Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Identify the Institute" Contest

Identify the institute as per the ad given below:

The Times of India, 29th Nov 2010



Answer: Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Ahmedabad

Congratulations if you got it right!!! :)

The institute doesn't understand the same thing that entrepreneurs usually don't. Building a brand! No wonder they've simply missed putting the institute's name in the ad, leave aside highlighting it. Ridiculous!

Where time-frames to learn and execute are getting shorter, the institute has converted the flagship program into a 2-year one! Entrepreneurs need to be fast, right? Respond quickly to challenges, right?

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Buzzy Day"

Buzzy = Busy + Boisterous :D

Shave at 12:30pm!

Yes, the person who handles cash and banking related tasks was out for a shave at 12:30pm on a Monday when there is maximum rush at the hospital. No doubts on his integrity; he has been with the hospital for many many years. What blows me off is the shave at 12:30pm on a buzzy Monday noon!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Der aaye par durust nahi aaye :)

Some 7 and a half years back, during our internship, we (Vivek and I) had recommended a logo change to the decisions makers at Career Launcher. We somehow knew it wasn't right back then but didn't have any science, logic or data. We just knew and said it as it is.

Career Launcher has changed the logo. Wonder what stopped them from seeing it back then even if we didn't have any support for our suggestions.

The thing is they still haven't got it right. But reasons for later. It is more than just an aesthetic issue.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What's wrong with the copy?

for a multi-specialty hospital
at Bhilwara, Rajasthan
Compensation: Best in the industry
The applicant should be 
good at communication -
polite and well-spoken -
and possess a spirit to serve.

What's wrong with the copy?

I suggested this copy when we were discussing releasing an ad for a vacancy. The immediate response was doctors won't respond. What's the need to write polite and well-spoken...

It's rather strange actually. All these things are assumed to be present in a 'doctor'. The facts, as I've observed so far, do not corroborate. Doctors don't have natural ability to communicate, forget being polite and well-spoken. Doctors didn't choose the profession to serve the people. They chose to become doctors to make some money, like it happens in most popular career options.

But then in a market like this, we haven't done enough to choose. We haven't done enough to attract the ones who want to serve.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ad for an Ad

In my own capacity, I am promoting this ad released in The Economic Times. Kindle's here, in India and at a very reasonable price.

Kindle Ad, Page 4, The Economic Times, New Delhi edition, 23rd Nov 2010

Go go go. If there's one gadget that I would recommend it's this. It's a great way to get gadget-crazy, gaming-crazy children started into reading. Parents who are finding it tough to handle their kids' fetishes for gadgets have a chance to develop a desirable one now.


A colleague of mine, Punit, had shared this idea with me - a device that works like mobile phone and helps you locate things. So the way a mobile phone helps you reach your people, there should be a device that helps you reach your things.

Punit didn't believe in his own capabilities to pull off the idea. So he didn't work on this but some other guys did. Here it is.

Source: Rajasthan Patrika suplement 'Parivar', Bhilwara Edition, 24th Nov 2010

Who's given the name Forager? Myself and Prateek. A few days back we were discussing the possibility of developing such a product and this word just popped into my head.

I realize that this name can be given to a touring bike as well, or to an SUV, or to any vehicle built to handle rough terrains.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

If you were a word

You would make a great quote only in company of other words.


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Billo Bounce Torture

Prateek's got a way of torturing the people who are around him. Just listen to this:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thaali mein chhed

As I wrote earlier, everyone who forms a part of the chain between the patient and the doctor is a potential middleman out here. While talking to Iqbal, our Relationship Manager, I mentioned this point.

I said, "even our marketing guys can serve as middlemen for other doctors or hospitals."

Iqbal has been associated with the hospital for quite long now. He left the hospital over a war of words 3 years back but has joined us again. He is great at conversation. And so often talks in metaphors.

He replied, "Sir, mere principle mein hai ki jiss thaali mein khaate hain, uss thaali mein chhed nahi karte. Kyonki, aise toh hamein hi khaane ko nahi milega."

