Remembering A Friend

We lost a friend this morning.

I was 24 when I met him as a colleague. He was a senior. But we immediately became friends as if we had always been together. Our friendship was a natural extension of ourselves. He spoke good English. I looked up to him to fine-tune my language. I enjoyed his company. He spoke with a vocabulary which was beyond my reach. He made me at ease and helped me learn. He did crossword puzzles and that made him a demi-god to me. He taught all about it to me. I had another peer colleague who is as good with language. Hence we became three-some awesome friends. This senior guy was just then married. When his mom was with him at home, he used to take us to feed us, the bachelors. If not, he used to invite us saying we had to be guinea pigs as his new wife learned to cook and gave us wonderful food made by his wife. He included us when we were in town to the dinner outings that he took his wife to. He had a car and four of us always went out in that red maruthi car. We always went to that town knowing well we had a bro and a home.

We had many funny moments. He was good at catching me with my inadequacies and teased in a way that I enjoyed them the most. He taught me humour. He taught that the definition of humour is that the person at whom it is aimed at should be able to enjoy it the most. This taught me good humour.

His was the first car that I got into and drew my inspiration to make it a senior(car was a senior’s privilege) by hard work. When I got mine, I told him that. There was a day when we ran out of petrol in his car. For years to come it became a starting point to remember those old days. Once we drove up a hill with the hand-brake on and we came to know about it when we smelt the smoke of the tyre. On all occassions he was solid with his humour. I could have never learnt to think when in distress if not for his kind of humour.

He was big. A well-built man. Big eyes. Quick tongued humour. Impeccable language. A soft heart. Sincere in relationships. Better than a reel hero in looks, and a real hero as a person.

He accepted a special programme initiated by the company in those days. When I inquired as to why he accepted it, he told me that he heard about the markets of the special programme, and since it was closer to the station that I was based, he took it. His thoughts floored me. All the time during the special programme visits, we had a gala time. He was liked by many to the extent that some of the seniors were even possessive to let us be his friends with the same closeness. That only increased our love for him.

I met him a few years before at his house function. Same big hug. Same warmth. Same humour. I shall just remain with those thoughts forever.

I never thought, with the kind of healthcare in this age, genetic predisposition can strike someone with lame things like heart attack.

My prayers to Lord Renganatha to give strength to the family and all of us, friends, to cope up with this huge loss.

Last but not the least, thanks to the common friend who thought of me(after all these years) and informed me the news. Thanks buddy that you understood our friendship, and how close I was to him.

Is There A Plug-in For #SocialSuccess?

 

I visited a company who wanted to listen to me on the ways to use #social for their existing business. As usual, I started with my one-slide Ramayana (I picked up the slide from the internet) and also showed one slide #socialsuccess theme prepared for them and detailed the rest of my ideas. Since the company is a large one and the directors of the company are well-versed on many things, my job was easy. They already knew all the “blah blah” about #socialmedia. They are also extensively using it personally. They agreed that using-personally and building-a-brand-on-it are two different things.

Now you see, it was so easy to talk to them.

The crucial question they had: who will do it? Who will implement it?
My simple answer: All of them together.

My take was:

They should map the existing success steadily into digital prints. At all levels. This will give the necessary confidence.
They should look at integrating the whole company with #social. Not necessarily all at one go, but eventually. But the integration thought process should be there from day-one.
They can choose areas of experimentation within the businesses and start somewhere to learn. Then roll out.
They can start internally and slowly move out externally(customer-facing activities).
In all of the above, they should concentrate on “conversations” be it internal or external.

We discussed many examples and some examples that I could think of from their own domain,I gave. They were too good and hence could understand it completely.

Will they move forward? They might.

If they dont, it will either be because of reluctance to move(let-us-wait-and-see-kind) or the belief in that myth of a plug-in called #socialsuccess which they will continue to look for and loose more time without realizing that there is no plug-in called #socialsuccess that a business could use readily.

I am happy from the time that we need to tell businesses that they need #social for business we have moved to how/who/when kind of questions.

We Are Moving Forward

Build The New

2014 has been a good year in terms of prospective clients realizing the importance of eCommerce. I have been advocating to include eCommerce strategy as a part of overall strategy rather than drop-everything-do-this kind of advise. From objections of the kind “I dont think my customers are out there” to “you don’t know my industry”, business owners have moved to asking “Is it too early?” and “Should I do it stand alone or integrate within my current work-flow?”. These are being discussed at length in meetings off-late. This is a good sign. Current heated topics include “Do I need to outsource or do I need to build it inside?”. I always recommend that you build it inside. The reasons are obvious. Going forward it will become an asset. If you outsource, you might make a marginal better beginning(which I can argue otherwise easily) but you will come back to square-one the day it stops to work. Also you will not build instuitional memories along the learning curve. You might even disrupt the current set up by outsourcing as comparisons will soon start happening.

Many a times after long discussions the business owners ask me “what next”. I recommend

  1. Implementation of internal productivity tools
  2. Mapping eCommerce Strategy as part of overall strategy
  3. Social conversations

and exactly in that order.

