Monday, May 31, 2010

Show Me the Money!

Well just when I got quite convinced about the quality and affordability of education today in India after reading one of the news headlines broadcasting selection in IIT-JEE entrance of all 30 students in a coaching institute in Patna (Bihar)
I was completely taken aback by the fees structure of the institutes back home in Jaipur/Kota. These places are supposedly considered as Grounding Havens for IIT-JEE and other engineering Entrance Exams, students from all over India Flock every year at these Havens with the dream of making it to IITs/NITs?
Every Year these private institutes seem to get bigger and bigger with their flashy advertisements, promoting their selected students and over-hyped faculty members. They seem to excel in the art of alluring ignorant parents and over enthusiastic aspiring students with their myriad courses claiming to be better than the other only if you can afford to pay more. The only rebate which you can get from such soaring course charges is when you are one of those school/board toppers who have scored more then 94-96% in BOARDS.
So, the students who happen to realize a bit late and dint score well in Boards are doomed to pay more for their late realizations.
I wonder how in today’s regulated world where media plays such a crucial and active role of a vigilant Watchdog these institutes have the audacity to charge such exorbitant prices for their courses. They have crossed every limit to torture the already bleeding working class with such hefty demands. Parents left with no choice end up borrowing and taking loans to make their child’s dream of getting into good institutes a reality and also to save their child from going through the embarrassment of being called “POOR” and being “Mocked AT “by his friends. Such is the power of MONEY (even if charged irrationally)

These institutes have managed to commercialize the teaching profession so much that in days to come I wont be surprised to see one of these entities getting onto Most Profitable Businesses List.

Bansal Classes 2 Year Course During Class XI Rs. 66500/- + Service Tax(as applicable)
1 Year Course
Rs. 67000/- + Service Tax(as applicable) + Rs.1000/- as Caution Money (Refundable on submission of photocopy of IITJEE-2011 application form.)
3 month Course Rs. 47,326/-[ Basic Fees Rs. 42000/- + Service Tax @ 10.30% + Rs. 1000/- Caution Money (Refundable) ]

FIIT-JEE 2 Year Course
The total amount payable after Service Tax is
Rs. 244806.0

1 year Course
Rs.81005.0 (including Service Tax)

These are some of the course fees details I collected to sneak a quick look into the problem. Not just these two SUCCESSFUL institutes but lot others are charging more or less the same amount from each student who after paying this amount will be made to share the study space with 45-50 other fellow aspirants studying in the same batch as his, getting groomed by so called the BEST FACULTY, teaching round the clock, taking around four-five such batches in a day.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

“Over popularity: Devalue the currency”

Not just literally but in our day to day life as well, things which are easily available and are popular holds no/less value and unless and until you toil/fight for it the sense of achievement lacks in the possession and hence you tend to derail its importance.
Is this an irrational default setting in our mind or is it justified!
Why do we always appreciate things more which are difficult to achieve and not the things which are easily available and are equally important/or may be more sometime.
How often do we appreciate the taste of water just the way we do for a bottle of wine/whisky!
I might sound a bit weird here but Y does everything has some cost attached to it!Y isn’t things valued by its utility and importance alone.
Y do we get such high when we buy an expensive item and y does our confidence swells up with the mere association of exclusivity. This exclusivity is like a feather which differentiates us from the rest and thereby gives us visibility in the crowd.
Getting the best girl/smoking the best cigarette/getting a reputed job (mind it! No job is reputed unless they are paying you enough to compensate the everyday screwing you will go thru/so there’s a cost attached to you) writing the best blog /eating at the best place almost everything has a cost attached and hence you go shopping to feel good about the possession.
It’s plain and simple! The higher you reach in this possession ladder the more expensive you will become.
All other theories devised to explain the procurement are just sugar coated description of this simple fact. This process of valuation of things/relations and almost everything is something which I believe is their in our mind( it’s a default setting) , we do it without even knowing, it comes naturally until one day u wake up write a blog on it. This subconscious setting has been exploited by many marketers with their practice of “Subliminal Stimuli”; it’s a dimension and not dichotomy. They cannot exploit it openly coz otherwise it will throw away the whole mechanism of advertising which is to simulate believes unconsciously and thus not render the effect open to introspection.

I hope there’s some cost attached to this blog as well, and I manage to monetize it :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Art of communication!

