Archive | March, 2009

Save Varun Gandhi Campaign

24 Mar

Quick… Save Varun  Gandhi from certain mental break down. He is a sick child and he needs our care and attention. Poor fellow was taken under the BJP wing and now he has become this communal hate mongering monster.

He first declares in public that he will cut the throats of our Muslim brothers if they say something wrong about Hindu religion. If that is not an hallmark of a sick mind then I don’t know what is. And to top it, he says the video which captured him shouting anti – Muslim slogans were “doctored” by other political parties.

He should be put behind bars under some anti-India law.

I wanna help him. I cant give him a Jadoo ki Japi but I would like to take a cue from the Pink Chaddi campaign and connect with millions of Indians and send flowers with Get Well Soon card to the BJP headquarters in his constituency and convince to drop political ambitions and get checked into a rehab.

Otherwise, this Gandhi clan offspring is not just gonna destroy his life and degrade himself but soil his Gandhi links and become a threat to the entire nation.

I am Vikas from Chennai and I take all responsibility for these actions and have no qualms to face any problems /defamation suits filed against me on this blog. I care more about my society and my nation than….

I am also starting: Save Varun Gandhi Campaign in facebook and all are invited.

Here is the link to the profile.. Join me ..

Save Varun Gandhi

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What are my dreams and passions ?

23 Mar

Was not sleepy yesterday night. Say around 12.20 am . I was thinking the question which i never expected I would ask myself.

What are my interests? What are my passions?

And more importantly, I asked the question, how can i make my parents proud? And even more important question, how can I be proud of myself?

What are my interests? I am still thinking about it. Haven’t found the answer yet.

What are my passions? Books. Then how can I convert my passion for books in something myself and my family can be proud of? Should I write a book? No, I don’t have that sort of creativity. I love reading books, collecting books and reflecting a lot on what is written in them. But don’t think I can write.

What else do i like? Economics – Now here is something I can do something about. I can prepare and appear for the Delhi School of Economics, Masters in Economics prog. But, I am not really good with numbers and I don’t have an envious academic track record. I would like to be part of RBI or public sector companies. I may not earn a lot but I can research and write papers which will be of use to nation building.

I love fitness and helping people reach their fitness goals. So should I stop working and do a fitness course and open a gym?

But if that was the case, then I should open a library because I love spending time with books.

Does that mean Fitness and books are interests and passion?

What else? … What else? … I draw a blank!

Is that it? Is that all? I am 25 now and is that all I can think of as my passion?

I talk a lot about branding, marketing and social media.

Are they interests or passion?

Why is that people dont follow passion and follow interest.

For example. Why is it that people end up doing MBA in marketing and finance when they love economics?  Why do people give up on their dreams to learn archaeology and instead study for engineering from their minds when the heart roams in the subject of archaeology? Why study for doctor when they want to work in agricultural related field?

Is it because it has been ingrained in our mind that following our passions will not give us monetary benefits to settle down in life?

My dad loves Chemistry and medicine. I always wonder why didn’t he pursue masters in chemistry and become a bio chemist. He says – Vikas, during those days my dad dint have enough money to send me to a college that’s why .

Do you know what he is today ? He is a Sales guy with 25 years of experience.  You can still see him talk passionately about chemical bonds, aroma compounds and molecular structure. He still buys CIMS latest book and keeps himself updated on medicine and drugs available in the market. He probably knows the combination of almost any drug in a pharmacy.

Today he sells flasks.

Had he pursued his passion he could have done what he really wanted to do in his life – Chemistry, research and teaching. He would still tell me (if I ask him) – Vikas, should you decide to get into research field then don’t worry . I will take care of you and your food and your stay …etc.

I am 25.. I work… Should I be hearing this from him?

Or should I be saying – Dad, why don’t you retire… I will take it from here.

Big Question: What are your dreams and passions? What are your likes and interests? What is the difference between them ..

the accidental Brand Manager

21 Mar

This part of my life was never planned . This part of life of becoming the Brand Manager for BODYFUELZ was as serendipitous as it can come. Becoming a Brand Manager was always part of the plan. Just then I became one a bit too early.

So here I am , Brand Manager of BODYFUELZ. What we do , you ask ? We help some of India’s top sports players, endurance athletes , serious bodybuilders and fitness freaks to reach their fitness goals via performance nutrition.