First half of 2015 will tell me how fast businesses will move and what more we need to teach them.

I look forward to your comments and feel free to discuss.

Data Sense With Google

 

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Diagnose And Repair

diagnose and repair1990- I bought my first motorbike. An AX 100R. I had always given it for service in the authorized service centers. My reasons had been simple. They are trained for that vehicle and equipped with materials to do repairs for that vehicle. They are not one-man show. There are specialized people to look at various parts of the services that the vehicle requires. They tend to be more responsible. For all these put together, their charges might be higher compared to a road-side mechanic who is all-in-all in his shop, who deals with all kinds of vehicles, has limited equipments, cannot replace spare-parts readily, over-worked as one-man show, equally responsible(let us say), charges a tad less. But I always had a feeling that one-man mechanic will do what is absolutely necessary, might not foresee problems and act on it, whereas the service-centre guys will go by the book and hence might do the necessary changes if it is in the change-this-threshold already.

Stop. Over the years I have been with my Doctor friends(yes I mean the health care practitioners) and have always been fascinated by their diagnosis, treatment methodologies. I mean the way in which they diagnose and the way in which they treat. Generally when a Junior doctor joins the senior, to start with, he will be asked to kind of sit with the senior, watch, learn, and at the end, the senior will dictate his Rxions for the junior to keep writing it. So, for outside world, it will look as if the junior is kept like a clerk to write down the senior’s dictation. But, they know what they are doing and representatives like us understood it well. When the junior grows, the senior will ask the junior, “What is your diagnosis? Why?” and then teach him why and/or why-not. This is hands-on training. After that knowing the senior’s Rxion habits he would write out on his own. Sometimes, the senior will cross-check. So, from this we can easily understand that diagnosis is the most important part. That made correct, treatment follows. By and large, the success of the treatment lies in right diagnosis.

I had seen senior paediatricians walking on the in-patient wards and stop by to tell a mother to feed, short-circuiting their original orderly rounds to go and check a baby. These, I understood, happened because they can differentiate between a cry-due-to-hunger and a cry-in-pain. They will also stop by and ask their juniors to identify “cries” in the wards. Later in clinics, I had seen doctors who would shout-out to their compounders or staff to let a crying baby in first(though the patient’s order could be well down the order of turns). And their instructing the staff to ask the respective mother to feed the crying baby. Again they can differentiate by listening-in the cries.

Stop. Today my 70cc XL didnt start and I had to depend on a road-side mechanic. He entrusted the job to a junior and the junior fiddled with the vehicle one at a time. First, he diagnosed that spark-plug was the problem and cleaned it. It didn’t work. Then he thought carburetor was the issue. He cleaned it. It didn’t work. By this time he had taken a full 45 minutes. The senior guy came around and asked him if he checked the motor for current. Then he checked it himself and then found that faulty. I had to go, get a new one and we replaced it. 5 minutes job. It was ready.

I explained to both the guys that they should not venture in to a treatment process and should diagnose first. I told the all-in-all senior owner mechanic that he should  follow the doctor methodology to train his junior. He didn’t agree. He said only if the junior worked this hard(doing unnecessary things) he would learn and also would respect him(the senior). Luckily, these guys did not become doctors. World puts up with these bike-doctors this way. I made a resolution once-again not to go to the roadside all-in-all mechanic next time.

Posting this story out helped me calm down after going through this experience. If you had come this far, a big thank you for reading this.

Rameshwaram Discussions X Social Media Gist

A friendly discussion at Rameshwaram about the place, where to stay, what to see and how social media is relevant for a hotel promotion. It was one of those days of north-east monsoon storms that we get usually. So it was windy and hence you might have to use an external speaker or use your headphones to listen with good volume. You can learn a great deal about Rameshwaram and can buzz Raghu who is in the video by using the above link of his hotel.

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Ramnad: YES Talk Visit


 

 

Digital Analytics Fundamentals

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Passed The Google Digital Analytics Fundamentals course. This is one of the nice courses. It talks more about business and introduces all the tools with a business relevance. I did this course basically to understand the mapping of marketing metrics to the digital tools and learning to know the significance of analyzing the various metrics. But to my surprise the course has prepared me to consider using the analytics tools by myself. Simple, clear and concise course material without much jargons. What I really liked in the course was the fact that the tools and business metrics were well mapped and explained. This should go a long way for me as a marketer who promotes online presence to grow businesses. Now when I sit with the reports, I can read more and take informed decisions for businesses of my clients.

Study Quarter 2013 : Digital Analytics Fundamentals From Google

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As a part of the above said “study quarter”, I found this course on Digital Analytics Fundamentals to revisit the fundamentals of digital analytics for the month of October 2013 and just starting with the course.

Sharing so that you can take a look and take a plunge, if interested.

More to come…

The iPhone Skin

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foto credits: sandhya.varadh.com

I dropped my iPhone last month on the tar road. It looked like it broke into pieces. Felt so bad. Luckily it fell on its backside and the screen side was ok and hence could continue to use it. Thanks to Prasannan, got it fixed with a skin bought from dbrand. Now it kind of looks much better. Feeling better now and more importantly still working fine.

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