to perfection, but just like Pasta, if you know when your best time is near, you can leverage it well.
Posted in Experiences, Internet, Media, Mobile and Tech, Start-Up, VC & Corporate Stuff
Tagged Al dente, AOL, China, Clearstone Venture Partners, Entrepreneurs, Games2win, Hotmail, Indian Idol, Mahesh Khambadkone, Microsoft, MMOG, Mobile2win, Pasta, PRC, Sabeer Bhatia, SMS, Steve Case, Time Warner, VAS, VCs, yahoo