What we gain and what we lose is the result of how well we communicate!
Lot has been spoken about Luck and Hard Work but I think the biggest culprit that decides ones fate/destiny is how well can one communicate!
I call it culprit here for the obvious reasons of me finding it difficult to exploit. Communication is an art which sometime demands exposing thy soul leaving it lie vulnerable in front of the receiver.
Communication which challenges you is the one that can either make your life right away or delay the process.To identify the right person, right time and right pitch is the most arduous task I’ve experienced till date. It manages to challenge your puffed up (bloated) confidence, it checks your mettle and sometime makes you feel powerless.
You don’t face these situations in your everyday life but when you do there’s no time to prepare, you just have to deliver coz the moment you think of pondering over it you just try to procrastinate the situation. It’s the time when you confront all your assumptions and thus the pseudo world of moderate environment you once created for your own comfort has the high probability of exploding.
Can you take that leap of faith in yourself is all that matters!Go live your assumptions for Real....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Domain Name didn’t sell!

How many of us faced the problem of selling/buying things which we have no other way to sell but to filter out options from the pool of people we know and then personally know/meet the person to pitch our deal.
The whole process of finding right customer and the right seller is so troublesome and opaque that sometime you end getting into wrong transactions.
Lot of options many a times takes away the ability to think clearly, when your mind is cluttered with too many options you tend to splurge into everything and hence end up getting lost in the crowd.
I think so is happening with twitter/face book selling buying messages where people tend to get lost with their deals and end up collecting redundant comments spamming mailboxes with useless notifications.

Hell managing basic finances was not less tiresome for tyros like us, fresh out of college without any real time exposure of managing finances that this problem of finding house, furniture, gas and what not took away so much time and much needed respite from our lives needed after a long day at work. (Had I not been bunking classes in college and attending all my lectures sincerely I wouldn’t have had such hard time going for work everyday!)
Neways the whole point of putting it here loud out is:-
Are we missing classifieds??!
N yea regarding the title, I tried selling on face book one of the domain names I purchased but got no takers, just people with lot of questions and opinions on my activities!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How much is too much..!

In this world of dynamic equations its difficult to know how much is too much!
Be it the job you are giving your time to, or the time you are spending introspecting about the whole gamut of future prospects u have in hand, u just cannot figure out where to put “THE” full stop. Every time you think you are done thinking there’s a different angle to the same problem you think is worth giving thought to and thus the process is never ending, there’s nothing which is segregated from the rest. Everything is just linked..!(I hope you are getting what m trying to say here: P, coz m not now..!)
Ok! Let me try simplify it with an example...
Since, I am stuck with social media these days. Let’s take an example from that.
When I see companies trying to use customer service platform to reach out to their customers (probable/existing), I see them over exploiting the same. There’s a thin line between making your customers aware of your services and overeducating them with it.
I believe companies should do their best to have a clear understanding of customer’s stated and actual needs and thus try to strike a right balance between reaching out to them too much or too little.
They seem to get just lost out on this understanding; they don’t know WHERE TO STOP!
Storming your customers with too many services/offerings every now and then can act as a real slip-up in terms of good customer experience.
Customer experience doesn’t end with customer stepping out of your shop/website after making payment but it sure stays there till the time the customer has the capacity to talk about your product/services.
So even when companies plan to make use of the customer details which they have/bought from vendors for their products they should get this thing very straight and clear that as soon as they make the first call to the client the “USER Experience “starts and the relationship is set between them(even if it doesnt get converted) and like in every relationship showering too much love (services) gives a very unrealistic/fishy feel to it, so do these calls.
Be selfish and give your customers a chance as well to show some affection.

So, next time when I get a call from HDFC! Congratulating me on getting personal loan sanctioned (which I never even applied for) or from Idea offering me the best talk plan on a SIM purchase( here also never showed any intention anywhere to buy one)I would know they don’t really love me they are just pretending to 

Did I manage to explain the real point I wanted to..?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

TED Talk ON Social Networking

Will try to jolt down some Key points in case u feel lazy to see the whole thing!
He talked about:
1.Reason why we network( induction,homophily/confounding)
2.Emotional contagion
3.Very nice presentation/explanation of social behaviour with a great analogy drawn between chemical structure of Graphite and Diamond
4.Benefits of connected life/social network are social capital
I would still recommend all the "I am so busy" souls to have a look

Monday, May 10, 2010

Survival of the fittest!!