I responded, "Aaj kal log jiss thaali mein chhed karte hain uske niche ek aur thaali rakhte hain..." ;)

Iqbal was watching me smiling and wide-eyed.

The point isn't that I am great at dialogues :D. The point is places like these require different ways of management. One needs wits to win conversations, and therefore, probably hearts, and therefore, respect of one's own people.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Statutory Warning to Sales Guys

Don't push open the door, lest you might hurt your guests.

Commercialization at the hospitals

It's like the rivers charging for rowing.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ratan Tata's favor to India

At the fag end of his career, Ratan Tata has done, to my mind, the biggest favor to the country. Bigger than inventing the Nano! If a man of his stature and integrity says he was asked to bribe a minister, our machinery (governmental and business/industrial) has a greater chance to wake up. It's still only a chance, mind you.

A foot in the door to resurrection.

Coaches needed

We can do without managers in this part of the country. Only coaches needed. Men who can constantly watch, talk, utter just the right words, inspire, and reprimand and push when needed. Less on paper, more on the ground.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The truth

I am busy the whole day and the whole night.

The whole day I am shifting attention from one thing to another to yet another. When I say shifting I sound as if I make a choice. No, it's default. There's no choice. There's just no time to make a choice.

The truth is hospital has no decision-makers. Or rather the truth is that people do not seem to have the greatest judgment to inspire confidence in their decision-making and therefore they aren't allowed to be decision-makers. And therefore, it so happens that since they aren't allowed to take any decisions whatsoever, they do not become any better at decisions.

The thing is you take a decision and make them run around to follow your decision. The truth is following also involves taking some decisions. But then these guys haven't practiced any decision-making as yet. And therefore, they come running around seeking you to take more decisions.

The truth is taking decisions and sub-decisions and sub-sub-decisions keeps me busy the whole day.

The whole night I am busy sleeping and dreaming. Dreaming nightmares.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The rain, the song, the drive

Bhilwara's experiencing terrific weather off late. And it inspired a lunch-break drive today. :)

The song played over and over and over and over again till I was back. :)

From the Safari Window

Truck Art

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Out of the box

It's simple. I feel, it's over-rated.

We are creatures of habit. Break a habit deliberately and you are out of the box. If usually take a certain route to a certain destination, take a different one.

I just visited Ahmedabad over Diwali. Good enough to break the rut I got into staying at the hospital and trying to manage it somehow. I've come back with more thoughts, clearer thoughts and a different resolve.

Boxes are tough to see. So it's tough to be out of the box :). This awareness itself is good enough. Remind yourself time and again that boxes are tough to see. And that habits are boxes. Break those habits; you'll find yourself out of the box.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Royal Enfield Hollowbird

Thunderbird is a Hollowbird!

Now, some might see me as being too harsh in my criticism. Some might say, it isn't warranted in the first place. That's okay.

Classic seems to be a consummate product. I ask myself why can't other models be as good? Characters could be different, but coming from the same stable the aesthetic-level of all bikes must be equal.

Yamaha for once is a good example. The fit and finish and aesthetic-level of all bikes seem to be the same, other factors not considered. FZ16, Fazer, R15, SZ/SZ-X, YBR all exude the same level of detailing and aesthetics. In fact, I can add even the earlier models like Gladiator and Libero (do you remember that still?) :).

Intense urge to dismantle a bike

I've got this intense urge to dismantle a bike. How did this happen? Well, I've been anxiously evaluating all the bikes so that I can come to a decision to buy one.

I've done test-rides of FZ16, Hunk, R15, Bullet Classic, Thunderbird, etc. Some or the other thing stops me. R15 - very narrow tyres. FZ16 - the fuel tank accentuated with plastic add-ons, Hunk - the huge plastic scoops called 'muscles', Classic - the excruciating waiting time, Thunderbird - just a lot of hollowness coupled with some unnecessary jazz. Some of these bits I've listed might sound trivial to the reader but that's how my mind's working right now.

Karzima ZMR is the biggest plastic pooper this country has. Didn't get an urge even to touch it. I visited a nearby Hero Honda showroom just a few days back, so I can claim that.