So we have someone like Sushil Kumar using our highly advanced , bio engineered Aminonutriton products to build lean muscle mass, strength and stamina to reach his peak performance for his game.

We have the Indian Hockey Team use our products like FASTCHARGE and PWRSPORTS to  in their game to build endurance and stamina and prevent fatigue while playing.

We have been helping people develop lean , ripped muscles using our product called MUSCLEMAX .

We enable people in the weight loss program in the most safest , effective manner possible.

And those who connect and buy from us directly either through mail (pmt@bodyfuelz.com), call ( 044-42014141/9884592632) or via facebook community , we give free diet/fitness and nutritional guidance.

Our in-house nutritionist will guide them all round the year.

My Role :

As the Brand Manager I connect with users to help them understand concept of next generation sports nutrition both Online and Offline.

Online –  You can find us here in facebook community –  BODYFUELZ Facebook Community

I believe in the future of social media marrying PR and Viral Marketing .  That is also one of the reasons why i exited from an advertising in industry.

Future  connect :

Starting from now my blog will mirror all that we do in the social media sphere . It would include very precise and practical ideas on building a brand using websites, blogs, rss, social networking, widgets and how to connect that with online PR.

Social Media Chennai Chapter :

I also aim to start a social media group based out of Chennai. A bar-camp – unconference style where i would like to invite brand manager, marketing managers, web designers , chief marketing officers, advertising and public relation executives and the likes.

The agenda would be simple . We will meet to connect and share ideas, best practises, discuss case studies, new trends in the social media sphere and how we can help our clients improve  their reach to their customers.

The only criteria would be that you should be passionate and believer of digital/social media marketing.

Drop in a mail – spartanvikas1983@gmail.com,

call me   – 9884592632

or drop in your comments here and spread the good word.

Look forward to some dynamic response from you guys ..

The Fear of Deflation in Indian Economy

20 Mar

Today’s Economic Times has the screaming article Indian Economy staring at deflation. Is it good news ? in its front page.  Too late .. I have already predicted and reported on this .

On Feb27th of 2009 I had posted a blog  Inflation down to 3.36%. Nothing to be happy about. This blog was posted when 3.36% inflation figures were released by the government.

Is it good news ? Of course not. Why should it be ? Think about it. Deflation arises when less money is chasing more products. So the question now comes – Is it that we Indians have no money to buy ?

On the contrary,Indians have the money to invest. How else would you explain record number of new mobile connections sold ? How else will you explain Mercedes selling more cars in India than in most of the so called “‘mature”, “developed”  markets ? How else can you explain the IPL commercial values involved? How else can you explain DTH connections sold in drones in the last 6 months?

So you see , we can safely say that we Indians have the money to spend. What prevents us from spending a lot ( unlike last year) is the fear factor.

France , America, Britian has millions of job loses reported . France had 3 million out on streets protesting against wage cutes and unemployment. How many such rallies have we seen in India? I will let you answer that question.

First, let us accept the accept that the Indian economy clocked 9% G.D.P last year and it was fueled by entrepreneurship . But, unlike our counterparts ,Indians are largely insulated by the bad economic troubles. But true to our risk averse mind set we are saving our money and too scared to invest or buy in indulgence. Therefore , demand is low.

There are 2 ways at looking at it. Positive and Negative. Taking the current discussion under consideration, we are forced to look at the negative reasons. And negative reasons are very scary indeed.

What can be done ?  Two things – Awarness and Proactive solutions by the government and private companies and banks.

Self Awareness from the people is hard to come by. The government representatives should come out and talk directly to the people instead of just giving out talks in press conference . TV news channels can give a good coverage by inviting top brass to address people directly.

Address the Nation : When was the last the time we actually sat in front of the TV and listened to Presidential speech on the eve of Independence day ? Be honest about it .. But , this is the right time for Ministry of Finance, Planning Commission, RBI head to directly to the people. We should also have business icons and thought leaders like Naryana Mooorthy, Sam Pitroda, Sunil Mittal, Sachin Tendulkar, Dhoni, and writers , celebrities talk directly to the people. The idea is to instil confidence and security to the people.