It seem, With plethora of portals coming up with the concept of user generated content the marketing executives are having hard time convincing people with their conventional practice of extra glam marketing pitch and strategies to buy their products.
Now the war to speculate/bet for the best adword, keyphrases are keeping them on their toes.Google no doubt should be complemented for their astute insight in the changing scenario of world economics. Does that mean in some time from now organisations will have a lateral hierarchy and not vertical where there will be one boss that is the END USER, and unless and until they make us happy there’s no way their beating around the bush can sustain their alluring lifestyles.
These portals have altogether changed the dynamics of marketing everywhere. Either you deliver what you promise or you’ll surely perish under your own weight. Statistics shows that product reviews scores highly over polished and well thought about strategic throws.
This has no doubt marginalised the room for opaque transactions and brought in transparency in the whole market. Does that mean we are taking well informed and wiser decisions now or does that mean they are playing with our NO RISK APETITE!
Watever it mite be! This is for sure making our shopping space a safer place to indulge in with the best experience offered.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Social MediaII

Recently I lost my phone, was trying to check out some mobile phone communities on net which could help me with my quest to buy my next phone (yup unlike my earlier post)where I completely admonished the idea of consulting/checking hundreds of comments all the time which can help u in taking your decisions/and not commit mistakes.(which I think is important.neways!)

Out of all the ten communities I checked no one talked about the model I have in mind.

People were going gaga over pixels, 3G, 2G, sleekness, looks, color, sound, battery and what not. I felt like living in some tech world of geek God and Goddesses where everybody else knew about what they are talking about but me.

C’mon! from when a phone became such a major subject of discussion that people (mostly youngsters) are leaving no stone unturned to discuss its anatomy, from the body to the chip it uses.

Neways I noticed some fancy ads also alongside these “SERIOUSLY ECCENTRIC” communities, big banners promoting their latest geeky models with never heard and tempting marketing strategies in place to allure us with their latest product models having hundreds of features integrated thereby promising to make our lives more simpler, easy and hassle free( R U kidding me!!) After this I wonder what SIMPLE is...

So neways as my quest was still on by this time my mind got cluttered and clogged with too much of information (both good and bad!) that I decided to give up and directly call company’s customer service number to know about the model I wanted.

As soon as I called the customer care I heard a females voice, cheerful and gay extremely happy and grateful to get me on line (I don now Y, I din even place an order yet) as soon as I opened my mouth to speak something she in her “always happy” voice started tossing various offers/schemes her company has for me to MAKE MY LIFE SIMPLER that I was completely taken aback by the complexity of the whole process and decided to get through this ordeal and finally when we I got my chance to speak I enquired if they still have NOKIA 1100…..

The lady smirked and said

“MAm we no more manufacture those SIMPLE and unglamorous phone"

The only thing I did after the whole incident was to check number of communities on

Manmohan Singh” and I found this in the only community

Yea dude! He’s a great man

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Social MEDIA..

Humans are social ANIMALS.
Never been proved so right than now. The never ending quest to be accepted amongst peers is what driving me you and everybody else go crazy over twitter/face book/flicker...U name it and we are der flocking the platforms.
Giving/seeking opinions on things which interests/intrigues and yes intimidates us (if we risk crossing that boundary).
Social realists believe that people are primarily motivated through a combination of fear and self-interest. According to this view, the challenge of effective command is to align the enlightened self-interest of individuals with the overall goals of an organization. For these “social realists,” human beings are not naturally trustworthy, but will “defect” to act on their own behalf unless appropriately monitored. This group sees hierarchical controls as a natural, necessary, and efficient means for achieving order, clarity, and accountability.
What makes these portals so successful is their ability to come up with such tools/mechanisms which can envelop the real nature and present an idealistic condition to us, where we flock to help each other and act for a common good.
We always believe in ideals isn’t it! Its der on our mind all the time to be GOOD! There’s obviously nothing wrong about living in illusion after all its giving marketers these days hefty pay packages and we are getting things which everybody else also likes and probably must have tested. But don’t you think space for everybody else in our lives is taking too much of an importance.
Probably soon a time will come when we will be identified by the number of friends/contacts/fans/tweets/followers/scraps we have on our accounts or IS IT ALREADY DER?