All these experiences get me to this point. I want to dismantle a bike and build it again with my own hands to know which one is the really really reliable and solid one. Of course it must be neat and beautiful; that's the primary condition. I can begin with FZ16. It looks the most reliable and the sturdiest of all. It looks but I want to know for sure before shelling out my money. So I want to dismantle FZ16. And if I don't think the plastic bulk on the tank is needed, I'll do away with it.

May be before long Mahindra Mojo launches. And this urge to dismantle and feel a bike from the inside might die.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What will the competitors do?

 So this is Honda's belated gift for the common Indian biker. Not bad. :) Good for the Red Riding Dude.

Must be remembered that it is slated for a April 2011 launch (based on reports in the media). So we've got effectively 5 months before it launches.

Current offerings on the same lines are:

Yamaha R15 with a tag of Rs.1.2 lacs approx on-road
Kawasaki Ninja 250 priced at around Rs.3 lacs on-road

Yes there is a huge gap. So Honda CBR will supposedly fill this with on-road price of around Rs.2 lacs.

My gut feeling is that some motorcycle manufacturers are not going to take this lightly. Expect Yamaha to announce a 250cc launch at about the same price as that for the Honda CBR 250. Expect Hyosung to bring in its 250cc. Won't speculate on the price.

But the gap isn't necessarily between Rs.1.2 lacs and Rs.2 lacs as is anticipated. The real gap is between 70k and 1.2lacs.

Expect Bajaj and TVS to launch 250cc versions of Pulsar and Apache respectively priced competitively around the Rs.1 lac mark. And that will set the country racing. Fingers very much crossed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Economists are at fault. Am sure they are the ones to coin this one. And now they are struggling to convince governments and policy-makers. And struggling to make the common man understand the significance of all that falls under this term 'externality'.

Imagine, the environment we are surrounded by is captured in this term 'externality'. Of course, the term is derived from 'external'. Quite amazing that in our pursuit of convenience, the very things which ensure our survival, are conceptually thought of as 'external'.


Today is Dhanteras, an important day of Diwali festival here in Rajasthan.

Here's my SMS to all the members of Krishna Hospital:

Dhanteras par kuch aisa karein ki  log aapko dhan dene se na katrayen!

S Soni

The same message to you as well. :)

Doctory as career option

Observing the downright greediness of doctors out here, I asked my Doctor Mamiji if there is any specific reason why young students aspire/choose to become doctors. The answer? Nothing. Apparently it's just a good career option where 'good' means lucrative.

Doctors lack any great sense of 'service'. In all likelihood, for them patients are nothing more than just machines meant to be repaired efficiently and carefully.

During interviews, these docs talk so blatantly and unabashedly about money. Worse than even the most frugal baniya.

And physicians see themselves as nothing more than platforms which specialists can exploit and pay for use. Earning referral fee is the incentive to become a physician it seems.

It's sad.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Apache RTR Hyper Edge is blunt

When I heard and read about the launch of Apache RTR Hyper Edge and saw the pics, I was surprised. For very obvious reasons Hyper Edge needed to be something more. Not just in performance but also in design. Besides, this was a strange case of giving a 'hyperbolic' name (without the corresponding changes) after the product has met with a fair amount of success anyway.

I realized that Hyper Edge is a fitting name more for Pulsar than for Apache RTR. Especially from a design perspective. I've tried breaking apart the designs of both the bikes to show why Pulsar is the Hyper Edgy bike.

Focus on the yellow lines below. Apache RTR Hyper Edge. These are the dominant lines I see when I look at the bike.

Now look at Pulsar.

You'll notice that there are fewer dominant lines (at least in the way I see) in Pulsar as compared to Apache Hype Edge. Lines seem to converge in Pulsar. Lines are closely aligned. Against this, lines in Apache are far more distant. They don't seem to converge. Forget edginess, there's very little to call sharp.

Fewer lines cut sharper. More lines will of course make the edge thicker. You get the logic, right?

Design apart, I love the sound of an Apache machine. There, they've got it right. But I guess the sound isn't enough (as it is for a Royal Enfield) to make it a cult.