Go Vernacular : Talking in high jargon filled English is not gonna do the trick. The biggest curse of India is that we have not been able to permeate the growth of the economy to the villages. Few people realise that villages, tier 2 and 3 cities hold the key to super power status of India. They may not be English educated but they have spending power. And like Unilever’s CEO Mr Paul said in a interview , ” We will have to drive people’s habits” . Very True!

But talk to people in their language.

Start spending but in a controlled way . Educate, Empower and set example and spread the word. Be a thought leader yourself. Ask your friends to spend but not in excess. Try to include Indian products in your grocery. This will fuel domestic economy and also in the long term make us a potential market and make it more investor friendly .

Simple things are can go a long way. You dont have to be a Chief Economist to drive change.

Just a thought : We should stop IMF and S&P500 and other agency give investor ratings during recession. Otherwise people are gonna reach such stats and go into a shell and reduce spending and brakes the FDI’s.

ICICI has the worst customer service in India : Personal Experience !

14 Mar

How many of you here, who reads my posts have an ICICI account? I don’t! In fact, after a call from a customer service person today, I have resolved never to get an ICICI account no matter what the situation is.

icici-logo

Here is why:

I just completed my 2-wheeler loan amount Emi . ICICI bank was supposed to send me NOC ( No objection papers) . Yet , I kept getting sms messages from ICICI saying  that I still owe then Rs 2280.

Today , I got a call from a guy called Suresh . He is  in the department in charge of sending out NOC papers.

Here is the conversation – verbatim :

Me : Suresh, can you tell me why ICICI is sending me such a sms ?

Suresh : ( in an extremely rude tone) :  you see , that is not my business. I only want to check your address so that I can send in your NOC

Me : but suresh, can you not tell me why.. ( I get cut short)

Suresh : I am telling you that it is  not my department and I am not concerned.

Me : Suresh, I am your customer. You can have the basic courtesy of talking to me in a decent way.

Suresh : I know you are a customer . I am not in charge of the department , and I can’t help.

Me ( I get irritated) : Suresh, basic rule of customer service is to listen to what your customer has to say. I am in a services business industry … ( I get cut short this time)

Suresh  ( he starts reading out my address  without even letting me finish my sentence) : is that where I should mail your noc ?

Me :  yes

did you notice the negatives in the conversation ? “Don’t” , “cant” ?

Now,ICICI claims to be the 2nd largest bank in India. Second only to SBI !

But t if it was really that great in terms of revenue and all that jazz, how come I was treated so bad? How come the customer service ( front end ) guy dint have the basic courtesy of not having the patience to listen to me ? How humiliated did I feel when I was cut short in trying explaining my problem ?

Why should I conduct my business with a bank like this ? Why would anybody want to have any relationship with a bank like this ? Or is this an isolated case ?

I work for a company which has a very long standing with ICICI bank . I am supposed to get ICICI savings account opened next month. That is not going to happen .

I have no intention of having any sort of relationship with ICICI and instead will continue using Axis account and open a new account with any of PSB’s .

If ever a marketing guy of ICICI reads my post , I request him to make sure that  another customer like me should never be treated and humiliated in a similar manner.

I also came across Arjun’s blog ICICI Bank – bad experience for many also , Vijay Padiyar’s blog reflects a similar experience in ICICI Direct Pathetic Customer Service .

It does stop here . A cursry search on the term : icici bad experience , throws out alarming blogs and forums on how bad banking with ICICI is :

Life is Like this

Hindustan Network forum

Bad experience with ICICI bank Credit card – this is from Indian consumer complaints forum

Anita Bora’s blog : Where is the customer service – Trouble with ICICI bank

Arjun Prabu;s blog ICICI bank- Bad experience for many

My hate campaign against Slum Dog Millionaire continues….

1 Mar

I am surprised at myself  for taking this Slum Dog Millionaire movie issue way too seriously. I never thought the movie is good enough to feature in my blog. But then I never expected  one of my good friends to call me a  “traitor” just because I carry the opinion that SDM is one of the movies which never deserved an Oscar. 

a_r_rahman

 

Here is my previous post on Why Slum Dog Millionaire should never have won the Oscar award.

Re-emphasising  my views …..

 How dare a British director Danny Asshole Boyle can call a poor Indian – Slum Dog ? How the hell did we accept and applaud and award a movie like that ? 

Slum Dog Millionaire

 

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